PopeWatch: LarryD

Monday, February 20, AD 2017

 

LarryD at Acts of the Apostasy has given the benefit of every possible doubt to Pope Francis through this purgatory of a Pontificate.  PopeWatch was thus struck by this post:

 

I’ve read some reviews, synopses, and commentaries of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio’s recently published booklet, “The Eighth Chapter of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia,” and I gotta tell you, I never knew Episcopalians had cardinals. I knew they had bishops, but not cardinals.

Here’s the pertinent pernicious paragraph:

“The divorced and remarried, de facto couples, those cohabiting, are certainly not models of unions in sync with Catholic Doctrine, but the Church cannot look the other way. Therefore, the sacraments of Reconciliation and of Communion must be given even to those so-called wounded families and to however many who, despite living in situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons, express the sincere desire to approach the sacraments after an appropriate period of discernment… Yes, therefore, to admission to the sacraments for those who, despite living in irregular situations, sincerely ask for admission into the fullness of ecclesial life, it is a gesture of openness and profound mercy on the part of Mother Church, who does not leave behind any of her children, aware that absolute perfection is a precious gift, but one which cannot be reached by everyone.” 

In other words, R.I.P. heroic virtue. Take the wide road. Don’t rely on God’s power to sanctify you each day – through prayer, through courageously bearing one’s cross, through sacrifice, through baptismal graces, through reception of the graces one receives worshiping at Mass – because gosh darn it, God doesn’t want you to be unhappy. God doesn’t want you to feel left out because you haz sincere desires. You can even be a cohabiting couple – simply express a sincere desire to approach the sacraments, and the Church won’t look the other way.

Imagine parents treating their children this way, giving them what they wanted because they felt they deserved it, and didn’t want to feel left out.

Oh…wait. Bad example.

That excerpt is more appropriate for inspirational posters one sees hanging in corporate meeting rooms and business corridors. This is Holy Mother Church we’re talking about, though, not Google headquarters.

The Church, though, doesn’t demand absolute perfection. She helps us become perfected and ultimately reach heaven, not hand out the Eucharist like it’s a participation trophy. None of us deserve the Eucharist – it’s an incredible gift from Jesus Christ of himself. All of us must meet requirements to be worthy of reception – one of which is to be in a state of grace. Remember the parable of the marriage feast in Mt 22?

“And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who has no wedding garment; and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding a garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

This is serious business. What the cardinal is recommending, is that one can do evil in order to bring about a good. Since when, in all the history of the Catholic Church?

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: LarryD

  • Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ, yesterday today, and the same forever. 9 Be not lead away with various and strange doctrines. For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which has not profited those that walk in them.”

    The meats found in Amoris Laetitia are not fit for the sojourner who seeks his final destination. One who eats of this meat will find it difficult to journey on since his bowels will dictate his progress or lack there of.

  • Despair is the devil’s tool. Go ahead be as bad as you will, you cannot reach perfection. The Sacrament of Reconciliation may not be used to annul first marriages since two witnesses establish a judicial fact. There is only one testimony in the Sacrament of Penance. Penance, by the way, is for the penitent, not his ex-spouse. Undoing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will help no one.

  • Sometimes extending the benefit of the doubt is not all that beneficial. This is a case in point.

  • A picture is worth a thousand words. The brief caption adds 10,000 words. I don’t take away “epciscopalian” cardinals. I say they are shallow thinkers cardinals. I am being charitable and nonjudgmental, here.

  • There is no question that the Church, under Pope Francis and those sychophants who cling to him, is in a de facto – not formal – schism. The SSPX is looking better all the time, and their canonical regularisation is only months away. I guess that is one good thing, at least, that we can thank Pope Francis for. Of course, their situation was perfectly regular in 1970, until in 1975 the jealous liberal bunch conned the CDF and Pope Paul into removing their canonical status under false pretences.

  • Thanks for the link, Donald.

  • Phillip.

    From “Disrupters” come the greatest bunch of pro-aborts the Catholic Church can muster…And from where? Chicago and San Diego. Great. At the very least I can feel comfortable knowing that the liberial Catholic Church is leading in the anarchy.

  • “Thanks for the link, Donald.”

    Thaks for writing a great post Larry!

  • Atta boy Larry D. better late than never.

  • This justification by the cardinal is provably false, because he says sacrament of Reconciliation. This requires from purpose of amendment, which those divorced remarried not living as brother and sister cannot offer.

  • ” after an appropriate period of discernment…” Saint Thomas More could have kept his head. Apparently he thought it better to enter the Kingdom of Heaven with his head under his arm than risk to going to Hell with it on his shoulders.

PopeWatch: Chant Grammy

Saturday, February 18, AD 2017

 

 

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

 

 

Saint Gregory the Great was awarded the Grammy for Best Chant last night at the 59th annual Grammy Awards.

Accepting his award for ‘Salve’ the Roman artist paid tribute to Jesus Christ, whom he said he loved “like a father.”

“I can’t possibly accept this award,” a clearly emotional Gregory said in his acceptance speech. “I’m very humble and I’m grateful and gracious, but the music of my life is Corsican, and the ‘Miserere’ album was just so monumental…people of Corsica, it was so monumental.”

Gregory later went on to apologize for swearing during an earlier performance dedicated to Jesus, saying that “Christ meant so much to me that I could not give a poor performance.”

Gregory becomes the first pope to win a Grammy twice.

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One Response to PopeWatch: Chant Grammy

PopeWatch: Burke to Guam

Friday, February 17, AD 2017

 

 

 

 

Just when you thought that things couldn’t get much weirder at the Vatican:

 

Cardinal Raymond Burke has traveled to Guam, to take testimony in the canonical trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana.

Archbishop Apuron, who has been accused of molesting a number of young men, was relieved of his pastoral responsibilities in the Guam archdiocese last June. He has insisted on his innocence and refused to resign. However, in October the Vatican named an American prelate, Archbishop Michael Byrnes, as coadjutor with “special faculties” to take over leadership of the archdiocese.

At his installation, Archbishop Byrnes revealed that the Vatican had begun a canonical trial of Archbishop Apuron on the sex-abuse charges. The Vatican press office has now confirmed this, and disclosed that Cardinal Burke was named as the presiding judge in the case.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Burke to Guam

PopeWatch: Taking It

Thursday, February 16, AD 2017

 

 

For a Pope who dishes out insults readily to those who have the temerity to differ from him, Pope Francis seems remarkably sensitive to insults aimed at him:

 

Pope Francis on Sunday criticised the everyday use of “insults”, an apparent reference to anonymous attacks he has faced over the last week in Rome.

In his weekly Angelus address, Francis highlighted Jesus’ commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” saying the edict applied not only to actual homicide, “but also to those behaviours which offend the dignity of the human person, including insulting words.”

“Certainly, these injurious words do not have the same gravity and do not lead to the same verdict of guilt as homicide, but they are placed on the same level because they are the premise of more serious acts and reveal the same malevolence,” he said.

Francis may have been referring to criticism he has received this past week, as well as tensions over the manoeuvring of conservatives opposed to his reforms of Church teaching and governance.

“We are used to insults,” he said. “It is like saying, ‘Good morning’.”

But “who insults his brother kills that brother in his heart,” the pontiff added.

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8 Responses to PopeWatch: Taking It

  • Is it an insult to tell Jorge Bergoglio the truth?

  • Was it an insult when the leader of the Catholic Church quipped; “What’s a matter, are your hands stuck together?”
    An altar boy probably thought it an insult coming from a Pope.

    The old adage applies. “If ya can dish it out be ready to take it.”

  • It’s humbling – even terrifying – that a person can devote himself to the service of God and live so long without knowing his own weaknesses.

  • So PF is rewriting the examination of conscience? Used to be curses and insults came under other commandments. His commentary could be stretch in many different ways. Some will think that he is giving the green light to crimes of passion/feuds in raising insults to a higher level. Is he also saying to insult him is a mortal sin? As a local in my neck of the woods would say, “He generates much confusement.”

  • Those of you who are afraid the pope is making the Catholic Church into a Protestant church–Have a point in many areas. However, it will have to be a liberal Protestant church–maybe even along the lines of those that accept members of all faiths & no faith s.a. Atheists. I was a very conservative Protestant before becoming a very conservative Catholic. My conservative friends in the Protestant churches would NEVER join the type of “Catholic” church that the pope wishes to build. It is down right emabarrasing to read on social media my conservative Protestant friends’ horror over the pope’s last banishment of a sound Catholic Bishop or one of the pope’s latest anti-Catholic pro increments. *long sigh*.

  • Sorry! That last statement should have said “latest anti-Catholic pronouncements.”

  • “insult to tell Jorge Bergoglio the truth?”

    I am constantly finding that those on the Left claim offense for a multitude of reasons on of which is as an excuse to claim “higher ground” or a moral superiority to those with whom the Left disagree. And the pope is a Leftist.

    I have taken to telling people that stating the truth is not offensive unless the truth shoes them in a bad light. I also tell them that just because They choose to be offended doesn’t mean that I choose to take responsibility for their offense.

    The Left is quite adept at taking offense yet could care less if they give offense or cause others damage.

    I’m with Rush Limbaugh. He says there is no compromise with the Left. We must simply defeat the Left. May it be so.

  • To Christian Teacher: your comments remind me of the damage done by Liberal Catholics in the wake of Vatican II who drove ,many Catholics into Conservative protestant Churches.

PopeWatch: Cardinal Coccopalmerio

Wednesday, February 15, AD 2017

 

 

Father Z brings us the details on Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s official or unofficial, response or nonresponse to the five dubia of the Four Cardinals:

 

 

In the shallow, liberal, Italian Catholic weekly Panorama we are informed about a booklet now out over the name of Card. Coccopalmerio, Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.  It is ballyhooed as “the response” to the Five Dubia of the Four “intransigent” Cardinals, who are dissenters because they are defending doctrine.

Of course it can’t be that, can it?  The response to the Dubia should come from the Holy Father (to whom they were submitted) or from the CDF (whose Prefect has spoken unofficially about the issues but who hasn’t issued anything official).

Beware. When you read Panorama your IQ is likely to drop.  The use of verbs would help their writers come off as less smarmy.  But I digress.

Here is some of the piece in my fast translation.  My emphases  and comments.

In a little book on the reasons why the Church can’t turn back in the face of those who “are not in tune with Catholic doctrine”.

“Divorced and remarried, unmarried couples living together, are certainly not models of unions in harmony with Catholic doctrine, but the Church cannot look the other way. For which reason the sacraments of reconciliation and of communion ought to be given also to so-called wounded families[a euphemism intended to arouse emotion rather than thought, empathy rather than clarity] and to those who even though living in situations not in line with the traditional canons on matrimony, express a sincere desire to draw closer to the sacraments after an adequate period of discernment.” [Not just “canons”.  They are not in line with Christ’s teaching either, or the perennial doctrine of the Church.

This is the pointed, calm and precise response that Pope Francis gives [Noooo…. Pope Francis didn’t give it.  The Cardinal did.  But this is what they want you to accept.] to those especially within the church and even in the College of Cardinals, who continue to express doubts about the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in which, for the first time, there is foreseen the possibility of admitting to the sacraments those who contract a second marriage, unmarried couples living together and those people who live together in deformity with ecclesial directions in the matter of nuptial unions.

An indirect response, in any event, [See the slight of hand?] but [BUT!] the fruit of a deep canonical and ecclesiological study made, at the request of the same Pontiff, by one of the closest and most trusted collaborators, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts (the “ministry” of justice of the Holy See).

The text – a booklet of only 30 pages entitled, “The 8th chapter of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia” – was printed by the Vatican Press and on Wednesday 8 February arrived in religious bookstores which surround the Vatican.

The Doubts of the Four Cardinals

An initiative, they [the famous “they”] explained in the Vatican, that aims to “clarify” all the “doubts” raised by the most traditionalist elements bound with a vengeance [How mean!  How merciless!  How … mean!] to the defense of ecclesial doctrine in the matter of matrimonial life and of access to the sacraments.  [What sort of surreal, Dali-esque landscape has the Church become if those who defend doctrine are suddenly the dissenters?  Clocks are melting off the sides of tables.]

[…]

To all appearances, like a “normal” request for canonical clarifications, [This is more slight of hand: the Dubia ask for doctrinal clarifications, not just canonical.  So, the respose from an official of a canonical office isn’t going to take care of the doubts.] in reality a gesture of clear though polite disobedience on the part of four members of the College of Cardinals the organism which by its very nature is called to back up the reigning Pope in the governance of the Church.  [“Those dirty rotten mean old cardinals!  They are mean old meanies!”  (That’s the general level of the reader of Panorama, by the way.)]

It is normal that if a Cardinal feels the need to have clarifications on certain matters he can ask for them calmly – they assure us across the Tiber – in the course of personal audiences with the Pope. It is another thing to publish an open letter and bring up doubts and discontents in public opinion. A clearly offensive gesture toward the Pope almost completely like those which are used in interviews. As, for example, the German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did in recent days, who, in a newspaper, openly criticized admission to the sacraments of couples living together and the divorced and remarried because, he admonished, Doctrine “is to be left alone” (la Dottrina “non si tocca”).  [Do you see what they did?  They smear Müller in order to raise Coccopalmerio above him as an authority.  Thus the Doctrinal Cardinal is out and the Canonical Cardinal is in.]

[…]

This is another confusing puzzle piece to deal with.  It is confusing because it has the appearance of official approval (it was published by the Vatican Press), but it remains a non-response response to the Five Dubia.  That’s probably why the ad hominem attacks lace the Panorama piece.

In any event, we still – prayerfully and patiently – await greater clarity from some with the true authority to issue what are manifest and actual responses to the Dubia.  Or else… we await a statement that they are not going to be answered.

Clocks melting off the edges of tables.  Elephants on stilts.  This situation is getting really strange.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Cardinal Coccopalmerio

PopeWatch: Bannon

Tuesday, February 14, AD 2017

 

 

Further evidence that the Catholic left are busily attempting to depict the thrice-divorced Steve Bannon as a radical Catholic traditionalist.  From Breitbart, of which Bannon was formerly editor:

On the far-left MSNBC cable television channel Sunday, Father James Martin said that Steve Bannon is a “radical traditionalist” opposing Pope Francis’s reforms and pining “for a time when the Church was purer.”

In a segment titled “Steve Bannon vs. the Pope,” Martin suggested that Bannon uses Church teaching to promote “racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic sentiments.”

Apparently, in Father Martin’s version of the gospel, it is wrong to oppose radical Islamists, but it is fine to bear false witness against a fellow Christian, running him down with baseless slanders and slurs.

Bannon is not only an anti-Pope Francis, Martin alleged, “I would also say he is an anti-Pope Benedict and an anti-Pope John Paul.”

“All these people were about economic justice,” Martin said, implying that Steve Bannon is not.

 

Father Martin also made the astonishing claim that Jesus Christ does not share Steve Bannon’s view of Catholicism as the “Church militant,” which he said is a synonym of “radical traditionalists.”

“I don’t think it was Jesus’ point of view either,” he said.

What Father Martin fails to mention is that his religious order—the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits)—was approved in 1540 by Pope Paul III with the papal bull titled “To the Government of the Church Militant” and the Jesuits were commonly referred to as the pope’s “shock troops.”

Moreover, as literate Catholics know, the “Church militant” is a common expression employed by countless Catholic saints including Pope John Paul II to distinguish the members of the church on earth still doing battle with evil from those who have already died.

In his most famous text, The Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius Loyola—the founder of the Jesuits—wrote out a series of rules that should be followed “to foster the true attitude of mind we ought to have in the church militant.”

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13 Responses to PopeWatch: Bannon

  • When everybody with whom Father Martin disagrees is a radical traditionalist (Is there anything wrong with it?), nobody is.

    If one believes the Pope and clergy ought to be more concerned with the salvation of souls than “economic justice” (whatever that is) or “social justice,” is a rad trad. Then, I am one.

    Bless their hearts. Father Martin and his ilk hate you. Act accordingly. Pray for them.

  • Here we see the pot calling the kettle, “black.” “Martin suggested that Bannon uses Church teaching to promote ‘racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic sentiments.'”

    That is Martin’s (and all liberals’) modus operandi. Politicize, subvert, and weaponize a sentence or two from a Gospel or two to advance “economic justice” (whatever that is); regularize or sacramentalize adultery, fornication, and sodomy; fundamentally transform evil, unjust America; etc. Then, proceed to damn to Hell, or hand over to the Inquisition, anyone that disagrees.

    The stupid, it hurts.

  • I guess the Jesuits have gone from “shock troops” to “shocked troops.”

  • The left wing slant of the Pope and the Fr. Martin’s of the world will bring in approximately 7 people back or to the Church while alienating millions more.
    How’s Anglicanism doing?

  • The spiritual and corporal works of mercy belong to the Church and the conscience of the person. Involuntary charity is extortion.
    Capitalism may be defined as giving to the customer what he needs (not what he wants) to survive and the customer giving to the merchant what he needs (not what he wants) to survive, in the absence of avarice, love of money, contempt for the customer and for the merchant, guile in the transaction; because all valid contracts, material and metaphysical, are made in the human beings’ immortal soul.

  • Father Martin also made the astonishing claim that Jesus Christ does not share Steve Bannon’s view of Catholicism as the “Church militant,” which he said is a synonym of “radical traditionalists.”

    “I don’t think it was Jesus’ point of view either,” he said.

    Funny, because if you know anything about 1st century Israel, you’d know that Jesus was raised in and came from an ultra-traditionalist town – the modern day equivalent of the “buckle of the bible-belt.” May not make Him immediately fundamentalist but it does make the picture more complex.

    See: (relevant bit starts at 8:45 in case the link below doesn’t start on time)
    https://youtu.be/wKKN5sSbFsI?t=8m46s

  • The night before last I went with a Protestant family member to her “church” which is evangelical (no, I am not converting over to the heretics; if I intend that, then all I have to do is heep lauds onto Jorge Bergoglio’s head). I heard more correct teaching about social justice from a preacher in breakway Protestantism than I ever will from this “Father”James Martin. Kindly read my commentary here; it’s too long to post in the comment space at TAC (you’ve been warned!):

    http://prognosticis.blogspot.com/2017/02/vesper-diei-solis-aput-ecclesiam.html?m=1

  • Time to dust off Pope Clement’s Dominus ac Redemptor the papal brief promulgated on 21 July 1773 by which Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus. Today’s Jesuits once again do not appear to be a net positive. Look at their colleges for instance. Scandalous!

  • Fr Martin is a perfect fit for MSNBC whose left-wing propaganda is irrelevant to normal Americans. Accordingly, it is doubtful he did much harm.

  • LCQ, this is relevant to your post.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2017/02/libertarians-pro-choice-advocates-peas-pod.html

    (It’s funny, I thought Jesus said render to Ceaser and render to God etc – who knew the poor belonged to Ceaser.)

  • Caesar does such a good job taking care of the poor, too, by making so many more of them. Catholics who look to Caesar to truly relieve the poor, and allow them to provide for their own needs, are asking for a greater miracle than the Resurrection. As the song says:

    Give a man a free house and he’ll bust out the windows
    Put his family on food stamps, now he’s a big spender
    no food on the table and the bills ain’t paid
    ‘Cause he spent it on cigarettes and P.G.A.
    They’ll turn us all into beggars ’cause they’re easier to please
    They’re feeding our people that Government Cheese

    Give a man free food and he’ll figure out a way
    To steal more than he can eat ’cause he doesn’t have to pay
    Give a woman free kids and you’ll find them in the dirt
    Learning how to carry on the family line of work
    It’s the man in the White House, the man under the steeple
    Passing out drugs to the American people
    I don’t believe in anything, nothing is free
    They’re feeding our people the Government Cheese

    Decline and fall, fall down baby
    Decline and fall, said fall way down now
    Decline and fall, fall down little mama
    Decline and fall, decline and fall

    Give a man a free ticket on a dead end ride
    And he’ll climb in the back even though nobody’s driving
    Too ******* lazy to crawl out of the wreck
    And he’ll rot there while he waits for the welfare check
    Going to hell in a handbag, can’t you see
    I ain’t gonna eat no Government Cheese

  • Funny, I don’t know any faithful, loyal catholics who use so many “ists’ in a row, but there he is doing it.

  • With respect to Father Matin. Again I see moree evidence of the clericalism that has characterized the Catholic left as it uses the laity to serve its efforts to take over the Church. Since 1979 they have been wanting a liberal pope. Looks like they have him.

PopeWatch: Zeitgeist

Monday, February 13, AD 2017

 

 

PopeWatch has long believed that the key to understanding the Pope is the way in which his native Argentina impacted his thought.  Over the weekend PopeWatch was reading a fascinating article published in 2015 that looked at the Pope’s intellectual background based on the dominant intellectual trends in Argentina during his formative years.  The author, Claudio I. Remeseira, summarizes the main aspects of his thought that explains much of his papacy:

Francis’ mindset straddles this divide. One Anti-Modern trait of his thinking is his mistrust of Liberalism. Despite his constant appeals to political tolerance, Francis’ political thought is rooted in a pre-modern, organicist view of the community as foundation of social and political life. Liberal democracy and the modern doctrine of human rights are the antithesis of that view. In Evangelii gaudium, the word “people” appears 164 times; the word “democracy”, not once.

Another trait is his hostility toward capitalism. Far for being inspired in any left-wing or Marxist philosophy, Francis’ anti-capitalism comes down from the European right-wing writers of the early 20th century, who in turn found their source of inspiration in the Middle Ages. At the final stage of the Cold War, John Paul II made a timid move towards accepting the market as an autonomous social force. In the age of the anti-globalization movement, Francis would have none of it. His critique of capitalism seems to go even further than the objections traditionally made by Catholic Social Teaching since Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum. It is when indicting the world’s economic woes that Francis strikes his most prophetic tone (which, by the way, is another characteristic of Argentinian theology). The encyclical Laudato si, his great jeremiad against the evils of capitalism, has established Francis as one of the world’s foremost critics of Neoliberalism.

But, did the old adversary of Liberation Theology really turn into a radical leftist, as some critics on the right say? A quarter of a century after the demise of the Soviet Union and when the other world-Communist power, China, has morphed into its own kind of State-steered Capitalism, there is more room for the Pope to openly condemn social injustice without raising the suspicion of being a revolutionary. In any case, what Francis probably has in mind is not a socialist but some sort of populist economic system — something, perhaps, closer to a 21st-century update of the Peronist social-welfare state. Some of his initiatives, such as the World Encounter of Popular Movements, seemed to have been conceived with the intention of becoming the Solidarność of a post-Industrial era.

That era, already unfolding before us, has in Francis’ view one preeminent protagonist: the masses of the poor and the excluded, the disenfranchised of the world. They are the Peoples of God, the pilgrims of the Trinitarian God’s journey on this planet. To Francis, the mission of the Church is indistinguishable from them — it must be a Church of poverty and for the poor. Herein lies his true radicalism: an uncompromising identification between the suffering of the poor and Christ, and his determination to persuade the world to join in that mission.

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7 Responses to PopeWatch: Zeitgeist

  • The pope got his views on economics from European right-wing writers who looked back to the Middle Ages and not from Marxists? I don’t think so. This is the same pope who gladly accepted a sacrilegious crucifix with Christ on a hammer and sickle. Also, all of his “friends” in high office are at least socialists.

  • I don’t buy it. If the pope is against neoliberalism, why does he prominently ally himself with the neoliberal globalist establishment (Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Ehrlich, George Soros, U.N.dignitaries, etc.)? Why does he favor the same causes as they do, using much the same language (open borders, environmentalism, population control)? He decries capitalism, sure, but then so do many of his globalist partners. As Father of Seven points out, he seems never to have met a socialist “popular movement” not to his liking.

    As far as I can tell, there are two options: the pope is either an unwitting tool of the globalists–the most useful of idiots–or he is their conscious ally.

  • As far as I can tell, there are two options: the pope is either an unwitting tool of the globalists–the most useful of idiots–or he is their conscious ally.

    I think you’re assuming more sophistication on the part of the Pope than is actually there. Consider the environment of Pope Francis coming of age. Back in 1963, the American University Field Staff published an anthology on the evolution of political life in a raft of 3d world countries, Argentina included. The scholar writing about Argentina remarked that the political culture was bereft of a notion of mutually-beneficial exchange, hence politics had degenerated into a contest for power that income might be redistributed to one set of clientele or another, zero sum. The Pope also seems to conceive of ordinary business activity as a set of injuries done by criminals against abstractions in his mind (“the poor”). Law enforcement and employers are just big bad wolves to him.

  • Argentina is a basket case. It’s politics, economics, philosophy, it’s entire outlook on life is a failure. Blessed with natural resources, the Argentine state is maybe the b8ggwst failure on the world stage, rivaled by Mexico. In Bergoglio’s Argentina, the US is hated, but no Argentine would pass on the opportunity to move to the US.
    Argentina’s population is similar to Canada and Poland. Both nations have a superior economy. Poland has surpassed Argentina in less than 30 Yeats of being a free nation.
    The mission of the Church I’d to lead souls to Christ, rich, poor, middle class, whatever and wherever.
    The current Pontiff does not think so such because he is incapable of it. He is a Caudillo Pope, a bully who squashes all who disagree with him. The greater failure is not Bergoglio but the cardinals who elected him.

  • South Sudan is a basket case. Argentina’s merely a disappointment. It’s political life is far more orderly than it was in 1963 and it remains (bar Chile and Urguay) the most affluent Latin American country (and one of the few with a homicide rate under 10 per 100,000). Still, the Pope’s understanding of his world likely gelled when Argentina was a politico-economic mess.

  • To me the Pope has no business engaging in public political or economic discussion. His job is to be the Vicar of Christ and do what Christ would do if He were here, which, as far as we know, is still the salvation of souls. How many times have we listened to Pope Francis and were inspired to become more holy ourselves? How about never?

    One thing Pope Francis could do right now is to advocate the increased use of the sacrament of Confession. But can any of imagine him doing such a thing? Of course not. Unfortunately, Pope Francis is all about the things of this world, i.e, government handouts, antipathy towards Capitalism, and denigration of orthodox Catholics. As a result he fails in his mission of doing what Christ would do.

  • I’m still waiting for somebody to show me where in the bible Jesus taught and directed his disciples to go get government to take care of the poor. Did not Jesus say, “You will always have the poor.” Why is the leadership in the Church so willing to turn over to government the responsibility of “caring for the poor?”

PopeWatch: Lutherans

Saturday, February 11, AD 2017

 

 

 

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

Just hours after Pope Francis published his latest work Reformatio Si, Catholic theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper told reporters that, though Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation mandating all Catholics convert to Lutheranism might be tough to comprehend, he nevertheless prayed that they have faith in the same Holy Spirit that not only chose Francis to become pope, but also “was the instrument behind the works of St. Martin Luther.”

“I would like to say that, though this new exhortation is a few hundred years coming, it’s finally here,” Kasper said. “Honesty, I think that controversies surrounding Reformatio Si are ludicrous. Luther reformed a corrupt Church, meaning that his ideas were superior to the Catholic faith, and since God calls us to greatness, we then ought to except the superiority and greatness of Luther’s teachings.”

“Listen, and listen to me clearly,” Kasper went on to say. “I got 95 thesis but a pope ain’t one. I understand that and Francis understands that. And that’s why, as of tomorrow, Pope Francis will relinquish his title as Head of the Whore of Babylon, and will kindly ask to simply be called ‘Pastor Jorge.’ He has been given a part-time job as Associate Youth Pastor in Training at Atonement Lutheran Church in Louisville Kentucky. We ask everyone to pray that he does well.”

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One Response to PopeWatch: Lutherans

PopeWatch: Loopy Left

Friday, February 10, AD 2017

 

 

It is sometimes interesting to take a look at how the far left views the events of the current pontificate.  Australian journalist Emma-Kate Symons in an op ed in The Washington Post entitled How Pope Francis can Cleanse the Far Right Rot From the Catholic Church:

 

Pope Francis needs to take tougher action against the United States’ most influential Catholic in Rome, Cardinal Raymond “Breitbart” Burke. The renegade cleric is not only undermining Francis’s reformist, compassionate papacy, and gospel teaching as it applies to refugees and Muslims, but the rebel prince of the church is also using his position within the walls of the Vatican to legitimize extremist forces that want to bring down Western liberal democracy, Stephen K. Bannon-style. Simply put, the Vatican is facing a political war between the modernizing Pope Francis and a conservative wing that wants to reassert white Christian dominance.

Burke was reduced to a ceremonial patron role at the Knights of Malta after a power struggle at the ancient chivalric order, won by the pope last month, following a spat over its humanitarian wing’s alleged distribution of condoms. Losing the leadership battle and prestige at the secretive society headquartered in Rome — Francis is appointing his own special delegate above Burke — was seen as a papal rap on the knuckles for the cardinal leading the charge against Francis’s writings on communion for divorcees. But the virulently anti-Islam (“capitulating to Islam would be the death of Christianity”), migrant-phobic, Donald Trump-defending, Vladimir Putin-excusing Burke is unrepentant and even defiant, continuing to preside over a far-right, neo-fascist-normalizing cheer squad out of the Holy See.

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7 Responses to PopeWatch: Loopy Left

  • Wow- she says a mouthful- of tripe. Why does she get to do an op-ed? How do some of these natterers get such pulpits? I am so tired of them getting to have influence. What will have to happen for “the people” to see the truth of what is going on!

  • thinking of “the people” and populism I just read an article at http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2017/02/10/this-time-“la-civilta-cattolica”-dissents-from-the-pope-on-populism/

    it is hard to recognize the Divine Wind under the wings of populist movements when it doesn’t suit you

  • https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-kate-symons-8638ba12/

    Why does she get to do an op-ed? How do some of these natterers get such pulpits?

    She’s a lapsed newspaper reporter from Australia. She lost her job > 2 years ago and has been keeping her hand in as an occasional contributor at sundry papers. Presumably, there’s a husband stationed in Washington paying the bills. Newspapers were still viable enterprises when she got into the business 20 years ago. She should be retooling at her age.

  • I don’t have the time or space to correct all the “fake news” contaminating that deceitful diatribe.

    I’ll fall back on a favorite movie line from “My Cousin Vinnie.” Everything that guy just said is bullshit.”

    That being said, here are the bases of the “tangled web the pope and assorted false news artists weave when first they practice to deceive.” They deploy some or all of the following: agit[prop (agitation and propaganda), calumny, character assassination, confirmation bias, confusion, distortion, exaggeration, false equivalency, non sequitur, omissions, repetitions, repetitions, repetitions, vitriol.

  • There is no more definitive litmus test of deficient orthodoxy than the dance with P. Francis of leftists. Oremus.

  • “delusional political categories that make up their world view”

    Wow. That is spectacular phrasing. And dead on right. I am going to have to memorize that phraseology & use it to advantage!

  • “They deploy some or all of the following: agit[prop (agitation and propaganda), calumny, character assassination, confirmation bias, confusion, distortion, exaggeration, false equivalency, non sequitur, omissions, repetitions, repetitions, repetitions, vitriol.”

    I wonder which category or categories the “I’m offended because you are being rude (or hostile or disrespectful or something similar) fits? I keep running into folks who get upset & cry foul when I tell them the truth or point out the logical end of a fallacy they are stating/defending. And these Leftists get even more befuddled when I tell them that staying the truth is not rude or indicate that I am not impressed by their offense taking. They are particularly perturbed by unapologetic stances with which they disagree & my stating that there is no reason for me to discuss things with people who only want to destroy me–that I intend to defeat them.

2 Responses to PopeWatch: Open Thread

  • When Pope Francis becomes charitable and concise, he will become amusing. Right now, I am not laughing, nor am I amused. Pope Francis will reap what he sows…wretchedness.

  • SACRED SOVEREIGN PERSONHOOD AND PERSONALITY
    “For you are men sacred to me, for I, the Lord, your God am sacred.”
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal…”in sovereign personhood.
    The Supreme Sovereign Being is three Sovereign Persons in one God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, sacred, unchangeable, and immutable.
    Man’s Sovereign Personhood is sacred, created in original innocence, morally and legally innocent, irreplaceable and self-determined. Man’s Sovereign Personhood is endowed at the very first moment of his existence, his existence being brought into being by The Supreme Sovereign Being, man’s body and soul being endowed by his Creator with innate human rights enumerated and codified as “unalienable” civil rights by the sovereign state; the sovereign state that is instituted by man’s sovereign personhood.
    “that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”, The Unanimous Declaration of Independence of the United States ratified by every state.
    “The enumeration in The Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Amendment IX.
    The Sovereign Personhood of man enables all men to be self-determined, that is, to accomplish himself, to seek and find his destiny and to satisfy his intellect. In addition, man is free to express his talents and pursue his “Happiness” even unto eternal life, in original innocence, complete moral and legal innocence, with integrity, and the free will endowed by his “Creator” in freedom.
    In the beginning of man’s existence, he enjoys complete moral and legal, original innocence, the substance of his sovereign personhood. At the age of reason, usually about seven years of age and the initiation into adulthood about fourteen years of age and the emancipation from parental dependency at about eighteen years of age, the human being, through his sovereign personhood, accepts his responsibility and engages his freedom to pursue his Happiness and destiny into the being of the transcendent, metaphysical, rational, immortal, human soul of his sovereign personhood.
    If the rational human being makes irrational choices or chooses to violate Justice, injury to his sovereign personhood becomes a reality that radiates throughout his being, mortal and immortal. The man loses his sovereignty over himself incrementally as to the weight and grievousness of his crimes. The man becomes an outlaw.
    A man with damaged or incrementally violated sovereign personhood can only institute the sovereign state to the degree that his sovereignty over himself is viable.
    Only through the crime of capital one homicide, murder in the first degree, does a man lose his sovereign personhood. Having taken another man’s life, the murderer must live his victim’s life, unto eternity, unless through total and perfect contrition, the capital one murderer expires with grief over his crimes and releases the sovereign personhood of his victim’s life.
    God let the first murderer, Cain, live because the life Cain was living was Abel’s life. Abel must have forgiven Cain as he lay dying. Abel’s blood cried out to God from the ground and God heard Abel’s cry for Justice. Cain became a wanderer living Abel’s life, without a life of his own, as a sign of Justice; Abel’s Justice through God’s love for Abel. If the victim refuses to forgive his murderer, or the murderer does not expire with grief over his crime against mankind, the murderer must be put to death to release the murderer’s victim. Living the life of his victim, the murderer must be put to death. The murderer’s victim is dead.
    Other instances of total obliteration of a man’s sovereign personhood, are bloodlust in war and treason and the embrace of atheism, the denial of his and all of mankind’s “Creator”. Obliteration is not annihilation, the sovereign personhood of a man, once created even though discarded, remains as a testimony to his self-destruction and the Justice of God.
    It goes without saying, that a man who has denied his sovereign personhood and obliterated Justice in his soul, becoming an outlaw, has no authentic authority to institute the sovereign nation. His lack of Justice and sovereignty over himself cannot be imposed on a Just and sovereign nation.
    Sovereign personhood is endowed to man by his “Creator” in original innocence at existence. The sovereign person enjoys his sovereignty over himself. This is who man is. Personality is what man makes of himself, using his sovereign personhood. Obliterating his sovereign personhood through violation of Justice brings man to a criminal personality. The cult of a just man, saints and statesmen, is rejoicing. The cult of an unjust man, or criminal, is fear and trepidation. Enabling an unjust man in his pursuit of damnation is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. End
    Rene Descartes said: “I think therefore, I am.” giving rise to the cult of personality to individuals who think and otherwise, disregarding individuals who are in being. Rene Descartes meant to say: “I am, therefore I think; I am, therefore, I will; I am, therefore, I am.”

PopeWatch: Vatican Farce

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2017

 

 

Background on the Knights of Malta debacle from Tim Hedges at The Commentator:

 

It is hard to know how Pope Francis gets himself into these scrapes. What should have been a quiet private matter, if it happened at all, was in every paper in the civilised world. For sheer, bull headed, foot-in-mouth belligerence Papa Bergoglio trumps Trump.

The Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta was Fra’ Robert Matthew Festing, Guards Officer and son of a Chief of the Imperial General Staff. You have to be a bit socially upmarket to get on in this company, the other bigwigs being a selection of the European Catholic aristocracy.

Anyway, Festing had sacked Albrecht, Freiherr von Boeselager, the Grand Chancellor, on the grounds that he, the Freiherr, had been involved in charitable works which distributed condoms. Now, the Catholic faith is against the use of condoms, so you might imagine that the Pope would have patted the blessed Festing on the back for ridding the order of a dangerous progressive.

It is of course Francis who is the progressive, dangerous or otherwise, but, being the Pope, he can’t say that condoms are OK. As with offering Holy Communion to divorcees, he can’t change the rules but doesn’t want them exercised too strictly. So he just sacked someone for doing the right thing.

Then came the posters. All over central Rome, they featured a grumpy looking Pope and, underneath, a philippic against the Holy Father, mentioning, amongst other sins, the Order of Malta fiasco. Where is your Mercy?, it asked, referring to the Pope’s Jubilee year of Mercy.

Strangely enough, the screed was written in the Roman dialect, putting it in the tradition of the denouncers and rumour mongers of old, who used to leave their handwritten defamations on various statues in the ancient city. But no one is fooled by this. They all think it comes from Cardinal Burke.

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3 Responses to PopeWatch: Vatican Farce

PopeWatch: Burke Out

Tuesday, February 7, AD 2017

 

PopeWatch wonders if the Pope had this all planned out when he assigned Cardinal Burke to the Knights of Malta?:

 

 

ROME-Pope Francis has appointed a personal delegate to the Sovereign Order of Malta to serve as the sole liaison between the embattled order and the Vatican, virtually replacing American Cardinal Raymond Burke.

The man tapped for the job is Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy Secretariat of State (known as the “substitute”). The decision was announced by the Vatican on Saturday, through a letter from Francis to Becciu.

As “sole spokesperson in all matters relating to relations” between the Vatican and the order, the pope writes, Becciu will have “all the necessary powers to decide any issues that may arise concerning the implementation of the mandate entrusted to you.”

Becciu’s assignment as papal delegate will last until a new Grand Master for the order is elected, which could take place in April after the group’s Sovereign Council is summoned, according to what was announced by the Knights of Malta in a recent press conference.

Technically, Burke is the papal envoy to the order. He assumed that role in November 2014, after leaving the post of head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court.

 

Becciu will in the meantime work closely with Ludwing Hoffmann von Rumerstein, currently the Lieutenant ad interim of the order, appointed last Saturday, after former Grand Master Matthew Festing presented his resignation at the pope’s request.

Festing’s resignation marked the end of a power struggle between the Order of Malta and the Vatican, which began with the dismissal of Albrecht Boeselager from his position as Grand Chancellor in early December. The month-long spat included Francis’s creating a committee to examine the order’s situation, which the now former Grand Master had declared “legally irrelevant.”

 

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10 Responses to PopeWatch: Burke Out

  • “Technically, Burke is the papal envoy to the order.”
    No, he is Patron of the order, a position similar to that of Cardinal Protector, representing its interests to the Holy See.

  • “A sign of peace, friendship and solidarity.” That was Pope Francis’ message to the world on Super Bowl Sunday; http://cathnews.com/cathnews

    What is his message now?

  • Well that leaves Burke with nothing of earthly value to lose–a position of extreme power.

  • This move makes the pope look like a small, petty, vindictive person. Oh, well, nothing new.

  • Maybe there’s a photo op in the works for the pope to be part of passing out condoms for “safe” sex.

  • “PopeWatch wonders if the Pope had this all planned …”

    Me too

  • Sad that a commenter below still thinks this had anything to do with condoms. Both sides said it didn’t.

    Francis said handle your problems quietly through dialogue. Festing and Burke chose confrontation. The idea that Francis could have foreseen this is foolish but as the lawyers say: in retrospect this was foreseeable.

    If the end result is the Order of Malta addressing the dwindling number of professed members — now just 55 — that’s a very good thing. Hate to think what the average age of those 55 is.

    And keep an eye on Becciu. Very much a man to watch.

  • Francis said handle your problems quietly through dialogue. Festing and Burke chose confrontation.

    The counsels of the passive-aggressive and manipulative man is something that promotes disgust in an ordinary man, not apologetics.

  • “The counsels of the passive-aggressive and manipulative man is something that promotes disgust in an ordinary man, not apologetics.”

    Bingo.

    Plus, really, Will: the pontiff was so concerned about dialogue that he responds by initiating a conflagration?

    That ain’t Shinola.

  • Francis said handle your problems quietly through dialogue.

    Please explain where the dialog is involved, because as I recall this was the Pope demanding a resignation he is not technically in authority to demand it of, in apparent response to their group removing a person who was in charge when stuff in their area of authority was not properly done.
    And yet your response is that the person who did as the Pope ordered is being confrontational?

PopeWatch: Posters

Monday, February 6, AD 2017
Rorate Caeli brings us this story about anti-Francis posters going up in Rome:
Rome woke up this Saturday with something quite new, and very old, in its streets: posters throughout the City (in the style of the old “pasquinate“) critical of the Pope.
In English, from the Romanesco-inspired Italian:

Ah Francis, you have intervened in Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals… but where is your mercy?

These were common at the time of the Papal States (before the fall of Porta Pia and the full unification of Italy in 1870): not for religious reasons, but rather for political complaints, since the Popes were also the secular rulers of the Pontifical territories.
Since then, these public criticisms of Pontiffs mostly disappeared in the City, considering the new Italian authorities were now those responsible for the secular government of the old papal territories, and that the Pope remained responsible only for religious matters. They still show up all the time against Italian politicians. 
 

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Posters

  • Reflection, introspection….May the posters serve his Holiness well.

  • According to an article in the January 2106 issue of Catholic World Report,
    attendance at papal events (general audiences, special audiences, liturgies, and
    the Wednesday Angelus) has been steadily declining. In 2015, Vatican attendance
    figures stood at 3,210,860, 45% fewer than the 5,916,800 recorded for 2014
    and less than half of the crowds of 6,623,900 Francis drew in the first nine
    months of his pontificate in 2013. The biggest drop-off has been in attendance
    for the Angelus, with 1.6 million in attendance over 2015, compared to over
    3 million the year before. General Audiences with the Pope require a ticket,
    so attendance numbers can be tracked with particular precision. According to
    the Prefecture of the Papal Household, which issues the tickets, in 2013 the
    Audiences were attended by 51,617 people, in 2014 it declined to 27,883,
    and in 2015 Francis’ General Audiences were attended by just 14,818.

    The Angelus figures are revealing, I believe, because it is during the Angelus
    that Popes give a brief sermon to crowds in the square below. Pope St. John
    Paul II had a natural charisma that made up for a sometimes convoluted
    speaking and writing style, and his Wednesday Angelus addresses were very
    well attended. Shy Benedict XVI, bless him, had little natural charisma but
    a powerful, clear, logical and learned writing style that more than made up
    for his lackluster delivery –indeed, the crowds for his Angelus addresses
    exceeded those for his predecessor. With Francis, the Catholic faithful
    appear to see neither charisma nor the clear exposition of doctrine, and so,
    to borrow a phrase from that great philosopher Yogi Berra, “They’re staying
    away in droves”.

    While Francis still has drawing power as a tourist attraction, it appears that
    the number of Catholics drawn to see and hear this Pope is fast dwindling.
    Myself, I would not cross the street to hear him speak, let alone travel to Rome.

  • “…the Pope remained responsible only for religious matters. They still show up all the time against Italian politicians. ”
    Oh? If the shoe fits…

  • Pope Francis can fool all of the people some of the time and…

PopeWatch: Clown Masses

Saturday, February 4, AD 2017

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

 

 

Reports out of Cincinnati, Ohio today suggest sightings of Creepy Clown Masses are on the rise nationwide, and at levels not seen since the introduction of the 3rd typical edition of the Roman Missal five years ago.

While anecdotes abounded in the 1990’s, most Catholics had never seen a Creepy Clown Mass themselves until recently.

“I was ascending the side altar for my morning Latin Mass when I suddenly heard a calliope playing ‘All Are Welcome’ for a procession of creepy clowns in the nave,” said Monsignor Adrian Fitch. “They wouldn’t leave until I let them present the gifts. Another time I felt this hand on my shoulder and, at first, I thought it was just crazy ol’ Sister Ann [Provincial of the Congregation of Pant-Suited Pantomimes] extending her hand again for the Consecration, but nope, it was a freakin’ creepy clown with a chalice in one hand and a machete in the other.”

While some are calling the phenomenon a natural response to calls for more inclusive and diverse faith communities, others are calling it a publicity stunt for the upcoming Vigil of All Saints Day.  A growing minority, however, are attributing it to the circus atmosphere of the current Pontificate.

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2 Responses to PopeWatch: Clown Masses

  • I did notice a Franciscan once wearing about a size 17 pair of floppy sandals, but alas, I admit to being neglectful in not reporting him to the Chancery .
    Also, if we do spot a clown ready to have a Mass, are we required to accommodate him?

  • Don L.

    Hummm. My small PIETA prayer booklet, so old it’s held together by tape,glue and luck, states; Never attack a priest. Clowns masquerading as priests are fair game. Priest masquerading as clowns preparing to celebrate Holy Mass….Well they need prayer and twist on the ear lobe. Sr. Agnes style.

PopeWatch: No Power

Friday, February 3, AD 2017

 

 

Cardinal Muller gets to the heart of the matter in a recent interview:

 

Catholic Cardinal Gerhard Muller, who heads the Vatican’s office for the Doctrine of the Faith, said divorced and remarried couples must live in continence, as brother and sister, if they want to receive Communion at Mass and this teaching cannot change — not by a Pope, an angel, a council of bishops, “no power on Heaven or on Earth.”

Cardinal Muller explained this point in an interview with the Italian magazine Il Timone, portions of which were translated into English in the newspaper L’Espresso and re-published in the Catholic Herald. The topic is controversial now because of Pope Francis’s letter Amoris Laetitia, which not a few bishops have proclaimed permits the divorced/remarried, who are living as man and wife, to receive Communion, although they are objectively in a state of adultery, a grievous sin. 

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2 Responses to PopeWatch: No Power

  • Hooray for Cardinal Muller. But it a sad day when we have to congratulate a Cardinal for speaking the historic truth of the Catholic Church. My guess is Pope Francis will handle this by saying that the Cardinal is entitled to his own opinion, after which Cardinal Muller will “retire”.

  • We have gotten used to popes like John Paul II. Now we have to get used to a pope who disagrees with many of the views of John Paul II. John Paul was opposed by a large segment of the Society of Jesus, which seems to have included the man now pope. But don’t expect him to say that plainly.

PopeWatch: Contraception

Thursday, February 2, AD 2017

 

 

 

Lifesite News asks an interesting question:  Does Pope Francis oppose Church teaching on contraception?

 

At the heart of the crisis in the Order of Malta is the distribution of contraceptives and abortifacient drugs, over a number of years, by Malteser International (MI), the humanitarian arm of the order. Edward Pentin has provided details of MI’s programmes in his comprehensive article on the subject. An investigation by the Lepanto Institute provides further information about MI’s work promoting condoms and abortifacient drugs worldwide. Amongst their findings the following facts stand out:

  • MI distributed 52,190 condoms in Burma (Myanmar) in 2005 and 59,675 in 2006
  • A World Health Organisation report from 2006, entitled Reproductive Health Stakeholder Analysis in Myanmar 2006 includes “family planning” among MI’s “areas of expertise”, “contraception” amongst its “activities” and “birth spacing” amongst its “future plans”. The report also reveals that MI provided oral contraceptives to 2,500 women in one Burmese township.
  • In 2007 MI received a four-year grant of $1.7 million from the Three Disease Fund, for whom they distributed over 300,000 condoms in Burma.
  • In 2012 MI entered a partnership with Save the Children to carry out a joint project, for which they received $2.1 million from the Global Fund, to distribute yet more condoms in Burma during the period from 2013-2016.

Malteser International was headed throughout this period by Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager. An internal investigation by the Order of Malta found that von Boeselager was ultimately responsible for the programmes that involved the distribution of condoms and abortifacient drugs.  His role at MI was one of the major factors that resulted in his dismissal from the role of Grand Chancellor by the Grand Master, Fra Matthew Festing, on 6 December 2016, after he twice refused to resign. Von Boeselager appealed to the Vatican. A commission was appointed to investigate his dismissal. Edward Pentin has provided extensive, and disturbing information, about the make-up of this commission, which seems to have consisted largely of von Boeselager’s friends and associates. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which is a sovereign entity, refused to accept the legitimacy of this interference into their internal affairs.

On 24 January 2017 Fra Matthew Festing was asked to resign by Pope Francis and acceded to this request. The following day Pietro Cardinal Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, stated that Pope Francis was declaring null and void all Fra Festing’s acts since 6 December, thus nullifying the dismissal of von Boeselager. Fra Festing’s resignation was accepted by the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta on 28 January and it was announced that von Boeselager was restored to his position as Grand Chancellor of the order.

In short, Pope Francis has restored to office a man ultimately responsible for the distribution of condoms and abortifacient drugs, while removing from the office the man who tried to ensure that Malteser International remained faithful to Catholic teaching.

In the light of this, and of his decision not to confirm that he accepts Catholic teaching on the existence of intrinsically evil acts, it is reasonable to review other concerns regarding Pope Francis’s position on the morality of using contraceptive methods. The list below draws readers’ attention to important incidents of which we are aware; it is not intended to be exhaustive.

5 March 2014 – Pope Francis is interviewed by Corriere della Sera. He is asked “At half a century from Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, can the Church take up again the theme of birth control? Cardinal Martini, your confrere, thought that the moment had come.” In his reply Pope Francis stresses that “Paul VI himself, at the end, recommended to confessors much mercy, and attention to concrete situations”. The pope also stated, “The question is not that of changing the doctrine but of going deeper and making pastoral (ministry) take into account the situations and that which it is possible for people to do. Also of this we will speak in the path of the synod.” The full implications of these words will become clearer during the two-year synodal process.

13 October 2014 – The heterodox relatio post disceptationem of the Extraordinary Synod is published, after having received the personal approval of Pope Francis. This document adopts an ambiguous approach towards contraception, and an approach to conscience and the natural law of a kind that will inevitably undermine the Church’s moral teachings. The alternation between orthodox restatements of Catholic doctrine and ambiguous and erroneous statements will be followed in all succeeding synodal documents.

19 October 2014 – The final report of the Extraordinary Synod makes the approach of the above relatio its own. The treatment of contraception and the natural law are examined in more detail in Voice of the Family’s analysis of the document.

16 January 2015 – Pope Francis makes reference to Humanae Vitae in an address to families in the Philippines, once more laying emphasis not on the central doctrine of the encyclical but on his contention that Paul VI “was very merciful towards particular cases, and he asked confessors to be very merciful and understanding in dealing with particular cases. But he also had a broader vision: he looked at the peoples of the earth and he saw this threat of families being destroyed for lack of children.” The implication of this passage, especially in light of the comments of 19 January below, is that contraception might be tolerated in particular cases, and that the Church’s teaching is a “broader vision” or ideal. This would reflect the “gradualism” adopted in the synod documents and in Amoris Laetitia.

19 January 2015 – Pope Francis, during a press conference on his return flight from Manila, tells journalists that the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, was not about “personal problems, for which he then told confessors to be merciful and understand the situation and forgive, to be understanding and merciful” but rather about “the universal Neo-Malthusianism that was in progress”. Thus he frames Humanae Vitae not as being principally about a universally binding norm but rather as a political response to an ideological movement. During the same press conference he criticises a mother who had eight children by Caeserean section and accuses her of being guilty of tempting God. He goes on to say that Catholics should practice “responsible parenthood” and shouldn’t “breed like rabbits”.

17 June 2015 – Pope Francis appoints climate scientist Hans Schellnhuber to the Pontifical Academy of Science. Schellnhuber believes that there is a “population problem” and has previously stated that the “carrying capacity of the planet” is “below 1 billion people”. Schellhuber’s positions have been analysed in more detail by Voice of the Family in this article.

 

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9 Responses to PopeWatch: Contraception

  • Jorge Bergoglio is a heretic, pure and simple.

  • The crisis of situational ethics and of placing personal “conscience” above what Christ Teaches in His Church has its roots in the widespread rejection of Humanae Vitae. Am I surprised by this pope’s actions, no, he’s an obfuscating mercy mongering heretic.

  • Not related to this post, but I have been getting errors from this web site such as the following:
    .
    Web site not hosted
    .
    Web site bandwidth exceeded
    .
    I tried several different browsers (Explorer and Chrome), several different platforms (Android and Windows), and several different connections (Wifi, Ethernet and 4GLTE). The appearance of the errors is random and independent of all the above. Is the TAC blog under attack? I realize that as the demons are being exorcised from the body politic, their reaction has become more and more violent both physically and in cyber space. But maybe I am being paranoid.

  • No LQC, just technical difficulties with the site that we are working to resolve.

  • Pope Francis would make an exemplary 33rd degree Mason.

  • Some time ago, I am not sure which website, but possibly Crisis, there was a discussion on what would make us leave the Church. I said something to the effect the Contraception issue-that if the Church allowed it, them I would know the Church was false. Oy vey. We are getting there aren’t we?
    .
    I’ve heard the Church is the new Jerusalem, or something to take effect–the New Israel. And the Israel of old had a terrible time with falling away from God, hence the book Hosea. So I’m thinking that perhaps the Church is simply another chapter of falling away from God, but eventually, the someone will stand up and say “As for my house, we shall serve the Lord,” and that will inspire the people to return. I do not think this will happen in my lifetime, or my children’s lifetime, and our children’s children may feel the heavy yoke is Islam for a number of years, but the Truth will out.

  • DJH.
    I would never consider leaving the One True Church – OT references are irrelevant in the current difficulties the Church finds herself.
    We have had very serious problems before – the Arian Heresy and the Protestant Revolt being two notable issues – all of these arose from within the Church. We need to ensure that we and those who are close to us remain faithful, pointing out error and defending the Truth whenever the questions arise.
    The SSPX is only months away from being fully canonically regularised, and I am watching this process with interest, because they adhere to the Tradition of the Church and do not accept any of this modernist relativist nonsense that we have been plagued with over the past few decades. Keep praying, and hold fast to the Truth handed to us from the Apostles .

  • We can’t think of leaving the Church over this pope or some of these bishops -Church history tells us that.
    Jesus really is the head of us- the Church he established. What Jesus taught and what He has maintained all these years is too precious to lose.
    God doesn’t change and the body of what He has taught is not changing. Even if our pope is effectively protestant we must still cling to the Church. It would be a misunderstanding of the reality of Church and our responsibility to her if we were to leave.
    If we think that our consciences beat what the Church has been for all these years, we have already left and are protestants.

  • Speaking of situations, we need to look against the dogma of infallibility and see that the scope of the pope’s authority is plenary BUT limited. He is free to comment on what another pope has written or even contradict it. But that means his own pronouncements are subject to review. He also is subject to Tradition.

PopeWatch: Superficial and Ambiguous

Wednesday, February 1, AD 2017

Lifesite News has an interview with Italian journalist Aldo Maria Valli who has just released a book on Pope Francis.  From an early supporter of the Pope, he has become a critic:

Aldo Maria Valli: I wanted to express my perplexity that arose from some parts of the teaching of Francis, especially after Amoris Laetitia. To sum them up: on the one hand, I see a certain superficiality, on the other hand an ambiguity.

I especially see superficiality in three distinct arguments: the unity of Christians, the acceptance of migrants, and the dialogue with Islam. With regards to the unity of Christians, when the Pope asks to leave out some theological aspects in order to concentrate on things that Christians of different confessions have in common, he seems to me to be risking wanting to divide by zero. The Church is not a welfare office, or at least that is not her first role. If everything is reduced to social work, without awareness of theological fundamentals, then there is risk to dilute the faith and to cut away the basis of everything. Furthermore, without theological depth the dialogue also remains generic “benevolence.”

We should never lose sight of the fundamental question of truth.

In regard to migrants, it seems to me that the Pope is too generic when he says to open the doors without thinking about the problem of the defense of the Christian identity and the European identity especially. It is true that Europe is composed of different cultures, but it is also true that there would be no Europe – as we know it today – were it not for Christianity, and also today’s Europe has known moments in history during which it had to defend itself against Islam. Concerning dialogue with Islam, I think that the Pope is superficial when he affirms that extremists exist in all religions. This is surely true, but it is equally true that Islam has a particular problem with violence and the origins of the problem are within the Koran. It is a given fact that we cannot ignore and the best way of helping our Muslim brothers is to make them realize it.

The ambiguity lies mostly with Francis’ teaching of mercy. God is without doubt a merciful father, but it is not possible to separate mercy from justice. If we do so, then we risk transforming mercy into God’s duty and the obtainment of mercy into man’s right. It is not like that. Mercy is a gift offered for those who are open to conversion, to penance, and to recognition of their sin. Furthermore, mercy is not the soft slap of a father who forgets all. If it were like that, then the principle of personal responsibility would be defeated and liberty would be self-abased. We have to ask ourselves in the end: a generic psychological-physical well-being or the salvation of the soul? If we do not ask for salvation, then we risk putting man in the center, not God.

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