The National Association of Catholic Families


This edition of CF NEWS (No.2204) posted at 1.26 pm on Sunday, October 8th, 2017. For full contents, scroll down or click on 'more' for the story of your choice. To return here click on one of the small green arrows





Vatican watch

Papal prayer intentions for October   VIDEO  continue reading
Papal adviser: We can no longer ‘judge people’ based on moral norms continue reading
Cardinal Burke re-appointed to Apostolic Signatura continue reading
Cardinal Müller: 'People working in the Curia are living in great fear' continue reading
Mueller rules ... OK ... continue reading
Benedict XVI laments forgetfulness of God in the liturgy continue reading
Fr Martin promotes childhood transgenderism continue reading
Pontifical Council for Whatever continue reading
Prof. Pierantoni: Burke appears pleased with Filial Correction continue reading
Ratzinger: Criticism of papal pronouncements possible, even necessary continue reading
Vatican summons Belgian order to Rome over euthanasia policy continue reading
Winds of change about to develop into 'hurricane Bergoglio'? continue reading
A shocking survey on Catholics and Protestants continue reading

Humanae Vitae

The Nature and Witness of Marriage and Family Life   VIDEO   continue reading

News from around the world

AUSTRIA Monsignor: Pontificate of Francis is 'divisive' continue reading
AUSTRIA New Bishop of Innsbruck calls for women deacons continue reading
CHINA Pope Francis does not understand the Communist Party continue reading
UK Catholic school: use 'preferred pronouns' of transgender pupils continue reading
UK Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to say if ‘gay sex’ is sinful continue reading
UK Commuters flee train over man reading the Bible continue reading
UK Conservative activists demand May backs marriage continue reading
USATrump ends rule requiring nuns to fund contraception continue reading
USA Speaking ill of Hugh Hefner continue reading
USA Bake my damned cake continue reading
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
  VIDEO   continue reading
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week continue reading
  VIDEO  continue reading
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
  VIDEO  continue reading


The Education of Moral Conscience according to Newman continue reading


International Conference on Population Control continue reading


La Stampa and the Fallible Infallible Magisterium continue reading

Comment from the internet

Cardinal Burke & the SSPX: The Big Picture  VIDEO  continue reading
The persecution of Orthodoxy
continue reading
Correctio Filialis: a first appraisal contine reading
Wait! Wait! It's all a MISTRANSLATION! continue reading
Spaemann on Seifert, Amoris Laetitia and the Witness to Truth continue reading
Is Amoris Laetitia really Thomistic. Let's hear what he says continue reading
Pastoral care commands a return of the Old Mass continue reading
On the current apostasy, Caffarra's saintliness continue reading

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Cartmel   VIDEO  continue reading
Vexilla Regis
  VIDEO  continue reading


St Gregory the Great continue reading



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Vatican watch


Papal prayer intentions for October 2017



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CF News /Vatican watch

Papal adviser: We can no longer ‘judge people’ based on moral norms

JESUIT PRIEST and papal confidant Father Anthony Spadaro said that Pope Francis holds that the Catholic Church can no longer set down general norms that apply to entire groups of people.
Spadaro, editor of the Italian magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, made the commenon Friday at a conference at Boston College where liberal Cardinals met with dissident theologians to discuss strategies for implementing Pope Francis’ controversial teachings on marriage and family in dioceses across the United States.

The Jesuit priest told attendees that Amoris Laetitia, the Pope's 2016 teaching on marriage and family, recognizes that people living in 'irregular' family situations, such as the divorced and remarried living in adultery, 'can be living in God's grace, can love and can also grow in a life of grace.'

'We must conclude that the Pope realizes that one can no longer speak of an abstract category of persons and ... [a] praxis of integration in a rule that is absolutely to be followed in every instance,' he said, according to a report by National Catholic Reporter.

'Since the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same,' he added.

'It is no longer possible to judge people on the basis of a norm that stands above all,' he concluded.

Jesuit Fr. James Keenan, a dissident theologian at Boston College and one of the main organizers of the October 5-6 event, said the conference will “fortify and further the ongoing reception of Amoris in the U.S.'

He said that the event is about “setting an agenda for the future of the Church” in the U.S.
Today’s discussions at the conference focused on Amoris Laetitia’s call for pastors to, in the words of the National Catholic Reporter, “listen to laypeople and respect decisions they make about their lives after undertaking a process of discernment.”

During his talk, Spadaro praised guidelines issued by the Sicilian Bishops Conference this summer that authorized priests to give Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried without annulment (i.e. in a state of public and permanent adultery).

'The Sicilian document concludes with clarity that in some circumstances as regards the divorced and remarried, according to the evaluation of the confessor ... it is possible to admit absolution and to admit him or her to the Eucharist,' Spadaro said.

The Boston College conference consisted of panel discussions between prelates, theologians, and canon lawyers, many of whom hold positions contrary to perennial Catholic teaching on marriage, the sacraments, conscience, and the existence of absolute moral norms.

The conference comes about two weeks after 60 Catholic clergy and lay scholars from around the world issued a “Filial Correction” to Pope Francis for “propagating heresy.” They asserted that Pope Francis has supported heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the Eucharist that are causing a host of “heresies and other errors” to spread throughout the Catholic Church.


Comment : The Agitprop Workshop and Schrödinger's Cat

FR JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs : 'It seems to me, having read something about the second round (including the talk about Jesuit Fr. Antonio '2+2=5' Spadaro) that this is a practical workshop for agents wherein they are giving them marching orders and talking points for how to attack those who disagree with their interpretations.

That said, I am at present in Napa Valley, speaking at a Men's conference. We are on a break right now.

I just had a great conversation with a fellow who is a physicist. . . . (I)n the course of our chat the classic case of Schrödinger's Cat came up. Also, in our chat, in reference to the BC agitprop workshop I observed that, right now, those who are undermining Catholic teaching with ambiguity and chatter about 'lived experience' have jettisoned the principle of non-contradiction.

(Ed. note: Schrödinger's Cat).

A cat is placed in a sealed box along with a radioactive sample, a Geiger counter and a bottle of poison. If the Geiger counter detects that the radioactive material has decayed, it will trigger the smashing of the bottle of poison and the cat will be killed. The experiment was designed to illustrate the flaws of the 'Copenhagen interpretation' of quantum mechanics, which states that a particle exists in all states at once until observed. If the Copenhagen interpretation suggests the radioactive material can have simultaneously decayed and not decayed in the sealed environment, then it follows the cat too is both alive and dead until the box is opened. Common sense tells us this is not the case, and Schrödinger used this to highlight the limits of the Copenhagen interpretation when applied to practical situations. The cat is actually either dead or alive, whether or not it has been observed.

Something hit me.

The people who are saying, in effect, that people who are in the state of sin can go to Communion without confession and a firm purpose of amendment, are like those who stand in front of the box containing Schrödinger's Cat. Except, they refuse to open it in order to find out what's inside. So long as they never have to open the box, the cat is both alive and dead at the same time.

It strikes me that that is what is going on when questions are asked ('Is the cat dead or alive inside that box, Prof. Schrödinger?') and, instead of opening the box to find out, the key is squirreled away in a place no one can access. Hence, you can have one bishop's conference interpreting Amoris one way while another conference goes another way, in blatant violation of the principle of non-contradiction.

Refuse to look and you can have it anyway you want.

That's fine when it's just a cat in a box.

It's not fine when we are talking about the salvation of souls.


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CF News / Vatican watch

Cardinal Burke re-appointed to junior position at the Apostolic Signatura

Pope Francis has reappointed Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to the Apostolic Signatura, nearly three years after removing him as prefect.

EDWARD PENTIN reports for the National Catholic Register: 'Cardinal Raymond Burke has said his appointment last week as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church's highest judicial authority, is not a full-time position but will allow him to serve as one of the court's judges when requested.

'Some of the faithful have misunderstood the appointment, thinking that I am now returning to serve full-time in the offices of the Apostolic Signatura,' Cardinal Burke said in an Oct. 2 statement responding to enquiries from journalists. 'Members of the Roman dicasteries, apart from the prefect, do not serve full-time but offer their assistance, when it is requested by the prefect.'

The cardinal added: 'The members of the Apostolic Signatura serve as judges - when they are called to do so - of the various cases which are brought to the Apostolic Signatura for resolution. Also, from time to time, the Apostolic Signatura holds a plenary session of its members to discuss important questions regarding the administration of justice in the Church.'

The Vatican announced Pope Francis' appointment of Cardinal Burke on Sept. 30, along with four other new members: Cardinals Agostino Vallini, Edoardo Menichelli, and Msgrs. Frans Daneels (different from Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels) and Johannes Willibrordus Maria Hendriks.

Cardinal Burke, an expert in canon law, served as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 2008 to 2014 before Pope Francis appointed him patron of the Order of Malta.

The American cardinal explained that the role of cardinals of the Church is to be 'principal advisors of the Holy Father, 'the senate of the Holy Father,' as we are sometimes called.' As such, he said they are asked to serve as 'members of the various dicasteries of the Roman Curia - that is the congregations, tribunals and pontifical councils which assist the Roman Pontiff in his governance of the universal Church.'

He stressed that having received his appointment, he will 'strive to serve this most important tribunal of the Roman Curia to the best of my ability.'

The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, similar to a nation's Supreme Court, is one of three courts within the Holy See, the others being the Apostolic Penitentiary and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. The Signatura acts as a tribunal of appeal of certain matters from the Roman Rota.

The work of a Roman dicastery member is not usually very intense, and the plenary meetings of the Apostolic Signatura are held only every two or so years.

Cardinal Burke's appointment came as a surprise to many as Pope Francis and the cardinal have had differences over the Holy Father's apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, culminating in him and three other cardinals submitting to Pope Francis five questions, or dubia, in order to seek clarity on the document. The Pope has chosen not to respond to the initiative.

Those differences, which date back to the synods on the family and whether to allow unrepentant remarried divorcees living in a state of adultery to receive Holy Communion, as well as the cardinal's opposition to streamlining the annulments process, are thought to have led to Francis removing the cardinal as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in 2014.

But the cardinal stressed in an interview last month with Australian journalist Jordan Grantham that these differences have been exaggerated to falsely portray him as 'the enemy' of the Pope.

'It's all a caricature,' he said. 'They depict Pope Francis as a wonderful, open person and there's nothing wrong with that, but they depict me as just the opposite.'

'It's meant in a certain way to advance their own agenda, but the Pope is actually not in favour of their agenda,' he added. 'They use this kind of technique to make it seem like he is, and that's fundamentally dishonest.'

The cardinal said these those pushing this agenda are 'making a caricature of someone who's asking for clarity about certain matters, they're saying 'well, he's the enemy of the Pope' and he's trying to build up opposition to the Pope, which of course isn't the case at all.'

Throughout the dispute over the issue, the cardinal has stressed he is acting on his conscience, for the good of the Church, the papacy and the individual souls of the faithful.

'The urgency of a response to the dubia derives from the harm done to souls by the confusion and error, which result, as long as the fundamental questions raised are not answered in accord with the constant teaching and practice of the Church,' Cardinal Burke said in the interview.

'The urgency weighs very heavily on my heart,' he said, adding he has seen 'a great deal of confusion, also people feeling that the Church is not a secure point of reference.'

The cardinal said his appointment will not change, or delay, his plans to issue a fraternal correction of the Pope if the Holy Father continues not to respond to the dubia.

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CF News / Vatican watch

Cardinal Gerhard Müller: 'People working in the Curia are living in great fear'

DR. MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFive : 'Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, just gave a wide-ranging interview to Edward Pentin, the Rome Correspondent of the National Catholic Register. Among other important aspects of this report, Cardinal Müller for the first time admits publicly that the Congregation for the Faith did not itself edit the final version of the papal document Amoris Laetitia, and that he does not even know who actually did the final editing of that document. In this 29 September interview, Cardinal Müller for the first time revealed how fear-filled the atmosphere in Rome now is. He also calls for a further discussion of the dubia, and he defends Cardinal Carlo Caffarra in his expertise as a moral theologian. In the following, we shall present the most crucial section of that lengthy interview in which he explicitly speaks about people who are being spied upon in and about the Vatican:

'Careerists and opportunists should not be promoted, and other people who are competent collaborators not excluded without any reason or expelled from the Curia. It's not good. I heard it from some houses here, that people working in the Curia are living in great fear: If they say one small or harmless critical word, some spies will pass the comments directly to the Holy Father, and the falsely accused people don't have any chance to defend themselves. These people, who are speaking bad words and lies against other persons, are disturbing and disrupting the good faith, the good name of others whom they are calling their brothers.

The Gospel and the words of Jesus are very strong against those who denounce their brothers and who are creating this bad atmosphere of suspicion. I've heard that nobody speaks; everyone is a little afraid because they can be snitched on. It's not the behavior of adult people, but that of a boarding school.

[Edward Pentin:] One senior Church figure, speaking to me on condition of anonymity, called it a 'reign of terror.'

[Cardinal Müller:] It's the same in some theological faculties - if anybody has any remarks or questions about Amoris Laetitia, they will be expelled, and so on. That is not maturity. A certain interpretation of the document's Footnote 351 cannot be criteria for becoming a bishop. A future bishop must be a witness to the Gospel, a successor of the apostles, and not only someone who repeats some words of a single pastoral document of the Pope without a mature theological understanding. […]

[Edward Pentin:] Regarding Amoris Laetitia and the fear of criticizing it, and the lack of response to the dubia, isn't the irony that it goes against the Pope's wish for parrhesia (to speak boldly and frankly) and dialogue?

[Cardinal Müller:] Everyone who becomes bishop, cardinal or pope must learn to distinguish between the critics who are against the person and critics against the mission you have. The Holy Father, Francis, must know that it is important one accepts his intention: to help those people who are distant from the Church, from the belief of the Church, from Jesus Christ, who wanted to help them. … This discussion is not against him, it is not against his intentions, but there is need of more clarification. Also, in the past, we had discussions about the faith and the pastoral application of it. It's not the first time this has happened in the Church, and so why not learn from our long experiences as Church, to have a good, profound discussion in promoting the faith, the life of the Church and not to personalize and polarize? It's not a personal criticism of him, and everybody must learn it and respect his high responsibility.QQQy. Sometimes the un-Christian behavior is printed in L'Osservatore Romano, the semi-official Vatican newspaper, or given in official organs of the media, to make polemics and rhetoric. This cannot help us in this situation - only a profound theological discussion will. [emphasis added]

Q It is a very big danger for the Church that some ideological groups present themselves as the exclusive guardians of the only true interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. They feel they have the right to condemn all people of another standpoint as stupid, rigid, old-fashioned, medieval, etc.

'Nobody can, for example, say Cardinal Caffarra didn't understand anything of moral theolog

These observations and comments have some grave implications with regard to the papacy of Pope Francis, inasmuch as he is, finally, responsible for this atmosphere of fear and distrust in Rome; and even for the suppression of some of the orthodox clergy and laymen (such as the highly respected Professor Josef Seifert).

In another section of his interview, however, Cardinal Müller insists, with regard to the confusion concerning Amoris Laetitia, that it is somehow not the pope's fault: 'I think the Pope should not be blamed for this confusion, but he is authorized by Jesus Christ to overcome it [the confusion].'

Cardinal Müller is at least to be commended for his courage to speak much truth in this new interview, and he likely will suffer for it. However, one may politely challenge him as to why he still does not call that man to come forth who is actually responsible, in the end, for this current state of affairs within the Catholic Church: Pope Francis himself. Do we not all have a duty loyally to resist him for creating such an atmosphere of fear and distrust and for suppressing the truly orthodox teaching? For, is it not finally about Christ's own truth that we reverently speak?

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CF News / Vatican watch

Müller rules ... OK ...

FR. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs : 'Pope Francis, it becomes daily more clear, missed a trick when he released Gerhard Cardinal Mueller from his CDF desk and bestowed him upon a waiting world.

There's nothing like freedom; and Mueller is very much in his prime. I hope all readers will consider carefully the following pasage in a recent address he gave in Mannheim.

'In Europe, theologians immediately have to have the exact Council text ready when words like 'faith' or 'mercy' are used. This kind of theology with which we are familiar doesn't exist in Latin America. They are more intuitive there ... They look at a text without considering it as part of a whole. We must somehow respect and accept this style. But I nevertheless wish that as far as teaching documents are concerned, clear theological preparation must take place.'

I think it is the most incisive and well-directed criticism I have so far heard of the current regime, of Pope Bergoglio, of Tucho and his other cronies, and of Amoris laetitiae. Cardinal Burke and his 'Dubia' colleagues didn't come within a mile of this for sheer clinical skill in inserting the stiletto neatly between the fifth and the sixth vertebrae.

So-called 'traddies' who unloaded unjustified abuse on his Eminence when Papa Ratzinger appointed him to the CDF should get munching their humble and contrite pie right now.

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CF News / Vatican watch

Benedict XVI laments the forgetfulness of God in the liturgy

THE EMERITUS Pope Benedict XVI has lamented a 'darkening' of God in the liturgy. This is the real cause of the crisis of the Church, writes the 90-year-old in a preface to the Russian edition of his works on the liturgy.

In a widespread misunderstanding of the liturgical form, the emphasis was placed on the division of the liturgy as well as its own activity and creativity. But if the primacy of God is no longer evident in the liturgy and in life, the Church is in danger, according to Benedict XVI. in the preface, which the Italian newspaper La Stampa cited on Wednesday.

Benedict XVI recalled the principle of the monastic rule of Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-547) that nothing should be preferred above worship. This was deliberately formulated by the founder of Western monasticism in view of seemingly greater urgency in agriculture, artisan work, or science. This priority of God applies not only in the monastic life, emphasized Benedict XVI. If man were to set God aside, he would be subjugated by constructs that would enslave him and contradict his human dignity.

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CF News / Vatican watch

Fr James Martin promotes childhood transgenderism

Fr MartinCHURCHMILITANT.TV reports: 'Famous Jesuit and homosexualist Fr. James Martin is promoting childhood transgenderism contrary to Catholic Church doctrine.

Martin commented on an October 2 Facebook post that he is bringing attention to an email by the mother of a so-called transgender child who wrote to Martin, claiming the parish she is attending is refusing catechism classes to her son because he is 'transgender' and exhibiting himself as a girl.Martin is not giving the name of the parish or the diocese where this child is located. He posted part of the mother's email:

Last year, my local parish refused to allow my child to enrol in religious education in a classroom setting. My child at the time was still presenting as male, the birth gender. We thought we had hit the jackpot when we found a parish that was willing to welcome my child. However, when I attempted a few weeks ago to enroll my child - now identifying as female - in the religious education in a classroom setting, the parish staff reached out to the chancellor of the archdiocese, who said that my child could only enroll in religious education in a classroom setting if she presents as the sex and name on the baptismal certificate.

Today, during an in-person meeting with the chancellor and the priest, the decision was reaffirmed. The basis for the decision is that God made my child a male, and by presenting our child as a female, we are going against God's will and putting the priest and the church in the position of publicly accepting our decision. And we are putting other parents in the position of accepting our parenting choices for our child. The priest has a particular concern about the age of my child - he said he would have no problem if a 25-year-old [person] was coming out to him as transgender.

Martin claims, 'I don't want to demonize the pastor or the chancellor,' adding, 'who I am sure are good Catholics, struggling with their decision.'

Instead, he blames Church teaching, claiming it is 'standing in the way of someone encountering Jesus.' He goes on, 'The parish and the diocese need to unblock the path between their child and Jesus Christ,' adding, 'the parish and the diocese need to see that they are standing in the way of a soul encountering God.'

He reasons, 'And of all the children who need to hear that God loves them, an LGBT child may need to hear this the most. Of all the children who need to know the story of Jesus' saving love, an LGBT child may need to know it the most. Of all the children who need to understand how the Spirit can help us, and LGBT child may need to understand it the most.'

Both the Catholic Church and science, however, disagree with Martin and the boy's parents.

In July 2016 Pope Francis condemned 'the ideology of gender,' declaring, 'We are experiencing a moment of the annihilation of man as the image of God.' He further remarked, 'Today, children - children! - are taught in school that everyone can choose his or her sex ... And this [sic] terrible!'

He went on to note a conversation he had with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, calling him 'perceptive' and repeating Pope Benedict's comment that 'this is the age of sin against God the Creator,' and adding, 'God created man and woman; God created the world in a certain way ... and we are doing the exact opposite.'

In September 2017, the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) released an updated document,'Gender Ideology Harms Children,' claiming, 'Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.'

The document goes on to note, 'No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time, and like all developmental processes may be derailed by a child's subjective perceptions, relationships and adverse experiences from infancy forward,' and adds, 'A person's belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.'

Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the ACP, commented to Church Militant, 'We must urge the silent majority of parents, grandparents and health professionals to speak out.'

She continues, 'We must urge our leaders to question the authority of the so-called experts and to demand an end to this massive, dangerous social experiment that is already having devastating effects upon our young people.'


Update : 'Souls could well be lost': Moral theologian blasts Fr. Martin

FAMED MORAL THEOLOGIAN Janet Smith criticised Jesuit Father Martin's 'slick dissent' from Church teaching on sexuality 'and its pernicious influence' in a recent column. She said that his 'scandalous' interpretation of Catholic teaching could jeopardize the salvation of the people who hear his message.

'Souls could well be lost,' she wrote in a column last week for Catholic World Report. Smith is a professor of moral theology at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.

'Anyone reading his book or listening to his talks can reasonably conclude that Father Martin believes the Church does not present correctly God's plan for sexuality,' Smith said, 'that he thinks the culture knows better.'

The book she referenced was Martin's Building a Bridge, which Smith called 'one of the most aggravating instances' of reemerging dissent in the Church.

The book is 'full of ambiguity,' she said.

While Martin continually claims that he doesn't oppose the Church's moral teaching, Smith noted that 'the subtext makes his position clear, as do many statements made in his public presentations.'

'For Catholics who have some background in theology and philosophy it is deeply disappointing when a highly educated priest uses specious arguments to advance his cause,' she said.

'For those whose every fiber of their Catholic being leads them to want to trust priests, bishops, and religious superiors, such instances of untrustworthiness are scandalous; for those of us who have been fighting dissent for nearly 40 years, seeing a dissenter get ecclesial support and public acclaim is demoralizing,' she added.

Despite receiving criticism from bishops and cardinals, Martin maintains that he is simply trying to welcome LGBT-identifying Catholics into the Church.

But, as Martin's critics point out, the Jesuit priest neglects to speak about the Church's call for everyone to reject sinful lifestyles, to confess and repent of sin, and to amend their lives.

Smith notes how Martin also neglects to mention the Church's longtime ministries for those experiencing same-sex attraction, such as Courage and Encourage, presumably because they convey the Church's teaching that condemns homosexual activity.

She noted in the article Martin's tendency to affirm homosexuals in their behaviors.

'For instance,' related Smith, 'at a recent presentation at Villanova University, he told to a young man, 'I hope in 10 years you will be able to kiss your partner [in church] or, you know, soon to be your husband.''

The moral theologian said that while she was 'profoundly frustrated' that Martin's views have a wide audience within the Catholic Church, she was also 'gratified, inspired, and consoled' that so many faithful Catholic leaders have refuted his thinking.

She cited, among others, a critique of Martin's outreach coming from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, Theologian Eduardo Echeverria, and Father Roger Landry. Added to this list would be Cardinal Robert Sarah and Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki.

'We should commit ourselves to distributing copies of these refutations to others whenever his name comes up,' said Smith.

Smith also criticised Martin's 'welcoming effort,' saying that it was an approach that 'seems largely condescending.'

'Instead of challenging people to embrace the fullness of the faith, he tries to hide or downplay, or even reject, the teachings of the Church in order to appear welcoming,' she said.

'True welcoming means we make it clear we want everyone to join us in following Jesus; we want to share with others the truth and beauty we know, and we will do our best to explain beliefs and teachings that might be hard to understand or accept,' she continued.

'We do so not thinking we are any better than anyone else but wanting to be faithful to our beloved Jesus, who commissioned all Christians to stand up for challenging truths,' she added.

The moral theologian said that those who want to be welcoming and compassionate to those who experience same-sex attraction need to learn about causes and treatment, Church teaching, and how to listen to those who suffer from the attraction.

She linked to her book with Courage International Executive Director Father Paul Check, Living the Truth in Love - Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction.

And she recommended the book Out of a Far Country, co-written by a mother and her son on their journey into Christianity through dealing with his homosexuality, as well as Daniel Mattson's Why I Don't Call Myself Gay.

Smith also suggested books by Andrew Comiskey, who ministers to those with same-sex attraction, citing, in particular, his book The Naked Surrender.

'We cannot and must not be content simply to rant and rave and wail because of Father Martin's slick dissent and its pernicious influence,' concluded Smith.

'We must be the ones reaching out with genuine love, a love that strongly believes in the transforming and fortifying power of grace to enable us to embrace God's plan for sexuality, whatever challenges it presents,' she added.

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CF News / Vatican watch

Pontifical Council for Whatever

CHRISTOPHER A.FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives: 'Not that anyone should be surprised, but the appointment of the pro-'gay,' pro-Holy Communion for public adulterers Archbishop Vincenzio ('obscene mural') Paglia as head of the reconstituted Pontifical Academy for Life has had the desired result. The Pontifical Academy for Life is now, effectively, the Pontifical Academy for Whatever.

Paglia could not have put it any clearer when he declared, during the first general assembly of the 'renewed' (read: destroyed) Academy: 'It's obvious that being 'pro-life' means, even for the academy, to rethink the semantic value of the term life, which cannot be reduced to a perspective that is uniquely bio-ethical. If we must be pro-life, we must always, any way and anywhere be pro-life.'

So, the Pontifical Academy for Life will no longer focus its efforts on the sanctity of human life as such, for that would be too narrowly 'bio-ethical.' That is, it would prevent the 'renewed' Academy from morphing into just another social justice organ in a Vatican apparatus that is itself being transformed into what Antonio Socci has called 'a social assistant to the New World Order.'

Thus, Paglia informs us that the 'renewed' Academy will involve itself in 'topics such as immigration, 'a theme that the academy has close to heart and wants to study at a global and international level.'' In other words: open borders, especially for Muslims. But what does leftwing immigration policy have to do with the sanctity of human life? Nothing, of course, unless one wishes to argue that any government policy affecting any aspect of human life, including taxes and transportation, comes under the 'pro-life' umbrella.

Then there will be 'a congress, called 'Accompanying Life: New responsibilities in a technological age,' that will account for the new challenges present in every stage of life presented by the digital and scientific revolution, to be held at the Vatican Oct. 5-7.' See how easy it is to transform the Pontifical Academy for Life into the Pontifical Academy for Anything We Would Like to Blabber About? Simply describe any given topic as 'accompanying life' and it's on the agenda.

This useless gabfest will supposedly focus on 'the impact of technology on human life in all of its phases from conception to death,' according to Father Renzo Pegoraro, the new chancellor of the Academy. And what does that mean? Among other things, 'the anthropologic aspects tied to parenting, the cultural ones typical of the civilization of efficiency and the relations between technology, justice and economic resources.' In other words: blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum.

And so, another element of the Vatican bureaucracy now sinks entirely into the sea of empty words that has relentlessly inundated the promotion of the Law of the Gospel and the divine commission to make disciples of all nations. I am reminded of these lines from T.S. Eliot's 'Choruses from the Rock':

The Word of the LORD came unto me, saying:

O miserable cities of designing men,

O wretched generation of enlightened men,

Betrayed in the mazes of your ingenuities,

Sold by the proceeds of your proper inventions:

I have given you hands which you turn from worship,

I have given you speech, for endless palaver,

I have given you My Law, and you set up commissions….

Much is your reading, but not the Word of GOD,

Much is your building, but not the House of GOD,

Will you build Me a house of plaster, with corrugated roofing,

To be filled with a litter of Sunday newspapers?


What we see happening in the Church at this moment in history is as dreary as it is alarming. But the God who is mocked by blathering politicians in clerical garb will sooner or later set things right again. Such is the promise of the Message of Fatima.

[FP] 2204.6


















CF News / Vatican watch

Professor Pierantoni: Cardinal Burke appears pleased with Filial Correction

DR., MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFive : 'LifeSiteNews has published an interview with Professor Claudio Pierantoni, one of the signatories of the recent 'Filial Correction' of Pope Francis with regard to Amoris Laetitia. Professor Pierantoni is an Italian scholar who now lives and teaches in Chile. He has just recently published a lucid and excellent defense of Professor Josef Seifert - whose archbishop dismissed him because of his polite criticism of Amoris Laetitia - in which he calls the treatment of Professor Seifert to be a 'persecution of orthodoxy.'

In this new interview - and when speaking about the history of the filial correction - Professor Pierantoni reveals that Cardinal Burke even seems to be pleased with the Filial Correction as it was first published on 24 September:

The formal correction, as you remember, was already promised for January. But in April, when we had the Rome conference, there still was no hint that Cardinal Burke was going to issue a correction. So, in a little group, we started to think about a lay correction. Then, in July, when our correction was taking its final shape and had gained a certain number of signatures, we heard with great pleasure that Cardinal Burke was again thinking of a correction on his part. […]

I think that now Cardinal Burke must proceed to issue his long promised correction. If I were him, I would call it a 'fraternal correction' (better than 'formal'). He has in fact given us hints that he approves of our 'filial' initiative and feels supported by it, and so I'm sure he now knows that very soon is his time to act. Perhaps two or three more cardinals, or half a dozen bishops, will join. Maybe more, maybe less. But even if he were the only one, I think he must soon issue a correction. [emphasis added]

Professor Pierantoni also highlights that there are many more supporters of the filial correction than the current signatories, but that they have held back their names due to outside pressures and due to fear. He also recounts how already some of the 45 theologicans and scholars who had earlier issued a critique of the papal document Amoris Laetitia have been pressured into silence. He says, as follows:

I have heard from many people in Catholic institutions (here in Santiago and elsewhere) who have been directly threatened with this [to suffer reprisal for their public criticism of Amoris Laetitia], and therefore they didn't sign. For example, I have heard from some people who signed the document of the 45 and they were told not to sign anything else or they would lose their position. Of course, one is more at risk depending on the kind of institution. I have heard of people being threatened, not directly from Rome but by the local institution, sometimes striving to be 'more Roman than the Pope.' […]

I sent it [the filial correction] to 10 people, for example, and 7 out of 10 told me they didn't want to sign it out of fear of reprisals. A few did not think they were prepared to make a direct correction of the pope, although they agreed on the content. I can tell you that many, many people basically agreed on the content, many more than those who signed. [emphasis added]

This piercing report from Professor Pierantoni is being confirmed by a similar report as it was published today by Cardinal Gerhard Müller who said in an interview with Edward Pentin:

I heard it from some houses here [in Rome], that people working in the Curia are living in great fear: If they say one small or harmless critical word, some spies will pass the comments directly to the Holy Father, and the falsely accused people don't have any chance to defend themselves. […] It's the same in some theological faculties - if anybody has any remarks or questions about Amoris Laetitia, they will be expelled, and so on.

[1P5] 2204.7



















CF News / Vatican watch

Ratzinger: Criticism of papal pronouncements is possible, even necessary

RORATE CAELI writes: 'In 1969, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then Fr. Joseph Ratzinger, wrote that criticizing papal statements was not only possible, but even necessary, to the extent that the pope might deviate from the Deposit of Faith and the Apostolic Tradition. Pope Benedict XVI included these remarks in his 2009 anthology of his writings, Fede, ragione, verità e amore. These remarks, which we now publish below in English translation, are particularly relevant in light of the filial correction of Pope Francis last week:

'One should especially avoid the impression that the pope (or the office in general) can only gather and express from time to time the statistical average of the living faith, for which a decision is not possible contrary to these average statistical values (which, besides, are problematic in their verifiability).

The faith is based on the objective data of Scripture and of dogma, which in dark times can also frighteningly disappear from the consciousness of the greater part of Christianity (statistically), without losing in any way, however, their obligatory and binding character.

In this case, the word of the pope can and should certainly go against statistics and against the power of an opinion, which strongly pretends to be the only valid one; and this will have to be done as decisively as the testimony of tradition is clear (like in the given case).

On the contrary, criticism of papal pronouncements will be possible and even necessary, to the extent that they lack support in Scripture and the Creed, that is, in the faith of the whole Church.

When neither the consensus of the whole Church is had, nor clear evidence from the sources is available, an ultimate binding decision is not possible. Were one formally to take place, the conditions for such an act would be lacking, and hence the question would have to be raised concerning its legitimacy.'

Das neue Volk Gottes: Entwürfe zur Ekklesiologie, (Düsseldorf : Patmos, 1972) p. 144. Fede, ragione, verità e amore, (Lindau 2009), p. 400.

Ratzinger continued his reflections on the limits of the power of the Roman Pontiff to contradict immutable doctrine as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and later as Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 1998:

'The Roman Pontiff - like all the faithful - is subject to the Word of God, to the Catholic faith, and is the guarantor of the Church's obedience; in this sense he is servus servorum Dei. He does not make arbitrary decisions, but is spokesman for the will of the Lord, who speaks to man in the Scriptures lived and interpreted by Tradition; in other words, the episkope of the primacy has limits set by divine law and by the Church's divine, inviolable constitution found in Revelation. The Successor of Peter is the rock which guarantees a rigorous fidelity to the Word of God against arbitrariness and conformism: hence the martyrological nature of his primacy.'

Pope Benedict XVI, 2005:

'The power that Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors is, in an absolute sense, a mandate to serve. The power of teaching in the Church involves a commitment to the service of obedience to the faith. The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope's ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God's Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.'

[RC] 2204.8



















CF News / Vatican watch

Vatican summons Belgian order to Rome over euthanasia policy

SIMON CALDWELL reports for the Catholic Herald : 'The Vatican is planning to summon members of a Belgian nursing order to Rome to explain why they are refusing to ditch a policy which allows doctors to kill psychiatric patients in Church-run homes.

Senior Vatican officials want to hear in person why board members of the Organisation of the Brothers of Charity insist on allowing the euthanasia of non-terminally ill patients in the face of a top-level order to reverse the policy.

With the backing of Pope Francis, the Vatican has demanded that the organisation drops the policy because it is starkly at odds with the teaching of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of human life.

But two weeks ago, the organisation publicly rejected an ultimatum to conform to the wishes of the Vatican with one board member, Herman van Rompuy, a former president of the European Council, proclaiming on Twitter that 'the time of 'Roma locuta causa finita' is long past'.

Brother René Stockman, the superior general of the Brothers of Charity who vigorously opposes the pro-euthanasia policy, told the Catholic Herald that the invitation to the Vatican represented the organisation's last chance to conform to the wishes of the Church.

'The Organisation of the Brothers of Charity shall be invited by the Vatican to come and explain the taken decision, after which a final decision shall be taken,' he said.

'With this is given to the Organisation of the Brothers of Charity in Belgium an ultimate chance to set themselves in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.'

[CH] 2204.9




















CF News / Vatican watch

Winds of change about to develop into 'hurricane Bergoglio'?

ROBERT B. MICKENS reports from Rome for La Croix: 'Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former Bishop of Hong Kong and the most senior critic of Pope Francis' policy of rapprochement with Communist China, has lost one of his foremost allies at the Vatican.

(T)he pope surprised many observers when he moved Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the cardinal's fellow Salesian and second-in-command at the powerful Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), out of Rome and down to Athens where he will serve as papal nuncio to Greece.

The prelate, who will be 67 next month, has no prior diplomatic experience.

Savio Hon has been Zen's eyes and ears in the Roman Curia since late 2010. That's when Benedict XVI named the Hong Kong-born archbishop to the secretary's post at Propaganda. He did so on the recommendation of Zen and another powerful Salesian - then Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Archbishop Hon was the highest-ranking official of Chinese origins in the Roman Curia. He enjoyed a high profile in the previous pontificate, which was more attuned to Cardinal Zen's hard line on dealing with (or bluntly confronting) China's Communist authorities.

But when Pope Francis and his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, shifted to an Ostpolitik-style of engaging those authorities, Zen and the archbishop were increasingly isolated.

In June 2016, just when the Holy See and Chinese government officials were intensifying delicate negotiations aimed at finding a compromise on the appointment of Catholic bishops on the Mainland, Savio Hon was temporarily sent to Guam. For the next several months he would serve as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña where the ordinary was put under investigation for allegedly sexually abusing minors.

The Salesian archbishop was back full-time at Propaganda Fide for not even a year when his new appointment to Greece was announced.

What does this all mean?

First of all, it indicates that Pope Francis has a very clear strategy for engaging Communist China and, in this difficult operation, insists on aides who fully embrace this project. Cardinal Zen has very vocally and publicly criticized the pope for being, among other things, naïve in his approach. Savio Hon, as Zen's unofficial delegate, was seen as less than cooperative.

It is also been whispered for some time that the archbishop did not enjoy a rosy working relationship with the current prefect of Propaganda Fide, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, a career Vatican diplomat who served as papal nuncio in Iraq and the Philippines, as well as the Holy See's deputy secretary of state (Sostituto) for internal affairs. Insiders say the differences between the prefect and his deputy stemmed from issues other than China.

Some will see it as ironic and many others will see it as punitive that Savio Hon, who has no formal training as a papal diplomat, is being made a nuncio.

Heading the Holy See's nunciature in Athens is not exactly viewed as a top-tier posting. But it is probably the end of the ecclesiastical road for the Hong Kong-born prelate, seeing that this sort of assignment lasts about four years. At that point, he will be nearly 71, one year beyond the age when a nuncio can request retirement.

While some will be tempted to see this as a slap in the face or a demotion, one should not forget that this is the same place where Archbishop Angelo Roncalli (the future John XXIII) also served as nuncio for more than a decade. In fact, he was also a Propaganda Fide official with no formal diplomatic training when Pius XI named him apostolic visitor to Bulgaria in 1925, thus launching Roncalli's long years of distinguished service as a papal ambassador.

But even more recently popes have taken non-diplomats from Propaganda Fide and made them nuncios. One of the most memorable cases - and intriguing because of the circumstances surrounding it - happened back in 2004 when John Paul II sent Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, then No. 2 at Prop, to Indonesia as the Holy See's chief envoy.

Ranjith, who has been Cardinal Archbishop of Colombo now since 2009, was a close ally and friend of the then-prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The Sri Lankan prelate was known as a strong supporter of the Tridentine Mass and, as bishop of the Diocese of Ratnapura (1996-2001), he played a key role in the CDF investigation that led to the brief excommunication in 1997 of a theologian in his diocese, Fr Tisa Balasuriya OMI.

Many believe Ratzinger was influential in John Paul's decision to call Ranjith to Rome in 2001 to serve as deputy to Propaganda Fide's prefect at the time, Cardinal Crecenzio Sepe.

Ratzinger and Sepe were never close, to put it mildly. And some believe Ratzinger wanted Ranjith at Propaganda to keep an eye on an Italian cardinal seen as a big spender and a wheeler-dealer in all matters sacred and profane. It is a badly kept secret that what happened next, and in evident retaliation, Sepe convinced the ailing John Paul to send Ranjith to Indonesia, which was experiencing considerable civil strife at the time.

Sepe, who studied at the elite academy for papal diplomats, secured Ranjith's transfer with the help of then-Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, another Vatican official that had a cool relationship with Ratzinger.

But the twists of history can bring bitter surprises. John Paul II died in April 2005 and Ratzinger was elected to succeed him. Just eight months into his pontificate Benedict XVI called Archbishop Ranjith back to Rome to be secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship. The Sri Lankan's exile to Indonesia thus ended less than two years after it had begun.

Five months after Ranjith's new appointment was announced the other shoe dropped. Benedict unceremoniously dethroned Cardinal Sepe from his commanding perch at Propaganda Fide and sent him to be Archbishop of Naples.

All this is to say that what Pope Francis has done with Archbishop Savio Hon is not without precedence.

But still, more questions linger. No one has been appointed yet to take Savio Hon's place at Propaganda. Will Francis choose a mid-level official who already has been working in this bureau or will he bring in someone from the outside?

And what about the fact that now there is no one of Chinese origins that holds a senior position in the Roman Curia? In fact, the presence of Asians, in general, is minuscule.

As a number of the top brass in the Vatican get set to move on - either because they've reached retirement age or fulfilled their term limits - perhaps the pope will look to the East for their replacements.

However, one thing seems to be certain - Archbishop Savio Hon's move to Greece is just the beginning of a number of top-level personnel changes that Francis will soon be making at the Vatican.

This has sent a chill through the spines of those curia officials who have been less than thrilled with the reforms and adjustments the Jesuit pope has already implemented, even if he's done so at a slow and steady pace. Some of these officials now fear that the winds of change are about to develop into a virtual hurricane Bergoglio.

Then we'll see how many (ecclesiastical) climate change sceptics remain in the Catholic hierarchy.

[La Croix] 2204.10



















CF News /Vatican watch

Trent and Luther are the same to me. A shocking survey on Catholics and Protestants

Sandro MagisterSANDRO MAGISTER blogs fromRome : ‘It is happening more and more that Protestant schoolchildren from northern Europe who are visting Rome are brought by their teachers to attend a Catholic Mass, to see what it is like, and placidly go to receive communion.

This too is the effect of an increasing race to the bottom between the two faiths, in the mentality of many Protestants and Catholics of Europe and America, as confirmed by an extensive survey conducted in fifteen countries by the Washington-based Pew Research Center:

So 500 years after posting his 95 theses in Wittenberg, Martin Luther is no longer that fomentor of discord which he was for centuries.

In the United States, 65 percent of Catholics and 57 percent of Protestants say they are convinced that between their respective faiths the similarities far outweigh the differences.

And in western Europe too, more than half of Protestants and Catholics think the same way. With spikes of 78 percent among the Protestants of Germany, of 67 percent among the Catholics of Holland, and of 64 percent among the Catholics of Austria.

But even among the Catholics of Italy there are more for whom the resemblances prevail: 47 percent against 41 pecent.

Among the Catholics who continue to feel more different than the same, bringing up the rear are those of Belgium and Spain, with 28 percent. While among the diehard Protestants the last are those of Sweden, with 18 percent.

The survey also permitted the identification of a substantial segment of the populatio that does not identify itself as Catholic or Protestant, but says it has no religion.

In western Europe, the highest level of atheists or agnostics is found in Holland, with 48 percent. It is followed by Norway with 43 percent, Sweden with 41, Belgium with 37, Denmark and Spain with 30.

There are interesting figures from Germany, the homeland of Luther. Here the traditional balance between Catholics and Protestants has been broken. Protestants have dropped to 28 percent, Catholics make up 42 percent, and atheists or agnostics are now a fourth of the population, 24 percent.

In Italy too, atheists or agnostics have risen to 15 percent, against 78 percent Catholic and 1 percent Protestant.

As for religious practice, among European Protestants those who go to church once a week are now reduced to a flicker. They are 3 percent in Denmark, 7 percent in Germany, and in any case below 10 percent almost everywhere. The only exception is Holland, where among the few Protestants who have remained such - 18 percent of the population - 43 percent go to church on a weekly basis.

Vice-versa, still in Holland, Catholics are in freefall: only 5 percent of them, who make up 20 percent of the population, go to church once a week. Paltry numbers also in Belgium, with 8 percent, in the United Kingdom with 9, in Austria with 11, in France with 13, in Germany with 14. Above 20 percent are Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland.

Curiously, in what was for centuries one of the strongest factors of division, the Protestant conviction that salvation is obtained “sola fide” while for Catholics faith must be accompanied by works, the pendulum has swung in favor of the latter. Almost everywhere, that is, even among Protestants the majority think that faith and works are both necessary. The only exception is the Norwegian Protestants, among whom “sola fide” prevails with 51 percent against 30.

It must be noted, however, that the Lutheran “sola fide” also finds a good number of supporters among Catholics: in Italy and Germany a fourth of Catholics espouse it, while in the United Kingdom, France, and Switzerland it is a third.

As for communion by Protestants at Catholic Masses - and vice-versa by Catholics at evangelical worship - the survey of the Pew Resarch Center says nothing. But it is well known that this is an increasingly widespread behavior, one that is certainly not restrained but rather encouraged by what has been said in this regard by Pope Francis and Cardinal Walter Kasper

[Settimo Cielo] 2204.10a




















Humanae Vitae


The Nature and Witness of Marriage and Family Life



[Franciscan University of Steubenville] 2204.1





















La Stampa logo


La Stampa and the Fallible Infallible Magisterium

CHRISTOPHER A.FERRARA writes for The Remnant : 'In their relentless effort to defend the indefensible, the participants in the neo-Catholic commentatriat have been pushed to new extremes by the exigencies of the current pontificate.  Confronted with a Pope who is determined to undermine the contrary teaching of his predecessors on the 'intrinsic impossibility' of absolution and Holy Communion for people who intend to continue engaging in sexual relations with people to whom they pretend to be 'remarried' by way of civil divorce, the Neo Catholic Excuse Factory has trotted out its latest polemical model: the 2017 Inerrant Papacy.

Yes, we are now informed that a Pope can never err when he teaches! Ever. Under any circumstances. Therefore, no one may question the teaching of Amoris Laetitia (AL), regardless of what it says (or implies) on the subject of Holy Communion for public adulterers. For whatever AL says (or implies) must be right because the Pope has said it, and the Pope cannot err in what he teaches.

Does this sound incredible?  Read this gem from the Vatican Insider documents of La Stampa by one Emmett O’Regan, a blogger of some sort, who has been trotted out from nowhere to declare the following nonsensical conclusion in defense of AL and contra the signers of the Filial Correction:

' This false accusation railed against Pope Francis, claiming that he is teaching or prompting heresy in part of his Ordinary Magisterium is in effect a denial of the one of the essential truths behind the teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, who is granted Divine assistance which prevents him from erring in matters of faith and morals, even when teaching non-infallibly.

In other words, the Pope is infallible even when he teaches non-infallibly!  The idea of an infallible non-infallible papal teaching would appear to violate the principle of non-contradiction, but what does rational thought matter when to comes to defending the monumentally dysfunctional Novus Ordo against any suggestion that it is dysfunctional?  For the neo-Catholic is primarily interested in defending what is new, not the Faith of our fathers, which must always give way to the unheard-of novelties of the past fifty years.  That is what neo-Catholicism means.

Lest anyone think O’Regan’s blunder is but a slip of the pen, read this from the same silly piece:

'So while there may be certain deficiencies present in the Ordinary Magisterium, the faithful are still required to submit their will and intellect to its higher prudential judgment by giving religious assent, and such deficiencies can never fall into error in matters of faith and morals through the promise of Divine assistance accorded to even these non-infallible pronouncements.

There it is again:  non-infallible papal pronouncements on faith and morals are never wrong, even if they are fallible. Or, more simply: fallible papal teaching on faith and morals is infallible. Then there is the sloppy category confusion between 'higher prudential judgment' (whatever that means) and doctrinal teaching, which is never a matter of mere prudential judgment.

This fellow is in a serious muddle.  Let me help him.  His confusion is between the Magisterium, the teaching office the Church, and the particular Pope who happens to occupy the Chair of Peter at a given moment in Church history.  'Magisterium' and 'whatever the Pope says' on a matter involving faith or morals are not perfectly congruent categories. It is perfectly possible for particular Pope to utter an error pertaining to faith and morals, as we see with the famous case of Pope John XXII, who denied the immediacy of the beatific vision for the blessed after Purgatory and was finally pressured into retracting the error on his deathbed after theologians told him he was wrong.

Now, should a Pope happen to utter some theological error, that error—being an error—cannot be part of the Magisterium.  The reason should be obvious: the Church cannot promulgate error via her teaching office, which presents only what the Church has constantly taught from the time of the Apostles based on divine revelation, developed and explicated as necessary for a fuller understanding.  For example, the social teaching on the just wage develops the Church’s doctrine on justice and charity toward laborers and the poor, while the teaching against artificial contraception develops the Church’s doctrine on the intrinsic evils of adultery and fornication.  The Church does not present new doctrines over time but only new applications of the same doctrines to new situations, such as the advent of the Pill or the rise of the factory system. As the First Vatican Council declared in defining the strict limits of papal infallibility:

'For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

Thus, O’Regan has it half right: the Magisterium is infallible.  There is no 'fallible Ordinary Magisterium,' for if there were then everything the Church has taught for centuries, short of few formal dogmatic definitions, would be open to question. But particular Popes may err in particular statements that depart from what the Magisterium has constantly taught. From this it follows that papal errors in matters of faith and morals, though exceedingly rare—at least before Francis unleashed an endless torrent of extemporaneous remarks and ghostwritten book-length manifestos—can only belong to the category of papal opinions.  And such papal opinions, by the very fact of being errors, can only involve propositions the Magisterium has never taught.

Indeed, John XXII, when furiously opposed in his error regarding final beatitude, protested that he had only been expressing his personal theological view.  Francis, however, has not done the Church this courtesy.  Apparently, like O’Regan, Francis thinks—or at least he wishes us to think—that whatever he says is 'Magisterium.' As he opined in the early interview published in America magazine: 'I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear.'  Actually, it is anything but clear—even if, as O’Regan would have it, we must believe it is very clear because Francis said so, and what he says on this point is part of O’Regan’s 'fallible Ordinary Magisterium,' which is infallible even when it is not infallible.

So, Francis thinks that whatever he thinks is the Magisterium, and O’Regan heartily agrees.  And they are both wrong.  The Magisterium is the mind of the Church, not the mind of Francis or, for that matter, the mind of any one Pope. And if the faithful could not tell the difference between what the Church has always taught and what Francis thinks, or if we were expected to believe there can be no difference between the mind of the Church and the mind of Francis, even if the two self-evidently differ, then our faith would have no objective content and the Church would be a gnostic sect headed by the Oracle of Rome.

What O’Regan posits, which is typical of neo-Catholic thinking, is a kind of portable Magisterium, carried hither and yon by the Pope to any place he would like to take it. But there is no (to quote O’Regan) 'Ordinary Magisterium of Pope Francis.' There is only the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church to which even the Pope must conform himself.

Not to the contrary is O’Regan’s citation to the Lumen Gentium, which refers to the 'authentic Magisterium'—not whatever a Pope speaks or reduces to writing, no matter what its content. Likewise, O’Regan’s citation to the Catechism of the Catholic Church presupposes an exercise of the same authentic Magisterium, which is much more than 'whatever any Pope says.'  The Catechism describes the authentic Magisterium thus:

'Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a 'definitive manner,' they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful 'are to adhere to it with religious assent' which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.'(CCC 892)  

That is, the Ordinary Magisterium is the universal teaching of the successors of the Apostles, in communion with the Pope, which leads to a better understanding of revealed truth. It is not Francis’s personal view on whether public adulterers may receive Holy Communion while continuing their adulterous relations. Many bishops, in fact, reject his view and maintain the Church’s bimillenial Eucharistic discipline, which Francis has no power to abolish.  Thus, Francis’s opinion—which, moreover, he refuses to express formally—cannot possibly be a teaching of the authentic Magisterium.

Nor does O’Regan get anywhere with this citation to Donum Veritatis: 'For this reason magisterial decisions in matters of discipline, even if they are not guaranteed by the charism of infallibility, are not without divine assistance and call for the adherence of the faithful.'  Francis has not issued any disciplinary decision to which anyone is bound to adhere. AL commands nothing, but merely leaves the door open for certain bishops to do what he would obviously like them to do—give Holy Communion to public adulterers—while other bishops refuse to follow suit. Indeed, Francis will never issue any command in this regard precisely because he knows the authentic Magisterium cannot overturn the bimillenial discipline his own immediate predecessors affirmed.

Finally, I note only in passing O’Regan’s pronouncement that the Filial Correction is 'illicit' because 'the authors of the Filial Correction have turned directly to the mass media in order to present their dissent to Amoris Laetitia (which is part of the Ordinary Magisterium of Pope Francis), [and] this action was made in direct contravention of the guidelines for dissenting theologians outlaid in Donum Veritatis.'

More nonsense.  First of all, we have not 'turned directly to the mass media' but rather first submitted the Filial Correction directly to Francis, who ignored it for more than a month, just as he has ignored the four cardinals’ dubia for more than a year—which dubia O’Regan the Blogger also deems 'illicit.'

Secondly, we not 'dissenting' from AL as such, but rather from Francis’s sub rosa interpretation of his own document—again, an interpretation not shared by many (if not most) bishops. Given the very existence of a debate over AL’s meaning, and its differing application by the bishops, the contention that the signers of the Filial Correction are 'dissenting' from AL is ludicrous.  Dissenting from what, exactly?

Furthermore, no Catholic is obliged to give assent to the demonstrably false or misleading citations that litter AL.  The most egregious of these is the shameful abuse of the teaching of Saint Thomas regarding epikeia, which is a prudential grant of exceptions to civil or ecclesiastical general laws in order effectuate justice—for example, excusing Mass attendance if one is ill or (to cite Saint Thomas’s example) refusing to return a sword on deposit if the holder knows the owner will use the sword to wage war against his own country.

As explained masterfully here, AL dishonestly presents Thomas’s teaching as a warrant for differing 'pastoral' application of exceptionless negative precepts of the natural moral law forbidding intrinsically evil acts such as adultery. In aid of this deception, AL conspicuously omits any reference to Saint Thomas’s own teaching that 'Under no circumstance in fact, can one rob or commit adultery.'  As the linked source notes, also trampled underfoot is the contrary teaching of John Paul II in Veritatis splendor: 'the negative moral precepts, those prohibiting certain concrete actions or kinds of behaviour as intrinsically evil, do not allow for any legitimate exception. They do not leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the ‘creativity’ of any contrary determination whatsoever.'  This is why John Paul II affirmed the Church’s constant teaching against the admission of divorced and 'remarried' Catholics to the sacraments so long as they remain intent on continuing their adulterous sexual relations.

Thirdly, we are not 'dissenting theologians' but rather Catholics who object to AL’s opening to a radical break with the Magisterium, including the teaching of Francis’s two immediate predecessors. It is Francis who, given his evident opinion in the matter, is dissenting from the authentic Magisterium with a faux magisterial exercise in studied ambiguity, accompanied by winks and nods to those 'in the know' about his intentions.

Fourthly, nothing in Donum Veritatis can take away the right of the faithful in natural justice to express publicly their concerns about the integrity of the faith as imperiled by AL.  To quote the law of the Church:

'The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence towards their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons'.  (CIC 1983, can. 212, §§ 2, 3).

In sum, O’Regan apparently knows next to nothing about the matter on which La Stampa, to its great embarrassment, has allowed him to express such an incompetent opinion.

The question is, how did this obscure blogger, who seems to have a penchant for rashly accusing people of canonical delicts, gain entrée to such a prominent forum in order to make such absurd, high-profile accusations against the signers of the Filial Correction? It seems that in their final battle in defense of the indefensible, which coincides with the final battle over marriage and family of which Sister Lucia warned the late Cardinal Caffarra in light of the Message of Fatima, the neo-Catholic brigades are reduced to sending raw recruits into the conflict who have no idea what they are talking about.

Next, I suppose, will be a scorched earth campaign in which neo-Catholic opinion leaders will hand up to the ecclesiastical, if not the civil, authorities any Catholic who dares to defend against the novelties of Bergoglio the Church’s perennial teaching to the contrary—including the teaching of John Paul the Not-So-Great-Any-More. In much in the same way the followers of Saint Athanasius were hounded into the desert while the heresy of Arius reigned over nearly the entire Church, and Athanasius himself was declared excommunicated more than once.

But take heart.  The increasingly desperate campaign to silence all opposition to the errors of Francis may well be a sign, as was the Arians’ brutal suppression of opposition to their heresy, that victory for the truth of Christ and the cause of the Gospel will not be long in coming.


[Remnant] 2204.MED1
























News from around the world


Austria Monsignor Wagner: Pontificate of Francis is 'divisive'

CHURCHMILITANT.TV reports : 'In a recent interview, Msgr. Gerhard Maria Wagner discussed the divisiveness and confusion within the Church during Pope Francis' pontificate.

In a Sunday piece for the Italian Catholic news outlet La Feda Quotidiana (LFQ), the Austrian monsignor lamented the theological chaos inside the Church, which has come to the forefront in recent years.

Monsignor Wagner was asked about the Filial Correction, which was submitted to the Holy Father in August and made public in September. He admits some reservations about the document but affirms the Church's dire need for theological clarity.

He told LFQ, 'The heretic or non-heretic theme is excessive for me. But I can say with certainty that the Church is experiencing a moment of serious doctrinal and pastoral confusion.'

The monsignor continues, 'The problem also arises from the incomprehensible choice of making no clarity about Amoris Laetitia and not responding to the cardinals' dubia. What did it cost?'

The interview addresses various sources of confusion in the Church today. Monsignor Wagner argues that the pope's controversial 2016 encyclical, Amoris Laetitia, 'is a somewhat ambiguous text that puts our faithful and priests at a disadvantage.'

But I can say with certainty that the Church is experiencing a moment of serious doctrinal and pastoral confusion.

He explains, 'We often do not know what to do and how to behave, and we see it with diverse practical applications all over the world - a situation which can even slip into relativism.'

'The big problem,' Msgr. Wagner claims, 'is that apostasy and even heresy in the Church have existed long before Amoris Laetitia. The quoted text does nothing but increase confusion and division, and this pontificate is divisive.'

La Feda Quotidiana then asked Msgr. Wagner whether the divorced and civilly remarried can be admitted to Holy Communion without repentance and change of lifestyle. 'Absolutely not' was his response. 'Doctrine does not change, and no document can do this and go against the Gospel and the catechism; the pope or the popes are not the masters of the Church. In my opinion, the answer lies in the Gospel.'

The monsignor also expressed his disagreement with the pope's statements on the politics of immigration. 'I fear that in less than 30 years Europe will be Muslim,' he remarked, 'and then we must react and be careful to understand that Islam is not a religion of peace and represents a danger.'

He went on to note, 'On Islam and migrants, I believe that the pope, whose intentions are certainly good, speaks too frequently, often off the cuff and with no caution as Benedict XVI did.'

As many prominent Catholics have argued in recent months, immigration policy is a matter of national sovereignty and as such is beyond the limits of the Church's doctrinal infallibility.

'The big problem with bishops and popes weighing in on immigration, economics, or climatology: It's outside their competence,' said John Zmirak of The Stream, writing for the new Catholic apostolate Serviam. 'They have no special knowledge or authority. So they become like a traffic cop who stops you - to offer you orthodontic advice.'

[CMTV] 2204.12


















CF News / World news

Austria New Bishop of Innsbruck calls for women deacons

THE NEW Bishop of Innsbruck, Hermann Glettler, has said he supports the ordination of women to the diaconate, and is open to giving Communion to the divorced and remarried.

ORF reports that Bishop Glettler said he would be 'clearly for' admitting women to the diaconate.

Last year, Pope Francis set up a committee to study the issue of women deacons, and their role in the early Church. The Pope said that while his understanding was that the women described as deacons in the New Testament were not ordained as male deacons are today, 'it would be useful for the Church to clarify this question.'


FR JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs :' This business of the ordination of women to the diaconate is swirling around, more than it should be, because a while back His Holiness of Our Lord Pope Francis appointed a study group to look at the historical data about female deacons in the early Church. I suspect that they won't turn up much more than has already been turned up. The historical studies made will inevitably result in dead ends: there isn't much available and what there is is sketchy. Furthermore, the question does not rest on some ancient practice of a perhaps heretical sect or on variations of practices in the East, etc. It now rests on Vatican II's Lumen gentium, which says that the diaconate, priesthood and episcopate are three grades of one sacrament of Holy Orders, even though only priests and bishops are sacerdotes in the strict sense. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it succinctly:

1554 'The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests, and deacons.' [32] Catholic doctrine, expressed in the liturgy, the Magisterium, and the constant practice of the Church, recognizes that there are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ: the episcopacy and the presbyterate . The diaconate is intended to help and serve them. For this reason the term sacerdos in current usage denotes bishops and priests but not deacons. Yet Catholic doctrine teaches that the degrees of priestly participation (episcopate and presbyterate) and the degree of service (diaconate) are all three conferred by a sacramental act called 'ordination,' that is, by the sacrament of Holy Orders….

This, by itself, pretty much closes the discussion. The Sacrament of Orders is one sacrament in three grades. Only men can be ordained to Holy Orders. Ergo, women cannot be ordained to the diaconate, even though there is a distinction between diaconate and priesthood. It's not hard.

When the Pope appointed that study group, I dusted off my copy of the best thing written to date about women and the diaconate, Deaconesses: An Historical Study by Aime G. Martimort (French 1982 & English - Ignatius Press, 1986). This is this most important, easily obtainable book on the topic in English. I've occasionally picked it up and spot read in it, bit by bit, ever since.

Martimort goes through just about everything. Of course his scholarship is limited to his date of 1982. However, there isn't all that much more to explore. Even if research has turned up more, I am left deeply impressed by Martimort's conclusion… his literal conclusion on the last page of the text. Here it is, with my usual emphases and comments:

'In the end, in my opinion, the conclusion that must impose itself at the termination of a historical study such as ours, conducted in accordance with the requirements of modern scholarship, is that theologians must strictly guard against trying to prove hypotheses dependent upon only a part of the documentation available, a part taken out of context at that. The complexity of the facts about deaconesses and the proper context of these facts prove to be quite extraordinary. There exists a significant danger of distorting both the facts and the texts whenever one is dealing with them secondhand. It is also very difficult to avoid falling into anachronisms when trying to resolve the problems of the present by reference to the solutions appropriate to a past that is long gone. [An example of anachronism would be to assume that deaconettes did in ancient times what permanent deacons do now.]

'For the fact is that the ancient institution of deaconesses, even in its own time, was encumbered with not a few ambiguities, as we have seen. In my opinion, if the restoration of the institution of deaconesses were indeed to be sought after so many centuries, such a restoration itself could only be fraught with ambiguity. [NOTA BENE!] The real importance and efficaciousness of the role of women in the Church has always been vividly perceived in the consciousness of the hierarchy and of the faithful as much more broad than the historical role that deaconesses in fact played. [BOOM! Did you get that?] And perhaps a proposal based on an 'archeological' institution might even obscure the fact that the call to serve the Church is urgently addressed today to all women, especially in the area of the transmission of Faith and works of charity. [Teaching, nursing, etc. We could come up with other important ways to serve the Church, traditionally carried out by women in an exemplary and edifying way.]

What has Martimort done in this conclusion? He says that

1) we really don't know enough about deaconesses, and

2) what we do know is ambiguous, and

3) that focusing with such attention on something so elusive and fraught with problems is detrimental to recognition of the terrific contributions which we know for a certainty women can and do offer to the Church and the world.

Bottom line: Promoting ordained diaconate for women, as that Austrian bishop and others do, does women and the whole Church a disservice. It distracts from and even denigrates the tremendous and urgently needed service which women have historically perfected and lovingly contributed.

[CH / wdtprs.com] 2204.13

















CF News / World news

China Pope Francis does not understand the Communist Party, says Cardinal Zen

HKFP reports: 'Pope Francis does not understand the Chinese Communist Party, Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen has said, amid rumours that the Vatican is on the brink of forming diplomatic ties with China.

The Vatican currently has diplomatic relations with the Taiwanese government. But it has conducted secret negotiations with Beijing in recent years. Last month, Zen mentioned in his blog a potential agreement between the Vatican and Beijing whereby the atheist country will have the final say in the appointment of priests. He said that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”
During a visit to Canada and the US, Zen, 85, criticised the optimistic attitude that he observed among top Vatican officials.

“The Chinese government has not made any concessions in the negotiations,” he told the Chinese-language World Journal in New York. “There are some things that we cannot make compromises.”

He told the newspaper that Pope Francis was from South America and was sympathetic to communists: “He does not understand the Chinese Communist Party at all.”

The Chinese government has arrested a number of pastors following their opposition to the removal of publicly-displayed crosses in China. While the Vatican maintains the global right to appoint bishops, Beijing has appointed its own through the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association – the country’s party-controlled official church.

Zen said the Vatican was not listening to opposition opinion any more, after Savio Hon Tai-fai, a priest from Hong Kong at the Holy See, was appointed apostolic nuncio in Greece

Hon was the secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, a top position in the church. He had taken a conservative approach in suggesting that the Vatican should not make compromises with China on the issue of ordination of priests.

“Now Savio Hon has been pushed away,” Zen said.

During his visit, Zen had said that he believed it was only a matter of time for the Vatican and Beijing to establish diplomatic ties.

“Taiwanese people should make preparations for ‘being abandoned,’ or losing diplomatic relations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zen also said pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong should work with each other.

He told World Journal that the biggest weakness of young activists – many of them currently jailed – was: “They think they can do it themselves, and look down upon elderly people [activists].”

But he said Hong Kong people should continue the fight for rights by peaceful means.


[HKFP] 2204.13a




















CF News / World news

United Kingdom Catholic school: use 'preferred pronouns' of transgender pupils

DAN HITCHENS reports for the Catholic Herald: 'A Catholic all-girls school in London has said children should use the 'preferred pronoun' of pupils who do not identify as female.

Marian Doyle, headteacher at Sacred Heart High School in Hammersmith, a secondary school, wrote to parents that 'as a Catholic school' they must 'promote greater wholeness for transgender individuals'.

This would include 'using the young person's preferred pronoun and addressing them as them with their preferred name, recognising their intent to live as the person they believe God created them to be, and refraining from any judgement.'

The letter says that the Equality Act 2010 requires schools to help 'eliminate discrimination', and that guidance from the Department for Education places 'gender reassignment' within this duty.

One parent of a girl at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: 'If the letter the headteacher sent out materialises as policy and practices, it will be very confusing for the young people at the school. I see it as a very dangerous letter.'

In a statement, Doyle said: 'Every child at our school is made in the image of God and is nurtured and supported to know who they are and how best to make use of their talents. We are proud of them all.

'Our community not only has a duty to uphold and maintain its charism but also to operate within the law, and as a Catholic school we must look to ensure we respond to different situations for young people, whatever they may be, with compassion, dignity and respect. In this, we seek the guidance of Jesus' teachings in the Gospels to support us in our response.'

Doyle said the letter was 'part of a lengthy process of consultation within and beyond the school'.

The letter comes as schools face increasing pressure to comply with the government's 'British values' programme. Earlier this year a Jewish school was failed by Ofsted for refusing to teach about homosexuality. Last month, a Christian couple on the Isle of Wight said they were considering legal action after their son was disciplined for 'misgendering' a fellow pupil.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Education Service has issued guidelines on homophobic bullying, which include large amounts of text copied from publications by LGBT rights organisations. The guidelines have been criticised by Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth.

[CH] 2204.14















CF News / World news

United Kingdom  ‘I am copping out’: Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to say if ‘gay sex’ is sinful

THE SENIOR bishop of the Church of England appeared rattled and said he is unable to give a “straight answer” when asked in a recent interview with GQ magazine about the morality of homosexual sodomy.

Justin Welby, the Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked point-blank, “Is gay sex sinful?” by GQ on Monday.

“You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to,” Welby answered, then added, “Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through.”

According to GQ, Welby paused and looked “mildly embarrassed” after his response.
Asked why he couldn’t answer the question, Welby responded: “Because I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question. I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question.”

Welby then appeared to waffle more, saying vaguely positive things about homosexual relationships while acknowledging that most Christians, including most Anglicans, regard them as sinful.

“Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships,” Welby said. Asked if that applied to same-sex relationships, the archbishop said, “I know it could be,” but added that the traditional Christian view is that marriage is exclusively “between a man and a woman.”

“I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are – the vast majority of the Church is – deeply against gay sex,” Welby said.

GQ pointed out that Welby is “having to be a politician,” to which he responded, “Yes, I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century and to respond appropriately with an answer for all people – not condemning them, whether I agree with them or not – that covers both sides of the argument.”
Welby recognized that the two sides of the argument are “irreconcilable” and confessed, “I haven’t got a good answer, and I am not doing that bit of work as well as I would like,” and even went so far as to admit to GQ, “I am copping out because I am struggling with the issue.”

Welby’s remarks follow his statements last month in an interview with LBC radio endorsing the practice of boys wearing girls’ clothing to school.

Asked how he would address the case of a couple that pulled their six-year-old out of an Anglican school because of a boy who was wearing girl’s clothing, Welby said he would tell the parents that “they should help their child ‘understand,’” in the words of the Telegraph newspaper.

'I would say to them, I don't think that's a problem,” the archbishop said.

Welby’s uncertainties are in sharp contrast with the sacred Scriptures historically accepted by Christians, which repeatedly condemn the sin of same-sex fornication or “sodomy” in no uncertain terms. The Scriptures also condemn the practice of transvestism, which they call an “abomination.”
As Archbishop of Canterbury, Welby is the senior cleric of the Church of England, whose Supreme Governor is Queen Elizabeth II. He is also regarded as the “first among equals” among the bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which is the third largest grouping of Christians in the world, with an estimated 70-million-80 million members.

The Church of England was first separated from the Catholic Church in 1534 to secure clerical approval for an illicit annulment of the marriage of King Henry VIII and his marriage to Anne Boleyn, whom he subsequently executed. Although it reunited with the Catholic Church for a brief period, it was again separated by Henry and Boleyn’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. The Anglican Communion later began to permit divorce and remarriage, artificial contraception, abortion, and the ordination of priestesses and female bishops. In recent decades, it has begun to ordain bishops who are openly living in homosexual relationships, to the great consternation of many members, particularly Africans.

As a result, thousands of Anglicans have left the Anglican Communion to found splinter groups or to join the Catholic Church by way of the “Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,” which functions as a special diocese for Catholics attached to certain aspects of Anglican worship and practice.

[LSN] 2204.14b


















CF News / World news

United Kingdom Commuters flee train over man reading the Bible

THE CATHOLIC HERALD reports: ' London commuters ran onto the tracks after a man began reciting Bible verses out loud

Commuters on one of London's busiest rail routes forced open the doors on a rush hour train and climbed onto the tracks after panicking over man reading the Bible.

The BBC reports that passengers became scared when a man began quoting Bible passages such as 'death is not the end' out loud, causing them to flee the train outside Wimbledon station at 8.30am Monday morning.

One man who was on the train said the Bible reading caused a 'crush' and a 'commotion', before someone asked the reader to stop 'as he was scaring people'.

'The guy stopped and stood there with his head down,' the witness added.

British Transport Police said no one was injured and no arrests were made, but the incident caused severe delays to train services for the rest of the morning.

[CH] 2204.15

















CF News / World news

United Kingdom Conservative activists demand Theresa May backs marriage

THOMAS PASCOE, Campaing Director, Coalition 4 Marriage, writes : 'A poll of Conservative Party activists commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage has revealed major support for our drive to put traditional marriage at the heart of education policy.

The poll of 550 councillors also found that nine in ten believe the party should concentrate on core issues like Brexit and the economy rather than politically correct causes such as transgenderism.
Greening out of touch with grassroots activists'

Our exclusive poll, published this afternoon, shows grassroots support across the Coalition for Marriage’s campaign agenda.

The poll results also represent a striking rejection of major initiatives proposed by Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Equalities Justine Greening in both of her portfolios.
Findings in the poll, conducted by ComRes, include:

• 87 per cent say Conservative voters want the party to focus on the economy and Brexit rather than socially progressive causes
• 79 per cent believe parents, not schools, should teach children about adult relationships
• 75 per cent want schools to promote traditional models of family and marriage
• 62 per cent say the party is overly focussed on politically correct issues like gender identity
• 51 per cent say it is increasingly difficult to be a social conservative in the Conservative Party
• Only three per cent believe that plans to make it easier to change gender will win votes
• Support for traditional marriage is seen as a vote winner (52 per cent). Transgender reforms and unisex toilets in schools are seen as liabilities with voters by more than half of respondents.

The full polling data is available on our website.

This needs to be a wake-up call to those in the Government who sometimes appear more interested in indoctrinating children than educating them.

Just like our supporters, Conservative Party councillors want the Government to ditch the extremist attitude to gender and obsession with adult sexual identities, and concentrate on ensuring schools are well funded and teaching effectively.

They also want the Government as a whole to concentrate on its core portfolio and stop wasting time and money pursuing fashionable causes which undermine family life.

We believe that this poll sends a very clear message to Theresa May from her own grassroots supporters: back traditional marriage, stop the dumbed down, politically correct box ticking and concentrate on the job in hand.

9C4M] 2204,15a
















CF News / World news

United States  Trump administration ends rule requiring nuns to fund contraception

THE TRUMP administration issued an order on Friday ending the federal requirement that employers violate their consciences to participate in the provision of employees’ contraceptives and abortifacient drugs.

The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began this mandate, often called the HHS contraceptive mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor, pro-life nuns who care for the elderly, along with Hobby Lobby and other religious entities, refused to comply. The Little Sisters of the Poor providing contraceptive and life-ending drugs and devices would explicitly contradict their mission of respecting the dignity of every human life.

“HHS has issued a balanced rule that respects all sides– it keeps the contraceptive mandate in place for most employers and now provides a religious exemption,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket and lead attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor. “The Little Sisters still need to get final relief in court, which should be easy now that the government admits it broke the law.”
The new rules, which are nearly 300 pages in total, prevent the Little Sisters of the Poor and other conscientious objectors from litigation.

'The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the regulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious beliefs or moral convictions,' the new rules state. 'These rules do not alter multiple other Federal programs that provide free or subsidized contraceptives for women at risk of unintended pregnancy.'

The Supreme Court offered relief from the burdensome mandate to Hobby Lobby and other for-profit corporations in its 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

President Trump promised to end the coercive mandate during his campaign. He signed a religious liberty executive order in May 2017 that seemed to begin this process, although some social conservatives blasted it for being “woefully inadequate” and much weaker than an initial leaked version. Today's new rules fulfill this executive order.

“No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenants of their faith,” Trump said when he signed this order in the White House Rose Garden. He called the Little Sisters of the Poor up to the stage with him.

In June 2017, a draft of a new federal regulation addressing the contraceptive mandate was released. Pro-life groups praised that leaked draft.

The New York Times reported that Matt Bowman, a pro-life attorney who worked for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) before joining the Trump administration’s HHS, is the “principal author of the rules.”

ADF has been one of the mandate’s strongest critics.

According to The New York Times, the new regulation cites some of the many health risks of contraception as well as its availability likely promoting teen sexual promiscuity. The June leaked version of this new regulation mentioned that as well.

The rule released today allows employers with religious and moral objections to contraception to not participate in its provision. This would exempt groups like the March for Life, which have expressed moral opposition to cooperating.

“The new exemptions will be available to colleges and universities that provide health insurance to students as well as employees,” according to The New York Times.

'After eight years of the federal government's relentless assault on the First Amendment, the Trump administration has taken concrete steps today that will once again erect a bulwark of protection around American's First Freedom – religious freedom,' said Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. 

'President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom,' said Perkins. 'Last May, the president ordered the federal government to vigorously promote and protect religious liberty.'

HHS is 'moving to make that order a reality,' he said.


[LSN] 2204.10b



















CF News /Vatican watch

United States Bake my damned cake

REGIS NICOLL writes for Crisis Magazine : 'With gay ersatzrimony having the imprimatur of the State, and homosexuality enjoying a positive swing in popular opinion, the only thing standing athwart homosexualism is the Church, which is finding itself increasingly the object of neosexualist agitations.

Two weeks after Obergefell v. Hodges, a liberal firestorm erupted when a Catholic priest in Louisiana withheld communion from Tim Ardillo during his mother’s funeral because of his “marriage” to another man. Apologies (!) from the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Archbishop of New Orleans quickly followed.

Channeling Pope Francis, a diocesan spokesman, opined, “We don’t deny people communion… Who are we to judge whether they believe [the church’s teachings on the communion] or not?” (Emphasis added.)

Rev. Roger Keeler of the Canon Law Society of America also weighed in, saying, “Being married outside the church should not be used to deny someone the Eucharist.” Note to Rev. Keeler: Mr. Ardillo was not married; as the attendant priest was aware, the communicant was “married”—that is, cohabiting with his sexual partner and in a state of unrepentant sin, which according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church is appropriate grounds for withholding communion.

What’s more, mea culpas and accommodationist overtones have little purchase in the fever swamps where religious objections are considered bigotry parading in clerical vestments.

Take Tim Gill a mega-rich LGBT activist who vowed “We’re going to punish the wicked,” which, according to his moral lights is anyone (person, business, or organization) wanting an exemption from participating in same-sex ceremonies. Or Equality Ohio, a LGBT activist group that announced it will go after churches—in particular, Catholic churches—that refuse to make their facilities available for events contrary to their religious beliefs. Or Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality that sponsored a colloquium of experts “to contest and reframe the utilization of religious exemptions to civil rights laws.”

What the punishers get and the punished don’t, is that Obergefell put an expiration date on the religious exemption, a point I’ll come back to in a moment.

Also under attack is anyone who challenges the LGBTQ tautology.

In 2012, a large-scale study by Dr. Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas supported a conclusion that, in recent memory, would have been unremarkable: children who grow up in gay and lesbian homes fare worse in a number of areas than those raised by both biological parents.

The study provoked such invective from the LGBT community that Dr. Regnerus was subjected to the threat of academic censure, charges of scientific misconduct, and a highly-publicized (and politicized) inquiry by university officials. Dr. Regnerus was eventually vindicated of all charges.
In October last year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) threatened Johns Hopkins University over a study by two leading researchers in the fields of psychiatry and behavioral science that debunked a number of major tenets of the lifestyle left, including “there is virtually no scientific evidence that people are born gay or transgender.”

The HRC demanded that Johns Hopkins censor what it called “an attack on LGBT communities.” When the university refused, the HRC “punished” it with a low Healthcare Equality Index (HRC’s measure of LGBT “friendliness”) rating.

Then there’s the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). After opening its membership to openly gay boys in 2013, the BSA further capitulated to homosexualist demands by allowing gay men as Scout leaders. When the organization pledged to support the right of church-sponsored troops to exclude gays, the president of the Human Rights Campaign warned “Half measures are unacceptable and discriminatory exemptions [for religious groups] have no place in the Boy Scouts.”

Legislators who share the HRC’s loathing of “half measures” and “discriminatory exemptions” have introduced a bill in Congress that will address them.

The Equality Act, as it’s called, amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by including “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) as protected classes, equivalent to “race.” The proposed legislation includes protections not just for employment, but for housing, public education, credit, jury service, federal funding, and public accommodations. Despite its noble label, The Equality Act is anything but. By giving special protections to concocted classes of individuals, it abrogates the constitutional freedoms of others, creating inequality.

For starters, the bill prohibits appeal to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a basis for discriminating against LGBT folk. So if, for example, you are an employee or owner/manager of a private or public business, your constitutional rights to freedom of conscience, speech, and association take the back seat to someone else’s socially constructed “right” to your acceptance of their sexual expression.

Although the sponsors have been quick to add that the religious exemption of the 1964 Civil Rights Act will remain in place, the exemption applies only to religious organizations in the hiring of individuals of a different religion. In the original Act, a Catholic church can pass over a Buddhist for employment because of religion, but not an African-American because of race. Under the amended Act, the prohibition applicable to race extends to homosexuals, transsexuals, and persons of any of the myriad (and growing) SOGI categories who might seek church leadership and employment.
Obergefell presaged the day when Caesar, having consecrated gay “marriage” as a civil right, will no more tolerate a church that refuses to marry same-sex couples or allow non-celibate homosexuals as members, communicants, leaders, or staffers than it would for a church that refuses the same for ethnic minorities.

The introduction of The Equality Act is a signal that that day is coming. How soon, depends on how the Supreme Court decides the religious liberty case before it, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

And when that day comes, churches acquiescing to the neosexualist agenda will be legitimized and officially recognized by the State and allowed to keep their tax exempt status. Churches refusing to comply will lose that exemption, causing many to become financially unsustainable, driving them, the confessing Church, underground.

What the “punished” get and their “punishers” don’t, will be something similar to the early Church despite its outlaw status: explosive growth.


[Crisis] 2204.16a


















CF News / World news

United States Speaking ill of Hugh Hefner

Hugh HefnerROSS DOUTHAT writes for the New York Times: 'Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain's hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.

Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself - a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself.

The arc of his life vindicated his moral critics, conservative and feminist: What began with talk of jazz and Picasso and other signifiers of good taste ended in a sleazy decrepitude that would have been pitiable if it wasn't still so exploitative.

Early Hef had a pipe and suit and a highbrow reference for every occasion; he even claimed to have a philosophy, that final refuge of the scoundrel. But late Hef was a lecherous, low-brow Peter Pan, playing at perpetual boyhood - ice cream for breakfast, pajamas all day - while bodyguards shooed male celebrities away from his paid harem and the skull grinned beneath his papery skin.

This late phase was prettied up by reality television's 'The Girls Next Door,' which kept the orgies offstage and relied on the girlfriends' mix of desperation, boredom and charisma for its strange appeal. The behind-the-scenes accounts were rather grimmer: depression and drugs, 'dirty hallway carpets and the curtains that smell like dog piss,' the chance to wait while Hef 'picked the dog poo off the carpet - and then ask for our allowance.'

Needless to say the obituaries for Hefner, even if they acknowledge the seaminess, have been full of encomia for his great deeds: Hef the vanquisher of puritanism, Hef the political progressive, Hef the great businessman and all the rest. There are even conservative appreciations, arguing that for all his faults Hef was an entrepreneur who appreciated the finer things in life and celebrated la différence.

What a lot of garbage. Sure, Hefner supported some good causes and published some good writers. But his good deeds and aesthetic aspirations were ultimately incidental to his legacy - a gloss over his flesh-peddling, smeared like Vaseline on a pornographer's lens. The things that were distinctively Hefnerian, that made him influential and important, were all rotten, and to the extent they were part of stories that people tend to celebrate, they showed the rot in larger things as well.

His success as a businessman showed the rotten side of capitalism - the side that exploits appetites for money, that feeds leech-like on our vices, that dissolves family and religion while promising that consumption will fill the void they leave behind.

The social liberalism he championed was the rotten and self-interested sort, a liberalism of male and upper-class privilege, in which the strong and beautiful and rich take their pleasure at the expense of the vulnerable and poor and not-yet-born.

The online future his career anticipated was the rotten side of the internet - the realms of onanism and custom-tailored erotica, where the male vanity and entitlement he indulged has curdled into resentment and misogyny.

And his appreciation of male-female difference was rotten, too - the leering predatory sort of appreciation, the Cosby-Clinton-Trump sort, the sort that nicknames quaaludes 'thigh openers' and expects the girls to laugh, the sort that prefers breast implants to female intellect and rents the charms of youth to escape the realities of age.

No doubt what Hefner offered America somebody else would have offered in his place, and the changes he helped hasten would have come rushing in without him.

But in every way that mattered he made those changes worse, our culture coarser and crueler and more sterile than liberalism or feminism or freedom of speech required. And in every way that mattered his life story proved that we were wrong to listen to him, because at the end of the long slide lay only a degraded, priapic senility, or the desperate gaiety of Prince Prospero's court with the Red Death at the door.

Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins. Liberals should ask why their crusade for freedom and equality found itself with such a captain, and what his legacy says about their cause. Conservatives should ask how their crusade for faith and family and community ended up so Hefnerian itself - with a conservative news network that seems to have been run on Playboy Mansion principles and a conservative party that just elected a playboy as our president.

You can find these questions being asked, but they are counterpoints and minor themes. That this should be the case, that only prudish Christians and spoilsport feminists are willing to say that the man was obviously wicked and destructive, is itself a reminder that the rot Hugh Hefner spread goes very, very deep.

[NYT] 2204.16



















CF News / World news

International gloria.tv.news



[gloria.tv] 2204.17


















CF News / World news

International Random jihad headlines of the week


Canada: Edmonton car-ramming jihad attack

France: Man shouting 'Allahu akbar' kills two in Marseille railway station attack

France: Five arrested for jihad bomb plot in 'chic' Paris neighborhood

Mali: Christians told they will be killed if they go to church

USA: ISIS claims Las Vegas killer as 'Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki'

USA: ISIS called for lone-wolf attack in Las Vegas in May video


[CF News] 2204.18


















CF News / World news

International The Prophet Voris



[CMTV] 2204.19

















CF News / World news

International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



[EWTN] 2204.20






















Bl.John Newman


The education of moral conscience according to Newman

The late Cdl. Carlo Caffarra, archbishop-emeritus of Bologna, Italy and one of the signatories of the dubia, passed away September 6. He had been scheduled to offer a lecture in London on October 21 at an event organized by the John Henry Newman Cultural Centre. This is a copy of the archbishop's last lecture.

EXPLAINING Newman's doctrine on moral conscience, as well as many other topics of his philosophical and theological thought, is not easy. He builds his thoughts within the path of his inner life, as a need of his existence. His theology and philosophy are the answers to the problems of his life. He belongs, like Pascal, to the family of Augustine: speaking of himself, he spoke of every man. Newman is the Augustine of the modern church. In the following presentation, I will try to remain faithful to his theological style.

1. 'MYSELF AND MY CREATOR': The beginning of the journey.

In the life of the spirit, there is a moment in which the person becomes their self entirely. He/She awakens as a free and rational individual.

Allow me to use, as an example, the experience endured by Augustine at the age of 19, reading the Hortensius, nowadays a lost work of Cicero. Augustine narrates: 'Now it was this book which quite definitely changed my whole attitude and turned my prayers towards thee, O Lord, and gave me new hope and new desires. Suddenly every vain hope became worthless to me, and with an incredible warmth of heart I yearned for an immortality of wisdom and began now to arise that I might return to thee.' [Confessions III, 4.7; 61. NBA I, p. 63]. A new person 'I' was born.

A similar event also happened to Newman. It is narrated in the following way: 'When I was fifteen, (in the autumn of 1816,) a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite Creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through God's mercy, have never been effaced or obscured.' [Apologia pro vita sua, cap. I].

This text is of paramount importance to understand Newman's doctrine on moral conscience. It is not only the intellectual discovery of what Newman will explain later as the dogmatic principle, but it was the discovery of his whole person of the Light of Truth, which reaches us through dogma. The moral conscience for Newman, we can already say, is the witness of Truth [on common good]. Newman does not deny that there may be a moral conscience not interested in Truth, but this apathy is the deadly disease of the moral conscience. Skepticism is a deadly risk to moral conscience.

Also in 1816, accepting the invitation of his master, he read the book The strength of the truth by Calvinist Thomas Scott, and he was deeply upset. This is how Newman narrates the encounter with this author: he introduces him 'In confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and making me rest in the thought of two and two only absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator' [ Apologia pro vita sua, cap. I].

The text is famous. Newman discovers that in the depths of his moral conscience, he is anchored to God the Creator. The theme is a classic in Christian theology: The creator has engraved his image in the human person. Newman's originality lies in placing this human creator-creature relationship within the moral conscience. We can already say that in the young Newman we are able to perceive the two pillars that govern the whole arc of his doctrine on moral conscience: the 'dogmatic principle', and the natural relationship of moral conscience with God.

The dogmatic principle. Newman presents it thus [1845]. 'That there is a truth then; that there is one truth; that religious error is in itself of an immoral nature; that its maintainers, unless involuntarily such, are guilty in maintaining it; that it is to be dreaded; that the mind is below truth, not above it, and is bound, not to descant upon it, but to venerate it' [The development of Christian doctrine, chap. VIII; §1].

The opposite of the dogmatic principle is what Newman calls the liberal principle, as we will see later.

The moral conscience, in light of these two principles is not the ability to decide, even after serious discernment of what is good/evil. It is the ability to judge and tell the person what is good/bad, in the light of a Truth that is superior to it. Therefore, the first axiom of the doctrine on conscience is not: 'Always follow your conscience', but: 'Seek the truth about good/evil'. We will return to this point later.

The relationship between moral conscience and God. The following words clearly express what Newman thinks about the relationship between God-moral conscience: 'Conscience-there are two ways of regarding conscience; one as a mere sort of sense of propriety, a taste teaching us to do this or that, the other as the echo of God's voice. Now all depends on this distinction-the first way is not of faith, and the second is of faith' [Sermons notes; Faith-III, May 29, 9]. We could say: The first submits the truth to opportunity; The second opportunity to truth.

Newman's doctrine on moral conscience is born.


Newman always starts by describing the moral conscience as an experience that every human person witnesses within their self, every day. Today we can say it begins with a phenomenology of the conscience. He writes: 'By conscience I mean the discrimination of acts as worthy of praise or blame' [Philosophical Notes, II, 47 - Proof of Theism]. Therefore, moral conscience is the faculty by which I can distinguish, discriminate among the various deeds that I can accomplish or have accomplished, the deeds worthy of praise and deeds worthy of disdain. He immediately adds: 'But the accuracy or truth of praise or blame in this particular case is a not a matter faith but of judgment' [Philosophical Notes, II, 47 - Proof of Theism].

This is a fundamental point in Newman's doctrine. In the moral conscience he distinguishes two aspects or two dimensions, described in the following way: 'The feeling of conscience […] is twofold: it is a moral sense, and a sense of duty' [An essay in aid of Grammar of Assent, Part I, Chap. V, § 1]. Let me give an example.

Having arrived at this point, we can now attempt a first definition of moral conscience, according to Newman. Moral conscience is the simultaneous conjugation of the moral sense with a sense of duty. It sheds light on what is good/bad, and at the same time guides us in the daily choices we make in our lives. Newman generally prefers to speak of a moral sense, remaining mindful of the concrete person acting.

Let's ask ourselves now: How does consciousness guide our choices? How does conscience reason when it imposes its regulations in a particular situation? A very profound text, from the XV sermon of the Oxford University Sermons, answers this question. In fact, the text has a general epistemological content, but it is also true about moral conscience. 'Further, I observe, that though the Christian mind reasons out a series of dogmatic statements, one from another […] not from those statements taken in themselves, as logical propositions, but as being itself [the Christian mind] enlightened and (as if) inhabited by that sacred impression which is prior to them, which acts as a regulating principle, ever present, upon the reasoning, and without which no one has any warrant to reason at all'. [Oxford University Sermons, Sermon 15, 26.3].

The text is not easy. I will try to illustrate it with an example. When a person comes to the conclusion that Chastity has an intrinsic beauty and ethical preciousness, he/she expresses this perception as a proposition. For example: Chastity is a moral virtue. Each person understands that this proposition is not maneuverable; it is not malleable according to the spirit of the time. It expresses something great which has taken place in human spirit: the light of good.

It may be that the prescriptive judgment or sanctioning of the conscience appears to the mind as the conclusion of an argument that goes from the universal to individual. For example: stealing is dishonest, but the act you're carrying out is a robbery, so you don't have to carry it out. In fact, in the seventeenth century an art was born that teaches this way of arguing, which taught this: case law. However, according to the doctrine of Newman, the argument is generated by what he calls 'the sacred impression which is prior to it'. It is the light of good, imprinted in the human spirit: signatum est Super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine says a Psalm.

At this point, we can now understand the deepest nature of the moral conscience, according to Newman: it is the bond between man and God. It is the natural and original way that leads us to the encounter with God, it is not simply learned as a notion but as a reality. The development of this idea is clearly exposed in the 'An essay in aid of Grammar of Assent'.

The starting point is as follows: 'We have by nature a conscience' [An essay in aid of Grammar of Assent, Chap. V, § 1]. In this context, conscience has a definite meaning: It is a mental act by which, in the face of an action to be done or already accomplished, we feel in us an approval or reproach and consequently we judge it as right or wrong. It is on the basis of this inner experience, which is consciousness, that we have a real apprehension of a Sovereign and Divine Judge. The heart of the argument is explained by Newman in the following way.

'If, as is the case, we feel responsibility, are ashamed, are frightened, at transgressing the voice of conscience, this implies that there is One to whom we are responsible, before whom we are ashamed, whose claims upon us we fear […] These feelings in us are such as require for their exciting cause an intelligent being'. [An essay in aid of Grammar of Assent, Chap. V, § 1].

We must analyze this very famous text very carefully. Newman emphasizes two things: the absoluteness of the moral imperative that resonates in consciousness; the personal character of the ethical imperative.

Absoluteness in this context means two things. The first: The imperative is categorical not hypothetical. It does not say: if you want…; But it says: you must. The second: It is an imperative that does not allow exceptions, when it assumes the negative form. It is our daily experience that our freedom infringes. But the man feels, in this case, that he has betrayed himself: 'The wicked flees though no one pursues' [Proverbs. 28.1].

Personal character consists of the fact that the imperative is addressed to me, in my uniqueness. Peter cannot answer the servant of the High Priest: 'Others have followed Jesus, why question me and not one of them?' It is Peter who is asked for an act of fidelity. Personal character also results from responsibility: I feel that I have to answer to what I did to Someone.

Newman does not simply want to demonstrate the existence of God, but he wants to lead the person to an apprehension of his Reality, as a living presence in the conscience of every man. Conscience is the burning bush that God uses to speak to man. Newman places himself in the line of thought which starting from Augustine passed through Pascal, and he arrives at the adequate anthropology of K. Wojtyla-John Paul II.

We can at this point attempt a synthesis of Newman's doctrine on moral conscience. The moral conscience is the place where the mystery is made originally present; It is the original revelation of God as the guide of Man.

We can at this point attempt a synthesis of Newman's doctrine on moral conscience. The moral conscience is the place where the mystery is originally made present; it is the original revelation of God as the guide for man.


In October-November 1874, William Gladstone, the first conservative and the later head of the British Liberal Party strongly attacks the decrees of the First Vatican Council, arguing that they cannot be reconciled with intellectual autonomy and loyalty to the state. In January 1875 Newman responded with A letter addressed to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, on occasion of Mr. Gladstone's recent Expostulation. And in chapter five he addresses the subject of moral conscience; more precisely: the affirmation of the primacy of conscience in relation to the magisterial and governmental authority of the Pope [Munus Docendi, Munus Regendi]. No one escapes the centrality of the theme.

Gladstone's thesis is as follows. Because the Pope enjoys infallibility in Doctrina fidei et morum; because it has full jurisdiction over faithful Catholics, the moral conscience of the individual must simply carry out what the Pope teaches.

Newman's response is articulated and refined, he starts from the conception of the moral conscience, elaborated throughout his previous work. He writes in the letter: 'Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ, a prophet in its informations, a monarch in its peremptoriness, a priest in its blessings and anathemas, and, even though the eternal priesthood throughout the Church could cease to be, in it the sacerdotal principle would remain and would have a sway.' [Letter to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, Chapter 5].

From where does this sovereign dignity reach the conscience? By the fact that the divine law, supreme rule of human actions becomes such by means of the conscience. The whole sovereign magnitude of the conscience stems from the fact that it is the organ of the apprehension of divine law. 'This law, as apprehended in the minds of individual men, is called 'conscience;'. Conscience is sovereign because it is subject; or, as Newman writes: 'Conscience has rights because it has duties' [Letter to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, Chapter 5].

The real problem or the root of so many problems is that this idea of conscience is fought intellectually and is in fact rejected by the majority of people. Newman writes in the letter: 'Conscience is a stern monitor, but in this century, it has been superseded by a counterfeit, […] It [counterfeit] is the right of self-will'. And again: 'When men stand up as defenders of the rights of conscience, this does not mean at all to stand defenders of the rights of the Creator, nor of our duties in his regard… for rights of conscience they mean the right to think, to speak, to write, to act, as they like, without giving you any thought of God'. (Letter to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, Chapter 5). It is this fabrication of conscience that makes any true relationship of conscience impossible with the Ministry of Peter.

Who truly has a faithful relationship with the Pope, knows that, Newman writes, 'The championship of the Moral Law and of conscience is his raison d'être. The fact of his mission is the answer to the complaints of those who feel the insufficiency of the natural light; and the insufficiency of that light is the justification of his mission' [Letter to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, Chapter 5].

The referent of conscience is divine law, and the Pope exists to help enlighten conscience with Divine Truth. Therefore, for the Pope and for conscience the referent is the same: the light of the Divine Truth. Both look in the same direction.

'Did the Pope speak against Conscience in the true sense of the word, he would commit a suicidal act. He would be cutting the ground from under his feet' [Letter to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, Chapter 5].

Newman does not reduce the Magisterium to a mere reproduction of natural moral law. Newman writes 'But still it is true, that, though Revelation is so distinct from the teaching of nature and beyond it, yet it is not independent of it, nor without relations towards it' [Letter to His grace the Duke of Norfolk, Chapter 5].

I would like to try to concisely illustrate Newman's thought on the Moral-Pope conscience relationship.

Newman starts from an affirmation, explicitly said many times: God the Creator infused in us something that we could define 'original memory of the good and the truth'. That is, it is a conviction of the Christian thought that God the Creator has engraved us in his image and likeness. Newman interprets this anthropological argument by stating that every human person has a moral conscience, that is, the capacity before acting or after the action, to feel a harmony or a dissonance between his person and the action.

However, original memory needs an external aid to have the capacity to employ itself. A child has a natural ability to speak, but it necessitates the external intervention of another for this natural capacity to function. The mother does not impose anything from the outside, but brings to fulfillment a capacity that is already present in the child.

Similarly, this takes place in the Pope's Moral-Magisterium-consciousness relationship. On a moral level, it does not impose anything from the outside. It prevents man from falling into the worst amnesia, that of good and evil; prevents man's natural capacity from weakening; functioning so that man becomes increasingly capable of working. In the light of all this, we understand the profound truth of… Newman's toast: First drink to the conscience, then to the Pope. 'Because without conscience there would be no papacy. All the power that he has, is the power of the conscience: Service to the twofold remembrance, on which the faith is based, that must be continually purified, enlarged and defended against the forms of memory destruction, which is threatened so much by a subjectivity that it forgets about its foundation, the pressures of social and cultural conformism'. [J. Ratzinger, the conscience in time, in church, ecumenism and politics, Ed. Paoli, Turin 1987, p. 163].


On the morning of May 12, 1879 Newman received the official communication that Pope Leo XIII had appointed him Cardinal, accepting the proposal of many English laypersons, primarily the Duke of Norfolk. Newman expresses his gratitude to the Pope with a brief speech, passed down in history as the 'Biglietto-speech'.

This text is of extraordinary importance both in order to understand Newman's entire spiritual journey and the comprehension of his thought. I wanted this wonderful text to conclude my own reflections.

Summarizing his life, he writes: 'For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. […] Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. […] Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither' [Biglietto Speech, Rome (Liberalism in religion)].

Newman identifies the liberal principle as the main factor which reduces the conscience to mere a personal opinion, which no one has the authority to judge.

In the face of this fabrication of conscience what should we do? Newman's answer is as follows:

'Christianity has been too often in what seemed deadly peril, that we should fear for it any new trial now. So far is certain; on the other hand, what is uncertain, and in these great contests commonly is uncertain, and what is commonly a great surprise, when it is witnessed, is the particular mode by which, in the event, Providence rescues and saves His elect inheritance. […] Commonly the Church has nothing more to do than to go on in her own proper duties […] Mansueti hereditabunt terram, et delectabuntur in multitudine pacis' [Biglietto Speech, Rome (Liberalism in religion)].

Carlo card. Caffarra

[CMTV] 2204.21





















Clock face Event


International Conference on Population Control

A GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM set for next month aims to address the threat of population control and examine how radical enemies of life are working to undermine and subvert the Catholic Church.
The International Conference on Population Control will be presented in an online format, making the conference available to everyone. The Lepanto Institute is hosting event with the theme 'How Radical Enemies of Life are Pushing Their Global Agenda to End Poverty by Eliminating the Poor.'
The first-ever internet-based international population control seminar will provide background on the issue and discuss the grave harm that population control programs are inflicting on the world's poor.

The conference is scheduled online for October 17-19 from noon to 4 p.m. EST. It features 12 noted speakers who will explain how environmentalism, foreign aid and international foundations are attacking the poor in the name of reducing poverty.

'Many people are completely unaware that population control is pushed by organizations and charities they donate to and trust,' said Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. 'What they are told is helping vulnerable people actually harms them, robbing them of opportunities and the right to self-determination.'

Radical population control advocates and abortion proponents have also been establishing a foothold inside the Catholic Church under the pretext of poverty reduction and environmental protection, Hichborn told LifeSiteNews.

'They've clandestinely worked their way inside the Vatican and are now actively working to undermine and subvert the Church and her teachings from within,' Hichborn said. 'This crucial and timely conference is being organized because the Catholic Church is under unprecedented attack.'
'The conference is designed to inform our audience of the imminent threat facing humanity and the Church,' Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. 'Participants will not only learn about who the major players are, but how the agenda is hidden, where it is hidden, and what we can do to fight it.'

LifeSiteNews has chronicled the disturbing trend of extreme population control zealots and abortion advocates infiltrating the Church at its highest levels, and how they are using the Church as a platform to advance their agendas, often through presentations at various Vatican offices such as the Pontifical Academy for Science and the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.

'Never, in the 2,000-plus-year history of Catholicism, have anti-life forces gained such a dangerously high level of access and influence,' stated Hichborn.

Mike Church, well-known radio personality formerly of SIRIUS/XM radio, will host the conference.
Speakers include LifeSiteNews co-founder and editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen, Population Research Institute President Steve Mosher; Child Advocacy Attorney Liz Yore; Human Life International President Father Shenan Boquet; Kazakhstan Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider and more.

Attendees will learn the identities of the population control extremists funding and leading the subversion of the Church; how population reduction - including abortion, forced sterilization, and condom distribution - is being covertly disguised as poverty reduction; the devastating implications this subversion will have for humanity if it is not stopped; and how they can help protect the Catholic Church from these internal attacks.

Hichborn remarked that the conference's online format makes it accessible to anyone.
'Large conferences on these issues have been held all over the world,' he said. 'Usually one has to travel to Washington, D.C., New York, Rome, Brussels or Geneva for something like this. But this is the first time such a large-scale event has been offered in an online format so that anyone anywhere can participate at the same time.

'We've committed to make this important information with such eminent speakers available around the globe,' he said.

The Lepanto Institute president also noted the significance of this issue at the point in time.
'Population Control is an agenda that ties together nearly every major cause of the anti-family left,' he said, 'homosexuality, environmentalism, poverty-reduction, foreign aid, and even mass immigration are connected to the population control agenda.'

'For the sake of souls, lives, and the family, it is vitally important for everyone who calls themselves pro-life to stand up now and fight,' Hichborn added. 'The fact of the matter is, if we don't fight this now, it won't be long before there won't be a civilization left to defend.'
Registration for the live event is free. Recordings and transcripts of the sessions will be available afterward for a fee.

Click here to register for the International Conference on Population Control.


[LSN] 2204.EV1





















Comment from the internet


Cardinal Burke and the SSPX: The Big Picture

MICHAEL MATT comments on the ramifications of a traditional Catholic being invited to defend the decision to resist the errors of Pope Francis on what used to be known as 'Neo-Catholic Central' -- EWTN. Big change in the wind? Plus, Cardinal Burke says the SSPX is still in schism. Is it time to denounce one of the last cardinals in the world who's resisting the errors of Pope Francis? Please! Let's get real.



[Remnant] 2204.21a


















CF News / Comment from the internet

The persecution of Orthodoxy

J SeifertJOSEF SEIFERT writes for First Things : 'If one considers the transformation of Plato’s Academy, champion of eternal truth, into a center of radical skepticism against which St. Augustine wrote his Contra Academicos, or contemplates the splits and changes that have occurred in all other philosophical schools, one will see that the preservation of Catholic doctrine over two millennia is a miracle. Considering likewise the countless divisions between and within the different Protestant confessions, as well as in other religions, it is evident that the way Catholic teaching has survived intact, becoming increasingly clear with each confrontation with error, is a wonder far greater than healing the sick or making the blind see.

Add to this the fact that many priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes not only lived very bad lives opposed to Catholic teaching, but rejected many Catholic doctrines, or simply did not believe them. Any purely human institution would long since have been dissolved, or suffered inner divisions and contradictions that would have been reflected in its creeds and official teachings.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Gamaliel declared the Church’s survival impossible unless it were established and preserved by God. The same line of thought underlies Boccaccio’s famous story in the Decameron, of the Christian merchant and the Jew, who converts precisely because the many unworthy and worldly men whom he met in the Vatican did not destroy the Church, which therefore must be of God. When one observes that 'the Church' gloriously overcame the many crises it suffered, one can only mean the true voice and official teachings of the Church. One cannot deny that these same errors have lingered until the present day, and even gained force in many circles despite having been recognized and condemned.

In the last fifty years, the crisis that threatened the Church most gravely is one of moral theology and of the understanding of 'natural law.' This crisis became dramatically clear after the publication of Humanae Vitae. At first, theologians who opposed the document sought refuge in the sanctuary of moral conscience, the supreme subjective norm of morality. Instead of seeing conscience as founded upon the objective truth about good and evil, upon the infinite dignity of God, and the towering dignity of man, instead of recognizing that conscience is called to form itself through the truth, these men saw it as a subjective generator of what is good and evil—for me. As if it were not necessary that conscience correspond to objective moral norms that are inscribed in the essence of things and of human acts, and in the eternal holiness of God.

Yet the moral-theological phalanx that turned against Humanae Vitae was not content with saying that the ethical errors and gravely disordered acts of those who practice contraception are purely subjectively justified by their erring conscience. Instead, these opponents suddenly wanted to claim the full objectivity of their opposition to Humanae Vitae, saying that we do not deal here only with erring consciences (tirelessly invoked by Rocco Buttiglione in his defense of Amoris Laetitia).
Defenses of the subjectivity of conscience still implied that the sinner, who found himself entangled in errors of conscience, should be better taught and humbly submit his judgment to the objective truth about the intrinsic wrongness of his acts. Rejecting this, the new proportionalist and consequentialist ethical theory (really a rehash of old ideas) allowed theologians to claim: Under many circumstances the acts Humanae Vitae called intrinsically wrong are, objectively speaking, not wrong at all. Those who disobeyed Humanae Vitae not only had every right to follow their own conscience, even against the Church, they were objectively right when they chose to do so.

Whether this position was called 'proportionalism,' 'consequentialism,' 'purely teleological ethics,' 'situation ethics,' etc., the point was the same: It threw overboard the central teaching of all ethics since Socrates, Plato, and Cicero, and throughout the history of the Church—namely, the teaching that there are intrinsically wrong acts. Acts such as lying, raping a woman, abortion, murder, euthanasia, using false judgments to fulfill one’s own lust—as did the old judges who accused Susanna of adultery because she had refused their evil wishes—are always wrong and gravely disordered. The young Daniel’s glorious act of uncovering their lie and injustice, and his just judgment against these evil old men, brings home with gripping force the existence of acts of injustice, lies, calumnies, killing the innocents, etc., that are absolutely and under all circumstances wrong; they are what is called an intrinsece malum.

Now this new moral theology, advocated by Fuchs, Demmer, Böckle, Schüller, and many others, denied that any act could be judged morally, except in terms of its good and bad consequences. Hence, there does not exist an intrinsically and always wrong human action. If an action, whatever its inner nature may be, promises to lead to a lessening of evils in the world, it can be justified. We can easily see that with this ethics nothing in Catholic moral teaching would remain intact. Because no act would be bad by its nature, but good or bad only with reference to the concrete complexity of life and the web of causes and effects.

One can always find cases in which committing murder, betraying the innocent, or many other abominable acts can have a greater number of good consequences than an alternative action. For example, betraying one Jew and sending him to his cremation, considered in isolation, is certainly a most horrible act, these authors admit. However, this same act, under some circumstances, may mean the death of just one man, instead of risking that the Nazis, because of my unwillingness to deliver this one Jew to them, are murdering my own family of eight. Therefore, under such circumstances, we would be permitted, or even obliged, to deliver this one Jew to be killed by the Nazis.

It is not solely a clear teaching of the Church, however, but it is also evident to human reason, that certain abominable crimes cannot at all be justified through pointing out their good consequences. Consider the abominable act the prophet Daniel would have committed, if he had himself condemned the innocent woman, in order not to put his career as young judge into peril.

It is hardly possible to exaggerate the immense proportions of the crisis in the Church produced by such a false and vicious ethical theory. It is able to find an excuse for any kind of sinful act. If mere consequences could make human acts morally good or evil, there would remain no injustice, no cruel abortion, nor any abomination that could not be justified under some circumstances.
To this crisis, Pope St. John Paul II reacted most forcefully. In his Familiaris Consortio, he reconfirmed the teaching of the intrinsic evil of adultery, and of contraception, by which the unitive meaning of the conjugal act is actively and deliberately severed from the procreative one. In Evangelium Vitae, he insisted on the dignity of each human being, who is simultaneously a human person. Hence, any attack against human life, from its very beginning in conception until true death (not merely so-called 'brain death'), is intrinsically evil and cannot be justified by any good consequence that such an act might have (such as saving a life or a marriage, or preventing that the husband leaves his children, etc.). No, invoking the authority of St. Peter, and thus (in my view), declaring this teaching a dogma, John Paul formulated in Ch. 68 of Evangelium Vitae that in each and every living human being we must respect the full dignity of the person. Thus, any antilife act is intrinsically wrong and can never be justified in view of any external or posterior consequences.

Finally, in Veritatis Splendor, the pope put an end to this proportionalist ethics, affirming with utmost force that there are acts that are by their nature evil and morally wrong. Their very end and essential intention (finis operis) make them morally wrong regardless of the consequences. Veritatis Splendor condemned lock, stock, and barrel the moral-theological errors that denied intrinsically wrong acts. It thus gave Humanae Vitae its ultimate foundation in the unambiguous teaching that there are acts that are intrinsically wrong and cannot be justified in any situation.

Today the ethics rejected by Veritatis Splendor has raised its ugly head once again. It threatens to bring about the climax of the moral-theological crisis in the Church, because now it is not just a mob of some rebellious theologians and bishops who deny intrinsically evil acts. No, there are some formulations in Amoris Laetitia that have caused a deep shock in those of us who have fought, alongside St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, for decades against the immense evil of this false ethics. These formulations are what have provoked our 'dubia,' questions posed at the highest level by four cardinals but expressed in various forms by bishops, priests, theologians, and journalists.

Could it be that Pope Francis threw away in Amoris Laetitia the moral-theological teachings that have been declared most solemnly to be the perpetual teaching of the Church and eternal truths about morality? It is against this background that the five dubia of the four cardinals must be seen. They are in no way anti-pope or damaging to the community of the Church, but represent a supreme service to the Church and to the pope, by pointing out a threat of destruction of Catholic moral teaching if Pope Francis does not clarify things or correct some assertions he made.

The dubia are a church-historical necessity. They are questions that should be asked by all cardinals and bishops, and by all laymen across the world. Yet the four cardinals who asked these questions in the most refined, polite, and fraternal way, were insulted, maligned, made to seem like heretics and schismatics. Cardinal Müller was forbidden by the archbishop of Madrid to present a book that interpreted Amoris Laetitia exactly along the lines of Familiaris Consortio 84 and in the same way the Polish episcopate did, whose position was approved by Pope Francis ('for Poland'). No, these four cardinals, two of whom have died, are heroes, servants, and brothers of the pope, who ask him whether the shocking impression given by some of his assertions corresponds to his will, or not.

The same kind of name-calling and persecution of those who defend the solemn teachings of the Church directs itself against many others. A topsy-turvy inquisition has been launched against orthodoxy, and truth is persecuted by those called to uphold it. I have become one of the victims of this reverse inquisition. Asking the pope, in a paper in total agreement with Veritatis Splendor, a question that coincided with one or two of the five dubia of the four cardinals was enough to get me fired by my archbishop whom I served faithfully during the past six years in Granada, Spain.

I only asked whether or not an iron logic must draw the conclusion that there are no intrinsically wrong acts from the thesis that conscience can know in some cases that God Himself wills us to commit acts of adultery and homosexual acts. I explicitly left the answer to the pope. If he answered this question in the affirmative, I wrote, I would beg him to revoke this affirmation.
For asking this question, and for saying that if the pope answers my question in the affirmative, he should please revoke at least this one sentence, I was charged by the archbishop of Granada in an extremely sharp way. He forced my retirement from the Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair for Realist Phenomenology in the IAP-IFES (the International Academy of Philosophy-Instituto de Filosofía Edith Stein). This chair had been created for me by Don Javier Martínez in 2015, nine months after my seventieth birthday. It was especially absurd, then, that my dismissal was later attributed to the application of a collective law of retirement of professors at age seventy.

One year before, I had already been removed from seminary teaching for another article: 'Amoris Laetitia. Joy, Sadness and Hopes.' The second article was punished with my immediate forced retirement, which was never communicated to me directly, in a signed letter, but only indirectly by some hints in emails and telephone conversations, and by a salary receipt. This receipt bears the same date, August 31, 2017, of the press notice in which, next to expressing 'the immense sadness of the diocese over my article,' the whole world was informed, without any reason offered, that through 'my article' (that was not even cited), I had 'damaged the community of the Catholic Church,' 'confounded the faith of the faithful,' 'undermined the authority of the Pope, and served more the world than the Church.'

The fact that publishing an article, which many voices, including cardinals, archbishops, and bishops called a great service to Church and pope, which is completely faithful to the whole body of magisterial moral teachings of Pope John Paul II, and to a 2,000-year tradition of Catholic moral doctrine, can cause one to be fired by a Catholic archbishop, is shocking, as Robert Spaemann said.
My case is only one of many examples in the present Church. Was not the removal of Cardinal Burke from the second part of the Synod on the family and from all his high posts in the Curia a kind of inquisition in response to his questions, which have not been answered but punished? Is not the same assumption necessary to explain Cardinal Müller’s abrupt removal as Prefect of the Congregation of Faith? Is not the continuous and complete silence of the pope to the four cardinals’ questions a kind of 'silent inquisition' and a victory of power and will over reason, a 'papal positivism,' as Father Harrison points out in an excellent article? There are countless other examples. Is all of this not a sign that a longstanding deep crisis of Catholic moral teaching in the Church has reached a new and disquieting climax, being not only linked to the supreme authorities of the Church, but espousing a new style in the Church? Not answering questions or doubts at all, not giving reasons, but remaining silent and acting by sheer power! The moral-theological crisis has moved from the bottom to the top of the Church. The victims of judgments or actions against them are denied the opportunity to defend themselves against unjust charges, a natural human right that is explicitly recognized in canon law.

There is a strong dose of 'papolatry' in all of this. As the pope is by no means infallible in every statement he makes, none of the fierce charges against my article and the dubia of the four cardinals, which are in perfect harmony with Familiaris Consortio and Veritatis Splendor, and with 2,000 years of moral teaching, can be justified. Moreover, the pope himself told the SSPX that they did not—and Pope Francis acted quite rightly in this—have to subscribe to all non-dogmatic documents of the Second Vatican Council in order to be fully reintegrated in the Church. In sharp contrast, Archbishop Martínez turned any doubt regarding even just one sentence of the non-dogmatic assertion of the pope in a document of incomparably lesser weight than Council documents into a sort of heresy or crime against the Church, sufficient to fire me instantly.

According to chapter 3 of Amoris Laetitia, the pope’s admitting divorced and remarried and homosexual couples to the sacraments is, according to his own assertion, not a magisterial teaching. The fact that the pope’s own, and the Buenos Aires Bishops’, interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is not an act of the magisterium, is already clear from the fact that the pope explicitly accepted the contrary interpretation that nothing has been changed through Amoris Laetitia, for the Polish Church.

How is it, then, that the archbishop of Granada is more papal than the pope, and turns the Buenos Aires interpretation, which he accepted and demands to be accepted by his clergy, into a kind of dogma that justifies my suspension from the seminary teaching for asking critical questions about it, and seeking the clarification or revocation of some assertions in it, pointing out that the sense in which they are being read by many contradicts revealed truth? And how can it be that now, in response to the second article, a Church authority regards a mere question, similar to some of the four cardinals’ dubia, put to the pope, as sufficient ground for my expulsion from a chair? Is asking a question now harmful to the Church, regardless of whether it is asked for good reasons or not? Does it not have to be answered (for neither the pope nor the archbishop answered the question), so long as the questioner can be sent home?

I love Archbishop Martínez and admire him for founding an excellent cultural institute, a new publishing house, a school of sacred music, an institute for women, and other good works. I have never seen an archbishop who initiated so many good activities and entities. I admire him especially for having created the Instituto de Filosofía Edith Stein and the Lumen Gentium Institute, which keep seminarians from being educated in all kinds of philosophical and theological errors taught in the Jesuit faculty of theology inside the Universidad de Granada. Because of this admiration, I wanted to remain in Granada for the rest of my life, and donated many books and unedited writings, including my own, to IFES.

That the archbishop does not remove Catholic theologians who spread errors and heresies while teaching in the name of the Catholic Church, but instead expels me from a chair he had created in a non-Church-affiliated school of philosophy, is beyond my comprehension. Such a persecution of someone who defends teachings that are entirely compatible with the Catholic Church is harmful not only for me, but for the archbishop himself and for the Church itself.

For this reason, I have found it appropriate—on the advice of a very saintly and brilliant cardinal of the Catholic Church—not to accept humbly and silently episcopal slaps in the face for telling the truth and asking questions of the greatest importance to the Church. Instead, I have resolved to fight against misrepresentations of truth and against injustice, both by an ecclesiastic and a civil legal action. Power must not be allowed to dominate over reason in the Church. Gravely damaging and false accusations are not to be simply accepted, not just in my case, but also in many other cases of a persecution of Catholic believers in the name of a pseudo-inquisition.

I have tried, and will continue to try, to propose a conciliatory and peaceful settlement before the peace Court in Granada, but not at the price of truth and of justice. For if I did forego truth and justice or duck down upon being illegitimately castigated, I would indeed damage the ecclesiastic community, confound the faith of the faithful, and undermine the true authority and reputation the pope, who is the visible head of the Catholic Church and the true representative of Christ on Earth.

May God give us a glorious resurrection of truth, of reason and of faith, in the Catholic Church, and may He prevent a new climax of the moral theological crisis in the Church from tearing down the most solemn Church teachings on the divine commandments and natural law! The light of true morality, together with the higher light of the supernatural morality of the Sermon on the Mount, is entrusted to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church under the authority of the pope, who is called to be the Rock on whom Jesus built His Church, a truth I profess. And precisely because I profess it, I feel the obligation to accept the invitation Pope Francis addressed to all of us: to challenge him wherever we think that his words deviate from the truth of Jesus Christ, whom the pope is called to represent, but not to replace by proposing a new teaching. If this new teaching, or even just one phrase contained in Amoris Laetitia, clearly seems to shake the foundations of the moral order, I am not just permitted but obliged to speak out. In doing so, the philosopher follows the example of St. Paul, who criticized the first pope publicly and sharply, as he tells us in the Letter to the Galatians and as St. Thomas Aquinas beautifully defends. I would not deserve the name of a philosopher and would betray Socrates and Christ (who addressed the first pope with the words 'Get behind me, Satan,' when Peter spoke against the will of God) if I acted otherwise and, for base fear of the consequences, failed to speak the truth and to ask necessary questions.

Thus, I repeat again my plea to Pope Francis to answer the question put to him, and to answer unambiguously, with a simple Yes or No. If he answers that one of his affirmations has the logical consequence of denying intrinsically wrong acts and runs counter to the constant teaching of the Church, I implore him, in the name of God, Who Is THE TRUTH, to retract any affirmation that is counter to the truth and Church Teaching.

I do not act this way because I believe myself, in insane pride, to be more infallible than the pope. Rather, I do this because I profess a faith whose Scriptures teach us that sometimes a donkey can see something the prophet fails to see. If the prophet in such a case slaps the donkey, whom God sent him, he will receive the stern reprimand God gave the prophet through his angel.

[Josef Seifert is former Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair of Realist Phenomenology at the International Academy of Philosophy].

[First Things] 2204.21b


















CF News / Comment from the internet

Correctio Filialis: a first appraisal

R. de MatteiROBERTO DE MATTEI writes for the Lepanto Institute: 'On September 25th, the day after the publication of the Correctio filialis to Pope Francis, Greg Burke, the spokesman for the Vatican Pressroom, with condescending irony, denied the news diffused by Ansa, which had reported that access to the site of the Correctio had been blocked by the Holy See: 'Do you really think we would do this for a letter with 60 names?' The director of the Pressroom, who judges initiatives on the basis of the number of 'followers' , might be interested to know that www.correctiofilialis.org, eight days after being put online, had more than 180,000 individual visitors and 330,000 page visits.

he visits come from 200 different countries of the five continents. Italy and the United States lead the number of accesses. Further, the letter of correction addressed to Pope Francis by 62 scholars, was shared on October 3rd, by 216 theologians, priests, professors and scholars of all nationalities, whose signatures are visible on the site. Added to these, there are thousands of adherents, who put their signature on the official site or on other Catholic sites which actively support the initiative: onepeterfive.com, lifesitenews.com, katholisches.Info. Guido Mocellin, in Avvenire of September 27th, had to admit that in 'the ecclesial blogsphere' , thanks to a' modern website in six languages', 'the posts on the Correctio filiale directed to Pope Francis 'as a result of the propagation of heresies' have been the most present over the past few days: they constituted 30% of all those that I was able to consult between Saturday 24th and Monday 26th of September.

If we want to stay with the numbers, the number of cardinals, bishops and theologians who have risen up against the Correctio, in defence of Amoris laetitia, is irrelevant. Even the Cardinal closest to Pope Francis, the Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, took a position of equidistance, declaring that 'people who are not in agreement voice their dissent but these things have to be discussed, in an attempt to understand'.

What is missing most of all, beyond the number, is substance in the argumentation of the efforts to reply to the Correctio. The greatest effort done, which nearly arrives at the acrobatics of the sophists, we owe to the Member of Parliament and philosopher Rocco Buttiglione on Vaticaninsider of October 3rd. The central passage of Amoris laetitia criticized by the signatories of the Correctio, according to Buttiglione, is 'something absolutely traditional, which we all studied as children at Catechism in the Catholic Church, not only in the new one by St John Paul II, but also in the old one by Pius X'. It’s true – Buttiglione admits that there is 'an absolute impossibility of giving Communion to those in a state of mortal sin (and this rule is of the Divine law and thus unbreakable) but if, as a result of lack of instruction or deliberate consent, there is no mortal sin and Communion may be given, from the point of view of moral theology, even to a divorced and remarried [person].'

For Buttiglione, like Pope Bergoglio’s trusted theologian, Monsignor Victor Manuel Fernàndez, the basic problem would be that of the 'imputability ' of the acts. An imputabilty which would be absent in the great majority of more uxorio cohabitants, since the concrete situations they are living in, mitigate there awareness and, above all, for them, render it practically impossible to observe the law of the Lord. With this the Council of Trent is, without any qualms, contradicted; [the very Council] which anathematizes those who say 'that the commandments of God are even for a man who is justified and confirmed in grace impossible' [Denz-H. n.1568). 'God, in fact, does not command the impossible; but when He commands He admonishes us to do what is possible, ask what is not possible and He helps you to make it possible.' (Denz-H, n. 1356).

On the other hand, the bishops who apply Pope Francis’ teaching, are not inspired by Pius X’s catechism, nor John Paul II’s new one. In their dioceses, the divorced-remarried, perfectly aware of their situation, insist on Communion and according to Amoris laetitia, Communion is permitted to them, as a legitimate right.

To justify this immoral practice, we have arrived at the falsification of St Thomas Aquinas’ thought. However, a valiant Italian moralist who signed the Correctio, Don Alfredo Morselli, demonstrated, on Messainlatino blogspot, October 3rd, the impossibility of harmonizing Pope Francis’ Exhortation with the doctrine of St. Thomas. Don Morselli refers to some unequivocal passages by the Angelic Doctor, which affirm the contrary of § 301 in Amoris laetitia: 'A good intention is not sufficient to determine the goodness of an act: since an act can be in itself bad, and in no way can it become good' (Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 40 q. 1 a. 2 co.). 'There are some, (human actions) that have a a deformity inseparably belonging to them, like fornication, adultery and other things of this kind, which cannot be considered morally good in any way whatsoever.' (Quodlibet IX, q. 7 a. 2 co.).

In coherence with authentic Thomism, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz, presently an Opus Dei prelate, at a convention promoted to celebrate the 20 years of Humanae Vitae, recalled that 'the existence of particular norms of natural morals, having universal and unconditional value belong to Catholic doctrine, and actually is a truth of the faith' (Humanae Vitae, 20 years later, Edizioni Ares, Milan 1989, p. 129). Among these, the prohibition of contraception and the prohibition of adultery. Has the teaching of the University of Santa Croce and Navarra (promoter of that convention along with the John Paul Institute) changed or will it change? One wonders, after the interview of September 30th at Infovaticana.com, in which the present Vicar of Opus Dei, Mariano Fazio, censures other members of the prelature who signed the Correctio, accusing them of 'scandalizing the entire Church'.

The interview is strange: neither the Argentine Bishops nor the Maltese Bishops, who authorize adultery in their dioceses are guilty of scandalizing the Church, but those who protest against these scandals are. The Pope, according to Fazio, can be criticized, but in private circles, never publically. In the avalanche of contrary comments, which submerged the blog Infovaticana, there is one which hits the nail on the head: 'What about St. Paul?' Wasn’t it precisely St. Paul who corrected St. Peter publically? (Gal. 2, 7-14) The apostolic candour of St. Paul and the humility of the Prince of the Apostles have remained, since then, the model of the correct relationship between those who exercise authority and those who obey them with filial respect but not without discernment.

One of the most influential signatories of the Correctio, the theologian and philosopher of Science, Don Alberto Strumia, prefers discernment. In an interview on September 30th to the daily, Il Giornale, he explained: 'The doctrine of the Church was not invented by theologians and not even by Popes, but is founded in the Scriptures and rooted in the tradition of the Church. The Pope is at its service, as guardian and guarantor of this continuity and cannot break it not even covertly, implying, with ambiguous formulations, that today one might think of doing the opposite of what has been taught until now by the Magisterium, regarding essential questions such as the doctrine of the Sacraments and family morality, with the motivation that times have changed and the world demands some adjustment. For this [reason] it is a duty of charity, which has the aim of 'saving souls' as it was said in the past, the defense of the very dignity of the throne of Peter, and of the one who sits there, to highlight these ambiguities with the greatest respect.' […] ' To dare address a doctrinal correction to the Pope can be done and must be done only when the truth of the Faith is in danger and thus the salvation of the members of the people of God.'

At a time when consciences are darkened, the Correctio filialis expresses the sensus fidei of tens of thousands of Catholics who remind their Supreme Pontiff with filial respect, that the salvation of souls is the greatest good and for no reason in the world can one do evil or make compromises with it.

[Lepanto Institute] 2204.21c




















CF News / Comment from the internet

Wait! Wait! It's all a mistranslation!

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for The Remnant: 'Well, it seems the Neo-Catholic Excuse Factory is still in operation, even if the excuse-makers seem to have lost some of their usual vim and vigor due to the intellectual exhaustion involved in attempting to explain away practically everything Pope Bergoglio says and does on a daily basis. Consequently, the factory's output of excuses is experiencing significant lag times.

Thus, it took more than a year-and-a-half for the Factory to roll out the old reliable 'mistranslation' defense to explain away the infamous paragraph 303 of Amoris Laetita (AL), which reads as follows in the official English translation on the Vatican website:

'Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one's limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal'.

In other words, the conscience can 'inform' a sinner that his continued sinning is not only acceptable to God but is even what God is asking 'for now,' given one's particular 'limits.' This outrageous proposition, a form of situation ethics that strikes at the very foundation of Catholic moral teaching, has justly provoked a storm of criticism from lay and clerical defenders of the authentic Magisterium.

But it's all a misunderstanding, say Dr. Robert Fastiggi, professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein, S.T.D., professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. All of the critics of AL are wrong-every one of them!-because, you see, the original Latin text does not say what the English text does.

Here we go again. So what does the Latin say? Here is the paragraph in the official Latin:

Haec autem conscientia agnoscere potest non modo statum quendam ab universali Evangelii mandato obiective dissidere; etiam sincere honesteque agnoscere poteste quod sit liberale responsum in praesenti Deo reddendum atque eadem conscientia firma quadam morali certitudine intellegere illam esse oblationem quam ipse Deus requirit inter rerum impedientium congeriem, quamvis perfectum nondum sit obiectivum exemplar.

Yes, and so what? Well, according to Fastiggi and Goldstein, while the English translation reads: 'what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God,' the Latin employs the word oblationem, which means offering. So, What the Pope Really Means® is: 'what for now is the most generous offering which can be given to God.' So, it's an offering to God, not a response to God. Big difference.

But just a moment: how can objectively immoral behavior ever be characterized as an 'offering' to God? It would seem the Latin version has graver implications than the English because it suggests that falling short of what the moral law requires is an oblation pleasing to God if one's 'limits' make obedience to the moral law difficult. And that is exactly the nonsense Fastiggi and Goldstein expect us to swallow: 'Pope Francis is not talking about an offering of an objectively sinful action but a gift of self that moves toward God and the objective moral norm.'

So, our intrepid presenters of What the Pope Really Means® would have us believe that objectively immoral behavior, which is the best one can do according 'the 'concrete complexity of one's limits,' is no longer simply objectively immoral behavior but rather a gift of self because it moves toward morally licit behavior. Fastiggi and Goldstein have managed to make the problem even worse in their attempt to explain it away.

What about the English locution 'while yet not fully the objective ideal,' which seems to reduce the negative precepts of the natural law to mere ideals? Not so, Fastiggi and Goldstein contend. Do not all those ignorant critics of AL know that the Latin text employs the phrase 'obiectivum exemplar,' which, translated literally into English is 'objective