9

PopeWatch: Memory Lane

 

Father Z takes a trip down Memory Lane:

 

Here is something to ponder.  HERE

On this day in 2013 I posted:

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

What are those myths?

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

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

16

PopeWatch: Summorum Pontificum

 

Summorum Pontificum bye bye?

 

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

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

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

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

5

PopeWatch: An Authoritative Churchman

 

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

 

 

*

EVERYONE IS RESPONDING TO THE “DUBIA” EXCEPT FOR THE POPE. THIS TIME IT WAS SCHÖNBORN’S TURN

by ***

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

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

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

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

8

PopeWatch: Hostility

 

Good news:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8

PopeWatch: Down Argentine Way

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PopeWatch: Let God Sort ‘Em Out

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

10

PopeWatch: Dictatorship of the Zeitgeist

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Requiescat in pace!

10

PopeWatch: Sorondo

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

Rex Mottram on Papal Infallibilty

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5

PopeWatch: Dan Brown

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

15

PopeWatch: A Telling Incident

 

PopeWatch finds this incident from 2013 absolutely chilling:

 

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

10

PopeWatch: Pope Emeritus

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

PopeWatch: Deadbeat

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading

21

PopeWatch: Bizarre

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

22

PopeWatch: Melinda Gates

 

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

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

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

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

3

PopeWatch: No Greater Love

 

Pope Francis has decreed a new path to sainthood:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18

PopeWatch: A Mother’s Thanks

 

 

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

Proverbs 24: 11

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Muller

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

PopeWatch: Box Office

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21

Pope and President on Charlie Gard

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

7

PopeWatch: Lavender Mafia

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

5

PopeWatch: Exit Cardinal Muller

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Müller spoke to German media about his dismissal. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

PopeWatch: UberMass

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6

PopeWatch: Ordinary Magisterium

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: Pontifical Academy for Death

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

10

PopeWatch: Lavender Mafia

 

 

It should always be recalled that a large part of the impetus behind Pope Francis and his attempt to transform the Catholic Church into an Episcopal Church with worse music is the Lavender Mafia.  One of the poster children for the Lavender Mafia is Father James Martin, SJ.  Liturgy Guy connects the dots:

With each passing week the pace quickens. The revolutionaries continue to grow more emboldened. There is no time to lose. For those who wish to remake the Church in the image of fallen Man, instead of defending the immutable Truth of Our Risen Lord,  the time is now.

With every new tweet to his 125,000 followers on Twitter, or every pro-LGBT article shared to his half a million Facebook followers, Fr. James Martin, S.J. ups the ante. The rogue Jesuit (which might be redundant), described by some as a wolf in sheeps clothing (or Roman collar), has apparently made it his personal mission to change the faith of our fathers.

As I’ve written about before, Fr. Martin’s latest effort is Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (Harper Collins, 2017). The book is interesting enough for the simple fact that it largely comes from an address Fr. Martin gave to New Ways Ministry in October of last year.

**********************************************

What is different now from the past, however, is Rome itself. Leading the defense of orthodoxy and doctrinal clarity back then was Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. While Fr. Robert Nugent and Sr. Jeannine Gramick could spread their errors and ambiguities, they did so with the condemnation of the Holy See. That is not the case with Pope Francis.

To understand who is really responsible for today’s revolutionary spirit, one that seeks to make the LGBT’s agenda the Church’s own, go back to the back…of Fr. Martin’s book that is.

Who else do we find endorsing Fr. Martin’s 2017 repackaging of the New Ways message of the 1990’s? None other than three of Pope Francis’s most recent episcopal appointments: Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life; and Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California. Continue Reading

19

PopeWatch: Contradiction

 

 

The former head of the Vatican Bank,  Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, lets Pope Francis have it in an essay in La Verita:

 

I see two implicit messages in the Pope’s failure to answer the dubia. The first implicit message is “I can contradict myself if I want to.” At the start of the Synod on the Family (October 2014), the Pope invited the cardinals to speak openly and frankly, without fear of embarrassing the Pope (the famous parresia). And yet for months the Pope has refused to respond privately or publicly to the dubia expressed by four cardinals who represent a large part of the faithful.

The second implicit message seems to be a declaration of the intent to impose a “New Catholic Morality.” This would be founded on the awkward circumstances of the new ethical demands (or requirements) of new situations created by the secularized world, not on the Commandments, the Catechism and the Magisterium invoked by the “obsolete” Veritatis Splendor.   

In the past, the Church’s concern was to keep the faithful “strong in the Truth” in order to conserve the faith. She therefore discouraged a disposition to interpret doctrine and the magisterium in a subjective and dangerously misleading manner. Indeed, back then the task of pastors was to confirm the certainties of faith by “teaching,” not just by “listening.”

Today, it could be said that you should have subjective and unresolved doubts to demonstrate that you have an “authentic faith.” You must not try to resolve them or seek answers to questions on points of ambiguous interpretation because that would be insolent and arrogant. Doubts are necessary because it seems that we don’t want to affirm a single, absolute and objective truth. A pluralist and dialectical truth has taken its place because this latter truth, a truth based on the conclusions of a “self-taught” individual conscience, has replaced doctrine as the judge of actions (praxis).  

One might say that traditional morality has been overridden by circumstances (and not the ideal), and since we should not longer judge (that is, objectively evaluate circumstances), the Church seems to want to renounce the possession of the truth and its teaching (unless it concerns the environment, poverty and immigration). Thus, a failure to respond to the dubia confirms that doctrine is abstract and that it is of no use to salvation because truth is transitory, subjective and open to differing interpretations. It is better to dialogue, then, than to teach something that is no longer eternal. Continue Reading

PopeWatch: Checkmate

 

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

 

 

Society of St. Pius X chess grandmaster Larcel Mafebvre has turned four of his pieces into bishops without approval from the World Chess Federation, officials have confirmed.

“Mr. Mafebvre has, without approval from the Federation, created bishops out of pawn pieces,” said World Chess Federation head Antonio Salamanca. “After speaking with Mr. Mafebvre regarding abiding by the new chess rules, wherein players are given the freedom to concelebrate the match, and to say the words of ‘checkmate’ in the vernacular, he has sadly decided to ignore our requests.”

Salamanca went on to tell reporters that Mafebvre had automatically incurred excheckommunication because of his disobedience.

“I must do what is in my conscience to preserve the dignity of the game,”  Mafebvre told EOTT in an exclusive interview. “Therefore, I have decided to consecrate four of my pieces into bishops to help my depleted side, for, from some Fischer, the smoke of Satan has entered the chessboard of God.”

At press time, one time follower of Larcel Mafebvre’s, Bavid Dawden, told EOTT that he has decided to become head of the World Chess Federation, though he only has three pawns to play with. Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: Apostasy

 

Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register has a barn burner of interview with Monsignor Nicola Bux, a former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Monsignor Bux, what are the implications of the ‘doctrinal anarchy’ that people see happening for the Church, the souls of the faithful and priests?

The first implication of doctrinal anarchy for the Church is division, caused by apostasy, which is the abandonment of Catholic thought, as defined by St. Vincent of Lerins: quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditur (what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all). Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, who calls Jesus Christ the “Master of unity,” had pointed out to heretics that everyone professes the same things, but not everyone means the same thing. This is the role of the Magisterium, founded on the truth of Christ: to bring everyone back to Catholic unity.

St. Paul exhorted Christians to be in agreement and to speak with unanimity. What would he say today? When cardinals are silent or accuse their confreres; when bishops who had thought, spoken and written — scripta manent! [written words remain]— in a Catholic way, but then say the opposite for whatever reason; when priests contest the liturgical tradition of the Church, then apostasy is established, the detachment from Catholic thought. Paul VI had foreseen that “this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism will tomorrow become the strongest [force]. But it will never represent the Church’s thinking. A small flock must remain, no matter how small it is.” (Conversation with J. Guitton, 9.IX.1977).

 

What implications, then, does doctrinal anarchy have for the souls of the faithful and ecclesiastics?

The Apostle exhorts us to be faithful to sure, sound and pure doctrine: that founded on Jesus Christ and not on worldly opinions (cf. Titus 1:7-11; 2:1-8). Perseverance in teaching and obedience to doctrine leads souls to eternal salvation. The Church cannot change the faith and at the same time ask believers to remain faithful to it. She is instead intimately obliged to be oriented toward the Word of God and toward Tradition.

Therefore, the Church remembers the Lord’s judgment: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” (John 9:39). Do not forget that, when one is applauded by the world, it means one belongs to it. In fact, the world loves its own and hates what does not belong to it (cf. John 15:19). May the Catholic Church always remember that she is made up of only those who have converted to Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; all human beings are ordained to her (cf. Lumen gentium 13), but they are not part of her until they are converted.

 

How can this problem best be resolved?

The point is: what idea does the Pope have of the Petrine ministry, as described in Lumen gentium 18 and codified in canon law? Faced with confusion and apostasy, the Pope should make the distinction — as Benedict XVI did — between what he thinks and says as a private, learned person, and what he must say as Pope of the Catholic Church. To be clear: the Pope can express his ideas as a private learned person on disputable matters which are not defined by the Church, but he cannot make heretical claims, even privately. Otherwise it would be equally heretical.

I believe that the Pope knows that every believer — who knows the regula fidei [the rule of faith] or dogma, which provides everyone with the criterion to know what the faith of the Church is, what everyone has to believe and who one has to listen to — can see if he is speaking and operating in a Catholic way, or has gone against the Church’s sensus fidei [sense of the faith]. Even one believer can hold him to account. So whoever thinks that presenting doubts [dubia] to the Pope is not a sign of obedience, hasn’t understood, 50 years after Vatican II, the relationship between him [the Pope] and the whole Church. Obedience to the Pope depends solely on the fact that he is bound by Catholic doctrine, to the faith that he must continually profess before the Church.

We are in a full crisis of faith! Therefore, in order to stop the divisions in progress, the Pope — like Paul VI in 1967, faced with the erroneous theories that were circulating shortly after the conclusion of the Council — should make a Declaration or Profession of Faith, affirming what is Catholic, and correcting those ambiguous and erroneous words and acts — his own and those of bishops — that are interpreted in a non-Catholic manner.

Otherwise, it would be grotesque that, while seeking unity with non-Catholic Christians or even understanding with non-Christians, apostasy and division is being fostered within the Catholic Church. For many Catholics, it is incredible that the Pope is asking bishops to dialogue with those who think differently, but does not want first to face the cardinals who are his chief advisors. If the Pope does not safeguard doctrine, he cannot impose discipline. As John Paul II said, the Pope must always be converted, to be able to strengthen his brothers, according to the words of Christ to Peter: “Et tu autem conversus, confirma fratres tuos [when you are converted, strengthen your brothers].”  Continue Reading

11

PopeWatch: Audience

 

The four dubia Cardinals drafted a request for an audience on April 25, 2017:

 

Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus. We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the munus of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five dubia, asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you. Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Unholy Ghost

 

 

An article at Crisis by Julia Meloni focuses on one of the ghostwriters for the Pope:

 

 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis announces: “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!” (297). Josef Seifert warns that it’s “nearly unavoidable” to deduce a denial of Hell—a fear echoed by others. Anna Silvas notes Amoris Laetitia’s “missing” lexicon of eternity: “There are no immortal souls in need of eternal salvation to be found in the document!”

But papal ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez is ebullient with joy because, as he declares in a 1995 article, “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.” The author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, Fernandez elsewhere rhapsodizes that extra-marital sex can express “ecstatic” charity and “Trinitarian richness.”

And Fernandez the papal ghostwriter—as Michael Pakaluk and Sandro Magister have shown—repeatedly plagiarizes his previous work in Amoris Laetitia. For instance, Fernandez’s 2006 declaration that “Trinitarian” love can be “realized within an objective situation of sin” is echoed in Amoris Laetitia 305.

Last September, the four cardinals submitted their dubia out of grave concern for “the true good of souls.” They’ve now published a letter from April requesting an audience with the pontiff—who has not responded.

As the months of papal non-engagement grow, Pope Francis’s maxim that “time is greater than space” feels increasingly ominous. Fernandez—whose cited and uncited work also appears in Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium—has long claimed that we’re in an age of revolutionary “time.”

In his book The Francis Project, Fernandez laments that conservative “fanatics” can’t accept that the “Spirit”—which can “elude the supervision of the institution of the Church”—is leading us “toward a different phase.” It’s a phase where, apparently, God is “Mother” and “you should follow your conscience” and “a pope who tells us that God wants us to be happy on this earth will never ask us to be obsessed with sacrifice.” It’s a phase where, to quote Pope Francis, the Church isn’t “obsessed” with abortion or sexual ethics either. Continue Reading

8

PopeWatch: Christ?

 

A Francis appointed Bishop shows us that under the current Pontificate the words of Christ in regard to marriage mean less than nothing:

An Argentinian bishop, inspired by Pope Francis’ Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, celebrated a special Mass for civilly-divorced-and-remarried couples in his diocese. The thirty or so couples were all invited to receive Holy Communion despite there being no indication that any of them had promised to live as brother and sister.

“Welcome back home,” Bishop Angel José Macin of the diocese of Reconquista told the couples during the Mass celebrated on the June 11th Feast of the Blessed Trinity, according to Argentinian news website Radioamanecer.com.ar

The couples were given Holy Communion in what was described as a “festive atmosphere” in the parish church of Saint Roque. Relatives took photographs. Continue Reading

PopeWatch: Dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

In an effort to attract more young people, the USCCB announced today that they will begin working on a dark, gruesome, and gritty reboot of the Novus Ordo.

Speaking with EOTT, Bishop Robert Lombardo, who came up with the idea for the reboot, said that they hope to begin saying the new Mass beginning next fall.

“Right now we’re just beginning to work on the new translation, which we’re tentatively calling ‘The Mass: Rise of the Godman.’”

Lombardo also went on to explain that the reboot would skew more towards gritty priests and deacons and away from the smiling and happy priest and deacon that we’ve become accustomed to seeing.

“These days young adults are spending so much of their time and money watching dark movie reboots, so there’s no reason why we can’t do that within the context of the Mass. To say to someone in their 20’s and 30’s, ‘Hey, you enjoyed that gritty and gruesome movie last night, now come to Mass and enjoy the complete opposite of what you loved last night,’ is absurd. We have to give them what they want is what it boils down to.”

Gotham bishop Leonard Kelly told EOTT that the bishops also discussed a reboot for all the sacraments, including Confirmation, which will be called The Sacrament of the Blood Oath, Anointing of the Sick, which will be called The Sacrament of Bodily Annihilation, and Matrimony, which will be called The Sacrament of Mental Annihilation.

We also plan to change the vestments so that they’re simply red mantles and hoods, with the red symbolizing blood, all the blood Christ spilled for our transgressions.

At press time, Kelly has cryptically stated that it is time for the youth to heed the calling of the Light, saying “You either die a saint or live long enough to see yourself become the devil,” before throwing the hood over his head and leaping off the top of a church spire. Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Lavender Mafia

 

 

The Lavender Mafia is alive and well at the Vatican:

 

Cardinal Joseph Tobin told the New York Times that it would have been “backhanded” of him to mention anything about sin to the “LGBT pilgrims” who he personally welcomed to a Cathedral Mass last month.

On Sunday, May 21, the Cardinal was on hand at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart to personally welcome homosexuals on a so-called “LGBT Pilgrimage.”

When asked by the New York Times if he should have used the event to call the “LGBT pilgrims” out of sin, Cardinal Tobin replied: “That sounds a little backhanded to me.” 

“It was appropriate to welcome people to come and pray and call them who they were. And later on, we can talk,” he said. 

The Cardinal said that to “combine his welcome with a criticism would not have been a full welcome at all.”

**********************************************************************************

Some other high profile priests and bishops pushing the envelope on the acceptance of homosexuality within the Church include: 

  • Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large for the Jesuit magazine America and recently appointed to the Vatican as a communications consultant, who just published his pro-homosexual book, Building a Bridge.
  • Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, now at the helm of both the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, who paid a homosexual artist to paint a homoerotic mural in his cathedral church in 2007. The mural includes an image of the archbishop himself clasped to a semi-naked man.
  • Cardinal Kevin Farrell, recently appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican office on laity, family, and life issues, who has called on his city’s priests to embrace “LGBT families.”
  • The Diocese of San Diego, under Bishop Robert McElroy, recently announced that Fr. John Dolan, a priest with an LGBT-positive record, had been appointed by the Vatican to be an auxiliary bishop. Fr, Dolan had previously gone on record suggesting that there is no problem with homosexual “marriage” within the Catholic church.

Catholic parishioners in some major urban centers may also have noticed a creeping incrementalism of the acceptance of homosexuality within their parishes. 

For instance, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, St. Matthew’s Parish has been promoting homosexuality and its so-called “compatibility” with Catholicism for years.

In the Archdiocese of New York, leaders of “gay and lesbian ministries” in three separate parishes openly flout Catholic teaching on sexual morality, saying that their lifestyle choices are part of how God made them.  Continue Reading

10

PopeWatch: Unchanging

 

PopeWatch has long believed that the key to understanding Pope Francis is his life in Argentina, and, above all, this event:

 

A titanic struggle for the soul of Catholicism ensued. Bergoglio had strong support within the Jesuits when he became provincial superior in 1973. But by the time he ended his leadership role as rector of Buenos Aires’s Jesuit seminary in 1986, those who loathed him had begun to outnumber those who loved him. By 1990, his support within the order had been eroded by his authoritarian style and his incorrigible inability, in the words of the Jesuit, Father Frank Brennan, “to let go the reins of office once a [Jesuit] provincial of a different hue was in the saddle.” Another senior Jesuit told me: “He drove people really crazy with his insistence that only he knew the right way to do things. Finally the other Jesuits said: ‘Enough.’” Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: Bad Joke

 

Further evidence that this current pontificate is a bad joke:

 

Among the 45 new members Pope Francis has appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life is an Anglican minister who has argued that abortion should be legal until “18 weeks after conception.”

University of Oxford Professor Nigel Biggar, who was appointed to the Academy for a five-year term, stated in a 2011 dialogue with pro-infanticide ethicist Peter Singer that a preborn baby is “not…the same kind of thing as an adult or a mature human being” and therefore does not deserve “quite the same treatment.”

“I would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore of consciousness,” he said as reported by Standpoint magazine.

Then, one year later, when he was the keynote speaker for an event at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, he said that “it is not true that all abortion is equivalent to murder.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Pro-lifers in the Age of Francis need to watch their backs, because the Church sure will not be.

11

PopeWatch: Not a Liberal

 

 

Mathew Walther insists at The Week that Pope Francis is no liberal:

 

Indeed, I would go so far as to say that both of his predecessors, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, had more of the saccharine “Spirit of Vatican II” about them than Francis has. The current pope is a hard-headed practical man, with no illusions about human nature. Nor is he much of an intellectual, though his environmental encyclical Laudato si’ is one of the most important pieces of theological writing to have appeared in my lifetime.

 

His is a decidedly peasant spirituality of intense Marian devotion. He loathes pomposity with the fervor of his ascetic namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. While he is famous for not getting on well with mainstream traditionalists like me, the so-called rigorists and doctors of the law whom he has subjected to endless (and sometimes deserved) ridicule, he clearly has a soft spot for the much-maligned Society of St. Pius X, whose founder was shamefully — and perhaps invalidly — excommunicated by John Paul II. His gradual reintroduction of these battered and pious misfits into the wider life of the Church is the answer to many prayers. Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Cardinal Sarah

 

PopeWatch has long thought that the alleged amity between the Pope Emeritus and his successor is basically a sham.  The flap over Cardinal Sarah’s book might be evidence of this:

 

“The arrogance, the violence of language, the disrespect and the inhuman contempt for Benedict XVI are diabolical and cover the Church with a mantle of sadness and shame,” Cardinal Sarah said.

“These people demolish the Church and its profound nature,” he added.

 

Critics of Benedict XVI have complained that the former Pontiff meddled in Church affairs by contributing the afterword to the German edition of the book, in which Benedict praises Cardinal Sarah and thanks Pope Francis for appointing the African prelate to his current post as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

In his afterword to Cardinal Sarah’s book, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, Benedict XVI wrote that the liturgy is in “good hands” with the Guinean cardinal, while also praising Sarah for his prayer life.

Sarah, Benedict writes, speaks “out of the depths of silence with the Lord, out of his interior union with him, and thus really has something to say to each one of us.”

“We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church,” Benedict writes.

The last line of the afterword reads, “With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands.”

Critics were quick to accuse the former pope of interfering in Church politics and trying to undermine Pope Francis.

One, the Italian liturgist Andrea Grillo, a longtime detractor of Pope Benedict, claims that the former pope has behaved in a “scandalous way” by writing the afterword in praise of Cardinal Sarah and his book, accusing him of “clericalism” and “hypocrisy.”

“It’s as if Ratzinger suddenly renounced his renunciation and wishes to influence the decisions of his successor,” Grillo declared.

Continue Reading

1

PopeWatch: Get Thee to a Nunnery

 

 

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

 

After several public failed relationships and an embarrassing 8-months without a boyfriend, award winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift announced today via Twitter that she was leaving the music industry to become a nun.

“With some prayer, and lots of thinking about boys, I’ve decided to become a nun,” she  wrote on Twitter.

Swift’s agent Rod Steelman confirmed this morning that she has been accepted into the Monastery of Our Lady of Perpetual Disappointment, a convent exclusively for women who respond to a calling immediately after experiencing a devastating breakup.

“She told me a few months ago that she had discerned entering a convent every time she had ever had a breakup, but that this last breakup  was different,” Steelman told EOTT. “She said that she was thinking about how Jesus seemed like the only man that wouldn’t ever break up with her, and how she would never have to write a song about him like she did other men in her life. That’s when it dawned on her to get herself to the nunnery.”

Swift has won several awards, including  ten Grammy Awards, one Emmy Award, and  21 Billboard Music Awards. Forbes recently named her in their annual 100 Most Powerful Women. Continue Reading

28

PopeWatch: Que?

 

Another papal mess to clean up:

 

Pope Francis again sparked calls for clarification today as he stated before the crowds in St. Peter’s Square: “God cannot be God without man.”

The pope was speaking from a written text at his Wednesday general audience.

According to theologians who spoke with LifeSite, there is a danger the phrase by itself could be taken in an erroneous way.

In context, the Pope said:

Dear brothers and sisters, we are never alone. We can be far, hostile; we can even say we are ‘without God.’ But Jesus Christ’s Gospel reveals to us that God cannot be without us: He will never be a God ‘without man’; it is He who cannot be without us, and this is a great mystery! God cannot be God without man: this is a great mystery!

John Paul Meenan, professor of theology at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, a Catholic college in Eastern Ontario, told LifeSiteNews that while the second phrase (God cannot be God without man) is open to misinterpretation, the Pope’s first wording (He will never be a God ‘without man’) is less problematic since it is in the future tense, “since God is now in an eternal covenant with man.” Professor Meenan said it is not true that ‘God cannot be God without man’ in a universal sense. Continue Reading

2

PopeWatch: One Minute

 

Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and when one builds up a wall, behold, they plaster it with whitewash:

Ezekiel 13: 10

 

Pope Francis is requesting a minute of prayer for peace:

 

Pope Francis has appealed for prayers and international participation in the “One Minute for Peace” initiative to be held Thursday, 8 June, at 1:00 PM Rome time.

He said the initiative represents “a short moment of prayer on the recurrence of the meeting in the Vatican between me, the late Israeli President Peres, and the Palestinian President Abbas”.

Their encounter took place in the Vatican Gardens on 8 June 2014, during which the three men prayed together for peace. Continue Reading

11

PopeWatch: Venezuela

 

This may be interesting:

 

Venezuelan bishops will visit Pope Francis on Thursday as anti-government unrest continues unabated in the South American country, the Vatican said in a statement on Monday.

“The meeting was requested by the (Venezuelan) bishops conference, who would like to speak with the pope about the situation in Venezuela,” the statement said.

The appointment with the Argentine-born pontiff came months after Vatican-brokered peace talks between Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro and opposition leaders broke down. Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: Knights of Columbus

 

 

Sandro Magister takes a look at the financial support given by the Knights of Columbus to Vatican communications:

 

At the end of this month of June it will be seen whether the Knights of Columbus in the United States will for another year dispense 100,000 dollars for “Vatican Insider,” the religious information site that is most closely connected to Pope Francis through its coordinator Andrea Tornielli, a friend of Jorge Mario Bergoglio since long before he was elected to the papacy and still his frequent visitor.

“Vatican Insider” is a creature of the Turin-based newspaper “La Stampa,” where Tornielli is the vaticanista, and is still published on the web platform of this daily. But since July 1 of 2014 it has been kept alive precisely through the annual support of 100,000 dollars supplied by the Knights of Columbus and until now renewed at each expiration.

The man who holds the keys of this donation is Thomas Smith Jr., executive director of the Knights of Columbus and second in command of the organization, right after supreme knight Carl Anderson (in the photo). They are both convinced that keeping “Vatican Insider” alive is a desire of Pope Francis himself, and feel the need to show their obedience and devotion to him in this way as well.

The reputation of the Knights of Columbus is in fact by no means in line with the novelties of the current pontificate. It should suffice to look at the recent portrait of the Knights in somber, ultraconservative tones drawn by the “National Catholic Reporter,” a leader of the progressive American Catholic media, in a series of highly documented articles that is summarized in this, the last:

> Editorial: Knights’ monetary influence skews our church Continue Reading

17

PopeWatch: Merchants of Death

One of the more distressing aspects of this Pontificate is how firmly Pope Francis believes things that simply are not true.  A prime example of this is his oft repeated contention that most wars are caused by arms merchants, the old “merchants of death” theory of international conflict.

This was a fairly common meme in the thirties of the last century when it was argued with a straight face, in the wake of World War I disenchantment and the growth of pacifism in the democracies, that World War I had been caused by arms dealers and by governments eager to profiteer from war.  Alas it was complete and utter rubbish and it is rubbish still.  Of course it is important to the Pope that wars be caused by sinister cabals of greedy men who initiate conflicts to make money.  This helps the Pope ignore the fact that most wars occur due to intractable differences between nations and people that are not amenable to negotiation.  Such reality does not fit into the Pope’s ideological world view, and when reality comes into conflict with what the Pope believes, so much the worse for reality.  Such a refusal to face facts can be harmful for an individual, it is disastrous for the Vicar of Christ.

7

PopeWatch: Ten Commandments, Revised Version

 

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

 

Pope Francis on Monday warned against the excessive rigidity of the Ten Commandments and said “God gives us the freedom to search our own conscience for commandments.”

“I always try to understand what’s behind people who are too young to have seen Moses walk down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, and yet still they want to obey them,” Francis said. “Sometimes I find myself confronted with a very legalistic person who follows the Commandments and I ask myself, ‘Why so much rigidity?’ This rigidity in following the Commandments always hides something, insecurity or even something else.”

Pope Francis went on to say that, “Behind an attitude of always feeling like you must follow the rigidity of the Commandments there is something else in the life of a person. The Commandments are not a gift of God. The Beatitudes are because they are not a list of rules that stiffen us and make us rigid; they make us feel good.” Continue Reading

2

PopeWatch: Carlo Cardinal Caffarra

 

It is easy to be gloomy about the Faith when viewing the antics of the current powers that be in the Vatican.  However they are a mere aberration in the history of the Church.  The power and glory of Catholicism has survived worse than them over the past 20 centuries.  In a speech given last month Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, gave us a reminder of the battle we are currently engaged in:

 

There is a book in Holy Scripture, the last, the Apocalypse, which describes the final confrontation between the two kingdoms. In this book, the attraction of Christ takes the form of triumph over enemy powers commanded by Satan. It is a triumph which comes after lengthy combat. The first fruits of the victory are the martyrs. “The great Dragon, serpent of the primal age, he whom we call the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was flung down to earth… But they [= the martyrs] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of the testimony of their martyrdom” [cfr. Ap. 12, 9.11].

  1. In this second section, I would like to respond to the following question: in our Western culture, are there developments which reveal with particular clarity the confrontation between the attraction exerted over man by the Crucified-Risen One, and the culture of the lie constructed by Satan? My response is affirmative, and there are two developments in particular.
  • The first development is the transformation of a crime [termed by Vatican Council II nefandum crimen], abortion, into a right. Note well. I am not speaking of abortion as an act perpetrated by one person. I am speaking of the broader legitimation which can be perpetrated by a judicial system in a single act: to subsume it into the category of the subjective right, which is an ethical category. This signifies calling what is good, evil, what is light, shadow. “When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. This is an attempt to produce an “anti-Revelation”.

What in fact is the logic which presides over the ennoblement of abortion? Firstly, it is the profoundest negation of the truth of man. As soon as Noah left the floodwaters, God said: “Whoever sheds the blood of a man, by a man shall that person’s blood be shed, for in his own image God made man” [Gen. 9, 6]. The reason why man should not shed the blood of man is that man is the image of God. Through man, God dwells in His creation. This creation is the temple of the Lord, because man inhabits it. To violate the intangibility of the human person is a sacrilegious act against the Sanctity of God. It is the Satanic attempt to generate an “anti-creation”. By ennobling the killing of humans, Satan has laid the foundations for his “creation”: to remove from creation the image of God, to obscure his presence therein.

St Ambrose writes: “The creation of the world was completed with formation of the masterpiece which is man, which… is in fact the culmination of creation, the supreme beauty of every created being” [Exam., Sixth day, Disc 9, 10.75; BA I, page 417]. At the moment at which the right of man to order the life and the death of another man is affirmed, God is expelled from his creation, because his original presence is denied, and his original dwelling-place within creation – the human person – is desecrated

  • The second development is the ennoblement of homosexuality. This in fact denies entirely the truth of marriage, the mind of God the Creator with regard to marriage.

The Divine Revelation has told us how God thinks of marriage: the lawful union of a man and woman, the source of life. In the mind of God, marriage has a permanent structure, based on the duality of the human mode of being: femininity and masculinity. Not two opposite poles, but the one with and for the other. Only thus does man escape his original solitude.

One of the fundamental laws through which God governs the universe is that He does not act alone. This is the law of human cooperation with the divine governance. The union between a man and woman, who become one flesh, is human cooperation in the creative act of God: every human person is created by God and begotten by its parents. God celebrates the liturgy of his creative act in the holy temple of conjugal love.

In summary. There are two pillars of creation: the human person in its irreducibility to the material universe, and the conjugal union between a man and woman, the place in which God creates new human persons “in His image and likeness”. The axiological elevation of abortion to a subjective right is the demolition of the first pillar. The ennoblement of a homosexual relationship, when equated to marriage, is the destruction of the second pillar.

At the root of this is the work of Satan, who wants to build an actual anti-creation. This is the ultimate and terrible challenge which Satan is hurling at God. “I am demonstrating to you that I am capable of constructing an alternative to your creation. And man will say: it is better in the alternative creation than in your creation”. Continue Reading

12

PopeWatch: Humanae Vitae Bye, Bye?

 

 

Rumors are swirling about this:

 

Rumors are circulating that Pope Francis has set up a secret commission to “re-examine” the Church’s teaching against the evil of contraception. Let’s hope they prove false.

Such a commission under Francis’ leadership would likely undermine and even corrupt the Church’s beautiful teaching on the meaning and purpose of conjugal relations. 

We saw exactly this sort of undermining happen during the Synods on the Family. The pope’s final document, the ambiguous Amoris Laetitia, has been used to undermine the indissolubility of marriage, to approve of adulterous relationships, to give Holy Communion to adulterers and fornicators, and to elevate conscience above the laws of God as reflected in the perennial teachings of the Church. 

Earlier this month veteran Italian Vaticanist Marco Tosatti blogged about “unconfirmed reports from good sources” that Francis “is on the verge of appointing – or even might have already formed – a secret commission to examine and potentially study changes to the Church’s position on the issue of contraception.”

“We have so far no official confirmation of the existence and composition of this entity; but a request for confirmation, or for denial, which was put forward to the competent authorities, has so far not been answered – which could be a signal in itself – in the sense that, if the report was completely unfounded, it wouldn’t take much to say so,” Tosatti wrote on May 11. 

Tosatti’s claim of a secret commission has, of this writing, still not been confirmed or denied by Vatican officials. 

Six days later, in a May 17 article, OnePeterFive’s Maike Hickson reported that she was able to confirm Tosatti’s claim of a secret commission by a “well-informed source in Rome” who was, however,  unable to “give specific names of the members of that commission.”

My huge fear is that such a commission with Francis at the helm can only arrive at the conclusion, contrary to Catholic faith, that “pastoral accompaniment” of people in “concrete situations” means allowing them to “discern” the use of contraceptives in “serious” cases according to a “well-informed conscience.”

I hope I’m dead wrong. But my fear that the commission would reach such a conclusion is based on what Pope Francis has already said on various occasions about the matter of contraception. Here are a few samples of what he has said that make me so worried: Continue Reading

13

PopeWatch: Hmmm

 

This homily by Pope Francis yesterday is attracting attention:

 

“A shepherd must be ready to step down completely from his church, rather than leave in a partial manner” said the Pope.

His words were drawn from the first reading at Mass, where St Paul addressed the church leaders in Ephesus.  The Pope said that this reading could easily be called “A bishop’s leave taking” because Paul has left the Church of Ephesus in order to go to Jerusalem, where the Holy Spirit called him to go.

“All shepherds have to step down. There comes a moment where the Lord says ‘go to another place, come here, go there, come to me.’ And it’s one of the steps that a shepherd must take; be prepared to step down in the correct way, not still hanging on to his position. The shepherd who doesn’t learn how to do this because he still has some links with his sheep that are not good, links that are not purified by the Cross of Jesus” said Pope Francis.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Is this a signal?  Is Pope Francis signaling his own retirement?  Is he signaling dissatisfaction with the Pope Emeritus?  Is it not a signal but merely an exegesis from the reading?  How say you?

10

PopeWatch: Bishops

 

Sandro Magister believes that Pope Francis is not popular among the Bishops:

 

With the appointment as president of Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, after that of the secretary general three years ago, Pope Francis now has full control of the Italian episcopal conference, one third of whose bishops have been installed by him, even in dioceses of the first rank like Bologna, Palermo, the vicariate of Rome, and soon also Milan.

Appointments are a key element in the strategy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It should suffice to look at how he is reshaping in his image the college of cardinals, which in the future will elect his successor. After the latest batch of cardinals, announced one week ago for the end of June, chances are slimmer that the next pope could mark a return to the past.

Italy aside, however, winning the agreement of the bishops is anything but easy for Francis.

The only national episcopates that he can count on today are those of Germany, Austria, and Belgium, nations in which the Catholic Church is in the most dramatic decline.

While on the contrary the more vital Churches of Africa are those that stood together, in the two combative synods on the family, against the innovations desired by the pope.

If one then looks at the Americas, both North and South, the picture appears even more unfavorable for the pope.

In Canada, the six bishops of the region of Alberta have publicly taken a position against the go-ahead given by Francis to communion for the divorced and remarried, while in the United States the episcopal conference last November elected as its president Cardinal Daniel N. Di Nardo, precisely one of the thirteen cardinals of the memorable protest letter that infuriated Bergoglio at the beginning of the last synod.

In the American media, this election was covered as a referendum on Pope Francis, and there was reason for this. One year before, on a visit to the United States, Francis had ordered the bishops to change course and to get into step with him; and he had accompanied these commands with a series of appointments close to his mentality, in the first place that of Blase J. Cupich as archbishop of Chicago and as cardinal.

But if there was a referendum, Bergoglio lost it altogether. In the preselection for the appointment of the president, out of ten candidates elected only one to his liking made it in. And the elections of the vice-president – archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gómez, a member of Opus Dei – and of the heads of the commissions were also contrary to the pope’s expectations.

Even in Latin America, Bergoglio has few admirers.

In Colombia the bishops did not like – and they let him know this – the prejudicial support that Francis gave for the “yes” in the referendum on an agreement with the guerrillas of the FARC, an agreement that many bishops judged as a surrender and that in effect was rejected by the popular vote.

In Bolivia the bishops simply cannot stand the blatantly friendly relationship between Bergoglio and “cocalero” president Evo Morales, their bitter enemy especially since they publicly accused the “high structures” of the state of connections with drug trafficking.

In a Venezuela plunged into catastrophe, there is sadness and anger every time President Nicolás Maduro lashes out against them while appealing to Pope Francis, whose support he boasts having. And unfortunately for the bishops, the words spoken by the pope in commenting on the Venezuelan crisis during his latest in-flight press conference, on the way back from Cairo, sounded too benevolent toward the president and malevolent toward the opposition. Continue Reading

4

PopeWatch: Bodyslam

 

 

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

Just days after rumors emerged that Montana priest Fr. Gregory Forte could be made a bishop, reports that he apparently attacked a Catholic News Agency reporter the night before the pope made his final decision has thrown the diocese into turmoil.

Political reporter for Catholic News Agency Mary Rezac claimed late Wednesday night that while asking Forte a question regarding how silly altar girls look when they wear high heels, the candidate for bishop suddenly body slammed her to the floor, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

“He took me to the ground,” Rezac told colleague Ryan Thomas. “This is the strangest thing a priest has ever done to me.”

A spokesman for the diocese released a statement accusing Rezac of crashing the Mass, claiming that Rezac “walked up to the altar, aggressively shoved a recorder in Forte’s face, and began asking badgering question.”

 

But witnesses say that after Forte asked Rezac to remove the recorder, he then removed parts of his vestments, saying, “I’m sick and tired of this,” and body slammed her, before moving into position to place her leg in what is known as a DDT. It was at that point that Rezac was able to free herself and grab a conveniently placed folded chair.

“That’s when she hit him with the chair,” one witness told EOTT. “Calling to those gathered to get on their feet, Rezac went on to execute a suplex on Forte, which laid him out long enough for authorities to arrive.”

Church officials said Rezac was examined at a hospital and released. Officials have stated though the nature of the injuries did not meet the elements of a mortal sin, that Forte would be booked for misdemeanor wrath.

 

Continue Reading

10

PopeWatch: Black Swan

 

Carl Olson at The Catholic World Report has a keen summing up of this Pap

 

Ironically, while Francis talks about clarifying doctrine, there’s simply no doubt that Amoris Laetitia, despite all protests and posturings, has instead confused, disturbed, and confounded with its ambiguities and problematic assertions. Insistence that this is all about “pastoral” issues is misleading, at best, since doctrine and practice go hand in hand; you need not be a theologian to see the essential relationship between what you believe and how you live (it might even be that not being a theologian is helpful in this regard). This pontificate has been divisive in ways few could have imagined prior to 2013. In addition, while Francis likes to talk about the “people”, it’s fairly evident that he has little patience for those people who dare question his questionable statements and actions, no matter how carefully, formally, or respectually they do so. His impatience with theological precision and doctrinal clarity is unsettling. As I noted back in December 2015:

I can only conclude that, for whatever reason, this pope has a deep aversion to theological precision (and, thus, clarity) and is quite impatient with how “doctrine” and “dogma” impede his vision of how things should be in the Church. This is troubling on several counts … First, following the logic of Francis’ various remarks, the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI (for starters) were pharisaical and unnecessarily complex, and thus stand opposed to his vision of mercy. Whether or not Francis cares about such a logical progression and conclusion is, of course, an entirely different matter. 

And it’s not just about burying Benedict; it’s also about ignoring St. John Paul II. In the meantime, there is the name-calling, the scolding, and the vague appeals to the Holy Spirit.  Continue Reading