The National Association of Catholic Families


This edition of CF NEWS (No.2209) posted at 11.38 am on Sunday, November 12th, 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

Messori: Pope Francis' 'Liquid Society' Church continue reading
'Ecumenical Mass' rumour 'utterly false' continue reading
World-renowned economist yells at LifeSiteNews reporter continue reading
Cardinal Müller: Amoris Laetitia is not heretical continue reading

Humanae Vitae

Dr Philippe Schepens: Humanae Vitae - My testimony as a doctor  continue reading

United Nations

Trump blocks international support for abortion groups at G7 Meeting continue meeting

News from around the world

CANADA Catholic agency denies adoption to couple holding Christian views continue reading
Archdiocese promotes abortion continue reading
GERMANY High Court recognises third gender continue reading
IRELAND Dissident priests: ‘Bishops are spineless nerds' continue reading
UK (SCOTLAND) Plans to allow children to legally 'choose gender) continue reading
UKMother's message to Parliament on buffer zones continue reading
UK government discriminates against Christian refugees from Syria continue reading
UKOdinariate head 'excluded from Reformation events' continue reading
USA Jesuit University's Newspaper backs student prostitutes continue reading
USA Trump Admin to focus on 'abstinence' Programs 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


On the idea of the University   VIDEO   continue reading


A journalist's perspective continue reading
Boycott over vulgar content kills 'Teen Vogue' continue reading

Comment from the internet

Luther's revenge: The surrender of Pope Francis continue reading
Pope Francis and his 'Lutheran turning point'  continue reading
From Casuistry to 'Mercy' continue reading
Papal Promises and Manoeuvres continue reading
On Pastoral Fear continue reading
'Dubia' more alive than ever continue reading
100th anniversary of Russian Revolution continue reading
Pope Francis answers Dubium!!! continue reading

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Ozleworth   VIDEO   continue reading
Missa Papae Marcelli
  VIDEO  continue reading


St Thomas Aquinas continue reading




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A journalist's perspective continue reading SUN1


[VOTF] 2209.SUN1




















Vatican watch




Messori: Pope Francis is creating a 'Liquid Society' Church

EDWARD PENTIN reports for the National Catholic Register: 'The prominent Italian Catholic writer Vittorio Messori has expressed concern that Pope Francis is turning the Catholic Church into a kind of 'liquid society' in which uncertainty and change are the only certainties.

Writing in the latest edition of the Italian Catholic magazine Il Timone, Messori took as a point of reference the Polish Jewish sociologist Zygmut Bauman who first introduced the idea of 'liquid modernity.'

Bauman observed that the general trait of individualistic modern man is to flow through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and even sexual orientation and gender. Bauman said the modern tendency is to exclude oneself from traditional networks of support, while at the same time freeing oneself from the restrictions or requirements those networks impose.

This trend towards such unbridled individualism has created societies in which 'everything is unstable and changeable,' Messori noted, and referred to the 'rapid change' not only in sexual behaviour but also in politics where legislators have given up on long term governance.

Quoting Bauman, he said it is becoming acceptable that 'change' is the 'only permanent thing' and that 'uncertainty' has become the 'only certainty.'

But he said this attitude has also afflicted the area of religion and the believer is now 'disturbed by the fact that even the Catholic Church - which was an age-old example of stability - seems to want to become 'liquid' as well.'

Messori, who came to prominence in 1984 when he interviewed Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for the book The Ratzinger Report, pointed to a recent 'disconcerting interview' with the Jesuits' superior general, Father Arturo Sosa. He said Father Sosa effectively ''liquefied' the Gospel itself' when he said that as Jesus' words were not recorded on tape, 'we don't know exactly what he said' so it's possible to 'adapt' the Gospel according to times, needs and people.

The Italian author then criticized the Pope for being susceptible to the same attitude, quoting him in a recent interview warning against a 'Catholic temptation' to have uniform or 'rigid' rules instead of judging and acting 'on a case by case basis.'

Messori, who published the 1995 bestselling book-interview with Pope St. John Paul II Crossing the Threshold of Hope, said the Pope's frequent use of the term 'discernment' is an old tradition of the Society of Jesus. But until now, it did not additionally mean to 'freely interpret even dogma, depending on the situation, as has happened in some official documents containing his signature, which have aroused perplexity (to use a euphemism) in some cardinals.'

Messori said that in 'all humility,' to have such an approach seemed to him 'wrong and damaging to the Church and the faith' and that for him 'the opposite would be right.' He said 'in a 'liquid world' where everything becomes uncertain, precarious, provisional, it is precisely the stability and firmness of the Catholic Church that all humanity needs, and not only believers.'

'Those rocks of dogma, to which the superior general of the Society of Jesus is allergic, could and should become firm ground in a society that flatters itself and tends towards mushy chaos,' he said. One of the symbols of the Catholic Church, he added, is a 'robust oak, held firmly to the ground by strong roots.' But is it, he asked, 'really helpful to replace the oak with a rod that folds in any direction, with any breath of air, every human desire or fashion?'

Perhaps, he added, it is time to rediscover and apply to the whole Church the 'ancient and beautiful' motto of the Carthusians: Stat crux dum orbitur volvit [The Cross is steady while the world turns].

Messori said that 'more than ever' the 'firm clarity of the Catechism is needed, rather than the ever-changing 'in my opinion,' and the 'infinite opinions which the world is full of.'

Protestantism followed this path, he said, 'and history has shown what it has led to, but unfortunately, as usual, history is not magistra vitae [life's teacher].'

[NCRegister] 2209.1























CF News / Vatican watch

'Ecumenical Mass' rumours are 'utterly false', Vatican says

NICK HALLET reports for The Catholic Herald : 'The Vatican has denied rumours that a secret commission is creating an 'ecumenical Mass' that would allow joint Communion between Catholics and Protestants.

Greg Burke, director of the Holy See press office, and Archbishop Arthur Roche, the second highest-ranking official in the Congregation for Divine Worship, both strongly denied the reports after days of speculation.

Archbishop Roche told journalist Christopher Lamb that the rumours were 'utterly false', while Mr Burke said they were 'simply not true'.

The denials came after a report by Marco Tosatti in First Things quoted anonymous sources who said a commission was looking at creating an 'ecumenical Mass'. Tosatti added that Cardinal Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, had not been informed of the plans.

Last week, the Australian asked the Vatican about the rumours but did not receive a response. The paper added that the Mass would supposedly include prayers, readings from scripture and a common Communion, but the Catholic and Protestant clergy would pray the words of consecration silently.

The rumours also prompted German Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki to say such a Mass would be theologically impossible. An ecumenical Mass would have 'no basis', he said, because Catholics and Protestants 'do not agree on the central issues'.

On Friday, Andrea Grillo, who had been named as one of the people on the commission, denied any involvement. He told the Catholic Herald: 'Regarding the 'rumours', I wish to insist that I am not part of any Vatican commission. I teach, study and publish: these are my only activities.'


How credible are the denials?

'The readers of InfoVaticana, following their comments, are not reassured by these denials. Too many remember the apparent confusion, which took place a few months ago surrounding Pope Francis and his immediate circle about another 'commission'. On June 14, 2017, the Roman historian, Prof. Roberto de Mattei, quite concretely wrote in an essay of the existence of a 'secret commission' with the task to re-interpret the encyclical Humanae vitae.

De Mattei also mentioned the names of Commissioners, including as Head Msgr. Gilfredo Marengo.
Curia Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, a former Family Minister to the Vatican and current President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, spoke on June 16 in front of the microphones and categorically denied the existence of such a 'commission' and especially such an intention. In the same breath, however, he casually let it be known that there was a 'study group', which was almost completely lost.

Avvenire, the daily newspaper of Italian bishops, went so far as to present the information published by de Mattei on a 'Commission' as 'media manipulation.' The rumors got louder and louder until on July 25, Msgr. Gilfredo Marengo of Radio Vatican gave an interview and confirmed the existence of a 'research group.' If one reads Paglia's disclaimer retrospectively and literally, he had ultimately only denied the existence of a 'Commission'. A 'research group' is something completely different.

Such hair-splitting, which serve the concealment, are responsible for an apparent loss of confidence in statements by representatives by the papal clique, as the comments at InfoVaticana show.
The Vatican's Marco Tosatti was the first to report in mid-May about the existence of a secret commission on Humanae vitae, which turned out to be correct despite several weeks of denials by the Vatican. The same Tosatti now reported on the informal commission for the elaboration of an 'ecumenical Mass'. So should Pope confidante Roche and Vatican spokesman Burke have denied only the existence of an official Vatican commission, but not generally the existence of such commission on behalf of the Pope?


[CJH] 2209.2



















CF News / Vatican watch

World-renowned economist yells at LifeSiteNews reporter: 'You're disgusting'

'YOU'RE DISGUSTING, disgusting, disgusting,' yelled world-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs in the hallowed halls of the Casina Pio IV in the heart of the Vatican Gardens. Sachs, the Columbia University professor whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries, was in a full rage, threateningly pointing his finger in the face of this reporter during his outburst. I sat there rather stunned but also, I must admit, somewhat intimidated since this man marches in echelons of power far above the top one percent he is so fond of disparaging.

A collaborator with George Soros, Sachs is known around the world as a guru on climate change, sustainable development -- and to pro-lifers -- population control and abortion. It is this pro-life concern that was the source of his rage. He was railing against me because of an article I wrote the previous day in which the headline referred to him as a 'pro-abortion globalist.'

I believe he would have been fine with a label of 'pro-choice,' but I didn't get to ask him despite trying a couple of times to speak to him after the fireworks. He vehemently resents being called pro-abortion, he let me know in rather uncivil terms.

From the pro-life perspective, the 'choice' of abortion is murder and today's abortion holocaust with some 60 million innocent victims per year is a global catastrophe very much like what Sachs claims will happen with unchecked global warming. If someone believes that abortion is an acceptable 'choice', that person is indeed pro-abortion.

Imagine someone who approved of men raping women, even lobbied for it, didn't insist on it mind you, just supported its legalization. Would Mr. Sachs be faulted for referring to that person as pro-rape even over their objections that they should be called 'pro-choice' instead?

It seems we are speaking a different language, and that the terminology of the pro-life movement is so foreign that it is completely misunderstood. Language is an important thing when it comes to trying to make convincing points in the public sqyuare, and it appears Mr. Sachs refuses to be labeled by what in his mind must be antiquated terminology.

Another interesting exchange illustrates the point. I spoke with Professor Partha Dasgupta, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences. Since he himself was on the Pontifical Academy I wanted to ask him about the oddity of having so many population control advocates at a Vatican conference.

I asked about differences of the attendees at the conference from those involved at the Academy for Life, wondering how the participants at the Academy for Sciences conference reconcile their differences with the Vatican.

'I'm not so sure about all the differences because I'm not an expert on the Vatican,' replied Professor Dasgupta. 'I'm here as a social scientist in the Academy and we speak about common problems that humanity faces. As you observed that is what we're doing. I don't know about differences at all. We come with whatever knowledge we have and we put forward ideas to see how they conform to the evidence. That's it.'

I proposed that one of those differences centered around limiting population growth. I asked if that remained a focus for many of the participants or if they were perhaps moving away from that focus. 'I don't know what you mean. I don't know that there was any discussion on population growth,' Dasgupta replied. Population was not on the agenda, but the issue nevertheless surfaced during a question-and-answer session a few hours later.

When I clarified that I meant historically many of the speakers have been advocates of limiting population, he responded, 'I wouldn't be able to tell you. I wasn't involved in any of that.'

It is interesting to see Prof. Dasgupta's past involvement in what pro-lifers would refer to as population control in light of his comments above.

In 1995 Prof. Dasgupta wrote an article titled, 'The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence.' In this article, he looked for ways to lower the desire of couples to have children. 'The analysis presented here suggests that the way to reduce fertility would be to break the destructive spiral where such a spiral is in operation,' he wrote. 'Because parental demand for children, rather than an unmet need for contraceptives, in great measure explains reproductive behavior in poor countries, we should try to identify policies that would so change the options men and women face that their reasoned choice would be to lower their fertility.'

Nope, no population control here.

Later in the same article he speaks of shifting economic policies so as to give the impression that children are a financial burden to be avoided. 'Providing infrastructural goods, such as cheap fuel and potable water, will reduce the usefulness of extra hands. When a child becomes perceived as expensive, we may finally have a hope of dislodging the rapacious hold of high fertility rates.'

Professor Dasgupta could perhaps be forgiven for forgetting about a single article promoting population control over 20 years ago. However, in 2013, Dasgupta wrote an article for Science Magazine titled, 'Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus.' In the article, Dasgupta argues that population growth is placing an undue burden on available resources, decrying the lack of availability and use of contraception. He says: 'Family planning is not subject to the play of 'free markets'; it is biased by restrictive laws, widespread misinformation, and rules not based on evidence. The unmet need for family planning is substantial.'

Later in the same article he adds, 'When the barriers,' to acquiring contraception, 'are numerous, as in the Philippines, the poor both have more children and a greater unmet need for family planning.'

'The aggregate demand for environmental resources is, in part, a function of humanity's population size,' he wrote. 'Whether world population reachesh 8 billion or 10 billion in 2050 and whether it reaches 15 billion or 17 billion in 2100 will depend on small differences in average family size, which could be highly influenced by rebuilding the focus on family planning.'

Prof. Dasgupta seems not to have changed his views on population control, but he has developed euphemisms to conceal his intentions from the developing nations which would balk at his proposals otherwise.

He explains his vision to LifeSiteNews as nothing controversial at all. 'We are discussing human impact on the biosphere, and that's all,' he said. 'Climate change is a symptom of a problem of over-extraction of the biosphere. I suppose the evidence is pretty compelling that we are and we're trying to find ways to reduce it. To reduce our demand on the biosphere. That seems to me to be uncontroversial.'

Sachs too employs euphemisms to mask his intentions, but has in the past been more forthcoming.

In his 2008 book Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet he promoted legal abortion. 'In countries with legal abortion services, households have a lower-risk and lower-cost option,' he wrote. 'Legalization of abortion reduces a country's [total fertility rate] significantly … and also reduces maternal mortality.'

More recently Sachs was one of the driving forces behind the passage of the Sustainable Development Goals. Target 3.7 of the SDGs explicitly calls for 'universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.' But in order to understand what that means, one has to look at the definition of those terms which were defined at the 1994 Cairo conference to mean providing women with 'modern contraception' for 'family planning' and with 'safe abortion' where it is legal.

[LSN] 2209.3


















CF News / Vatican watch

Cardinal Müller: Amoris Laetitia is not heretical

Card. MullerDR. MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFive : On 9 November, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave yet another interview, in which he continues to try to explain his own position with regard to the current debate about Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. With his new statement, he contradicts the claims of the Filial Correction, which, as summarized on the official website of the effort, 'states that the pope has, by his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, and by other, related, words, deeds and omissions, effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.'

Speaking to the German regional newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse, Cardinal Müller responds to the question as to how it could happen that the pope fell under the suspicion of heresy with the following words:

'One may only speak about heresy when a Catholic insistently denies a revealed doctrine that has been presented by the Church in a binding way. Popes and bishops thus would then be heretical if they present to the faithful that have been entrusted to them a highly authoritative teaching which directly and obviously contradicts the Word of God, Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the heretofore presented dogmatic decisions of the ecumenical councils or of the popes as the supreme teachers of Christianity. That is, without any doubt, not the case with the few passages of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia that have been interpreted in a controversial way. That is what I have tried to show in detail by making use of the binding principles of interpretation of magisterial texts. It can be found in a all-encompassing introduction to a book written by Rocco Buttiglione: Riposte amichevoli ai critici di Amoris Laetitia. [emphasis added]

When later asked once more about Pope Francis’ own position with regard to divorced and 'remarried' couples, the German cardinal responds:

'He [Pope Francis] did not want to shake the foundations of the Catholic Faith or to modernize the teaching of Christ, as if it were old-fashioned. It is about how one can assist, in a pastoral way, those persons who find themselves in very difficult marital situations and who often have tragic conditions in their families, and how one can lead them onto a path of insight, discernment, and conversion [Umkehr], at the end of which there also can be the full reconciliation with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance, and then also the full participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice with the sacramental Communion.' [emphasis added]

Cardinal Müller also explained that one may not look at the pope as a 'man of a political party' who negotiates with other political groups, but, rather, as the 'principle of unity of the whole Church and the guarantor of the truth of the Gospels.' For Cardinal Müller, the current debate is about 'contradictory interpretations of the same magisterial document [AL].' He later adds that 'the unity of the Church will not be obtained by one of the camps eliminating the other camp, but, rather, by dissolving those camps and parties altogether.'

With regard to another controversial topic – namely, the recent papal decision to give more independence to local bishops’ conferences with regard to the translation of liturgical texts – Cardinal Müller makes it clear that 'the last authority, in case of doubt, cannot be with the bishops’ conferences. That would destroy the unity of the Catholic Church in faith, in profession, and in prayer.' Cardinal Müller pointed to the past, saying that in some cases 'translators consulted by the bishops have watered down biblical and liturgical texts.' In this context, the political categories of 'centralization' and 'decentralization' are not to be used, according to Müller.

As we said at the beginning of this report, Cardinal Müller, in this new 9 November interview, indirectly contradicted the claim of the Filial Correction, according to which Pope Francis, with Amoris Laetitia, as well as some related omissions and statements, has spread seven heretical propositions. Professor Paolo Pasqualucci, a retired Professor of Philosophy of Law at the University of Perugia (Italy), who is a signatory of the Filial Correction, has kindly provided us with a personal comment on this report about Cardinal Müller’s new interview. Professor Pasqualucci thus states:

1. The controversy about the ambiguous parts of Amoris Laetitia is not about what Pope Francis intended to do; it is about the exact, objective meaning of what he has written in those ambiguous parts. Given the fact that several bishops and cardinals (and the Pope himself but in a private letter to the Argentinian Episcopate) have interpreted it in a way absolutely contrary to the perennial teaching of the Church on marriage, adultery, etc., while other cardinals and bishops maintain that those same parts must be interpreted according to that perennial teaching – it was perfectly legitimate for some cardinals to respectfully request an official clarification on the part of the Pope himself. Here 'official clarification' means: to issue a magisterial document containing the interpretatio authentica of the said ambiguous parts of AL. The Church is divided, the situation is very serious: the Pope has the duty to answer the Dubia in a way formally relevant; it is a duty inherent to his office, i.e. the office of the Vicar of Christ on earth.

2. Cardinal Müller is right on lamenting the dangers included in giving 'more independence' to local bishops with regard to the translation of liturgical texts. In promoting more local autonomy in this field, Pope Francis is openly acting according to the spirit of the liturgical reforms promoted by Council Vatican II. There’s the rub! we might say. In my humble opinion, there is the core of the present liturgical crisis, its real origin: in the introduction of the new principle of experimentation and creativity in the Liturgy (Const. Sacrosanctum Concilium, art. 22, par. 2; 37-40). Is this new principle in accordance with the Tradition and the teaching of the Church perennial? In other words: until we reach for the roots of the present evils, i.e., until we initiate an open and frank discussion on the ambiguous parts of the pastoral Vatican II, nothing is going to change.


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Humanae Vitae


Dr Philippe Schepens: Humanae Vitae - My testimony as a doctor 

Dr SchepensDr Philippe Schepens, General Secretary of the World Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life
delivered the following talk at 'Humanae Vitae at 50: Setting the Context', Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 28 Oct 2017

AFTER all the fantastic contributions from previous speakers regarding the brilliance, inspired by the Holy Spirit, of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, I would like to share with you my experience as a hospital doctor, former head of a surgical department in a hospital with more than 500 beds.
It all began when I was a medical student at the then Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium).

When I was taking a second doctorate (in the fifth year of my studies) in 1960, I attended a lecture given by Professor Ferin, a gynaecologist, on what he termed the discovery of the century, namely hormonal contraception. This, according to this professor of gynaecology, would 'finally' solve the problem of human overpopulation of the planet and allow women to become mistresses of their own fertility. This was high tribute to the work of Pincus and his experiments with steroid hormones on humans, in this case the young women of Puerto Rico. Some thirty years later, a sad chance led me to spend an evening in the United States with an elderly general practitioner from Puerto Rico, who described in detail the awful fate of these the Puertorican guinea-pigs. He was very happy to be able to recount the story in Spanish, as he still feared to do so in English in view of the risk of repercussions if our conversation, in a small restaurant, was overheard by someone with ill intent.

However, after Professor Ferin’s lecture, I immediately reflected on questions on the matter of the so-called 'medical revolution of the century'. Firstly, several professors teaching us in the doctorate had already recommended caution with regard to the importance of the follow-up of patients who had been given steroid hormones because, they said, these products are not without risk and we do not yet know the long-term effects of these medicines, which certainly influence the development of cancer, the integrity of the cardiovascular system, etc. For this reason, they should be administered in serious cases only where there is no other alternative. I also considered it rash to give these high-risk products to women who are not ill, and therefore in good health, to resolve a problem, birth control, which is not even of a medical nature.

Furthermore, and this is a striking detail, similar steroid hormones have been administered to livestock to produce more meat and fatten cows, a practice rightly prohibited in a number of States in view of the risk of indirect transmission of the drug to the meat consumer. What is banned for livestock is recommended for women. It is scandalous! Hence, 8 years before Humanae Vitae, I already found myself, as a medical student, among the objectors to oral contraception, primarily for purely medical reasons. I must add that, given that I was in the third generation of my family in the medical profession and there were at least a dozen doctors, even a professor of medicine, in my immediate family, I discussed the matter with my father, who shared my ideas in this field.

When the Encyclical Humanae Vitae appeared in the Belgian press in 1968, I was a young doctor fulfilling my military service as a medical assessor of prospective recruits at the military selection centre in Brussels. In total we numbered 20 young doctors. At lunchtime, there was immediate lively discussion of the Encyclical. Of the 20 or so doctors present, half were Catholics, but only two of us defended Humanae Vitae. It is enough to say that the mindsets in question, even those of Catholic doctors, had already been seriously distorted with regard to hormonal contraception.
I then sought the opinion of my father-in-law, a Catholic gynaecologist in Holland and a great expert in detection of the causes of conjugal sterility. His answer was: 'Everyone is saying that Pope Paul VI has taken a step backwards, but in my opinion he has taken two steps forward, and almost no one realises this'.

I was not even in need of the immense support which is Humanae Vitae in order to challenge the use of steroid hormones to avoid having children, given that the multiple medical risks were known and have been confirmed over the years. Moreover, anyone can read about these risks in the leaflets included in boxes of these hormonal contraceptive pills, and indeed on the internet, hence removing the necessity to buy these high-risk products in order to read about the risks, thereby directly contributing to the fabulous enrichment of the pharmaceutical industry which manufactures them. For full details of the well-known adverse effects of oral and other contraception, I refer you to Dr Antun Lisec’s work, included in note form in my presentation and in my own work, when published. The key fact to be remembered, over and above the fact that contraceptive methods can result in the death of the woman, is that these methods can also be abortive, frequently preventing the human embryo, already an individual distinct from its father and its mother and in fact a human person, from implanting in the wall of the uterus. In addition, contraception renders the woman entirely available to the desires of her husband. But the respect due to the sexual act should be immense, because it is a procreative act, hence an act in which man joins with the Creator in the creation of a new human being.

However, the support I have received from Humanae Vitae is the fact that this Encyclical explains with great clarity the true and ultimate purposes of the human sexual relationship. Unlike in the animal kingdom, in addition to the procreative purpose, the human sexual relationship is intended to keep alive the conjugal love between husband and wife through mutual giving. This is why the total separation of the procreative purpose from the purpose of love between husband and wife is contrary to the mission of man on this planet and hence becomes the source of multiple disorders.

This is also typical of a decadent society and, mutandis mutatis, comparable to the practice of gastronomis in the time of ancient Rome. In fact, at that time the Romans entirely separated gastronomy from nutrition, through use of the vomitorium. This enabled them to continue to eat without overloading the stomach. By the same token, the practice of hormonal contraception followed by abortion in the case of error, due either to the method or the user, entirely separates the sexual act from procreation, which is indeed its primary aim as intended by the Creator, in the same way as nutrition is the primary aim of gastronomy. The difference is that abortion is far worse than use of the vomitorium because it deliberately kills a living human being, hence a person, depriving it of the comfort of its parents after birth. It is not I who have said that abortion is in fact an integral part of contraception, but Dr Alan Guttmacher, founder of the medical/scientific division of the IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation). He has declared that 'there cannot be valid contraception without back-up abortion'. The Guttmacher Institute has also found that 'Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant and only 8% had never used contraceptives'.

Going back to the evening I spent with the Puertorican doctor, in addition to explaining all kinds of technical details of the experiments conducted by Pincus, he gave me a staggering account of the suffering of thousands of young women subjected to scandalous experiments, comparable to those conducted by Dr Mengele in Auschwitz. Because Pincus required an accurate assessment of the risks, he therefore administered hormonal doses more than a thousand times greater than the present dosage. The results were more than 'convincing', because hundreds of women suffered the complications indicated in the leaflets in the 'pill' boxes. I will spare you the details, but death was regularly one of these complications, not to mention lifelong disabilities resulting from cerebrovascular accidents. 'Science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul' wrote François Rabelais, a 16th century physician and writer. It was also the ruin of the body for the many women of Puerto Rico, who lost their lives or were left disabled for the rest of their days.

Although practising medicine for many years as head of a surgical department, I have over the years encountered, professionally and otherwise, a significant number of young women suffering from permanent disabilities as a result of a cerebrovascular accident, the cause of which was contraceptive steroid hormones. To render a healthy person disabled as a result of the administration of steroid hormones is the very negation of medicine. 'Primum non nocere', ('first do no harm') has been a fundamental principle of medicine since ancient times. In addition, the administration of a high-risk product to a woman in good health to solve a problem which, in almost all cases, is non-medical, is also not medicine because the physician is then placing himself at the service of the person, not at the service of the health of the person. This is a veritable return of the surgeon to the profession of barber, a return to medicine as it was before Hippocrates, who lived in the fourth century before Jesus Christ.

This opinion was shared by members of the Directorate of the World Federation of Doctors who respect Human Life, an organisation of which I am Secretary-General, with over 400, 000 members in over 70 countries.

Yet the worst of the perversion consists not so much of the actions of the doctors and the persons in good health who ask them to deviate from the very essence of their profession, which is to cure the sick. The worst of the perversion is the fact that a significant proportion of the clergy, including some bishops and cardinals, have objected to the, albeit clear, teaching of the doctrine of the Church promulgated by Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical Humanae Vitae. Corruptio optimorum pessima (corruption of the best is the worst of all). Decadence has affected the Church as it has Western civilisation. Now is the time to react. Of the least known reactions, I cite that of a clergyman in my own country who lives in a religious community in Syria. Father Daniel Maes of the Order of the Premonstratensions or Norbertines, the same order as that of the famous Father Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of Aid to the Church in Need.

From his Syrian hermitage, Father Daniel Maes wrote about his vision on Humanae Vitae in a work extending to 400 pages, alas to date available only in the Dutch language, entitled 'How a Pope is finally right' and subtitled 'New perspectives after a half-century of contraception' (Hoe een Paus gelijk kreeg- Nieuwe perspectieven na een halve eeuw contraceptie- Uitgeverij De Blauwe Tijger'). This is a comprehensive work on the truly false road taken by both medicine and society, into which too many of the clergy have unfortunately strayed.

The alternative offered by Humanae Vitae to couples is, finally, the method of natural birth control. The Encyclical rightly upholds the viewpoint of the prohibition of artificial separation of the sexual act from procreation. This does not prohibit sexual acts outside the woman’s fertile period (a maximum of 6-7 days per month), but reasserts the dignity of the woman, who then has a say in the practice of the sexual act.

But the West, in particular decadent Europe, will pay dearly for this. The reason is that contraception deprives it of its future by rendering couples and other adults irresponsible, not only for their bodies (poisoned by steroid hormones), but as a result of the total separation of the sexual act from procreation, thereby transforming it into a mere act of pleasure without responsibility. Indeed, to guarantee a stable population with a normal age pyramid, the generations which leave us must be replaced with new generations to be born. However, all demographers will tell you that, for this to be achieved, it is necessary for all couples to have at least 2.1 children. Yet the European average is only 1.4 and in Mediterranean Europe even ranges from 1.1 to 1.2. We do not notice this so much because the total population of European countries has remained stable or increased slightly. This is due to the higher individual life expectancy of the elderly and, in particular, immigration from Africa and the Middle East.

I leave you to guess what the European population will be in fifty years time.

In conclusion, I would like to extend my gratitude to the various popes who have tackled the matter of conjugal life in Encyclicals and other works, from the 19th century onwards. I think in particular of Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, not forgetting my wife, who has given me fifty years of happiness, among other things thanks to Humanae Vitae, and Evangelium Vitae.

Dr Philippe Schepens

Rome, 28 October 2017

Extracts from the writings of Dr Antun Lisec:

• The intrauterine device (IUD) kills children. While using the IUD, fertilization occurs, but the IUD does not allow the child to get 'implanted' in the womb and the child usually dies in the first days of its life. The absence of menstrual bleeding means that the child survived and implanted itself. Abortion is not justified or permissible in such cases either.

The IUD causes a healthy woman to become sick (bleeding, the pain, anaemia, suppuration-purulence in the uterus, in the Fallopian tubes and in the abdomen...).

• The Pill is also the cause of many serious diseases such as breast cancer, cancer of the womb, heart attacks, strokes, phlebitis, embolisms etc. While taking each kind of Pill, ovulation and conception still often occurs. However, the baby usually dies from starvation because the Pill dehydrates the glands and decreases the food supply (glycogen) in the endometrium (the lining of the womb). If, while the mother was on the Pill, missed her period, it is an indication the child survived. Remember, abortion is never allowed.

• While taking Depo-Provera, implants, different post-coital means, etc., fertilization also occurs and these methods automatically kill babies. Jesus said: 'Truly, I say to you: whenever you did this to one of the least, of these my brothers, you did it to Me' (Matthew 25:40). The life of a human being starts at the moment of conception. These tiny newly-conceived babies are the 'least' of our brothers and sisters, what we do to them is what we do to Jesus.

• Do not forget that contraception, sterilization, the killing of the unborn children and artificial fertilization when conception takes place without a specific act of conjugal love of his parents (artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization) are mortal sins. It is very rare that children conceived in vitro survive. Most of them are killed or kept alive but frozen in the refrigerators.
Sins are never allowed! Sins are not a solution for any problem, they only bring new problems.
Do not allow and do not participate in early amniocentesis nor in the other prenatal diagnostic procedure which aim at hunting down and killing sick children.

• The Holy Father Pope Pius XI in the Encyclical 'Casti Conubii', in 1930 wrote:
'...56. Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defence of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through Our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.

57. We admonish, therefore priests who hear confessions and others who have the care of souls, in virtue of Our supreme authority and in Our solicitude for the salvation of souls, not to allow the faithful entrusted to them to err regarding this most grave law of God; much more, that they keep themselves immune from such false opinions, in no way conniving in them. If any confessor of pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors, or should at least confirm them by approval or by guilty silence, let him be mindful of the fact that he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for the betrayal of his sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: ‘They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit. (Mt 15,14) ...’'

• These who produce, distribute and advertise the condom, are guilty because of their help in the performance of different sins, such as fornication, adultery, contraception etc. At the same time, they have been offering a false safety that infection will not happen. It’s confirmed that in spite of the use of the condom the transmission of diseases like AIDS, Human Papyloma Virus causing cancer of the uterus, Chlamydia Trachomatis, Herpes Genitalis, Syphilis, Hepatitis and different other diseases still happens.

• The Pontifical Council for the Family’s Document, The Truth and the Meaning of Human Sexuality, from 1995, says in paragraph 139: '... In this situation, parents must also reject the promotion of so-called 'safe sex' or 'safer sex', a dangerous and immoral policy based on the deluded theory that the condom can provide adequate protection against AIDS. Parents must insist on continence outside marriage and fidelity in marriage as the only true and secure education for the prevention of this contagious disease'.

• Let us respect the fact that human sexuality may not be used outside of a marriage blessed by God, which is indissoluble.

When there is a serious and justifiable reason to avoid conception, there is a solution without sin. There are natural methods which requires abstinence during the fertile part of a woman’s cycle (the Billings or Sympto-Thermal methods).

Pray to God to show us what more we can do to protect endangered lives and moral values.

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United Nations

UN logo


President Trump blocks international support for abortion groups at G7 Meeting

STEFANO GENNARINI, J.D.., reports : 'The Trump administration is blocking political and financial support for abortion groups in the highest echelons of international diplomacy, including the most recent G7 and G20 meetings.

Health ministers from the seven largest economies in the world could not agree on language about 'sexual and reproductive health' in a document about global health priorities and climate change negotiated last weekend in Milan.

The final G7 communique from the ministerial meeting did not use the preferred terminology of the abortion industry, instead offering support of UN efforts to strengthen maternal and child health. G20 agreements this summer also excluded the term.

'U.S. negotiators spent the past week steadfastly blocking all attempts to reach a compromise,' left-leaning online news source Buzzfeed reported, sounding a note of alarm on Sunday afternoon as negotiations drew to a close. The article cited anonymous negotiators who called the U.S. position 'extreme.'

The U.S. proposed compromise language during negotiations asking to qualify the term 'sexual and reproductive health' by reference to UN agreements that explicitly deny abortion is an international right. In the end, it was negotiators from Canada and Europe who wanted no mention at all of 'sexual and reproductive health,' preferring deletion to qualifying the term to exclude abortion rights.

'Sexual and reproductive health' has long been controversial in international negotiations. The term is defined as including abortion in UN agreements, global health literature, and national and international court cases from around the world. So weary of the phrase, more than 60 UN delegations made reservations about the use of term when the UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, including the Holy See.

Since the 1990s, the use of the term in international agreements has allowed groups that perform and promote abortion to receive international political and financial support alongside groups involved in maternal health, family planning, and STD treatment and prevention. In programming, its broadness is used to lump all such issues together in an integrated framework that appears uncontroversial.

In international agreements, its opaqueness is used to conceal controversial content such as abortion. This undermines U.S. Law and Foreign Policy by channeling U.S. taxpayer funds to abortion groups and giving them political backing through multilateral aid. The term is also controversial because of attempts to create an international human right to abortion through customary international law.

The G7 health agreement offered support for the initiative of the UN Secretary General called the 'Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescent’s Health,' even though the UN bureaucracy approach to global health is problematic from a pro-life standpoint. The last report of this initiative promotes access to abortion and powerful contraceptive drugs for young girls without parental notification or consent as a part of a 'rights-based approach' to 'sexual and reproductive health.'

Longtime abortion advocate and former Prime Minister of Finland Tarja Halonen said the 'realization of human rights in the context of sexual and reproductive health, including access to safe abortion' was under 'direct attack.' She made the remark when presenting a report at UN headquarters in Geneva soon after the launch of the 'She Decides' campaign against President Trumps’ pro-life foreign policy. UN officials from the secretariat, the World Health Organization, and UN Women are among the leaders of the campaign.

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News from around the world



Canada Catholic agency denies adoption to couple who hold Christian view of sexuality

A CHRISTIAN COUPLE in the Canadian province of Alberta have been told by local Catholic Social Services and the provincial government that they are unfit to adopt children because they accept Biblical teaching regarding the immorality of homosexual acts, according to their attorneys at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

The married couple, whose initials are given as 'C.D. and N.D,' have filed a civil suit against the province alleging religious discrimination, and calling the decision to reject their candidacy for adoption 'unreasonable and void by virtue of arbitrariness, bias, bad faith, as well as breaches of procedural fairness and natural justice.'

They ask that a declaration be made that 'the decision to deny adoption violates sections 2(a) and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Alberta Human Rights Act,' and that they be permitted to become adoptive parents, according to the Justice Centre.

The Justice Centre reports that the couple submitted an application to adopt a child with the province’s Child and Family Services in October of last year. The province assigned their case to Catholic Social Services in Edmonton, which reviewed the couple psychologically, financially, and economically, and recommended that they be approved for adoption.

However, in March of this year, Catholic Social Services informed the couple that the province’s Child and Family Services had additional questions regarding their beliefs about homosexuality, in light of the fact that they are Evangelical Christians. The couple 'reiterated their commitment to treating any child in their care with unconditional love, respect, and compassion regardless of what the child chose to do, and regardless of the child’s sexual orientation or behavior,' in the words of the Justice Centre.

Despite this assurance, Catholic Social Services informed them that they would reverse their recommendation to approve the couple for adoption, because they wouldn’t be able to 'help' a child who 'has sexual identity issues.' In May, the couple was informed by Alberta’s Child and Family Services that they would not be approved because they 'reject' LGBT children, and that this is the 'official position of the Alberta government.'

'Making determinations about who is suitable to adopt on the basis of their sincere religious beliefs violates this couple’s right to religious freedom and equality under the law as guaranteed in the Charter and in Alberta’s own Bill of Rights and Human Rights Act,' said Justice Centre president John Carpay in a press release.

'If left to stand, this decision would have grave consequences for the freedoms of all Canadians, not to mention adverse consequences for the many children who will never be adopted if the government continues with this discrimination,' he added.

Catholic Social Services told LifeSite, 'We are currently working with Child and Family Services to address the concerns that have been raised.' However, the agency has not yet responded to questions seeking verification or denial of the accusations made against them.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual unions are 'intrinsically disordered' and 'contrary to the natural law,' and adds that 'under no circumstances can they be approved.' Moreover, the Holy See’s 2003 instruction on homosexual unions declares that 'all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.' The Bible repeatedly condemns homosexual behavior as a grave sin.


RELATED: Liberals now claim Christian parents are dangerous.
This is an existential threat we can’t ignore


JONATHON VAN MAREN writes for LifeSiteNews : 'Over the past two decades, it has slowly dawned on Christians that the implications of same-sex 'marriage' are far greater for those who still believe in the traditional understanding of marriage than even the cynics first thought possible. The politicians, the academics, and the media have reached the collective conclusion that if gay 'marriage' is a civil right, those who oppose it are not simply dissenters holding to a two-thousand-year-old tradition, but ugly bigots who deserve to be marginalized for their discriminatory views. Thus, 'live and let live' turned into 'you will be forced to participate and approve,' with bakers, florists, property owners, and adoption agencies finding themselves to be the targets of gay activists who show a shocking ruthlessness in their enthusiasm for prosecuting supposed thought crimes.

None of this will be news to most of you, but the impact of radical reinvention of our social structures is beginning to impact Christian communities in ways that are striking even closer to home. There is the fact that public schools across Canada (and many places in the United States) are beginning to implement sex education that runs directly contrary to the beliefs of many traditionalist communities—and governments are beginning to eye Christian and private schools as unwelcome havens of dissenting thought and education. And worse: Christian parents and foster parents are increasingly finding themselves 'disqualified' from adopting children or taking children into their homes because of their views.

I’ve spoken to many prospective parents and foster parents over the last several years who were either overtly rejected as a result of their views on sexuality, or otherwise found that they were suddenly and abruptly rejected when their views were made known. Often, direct questions are put to Christian parents to find out if they still hold to Christian principles, with the obvious insinuation that answers not fitting with the current progressive ideology will render them unfit to care for children.

Considering the massive shortage of willing foster parents across Canada, this is a rather shocking and blunt move on the part of those in charge of the process: Essentially, Christian parents are being told that their views render them so dangerous that it is better that children desperate for a loving home are still shuffled from place to place rather than come into contact with views that were nearly universal only short decades ago. Such stories are now just beginning to surface in the mainstream media, with an Edmonton, Alberta couple being the latest example. From Canada’s national broadcaster:

An evangelical Christian couple is accusing Alberta of discrimination, claiming their application to adopt a child was rejected over their religious views on gay marriage and homosexuality. The Edmonton married couple say they submitted their application last year and passed a required course for potential adoptive parents.

But during a followup by officials this year, the couple say they ran into trouble when they answered questions about sexuality. The couple say they accept that same-sex marriage is a legal reality, but they don't support it and believe that homosexuality is wrong.

'The casework supervisor explained that our religious beliefs regarding sexuality were incompatible with the adoption process,' says an affidavit filed in support of an application for a judicial review of the government's decision.

'The casework supervisor said this stance was the 'official position of the Alberta government.' '

The couple said they were also asked how they would deal with a child who was questioning his or her sexuality. They told officials that children should be taught that sexuality should not be experienced or explored until a person is an adult and is married. The couple, who aren't named in the legal documents, said they treat all people with respect and their views on sexuality would have no bearing on their ability to provide a loving, secure and happy home to a child. They said they never dreamed they would be disqualified from helping children in need because of their religious beliefs.

You’ll notice that the initial myths propagated by those who advocated for the reinvention of marriage are crumbling away. The government does not take a neutral position—after all, it is not only evangelicals who hold to a traditional understanding of marriage. Sikhs, Muslims, mainstream Mormons, Catholics, and Orthodox Jews also reject the progressive reinvention of marriage. Of course, it is so far only Catholics and evangelicals who have found themselves in the crosshairs, and so politicians feel perfectly comfortable smearing and bashing these communities as bigots without feeling as if they are undermining their vacuous virtue-signalling on multiculturalism and immigration. There is now an official 'government position,' and those who do not hold it are rapidly becoming second-class citizens.

As I mentioned, I’ve heard many versions of this story over the past several years, and I expect that this will only increase in the coming years. But what is important for Christians to note here is that they are being demonized in a very, very dangerous way. The government’s rejection of Christian homes as loving environments for children is an implicit statement: They are stating that Christians are not fit to raise children—because they are Christian. This is why provincial governments across Canada are making moves to force Christian schools to change thousands of years of doctrine, and this is why Christians must be alert and aware of what is taking place, and engaged in the political process.

After all, if Christian parents are deemed unfit to care for children with nowhere else to go, how long will it be before the government decides that they are unfit to care for any children? What if they decide that any educational institution or homeschooling group that does not adhere to the 'government position' can no longer be entrusted with children? What if they decide that parents who hold to Christian principles are damaging their own children because of those principles?

Listen closely to the rhetoric that is being used, and look carefully at the justification politicians like Alberta Premier Rachel Notley are using to make it illegal for parents to be told what their children are doing while at school in the care of government employees. They are already making the case that Christian parents are dangerous. And that, for Christian parents and their children, could turn into an existential threat. It is time that communities that still believe parents have the right to educate their children and pass on their own values to stand up and pay attention. If we don’t, things could get even worse very quickly.

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CF News / World news

Germany High Court recognises third gender

DAVID NUSSMAN reports for ChurchMilitant.com : 'Germany's highest court ruled on Wednesday that birth certificates must be modified to allow for a third gender.

The Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the government must recognize a third gender alongside male and female. This third option will likely be listed as either 'various' or 'inter.'

This third gender category is meant to accommodate persons with various biological conditions which in the view of some seem to blur the line between male and female.

Some fear that this ruling could be used to chip away at the complementarity of the sexes - already so threatened by homosexuality, transgenderism, divorce, contraception and other aspects of the sexual revolution's fallout.

LGBTQ activists are celebrating the German court's decision. They perceive it as helping to dismantle the traditional belief that there are only two sexes, male and female.

The term 'intersex' refers to a whole host of hormonal, chromosomal and anatomical disorders, ranging from an abnormal number of sex chromosomes, minor bodily features resembling the opposite sex, certain kinds of infertility, oddly-shaped and oddly-sized organs, dysfunctional organs, the absence of some organs, having organs from both sexes and having female organs despite male (XY) chromosomes.

Activist groups often use these unusual conditions to subvert the traditional understanding of gender as either male or female. They construct three kinds of intersex, based on what gender the person chooses to make their own: male intersex, female intersex and non-binary intersex.

Answering the intersex question in debate can thus be very difficult, as it's actually answering a dozen or more separate questions.

In the past, some of the conditions today labelled 'intersex' were often addressed during infancy with surgery and/or hormonal therapy.

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CF News / World news

Germany Archdiocese promotes fornication, abortion, to 15-year-old girls

GERMAN CATHOLICS are protesting a program endorsed personally by the archbishop of Berlin that gives 'practical tips' to Catholic sex educators on how to teach children about their 'sexual rights,' advising them that adult sex with a minor is permitted, as long as it's 'consensual,' and outlining the process of obtaining an abortion.

The program also seeks to eliminate 'taboos, prejudices,' and 'stereotypes' regarding various forms of sexual deviation, including homosexual behavior and masturbation, treating such impulses as part of a person's identity. At the same time, it seeks to resolve the 'tension' between such behaviors and the Catholic Church's 'official' doctrines on human sexuality.

'A church that tries to impose people's opinions today is crazy,' writes Berlin archbishop Heiner Koch in his introduction to the program. 'We need to take note of the diversity of ideas about sexuality in our society. However, in the company of young people, we also need to be in a position to make a profound statement that the Christian faith and its image of man can free themselves to self-realization, to true relationship and intimacy.'

The program's 'Practical tips for the use of methods in sexual pedagogical work with youth groups,' posted on the archdiocesan website, addresses the question, 'When is it normal to have sex?' It gives a list of hypothetical 'situations' regarding minors involved in out-of-wedlock sexual activity and then provides 'answers' to those situations regarding the minors right' to engage in the behavior. Catholic doctrine on sexual morality in the document is left unmentioned.

In hypothetical 'Situation 2' a 22-year-old man has a 15-year-old girlfriend with whom he wishes to have sexual relations. The archdiocese writes, 'In principle, persons of legal age may sleep with minors, provided it is consensual sexual acts/intercourse. It gets difficult, however, whenever sexual acts or intercourse are forced.'

In 'Situation 6,' a girl named 'Milena' has an 'unwanted pregnancy.' While the document discusses options for receiving state support for her as an unwed mother, or for adopting, it adds, 'In the context of pregnancy conflict counseling Milena can be advised on the possibility of abortion.'

'In the consultation, the father of the expected child or even her parents can be present if she so wishes. She even has to show that she took part in a consultation should she decide to terminate. In the consultation, the father of the expected child or even her parents can be present if she so wishes. No matter how Milena decides, she can get advice and has the right to psychological support,' the document continues.

The 'tips' even explain how minors can obtain contraceptives without their parents finding out, and implies that those under 14 years of age can obtain contraceptives to facilitate their sexual activity, despite the fact that it is illegal.

In 'Situation 5,' readers are told, 'Laura (15) would like to sleep with her boyfriend and considers different contraceptives.' However, she's afraid her parents will find out. The archdiocese notes that, as 'Laura' is under 16 years of age, her doctor can inform her parents that she wants oral contraceptives. However, 'Laura' can 'try to convince the doctor that she is mature enough to make that decision.'

The archdiocese notes that 'for under-14s it will be difficult to get a prescription for contraceptives since intercourse for under-14s is prohibited by law.' However, it adds that 'in principle, adolescents can buy over-the-counter cbontraceptives such as condoms and a diaphragm at any pharmacy. If you are uncomfortable asking for it in a pharmacy, you can also buy condoms anonymously in a drugstore.'

Other 'situations' include teenage girls in lesbian relationships and a boy who wants to be tested for venereal diseases without being detected by his parents. Both are within the legal 'rights' of minors, the archdiocese states.

German Catholics respond with a petition

A group of German Catholics outraged by the archbishop's apparent endorsement of pro-abortion materials has organized a petition to ask him to remove them from the archdiocesan website, entitled 'The Archdiocese of Berlin should finally stop giving teens tips on abortion!'

'Incomprehensible! The Archdiocese of Berlin gives 15-year-old pregnant women tips on how to kill their child. . . . This exposes the archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, as a follower of the feminist pro-choice ideology, which gives the right to life of unborn children to the arbitrariness of their mothers. Pro-Choice is not opinion, but murder!'

The petitioners ask the archbishop to 'take the unspeakable abortion tips immediately from the website of the Archdiocese of Berlin. The church has the right to defend the right to life of the unborn and a moral obligation to act as the protective power of innocent children in public.'

However, the petitioners make no mention of other material on the site that normalizes and legitimizes out-of-wedlock and homosexual sex acts.

Archbishop seeks 'conversation' with adolescents about their values

The materials were originally presented by the Archdiocese of Berlin at a conference called 'In 'Freedom and Responsibility': Sex Education Work in Catholic Institutions' in February of 2016.

According to Archbishop Heiner Koch, the conference sought to 'trace the tensions between Catholic sexual morality, one's own attitude, life-world and the sexual pedagogical requirements in the workplace and to get into conversation about it.'

'Abortion, Homosexuality, Masturbation: The spectrum on the topic of 'sex' is as far-reaching in Catholic education and care facilities for children and adolescents as society dictates,' states the archdiocese on its webpage regarding the event, 'But the taboos are also big, as educators and social workers admitted at a conference.' Conference materials seek to help adolescents clarify their own values in a dialogical manner.

Archbishop responds to complaints, but protesters not satisfied

Following an outcry from German Catholics over the abortion 'tips' given in 'Situation 6,' the archbishop ordered a paragraph be added to that section noting that it is 'difficult' to teach about the law 'completely detached from moral issues,' and that the 'ecclesiastical context offers the topic of 'protection of life.'' According to the archbishop, this makes it 'clear' that Christian values are to be taught along with the material. Other statements were added affirming that girls can't be pressured to have abortions.

However, the petitioners were not satisfied with archbishop's response. 'The document still states (supplemented by a few remarks): 'Even girls under the age of 18 have the opportunity in principle to be able to terminate a pregnancy without penalty in the first twelve weeks. (...) No matter how Milena decides, she can seek advice and has the right to psychological support .''

'Unfortunately, this is only a half-hearted appeasement by the archdiocese, but not a true commitment to a culture of life!' add the petitioners. 'We must therefore maintain our protest and continue to apply pressure. The document should completely disappear from the site of the archdiocese!'

The material represents a long-established tendency of extreme laxity regarding sexual morals among German-speaking Catholic clergy and laity. German-speaking bishops, Such as Walter Kasper and Christoph Schönborn, have provided the principal impetus for the acceptance of adulterous second marriages in the Catholic Church. The permanent council of the German bishops' conference has approved giving Holy Communion to those who are living in such marriages.

In recent years the German bishops, in particular, have promoted the notion of 'diverse family types' and have even published an article defending same-sex 'marriage.' Some German bishops, however, are resisting this tendency.

[LSN] 2209.5





















CF News / World news

Ireland Dissident priests say ‘Bishops are spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits'

MEMBERS of a liberal priests' group are calling some Irish bishops names after claiming their views are not being respected.  

At a meeting of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), a group of dissident priests, Abbott Patrick Herndon asked the priests to stop calling bishops 'spineless nerds and sycophantic half-wits,' claiming that type of language is not helping their cause, adding 'even the most junior politician and unseasoned diplomat would tell them that they are going about it the wrong way.'

The priests are complaining that Irish bishops have 'a clear lack of leadership,' adding that they believe they are 'reluctant to follow the example of Pope Francis.' 

The group also discussed the increasing pressures of being a priest in Ireland, claiming that mental illness and depression are claiming some of them due to overwork and increasing isolation. In the last 10 years eight Irish priests have committed suicide.

The ACP's founder, Fr. Tony Flannery, has been censured by the Vatican over his promotion of women priests. He is refusing, however, to recant his position.

Flannery told The New York Times, he will not be 'terrified into submission,' going further to add, 'If I signed this, it would be a betrayal not only of myself but of my fellow priests and lay Catholics who want change.'

The ACP advocates for many practices violating the doctrine, tradition and discipline of the Catholic Church, including married priests, the ordination of women to the priesthood and the diaconate, calling for the 'redesigning of Ministry in the Church, in order to incorporate the gifts, wisdom and expertise of the entire faith community, male and female.'

Their constitutions also call for the 're-evaluation' of Church teaching on sexual morality, 'inclusive' liturgical celebrations and the '[f]ull acceptance that the Spirit speaks through all people, including those of faiths other than Christian and those of no religious faith, so that the breath of the Spirit will flow more freely.'

The Catholic Herald commented members of the ACP tend to be 'rather elderly' and its proposals 'are largely the same ideas that were fashionable in the 1970s and that have failed to breathe new life into the Church across much of Europe.'

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CF News / World news

UK (Scotland)  Government plans to allow children to legally 'choose gender'

BREITBART reports : The Scottish government has been warned that plans to let children legally ‘change gender’ amount to 'state-sponsored child abuse'.

The proposal was among a raft of reforms to the 'out-of-date' UK Gender Recognition Act 2004 unveiled by Equalities secretary Angela Constance on Thursday, including giving legal recognition for ‘non-binary’ people — individuals who claim they ‘identify’ as neither male nor female.

Ms. Constance said: 'Scotland rightly has a reputation as one of the most progressive countries in relation to LGBTI legal and human rights equality in Europe — but we need to do more to progress equality for trans people.'

For Scots who want to change gender, ministers want to replace the 'intrusive and onerous' current rules — which see applicants required to provide a medical diagnosis, and to have lived as their chosen gender for two years — with a ‘self-declaration’ system.

This would enable people wishing to legally change their gender to do so by signing a statutory declaration. While ministers back lowering the age at which it is possible to apply for a sex change from 18 to 16, the consultation is also looking at plans to allow under-16s to legally 'reassign' their gender.

Options under consideration by the government, on whether to allow children to apply to change their gender, include a court application by their parents or on their own behalf if they are judged to have 'sufficient capacity'.

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CF News / World news

United Kingdom Mother's message to Parliament: My daughter wouldn't be alive today if MPs pushing buffer zones had their way

A MOTHER'S testimony of how she was helped by pro-life counsellors outside an abortion clinic was read out in Parliament this week. Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, delivered the testimony of 'Kate', during a debate led by Rupa Huq MP on public order legislation outside 'family planning clinics'.

Since the decision by Ealing council to try and impose a public spaces protection order (PSPO) around the Marie Stopes centre in Mattock Lane, Dr Huq has been campaigning for nationwide legislation, claiming that pro-life groups outside abortion clinics 'harass' women. However, the testimony from 'Kate' illustrates how untrue these assertions are, and how vital it is that women are allowed access to alternative choices.

'I leapt out of the window'

'I never wanted to go through with an abortion but I felt a lot of pressure from people around me who offered it as a no brainer solution,' the testimony began. 'On the way into the clinic at the Marie Stopes clinic at Ealing I was offered a leaflet by a woman who I spoke to briefly. She just told me she was there if I needed her.' Still not happy with being there for an abortion, Kate 'leapt out of the ground floor window and cleared 3 fences to escape. I talked to the woman on the gate again, who offered any support I needed to keep my baby and this gave me the confidence to leave where I was supported by the group that this women worked with.'

What would women like me do?

She didn't find any aggression from the pro-lifers outside the clinic, but was given help to keep her daughter. Her story ended with a powerful message to MPs: 'The potential introduction of buffer zones is a really bad idea because women like me, what would they do then? You know, not every woman that walks into those clinics actually wants to go through with the termination. There's immense pressure, maybe they don't have financial means to support themselves or their baby, or they feel like there's no alternatives. These people offer alternatives.

'I had my baby who is now three and a half years old. She's an amazing, perfect little girl and the love of my life. I want MPs here today calling to introduce buffer zones to realise, that she would not be alive today, if they had their way.'

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CF News / World news

United Kingdom Ordinariate head was 'excluded from Reformation events'

THE CATHOLIC HERALD reports : 'The head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was snubbed from last week's ecumenical commemorations of the Reformation, a leading Ordinariate priest has said.

In a letter to the Catholic Herald, Fr Ed Tomlinson asks why Mgr Keith Newton, who serves as ordinary of the group for former Anglicans, was not invited to be 'part of the numerous 'reformation celebrations' taking part in the ecumenical landscape this week'.

Fr Tomlinson also wants to know why Mgr Newton had not been asked 'to join the ARCIC [Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission] conversations despite his obvious importance as a former bishop of the Church of England now leading a body, the ordinariate, whose entire purpose is to enable Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining a distinctly English spirituality/patrimony'.

In the six years since the creation of the ordinariate, Fr Tomlinson says, 'we have been routinely undermined by those in authority over us. Not a single church has been gifted to the ordinariate despite several closing each month. Why are so many of our clergy used to plug diocesan gaps instead of being enabled to flourish within the vision to which we were called?'

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CF News / World news

United Kingdom Government discriminates against Christian refugees from Syria

THE UK government and the UN are discriminating against Christians and other minorities in their refugee programmes according to new Home Office statistics, seen by Barnabas Aid an aid agency which works for persecuted Christians.

Barnabas Aid has obtained figures proving that the UN has only recommended tiny token numbers of Syrian Christians, Yazidis and other minorities for resettlement in the UK. The overwhelming majority of refugees recommended by the UN have been Sunni Muslims

This gross neglect of peaceful Christians and other minorities has been long discussed, but without any steps being taken to remedy the injustice. Instead, the UK and other Western nations have turned their backs on the most needy groups, who are not only victims of war, but have been persecuted at the hands of jihadists.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, declared that 'politically correct officials were institutionally biased against Christian refugees' in the UK; in the U.S., of the 10,801 Syrian refugees who came to the US under Obama in 2016, only 56 were Christian.

Trump once promised that the US would prioritize Christian refugees, but to date, there has been no follow-up.

Most disturbing about the UK was that ' UK officials tried to prevent the release of this information' about its discrimination against Christian refugees, but 'Barnabas Aid submitted a freedom of Information request to the UK Home Office' and discovered the ugly truth.

Christians have been abandoned, not only by Western governments but also by the largest Christian organizations globally, which have remained strangely silent. Even the Pope promised to take in Christian refugees in Italy, but then took only Muslims instead; he even called Muslim migrants 'warriors of hope'.

Vice President Pence recently offered some hope in a speech when he announced that President Trump had ordered the State Department to stop funding UN relief efforts and 'support directly persecuted communities through USAID.' Results are now awaited.

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CF News / World news

United States Jesuit University's newspaper backs student prostitutes

AN ARTICLE in the student newspaper of the Jesuit University Georgetown, Washington D.C., shows support for Georgetown students who prostitute themselves for money or gifts, The Cardinal Newman Society writes.

The student paper article expresses hope that prostitution will be legalized to help these students.

Darrel Harb comments underneath the article, 'Hey America's oldest Catholic university, let's form a cheer squad for trans prostitutes!'

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CF News / World news

United States Trump Administration to focus on 'Abstinence' programs for teens

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is putting $10 million into federal programs promoting abstinence in teen pregnancy prevention programs.

In July, the Trump administration announced it is taking away over $200 million from the Obama administration's teen sex education programs which mostly promoted abortion, artificial contraception and LGBT ideology.

The program, called sexual risk avoidance (SRA), is a more 'holistic' approach to helping teenagers to make better decisions regarding sex.

Valerie Huber, a national 'abstinence' advocate, was appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) in June. Telling Focus on the Family about SRA, she commented, 'They contextualize a whole battery of different topics that surround a young person's decision whether to have sex or not. Rather than someone telling a young person, 'Do this, don't do that,' it's casting a vision for a young person's future.'

Progressive liberals, and especially organizations like Planned Parenthood, are complaining abstinence programs don't work, alleging they promote 'a sex-shaming 'values' agenda put forward by members of Congress who are opposed to sex education.'

Planned Parenthood's own sex-ed program, however, has been found to be ineffective and includes topics many people find troubling.

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CF News / World news

International gloria.tv.news



[gloria.tv] 2209.8



















CF News / World news

International Some jihad headlines of the week


Egypt : Muslim lawyer: It is a 'national duty' to rape girls who wear revealing clothes

France: Nine arrested as jihad massacre is thwarted in Nice

Spain : Screaming 'Allahu akbar', man breaks into school, says he'll slaughter children 'like lambs'

USA: 800 school websites hacked with 'I love Islamic State,' Islamic profession of faith


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CF News / World news


International The Prophet Voris




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CF News / World news


International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



[EWTN] 2209.11
























Newman on the idea of the University

Saint Saviour's Symposium : Dr. Angelo Bottone on Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman's 'An the idea of the University', especially in relation to the time Newman was in Dublin to setup the Catholic University.



[Irish Dominicans] 2209.12


























A journalist's perspective

JOHN-HENRY WESTEN, co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com delivered the following address -- The Subversion of the Magisterium -- at 'Humanae Vitae at 50: Setting the Context', Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 28 October 20-17

J-H WestenFROM the perspective of a journalist, the world is experiencing a revolution in the Catholic Church. The secular media have been speaking about a monumental change in Catholic teaching on morality, particularly sexual morality already for nearly four years. Already in 2013 countless headlines spoke of the Pope's admonition to not to speak of 'abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods' all the time. The new 'who am I to judge' attitude regarding homosexuality was bolstered by the images of embracing homosexual and transgender couples.

A new openness or merciful outreach was witnessed and lauded by the media. Praise for abortionists such as Emma Bonino and speaking invitations to historical enemies of the faith - population control advocates who loudly proclaimed the Church's teachings against birth control akin to terrorism, now praising the Church for its openness to dialogue.

Some have attempted to understand these measures within a traditional framework by supposing that in meeting with public sinners as did Christ the point is to call them to the truth. However even in that pursuit the evidence does not permit the comforting hypothesis. Public testimony evidences no such call to conversion.

It is an interesting question to ponder how this situation is influencing the perception of the Catholic Church in the world today. More important however is the effect this state of affairs is having on the faithful. I can tell you personally it is affecting the faith of children, and also of fervent Catholics.

On June 16, last year Pope Francis was speaking to priests in Rome when he spoke of cohabitation as 'real marriage'. Reports of his words spread across the globe like wildfire. He said:

'In Argentina's northeast countryside, couples have a child and live together. They have a civil wedding when the child goes to school, and when they become grandparents they 'get married religiously.''

'It's a superstition, because marriage frightens the husband. It's a superstition we have to overcome,' the Pope said. 'I've seen a lot of fidelity in these cohabitations, and I am sure that this is a real marriage, they have the grace of a real marriage because of their fidelity.'

My daughter who was 20 at the time and away at college called me to ask if it was true that the Pope had said cohabitation is real marriage. And I've asked several Cardinals since if I should have lied to my daughter.

A Monsignor friend revealed to me another anecdote demonstrating the monumental shift we are currently experiencing. He told me that the little old ladies were confused. The little old ladies are known throughout the West as those heroic elderly women that run most parishes. They do the bake sales, they are the ones who take most of the adoration hours and rosary vigils, they decorate and clean, and care for the parishes in most smaller churches. It was these ladies, in this modernist culture the most faithful of Catholics, of whom my monsignor friend was speaking.

He revealed that at one meeting with them he found they were confused about what was always considered unchangeable teaching in the Church. They were discussing homosexuality and suggested that while some used to pray with sorrow for their children and grandchildren in homosexual relationships they were now relieved of their concern. Who are we to judge?

But most instructive has been the shift in prelates, not any prelates mind you - that of the likes of the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Cardinal Marc Ouellet was, before the publication of Amoris Laetitia, opposed to the giving of Holy Communion to remarried Catholics. He wrote a book outlining his position in line with Familiaris Consortio and the constant teaching of the Church. But only last month in a talk to Canadian bishops the Cardinal reversed his position. The exhortation he said 'may open a door' for civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion. He said that some saw in the Pope's teaching 'the good news of an openness.'

On the main subject of Humanae Vitae we have seen a seismic shift in the last few years. Rather than an affirmation of the central truth of the encyclical - the intrinsic evil of contraception - has come in it's 50th anniversary an apparent attempt to reinterpret the document along the lines of Amoris Laetitia in that in hard cases, resort to artificial contraception becomes not a matter of engaging in intrinsic evil but a matter of conscience.

Some of you will have heard of the study group that has been given exclusive access to the Secret Archives of the Vatican in order to perform a historical-critical analysis of Humanae Vitae for it's 50th anniversary we commemorate in 2018.

The study group composed of Fr. Marengo, a Professor at the John Paul II Institute, Pierangelo Sequeri, president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute, Philippe Chenaux, a professor of Church history at the Pontifical Lateran University, and Angelo Maffeis, president of the Paul VI Institute of Brescia.

We all know that biased researchers can make from historical-critical analyses all types of doubts as has already been done with the Scriptures themselves. Prof. Marengo has revealed his bias in favor of a particular reading of Humanae Vitae. In article for Vatican Insider called 'Humanae Vitae and Amoris Laetitia,' he compared the Church's condemnation of birth control to today's debate over communion for adulterers.

In the article, Fr. Marengo uses the reasoning of Amoris Laetitia applying it to the use of birth control. 'Every time the Christian community falls into error and proposes models of life derived from too abstract and artificially constructed theological ideals, it conceives its pastoral action as the schematic application of a doctrinal paradigm,' he said.

Only last weekend a series of lectures at the Gregorian University was launched which threaten to undermine the Church's teaching. One of the organizers is Argentine Jesuit Father Miguel Yanez who teaches theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and is a close friend of Pope Francis, said contraception is not the basis of Humanae Vitae, and there are 'many problems' that have emerged over the past 50 years. In May 2015, Father Yanez took part in the 'secret synod' at the Gregorian, during which a number of theologians sought to sway the synod on the family to accept same-sex unions, dispense with the term 'intrinsically evil.'

Pope Francis himself indicated already in 2014 that he intended a reinterpretation of Humane Vitae. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis was specifically asked about 'tak[ing] up again the topic of birth control' half a century after the publication of Humanae Vitae. 'Your confrere, Cardinal [Carlo Maria] Martini [the late Archbishop of Milan] believed it was now time,' said the interviewer.

'It all depends on how the text of 'Humanae Vitae' is interpreted,' responded Pope Francis. 'Paul VI himself, towards the end, recommended to confessors much mercy and attention to concrete situations.' He added, 'The object is not to change the doctrine, but it is a matter of going into the issue in depth and to ensure that the pastoral ministry takes into account the situations of each person and what that person can do.'

In statement to the press, the Holy Father himself has said things that seem to contradict Humanae Vitae almost verbatim, claiming that contraception can be justified as a lesser evil.

In February 2016, while on the papal plane, the pope was asked about the dangers of the Zika virus, which has been blamed for a rash of fetal deformity cases in Latin America. 'As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of 'the lesser of two evils?'' a reporter asked.

Pope Francis responded by insisting that abortion can never be justified, but added: 'On the 'lesser evil,' avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment... avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one… it was clear.'

The statements from Pope Francis were of great interest to journalists since they seemed to contradict former Church teaching. Journalists, including LifeSiteNews sought clarification from the Vatican Press office which confirmed the statement. 'The contraceptive or condom, in particular cases of emergency or gravity, could be the object of discernment in a serious case of conscience,' Fr. Lombardi told Vatican Radio. 'This is what the Pope said.'

Fr. Lombardi added that the pope was speaking of 'the possibility of taking recourse to contraception or condoms in cases of emergency or special situations. He is not saying that this possibility is accepted without discernment, indeed, he said clearly that it can be considered in cases of special urgency.'

We recall paragraph 14 of Humanae Vitae where Paul VI condemns contraception. He wrote: 'excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation-whether as an end or as a means.'

In fact Pope Paul VI, who we've already heard was prophetic in his predictions of what would happen if contraception were permitted, seems to have anticipated the argument regarding a lesser evil.

Humanae Vitae reads: 'Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one.... Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it -in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general.'

At the beginning of our proceedings Cardinal Brandmüller reminded us that while Humanae Vitae put an end, in doctrinal terms, to disputes over the lawfulness of artificial contraception, it nevertheless 'triggered a fierce storm of protest within the Church.' 'A number of Catholic theologians,' he said, endorsed the position contrary to the Church.

Cardinal Brandmüller laid out the process of parodosis - or the transmission of the doctrine of the Church. The doctrine develops to be sure, but never changes. Just as an adult person continues to be identical to the infant it was in the past.

This theme of the unchanging doctrine of the Church was mentioned again and again by the scholars at this conference. Professor de Mattei laid out the historical context of Humanae Vitae, coming during the Sexual Revolution, feminism and neo-Malthusianism. But on the matter of perennial doctrine, Professor de Mattei argued that the error of the Catholics of the 1968 dissent was not to resist Pope Paul VI, but to refuse the perpetual teaching of the Church, of which the Pope was at that time spokesman. Those who today criticize Amoris Laetitia, he said, do not intend to oppose the Pope, but a document that contradicts the Church's constant Tradition.

Professor Seifert demonstrated that the Church's constant tradition reflected in Humanae Vitae is knowable not solely by faith but also by reason as well. 'Even from a purely natural standpoint, the most notable end of human sexuality is the procreation of a new human life,' he said.

'The question of moral good and evil aims at the very heart of reality and the drama of human existence,' he said. 'It does not profit a man even when he gains the whole world but suffers harm in his soul. Because of the specific absoluteness of the moral sphere, there can be no grounds whatever for permitting an act that is morally evil in itself. Indeed, if we could save the whole world through one single immoral act, we would still not be allowed to perform such an act.'

The existence of moral absolutes, he said, was an essential tenet of any genuine ethics. Dr. Seifert warned that logically, from an assumption to the contrary it would follow that adultery, sacrilege, pornography, lying, yes, every infraction and crime could be allowed in view of the possible consequences of avoiding suffering or other evils.

Fr. Lanzetta told us that the doctrinal vision of Humanae Vitae rests on two principles that are abused to promote artificial methods of birth control but he guided us through Pope Paul VI's placing them rather in the light of the whole of Revelation. These two principles are a) human love and b) responsible parenthood. Truly human love unites the parents, making them thus capable of transmitting the gift of life; the gift of life, in turn, is the expression of human love. Drawing together Humanae Vitae with the teachings of the second Vatican Council he showed how they affirm Casti Connubi, that 'each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life.' Here the truth of love, and therefore of union, is knit together with the always primary end of procreation. The marital union, therefore, is for the sake of procreation, and procreation perfects the union in a circular relationship of truth and love: the truth of the union finds its fulfilment in the generative love of new lives and the fruitfulness of love in turn is part of the indissoluble unity of the couple; otherwise the love would be false, a deception. Just as there is no procreation without union, so there is no union without procreation. Similarly love and fruitfulness always go together and are the reflection of love and unity. Today, instead, 'what's at risk with this adventurous change of paradigm (Amoris Laetitia) is not only the morals of marriage but morality as such, which would be reduced to good intentions. Let us act in such a way that our 'yes' means 'yes' and our 'no' means 'no'. The rest if from the Evil one.'

Professor Le Méné too made it clear that reason dictates the truth of the dignity of the human person and thus human love. Violations of the sexual norms are below the dignity of man, he explained and in these abuses we see incompatibility with human dignity:

- contraception, is make loving without openness to making a child,

- in vitro fertilization, makes the child without making love,

- abortion, which is the unmaking of the child,

- and pornography, which is undoing love,

The two medical doctors that spoke to us both experienced the repercussions for Catholic physicians of the sexual revolution. Dr. Schepens observed, 'Contraception that makes couples and other adults irresponsible, not only of their bodies, poisoned by steroid hormones, but also by the total separation of the sexual act from procreation by turning it into an act of pleasure without responsibility, deprives itself of its future.' He also drew attention to the demographic collapse that is imminent in contraception's wake.

Dr Ward drew attention to another outcome of the sexual revolution -- the removal of parents rights as Primary Educators,' he said, 'started with contraception and its indoctrination in sex education.' 'It has now metastasized to include underage abortion, general medical services, school homosexual and gender theory indoctrination and in Germany even imprisonment of parents who exercised their Primary right as educators.'

He reminded us of the teaching of the Church from Pope St John Paul:

'Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centres chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents'. (Saint John Paul, Familiaris Consortio, No 37) 'And Parents have the right to ensure that their children are not compelled to attend classes which are not in agreement with their own moral and religious convictions. In particular, sex education is a basic right of the parents.'

And pointing to the current state of affairs in Rome, Dr. Ward said 'who will protect millions of Catholic children from indoctrination by the wolves in the population and homosexualist lobbies and their powerful allies in the Vatican? Where will our children hide?'

From the perspective of a Catholic journalist it is fascinating to consider the motivation of the Pope in taking this direction. From his heavy emphasis on mercy a majority of thinkers who have pondered the question have postulated that from his great desire to show the mercy of God, to reach out to the peripheries, comes this approach which as Professor Seifert pointed out threatens the moral edifice of the Church.

Without doubt many who counsel the Pope have urged him to be quiet about the Church's teachings which confront the culture.

That strategy was attempted in the late 1960s and 1970s and statistics suggest resulted in a mass exodus from the Church that we are still witnessing today. A renewed interest, especially among the young, is seen only in places where tradition has been revived.

The Church has in fact considered such proposals before. Pope Leo XIII in 1899 in the encyclical letter Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae says some contend 'it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them.'

However, said Pope Leo XIII, the Church has already visited such suggestions and has determined, 'Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ.' Concluding his point, Pope Leo said that there was nothing closer to his heart 'than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it.' He added, however, 'but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ.'

And finally let us consider the false charge of some in the media that those who question the Pope's actions, who lovingly and with great respect and reverence call on him to dispel the confusion running rampant in the Church are somehow the enemies of the Pope. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Of late, we have often heard St. Thomas Aquinas statement that '…if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith.'

But one quote far less well known comes from the holy Bishop Melchior Cano, a Theologian of the Council of Trent who wrote in the 1500s 'Now it can be said briefly that those who defend blindly and indiscriminately any judgement whatsoever of the Supreme Pontiff concerning every matter weaken the authority of the Apostolic See; they do not support it; they subvert it; they do not fortify it… . Peter has no need of our lies; he has no need of our adulation.'a

Here is the truth. Those such as Cardinal Brandmüller who have put their reputations and good names in peril for their loving entreaty to the Holy Father to clarify the faith, to confirm his brethren in the Truth, are the only true friends of the Pope. There is no self interest in this action, no intention of ill will. It is an action born of prayer and concern of true love and friendship that seeks the best for the beloved and for the Church he is called to shepherd.

St Paul spoke to Bishop Timothy about a time that would come when people would have itching ears and not want to hear the truth and wanting to keep to themselves teachers of what they want to hear and St Paul's words to Timothy are crucial for us today: 'I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season and out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine.' (2 Tim 4:1-2)


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CF News / Media

Boycott over vulgar content kills Teen Vogue

TeenVogue logoANITA CAREY reports for ChurchMilitant.com : 'Teen Vogue's print edition is being yanked after a boycott from parents angry over an obscene article promoting sodomy. After Teen Vogue published a guide to sodomy in June, Elizabeth Johnston of Activist Mommy launched a boycott of the magazine. She and other outraged mothers took to social media to blast the magazine for promoting 'filth' to 11 to 17-year olds, even going after their advertisers. Johnston launched 'Operation Pull Teen Vogue' with a viral video where she burned a copy of the magazine and encouraged parents to march into retail stores demanding the vulgar 'rag' be removed from shelves.

In a live Facebook stream on Sunday, Johnston talks about the 'tremendous victory,' saying that 'everybody knows now that they are just a vulgar, filthy, perverted rag of a publication.' She goes on to say that if you buy a teenager a publication, now because everyone knows, 'They are a perverted rag of a publication ... you will be judged as a pervert because it's like buying a teenager a subscription to Playboy magazine.'

Johnston calls herself an 'activist vlogger,' who focuses via video on topics that are 'important to families.' Some of her recent posts include 'Seriously? Sexualization of Children Has Got to Stop!, Liberals Shamelessly Mock Prayer ..'. and 'Salon's Love Affair with Pedophilia.'

A mother of 10 children, Johnston homeschools them while 'lead[ing] a pro-life ministry to rescue children from abortion.' In a statement posted on her blog on Thursday, 'Operation Pull Teen Vogue was a grassroots campaign by concerned parents who don't believe anal sex and sex toys should be peddled to their children under the guise of a fashion magazine.'

Everybody knows now that they are just a vulgar, filthy, perverted rag of a publication.

In the past few years, Teen Vogue has steadily moved from strictly a fashion magazine to include more political and social justice issues in its publication. Teen Vogue's digital editorial director, Phillip Picardi, blamed the outcry over the anal sex guide over 'homophobia' and 'an arcane delusion about what it means to be a young person today.' Picardi responded to the criticism by tweeting a picture of him kissing his partner while flipping a rainbow painted middle finger.

On Thursday, Condé Nast, the publisher, decided to pull the print version of the publication and move to a digital-only publication. Bob Sauerberg, chief executive of Condé Nast, downplayed the boycott telling the Wall Street Journal, 'We're cutting the print edition because the audience is resonating digitally.'

Johnston blasted the claims that they are moving to the digital platform because they are 'killing it online.' She notes, with 6 million Facebook followers, they should have thousands of likes. She urges everyone to check how few comments and shares their posts have on their page and says their lack of engagement shows, 'No one's reading Teen Vogue anymore because of Operation Pull Teen Vogue.' She says, 'The only reason they still have a Facebook page ... is because they are saving face, and they don't want to admit you destroyed us.'

'What this has shown us with Teen Vogue is that if little, simple people like you and me will rise up and fight the perversion and the darkness that is engulfing our kids - this agenda to rape and sodomize the minds of our children with this filth and perversion and propaganda, if we will just stand up, God will come to our defense.'

Johnston announced on Sunday that they will be going after Cosmopolitan next for justifying incestuous relationships.

Church Militant reached out to Condé Nast for comment but had not heard back by press time.

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Comment from the internet


Luther's revenge: The surrender of Pope Francis

























CF News / Commentary from the internet

Pope Francis and his 'Lutheran turning point'




ROBERTO DE MATTEI writes for OnePeterFive / Corrispondenza Romana  'On October 31st 2016, Pope Francis inaugurated the year of Luther by meeting with representatives of Lutheranism from all over the world in the Swedish Cathedral of Lund. Since then, meetings and 'ecumenical' celebrations ad abundantiam have followed one after the other in the Catholic Church.

A year exactly from that date, the 'Lutheran turning point ' was sealed by a symbolic act the gravity of which very few have noticed. The Vatican Post Office issued a stamp which celebrates the birth of Protestantism on October 31st 1517, the date Luther hung his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral.

'V Centenary of the Protestant Reformation'can be read at the top of the stamp, presented on October 31st of this year by the Vatican Philatelic Office.  The official communiqué describes the stamp: 'It depicts Jesus Crucified in the foreground on a gold, timeless background showing Wittenberg city. In an attitude of penance, on their knees respectively on the left and the right of the the Cross, Martin Luther holds a Bible, source and point of his doctrine, while Philip Melanchthon, theologian and a friend of Martin Luther’s, one of the most important protagonists of the Reformation, holds in his hand the Augsburg Confession, Confessio Augustuana, the first official exposition of the principles of Protestantism drawn up by him.'

The substitution of Our Lady and St. John at the foot of the Cross with the  two heresiarchs, Luther and Melanchthon is a blasphemous offense that no Catholic cardinal or bishop has, to date, openly condemned. The significance of this image is explained by the joint declaration of the World Lutheran Federation and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, published the same day as the stamp. The note refers to the positive outcome of the dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans, endorsing the ' new understanding of those XVI century events which lead to our separation' and affirms how both sides are 'very grateful for the theological and spiritual gifts received through the Reformation'.

As if that weren’t enough, around the same time, La Civiltà Cattolica, the Pope’s 'unofficial' voice, celebrated Luther  with  an article by Father Giancarlo Pani (Martin Luther, Five Hundred Years Later, in La Civiltà Cattolica , of October 21st – November 4th 2017, pp. 119-130)

Father Pani is the same priest who said in 2014 that the Fathers of the Council of Trent had admitted the possibility of divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery, according to the custom established in the schismatic Greek Church. Now he is sustaining that Martin Luther was in no way a heretic, but an authentic 'reformer'.  In fact, ' the theses of Wittenberg are not a challenge, nor a rebellion against authority, but the proposal to renew the proclamation of the Gospel, in the sincere desire for a 'reform' in the Church'. (p.128). Despite the claim ' by the Church of Rome and Luther of incarnating the truth in toto and being dispensers of it ' ' the role Luther had as a witness to the faith cannot be denied: He is 'the reformer';  he was able to initiate a process of 'reform'  where the results of it  have also benefited the Catholic Church.'

If this is the case then he has been unjustly persecuted and defamed by the Catholic Church for 500 years. The time has come to rehabilitate him.  And in order to rehabilitate him we cannot limit ourselves to presenting only his prophetic side, but must make the Church accept and put into practice his demands of reform. And the Post-Synod Exhortation Amoris Laetitia represents a decisive stage on this path. They are not wrong then the authors of the Correctio filialis  (to Pope Francis) when they underlined 'the affinity between Luther’s ideas on the law, justification and matrimony and those taught  or favored by Pope Francis in Amoris laetitia and elsewhere.' 

At this point it should be remembered that Pope Francis, like Father Pani, belongs to the Company of Jesus, whose Founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, was the champion of the Faith that Divine Providence raised up in the XVI century against Lutheranism. In Germany, apostles like St. Peter Canisio and Blessed Peter Fabro, fought every inch of the way against the heretics and on the terrain of anti-Protestant controversy no-one can surpass St. Robert Bellarmino.

La Civiltà Cattolica was founded in 1850, with the support of Pius IX, and had a role of doctrinal defense against the errors of the time for a very long time. From its very first edition, on April 6th 1850, it dedicated an extensive anonymous essay (by Father Matteo Liberatore) on The Political Rationalism of the Italian Revolution, in which he saw Protestantism as the cause of all modern errors. These theses were developed, among others, by two famous Jesuit theologians: Fathers Giovanni Perrone (Protestantism and the Rule of the Faith, La Civiltà Cattolica, Rome 1853, 2 voll.), and Hartmann Grisar (Luther, Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1911/1912, 3 voll.).

But the commemoration of the Lutheran revolt made by the Jesuit journal in October 1917, the fourth centenary marking the 95 theses in Wittenberg, takes on a special meaning.  (Luther and Lutheranism, in La Civiltà Cattolica, IV (1917), pp. 207-233; 421-430). The theologian of La Civiltà Cattolica explained that 'The essence of the Lutheran spirit, or rather Lutheranism, is rebellion in all of its extension and in all the force of its word. Rebellion, therefore, which is personified in Luther, was varied and profound, complex and very vast; which apparently appeared but was in fact violent, angry, trivial, obscene and diabolic; deep down it was studied, and directed according to the circumstances, focused on opportunistic ends and interests, intended and wanted with  measured, resolute determination.' (pp.208-309).

Luther, La Civiltà Cattolica continues, 'initiated that contemptible parody, with which the rebel monk attributed to God, his ideas, blasphemies and the abominations of his perverted mind: he outraged the Pope in an unspeakable way in the name of Christ, he cursed Caesar in the name of Christ, he blasphemed against the Church, against bishops, against monks with absolute infernal impetuosity, in the name of Christ; he threw his religious habit onto the tree of Judas, in the name of Christ and in the name of Christ he was married sacrilegiously' (p.209). 'With the very convenient pretext of following Scripture, as that which alone contains the word of God, he conducted a war on scholastic theology, tradition, canon law, all the institutions and precepts of the Church and councils: in place of these august and venerated things, he, Martin Luther, perjured monk and self-proclaimed doctor, put himself and his authority! Popes, doctors and Holy Fathers were no longer of any worth; the word of Marin Luther was worth more than all of them!  (p.212). The Lutheran theory of justification, in the end, 'was born of Luther’s imagination, not by the Gospel or any other word of God revealed to the writers of the New Testament: for us, every Lutheran novelty finds its origins in the concupiscence he stimulated, and in his development of the falsification of Scripture or in formal lying' (p.214

Father Pani cannot deny that the opinion he gives of Luther is a 360 degree turnaround from the one his confreres gave in the same journal, a century ago.  In 1917,  he was censured as an apostate, a rebel, a blasphemer; today he is being praised as a reformer, a prophet, [even] holy. No Hegelian dialectic can harmonize yesterday’s judgment with today’s. Luther was either a heretic who denied some basic dogmas of Christianity, or he was a 'witness to faith' who initiated  the Reformation of the Church, brought to completion by the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis.

In short, every Catholic is called upon to choose whether to side with Pope Francis and the Jesuits of today, or be alongside the Jesuits of yesterday and the Popes of all time.

It is time for choices and to mediate precisely on St. Ignatius’ two standards (Spiritual Exercises, n. 137)* which will help us make them in these difficult times.

* Translator Francesca Romana’s note: 'It will be here how Christ calls and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the contrary, under his.' (no. 137, Spiritual Exercises).

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CF News / Comment from the internet

From Casuistry to 'Mercy': Toward a New Art of Pleasing?

Msgr. SchooyansMSGR. MICHEL SCHOOYANS writes for OnePeterFive : 'One might think casuistry is dead and buried, that the controversies of the 17th century should be over once and for all.

Rarely do any of our contemporaries still read the Lettres Provinciales (Provincial Letters) and the authors whom Pascal (1623-1662) attacks therein. These authors are casuists - that is to say, moralists who seek to resolve matters of conscience without succumbing to rigorism. On rereading the famous Lettres, we were struck by the similarity emerging between a controversial document written in the 17th century and the positions today defended by pastors and theologians aspiring to effect radical changes in the Church's pastoral teaching and doctrine.

The recent Synod on the Family (October 2014-October 2015) has revealed a reforming pugnacity of which the Lettres Provinciales give us a better understanding today. Hence, Pascal comes to be known in an unexpected light.

The treasure of the Church

The Synod on the Family revealed a profound malaise in the Church - a crisis of growth without doubt, but also recurrent debates on the question of 'remarried' divorced persons, 'models' for the family, the role of women, birth control, surrogate motherhood, homosexuality, and euthanasia. It is futile to close our eyes: the Church is challenged in its very foundations. These are to be found in the entirety of the Holy Scriptures, in the teaching of Jesus, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, in the announcement of the Gospel by the Apostles, in an ever finer understanding of Revelation, in the assent of faith by the community of believers. The Church has been entrusted by Jesus with the mission of receiving these truths, casting light on their coherence, commemorating them.

The Church has not been given by the Lord either a mission to modify these truths or a mission to rewrite the Credo. The Church is the guardian of this treasure. The Church should study these truths, clarify them, deepen man's understanding of them, and invite all men to adhere to them through faith. There are even discussions - on marriage, for example - that were brought to a close by the Lord himself. It was specifically to conceal these historical truths that descendants of the Pharisees have denied the historicity of the Gospels (cf. Mark 10:11).

The teaching of the Lord has an exacting moral dimension. This teaching certainly urges us to a rational adherence to the Golden Rule, on which mankind's great sages have meditated for centuries. Jesus brings this rule to its perfection. But the Church's tradition has its own precepts of conduct, prime among which are love of God and neighbor. 'In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets' (Matt. 7:12). This double-commandment is the fundamental benchmark for the actions of the Christian. The Christian is called to be open to the inspiration of the Spirit, which is love, and to respond to this inspiration through faith, which acts through love (Gal. 5:6). Between the one, love, and the other, faith, the link is indissoluble.

If, in the teaching of the Church, this link is broken, Christian morality sinks into various forms of relativism or skepticism, to the point of contentment with subjective and fluctuating opinions. There is no longer any reference to the truth, nor to the authority that guarantees it. Transgression is ultimately abolished, because the moral reference points imparted by God to man are rejected. Man, it will even be suggested, no longer needs to love God in order to achieve salvation or to believe in His love. Morality is fatally split, and the door is open wide to legalism, agnosticism and secularisation.

In his teaching, Saint Paul urges us to avoid the snares of a morality devoid of roots in revelation. This is how he exhorts Christians:

'You must not fall in with the manners of this world. There must be inward change, a remaking of your minds, so that you can satisfy yourselves what is God's will, the good thing, the desirable thing, the perfect thing. (Rom. 12:2).

'And this is my prayer for you: may your love grow richer and richer yet, in the fullness of its knowledge and the depth of its perception, so that you may learn to prize what is of value.' (Phil. 1:9 s.; cf. 1 Thess. 5:19-22)

The return of casuistry

Here one perceives the return of casuistry, believed to allow moralists to examine and resolve matters of conscience. Certain moralists intend to offer solutions that please those who have recourse to their superior knowledge. Among the casuists of yesterday and today, the fundamental principles of morality are eclipsed by the (frequently divergent) opinions pronounced by these grave spiritual advisers. The disinterest with which fundamental morality is now viewed leaves the way open for the introduction of a positive law, which removes standards of conduct from any remaining reference to the fundamental rules of morality.

The casuist, or neo-casuist, has become legislator and judge. He cultivates the art of confusing the faithful. Concern for the truth, revealed and accessible to reason, is now of no interest. Ultimately, the only interest will be in 'probable' positions. Through probabilism, one proposition is open to contradictory interpretations.

Probabilism will make it possible to blow first hot, then cold, for and against. Forgotten is the teaching of Jesus: 'Let your word be 'yes' or 'no'; anything more than this comes from the evil one' (Matt. 5:37, James 5:12; cf. 2 Col. 1:20). However, each neo-casuist will go with his own interpretation. The tendency is toward a confusion of propositions, duplicity, double- or triple-truth, an avalanche of interpretations. The casuist has a divided heart but intends to be a friend to the world (James 4:4-8).

Progressively, the rules of behavior proceeding from the will of the Lord and handed down by the Magisterium of the Church are languishing in decline. The moral assessment of acts can therefore be modified. Not content with toning down this assessment, the casuists wish to transform the moral law itself. This will be the task of casuists - confessors; spiritual advisers; and, on occasion, bishops. All must have a concern to please. They must in consequence resort to compromise and accommodate their arguments to the satisfaction of human passions: no person must be rebuffed. The moral assessment of an act no longer depends on whether it conforms to the will of God, as made known to us by revelation. This depends on the intention of the moral agent, and this intention can be modulated and molded by the spiritual adviser who 'supports' his followers. In order to please, the spiritual adviser will have to soften the rigor of the doctrine handed down by tradition. The pastor will have to adapt his words to the nature of man, whose passions are naturally led into sin. Hence the progressive relegation of references to original sin and grace.

The influence of Pelagius (a monk of British origin) is evident: man must save himself and take his destiny into his own hands. Telling the truth forms no part of the role of the casuist, who must captivate, present an engaging line of argument, curry favor, make salvation easy, and delight those who aspire to 'have itching ears' (2 Tim. 4:3).

In short, the eclipse of the decisive contribution of revelation to morality is paving the way for the investiture of the casuist and creating a space favorable to the installation of a government of consciences. Space is shrinking for religious liberty, as offered in Scripture to the children of God and inseparable from adherence to faith in the Lord.

Let us turn to an analysis of examples of areas in which the actions of the neo-casuists of today emerge clearly.

The government of consciences

With the arrival, in the Church, of governors of conscience, we perceive the proximity of the casuist notion of government of the city, with the notion to be found, for example, in Machiavelli, Boétie, and Hobbes. Without asserting or making themselves accountable for this, the neo-casuists are certainly heirs of these masters in the art of governing slaves. A mortal God, the Leviathan defines what is just and what is good; he decides what men should think and wish for. It is he, the Leviathan, who governs the consciences, thoughts, and actions of all his subjects. He is accountable to no one.

With the three authors cited above, we can see that the neo-casuists have aligned themselves with the theoreticians of tyranny and totalitarianism. Does not the ABC of totalitarian power consist, first of all, in the subjugation, the alienation, of conscience? By this means, the casuists offer a robust guarantee to all who wish to establish a single civil religion that is easily controllable and laws discriminating against citizens.

To adapt the sacraments?

In order to please everyone, it is necessary 'to adapt' the sacraments. Let us take the case of the sacrament of Penance. The disinterest with which this sacrament is today viewed can be understood through the 'rigorism' demonstrated by confessors in the times of the elders. At least, so we are assured by the casuists. Today, the confessor should learn to make this sacrament please penitents. However, in toning down the severity attributed to this sacrament, the casuist separates the penitent from the grace offered by God. The neo-casuist of today distances the sinner from the divine source of mercy, yet it is to this source that the sinner must return.

The consequences of this deliberate deviation are paradoxical and dramatic. The new morality leads the Christian to render the sacrament of Penance, and hence the Cross of Christ and His resurrection, futile (1 Col. 1:17). If this sacrament is no longer received as one of the major manifestations of the merciful love of God for us, if it is no longer perceived as necessary to salvation, it will soon cease to be necessary to instruct bishops and priests in offering absolution to sinners. The rarity and, ultimately, the disappearance of the sacramental offer of pardon by the priest will lead, and in reality has already led, to other estrangements, including that of the ordained priesthood and the Eucharist. And so on for the sacraments of Christian initiation (Baptism and Confirmation) and the sacrament of the sick, not to speak of the liturgy in general.

At any rate, for the neo-casuists, there is in fact no longer a revelation to be received or a tradition to be handed down. As has already been remarked, 'the truth is the new!' The new is the new seal of the truth. This new casuistry is leading Christians to make a clean break with the past. Finally, the obsession with compromise is pushing the new casuists toward a return to nature, as before original sin.

The question of 're-marriage'

The teaching of the neo-casuists calls to mind the spirit of compromise demonstrated to a considerable extent by the English bishops vis-à-vis Henry VIII. This question has relevance today, although the mode of compromise is different. Who are the clerics from all orders who seek to please the powerful in this world? Are they swearers or refusers? How great is the number of pastors of all ranks who wish to make allegiance to the powerful of this world, albeit easily and without the need to swear publicly fidelity to the new 'values' of the world today? In pushing to facilitate 're-marriage,' the neo-casuists are giving their backing to all those political players undermining respect for life and the family. With their assistance, declarations of nullity will be easy to obtain, as will be flexible or repeated 'marriages.'

The neo-casuists show great interest in cases of divorced persons who are 'remarried.' As in other cases, the different stages of their approach provide a good illustration of salami tactics (a phrase coined by Matyas Rákosi), according to which what one would never concede as a whole is conceded slice by slice.

So let us follow the process. First slice: At the point of departure, we find references to the teaching in Scripture on marriage and the Church's doctrine on this question. Second slice: Emphasis is placed on the difficulties in 'receiving' this teaching. Third slice, in the form of a question: Are 'remarried' divorced persons in a state of grave sin? The fourth slice consists of the entry on the scene of the spiritual adviser, who will help 'remarried' divorced persons to 'discern' - that is, to choose whatever suits them in their situation. The spiritual adviser must show himself to be understanding and indulgent. He must demonstrate compassion, but what compassion?

For the casuist, in effect, when one undertakes a moral assessment of an act, concern for compassion must take precedence over the assessment of actions that are objectively wrong. The adviser must be lenient, adapt to circumstances.

With the fifth slice of salami, each individual will be able to discern, personally and with full freedom of thought, what suits him best. In effect, along the way, the word discernment has become equivocal, ambiguous. It is not to be interpreted in the Pauline sense recalled in the scriptural references cited above. It is a matter not of seeking the will of God, but of discerning the right choice, the choice that will maximize the 'itching of the ears.'


Homicide is another matter that merits our attention. We are now going to focus on a matter of deviation of intention. According to the classic casuistry of the 17th century, homicide could proceed from a desire for vengeance, which is a crime. To avoid this criminal definition, it was necessary to deviate from this criminal intention, the intention to avenge oneself, and assign to the homicide a different, morally permitted, intention. Rather than invoke vengeance as a motive, the casuist invoked, for example, a desire to defend one's honor, considered morally permissible.

We will now see how this deviation of intention is applicable to a modern matter. The argument runs as follows: Mrs. X wishes to abort the baby she is expecting; the baby is not wanted. Yet abortion is a morally inadmissible crime. The intention is then deviated from, with the result that the initial intention is erased. Not with the intention of freeing oneself from an unwanted baby! Instead of this initial intention, it will be argued that, under certain circumstances, abortion is morally admissible because, for example, its purpose is to save the lives of persons who are ill, by providing physicians with anatomical parts in good condition and to which a price is attached. The intention defines the moral quality of the gift. Hence, it is possible to please a broad spectrum of beneficiaries, whose 'generosity' and 'freedom of spirit' the casuists lose no opportunity in flattering.

The teachings of the Church on abortion are well known. As soon as the reality of a human being is established, the Church teaches that the life and dignity of that being should be respected. The doctrine of the Church on this question is constant and attested to throughout tradition.

This situation troubles some neo-casuists. They have therefore coined a new expression: humanization of the embryo. There is no - they say - humanization of the embryo unless a community wishes to welcome that embryo. It is society that humanizes the embryo. If society refuses to humanize the embryo, there can be no homicide, given that the human reality of this embryo is not recognized.

In the examples we cite here, salami tactics come to the aid of the neo-casuists. Initially, abortion is clandestine, then presented as exceptional, then rare, then facilitated, then legalized, then habitual. Those who oppose abortion are denigrated, threatened, ostracized, condemned. This is how the political institutions and the law are unpicked.

Let us note that thanks to the casuists, abortion is first facilitated in the Church, and from there in the State. The same now applies to 're-marriage.' Positive law is taking over from the new morality. It finds its inspiration in the neo-casuists. This was observable, in France, during the debates on legislation on abortion. This is a scenario that could spread throughout the world. With the impetus of the neo-casuists, abortion could be declared a new 'human right' on a universal scale.


The question of euthanasia also merits discussion. This practice is becoming more and more extensive in traditionally Christian Western countries. Demographers regularly draw attention to the aging population in these regions of the world. Life expectancy at birth is rising almost everywhere. In principle, aging in itself is good news. For centuries, throughout the world, men have struggled against early death. At the beginning of the 19th century, life expectancy at birth was often thirty years of age. Today, life expectancy is about eighty.

However, this situation will generate problems of all kinds. Let us mention one: who will pay the pensions? To euthanize burdensome and onerous elderly people would certainly make it possible to achieve better economies. It will then be said that it is necessary to help costly elderly people 'die in dignity.' Because it is politically difficult to defer the pension age, life expectancy will be lowered. The process has already begun in certain regions of Europe - hence a reduction in health care; pharmaceutical products; and, above all, a reduction in the pension bill. Because politically correct right-thinking people balk at a program so austere, the intention must be modified to be able to pass a law legalizing euthanasia.

How to proceed? By developing a pitiable argument on compassion. It is necessary to please all categories of persons affected by this program. These persons must be persuaded to subscribe to a plan whose objective is to give death 'under good conditions' and 'in dignity.' Death given in dignity would be the high point in quality of life! Rather than recommend palliative treatment and surround the ill person with affection, his fragility will be abused; he will be misled as to the fatal treatment to be inflicted.

Vigilant neo-casuists will be on hand to verify that the homicidal act 'authorizing' the gift of death is in compliance with positive law. The cooperation of carefully primed chaplains will be especially appreciated to authenticate the compassion manifested in death given as a gift.

The party of the casuists

Discussions during the Synod on the Family revealed the determination with which a group of pastors and theologians do not hesitate to undermine the Church's doctrinal cohesion. This group functions in the manner of a powerful, international, well heeled, organized, and disciplined party. The active members of this party have ready access to the media; they frequently appear unmasked. They operate with backing from some of the highest authorities in the Church. The main target of these activists is Christian morality, criticized for having a severity incompatible with the 'values' of our time. We must find ways that lead the Church to please, by reconciling its moral teaching with human passions.

The solution proposed by the neo-casuists starts by calling into question fundamental morality, then obscuring the natural light of reason. The original meaning of the references to Christian morality revealed in Scripture and the teaching of Jesus is distorted. The precepts of reason are regarded as indefinitely debatable - probabilism prevails. Primacy should be accorded to the will of those who are powerful enough to impose their will. Disparate partnerships with unbelievers will be formed without hesitation (cf. 2 Col. 6:14).

This voluntarist morality will have a free hand in placing itself at the service of political power, the State, and also the market, high finance, the law, etc. In concrete terms, it will be necessary to please corrupt political heads, champions of tax fraud and usury, abortionists, manufacturers who deal in pills, lawyers willing to defend the least defensible causes, agronomists enriched by transgenic products, etc. The new morality will hence insidiously penetrate the media, families, schools, universities, hospitals, and courts.

This has led to the formation of a social body that refuses to accord primacy of place to the search for the truth yet is highly active where there are consciences to govern, assassins to reassure, malefactors to free, wealthy citizens with whom to curry favor. Through this network, the neo-casuists will be able to hold sway over the wheels of the Church, influence the choice of candidates for high office, and forge alliances that imperil the Church's very existence.

Toward a religion of compromise?

The text here produced is not intended to expound an essay on the Synod devoted to the Family. It aims to draw attention to the rift between dogmatic and moral, to the confusion between truth and novelty, between morality and positive law, between truth and action, and to equivocal statements troubling discernment.

What is most troubling with regard to the casuists is their disinterest in the truth. In them, we find a relativism, indeed a skepticism, which means that in terms of morality, one should act in accordance with the most probable standard. One should choose the standard that, in a given circumstance, is regarded as most pleasing to a given person, a given spiritual follower, a given public. This applies to the City as it does to men. Everyone has to make his choice - not in terms of the truth, but in terms of circumstances. The laws of the City also have their origin in circumstances. The best laws are those that please the most and please the greatest number. Hence, we are witnessing the expansion of a religion of compromise, indeed individualist utilitarianism, since the concern to please others does not extinguish the concern to please oneself.

In order to please, casuists must be up to date with current developments, attentive to things new. The Fathers of the Church of previous generations and the great theologians of the past, even the recent past, are presented as not adapted to the current situation in the Church; they are regarded as outmoded. For the casuists, the Church's tradition needs to be filtered and fundamentally called into question. As we are gravely assured by the neo-casuists, we know what the Church should do today to please everyone (cf. John 9). The desire to please is aimed at the winners in particular. The new social and political morality should handle such people with care. They have a lifestyle to be protected and even improved; they have to maintain their rank. So much the worse for the poor, who do not have the same worldly constraints! Certainly, one must also please the poor, but it must be acknowledged that they are less 'interesting' than the people with influence. Not everyone can be a winner!

The morality of the casuists ultimately resembles a gnosis distilled in select circles, a knowledge one might call esoteric, targeted at a minority of people who experience no need to be saved by the Cross of Jesus. Pelagianism has rarely flourished so much.

The traditional morality of the Church has always recognized that there are acts that are objectively wrong. This same moral theology also recognizes, and has long done so, the importance of circumstances. This means that, in the assessment of an act, account must be taken of the circumstances in which the act has been committed and the levels of responsibility; this is what the moralists call accountability. The casuists of today proceed in the same way as their founders: they minimize the importance of traditional morality and overemphasize the role of circumstances. Along the way, conscience is led into self-deceit because it allows itself to be distorted by the desire to please.

Hence, one perceives in the media that casuists are frequently transfixed by a world destined to disappear. Too often, they forget that, with Jesus, a new world has already begun. We recall this central point in human history: 'The old world has passed, now a new reality is here' (Apoc. 21:5). We turn again to Saint Paul:

'There must be a renewal in the inner life of your minds; you must be clothed in the new self, which is created in God's image, justified and sanctified through the truth'. (Eph. 4:2-3 s.)

The actions of casuists today affect not only the Church's moral teaching, but also the entirety of dogmatic theology, in particular the question of the Magisterium. This point is frequently insufficiently emphasized. The unity of the Church is in peril where there are suggestions of biased, at times demagogic, proposals for decentralization, largely inspired by Lutheran reform. Better to be answerable to the princes of this world than to affirm unity around the Good Shepherd!

The sanctity of the Church is in peril where casuists exploit man's weakness and preach a devotion that is easy and neglectful of the Cross. Catholicity is in peril where the Church ventures onto the path of Babel and undervalues the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the gift of languages. Is it not He, the Spirit, who brings together the diversity of those who share the same faith in Jesus, the Son of God? The apostolicity of the Church is in peril where, in the name of exemption, poorly understood, a community, a 'party' is exempted from the jurisdiction of the bishop and considered to be answerable directly to the pope.

Many neo-casuists are exempt. How can it be doubted that this exemption weakens the Episcopal body as a whole?


Bibliographic Credits


Cariou, Pierre, Pascal et la casuistique, an essential work, Paris, PUF, Collection Questions, 1993.

Jean-Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, Vatican City, 1993.

Nouveau Testament, TOB, several editions.

Pascal, Les Provinciales, edited by Jacques Chevalier, Paris, La Pléiade, 1954.

Pascal, Les Provinciales, edited by Jean Steinmann, Paris, Armand Colin, 1962.

Pascal, Les Provinciales, Preface by Robert Kanters, Lausanne, Ed. Rencontre, 1967.

Wikipedia: excellent articles on Pascal, Casuistry, Provinciales.

[RC] 2209.13a



















CF News / Comment from the internet

Papal Promises and Manoeuvres : the Revelations of Cardinals Sistach and Meisner

DR. MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFive: 'Many of our readers might already be aware that in spite of his own exhortations in favor of open-hearted dialogue, Pope Francis himself was responsible for steering some of the discussions during the two family synods, especially with regard to the question of divorced and 'remarried' couples. The most prominent example of these kinds of papal maneuvers is what Archbishop Bruno Forte had revealed less than a year after the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family, in May of 2016. Steve Skojec then reported, as follows:

'Archbishop Forte has in fact revealed a 'behind the scenes' [moment] from the Synod: 'If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried,' said Archbishop Forte, reporting a joke of Pope Francis, 'you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won't speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.' [emphasis added]

Archbishop Bruno Forte is of course also the same man who is said to have written the highly controversial mid-term report of the 2014 Synod on the Family which had stressed the 'positive aspects' of homosexual relationships. It is also worthwhile here to remember Edward Pentin's own book The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?

Here we would like to introduce for your consideration two more important disclosures which were published some time ago, but which we believe merit further reflection. The first of these comes from Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, the retired Bishop of Barcelona. Sistach had been appointed by Pope Francis to participate in both the 2014 and the 2015 Synods on the Family. In February of 2017, in an article in L'Osservatore Romano, Sistach supportively discussed Amoris Laetitia and gave his thoughts on how to put it into practice. It was within this context that the Spanish cardinal mentioned a conversation he had had with Pope Francis during the 2015 Synod - including a discussion of divorced and 'remarried' couples. In this conversation, the pope gave Sistach the recommendation not to talk so much about their possible access to the Sacraments, but, rather to talk about their 'integration' in more general and somewhat abstract terms (perhaps, so as not to disquiet the synod fathers). Cardinal Sistach recounted the occasion as follows:

'This greater potential 'integration' [sic] of the divorced and 'remarried' includes different forms, which could extend to the celebration of the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Remember that this new orientation during the Synod - to talk about greater 'integration' rather than about receiving absolution and the Eucharist - was introduced in the synodal assembly in mid-October 2015. After the coffee break, as I walked back into the classroom, I had the privilege to converse with the Pope, who told me it was better to talk about integration. I immediately prepared a proposal with this new orientation with respect to the content of paragraph number 85 of the final document that we were looking at in groups, and I distributed it to my friends (cardinals) in the different groups. In my own linguistic [Spanish-speaking] group, in sets of three we prepared a new proposal speaking of 'integration', and within the group three similar proposals were formulated, then from all three together we prepared one formulation, which was approved by the group and was then included in the final document, and therefore our work [that day] became part of the final draft of Amoris Laetitia. I think it was a very positive change in orientation; rather than focusing on the ability of our brothers and sisters to be able to go to confession and receive Holy Communion, we agreed to talk about greater 'integration' in the Christian community. And we know that in order for greater integration to be achieved, it takes an accompaniment and discernment which are the instruments of this integration. [emphasis added]

This revelation gives us yet another glimpse at the way in which Pope Francis tried to convey his own clear intent, and thereby to steer the discussions at the Synod in the direction he wished. He had applied this same method ahead of the second family synod when, in December of 2014, he gave an interview to the Argentine newspaper La Nacion. He then said:

'In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion? Communion alone is no solution. The solution is integration [sic - not conversion?]. [emphasis added]

What followed is not speculation, but history. The papal letter of approval - later, in September of 2016, to be sent to the Argentine bishops of the Buenos Aires region with regard to their admittance of divorced and 'remarried' couples to the Sacraments - has made it clear by now what was in Pope Francis' mind all along. And it seems he also made use of the collaboration of Cardinal Sistach to calm concerns during the 2015 synod itself.

Let us now turn to the second revelation. In the case of another cardinal - this time Cardinal Joachim Meisner - Pope Francis applied the same method of calming down and re-orienting a troubled prelate. As was revealed by Cardinal Meisner himself - even before the 2014 Synod on the Family - Pope Francis had assured Meisner that he [the pope] was a 'son of the Church' and that, should there arise any doubt about a teaching concerning divorced and 'remarried' couples, he surely would consult with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As Cardinal Meisner then, in December of 2013, told the German radio station Deutschlandfunk in an interview:

'When I last visited with Pope Francis, I was able to speak very freely with the Holy Father about all kinds of things. And I also told him that, in his teaching in the form of interviews and short speeches, some questions do indeed remain open which should really be better explained for those who are uninformed. The pope looked at me with big eyes and asked me to give an example. And my answer was then that, during his flight back from Rio to Rome, he was asked about the problem of the divorced and remarried couples. And that is when the pope responded and very simply said: the divorced may go to Holy Communion, the divorced and remarried not. In the Orthodox Church [however], one may marry two times. So far his statement. And then he spoke about mercy which - according to my words, this is how I told him - in our country [Germany] it is always being interpreted as a replacement for all kinds of failures of men. And the pope responded then very energetically that he is, after all, a son of the Catholic Church and that he does not say anything different from what the Church teaches. And mercy has to be identical with the truth, otherwise it does not deserve the name mercy. And additionally, he then said explicitly, if there are any remaining open theological questions, then the important Congregation for the Faith is there to clarify and to formulate that [matter] in detail. [emphasis added]

Being of good faith, the dear cardinal good-heartedly and trustingly added his own comments in that 2013 German interview:

'That is to say, the Congregation [for the Faith], you always have to remember, […] still has the first place. And one may not simply declare its Prefect [Cardinal Gerhard Müller] to be a private man, simply because he had been once the member of a bishops' conference'.

Cardinal Meisner was later to lose that trust however, which came to light when he, together with another three cardinals, issued five dubia concerning Amoris Laetitia. Moreover, as we all know rather well, under Pope Francis, the influence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been progressively minimized, and the pope himself did not even pass on to Cardinal Gerhard Müller the full final version of Amoris Laetitia for the cardinal's final review before its publication and papal promulgation. And Cardinal Müller has now been altogether removed from his former office.

Does anyone have any doubts why we have lost so much trust in the papal promises and in his tendentious maneuvers?

[Andrew Guernsey contributed to this report]

[1P5] 2209.14
















CF News / Comment from the internet

On Pastoral Fear

FATHER 'RP' writes for OnePeterFive : 'St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that servile fear is of the kind that a servant feels before his master - essentially, a fear of punishment. 'Accordingly, ' St. Thomas writes, 'if a man turn to God and adhere to Him, through fear of punishment, it will be servile fear; but if it be on account of fear of committing a fault, it will be filial fear, for it becomes a child to fear offending its father.' Elsewhere, servile fear is defined as 'Selfish fear based on dread of pain to oneself that would follow if another were offended. It is the fear of punishment for wrongdoing, without being motivated by honor or a sense of duty, and least of all by love.' While servile fear 'may co-exist with filial fear,' - and indeed, St. Thomas argues that 'servile fear is from the Holy Ghost' - it is to be remembered that 'purely servile fear, with no love of God but only self-love that fears the divine punishments, is at least in theory, inconsistent with the true love of God.'

In practical terms, servile fear is that fear which is primarily motivated by self-love. It seeks to avoid the loss of some good or goods, position, or status, or even the loss of Heaven out of the love of self - not the love of God.

It is of this species of fear to which many Catholic faithful, exasperated by the failure of leadership they perceive among their priests and bishops, accuse the clergy of falling prey. However, one thing is often overlooked when people discuss 'fearful' shepherds - especially when they are quick to call them cowards - is that their first duty - after Loving God above all things and obeying Him no matter the consequences to themselves - is to love their neighbor as themselves, by forming, nourishing, and protecting the spiritual children of their particular flock.

One of the things I have spent much time on as a pastor is giving council to parents over their legitimate fears for their children (and their fears are legion.) Every good pastor has many of the same fears for his spiritual children that biological parents have for their children, and the primary fear is that they will be led astray.

There are, consequently, many pastors who may not speak out publicly in such a way that they are openly challenging the problems in the Universal Church, but this does not mean that they are not speaking out in their parishes - from their pulpits, in the confessional, or in the spiritual counsel they give to the members of their flock. They try to nourish and guide the souls entrusted to their care according to the fullness of the Catholic Faith even when their own bishops - or even the pope himself - are not, and they do so as a direct response to what those bishops and the pope are doing and saying.

They do this in order to keep their spiritual children safe from spiritual harm. And many of them have a legitimate concern that if they raised their voices in protest outside the parish walls, they might well be removed in retribution. The question that haunts them is, 'If such a thing were to happen, who would be sent to replace me?' They know that the wolves and hirelings far outnumber the faithful shepherds and that if they are removed for speaking the truth to the whole world, those who would likely take their places would be chosen because they will not speak the truth to the parish, let alone to the world.

It is for this reason - a concern for what will become of their spiritual children - that many pastors of souls remain silent in the 'press', while they are anything but silent from the pulpit, the classroom, or the tables of the parishioners who invite them into their homes.

When I reflect on the fears that I have about being removed, excommunicated, or laicized for speaking the truth, I cannot deny that the questions of, 'What shall I do? How will I live?', arise in my mind. These are natural fears, but they are not the most pressing; these are the 'servile fears', and they are usually immediately quelled upon recourse to prayer and an act of spiritual abandonment to God. The fear that isn't quelled so easily, is: when I am gone, what shall happen to my spiritual children?

Just recently I had several parishioners, at different times, express to me how they hoped that I would be able to stay here past the time of my current assignment because they have grown in their faith and know the wasteland that surrounds them in the various parishes in my small deanery. Their concerns were not because they thought I might be removed for speaking the truth, even though I have told the parishes I serve that this is a real possibility (I have spoken the hard truth several times at diocesan meetings with the bishop, and even with members of the laity present.) They were simply aware that even in the normal course of events, a pastor who gives bread instead of stones has become a rarity.

A priest - especially a parish priest, and most especially a pastor - is, as his title aptly suggests, a father. Thus, his natural place is in his home with his spiritual family. This is why the post-conciliar practice of shuffling the pastoral deck every few years is often so destructive to parish life. What would we say about a natural family that got a 'new' father every six or twelve years? Why is it considered a tragedy when an orphan is moved from foster home to foster home? This constant change in the paternal relationship is often a recipe for disaster that often begets chaos and ruin. I have expressed this concern to my bishop, and requested to be allowed to remain in my little parishes until I die, because they are my family and I am a father to them. That is not to say that tending to my spiritual family is always a picnic! Even so, I love them and desire to remain with them so that I can lead as many of them to Eternal Salvation as is possible by the Grace of God.

I have been in my assignment for several years and from the beginning had a parishioner who attacked my character and made life difficult. I prayed for him often and even rebuked him publicly and warned him of hell. After almost eight years he came to me and repented, and I absolved him and he died in a state of grace. Being a priest is the greatest blessing there is, and being separated from one's flock, even the difficult ones, is the greatest suffering there is for a priest. This is what many of them fear because they know Hell is real and that many of their children will end there if they are not constantly guided and nourished with the Saving Truth of Jesus Christ.

What I always tell parents is what I must hear myself: God is in charge and if your children refuse your good council you must continue to pray, fast and do penance for them to merit actual graces for them so that they may repent and be saved. The vast majority of Faithful Catholics are so, because of Faithful Parents: naturally and spiritually. The fact that there are Faithful Catholics is due to the fact that there are Faithful Shepherds who taught them and nourished them with the Holy Catholic Faith, and much of that was face to face in a parish setting or at a conference or a retreat - in other words, through personal encounters, not through strongly worded essays in the paper or online. There is much to be gained through the Catholic Internet, but the people of God need shepherds of flesh and blood who will feed them the True Faith in their parishes, or they will perish.

It is my plea to you, therefore, that you resist rash judgment when it comes to the priests whom you wish would break their silence and shout the truth about the emperor's wardrobe malfunction from the rooftops. Do not assume that their public reticence equals cowardice or consent. Please pray for the good shepherds that even now work amongst the Lord's sheep. Pray that they are not inhibited by servile fear, and that that they will be governed instead by the Fear of the Lord and His Love above all things, but also remember that this does not necessarily mean that all of them need to preach to the whole world via the internet or the media. If, however, that is what God is calling them to, pray that they are able to discern it, and do so with Holy Boldness.

When the time comes for the majority of the good shepherds to be driven into exile - and that time seems to have already begun in some quarters - they will need to be supported by you, the faithful laity. They will need you to take them into your homes, to be succored and sheltered. They will need help with their debts and obligations, as many of them are too old or limited to be truly gainfully employed elsewhere. And they need to hear from you, the faithful laity, those face to face reassurances that, should the day come, you will support in this manner. Without such support, then the message being sent to these priests by the laity who most ardently desire their boldness is that they must go to Calvary alone.

Even Jesus went to Calvary with a faithful few who accompanied Him and remained with Him in His Holy Agony.

It seems to me that the Church at this time finds herself mystically within the following verses of Revelation (12:13-17):

'So when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus'.

The woman, of course, is Mary. But Mary is also the archetype of Holy Mother Church, who has been and is being persecuted by the dragon, who will make war upon the faithful until Our Lord Jesus Christ comes again in glory.

[1P5] 2209.15





















CF News / Comment from the internet

The Dubia are more alive than ever. And Cardinal Müller is adding another all his own

SANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome : 'Two books have come out recently, both of them by prominent authors and both in response to the 'dubia' submitted to Pope Francis one year ago by four cardinals, concerning the post-synodal exhortation 'Amoris Laetitia.'

The first of these books, published in Italy by Ares, has already prompted a lot of discussion. It is by Rocco Buttiglione, a well-known scholar of philosophy and an authoritative interpreter of the philosophical thought of John Paul II, today a staunch defender of the 'openness' introduced by Francis regarding communion for the divorced and remarried, and an equally resolute proponent of the perfect continuity between the magisterium of the current pope on the subject of morality and the encyclical 'Veritatis Splendor' by pope Karol Wojtyla.

But even more than by what Buttiglione has written, which was already known, the discussion has been ignited by the preface for the same book, signed by Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, the former prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

In effect, this preface has appeared contradictory to many.

On the one hand, Müller writes that he completely agrees with Buttiglione's ideas and warmly recommends them to the reader.

On the other hand, however, the cardinal himself envisions - explicitly - only one case of possible access to communion for a Catholic who has gone on to a new union while the first spouse is still alive. And it is the case in which the first marriage, although it was celebrated in church, is to be considered invalid because of the absence of faith or of other requisite essentials at the moment of celebration, but such invalidity 'cannot be proven canonically.'

In which case, Müller writes,

'It is possible that the tension seen here between the public-objective status of the 'second' marriage and the subjective fault could open, under the conditions described, the way to the sacrament of penance and to holy communion, passing through a pastoral discernment in the internal forum.'

Now, no one has pointed out that the case hypothesized here by Müller is the same one that Joseph Ratzinger had envisioned and discussed, both as theologian and as pope, he too admitting the possibility of access to the sacraments, always and in any case with a decision made 'in the internal forum' with a confessor and with caution not to generate public scandal:

'No Communion for Outlaws. But Benedict XVI Is Studying Two Exceptions' : According to what he writes in the preface, this is therefore the threshold - entirely traditional - at which Cardinal Müller draws the line, concerning access to communion for the divorced and remarried.

Buttiglione, however, pushes much further, with the hardly understandable seal of approval from the former prefect of doctrine. One 'doubt' more, this, instead of one less.

Then there is the second book in response to the 'dubia' of the four cardinals. And its authors are two renowned French theologians: the Jesuit Alain Thomasset and the Dominican Jean-Miguel Garrigues.

This book too is in defense of the continuity and 'complementarity' between the exhortation 'Amoris Laetitia' of Pope Francis and the encyclical 'Veritatis Splendor' of John Paul II.

And this too is inspiring a discussion, as can be seen in this critique by the philosopher Thibaud Collin, expressly written for Settimo Cielo.

Collin is a professor of moral philosophy and politics at the Collège Stanislas in Paris, and is one of the six lay scholars who gathered in Rome last April 22 for the study seminar on 'Amoris Laetitia' with the significant title 'To bring clarity,' remembered by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra in his last - and unheeded - letter to Pope Francis.


In these times of confusion, anything that seems to move in the direction of clarity is welcome. So it is with great hope that one opens the little book 'A flexible morality, but not without a compass' by Frs. Alain Thomasset and Jean-Miguel Garrigues, the former a Jesuit and the latter a Dominican. Under the banner of Cardinal Schönborn, whose signature is on the preface, our two theologians intend to respond to the five 'dubia' presented by the cardinals concerning the manner of understanding certain passages of the exhortation 'Amoris Laetitia.'

Closing the book again, one inevitably finds that those 'dubia' have not gone away. It could be said, on the contrary, that they unfortunately come out strengthened, so much do the arguments used to dispel them produce the opposite effect. This is certainly not a cause for rejoicing, because doubt is a painful uncertainty of the spirit. And the matter at stake there, the moral and sacramental life of the faithful, is serious enough to maintain that charity should urge one to dissolve them with the greatest urgency. As is well known, the Holy Father has not yet thought it good to consent to carry out such an action.

While waiting for the pope to make a decision, the debate continues and the division grows. And the more time goes by, the clearer it becomes that the reception of 'Amoris Laetitia' is about to intersect the 50th anniversary of 'Humanae Vitae' and the 25th anniversary of 'Veritatis Splendor.' Now, the encyclical of John Paul II was responding to the objections aimed at the encyclical of Paul VI, tracing them back to their deepest roots. And today when we read the many texts dedicated to 'Amoris Laetitia,' one gets the impression that history is repeating itself. One feels a strange sensation in the face of this regression. The four cardinals, with the cardinal of Bologna in the lead for evident historical reasons, have rightly taken aim at that in chapter 8 of 'Amoris Laetitia' which seems to have been written… as if 'Veritatis Splendor' never existed.

The two authors agree on the central thesis of the book: there is a complementarity between 'Amoris Laetitia' (AL) and 'Veritatis Splendor' (VS), and the 'dubia' therefore have no reason to exist. Only those who make an intransigent interpretation of the encyclical of John Paul II maintain that the integration of the two texts poses problems. Fr. Alain Thomasset first of all presents the broad outlines of VS, situating it in its historical context again: the challenge of relativism that brings back into question 'the indispensable points of reference for the conscience in the moment of decision' (p. 30); hence the benefit of having reaffirmed the existence of intrinsically evil actions. Two observations: 1) is not this contextualization itself too allusive? Fr. Thomasset in effect does not present any of the doctrines that VS confutes, and he has reason for this, because he is an heir of those who developed them. 2) Is today's context so different from that of yesterday? The rest of the text goes on to confirm our fears. One may judge on the basis of these passages:

'Is it sufficient, in order to define and evaluate in moral terms a conjugal act that has recourse to the pill, to say that it is seeking to avoid procreation altogether, when instead it could be in certain cases the sole effective means of birth control in view of responsible parenthood? […] In the same way, how to take into consideration the difference between an act of adultery by a married person and a sexual relationship in the heart of a stable couple of remarried persons, where the circumstances and intentions are different? Definitions of intrinsically evil actions are not enough on their own for this moral evaluation, remaining too abstract and generic. They cannot take into consideration the whole complexity of the situations experienced and the entirety of the context, which has become more important than in the past for judging the application of the norms. An overhasty interpretation would block the participation of reason and conscience in the definition of the act in question and its moral evaluation' (pp. 77-78).

Here it can be seen that Fr. Thomasset, after adhering to the doctrine of VS in affirming the existence of intrinsically evil acts, denies it! He does not notice the contradiction because for him the notion of 'intrinsically evil' develops to such a stratospheric altitude and to such a level of genericity that it cannot as such be decisive in practice. It is therefore up to the conscience to qualify the object of the action, meaning to give it a meaning by reflecting on it in its context and on the basis of its intentions. Everything ends up depending on a question of vocabulary. Moral evaluation rests on definition, meaning on the determination of the meaning for the conscience situated within the context. The notion of 'intrinsically evil action' is no more than an empty shell, at the most a point of reference, a formal value of decision orientation. It therefore no longer means what it did in VS: an act that can never be chosen no matter what the circumstances and intention of the subject, because in making it the person would deny his real good, would separate himself from God and from his own happiness. Fr. Thomasset's presupposition is that the moral law is a norm that stands against freedom, and the conscience must determine itself by arbitrating in their possible conflict. Fr. Thomasset therefore projects onto VS a legalistic 'forma mentis,' hence the contradiction into which he falls. Now according to Saint Thomas, as quoted by VS, the moral law is a light that illuminates reason on the true good of the person and allows it to order action toward his happiness. The action is therefore called good or evil according to whether it is or is not in keeping with reason in relation to the objectives of the person. Conscience is this light of truth on the individual action to be performed. Like many today, the Jesuit theologian appeals to Saint Thomas to contest the universal scope of the natural law, incapable of embracing the contingency and complexity of practical life. But the virtue of prudence has never consisted in authorizing exceptions or in arbitrating conflicts of duty. This is that with which the subject determines 'hic et nunc' the path for the realization of his true good. The judgment of prudence is practical and does not replace the judgment of conscience. Only those who conceive of the natural law according to the model of political law can employ the teaching of Saint Thomas to validate the putative exceptions to negative precepts. Adultery will never be an action that is good for the person who has gotten into this situation, even if he gives it a new name. This tactic is as old as the world: everyone tends to present the situation in the most advantageous aspects to his conscience, so that it may stop bothering him. Casuistry, so reviled today, has never had it so good. And it is a sure bet that even the beatification of Pascal will change nothing in this regard!

Fr. Jean-Miguel Garrigues recognizes that the 'dubia' are waiting for a response, but he accuses Cardinal Gerhard Müller, 'on account of his unyielding position,' of not having 'made possible a fruitful collaboration between the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and the pope (p. 114). It could be objected to him that the cardinal prefect did what he could to preserve the continuity and consistency of the Church's position in this regard. No later than 1999 Cardinal Ratzinger, in the introduction to a book explicitly backed by Saint John Paul II, affirmed that the position of 'Familiaris Consortio' no. 84 'is founded on Sacred Scripture' and that with this pedigree it 'is not a purely disciplinary rule, which could be changed by the Church. It stems from an objective situation that in and of itself makes access to holy communion impossible.' Cardinal Ratzinger's successor was therefore more than justified in maintaining that if the pope had wanted to change such an ancient and well-established practice, he would not have done so with a footnote, a note whose meaning is not clear because it does not specify the type of faithful involved.

Fr. Jean-Miguel Garrigues maintains that the current difficulties are provoked by 'a theological school' that contributed to the composition of 'Veritatis Splendor' but ended up absolutizing it without perceiving the limits of its field of application. The encyclical of John Paul II mainly addresses the moral question on the level of the objective specification of the action on the basis of reason, while 'Amoris Laetitia' addresses it on the level of exercise on the basis of appetite, and therefore of influences. The two approaches are complementary, because reason and will are both at the root of human action. In brief, the objectivity of the action and the imputability of the acting subject must not be confused; this is therefore a matter of distinguishing in order to unite. Fr. Garrigues instead accuses this 'theological school' of refusing to take the subject into account in moral reflection. The 'dubia' would therefore be due to mental rigidity and to pastoral narrow-mindedness, which became manifest on the occasion of the publication of 'Amoris Laetitia.' A non-rigid interpretation of VS like the one proposed by Fr. Garrigues would make it possible not only to respond to the 'dubia' by emphasizing the complementarity of the two texts, but also to formally denounce this resurgence of 'tutiorism' in the thick of modernity. In any case, the tactic that consists in separating the good wheat of VS from the weeds of this 'theological school' does not stand up to analysis.

And in effect, Fr. Garrigues never names this school; and he never discusses this or that text from it. That would have taken too much time, and above all would have led him to realize the emptiness of such an accusation. One can certainly disagree with Cardinal Carlo Caffarra or with Monsignor Livio Melina (because evidently they are the main accused, never called by name), but it seems intellectually dishonest to reduce their reflection and their pastoral commitment (if they are even recognized as having any) to a 'tutiorism' or a disloyalty to John Paul II due to an excess of zeal! One must really have never read a line of their writings to accuse them of ignoring the moral subject and the order of exercise of the action. I have in front of me, for example, the text of a conference that Cardinal Caffarra gave in Ars at the beginning of the 1990's. It is about Christian subjectivity. And rightly the problem was (already!) that of moral legalism, of which proportionalism is nothing but a variation. Now, only a careful analysis of the dynamics of human action grasped in the voluntary intention that becomes a choice allows one to get out of an approach in which law and conscience are seen as two concurrent poles. Let's listen to the one whom Saint John Paul II had chosen as his close collaborator on one of the pastoral subjects closest to his heart, sexual ethics, marriage and family:

'In man, intention cannot be realized except through and within the choice. In human existence, what is most decisive is not the judgment of conscience, but the judgment of choice. One does not become Christian by thinking about becoming so, just as one does not exist by thinking about existing. I do not become even more Christian by thinking more deeply about Christianity: man's thought does not create existence. There exists only one means to become Christian: to choose, to decide to become Christian. But the judgment of conscience is practical only potentially, while the judgment of choice is really practical: it is the exercise of reason in the very act of choosing (Ia IIae, Q. 58, a. 2 c). The understanding produced by the judgment of conscience is insufficient, because it can be overlooked by the person in the moment of choosing; it can be an understanding that does not consider the person as such is this individual here, with his desires and who must act in this given situation. If such an understanding does not express that which the individual really desires, it remains inoperative.'

Carlo Caffarra was thoroughly acquainted with Newman and Kierkegaard. He had also assimilated very well the Wojtylian personalism based on the comprehensive experience of the person in his action. To claim that this 'theological school' ignores the order of practical exercise is just as absurd as isolating the central chapter of VS from its first chapter, which reflects on the calling of the rich young man, and from its third chapter, with urges martyrdom in fidelity to the salvific will of God.

Fr. Garrigues responds 'yes' to the five 'dubia.' The discernment of influences that limit the conscience and will of the subject allow one to opt in certain cases for the weak imputability of the subject situated in a state of life in contradiction with the Gospel. But as many have already emphasized, that is not enough to legitimize the reception of the sacraments. Not without breaking with the form in which the Church has conceived until today of the connection between faith, the moral life, and the sacramental order. Saying this does not deny subjectivity to the advantage of a deadly objectivity. It is on the contrary to render possible a subjectivization that may be adequate to the comprehensive truth of the human being. This is the role of every pastor. This was the deepest concern of that magnificent pastor who was Karol Wojtyla. Without a doubt, a certain interpretation of 'Amoris Laetitia' can make it possible to specify and explore the modalities of this subjectivization. Only the Holy Father can determine the manner of receiving the exhortation correctly. Then the text will no longer be an occasion of division and confusion, but of maturation and communion.

[Settimo Cielo] 2209.16



















CF News / Comment from the internet

When evil triumphed: The 100th anniversary of Russia's October Revolution

The centenary of the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 should be an occasion for understanding Marxism's amoral and pseudo-religious