7

PopeWatch: Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate

The squalid war against the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate continues apace, and Rorate Caeli gives us the grim details:

 

  • The FSI (Sisters) were assigned a commissioner (Noris Adriana Calzavara of the Suore Rosarie di Udine) and two co-commissioners by a decree of the Congregation for Religious. Since the Congregation did not have its decree approved in forma specifica by the Pope, it was open to be challenged in the Signatura. The challenge resulted first in a reduction of the powers of the commissioners. It looked as though a further challenge would lead to the decree being be overturned altogether early this year. 
  • However, before it was overturned, the Congregation went to Pope Francis and got his personal approval for a fresh assignment of the same commissioner. This was obviously very demoralizing for the sisters, who thought they were about to regain their autonomy.
  • The FSI have been ordered by their commissioner not to accept postulants for three years. The Sisters, which we are told numbered around 500 before these attacks, now amount to half of that.
  • The FSI are closing their House in New Bedford, Massachusetts, which ends their North American Mission as there will be not a single convent left in the United States. 
  • The FFI (Friars) were forced to close and end their Australian Mission earlier in the year. We hear the Sisters may leave as well, but do not have solid enough reporting on this to say it’s 100%. But we feel compelled to report it if there’s any chance of exposure and pressure stopping the move. 
  • About that same time of the Austrian Mission ending, Archbishop Ramon Cabrera Argüelles of Lipa, was “resigned” from his episcopacy. He was guilty of having approved a public association of the faithful made up of ex-FFIs, but since that’s not a crime, he was accused of — and apparently framed for — something unrelated.
  • In late January/early February, the FFI commissioners spoke of having the General Chapter of the Institute this past September. The Chapter would approve the new constitutions and elect the new Minister General, and the Congregation’s approval of this would end the period under a commissioner. Multiple sources tell us the principal targets of the reform appear to be the Marian Vow and poverty in common (i.e., the rule that not only individual members, but also the Institute as a legal person, are not capable of having property).
  • The Marian Vow has, in the view of many Friars, been eliminated in the new formula of profession promulgated with “dubious legality” and used in the professions in Italy in September of last year. The Friars did not vow to live in total consecration to the Immaculate (which comports three juridical obligations defined in their present constitutions), but vowed total availability to go to the missions in view of their consecration (which is the third of those obligations). 
  • It was surprising to those who asked for a commissioner that the issue of the traditional Latin Mass has disappeared and been replaced by other changes they did not desire. Some sort of prohibition in this sense might be included, but it is clearly not the main interest of the commissioners.
  • The General Chapter has obviously not been held. It is reasonable to think that this is because it would not achieve the desired end (the gutting of the constitutions), although no reason has been announced. 
  • The number of Friars interested in eliminating the Marian Vow could probably be counted on one hand, and perhaps on one finger. Therefore it is necessary (1) to significantly stack the deck in terms of voting members of the chapter, or (2) to convince those voting that the Marian Vow has not been eliminated, but merely clarified, or (3) to find Friars willing to vote for constitutions they don’t like but are willing to accept for secondary motives (exaggerated respect for the Holy See, fear of suppression, etc.)
  • Another possible (and likely) reason why the General Chapter has not taken place is that the commissioners have still not succeeded in getting control of the goods the Institute uses. These goods belong to non-profits, which are controlled by laymen, so that the Institute does not have effective ownership of anything. At the beginning of February, when the Congregation and the commissioners thought they could hold the chapter is September, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli was ordered to hand over ownership of the goods to the Institute, but he simply replied he has no legal power to do so.
  • While we can say the Sisters have been halved to 250 with some confidence, we cannot report on the current number of Friars, although we know of many who have left the order to another, or left for the world. We know of seminarians — some who were ready to be ordained to various positions the day after the seminary was closed! — who lost their vocations. There used to be a yearbook listing all of of the friaries and Friars, but the commissioners no longer publish them. They don’t even distribute a list of addresses and phone numbers for the friaries.

Go here to read the rest.  This war against the faithful is the current pontificate in miniature.  This Pope is not technically an anti-pope, but he is certainly the almost complete opposite of what a pope should be.  May God forgive him and the Cardinals who elected him.

 

2

PopeWatch: Saint Santa

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

 

After close to a decade of research, historians from the University of America announced Wednesday that the fabled third-century saint, known to many as St. Nicholas, was actually a “sort of devolution” on the present day character of Santa Clause.

“What we believe is that the Santa Clause we all know and believe in today actually inspired legends that would be told during Advent about a saint who supposedly lived around 1,700 years ago,” University of America historian Carmen Banks told the press early this morning. “This was an unusual case, obviously, since most fables evolve over years or decades—even centuries after an event, whereas this one actually began with people looking into what decedents far in the future would think of a tough, orthodox saint they invented.”

“One of the most fascinating things I personally learned was that Nicholas, as they would come to call him, was first written to be an average, run-of-the-mill saint,” research head Douglas Fitzgerald said. “But the songs and stories never really caught on, so that’s when the idea first came up about rewriting the character as someone who was not only holy and extremely zealous, but who was also a bit rowdy and who assaulted people who had heretical opinions. But what ended up happening was that they began to fear what people would say of him in a terrifying dystopia where nearly everyone was sensitive and butt-hurt about everything.”

That’s when, Fitzgerald continued, they began to concoct a “softer side” of the fabled St. Nicholas.

“That’s when they began to Photoshop, for the lack of a better word, their legend. Story tellers were given free rein to add things about the character of St. Nicholas as centuries past, such as the constant smile and jolly laugh and so on, but with one exception—that everything about the original written character, his holiness, his staunch orthodoxy and so on would be omitted, leaving only a caricature of man that everyone, whether Christian or heretic, would love.”

 

Go here to read the comments. PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment and did get through to the Pope.  Our conversation was brief.  “I have no time for this!  I am drafting my naughty and nice list for Santa, and you, Gringo, who keeps bugging me with your calls, are definitely on the naughty list!”  And with that, the Holy Father hung up.

4

Pope Francis: Latin

Latin is a Language,
Dead as Dead Can Be,
It Killed the Ancient Romans,
And Now It’s Killing Me.

 

 

PopeWatch is in full agreement with the Pope on this:

In a message to the Pontifical Academies on Tuesday, Pope Francis praised the study of Latin, especially for young people, and encouraged scholars and teachers to promote its study as a positive guide for students as they navigate life.

Addressing academics and Latin teachers, the pope said Dec. 5 that they should “know how to speak to the hearts of the young, know how to treasure the very rich heritage of the Latin tradition to educate them in the path of life, and accompany them along paths rich in hope and confidence…”

Francis’s message was read at the 22nd Solemn Public Session of the Pontifical Academies, which had as its theme, “In interiore homine: Research paths in the Latin tradition.”

The pope praised “the theme of interiority, of the heart, of consciousness and self-awareness” which he said is found “in every culture as well as in the different religious traditions.

“Significantly,” he continued, this theme is “presented with great urgency and strength even in our time, often characterized by concern with appearance, superficiality, the division between heart and mind, interiority and exteriority, consciousness and behavior.”

Moments of change, crisis, or transformation, whether in relationships or in a person’s identity, require reflection “on the inner and intimate essence of the human being.”

Francis also noted the many important figures, both in the classical and the Christian traditions, who have reflected on the dynamism of man, pointing especially to the Fathers of the Church and the Latin writers of the first millennium.

s

 

 

3

PopeWatch: Dictator

Lifesite News has this interesting tidbit on Pope Francis from the book Dictator:

 

The Dictator Pope, by a pseudonymous author who calls himself Marcantonio Colonna, claims to describe what Pope Francis is like when his adoring public isn’t looking: “arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs.”

Despite the hidden identity of the author, the book has hit the bestseller list and received praise from seasoned Vatican watchers.

According to the book, Francis is a master manipulator, and was fully conscious of both attempts to have him elected pope. When the 2005 Conclave elected Cardinal Ratzinger instead, the formerly conservative Cardinal Bergoglio adopted a newly progressive stance in line with the theology of his backers. And it seems that he was privy to the resurrection of their plans when Benedict cut his own papacy short. According to Colonna:

“By the middle of 2012, a few insiders in the Curia knew that Pope Benedict was considering abdication; he had confided his intention to two of his closest associates, the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, and the papal secretary Archbishop Ganswein, and he had named the exact date: 28 February 2013.

“Cardinal Bergoglio’s communications with Rome were abruptly stepped up from this time, rising to hectic levels as the date approached. Sure enough, on 11 February 2013 Pope Benedict made his public announcement to the cardinals, and it took almost the whole world by surprise; not Bergoglio and his associates, however, as eyewitnesses discovered.

“On the day of the announcement itself, the rector of Buenos Aires cathedral went to visit his Cardinal and found him exultant. During their interview, the telephone never stopped ringing with international calls from Bergoglio’s allies, and they were all calls of personal congratulation. One Argentinian friend, however, less well informed than the others, rang up to ask about the extraordinary news, and Bergoglio told him:’You don’t know what this means’.”

 

Go here to read the rest.

1

PopeWatch: Dictator

PopeWatch has not yet begun reading Dictator, but hopes to do so this weekend.  In the meantime he found a review by “Kindle Customer” on  Amazon intriguing:

 

To be honest, the past week of hype has been a little bit exaggerated. Fr. Z seemed to be using a strange reverse psychology
whereby he cautioned his readers about the dangers of curiositas, while simultaneously providing US, UK and Italian links so
that everybody gets a Kindle and gets the book! He also said “I won’t tell Marcantonio’s name but I KNOW lol.” Nobody will be
scandalized who is a regular reader of the traddie blogs, or even First Things (Reno), Catholic World Report (Olson, Schall),
the NC Register (Pentin et al.), and even Douthat of the NY Times. It’s just a compilation of what the bloggers have been
reporting for the past 4 and 3/4 years or so. For me, the Bergoglio pontificate hit me gradually. First there was the weird thing
about the kids who donated 3,000 rosaries and I said “that’s weird for a Pope to mock their piety like that, even if he doesn’t share it”.
I mean, Ratzinger’s a high-rational guy but he wouldn’t say that. Then there was the interview in 9/13, and by 10/14 with the first session
of the synod it was clear that something wasn’t right. During the spring and summer of 14 I began regularly checking Rorate, Eponymous,
Mundabor and eventually Corbinian’s. Oddly, the trads and the mainstream liberal media tended to get Francis right, where the formerly
astute vaticanisti like John Allen and Rocco Palmo tried to keep squaring the circle (and most bishops and priests, etc., understandably
because we seek ecclesial unity). One of the turning points in the blogosphere was when the once-ubiquitous Amy Welborn, one of the
pioneers and the epitome of a center-right establishment figure, got all critical and negative on PF. By now Allen has acknowledged some
of the setbacks (gently!) and Rocco concedes there is a lot of “change”. Then we have the weird phenomenon of folks like Sean Winters,
Jim Martin, Spadaro, Ivereigh etc. etc. who are more papal-fundamentalist than almost any right wingers from the past. I don’t think many
women fall into this category, although Betta Pique comes to mind.

Perhaps the most important new information is the apparent report of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, a mainstream center-left Jesuit
who appeared to be psychologically on the mark. It’s true that there was a dispute between the Marxist and Peronist-populist
brands of liberation theology. The stuff on the cardinals and the conclave is interesting but for the most part not new to those
who have been following. Financial reform just isn’t that interesting to me, but it is tied in with other forms of corruption and
scandal. The point is that it hasn’t been successfully carried out.

The author is an Oxford-trained historian who’s well-connected in Rome and those qualifications come through from time to time. Again,
I don’t find it nearly as inflammatory as its title, but maybe that’s from reading too many blogs. Perhaps the best service this book has
done is to convert the blog post format (whether traddie or con) into a more traditional book, even if it’s only an e-book for now in English.
The Dictator Pope compiles in 141 pages a lot of the major events from the conclave, the synod, the attempted and promised reforms,
and ecclesiastical events like those with the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Knights of Malta and various cardinals. It is a useful
marker as we approach the 5 year anniversary of this unique period in recent Church history.

12

PopeWatch: Dictator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  An interesting new book about Pope Francis has come out.  Rorate Caeli gives us the details:

 

This aspect of Pope Francis’ Pontificate is now the object of a book, recently published with the significant title The Dictator Pope (https://www.amazon.it/Papa-Dittatore-Marcantonio-Colonna-ebook/dp/B077M5ZH4M

The author is an Oxford-educated historian who hides under the name of “Marcantonio Colonna”. His style is sober and documented, but his accusations against Pope Bergoglio are numerous and strong. Many of the elements he has based in the formulation of his accusations are well-known, but what is new is the accurate description of a series of “historical pictures”: the intrigue of Pope Bergoglio’s election, piloted by the “St. Gallen Mafia”;  Bergoglio’s Argentinean behavior and actions before his election; the obstacles Cardinal Pell encountered after having attempted a financial reform  of the Curia; the revision of the Pontifical Academy for Life; the persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the decapitation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The mass-media, always ready to lash out with indignation at any episode of bad government and corruption, are silent about these scandals. The foremost merit of this historical study is having brought them to light. “Fear is the dominant note of the Curia under the law of Francis, along with reciprocal suspicion”.  It is not only about informers who are seeking to obtain advantages by reporting a private conversation – as Cardinal Müller’s three members of staff discovered.  In an organization where morally corrupt people have been left in place and even promoted by Pope Francis, underhanded blackmail is the order of the day. A priest in the Curia said ironically: “The saying goes that it is who you know that counts not what you know. In the Vatican, here’s how it is: what you know counts more than who you know.”

Marcantonio Colonna’s book, in short, confirms what Cardinal Müller’s  interview conceals: the existence of an atmosphere of espionage and delation  which the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith attributes to a “magic circle” conditioning the Pope’s choices, whereas the Oxford historian reports it as Pope Francis’ modus gubernandi  and compares it to the autocratic methods of the Argentinean dictator Juan Peron, of whom the young Bergoglio was a follower.

One might respond that nihil sub sole novum (Ecclesiaste 1, 10). The Church has seen many other deficiencies in government. However, if this pontificate is actually bringing about a division among the faithful, as the three cardinals highlighted, the motives cannot be limited to the Pope’s way of governing, but have to be sought in something which is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Church: the separation of the Roman Pontiff from the doctrine of the Gospel, which he has, through Divine mandate, the duty to transmit and guard.  This is what is at the heart of the religious problem of our times.

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch has obtained a copy of the book and will provide a review after it has been read.  Go here to snag a kindle copy from Amazon.

 

5

PopeWatch: Magisterium

 

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  The feathers have well and truly hit the fan, and Steve Skojec at One Peter Five gives us the details:

A letter from Pope Francis praising episcopal guidelines that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion in some cases while living in a state of objective grave sin has now been added to the official acts of the Apostolic See, conferring official status on what was formerly considered by many to be merely private communication — and raising the stakes on the Amoris Laetitia debate significantly.

Of the guidelines issued by the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that would open “the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist” in “complex circumstances” where “limitations that lessen the responsibility and guilt” of couples who will not make the commitment to “live in continence” despite living in an objectively adulterous situation, the pope said in his letter that “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”

In August of this year, this letter was added to the Vatican website as a papal document available for public reference. Concerns were raised that what had previously been viewed as only private correspondence — and thus, completely outside the realm of papal magisterium — was being given the appearance of an official papal act.

Others were quick to point out that the presence of such a letter on the Vatican website, while troubling in itself, did not grant the document any status, but only publicity. The concern, as I speculated at the time, was that the letter seemed likely therefore to find its way into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis  (AAS) — the journal of the official acts of the Apostolic See. Such a move would confer an official, and at least quasi-authoritative status to the document, in as much as the AAS “contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments. The contents are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue.”

Go here to read the rest.  When the Vicar of Christ contradicts Christ, go with Christ.  We have come to a dire time in the life of the Church when all Catholics need to be quite familiar with these words of Blessed Cardinal Newman:

 

I end with an extract from the Pastoral of the Swiss Bishops, a Pastoral which has received the Pope’s approbation.

“It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.”

 

 

6

PopeWatch: Saint Luther

 

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

In a press conference aboard the papal plane this morning, Pope Francis confirmed reports that he would be investigating the life and works of 16th century “reformer” Martin Luther, stating that it was better late than never in “the Church’s eternal quest for ecumenism.”

On October 15, Pope Francis welcomed a number of Lutherans from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany to his residence in the Vatican, and called Martin Luther a brave Christian who was trying his best to reform a financially corrupt Church, which automatically makes the person a saint in the Church’s eyes.

Francis also said that the pivotal character in the Protestant Reformation was in heaven, noting that “all Christians that fight against greed are saints.”

“From here on, paintings and statues of Martin Luther are welcome in all churches around the world, because he is blessed,” Francis told those gathered. “Christians who suffer ridicule today because they, in essence, overturn the tables of the money changers extend a reflection of Martin Luther’s courage and bravery.”

Francis went on to state that it was his hope that by this time next year, all members of the Catholic Church would be reciting the entire Ninety-five Thesis just after the Nicene Creed during Mass, and that the next Jubilee would commence by his walking through the “Holy Door” of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg where the Ninety-five Thesis was first posted.

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch contacted the Vatican for comment but was told that the Pope was too busy watching Lutheran Satire videos to come to the phone.

20

PopeWatch: Moonbeam

Pro-abort Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown (D. La La Land) fits in nicely with the current crowd at the Vatican:

 

The Vatican gave social media kudos this week to California pro-abortion Governor Jerry Brown for his climate change crusade, calling him a “true leader” and extolling what it deemed Brown’s “defending the dignity and freedom of each person.”

The praise came in the form of a tweet from Casina Pio IV – an account for news from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS). It was a response to Brown’s tweet earlier this month touting his recent two-week European climate talk tour – for which the Vatican was a venue.

“Bravo Jerry,” the Vatican tweet said, “you are a true leader who seeks the good of the people defending the dignity and freedom of each person, and the good of the planet threatened by human activity that uses fossil fuel!”

The tweet concludes with three praying hands emoticons.

Brown had addressed the Vatican-conducted “Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health” conference in early November.

At the Vatican climate event, Brown said that ‘brainwashing’ was in order to get people to come around to the disputed idea of manmade climate change.

“At the highest circles, people still don’t get it,” the California Democrat said. “It’s not just a light rinse” that’s required. “We need a total, I might say, ‘brainwashing.’

“We need to wash our brains out and see a very different kind of world.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope occasionally condemns abortion with words, but the actions of his Vatican belie his words.

4

PopeWatch: Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Bishop Schneider channels Bishop Melchior Cano:

 

 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, said in an interview with Michael Matt of The Remnant newspaper that “the true friends of the Pope” are those cardinals bishops and laymen “who express their public concern about these very important issues, about the state of confusion in the Church. They are really the friends of the Pope.”

He called the concerns and calls for clarity, “an act of charity towards the Pope.” He added that he was convinced that when the Pope faces his judgment before God, “he will be thankful to those” cardinals, bishops and lay people who called on him to offer clarity.

Archbishop Schneider said that those who perform “adulation of the Pope” and “deny the evidence” that ambiguity in the Pope’s teachings is causing confusion are not helping the Pope nor themselves when they will face their final judgment. 

Regarding those who tell the Pope, “It’s all okay,” despite the “disastrous situation,” the archbishop warned that at their judgment God will ask them “what have you done when there was confusion, why have you not raised your voice to defend the truth?”

 

Go here to read it rest.  Almost 500 years ago Melchior Cano, a theologian at the Council of Trent, said it all:

“Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See—they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.” 

 

6

PopeWatch: Proclaiming Jesus

Sandro Magister brings us up to date on the Pope’s trip to Burma:

 

There was only one moment in which Jesus was named and his Gospel proclaimed, in the speeches on the first day of Pope Francis’s visit to Myanmar.

Only that the one who spoke these words was not the pope, but the Burmese state counsellor and foreign minister Aung San Su Kyi, who is of the Buddhist faith:

“Jesus himself offers a ‘manual’ for this strategy of peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount. The eight Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-10) provide a portrait of the person we could describe as blessed, good and authentic. Blessed are the meek, Jesus tells us, the merciful and the peacemakers, those who are pure in heart, and those who hunger and thirst for justice.

“This is also a programme and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives: to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their respective responsibilities. It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost.”

It is true that San Su Kyi took these words from the message of Francis for the world day of peace on January 1, 2017. But it is striking that the only one to mention the name of Jesus and to make his Gospel resonate should have been she, and not the pope.

The complete text of the speech by the Nobel peace laureate, delivered at the beginning of the meeting between Francis and the authorities and representatives of civil society, can be read on this other page Settimo Cielo:

> “Jesus himself in the Sermon on the Mount…”

While this is the speech delivered immediately afterward by Pope Francis, a speech that instead was completely “secular,” except for the final invocation upon those present of “the divine blessings of wisdom, strength and peace”:

“A peace based on respect for each ethnic group and its identity”

 

Go here to read the rest.

6

PopeWatch: Cardinal Muller

An interesting statement from Cardinal Muller in an interview last week:

 

“There  is a front of traditionalist groups, just as there is with the progressivists, that would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope. But I will never do this. I have served the Church with love for 40 years as a priest, 16 years as a university professor of dogmatic theology and 10 years as a diocesan bishop. I believe in the unity of the Church and I will not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of recent months.  Church authorities, on the other hand, need to listen to those who have serious questions or justified complaints; not ignoring them, or worse, humiliating them. Otherwise, unwittingly, the risk of a slow separation that might lead to a schism may increase, from a disorientated and disillusioned part of the Catholic world.  The history of Martin Luther’s  Protestant Schism of 500 years ago, should teach us, above all, what errors to avoid.”

“The Pope confided to me: ‘Some have told me anonymously that you are my enemy’ without explaining in what way” he recounts unhappily. “ After 40 years at the service of the Church, I had to hear this: an absurdity set up by prattlers who instead of instilling worry in the Pope they would do better visiting a “shrink”.  A Catholic bishop and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is by nature with the Holy Father. But, I believe, as Melchoir Cano, the 16th century theologian said, that the true friends are not those who flatter the Pope, but those who help him with the truth and theological, human competence.” In all the organizations of the world, delatores of this type serve only themselves.”

 

Go here to Rorate Caeli to read the rest.

2

PopeWatch: Twitter and Beep

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

6

PopeWatch: Arms Race

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

 

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

 

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

5

PopeWatch: Shhh!

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

PopeWatch: Emptied of Content

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

13

PopeWatch: Sins

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

 

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

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

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

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

Monsignor Zollitsch responded, “No.”

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

10

PopeWatch: Father Perozich

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Changing language means changing meaning

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

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

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

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

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Butter or Margarine

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Pietro De Marco

 

 

 

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

THE HERETICAL BACKGROUND OF MUCH OF TODAY’S PASTORAL PRACTICE

by Pietro De Marco

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

3

PopeWatch: Not a Show!

 

 

PopeWatch completely agrees with the Pope:

 

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

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

9

PopeWatch: Stamp

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

PopeWatch: Father Z

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

 

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

Here is a taste:

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

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

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

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

[…]

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

[…]

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

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

[…]

It almost writes itself as self-parody.

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

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Veneration

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

“Totally different.”

 

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

 

10

PopeWatch–A Papal Culture of Rebuke?

I’m very sad to keep linking to these negative articles about our Holy Father–and they aren’t crocodile tears, either–but people have to be informed of what’s happening and that respected Catholic scholars are, to put it mildly, perturbed about things.    The latest is an article by Fr. Raymond de Souza

“In that spirit, we might ask what it is that the Holy Father intends to achieve with the culture of rebuke that he has brought to the Church’s life. That it is a deliberate pastoral choice is not in dispute. The question is how the Church should receive it.

Consider only the following major examples of how the Holy Father employs the pastoral strategy of rebuke:n In an August 2013 interview with Jesuit publications, he chastised some consecrated women as being sterile spiritual “spinsters” and some pastors for being “locked up in small-minded rules.” Later would come the implication that priests make the confessional into a “torture chamber.”

In his address to the Roman Curia for Christmas 2014, he listed, in detail, 15 spiritual diseases to which those listening to him were prone.n In a January 2015 airborne news conference,

Pope Francis addressed questions of fertility by denouncing a particular woman who was expecting her eighth child, having had seven Caesarian deliveries previously. Pope Francis twice said that, upon meeting her at a Roman parish, he had chastised the woman for being irresponsible. Pope Francis gave enough information that it would be easy for her fellow parishioners to know her identity.

In the concluding address to the Synod on the Family in October 2015, the Holy Father unleashed a barrage of condemnations upon the cardinals and bishops who did not agree with him, charging them with “a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said”; of “burying their heads in the sand”; of “indoctrinating” the Gospel “in dead stones to be hurled at others”; of hiding “behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families”; and of giving into “conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints.”

In 2016 and 2017, the Holy Father has refused to clarify the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia(The Joy of Love), all the while permitting his close subordinates to launch ad hominem attacks on those who seek clarification according to the Church’s tradition.n

Last month, a personal letter of Pope Francis to Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, on liturgical matters was leaked to the press and then ordered to be sent to every bishops’ conference in the world. The content of the letter publicly corrected Cardinal Sarah’s efforts, and the manner appeared to be designed for maximum publicity.

One enthusiastic commentator noted that the maneuver was “unprecedented. … Certainly not since Vatican II have we seen such a public spanking of a high-ranking prelate.”

Moreover, on several occasions Pope Francis has called for open debate and frank and bold speech, in which members of the Church are not afraid to speak up and even contradict the Holy Father himself. Consequently, the culture of rebuke that Pope Francis favors has now spread throughout the Church.”

Go here for the rest of the article.   Will Pope Francis listen to any of these commentators?   One can sympathize with some of his stated goals, but shouldn’t the Catholic teaching, “The end doesn’t justify the means” be operative at all times?

16

PopeWatch: War

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

3

PopeWatch: Cardinal Sarah

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

This is just what has happened in recent days.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

7

PopeWatch: Magisterium

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

2

PopeWatch: Luther

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

19

PopeWatch: Islam

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

2

PopeWatch: Regrets, They Had a Few

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

11

PopeWatch: Life

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

11

PopeWatch: Editor of Christ

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

 

 

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

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

Observing immediately afterward:

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

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

Omitting the following:

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

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

*

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

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

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

 

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

6

PopeWatch: Ed Feser

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14

PopeWatch: Free Nations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3

PopeWatch: Pope as Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

PopeWatch: Luther

Father Z brings us this unsurprising news:

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

I read in Il Timone

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

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

[…]

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

Go here to read the comments.

 

5

PopeWatch: Vice

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

13

PopeWatch: Francis v. Newman

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

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

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

1.  Preservation of Type

2.  Continuity of Principles

3.  Power of Assimilation

4.  Logical Sequence

5.  Anticipation of Its Future

6.  Conservative Action upon Its Past

7.  Chronic Vigour

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

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

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

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

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

42

PopeWatch: Ed Feser

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3

PopeWatch: Knights

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

22

PopeWatch: Death Penalty

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

Avery Cardinal Dulles, 2004

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10

PopeWatch: Pontifical Academy for Life

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1

PopeWatch: Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

9

PopeWatch: Homilies

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

 

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

2

PopeWatch: Christopher Columbus

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

 

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

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

23

PopeWatch: Pope Issues Apology for Lepanto

 

 

Well this comes as little surprise:

 

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

10

PopeWatch: Separated at Birth

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

 

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

13

PopeWatch: Cafeteria Catholics

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

 

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

More Catholic than the pope

[…]

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

[…]

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

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

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

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

[…]

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

Continue Reading