3

PopeWatch: Sensus Fidelium

Edward Pentin advises that the Pope wants to hear from you.  Go here to read about it.

A Pope of course is free to take advice and counsel from anyone he chooses, but PopeWatch is disturbed by the Pope eliciting these types  of comments from the over a billion Catholics that live on this globe.  This type of vox populi approach to leadership does not inspire confidence and is always subject to manipulation.  Oh well, perhaps PopeWatch should simply print out the thousands of PopeWatch posts and mail them out for light reading for the Pontiff?  Let PopeWatch know in the comboxes what you would write to the Pope.

15

PopeWatch: Applause

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

 

Longtime parishioner of St. Gertrude Catholic Church Stewart Donaldson is being accused of insensitivity and for “not being a team player” after he was seen not clapping after the church’s pastor concluded his homily last Sunday.

Donaldson’s refusal to applaud after the homily was seen by many in the parish, including Fr. James Thomas who delivered the homily, as a slap in the face. Donaldson was subsequently called to the front of the church to answer for himself.

Parish council members that were present at the Mass have denounced what they are calling Donaldson’s silent protest of the church and of Father Thomas in particular.

“Fr. Thomas gave a wonderful homily about community and coming together as one family,” said one member of the parish council, Maria Forte. “His refusal to clap was basically him saying ‘To hell with this community—to hell with coming together.’ So when he was called to the front, everyone was obviously really angry him. Remember—this is the same guy who doesn’t applaud for the church band when Mass is over, so he’s clearly insane. That’s the reason we ended up not even giving him the opportunity to answer for himself.”

“People were shouting and throwing hymnals at him,” said parishioner Tabitha Joans. “He was very lucky to only be banned from ever entering the church. Could’ve been a lot worse. And poor Fr. Thomas has been a mess ever since Sunday. He’s so self-conscious now that he says he won’t ever deliver a homily again.”

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment and after a lengthy wait talked to the Pope.  “Gringo I have told you to stop calling me!  Do I have to get a restraining order?  Applause after a homily?  You gringos always think up new forms of blasphemy.  I will have to consider a mass excommunication against those who break the Holy Silence of the Mass.  Now, never call me again, or else I will excommunicate you!”  And with that the conversation came to an end.

14

PopeWatch: Fly the Marrying Skies

The Pope decided to marry two members of the crew of the airplane on which he was flying.  The couple had been married civilly for eight years but not religiously.  Father Z gives us the details:

I fairly dread papal trips these days. You never know what is going on happen on the papal airplane. Will there be another presser in which the Holy Father will says something like, “Who am I to judge?” That was a gift – now perpetually taken out of context and abused – that keeps on giving.

I read at Crux that the Holy Father married (witnessed the marriage) of a steward and stewardess on the papal airplane – during the flight.

Paula Podest, 39, and Carlos Ciufardi, 41, have been together for over ten years. They met in the air, where she was his boss as a flight attendant for LATAM, Chile’s flagship airline.
They have been civilly married since 2010. Days before they were scheduled to have their church wedding, an earthquake destroyed the church where they were supposed to marry.  [According to the Daily Mail, that was 8 years ago.  8 years… and they haven’t married in church?  I suppose they had marriage prep.  Also, in the case of an earthquake, the church building isn’t a sine qua non for getting married.  It is sad that they couldn’t get marriage in that church, but… marriage is the really important part of the equation, not the building or photos.]
On Thursday, as they were posing with Francis and the rest of the crew for the official picture, Francis asked them if they were married in the Church. They told him no, and the pontiff immediately took charge, asking them if they wanted him to marry them, and they agreed.

The newlyweds shared the conversation they had with the pontiff with the journalists, with Podest acknowledging that she was “still in shock,” so he did most of the talking, even though, from what they told journalists, “she’s still the boss in the house,” as she was at the airline when they met.
“It was historic,” the pope told them. “Never has a pope married a couple on a plane.”
“He asked us if we were married, I said no because of the earthquake, and he said, ‘well, I’ll marry you’,” according to Ciufardi.
The spouses asked the pontiff if he was certain about marrying them on the plane, asking him “are you sure?”

When the pope asked for a witness, they tapped the CEO of the airline, and to make sure there was no doubt over the validity of the sacrament, the pope “asked the cardinals who were with him” to draft the license, which they did. The document is handmade, signed by one of the cardinals, also a witness.
“He held our hands, blessed the rings, and he married us in the name of God,” Ciufardi said.
“What he said to us is very important: ‘This is the sacrament the world needs, the sacrament of marriage. Hopefully, this will motivate couples around the world to get married’,” Ciufardi said.
Speaking about the rings, Francis said that they shouldn’t be either too tight, because “they would be a torture,” or too loose, or else they might risk misplacing them.

These days there are controversies over the meaning of marriage.  These days, fewer and fewer couples are marrying.

For example, if a couple who are in an adulterous relationship because at least on party divorced his true spouse and then civilly marries another woman – without the church giving a declaration of nullity concerning his first, true marriage, can that remarried, adulterous couple be admitted to Holy Communion, even though they haven’t made any commitment to live chaste lives? Some say, “Yes!”, and, by doing so, they call into question the very meaning of matrimony and also the Eucharist.

At the very least, they make a mockery of matrimony, trivialize it.

I trust that this well-intentioned gesture by Pope Francis isn’t taken merely to be some sort of stunt, which the badly-motivated will utilize to trivialize the sacrament of matrimony even more than is is being trivialized today.

Another thing: may this couple stay together!  It would be… not so great were they to split up after this rather dramatic aerial display.  Headline: Papal midair marriage crashes!

I can’t say that I like the whole airplane thing.   The Pope makes his calls.  Who am I to judge?

Can we put sentimentality aside for a moment?   Gestures like this have consequences.  This wasn’t some odd priest on an airplane, it was the Vicar of Christ.

Again, this is all very huggy and warm and fuzzy.  But let’s think about this.

I wasn’t there, of course, but I think it could have been a good idea to make sure they knew what matrimony is really all about.   That’s what marriage preparation is for.  They’ve been civilly but not sacramentally married for 8 years.   All this time they didn’t seek the sacrament?  What’s that about?   Maybe the Pope got their story.

When a priest marries a couple, he should be reasonably sure that they know what they are getting into.  He can be fairly sure if they had some kind of marriage prep, done by himself or by another priest, etc.  You have to know before you witness the marriage of couple – if they are going to enter into this sacramental bond – whether or not they have the right intentions.   Does the couple – I’m speaking generically now – any couple – intend to remain together for life?   Do they intend for their bond to be exclusive?   Do they intend to accept the gift of children?

 

Go here to read the rest.  As far as this Pope is concerned, the laws of the Church are meant to be broken.  The example he sets for both the clergy and the laity is disastrous.

 

9

PopeWatch: Muslim Converts

This is interesting.  Muslim converts to Catholicism have penned an open letter to the Pope:

 

Here follows the text of an Open Letter to Pope Francis that you can sign if you so wish. ‬We will present it as soon as it reaches a significant number of signatories. ‬Thank you for helping to make it known. ‬We base our initiative on Canon Law: “‬According to the knowledge, ‬the competence and the prestige enjoyed by the faithful, ‬they have the right and sometimes even the duty to give the Sacred Shepherds their opinion on what concerns the good of the Church and to make it known to the other faithful, ‬keeping safe the integrity of faith and morals and the reverence due to pastors, ‬and taking into account the common utility and dignity of people.” (‬Canon ‬212 §‬ 3)‬:‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

From former Muslims who became Catholics, ‬and their friends,‬‬‬‬

to His Holiness Pope Francis,‬‬

‬ about his attitude towards Islam.‬‬

Most Holy Father,


‬Many of us ‬have tried to contact you, ‬on many occasions ‬and for several years, ‬and we have never received the slightest acknowledgement of our letters or requests for meetings. ‬You do not like to beat around the bush, ‬and neither do we, so allow us to say frankly that we do not understand your teaching about Islam, ‬as we read in paragraphs ‬252 ‬and ‬253 of‭ ‬Evangelii Gaudium,‭ ‬because it does not account for the fact‭ ‬that Islam came AFTER Christ,‭ and so ‬is, ‬and can only be, ‬‬an Antichrist‭ (‬see‭ ‬1‭ ‬Jn‭ ‬2.22‭)‬,‭ and one of the most dangerous because it presents itself as the fulfillment of Revelation (‬of which Jesus would have been only a prophet)‬. ‬If ‬Islam is a good religion in itself, ‬as you seem to teach, ‬why did we become Catholic? ‬Do not your words question the soundness of the choice we made ‬at the risk of our lives? ‬Islam prescribes death for apostates (‬Quran ‬4.89, ‬8.7-11)‬, ‬do you know? ‬How is it possible to ‬compare Islamic violence with so-called Christian violence‭?‬  “What is the relationship between Christ and Satan? ‬What union is there between light and darkness? ‬What association between the faithful and the unfaithful?”‬ (2 ‬Cor ‬6: ‬14-17) ‬In ‬accordance with His teaching (‬Lk ‬14:26)‬, ‬we preferred Him, ‬the Christ, ‬to our own life. ‬Are we not in a good position to talk to you about Islam?‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

In fact, ‬as long as Islam wants us to be its enemy, ‬we are, ‬and all our ‬protestations of friendship cannot change anything. ‬As a proper Antichrist, ‬Islam exists only as an enemy of all: “‬Between us and you there is enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah alone!”‬ (Qur’an ‬60.4) ‬For the Qur’an, ‬Christians “‬are only impurity” (‬Quran ‬9.28)‬,” “‬the worst of Creation” (‬Qur’an ‬98.6)‬, ‬all condemned to Hell (‬Qur’an ‬4.48)‬, ‬so Allah must exterminate them (‬Quran ‬9.30)‬. ‬We must not be deceived by the Quranic verses deemed tolerant, ‬because they have all been repealed by the verse of the Sword (‬Quran ‬9.5)‬. ‬Where the Gospel proclaims the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the salvation of all, and ‬the fulfillment of the Covenant initiated with the Hebrews, ‬Allah has nothing to offer but war and murder of the “‬infidels” in exchange for his paradise: “‬They fight on the way of Allah, ‬they kill and are killed.” (‬Quran ‬9:11) We do not confuse Islam with Muslims, ‬but if for you “‬dialogue” ‬means the voice of peace, ‬for Islam it’s only another way to make war. ‬Also, ‬as it was in the face of Nazism and communism, ‬naiveté in the face of Islam is suicidal and very dangerous. ‬How can you speak of peace and endorse Islam, ‬as you seem to do:  “‬To wring from our hearts the disease that‭ ‬plagues our lives‭ (‬…‭) ‬Let those who are Christians do it with the Bible and those who are Muslims do it with the Quran.‭ “(‬Rome,‭ ‬January‭ ‬20,‭ ‬2014‭)‬? That the Pope seems to propose the Quran as a way of salvation,‭ is that not cause for worry? ‬Should we return to Islam‭?

We beg you not to seek in Islam an ally in your fight against the powers that want to dominate and enslave the world, ‬since they share the same totalitarian logic based on the rejection of the kingship of Christ (‬Lk ‬4.7). ‬We know that the Beast of ‬the Apocalypse, ‬seeking to devour the Woman and her Child, ‬has many heads. ‬Allah defends such alliances by the way (‬Quran ‬5.51)! ‬Moreover, the prophets have always reproached Israel for its willingness to ally with foreign powers, ‬to the detriment of the complete confidence they should’ve had in God. ‬Certainly, ‬the temptation is strong to think that speaking in an Islamophilic tone will prevent more suffering for Christians in those countries that have become Muslim, ‬but apart from the fact that Jesus has never indicated any other way than that of the Cross, ‬so that we must find our joy therein ‬and not flee with all the damned, ‬we do not doubt that only the proclamation of the Truth brings with it not only salvation, ‬but freedom as well (‬John ‬8.32)‬. ‬Our duty is to bear witness to the truth “‬in season and out of season” (‬2 ‬Timothy ‬4.‬2)‬, ‬and ‬our glory is to be able to say with St. ‬Paul: “‬I did not want to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, ‬and Him crucified.” (‬1 ‬Corinthians ‬2.2)

As to Your Holiness’s stance on Islam: even as President Erdogan, ‬among others, ‬asks his countrymen not to integrate into their host countries, ‬and while Saudi Arabia and all the petrol monarchies do not welcome any refugee, ‬expressions (among others) of the project‭ ‬of conquest and Islamization of Europe,‭ ‬officially proclaimed by the OIC and other Islamic organizations for decades;‬ ‬you, Most Holy Father, preach the welcoming of migrants regardless of the fact that they are Muslims, ‬something forbidden by Apostolic command: “‬If anyone comes to you but refuses this Gospel, ‬do not receive him among you nor greet him. ‬Whoever greets him participates in his evil works.” (‬2 ‬John ‬1.10-11); “‬If anyone preaches to you a different Gospel, ‬let him be accursed!” ‬(Galatians ‬1.8-9)

Just as “For I was hungry, and you gave me no food.” (Mt 25:42) cannot mean that Jesus would have liked to be a parasite, so “I was a stranger and you welcomed Me” cannot mean “I was an invader and you welcomed Me”, but rather “I needed your hospitality for a while, and you granted it to me”. The word ξένος (xenos) in the New Testament does not only have the meaning of stranger but of guest as well (Rm 16.23; 1 Co 16.5-6, Col 4.10; 3 Jn 1.5). And when YHWH in the Old Testament commands to treat foreigners well because the Hebrews have themselves been foreigners in Egypt, ‬it is on the condition that the foreigner assimilates so well to the chosen people that he accepts their religion and practices their cult‬… ‬Never is there mention of welcoming a foreigner who would keep his religion and its customs! ‬Also, ‬we do not understand that you are pleading for Muslims to practice their religion in Europe. ‬The meaning of Scripture should not be supplied by the proponents of globalism, ‬but ‬in fidelity to Tradition. ‬The Good Shepherd hunts the wolf, ‬He does not let it enter the sheepfold.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

‬‬The pro-Islam speech of Your Holiness leads us to deplore the fact that Muslims are not invited to leave Islam, and ‬that many ex-Muslims, ‬such as Magdi Allam,‭ ‬are even leaving the Church, ‬disgusted by her cowardice, ‬wounded by equivocal gestures, ‬confused by the lack of evangelization, ‬scandalized by the praise given to Islam ‬… ‬Thus ignorant souls are misled, ‬and Christians are not preparing for a confrontation with Islam, ‬to ‬which St. ‬John Paul II has called them (‬Ecclesia in Europa,‭ ‬No.‭ ‬57‭)‬.‭ ‬We are under the impression that you do not take your brother Bishop Nona Amel, ‬ Chaldean-Catholic Archbishop of Mosul in exile, ‬seriously, ‬when he tells us: “‬Our present sufferings are the prelude to those that you, ‬Europeans and Western Christians, ‬will suffer in the near future. ‬I have lost my diocese. ‬The headquarters of my archdiocese and my apostolate have been occupied by radical Islamists who want us to convert or die. (‬…) ‬You are welcoming into your ‬country an ever increasing number of Muslims. ‬You are in danger as well. ‬You must make strong and courageous decisions (‬…)‬. ‬You think that all men are equal, ‬but Islam does not say that all men are equal. (‬…) ‬If you do not understand this very quickly, ‬you will become the victims of the enemy that you have invited into your home.” (‬August‭ ‬9,‭ ‬2014‭) “‬.‭ This is a matter of life and death,‭ ‬and any complacency towards Islam is treasonous. ‬We do not wish the West to continue with Islamization, ‬nor that your actions contribute to it. ‬Where then would we go to seek refuge?‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Allow us to ask Your Holiness to quickly convene a synod on the dangers of Islam. What remains of the Church where Islam has installed itself? If she still has civil rights, it is in dhimmitude, on the condition that she does not evangelize, thus denying her very essence. ‬In the interest of justice and truth, ‬the Church must bring to light why the arguments put forward by Islam to blaspheme the Christian ‬faith are false. ‬If the Church had the courage to do that, ‬we do not doubt that millions, ‬Muslims as well as other men and women seeking the true God, ‬would convert. ‬As you said: “He who does not pray to Christ, prays to the Devil.” (14.03.13) If people knew they were going to Hell, ‬they would give their lives to Christ. (‬cf. Quran ‬3.55)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

‬‬‬With the deepest love for Christ who, ‬through you, ‬leads His Church, ‬we, ‬converts from Islam, ‬supported by many of our brothers in the Faith, ‬especially the Christians of the East, ‬and by our friends, ask Your Holiness to confirm our conversion to Jesus Christ, ‬true God and true man, ‬the only Savior, ‬with a frank and right discourse on Islam, ‬and, ‬assuring you of our prayers in the heart of the Immaculate, ‬we ask your apostolic blessing.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Go here to look at the letter and the signatures.  These Catholic converts raise an interesting question.  In this age of ecumenism, where the Pope is making nice with all religions, except traditional Catholicism, why would someone decide to follow Christ at the risk of his or her life?  The only reason that makes sense is because Christ is God, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  These converts understand that.  A pity that so many high ranking members of our Church give every sign of not believing that.

19

PopeWatch: Explanation

Edward Pentin gives the Vatican’s explanation as to why a pro-abort fanatic Dutch politician was made a Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great:

 

The Vatican has said a papal honor given to a militant pro-abortion Dutch politician was standard “diplomatic practice” when someone is part of an official delegation with their head of state, and in no way was meant as a sign of support for her politics of abortion or birth control.

In comments given Monday evening, Paloma García Ovejero, deputy spokesperson of the Holy See Press Office, said the honor awarded to Lilianne Ploumen — as Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great — was part of an exchange of honors between delegations after she took part in an official state visit to the Vatican last year of Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

In response to a question on whether the Vatican could confirm the honor and, if so, why Ploumen received it, Garcia said:

“The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.

Therefore, it is not in the slightest a placet [an expression of assent] to the politics in favor of abortion and of birth control that Mrs Ploumen promotes.”

News of the honor emerged earlier this month when Ploumen was seen in a video by Dutch national broadcaster BNR showing off her medal, saying it was a “high distinction from the Vatican, from the Pope.” The story was first broken by the U.S.-based Lepanto Institute.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Convinced?  PopeWatch isn’t.  There isn’t a chance in the world that the current Vatican would grant such an honor to a politician who was given to making racist statements.  That they overlooked her radical pro-abort record wasn’t a matter of diplomatic cynicism but rather the fact that the powers that be at the Vatican are not going to make an issue of abortion.  Pope Francis has political irons in the fire that are much more important to him than the fact that a politician has spent her career championing the slaying of children in the womb.  When it comes to pro-lifers, the Pope tosses us a soundbite every now and then, and then he does something like this to reassure his political allies on the left that he really does not mean it.

6

PopeWatch: Argentina on the Tiber

It is remarkable that Pope Francis has been Pope for almost half a decade and has not had a visit to Argentina.  Sandro Magister helps explain why this is the case:

 

For almost five years now Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been pope. But he has yet to set foot again in his homeland, Argentina, although he has already visited seven Latin American countries and in the upcoming days will also visit Chile and Peru.

On Monday, January 15, while flying to Santiago, Chile, he will limit himself to looking at Argentina from above. And from the sky he will send the telegram with which he almost always greets the presidents of the countries over which he flies, in this case Mauricio Macri.

The fact that the Peronist Bergoglio does not love the center-right Macri is no mystery. And to a large extent it is precisely this disagreement, multiplied in incessant and heated disputes among the Argentines, disputes that are much more political than religious, that has dissuaded Francis from returning to his native country and igniting further discord.

But if he wants to keep himself out of the mix, the same is not true of some of his Argentine friends who are labeled, and not always unjustly, as the pope’s mouthpieces. Very outspoken, and combative.

It is against these loose cannons that two days ago, a few days before Francis’s journey to Chile and Peru, the Argentine episcopal conference issued a tough reprimand:

> Francisco, el Papa de todos

The “fatwa” of the bishops is written in coded language. It is hard for non-Argentines to understand who the target is. And this is even less clear from the Italian translation that the paravatican website “Il Sismografo,” directed by the ultra-Bergoglian Luis Badilla of Chile, quickly posted online from Rome, but after scrubbing it of a couple of its most explicit lines, the last of this paragraph, which are underlined here:

“Accompanying the popular movements in their struggle for land, housing, and jobs is a task that the Church has always performed and that the Pope himself openly promotes, inviting us to lend our voices to the causes of the weakest and the most excluded. That does not imply in any way that he should be saddled with their positions and actions, whether these be correct or erroneous.”

What led the Argentine bishops to take a position was, most recently, the statements made to the newspaper “Página 12” by Juan Grabois (in the photo), a figure so close to Bergoglio as to make one think that his every word in effect reflects the pope’s real political thought.

Grabois, 34, son of an historic Peronist leader, founded the Movimiento de Trabajadores Excluidos, now directs the Confederación de Trabajadores de la Economía Popular, and has been very close to Bergoglio since 2005, when the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires was at the head of the Argentine episcopal conference. After he became pope, Francis appointed him as a consultant to the pontifical council for justice and peace, which is now incorporated in the new dicastery for promoting integral human development. And Grabois is also the one who pulls the strings at the spectacular assemblies around the pope of the “popular movements,” a network of a hundred-plus combative anti-capitalist and anti-globalization social groups, from all over the world but most of them from Latin America.

It therefore comes as no surprise that in the popular opposition to the free-market measures of President Macri, as also at the roadblocks, the picket lines at the factories, the squatters’ protests, Grabois should be one of the “lideres piqueteros” most in view. In the interview with “Página 12” he slammed Macri with the charge that “his vice is violence” and, alluding to his role as a businessman, disqualified him with words of disdain: “He is not one who did it himself, but an heir of the fortune of his father, who was a beneficiary of the corruption of the state.”

Go here to read the rest. Argentina is a beautiful country with messed up politics.  Since the time of Juan and Eva Peron the best description for Argentine politics is self-destructive.  The biggest legacy of Pope Francis may be his bringing dysfunctional Argentinian politics into the Vatican and his attempt to make them into Church teaching.  The years that the Argentinian locusts ate may be the fondest recollection possible of the Francis years.

 

4

PopeWatch: Protests

The Pope will be facing protests during his visit to Chile:

 

Parishioners in Osorno, a small city 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the Chilean capital, say Vatican representatives denied their requests to meet with Francis. They plan to protest every day of the Pope’s Jan. 15 – 18 stay in Chile.

Pope Francis, who hails from neighboring Argentina and once briefly lived in Chile, has defended Osorno Bishop Juan Barros and says allegations that he covered up abuses by one of Chile’s most notorious sexual predators were unfounded.

Planned demonstrations in Chile, a staunchly Catholic country, have rekindled accusations Francis has not done enough to root out sexual abuse in the Church, especially holding bishops accountable for covering up or mishandling sexual abuse.

“We believe the victims of sexual abuse have been marginalized (by the Church),” said Juan Carlos Claret, a spokesman for Osorno parishioners. “It’s a reality that we in Osorno have been living with for almost four years and we plan to keep the issue alive.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Go here for background.  This appointment was controversial in 2015 and the passage of three years has not dimmed the controversy.

8

PopeWatch: Reverence, Where Art Thou?

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

 

Sierra Nevada–More than five dozen searchers scoured the Sierra Nevada foothills for the missing reverence at a Mass at the Church of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque yesterday.

Reverence was due to appear promptly for the 9am Mass, but two hours after the Mass had concluded, a search began with helicopters, including a National Guard Blackhawk, looking for any signs of reverence.

Using thermal infrared technology, searchers have still not been able to locate any clues to the whereabouts of the reverence expected at Mass, but a spokeswoman for the Church of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Dana Whitmore, told EOTT today that several parishioners were being investigated after being seen walking out of Mass wearing shorts and flip flops.

“We cannot release the names of those being questioned at this moment,” Whitmore told the press. “But we can say that officials from the diocese have spoken to St. Margaret Mary’s pastor Fr. Neville Mayfield about why his altar boys and altar girls were allowed to chew gum while staring out into space during the Consecration.”

Nine ground search teams made up of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter were later dispatched to find reverence. They focused on the areas in and around the pews as well as on the Sanctuary.

Reverence was not the only thing being sought. In another part of the Sierra Nevada, a search was underway near St. Matthew Catholic Church to find solemnity and piety.

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm that the missing Reverence has been sighted at the Vatican shaking its head.

12

PopeWatch: Heresy Has Come to Eden

 

 

 

PopeWatch thinks the Pontifical Academy needs a new name:

 

Responsible parenthood can obligate a married couple to use artificial birth control, a recently appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life has argued, basing his theory on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Italian moral theologian Father Maurizio Chiodi said at a December 14 public lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome that there are “circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8 — that precisely for the sake of responsibility, require contraception.”

Chapter 8 of the Pope’s 2016 document on the family has drawn controversy because of its differing interpretations on the issue of admitting some divorced and civilly “remarried” couples to Holy Communion.

When “natural methods are impossible or unfeasible, other forms of responsibility need to be found,” argued Fr. Chiodi in his lecture entitled: Re-reading Humanae Vitae (1968) in light of Amoris Laetitia (2016).

In such circumstances, he said, “an artificial method for the regulation of births could be recognized as an act of responsibility that is carried out, not in order to radically reject the gift of a child, but because in those situations responsibility calls the couple and the family to other forms of welcome and hospitality.”

The Italian professor’s comments come as the Church this year marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the Church’s ban on contraception. In his encyclical, Paul VI called artificial contraception “intrinsically wrong,” approved natural family planning, and upheld the Church’s teaching on conjugal love and responsible parenthood.

 

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch, when viewing this papacy, has the same reaction that Vasco Rodrigues had to Pilot Major Blackthorne after he attempted to kill him:

 

Yes, it’s true…
and I don’t ask for forgiveness… not anymore.
With thee, heresy has come to Eden.

3

PopeWatch: Diplomacy

The Pope delivered his annual address to the ambassadors to the Vatican on January 8, 2018.  Here is the text of the speech:

 

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our meeting today is a welcome tradition that allows me, in the enduring joy of the Christmas season, to offer you my personal best wishes for the New Year just begun, and to express my closeness and affection to the peoples you represent. I thank the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency Armindo Fernandes do Espírito Santo Vieira, Ambassador of Angola, for his respectful greeting on behalf of the entire Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. I offer a particular welcome to the non-resident Ambassadors, whose numbers have increased following the establishment last May of diplomatic relations with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. I likewise greet the growing number of Ambassadors resident in Rome, which now includes the Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa. I would like in a special way to remember the late Ambassador of Colombia, Guillermo León Escobar-Herrán, who passed away just a few days before Christmas. I thank all of you for your continuing helpful contacts with the Secretariat of State and the other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, which testify to the interest of the international community in the Holy See’s mission and the work of the Catholic Church in your respective countries. This is also the context for the Holy See’s pactional activities, which last year saw the signing, in February, of the Framework Agreement with the Republic of the Congo, and, in August, of the Agreement between the Secretariat of State and the Government of the Russian Federation enabling the holders of diplomatic passports to travel without a visa.

In its relations with civil authorities, the Holy See seeks only to promote the spiritual and material well-being of the human person and to pursue the common good. The Apostolic Journeys that I made during the course of the past year to Egypt, Portugal, Colombia, Myanmar and Bangladesh were expressions of this concern. I travelled as a pilgrim to Portugal on the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, to celebrate the canonization of the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco Marto. There I witnessed the enthusiastic and joyful faith that the Virgin Mary roused in the many pilgrims assembled for the occasion. In Egypt, Myanmar and Bangladesh too, I was able to meet the local Christian communities that, though small in number, are appreciated for their contribution to development and fraternal coexistence in those countries. Naturally, I also had meetings with representatives of other religions, as a sign that our differences are not an obstacle to dialogue, but rather a vital source of encouragement in our common desire to know the truth and to practise justice. Finally, in Colombia I wished to bless the efforts and the courage of that beloved people, marked by a lively desire for peace after more than half a century of internal conflict.

Dear Ambassadors,

This year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, a conflict that reconfigured the face of Europe and the entire world with the emergence of new states in place of ancient empires. From the ashes of the Great War, we can learn two lessons that, sad to say, humanity did not immediately grasp, leading within the space of twenty years to a new and even more devastating conflict. The first lesson is that victory never means humiliating a defeated foe. Peace is not built by vaunting the power of the victor over the vanquished. Future acts of aggression are not deterred by the law of fear, but rather by the power of calm reason that encourages dialogue and mutual understanding as a means of resolving differences.[1] This leads to a second lesson: peace is consolidated when nations can discuss matters on equal terms. This was grasped a hundred years ago – on this very date – by the then President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, who proposed the establishment of a general league of nations with the aim of promoting for all states, great and small alike, mutual guarantees of independence and territorial integrity. This laid the theoretical basis for that multilateral diplomacy, which has gradually acquired over time an increased role and influence in the international community as a whole.

Relations between nations, like all human relationships, “must likewise be harmonized in accordance with the dictates of truth, justice, willing cooperation, and freedom”.[2] This entails “the principle that all states are by nature equal in dignity”,[3] as well as the acknowledgment of one another’s rights and the fulfilment of their respective duties.[4] The basic premise of this approach is the recognition of the dignity of the human person, since disregard and contempt for that dignity resulted in barbarous acts that have outraged the conscience of mankind.[5] Indeed, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”.[6]

I would like to devote our meeting today to this important document, seventy years after its adoption on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. For the Holy See, to speak of human rights means above all to restate the centrality of the human person, willed and created by God in his image and likeness. The Lord Jesus himself, by healing the leper, restoring sight to the blind man, speaking with the publican, saving the life of the woman caught in adultery and demanding that the injured wayfarer be cared for, makes us understand that every human being, independent of his or her physical, spiritual or social condition, is worthy of respect and consideration. From a Christian perspective, there is a significant relation between the Gospel message and the recognition of human rights in the spirit of those who drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Those rights are premised on the nature objectively shared by the human race. They were proclaimed in order to remove the barriers that divide the human family and to favour what the Church’s social doctrine calls integral human development, since it entails fostering “the development of each man and of the whole man… and humanity as a whole”.[7] A reductive vision of the human person, on the other hand, opens the way to the growth of injustice, social inequality and corruption.

It should be noted, however, that over the years, particularly in the wake of the social upheaval of the 1960’s, the interpretation of some rights has progressively changed, with the inclusion of a number of “new rights” that not infrequently conflict with one another. This has not always helped the promotion of friendly relations between nations,[8] since debatable notions of human rights have been advanced that are at odds with the culture of many countries; the latter feel that they are not respected in their social and cultural traditions, and instead neglected with regard to the real needs they have to face. Somewhat paradoxically, there is a risk that, in the very name of human rights, we will see the rise of modern forms of ideological colonization by the stronger and the wealthier, to the detriment of the poorer and the most vulnerable. At the same time, it should be recalled that the traditions of individual peoples cannot be invoked as a pretext for disregarding the due respect for the fundamental rights proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

At a distance of seventy years, it is painful to see how many fundamental rights continue to be violated today. First among all of these is the right of every human person to life, liberty and personal security.[9] It is not only war or violence that infringes these rights. In our day, there are more subtle means: I think primarily of innocent children discarded even before they are born, unwanted at times simply because they are ill or malformed, or as a result of the selfishness of adults. I think of the elderly, who are often cast aside, especially when infirm and viewed as a burden. I think of women who repeatedly suffer from violence and oppression, even within their own families. I think too of the victims of human trafficking, which violates the prohibition of every form of slavery. How many persons, especially those fleeing from poverty and war, have fallen prey to such commerce perpetrated by unscrupulous individuals?

Defending the right to life and physical integrity also means safeguarding the right to health on the part of individuals and their families. Today this right has assumed implications beyond the original intentions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which sought to affirm the right of every individual to receive medical care and necessary social services.[10] In this regard, it is my hope that efforts will be made within the appropriate international forums to facilitate, in the first place, ready access to medical care and treatment on the part of all. It is important to join forces in order to implement policies that ensure, at affordable costs, the provision of medicines essential for the survival of those in need, without neglecting the area of research and the development of treatments that, albeit not financially profitable, are essential for saving human lives.

Defending the right to life also entails actively striving for peace, universally recognized as one of the supreme values to be sought and defended. Yet serious local conflicts continue to flare up in various parts of the world. The collective efforts of the international community, the humanitarian activities of international organizations and the constant pleas for peace rising from lands rent by violence seem to be less and less effective in the face of war’s perverse logic. This scenario cannot be allowed to diminish our desire and our efforts for peace. For without peace, integral human development becomes unattainable.

Integral disarmament and integral development are intertwined. Indeed, the quest for peace as a precondition for development requires battling injustice and eliminating, in a non-violent way, the causes of discord that lead to wars. The proliferation of weapons clearly aggravates situations of conflict and entails enormous human and material costs that undermine development and the search for lasting peace. The historic result achieved last year with the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference for negotiating a legally binding instrument to ban nuclear arms, shows how lively the desire for peace continues to be. The promotion of a culture of peace for integral development calls for unremitting efforts in favour of disarmament and the reduction of recourse to the use of armed force in the handling of international affairs. I would therefore like to encourage a serene and wide-ranging debate on the subject, one that avoids polarizing the international community on such a sensitive issue. Every effort in this direction, however modest, represents an important step for mankind.

For its part, the Holy See signed and ratified, also in the name of and on behalf of Vatican City State, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It did so in the belief, expressed by Saint John XXIII in Pacem in Terris, that “justice, right reason, and the recognition of man’s dignity cry out insistently for a cessation to the arms race. The stockpiles of armaments which have been built up in various countries must be reduced all round and simultaneously by the parties concerned. Nuclear weapons must be banned”.[11] Indeed, even if “it is difficult to believe that anyone would dare to assume responsibility for initiating the appalling slaughter and destruction that war would bring in its wake, there is no denying that the conflagration could be started by some chance and unforeseen circumstance”.[12]

The Holy See therefore reiterates the firm conviction “that any disputes which may arise between nations must be resolved by negotiation and agreement, not by recourse to arms”.[13] The constant production of ever more advanced and “refined” weaponry, and dragging on of numerous conflicts – what I have referred to as “a third world war fought piecemeal” – lead us to reaffirm Pope John’s statement that “in this age which boasts of its atomic power, it no longer makes sense to maintain that war is a fit instrument with which to repair the violation of justice… Nevertheless, we are hopeful that, by establishing contact with one another and by a policy of negotiation, nations will come to a better recognition of the natural ties that bind them together as men. We are hopeful, too, that they will come to a fairer realization of one of the cardinal duties deriving from our common nature: namely, that love, not fear, must dominate the relationships between individuals and between nations. It is principally characteristic of love that it draws men together in all sorts of ways, sincerely united in the bonds of mind and matter; and this is a union from which countless blessings can flow”.[14]

In this regard, it is of paramount importance to support every effort at dialogue on the Korean peninsula, in order to find new ways of overcoming the current disputes, increasing mutual trust and ensuring a peaceful future for the Korean people and the entire world.

It is also important for the various peace initiatives aimed at helping Syria to continue, in a constructive climate of growing trust between the parties, so that the lengthy conflict that has caused such immense suffering can finally come to an end. Our shared hope is that, after so much destruction, the time for rebuilding has now come. Yet even more than rebuilding material structures, it is necessary to rebuild hearts, to re-establish the fabric of mutual trust, which is the essential prerequisite for the flourishing of any society. There is a need, then, to promote the legal, political and security conditions that restore a social life where every citizen, regardless of ethnic and religious affiliation, can take part in the development of the country. In this regard, it is vital that religious minorities be protected, including Christians, who for centuries have made an active contribution to Syria’s history.

It is likewise important that the many refugees who have found shelter and refuge in neighbouring countries, especially in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, be able to return home. The commitment and efforts made by these countries in this difficult situation deserve the appreciation and support of the entire international community, which is also called upon to create the conditions for the repatriation of Syrian refugees. This effort must concretely start with Lebanon, so that that beloved country can continue to be a “message” of respect and coexistence, and a model to imitate, for the whole region and for the entire world.

The desire for dialogue is also necessary in beloved Iraq, to enable its various ethnic and religious groups to rediscover the path of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence and cooperation. Such is the case too in Yemen and other parts of the region, and in Afghanistan.

I think in particular of Israelis and Palestinians, in the wake of the tensions of recent weeks. The Holy See, while expressing sorrow for the loss of life in recent clashes, renews its pressing appeal that every initiative be carefully weighed so as to avoid exacerbating hostilities, and calls for a common commitment to respect, in conformity with the relevant United Nations Resolutions, the status quo of Jerusalem, a city sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims. Seventy years of confrontation make more urgent than ever the need for a political solution that allows the presence in the region of two independent states within internationally recognized borders. Despite the difficulties, a willingness to engage in dialogue and to resume negotiations remains the clearest way to achieving at last a peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

In national contexts, too, openness and availability to encounter are essential. I think especially of Venezuela, which is experiencing an increasingly dramatic and unprecedented political and humanitarian crisis. The Holy See, while urging an immediate response to the primary needs of the population, expresses the hope that conditions will be created so that the elections scheduled for this year can resolve the existing conflicts, and enable people to look to the future with newfound serenity.

Nor can the international community overlook the suffering of many parts of the African continent, especially in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Nigeria and the Central African Republic, where the right to life is threatened by the indiscriminate exploitation of resources, terrorism, the proliferation of armed groups and protracted conflicts. It is not enough to be appalled at such violence. Rather, everyone, in his or her own situation, should work actively to eliminate the causes of misery and build bridges of fraternity, the fundamental premise for authentic human development.

A shared commitment to rebuilding bridges is also urgent in Ukraine. The year just ended reaped new victims in the conflict that afflicts the country, continuing to bring great suffering to the population, particularly to families who live in areas affected by the war and have lost their loved ones, not infrequently the elderly and children.

I would like to devote a special thought to families. The right to form a family, as a “natural and fundamental group unit of society… is entitled to protection by society and the state”,[15] and is recognized by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately, it is a fact that, especially in the West, the family is considered an obsolete institution. Today fleeting relationships are preferred to the stability of a definitive life project. But a house built on the sand of frail and fickle relationships cannot stand. What is needed instead is a rock on which to build solid foundations. And this rock is precisely that faithful and indissoluble communion of love that joins man and woman, a communion that has an austere and simple beauty, a sacred and inviolable character and a natural role in the social order.[16] I consider it urgent, then, that genuine policies be adopted to support the family, on which the future and the development of states depend. Without this, it is not possible to create societies capable of meeting the challenges of the future. Disregard for families has another dramatic effect – particularly present in some parts of the world – namely, a decline in the birth rate. We are experiencing a true demographic winter! This is a sign of societies that struggle to face the challenges of the present, and thus become ever more fearful of the future, with the result that they close in on themselves.

At the same time, we cannot forget the situation of families torn apart by poverty, war and migration. All too often, we see with our own eyes the tragedy of children who, unaccompanied, cross the borders between the south and the north of our world, and often fall victim to human trafficking.

Today there is much talk about migrants and migration, at times only for the sake of stirring up primal fears. It must not be forgotten that migration has always existed. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the history of salvation is essentially a history of migration. Nor should we forget that freedom of movement, for example, the ability to leave one’s own country and to return there, is a fundamental human right.[17] There is a need, then, to abandon the familiar rhetoric and start from the essential consideration that we are dealing, above all, with persons.

This is what I sought to reiterate in my Message for the World Day of Peace celebrated on 1 January last, whose theme this year is: “Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace”. While acknowledging that not everyone is always guided by the best of intentions, we must not forget that the majority of migrants would prefer to remain in their homeland. Instead, they find themselves “forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation” to leave it behind… “Welcoming others requires concrete commitment, a network of assistance and good will, vigilant and sympathetic attention, the responsible management of new and complex situations that at times compound numerous existing problems, to say nothing of resources, which are always limited. By practising the virtue of prudence, government leaders should take practical measures to welcome, promote, protect, integrate and, ‘within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good, to permit [them] to become part of a new society’ (Pacem in Terris, 57). Leaders have a clear responsibility towards their own communities, whose legitimate rights and harmonious development they must ensure, lest they become like the rash builder who miscalculated and failed to complete the tower he had begun to construct” (cf. Lk 14:28-30).[18]

I would like once more to thank the authorities of those states who have spared no effort in recent years to assist the many migrants arriving at their borders. I think above all of the efforts made by more than a few countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas that welcome and assist numerous persons. I cherish vivid memories of my meeting in Dhaka with some members of the Rohingya people, and I renew my sentiments of gratitude to the Bangladeshi authorities for the assistance provided to them on their own territory.

I would also like to express particular gratitude to Italy, which in these years has shown an open and generous heart and offered positive examples of integration. It is my hope that the difficulties that the country has experienced in these years, and whose effects are still felt, will not lead to forms of refusal and obstruction, but instead to a rediscovery of those roots and traditions that have nourished the rich history of the nation and constitute a priceless treasure offered to the whole world. I likewise express my appreciation for the efforts made by other European states, particularly Greece and Germany. Nor must it be forgotten that many refugees and migrants seek to reach Europe because they know that there they will find peace and security, which for that matter are the fruit of a lengthy process born of the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the European project in the aftermath of the Second World War. Europe should be proud of this legacy, grounded on certain principles and a vision of man rooted in its millenary history, inspired by the Christian conception of the human person. The arrival of migrants should spur Europe to recover its cultural and religious heritage, so that, with a renewed consciousness of the values on which the continent was built, it can keep alive her own tradition while continuing to be a place of welcome, a herald of peace and of development.

In the past year, governments, international organizations and civil society have engaged in discussions about the basic principles, priorities and most suitable means for responding to movements of migration and the enduring situations involving refugees. The United Nations, following the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, has initiated important preparations for the adoption of the two Global Compacts for refugees and for safe, orderly and regular migration respectively.

The Holy See trusts that these efforts, with the negotiations soon to begin, will lead to results worthy of a world community growing ever more independent and grounded in the principles of solidarity and mutual assistance. In the current international situation, ways and means are not lacking to ensure that every man and every woman on earth can enjoy living conditions worthy of the human person.

In the Message for this year’s World Day of Peace, I suggested four “mileposts” for action: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating.[19] I would like to dwell particularly on the last of these, which has given rise to various opposed positions in the light of varying evaluations, experiences, concerns and convictions. Integration is a “two-way process”, entailing reciprocal rights and duties. Those who welcome are called to promote integral human development, while those who are welcomed must necessarily conform to the rules of the country offering them hospitality, with respect for its identity and values. Processes of integration must always keep the protection and advancement of persons, especially those in situations of vulnerability, at the centre of the rules governing various aspects of political and social life.

The Holy See has no intention of interfering in decisions that fall to states, which, in the light of their respective political, social and economic situations, and their capacities and possibilities for receiving and integrating, have the primary responsibility for accepting newcomers. Nonetheless, the Holy See does consider it its role to appeal to the principles of humanity and fraternity at the basis of every cohesive and harmonious society. In this regard, its interaction with religious communities, on the level of institutions and associations, should not be forgotten, since these can play a valuable supportive role in assisting and protecting, in social and cultural mediation, and in pacification and integration.

Among the human rights that I would also like to mention today is the right to freedom of thought, conscience and of religion, including the freedom to change religion.[20] Sad to say, it is well-known that the right to religious freedom is often disregarded, and not infrequently religion becomes either an occasion for the ideological justification of new forms of extremism or a pretext for the social marginalization of believers, if not their downright persecution. The condition for building inclusive societies is the integral comprehension of the human person, who can feel himself or herself truly accepted when recognized and accepted in all the dimensions that constitute his or her identity, including the religious dimension.

Finally, I wish to recall the importance of the right to employment. There can be no peace or development if individuals are not given the chance to contribute personally by their own labour to the growth of the common good. Regrettably, in many parts of the world, employment is scarcely available. At times, few opportunities exist, especially for young people, to find work. Often it is easily lost not only due to the effects of alternating economic cycles, but to the increasing use of ever more perfect and precise technologies and tools that can replace human beings. On the one hand, we note an inequitable distribution of the work opportunities, while on the other, a tendency to demand of labourers an ever more pressing pace. The demands of profit, dictated by globalization, have led to a progressive reduction of times and days of rest, with the result that a fundamental dimension of life has been lost – that of rest – which serves to regenerate persons not only physically but also spiritually. God himself rested on the seventh day; he blessed and consecrated that day “because on it he rested from all the work that he had done in creation” (Gen 2:3). In the alternation of exertion and repose, human beings share in the “sanctification of time” laid down by God and ennoble their work, saving it from constant repetition and dull daily routine.

A cause for particular concern are the data recently published by the International Labour Organization regarding the increase of child labourers and victims of the new forms of slavery. The scourge of juvenile employment continues to compromise gravely the physical and psychological development of young people, depriving them of the joys of childhood and reaping innocent victims. We cannot think of planning a better future, or hope to build more inclusive societies, if we continue to maintain economic models directed to profit alone and the exploitation of those who are most vulnerable, such as children. Eliminating the structural causes of this scourge should be a priority of governments and international organizations, which are called to intensify efforts to adopt integrated strategies and coordinated policies aimed at putting an end to child labour in all its forms.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In recalling some of the rights contained in the 1948 Universal Declaration, I do not mean to overlook one of its important aspects, namely, the recognition that every individual also has duties towards the community, for the sake of “meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society”.[21] The just appeal to the rights of each human being must take into account the fact that every individual is part of a greater body. Our societies too, like every human body, enjoy good health if each member makes his or her own contribution in the awareness that it is at the service of the common good.

Among today’s particularly pressing duties is that of caring for our earth. We know that nature can itself be cruel, even apart from human responsibility. We saw this in the past year with the earthquakes that struck different parts of our world, especially those of recent months in Mexico and in Iran, with their high toll of victims, and with the powerful hurricanes that struck different countries of the Caribbean, also reaching the coast of the United States, and, more recently, the Philippines. Even so, one must not downplay the importance of our own responsibility in interaction with nature. Climate changes, with the global rise in temperatures and their devastating effects, are also a consequence of human activity. Hence there is a need to take up, in a united effort, the responsibility of leaving to coming generations a more beautiful and livable world, and to work, in the light of the commitments agreed upon in Paris in 2015, for the reduction of gas emissions that harm the atmosphere and human health.

The spirit that must guide individuals and nations in this effort can be compared to that of the builders of the medieval cathedrals that dot the landscape of Europe. These impressive buildings show the importance of each individual taking part in a work that transcends the limits of time. The builders of the cathedrals knew that they would not see the completion of their work. Yet they worked diligently, in the knowledge that they were part of a project that would be left to their children to enjoy. These, in turn, would embellish and expand it for their own children. Each man and woman in this world – particularly those with governmental responsibilities – is called to cultivate the same spirit of service and intergenerational solidarity, and in this way to be a sign of hope for our troubled world.

With these thoughts, I renew to each of you, to your families and to your peoples, my prayerful good wishes for a year filled with joy, hope and peace. Thank you.

_____________

[1] Cf. JOHN XXIII, Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, 11 April 1963, 90.

[2] Ibid., 80.

[3] Ibid., 86.

[4] Ibid., 91.

[5] Cf. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 10 December 1948.

[6] Ibid. Preamble.

[7] PAUL VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 26 March 1967, 14.

[8] Cf. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble.

[9] Cf. ibid., Art.3.

[10] Cf. ibid., Art. 25.

[11] Pacem in Terris, 112.

[12] Ibid., 111.

[13] Ibid., 126.

[14] Ibid., 127 and 129.

[15] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 16.

[16] Cf. PAUL VI, Address in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, 5 January 1964.

[17] Cf. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 13.

[18] FRANCIS, Message for the 2018 World Day of Peace, 13 November 2017, 1.

[19] Ibid., 4.

[20] Cf. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 18.

[21] Ibid., Art. 29.

 

Personally PopeWatch would like a Pope who would address certain ambassadors as Pope Julius II in the Agony and the Ecstasy addressed the French Ambassador:

 

Julius II:  You may tell your master,
the King of France...
that I have looked up the Cardinal
Clermont in Sant'Angelo...
because he is no
better than a spy.
I know where the loyalty
of you French cardinals lie!
You belong with you King,
not with your church.
Don't tempt me to provide
you both with similar lodgings.
French Ambassador:  My master will be
deeply distressed...
when I report Your Holiness's
words to him.
Julius II: Remind your master
that I am at war...
and I will remain at war until
I have recovered the Papal States...
for the Church!
Every city, every village,
every foot of ground.
And I will stand no interference
from your master, or anyone else.
French Ambassador:  The King of France wishes
Your Holiness every success...
...in your enterprise.
Julius II:  - Yes, and spies on me...
in my own court, stirs up my
enemies throughout Italy...
and even boasts in private
that he will put a Frenchman...
on the throne of Peter and before
long make me his chaplain!
French Ambassador:  But His Majesty entertains nothing
but veneration for Your Holiness.
Julius II:  His Majesty called
me anti-Christ...
that only a stick on my back
would keep me in order.
Let him learn that
I too carry a stick.
Let him learn that I am the Pope!
The audience is over.


 

6

PopeWatch: Obvious

Phil Lawler, who has a book out about Pope Francis next month, has a telling anecdote that he relates at Catholic Culture:

 

 

How popular is Pope Francis? With the public? With bishops and priests? With young seminarians? Ask different people, and you’ll get different answers. It’s hard to gain an accurate reading.

But here’s a remarkably revealing clue, nearly hidden in a feel-good story about an American seminarian, Nick Sentovich, who is a 3rd-year student at the North American College in Rome, “and like all third-year seminarians, he was given the opportunity to assist during the papal Mass on Christmas Eve.”

Usually, a lottery decides who will serve during the Christmas Eve Mass, but there weren’t enough students who expressed interest this year, Sentovich said, so everyone who applied was accepted.

Emphasis added, obviously. But that’s not the only thing that should be obvious. Continue Reading

3

PopeWatch: Recreational Heresy

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

 

 

Roman Catholic dioceses in California began allowing recreational heresy Monday in what has been seen as a milestone in the mainstreaming of dissent.

Lines formed outside churches licensed to allow heresy hours before Mass and CCD times, and RCIA teachers said they had stocked up in expectation of huge demand for new types of heresy.

“There’re bigger crowds here than I saw at all the Christmas masses put together this year,”  said pastor of St. Basil Catholic Church, Matthew Dreyer, whose Legalize Dissent campaign has garnered thousands of followers on social media. “We’ve had dissent for decades now, but we’ve been marginalized to more liberal parishes. Now we can finally come out of the shadows and into the rad trad parishes.”

At one Catholic church in San Diego, hundreds lined up for hours to have a chance to be among the first to teach heresy at an RCIA or CCD class at a liturgically orthodox parish.

“There’s really nothing that the priests can do now to stop it,” said California native, Connie Schick. “The USCCB gave us a voice—they gave us a vote and we did it. Finally, we did it!”

Speaking with EOTT, Dreyer said he expected a 25% bump in dissent overnight, but that it could be as high as 50%.

California is the sixth state to allow the use of recreational heresy, and as one of the largest concentrations of Catholics in the United States, it has been widely seen as the corner stone on which legalization of mainstream heterodoxy will be built in the country.

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch managed to get the Pope on the phone for a comment:

“Gringo, I have warned you to stop calling me!  Of course California has embraced recreational heresy.  They are all loons out there, especially the bishops I have appointed.  In the 2005 Conclave I told Mahony that if he didn’t stop chattering I would have to use my rosary as a garotte.  No, you may not quote me!”.  With that, the Holy Father brought the call to an end.

5

PopeWatch: Wow

Wow:

 

Profession of the Immutable Truths About Sacramental Marriage

After the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (2016) various bishops issued at local, regional, and national levels applicable norms regarding the sacramental discipline of those faithful, called “divorced and remarried,” who having still a living spouse to whom they are united with a valid sacramental matrimonial bond, have nevertheless begun a stable cohabitation more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse.

The aforementioned rules provide inter alia that in individual cases the persons, called “divorced and remarried,” may receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion, while continuing to live habitually and intentionally more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. These pastoral norms have received approval from various hierarchical authorities. Some of these norms have received approval even from the supreme authority of the Church.

The spread of these ecclesiastically approved pastoral norms has caused a considerable and ever increasing confusion among the faithful and the clergy, a confusion that touches the central manifestations of the life of the Church, such as sacramental marriage with the family, the domestic church, and the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.

According to the doctrine of the Church, only the sacramental matrimonial bond constitutes a domestic church (see Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 11). The admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” faithful to Holy Communion, which is the highest expression of the unity of Christ the Spouse with His Church, means in practice a way of approving or legitimizing divorce, and in this meaning a kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.

The mentioned pastoral norms are revealed in practice and in time as a means of spreading the “plague of divorce” (an expression used by the Second Vatican Council, see Gaudium et spes, 47). It is a matter of spreading the “plague of divorce” even in the life of the Church, when the Church, instead, because of her unconditional fidelity to the doctrine of Christ, should be a bulwark and an unmistakable sign of contradiction against the plague of divorce which is every day more rampant in civil society.

Unequivocally and without admitting any exception Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God’s will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce. An approval or legitimation of the violation of the sacredness of the marriage bond, even indirectly through the mentioned new sacramental discipline, seriously contradicts God’s express will and His commandment. This practice therefore represents a substantial alteration of the two thousand-year-old sacramental discipline of the Church. Furthermore, a substantially altered discipline will eventually lead to an alteration in the corresponding doctrine.

The constant Magisterium of the Church, beginning with the teachings of the Apostles and of all the Supreme Pontiffs, has preserved and faithfully transmitted both in the doctrine (in theory) and in the sacramental discipline (in practice) in an unequivocal way, without any shadow of doubt and always in the same sense and in the same meaning (eodem sensu eademque sententia), the crystalline teaching of Christ concerning the indissolubility of marriage.

Because of its Divinely established nature, the discipline of the sacraments must never contradict the revealed word of God and the faith of the Church in the absolute indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage. “The sacraments not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called “sacraments of faith.” (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 59). “Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1125).

The Catholic faith by its nature excludes a formal contradiction between the faith professed on the one hand and the life and practice of the sacraments on the other. In this sense we can also understand the following affirmation of the Magisterium: “This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 43) and “Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).

In view of the vital importance that the doctrine and discipline of marriage and the Eucharist constitute, the Church is obliged to speak with the same voice. The pastoral norms regarding the indissolubility of marriage must not, therefore, be contradicted between one diocese and another, between one country and another. Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has observed this principle as St. Irenaeus of Lyons testifies: “The Church, though spread throughout the world to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the Apostles and their disciples, preserves this preaching and this faith with care and, as if she inhabits a single house, believes in the same identical way, as if she had only one soul and only one heart, and preaches the truth of the faith, teaches it and transmits it in a unanimous voice, as if she had only one mouth”(Adversus haereses, I, 10, 2). Saint Thomas Aquinas transmits to us the same perennial principle of the life of the Church: “There is one and the same faith of the ancients and the moderns, otherwise there would not be one and the same Church” (Questiones Disputatae de Veritate, q. 14, a. 12c).

The following warning from Pope John Paul II remains current and valid: “The confusion, created in the conscience of many faithful by the differences of opinions and teachings in theology, in preaching, in catechesis, in spiritual direction, about serious and delicate questions of Christian morals, ends up by diminishing the true sense of sin almost to the point of eliminating it” (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitenia, 18).

The meaning of the following statements of the Magisterium of the Church is fully applicable to the doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning the indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage:

  • “For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient doctrines faithfully and wisely, which the faith of the Fathers has transmitted. She strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus — that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning” (Pius IX, Dogmatic Bull Ineffabilis Deus)
  • “With regard to the very substance of truth, the Church has before God and men the sacred duty to announce it, to teach it without any attenuation, as Christ revealed it, and there is no condition of time that can reduce the rigor of this obligation. It binds in conscience every priest who is entrusted with the care of teaching, admonishing, and guiding the faithful “(Pius XII, Discourse to parish priests and Lenten preachers, March 23, 1949).
  • “The Church does not historicize, does not relativize to the metamorphoses of profane culture the nature of the Church that is always equal and faithful to itself, as Christ wanted it and authentic tradition perfected it” (Paul VI, Homily from October 28, 1965).
  • “Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 29).
  • “Any conjugal difficulties are resolved without ever falsifying and compromising the truth” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).
  • “The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm [of the Divine moral law]. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).
  • “The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good. Basing herself on these two complementary principles, the church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34).
  • “The Church’s firmness in defending the universal and unchanging moral norms is not demeaning at all. Its only purpose is to serve man’s true freedom. Because there can be no freedom apart from or in opposition to the truth”(John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).
  • “When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the “poorest of the poor” on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal” (emphasis in original) (John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).
  • “The obligation of reiterating this impossibility of admission to the Eucharist is required for genuine pastoral care and for an authentic concern for the well-being of these faithful and of the whole Church, as it indicates the conditions necessary for the fullness of that conversion to which all are always invited by the Lord“ (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration on the admissibility to the Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried, 24 June 2000, n. 5).As Catholic bishops, who – according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council – must defend the unity of faith and the common discipline of the Church, and take care that the light of the full truth should arise for all men (see Lumen Gentium, 23 ) we are forced in conscience to profess in the face of the current rampant confusion the unchanging truth and the equally immutable sacramental discipline regarding the indissolubility of marriage according to the bimillennial and unaltered teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. In this spirit we reiterate:
  • Sexual relationships between people who are not in the bond to one another of a valid marriage – which occurs in the case of the so-called “divorced and remarried” – are always contrary to God’s will and constitute a grave offense against God.
  • No circumstance or finality, not even a possible imputability or diminished guilt, can make such sexual relations a positive moral reality and pleasing to God. The same applies to the other negative precepts of the Ten Commandments of God. Since “there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17).
  • The Church does not possess the infallible charism of judging the internal state of grace of a member of the faithful (see Council of Trent, session 24, chapter 1). The non-admission to Holy Communion of the so-called “divorced and remarried” does not therefore mean a judgment on their state of grace before God, but a judgment on the visible, public, and objective character of their situation. Because of the visible nature of the sacraments and of the Church herself, the reception of the sacraments necessarily depends on the corresponding visible and objective situation of the faithful.
  • It is not morally licit to engage in sexual relations with a person who is not one’s legitimate spouse supposedly to avoid another sin. Since the Word of God teaches us, it is not lawful “to do evil so that good may come” (Romans 3, 8).
  • The admission of such persons to Holy Communion may be permitted only when they with the help of God’s grace and a patient and individual pastoral accompaniment make a sincere intention to cease from now on the habit of such sexual relations and to avoid scandal. It is in this way that true discernment and authentic pastoral accompaniment were always expressed in the Church.
  • People who have habitual non-marital sexual relations violate their indissoluble sacramental nuptial bond with their life style in relation to their legitimate spouse. For this reason they are not able to participate “in Spirit and in Truth” (see John 4, 23) at the Eucharistic wedding supper of Christ, also taking into account the words of the rite of Holy Communion: “Blessed are the guests at the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19, 9).
  • The fulfillment of God’s will, revealed in His Ten Commandments and in His explicit and absolute prohibition of divorce, constitutes the true spiritual good of the people here on earth and will lead them to the true joy of love in the salvation of eternal life.

Being bishops in the pastoral office, who promote the Catholic and Apostolic faith (“cultores catholicae et apostolicae fidei”, see Missale Romanum, Canon Romanus), we are aware of this grave responsibility and our duty before the faithful who await from us a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage. For this reason we are not allowed to be silent.

We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:

It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth .

31 December 2017, the Feast of the Holy Family, in the year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.

 

+ Tomash Peta, Archbishop Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

+ Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop of Karaganda

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

 

I hope that a barrel of whatever these bishops of Kazakhstan are drinking is sent to all the bishops of the Church.

8

PopeWatch: Creche

Sandro Magister brings us the news that few things seem to be sacred to the powers that be at the Vatican:

 

But as if that were not enough, here comes the third own goal, centered on the nativity scene set up this year in Saint Peter’s Square (see photo).

There is neither ox nor ass, neither sheep nor shepherds. Jesus, Joseph, and Mary can be spotted with some effort, against the backdrop of a dome of Saint Peter’s in ruins. It is a nativity scene without grace and without poetry, the intention of which is rather to depict one by one the seven corporal works of mercy.

The offer of such a nativity scene to the pope was made by the abbey shrine of Montevergine, which stands on a mountain above Avellino, not far from Naples. At the governorate of Vatican City they say that the project, realized afterward by the Neapolitan artisan Antonio Cantone, was submitted beforehand to the judgment of the secretary of state and of Pope Francis, receiving their approval.

But even more enthusiastic was the approval of Arcigay of Naples and of its president, Antonello Sannino, who told the American journalist Diane Montagna of LifeSite News: “The presence of the Vatican Nativity Scene for us is a reason to be even happier this year,. For the homosexual and transsexual community in Naples, it is an important symbol of inclusion and integration.”

The shrine of Montevergine, in fact, hosts an image of the Blessed Mother – reproduced in the nativity scene of Saint Peter’s Square – that was adopted some time ago as patroness by a vast LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual), which once a year, on February 2, the feast of the presentation of Jesus at the temple, popularly called “Candlemas,” makes a festive climb of the sanctuary by foot, called “juta dei femminielli,” the climb of the effeminates.

It is a “mix of the sacred and profane,” a sort of “ancestral gay pride,” Sannino explained. In 2002 the  abbot of Montevergine at the time, Tarcisio Nazzaro, protested against the political spin being given to that the pilgrimage, which was joined this year by the transexual parliamentarian Vladimir Luxuria.

But at the “Candlemas” of 2014 Luxuria appeared at the shrine reading a letter that he had written to Pope Francis in the name of the LGBT community.

In 2017 an LGBT group, again with Luxuria, met with new abbot Riccardo Luca Guariglia, who – they later reported – gave them his blessing in an “atmosphere of dialogue.”

The town of Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo, from which the climb to the shrine departs, this year gave honorary citizenship to a married couple of homosexuals, inaugurated for the “femminielli” a “no gender” bathroom and put up a sign at the entrance to the town saying: “Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo is against homotransphobia and gender violence.”

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Sannino should say he is convinced that a greater openness of the Church on the subject of homosexuality also depends on “how conscious” Vatican officials are of the connection between the nativity scene in Saint Peter’s Square and the LGBT community. “The Church is extremely slow in its transformations,” he added. “But we hope that the Church will finally develop a real sense of openness in the wake of the pope’s words: ‘Who am I to judge?’”.

Meanwhile, in this Christmas season, pilgrims and tourists who have come to Rome from all over the world are looking with visible bewilderment at the nativity scene set up in the middle of Bernini’s colonnade, and especially its chiseled “nude” who seems to be longing after something other than being dressed mercifully.

Like every year, on the evening of December 31, after the “Te Deum” Pope Francis will also appear before the nativity scene in Saint Peter’s Square, although it is not known “how conscious” he will be of the mess he has gotten himself into. And the LGBT community will certainly be very attentive to scrutinizing and interpreting every one of his gestures and expressions.

For a complete reconstruction of the incident, here is a link to the article by Diane Montagna:

Vatican’s “sexually suggestive” nativity has troubling ties to Italy’s LGBT activists

Go here to read the rest.  Here is a picture of part of the creche:

 

 

Remember when the query “is the Pope Catholic” was not meant to be a real question?

4

PopeWatch: Fake News

Well this is interesting:

 

Pope Francis plans to highlight the importance of truth and the fight against “fake news” in a message to be released Jan. 24, the Catholic News Service reports.

A spokesman for the Vatican told the news service that Francis will speak out against false information that leads to the “polarization” of public opinion in modern societies.

Go here to read the rest.  This seems fitting to PopeWatch.  Considering how factually challenged many of the statements of the Pope have been, go here to read a typical example, he would seem to have a certain expertise when it comes to fake news.

9

Keep Christ in Christmas

So said Pope Francis:

 

“In our times, especially in Europe, we’re seeing a ‘distortion’ of Christmas,” the pope said in his final General Audience of 2017.

“In the name of a false respect for non-Christians, which often hides a desire to marginalize the faith, every reference to the birth of Christ is being eliminated from the holiday,” Francis said. “But in reality, this event is the one true Christmas!”

“Without Jesus, there is no Christmas,” the pope said, drawing strong applause from a crowd gathered Wednesday morning in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall.

“If he’s at the center, then everything around him, that is, the lights, the songs, the various local traditions, including the characteristic foods, all comes together to create the atmosphere of a real festival,” he said.

“But if we take [Christ] away, the lights go off and everything becomes fake, mere appearances,” the pope said.

Go here to read the rest.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the American context for these remarks:

 

Yep.  You heard that right.  For years, post-Conservatives have proudly joined the secular, non-Christian Left in mocking the whole ‘war on Christmas’ and ‘culture wars.’  This laughable notion that we should care that our society demanded the Christian element of the Christmas holiday be eliminated from public acknowledgement was condemned by those wishing to separate themselves from those defending the traditions of the Christian West.

From Mark Shea to Southern Baptist ethics leader Russel Moore, open contempt for those bothered by this push to silence the Christian elements of Christmas has become almost a confession of the post-traditional Faith.  It was a way to say “we’re not like those non-liberal types over there.”

And now, suddenly, Pope Francis has jumped in an echoed – what those bemoaning the secularization and elimination of Christ from Christmas have been lamenting.  He’s not alone.  I’ve met several over the years from other countries who were shocked that American Christians  seem to easily accept being pushed around and out the door of public discourse and celebration. 

Will this become a wake up call for the Christians who have been fighting the Long Retreat over the years?  Those who figure the Left has won, the West is dead, and it’s best to cozy up to the new power as best we can, and that might include avoiding the C-Word in Christmas settings on the off chance we offend someone who matters?  We’ll see.  I’ve noticed that for a pope who is adored and loved by the majority, there seems to be about 1/2 of what he says that drops through the storm drains. 

Go here to comment.  Societies sometimes become one-trick ponies and find themselves in a dead end.  China with its exam system eventually produced government officials who were mainly good at passing exams and nothing else.  Assyria was hell on wheels for military conquest until it aroused endless domestic civil wars, with its matchless army turned upon itself, and foreign coalitions that eventually made Assyria a half forgotten memory.  The deep South depended so entirely on slavery that it would destroy the Union to protect it, and ended up destroying its economic system as a result.  Secularization in the West is in a similar blind end.  Christ reminded Satan that man does not live by bread alone, and the pursuit of materialism solely produces societies with an inherent death wish, as man needs some better reason to exist than to satisfy physical needs and desires that have ever been a means and not an end in themselves.  We all have a God-sized hole in our souls, and attempts to ignore that fundamental fact of human existence are either bleakly humorous or bleakly tragic depending upon the mood of the observer.

13

White Flag Pope

 

 

Pope Francis has long reminded me of popes who reigned at various points in the Middle Ages, seated by some powerful Emperor, King or other political entity, and who then spent their papacies rubber stamping what their political sponsor wanted to do.  RR Reno at First Things explains the resemblance:

 

 

 

 

This papacy is not hard to figure out. Pope Francis and his associates echo the pieties and self-complimenting utopianism of progressives. That’s not surprising. The Jesuit charism is multifaceted and powerful. I count myself among those profoundly influenced by the spiritual genius of St. Ignatius. Yet there’s no disputing that for centuries Jesuits have shown great talent in adjusting the gospel to suit the powerful. And so, I think the European establishment can count on the Vatican to denounce the populism currently threatening its hold on power. I predict that this papacy will be a great defender of migrants and refugees—until political pressures on the European ruling class become so great that it shifts and becomes more “realistic,” at which point the Vatican will shift as well. What is presently denounced will be permitted; what is presently permitted will be denounced.

Adjustment, trimming of sails, and accommodation are inevitable. The Catholic Church is not set up to be countercultural. Catholicism, at least in the West, has establishment in its DNA. But this papacy is uniquely invertebrate. I can identify no consistent theological structure other than a vague Rahnerianism and post–Vatican II sign-of-the-times temporizing. This makes Francis a purely political pope, or at least very nearly so. No doubt he has an evangelical heart. But ever the Jesuit, he seems to regard every aspect of the Church’s tradition as a plastic instrument to be stiffened here or relaxed there in accord with ever-changing pastoral judgments.

This will not end well. The West has seen a long season of loosening, opening up, and deconsolidation, of which the sexual revolution is but a part. Our establishment is committed to sustaining this consensus. This is why it has been at war with Catholic intransigence, which is based on the Church’s insistence that she answer to timeless, unchanging, and demanding truths. It’s foolish for the papacy to make a peace treaty with this establishment consensus. It’s theologically unworkable. It’s also politically inept. For the establishment consensus is failing, and that includes the sexual revolution, which made many promises that were not fulfilled.

Go here to read the rest.  The easiest way to understand Pope Francis is to see him as the “White Flag Pope”, as the Vatican seeks to largely capitulate to the dominant political force in the West.  Such cowards and time servers have ever infested the higher echelons of the Church.  A study of Church history gives us the reassurance however, that such capitulations to the World tend to be relatively short-lived, as the Church is designed to serve the cause of Christ and not the cause of those who wish to hijack her to serve other masters.

1

PopeWatch: Begone Nerdia

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

 

Pope Francis has called for the renaming of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, saying current translations that changed it from the original “Philosopher’s Stone” to “Sorcerer’s Stone” does not make sense.

Read by millions of people across the world, the young adult fantasy novel has become a staple read in many homes. But in a recent interview, Pope Francis said that the word “Sorcerer” should be changed because it has been translated badly.

“It’s not a good translation because the Philosopher’s Stone is an actual legend dating back to 300ad whereas the Sorcerer’s Stone was simply made up,” he told TV2001. “The changing of the name implies that American children are too stupid to understand the word or, if not stupid, than clearly not being given the opportunity to learn a new word. The Harry Potter publisher Scholastic is essentially saying that American teachers actively push their students to fail. But it’s not teachers pushing anyone to fail. A teacher doesn’t do that—a teacher helps you learn how to open a dictionary.”

Last month, publishers in France agreed to switch from “Sorcerer” to “Philosopher.” The pope said he was impressed with the new wording.

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch attempted to contact the Vatican for comment, but was advised that the Vatican is currently under siege from hordes of fanatical Harry Potter fans, waving wands and trotting along on broom sticks, and that the Swiss guards were laughing too much to have broken the siege yet.

With that, PopeWatch will be on Christmas hiatus until January 3.  See you in the new year!

1

PopeWatch: Dictator

Philip Lawler gives a review of Dictator at Catholic World Report:

 

And some of the book’s revelations will be new to any but the most attentive followers of inside Vatican news. The author reminds us, for instance, that Cardinal Bergoglio became prominent when he delivered a speech at the Synod meeting of 2001, after New York’s Cardinal Egan, who was scheduled to give the address, hurried home in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The Argentine cardinal’s speech was heartily applauded by the prelates who heard it. What they did not know, Colonna tells us, is that Cardinal Bergoglio merely read a text that had been prepared by a Vatican staff member.

The Dictator Pope also gives readers samples of a highly critical memo by Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, then the worldwide leader of the Jesuit order, written in 1991 to explain why, in his opinion, Father Jorge Bergoglio should not be made a bishop. The memo is devastating, pointing to character flaws that are confirmed throughout this book.

Indeed the most valuable service provided by the author of The Dictator Pope is the psychological portrait of the Pope: a man who follows in the footsteps of Juan Peron, the demagogic Argentine political leader of young Bergoglio’s formative years. Manipulative, hypersensitive, and often downright vindictive, Pope Francis is certainly not the cheerful populist that his supporters make him out to be. For all the talk about a “reformer pope,” the rhetoric about decentralization, and the promises of reform, the net results of this pontificate to date have been a climate of fear within the Vatican, a tightening of control, and a resurgence of the “old guard” in Rome.

The Dictator Pope concludes with a plea that the College of Cardinals should recognize the damage that has been done and, when the time comes, derail the efforts of the liberal prelates like the “St. Gallen mafia” to elect another Pontiff like Francis. Even before the conclave, the author persuasively argues, ranking prelates should fulfill their duties, resisting the public pressure exerted by an authoritarian Pontiff. It’s a compelling argument. But it would have been more compelling still if the author of this book had set an example, defied the pressure, and written this book under his own name.

Go here to read the rest.  Part of the interest in Dictator is generated by the fact that the news media has done a very poor job in ferreting out even basic facts about Pope Francis.  PopeWatch was started because of the paucity of information about our new Pope.  Five years later, the situation persists and much about Pope Francis remains mysterious and often contradictory.

9

PopeWatch: The Devil

When it comes to the Devil, who he mentions frequently, the Pope has been preaching the truth since the beginning of his pontificate:

The Devil is more intelligent than mere mortals and should never be argued with, Pope Francis has warned.

Satan is not a metaphor or a nebulous concept but a real person armed with dark powers, the Pope said in forthright remarks made during a television interview.

“He is evil, he’s not like mist. He’s not a diffuse thing, he is a person. I’m convinced that one must never converse with Satan – if you do that, you’ll be lost,” he told TV2000, a Catholic channel, gesticulating with his hands to emphasise his point.

Go here to read the rest.  Saint Thomas More in his Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, which he wrote while imprisoned, has quite a bit to say about Satan including this passage which strikes PopeWatch as quite wise:

Some folk have been clearly rid of such pestilent fancies with
very full contempt of them, making a cross upon their hearts and
bidding the devil avaunt. And sometimes they laugh him to scorn
too, and then turn their mind unto some other matter. And when the
devil hath seen that they have set so little by him, after certain
essays, made in such times as he thought most fitting, he hath
given that temptation quite over. And this he doth not only
because the proud spirit cannot endure to be mocked, but also
lest, with much tempting the man to the sin to which he could not
in conclusion bring him, he should much increase his merit.
4

PopeWatch: Dictator

Lifesite News has an interview with the author of Dictator:

 

The author assumes the pseudonym of a real historical figure named Marcantonio Colonna. Born in 1535, Colonna was an Italian aristocrat who served as a Viceroy of Sicily and is best remembered for his service as admiral of the papal fleet in the Battle of Lepanto.

About the author’s true identity, we are only told in the brief biographical note accompanying the book that he is “a graduate of Oxford University and has extensive experience of historical and other research. He has been living in Rome since the beginning of Pope Francis’s pontificate, and his book is the fruit of close contacts with many of those working in the Vatican, including the leading Cardinals and other figures mentioned in the narrative.”

In an email exchange with Marcantonio Colonna, we discussed why he wrote The Dictator Pope, what he hopes the book will achieve, and the most surprising discovery he made in his research.

LifeSite: Why did you write ‘The Dictator Pope’?

Colonna: The popular image of Pope Francis is one of the most extraordinary deceptions of the present time, and contrasts totally with the reality of Bergoglio’s character as it was known in Argentina before his election and is known in the Vatican today. My aim was to let the cat out of the bag and to set out, in a series of studies of policies followed over the past five years, the true nature of Francis’s pontificate.

What do you hope the book will achieve?

I don’t know whether my book could have the effect of encouraging cardinals and other churchmen to tell Francis, “The game’s up.” Perhaps not. But what I principally had in mind was trying to avoid a similar mistake being made again in the next Conclave. My aim was to expose the myth of the supposedly liberal Pope who was elected in 2013 and to urge the cardinals at the next Conclave to avoid electing an unknown figure who turns out to be quite different from what he had been thought.

If your main concern is to see that a similar mistake not be made at the next Conclave, why did you not simply send a report privately to the cardinals. Why go public? Some readers may wonder if the book might do more harm than good, by fostering division and ill will toward Pope Francis among the faithful.

The notion that the College of Cardinals as a whole would read a 60,000-word book sent to them privately is wholly unrealistic. Moreover, the book needs to have the credibility that comes from having been made public and recognized as true by those who know the Vatican. And the cardinals do not make their choice in a vacuum. When they vote in the next Conclave, it needs to be in a context in which the whole Church has recognized the imposture that has been practiced upon it and realizes that we need a Pope who is primarily a man of God and not a politician.

What did you find most interesting, surprising, or shocking in your research?

In fact my book is mainly based on a long series of articles which have already exposed many aspects of Francis’s pontificate, but the world’s media have preferred to take no notice of them. A personal contribution of mine has been to transmit to the rest of the world the estimate of Bergoglio that had long been held in Argentina. In researching Bergoglio’s past, one of the most significant pieces of evidence I came across was the report written by his religious superior [Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach] in 1991 when it was proposed to make Bergoglio a bishop. The Jesuit General wrote that Bergoglio was not suitable for such an appointment, that he was a man of devious character, lacking psychological balance, and had been a divisive figure as Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina. The existence of this report has long been known, and I received the account of it from a priest who read the document himself at the time.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The first of many tell all books in regard to this kidney stone of a pontificate.

3

PopeWatch: Dictator

The book Dictator, among its many passages, has this interesting section:

 

 

In contrast, the dedicated but politically hapless Benedict XVI, it emerges, was deceived in more ways than one by his power hungry, avaricious long-time secretary, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Among other achievements, Bertone, without his former boss’s knowledge, allowed more than 400,000 euros from the papal children’s hospital to be streamed into the restoration of his vast apartment.

Bertone duped Benedict to the last, when the former pope entrusted him with the task of lobbying for the tough, orthodox patriarch of Venice, Angelo Scola, to succeed him as Pope when he resigned in February 2013. Bertone did not want Scola and ignored the instruction. It opened the way for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, who, in a curious twist, appears to have been expecting Benedict’s abdication. He had been subtly lobbying US cardinals for some time and he had the backing of the “St Gallen mafia’’, a liberal, anti-Ratzinger cabal of European cardinals.

Pope Benedict had his gifts, but red capped thieves at the Vatican were apparently running rings around him.

17

PopeWatch: Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate

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

 

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

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

 

2

PopeWatch: Saint Santa

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

45

PopeWatch: Pope Francis Wants to Change “The Lord’s Prayer”

Doing my morning scan of Foxnews.com, the following headline caught my eye: “Pope Francis wants to change line of ‘Our Father’ ”    Here’s the story:

“Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord’s Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the ‘Our Father.’

 

Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation,’ saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin.

 

‘That is not a good translation,’ the pope said, according to Reuters.

So, whaddya think?

 

4

Pope Francis: Latin

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

 

 

PopeWatch is in full agreement with the Pope on this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

s

 

 

3

PopeWatch: Dictator

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

1

PopeWatch: Dictator

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

 

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

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

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

12

PopeWatch: Dictator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

33

On the Appearance of Pope Francis’s Letter to the Argentine Bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis

The following is a reprint of an article by Ed Peters, with permission.

Please be charitable and Catholic in the comboxes.

On the Appearance of Pope Francis’s Letter to the Argentine Bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis

by Edward N. Peters, J.C.D., J.D., 4 December, AD 2017

Some three months ago I predicted that Pope Francis’ letter to the Argentine bishops, approving their implementation of Amoris laetitia, would make its way into the Acta Apostolicae SedisNow it has. An accompanying note from Cardinal Parolin states that the pope wishes the Argentine document to enjoy “magisterial authority” and that his endorsement thereof has the status of an “apostolic letter”.

Fine. Let’s work through some points.

1. Canon 915. It is crucial to understand that, today, what actually prevents ministers of Holy Communion from distributing the Eucharist to divorced-and-remarried Catholics is Canon 915 and the universal, unanimous interpretation which that legislative text, rooted as it is in divine law, has always received. Canon 915 and the fundamental sacramental and moral values behind it might be forgotten, ignored, or ridiculed, even by ranking officers in the Church, but unless and until that law is revoked or modified by papal legislative action or is effectively neutered by pontifically approved “authentic interpretation” (1983 CIC 16), Canon 915 stands and, so standing, binds ministers of Holy Communion.

Neither the pope’s letter to the Argentines, nor the Argentine bishops’ document, nor even Amoris Laetitia so much as mentions Canon 915, let alone do these documents abrogate, obrogate, or authentically interpret this norm out of the Code of Canon Law. Granted, little or nothing in these documents endorses or reiterates Canon 915, either, and the apparently studied silence that Canon 915 suffers these days is cause for deep pastoral concern. But law does not wilt under the silent treatment.

2. Apostolic letter. An “apostolic letter” is a sort of mini-encyclical and, however much attention encyclicals get for their teaching or exhortational value, they are not (with rare exceptions) legislative texts used to formulate new legal norms. Typically “apostolic letters” are written to smaller groups within the Church and deal with more limited questions—not world-wide questions such as admitting divorced-and-remarried Catholics to Holy Communion. Even where a special kind of “apostolic letter” is used to make changes to the law—such as John Paul II did in Ad tuendam fidem (1998), as Benedict did in Omnium in mentem (2009), or as Francis did in Magnum principium (2017)—the “apostolic letter” used in such cases carries the additional designation “motu proprio” (i.e., on the pope’s own initiative, and not in response to another’s action), and the changes made to the law thereby are expressly identified by canon number, not simply implied or surmised, especially not by silence.

The pope’s letter to the Argentines appears simply as an “apostolic letter”, not as an “apostolic letter motu proprio”, and it references no canons.

3. Authentic magisterium. Many people use the term “magisterium” as if it were tantamount to “Church governing authority”, but in its canonical sense “magisterium” generally refers to the Church’s authority to issue teachings on faith and morals, not to the Church’s authority to enforce discipline related to matters of faith and morals.

While Francis—albeit about as indirectly as is possible (through a memo to a dicastery official concerning a letter written by an episcopal conference)—has indicated that his letter to the Argentines and even the Argentine conference letter itself are “magisterial”, the fact remains that the content of any Church document, in order to bear most properly the label “magisterial”, must deal with assertions about faith and morals, not provisions for disciplinary issues related to faith and morals. Church documents can have both “magisterial” and “disciplinary” passages, of course, but generally, only those teaching parts of such a document are canonically considered “magisterial” while normative parts of such a document are canonically considered “disciplinary”.

Francis has, in my opinion, too loosely designated others of his views as bearing “magisterial authority” (recall his comments about the liturgical movement), and he is not alone in making, from time to time, odd comments about the use of papal power (recall John Paul II invoking “the fullness of [his] Apostolic authority” to update the by-laws of a pontifical think-tank in 1999).

But that inconsistent usage only underscores that the rest of us must try to read such documents in accord with how the Church herself usually (I wish always, but I’ll content myself with “usually”) writes them, and ask, here, are there “magisterial” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aries document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes. Plenty, running the gamut from obviously true, through true-but-oddly-or-incompletely phrased, to a few that, while capable of being understood in an orthodox sense, are formulated in ways that lend themselves to heterodox understandings (and for that reason should be clarified for the sake of the common ecclesial good).

In any case, such teaching statements, to the extent they make assertions about faith or morals and come from bishops and/or popes acting as bishops or popes, already enjoy thereby at least some (relatively little) level of ordinary magisterial value, a value not augmented by sticking the label “magisterial” on them.

And, are there “disciplinary” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aries document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes, a few. But as I have said before, in my view, none of those rather few disciplinary assertions, even those ambiguous and capable therefore of leaving the door open to unacceptable practices, suffices to revoke, modify, or otherwise obviate Canon 915 which, as noted above, prevents the administration of Holy Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics.

Conclusion. I wish that Canon 915 were not the sole bulwark against the abandonment of the Eucharist to the vagaries of individual, often malformed, consciences. I wish that a lively, pastorally-driven sense of the liberating permanence of Christian marriage, the universal need for Confession to reconcile those in grave sin, the power of the Eucharist to feed souls in the state of grace and to condemn those who receive irreverently, sufficed to make invocation of Canon 915 unnecessary in pastoral practice. But apparently, in much of the Catholic world these days, such is not the case and Canon 915 must be pointed to as if it were the only reason to bar reception of Holy Communion in these situations.

But what can one say? Unless Canon 915 itself is directly revoked, gutted, or neutered, it binds ministers of holy Communion to withhold that most august sacrament from, among others, divorced-and-remarried Catholics except where such couples live as brother-sister and without scandal to the community.

Nothing I have seen to date, including the appearance of the pope’s and Argentine bishops’ letters in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, makes me think that Canon 915 has suffered such a fate.

The article is a reprint, with permission, from the blog, In the Light of the Law.

5

PopeWatch: Magisterium

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

6

PopeWatch: Saint Luther

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

20

PopeWatch: Moonbeam

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

 

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

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

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

The tweet concludes with three praying hands emoticons.

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

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

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

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

 

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

4

PopeWatch: Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Bishop Schneider channels Bishop Melchior Cano:

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

6

PopeWatch: Proclaiming Jesus

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

6

PopeWatch: Cardinal Muller

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

 

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

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

 

Go here to Rorate Caeli to read the rest.

10

PopeWatch: Open Borders

The Pope is doubling down on his policy of putting the Catholic Church on those in the West advocating open borders:

 

Many destination countries have seen the spread of rhetoric decrying the risks posed to national security or the high cost of welcoming new arrivals, and thus demeaning the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God. Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great concern for all those concerned for the safety of every human being.[8]

All indicators available to the international community suggest that global migration will continue for the future. Some consider this a threat. For my part, I ask you to view it with confidence as an opportunity to build peace.

3. With a contemplative gaze

The wisdom of faith fosters a contemplative gaze that recognizes that all of us “belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth, whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded.”[9] These words evoke the biblical image of the new Jerusalem. The book of the prophet Isaiah (chapter 60) and that of Revelation (chapter 21) describe the city with its gates always open to people of every nation, who marvel at it and fill it with riches. Peace is the sovereign that guides it and justice the principle that governs coexistence within it.

We must also turn this contemplative gaze to the cities where we live, “a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their houses, in their streets and squares, […] fostering solidarity, fraternity, and the desire for goodness, truth and justice”[10] – in other words, fulfilling the promise of peace.

When we turn that gaze to migrants and refugees, we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them. We also come to see the creativity, tenacity and spirit of sacrifice of the countless individuals, families and communities around the world who open their doors and hearts to migrants and refugees, even where resources are scarce.

A contemplative gaze should also guide the discernment of those responsible for the public good, and encourage them to pursue policies of welcome, “within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good”[11] – bearing in mind, that is, the needs of all members of the human family and the welfare of each.

Those who see things in this way will be able to recognize the seeds of peace that are already sprouting and nurture their growth. Our cities, often divided and polarized by conflicts regarding the presence of migrants and refugees, will thus turn into workshops of peace.

4. Four mileposts for action

Offering asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and victims of human trafficking an opportunity to find the peace they seek requires a strategy combining four actions: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating.[12]

“Welcoming” calls for expanding legal pathways for entry and no longer pushing migrants and displaced people towards countries where they face persecution and violence. It also demands balancing our concerns about national security with concern for fundamental human rights. Scripture reminds us: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”[13]

“Protecting” has to do with our duty to recognize and defend the inviolable dignity of those who flee real dangers in search of asylum and security, and to prevent their being exploited. I think in particular of women and children who find themselves in situations that expose them to risks and abuses that can even amount to enslavement. God does not discriminate: “The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the orphan and the widow.”[14]

“Promoting” entails supporting the integral human development of migrants and refugees. Among many possible means of doing so, I would stress the importance of ensuring access to all levels of education for children and young people. This will enable them not only to cultivate and realize their potential, but also better equip them to encounter others and to foster a spirit of dialogue rather than rejection or confrontation. The Bible teaches that God “loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”[15]

“Integrating”, lastly, means allowing refugees and migrants to participate fully in the life of the society that welcomes them, as part of a process of mutual enrichment and fruitful cooperation in service of the integral human development of the local community. Saint Paul expresses it in these words: “You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people.”[16] 

 

Go here to read the rest.  In this debate the Pope enters the political field, as there is nothing in Church doctrine that mandates that governments allow illegal aliens to enter their country.  The traditional teaching of the Church is actually quite the reverse.  Like a partisan politician, he refuses to acknowledge the manifest problems that have been created by massive illegal immigration from the Islamic world, especially in Italy, and demonizes those who have spoken out about such problems.  Catholics have a right to expect better from their Pope.

2

PopeWatch: Twitter and Beep

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

6

PopeWatch: Arms Race

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

 

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

 

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

5

PopeWatch: Shhh!

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

PopeWatch: Emptied of Content

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

13

PopeWatch: Sins

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

 

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

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

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

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

Monsignor Zollitsch responded, “No.”

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

10

PopeWatch: Father Perozich

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Changing language means changing meaning

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

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

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

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

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Butter or Margarine

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Pietro De Marco

 

 

 

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

THE HERETICAL BACKGROUND OF MUCH OF TODAY’S PASTORAL PRACTICE

by Pietro De Marco

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

3

PopeWatch: Not a Show!

 

 

PopeWatch completely agrees with the Pope:

 

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

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

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

9

PopeWatch: Stamp

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

PopeWatch: Father Z

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

 

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

Here is a taste:

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

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

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

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

[…]

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

[…]

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

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

[…]

It almost writes itself as self-parody.

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

 

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

3

PopeWatch: Veneration

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

“Totally different.”

 

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