PopeWatch: Who Does This Jesus Guy Think He Is?

Saturday, March 8, AD 2014

17 Responses to PopeWatch: Who Does This Jesus Guy Think He Is?

  • Yuck yuck yuck.
    You know, I realize that we are trying not to be nasty, but why can’t we indulge in comedy akin to what the liberal media does to us?
    I mean, this is snarky and low key and all, but the morons who criticize the Church really ARE this stupid. Why can’t we call them on it?

  • This previously mentioned recent poll at catholic culture had over 50% but 50% of regular Mass goers.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=20621

    It’s a combination of many Catholics holding scripture at arm’s length throughout their life ( like the last three Popes on Rom.13:4… chuckle chuckle) combined with many families having one gay relative at Christmas ergo let’s accept it lest it destroy Christmas, Thanksgiving etc.

  • “I mean, this is snarky and low key and all, but the morons who criticize the Church really ARE this stupid. Why can’t we call them on it? ”
    .
    Put the ax to the root.

  • Mary De Voe –
    “Put the ax to the root”?
    Say, you must be taking lessons from the Pope!
    Can you please expand on/clarify what you mean?
    I mean, I really want to go Dagger John on their asses! Where can I find people of a similar mindset?

  • Pope Francis comfortable with evaluating certain civil union arrangements because “driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons,…” Yet, Humanae Vitae shows Pope Paul VI was “genius was prophetic, he had the courage to side against the majority, defend moral discipline…”

    Don’t contraceptive proponents say contraception is “driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons,…”?

    Pope Francis is right in pointing out Pope Paul VI’s strong spine. Although, I’m surprised he didn’t say Humanae Vitae’s position on birth control was “casuistry, which he described as a superficial, pharisaical theology focused exclusively on particular cases.”

  • God gave us Pope Francis because we want non-committal, wishy-washy, tickle-the-ears, don’t judge me, Bill Clinton waffling nonsense. Whatever happened to the St Paul attitude – “I admonish you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to hand such a one over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh that his soul may be saved on the last day.”

  • Well,…be ready for tomorrow’s Meet the Press with Cardinal Dolan because Pope Francis may glitter by comparison….

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/Cardinal-Timothy-Dolan-Meet-the-Press-Michael-Sam-Pope-Francis-249042261.html

  • This New Yorker is laughing hysterically!

    “Well,…be ready for tomorrow’s Meet the Press with Cardinal Dolan because Pope Francis may glitter by comparison….”

    A hearty, hip, hip, hooray! From the northern burbs “blessed” by his leadership, or is that “blasted”….where are those glasses?

  • CatholicsRock!: “I mean, I really want to go Dagger John on their asses!”
    .
    Your vulgarity is offensive and out of order.

  • “Bravo” is perfectly appropriate IF someone would come out and state they are gay and chaste forever. But I’m not hearing of that dual statement in these comings out. Dolan is gregarious conviviality taken to an extreme.

  • Mary De Voe
    Sorry if you find my phareology offensive.
    The question still stands – What do you mean by “Put ax to the root”?
    Look, to me it’s all well and good that the people here are all in the choir together, singing from the same prayer book, whining about attacks on the Faith and citing historical references like some sort of irrelevant Jeopardy contest.
    But when are any of you people going to DO anything about, other than rifling through Google and typing furiously?
    I guess my question is, where is there a group of people that I can find that will put the fear of God in the media elites, and elicit the proper level of respect that should be shown to my Faith and my fellow Catholics.
    I had hoped I found it here, but frankly, since all I have heard is a lot of sputtering, I can see that most of you are devoted to pushing hot air around.

  • In this secular Country people want what they want for their own enjoyment and selfishness. They should look at nature which God made. the swans mate for life and they are male and female. The birds and all the animals so that we can reproduce .gays and lesbians cannot. In my opinion they should have their genes and cronazomes checked for XYZ if there is a fault have it fixed . they are challenging Gods law .if they are Catholics then they are hypocrites and really cannot call themselves one of Jesus followers.

  • So where specifically did Jesus condemn gays in the Bible? Homosexuality doesn’t seem to be covered in the 4 Gospels by Jesus…Jesus does say ‘If you want to avoid judgment, stop passing judgment. Your verdict on others will be the verdict passed on you. The measure with which you measure will be used to measure you.’

    I agree that homosexuality is a sin according to the the Bible, but so is lying, cheating, deception, all sex (pardon procreation), drugs, and a host full of other things we can pull from Leviticus. I’m a sinner, you’re a sinner, and so is every person you will ever meet…homosexual or saint.

    Seems like the Pope is right about where discussion of abortion, gay marriage and contraception need to go: “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”

    Please if you disagree with my statements; answer my 1st question.

  • @Steven, I’m confused. Homosexuality isn’t condemned because it’s not in the 4 gospels but it is sin according to another book of the Bible? Are the 4 gospels the only authoritative source? If not, then you’ve answered your own question.
    IMO, Jesus condemns no one. Those who refuse to repent condemn themselves. “Repent from what?” is the question. Some wrongly believe participating in homosexual acts is not something requiring repentance.
    The pope was not saying we should not talk about these issues. We need to make sure we discuss all temptations to sin. We can walk and chew bubble gum. However, certain sins need greater emphasis because they are the closest threat to salvation due to relevancy in our time.

  • “Homosexuality doesn’t seem to be covered in the 4 Gospels by Jesus…”

    Homosexual conduct certainly is:

    Mark 7: 20-23 :“What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

    Saint Paul, an apostle called by God, went into more detail:

    1 Corinthians: 6: 9-10: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    “I’m a sinner, you’re a sinner, and so is every person you will ever meet…homosexual or saint.”

    Correct, and it is poison for us not to pretend that our sins are not sins, which I believe is at the heart of the gay rights movement.

    “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”

    The Pope also says in regard to abortion:

    “Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us.

    Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.

    Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative.

    Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.

    It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development.

    Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems.”

  • So where specifically did Jesus condemn gays in the Bible?
    .
    Jesus said: “I came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it” “…not one jot, not one tittle…”

  • Dear Catholics Rock: You say, ‘I can see that most of you are devoted to pushing hot air around’. I’ve been a visitor to these precincts a while and have not seen much hot air. I have seen much light directed at various topics. “So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” In polite terms, what do you mean by your reference to the late Archbishop John Hughes?

PopeWatch: Who Am I to Judge?

Friday, March 7, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

PopeWatch is old enough to recall when Democrat politicians would not cite a pope prior to betraying Catholic moral teaching.  Father Z gives us the details:

We have seen antinomianism rear its dangerous head in many scenarios now: those who are bound to uphold and enforce the law simply deciding sua sponte that they won’t uphold law X or Y because the law conflicts with a pet position.

But this is downright disgusting.  From TIME:

Kentucky’s Attorney General Explains Why He Won’t Defend Gay Marriage Ban

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway tells TIME [A willing accomplice in this Act of Dumb.] why he decided not to defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriages, saying he ‘knows where history is going on this’ despite the complications the decision could have for his potential gubernatorial bid  [And you don’t want to be “on the wrong side of history”, do you!  – [POUNDING HEAD ON DESK] – ]

Calling laws against same-sex marriage the last vestige of widespread discrimination in America, [Last vestigate? HA!  It is to laugh.  Will he crusade next against anti-Catholicism?  You would think that a man in this position would be smart enough to distinguish this special interest group’s agitprop from the legitimate claims of black people in the civil rights movement.] Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway told TIME Tuesday he refused to continue defending his state’s ban on gay marriage because he feared he’d regret it for the rest of his life. “I know where history is going on this,” he said. “I know what was in my heart.” [Ahhh! It’s “in his heart”.  Well, then, I guess it’s okay then.]

“Where we are as a country now, this really seems to be the only minority group that a significant portion of our society thinks it’s still okay to discriminate against.”  [So long as you exclude the Little Sisters of the Poor and, I dunno, tens of thousands of others who object to the HHS mandate.]

[…]

A Catholic and a Democrat [What a surprise.] considering running for governor in 2015, Conway said he knew the decision could put him at odds with voters and with church leaders in his hometown. [Get this….] His thinking was shaped partly by statements from Pope Francis that encouraged openness toward gays. “Our new pope recently said on an airplane ‘Who am I to judge.’ The new pope has said a lot of things that Catholics like me really like. I have, as someone who grew up as a Catholic listened to some of the words of the new pope and found them inspirational.”  [This quote again.  Gosh, thanks, Holy Father, for that one.  That said, its use here is a LIE.  HERE]

[…]

We have lurched more deeply into the Age of Stoopid, I”m afraid.

The Left’s education system in these USA, which infected Catholic schools as well, has left at least one whole generation without the tools to think, or the basic catechism points that allow Catholics to figure out nearly instantly that some MSM reportage doesn’t pass the smell test

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26 Responses to PopeWatch: Who Am I to Judge?

  • History?

    Darwin must the rotating in his grave. Apparently, these dolts don’t believe in Evolution. If gay tendencies are genetic (I don’t care), very soon there will be no gay man or woman and the “gene” will disappear.

    On what planet is sterile, perverted perfidy equivalent to fecund, holy matrimony?

    A. Lincoln cited the case of a boy who, when asked how many legs his calf would have if he called its tail a leg, replied, ” Five,” to which the response was “Calling the tail a leg would not make it a leg.”

  • “The Left’s education system in these USA, which infected Catholic schools as well…”

    Yes indeed, I have a resident who was educated through the twelfth grade in Catholic schools. He said the other day that we can never say anything is wrong.

    He is sincere however. When I asked him if we could call cattle cars filled with Jews on the way to death camps evil, he was stumped. He was then receptive to the idea that there is good and evil and we can know it. So long filled with trash, there are many souls that are quite responsive when presented with truth.

    Hopefully Mr. Conway will also become open to the truth.

  • “Hopefully Mr. Conway will also become open to the truth.”

    Don’t hold your breath. I rather suspect that he is the living embodiment of this quote from Winston Churchill:

    ‘Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.’

  • Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is not worried about history or even SSM. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is imposing his opinion and will over the opinion and will of the people, his constituents.
    .
    This man has taken an oath to represent the people. Now, this man is imposing his will on the will of the people. It would be a legitimate response to crime, but criminalizing the truth and subjecting the truth to discrimination by way of the courts is out and out illegal. After taking the people’s tax money, this man would engage in tyranny over the people whom he considers and treats as beasts of burden, his burden, the SSM perjury that sexual orientation is responsible for sodomy burden, or that sexual orientation is the same as sodomy burden.

  • From Louisville… what a surprise. (well not really, I think the only Catholics in KY are in Louisville, and that’s just until the Baptists finish their potluck – then the crusade begins)

    You know, when your state is trying to swallow up and eat you…
    http://www.wbko.com/home/headlines/BREAKING-Floor-Collapse-at-National-Corvette-Museum-245173671.html
    (my hometown!)

    I’m just saying, might want to be wary of angering God…

  • Winston Churchill:
    ‘Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.’
    .
    I love Winston Churchill. It is nice to have friends in high places, beside his name has a church in it.
    Now, off to Mass.

  • “Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is not worried about history or even SSM. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is imposing his opinion and will over the opinion and will of the people, his constituents.”

    If Conway was actually a man of integrity, he would have resigned in order to avoid having to defend the law he finds so odious, instead of just refusing to defend a legally enacted law of the state.

  • We can kvetch all we like about the “Who am I to judge” comment, but Conway’s intuition isn’t entirely off: the Vatican has been functionally mute on gay marriage. When Croatia turned back a gay marriage referendum last year, Rome offered no congratulations.

    The Pope has also been silent about Belgium’s new euthanasia law.

  • “Hopefully Mr. Conway will also become open to the truth.”

    How is that going to happen? It very unlikely any member of the Church hierarchy is going to do anything about this, so how will he see the error of his ways?

    As far as his political career goes, I am sure he expects, and I have no doubt he will receive, generous campaign contributions from out-of-state to reward him for his “courageous” stance.

  • “If Conway was actually a man of integrity, he would have resigned in order to avoid having to defend the law he finds so odious, instead of just refusing to defend a legally enacted law of the state.”

    Though the Attorney General of the United States has given permission to state attorneys general to do this:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/25/holder-gives-nod-to-state-ags-to-drop-defense-gay-marriage-bans-amid-court/

    Now all we have to do is find AG’s who will not enforce abortion laws, gay marriage laws etc.

    “How is that going to happen? It very unlikely any member of the Church hierarchy is going to do anything about this, so how will he see the error of his ways?”

    I unfortunately believe you are right. Now if this were a social justice issue…

  • We can kvetch all we like about the “Who am I to judge” comment, but Conway’s intuition isn’t entirely off: the Vatican has been functionally mute on gay marriage. When Croatia turned back a gay marriage referendum last year, Rome offered no congratulations.

    The Pope has also been silent about Belgium’s new euthanasia law.

    Considering the Pope’s habit of chit chat, this is a disappointment.

    We’re used to tedious and vapid bishops. It has not these last 35 years extended to Rome. Oh, well. At least we did not get stuck with a sock puppet of the Theophylacts.

  • The bridegroom, acting in place of Jesus, absolves every fault from the soul of his bride. The bride, acting in place of Holy Mother Church, receives every fault from the soul of her husband.
    The man, as husband, purifies his wife by taking on her imperfections and faults and repairs her, that is, he does reparation for her.
    .
    The woman, as wife, assumes her husband’s imperfections and brings him to perfection by doing penance for his soul.
    .
    Now, the couple, perfected in each other, present themselves to God as a pure sacrifice, a pure family. The two, each by each other’s love, begin the journey of life as a pure and spotless family. This is Holy Matrimony. The work of marriage is the sanctification of both spouses.
    .
    Are SSM partners ready, willing and able to fulfill the vocation to make pure and holy one another by repairing and doing reparation, penance, for one another? I think not. The SSM partners must deny each other’s immortal soul. They do not achieve union, do not work for the sanctification of the partner, and do not form a family. Each partner actively operates against his partner’s best interest. Oh, sure they may get government benefits and have someone to keep their bed warm.
    .
    In the old country, people slept with cows to keep warm when it got excessively cold. That does not make the cow one’s family.

  • Why do you assume the bishop of Rome DOES NOT INTEND to give ‘fake talking points and cover to people who hate the Church’? His careless language may indeed be very purposeful and very much intended to provide the anti Catholic press with the grist they need for twisting and spinning. Mr. Bergoglio is either very stupid or he intends his ‘easy to to twist amorphous answers’. This is plain to anyone who wants to see. I suspect it is all to clear to the bishop of Rome what he is doing. The masonic infiltration in the Catholic Church is a fact. Let’s connect the dots.

  • The pope may not have meant some of the things he is reported to have said. But he may as well have because the effect is the same as if he did. As has been noted, politicians and people in positions of responsibility have acted on what he is reported to have said, so it takes a life of its own. Some politicians have changed their votes and their stance on issues. Have priests shrugged their shoulders in the cônfessional wondering who they are to judge?

  • By right, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway ought be impeached for failing to carry out his office.

  • “I know where history is going on this,” he said. “I know what was in my heart.”

    It beggars belief that a law officer could make such a crass remark.

    However, his decision (not the grounds for it) does raise an interesting question. Is an A-G bound, or even entitled, to resist a constitutional challenge to a law that he, regardless of his personal preferences, considers unanswerable and, therefore, bound to succeed?

  • Michael, the notion that the federal constitution prohibits the definition of marriage as consisting of one man and one woman is an utter fraud. There is no interesting question here. He’s just another shyster.

  • T. Shaw-
    I’ve seen this argument go out before, so I’ll give you the short responses I’ve had thrown back.

    Darwin must the rotating in his grave. Apparently, these dolts don’t believe in Evolution. If gay tendencies are genetic (I don’t care), very soon there will be no gay man or woman and the “gene” will disappear.

    Depends on how it’s passed on– it could be a doubling up of a gene that is beneficial, or a very rarely expressed half gene (shorter: recessive); oh, and they’ll claim that it’s just proof that a lot of homosexuals are “repressed” and a lot more folks are “really gay.” (translated: genetic tendency, rather than an on/off) Both would explain bisexuals, which some folks push as the “real” default sexuality. (Especially common notion among lesbians, I think because they’ve spent so much time and effort relabeling EVERYTHING that’s touch-and-emotion as “sexual.”)

    There’s a reason some of these folks are so desperate to make up just-so stories to make having a homosexual a survival positive instead of a dead end.

    More likely, it’s a tendency from a wide range of factors, including genetics (I’d suspect a strong sex drive), womb environment and being told from a very young age that if you admire someone and/or desire hugs, you’re expressing sexuality. Oh, and people being starved for a human touch– being isolated makes for a lot of friendships that wouldn’t otherwise have gotten off the ground; I’d bet that the same goes for “Relationships.”

  • My two daughters were once queried: “Are you incestuous lesbians?” Two men, two women are no longer free from scrutiny. It is like having sewerage splashed onto you. Celebrating a dysfunction instead of the sovereign person is abnormal.

  • Dale Price used the term “functionally mute” on gay marriage- I think that is an optimistic reading of events related to pope’s communications. The pope’s words are functioning as, or having the effect of, liberalizing What People Understand To Be Catholic teaching.

    Don McClarey -a question- since we had our short technological upgrade hiatus, I no longer get e-mail notifications of responses on posts I am subscribed to- ?

  • “Don McClarey -a question- since we had our short technological upgrade hiatus, I no longer get e-mail notifications of responses on posts I am subscribed to- ?”

    I’ll look into it.

  • Might check your spam– I think the mumble-bumble thingie changed.

  • Thanks Foxier. The lost is found. Sorry to bother you and Don with that- I could have thought if that!

  • Welcome– if it helps, that means your spam detector is better than mine.

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PopeWatch: Yet Another Interview

Thursday, March 6, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Well, PopeWatch guesses things were just too quiet.  The Pope has given yet another interview:

“Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pope said, but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” Asked to what extent the church could understand this trend, he replied: “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”

Bishops around the world have differed in their responses to civil recognition of nonmarital unions. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said in February 2013 that some legal arrangements are justifiable to protect the inheritance rights of nonmarried couples. But until now, no pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions.

In the interview, Pope Francis praised Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” which prohibited the use of contraception.

In contradicting contemporary pressures for population control, Pope Paul’s “genius was prophetic, he had the courage to side against the majority, defend moral discipline, put a brake on the culture, oppose neo-Malthusianism, present and future,” Pope Francis said.

But he also noted that Pope Paul had instructed confessors to interpret his encyclical with “much mercy, attention to concrete situations.”

“The question is not whether to change the doctrine, but to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do,” Pope Francis said.

The pope said birth control, like the predicament of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, would be a topic of discussion at the Vatican in October at an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. He said the synod would approach all such problems “in the light of profound reflection,” rather than casuistry, which he described as a superficial, pharisaical theology focused exclusively on particular cases.

The pope said he had welcomed the “intense discussion” at a February gathering of cardinals, where German Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a talk suggesting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics might sometimes be allowed to receive Communion even without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages.

“Fraternal and open confrontations foster the growth of theological and pastoral thought,” he said. “I’m not afraid of this; on the contrary, I seek it.”

Asked if the church’s teachings on sexual and medical ethics represented “non-negotiable values,” a formulation used by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis said he had “never understood the expression ‘non-negotiable values.'”

“Values are values, period,” he said. “I cannot say that, among the fingers of a hand, there is one less useful than another. That is why I cannot understand in what sense there could be negotiable values.”

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113 Responses to PopeWatch: Yet Another Interview

  • So what?

    Are Catholics going to get disappointed because the Pope didnt re-iterate the comfortable statements of “The Pill is a sin” and “divorce is a sin”.

    We know they are sinful. Pope after Pope have reminded us. And reminded and reminded, and reminded….and reminded some more.

    But still millions get divorced and use the Pill. Doesn’t look like the message got through. And that’s a whole population of people cut away from the Church. Permanently, if you beleive the hard-nuts in the Church.

    So how do you get them back? Remind them its a sin? Well, didnt work first time, won’t work second, third or fourth. It just won’t work. Basically, its asking yourself, how do you get your stubborn, know-it-all teenager to “get” what you’re saying?

    I think the Pope wants to unplug their ears, and defrost their hearts with open arms, and work backwards from there.

    And bugger the fools who misinterpret him. It’ll be the left side of the media and the right side of the blogosphere; not you Don…;) (I hope)

  • “Remind them its a sin?”

    Well yes, actually. Church teaching on sex has never been popular. When Christ promulgated the teaching on no divorce the reaction of the Apostles was that then it was better to never marry at all. The duty of the Church is to proclaim the Truth. That people reject the Truth and doubtless go to Hell as a result is a sad fact of life. A much sadder fact would be if the Church were to abandon the Truth, or water it down sufficiently to be in de facto abandonment of the Truth. People come historically to embrace the Church not because she gives an easy path through this Vale of Tears, but because she presents the Gospels in all their unvarnished splendor. Many of the fans of Pope Francis among the enemies of Truth hope that he is the Pope they have not prayed for: a Pope who will abandon the Truth. I think they are mistaken, but the Pope’s misbegotten and ill thought out interviews give them hope.

  • The state has laws regulating “common law marriage”. If a couple has co-habitated for more than seven years their living arrangement is called common law marriage. It is like squatters’ rights. A person moves onto land and after seven years, that person may claim the land as his own. In the Homestead Act it is only five years.
    .
    Civil unions are marriages outside the church, legal marriage as opposed to Sacramental Marriage, Holy Matrimony. Civil unions are regulated by state laws. Holy Matrimony is regulated by Church law.
    .
    Unnatural marriage or so called gay marriage is being demanded by the militant gay agenda to force the church and the state to legalize sodomy because of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is an act of God. Homosexual behavior is a free will act of the homosexual and neither God, nor the church, nor the state may be held to blame for the free will act of another person. (The devil made me do it…maybe)
    .
    Common law marriage and the laws that govern common law marriage is all that the state may permit for unnatural gay marriage. That the militant gay agenda is demanding Holy Matrimony goes hand in hand with blaming God for their own personal denial of the human soul and to retain their moral innocence (of sodomy).
    .
    Civil unions are governed by the state and may be blessed by the Church. Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament impossible to be efficacious upon individuals who cannot complete the marital act, either through the fault of nature or through the fault of improper consent or through irreconcilable actions.
    .
    If Pope Francis continues this thread, He will be making the Sacraments conditional, contingent upon the individual: If you are not baptized…if you can be married, if you can be forgiven, if you can be ordained. Perhaps this is why in the Greek rite all three Sacraments are given at once to a child, Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. Marriage is not one of these Sacraments.

  • A traditionalist priest of my acquaintance told me about a dozen years ago, “The Pope’s not supposed to say too much”. This Pope illustrates the point.

  • Ez,

    Pacem. I think “They” do not return (repent, confess, do penance, amend their lives, do good works to glorify God) because of insufficient concern for the salvation of their souls.

    Apparently, being happy in the here-and-now is more important than being happy in the here-after. In confess. I’ve been there; done that.

    Who/what is responsible for that widespread attitude? Who is trying to convert us?

    St. John the Baptist preached repentence and amendment of life. Jesus descended from Heaven to convert us. I read the Gospels. I don’t see much “There, there it’s all right.”

    We must deny the World (Jesus to the rich man: sell everything); take up our crosses; and follow Christ. But (the Apostles ask), who can be saved? Jesus teaches that with God all things are possible.

  • Pope Francis is making people look at their own souls and take responsibility for their soul.

  • Sir Thomas Mores defence of Marriage from “A Man for all Seasons”:

    Sir Thomas More: [More has been condemned to death, and now for the first time breaks his years-long adamant silence on Henry VIII’s divorce of Queen Catherine to marry Ann Boleyn] Since the Court has determined to condemn me, God knoweth how, I will now discharge my mind concerning the indictment and the King’s title. The indictment is grounded in an act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the law of God, and his Holy Church, the Supreme Government of which no temporal person may by any law presume to take upon him. This was granted by the mouth of our Savior, Christ himself, to Saint Peter and the Bishops of Rome whilst He lived and was personally present here on earth. It is, therefore, insufficient in law to charge any Christian to obey it. And more to this, the immunity of the Church is promised both in Magna Carta and in the king’s own coronation oath

    [Cromwell calls More ‘malicious’]

    Sir Thomas More: … Not so. I am the king’s true subject, and I pray for him and all the realm. I do none harm. I say none harm. I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in good faith, I long not to live. Nevertheless, it is not for the Supremacy that you have sought my blood, but because I would not bend to the marriage!

    Sir Thomas More: When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.

    The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!

    Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

  • “Common Law Marriage” a misnomer. The doctrine of irregular marriage, as we call it in Scotland is derived from the Civil and Canon laws and they have nothing to do with civil unions

    As an eminent Scottish judge, Lord Curriehill put it, “A woman cannot grow insensibly from a concubine into a married wife by any natural process of accretion or of accession. Such a metamorphosis cannot be legally effected by such means. Marriage is a consensual contract; and although there are different ways of proving that such a contract is entered into, yet the thing to be proved, whatever be the nature of the evidence, is that the parties entered into a mutual contract accepting of each other as spouses.”

    When a man and woman live together as man and wife, “cohabit at bed and board,” the man according to the woman the respect due to a wife and not a mistress and they are regarded in the society in which they move as married persons – what the lawyers call “cohabitation with habit and repute – it is a reasonable and right presumption that they meant marriage and not concubinage. Such a course of life is a continual declaration that they take each other as husband and wife.

    Until the Tametsi decree of the Council of Trent, the Church applied exactly the same principles and treated them as valid sacramental marriages..

  • Thank you, Trebuchet, for Thomas More’s words. I find them very consoling.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “Common Law Marriage” a misnomer. The doctrine of irregular marriage, as we call it in Scotland is derived from the Civil and Canon laws and they have nothing to do with civil unions ”
    .
    I am aware of this fact, MichaeI, marriage makes a husband of a man and a wife of a woman and this does not happen in a same-sex union. Marriage is an office, a vocation to which a man and a woman aspire. Civil unions are rejected by those individuals demanding the recognition of their homosexual behavior as a marital act. It ought to be avoided. Thank you for the finger in the dike.

  • Mary De Voe

    Many jurisdictions in Europe have civil unions for opposite-sex, as well as same-sex, couples.

    In France, for example, in 2010, there were 250,000 marriages and 200,000 civil unions or PACSs [Le pacte civil de solidarité] almost all of them between opposite-sex couples. Compare this with 300,000 marriages in 2000, before the PACS was introduced.

    The jurist Alain Bénabent has noted that the PACS “entails some mutual commitments copied from those of marriage – the duty of solidarity, the duty of cohabitation – but it entails neither a duty of fidelity (hence no presumption of paternity in a PACS) nor a scheme of inheritance.” Nor are there any mutual rights and obligations of financial support between one of the parties and the ascendants of the other; unlike marriage, it unites the couple, not their families.

  • Thank you Michael Paterson-Seymour. “Nor are there any mutual rights and obligations of financial support between one of the parties and the ascendants of the other; unlike marriage, it unites the couple, not their families.” Very well explained.

  • Maybe the Church should get out of the whole civil union matter altogether and recognize only Roman Catholic marriages. Heterosexual unions by Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc churches would be regarded as invalid and wrong as homosexual ones. Dispensation can be granted for Orthodox in schism.

    I write that with a sense of sarcasm. How far do we want to go? I do not care what contracts gays in a civil union have. It is not marriage but it equally is not my business except when they force their views on the rest of society.

  • Paul W Primavera

    But the vast majority of civil unions are between opposite-sex couples,

    If you take the French figures 44% of such couples are opting for civil unions, rather than marriage. In other words, they are rejecting unregulated cohabitation, they are making a form of public commitment, but they are also rejecting the status of marriage and its incidents, as laid down in the Code Civil.

    There might well be a fruitful field for evangelization here.

  • Paul: You have spoken well. The militant gay agenda is using the force of law and the power of the courts to indoctrinate our constitutional posterity to normalize the vice of lust and the sin of sodomy. The gay agenda has succeeded to some degree with removing the social sanctions from sodomy and demanding “equality” Many people have fallen for their swindle and fraud and are afraid of being bullied by them.
    .
    We could tolerate the sodomist but not sodomy. We could tolerate the atheist, but not atheism. The devil is using the atheist and the sodomist to enter into the public square disguised as “JUSTICE”
    .
    Ignoring God and disregarding the innocence and virginity of our constitutional posterity, homosexual practitioners have inflicted their perversions on the people. The atheist applauds their success.

  • “. This consists of different kinds of living arrangements which I wouldn’t know how to enumerate with precision. We must consider different cases and evaluate each particular case.”
    And
    ” He said the synod would approach all such problems “in the light of profound reflection,” rather than casuistry, which he described as a superficial, pharisaical theology focused exclusively on particular cases.”

  • Zenit is marketing a book titled A Cyclone Named Francis. Seems apt.

  • So much of these quotes strike me as a product of the Jesuit tendencies toward debate and intellectual achievement. For the Pope these are skills that are years and decades in the making. In the end he may wish that he hadn’t said some things, but he will find that he probably cannot help himself. Promethean indeed.

  • So much of these quotes strike me as a product of the Jesuit tendencies toward debate and intellectual achievement.

    It has been remarked that his measurable achievement in the intellectual realm are outclassed by every one of his predecessors over the last century.

  • From Michael P-S
    “…In France, for example, in 2010, there were 250,000 marriages and 200,000 civil unions or PACSs [Le pacte civil de solidarité] almost all of them between opposite-sex couples. Compare this with 300,000 marriages in 2000, before the PACS was introduced.
    … the PACS “entails some mutual commitments copied from those of marriage – the duty of solidarity, the duty of cohabitation – but it entails neither a duty of fidelity (hence no presumption of paternity in a PACS) nor a scheme of inheritance.”
    This then is the real War on Women and children . .. A diabolical war on society.

  • MPS,

    What makes a marriage valid? Are Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal heterosexual marriages valid? Or does the Church consider them civil unions? Are Justice of the Peace heterosexual marriages valid? Are Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist heterosexual marriages valid? Are Eastern Orthodox and Orthodox Anglican heterosexual marriages valid?

    The question is this: are only Roman Catholic marriages valid?

    I oppose homosexual marriage. And cohabitating heterosexual couples should marry or live apart. But what is the real definition of a valid marriage? Is only Rome’s marriage the valid one?

  • Art, I was thinking of process rather than outcome. The Jesuits are known for education, and in education not everyone gets an ‘A’. I would imagine that a Jesuit who expects brilliance from every student would be a frustrated man indeed, and so the tendency in Jesuit culture would be to concentrate on the process. This might explain a lot about Pope Francis.

  • Maybe I’m misfiring, but my first thought when I read the quote from the Pope was the idea of forming a “household”– I think I first proposed it when I was a teenager, I think because a family friend had died and their housemate– who they’d had a household with since before I was born– was having issues with the children who couldn’t have cared less about their parent, but sure wanted the money from the house.

    No sex involved, just a way of recognizing those situations that are coming up more and more these days.

  • Pope Francis may welcome same sex practitioners into the Catholic Church but that will not make them Catholic. If Pope Francis recognizes Protestant marriages as Protestant marriages, that does not make them Catholic. Pope Francis does not have the power nor the authority to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It is what it is.
    .
    Not all the sinners Jesus dined with converted, some, as Judas, went their own way.

  • Donald, does the Pope to you, look like he is abandoning the Truth?

    I was always taught, that you adapt your approach to achieve the best possible outcome. My husband always tells me when I get frustrated telling the children something, to change my approach. Stop talking AT them, to talk WITH them.

    I get that its frustrating for Catholics with good formation, that other “bad” Catholics don’t get it.

    But do you remember the parable of the Prodigal son? The wayward son was welcomed back with celebration. The Father didnt even ask him of he had changed his ways.

    So what some have a problem with is the Popes approach. No different than the prodigal son parable.

    And really, who cares how the media is twisting it.

    On one hand Catholics poopoo the media and its liberal views, and on the hand, they put so much importance on what this one-dimensional liberal media think.

    Why would anyone in their right mind care how and why the media is portraying the Pope.

    Do you not forget the horrid things they said about PJPII, and PB? We know they were twisted lies.

    I’m still having a problem with the criticism by Catholics, of our Pope. I have a real problem with it, because he upholds the truth, and its still not good enough, because he’s a dreaded Jesuit.

  • @ Art Deco, I’d rather get bitten by an Inland Northern Taipan than be at the receiving end of your criticism

    “It has been remarked that his measurable achievement in the intellectual realm are outclassed by every one of his predecessors over the last century.”

    Ouch.

    And accotding to you an acid-tongue Catholic has a better Christain heart (and tongue) than a divorcee…

  • “Donald, does the Pope to you, look like he is abandoning the Truth?”

    He does a very poor job EZ in articulating the Truth in his off the cuff interviews and he does not seem to be bothered by the use the enemies of the Truth taught by the Church make of these interviews. I believe that the Pope is a loyal son of the Church as he has asserted, but merely being a loyal son of the Church is insufficient for a Pope who must be a champion of what the Church teaches.

  • “If Pope Francis recognizes Protestant marriages as Protestant marriages, that does not make them Catholic.”

    Absolutely true. However, are Protestant marriages even marriages? or are the only valid marriages Roman Catholic ones? And then what about Eastern Orthodox marriages? What marriage rite ensure the transfer / dispensation of the Sacrament of Marriage? Is it only the Roman one? Or Eastern too? And are Protestants excluded, which means that Protestant marriages are really civil unions in an ecclesial structure? And thus all Protestants living in a Protestant marriage are really living in a civil union and hence are in fornication?

    My deceased Pentecostal father and my yet living mother would object strenuously.

  • Paul-
    Marriage is something the Church recognizes; that doesn’t mean that the gov’t can pretend something that is not marriage really is, and then demand we all play along.

    If you’re interested in the background, this is a really good writeup:
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-permanence-of-matrimony

  • Thanks, Foxfire! That’s a good article from the Catholic Answers web site. It is correct. But it does not answer the question of whether or not only Roman Catholic marriages are valid. What about Protestant ones? Or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Jewish or Islamic? Is Matrimony a Sacrament – does it become a Sacrament – only in the Roman Catholic context? What about Eastern Orthodoxy? Or are all non-Roman Catholic unions simply civil ones?

  • This is why the question I ask is important. If the Church says that a marriage is valid only for two baptized couples in a Roman Catholic rite (or even broaden that to a Christian rite), then the Church is saying that all other unions – civil or religious – are not and have never been marriages. That may be the case. And it would mean that the Church essentially condemns the vast majority of human unions, and the overwhelming majority of human children are born illegitimate. There is a word for that not printable at a public forum.

  • Mr. McClarey and Ar Deco’s traditionalist priest friend put it better than I can. Pope Francis talks and talks and talks and the enemies of the Church take things he says and twist them around. After a year, Pope Francis is oblivious to what goes on in the Western World – except when some “rad trad” has a hissy fit about the Second Vatican Council. Anyone who is accused of criticizing the greatest, most wonderful, bestest thing EVAH will get busted by the Committee for the Defense of Vatican II. This is why the LCWR, Rembert Weakland and Roger Mahony never get ripped to shreds like Fisher More and the FFI.

  • Paul,
    I’ll take a guess. Protestant marriages are valid because even in the Catholic Church, the spouses are the ministers of the sacrament and the priest is the official witness of the Church. So if the baptism of that Protestant group is valid per the wording, the marriage would be also because the spouses are the essential ministers of the marriage. Thus to marry a divorced Protestant from a two Protestant marriage, I believe they must get an annullment whereas if you marry a Protestant who was married to a Hindu, they need only a Petrine privilege as it used to be called and it involved Rome but required no intimate examination but only the permission of the eg Hindu spous which is presumed if he or she married after the civil divorce.

  • Paul-
    I think you missed the part:
    Thus, any valid marriage between two baptized people is a sacramental marriage and, once consummated, cannot be dissolved.

    There’s sacramental and natural marriage.
    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/are-non-catholic-marriages-valid-in-the-eyes-of-the-catholic-church-what-if-a-catholi
    In general, marriages between non-Catholics, of whatever religion, are considered valid, but the situation is not as simple as it sounds because there are two kinds of marriage: natural (ordinary) marriage and supernatural (sacramental) marriage. Supernatural marriages exist only between baptized people, so marriages between two Jews or two Muslims are only natural marriages. Assuming no impediments, marriages between Jews or Muslims would be valid natural marriages. Marriages between two Protestants or two Eastern Orthodox also would be valid, presuming no impediments, but these would be supernatural (sacramental) marriages and thus indissoluble.

    When one spouse is a Catholic and the other is a non-Catholic–this is commonly termed a “mixed marriage”–the situation changes. Just as the state has the power to regulate marriages of its citizens by requiring them to get a blood test or to marry in front of a competent authority, so the Church has the right to regulate the marriages of its “citizens.”

    If one participant is a Catholic who has not left the Church by a formal act, such as by officially joining another church, he must obtain a dispensation for the marriage, which would otherwise be blocked by the mixed-marriage impediment or by the disparity of cult impediment. A Catholic who has not left the Church by a formal act also must obtain a dispensation to be married in front of a non-Catholic minister. If either of these dispensations is not obtained, the marriage will be invalid.

  • It’s not a matter of the Church having some sort of rubber stamp– it’s a matter of the Church having described what is there.

    It’s like talking about getting Westminster out of the pet business, so a gov’t can count iguanas as a breed of dog.

  • EZ I think we all want to be supportive of our pope and we all want him to be a wonderful Holy Father to us all. His approach does not bother me.
    But the content of what I have understood him to say does bother me. Not the approach- the content. I always have to wonder about the content of what he said.

  • Its funny, wasnt the Church being dubbed “out-dated” and “irrelevant” a year ago? According to the same media, the same Church has a leader whose now in their eyes a poster boy.

    In not sure anything is being watered down. I think there is an attempt at dialogue. Nothing has or will change in terms of teaching.

    Ill agree to disagree with you on the approach.

    I was educated at the Opus Dei’s, and although I beleive there is a tension between them and the Jesuits, I have no pre-conceived prejudices against the Pope, who some (evident in some of these comments), regard him as “unintelligent”. I really hope the same people aren’t receiving communion whilst they sprout this sort of snark.

  • I don’t understand Pope Francis’ position on civil unions,
    since civil unions, which are two or more persons, gay or
    straight, intimately living together, are a grave sin. Pope
    Francis seems to have embraced the sin of civil unions,
    which gives me the impression that, perhaps, Pope Francis
    wishes to abolish the traditional or biblical concept of sin.

    I don’t know how Pope Francis intends to bring the Church
    into the modern era of pagan degenerates without comprising
    the teachings of the Church. Consider certain prelates who,
    after Vatican II, rushed to bring the Church out of the Dark Ages
    and into the gleaming light of the gay liberation movement, which
    cost certain dioceses their reputation and hundreds of millions of dollars
    donated by faithful Catholics.

  • Paul W Primavera, Bill Bannon and Foxfier

    There is a very interesting letter, written in 866 by Pope St Nicholas I (858–67), in response to a series of enquiries he had received from Boris I, Prince of Bulgaria, regarding Catholic practices..
    After setting out the rituals customary in Rome, including the bestowal of a ring, the giving of dowry and dower by father and husband, and priestly blessing, he explained that he was not saying that it was sinful (peccatum esse) to omit any of these customs, especially since some people could not afford them. ‘On this account,” Nicholas concludes, “according to the laws (leges), the consent of those whose union is arranged should be sufficient. If that alone is absent, all the other solemnities, even including coition, are in vain, as the great teacher John Chrysostom attests, who says: ‘Not intercourse but will makes marriage’” (Homilies on Matthew 32) [PL 119, no. 97, pp. 978–1016 at 980]
    St John Chrysostom (347-407) is here simply repeating the words of the great Roman jurist, Ulpian (170 – 228) “Nuptias non concubitus, sed consensus facit” – It is not sleeping together, but agreement that makes marriage. [Dig. 50.17.30 Ulpianus 36 ad sab]. On this subject, the law of the Church and of the Empire was the same.
    That was the law of the Latin Church until 1563, although legislation forbidding (but not invalidating) clandestine marriages goes back to the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215.

  • Franco,
    Maybe Francis sees permanent unions with health benefits between gays as a lesser mortal evil BUT MORTAL than their living promiscuously with a different partner every month with no thoughts of health insurance etc….much like Benedict seeing condom use between gays as a lesser mortal sin overall state than the mortal sin of endangering each other with disease plus the inchastity. If you can get a serial murderer to switch to simple assaults, you’ve made progress although it’s odd progress …nevertheless it’s an improvement.

    Michael PS,
    Yes and that letter by Nicholas I even addressed the women wearing pants issue that raged on the net once or twice…he said whether they wore them or not made no difference…which didn’t help Joan of Arc later on however.

  • 1. What pastoral advice does a Preist meant to give to divorcees who have remarried and had children and decided to return back to the Faith, ie. start at the basics by going back to Church?
    What is the correct pastoral advice to those baptised lapsed Catholics who are in stable second “marriages” with children?

    2. What pastoral advice should be given to people co-habiting, but who have had children, but want to attend Church?

    3. What pastoral advice should be given to a gay couple who have either adopted children or had them through a surrogate, but want to go back to going to Church? Their children know nothing but these same-sex “couple” as parents…?

    I understand these are sinful “lifestyles”, so spare the sermons. I’m curious as to the correct instructions that should be given to significant sectors of the Catholic baptised population who have lapsed, and live in sin, where some have a desire to start going back to Church.

    Has the ship sailed for them?

  • EZ,

    The advice would be to live as brothers and sisters (or if gay, brothers or sisters) and thus not engage in sexual relations. There would be no problem if they live chastity while under the same roof and could then receive communion after confession for any sins of the past.

  • But if they are very immature in their faith, telling them that upfront may frighten them completely away.

    Wouldn’t it be better gain the trust of the Church and Priests and over time learn this?

  • Also, you are saying that it would be ok for them to co-habit as long as they didn’t engage in sexual activity.

    So how is the Church community, an outsider in their relationship, to know that they are either living as brother and sister, or engaging on sexual relations?

    Would then it be ok if they still lived as a family, behaved as a family, but didnt engage in sex, for them to receive Holy Communion?

    Isnt the Pope saying, it is better to deal with each situation case by case. After all, you essentially have a family unit involved, if children are present.

    So why is the Pope being scrutinised when he is taking into consideration the practicalities of the situations?

  • If the criteria for marriage is heterosexuality and “Nuptias non concubitus, sed consensus facit,” then civil unions are valid, and so is mere cohabitation because of its consensuality.

  • “But if they are very immature in their faith, telling them that upfront may frighten them completely away.

    Wouldn’t it be better gain the trust of the Church and Priests and over time learn this?”

    Perhaps it would be prudent to bring them to this point over time. Nonetheless, that would be the truly pastoral thing to do – to bring them to the fullness of Christ. Remember, Christ said to the woman not “Go and find what is economically and socially beneficial” but rather, “Go and sin no more.”

    I must also say that this approach was taught to me by priest of Opus Dei. It seems we have similar teachers.

    “Also, you are saying that it would be ok for them to co-habit as long as they didn’t engage in sexual activity.”

    Cohabiting in fact would be hard as there would be the constant temptation to engage in sexual activity. However, all things are possible in faith and grace. In fact, this would be a wonderful opportunity to teach their children that true love is not sex, but rather self-sacrifice.

    “So how is the Church community, an outsider in their relationship, to know that they are either living as brother and sister, or engaging on sexual relations?”

    Who knows who approaches communion is in the state of grace. That is to the conscience (properly formed) of the individual.)

    “Would then it be ok if they still lived as a family, behaved as a family, but didnt engage in sex, for them to receive Holy Communion?

    Isnt the Pope saying, it is better to deal with each situation case by case. After all, you essentially have a family unit involved, if children are present.”

    That in fact is what I said. It would be a family not of spouses but of brothers and/or sisters raising their children. Just as if there was a family where the parents died and the older siblings raised their younger one’s. It would be not the family properly understood as one of spouses and children, but of self-sacrificing persons giving themselves to those they have brought to life or adopted.

    “So why is the Pope being scrutinised when he is taking into consideration the practicalities of the situations?”

    Practical considerations must always take into account principles. If not, then one will choose to act based upon outcomes and not on the means used. I could do action X, even if it is wrong, in order to achieve end Y which is a good that I seek. This would be consequetialism – which has been clearly denounced by the Church.

  • Aquinas held that the OT death penalties for sin (not crimes) are no longer used but such penalties continue to teach us which sins are mortal sins. Premarital sex however wasn’t given a death penalty when the female was not engaged. Oddly the punishment was a better marriage than other Jews had ( the couple could not divorce)…her not crying out below means she was not raped but consented….Deuteronomy 22:28

    28 “If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, who is not espoused, and taking her, lie with her, and the matter come to judgment : 29He that lay with her shall give to the father of the maid fifty sides of silver, and shall have her to wife, because he hath humbled her: he may not put her away all the days of his life.”

    This was a partial hidden prediction of Catholic Matrimony wherein also there would be no divorce. Now if the young man didn’t have 50 sides of silver then Scripture is silent but….later on Proverbs 20:30 says,
    ” evil is driven out by bloody lashes and a scourging to the inmost being.” So it paid to have a silver stash.
    Later David was to pay 200 Phillistine foreskins to Saul for Michal who dissed him when he danced before the Lord with all his might in a linen ephod 2 Sam.6:14. so when you young guys think a woman is worth extra Phillistine foreskins ( Saul only wanted one hundred), check your motives…is it her virtues or her silhouette only….just sayin’….just sayin’.

  • Paul W Primavera wrote, “Civil unions are valid, and so is mere cohabitation because of its consensuality.”

    But consent to what? To marriage, or to mere concubinage? However, If what the parties intend is a faithful lifelong union, open to children, then, in the absence of impediment or requirements of form, I would agree that that is a marriage. The Canonists are not particularly helpful here, for what they are concerned with is not so much intention as proof of intention.

    In his Literal Commentary on Genesis, St Augustine says that the good of marriage is threefold, “fidelity, offspring, “sacramentum.” Fidelity means that one avoids all sexual activity apart from one’s marriage. Offspring means that the child is accepted in love, is nurtured in affection, and is brought up in religion. The “sacramentum” means that the marriage is not severed nor the spouse abandoned…. This is a kind of rule set for marriage, by which nature’s fruitfulness is honoured and vicious sexual vagrancy is restrained.”

    Clearly, both here and in similar remarks on marriage (De nupt. et conc. I, c. 17, n. 19; De pecc. orig., c. 37, n. 42), St Augustine is using “sacramentum” in its ordinary Latin sense, rather than its theological one, especially as he is discussing the institution of marriage before the Christian dispensation. The ordinary Roman meaning is the military oath of faithful service and it is sometimes used figuratively for other pledges of loyalty, so St Augustine’s use of it here is apt enough.

  • Ez: “But do you remember the parable of the Prodigal son? The wayward son was welcomed back with celebration. The Father didnt even ask him of he had changed his ways.”
    .
    The parable of the Prodigal Son is a story of returning to the Father (in heaven) with sincere contrition. The parable is about contrition and embracing the contrite, not about ignoring and embracing the waywardness. Just sayin’.

  • If the criteria for marriage is heterosexuality and “Nuptias non concubitus, sed consensus facit,” then civil unions are valid, and so is mere cohabitation because of its consensuality.

    They’re called “common law marriages” for a reason, Paul. I would say “I can’t imagine where you got the idea” for anything else, but I can remember major “historic” books where a major plot-point was that, supposedly, the Evil Religious Group ™ didn’t recognize the Poor Oppressed (whatevers) marriage as existing.

    Marriage is an inherent-to-humans thing– it’s the word for life-mate-pairs in humans. It’s natural, as natural as us having two sexes; just like us having two sexes, and just as unmalleable. Being humans, though, we keep trying.

    Sacramental marriage– I’m assuming your mom is baptized, and you mentioned your dad was in the Pentecostal church, and you’re here, so obviously they had one; valid joining of two baptized.

    Why all the extra stuff for Catholics? Look at the common law marriages– notice how they are, as Michael points out, frequently little more than concubinage? The immense spiritual damage to everybody involved (including the kids). Marriage is special.

    Which is all a pretty big digression from “civil unions,” which tends to be used when someone is proposing a non-marriage (sometimes with intent to try to act like it is a marriage) because we already have civil marriages.

  • Relevant to SSM is the denial of the partner’s immortal soul. Only an infinite God can endow unalienable human civil rights. Into whose soul does God endow unalienable human rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness? Atheism denies God, the human soul and therefore any and all unalienable human freedom.
    .
    True love will see to one’s beloved in heaven. The other place is too hot.
    .
    There is no kind of cohabitation that can justify sodomy. Equal Justice excludes sodomy. Justice cannot condone sodomy. If civil social unions, such as friendship, require certification, then, all persons might be qualified to receive certification, tax benefits and the like. And why not?

  • But do you remember the parable of the Prodigal son? The wayward son was welcomed back with celebration. The Father didnt even ask him of he had changed his ways.

    The “please, please give me a job so I don’t die” part covered that part pretty well. It’s rude to ask someone if they’ve changed their ways when they are currently throwing themselves at your feet apologizing for their past wrongs and begging for a scrap of bread.

  • Foxfier

    The danger of common law marriages is obvious enough, as this simple example will show.

    On 2 June 1808, a splendid society wedding took place at the church of St Mary-le-bone in London, between John William Henry Dalrymple, aged 24, (son of General William Dalrymple and grandson of the Earl of Stair) and Lady Laura Manners, aged 28, sister of the Duchess of St Albans and daughter of John Manners and Louisa Tollemache, Countess of Dysart suo jure.

    Alas for Lady Laura and her noble family, in 1811, one Johanna Gordon of Edinburgh, where Dalrymple had been stationed with his regiment in 1804, produced a number of papers,
    (1) A paper without date, contained a mutual promise of marriage, superscribed “a sacreed (sic) promise.”
    (2) A second paper, dated May 28, 1804, contained a mutual declaration and acknowledgment of a marriage. “I hereby declare that Johanna Gordon is my lawful wife” and “And I hereby acknowledge John Dalrymple as my lawful husband.”
    (3) A third paper, dated July 11, 1804, contained a renewed declaration of marriage made by him, and accompanied by a promise of acknowledging her the moment he has it in his power, and an engagement on her part that nothing but the greatest necessity (“necessity which . . . situation alone can justify” – pregnancy, perhaps?) shall compel her to “deelate” (sic) this marriage

    Inartful, not to say illiterate, as the drafting was, the court found a valid common law marriage, meaning that Dalrymple’s pretended marriage to Lady Laura was a mere nullity. There were no children. She was compelled to withdraw from society and died in 1834, leaving a legacy of £50 a year to her parrot.

  • Am I one of the few who read PF points and take away:
    1. His support for Humanae Vitae
    2. Recognition of today’s troubling decline of marriage
    3. The need for improved pastoral care to these civil arrangements.
    And the problem is??

  • Dave W

    No, I believe there are far more of us who understand what Pope Francis is doing. However, sometimes the discussions use an original post such as this one like a diving board, spring off and jump into waters that are actually far more complicated than people realize, such as valid and sacramental marriages.

    Pope Francis is speaking the truth and acting with mercy (charity)

  • – and what is meant by improved pastoral approach?

  • Anzlyne, my point here is to assume that our church and clergy would reach out evern more, be more proactive in approaching their parishioners and society about non-marriage cohabitation issues for the purpose of creating a loving dialogue that brings some more fully in union with each other and the church. Agreed?

  • “improved pastoral care” and “acting with mercy (charity)”

    Does that entail admonishing the sinner; intsructing the ignorant; counseling the doubtful?

    That is from the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

    This stuff is highly valued by pro-abortion/pro-sodomy, post-christian liberals.

  • Phillip, I understand it is better that a person is given guidance with the full Truth.

    They may not accept it initially, and through further patient guidance will come to understand and live accordingly. In the meantime, they must still be embraced into the Church community.

    So this brings me to the idea that there must be another category whereby the Church recognises families made up of divorcees who live celibate lives. A tough one.

    And as you mention, being difficult to remain chaste whilst living under the same roof, the consequence if they split up the family unit, on the children they have created or adopted together, is heartbreaking. Children of remarried divorcees, need both parents, just as much as children of regular families do.

    This is what the Pope means when he stated:

    “The question is not whether to change the doctrine, but to go deeper and make sure that pastoral care takes account of situations and of what each person is able to do”

    In other words, its futile to keep condemning the current lifestyles and family choices that exist, when it is far more effective to bring these people back to God, by addressing their circumstances along the way.

    Priests and Bishops pontificate detached from reality, in an attempt to uphold Church Teaching.

    In other words they just bury their head in the sand, too lazy to address difficult situations with practical solutions, that would still uphold Church Teaching.

  • Mary, it seems to me that alot of Catholics act like the good son who sulks and objects and gets cranky with the father, when the father embraces his brother upon his return. Just sayin’.

    The Prodigal son returned back to his Father, broken, with the desire to please his father under his guidance. He wasn’t magically changed and came back all shiny and new. Its a parable, not a fairy tale.

  • Foxfier, you’re funny.

    I would be interested to see you walk up to a remarried divorcee from your Church Parish and tell them they are going to hell because of their sinful lifestyle. Or better yet, egg your parish priest to.

    Tact.

    You exercise it daily, I hope.

  • Ez: “The Father didn’t even ask him of he had changed his ways.”
    .
    Did the father need to ask the son, who returned a broken man, if he had changed his ways?
    .
    “He wasn’t magically changed and came back all shiny and new. Its a parable, not a fairy tale.”
    .
    Myths and fairy tales carry morals.
    .
    The good son never asked his father for a goat or a sheep. Had the good son assumed that it was all his anyway? Was the good son jealous of the celebration for his brother and why didn’t he rejoice for his father’s happiness? Vinegar.

  • “In the meantime, they must still be embraced into the Church community.” Embraced yes. But at some point they must be told to “Go and sin no more” as this is not only their souls at risk but also those of the children. From a pastoral approach, the example given from a divorced family or a homosexual relationship is tangible.

    “In other words, its futile to keep condemning the current lifestyles and family choices that exist, when it is far more effective to bring these people back to God, by addressing their circumstances along the way.”

    And one way to address their circumstances is with the proper medicine. It may be bitter but it must be given. This medicine is to teach that they are not living the life Christ has called them to. That while they are engaged in sexual relations outside of a licit marriage, they must refrain from communion as a recognition that communion is not a right, but a privilege for those who live, however imperfectly, that union in Christ.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “John William Henry Dalrymple,” was a reprobate and both women are better off without him. Dalrymple’s immaturity precluded his making any marriage valid.

  • “Did the father need to ask the son, who returned a broken man, if he had changed his ways?”

    The Father would have accepted him if he had changed his way. Isn’t that what some are asking of sinners returning to the Church?

    “Myths and fairy tales carry morals”

    Yes, but they are typically one-dimensional. With no room for the sticky and difficult issues. Parables, are analogies of real life, with no frilly sugary bits. They can taste a little sour if you don’t fully grasp them.

    The good son did all the right things. The only thing he failed to do, was rejoice with his father when his brother returned. He should have been happy also, rather than bitter and jealous.

    So should we, I guess.

  • I agree Phillip. That’s a prudent approach.

    But, people will accept the teachings on their time. Not on ours. That’s the difficult bit.

    It still doesn’t address the issue of children in that family unit. Children should be raised by a unified parental unit. You can’t possibly expect a child to understand the immoral actions of their parents as a reason for a broken family unit.

    It’s just such a difficult issue.

  • Ez: “The good son did all the right things. The only thing he failed to do, was rejoice with his father when his brother returned. He should have been happy also, rather than bitter and jealous. So should we, I guess.”
    .
    The good son’s reaction to his prodigal brother’s return evidenced that he did not pray for his brother’s redemption or conversion or he too, would have rejoiced. The father said: “Everything I have is yours”. The good son was an ingrate.

  • “He should have been happy also,”

    Yeah, because his brother had repented. If his brother hadn’t repented, but Dad was still wasting his money on funding younger son’s debauchery, elder brother should have slugged younger brother, and then begun legal proceedings to have prodigal dad declared mentally incompetent and responsible elder brother placed in charge. Without the younger brother’s repentance the parable is meaningless.

  • The father’s love made the younger son’s repentance possible. The older son never got that. In the end he was just as clueless about the father as the younger son had been, even though he had stayed home apparently very angry at father and brother all along.

  • I would be interested to see you walk up to a remarried divorcee from your Church Parish and tell them they are going to hell because of their sinful lifestyle.

    I would be interested to see you respond to arguments, instead of mischaracterizing what those you oppose actually do. It’s a repeating pattern– when you meet resistance, you start going offensive, generally against the person instead of the argument, and failing to support your claims. Then again, you might think you are responding to arguments by making accusations that others are lacking in tact.
    ****
    The parable of the Prodigal Son has the loyal brother asking his father those questions because it drives the point home. It’s like the villain in a play stopping to tell the hero all of his dastardly plots before killing him; without the conversation, the moral might be “don’t be an idiot and hang around doing what you’re supposed to– have your fill of fun until you burn out, then come back and get a great big party!”

  • “The father’s love made the younger son’s repentance possible.”

    And made the younger son’s debauchery possible. Allowing the younger son to take his half of the inheritance and waste it on wine, women and song would rightfully have been seen as an act of madness by the elder brother, since it diminished the farm on which every member of the extended family depended, a literal life and death matter in the time of Christ. The whole purpose of this parable told by Christ was to highlight His call to the Gentiles and the necessity of welcoming repentant sinners. It was not meant to serve as a guide for raising kids, because obviously prodigal dad did a lousy job raising prodigal son.

  • Oh my goodness Donald, of course it was not a lesson in parenting. lol It was however one of the most succinct and clear presentations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In its context, the Lord was speaking about His ministry to sinners. As the first verse in Luke 15 points out, the tax collectors and prostitutes (the most rejected of the sinners within Judaism) were drawing near to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees were complaining about this. So Jesus launches into three parables: shepherd looking for lost sheep, woman looking for lost coin and father looking for lost son(s).

    The thing is both sons were lost. Neither understood the father or his love. The difference was that one was more obvious-the younger son/brother. The older son felt he did everything according to the book and judged (condemned) his brother and really savagely critiqued his father. Who was the younger son? The sinners from among the People of God. Who was the older son? The members of the People of God who follow all the commandments and rules but still do not ‘get’ the Father’s love revealed in and through the Son.

  • “Neither understood the father or his love.”
    Nor do most modern Christians who are world beaters on forgiveness and not so hot on repentance and amendment. Christ called for forgiveness of repentant sinners and His forgiveness was granted only with a command for amendment. In regard to Catholics in adulterous second marriages the application of this teaching of Christ is clear and completely unpalatable to many Catholics in our time of cheap grace and no amendment of life.

  • Donald the Lord is constantly call in us all to ongoing conversion. There is no moment on this side of the grace when we can say, “I have done enough repenting, conversion’. That what the call to holiness is all about.

    To your point however, there will be no change in doctrine on marriage which is from the Lord Himself. As you state, many do and will find this ‘too hard to take’ [just as the teaching on the Eucharist was for many in John 6]. However, what is it that we are offering? We are a hospital of sinners not a museum of saints. We have for all who hear, the mercy of God that is meant for all but accepted by those who are repentant and desire to ‘return to the Lord and the Church’.

    While I do not prognosticate, I believe what we are going to see is not a change of doctrine on marriage or ‘birth control’ but instead an emphasis on a penitential way back home. I don’t mean ‘just confession’. In the early Church there was what was called a Order of Penitents just as there was an Order of Catechumens. As the Catechumens were preparing to enter the Church by means of the Sacraments of Initiation, so the Penitents would prepare (doing penance) for the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation). After a period of time they would be reconciled. Now how this will play out and what the specifics are is way beyond my pay scaled (and frankly any of us on this blog lol). But I sense, from reading that this will be coming in some form.

    In a sense this Order of Penitents will address not only the ‘mercy’ element of the pastoral care of the Church but ‘toughen up’ on Catholics just doing their own thing and thinking they are just as good as anyone else.

    The fundamental questions arising in the Medieval era of the Church concerning Penance and reconciliation were only partially answered at Trent [responding to the Reformers’ rejection of the sacrament. Christ did indeed give us a sacrament of penance] but the necessity of conversion accompanying the sacrament has not been fully dealt with. Which if you think about it, is exactly what people are saying here on the blog. The sacrament is not simply a quick release from guilt feelings as long as one does the ‘confession’ correctly. Much much more is actually needed. Which you have intuitively picked up.

    However, it is still all based on the Father’s love and mercy revealed in and through Jesus Christ and made present in the Church. If this is not the center and foundation we all ought to go back ‘fishing’ lol

  • “After a period of time they would be reconciled.”

    Unless they put the adulterous marriage behind them such reconciliation would be impossible since they would be committing an on-going sin. I guess they could say they are now living as brother and sister. Leaving aside the extreme unlikelihood of such a statement being true, I doubt if that is what Cardinal Kaspar has in mind.

  • Cardinal Kaspar’s speech is not the last word. It’s purpose was to begin t he process of the Cardinals to really begin reflecting, debating etc. This is going to be a “long” process beginning with the Extraordinary Synod in October and then the Synod in October of 2015

  • Bill Bannon,

    Pope Benedict was encouraging the lawless pagan to seek
    good hygiene. He was not promoting immoral behavior.
    Today’s modern pagan is a determined degenerate who
    comes from a Christian background, the moral teachings
    of which he has completely rejected, which poses a serious
    problem for the Church in the modern era. Also, Pope Benedict
    has the reputation of being a no-nonsense traditional Catholic,
    who is faithful to the teachings of the Church. Pope Francis is
    not interested in traditional Catholicism.

    Unfortunately, our modern Catholic has embraced the old axiom:
    if you can’t beat them, join them. However, we know God will
    bring great suffering to the debauched masses to correct their
    bad behavior. During the 20th Century, God punished the lawless
    pagans with two horrific world wars. The prodigal son became
    keenly aware of his terrible suffering for his selfish spree with his
    father’s inheritance. But the modern day Catholic believes the best
    approach to bring the debauched son back to God is to jump into
    the pigsty with him or to wallow with him at the local bathhouse or
    whorehouse to express his Christian love.

  • Foxfier, thank you for proving my point about tact.

  • ” after a period of time they would be reconciled”

    Beautifully put.

    True reconciliation is never instant. It’s a process.

    When there are innocent individuals involved, like children, the situation is much more complicated. Hence, Pooe Francis wanting to assess each situation.

    Sexual relations should cease- yes most definitely.
    But I don’t see the Church telling second-timers to separate when they are raising children together. Ever.

  • “But I don’t see the Church telling second-timers to separate when they are raising children together. Ever.”

    But I’m not sure that the Church has been telling them that. Like I said, the Church has pastorally dictated that, when necessary, the remarried couple live as brother and sister. This is not an approach that came up over the past couple of years. It was taught to me over thirty years ago by priests that were trained in the 50’s. It may be, like many things, that it has not been taught to newer priests. But that would be a recent development that the Pope is trying to address and not a flaw in pastoral approaches from the past. Hopefully he will begin to address other deficits in teaching.

    However, the sticking point is not receiving communion as long as the couple are sexually active. This is a teaching as old as the New Testament as Paul states that receiving communion when not worthy condemns us to death. This is just as it is. As Don alludes to, the prohibition of reception of communion is likely to be easier for a large number of couples than living as brothers and sisters. But grace is always there for the couple to do so.

  • I guess I was referring to the “putting the marriage behind them” part in Dons comment, in that it may not be possible if children are involved.

    I didn’t know that Church teaching was what you say, I guess you are right when you say the more recent generation of Priests probably have to be reminded, as do Catholics in general, what the Church Teaching is.

    It just goes to show that if good Catholic education ensured that children were well formed from a young age, they will always be well-equipped for the future decisions they will make throughout their life. Prevention is always better than a cure. I guess that is where the Pope should focus his attention.

  • Foxfier:

    I don’t for one minute believe you go up to anyone in your Parish and remind them of their sin. My comment was a response to your comment which I read to be a little tongue-in-cheek:

    “It’s rude to ask someone if they’ve changed their ways when they are currently throwing themselves at your feet apologizing for their past wrongs and begging for a scrap of bread.”

    I read it to mean, as a sarcastic response to those that walk on egg-shells around sinners. Which is why I brought up – tact.

    Tactfulness can make all the difference when giving pastoral advice or spiritual direction.

    I guess my comment to you Foxfier, was trading sarcasm for sarcasm.

    Sorry.

  • St Augustine is (as usual) very good on the subject of the effectual calling of sinners: “Here someone will say, why not Esau was called in such a way that he would be willing to obey? We see that people are variously moved to believe when the same facts are shown or explained to them. For example, Simeon believed in our Lord Jesus Christ when He was still a little child, for the Spirit revealed the truth to him. Nathanael heard but one sentence from Him, “Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree I saw thee” (John 1:48); and he replied, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” Long after, Peter made the same confession, and for that merit heard himself pronounced blessed, and that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were to be given to him. His disciples believed on Him when by a miracle in Cana of Galilee water was turned into wine, which the evangelist John records as the beginning of the signs of Jesus. He stirred many to believe by His words, but many did not believe though the dead were raised. Even His disciples were terrified and shattered by His cross and death, but the thief believed at the very moment when he saw Him not highly exalted but his own equal in sharing in crucifixion. One of His disciples after His resurrection believed, not so much because His body was alive again, as because of His recent wounds. Many of those who crucified Him, who had despised Him while He was working His miracles, believed when His disciples preached Him and did similar miracles in His name. Since, then, people are brought to faith in such different ways, and the same thing spoken in one way has power to move and has no such power when spoken in another way, or may move one man and not another, who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified?”

  • Ez-
    I was not being sarcastic, and even in light of your projection of ‘sarcasm’ on to a whimsical reminder of the situation in the story (it wouldn’t just be ‘rude,’ given the setting of the parable it would radically alter the meaning of the story– the father saw him far off and ran to the lost son in joy), your comment about tact was in the get-the-log-out-of-your-own-eye-first zone.
    .
    That was tact; you didn’t like the content, so you decided to attack the format.
    A similar– but, obviously, MUCH bigger– reaction is to be expected from people who don’t like the factual statement of this thing you are doing is wrong. No amount of ‘tact’ is going to change “look, you have to stop sinning” into something that is appealing to those who are deeply attached to their sin.

  • “No amount of ‘tact’ is going to change “look, you have to stop sinning” into something that is appealing to those who are deeply attached to their sin.”
    .
    Very well said, Foxfier.

  • “”Many of those who crucified Him, who had despised Him while He was working His miracles, believed when His disciples preached Him and did similar miracles in His name. Since, then, people are brought to faith in such different ways, and the same thing spoken in one way has power to move and has no such power when spoken in another way, or may move one man and not another, who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified?”” .
    .
    Make me as holy as I am to be holy. Cardinal Merri del Val

  • My sense in reading many of the posts are that several responders want the repentance to occur before the pastoral care. I think that is a gross misplacement of the charity, love and teaching that needs to occur to bring some of these souls back into alignment. The activities around care can occur in many ways … you and I, church sponsored seminars and classes, 1:1 counseling, etc. Granted, the path for the unmarried is an easier one to navigate, but the annulment process has adapted over the decades without losing the central doctrinal teaching. I’d expect closer theological scrutiny will occur here.

  • Dave W.

    You are correct. There are some (and many many more in the wider Church) who do want conversion before the pastoral care. You cannot fault the people on this blog however. There was a whole segment of the Church since before the Reformation which has seen follow the commandments, then when you sin, repent and then experience mercy (and pastoral care of the Church). It is very old and very much contrary to the actual teaching of the Church.

    The real issue at hand is this: what is the center of the Church’s teaching: Redemption/salvation in and through Jesus Christ or sin? The roots of the problem go back into misunderstandings etc in the later Middle Ages, that simply continued through the Reformation/Counter Reformation and still is present today-as you see. Now before anyone jumps to the conclusion that ‘we’ have done away with sin, ask yourselves: what is it that Christ is redeeming/saving us from? Of course sin exists, it is mortally serious, yet ‘sin’ is not the center of the Gospel or the teachings of the Church.

    Now what the Church is called to do is how it is being expressed here and elsewhere: Are we to simply teach ethics?{as serious an issue as this is] or are we to proclaim and teach Jesus Christ? In proclaiming and teaching Jesus Christ we have the proper foundation from which to proceed to the heavy issues we face today. If we are simply teaching and reteaching moral issues-as indeed important as these are-where do we go from there? Where are we coming from, what hope or solution are we offering humanity that is indeed lost in the false self, the addiction to control and dominate, and sin and death?

    The problem is when people take up a dialetical position. In this view it is either this or that. You hear it all the time: So you mean to proclaim Christ and His mercy and forget sin huh? No! First the Church is not saying this nor am I saying this. While it might be nice and neat for a debate, we are not really debating here. We are speaking about God’s mercy in Christ being offered in and through the Church to everyone who will accept it in faith AND conversion. The Catholic vision is always ‘both/and’. So I am not saying let’s proclaim Christ and His mercy and that’s the end of it. What I am saying is proclaim Christ and His mercy first-for it is then and only then that mankind’s real (wretched) condition can be recognized but also find the ‘courage’, accompanied by fellow sinners in the Church, to return “home”

  • Botolph

    I entirely agree.

    St Augustine says in his Commentary on John’s Gospel 26.4 – my translation, so I add the original:
    “If it be allowable to the poet [Vergil, Eclogues 2.65] to say “his own pleasure draws each man,” not need, but pleasure, not obligation but delight, how much more ought we to say that a man is drawn to Christ, who delights in the truth, who delights in happiness who delights in justice, who delights in eternal life and all this is Christ?” [Porro si poëtae dicere licuit, Trahit sua quemque voluptas; non necessitas, sed voluptas; non obligatio, sed delectatio; quanto fortius nos dicere debemus, trahi hominem ad Christum, qui delectatur veritate, delectatur beatitudine, delectatur justitiâ, delectatur sempiternâ vitâ, quod totum Christus est?’]
    http://www.augustinus.it/latino/commento_vsg/index2.htm

    Again he says in On the Merits and Remission of Sins 2, 17, 26: “Men are not willing to do what is right either because the fact that it is right is hidden from them, or because it does not please them… It is from the grace of God, which helps the wills of man, that that which was hidden becomes known, and that which did not please become sweet.” [Nolunt homines tacere quod iustum est, sive quia latet an iustum sit sive quia non delectat… Ut autem innotescat quod latebat et suave fiat quod non delectabat, gratiae Dei est”]
    http://www.augustinus.it/latino/castigo_perdono/index2.htm

    For the Doctor of Grace, the whole paradox of grace and free will is explained by this: free will consists in doing what we want to do. Grace does not, and has no need, to interfere with our power of choice; rather, it affects what we want; free will requires freedom of choice, but not freedom to determine our own likes and dislikes. The delectatio coelestris victrix, the victorious love of heavenly things is wholly God’s gift, which alone overcomes the delectatio terrena or love of worldly things.

    Pascal, the faithful disciple of St Augustine says, “Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next, make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is. Worthy of reverence because it really understands human nature. Attractive because it promises true good.”

    I believe this is the Pope’s message, too and why, like them, he regards Pelagianism as such a pestilential heresy.

  • 982 There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. “There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a10.htm

  • Foxfier you can’t generalise.

    Yes, of course some will hold stubbornly to their lifestyle because they don’t see the sin or perhaps because the situation is difficult for them to change. These wont choose to return to the Church. God still waits for these.

    But others that have fallen away have done so because of a lack of understanding of the teaching in the first place. The fact that they have come back to the Church means they are searching for the Truth. You can teach them the message by coming at them like a bulldozer.

    A Priest once told me that I HAD to partake in a ceremony, to bring me fully into the Catholic Church because although I did my Holy communion in Catholic Church I was actually baptised in the Eastern Orthodox Church as an infant. He came at me with the “facts” like a bull with horns. I felt sick at the thought of offending my father who never objected to our Catholic upbringing, but who held a cultural importance in his heart to his Christian Orthodox roots. I ignored the Priests advice for years.

    Years later I questioned another Priest who understood the cultural background and delivered it to me with greater TACT, more understanding and at my own pace.

    Guess which Priest produced better results?

    Similarly, another situation occurred where by a Priest of a similar cultural background to us abruptly terminated by brothers confession because my brother was talking to him about his Orthodox baptism in the Confessional. My brother came home distraught. He was 12 years old! My parents had to invite the Priest over and explain the situation, of which he should have known better. My brother has never forgotten that priest and his tactlessness in that Confessional.

    Approach makes all the difference, and if the advice is delivered where the advisor works with the person, the outcome is better.

    You’re talking about people who WANT to seek God but are trapped in a sinful lifestyle. You aren’t dealing with those that have fallen away and have no desire to return. Don’t mix the two.

    I’m happy to agree to disagree with you about the approach. It’s the way I see it from my own experiences.

  • Dave W- thank you for the background. You articulated my point-of-view better than I could in my long roll of comments. Brilliant. Well done.

  • Ez on Saturday, March 8, A.D. 2014 at 12:35pm (Edit)
    Foxfier you can’t generalise.

    EZ-
    Those who love their sin more than the Truth won’t accept the Truth.
    .
    There’s a definite irony in you urging that we withhold the Truth from those who left because they weren’t taught it in the first place.
    .
    And, again, you don’t respond to the arguments, but instead must pretend that anyone who doesn’t agree with you misleading people about them living in mortal sin being just fine is walking up yelling “you’re going to hell, sinner” or similar false notions; stories of false steps in your history is not relevant to your idea that willfully misleading people is a better idea than telling them the truth.
    .
    And, again, you conflate tact with saying what someone wants to hear.

  • Bill Bannon and Franco
    Just to remember our good pope Emeritous in the light he deserves, the possibility of condom use for gay men was Not obviously for birth control, but to protect against disease. The use of the condom for birth control is sinful. I think the pope was seeking a charitable answer when saying there might be room to consider its use for another purpose. There might have been a way even though there is still the sin of sodomy, the purpose of the condom use itself would not necessarily be sinful.
    🙂

  • Calm down.

    No one is withholding the Truth. Nobody is saying that, not me and not anyone on this blog comment role.

    Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    Im talking about how you deliver it. You can’t always talk to people how you do in the army.

    If you dont like how I adress my comments, you dont have to address me.

  • Ez-
    You do not think of it that way, but that is what your “wait until they are ready to be told the truth” proposal functionally is; I did not put words in your mouth, though you’ve been quite free in doing so for others. I am pointing out what you are actually proposing, without the emotional cover.
    ***
    Odd, that’s three different accusations you’ve made that match up with what you are actually doing– lack of tact, generalizing (you are wrong because I was told something I didn’t want to hear in a way I didn’t like!) and now putting words in the mouths of others.

  • Anzlyne,

    I think you’re right.

    Also, I was told condom use is not a sin if used during medical treatment, where a wife, say, who is undergoing chemotherapy, does not want to contaminate her husband. Just as long as NFP is being used, simultaneously, to monitor her cycle, and the condom use does not happen during the fertile periods.

    I think the same would be said if one of the spouses was ill, and wanted to protect the other from getting infected. Again, only if it is not used during the fertile periods of a woman’s cycle- to avoid it becoming a form of contraception.

  • Extrapolating from the extension of an idea to its ” logical conclusion” can lead to “logical confusion”
    The pope’s rumination on this was quickly dropped. Glory be to God.

  • And, again, the attempt to attack the person– in this case, conflating services and misspelling ranks in an attempt to change the subject– rather than dealing with the problems of the solution you wish to push.
    .
    Getting the other person to be quiet doesn’t change a thing; your idea of “tactfully” refraining from being truthful to those whose immortal souls are in deathly danger until you think they’ve been lured in means withholding the Truth.
    It’s definitely manipulating them, and could easily become actively lying– although the person doing it would never agree that is what claiming that binding teachings say something other than what they do consists of.
    ***
    I was the only active Catholic on my ship of my age. Because of this same kind of “for your own good” misrepresentation of the Church’s binding teaching, in every case I could get a reason– someone who was supposed to be teaching my fellow young Catholics instead told them a “helpful” falsehood, and most of them were less important than you are committing adultery, it is wrong.
    Some of those may have fallen away anyways, but at least they would have fallen away from an actual teaching rather than running from a lie delivered from those whose who owe them the truth.

  • Oh, I thought the conversation was over. I thought we agree to disagree…

    Well then, real life is not the military. Or the Navy. Im sure you were a fine Marine though.

    “Emotional cover”? -People have emotions. Whether you think they should or not, and frankly many think with their emotions. Whether you agree they should or not. This is society today. So, I don’t know why you equate gaining the trust of the person and leading them to the Truth, as lying to them. As I said before, some of these people made the horrible mistake of having children in their second marriage. What do you suppose they be told Foxfier- “behold, the brimstone and fire that will come on you if you don’t separate this instant and renounce your sinful life”, buggar the effect on the innocent children in the affair, who don’t know better…I would prefer if the pastoral advice was frank, but worked with the person to remove them from their sinful life and those innocent children involved. They may or may not change their lifestyle over-night, even if you served it to them upfront.

    Have you heard of the saying: “you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar”.

    And excuse me for a second whilst I remove this whoppa of a log from my eye…funny how I keep having to do that.

    I champion the Church to withhold the Truth from its parishioners, so not to offend them. Seriously? That is not my view. People should be taught the proper CatholicTeaching. Period. Delivery and tact is key.

    Stop with the belittling Foxfier. I’ve frankly had enough of it. I don’t hold your opinion on this particular blog post. That’s based on my experiences with Pastoral advice given to me in the Faith. Respect me enough to just accept that.

  • Anzlyne, that was the advice I was given during my chemo treatment, when I sought advice from a Catholic Theologian Priest.

    But I guess the advice would be obsolete, for people engaging in sodomy. The sin is still a sin, even if the “good” intention was that one person wanted to protect another person from contracting a disease.

  • Ez-
    it’s nice of you to keep proving my point about manipulating people (especially by trying to make them feel bad) into doing what you want. Not pleasant to consider, but well illustrated.
    You still have not dealt with the problem that you proposed, here, not telling people the whole truth until they’ve been lured “back” into a situation where you think they can be trusted.
    Ez on Friday, March 7, A.D. 2014 at 6:55am
    But if they are very immature in their faith, telling them that upfront may frighten them completely away.
    Wouldn’t it be better gain the trust of the Church and Priests and over time learn this?

    You keep wanting to dress it up in pretty garb, but just like calling murder “death with dignity” and “choice,” or calling the sexual use of young folks “free love,” what it actually entails is far from pretty.
    “Gaining their trust” by hiding anything you think they are too immature to deal with is hiding the Truth.
    Nobody is insisting on a uniform code of being an idiot except for you, and you want to insist those who disagree with you abide by it.
    ****
    What should priests do? Tell the Truth with love and respect for those who have done wrong– respect for them as human beings made in God’s image, not mindless children who must be lied to by those gaining their trust until they can be trusted to handle the truth.
    Not manipulate their trust to try to make them do what someone else wants.

  • Yes sodomy is a sin.
    the use of the condom in sodomy is not the sin of contraception. The sin of sodomy remains. That discussion could be an endless string of “yah-buts”. Thank goodness it is done.

  • “The pope’s rumination on this was quickly dropped. Glory be to God.”
    .
    “yah-buts” Condoms do not prevent the spread of HIV?aids or any virus. Completely useless to stop viruses.

  • “Nobody is insisting on a uniform code of being an idiot except for you, and you want to insist those who disagree with you abide by it.”

    I couldn’t care less how you help a convert. I wouldn’t in a million years use your tone, but if they work for you all the best to you. Who am I to insist on anything. I don’t insist anyone abide by anything I believe in. It’s a blog. I’m giving my opinion, if its worth anything.

    I said comment after comment, the sin should stop. The Truth be told. Always.

    The number of families who have produced children from adulterous relationships is great in numbers. The cookie cutter mould doesn’t work when the numbers are great.

    You can’t scare people into conversion. True conversion is a journey, and the convert is fully in union with God only if he/she understands what they are converting to. We are not Muslims! Or idiots. Thank The Lord, Gods patience is greater than ours.

    You talk about respect? There isn’t an ounce of respect in your tone to me. But I’ve gathered by now, you couldn’t care less. I’m just a commenter on a blog.

    If you were trying to convert me by twisting my words, with your terms of “idiot”, “lying”, “manipulate” “lure”, I would wander what Church you belong to. And then run fast.

    Thank goodness we can now get to a point where we can agree to disagree. I feel like Im wasting my time going round in circle with you Foxfier. Have a good day.

    .

  • Ez-
    What you are saying you have said, and what you have objectively said right here– including the quote directly above your comment– do not align.
    ***
    Of course you believe you are disrespected, just as you believed I was being “sarcastic” when I pointed out that you’d missed a major part of the Lost Son’s story and thus the conclusion you wanted to draw was flawed.
    .
    It is easier, safer for your emotions, if you can frame everything as you being a victim, and the other person being a big meanie.
    After all, if you don’t like what they say, it must be something they did wrong– not because you don’t like the points they made, or because they disagree with you.
    .
    We cannot agree to disagree, because you wish to try to control people so they do what you think is right, and when someone points out that is what you are suggesting, you start trying to manipulate them. It might work on children, or on those who never had to deal with female bullies in high school, but for those who are familiar with emotional manipulation it will just drive them even further away as they identify you and your tactics. If you try that on a woman who got out of an abusive relationship, you will probably drive her away from Christ entirely.
    (Possibly the same for men, but I haven’t had enough interaction with abused men to know; the system of setting up a victim may be different.)

  • Yes Mary you are right, condoms do not prevent AIDS or viruses, though they reduce the chance. I think the pope was trying to think of ways to be helpful but quickly dropped that line of thinking. I am not in any way advocating the use of condoms. .

    My response was to bill bannon comment about B16 ” much like Benedict seeing condom use between gays as a lesser mortal sin overall state than the mortal sin of endangering each other with disease plus the inchastity”.
    Unhappy with the use of the terms implying greater and lesser mortal sin, I was trying to say the use of a condom is a mortal sin because it is contraceptive, when it is not contraceptive, as it is not contraceptive in sex between two men, it’s use is not the mortal sin, but the sodomy is still the mortal sin.
    i apologize

  • Don’t apologize Anzlyne, Yours is a fine distinction. I appreciate it. It is just that Pope Benedict XVI was savaged by the media for not allowing condoms to prevent HIV/aids and condoms don’t.

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PopeWatch: Lent

Wednesday, March 5, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

The Lenten message of Pope Francis:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of Saint Paul: ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich’. The Apostle was writing to the Christians of Corinth to encourage them to be generous in helping the faithful in Jerusalem who were in need. What do these words of Saint Paul mean for us Christians today? What does this invitation to poverty, a life of evangelical poverty, mean to us today?

Christ’s grace

First of all, it shows us how God works. He does not reveal himself cloaked in worldly power and wealth but rather in weakness and poverty: ‘though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor …’. Christ, the eternal Son of God, one with the Father in power and glory, chose to be poor; he came amongst us and drew near to each of us; he set aside his glory and emptied himself so that he could be like us in all things. God’s becoming man is a great mystery! But the reason for all this is his love, a love which is grace, generosity, a desire to draw near, a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved. Charity, love, is sharing with the one we love in all things. Love makes us similar, it creates equality, it breaks down walls and eliminates distances. God did this with us. Indeed, Jesus ‘worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, he truly became one of us, like us in all things except sin’.

By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says ‘that by his poverty you might become rich’. This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different! When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptised by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet Saint Paul is well aware of the ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ’, that he is ‘heir of all things’.

So what is this poverty by which Christ frees us and enriches us? It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbour, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbour to the man left half dead by the side of the road. What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love. Christ’s poverty which enriches us is his taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us. Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant. Jesus’ wealth lies in his being the Son; his unique relationship with the Father is the sovereign prerogative of this Messiah who is poor. When Jesus asks us to take up his ‘yoke which is easy’, he asks us to be enriched by his ‘poverty which is rich’ and his ‘richness which is poor’, to share his filial and fraternal Spirit, to become sons and daughters in the Son, brothers and sisters in the first-born brother.

It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.

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24 Responses to PopeWatch: Lent

  • A blessed Lenten season to all here.

    This is very good. 9 things to give up for Lent:

    http://theoldadam.com/2013/02/12/9-things-that-everybody-should-give-up-for-lent/

    Thank you.

  • Some demons can be driven out only with prayer and fasting.

    The Second Sorrowful Mystery: the Scourging at the Pilar. Desire a spirit of mortification. Think of the cruel scourgng at the pilar that Our Lord suffered; and the heavy blows which tore His innocent flesh.

  • Apparently the Pope also suggested that civil unions may be tolerable:

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1400916.htm

    This Lenten Season will have more surprises, I am sure.

  • I just have to take a moment to address the most pathetic display in all of Christendom, my twice-a-year late-afternoon bad mood from fasting. Step aside, Saint Lawrence! Don’t you know who I am? I’m someone who only ate half a sandwich for lunch! God’s got to be preparing a special throne for me somewhere up there!

  • Poor and Poverty
    .
    I object to the use of the term “weakness” in reference to our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ, trusted in God, had confidence in God even unto to His death and resurrection according to the Scriptures. Jesus Christ was obedient to His Father. Jesus Christ loved His Father.
    .
    “Weakness” is a mean term and may only be used to describe “fallen” human nature. The human nature Jesus Christ assumed was perfect human nature, the perfect human nature of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception.
    .
    What “weakness” did Jesus have that would have enabled Jesus Christ to sustain and conquer the world, the devil and the flesh in fallen man’s human nature? Jesus Christ’s need is to love His Father as perfectly as His Father loves Him. In loving His Father, Jesus Christ brings all souls to our Creator.
    .
    The terms “poor” and “poverty” are bandied about multiple times, each time inferring a different meaning, each time unintentionally driving us further from the solidarity with Christ, Who is the Truth. Yes, we owe people Justice and we ought to be loving and generous to one another, but not before our love and honor for Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is God.
    .
    Lent is about loving God and loving our neighbor for the love of God.
    .
    The part about moral and spiritual destitution hit home. The insinuation that abolishing destitution of wealth can be realized through redistribution of wealth as a moral imperative is not possible without denying the individual person’s immortal soul and his God-given free will, given to him by God, to know, love and to serve God.
    .
    Spiritual destitution may be ameliorated by freedom of Religion once again becoming the law of the land. Moral destitution will follow suit, once the gospel is freely evangelized. The condemned man facing death is given one wish. Let it be freedom of religion.
    .
    May the Lord bless Pope Francis and Our Lady keep Pope Francis safe.

  • Pinky: “I just have to take a moment to address the most pathetic display in all of Christendom, my twice-a-year late-afternoon bad mood from fasting.”
    .
    I gave up television.

  • “Saint Lawrence! Don’t you know who I am? I’m someone who only ate half a sandwich for lunch! God’s got to be preparing a special throne for me somewhere up there!”

    Alas Pinky I often experience the same feeling. Then I feel bad about it. Then my sense of humor takes over!

  • Amen Mary DeVoe. Also I don’t like the economic poverty assumption about the Holy Family. As if Joseph was not a good provider. I’ve been inclined believe they lived like most others in their time and place. The standards of living and expectations were poor compared to USA today but not so far off in His own times. Yes Jesus left the fullness and richness of heaven but he was not a poor beggar. I think He lived a pretty standard life.

  • I don’t even know what this means:
    “who makes himself poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his Church, which is a people of the poor. God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ.” ????

  • Anzlyne: “Also I don’t like the economic poverty assumption about the Holy Family. As if Joseph was not a good provider. I’ve been inclined believe they lived like most others in their time and place.”
    It is not like the Holy Family did not have money to sustain them. While St. Joseph took care of Mary and Jesus there was the gold brought by the Wise Men. (Divine Providence).
    .
    Several years ago, it was reported that an ancient city was dug up and a cache of coins was found bearing a face and the word Gaspar. The Three Wise Men’s ashes are in a casket in Germany, if my memory serves me correctly.
    .
    Yes. Anzlyne, I, too, believe that the Holy Family lived a normal life raising up the Son of God.
    Can you imagine a tradesman’s sign hanging on Joseph’s house? “General Carpentry”.
    Entrepreneurship is what will get our economy moving again in the right direction. St. Joseph, patron saint of workers, pray for us.
    .
    Fulfilling the needs of the poor is charity and a “get out of purgatory free card” for us, alms covers a multitude of sin, and Justice, social Justice, for those in need. Involuntary charity, as in tax levies, is extortion, like gangland “insurance”. Oh, and speaking of “gangland insurance”, there is Obamacare.
    .
    And it depends upon who is defining who is “the poor” and what is poverty.

  • Anzlyne: “I don’t even know what this means:
    “who makes himself poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his Church, which is a people of the poor. God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ.” ????”
    .
    “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” “seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be added…including persecution.”

  • “Who made Himself poor….” “Who humbled Himself…..” “Who emptied Himself…..”

    Hope this helps

  • “Who made Himself poor….” “Who humbled Himself…..” “Who emptied Himself…..”
    Who made Himself the Son of Man. “My kingdom is not of this world.”
    Pope
    Francis may preach charity but he may not preach social Justice, or economic revolution without charity.

  • Speaking of St. Lawrence, and back to the subject of poverty, this from Wikipedia:

    After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church….On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church, he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind and the suffering, and said these were the true treasures of the Church. One account records him declaring to the prefect, “The Church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor.”

  • “God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ”

    I sense that these words might have thrown a couple of readers and posters. However, they actually are nothing but a paraphrase, or an elaboration of what Saint Paul stated when he wrote “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being rich He became poor, for your sakes, that through His poverty, you might be enriched” 2 Corinthians 8.9 [Douay Rheims translation].

    This text was the core of the Pope’s Lenten Message. He unpacked it and elaborated on it so that we might not simply be instructed but find new life from it in Christ.

    The term ‘social justice’ has been given a bad name by progressives in this country (and those disagreeing with them). Yet the “social teachings’ or ‘social doctrines’ of the Church are not a new phenomenon. While rooted in the Scriptures and Fathers of the Church, the ‘social teachings’ as a body of teaching have been with the Church since Pope Leo XIII. It is not some new fangled thing coming out in and or after the Second Vatican Council. A Catholic cannot reject the ‘social teachings’ of the Church any more than a Catholic can reject the doctrinal and personal morality teachings of the Church. They are a fundamental aspect of Catholic Church teaching.

  • We try to understand humility from its Latin root humilitas and thinking of humus, the soil and the ashes on our forehead, and resolve this Lent to get and be down to earth, rooted in reality. Only from there will God water us with His living water and fertilize us with wisdom and grace. I found a prayer, I think by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri that may help me to overcome my own vanity. I share it here:
    O God, who resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble: grant us the virtue of true humility, where of Your Only-begotten son showed in Himself a pattern for Your faithful; that we may never by our pride provoke Your anger, but rather by our meekness receive the riches of Your grace.
    Happy Lent Folks.

  • William P. Walsh: Beautiful.
    .
    LITANY OF HUMILITY
    O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
    From the desire of being esteemed,
    deliver me, Jesus.
    From the desire of being loved,
    From the desire of being extolled,
    From the desire of being honored,
    From the desire of being praised,
    From the desire of being preferred to others,
    From the desire of being consulted,
    From the desire of being approved,

    From the fear of being humiliated,
    deliver me, Jesus.
    From the fear of being despised,
    From the fear of suffering rebukes,
    From the fear of being calumniated,
    From the fear of being forgotten,
    From the fear of being ridiculed,
    From the fear of being wronged,
    From the fear of being suspected,

    That others may be loved more than I,
    Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
    That others may be esteemed more than I,
    That in the opinion of the world,
    others may increase, and I may decrease,
    That others may be chosen and I set aside,
    That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
    That others may be preferred to me in everything,
    That others may become holier than I,
    provided that I may become as holy as I should.

    – Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val

  • Botolph: “The term ‘social justice’ has been given a bad name by progressives in this country (and those disagreeing with them). ” “A Catholic cannot reject the ‘social teachings’ of the Church any more than a Catholic can reject the doctrinal and personal morality teachings of the Church. They are a fundamental aspect of Catholic Church teaching. ”
    .
    Rendering “social Justice” to the poor would be to be executing the capital one murderers of the poor, protecting the right to life of the poor, would it not? or is it only money are we to give them in the spirit of Christ? “Social Justice” would be to give to the poor what they need to live. Not so?

  • Thank you Mary De Voe, for the Litany of Humility. It looks like the many rungs on the long ladder I must descend to reach the good earth of humility.

  • Ahhhhhhh Mary De Voe,

    Many people get confused when they hear the term ‘social justice’. First, in terms of Church teaching it is better to use the term “Social Doctrine” but that is only to keep the two distinct.

    The Social Doctrines of the Church are contained in a series of encyclicals beginning with POpe Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum in 1891 up to and including Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate issued in 2009. They are full of teaching but from them the Church has ‘harvested’ ‘principles’. These principles are the foundations of all the Church’s social teaching. I obviously cannot go into them in any detail but I want to list them to show that they are neither ‘revolutionary’ or ‘progressive-liberal’. Of course, I suppose some ‘conservatives’ still might not like them but that is not in question here. Here are the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching:
    1) life and dignity of the human person
    2) Call to family, community and participation
    3) rights and responsibilities [with every God-given right there are responsibilities]
    4) Caring for the poor and vulnerable
    5) the dignity and rights of workers [economy must serve the people]
    6) Solidarity [fundamental unity of human race]
    7) Care for God’s Creation

    Now obviously each of these has a great deal of teaching connected with it, but these seven principles are the ‘skeleton’ of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. Nothing revolutionary, marxist, here. However, if they were really put into practice, what a different world we would live in

  • I find discussions of “Social Justice” are greatly helped by finding out what someone means by it– the Church means one thing (making a situation where folks rights are protected, to simplify greatly) while popular culture usually means “I get to tell everyone what to do, and if you disagree you’re EVIL!”

    It’s kind of like when you have to explain to a neighbor why you’re eating fish when Fridays are “no meat.” A matter of translation.

  • The modern welfare state has distorted social justice and subverted charity. How often do we hear complaints made by such as a hard-working person in a supermarket line putting down cash for fish sticks while another flashes an EBT card for lobster tails. It is anecdotal but common. “All things have their season” and perhaps it’s a bit more seasonal for The Spiritual Works of Mercy.

  • Botolph: “1) life and dignity of the human person”
    .
    So, if somebody cracks my skull open with a lead pipe and scatters my brains all over the street, what are you going to do about my life and my dignity? Are you going to deny me as a human person to alleviate the requirement for “Social Doctrine?

  • According to Amber Alert, there was an eleven year old girl kidnapped in Dundalk Maryland, today. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say: “Bring her back safe and sound and we will not put you to death”?
    What will you say to her mother: “I do not believe in capital punishment. God made her, God will take care of her.”? Just learned that the girl’s mother is dead.
    It is always nice to talk about God when irretrievable human life is destroyed.
    Now, I have to go and adjust my halo. Mom always cautioned me: “Do not get your halo on to tight.

PopeWatch: Bishop Olson

Tuesday, March 4, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Well, one clear aspect of the pontificate of Pope Francis is that groups associated with the traditional latin mass had better watch their six.  Father Z gives us the latest details:

 

The source of these reports seems to be the blog Rorate Caeli, which provides a copy of the letter that Bp. Olson sent to Mr. Michael King, who is the President of Fisher More College.

Here is the letter, which I found at the aforementioned blog:

None of us are privy to the conversation, mentioned by the bishop in his letter, that took place on 24 February.  I have no idea what the tone of that conversation was or how many conversations took place.

However, I am appalled at the tone of the Bp. Olson’s letter to Mr. King.  Frankly, it reminds me of a note an authoritarian seminary rector would pin on the mailroom bulletin board about student attire or lights-out time, rather then gentle pastoral solicitude of a diocesan bishop in the era of Pope Francis.  I am shocked at the suggestion that this decision is taken for the sake of the souls of the students and the president himself, as if the Extraordinary Form were somehow spiritually harmful.

That said, what we don’t know about this situation could fill volumes.

For example, I discern in the bishop’s second point, the one about his granting faculties, the possibility that the priest who had been saying Mass at Fisher More on a regular basis may not have had any faculties at all, from any bishop or religious superior.  I suspect that there is more to that poorly phrased second point than meets the eye.

Also, while some Catholic college and university chaplaincies also have the canonical designation as a parish (e.g., St. Paul’s at the University of Madison), Summorum Pontificum doesn’t seem to apply as clearly.  The Motu Proprio doesn’t seem to apply to college chapels and chapels on military bases.  That said, the spirit of both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae communicate something far different from the tone, at least, of the bishop’s letter.

Again, what we don’t know about this situation could fill volumes.  I, at least, don’t know who the priests were who were saying that Mass for the students at Fisher More.  Were they of the SSPX or some independent group?  Were they preaching things that were improper (e.g., attacking Pope Francis from the pulpit, directly attacking the Novus Ordo as invalid)?

More will come out, and soon.

In the meantime, it is hard to imagine why a letter with such a menacing tone would be sent to a layman about something which soon-to-be St. John Paul II described as a “legitimate aspiration”.  You will recall that Bl. John Paul asked, nay rather, required by his apostolic authority, that respect be shown to those who desire the traditional forms of the Roman Rite (cf. Ecclesia Dei adflicta, 6c).

 

 

My first hope and prayer, and petition to the Guardian Angels of those involved, is for cool heads and a positive resolution to this conflict so that the students and staff of Fisher More will be able to have their legitimate aspirations respected according to the will of St. John Paul and Benedict XVI.

The Moderation Queue is ON.

UPDATE:

A priest friend forwarded information from HIS priest friend in Dallas.  Thus, I will edit a great deal and use bullet points. These things either happened or they didn’t and can be verified one way or another:

  • In May a prof of FMC (Fisher More College) gave a talk and denied aspects of Vatican II
  • The FSSP priests withdrew their services at FMC some time ago.
  • Taylor Marshall, married with several children, resigned his job at FMC without another job.
  • At Thanksgiving, 2013, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, the suspended Fatima Priest, said Mass at FMC.
  • These things took place when the Diocese of Fort Worth was vacant.
  • “This is NOT about hatred for the TLM.”

All of these points (except the last, which was an opinion) suggest dysfunction which the new bishop needed to address.

It may indeed be that this is not about “hatred for the TLM”.  If that is the case, then Bp. Olson will surely want to make that clear in some way.

One commentator, below, observed that the bishop said that students could go to a parish, off-campus, where the TLM is offered, thus suggesting that he doesn’t have a problem with the TLM itself.

I hope that is the case.  The tone of the bishop’s letter certainly fueled that suspicion.  Getting some of the details out will help diffuse some of this tension about an “attack by a bishop on the TLM”.  It may not be that at all, though I still scratch my head about this.

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Bishop Olson

  • I can’t understand how much is assumed by this letter and hearsay. Speculation is not news. I feel this article sows seeds of division and misconstruction of truths.

  • The bishop’s first bullet point suggests that the bishop is behaving as if the old indult was still in effect and the 1962 missal would be used at only one locus in the diocese and only at his discretion.

    Relatively young bishop (47) who attended one of the few remaining minor seminaries. Do not know what to make of that.

  • Very long article on this subject over at Catholic World Report:
    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2969/bishop_of_fort_worth_draws_the_line_updated.aspx#.UxYfHYUiPX4

    Includes text from Taylor Marshall explaining his resignation in some detail. And among the many comments are several from current/former employees or their spouses giving their thoughts on various goings-on at the school. And yes, the article does mention that TLM is available at a number of parishes within reasonable drive from the college.

    As stated in this article, I’m sure there is still much to be learned before any reasoned conclusions can be made, but I do wonder why we’re not as appalled at the intentional leaking of what was clearly meant to be a private communication as we are at the bishop’s tone?

  • Dr. Marshall’s update certainly indicates some severe problems (to put it mildly) at the college, but it still does not explain why the TLM was halted. If anything, it would seem that the insistence upon only having the Novus Ordo celebrated at the chapel is almost a form of punishment. I don’t happen to think Mass should be used as punishment.

    As for the availability of a TLM “nearby,” one’s definition of nearby is certainly influenced by circumstances. For a college student who may or may not have access to an automobile, it may not be so nearby.

  • If anything, it would seem that the insistence upon only having the Novus Ordo celebrated at the chapel is almost a form of punishment.

    Yep.

    If the financial condition of the college is as its erstwhile chancellor says, the whole dispute will be moot ‘ere long. You do have to wonder, though, why the board simply folded rather than put the kibosh on the college president’s decisions. In my very limited experience, the board actually cares about physical plant and budgetary matters (if about not much else).

  • “Speculation is not news. I feel this article sows seeds of division and misconstruction of truths. ”

    No, this post reports on what is happening. If clarification is needed that must come from the Bishop and the school. Too often these type of actions are taken in secrecy and with little or no explanation, and in a time of instant world wide twenty-four hour a day communication that is a poor way for the Church to conduct business.

  • Pride, the mother of all sins, might be found on both sides of this dispute. Tragically, as a result, Jesus is the abandoned one.

  • Perhaps, it would be desirable for norms to be prescribed for celebrating conventual and capitular masses, as there were in Quo Primum, which certain persons are, at least in theory, obliged to attend and also for collegiate and military chaplaincies, where choice may be limited.

    As to the letter, a bishop issuing a motion or inhibition (which this is) would be unwise to give his motives. They are peremptory commands, not discussion documents.

  • While it is true from the Bishop’s letter that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will not be celebrated at the college, all the other pieces point to the fact that the issue is not the EF (TLM) but something far deeper and more problematic.

    The FSSP have pulled out of celebrating Mass at the school-why? That seems to be the clincher here.
    Secondly, there does not seem to be any paucity of TLM in the general area so ‘the bishop’ doesn’t have a problem with the EF

    This is not ‘much to do about nothing’ but some (not on this blog) adding 2+2 and coming up with 5

  • This was just posted by a recently resigned faculty member which sheds much needed light on the issue:
    Dr. Taylor Marshall’s status.

    Regarding Fisher More College and what you’re reading in Rorate Caeli:

    Now that the Bishop of Fort Worth has weighed in (and is now being maligned), after much prayer, I feel that I should break the silence.

    First off, I love the students at Fisher More College (FMC). I love them so much. It was heartbreaking for me to leave FMC. Last summer (2013) was very difficult for me. I also love the Latin Mass and write about it often on my blog and talk about it publicly (my family belongs to a FSSP parish – Mater Dei parish in Irving, Texas).

    For the record, I resigned as Chancellor of the College at the beginning of June of 2013—only days after our seventh baby was born. I had no job prospects and no income. I did it for the sake of conscience. I felt it would be a danger to my soul to remain at Fisher More College.

    I resigned when moral, theological, and financial discrepancies came to light regarding the presidency of Michael King. I was an ex officio member of the Board so I knew what others did not. From May to early June of 2013, five of the eight College Board Members also resigned for two reasons:

    1) Mr. King refused to disassociate himself from the public statements of faculty member Dr. Dudley that claimed in his Year of Faith lecture that Catholic professors have the duty to teach young people that Vatican 2 is not a valid Council (he also endorsed other “resistance” positions regarding the Novus Ordo, John Paul II, etc.)

    2) Mr. King, after selling the original FMC campus to Texas Christian University for millions of dollars, had imprudently entered into a real estate deal that financially crippled Fisher More College.

    Much of the politicization around the “Latin Mass and FMC” is Mr. King’s careful attempt to distract attention away from his financial misdealing at FMC. The college is currently teetering on bankruptcy and this latest entanglement with the bishop will lead to a public statement: “Fisher More closed down because the new bishop of Fort Worth persecuted the Latin Mass!” when in reality the College is failing because Mr. King entered into a dubious real estate deal that washed out college’s endowment AND all the proceeds from the sale of the original campus.

    How did a College sell its extremely valuable campus to TCU for several millions dollars in 2012 only to announce at Christmas 2013 that it might be closing without an immediate fund raising campaign through Rorate Caeli?

    Rorate Caeli has just released their sensational “exclusive” report on how the new Bishop of Fort Worth is persecuting the traditional Latin Mass in the person of Michael King. They included the (private) letter of Bishop Olson to Michael King and offered their speculation.

    This controversy created by Rorate Caeli with the help of Michael King’s letter is not about the Latin Mass or Summorum Pontificum.*

    FMC hosted a public repudiation of Vatican 2 and the Ordinary Form of the Mass in April of 2013 that was so offensive that my wife and I walked out of it before it’s conclusion. That did not do much to heal the breach with the local diocese or presbyterate and it contributed to the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) discontinuing their support and presence at FMC. The current FMC website advertises that the FSSP provides a chaplain, but this is not true.

    At the same time, Michael King estranged himself from the diocese of Fort Worth by not allowing the Ordinary Form (as stipulated by the previous ordinary Bishop Vann of Fort Worth). He also contracted an irregular/suspended priest without faculties, and hired “trad resistance” faculty while there was no bishop in Fort Worth to check these developments. Mr. King was able to create a community in his image (he affectionately referred to himself the “father” of this community) during the episcopal inter-regnum of the diocese of Fort Worth.

    Clearly, a bishop’s intervention was inevitable. The current controversy really has nothing to do with the Latin Mass per se. The Latin Mass is at the center because Michael King is politicizing the Latin Mass in his favor, knowing that “bishops vs the Latin Mass” is red meat for some traditionalist blogs.

    Bishop Olson says in the letter that he is doing this for Michael King’s “soul.” The bishop understands that this is a personal intervention – and not an attack on Fisher More College or its students or the Latin Mass.

    It’s a serious pastoral problem. Mr. King no doubt leaked Bp Olson’s letter via one of his few supporters to build sympathy before the inevitable financial collapse that will expose his mishandling of Fisher More College. Mr. King, more than anything, would like to blame the inevitable collapse of FMC (within only weeks or months) on the bishop’s “persecution of the Latin Mass.”

    Hold your peace. Watch for how it unfolds, and most of all pray for the students that are still dutifully studying and praying. There are some GREAT students at Fisher More College.

    As one who loves and prays the Latin Mass, please don’t curse or blame Bishop Olson for this one. He is a new bishop who inherited a TOUGH pastoral problem. Pray for him. And if you love the Latin Mass, don’t be so quick to judge the bishops or cite canon law. Sometimes there are things behind the scenes that you don’t know.

    1 Cor 13:1-2 If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

    *Regarding Summorum Pontificum in this situation. It doesn’t apply here since the college chapel does not have a priest requesting to say the Latin Mass and the chapel therefore falls under the direct pastoral control of the bishop. It’s the case of a layman (Michael King) asking for it. Those accusing Bishop Olson of breaking canon law or despising Summorum Pontificum should be more careful. Moreover, be assured that Bishop Olson supports the FSSP in his diocese and has nothing against the Extraordinary Form.

  • Fr. Gruner’s attorney, Christopher Ferrara, has stated that Fr. Gruner is not suspended. What is the source of this accusation?

PopeWatch: Crusaders Not Wanted

Monday, March 3, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

On February 27, 2014 the Pope met with the Congregation for Bishops.  The Pope discussed the type of Bishops he is looking for:

“Since faith comes from proclamation we need kerygmatic bishops. … Men who are guardians of doctrine, not so as as to measure how far the world is from doctrinal truth, but in order to fascinate the world … with the beauty of love, with the freedom offered by the Gospel. The Church does not need apologists for her causes or crusaders for her battles, but humble and trusting sowers of the truth, who know that it is always given to them anew and trust in its power. Men who are patient men as they know that the weeds will never fill the field”.

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32 Responses to PopeWatch: Crusaders Not Wanted

  • I have to agree (respectfully) with your assessment. There are some battles worth fighting, and perhaps Pope Francis already knows this, but he is not signing up to any particular fight during his pontificate. The pope’s message certainly is attractive: the Gospel as a wellspring of living water. “Gather the people together, and I will give them water. Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it.” (Num. 21:16-17). It is not the wrong message, it just seems like the wrong day for that message.
    .
    His address to the Congregation of Bishops is certainly consistent with what the pope has said before. He wants a non-judgmental priesthood. He said elsewhere that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, meaning he wants all penitents to welcome reconciliation rather than fear it. (I am not endorsing or disparaging the imagery he used here, his words just seem alien to me from my experience.) In Evangelii Gaudium, he has denounced exclusion in many contexts several times. A sampling:
    “When we adopt a pastoral goal and a missionary style which would actually reach everyone without exception or exclusion, the message has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary. The message is simplified, while losing none of its depth and truth, and thus becomes all the more forceful and convincing.” (35)
    “There are other doors that should not be closed either. Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. This is especially true of the sacrament which is itself “the door”: baptism. The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” (47)
    “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion.” [The relevant context here is that economic transactions are opportunities – either wasted or seized upon – to preach the Good News.] (53)
    “Jesus did not tell the apostles to form an exclusive and elite group. He said: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).” (113)
    Chapter Three, Part IV of Evangelii Gaudium is titled ‘Evangelization and the deeper understanding of the kerygma’ and is probably worth a re-read here. This is a passage from that part: “In catechesis too, we have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the center of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal. The kerygma is trinitarian.” (164)
    .
    And he wants a laity that preaches the Gospel through inclusion and assistance to the needy: “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.” Again, not disagree with Pope Francis, but there is a place for righteous anger alongside the compassion.

  • The Sacrament of Confirmation, the slap on the face as a soldier of Christ, for Christ, has been overturned or abolished to conform to the behavior of some since Vatican II. Getting in bed with atheism and sodomy makes of a person an atheist and a sodomite.

  • I wonder what Francis’ ideal Church looks like? When he says things like this, what is he seeking to produce?

  • We need Crusaders able and willing to fight against the rising tide of secularism and socialism. The Bishop must comfort his flock and defend it against the wolves. Sadly the wolves now wear Episcopal garments.

  • “Getting in bed with atheism and sodomy makes of a person an atheist and a sodomite.”

    “Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent.”

    I don’t know. Maybe Pope Francis has better (obviously than I) remembered St. Matthew.

    Matt. 7:6:
    “Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.”

  • “in order to fascinate the world … with the beauty of love” This is good Augustinian doctrine; only a delight in heavenly things (the delectatio coelestis victrix) can overcome the hold of sin on fallen human nature. Like Aristotle, St Augustine believed that “reason moves nothing” [Λόγοσ ούδέν κινεί]

  • Paul, imagine if the Pope had said the Church needs shepherds “who are patient men as they know that the wolves will never eat all of the sheep.” !!!

    Here is a beautiful, indeed fascinating, statue of St. Michael the Archangel defending us in battle. Is this, or is this not, love?

  • Penguines Fan

    Kerygmatic comes from κηρύσσω meaning to herald, announce or proclaim.

    The content of the original apostolic proclamation or kerygma [κήρυγμα], drawn by the NT scholar, C H Dodd, from St Peter’s speeches in Acts was
    1. The Age of Fulfilment has dawned, the “latter days” foretold by the prophets.
    2. This has taken place through the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    3. By virtue of the resurrection, Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as Messianic head of the new Israel.
    4. The Holy Spirit in the church is the sign of Christ’s present power and glory.
    5. The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Christ.
    6. An appeal is made for repentance with the offer of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and salvation.

    In Acts 17:18 some thought St Paul was “a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and Resurrection.” They thought Resurrection [ανάστασις] was the name of a deity. No one listening to our modern preachers would be likely to make that mistake, for Jesus is not mentioned all that often and His resurrection hardly figures at all.

    If that is Pope Francis’s model for Christian preaching, who could argue with that?

  • I think Pope Francis is hoping that, when people who have sinned and know themselves as far from the Church, are received with mercy and hospitality, that they will be able to convert from the errors of their ways in the light that Christ shines on them. If they are excluded from this light, they will perish in their guilt and despair. Now this assumes self-knowledge on the part of the sinner, a willingness to confess his and her sins, and a firm purpose of amendment. These are the conditions for a good confession. I am sure Francis doesn’t mean for us or for the bishops to simply tolerate and overlook egregious bad and scandalous behavior. The fire of Christ, when one comes close to Him, burns away one’s sin. But a person has to be willing to accept the fire of that holiness. This is not at all an easy thing to do. Francis only wants us to facilitate this moment.

  • Susan Varenne

    Since when has confession of sins been required for baptism?

  • I guess a simple description might be, we here on earth make up the Church Militant and we join Christ in defeating evil – that is our crusade. Another analogy I always liked is that we are pilgrims on pilgrimage to Heaven. Jesus gave us a few, but perhaps the Good Shepherd is most prominent. My thought is that there are different approaches or ways of looking at things. While the OT is replete with fighting battles, the NT is very different. We see Jesus fighting the battle in a very different way. Surely He did not mince words and was Truth itself, and I think Francis is encouraging his perception of how Jesus fought the battle. He did not take up the kind of arms his disciples expected, but he did lift up his arms. Having the world see the beauty of love and knowing the freedom if offers will take courageous witness that I think the Pope is trying to foster. I do not think the message is, go light on teaching.

  • I myself sort of like the ‘in your face’, ‘out on the front lines’ with the Faith that many here associate with the Crusader [perhaps I would use the term ‘culture warrior’ lol] However, since the election of Pope Francis we have been getting a distinct modus operandi for the Church that at first puzzled me. It is true I did not automatically jump and criticize or condemn his approach as many have, however I was still puzzled. “What does Pope Francis really want form us?” As asked above “What does the Church Pope Francis is working towards look like?”

    It came together for me recently when I realized that his doctoral work [which, yes was not completed-a Jesuit is under authority. a. he didn’t just quit it had to be a discernment process; b) what or where else did his superiors sense they needed him? -whatever it brought him down the road to where he is today]. His doctoral work was on Hans Urs von Balthasar. Put succinctly the quote from Saint Augustine which Michael Paterson-Seymour has given us puts it well: “in order to fascinate the world….with the beauty of love”

    Plato had shown hundreds of years before Augustine that there are certain transcendentals, deep structures of life which reflect the Divine: Unity, Truth and Goodness. When these are perceived Beauty is experienced. Augustine, well trained in neo-platonism understood and spoke of each of these transcendentals in his writings. Perhaps the most famous is:

    “Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you! In my unloveliness I plnged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with You. Created things kept me from You; yet if they had not been in You they would not have been at all. You called, You shouted, and You broke through my deafness. You flashed, You shone, and You dispelled my blindness. You breathed Your fragrance upon me; I drew in breath and now I pant for You. I have tasted You, now I hunger and thirst for more. you touched me and I burned for Your peace”. [Confessions of Saint Augustine]

    Von Balthasar has created something very similar to the Summa of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a 16 volume work. In Volumes 1-7: The Glory of the Lord, a work on theological aesthetics based on the contemplation of the good, the beautiful and the true. In this work he wrote: “Before the beautiful, no not really before the beautiful but within the beautiful-the person quivers. He not only finds the beautiful moving-rather, he experiences himself as being moved and possessed by it”

    It is here, I believe that we find the key or at least a fundamental key to understanding Pope Francis’ vision of Church. He is not alone. Blessed John Paul named him a Cardinal in 1988 and certainly had his writing in mind as he entitled one of his major encyclicals: Veritatis Splendor [the Splendor of the Truth]. Certainly Pope Benedict has been deeply influenced by his writing, especially in Liturgy.

    What then is this ‘program’? It is a direct response to the crisis of modernism. It takes the whole of Catholicism: teaching (truth) holiness (goodness) and beauty and seeks to ‘attract’ or perhaps better stated, seeks to ‘re-enchant’ a world very much dis-enchanted.

    All you culture warriors like me, are not being asked to ‘water down’ anything etc. We are being asked to allow people to see the fundamental Catholic Church centered in the glorified Risen Christ. The Church, like the moon to the sun, can only reflect His light and be an instrument, a ‘sacrament’ of salvation for the world

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  • I cannot find this quote of St. Augustine (‘Like Aristotle, St Augustine believed that “reason moves nothing”.’) in my review of his works. Is there a citation for this work? After all, there are more than 100 extant works of Augustine.

  • Steve Phoenix

    When I saw your question, I realized that I too could not come up with a direct source. In investigating, it is a direct quote of Pope Francis. I misread Michael Seymour-Paterson’s statement to read that it was indeed a quote of Augustine. I do agree with him that it is thoroughly Augustinian etc [and the rest of my post remains as is]

  • Good enough (re. “Reason moves nothing.”): it sounds more like PF than like what I know of Augustine. But there is ALWAYS more to know about Augustine, no matter how much one has read him. Thank you, Botolph.

  • I wonder what the Christians in the Middle East and Africa think about Pope Francis.

  • Botolph, one observation I would make is that Augustine speaks to finding beauty outside himself, by turning inward, then upward, and so on out. But our culture has decided definitively to turn inward only, towards the consequence-free sexual satisfaction of the individual, and stopping there, and making that the cultus. Indeed, it is the source and summit of our national being when we have gone so far as a nation to redefine marriage away from the needs of children who may be the consequence of sex.

    We are faced with the very old problem of Narcissus who has fallen in love with his own reflection in the pool.

    In what brand-new, never-before-seen way will we present the freshness and fragrance of the Gospels to Narcissus? How do we get people to tear themselves away from their own reflections, curating their own desires, and come hither to Christ? Do we set out some scantily clad parables? Do we promise a night on the town with a bevy of bosomy beatitudes?

    Sex sells. It sells well. What beautiful thing can Christians sell so well? Eternal life? Immortality? Heaven? I dare say Heaven used to sell well. (Or, escaping the torments of Hell.) Love? God’s love? You mean the Sky Guy? In a culture that has come to believe there is a right to marry “who you love”, which is to say, “whoever provides you with the greatest sexual satisfaction so far”?

    It’s easier to sell sex than to sell the satisfaction of Christian love, because Christ requires sacrifice: the ability to deny your self to wear his light yoke, his easy burden. It’s an acquired taste. It was an acquired thirst for Augustine.

  • Tamsin,

    We offer the world both the Splendor and beauty of the Mystery, the Face of Jesus Christ and the opportunity to encounter Him in word, Sacrament and community. Since to see Christ is to see the Father I believe that only His Countenance can deliver us from our narcissism. It is only in and through Him that the mystery and meaning of our own lives are revealed. This in turn will lead to “the Law of the Gift”, that fulfillment comes only through giving of oneself

  • Tasmin wrote, “It’s easier to sell sex than to sell the satisfaction of Christian love, because Christ requires sacrifice: the ability to deny your self to wear his light yoke, his easy burden. It’s an acquired taste. It was an acquired thirst for Augustine”

    There is much truth in that. However, I am sure St Augustine would have insisted it was an infused taste, rather than an acquired one. Thus, he says, “For they hear these things and do them to whom it is given; but they do them not, whether they hear or do not hear, to whom it is not given. Because, “To you,” said He, “it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” [Matt. xiii. 11] Of these, the one refers to the mercy, the other to the judgment of Him to whom our soul cries, “I will sing of mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord.” [Ps. CI. 1]” and again, “And, therefore, they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, [Isa. vi. 10] He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” [John xii. 37 ff.]” [Praescientia et praeparatio beneficiorum Dei]

  • Steve Phoenix & Botolph
    My reply of yesterday seems to have gone missing, so here it is.
    I infer St Augustine’s agreement with Aristotle from many places in his writings. Note the following translations are mine, which is why I cite the originals.

    Perhaps, this appears most clearly from the following passage in On John’s Gospel 26.4 “If it be allowable to the poet [Vergil, Eclogues 2.65] to say “his own pleasure draws each man,” not need, but pleasure, not obligation but delight, how much more ought we to say that a man is drawn to Christ, who delights in the truth, who delights in happiness who delights in justice, who delights in eternal life and all this is Christ?” [Porro si poëtae dicere licuit, Trahit sua quemque voluptas; non necessitas, sed voluptas; non obligatio, sed delectatio; quanto fortius nos dicere debemus, trahi hominem ad Christum, qui delectatur veritate, delectatur beatitudine, delectatur justitiâ, delectatur sempiternâ vitâ, quod totum Christus est?’]
    http://www.augustinus.it/latino/commento_vsg/index2.htm

    Also, On Epistle to Galatians 49 “Whatever most delights us, it is necessary that we should act in that way.” [Quod enim amplius nos delectat, secundum id operemur necesse est] where he contrasts the delight in feminine beauty with the delight in chastity
    http://www.augustinus.it/latino/esposizione_galati/index.htm

    Then, in On the Merits and Remission of Sins 2, 17, 26: “Men are not willing to do what is right either because the fact that it is right is hidden from them, or because it does not please them… It is from the grace of God, which helps the wills of man, that that which was hidden becomes known, and that which did not please become sweet.” [Nolunt homines tacere quod iustum est, sive quia latet an iustum sit sive quia non delectat… Ut autem innotescat quod latebat et suave fiat quod non delectabat, gratiae Dei est”]
    http://www.augustinus.it/latino/castigo_perdono/index2.htm

    For St Augustine, the whole paradox of grace and free will is explained by this: free will consists in doing what we want to do. Grace does not, and has no need, to interfere with our power of choice; rather, it affects what we want to do; free will requires freedom of choice, but not freedom to determine our own likes and dislikes.

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  • Thanks to the commentors on this thread. Very helpful.

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  • Apologetics and defending the Catholic faith are dirty words for so many in the hierarchy today,

    “dialoging” with muslim jihadists, atheists and secular humanists is all good though, just never EVER mention that the Catholic faith is the true religion from God 🙁

    Only the Second Coming can save us now, Nothing else.

  • MPS and Botolph, thank you for your observations.

    The delectatio coelestris victrix, the victorious love of heavenly things is wholly God’s gift, which alone overcomes the delectatio terrena or love of worldly things.

    However, while we sit back and relax and await the gift of the love of heavenly things, the infusion of thirst for God, the love of worldly things results in the births of babies who 1. Should not be aborted, 2. Should be fed, and 3. Should be loved. I am too impatient to think it tolerable to say nothing while we wait for God to give each man the gift of the love of heavenly things, while babies are being born. Taking care of babies is hard work! Women are not animals to be trusted to “do the right thing” and so be dismissed from consideration as we pursue the pastoral care of men! What about the concubines who came and went from Augustine’s life until he found out that his will was insufficient to break the chains his will had forged?

    Tolle lege

    “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” No further would I read, nor did I need; for instantly, as the sentence ended—by a light, as it were, of security infused into my heart—all the gloom of doubt vanished away.

  • Tasmin

    God is not a cosmic minister of health, law, police, or economics. Every reason given for the commandments that bases itself on human needs of any kind, whether intellectual, ethical, social, national—voids the commandments of every religious meaning. If they are a means to benefit man or society, then he who performs them does not serve God but himself or society. He does not serve God but uses God for his own benefit and to meet his own needs.

    “Not the God of the philosophes,” says Pascal, “but the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” It is not for a God who is the provider of human needs that a man will take “the fire and the knife” in hand and go uncomplainingly “to the place of which God spoke to him” and sacrifice his only son, thereby relinquishing both his human aspirations and all hope for the future.

  • MPS, I appreciate your contributions very much. Perhaps I’m not following your intent here.

    God is not a cosmic minister of health, law, police, or economics. Every reason given for the commandments that bases itself on human needs of any kind, whether intellectual, ethical, social, national—voids the commandments of every religious meaning.

    I would not call God a cosmic minister either, but I would say God wants me to know him and love him and serve him, in this life and the next. So, how does he do that without giving reasons based on human needs of any kind?

    28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

    Close enough for me, for now. I’m avoiding the internet for Lent; thus I’ll be back next Sunday to check in on further commentary. I’ve been reading Augustine’s Confessions to find out how he was attracted to the Church.

  • “God is not a cosmic minister of health, law, police, or economics. Every reason given for the commandments that bases itself on human needs of any kind, whether intellectual, ethical, social, national—voids the commandments of every religious meaning.”
    .
    God keeps the Co-mmandments. God the Father, God, the Son, and God the Holy Spirit keep the Co-mmandments. This why the Ten Co-mmandment are called Co-mmandments. Jesus Christ keeps the Ten Commandments. WHY? because God made man sacred to Himself…”for you are men sacred to me.”
    .
    “It is not for a God who is the provider of human needs that a man will take “the fire and the knife” in hand and go uncomplainingly “to the place of which God spoke to him” and sacrifice his only son, thereby relinquishing both his human aspirations and all hope for the future.”
    .
    Notwithstanding the terrible test put to Abraham. God promised Abraham to be the father of many nations. In those nations, God wanted no human sacrifice. There, God instructed Abraham in the ending of human sacrifice. Later, God instructed the Israelites to drive out other nations before them because these nations practiced infanticide and human sacrifice.

  • Mary De Voe wrote, “God wanted no human sacrifice. There, God instructed Abraham in the ending of human sacrifice.”

    This is how the Fathers interpret ““They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind” [Jer 19:5] “’which I commanded not’- this refers to the sacrifice of the son of Mesha, the king of Moab (2 Kings 3:27); ‘nor spake it’; this refers to the daughter of Jephthah (Judges 11:31); ‘neither came it into My mind’; this refers to the sacrifice of Isaac, the son of Abraham.”

  • Tasmin wrote, “I would say God wants me to know him and love him and serve him, in this life and the next. So, how does he do that without giving reasons based on human needs of any kind?”

    “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground. I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.” [Lev 11:44-45]

PopeWatch: Prank

Saturday, March 1, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

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

 

Pope Francis is apologizing this morning after it was revealed that a video of the Pontiff calling for “communion” with Protestant communities was actually a prank. In a candid video taken from an iPhone earlier this morning, Francis expressed regret for the video sent to a recent gathering of Charismatic and Pentecostal ministers hosted by Kenneth Copeland, in which he stated that he desired “Christians to become one again.”

“No joke, Benedict and I were having a couple glasses of wine, and I remember saying, ‘You dare me? Let’s make a bet on it.’ I said there’s no way they fall for it,” Francis said in his video. “So I bet him that there was no way in a million years that you guys would fall for it. And that line about Catholics and Protestants being brothers and that we should all give each other spiritual hugs? Honestly? Benedict literally spit out his wine. I’m sorry and all, but come on…you actually fell for the whole ‘The miracle of unity has begun stuff?’ Seriously…now I’ve lost the bet and have to wear his red shoes all of Lent.

Francis also went on to say that he was utterly flabbergasted that the Pentecostals believed that they could truly become one with the Catholic Church despite the little fact that they are not even close to being in the same vicinity of agreement on core issues like the Canon of Scripture, the Virgin Birth, Clergy, Confessions, Eucharist, Contraception, and so on.

Francis did end his video on an positive note, though, saying that, “Other than that long list of Church teachings that you all disagree with, as well as your rejection of papal authority and the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, yes, we are one.

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Prank

  • This pointed punjabbery is the only effective means to sorting out the layers of layers of layers of misinformation. Love it.

  • “Other than that long list of Church teachings that you all disagree with, as well as your rejection of papal authority and the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, yes, we are one.

    *wry* A bit close to the bone for it to be pure humor!

  • I agree with Foxfier, “it is a bit close to the bone to be pure humor”

    My first thoughts go to any non Catholic Christians who might come upon Eye of the Tiber or even our blog and not realize it is all ‘humor’ etc. They might-as some of us have at other times, actually think that conversation in the Vatican did take place etc. Some can chuckle at the wry humor, and it is indeed wry, but we are not speaking of a political party here, or a secular issue. We are speaking of the real (if very imperfect) communion non-Catholic Christians have with the Church.

    Some think that “Ecumenism” is some new fangled idea thought up by the Second Vatican Council, however this is simply not true. Perhaps no one expressed it more clearly and succinctly than Saint Augustine, who died in 430 AD and was no ‘modernist’:

    “We entreat you brothers, as earnestly as we are able, to have charity, not only for one another, but also for those outside the Church. Of these, some are still pagans, who have not yet made an act of faith in Christ. Others are separated, insofar as they are joined with us professing faith in Christ our Head, but are yet divided from the unity of His Body. My friends, we must grieve over these as over our brothers. Whether they like it or not, they are our brothers; and they will only cease to be so when they no longer say Our Father”

  • Another good satire blog – but salty – is http://www.duffelblog.com, “the American military’s most-trusted news source”.

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PopeWatch: Pope Emeritus

Friday, February 28, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

John Allen, from his new perch as a Boston Globe columnist, notes recent actions taken in support of Pope Francis by the Pope Emeritus:

 

First, his closest aide and confidante, German Archbishop Georg Gänswein, gave an interview to the Reuters news agency on Feb. 9 in which he insisted there’s “a good feeling” between Francis and Benedict, and that the two men see one another often.

Second, Benedict XVI made a surprise appearance at a Feb. 22 consistory ceremony in which Francis elevated 19 new cardinals into the church’s most exclusive club, sitting in the front row and beaming during the event.

When Francis made his way over to wrap Benedict in a hug, the pope emeritus removed his white zucchetto, a skullcap that’s one of the symbols of the papal office — a small gesture that told insiders he was acknowledging Francis as the new boss.

Third, Benedict responded in writing to questions by veteran Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli concerning speculation that he’d been pressured to step down and therefore his resignation was invalid under church law. Following that reasoning to its logical conclusion, it would suggest that Francis isn’t really the pope.

Benedict dismissed the hypothesis as “simply absurd.”

“I took this step in full awareness of its gravity and novelty but with profound serenity of spirit,” Benedict wrote in comments published Feb. 26. “Loving the church also means having the courage to make difficult, painful choices, always keeping the good of the church in mind and not ourselves.”

Fourth, Gänswein, who still acts as Benedict’s private secretary and who lives with the former pope in a monastery on Vatican grounds, gave another interview to the Washington Post in which he said the two pontiffs didn’t know one another well at the beginning but are becoming steadily closer.

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11 Responses to PopeWatch: Pope Emeritus

  • “is why PopeWatch believes the retirement of a Pope is a very bad idea and hopes that Pope Benedict’s retirement will not be something his successors emulate.”

    Amen and Amen!!

  • ” . . .the retirement of a Pope is a very bad idea and hopes that Pope Benedict’s retirement will not be something his successors emulate.”

    I agree.

  • I can’t say one way or the other that future papal resignations would be a good idea, but definitely a Pope Emeritus who does not follow the example of humility that Benedict is setting would be very bad for the Church. Just imagine the scandal of such dissention! Thanks to the media and the internet it would be worse than the papal schisms of Avignon and Pisa, even if the actual words and deeds were minor by comparison.

    One thing about the resignation that I find positive is that it undermines many of the nasty criticisms of Benedict. Not that he or any pope should resign in the face of criticism – far from it! – but I love to see his critics proved wrong.

    In the matters of the resignation and election of a Pope we can only pray for God’s inspiration and direction. The fact that God’s will can be manifest in the actions of good but imperfect men should be seen as a comfort for us all.

  • Wow “….just imagine if the Pope Emeritus were right now airing differences he had with Pope Francis and imagine the chaos within the Church that would result. “. That opens some interesting possible concerns for me.
    Is it that the pope Emeritous would not have freedom to express his real and deeply held concern, if such were to be the case. Would he have the duty to speak or the duty to keep silent ? Would he have to choose Order over Truth?

  • Good questions, Anzlyne. Cardinals, especially the papabile, must face the same issues from time to time to some (hopefully small) degree. It is all likely resolved the same way: Order and Truth both get served, in private.

  • Anzlyne,

    It would not and never should be ‘order over truth’, but always ‘truth with charity’ and that is expressed in communion. Communion is what we all need and should strive for-from the ‘last’ member of the Church to the ‘first’

  • I agree Botolph there shouldn’t be a conflict between Truth and Order! God IS Truth and we see His mark of Order in everything He has revealed of Himself. We know there is no contradiction in God. …and Justice and Peace shall kiss .., but not in this temporal world
    My thoughts were just about a hypothetical bind possible for a pope Emeritus who strongly disagreed with the pope and how obliged he would be to speak or to keep silence in order not to unleash chaos ( or you might say- Protestantism ). Sorry. My own wacky sense of humor there
    And of course you are right. Communion is the answer.

  • On the other hand, what if Benedict were as nasty as the press thinks, and Francis were as liberal as they think, and Francis stepped down too, and then a new pope was elected and the three of them had to live under the same roof at St. Peter’s! And they had a sassy African-American secretary who wouldn’t take no lip from any of them. And the janitor is a Muslim fundamentalist who keeps trying to kill them. My Three Popes, coming this fall on ABC.

  • Pinky,

    You are a riot!

  • “My Three Popes, coming this fall on ABC.”

    I volunteer to be the surly “uncle” who keeps house!

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PopeWatch: Pope of Silence?

Thursday, February 27, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Sandro Magister has some riveting commentary at his blog Chiesa:
But one morning, on November 18, instead of the devil he  took aim at the “single form of thinking that is the fruit of worldliness,” that wants to subject everything to “hegemonic uniformity.” A single form of thought, he continued, that already dominates the world and even legalizes “the death penalty,” even “human sacrifices” complete with “laws that protect them.” And he cited one of his favorite novels, the apocalyptic “Lord of the World” by Robert H. Benson.

When early this February he leafed through the sixteen pages of the UN report,  which peremptorily enjoin upon the Catholic Church that it “correct” its teaching on abortion, on the family, on sex, Francis must have become even more convinced that events were proving him right, that the prince of this world was really at work and by heaping praise on his vaunted “openness” wanted to associate even him, the pope, with the enterprise of making the Church conform to the hegemonic school of thought, in order to annihilate it.

It is not easy to enter into the mind of pope Bergoglio. His words are like the tiles of a mosaic whose design is not immediately apparent. He also makes tough and biting remarks, but never at a moment in which they could generate conflict.

If he had pronounced that tremendous homily of his against the single form of thought that intends to hegemonize the world the day after the publication of the UN report and explicitly in response to it, the event would have entered into the “breaking news” of global information. But it was not to be. Delivered on an arbitrary day, that same homily did not cause the slightest chagrin. It was ignored.

And yet it is precisely there that the concealed thought of the Jesuit pope is to be found, his judgment on the present era of the world.

“The view of the Church is known, and I am a son of the Church,” Francis says and says again. His thought is the same as that which is written in the catechism. And sometimes he recalls this combatively for those who expect him to change doctrine, as in the least-cited passage of his “Evangelii Gaudium,” where he has the harshest of words against the “right” to abortion.

But he never proclaims Church teaching out loud at a moment when the dispute over an issue has become heated.

He has kept quiet now that the euthanasia of children has been permitted by law in Belgium. He keeps himself apart from the millions of citizens of every faith who in France and in other countries are opposing the dissolution of the idea of the family made up of father, mother, and children. He has remained silent after the unprecedented affront of the UN report.

With this he intends to blunt the weapons of the adversary. To defeat him with the immense popularity of his figure as pastor of the mercy of God.

There is a Jacobin-style attack against the Church, not only in France, that simply wants to exclude it from civil discourse.

But there is also a more subtle attack that cloaks itself as a consensus for a Church refurbished and new, up to date, in step with the times. There is also this in the popularity of Francis, a pope “like never before,” finally “one of us,” molded through a copy-and-paste of his open, adaptable statements.

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26 Responses to PopeWatch: Pope of Silence?

  • “”A single form of thought, he continued, that already dominates the world A single form of thought, he continued, that already dominates the world and even legalizes “the death penalty,” even “human sacrifices” complete with “laws that protect them.”
    .
    “”and even legalizes “the death penalty,””
    .
    What does the Catechism of the Catholic church say? What does Aquinas say about bringing capital one murderers to Divine Justice? as self defense?
    .
    Today, The Dialog, paper of the Diocese of Wilmington, headline reads: Anti-death penalty is Pro-life.” Sister Helen Prejean of “Dead Man Walking” is giving a talk at St. Josephs in Middletown, Delaware. The poor capital murderer who laid in wait and executed his victim does not deserve to be brought to Justice.(or let him go to hell?)
    .
    Do to the capital one murderer, as he has done to his victim. “Do unto others as you would be done unto”
    .
    Any person who supports this anti-death penalty says he is not willing to die for his cold blooded plotting and killing of another, his neighbor. Justice be damned.
    .
    If Sister Helen Prejean conspires to murder you, obtains a lead pipe wrapped in a rubber hose and crushes your skull, kicks and drags your body into a ditch and leaves you there to bleed to death, she should be housed and fed and cared for by the remaining citizenry while she daily enjoys remembering, reliving and re-enacting her triumphant rejection of our living God. Justice?

  • Capital punishment is the temporal punishment due to capital one homicide. Temporal punishment is an integral part of the Sacrament of Penance. To repudiate capital punishment is to repudiate the Sacrament of Penance instituted by Jesus Christ, Himself. To repudiate Jesus Christ is to repudiate the Catholic church.

  • Before you ask. My brother’s skull was crushed by a lead pipe wrapped in a rubber hose. The murderer just happened to have the lead pipe wrapped in a rubber hose handy. My brother’s body was kicked and dragged into a gutter where he was left to bleed to death.
    .
    The murderer hanged himself eight years later.
    .
    Jesse Timendaquas lured seven year old Megan Kanka into his house, raped and strangled her to death. The ban on capital punishment was in effect in New Jersey and to this day Jesse Timendaquas is in solitary confinement reliving, reenacting and enjoying his crime. Justice

  • Mary, I’m terribly sorry for your loss.

  • I read the Lord of the World recently. Among other things, it is very prescient in its depiction of euthanasia clinics in Europe.
    .
    The final pages of the book describe the Lord of the World looking, looking, looking for the Pope. Does Francis remind us that the World is looking for him now for the same reason? And, who will spring the trap on whom?

  • “The view of the Church is known, and I am a son of the Church” While I am sure the Pope does not mean to come off that way, to me it sounds like he is really just ” towing the (Vatican) line” and may not not really believe it , but he is going to go along with it because he is simply being loyal. Like he has put no real thought into being pro-life or standing against divorce. JPII was clearly anti-abortion and opposed contraception. Benedict as well. You could believe they opposed it independently of what the Church said. Francis does not inspire the same confidence for me.

  • tamsin: Days before his death, my brother was radiant, his cheeks were rosy and there was a joy in him even he had never known. Known only to God. Remember him at Mass.

  • In the past, popes may not have been silent, but they were often remarkably sparing of ink and paper.
    When Pope Innocent X issued his bull, Cum Occasione, against Jansenism, he selected and condemned five propositions taken from Jansen’s book in the following words:

    1.” Some of God’s precepts are impossible to the just, who wish and strive to keep them, according to the present powers which they have; the grace, by which they are made possible, is also wanting” – Declared and condemned as rash, impious, blasphemous, condemned by anathema [anathemate damnatam], and heretical.

    2. “In the state of fallen nature one never resists interior grace” – Declared and condemned as heretical.

    3. “In order to merit or demerit in the state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from external compulsion is sufficient” – Declared and condemned as heretical.

    4. “The Semi-Pelagians admitted the necessity of a prevenient interior grace for each act, even for the beginning of faith; and in this they were heretics, because they wished this grace to be such that the human will could either resist or obey” – Declared and condemned as false and heretical.

    5. “It is Semi- Pelagian to say that Christ died or shed His blood for all men without exception” – Declared and condemned as false, rash, scandalous, and understood in this sense, that Christ died for the salvation of the predestined, impious, blasphemous, contumelious, dishonouring to divine kindness [divinae pietati derogantem], and heretical.

    That, omitting formal parts, is the whole of the bull – no arguments nor explanations, but a simple ruling, clear and definitive.

    Modern popes would be well advised to follow suit.

  • Mary De Voe,
    As Ludwig Ott stated in section 8 (Introduction) of “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma” back in 1952…” the ordinary and usual form of the Papal teaching activity is not infallible”. We’ll get more of the new anti death penalty error when someone translates the new findings of the international theological commission on monotheism and violence. Their introduction hinted at continuing Benedict’s dark passages theme from section 42 of Verbum Domini which itself insinuated that the dooms or bans God ordered were really sins of
    the ancient Jews. Unfortunately theology is meshing with image making and with problems in modern biblical scholarship simultaneously. There is also the feminization of males talked about by Plato in Book three of the
    Republic…ie if males are all culture and no sports, they will become feminized. I’m not saying our theologians should do time in the UFC octagon…but it wouldn’t hurt. I know many loved Benedict for sexual conservativism but biblically, you were in for a surprise if you read him closely in Verbum Domini sect.42. The man ordered his own personal fragrance…he was not going to accept the bans or dooms of the OT. Ironically he and his commission I’m sure have not noticed that the largest doom was in 70 AD and predicted by Christ…between 600,000 and 1.1 million killed.,.and it wasn’t in the Old Testament. By taking the Bible as an open cafeteria on the death penalty issue, the last three Popes have undermined the sexual strictness that is also biblical. How can you tell gays to bow before Romans chapter one’s condemnation of gay acts when three Popes have circumvented Romans 13:4 that calls for the state’s sword to administer not our wrath BUT GOD’S WRATH. You can’t. You can’t be biblically cafeteria on your issue and tell the gays their issue is inerrantly condemned while your issue of violence needs a textual critic, a redaction critic, a source critic…all from Harvard to help you remake the Church into Joan Baez on this one area of violence. The girl could sing by the way. But we need clergy who attend concerts less and at least watch LeBron last night play with a broken nose and score 31 points. The last three Popes are adamantly anti violence. Or are they? Not one has taken the Sig Sauer pistols and Heckler and Koch submachine guns away from the Swiss Guard. Not one. Very expensive and reliable killing machines…those guns. Will Francis switch them to mace after the new report gets translated? I think not.

  • “that option is not available for a Pope”

    What about Pope Pius XII’s alleged “silence” on the Holocaust — i.e. not making repeated public denunciations of the Nazis when to do so would NOT have prevented their actions and would only have enraged them further to attack Catholics? Maybe there is room for exercising prudence in just when and how much fuel to toss on a burning issue, so that it doesn’t flare up out of control?

  • “What about Pope Pius XII’s alleged “silence” on the Holocaust”

    Which is a complete and total myth:

    http://www.catholicleague.org/a-righteous-gentile-pope-pius-xii-and-the-jews/

    People arguing that the silence of a Pope can be a prudent course must choose someone other than Pius XII.

  • Mary De Voe,

    I read with horror the story you shared about the murder of your beloved brother. I am so sorry for your horrendous loss. I will keep him in prayer and you as well. In the meantime I will not enter into the death penalty aspect of this conversation with you out of respect for your brother and you. I never lost anyone to murder. Be assured of my thoughts and prayers

  • “People arguing that the silence of a Pope can be a prudent course must choose someone other than Pius XII. ”
    .
    Gary Krupp is a Jewish supporter of Pope Pius XII. His Pave the Way Foundation records the facts of the Jews saved by Pius XII.
    .
    Botolph: ”
    I will not enter into the death penalty aspect of this conversation with you out of respect for your brother and you. I never lost anyone to murder. Be assured of my thoughts and prayers.”
    .
    Thank you for your prayers.
    .
    I hope this helps. To understand the death penalty one must understand separation of church and state as John Henry Cardinal Newman explained it.
    .
    “It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.”
    .
    Also: “But when a man kills another after maliciously scheming to do so, you must take him even from my altar (compassion, mercy) and put him to death.” Exodus 21:14 Capital One Homicide. Premeditated murder. The condemned murderer must expire with grief over his crime. The victim’s innocence is impugned. Did the victim deserve to be put to death? The victim’s life is taken from him. The victim’s innocence must be vindicated. The only way to ban capital punishment, the death penalty, for capital one murder is to expunge homicide.
    .
    The Sacerdotal priesthood, ordained and sacred cannot execute the death penalty, even while still enjoying citizenship. Many of the priesthood of the laity so pronounced by Vatican II have conscientious objection to the death penalty for reasons of love for God and His creation, human life. For this reason, capital one death penalty must be tried on a case by case basis “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional ) posterity” as posited in our Constitution…In Thomas Aquinas’ words…self defense. These persons, guilty of murder, cannot be at liberty to desecrate other innocent person’s souls.
    .
    Banning the death penalty denies equal Justice for the victim. The murderer must run jeopardy of life for his crime. The murderer must be tried for his life. If the murderer is truly repentant, he will expire with grief over his crime, or, as the capital one murderer is brought to Justice he will meet his own persona through power of attorney on the gallows in the person of the executioner.
    .
    Reliving and remembering his offense against God and man cannot be allowed by the state, nor by the church. Capital punishment must be observed by the Catholic Church as a remedy and as a means of salvation for the offender.
    .
    Vatican II did not render the Old Testament meaningless or obsolete.
    .
    The state does not own the victim, nor the offender. The church does not own the victim, nor the offender. God owns all souls. God says the capital one murderer “must be taken from my altar (of compassion and mercy). He must be put to death.” Exodus 21:14.
    .
    Now, we have Sister (no sister of mine) Helen Prejean preaching that the people who hunger and thirst for Justice are “hateful” and using the Catholic Church as a venue for her insipid stupidity. The woman has nothing good to say about letting condemned capital one murderers live, because there is nothing good to say about letting condemned capital one murderers live. Prejean wrote a book, made a movie and gets plenty of press, but the blood of my brother cries out from the ground. The victim’s family are too busy burying their dead to respond.

  • The church forgives sins. The state prosecutes crime.
    .
    Capital one homicide is one of only two reasons the state executes a person. The other being the bloodguilt of treason.
    .
    The state does not have the authentic authority to forgive capital one homicide because the victim is dead. The state cannot forgive the crime of capital one homicide by banning capital punishment because the state does not own the citizen.
    .
    The church cannot execute capital punishment because the church is instituted to bring souls to Christ. Jesus said: “My kingdom is not of this world.” Capital punishment is of this world.

  • Mary De Voe,

    Mary, I still am against the USE of the death penalty, but let me say that in all the various arguments I have heard and read what you just wrote is the most cogent point that indeed does need to be made (on both sides of the argument) The Church forgives sins; the State does not and cannot forgive sins. The victim is indeed tragically dead and the State does not own the citizen.

    With all arguments pro and con I still fundamentally believe (with the Church by the way) that the State has the duty/right to protect its citizens-thus the State’s duty/right to protect the unborn, children, the disabled, elderly, infirm, and its general citzenship in a ‘just war’ [Yes I believe in the just war principles taught by the Church]. It is how that duty/right is exercised that I think people (can) differ.

  • Botolph: “[Yes I believe in the just war principles taught by the Church]. It is how that duty/right is exercised that I think people (can) differ.”

    At the end of the movie Judgment at Nuremberg, somebody asks: “Where did we go wrong?” and the judge answers: “When you killed the first innocent person.” Many people have conscientious objections to a just war and one is free to hold those objections.
    .
    My vehement objection is to the making of the anti-death penalty position into a pro-life position for that is nonsense. A true pro-life position on the death penalty can be seen only through the lens of heaven and hell, with denying to the capital one murderer the time to relive and enjoy his crime. Can God accept insult heaped upon injury?
    .
    P.S. In New Jersey, the law says that a prisoner returning to society must be given his old job back. I worked with a murderer, an unrepentant, arrogant murderer waiting for another opportunity to kill somebody to watch them die. He bragged about his homicide. And then there was Scot Johnson who said: “I am going out to kill somebody.” and then there was the rapist who hacked his victim’s head 47 times with an ax. The court said that it did not know if he wanted to kill her or only inflict serious bodily injury. Oh, How I wish these guys would move in with Sister Prejean.

  • Mary De Voe,
    New Jersey is nightmare on self defense. They have just reduced magazines to ten shots so if you are shooting in the dark at three home invaders, you had better be an ex sniper. Outdoors they permit only an amount of pepper spray sufficient for two attackers maybe…if there is no wind. If it’s windy, you’re up the creek sans paddle. I have broken their laws by using epikeia in good conscience since there exists one eminent gentleman in N.J. who has promised to glock me into kingdom come. I feared he was on the Hoover St. Gangsta Crips after I beat him in a street fight after he robbed my house…but they would have ended me by now so I think he is on his own. I wear blue most days just in case he links up with them in prison and they all do a drive by. I’ll yell…”can’t touch me, I’m wearing blue…I be crippin”….pop…pop,pop,pop….pop. “New Jersey and you…perfect together”… one of our state ads from the Tom Kean past.

  • “Which is a complete and total myth”

    Yes, I know that, which is why I put “silence” in quotes and added the term “alleged”. I am simply pointing out that not beating a topic to death at every possible opportunity, and not loudly and publicly denouncing every evil action particularly when such denunciations are not likely to improve the lot of the people who are suffering and may in fact lead to further crackdown against them, does NOT equal “silence” on the subject.

  • “out that not beating a topic to death at every possible opportunity”

    In my experience most priests talk about abortion once a year in their sermons, and the next sermon against gay marriage I hear will be the first one. I have never heard one sermon against contraception or divorce. Most priests I think need little encouragement from the Pope not to talk about things which might distress the “go with the flow” wing of Catholicism.

  • particularly when such denunciations are not likely to improve the lot of the people who are suffering and may in fact lead to further crackdown against them,

    What further crackdowns should we expect if the Pope dared to actually speak out against something?

    Donald, fortunately my experience has been better than yours in that the Priests at my parish have regularly spoken up about such controversial issues.

  • Botolph: “The victim is indeed tragically dead and the State does not own the citizen.”
    .
    The power of the state, since the state is constituted by the sovereign personhood endowed by our Creator, God, to mankind and mankind constitutes the state, it may be said that our Creator, through His creatures’ sovereign personhood and free will, endowed by God to man, constitutes and creates the state. Therefore, it follows that the state is an arm of God created to defend and distribute the Wrath of God to people who deserve to have the Wrath of God down upon them for having willfully and unmercifully murdered others.
    .
    The execution of capital punishment, the death penalty, is the state acting as an arm of God.
    .
    I am grieving over the use of the “anti death penalty” position being proclaimed as being “pro-life”. If this is what you, Botolph are being inducted to, or as being supportive of, look at the sovereignty being denied to your very soul, for you are being used as a pawn to actually destroy the pro-life position and the prolife movement in the church, a very subtle but very real swindle.
    .
    Separate the two positions as being unequal. The differences, as usual, are the innocence and virginity of the newly begotten sovereign person in the womb and the unmitigated, unrelenting murderous deeds of the criminal. Destroy and obliterate the innocence and virginity created by “our Creator” and you will have destroyed and obliterated the virtue of JUSTICE. Without JUSTICE, man becomes a beast, devoid of the use of his rational, immortal human soul.
    Being anti-death penalty removes the guilt and equal Justice demanded by the human soul.
    Quietly, the demons, carry us, the human beings, into darkness and hell.

  • Bill Bannon, Yes, “New Jersey is nightmare on self defense”. “False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that it has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are of such a nature. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” ~Cesare Beccaria – 1764. We left New Jersey in 1965, and miss friends, relatives and good Jewish Rye Bread but not the draconian gun laws that make it a felony to carry an unloaded shotgun in a soft case in the back of a station wagon on one’s way home from a duck hunt. The Devil delights in a world turned upside down.

  • William P. Walsh,
    You’ll laugh. They just tightened the home to gun range restrictions so that you can’t drive off course several blocks to visit Aunt Bea on the way to or from the range. I think of Pacino in Scarface saying, ” I said to tell him you were in a sanitarium not in sanitation”. Here in N.J., we’re in both.

  • Bill Bannon,
    When we were kids, going to the dump to shoot rats was common, no big deal. Now the rats are running the State. 😉

  • “Bill Bannon, When we were kids, going to the dump to shoot rats was common, no big deal. Now the rats are running the State.”
    There is much hope in Chris Christi. He is pro-life, refused to fund Planned Parenthood for several years and put the teachers’ union in their place. Chris Christi refuses to be bullied. Now, back to shooting rats.

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PopeWatch: Mammon

Wednesday, February 26, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Ah, the Church and money.  That has been a problem area since Judas was treasurer and helped himself to the contents of the purse.  Most popes, all of them over the past two centuries, have announced initiatives to reform this vexing area.  Pope Francis has his go at it:

 

In the most concrete sign to date of his intention to reform the Vatican, Pope Francis announced the creation Monday of a single authority to handle all business, administrative and personnel management at the Holy See, a response to the rash of financial scandals that have tarnished the Roman Catholic Church’s reputation among believers and nonbelievers.
The new Secretariat for the Economy will draw up the Vatican’s annual budget, call on lay experts for advice and launch surprise internal audits. The body will help ensure “a more formal commitment to adopting accounting standards and generally accepted financial management and reporting practices, as well as enhanced internal controls, transparency and governance,” the Vatican said in a statement.
Heading the secretariat is Australian Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, who has been a critic of the Vatican’s lack of accounting transparency. Pell is a member of a group of eight handpicked cardinals whom Francis has tasked with advising him on how to reform the Holy See.
“If we make better use of the resources entrusted to us, we can improve our capacity to support the good works of the church, particularly our works for the poor and disadvantaged,” Pell, 72, said in a statement.

In a papal document known as a motu proprio, Francis decreed that Pell would work with a 15-member council made up of eight senior prelates from different parts of the world, as well as seven lay experts “of various nationalities, with financial skills and acknowledged professional status.” The pope has already hired independent firms such as Ernst & Young and KPMG to help shake up the Vatican’s complicated and murky bureaucracy.
Centralizing many financial powers under the new secretariat represents the biggest change to the Curia, the Vatican administration, since John Paul II overhauled operations in 1988.

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8 Responses to PopeWatch: Mammon

  • Some children learn the decimal system through the counting of money. It seems that some in the Vatican have not yet accomplished that or are they being purposely obtuse to hide mischief?
    .
    George Cardinal Pell is a good man.

  • The race is on to see which will first be able to produce an audited record of accounts, the Holy See or the US Federal Government.

  • Someone needs to make a joke about how this should be the Inquisition’s job…. (I would, but I can’t remember what they’re called now!)

  • George Cdl. Pell is a very good man. He is a dinkum straight shooting Aussie, and has been a huge inspiration to many of the faithful here down under.
    He doesn’t take any crap – if anyone can sort out the bullshit from the chewed dates, he can.

  • Oops.
    My previous comment is a bit on the coarse side.
    Ah well…………you can take the man out of the building site, but you can’t take the building site out of the man.

  • Ernst & Young! This company is very pro-abortion, and funds many organizations that are pro=abortion and supporters of Planned Parenthood. How discouraging to those of us working so hard to get PP DE-funded!

  • Mary and Don. Yes Cardinal Pell is a very good man!

    The nations Catholic watched in glee when he debated Richard Dawkins on television a few years ago. Although, Dawkins can only blame himself for his non-sensical, uncommitted babble. Pell was brilliant in his arguments.

    I’m sad, though, that this new appointment will mean Cardinal Pell will leave his current post here in Australia. I’m praying God will give us an equally honest, forthright and deeply spiritual leader.

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PopeWatch: Burke on the Francis Effect

Tuesday, February 25, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

 

This is interesting.  Raymond Cardinal Burke has an article in  L’Osservatore Romano on The Francis Effect.  Father Z provides the commentary:

During a recent visit to the United States, I was repeatedly impressed by how deeply Pope Francis has penetrated the national conversation on a whole range of issues. His special gift of expressing direct care for each and all has resonated strongly with many in my homeland.

At the same time, I noted a certain questioning about whether Pope Francis has altered or is about to alter the Church’s teaching on a number of the critical moral issues of our time, [I get a lot of this. A stewardess on a flight the other day gave me that song and dance.] for example, the teaching on the inviolable dignity of innocent human life, and the integrity of marriage and the family. Those who questioned me in the matter were surprised to learn that the Holy Father has in fact affirmed the unchanging and unchangeable truths of the Church’s teaching on these very questions. They had developed a quite different impression as a result of the popular presentation [read: mainstream media] of Pope Francis and his views.

Clearly, the words and actions of the Holy Father require, on our part, a fitting tool of interpretation, [read: hermeneutic] if we are to understand correctly what he intends to teach. My friend and colleague at the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, put it this way in a recent article in this newspaper: “The Holy Father instructs with his words, but effectively teaches through his actions. This is his uniqueness and his magnetism” (L’Osservatore Romano, English edition, [ore] 13 December 2013, p. 7). In other words, Pope Francis is exercising strongly his gift for drawing near to all people of good will. It is said that when he manifests his care for a single person, as he does so generously whenever the occasion presents itself, all understand that he has the same care for each of them.

With regard to his manner of addressing the critical issues, the Holy Father himself has described his approach, when he stated: “We cannot insist only [get that?] on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time” (“The Pope’s Interview”, [TBI™] ore, 25 September 2013, p. 14). In other words, the Holy Father wants, first, to convey his love of all people so that his teaching on the critical moral questions may be received in that context. [When Francis uttered the infamous “Who am I to judge?”, it was in a context.  HERE] But his approach cannot change the duty of the Church and her shepherds to teach clearly and insistently about the most fundamental moral questions of our time. I think, for instance, of the Holy Father’s words to the participants in the second annual March for Life in Rome on 12 May of last year, or of his Twitter message to the participants in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on 22 January.

[…]

In a similar way, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the Church’s perennial teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, [get that?] as well as the practical importance of the Church’s canonical discipline in seeking the truth regarding the claim of the nullity of a marriage. I think in particular of his words to the Plenary Assembly of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: “It is always necessary to keep in mind the effective connection between the action of the Church which evangelizes and the action of the Church which administers justice. The service of justice is an undertaking of the apostolic life…. I encourage all of you to persevere in the pursuit of a clear and upright exercise of justice in the Church, in response to the legitimate desires that the faithful address to their Pastors, especially when they trustingly request that their own status be authoritatively clarified” (ore, 15 November 2013, p. 8).

[So, Your Eminence, what is Francis doing?] Pope Francis has clearly reaffirmed the Church’s moral teaching, in accord with her unbroken tradition. What, then, does he want us to understand about his pastoral approach in general? It seems to me that he first wishes to have people set aside every obstacle which they imagine to prevent them from responding with faith. He wants, above all, that they see Christ and receive His personal invitation to be one with Him in the Church.

The Holy Father, it seems to me, wishes to pare back every conceivable obstacle people may have invented to prevent themselves from responding to Jesus Christ’s universal call to holiness. We all know individuals who say things like: “Oh, I stopped going to Church because of the Church’s teaching on divorce”, or “I could never be Catholic because of the Church’s teaching on abortion or on homosexuality”. The Holy Father is asking them to put aside these obstacles and to welcome Christ, without any excuse, into their lives. Once they come to understand the immeasurable love of Christ, alive for us in the Church, they will be able to resolve whatever has been troubling them about the Church, His Mystical Body, and her teaching.

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2 Responses to PopeWatch: Burke on the Francis Effect

  • I sense that the Holy Father is a man of great personal holiness and generally wants to reach people who feel that they are marginalized and let them know that God loves them and that Jesus Christ’s teachings are for everyone.

    The Holy Father’s apparent disdain for Traditional Catholicism turns off many who would be his biggest supporters. I know Richard + Williamson was in his archdiocese and + Williamson is hard to take for most Catholics, but we all aren’t + Williamson.

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PopeWatch: No Gossip

Monday, February 24, AD 2014

5 Responses to PopeWatch: No Gossip

  • Christ of course foresaw all this, which is why He said that leaders should be servants and not attempt to be lords. History reveals how well His admonition has been followed.

    True, but no reason not to remind the assembled Cardinals, just as it might help to remind the laity that the Ten Commandments are still in force.

    I suspect that many of the Cardinals are, in their own minds innocent innocent of gossip, intrigue, &c. But they certainly pass along critical information to trusted, like-minded friends and act together for the good of the Church and try to promote good people who share their ideas.

  • “True, but no reason not to remind the assembled Cardinals, just as it might help to remind the laity that the Ten Commandments are still in force.”

    Agreed, but I suspect that this statement by the Pope will have as much effect as similar statements by previous Popes to their cardinals.

  • Pope Francis is like an iron hand in a velvet glove. Will red hats be recalled if the wearers fall from grace?

  • Well, one of the new cardinals is a careerist par excellence. No names, no pack drill, but his cathedral choir (the best of its kind in the world) was singing in St Peter’s over the weekend, which is why Benedict made a surprise appearance on Saturday.

  • “Pope Francis is like an iron hand in a velvet glove”.

    Well put, Mary de Voe. Every time he speaks my angel says “another two by four from Papa. Go to confession! ” 🙂

PopeWatch: No Gold for the Vatican

Saturday, February 22, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

One loss is good for the soul.  Too many losses is not good for the coach.

Knute Rockne

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

SOCHI, Russia––For only the third time in Winter Games history, the United States swept the podium, capturing the top three spots Thursday in Slopestyle Skiing’s Olympic debut, an event that many sports historians say was created in the past four years by a half-baked college kid in his dorm room in Colorado. In the meantime, the Vatican has yet to medal, leading EOTT to ask just why the Holy See National Team has failed to take to the podium.

“From what I’ve seen, it’s probably because there is no Holy See Olympic team. I’d definitely start there,” said EOTT sports reporter S.C. Naoum in an interview with Raymond Arroyo this morning. “The problem is that the Church is not impulsive. They take their time with nearly everything, including canonizations, which have been known to take centuries. There’s no way they could ever learn the ever-changing sports that seemingly materialize out of nowhere every four years.

The last time the Holy See had an Olympian was in the 2012 Vancouver games when Father Roberto Manisini competed in Cross Country Skiing. Mansini took last place that year after Vatican officials took nearly three months to pray and contemplate whether Mansisni should remain behind the pack to conserve energy, or to try to take an early lead. Afterwards came another two years of back-and-forth paper work passed from one Vatican department to the other, until then Pope Benedict XVI gave his final seal of approval to conserve his energy and wait for a better opportunity. Mansini came in last with a time of 19,723 hours.

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One Response to PopeWatch: No Gold for the Vatican

  • “The Vatican City National football team did defeat Portugal 2-1 although the Portuguese coach said that some of his players were worried about scoring against God’s football team.”
    For long, Notre Dame’s football team has been making “Hail Mary passes”. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

PopeWatch: Pressure

Friday, February 21, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

One of the biggest mistakes thus far of the current pontificate is those idiotic questionnaires which were ordered in preparation for the synod on the family in October, at least, judging from what Sandro Magister at Chiesa is reporting, that might well be the private assessment of Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri:

Finally, on Monday the 24th and Tuesday the 25th of February there will be a meeting of the council of the general secretariat of the synod of bishops, coordinated by the new cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri.

That assembly will begin to evaluate the responses to the questionnaire concerning the upcoming extraordinary synod in October, also dedicated to the pastoral care of the family.

The episcopal conferences of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have already seen to spreading all over the world, through detailed press releases, the responses that have come to them, tipped very much out of balance toward the progressive side.

But this diffusion has been judged as a “unilateral initiative” and “not correct” by Baldisseri, who reiterated in an interview how the publication of these materials, which were supposed to have been sent “confidentially” to the Vatican, were by no means authorized.

Not only that. The new cardinal – also in the same interview published in the “Quotidiano Nazionale” on February 11 – also defined as “a possible interpretation” that which sees the release of the data as a form of pressure for influencing the work of the synod.

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19 Responses to PopeWatch: Pressure

  • “The Catholic Church is a faith based upon revelations from God. If the Church is going to be swayed by questionnaires and opinion polls, then the Church is on the path of being like the Anglican Church, a dying shell of a religion that reflects the zeitgeist of the dominant elites in Western societies. One can imagine what the Church would have looked like she had “adapted” the Gospels to the beliefs of the elites who governed the Roman Empire 2000 years ago. Nothing is more permanent than a revelation from God, and nothing is more ephemeral than popular opinion.”
    .
    Very well said. Very well said. Helter skelter into the progressive mind set is what this synod on the family in October is called to avoid.

  • There is zero chance that the Church will alter dogma based on questionnaires. To be concerned otherwise is not compatible with Church teaching. Now, could the sense of the faithful inform certain practices of discipline and prudence? Certainly, that is possible, but I cannot see how these questions (I’ve responded to them, have others?) can work that way except perhaps in adjusting certain practices and procedures relating to annulments, which we all know are imperfect as they are. Are progressives assuming the questions will operate to adjust Church teaching on matters of life and sexual morality? Sure, but they are delusional. One can argue of course that the illuminatory value of these questionnaires will prove to be outweighted by the mischief caused by the predictible misunderstanding of their purpose, but I’m not sure that argument will prove to be right. I actually read the questions as very clearly reaffirming by assumption Church teaching, and therefore a two-way communication.

  • Bl John Henry Newman, who had a high view of the Consensus Fidelium, explains that “consulting the faithful” does not mean conducting an opinion poll – “It includes the idea of inquiring into a matter of fact, as well as asking a judgment. Thus we talk of “consulting our barometer” about the weather:-the barometer only attests the fact of the state of the atmosphere. In like manner, we may consult a watch or a sun-dial about the time of day. A physician consults the pulse of his patient; but not in the same sense in which his patient consults him. It is but an index of the state of his health. Ecclesiastes says, “Qui observat ventum, non seminat” we might translate it, “he who consults,” without meaning that we ask the wind’s opinion. “

    He adds, what I suppose no one ever disputed, “I think I am right in saying that the tradition of the Apostles, committed to the whole Church in its various constituents and functions per modum unius, manifests itself variously at various times: sometimes by the mouth of the episcopacy, sometimes by the doctors, sometimes by the people, sometimes by liturgies, rites, ceremonies, and customs, by events, disputes, movements, and all those other phenomena which are comprised under the name of history. It follows that none of these channels of tradition may be treated with disrespect; granting at the same time fully, that the gift of discerning, discriminating, defining, promulgating, and enforcing any portion of that tradition resides solely in the Ecclesia docens [The teaching Church or Magisterium]

    He quotes Peronne – “ Some are accustomed wrongly to urge silence on the part of the Fathers as impugning the existence of some tradition … But what if that silence is compensated in some other way? … by the exertion of an active ministry, by usage and practice, and established rituals, so as to implant a Catholic and apostolic doctrine in the community of the Church.” I am sure that Peronne was not thinking in terms of questionnaires and focus groups.

  • Well, depending on your perspective one should worry very much, or not at all: What can be done is what was done at Vatican II:

    The massive number of interrogatories sent to bishops, cardinals and archbishops all around the world in 1960-1961 asking for their input for the schemata of the coming council were received and collated by the Roman Curia. The results? Their single largest area of concern was the need for the Catholic Church to officially condemn communism/socialism, as bishops and other episcopal leadership were seeing Leninist principles invading their seminaries and universities world-wide. Changing the liturgy or a redefinition of the theology of the Church was a minimal priority, if mentioned at all.

    And what resulted: This schema and all the other truly “collegial” schemas gathered from these questionnaires @ V2…were simply set aside at the first plenary session, shortly after the opening address by P John XXIII Oct 11, 1962. And if these arent set aside, one can always turn the microphone off, too, like Card. Alfrink of Utrecht (where now the Catholic population has dropped from 50% pre Vat2 to 15% today) did to Card. Ottaviani, during Ottaviani’s fiery speech objecting to the radical takeover of the council by the Congar-Kung-Rahner party (Oct. 30, 1962).

    So, either way, nothing to worry about here. I think.

  • I honestly don’t understand how the Pope choosing over 50 years ago to ignore responses to questionnaires serves to predict that the Pope will choose today to rely on responses to questionnaires to change Church teaching. Again, the questions were obviously aimed at determining the degree to which Catholics are out of step with the magisterium, not determining the degree to which the magisterium is out of step with with Catholics — an important distinction. Steve, did you complete the questionnaire?

  • As a convert, I find it very difficult to believe that the priests and bishops (and yes, the Pope) didn’t know ahead a time what the responses would be. (No, I haven’t seen the questions; I am basing this statement upon hearing that most Catholics disagree with Church teaching of family, sex, divorce, etc.) Before I was Catholic, before I really knew any, I actually believed that
    .
    1) Catholics all used NFP [Scott Hahn was so simple and understandable in his and his wife’s tape series about contraception/sterilization/NFP, etc. Crystal clear. How could anyone argue with it, and why would anyone want too?]
    .
    2) Catholics didn’t get divorced.
    .
    Halfway through RCIA, I knew something wasn’t right. Something didn’t jive. By the time I was confirmed, I realized I was in the minority of people willing to use NFP, or even knew what it was.

  • The doctor must always get a full picture of what ails the patient before diagnosing the illness and then pointing the patient toward health through prescription, more intense medical care and or surgery.

    There have been ‘questionairres before all the Synods in fact, it is just that this one obviously is ‘hitting Catholics closer to home’ and the media sees it as a ‘hot topic’. This will only intensify and we will be hearing all sorts of conflicting reports. First because the media has no idea (or interest etc) in Revelation-the word of God. Secondly there will be those forces in the Church who believe they can organize and pressure the Synod Fathers. By the way, this is not a new tactic. Even in the days of the First Ecumenical Councils laity and monks assembled at the sites of the Councils to pressure the assembled bishops for their position and against the opposite side. The pressure often came from the supreme layman-the Emperor or King or princes-but it happened in every Council. No Council was without this-it is actually part of ‘synodality’ (having a ‘council’)

    The Sensus Fidelium is not, I repeat not, the result of a poll, a vote etc. The sense of the faithful is that portion (hopefully most) of the Church which adheres to the truth of the Catholic Faith, even in the midst of a great deal of turmoil etc. An example of the sensus fidelium are those Catholics who hold to the teaching on the meaning of conjugal charity as stated authoritatively in Humanae Vitae [most would be familiar with this in terms of ‘birth control’, however that is only one dimension of the teaching] Those faithful found in the hierarchy (pope and bishops), priests, deacons, consecrated religious and laity who hold and believe that marital (conjugal) love is both unitive and creative. love giving and life giving, today are those among the faithful who recognize that ‘marriage’ cannot take place between two people of the same sex. Same sex marriage cannot be life-giving by its very nature. Polls might say that these faithful are a minority, but they do represent the sensus fidelium-united with the pope and bishops who teach this truth.

    This Synod however may mark another significant turning point for the Church. That portion of the Church which is frequently named ‘liberal, ‘progressive’, ‘spirit of Vatican II’ in actuality has a very specific foundation and name going right back to the days of Vatican II. They are called “Concilium” after the (now defunct) publication that at first furthered Vatican II but shortly after the end of the Council took a more distinct and more radical direction-what many would call ‘progressive’ or ‘the spirit of VII’. Eventually they saw no limits to ‘reform’ in the Church because in their eyes little or nothing was based on Revelation nor did they see any real limitations to the nature, construction of the Church and thus of her mission. Everything was fluid, maleable etc Some notable names in this group were Hans Kung, Edward Schillebeecks, Karl Rahner

    In contra distinction to the Concilium group grew the Communio group, faithful to Vatican II and its real reforms but maintaining the Catholic Tradition, nature of the Church, etc. This group in its early days was led by such lights as Josef Ratzinger, Henri De Lubac, Hurs Von Baltazar, and others. It is from this theological powerhouse that the Church maintained stability in the first decade and a half after the end of Vatican II. From this the Extraordinary Synod of 1985 set forth the six principles of Interpreting Vatican II [the main one being the hermeneutic of continuity, set forth even more clearly by Pope Benedict in 2005]

    The Concilum group’s base is in Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries. Not al Germans etc belong to this mindset, but many do. Austria is almost in complete rebellion against the Church and one German diocese seems to be following suit. We might be witnessing the end of this seemingly endless tension between the Concilium model and Communio model now completely established in the mainstream of the Catholic Church. This may be the ‘setting sun’ for those who dream of a church that not only does not exist but cannot exist and call itself Catholic.

    The Church cannot and will not compromise on the Revelation received from Christ Himself Who taught that from the beginning marriage was meant to be between one man and one woman for life. Where the Church will probably look for pastoral solutions is to its canonical structures vis a vis divorce, annnulments. Since the first century the Church has had to deal with the reality of marriages that end for any number of reasons, and Christians who are less than ideal for any number of reasons. After all who among us can say we are ‘ideal’? (lol)

  • Botolph,
    .
    Since you mention Concilium and Fr. Hans Kung, Carl R. Trueman recently reported in “First Things” that:
    .
    “Hans Kung is planning to take his life. Or so he said in an interview last week in the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet. Kung is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, macular degeneration, and polyarthritis in his hands. Determined not to go gentle into that good night, he has apparently decided that he will at some point travel to Switzerland in order to be assisted in committing suicide. His reasoning is threefold: he does not wish to live when there is no quality of life; his life is a gift from God and he intends to give it back to God; and death, like birth, is “our own responsibility.”

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/02/kung-the-confused.

  • Slainte,

    Yes, indeed, a sad last chapter to Hans Kung’s life and legacy. In his early days, he was faith filled and brilliant, but soon after the Council led the Concilium in a direction that the Church did not follow, thanks be to God. If he had stuck with his real life’s work, which was the study of Luther, the Council of Trent etc, we might have seen the unification of Lutheran and Catholic Churches, however, he went off the rails and in many ways, became not just like Luther but far more radical.

  • Fr. Hans Kung could radically redeem himself if he spoke out against Euthanasia in favor of a better, more sacrificial way; this might alter public opinion in Belgium regarding child euthanasia.
    .
    There is a selfishness and a self-centeredness associated with members of the progressive movement. They think of themselves first.

  • Slainte,

    You are absolutely on target concerning his witness about euthanasia. Instead he is witnessing to the anti-word, and the anti-gospel (as Pope John Paul II called it). The Concilium was totally taken by the Enlightenment. I remember how struck I was when I received that ‘summa’ of Fr Karl Rahner which was entitlted “the Idea of Catholicism”. It seems that everything was, could be, and even should be a ‘mental construct’. For a time he and the others had a wide readership in the Church bit not anymore, their time has passed. That’s why I believe this will be the ‘final showdown’ for the Concilium crowd. They were hoping Pope Francis was one of them but he is not. With these two approaching synods, the main focus will be the family and marriage, yes, but with that will be the Catholic vision and teaching on human sexuality and on the human person (Christian anthropology). This is why there will be two synods: and Extraordinary Synod in October 2014, the (regularly scheduled) Synod of 2015 [both on the family, et al] and then the meeting of world wide Catholic families in Philadelphia-which Pope Francis will attend in 2015 as well. It is a threefold move.

  • I actually took the survey and found myself incredulous as I answered one question to the next. It suggested to me that either they were completely out of touch with reality, or were simply putting on a show by the questions asked. If they did not know the answers already then we are really in trouble. And another element was the unfounded and ridiculous assumption that the average Catholic would have read certain documents, or even be vaguely familiar with them. I wish they were but know they are not. It was in my estimation an exercise in futility and clearly demonstrates the wrong people- as usual – are conducting what should be a very important endeavor.

  • Kevin,

    What you say is disturbing. If that is the case then no wonder there is so much divergency in the various episcopal conferences’ responses. One more reason that we have in calling for a real reform of the Curia.

  • It seems there’s a wide agreement that the curia needs to be reformed, which might really only mean changes in personnel, with perhaps a possible additional office to be set up. Is that it?
    I would like to know how the pope sees the rationale for the existence of the curia— what it Should be and how the current situation could change for the better if it were “reformed”. I’d like to know what we are hoping for, what is the goal here?

    I hope it is not just changing out personnel (Burke, Rigali, etal ) to strengthen a more progressive agenda.
    I would hope the curia would be catholic or universal in its make up and in the way it addressed the many functions of the Church with a well rounded approach. Including transcendence, dogma and moral teaching, reaching out to the poor and needy, protecting the unborn etc.

  • The modern curia is the creation of Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) who, through his reforms, created the first modern bureaucracy in Europe. It was part of his genius that nothing more than assiduous mediocrity was needed for the system to function; its disadvantage was that it gave no scope to real talent.

    Now, as Walter Bagehot points out, “It is an inevitable defect, that bureaucrats will care more for routine than for results; or, as Burke put it, “that they will think the substance of business not to be much more important than the forms of it.” Their whole education and all the habit of their lives make them do so. They are brought young into the particular part of the public service to which they are attached; they are occupied for years in learning its forms—afterwards, for years too, in applying these forms to trifling matters. They are, to use the phrase of an old writer, “but the tailors of business; they cut the clothes, but they do not find the body”. Men so trained must come to think the routine of business not a means, but an end—to imagine the elaborate machinery of which they form a part, and from which they derive their dignity, to be a grand and achieved result, not a working and changeable instrument.”

    In this connection, he notes the old proverb that “Frederic the Great lost the battle of Jena”. It was the system which he had established—a good system for his wants and his times—which, blindly adhered to, and continued into a different age, put to strive with new competitors, brought his country to ruin.”

  • Botolph: “conjugal charity” the perfect phrase to express true love of one’s spouse.
    .
    slante: “”His reasoning is threefold: he does not wish to live when there is no quality of life; his life is a gift from God and he intends to give it back to God; and death, like birth, is “our own responsibility.” ”
    .
    Man, the human person, gives consent, free will consent, to his life and existence from the hand of God. The only ” responsibility” of man to God for his life is religion, man’s response to the gift of faith from God. The chasm between “consent” and “responsibility” is telling. “Consent” as in the “fiat” of Blessed Mary is allowing God to tell us how to live, to live and let live according to the will of God. “Responsibility” is taking unauthorized authority from God and telling God how to tell us how to live. In short “playing God”. All human sacrifice, abortion, euthanasia and indiscriminate killing usurps God’s sovereignty over mankind and mankind’s human, rational, immortal existence, mankind’s soul.
    .
    The devil, human sacrifice in the form of euthanasia, suicide and abortion is the chief form of worship of the devil; the devil wants Hans Kung’s soul. Let us pray for Hans Kung’s soul. The devil did not create Hans Kung’s soul. God is our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

  • “The devil, human sacrifice in the form of euthanasia, suicide and abortion is the chief form of worship of the devil; the devil wants Hans Kung’s soul. Let us pray for Hans Kung’s soul. The devil did not create Hans Kung’s soul. God is our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier”
    Amen Mary De Voe

  • Collecting relevant data points, information and reference material is rarely an issue. Only how that information is utilized .

PopeWatch: Impatient Lefties

Thursday, February 20, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Some of the Pope’s fans on the left are beginning to get impatient:

Spanish revolutionary, Harvard-educated public health specialist, abortion rights advocate and Roman Catholic nun.

These four labels seldom apply to the same person, but Sister Teresa Forcades, a 48-year-old woman from Barcelona, straddles many worlds.

In Europe she is the star of televised debates on feminism and religion, a leader of the Occupy movement in Spain who has taken on big corporate interests and a fierce critic of modern capitalism. 

She pulls no punches with her views. “I don’t think it is possible to have democracy and capitalism. They go against each other because the way we live capitalism is that we allow some corporations to have such power that they are able to influence government. And that’s the problem,” she told Al Jazeera in an interview.

Until recently, these controversial opinions might have led to her being reprimanded by the Vatican. But now, with a new leader in power apparently committed to fundamentally changing the church’s approach on social justice issues, she believes she’s merely taking some of Pope Francis’ ideas and running with them.

The new pope has invigorated the previously isolated social justice wing of the church, a change that many leading activists have welcomed. But at the same time, others are warning that his papacy has so far been more about a shift in tone than about substantive change on key issues such as abortion, women’s ordination and gay rights.

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18 Responses to PopeWatch: Impatient Lefties

  • Abortion rights advocate Catholic nun.
    .
    More and more, I find myself thinking not “What would Jesus do?” but “What would St. Peter do/say?”

  • I am finding “Harvard-educated” to be less and less as meaningful as it might have been a couple of generations ago. Perhaps “Harvard-indoctrinated . . .”

  • I’m trying to imagine how much glue I’d have to sniff for this article to make sense. I frankly don’t have that kind of time.

  • “Forcades said that while “in many cases the pope is right” when he calls abortion a sign of the world’s “throwaway culture,” she said a woman’s right to self-determination should supersede the rights of an unborn infant before it is able to survive outside its mother’s womb. Calling it “the argument of the lesser evil,” she said in some cases it is better to allow abortion than to force women into motherhood.”

    Evidently, Pinky, she’s beat you to it.

  • How long ago did we learn that there is no lesser evil?
    Also :
    “I mean there are some of the church’s structures that will need to change to come closer to the poor” ??? I missed it- what church structures is she talking about.

    “Francis’ misogynist interpretations of Scripture” reminds me that, like the young Wisconsin woman who spoke in defense of requiring Iowa State University to take Gideon Bibles out of hotel rooms, the misogyny is in the eye of the feminist.

    They won’t be happy until the Catholic Church is no longer what it is.

  • A Catholic nun normally has these “four labels;”

    Obedience to the teachings of Holy Catholic Church and it’s magisterium.

    Poverty

    Chasity

    Humility

    One without the others and the structural integrity fails. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is compromised.
    Possibly the dear Sister is filling herself.

    Venerable Solanus Casey-
    “God condescends to use our powers if we don’t spoil His plans with ours.”

  • Thank you for sharing Wisdom as it shone through the Simple Priest Father Solanus, We love him at our house! Tho the 20th cent was a pitched battle, God shed His Grace through some marvelous saints who walked their walk with us on this earth even during our lifetimes.

  • Anzlyne-

    Your welcome.
    He is one of our favorites as well.
    (Fr. Solanus.)

    His humility is glorious! 🙂

  • Liberal dissenters from Catholic teaching receive almost uninterrupted praise from the media, as al-Jazeera America has given Sr. Teresa Forcades. Don’t mean to pick on AJAM specifically, because I think they are typical of mainstream media coverage of the Catholic Church. A quick search of their website leaves little doubt about their agenda:
    http://america.aljazeera.com/search.html?q=catholic
    .
    From the article, AJAM is kind enough to note, “Catholics in Africa are said to support Francis, with 99 percent of Catholics there reported to be against gay marriage.” As far as I can tell, no one at al-Jazeera has ever taken the time to interview a Catholic woman in Africa, to understand her viewpoint well enough to publish an article on the suject, and give their readership her name and face. They know, they know that positive coverage of simple, pious Catholic viewpoints might sway some readers. So, none of the Catholics in Africa are treated as individuals, only as statistics. And the trend of increasing dissent among Catholics on prolife issues in America and Europe continues under the banner of ‘social justice’.
    .
    The parallel we see is with political leaders and U.S. Supreme Court justices. Liberals are praised for their acumen and compassion, so once they start left, they stay left. (More broadly is Robert Conquest’s rule: Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.)
    .
    I continue in my pessimism that the media will turn on Pope Francis this calendar year or any time soon. I think they will stick with the winning formula of positive coverage for now.

  • “She (Forcades) pulls no punches with her views. “I don’t think it is possible to have democracy and capitalism. They go against each other because the way we live capitalism is that we allow some corporations to have such power that they are able to influence government. And that’s the problem,” she told Al Jazeera in an interview.”
    .
    Forcades has confused capitalism with fascism. Speaking to Al Jazeera and spreading her misconceptions, errors, is tantamount to treason.

  • “I continue in my pessimism that the media will turn on Pope Francis this calendar year or any time soon. I think they will stick with the winning formula of positive coverage for now.”
    .
    The media will continue to abuse Pope Francis’ public persona until the media can no longer abuse Pope Francis’ public persona.

  • Wasn’t she hired to drive for the “Nun’s on the Bus?” (I live only about 3 miles from the birthplace of Father Solanus) Love him too!

  • I did not know you could still function as a nun while completely excommunicated.

    2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.

  • Liberalism and Catholicism are not compatible. The issues Sister Teresa Forcades advances are collectively rooted in liberalism and its ideology of radical individualism and liberatation from all oppressive hierarchical authority, especially Catholic dogma and its priestly male hierarchy.
    .
    Catholics who have grown up in liberal societies are so infused with liberalism’s tenets that they are unable to discern the difference between Catholicism and liberalism. I count myself among those who have conflated Catholic theology and liberal philosophy and find myself constantly trying to unwind the two.
    .
    The laity’s inability to distinguish between Catholicism and liberalism largely springs from 50 years of not catechizing the Catholic faithful. I would suggest that Sister Teresa Forcades is a victim of this unfortunate abrogation. Sister’s Catholicism is so imbued with liberalism that the latter has caused her to evolve and become freed from the contraints of the very faith in which she is a consecrated religious sister. She remains unaware that she has effectively renounced Objective Truth in favor of a nature based ideology.
    .
    Confused Catholics need help unwinding liberalism from Catholicism…they also need to be catechized.

  • greetings from New Zealand……..I take it she is a Catholic nun, not a roman catholic nun?? we have people like this in NZ.

  • trevor
    “greetings from New Zealand……..I take it she is a Catholic nun, not a roman catholic nun?? we have people like this in NZ.”
    .
    A Catholic nun and a Roman Catholic nun are the same thing. Using small letters, I see you are in accord with a liar, a worshiper of the devil through human sacrifice and a blasphemer using God’s Name “I AM” in vain.

  • roamin’ catholic

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PopeWatch: Theophany

Wednesday, February 19, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa brings us some comments made by Pope Francis on the liturgy:

But on Monday, February 10, with no forewarning Jorge Mario Bergoglio broke the silence and dedicated to the liturgy the entire homily of the morning Mass in the chapel of Santa Marta. Saying things he has never said before, since he became pope.

That morning the passage was read from the first book of Kings in which during the reign of Solomon the cloud, the divine glory, filled the temple and “the Lord decided to dwell in the cloud.”

Taking his cue from that “theophany,” pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio said that “in the Eucharistic liturgy God is present” in a way even “closer” than in the cloud in the temple, his “is a real presence.”

And he continued:

“When I speak of the liturgy I am mainly referring to the holy Mass. The Mass is not a representation, it is something else. It is living once again the redemptive passion and death of the Lord. It is a theophany: the Lord makes himself present on the altar in order to be offered to the Father for the salvation of the world.”

Further on the pope said:

“The liturgy is the time of God and space of God, and we must put ourselves there in the time of God, in the space of God, and not look at our watches. The liturgy is nothing less than entering into the mystery of God, allowing ourselves to be carried to the mystery and to be in the mystery. It is the cloud of God that envelops us all.”

And looking back on one of his childhood memories:

“I recall that as a child, when they were preparing us for first communion, they had us sing: ‘O holy altar guarded by the angels,’ and this made us understand that the altar was truly guarded by the angels, it gave us the sense of the glory of God, of the space of God, of the time of God.”

Coming to the conclusion, Francis invited those present to “ask the Lord today to give all of us this sense of the sacred, this sense that makes us understand that it is one thing to pray at home, to pray the rosary, to pray many beautiful prayers, make the way of the cross, read the bible, and the Eucharistic celebration is another thing. In the celebration we enter into the mystery of God, into that path which we cannot control. He alone is the one, he is the glory, he is the power. Let us ask for this grace: that the Lord may teach us to enter into the mystery of God.”

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Theophany

  • I can relate to this:
    “The liturgy is the time of God and space of God, and we must put ourselves there in the time of God, in the space of God, and not look at our watches.”
    Some times during mass I really do wonder, “when is this thing going to be over.” The pope is right, that ought not be what I am thinking during mass.

  • Many years ago, a good priest told me and others, ” we should not take our watches to Mass – the Mass is where heaven comes down to earth, and there is no time in Heaven – the Mass is timeless.”
    Since that time, I have not worn a watch in Mass, and nowadays, leave my cell phone in the car. The Mass is indeed timeless. And I re-iterate this fact each year to the RCIA candidates that I have assisted in instructing now for over 20 years.

  • Amen Brother’s! Thus another example of “Dying for one’s faith”. And I might add it would be good if this had been taught to many of our “fallen religious angels”. Had they known this truly, while holding the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord in their hands, or while having in their care the blood of innocents to teach and mold as the clay of the “Potter’s Wheel” we may have the monies we need to further the spreading of the good news that have been lost in lawsuits and diocesan bankruptcies. We may be able to feel proud of our deep faith instead of the dread that every nasty newscast brings. How did this very basic teaching get lost? Sorry, but I think I just saw the nun’s on the bus go by some wearing purple? If you want to be a Catholic then be a Catholic. If you don’t want that or at if you don’t want to give it your best shot then you better go somewhere else. We are all sinners. Where did our consciences go that let us think otherwise? Time, the blink of an eye.

  • I have two sets of questions:

    1) Are we to believe these words and this translation of PF’s words to be accurate? Not like the others?

    2) He is referring to the Traditional Latin Mass—not the “free-for-all” ad libitum Novus Ordo Mass, correct? The New Mass which permits one who is celebrant to make it as pious or as clownish as he wishes?

    Just for example, as one impish Italian blogger has constructed some examples of the Loutus Ordo, here is what I mean:

    http://www.conciliovaticanosecondo.it/foto/#gallery/1358/515/0

    Whenever you have a circus, you have GOT to have clowns!

  • “… And looking back on one of his childhood memories:
    “I recall that as a child, when they were preparing us for first communion, they had us sing: ‘O holy altar guarded by the angels,’ and this made us understand that the altar was truly guarded by the angels, it gave us the sense of the glory of God, of the space of God, of the time of God….”

    How blessed he is to have childhood memories like that!
    My grandchildren’s childhood memories will not in any way compare. We hope that they will somehow come away from Mass with the ” sense of the glory of God” too..
    Wish we had some songs about angels for them to remember– if there are some I’m not remembering right now, remind me, please.

  • The Catholic Church has always taught that reading the Holy Bible must be done with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and through the Catholic Church.
    .
    Some people say that the reading of the Holy Bible was prohibited by the Catholic Church before Vatican II and that the new Mass, after Vatican II, with the readings from the Holy Bible proclaimed at Mass, is sufficient and replaces the reading of the Holy Bible, privately, and therefore, the Mass after Vatican II is the only Mass that must be allowed.
    .
    The reading of the Holy Bible, privately, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic Church was prohibited by the Catholic Church before Vatican II.
    .
    In all cases, the Holy Scripture must be read with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and only through the teaching of the Catholic Church. To say otherwise would not only be imprudent but unholy. This would remove from the Latin Mass before Vatican II the charge that The Latin Mass in the Extraordinary form was insufficient and without proper reading from the Holy Scripture.

PopeWatch: Fashion?

Tuesday, February 18, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Rorate Caeli has some fairly dispiriting news about Pope Francis thinking that a desire for the TLM is a mere fashion choice:

 

[Abp. Jan Graubner speaks:] When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. “When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: ‘móda‘, Italian ‘moda‘]. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.

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26 Responses to PopeWatch: Fashion?

  • “…to show some patience and kindness to people who (Are Addicted) to certain fashions.”

    In another word…tolerance?

    Reverence of Jesus found in our local TLM is going to be tolerated by Our Holy Father. Well thanks be to God.

    I had no idea that the beauty and love for God and neighbor found in this Latin rite was a fashion statement.

    So. Girls with low cut blouses and skirts above the knee can assist at the holy sacrifice of the mass, eucharistic distribution by Zigfield & Roy as well as pop music after reception of the blessed sacrament is….uhhh….normal or appropriate….but TLM is just a fashion thing.
    I pray Holy Father didn’t say it.

  • I am so disappointed in Pope Francis. He isn’t a wicked Pope as were some during the Middle Ages. But he is liberal. He simply cannot help himself.

  • I don’t really know what to think of that!
    He is seen to be so thoughtful and sensitive; but thoughtful sensitivity (like B Clinton’s ability to feel your pain)– requires not minimizing what is important to the other.

  • Don’t worry – Jimmy Akin will soon publish a blog post with 11 reasons Pope Francis didn’t really mean what we think he means.

  • After the whole broo-ha-ha about ‘trickle down economics’ which was never actually written in Pope Francis’ Exhortation, I don’t think any of us should focus on a word and make any judgments unless we literally get it from his mouth. I can understand any of you being concerned about the ‘word’, but we cannot be sure he said it (or meant it in that way).

    What I do find more significant is the statement (if he indeed said it) that we “need to go deeper into (liturgy) things, because if we go deep, no liturgical form, this one or that one, can save us.” That actually is far more substantial with great implications

  • Am I missing something? As I read this, it would seem to indicate that he is saying neither the TLM or the VII hold the absolute liturgical code, but that people have grown accustomed to methods, maybe the music, the prayers, the sense of reverence, the sense of fellowship, the language, etc. But he acknowledges the truth, the sacred of our liturgy is found rather in a deep understanding of our theology. If so, I have no issues with that.

  • ” It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion.” Patronizing attitude. Nice. From a Holy Father.

    And then more of Francis’ “profound gibberish”: “But I consider [it] greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form (etc,etc)….” Once again, P. Francis just said utterly unprofound words and yet in fact actually said nothing. What does “to go deep” mean? Is it a post-pattern, flag-, or slant-in over the middle? ( I always preferred a wheel-route, myself.)

    Friends, this gibberish is becoming a hallmark of this Pontiff. Sorry, I don’t think much of his intellectual curiosity nor his depth of thought. ‘Go deep’ with that.

  • David W

    Actually David you not only are not missing something, you hit the nail on the proverbial head. The Holy Father’s academic background is in literature [I am speakiing of his further academic life] rather than philosophy (as we saw with Blessed John Paul II) and theology ( as we saw with Pope Benedict). Thus he has a literary way of addressing things, and sometimes we even need a thesaurus lol rather than a theological dictionary.

    However, exactly as you intuited, Pope Francis is actually restating what Pope Benedict stated and enacted throughout his Petrine ministry: thus we have not only the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite, but the Ambrosian and now the Anglican usage (not sure if we can call it a rite): all expressing the real depths of the Latin Rite.

  • By the way, there is a great website link to an Italian blogger who really shows us what the new depths (“to go deep” with P. Francis), and I do mean depths, of the Novus Ordo liturgy can be—
    nothing like that foolish, tightly-buttoned TLM:

    http://www.conciliovaticanosecondo.it/foto/#gallery/1358/515/0

    There it is, the N.O. in all its clowning

    I love the clowns best of all. So many of them.

  • Clown Masses are both sacraligious and an aberration.

  • Has this Pope suppressed the Jesuits yet?

  • I think people should keep in mind his background. It was in literature chemistry and psychology with a bouncer job thrown in so how should we expect him to speak? I personally don’t like this approach either but the Cardinal from Nigeria named Francis Arinze said last year EVERY POPE WILL NOT BE THE SAME, and it would not be about our likes and dislikes. He needs our prayers and fidelity not our constant complaining which is starting to make us look like SOURPUSSES. Just be thankful he has not completely abrogated the Latin Mass when asked to so by some Italian Bishops last year. Yes and hopefully the FFI mess will soon be resolved.

  • Janet: I appreciate your comments. Sincerely.

    But this Pope doesnt think deeply (“But I consider [it] greatly important to go deep into things…”, he doesnt communicate or even try to communicate precisely, and he has shown a glaring lack of serious study on matters that preceded him. It all doesnt seem to matter to him the edifice that was built by Ratzinger, JP2, Card Hoyos, Card. Stickler in the Ecclesia Dei commission’s work of over a decade: it is all shallow “fashion”, “muy de moda de hoy”, nothing more. His last theology degree was an M.Div at San Miguel in Buenos Aires, not exactly a hot bed of theological scholarship, and he couldnt finish his Ph.D. at Sahnkt-Georgen in Frankfurt because no doubt he tried to dazzle them with his “superstar-gibberish” that dazzled everybody in Argentina. Forgive my lack of being dazzled. He comes on the heels of two non-pareil scholar-popes, and the shortcomings are dazzlingly glaring.

  • Just speaking for myself, while Not sour about pope Francis, I am also not filled with joy. I miss those days when I eagerly devoured what the popes said.

  • ” no liturgical form, this one or that one, can save us.” – that quote does Definitely Not fill me with joy. I benefit from both forms being discussed here but this statement reminds me of Protestant digs at the mass, about rituals and prayers prayed according to form. While the Mass may not actually “save” us, ??? the importance of the Mass, the Obligation to worship at Mass has been too much misunderstood and derided.
    Dispensing with the “form”ality of the mass, more casual and modern, has brought about more relaxed attitudes throughout our practice and understanding of our Faith. – more people don’t go to mass and more don’t know there is any difference between Holy Communion in our Church and wine and wafers in the nearby Protestant church.
    I know the difference and I appreciate both forms, but laxity in how it’s done and laxity in talking about it can lead to too many liberties being taken with the Liturgy.
    Watered down meaning led our first parents to fall from grace. We should not obscure or be lax about meaning.
    (Remembering Viktor Frankel’s book) man’s search for meaning is never a fad.

  • Anzlyne-

    I’m with you.
    If the pontiff said it as it’s portrayed above I agree with your sentiments.

    God bless them, but some priests that celebrate mass fly through the liturgy, the communion prayers we’re said as if it was a race. The “dig” intentional or not makes me sad since this is coming from the vicar of Christ.

    Are we to concentrate our thoughts on pleasures outside of mass and how fast we can return to them, when at mass?

    Strange times.

  • Keep it in context. His remarks on “form” were directed at already approved liturgies. His use of “fashion” means the custom or variations. Not a word I would use, but it is not inappropriate in that context. In the 50’s I’m sure there were many masses said by less reverent priests that folks ho-hummed about as well . Let’s not make enemies were there are not any.

  • David. Good morning.
    No enemies here.
    Just strange use of words from Holy Father (allegedly) and if true it’s uncomfortable.

    For the majority, we do pray for our clergy, and the use of addiction / fashion in relationship to TLM is “strange.”
    Have a good day.

  • This Pope does not seem to understand the principle that we have to do the right thing in the right way. Let me give an example from working on reactor coolant flow transmitters at a Westinghouse Pressurized Water Reactor. There are 4 Reactor Coolant Loops each with 3 differential pressure transmitters. Each loop’s transmitters are connected in parallel with individual isolation valves for high and low pressure sides, and individual equalizing valves between high and low pressure sides. During normal operation the isolations are open and the equalizers are shut. When any 2 of 3 transmitters in any 1 of 4 reactor coolant loops sense low flow – that is, low differential pressure – the Reactor Protection System senses that and initiates a reactor scram to protect the reactor core against a loss of flow accident. If any one equalizer is opened at power, then all 3 transmitters for that one loop will sense low flow and cause an initiation of a scram. So when we have to do maintenance at power, we have to do it in the right way to prevent a spurious reactor scram – the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission takes a dim view of such spurious actuations. Thus, we have to shut the isolations for a single transmitter first before opening the equalizer (just the opposite of what we would do for most other flow and level differential pressure transmitters). The form or liturgy if you will is every bit as important as the function or substance. We have to do the right thing – maintenance – in the right way. Pope Francis, because he is not a theologian nor a philosopher nor an engineer nor a scientist apparently fails to comprehend this. And further, taken to its logical conclusion, such an attitude results in the ends justifying the means. In nuclear energy that can result in a very bad day. How much more so with the fate of souls into eternity hanging in the balance?

  • Paul, good luck with that!
    But again, let’s keep the context … PF is not advocating “new”, “unapproved” “fashions” of the liturgy … so he is respecting the “deep” integrity of the ritual and rubrics. Just saying there are multiple approved liturgies.

  • Dave W, I hope you are correct. But having read liberal thing after liberal thing coming from Pope Francis – albeit via problematic translation – I am skeptical. And yes, my analogy isn’t perfect. But JPII and BXVI were deep thinkers and precise writers. They would have addressed the issue of doing the right thing in the right way. This Pope is not a deep thinker or a precise writer and thus we have what we have.

    BTW, why doesn’t he use the controlled language of Latin as his predecessors did in order to prevent confusion?

  • Hope this helps. When the Pope mentioned “forms”: “no liturgical form, this one or that one can save us” he is speaking about “rites”. He certainly is not speaking in an anti-ritual sense. Passover itself is a ‘rite’: that’s what ‘Seder” means. That by way of the Institution of the Eucharist at the last Supper, Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross and the Acceptance of that Sacrifice in the Resurrection, and His entrance into the Heavenly Sanctuary in His Ascension [see Letter to the Hebrews] has given the Eucharist a ‘ritual’ from the very beginning.

    He wants us to go deeper into the Liturgy as he has noted in his daily homilies [see post on Theophany] There is no question that we all (myself included here) have a translation issue going on. He speaks ‘informally’ in his homilies. That actually is the form of speech that the homily should be using. Then you have his literary academic background, his South American casualness along with his Italian (roots) passion, and he communicates a great deal differently than our two Northern European popes: John Paul and Benedict. We are American and feel far more comfortable with the northern European mentality etc. Even most of the Italian Popes came from northern Italy (big difference from southern Italy)

    People have their own feelings etc about him I am not ‘going there’. However if we really want to understand what he is saying, we need to keep these things I mentioned in mind. We are going to have to work harder at the ‘translations’

  • Casualness and informality in the case of nuclear energy can result in unintended and objectionable consequences.

    Casualness and informality in the case of souls hanging in the balance of eternity can likewise have unintended and objectionable consequences.

    We have had 40+ years of casualness and informality since Vatican II. It is time for precision, exactitude, and clarity.

  • With you, my friends, I believe the Liturgy is revealed and given by the Lord and that the Church has authority on earth to discern and celebrate that Liturgy. The Latin Mass, and the Novus Ordo are both acceptable to Him.
    Yes, we may hope the pope not speaking in an anti-ritual sense, though he has already publicly eschewed some small t traditions related to his papacy. We are actually not sure what he means, going on what is reported. Nonetheless we continue in the hope that this son of the Church is a good pilot, and the sure hope that the Holy Spirit is always with us to the End.

    My hope and my concern in my post was that anti-catholics and non-catholics (and Catholics) don’t misunderstand his reported language. There has already been a certain amount of protestantization in the ways that the Mass is celebrated in local churches. When the pope’s language can, in Any way, be construed a denigration of the issue of form it makes the rest of us, as Ricky Riccardo might say, “have a lot of ‘splaining to do”. Why is it important that we have an “ordo” new or old?
    It is hard for people to understand why form is important and what it all means.

    The “within the walls” discussions that take place among committed Catholics can sometimes provide canon fodder for those eager to continue and to disseminate misunderstanding Catholic worship. We Catholics want to understand what he is saying and we want non Catholics to understand too.
    Our pope may be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove in his approach to the rest of the non catholic world, realizing that much of that non catholic world actually is “within the walls”. I don’t know. God bless Francis and for the world he is trying to reach, within and without the Church.

  • Anzlyne,

    We are indeed still trying to understand how Pope Francis communicates, never mind ‘what he is communicating’. He seems to communicate in body language must better than his vocal language. I believe that will slowly shift-both as he learns that not everyone is Latin American lol and we learn not everyone is northern European lol

    I believe we are a time in which all of us who participate in an love the Mass, no matter what the rite, need to go deeper into the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist [Mass]. For example, I participate regularly at Mass in the Ordinary Form, yet I am fully aware of the great need of continued renewal (not changes per se) that needs to take place. For example, the four hymn Mass needs to return to the actual Liturgical principles and us the Propers (Entrance and Communion Antiphons). We are already quite used to participating in ‘the responsorial psalm after the first reading. It is not rocket science to move toward a similar format at the ENtrance Rite and while we are processing for Holy Communion [much easier to sing an antiphon than to sing a whole hymn]

    Another major dimension that needs to be addressed within the Ordinary Form is something we call “the domestication of Transcendence”. It is not the Rite itself but the way the Rite is celebrated and participated in-it is like the Lord is over having left-overs with us some night. It is as if we have “God in our back pocket” Needless to say nothing could be further from the truth, and as time goes on this is slowly being ‘adjusted’ [older clergy from that era are retiring etc]

    The Ordinary Form now has its liturgical vernacular (not the everyday street language that it first had). We are now experiencing the richness of what the Prayers actually say and not some dumbed down version. However, what Pope Benedict called “The reform of the reform” is actually taking place-but it can only continue by all of us going much deeper into the Mystery of the Liturgy.

  • “Canon fodder”. :). I was sure I spelled that right when I wrote it! Maybe an intervention from a blithe spirit with a sense of humor!
    Cannon fodder