The National Association of Catholic Families


This edition of CF NEWS (No.2212) posted at 12.36 pm on Sunday, December 3rd, 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

Prayer intentions for December  VIDEO CONTINUE READING
Pope Francis in Myanmar, Bangladesh
Argentinian Communion guidelines for remarried given official status CONTINUE READING
Cardinal: Burke: Confusion in the Church indicates we may have ‘arrived at the End Times’ CONTINUE READING
Scholars reject notion Francis has indirectly answered dubia  CONTINUE READING

Parents as primary educators, protectors

Proposed smacking ban CONTINUE READING

Humanae Vitae

Jerome Lejeune: Through his wife's eyes  VIDEO CONTINUE READING

United Nations

The cost of compromise and the dividends of defiance CONTINUE READING

News from around the world

AUSTRALIA Senate votes to legalise same-sex 'marriage' CONTINUE READING
Draconian Education Act CONTINUE READING
UK Priests must violate Seal of Confessional, inquiry told CONTINUE READING
UK Review into 'harassment, intimidation near abortion clinics' CONTINUE READING
UK Cardinal Nichols congratulates Prince on engagement CONTINUE READING
USAPriests want priestless parishes run by 'deaconnesses'  VIDEO CONTINUE READING
USA Synod on Young People CONTINUE READING
USA Transgender ideology CONTINUE READING 8a
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week CONTINUE READING
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo


The Catholic University as Witness  VIDEOCONTINUE READING


Fatima seer prophesied 'diabolical revolt' against the Church CONTINUE READING
Cardinal Oddi on the Third Secret, Vatican II and apostasy CONTINUE READING




Hollywood's gay 'romance' that normalizes man-boy sex CONTINUE READING

Comment from the internet

The Remnant turns 50  VIDEO CONTINUE READING
Ettore Gotti Tedeschi on the Filial Correction CONTINUE READING
Teilhard de Chardin: The Vatican II architect you need to know CONTINUE READING
'Has it worked?' the question we dare not ask  CONTINUE READING
How to ACTA Catholic without being one CONTINUE READING
Amoris Laetitia: 'Assault on sanctity of the Blessed Sacrament' CONTINUE READING
True or False: Three great monotheistic religions CONTINUE READING
Can the Church recover its fighting spirit? CONTINUE READING
Cardinal Müller's unworthy polemic CONTINUE READING
Pascal and the Jesuits CONTINUE READING

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Ravenstonedale  VIDEO CONTINUE READING
Dies Irae






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Vatican watch




Prayer intention for December

THAT the elderly, sustained by families and Christian communities, may apply their wisdom and experience to spreading the faith and forming the new generations


[CF News] 2212.SA1


















CF News / World news



Pope's visit to Myanmar, Bangladesh


The Pope in Bangladesh



The Pope in Myanmar




The Pope In Myanmar. The Violent Face of Buddhism

SANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome:
'On Monday, August 28 the Vatican press office made the official announcement of the journey that Pope Francis will make to Myanmar and Bangladesh from November 30 to December 2.

Curiously, however, the day before, at the end of the Sunday Angelus, Francis got into a scrape with the first of the two countries. He said, partly reading and partly improvising, the following words, absent from the text provided for journalists beforehand:

'Sad news has come about the persecution of a religious minority, our Rohingya brothers. I would like to express all my nearness to them. And let us all ask the Lord to save them and to raise up men and women of good will in their aid, who will give them their full rights. Let us pray for our Rohingya brothers.'

In the subsequent hours, the reactions to these words were, in Myanmar, decidedly negative. Not only in the government-controlled media, which do not even tolerate the term 'Rohingya' being used for the Muslims who inhabit the Rakhine region on the border with Bangladesh, for years the victims of a ferocious persecution, but also on the part of representatives of the tiny local Catholic Church.

Raymond Sumlut Gam, bishop of Banmaw and former director of Caritas Myanmar, stated to Asia News:

'We are afraid that the pope does not have sufficiently accurate information and is releasing statements that do not reflect reality. To affirm that the Rohingya are ‘persecuted’ could create serious tensions in Myanmar.'

And Fr. Mariano Soe Naing, spokesman of the episcopal conference of that country:

'If we had to take the Holy Father to the people who suffer most among us, we would take him to the refugee camps of the Kachin [a predominantly Catholic ethnic group - editor’s note], where many victims of the civil war have been displaced from their homes. Concerning the use of the term ‘Rohingya,’ my opinion is that, in order to show respect for the people and government of Myanmar, to use the expression accepted by the institutions [‘Muslims of the Rakhine’ - editor’s note] is more recommended. If the pope were to use that term during the visit, we would be concerned for his safety.'

In Myanmar the Catholics number a little more than one percent of the population, 600,000 out of 50 million, and are viewed by most as a foreign body, on a par with other persecuted minorities. So it is understandable that they would be on the defensive.

What comes as a surprise, however, is that the Vatican secretariat of state would not have provided Pope Francis, if he really wanted to speak publicly on the persecution of the Rohingya, with a less improvised text, all the more when he is about to make a journey to that country.

The Holy See established diplomatic relations with Myanmar last March. And in May the pope received a visit at the Vatican from Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel peace prize laureate held under house arrest for 15 years by the military regime and finally democratically elected and appointed foreign minister in a government that, however, is still under the control of the army, which continues to hold the true levers of power.

A completely updated dossier should therefore be available to Pope Francis, in view of his journey.

But in point of fact the words he spoke at the Angelus on Sunday, August 28 did not seem to be the most calibrated.

That a pope should set himself up as a defender of Muslims who this time find themselves on the side not of the persecutors but of the persecuted is not only appropriate but sure to have its effect on the global stage.

But in Myanmar the persecuted also include Christians of the Kachin and Chin ethnic groups, in the northern part of the country, and of the Karen and Karenni in the east. There is no counting the number of churches that have been destroyed In recent years, the villages put to fire and sword, the tens of thousands of people forced to flee.

And above all: who is persecuting them, and why?

News is filtering out of forced conversions to Buddhism, even at a young age, in schools intended to turn the students of other faiths into little monks with shaved heads and saffron robes. It is illegal to bring Bibles and religious books into the country. Non-Buddhists are precluded from any career in the state administration.

The overwhelming majority of the population of Myanmar is, in fact, of the Buddhist faith. And Buddhist monks are at the head of the organizations most intolerant toward the minorities of other faiths, with the full support of the military.

The exact opposite, that is, of the legend that universally accompanies Buddhism, which is almost always depicted as nothing but peace, compassion, wisdom, brotherhood.

The reality is much different. Religious freedom is heavily repressed not only in Myanmar but, albeit to a lesser extent, in other mainly Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka, which Pope Francis visited in 2015, Laos, Cambodia, Bhutan, Mongolia.

In recent weeks the persecution of the Rohingya on the part of the Buddhist regime of Myanmar has reached a peak, forcing many of them to flee toward Bangladesh, which however is blocking them at the border. And this right now when Pope Francis is preparing to visit both of these countries.

Aung San Suu Kyi, paladin of human rights, is letting be and keeping quiet, heavily influenced as she is by the despotism of the most intolerant military authorities and Buddhists.

Pope Francis does not have these constraints. And not only the Rohingya, but all the persecuted minorities of Myanmar are expecting him to speak and act as a free man, to come to their defense, of course, but also to openly denounce those who are oppressing them and why they are doing so.

It will not be easy for him to meet this second expectation.

[CBS News / Settimo Cielo] 2212.1


















CF News / Vatican watch

Pope’s letter on Argentinian Communion guidelines for remarried given official status


AAS logo


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

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

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

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

As Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti reported yesterday, the addition of the letter to the AAS has now been confirmed*:

'[T]he 'private' letter of Pope Francis to the Argentine bishops was published in the October 2016 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis, after they had issued directives for the application of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia (the chapter with the famous footnotes on giving communion to the divorced and remarried). Directives which, as has been noted and emphasized here, are anything but clear.

'The publication of this letter in the Acta is accompanied by a brief note from the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, together with an official rescript from a papal audience in June 2017, announcing that the Pope himself wanted the two documents — the guidelines and the letter — published on the website of Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

'The announcement can only serve to further fuel the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the controversial apostolic exhortation as well as the Pope’s way of doing things, which yet again appears to be a far cry from the clarity and straightforwardness that many of the faithful would expect [from the Holy Father]. He has given no response to the dubia Cardinals, no response to the letters, petitions and other initiatives written by scholars, theologians, and ordinary faithful people who have been confused by the deliberate ambiguity of the document. Yet, at the same time, he has given a veneer of officiality to one letter sent to one member of one bishops’ conference.

'To what end? To obligate all to give religiosum obsequium [religious assent] to a magisterium expressed in oblique and ambiguous forms, or to respond without committing himself in a direct response which would express the mind of the Pope in an unequivocal manner to the doubtful and perplexed? One is given the feeling that the only thing this does is cause the simple believer annoyance with the Pope’s comportment, which may be defined as a 'pretext' in the worst sense of that term.

You can view only the relevant section of the October 2016 edition of the AAS here (Spanish/Latin PDF). (The full edition is available here, but a word of caution – it’s a huge PDF document at nearly 1,200 pages and with a 300MB file size.)

Some outlets are already reporting that the presence of the Buenos Aires letter in the AAS elevates it to the level of 'authentic Magisterium,' which would therefore require the aforementioned religious assent of mind and will (cf. Lumen Gentium 25). Others are not so sure. We asked for an assessment from Dr. John Joy, co-Founder and President of the St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies and a specialist in Magisterial authority. 'It means that it is an official act of the pope,' Joy said, 'rather than an act of the pope as a private person. So it cannot be dismissed as a merely private endorsement of their implementation of AL. It is an official endorsement. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the letter to the Argentine bishops is itself magisterial' and thus requiring religious submission of will and intellect. Such a requirement, Joy said, would only apply if the document intended to teach on matters of faith and morals.

Inasmuch as the letter was in praise of pastoral guidelines that were anything but concrete, this seems unlikely.

Dr. Joy pointed out that adding the letter to the AAS could, in fact, damage the credibility of Amoris Laetitia by potentially removing the possibility that it could be interpreted in an orthodox way through establishing, via its publication in the official acts of the Apostolic See, that the unorthodox interpretation is the official one.

Marco Tosatti says that even some who have been ideological supporters of the pope are allegedly losing patience with his brashness:

'And further, if what we have learned from two different sources is true, this annoyance extends to the Vatican. A cardinal of great renown, a former diplomat, who has served an impressive career at the head of Congregations and in high offices in the Secretariat of State, is said to have reproved the Pope for his actions [as Pope], saying to him essentially, 'We elected you to make reforms, not to smash everything.' News of this conversation — if it can be called a conversation — has spread through the Vatican, because it took place at a high decibel level, which carried through the fragile barrier of the doors and walls. The cardinal in question was one of those who supported the candidacy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the conclave of 2013.

It would not be the first time such dissent has been reported from within the pope’s own camp. In March, The London Times reported that some of the cardinals who helped to elect Francis wanted Francis to step down out of fear that his agenda might cause a schism 'more disastrous' than the one wrought by Martin Luther, and that the Church could consequently be 'shattered as an institution'. That story indicated that at least some of the group had an interest in replacing the pope with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who heads up the aforementioned Secretariat of State.

Earlier this week, we also told you about a new book, The Dictator Pope, which alleges that many cardinals who helped elect Francis are experiencing 'buyer’s remorse,' in part because Francis 'is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2013, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.'

It seems difficult to believe that just over a year ago, we were attempting to ascertain the veracity of the papal letter to the Argentinian bishops — which had been called into question nearly immediately after its publication — and we now learn that it was only the following month that it became an official act of the Apostolic See.

As reported in The Dictator Pope, the English Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor told journalist Paul Valley in 2013, 'Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.' Every day, we receive new evidence that this might have been a significant understatement.


[1P5] 2212.SU1


















CF News / Vatican watch

Cardinal: Burke: Confusion in the Church indicates we may have ‘arrived at the End Times’

PAOLO GAMBI, a contributing editor of the Catholic Herald, writes : 'Cardinal Raymond Burke has been much in the news this past year. In November 2016, he and three other cardinals presented Pope Francis with the famous dubia – five questions regarding Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

Then the American cardinal became embroiled in a power struggle within the Order of Malta, of which he is patron. This was followed by his surprise appointment as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court. He had been prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 2008 to 2014, when he was removed by Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke has spoken out frequently against what he sees as the growing confusion within the Church about the liturgy, Catholic identity and even the faith itself.

I met him shortly before the first anniversary of the dubia at a celebration in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna, organised by the Coordinamento Nazionale del Summorum Pontificum and the St Michael the Archangel cultural association.

PG Your Eminence, you have recently referred to our times as 'realistically apocalyptic'. And you added that the 'confusion, division and error' within the Catholic Church coming from 'shepherds' even at the highest levels indicate that we 'may be' in the End Times. Would you help us to understand what you meant by this?

CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE In the present moment there is confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the Church, for example with regard to marriage and the family. For instance, the idea that people who are living in an irregular union could receive the sacraments is a violation of the truth with regard both to the indissolubility of marriage and to the sanctity of the Eucharist.

St Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Corinthians that before we approach to receive the Body of Christ, we have to examine ourselves, or we eat our condemnation by receiving the Eucharist in an unworthy way. Now the confusion in the Church is going even further than that, because there is today confusion as to whether there are acts which are intrinsically evil and this, of course, is the foundation of the moral law. When this foundation begins to be questioned within the Church, then the whole order of human life and the order of the Church itself are endangered.

So there is a feeling that in today’s world that is based on secularism with a completely anthropocentric approach, by which we think we can create our own meaning of life and meaning of the family and so on, the Church itself seems to be confused. In that sense one may have the feeling that the Church gives the appearance of being unwilling to obey the mandates of Our Lord. Then perhaps we have arrived at the End Times.

PG Could you please give us an update on the 'formal correction' [of Amoris Laetitia]?
CRB I cannot say too much. On November 14, it will be a year since the dubia were published. The whole question is still to be determined as to how to go forward, since we have not received any response at all, not even an acknowledgment of the dubia, which are very serious questions. I think I cannot say anything more than that right now.

PG What is the correct interpretation of your recent reappointment to the Apostolic Signatura?
CRB As a cardinal I have served various dicasteries of the Roman Curia. As a matter of fact, I am right now serving only two dicasteries, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Certainly, I have preparation in canon law and especially in jurisprudence, so in a certain way, my new appointment is a logical one. Beyond that I would not want to speculate about what it may mean.

PG The secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, has recently declared that the Reformation was 'an event of the Holy Spirit', and every day we read about prelates winking at the Protestant world. In the meantime, we read about a commission that is working on the hypothesis of a common sacramental interpretation of the Eucharist [a rumour later denied by the Vatican]. Will we all die Protestant?

CRB Well, I don’t see how you can say that the division of the Church was an act of the Holy Spirit. It simply does not make sense. And I don’t know what the nature of this commission is, but it is not possible to have a common Eucharistic celebration with Lutherans, because they don’t believe in the Eucharist as the Catholic Church teaches, and, very significantly, they don’t believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, that the substance of the bread and wine, at the moment of consecration of the Mass, is changed into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ. For Catholics to engage in some kind of ecumenical Eucharist would be abandoning the Catholic Faith.

This is a profoundly false ecumenism which would do grave harm to the Faith and to souls.
PG In a homily you stated: 'The nature of the reform of the Rite of Mass has significantly darkened in a sense; the divine action in the Holy Mass, which is the union of heaven and earth, has led some to mistakenly thinking that the Holy Liturgy is an action that we have fabricated in a certain way and with which we can therefore experiment.'

Is it true, as many people think and say, that this new way of celebrating the Mass is a necessary consequence of Vatican II?

CRB The precise form of the revised Rite of the Mass is not a necessary consequence of the Second Vatican Council. In fact, the reform of the Rite of the Mass as it was carried out did not follow as faithfully as it should have what the Second Vatican Council taught us and wanted. That is why we are talking today about a 'reform of the reform': in other words, we should examine again how the Rite of the Mass should be more faithfully reformed according to the Council.

Certainly, the Council mandated some reform of the Rite of the Mass. However, some condemned the reform as it was carried out as too violent, in a certain way, in terms of removing so many aspects of it that it was difficult to see the continuity between the rites before and after the Council. Of course, that continuity is essential, because the Rite of the Mass has come down to us from the first Christian centuries as an organically living reality; you can’t have a 'new' Mass in the sense of a totally new Rite of the Mass. We must in some way express the Apostolic Tradition as it has come down to us.

PG Is it possible nowadays to ask for the traditional liturgy and not be considered, for this reason, an 'enemy' of Pope Francis and perhaps even of the entire Church?

CRB Yes; in fact, the celebration of both forms of the Roman Rite – the more ancient or traditional form, and the Ordinary Form – is to be considered normal in the Church. Since the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Benedict XVI in 2007, priests are free to celebrate the Extraordinary Form.
So there should be no reason to believe that celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is a sign of being somehow a protester or an enemy of the Pope.

PG But how can we use the word 'Catholic' to describe both a cardinal who celebrates the ancient Mass and defends the values of the family and, for example, a bishop like François Fonlupt of Rodez et Vabres, who has recently ordained a priest following a rite with Hindu elements? What can keep all of us together?

CRB Better than 'what' is 'who'. Who keeps us together is Jesus Christ, who comes to us in the unbroken tradition of the Church, in her teaching, in her sacred worship, in her discipline and in her government. I haven’t heard about the episode that you mention, but a bishop who pretends to ordain a priest according to a strange rite has broken communion with the Church.

PG Do you, as patron of the Order of Malta, have any update about the unusual situation of the order?

CRB No. The Pope announced that his only representative to the order is Archbishop Becciu [of the Vatican Secretariat of State]. He left me with the title of 'cardinal patron', but I don’t have any function right now. Therefore, I don’t receive any communication either from the Order of Malta or from the Pope.

PG Forgive me a last silly question: what would you do as your first act if you were elected pope?

CRB I don’t think there is any danger of that. I think that, not referring to myself, the first thing any pope should do is simply to make the profession of faith together with the whole Church, as Vicar of Christ on Earth. Most popes did that, usually by a first encyclical letter, like Pope St Pius X with his encyclical E Supremi. Also Pope St John Paul II’s Redemptor Hominis is a sort of profession of faith, calling to mind again that the Church is the Body of Christ, the Church belongs to Christ and that we are all obedient in his service.

[CH] 2212.1a


















CF News / Vatican watch

Scholars repond to Fastiggi, rejecting notion that the Pope has indirectly answered the dubia

DR. MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFive : 'This week has seen yet another attempt of loyal supporters of Pope Francis to calm down the concerned critics of the pope with regard to Amoris Laetitia and the papal silence with regard to the dubia of the four cardinals. The Italian newspaper of the papal friend, Andrea Tornielli, Vatican Insider (La Stampa), published on 28 November an article written by the U.S. theologian Dr. Robert Fastiggi who teaches at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit. Entitled 'Recent Comments of Pope Francis Should Help to Quiet Papal Critics,' the article tries to convince papal critics that the pope already answered the dubia, though indirectly, but certainly in an orthodox way.

After a short introduction, we shall present the statements of three prominent loyal and orthodox Catholic scholars – Father Brian Harrison, O.S., Professor Paolo Pasqualucci, and Professor Claudio Pierantoni – who have sent to us, upon our request, their own reflections and responses to Fastiggi’s article, which has been prominently and internationally published.

It seems that the recently-published letter to Pope Francis, as written by Father Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., has had a strong impact on Catholic discourse, since Dr. Fastiggi mentions it both at the beginning and at the end of his new article. Fastiggi begins his arguments as follows:

' Some critics of Pope Francis seem to think he cares little about doctrinal clarity, especially with regard to moral theology and conscience. Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFMCap, for example—in his recently made public July 31, 2017 letter to the Holy Father—suggests that in Amoris laetitia Pope Francis offers guidance that 'at times seems intentionally ambiguous.' The 'explanatory note' on the fifth dubium of the four Cardinals sent to Pope Francis on September 19, 2016 expresses concern that Amoris laetita, 303 might imply a view of conscience 'as a faculty for autonomously deciding about good and evil.'

Before we go further into the discussion of Dr. Fastiggi’s article, it might be worth mentioning in this context that the Father Weinandy letter – and the request that immediately followed that he resign from his position as a consultant to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – had also stirred a discussion in Germany with much sympathy for Fr. Weinandy. The prominent national newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), published, on 7 November, an article about Father Weinandy’s letter and his description of the atmosphere of fear within the Catholic Church among those who disagree with Pope Francis’ path of reform. Describing Weinandy as a 'man of the center,' an 'internationally renowned theologian,' and a member of the International Theological Commission, FAZ’s journalist Christian Geyer said that the immediate request from the U.S. bishops that Weinandy resign from his position proves Weinandy’s point. Geyer wrote:

'This incident is a symptom of that which Weinandy named in his letter: the fear of being dismissed, put aside, overshadows the willingness to express criticism freely, a criticism which in turn could at any moment by denounced as 'badmouthing' of the papal agenda'.

Thus, Father Weinandy’s polite critique of the strong confusion stemming from the papal document Amoris Laetitia, which drew international attention, could well have been a further invitation to Pope Francis to finally make an act of clarification. Now, in light of the international response to Father Weinandy’s prominent letter to Pope Francis and his call for a doctrinal clarification, it is even more understandable why Dr. Fastiggi felt compelled to write a defense of Pope Francis. As our scholars will show, indirect papal comments might not be a sufficient answer to the many calls for substantive clarification.

Let us first briefly (and incompletely) present some aspects of Dr. Fastiggi’s letter, while inviting our readers to read his full article. Fastiggi quotes several recent statements from the pope about Amoris Laetitia and about the question of the 'remarried' and divorced couples, saying that in these papal comments, he sees an orthodox response to all the critics. Among these alleged papal signals is a 11 November video message from the pope to participants in the 3rd International Symposium on the Apostolic Exhortation. In reference to this communication, Fastiggi states:
Instead of describing conscience as an autonomous faculty for deciding good or evil, the Holy Father points to a proper conscience as an antidote for 'a worship of the self, on whose altar everything is sacrificed.'

Thus, Fastiggi sees the fifth dubium answered. Fastiggi also quotes Pope Francis’ 25 November address to the Roman Rota, where the pope called for a shorter process for obtaining declarations of nullity, saying that then such couples also could again be admitted to the Holy Eucharist. Fastiggi comments:

'It’s important to note that the Holy Father sees a declaration of nullity as a means to restore peace to the consciences of the divorced and remarried in order for them to have readmission to the Eucharist. This implies that those who are divorced and remarried are not admitted to the Eucharist. Some might object that Pope Francis does not actually say this, but it’s difficult to understand his statement in any other way. If admission to the Eucharist is allowed after a declaration of nullity, then it suggests that it is not possible before'.

This statement is in Fastiggi’s eyes a response to the first of the five dubia. He also discusses possible objections, quoting Cardinal Müller’s own unfortunate recent statement:

'Critics of Pope Francis will likely try to reassert their criticisms and point to the Holy Father’s alleged permission for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion via his letter endorsing the guidelines of a group of Argentine bishops. Cardinal Müller, however, told Edward Pentin in a Sept. 28, 2017 interview that 'if you look at what the Argentine bishops wrote in their directive, you can interpret this in an orthodox way.'

With reference to some 'remarried' and divorced orthodox Christians who, by Canon Law (canon 844§3), might be admitted, under certain conditions, to Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, Dr. Fastiggi also sees some ways of exceptions for the 'remarried' and divorced couples who do not live in continence, while maintaining the general rule:

'My only point is that such possible exceptions might exist, but they should not hinder the articulation of the general rule, which is that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics should not receive Holy Communion unless they are living in continence.

Dr. Fastiggi also points to the possibility that Pope Francis, with his footnote 351 in Amoris Laetitia about 'certain cases' in which such couples could have access to the Holy Eucharist, merely thought of those couples who cannot prove, due to difficult circumstances in remote places in the world, the nullity of their marriage and thus should make use of the 'forum internum' with a priest.

The final words of Dr. Fastiggi’s article are, as follows:

'This is not to say he [Pope Francis] was consciously responding to these dubia. His intent was simply to teach the truth. If only the papal critics would pay more attention to the many and frequent teachings of the Holy Father that clearly articulate the truth, we would be better off. Fr. Weinandy is correct that 'truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul.' Pope Francis, however, has been and continues to teach the truth. It’s sad, though, that his critics fail to notice this.

In the following, therefore, we shall present the eloquent responses of three Catholics scholars (one of them also a priest) who are all well known to our readers. Fr. Harrison, Professor Pasqualucci, and Professor Pierantoni are all among the 45 signatories of the Theological Censures Document sent last year to the College of Cardinals addressing Amoris Laetitia; Pasqualucci and Pierantoni have also both signed the Filial Correction concerning Amoris Laetitia and other papal words and actions. We are grateful to them for having been willing to make this act of charity for the sake of the fuller truth.

Father Brian Harrison, O.S.

Regarding Dr. Robert Fastiggi’s claim that Pope Francis upholds orthodox sacramental doctrine and discipline:

In a November 25 address to the Roman Rota, Pope Francis referred to his own recent legislation expediting marriage nullity processes, and exhorted the canonists in his audience 'to be close to the solitude and suffering of the faithful who expect from ecclesial justice the competent and factual help to restore peace to their consciences and God’s will on readmission to the Eucharist.' According to Dr. Robert Fastiggi, the Holy Father’s words imply that readmission to the Eucharist for divorced and remarried Catholics not living in continence 'can only come after the declaration of nullity' (emphasis added). Not so. The word 'only' is logically unwarranted here, for Francis’ words are quite compatible with his holding that while some – perhaps most – such Catholics will need a declaration of nullity of their first marriage in order to be absolved and readmitted to the Eucharist, not all of them will need it.

In other words, the Pope’s observation fails to state or imply what the dubia cardinals and others troubled by Amoris Laetitia rightly wish to hear him teach, namely, that if and only if a declaration of nullity is granted may those in question eventually be readmitted to the Eucharist. Francis’ November 25 speech leaves open the possibility that some such persons may be absolved and readmitted to the Eucharistic by a different path – one of 'dialogue,' 'accompanying' and 'discernment' – that requires neither a commitment to continence nor the Church’s recognition that the first marriage was invalid. That the Pope intends AL’s note 351 to open up this new path 'in certain cases' is shown by (for instance) Vatican approval of the Maltese bishops’ allowance of it, his praise for a top-level AL expositor (Cardinal Schönborn) who says the Pope’s exhortation 'obviously' allows for it, a Vatican cardinal’s 30-page booklet allowing it, and its approved implementation in the Holy Father’s own Diocese of Rome.

[The Rev. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., M.A., S.T.D., a priest of the Society of the Oblates of Wisdom, is a retired Associate Professor of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, P.R. In 1997 he gained his doctorate in Systematic Theology, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical Athenæum of the Holy Cross in Rome. Since 2007 Fr. Harrison has been scholar-in-residence at the Oblates of Wisdom Study Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and is well-known as a speaker and writer. He is the author of three books and over 130 articles in Catholic books, magazines, and journals].

*   *   *

Professor Paolo Pasqualucci

Did Pope Francis already answer the five dubia of the four cardinals, or some of them? No, he didn’t.

Why didn’t he? Here are some reasons.

1.) A preliminary but substantial point. The five dubia do not represent an accusation.  They are an official request of clarification by four cardinals, aiming to dissolve erroneous and heretical interpretations of what the Pope himself has written in a magisterial document (AL).  The Pope has the duty to answer in an official way, i.e. either with a document released motu proprio or through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stating authoritatively the authentic meaning (interpretatio authentica) of his own words; that is, an interpretation by the Lawmaker himself that eliminates any doubt as to the perfect orthodoxy of what he has written, contextually condemning any possible erroneous interpretation thereof.

Therefore, the Pope’s indirect declarations and hints related to the problems involved by AL, released in audio messages, addresses, interviews, etc., have no value as to the solution of those problems.

He has to answer ex cathedra, since the four cardinals have addressed their dubia ex cathedra too, i.e., in their capacity as high level members of the clergy directly assisting the pope in the government of the Church.

The lack of any official, magisterial answer on the part of the pope allows anyone to interpret the ambiguous parts of Amoris Laetitia the way he wants, so that confusion and anarchy continue to spread in the Holy Church.

Pope Francis can’t persist in maintaining an indirect approach — substantially a no-approach — policy on the dubia questions. In any case, independently from the dubia, the reigning, sinister confusion requires as such a magisterial pronouncement on his part, since he alone is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the Head of the visible Church.

2.) The thesis that Pope Francis does not describe 'conscience as an autonomous faculty for deciding good or evil', as the four cardinals (according to the author of the article) seem to think, overlooks the fact that the four cardinals in reality do not intimate that the Pope 'describes' conscience that way; rather, that such a wrong notion of conscience may be deducted from certain ambiguous points of AL.

In addition, the papal quotation from Romano Guardini (supposedly demonstrating his orthodoxy) proposes a text that on one side is not conclusive, in the sense that it can very well suit a deistic notion of the conscience (à la Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to be clear); on the other side, it appears obscure in its final, dotted [abbreviated using multiple ellipses – Ed.] part.

3.) The quotation of art. 16 of Gaudium et Spes (GS) on the part of the pope introduces a very slippery text. This famous article deals with 'the dignity of moral consciousness'. Initially, it moves along still in accordance with the right doctrine, based on Rom. 2:14-16, that notoriously confirms the existence of a moral law established by God in our conscience; a law which our conscience can (and must) comprehend and follow.  The heathens, teaches St. Paul, deprived of  Revelation, will be judged according to this law, i.e. according to how their conscience has behaved in relation to this law.

But in the second part of art. 16, it is said that 'in fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships.  Hence the more right conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by the objective norms of morality'. (GS 16 §2)

Here the 'objective norms of morality' do not result from the Revelation of Our Lord Jesus Christ or from the natural law embedded in our hearts, but from the 'dialogue' with 'the rest of men', with the aim 'of finding the truth'. Truth in ethics, therefore, does not result from what Our Lord, the Apostles, and the perennial Church have taught us, but from a common research with the rest of humanity, either heretical or adverse to Christianity! In this quest the guide is not the Gospel and the teaching of the Church but our individual conscience, that elaborates the truth together with all the rest of mankind while learning from them!  Here appears a notion of truth that is absolutely incompatible with the notion of a truth revealed by the true God as the only basis of our religious and moral principles.

So, to make an example, the truth about marriage how are we supposed 'to find it', since Vatican 2?  In a common research (or 'dialogue') with those who admit of divorce, repudiation, temporary marriage, poligamy, concubinate and so on? Indeed, that’s what many have done, relying on the judgement of their own conscience, and we have seen the nefarious results of this quest or research for the notion and practice of Catholic marriage.

4.) It is grand that a remark by Pope Francis to an audience of participants in the course promoted by the Roman Rota (on Nov. 25, 2017) apparently 'implied that those who are divorced and remarried are not admitted to the Eucharist'. If that was the meaning of his remark — I mean, that the implicit meaning of the remark effectively coincided with the Pope’s opinion on the matter dealt with in the remark — the fact remains that the Pope has the duty to expose the right doctrine openly, clearly and, when necessary, in a magisterial statement, without compelling so frequently the faithful to dig out possible orthodox meanings from statements otherwise involved and ambiguous.

5.) In the end, the hermeneutic on Pope’s Francis ambiguous statements, via the quotation of Cardinal Müller’s interpretations and of certain non-conclusive doctrinal statements by Cardinal Ratzinger, plus the author’s own interpretation of the same problematic [statements] do not come to any real valid conclusion because they are always compelled, in the end, to make a hypothesis on what Pope Francis 'perhaps' really meant.

[Paolo Pasqualucci is a retired professor of philosophy of the law at the University of Perugia, Italy].

*   *   *

Professor Claudio Pierantoni

What mainly strikes me about Dr. Fastiggi’s recent article is his naïveness: I can see his honesty and good faith in looking for orthodox statements by the pope. But to think that a few orthodox sentences that 'could be taken' to express the correct doctrine in the disputed issues can quiet papal critics shows a thorough lack of understanding of Francis’ tactics. He has been shown on quite a number of occasions 'quieting' his interlocutor with sentences that 'can be taken' in an orthodox sense; but without excluding 'exceptions' or 'precisions' that come from the opposite point of view. That is, in fact, the typical tactic of the heretic: the heretic, by definition, is not someone that 'attacks' Christian doctrine, but someone who interprets it in his own way: he is not someone that wants to be excluded from the Church, but someone who wants to stay firmly in his position. So, there is nothing surprising in the fact that he can say many things that can be, or at least sound orthodox. That’s the reason why the Church, when stating some doctrine, also formulates it in a negative way, in the form of an 'anatema', i.e., explicitly condemning the opposite error.
That’s why four of the five presented dubia require a negative answer: because the exclusion of something is here the decisive thing: e.g. 'divorced and remarried can in no case receive the Eucharist'; 'some kind of acts may never be licitly performed'. If I express the same concept in a positive way, there’s always the possibility to later add an exception.

That is the main reason why we critics – and millions of Catholics – cannot be quieted by such statements as Dr. Fastiggi quotes, and need a clear answer to the dubia. In the absence of this, we must necessarily think, after more than one year and a series of occasions that have been given to the Pope in order that he clarify his position, that he doesn’t really maintain the doctrines to which the dubia make reference, and therefore he has fallen into heresy.

[Claudio Pierantoni is Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the University of Chile, and a Former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He is also a member of the International Association of Patristic Studies.]


[1P5] 2212.SA3



















Families as primary
educators, protectors




Proposed smacking ban: bad news all round – especially for children

Family Education Trust director, Norman Wells, responds to the Scottish Government’s announcement that it will ‘ensure’ that John Finnie’s Member’s Bill to criminalise smacking in Scotland becomes law.

ADVOCATES of a ban on smacking invariably fail to think through the implications of what they are proposing. But if the Scottish government succeeds in getting John Finnie’s bill onto the statute books, it will be a criminal offence for a parent to smack a naughty child. Such an outcome would have damaging consequences for families, for Scottish society and for children at risk of significant harm.

Let’s be clear, all forms of child abuse and unreasonable punishment are already against the law. An outright ban on all forms of physical correction, no matter how mild, would therefore not give children any more protection against abusive treatment than they already have. What it would do, though, is to subject the mildest of smacks to criminal sanction.

As with any issue that arouses strong emotions, it is important to keep a clear head and keep things in proportion. This is not a subject for soundbites and knee-jerk reactions. Rather, it calls for sober reflection. We need to carefully weigh the consequences of the proposed legislation.

Court action

If the Scottish Parliament were to impose a blanket ban on all smacking, then children from loving homes who are not at the slightest risk of abuse could be hauled before the courts and forced to testify against their parents if they continued to use an occasional mild smack.

Children would risk suffering the humiliation and degradation of physical examinations and the possibility of seeing their parents dragged through the criminal justice system. The emotional damage of such an intrusion into a well-functioning home would by far outweigh the momentary discomfort of a tap on the back of the legs.

That prospect doesn’t only send a shudder down the spines of caring parents who have occasionally used a disciplinary smack to good effect. It is also deeply disturbing to many other parents who do not personally favour smacking as a disciplinary tool at all.

It is hard to think of anything more undermining of parents and more damaging to loving families. For the law to drive a wedge between children and their parents in this way presents a serious threat to stable family life.

Social work caseload

But a smacking ban wouldn’t only run the risk of harm to children from stable and loving homes where their parents continued to use physical discipline in a loving and responsible way. It would also vastly increase the caseload of social workers and deprive children suffering real abuse of the support they need.

To equate a moderate smack with the kind of horrific abuse experienced by such children would only serve to obscure and trivialise their suffering.

Positive effects of smacking

Contrary to the claims of the abolitionists, research demonstrates that a mild smack to correct a child’s bad behaviour has a positive effect in the context of a parent-child relationship where the child is loved and cherished.

Studies that have compared its effectiveness with other common methods of discipline, such as grounding, depriving children of privileges or sending them to their room, have found that smacking compares very favourably. A ban on smacking would therefore deprive parents of an effective sanction and result in some parents resorting to methods that are cruel and emotionally harmful.

The Scottish government claims that ‘physical punishment can have negative effects on children, which can last long after the physical pain has died away’. But hundreds of thousands of Scottish adults will testify that the moderate physical correction they received from a loving parent has done them nothing but good in the long-term, even though they did not appreciate it at the time. Others will tell you that their most painful memories from childhood have nothing to do with smacking, but with hurtful, aggressive, offensive and insulting words spoken by a parent who has lost control.

Sweden’s smacking ban

If parents were denied the freedom to use a moderate and controlled physical sanction to nip a child’s misbehaviour in the bud, in some cases the child’s bad behaviour would deteriorate to the point at which the parents would lash out in exasperation and cause harm to the child.

It is a little-publicised fact that the years following Sweden’s ban on smacking in 1979 saw a fivefold increase in physical child abuse cases classified as criminal assaults and a similar increase in child-on-child criminal assaults.

Evidence from other countries that have imposed smacking bans is sparse, but national reports submitted to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child offer little to suggest that making smacking a criminal offence produces happier, better-adjusted children or contributes to harmonious family life.


In practice, a ban on smacking would be impossible to police. But it would create a climate of fear which would, in itself, be detrimental to family life. Some parents would doubtless try to observe the letter of the law, but in doing so, may resort to emotional and manipulative tactics that would be damaging to their children.

Other parents may conclude that they love their children too much to comply with such an ill-advised law and continue to use an occasional smack to correct their children’s behaviour. But such parents would run the risk of potentially damaging state intrusion, including court proceedings, if they are discovered. Either way, it is the children who would lose out.

Governments don’t bring up children; parents do. As one social commentator has warned:

'We should be] very cautious of recommendations decreasing the role of parents and increasing the role of the state in family life… Children’s rights theory claims to promote the welfare of children. But in reality it throws children into the arms of state professionals—who may be filled with big ideas but empty of the bonds of family love'.

[FET] 2212.1b





















Humanae Vitae


Jerome Lejeune: Through his wife's eyes

JEROME LEJEUNE was the French geneticist who discovered the cause of Down Syndrome. He also had a close friendship with St. John Paul II and now has a cause for his own sainthood opened - we hear more about his life and legacy with his wife, Madame Lejeune.



[EWTN] 2212.2



















United Nations


UN logo


The cost of compromise and the dividends of defiance

STEFANO GENNARINI, J.D., reports : 'Last week the small island state of Saint Lucia and African nations threw a wrench into the machinations of the UN system when they added amendments recognizing parental guidance in sex education in three resolutions about children.

We should celebrate this success. But the Africans and their allies have yet to reverse the direction toward which the UN machinery is churning. Despite their best efforts, they could not sanitize the resolutions entirely. All three resolutions also call for the provision of 'sexual and reproductive health' to children, defined as young as ten years old. They do so without any caveat or qualification, including allowance for parental authority.

When looking at the broader context of the vote on the parental guidance amendment, we realize just how much the sexual revolution is transforming UN social policy.

Two principal objectives of powerful Western donor states in these resolutions were to legitimize efforts of the UN system to promote 'comprehensive sexuality education' and efforts to provide Asian and African girls with contraception and abortion. All of this without parental guidance or consent. UN agencies and their partners have this kind of programming at the ready as part of their efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, and they are simply waiting on UN resolutions to give them normative backing to streamline this into their policies and programs.

The Africans and their allies were able to undermine efforts to legitimize 'comprehensive sexuality education' in UN policy at the normative level. But the parental amendment may not be sufficient to derail UN programming on comprehensive sexuality education, as donor states seemed to suggest in statements last week.

Moreover, the amendment applied only to sex education, and not the overall focus of the UN system to mainstream sexual and reproductive health in UN policy and programing.

Merely mentioning 'sexual and reproductive health' in resolutions involving children would have been unthinkable until recently.

The entire African Group made a reservation on the Sustainable Development Goals when it transpired that UN agencies were trying to make access to abortion and contraception by children without parental consent a measure of success of the 2030 Agenda. The relentlessness of powerful Western donors and UN agencies appears to have had some effect.

Opposition to this terminology has been eroded in recent years by negotiating fatigue. Abortion groups and the UN system worked to obscure how the terms normally include abortion by definition. And delegates don’t always understand how certain terms in UN resolutions give political and financial support to groups that perform and promote abortion, no matter the intent of governments.

In resolutions they sponsor, European and Latin American are not interested in qualifying 'sexual and reproductive health' by reference to previous UN agreements that exclude a right to abortion and other controversial new rights about sexual autonomy. In fact, they fight it tooth and nail, so vested are they in promoting abortion.

By contrast, an African-backed resolution qualified the term 'sexual and reproductive health' to exclude abortion rights, and another sponsored by Indonesia and the Philippines did not employ the term at all.

Perhaps these recent developments are a harbinger of more good things to come from the African continent.


[C-FAM] 2212.UN1
























News from around the world


Australia Senate votes to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’

THE AUSTRALIAN SENATE has passed a bill to legalize homosexual 'marriage,' but turned down conservative efforts to amend the bill that would allow religious business owners such as bakers, florists, and musicians to opt out of participating in same-sex weddings.  

Attempts to grant religious freedom to non-clergy to opt out of solemnizing homosexual 'marriages' also were rebuffed, as were parental rights amendments that would allow parents of public school children to opt out of class instruction normalizing homosexuality.

The bill passed the Senate easily in a 43-12 vote. Upon passage, cheers went up both in the Senate chamber and outside on the streets, where gays and lesbians praised the legislation.

The Senate vote was a confirmation of the nation’s postal referendum, in which nearly 62 percent of 12 million respondents favored legalizing gay 'marriage' Australia has a population of more than 24 million.The strategy of a non-binding postal referendum was a last-ditch effort by homosexual activists after failing more than 20 times to get either the upper or lower houses of government to legalize gay 'marriage'

The popular mail-in worked to pressure reluctant legislators into voting for legalization. The bill is now expected to also pass in the House of Representatives and be signed into law, perhaps as early as next week. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he wanted to fast-track the law by December 7.

People of faith repeatedly warned that the law must include protections for religious objectors. 'I do not think we have made these changes in a way which advances rights fully,' National Party Senator Matt Canavan said.

Conservatives hope to amend the legislation in the lower house to give religious liberty to those whose sincerely held beliefs differ with the gay agenda. Without such an amendment, only recognized clergy are exempt from government enforcement of participation in same-sex 'marriage'
Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney said he was 'deeply disappointed' with the results of the national referendum, predicting the 'further deconstruct(ion) of marriage and family in Australia'

The archbishop commented how the postal vote was 'a David and Goliath struggle with politicians, corporates, celebrities, journalists, professional and sporting organizations drowning out the voices of ordinary Australians and pressuring everyone to vote Yes'

If the lower house works as fast as the upper house did and Turnbull’s promise of a law by Christmas is fulfilled, Australia will become the 26th nation to legalize homosexual 'marriage' As recently as 1997, some Australian states still had laws against sodomy.

'The Australian people voted to lessen discrimination, not to extend it, and we, the senate, have respected that vote by rejecting amendments which sought to extend discrimination,' openly lesbian Labor Senator Penny Wong said.  

Wong described the Senate vote as a 'remarkable achievement' and an 'historic event' Australia’s first open homosexual woman said, 'This parliament, this country, accept you for who you are ... It says you’re one of us'

Openly gay Senator Dean Smith commented, 'In the course of a generation, we have seen the LGBTI community move from rejection to tolerance, from tolerance to acceptance, and from acceptance to embrace'

Attorney General George Brandis said, 'By passing this bill, we are saying to those vulnerable young people there is nothing wrong with you,' he said.  'You are not unusual. You are not abnormal. You are just you'


















CF News / World ews

United Kingdom Draconian' education Act would see local authorities policing homeschoolers

A PROPOSED amendment to the UK's Education Act would see local authorities 'monitor' the 'educational, physical, and emotional development' of children who are being taught at home, in plans deemed 'draconian' by homeschooling parents.

The Private Members' Bill, put forward by Estelle Morris on behalf of Labour's Lord Soley, has passed the second reading in the House of Lords; if it passes through the House of Lords and then on to the House of Commons, the Bill would be the first step in the regulation of homeschooling.

The Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill would grant 'local authorities… the duty to monitor the educational, physical and emotional development of children receiving elective home education in their area.'

Additionally, the Bill asserts that parents of homeschooled children must 'register' their child with the local authority which 'must assess annually' each homeschooled child.

The 'assessment' may include a visit to the child's home or an 'interview' with the child.

The number of home-registered pupils has nearly doubled between 2011-2012 and 2016-17 with the highest increase in homeschoolers occurring between the past two school years from 21,740 in 2015-2016 to 29,805 in 2016-2017.

Schools Week website asserts the numbers of parents opting out of state education is even higher as those figures reflect Freedom of Information requests from just over half - 86 out of 152 - local authorities.

Councils have said that bullying, not getting the preferred school places, dissatisfaction with the school system, and greater awareness of home education are the major reasons for the rise.

Greg Smith, head of operations at Oxford Home Schooling, which provides syllabuses for home educators, says the bill has spawned a Facebook group of 400 parents, many of whom feel the measures are 'draconian' and would make parents feel like criminals.

The only other occasion on which the state has the right to enter your home is 'if you've committed a crime', he said.

UKIP Education Spokesman David Kurten told Breitbart London: 'It has always been the case that parents are the primary educators of their children. This principle must not be abolished under a false premise.

'There are many and varied reasons why parents choose to homeschool their children, but most parents have their children's best interests at heart. There is currently a worrying trend among MPs and Ofsted to attempt to indoctrinate primary school children with 'LGBT sex and relationships education' and 'gender-queer theory' at an age which is far too much too young.

'Many schools also unashamedly promote EU propaganda and have an unhealthy political bias among many teachers towards Marxism and far left ideologies.

'Parents must continue to have the choice to remove their children from such political indoctrination without fear of interference from the state in their families and homes

[Breitbart] 2212.3



















CF News / World news

United Kingdom Inquiry is told that priests must violate the Seal of the Confessional

AN INQUIRY into child sex abuse heard that priests should be forced to reveal Confessions in such cases

British priests should be compelled to break the Seal of the Confessional in cases of child abuse, lawyers have told a national inquiry.

Solicitor David Enright, representing former pupils at a Comboni missionary school, said it was a problem that 'matters revealed in Confession, including child abuse, cannot be used in governance'.

'One can't think of a more serious obstacle embedded in the law of the Catholic Church to achieving child protection.'

He added: 'The Catholic Church is so opaque, so disparate, so full of separate bodies who are not subject to any authority that it is difficult to see how reform can be made to provide good governance and introduce acceptable standards of child protection.'

Richard Scorer, another lawyer representing victims, called for a 'mandatory reporting law', asking: 'Why has the temptation to cover up abuse been particularly acute in organisations forming part of the Roman Catholic Church?'

The lawyers were speaking at the opening of a three-week hearing into abuse at English Benedictine schools.

Their recommendations echo a suggestion heard in August by Australia's royal commission on child abuse, which prompted Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne to say he would go to jail rather than violate the Seal.

The Catechism says the seal of Confession is 'inviolable' and any priest who violates it incurs automatic excommunication.

The hearing into two English Benedictine independent schools, Ampleforth and Downside, is the latest segment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse - thought to be the biggest public inquiry ever established in England and Wales.

Lawyers representing the Benedictines expressed regret for past abuse. Kate Gallafent QC, for the English Benedictine Congregation, said there had been 'intense sadness at the anguish caused to so many people'. Matthias Kelly QC, speaking for Ampleforth, said: 'We wish to apologise for the hurt, distress and damage done to those who suffered abuse when in our care. We will do everything we can to ensure that there is no repetition.'

[Catholic Herald 2212.4




















CF News / Vatican watch

United Kingdom Home Secretary launches review into 'harassment, intimidation near abortion clinics'

THE HOME SECRETARY, Amber Rudd, has announced a review into 'harassment and intimidation near abortion clinics.' The Home Office announcement begins with the assertion that 'some women have been subjected to harassment and intimidating behaviour from protesters when visiting family planning clinics to seek information, advice and services from medical professionals.'

Amber Rudd is quoted as saying: 'While everyone has a right to peaceful protest, it is completely unacceptable that anyone should feel harassed or intimidated simply for exercising their legal right to healthcare advice and treatment.'

The review will gather evidence from police forces, healthcare providers and local authorities 'to understand the scale and nature of these protests, before considering what further action the government can take to protect those using or working in abortion clinics.'

The announcement appears to be in response to the concerted campaign against pro-life vigils by Labour MP Rupa Huq. Last week, Clare McCullough, head of the Good Counsel Network, which runs several prayer vigils in London, warned Ms Rudd that buffer zones would deny women in need alternatives to abortion. Their life-saving work was highlighted in Parliament by Sir Edward Leigh, who read out the testimony of 'Kate' who jumped out of an abortion clinic window to seek help from counsellors.

In a press release, SPUC's Antonia Tully condemned the way the news was announced, saying: 'The misleading and inflammatory terms used by Amber Rudd to announce the Home Office review are likely to prejudice its outcome and result in vulnerable women being denied vital information which, almost every day, leads a woman to rethink or decide against having an abortion.'

SPUC CEO John Smeaton has written to members to request they contact their MP, asking him or her to write to Amber Rudd 'objecting to the terms of this biased review.' He points out that the review is based on the unfounded assumption that harassment and intimidation are taking place. In addition, the basis of the review is not if anything more is needed in addition to existing legislation against harassment and intimidation, but what more needs to be done.

Mr Smeaton concluded the letter saying: 'This Home Office review is a wholly inappropriate response to small numbers of prayerful people who offer leaflets to women. These leaflets let women know where they can get help, which they cannot get anywhere else. Please make this your number one pro-life priority. Nothing is more urgent.'

Download the letter and guide notes on the SPUC website:

[SPUC] 2212.5



















CF News / Vatican watch

United Kingdom Cardinal Vincent Nichols congratulates Prince on engagement to divorcee

CARDINAL VINCENT NICHOLS has congratulated His Royal Highness Prince Harry on his engagement to the American divorcee actress Meghan Markle.

In a tweet, the Archbishop of Westminster offered his prayers for the couple as they prepare for their 'life-long commitment to marriage'.

[CF News] 2212.6



















CF News / Vatican watch

United States Priests conspiring to create 'priestless parishes' run by 'deaconnesses'

THE LEPANTO INSTITUTE reports : 'The abusive deconstruction of the Mass began in the late 1960's, introducing liturgical dancers and girl altar-boys to the Catholic Church. Organizations like Call to Action, FutureChurch, Pax Christi, and a host of others have done their utmost to tear down the Traditions of the Church, replacing them with neo-pagan practices. Now, an organization operating under the name 'Association of U.S. Catholic Priests' (AUSCP) is actively working to complete the paganization of the Catholic Church by establishing Catholic parishes run by 'ordained' deaconesses.

Recent articles by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and ChurchMilitant.com caused us to take notice of the AUSCP. After performing a quick review of a broad spectrum of reporting (both friendly and hostile) on the AUSCP, we commissioned an Organization Profile and related research on the organization itself and its activities.

In an August 2016 press release, the AUSCP published a statement signed by its leadership team which claims that 'ordaining woman permanent deacons will enhance pastoral ministry to God's people.' This position by the AUSCP is not a new one, however, as the press release points out:

'In its national assembly held in Seattle, WA, in June of 2013, the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP) passed a resolution to promote the ongoing discussion of the ordination of women as permanent deacons in our Catholic Church.'

The resolution mentioned in the press release did more than simply 'promote ongoing discussion' on the ordination of women as deacons, however. Taking matters a step further, the resolution specifically called for the ordination of women as deacons and a rewriting of Canon law to lift restrictions against the ordination of women. The passed resolution says:

Proposal 7

'Be it resolved The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) supports the ordination of women to the permanent diaconate and recommends:

• That the ongoing discussion of the ordination of women to the diaconate continue;

• That the US Catholic Bishops publicly support the restoration of the ancient practice of ordaining deaconesses; (cf. Constitution of the Holy Apostles, 8. 19-20)

• That the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) request amendment of canon 1024 which restricts valid sacred ordination to baptized males alone.'

This support for female deacons, however, is not intended to be an end in itself, but a stepping stone to something far more insidious. At the end of the day, as with nearly all dissident, heretical sects like this one, the end goal is the priestly ordination of women by stages. The AUSCP's Proposal 7 was immediately followed by a resolution for the ordination of women as priestesses:

Proposal 8

'Be it resolved that the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP), call for the study of, and an open discussion for the ordination of women and married men to the priesthood.' Rationale:

• This is a first necessary step (…study and discussion…)

• The People of God need shepherds

• The people of God need sacraments

Let's review the progression … AUSCP asserts its full-throated support for the ordination of women to the permanent diaconate and the removal of restrictions to the ordination of women. Following that, AUSCP proposes 'open discussion' on the ordination of women to the priestesshood. In the rationale, it calls 'open discussion' a necessary first step toward ordaining women as priestesses. It's worth noting that 'open discussion' is never truly about an academic exercise directed toward Truth, but is more in line with the directed dialogue initiated by the serpent in Eden. In other words, just the possibility of having this discussion is seen as necessary for getting what they want … ordained women. But, before there can be a dialogue about the viability of ordaining women as priestesses, there must first be something to talk about and something to show as support for their position. This is why opening the door to the female diaconate is so important to them, and why their plan for 'priestlesses parishes' is so integral to the plan.

AUSCP has a document on its website titled, 'PASTORAL CARE IN AND THROUGH PRIESTLESS PARISHES.' In this document, the blueprint never specifies deaconesses or priestesses, but when considered in the light of the above proposals, the push for 'priestless parishes' takes on a much darker tone than even the title suggests.

It's bad enough to consider the proposal for a parish without a priestly pastor. But this proposal suggests an avenue by which deaconesses could take the place of priests as 'Pastoral Leaders' of a parish. The proposal suggests that Pastoral Leaders will:

'take responsibility for the day to day coordination of parish activities, and take initiative as needed to motivate, to correct, and to affirm persons who work in the parish ministries; and where needed, provide conflict resolution and reconciliation. To be a true pastoral leader he/she must lead worship where appropriate, and likewise break open the Word. In short, he/she would be in the role of pastor, excepting sacramental ministry, and under the supervision of the canonical pastor.'

Here's the thing … the current code of Canon Law permits only males to lead in liturgical worship. But … the reasoning goes … if a woman can take on the administrative duties of a deacon, and the priest is stretched too thin, why not allow her to also act in his place while he is away. Ordaining a woman as a deaconess would allow women to read the Gospels, give sermons, and conduct baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Women are already distributing Holy Communion, so why not let them conduct Communion Services in the absence of a priest? The only thing she couldn't do is consecrate.

So, as an answer to the priest shortage crisis, the AUSCP (and others) proposes the ordination of women to the diaconate. The next step is to appoint them as pastoral leaders in 'priestless parishes,' where a local priest runs around several parishes to conduct an occasional Mass to consecrate enough hosts to last until his next visit. In this capacity, the deaconess/pastoral leader will conduct Communion services without the Mass, looking for all intents and purposes like a priestess without actually being one. And then, if AUSCP (and its cohorts) can get some bishop somewhere to experiment with their proposal for 'priestless parishes,' implementing ordained deaconesses as Pastoral Leaders, then it can proceed to its second proposal, which is open discussion for the ordination of women as priestesses. At this point, since women would already be doing just about everything else a priest does, with the exception of consecration, the logical next step is 'simply' ordaining women to the priestesshood.

While it may seem a far cry for this to happen, the AUSCP has a great deal of influence through the bishops who have willingly participated in their conferences. For instance, then Archbishop Cupich of Chicago celebrated Mass for AUSCP's Assembly in 2016.

The AUSCP's Assembly in 2017 had the keynote address given by Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia.

Archbishop Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico was a participant, and Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, of the Diocese of Savannah, gave a retreat to the AUSCP.

At the 2017 Assembly, Archbishop Wester agreed to serve in a newly created position called Episcopal Moderator. Quite conveniently, the AUSCP 2018 Assembly will be in Albuquerque, NM: June 25-28, 2018.

Bishop McElroy of San Diego, California is slated to be a featured speaker in that assembly. Considering that there is a persistent rumor that Bp. McElroy is slated to replace Cardinal Wuerl in Washington, DC, his involvement in the AUSCP may be more significant. Only time will tell.

It's important to point out a few other influential figures who participated in the AUSCP Assemblies. Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is the CEO of Canada's Salt and Light Media Foundation and was appointed by Pope Francis as the English language Media Attaché of the Holy See Press Office, participated in the AUSCP's 2015 Assembly. As Fr. Rosica was being introduced, the speaker mistakenly identified Fr. Rosica with EWTN, which drew boos and laughs, and the speaker apologized for 'insulting' Fr. Rosica for doing so.



Other prominent figures you may recognize are Fr. Bryan Massingale:



Sister Simone Campbell:



Massimo Faggioli:



Fr. Greg Boyle:



And Jack Jezreel, founder of JustFaith Ministries:



If you think this is far-fetched and would never happen in the Catholic Church, let's examine a few things that have been allowed to happen in Catholic Churches over the last 60 years.

Modern liturgy


• Egocentric liturgical dancing has replace Christocentric reverence and awe.

• Gross abuses such as mock-sacrifice offered through puppets have been allowed to replace the True and sublime Sacrifice.

• Clown Masses have been permitted while the Traditional Mass has been suppressed.

• Holy Communion has been allowed to be distributed by laymen (including women), and in the hand, replacing the distribution of Communion ONLY by a priest and on the tongue.

The point is, the danger posed by the AUSCP should not be blown off as a passing fad concocted by some aging, effeminate priests.

[Lepanto Institute] 2212.7



















CF News / Vatican watch

United States Synod on Young People 2018

P. J. SMITH writes for First Things : 'The recent meeting of the U.S. Catholic bishops in Baltimore attracted significant notice, with Kansas City's Archbishop Joseph Naumann defeating Chicago's Blase Cardinal Cupich for the leadership of the bishops' influential pro-life committee. The contest between Naumann and Cupich was framed as a contest between the bishops' historical focus on abortion as the primary pro-life issue and a return to the 'seamless garment' approach popularized in the 1970s and 1980s by Detroit's John Cardinal Dearden and Chicago's Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. It is thought that the seamless garment approach is more in line with the views of Pope Francis.

Coverage of the race took a predictable turn. The U.S. bishops, we were told, are simply opposed to Francis's agenda, and their choice is a way of resisting its implementation. This is nonsense-though the progressive narrative about the Church has its flaws, as well. The problem with the conventional wisdom about the Baltimore meeting is that it obscures important preparations by the bishops for the 2018 Synod on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

The bishops chose Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop José Gomez, and Bishop Robert Barron to represent the United States at the Synod next October. It is worth noting that Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Gomez, and Archbishop Chaput had been chosen to attend the 2015 Synod on the Family, which led to Amoris laetitia. One probably should not read too much into the presence of DiNardo and Gomez in the delegation: As president and vice president of the bishops' conference, they were practically guaranteed to be named.

The selection of Chaput and Barron is more interesting. Both prelates have extensive experience with the issues the Synod will be addressing, particularly vocations. Chaput, furthermore, hosted the World Meeting of Families in 2015. But both are also seen as out-of-step with the current pontificate. Though their selection should not be considered a rejection of Francis's agenda, it does tell us something about how the U.S. bishops want to engage with the universal Church.

What the Vatican hopes to see at the Synod is another question. The preparatory document, released back in January, gives a sense. Clearly written by elderly and middle-aged men whose last experience of youth (or with youth) was in 1968 or so, this document is laden with references to young people's suspicions of the stodgy old ways of doing things. There is little mention of the increasing indications that young people are hungry for tradition and beauty.

Consider this passage:

Pastoral vocational care . . . means to accept the invitation of Pope Francis: 'going out', primarily, by abandoning the rigid attitudes which make the proclamation of the joy of the Gospel less credible; 'going out', leaving behind a framework which makes people feel hemmed-in; and 'going out', by giving up a way of acting as Church which at times is out-dated.

Swap 'Francis' for 'Paul VI,' and you could not tell that this wasn't written in 1970. Gone are both John Paul II's visionary confidence and Benedict XVI's careful restoration of continuity. Ignoring the young people who want a way to be authentically Catholic in the modern age, the Synod secretariat seems to want to reach the kids in bellbottoms yearning for the AMC Gremlin with the Levi's denim interior.

Joshua McElwee, the National Catholic Reporter's Vatican correspondent, informs us that the Synod of Bishops is going to leave open a survey aimed at youth through the end of the year. No doubt they want to get lots of data to support the conclusions they want to put in the final report. It will be a shame if the Synod becomes yet another opportunity for progressives and modernists to get their wish lists fulfilled before the next conclave. Francis understands better than most of his supporters that liberalism's promises have by and large been a trap for young people. In Laudato si', he perceptively wrote that 'people no longer seem to believe in a happy future; they no longer have blind trust in a better tomorrow based on the present state of the world and our technical abilities.' This is especially true of young people.

It is possible to see in the American political controversies of the past year this lack of confidence. Whether it is the white nationalist rallies that garner media attention (if not mass attendance) or the various leftist demonstrations, it is clear that many young people no longer see a happy future, as Francis puts it, for themselves under liberalism. Though their responses may or may not be creditable, the impulse is hard to argue with. Francis, in fact, finds much wrong with the anthropocentric, technocratic society that modern liberalism has built. He calls for 'a bold cultural revolution,' which would 'recover the values and great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur.'

Given the clarity with which young people see the problems with modern society, and given their hunger for values and great goals, it seems that Francis would find support among the youth for his cultural revolution. So it is unfortunate to see the Synod secretariat falling into the shopworn slogans of the past fifty years. One hopes that the U.S. delegates to the Synod can move the discussions away from such out-of-touch views and toward a more realistic assessment of the issues confronting young people. If they do, they will be in line with Francis's agenda, notwithstanding the proclamations of the pontiff's partisans in the press.

[First Things] 2212.8




















CF News / World news

United States Promoting transgender ideology is ‘institutionalised child abuse’, says senior paediatrician

THE FAMILY EDUCATION TRUST writes : 'Professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psyc: hological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.’ So writes Michelle Cretella, * president of the American College of Pediatricians, a national organisation of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children.

According to Dr Cretella, the arguments of the transgender movement are deeply flawed. In an article published on The Daily Signal website, she sets out some of the facts based on scientific evidence:

1. Twin studies prove no one is born ‘trapped in the body of the wrong sex’
‘The belief in 'innate gender identity'—the idea that 'feminised' or 'masculinised' brains can be trapped in the wrong body from before birth—is a myth that has no basis in science.’

2. Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children
‘Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.’

3. Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe
‘There is some evidence for decreased bone mineralisation, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.’

4. There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers
‘This suggests that the medical protocol itself may lead children to identify as transgender. There is an obvious self-fulfilling effect in helping children impersonate the opposite sex both biologically and socially.’

5. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks
‘From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.’

6. Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the capacity needed for risk assessment
‘Scientific data show that people under the age of 21 have less capacity to assess risks. There is a serious ethical problem in allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young themselves to give valid consent.’

7. There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children
‘Contrary to the claim of activists, there is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group… Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder, and there is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different.’

8. Transition-affirming protocol has not solved the problem of transgender suicide
‘Adults who undergo sex reassignment—even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBT-affirming countries—have a suicide rate nearly 20 times greater than that of the general population. Clearly, sex reassignment is not the solution to gender dysphoria.’

The bottom line…

‘Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilisation, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage. These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalised child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies. It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.’

* Michelle Cretella, ‘I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse’, The Daily Signal, 3 July 2017.


[FET] 2212.8a


















CF News / Vatican watch

International gloria.tv.news


[gloria.tv] 2212.9



















CF News / Vatican watch

International Some headlines of the week


Australia: Muslim arrested in Melbourne for New Year's Eve jihad massacre plot

Australia: Muslim who gouged out his wife’s eye says it’s 'normal' behavior in Middle East

Egypt: Muslim who hacked priest to death had been looking for 'any priest' to kill

Germany: Jews stop wearing Kippot due to Muslim attacks

Germany : Bomb planted on children's carousel at Christmas market

India : Police uncover ISIS plot to poison drinking water of Hindu pilgrims

Sweden : Nobody helped woman raped by 20 migrants; we've 'learned not to see or hear too much'

UK : ISIS threat to UK: 'We will destroy your country'

UK : Muslim population 'will more than triple by 2050'

UK : Border Force chief: 'If you're here illegsally, chances of catching you are very slim'

UK : Islamic schoolbooks say beating wives if they refuse sex is okay

USA: ISIS poster threatens Christmas jihad massacre in Times Square


[CF News] 2212.10





















CF News / Vatican watch


International The Prophet Voris



[CMTV] 2212.11



















CF News / Vatican watch

International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo




[EWTN] 2212.12






















The Catholic University as Witness

PATRICK REILLY, founder and president of the Cardinal Newman Society, discusses the special witness that Catholic colleges and universities are called to give with host Michael Hernon, vice president of Advancement at Franciscan University, and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn of Franciscan University's Theology Department.



[Franciscan University of Steubenville] 2212.13






















Fatima children


Fatima seer prophesied 'diabolical revolt' against the Church in newly unearthed letter

JOHN-HENRY WESTEN reports for LifeSiteNews.com : 'A Fatima scholar has revealed the existence of a letter written by Fatima seer Sr. Lucia de Jesus dos Santos to Pope Paul VI, in which she warns him of a 'diabolical revolt' that is causing a 'worldwide disorientation' that is 'martyring the Church.'

The letter attributes this 'revolt' to 'the powers of darkness' and their 'errors' against the Catholic faith, comparing the sufferings of the Catholic Church to that of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemene, and speaking of the Church's 'martyrdom.'

The existence of the letter is revealed by Fatima scholar Kevin J. Symonds in an interview published today by Catholic World Report. Symonds says he discovered the letter in the museum operated by the sisters of the Carmelite convent of Coimbra, Portugal, where Sr. Lúcia spent the last years of her life, and that he received permission from the sisters to publicly reveal its contents.

'In her letter, Sr. Lúcia spoke about a 'diabolical revolt' that was being 'promoted by the powers of darkness' with 'errors' being made against God, His Church, her doctrines and dogmas,' Symonds told Catholic World Report. 'She said the Church was going through an 'agony in Gethsemane' and that there was a 'worldwide disorientation that is martyring the Church.' She wrote to encourage Paul VI as the Vicar of Christ on earth and to tell him of her and others' steadfastness to him, to Christ and His Church in the midst of the revolt.'

Symonds notes that the letter seems to be making references to elements that are found in both the second and third parts of the 'secret of Fatima' that was revealed to Lucia in 1917.

'Perhaps I am biased, having studied the third part of the secret, but I was struck by how similar Sr. Lúcia's discourse appeared to the second and third parts,' Symonds says, noting that Lucia's references to 'the Church's 'agony in Gethsemane' and its martyrdom by a 'worldwide disorientation' seemed similar to the third part of the secret which portrays a global martyrdom of the Church while making its way to a cross.'

'What causes this martyrdom?' asked Symonds. 'In the second part of the secret, Our Lady warned about the spread of Russia's 'errors.' Those errors caused exactly what Our Lady predicted: wars, persecutions of the Church and suffering for the Holy Father that were brought on by Communism and its enforcing atheism through revolution.'

'In June, 1958, Sr. Lúcia wrote to Pope Pius XII and told him that Communism would reach its zenith in the 1960s,' added Symonds. 'The errors of Communism did infect the world, leading people to revolt against God and all that is holy. Therefore, those who are faithful to Jesus Christ in the midst of the revolt undergo a martyrdom.'

However, Symonds acknowledges that this connection is somewhat speculative on his part, and states that 'It would be irresponsible for me or anyone else to state with certitude to the public that Sr. Lúcia made use of the third part in this letter.' He notes that it is sometimes difficult to know when Sr. Lucia is writing her own thoughts or is referring to statements that she received in visions.

Symonds says that he was only able to see the first page of the letter, which was undated. He is unaware of the contents of the second page.

The text of the second part of the 'secret of Fatima' entrusted to Lucia in 1917 and written down by her in 1944, calls for the consecration of Russia and the reception of a 'communion of reparation' on the first Saturdays of five successive months, warning that if her requests are not heeded, 'Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.'

In a 1982 letter to Pope John Paul II, Sr. Lucia stated that the third part of the secret, which depicts a massacre of Catholic clergy and laity ascending a hill, was explained by the second part, stating that 'the third part of the secret refers to Our Lady's words: 'If not [Russia] will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated' (13-VII-1917).'

[LSN] 2212.14



















CF News / Fatima

Cardinal Oddi on Fatima's Third Secret, the Second Vatican Council, and Apostasy

DR. MAIKE HICKSON writes for OnePeterFive : 'Cardinal Silvio Oddi, who died in 2001, was one of the most outspoken conservative prelates of his time. He also has a special place in the history of the debate about the message of Fatima, inasmuch as he insistently tried to get Pope John XXIII to publish the Third Secret of Fatima. As the British newspaper The Telegraph reported upon his death:

'In yet another unguarded interview, published in 1990, Cardinal Oddi spoke about his relationship with John XXIII. In the early 1960s, when acting as his secretary, he told the Pope: 'Most Holy Father, there is one thing for which I cannot forgive you'. The Pope, surprised, asked what it was. Oddi replied that he had not revealed the Third Secret of Fatima, conveyed to three Portuguese children by the Virgin Mary in 1917, which had been scheduled for release in 1960. [emphasis added]

'Let's not talk about it,' replied the Pope. Oddi said he had already delivered a hundred sermons and speeches on the subject. 'I told you not to mention it,' said the Pope.

When recently going through to archives of my husband, Dr. Robert Hickson, with regard to another matter, I happened to find a file on the Fatima debate. In it, there was to be found the famous interview which Cardinal Oddi gave, in April of 1990, to the international monthly journal 30 Days. Since the interview is not available on the journal's own website, I shall quote from the hard copy from my husband's archive, but here is a link to the same interview, even though this link says that the interview was published by another journal, Il Sabato magazine. I shall present parts of this interview to our readers who might be still in the process of learning more about Fatima, just as I do.

Cardinal Oddi, who had been had been the secretary of Archbishop Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli - later Pope John XXIII - during the time the latter served as the apostolic nuncio in Paris, said in the 1990 interview that he did not believe that the then-unpublished Third Secret was mainly about developments in Russia, with Gorbachev and his perestroika, and such. He responds to the question whether he agrees with this Russian thesis, as follows:

'No, on the contrary, I remain very skeptical. I believe I knew John XXIII quite well, since I spent a number of years at his side when he was at the nunciature in Paris. If the Secret had concerned realities consoling for the Church like the conversion of Russia or the religious rebirth of eastern Europe, I believe that he would have brought pressure to bear to make the Secret public.

'By temperament he did not hesitate to communicate joyful things (it has been revealed that Cardinal Roncalli in a number of letters to friends practically announced his election to the papacy). But when I asked him during an audience why in 1960, when the obligation to keep the Secret secret had come to an end, he had not made public the last part of the message of Fatima, he responded with a weary sigh. He then said: 'Don't bring that subject up with me, please …' [emphasis added]

Later in that same interview, Cardinal Oddi explains his own theory concerning the content of the Third Secret of Fatima:

'What happened in 1960 that might have been seen in connection with the Secret of Fatima? The most important event is without a doubt the launching of the preparatory phase of the Second Vatican Council. Therefore I would not be surprised if the Secret had something to do with the convocation of Vatican II… [emphasis added]

When asked, 'Why do you say that?' Oddi responds, in part:

'From the attitude Pope John showed during our conversation, I deduced - but it is only an hypothesis - that the Secret might contain a part that could have a rather unpleasant ring to it. John XXIII had convened the Council with the precise intention of directing the forces of the Church toward the solution of the problems that concern all of humanity, beginning from within. That is, he intended the work to begin with the evangelical perfection pursued by consecrated persons … But we all know that, despite the great merits of the Council, many sad things have also taken place. These sad things are not due to the Council, but they took place in conjunction with the Council. I am thinking, for example, of the number of priests who have abandoned the priesthood: it is said that there have been 80,000. But one only has to recall the anguish with which the Holy Father, Paul VI, in 1968 cried out against the 'autodemolition' taking place in the Church [to include the 'smoke of Satan' quote]'.

Concluding his own reflections upon the possible content of the Third Secret of Fatima, Cardinal Oddi adds:

'This: that I would not be surprised if the Third Secret alluded to dark times for the Church: grave confusions and troubling apostasies within Catholicism itself … If we consider the grave crisis we have lived through since the Council, the signs that this prophecy has been fulfilled do not seem to be lacking [emphasis added]

These words might resound in the words of Sister Lucia of Fatima that have been reported just today in a Catholic World Report interview


with Kevin J. Symonds, a Fatima scholar, who now quotes the seer as having written a letter to Pope Paul VI:

'In her letter, Sr. Lúcia spoke about a 'diabolical revolt' that was being 'promoted by the powers of darkness' with 'errors' being made against God, His Church, her doctrines and dogmas,' Symonds told Catholic World Report. 'She said the Church was going through an 'agony in Gethsemane' and that there was a 'worldwide disorientation that is martyring the Church.' She wrote to encourage Paul VI as the Vicar of Christ on earth and to tell him of her and others' steadfastness to him, to Christ and His Church in the midst of the revolt.'

In 1984, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had given an interview to Jesus magazine (also this document I found in my husband's archives . . . ) in which the prelate responds to the question as to why the Third Secret had not yet been revealed, as follows:

'Because, according to the judgement of the Popes, it [the Third Secret] adds nothing (literally: 'nothing different') to what a Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation: i.e., a radical call for conversion; the absolute importance of history; the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world. And then the importance of the 'novissimi' (the last events at the end of time). If it is not made public - at least for the time being - it is in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for the sensational (literally: 'for sensationalism'). But the things contained in this 'Third Secret' correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima in what is already known of what its message contains. Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for 'salvation.' [emphasis added]

As we continue to see our historic Catholic Faith attenuated, diminished and undermined by the day - much of it still being done in the name of the 'Spirit of the Council' - and often by high-ranking prelates themselves, we cannot stop reflecting upon what Cardinal Oddi's own well-considered theory about the Third Secret was. The Third Secret - that is, the vision - as we now have seen it putatively fully revealed in 2000, does not explain to us the danger of apostasy, nor the other dangers threatening the Faith.

I myself cannot imagine that Our Lady, in 1917 and afterwards, would not want us to be forewarned about what was to come in the years after 1960, if certain things were not loyally done. May there, pray God, soon be more truth and light to come to us in this important matter, at the end of the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima.

[1P5] 2212.15



















Papa Dittatore


The Dictator Pope: Mysterious new book looks 'behind the mask' of Francis

STEVE SKOJEC writes for OnePeterFive : 'A remarkable new book about the Francis papacy is set to be released in English this coming Monday, December 4th, after an Italian debut earlier this month that is rumored to have made quite a splash in Rome. Entitled, The Dictator Pope, it is described on the Amazon pre-order page as 'The inside story of the most tyrannical and unprincipled papacy of modern times.'

The book promises a look 'behind the mask' of Francis, the alleged 'genial man of the people,' revealing how he 'consolidated his position as a dictator who rules by fear and has allied himself with the most corrupt elements in the Vatican to prevent and reverse the reforms that were expected of him.'

OnePeterFive has obtained an advance copy of the English text, and I am still working my way through it. Although most of its contents will be at least cursorily familiar to those who have followed this unusual pontificate, it treats in detail many of the most important topics we have covered in these pages, providing the additional benefit of collecting them all in one place.

The author of the work is listed as Marcantonio Colonna — a transparently clever pen name laden with meaning for the Catholic history buff; the historical Colonna was an Italian nobleman who served as admiral of the papal fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. His author bio tells us he is an Oxford graduate with extensive experience in historical research who has been living in Rome since the beginning of the Francis pontificate, and whose contact with Vatican insiders — including Cardinals and other important figures — helped piece together this particular puzzle. The level of potential controversy associated with the book has seemingly led some journalists in Rome to be wary of broaching the book’s existence publicly (though it is said to be very much a topic of private conversation), whether for fear of retribution — the Vatican has recently been known to exclude or mistreat journalists it suspects of hostility — or for some other reason, remains unclear. Notable exceptions to this conspicuous silence include the stalwart Marco Tosatti — who has already begun unpacking the text at his website, Stilum Curae — and Professor Roberto de Mattei, who writes that the book confirms Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks that there is a 'magic circle' around the pope which 'prevents an open and balanced debate on the doctrinal problems raised' by objections like the dubia and Filial Correction, and that there is also 'a climate of espionage and delusion' in Francis’ Vatican.

Some sources have even told me that the Vatican, incensed by the book’s claims, is so ardently pursuing information about the author’s true identity that they’ve been seeking out and badgering anyone they think might have knowledge of the matter. The Italian version of the book’s website has already gone down since its launch. The reason, as one particularly credible rumor has it, is that its disappearance was a result of the harassment of its designer, even though that person had nothing to do with the book other than having been hired to put it online.

If these sound like thuggish tactics, the book wastes no time in confirming that this pope — and those who support him — are not at all above such things. Colonna introduces his text by way of an ominous portrait of Francis himself, describing a 'miraculous change that has taken over' Bergoglio since his election — a change that Catholics of his native Buenos Aires noticed immediately:

'Their dour, unsmiling archbishop was turned overnight into the smiling, jolly Pope Francis, the idol of the people with whom he so fully identifies. If you speak to anyone working in the Vatican, they will tell you about the miracle in reverse. When the publicity cameras are off him, Pope Francis turns into a different figure: arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs'.

Colonna writes, too, of the 'buyer’s remorse' that some of the cardinals who elected Bergoglio are experiencing as his pontificate approaches its fifth anniversary: 'Francis is showing,' writes Colonna, 'that he is not the democratic, liberal ruler that the cardinals thought they were electing in 2103, but a papal tyrant the like of whom has not been seen for many centuries.'

Colonna then transitions to an opening chapter exposing the work of the so-called St. Gallen 'Mafia' — the group of cardinals who had been conspiring for decades to see to it that a pope of their liking — a pope like Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was capable of becoming — would be elected. Formed in 1996 (with precursor meetings between progressive European prelates giving initial shape to the group as early as the 1980s) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the St. Gallen Mafia was originally headed up by the infamous late archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. The group roster was a rogue’s gallery of heterodox prelates with a list of ecclesiastical accomplishments that reads more like a rap sheet than a curriculum vitae. (In the case of Godfried Danneels, implicated in some way in about 50 of 475 dossiers on clerical sexual abuse allegations that mysteriously disappeared after evidence seized by Belgian police was inexplicably declared inadmissible in court, this comparison transcends analogy.)

The names of some of the most prominent members of the group — many of which would have been unknown to even relatively well-informed Catholics just a decade ago — have become uncomfortably familiar in recent years: Cardinals Martini, Danneels, Kasper, Lehman, and (Cormac) Murphy O’Connor have all risen in profile considerably since their protege was elevated to the Petrine throne. After a controversial career, Walter Kasper had already begun fading into obscurity before he was unexpectedly praised in the new pope’s first Angelus address on March 17, 2013. Francis spoke admiringly of Kasper’s book on the topic of mercy — a theme that would become a defining touchstone of his pontificate. When Kasper was subsequently tapped to present the Keynote at the February 14, 2014 consistory of cardinals, the advancement of his proposal to create a path for Communion for the divorced and remarried thrust him further into the spotlight. The so-called 'Kasper proposal' launched expectations for the two synods that would follow on marriage and the family and provided the substrate for the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, around which there has been a theological and philosophical debate the likes of which has not seen in the living memory of the Church. For his part, Danneels, who retired his position as Archbishop of Brussels under 'a cloud of scandal' in 2010, even went so far as to declare that the 2013 conclave result represented for him 'a personal resurrection experience.'

And what was the goal of the St. Gallen group?

Originally, their agenda was to bring about a 'much more modern' Church. That goal finally crystalized around opposition to the anticipated election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy — a battle in which they were narrowly defeated during the 2005 conclave, when, according to an undisclosed source within the curia, the penultimate ballot showed a count of 40 votes for Bergoglio and 72 for Ratzinger. Colonna cites German Catholic journalist Paul Badde in saying that it was the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner — later one of the four 'dubia' cardinals — who 'passionately fought' the Gallen Mafia in favor of the election of Ratzinger. After this loss, the Gallen Mafia officially disbanded. But although Cardinal Martini died in 2012, they staged a comeback — and eventually won the day — on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. For it was on that day that Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, victorious, as Pope Francis the First. Those paying attention would take note that one Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium stood triumphantly by his side.

Colonna points out that indications existed — particularly through certain press interviews with Cardinal Murphy O’Connor — the possibility of some pre-meditated collusion between Bergoglio and the St. Gallen conspirators who worked to elect him. Colonna writes:

'In late 2013, the archbishop of Westminster gave an interview to the Catholic Herald in which he admitted not only to campaigning at the Conclave, but to gaining Bergoglio’s assent to be their man.

The article by Miguel Cullen in the September 12, 2013 edition of the Herald says, 'The cardinal also disclosed that he had spoken to the future Pope as they left the Missa pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the final Mass before the conclave began on March 12.'

Murphy O’Connor said, 'We talked a little bit. I told him he had my prayers and said, in Italian: ‘Be careful.’ I was hinting, and he realised and said: 'Si – capisco' – yes, I understand. He was calm. He was aware that he was probably going to be a candidate going in. Did I know he was going to be Pope? No. There were other good candidates. But I knew he would be one of the leading ones.’' The admonition to Bergoglio to 'be careful' certainly seems to imply that Murphy O’Connor – and Bergoglio – knew he was at least bending the rules.

This is supported again in the same article in the Herald where Murphy O’Connor is quoted saying, 'All the cardinals had a meeting with him in the Hall of Benedictions, two days after his election. We all went up one by one. He greeted me very warmly. He said something like: ‘It’s your fault. What have you done to me?’'

In an interview with the Independent after the Conclave, Murphy O’Connor also hinted there was a particular programme laid before the 76 year-old Argentinian, that he was expected to accomplish in about four years. The English cardinal told journalist[3] and author Paul Vallely, 'Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things.' A fair enough comment after the fact, but this was the same phrase recorded by Andrea Tornielli in La Stampa in an article dated March 2, 2013, eleven days before Bergoglio’s election: 'Four years of Bergoglio would be enough to change things,’ whispers a cardinal and long-time friend of the archbishop of Buenos Aires.'

Four years has certainly been enough.

From this analysis of Francis’ inauspicious beginnings as the handpicked pope of the most progressive forces in the Church, Colonna takes us on a brief but informative tour of his life and background. He mentions Bergoglio’s strained relationship with his parents — his father a 'struggling accountant' and mother a temporary invalid — noting that he rarely speaks of them. He examines Bergoglio’s precipitous rise through the Jesuits in Argentina, despite opposition from his superiors at certain critical points along the way. Highlighted too, was the assessment of the unusually young provincial by the Jesuit Superior General —  offered when Bergoglio applied for a dispensation from the Jesuit rule forbidding him from becoming a bishop — allegedly describing him in no uncertain terms as unsuitable for the role. I say allegedly, because the text of the evaluation has never been made public. Writes Colonna:

'Father Kolvenbach accused Bergoglio of a series of defects, ranging from habitual use of vulgar language to deviousness, disobedience concealed under a mask of humility, and lack of psychological balance; with a view to his suitability as a future bishop, the report pointed out that he had been a divisive figure as Provincial of his own order. It is not surprising that, on being elected Pope, Francis made efforts to get his hands on the existing copies of the document, and the original filed in the official Jesuit archives in Rome has disappeared.

Despite these setbacks, Bergoglio was seen, at the time, as a champion of Catholic conservatism in the mode of John Paul II by Cardinal Quarracino, his predecessor in the archbishopric of Buenos Aires and the man who ultimately ignored the warnings and raised him to the episcopacy. The perception of Bergoglio’s conservatism appears to have stemmed largely from his opposition to the Marxist liberation theology that had become so prevalent in the region — an opposition which, as Colonna explains, was not so much because of ideological disagreement as class warfare:

'Bergoglio himself was a man of the people, and in Latin America 'liberation theology' was a movement of intellectuals from the higher classes, the counterpart of the radical chic that led the bourgeoisie in Europe to worship Sartre and Marcuse. With such attitudes Bergoglio had no sympathy; although he had not yet identified himself explicitly with the 'theology of the people', which arose in direct competition with the Marxist school, his instinct made him follow the populist line of Peronism, which (whatever the cynicism of its creator) was more in touch with the genuine working class and lower middle class. Thus, Father Bergoglio backed the apostolate to the slum districts, but he did not want their inhabitants recruited as left-wing guerillas, as some of his priests were trying to do'.

His Peronism helps to make clear, in another illuminating moment, Francis’s infuriating habit of saying diametrically opposing things from one day to the next:

'The story is told that Perón, in his days of glory, once proposed to induct a nephew in the mysteries of politics. He first brought the young man with him when he received a deputation of communists; after hearing their views, he told them, 'You’re quite right.' The next day he received a deputation of fascists and replied again to their arguments, 'You’re quite right.' Then he asked his nephew what he thought and the young man said, 'You’ve spoken with two groups with diametrically opposite opinions and you told them both that you agreed with them. This is completely unacceptable.' Perón replied, 'You’re quite right too.' An anecdote like this is an illustration of why no-one can be expected to assess Pope Francis unless he understands the tradition of Argentinian politics, a phenomenon outside the rest of the world’s experience; the Church has been taken by surprise by Francis because it has not had the key to him: he is Juan Perón in ecclesiastical translation. Those who seek to interpret him otherwise are missing the only relevant criterion.

The book is packed with such fascinating insights into the phenomena of the Francis papacy, in part by viewing the present through the lens of his past. From indications that his notorious simplicity was simply a means of shedding any 'ballast' that might impede his pursuit of power to his ostentatious humility (often with cameras conveniently waiting to capture the moment) to his masterful manipulation of an over-eager media into displaying the image he wishes to portray, the layers of the Argentinian pope are peeled back and examined, offering a deeper understanding of the man himself.

Colonna does not spend much time on the question of the validity of Francis’ papal election, but he does raise questions about the convenient (for the St. Gallen group) timing of Benedict’s abdication and considerations made both by papal biographer Austen Ivereigh and Vatican journalist Antonio Socci on the politicking and the questionable canonical validity, respectively, in the 2013 conclave. 'Whether one chooses to uphold Socci’s view or not,' Colonna writes, 'there is something rather appropriate in the fact that the political heir of Juan Perón should have been raised to the head of the Catholic Church by what was arguably an invalid vote.'

The book does not merely content itself with the pre-pontificate history of Bergoglio. Under the microscope, too, are the critical agenda items of the ongoing papacy, foremost among them, those promises which have never materialized. From reform of the curia to a supposed 'zero tolerance' policy on clerical sexual abusers to Vatican bank and financial reform, some of the major initiatives of the Francis papacy have failed to reach fruition, been abandoned, or have received only lip service.

Later chapters deal, among other important topics, with the heavily-manipulated synods on the family, the Vatican response to orthodox resistance, the saga surrounding the dubia, the gutting and reinvention of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the destruction of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Vatican-supported coup within the Knights of Malta, and the persecution of those ecclesiastics who fail to toe the line for the papal agenda — along with an examination of the KGB-style tactics deployed by 'Kremlin Santa Marta'. (On a personal note, I was both pleased and honored to discover a chapter subheading entitled 'The Dictatorship of Mercy,' with a direct reference to the article in which I coined the term.)

There is a great deal of material in this book for all Catholics, but it will be of particular interest to readers of this website, who have watched many of these developments unfold in real time. There are also new things to learn from the text, particularly in its examination of the pope’s Argentinian history. If you or someone you know is interested in getting up to speed quickly on where things are with this papacy — and why it is so singularly controversial — this book appears to be an excellent starting point to cover much of the necessary ground. At 141 pages, it provides a sufficient amount of depth without overwhelming the reader with too much information, and the language and presentation make it an easy, fascinating read.

I believe The Dictator Pope will prove to be a critical tool in understanding and documenting the present papacy, and so, despite already having a copy of the text, I’ve also pre-ordered the book, both in support of the author and to help bolster its status via the one metric that seems to garner the most attention: sales rank. I encourage you to do the same. Already in Italy, the e-book is an Amazon best seller, having attained the rank of #60 in that country and hovering at #1 or #2 in books in its category. It would be fantastic to thrust it to the top of the charts in the English-speaking world as well.


Roberto de Mattei comments for Regina Caeli


OVER the last few weeks three interviews from  prominent cardinals have appeared.  The first was released by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller  to Christian Geye and Hannes Hintermeier for the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung on October 28th 2017; the second was given by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to Edward Pentin on November 14th  for The National Catholic Register; the third, to Cardinal Müller, appeared on November 26th in the Corriere della Sera, by Massimo Franco.

Cardinal Brandmüller revealed his anxiety concerning the possible beginnings of a division in the Church. ' The fact alone that a petition with 870,000 signatures addressed to the Pope asking him for clarification has still not been answered  and  likewise the 50 scholars of international ranking have yet to obtain a reply  - raises questions. This is truly difficult to understand .' 'Addressing  some dubia, i.e. doubts and questions to the Pope, has always been an absolutely normal way to dissipate ambiguities.  Simply speaking, the question is the following: Can something that was considered a sin yesterday be good today? Further, we now have the question whether there are actually acts  - as has been the constant teaching of the Church – that are always and in all circumstances  morally reprehensible?  Such as in the case of killing  an innocent person or adultery for example? This is the point.  If there should be in effect a 'yes' response to the first question and a 'no' to the second, this would be a de facto heresy, and consequently a schism. A split in the Church.' 

Cardinal Burke, who confirmed that he was in constant communication with Cardinal Brandmüller, advanced a fresh warning 'on the gravity of the situation which continues to worsen' and reaffirmed the need to shed light on all the heterodox passages in Amoris laetitia. We are in fact faced with a process which constitutes 'a subversion of the essential parts of Tradition'.  'Above and beyond the moral debate,  the sense of sacramental practice in the Church is being increasingly eroded, in particular as regards Confession and the Eucharist.'

The cardinal once again addresses Pope Francis and the entire Church, by stressing ' how urgent it is for the Pope, in the exercise of the ministry he has received from the Lord, that he confirm his brethren in the faith, by expressing clearly the teaching on Christian morality and the importance of the Church’s sacramental practice.'

Cardinal Müller, for his part, confirms that there is the danger of a schism inside the Church and the responsibility of this division does not belong to the Dubia Cardinals of Amoris laetitia, nor the signatories of the Correctio filialis to Pope Francis, but the Pope’s 'magic circle', which is blocking open and balanced discussion on the doctrinal problems raised by these criticisms.

 'Caution: If the perception of an injustice is given by the Roman Curia, it could inevitably set in motion a schismatic tendency, difficult afterwards to recover from. I believe that the cardinals who expressed their doubts on Amoris laetitia, or the 62 signatories of an even excessive letter of criticism to the Pope should be heard, not liquidated as 'Pharisees' or grumblers. The only way out of this situation is through clear and frank dialogue.'  'Instead, I have the impression that in the Pope’s 'magic circle' there are those who are mainly concerned about snitching on presumed adversaries, thus blocking open and balanced discussion. Classifying all Catholics according to the categories of 'friend' or 'enemy' of the Pope, is the gravest damage they are causing in the Church. One remains perplexed if a well-known journalist, as an atheist, boasts of being the Pope’s friend; and on a parallel a Catholic bishop and cardinal like myself is being defamed as the Holy Father’s opponent. I don’t believe that these people can give me lessons in theology on the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.'  

According to his interviewer; Cardinal Müller, has yet to digest the 'hurt' of his three collaborators being dismissed shortly before his non-renewal as head of the Congregation last June. 'They were good, competent priests who had worked for the Church with exemplary dedication', is his judgment. 'People cannot be sent away [like that] ad libitum, without evidence or procedure, simply because someone anonymously reported  that one of them  made some vague criticism of the Pope …'

Under what kind of regime are people treated this way? Damien Thompson in The Spectator wrote about it last July 17th. (https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/07/ pope-francis-is-behaving-like-a-latin-american-dictator-but-the-liberal-media-arent-interested/).

The dismissal of Cardinal Muller’s collaborators 'brings to mind his most authoritarian predecessors – or, indeed, some Latin American dictator who hugs the crowds and advertises his ostentatiously humble lifestyle while his lieutenants live in fear of his rages.' This aspect of Pope Francis’ Pontificate is now the object of a book, recently published with the significant title The Dictator Pope

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

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

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

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

1P5 / RC] 2212.BK1
























Amid sex scandals, Hollywood releases gay 'romance' that normalizes man-boy sex

DOUG MAINWARING writes for LifeSiteNews : ' 'Call Me by Your Name,' which opened nationwide Thanksgiving weekend, is about an older man's affair with a 17-year-old boy. And while the movie is garnering rave reviews from urbane elites, their acclamations about the storyline are not quite accurate.

This is not a romantic tale about the awakening of homosexual desire in and between two men: It is a story about a man and boy whose relationship sparks homoeroticism and flirtation, which then turns romantic and carnal.

Summed up in a single word, the movie is about pederasty.

A secondary message is the suggestion that handsome, together, 'straight' men and boys can be seduced and recruited.

The film has received high praise from leftist establishments.

'Call Me By Your Name Just Officially Became This Year's Oscars Frontrunner,' trumpets a W Magazine headline. Rolling Stone declares it 'the most romantic movie of the year' and 'an instant classic.' The New Yorker calls it an 'erotic triumph, emotionally acute and overwhelmingly sensual,' and it is hailed by Entertainment Weekly as 'gorgeous and intoxicating.'

Though actors Hammer and Chalamet were ages 29 and 19 during production, their contrasting body types reinforce their characters' age discrepancy, portraying man and boy.

Even National Review, way back in early October, called the movie 'a charming gay romance' which 'will probably mop up' at the Oscars.

It's a wonder Hollywood is thrilled. It shouldn't be.

The stunning hypocrisy of the left is revealed in its promotion of this movie as an 'Oscar contender,' at a point in history where real-life Hollywood celebrities, Washington VIP politicos and other powerful men find their careers lying in ruins--or on the verge of ruin--for precisely the type of behavior this movie glorifies.

Recriminations from recent alleged sexually inappropriate behavior, or tales sexual indiscretions exhumed from long ago, have resulted in a huge public outcry against men in positions of power who opportunistically seek to satiate illicit sexual cravings.

Alabama candidate Judge Roy Moore is being held up to public scrutiny just a few weeks before the state's special election to choose a Senator because he has been accused of seducing--or trying to seduce--teenage girls and women substantially younger than him.

Perhaps more apropos, actor Kevin Spacey's career crashed and burned nearly overnight in a global public spectacle reminiscent of the Hindenburg disaster. Why? Because over the course of his career, many now allege Spacey aggressively sought to coerce teenage boys and young men into engaging in homosexual acts. And according to some allegations, he succeeded.

This raises the question: Why would Hollywood praise a movie depicting behavior which in real-life it now decries and vigorously condemns? Perhaps it's because Hollywood culture--which is religiously dedicated to the advancement of the ideology of the sexual revolution--can't help itself. To do so would be heresy.

This movie seeks to mainstream pederasty (not to be confused with pedophilia) in a warm and fuzzy way. And after first being released on the big screen, its message will find its way onto home TV's, laptop computers, and yes, onto the tablets and smartphones of adolescent children. It is not explicit pornography, but it is overt propaganda.

To understand the strategy which propelled this movie into being, look back to the publication of After the Ball, a 1989 manifesto which presented a comprehensive plan to establish the normalcy of gays and lesbians and to secure broader acceptance and rights. It was followed 'to a tee' and it worked. Here are two main elements of the strategy:

'We have in mind a strategy ... calculated and powerful ... manipulative ... It's time to learn from Madison Avenue, to roll out the big guns. Gays must launch a large-scale campaign-we've called it the waging peace campaign-to reach straights through the mainstream media. We're talking about propaganda …'

'You can forget about trying right up front to persuade folks that homosexuality is a good thing. But if you can get them to think it is just another thing-meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders-then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won.'

After scoring win after win in courts across the nation, culminating in the United States Supreme Court's landmark same-sex marriage Obergefell decision in 2015, the progressive left has moved on to its remaining frontiers: transgenderism and adult/child sexual relationships. Hollywood is now applying the same 'After the Ball' strategies which worked so well regarding the mainlining of homosexuality.

First pederasty will be normalized, then pedophilia. And it will come about in the same way that the complete acceptance of homosexuality came about during our lifetimes: By talking about it relentlessly in media and portraying it so frequently in movies and on TV as a good thing that it becomes not only commonplace, it becomes boring.

Many will defend the movie's subject, saying that criticism of the film overlooks the story's important cultural moral loopholes, rendering it impervious to moral outrage.

First, they will point to the age of consent in Italy, as did the movie's star, Armie Hammer, in a Hollywood Reporter interview: 'We weren't trying to make some salacious, predatory movie. The age of consent in Italy is 14. So, to get technical, it's not illegal there. Whether I agree with that or not, that's a whole 'nother Oprah, you know? Would it make me uncomfortable if I had a 17-year-old child dating someone in their mid-20s? Probably.'

The second objection is that the movie doesn't actually portray predatory behavior by a man against a boy. Hammer continues, 'But this isn't a normal situation: The younger guy goes after the older guy. The dynamic is not older predator versus younger boy.'

Interestingly, Hammer nonchalantly employs the term 'boy,' to describe his costar's character.

What Hammer fails to recognize and address is that it doesn't matter who initiates the seduction: A morally mature man would never succumb to such flirtations, no matter how enticing or flattering, and no matter the gender of the initiator. For some reason, the gay world is not held to the same standards as the straight world, where mature men engaging in sexual activity with a seventeen-year-old girl would be condemned. Real men do not entertain sexual relationships outside of marriage, let alone sexualized relationships with boys and girls. Rather, they protect children and young people, treating them with dignity.

Perhaps the most problematic component of the movie is that seventeen-year-old Elio's father expresses his approval for his son's sexual relationship with an older man. He laments with regret having forgone similar opportunities when he was his son's age.

Elio's father sanctions his son's sexual relationship with an older man.

This is meant to establish a new baseline of normalcy for parents, nudging them to second guess their natural protective instincts to save their kids from men who would happily and without conscience invade and end their sons' and daughters' innocence.

A Classic?

Is the Call Me By Your Name 'an instant classic' as Rolling Stone proclaims?


An adult male standing up to the seductions of a boy (or girl) or to one's own inclinations and not giving in would make for a far more poignant story of human kindness, respect, and dignity-one that would stand the test of time and speak to generations. Truth has a way of outliving lies, and stories of virtue eclipse tales of debauchery.

After our recent Charlottesville summer, the Virginia city where statues and monuments erected in the honor of historic figures which society no longer deems appropriate are torn down, and when formerly celebrated movies such as Gone With the Wind are blacklisted, one wonders when an equal outcry of disapproval will demand that stars embedded in Hollywood's walk of fame--honoring Hollywood's celebrity predators--will be jackhammered.

[LSN] 2212.16




















Comment from the internet


The Remnant turns 50



[Remnant] 2212.16




















CF News / Comment from the internet

'My sense of responsibility demanded it': Ettore Gotti Tedeschi on the Filial Correction

OnePeterFive Editor's note: The following is an interview conducted by Italian journalist Lorenza Formicola with Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. As former head of the Vatican Bank, Tedeschi is one of the better -known signatories of the recently issued filial correction of Pope Francis.

E G TedeschiLORENZA FORMICOLA: It's been a few months since the 'filial correction' was published, and confusion remains. What is this letter, signed by 62 and delivered in August to Pope Francis?

ETTORE GOTTI TEDESCHI: It simply is the natural outcome of all the dubia. It was submitted to the holy father as a filial and devout plea by laypeople who are faithful both to the pope and to the Magisterium of the Church but who are, at the same time, worried for those souls in need of doctrinal certainties. There are many faithful and priests - who have nothing to do with the caricature that depicts them as sinister, pharisaical traditionalists - who are struggling to face the confusion that comes from equivocal and manifold interpretations. Not everyone possesses the needed capacity of discernment. Not everyone has an adequately formed conscience, and many find themselves advised by confused and confusing priests. These priests are also creative, perhaps, in their anxiety to interpret the gospel and eternal truths in an evolutionary fashion, thinking this is the right way to do it according to the will of the Holy Father.

Formicola: You are one of the most well-known signatories. Why did you want to sign?

Tedeschi: Because my sense of responsibility demanded it. My love for the vicar of Christ demanded it. My conscience of what should be the mission of the Church also demanded it, as well as my witnessing - as a layperson - the applicability to the modern world of the Five Wounds of the Holy Church (by Rosmini) and the perception of the need for strong, clear, and absolute values among people, at all levels, conditions, and age. The understanding of what is happening in the world also demanded it.

This is an estimation of the matter I had the privilege of learning from and sharing with Cardinal Ratzinger, later to be Benedict XVI - a vision I also shared with other holy men, such as Cardinal Caffarra, for instance, and Cardinal Sarah. I do not let illusory strategies confuse me - neither those founded on a reality superior to ideas nor those about a different conversion policy to be enforced after having attracted the world to Catholicism by opening up a dialogue. I have strong doubts about the possibility of an easy communication with the 'world guided by gnosis.' Who is able to do that?

Formicola: For a long time, there has been talk of 'heresy.' But on reading the 25-page letter, it doesn't seem as though anyone is accusing the pope of heresy. Or am I mistaken?

Tedeschi: On page 13, it is possible to read a specific note that declares the purpose of the letter.

If the pope wanted to understand who the real dangerous enemies of the Church are, it would be enough to read through some of the reactions to the letter - reactions written by people who probably did not even read it, and if they read it, they did not want to understand it. Such an attitude speaks volumes on the value of some non-official 'interpreters.'

Formicola: The Vatican has still not answered. Rather, in dealing with its own house, it has raised a wall…

Tedeschi: Sometimes non-answers are clear answers. Clearly, someone thinks it is good to have doubts, to foment them, to create and distribute them. Isn't this the way to prepare the ground for the proposition of new certainties?

Formicola: After a year since the publication of the dubia, Cardinal Burke recently spoke of an 'increasing confusion about the ways of interpreting the apostolic exhortation.' From your point of view, why does such a climate of disorder still survive? Even after the pope asked everyone to 'speak of it with a great theologian, one of the best today and one of the most mature, Cardinal Schönborn'?

Tedeschi: I can say I share the opinion of Cardinal Burke by direct experience, not by reading about it in newspapers. I can't say anything about Cardinal Schönborn. I am not able to interpret his thoughts.

Formicola: It almost seems as if the media were looking forward to pillorying you again. Can you explain why your signature has been seen - and still is seen - as an 'ironic coincidence'?

Tedeschi: Other things happened after my signature and after the media attack, which focused my name almost as the promoter of the correction. A really good bishop, with whom a conference had already been scheduled for two months, called the meeting off because of inappropriateness; another bishop immediately 'discouraged' (and canceled) another conference already scheduled in his dioceses; and a third bishop asked the organizers of a roundtable to postpone it because of my presence. I also received a public correction (which hurt me greatly) by another prelate, who doesn't know me, who doesn't know the facts and the circumstances and who didn't ever care to.

On the other hand, I received multiple expressions of esteem, consensus, and sympathy, not only in the Catholic community, but also in a more secular environment (and this is really remarkable). There are even people worried about the collapse of the Catholic education built on the values of the gospel, which they benefited from, and they're afraid it may now disappear. …

Never forget that the values of Christian traditions aren't lived, but they are greatly appreciated if lived by the people around us. Always remember that Voltaire claimed he wanted his servant, his doctor, and his wife to be Catholic to avoid being robbed, killed, and cheated on. And still he despised the Catholic religion.

Formicola: Can a son who asks his father for explanations expect the support of his siblings? Or does he deserve disdain?

Tedeschi: It turned out all the worse for Abel…

Formicola: A year ago, you wrote, 'After meditation on the exhortation of Pope Francis, 'Amoris Laetitia,' I wonder if this document is not founded on the certainty that the Christian civilization has actually finished collapsing. If this is true, it explains why the exhortation indirectly suggests that the moral laws and the sacraments should be adapted to the practical reality according to different cultures and not according to authoritative ideals to which we were used.' Do you think this is still true?

Tedeschi: I don't believe this is still true - I believe that this 'must' be true. Because now all of this must be imposed, since it is not accepted by those to whom it was addressed.

All through this year, I perceived more of a refusal of doctrinal relativism rather than the wish to opening up to modernity. People with a sound conscience understood the greatness of the risk. All sacraments end up collapsing if we start questioning the sacrament of matrimony (not by denying it, but by relativizing it) and, as a consequence, that of penance and most of all that of the Eucharist.

Here there is a clear contradiction between Lumen Fidei and Amoris Laetitia, and I will confide it to you. Pope Benedict ended Caritas in Veritate essentially explaining that to solve the world's problems, it is the hearts of men that need to be changed (not the instruments); in Lumen Fidei (signed by Pope Francis), it is said that changing the heart of men is a duty of the Church, which has three instruments to succeed: prayer, the Magisterium, and the sacraments. In order to see if the Church is attending to its mission, it is enough to see if it is accomplishing these three actions and how it is doing it. Most of all, it is enough to see if the Church is reinforcing or weakening the absolute value of the sacraments wanted by Christ himself.

Formicola: Professor Josef Seifert recently claimed that Amoris Laetitia really is a 'theological atomic bomb that threatens to tear down the whole moral edifice of the Ten Commandments and of Catholic moral teaching.' Would you agree with this statement?

Tedeschi: I answer saying that it 'could be,' as well as that it could undermine three sacraments, and all of them as a consequence. We hope, however, for an intervention by Pope Francis to prevent all of this - maybe by answering, even indirectly, the dubia.

[1P5] 2212.17
















CF News / Comment from the internet

Teilhard de Chardin: The Vatican II architect you need to know

De ChardinH. REED ARMSTRONG writes for OnePeterFive: 'In the middle of the fourth century, Saint Jerome remarked that the world 'awoke with a groan to find itself Arian.' Arianism divided the Church and Empire of the fourth and fifth centuries and beyond by claiming that the Divine Logos, Jesus Christ, was not of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father and not co-eternal with the Father as defined at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.). Some sought to substitute homoiousios, 'of a similar nature,' to find a peaceful solution. However, as the Catholic Church has perennially taught, the truth must be presented whole and complete, without subterfuge or compromise.

In the mid-twentieth century, one may have paraphrased St. Jerome: 'the world awoke, without so much as a whimper, to find itself Teilhardian.'

Still troubled by the Galileo affair, the Church bent over backwards in trying to incorporate faith and science into a seamless garment. Following the 1925 Scopes Trial, Darwin's theory of evolution was more and more presented as dogma by the scientific community, and Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. (1881-1955) took it upon himself to reconcile Darwinian evolution and Catholic theology [i].

In fact, Teilhard was originally censured and exiled by his Jesuit superiors in 1923 for questioning the doctrines of original sin and eternal damnation. In 1947, upon return from banishment in China, he was once again censured by the Holy Office, Pope Pius XII himself having called his work a 'cesspool of errors.' However, Teilhard began further insinuating his ideas among his fellow Jesuits at the French theologate La Fourvière in Lyon by means of unsigned mimeographed monographs. By the mid- to late 1950s, his theories were extolled by many, if not most, Jesuits, including Karl Rahner, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, and especially Henri de Lubac, who wrote glowingly of Teilhard: 'We need not concern ourselves with a number of detractors of Teilhard, in whom emotion has blunted intelligence' [ii]. By the time of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October 1962, the Society of Jesus had all but abandoned the Neo-Scholastic theology of Francisco Suarez in favor of Teilhardian evolutionary 'cosmogenesis.'

The reason for Teilhard's popularity, as stated above, was his apparent resolution of the differences between religious truth as proposed by the Catholic Church and scientific 'fact' as proposed by Darwinian evolution. The problem was that his solution was neither particularly scientific nor particularly Catholic, a fact he admitted privately to his cousin Léontine Zanta in 1936:

'What increasingly dominates my interests, is the effort to establish within myself and define around me, a new religion (call it a better Christianity, if you like) where the personal God ceases to be the great monolithic proprietor of the past to become the Soul of the World which the stage we have reached religiously and culturally calls for.' [iii]

This proposed synthesis is not a 'new and better Christianity,' but rather a negation of the Catholic faith, as presented in the definitive dogmatic constitution of Vatican I, Dei Filius (April 24, 1870):

'Deus … est re et essentia a mundo distinctus, in se et ex se beatissimus, et super omnia quae praeter ipsum sunt et concipi possunt, ineffabiliter excelsus. (God … is to be declared as really and essentially distinct from the world, of supreme beatitude in and from Himself, and ineffably exalted above all things which exist, or are conceivable, except Himself.)

Teilhard's 'God,' the 'soul of the world,' is identical with nature and consequently subject to change. As Teilhard explains it in his book Human Energy:

'As a direct consequence of the unitive process by which God is revealed to us, he in some way 'transforms himself' as he incorporates us. … I see in the World a mysterious product of completion and fulfillment for the Absolute Being himself.' [iv]

And, again:

'[God] evolves, via 'complexification' and 'convergence' to his own perfection, immersed in matter. … One is inseparable from the other; one is never without the other[.] … No spirit (not even God within the limits of our experience) exists, nor could structurally exist without an associated multiple, any more than a center can exist without its circle or circumference[.] … [I]n a concrete sense there is not matter and spirit, all that exists is matter becoming spirit [God]. 'THERE EX[v]

One must note that nowhere in Teilhard's writing is there to be found any mention of purely spiritual beings or entities within the existing cosmos. There is no mention of angels or demons, no Satan, no St. Michael, no guardian angels, nor is there any mention of particular judgment or the existence of Hell.

Teilhard's 'God' is no more nor less than the 'god' of Pantheism as described (and rejected) by St. Pius IX in his allocution Maxima Quidem, June 9, 1862:

'There exists no Supreme Being, perfect in His wisdom and in His providence and distinct, all things are God and have the very substance of God. God is thus one and the same thing as the world and consequently spirit is identified with matter, necessity with liberty, truth with falsehood, good with evil and justice with injustice'[.]

Teilhard, through his denial of original sin and of the consequent need for redemption, tried to inject Christ into his pantheism by naming him the 'Cosmic Christ' or the 'Alpha' and 'Omega' of revelation. Christ is an emanation of God infused into matter from the beginning, evolving, was born into this world, died, rose from the dead, and ascended - not to heaven, but to the 'noosphere,' a spiritual level encircling the earth, where all spirits contained in matter will eventually converge at the 'Omega Point,' where Christ awaits us, guiding us on with 'unconditional love.' At the 'Omega Point,' we, and the entire cosmos, down to the lowliest atom, will be divinized, and 'God' will be 'all in all' [vi]. The quote was selectively picked from St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians 15:28. Whether this 'all in all' will be totally spiritual, as in Buddhism and other Eastern religions with which it shares similarities, or whether, as others affirm, humans, alive at the end of time, the 'Omega Point,' will become 'transhuman,' filled with the transformative knowledge of the 'noosphere' (some even citing the internet), is unclear in the writings of Teilhard.

As for Teilhard, the problem of evil is not due to angelic or human malice, but is an inevitable side-effect of the evolutionary process: 'In our modern perspective of a Universe in a process of cosmogenesis, the problem of evil no longer exists.' The 'Multiple' is 'essentially subject to the play of probabilities of chance in its arrangements.' It is 'absolutely unable to progress toward unity without engendering [evil] here or there by statistical necessity' [vii]. It appears, then, that there is no room for error or sin, as all is inevitably evolving toward the 'Omega Point' drawn on by the infinite love of Christ.

In fact, for Teilhard, the Mystical Body of Christ 'forms a cosmic Center for mankind and the whole material universe' [viii]. This insight he claims to have found in St. Paul. The passage - 'You … are Christ's Body[;] … each of you is a different part of it' (I Cor. 12:27) - reveals humanity in its varying functions to be the mystical Body. This is a misreading of St. Paul, who is clearly speaking of the baptized Christian community.

'It is just on the part of God and to give relief to you [followers of Christ] who are afflicted and to us as well, when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire. These [who afflict you now] will be punished with eternal ruin, away from the face of the Lord and the glory of his power[.]' (2 Thessalonians 1: 6-8)

It also contradicts the words of Our Lord himself:

'I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. … I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world[.]' (John 17: 9-16)

For Teilhard, all religions are an attempt to realize this ultimate transformation, led on by the Cosmic Christ, who animates, loves, and awaits all at the Omega Point.

Teilhard does not deny the role of the Church in bringing about his vision of cosmogenesis. In a letter to his friend Auguste Valensin, S.J., he writes:

'I believe in the Church, mediatrix between God and the world[.] … The Church, the reflectively christified portion of the world, the Church, the principal focus of interhuman affinities through super-charity, the Church, the central axis of universal convergence and the precise point of contact between the universe and Omega Point. … The Catholic Church, however, must not simply seek to affirm its primacy and authority but quite simply to present the world with the Universal Christ, Christ in human-cosmic dimension, as animator of evolution.'

Teilhard, therefore, said:

'We must work toward an ecumenism open not only to Christianity, but also to other religions, because all religions of inner necessity converge in the Cosmic Christ and are destined to find their completion in the single Church of Christ.'

Having done away with an eternal supernatural order, there is no room for 'sanctifying grace' freely bestowed by God, especially through the sacraments (historical Catholic prerequisites to eternal salvation). All that exists is the onward movement of the cosmos toward unity in the Cosmic Christ, who animates and awaits us at the Omega Point.

As to the Eucharist, according to Teilhard, it is by means of the Eucharist that the Church gradually divinizes the world: 'Adherence to Christ in the Eucharist must inevitably, ipso facto, incorporate us a little more fully on each occasion in a christogenesis which itself … is none other than the soul of universal cosmogenesis.'

Teilhard de Chardin's 'Mass on the (Altar of the) World':

'Since once again, Lord … I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole world my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world[.] … I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labor. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth's fruits[.] … My chalice and my paten are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to a new day[.] … I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those … who, … through their vision of truth or despite their error, truly believe in the progress of earthly reality and who today will again take up their impassioned pursuit of the light[.] … This is the material of my sacrifice, the only material you desire[.] … Receive, O Lord, this all-embracing host which your whole creation, moved by your magnetism, offers you at this dawn of a new day'.

In Teilhard's 'Mass,' there is no mention of Christ's propitiatory death on the cross for the salvation of souls, nor of Transubstantiation [ix] of the Eucharistic Species into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Rather, this is an offering of all trials and works of humanity to build a future divinized common earthly reality.

Given this brief summary, it should be clear that Teilhard's 'new and better Christianity' is a paean to Darwinian evolution raised to the level of universal theosis and has little or nothing in common with traditional Catholic Christology.

It is therefore not surprising that, at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Office, under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, issued the following 'monitum' (warning):

'Several works of Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, some of which were posthumously published, are being edited and are gaining a good deal of success. Prescinding from a judgment about those points that concern the positive sciences, it is sufficiently clear that the above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine[.] (Given at Rome, from the palace of the Holy Office, on the thirtieth day of June, 1962. Sebastianus Masala, Notarius.')

It would appear that the case was closed; however, this was not to be. Under the influence of Jesuit periti (counselors), especially Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar, the Teilhardian vision re-emerged [x]. Pope Paul VI tentatively wrote in a 1966 address contained in Insegnimenti di Paulo VI, the official compilation of his thought: 'Teilhard de Chardin, who gave an explanation of the universe that, among many fantastic and imprudent things, nonetheless understood how to find the intelligent principle that one should call God inside everything. Science itself, therefore, obliges us to be religious. Whoever is intelligent must kneel and say: 'God is present here'' [xi].

The real revolution, according to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the present head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, began with Pope John Paul II and his letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on 22 October 1996, when he affirmed:

'[S]ome new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies - which was neither planned nor sought - constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory'.

On May 12, 1981, the centenary of Teilhard's birth, cardinal secretary of state Agostino Casaroli wrote to Cardinal Poupard, rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, as follows:

'The international scientific community and, more broadly, the whole intellectual world, are preparing to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. … I am happy, Your Excellency, to communicate this message to you on behalf of the Holy Father [Pope John Paul II] for all the participants in the conference over which you preside at the Catholic Institute of Paris as a tribute to Father Teilhard de Chardin, and I assure you of my faithful devotion'.

The Vatican Press Office, however, two months later, reaffirmed the monitum, which remains in effect.

'Communiqué of the Press Office of the Holy See (printed in L'Osservatore Romano, English ed., July 20, 1981):

'The letter sent by the Cardinal Secretary of State to His Excellency Mons. Poupard on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin has been interpreted in a certain section of the press as a revision of previous stands taken by the Holy See in regard to this author, and in particular of the Monitum of the Holy Office of 30 June 1962, which pointed out that the work of the author contained ambiguities and grave doctrinal errors. The question has been asked whether such an interpretation is well founded.

'After having consulted the Cardinal Secretary of State and the Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which, by order of the Holy Father, had been duly consulted beforehand, about the letter in question, we are in a position to reply in the negative'.

H.H. John Paul II, echoing Teilhard's 'Mass on the Altar of the World,' continued in his praise of Teilhard:

'The Eucharist is also celebrated in order to offer 'on the altar of the whole earth the world's work and suffering' in the beautiful words of Teilhard de Chardin. '[xii]

The praise was continued by Cardinal Ratzinger, who said in is Principles of Catholic Theology:

'The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted a wide influence [on the Council]. With daring vision it incorporated the historical movements of Christianity into the great cosmic process of evolution from Alpha to Omega. … The Council's 'Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World' (Gaudium et Spes) took the cue; Teilhard's slogan 'Christianity means more progress, more technology,' became a stimulus in which the Council Fathers from rich and poor countries alike found a concrete hope.' [xiii]

And again, from his Spirit of the Liturgy (emphasis added):

'Against the background of the modern evolutionary world view, Teilhard depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions. … From here Teilhard went on to give new meaning to Christian worship: the transubstantiated Host is the anticipation of the transformation and divinization of matter in the Christological 'fullness.' In his view, the Eucharist provided the movement of the cosmos with its direction; it anticipates its goal and at the same time urges it on. [xiv]

Pope Benedict also reaffirmed his praise of Teilhard on July 24, 2009, during the vespers service in the Cathedral of Aosta in northern Italy, as reported by John Allen (emphasis added):

'Toward the end of a reflection upon the Letter to the Romans, in which St. Paul writes that the world itself will one day become a form of living worship, Pope Benedict said: 'It's the great vision that later Teilhard de Chardin also had: At the end we will have a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host. Let's pray to the Lord that he help us be priests in this sense,' the pope said, 'to help in the transformation of the world in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves.'

To confirm the shift from traditional Catholic theology to Teilhard's 'new and better Christianity' in July of 2009, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. said, 'By now, no one would dream of saying that [Teilhard] is a heterodox author who shouldn't be studied.'

The current holy father, Pope Francis, as a product of Jesuit education, refers to Teilhard's eschatological contribution in his encyclical Laudato Si in paragraph 83 (footnote 53):

83. 'The ultimate destiny of the universe is in the fullness of God, which has already been attained by the risen Christ, the measure of the maturity of all things [53]. Here we can add yet another argument for rejecting every tyrannical and irresponsible domination of human beings over other creatures. The ultimate purpose of other creatures is not to be found in us. Rather, all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things'.

In footnote 53 of the encyclical, the pope makes a clear reference to the statements of previous conciliar popes cited above:

'Against this horizon we can set the contribution of Fr Teilhard de Chardin; cf. PAUL VI, Address in a Chemical and Pharmaceutical Plant (24 February 1966): Insegnamenti 4 (1966), 992-993; JOHN PAUL II, Letter to the Reverend George Coyne (1 June 1988): Insegnamenti 11/2 (1988), 1715; BENEDICT XVI, Homily for the Celebration of Vespers in Aosta (24 July 2009): Insegnamenti 5/2 (2009), 60'.

We see here Pope Francis's reliance on Teilhard and his vision of the 'Cosmic Christ' drawing all, regardless of religious affiliation, nationality - in fact, all living creatures, and even inert matter, which contains rudimentary 'Spirit' - to be Christified at the end of time, or the 'Omega Point' of evolution. It explains his fascination with ecology as well as the tearing down of all walls, both political (including the end of nationalism and amalgamation via mass immigration) and religious (via ecumenism): 'Proselytism is solemn nonsense. Luther's intention 500 years ago was to renew the Church, not divide her.' As Teilhard expounded in Human Energy, '[t]he age of nations has passed. Now, unless we wish to perish, we must shake off our old prejudices and build the earth' [xv].

The evolutionary theories of Teilhard help explain some of the current holy father's most puzzling statements. In a March 15, 2015 interview, Eugenio Scalfari, the famed atheist reporter, quotes (from memory) as follows: 'What happens to that lost soul? Will it be punished? And how? The response of Francis is distinct and clear: there is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul. All the others will participate in the beatitude of living in the presence of the Father. The souls that are annihilated will not take part in that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is finished.' This interview was first published on the Vatican website but then removed. When questioned, Vatican spokesman Fr. Thomas Rosica did not deny the conversation, but said, 'They were private discussions that took place and were never recorded by the journalist.'

These sentiments were reiterated on October 9 of this year, 2017, in an article published by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, once again quoting Eugenio Scalfari:

'Pope Francis has abolished the places where souls were supposed to go after death: hell, purgatory, heaven. The idea he holds is that souls dominated by evil and unrepentant cease to exist, while those that have been redeemed from evil will be taken up into beatitude, contemplating God. … The universal judgment that is in the tradition of the Church therefore becomes devoid of meaning. It remains a simple pretext that has given rise to splendid paintings in the history of art. Nothing other than this'.

To understand, perhaps, some of Pope Francis's reticence to clarify passages of Amoris Laetitia, one must recall that neither original sin nor traditional mortal sins exist in Teilhard's worldview - only infinite mutations or variants in the evolutionary process moved by the unconditional love of the 'Cosmic Christ.' Some of the pope's statements include the following, emphasizing that all who live in loving relationships share, to some degree, in the all-encompassing love of Christ:

• The unmarried. '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[.]'

• The sacramentally married. '[A] great majority' of Catholic marriages are 'null.'

• The so-called 'remarried.' Priests could - in some cases - offer the 'help of sacraments' to Catholics living in 'irregular family situations' as part of a broader effort to support and integrate divorced Catholics in other relationships into the life of the church.

• Homosexuals. 'Who am I to judge?'

Further evidence of the underlying Teilhardian influence on Amoris Laetitia are found in the words of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria, whom Pope Francis named official interpreter of Amoris Laetitia:

'Hardly anyone else has tried to bring together the knowl­edge of Christ and the idea of evolution as the scientist (paleontologist) and theologian Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., has done. … His fascinating vision has remained controversial, and yet for many it has represented a great hope, the hope that faith in Christ and a scientific approach to the world can be brought together. … These brief references to Teilhard cannot do justice to his efforts. The fascination which Teilhard de Chardin exercised for an entire generation stemmed from his radical manner of looking at science and Christian faith together'.

It should be remembered that on October 11, 2016, the weekly bulletin of Cardinal Schönborn's cathedral in Vienna published, with pictures, a glowing profile of a same-sex couple and their adopted son, titled 'we are dads.'

While all the confusion existing in the modern Church cannot be fully laid at his feet [xvi], Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. and his Jesuit confrères, with their 'new and better Christianity,' have unfortunately deracinated Holy Mother Church, replacing the worship of the eternal God with the worship of man and creation.

Finally, it is worth mentioning: while there is no direct evidence linking Fr. Teilhard to Freemasonry, their goal is the same: the deification of man. In the words of Manly P. Hall in his Lost Keys of Freemasonry:

'Man is a God in the making. … The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as a Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. It is relevant that Teilhard's works are read and quoted in the lodges.' [xvii]

o 1P5Editor's note: after we received this essay for publication, the news broke at Vatican Insider that the 'Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture largely approved a proposal to be sent to Pope Francis, asking him to contemplate whether it is possible to remove the Monitum of the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office on the works of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin'. The petition, according to Vatican Insider, was approved on Saturday, November 18, 2017, 'during the work of the Assembly on 'The Future of Humanity: New Challenges to Anthropology'.' Further:

'The proposal, as raised by the online newspaper Sir , is thus motivated: 'We believe that such an act would not only restore the genuine efforts of the pious Jesuit in an attempt to reconcile the scientific vision of the universe with Christian eschatology but would also represent a formidable stimulus for all theologians and scientists of good will to collaborate in the construction of a Christian anthropological model which, following the directions of the encyclical Laudato Si, is naturally placed in the wonderful plot of the cosmos. '

Pope Francis is expected to receive the proposal for consideration soon, if not already. As of this writing, no decision has been announced.


[i] It should be mentioned here that a contemporary of Teilhard, Fr. Georges Lemaître, a renowned physicist and the postulator of the 'Big Bang' theory, advised Pope Pius XII not to mention his discovery as proof of the doctrine of creation 'ex nihilo,' as scientific knowledge, which is refined and always growing and changing and should not be used in defense of the Faith, which is unchanging.

[ii] Henri Cardinal de Lubac, S.J., The Religion of Teilhard de Chardin (New York: Image Books (1967). De Lubac is generally considered the main influence on the Vatican II document The Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes). De Lubac, himself first censured by Pope Pius XII, went on to be named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1983.

[iii] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Letters to Léontine Zanta, trans. Bernard Wall (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 114 (letter dated 26 January 1936).

[iv] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Heart of Matter (New York: Harcourt Brace Jahanovich, 1978), p. 54.

[v] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy (New York: Harcourt Brace Jahanovich, 1969), pp. 57, 58, 162.

[vi] 'What we call inorganic matter is certainly animate in its own way[.] … Atoms, electrons, elementary particles … must have a spark of spirit' (Science and Christ, written 1920s, published in English in 1968).

[vii] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Comment je vois, Par. 29, Tr. p.39, cit. Jacques Maritain, The Peasant of the Garonne (New York: Holt, Reinhart and Winston, 1968), p. 265.

[viii] Le Coeur de la Matière, (1950), p. 30, cit. 'The Body of Christ in the writings of Teilhard de Chardin S.J.,' by Cristopher Moody S.J.

[ix] The Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215 spoke of the bread and wine as 'transubstantiated' into the body and blood of Christ: 'His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been transubstantiated, by God's power, into his body and blood.'

[x] David L. Schindler, Heart of the World, Center of the Church (New York: William B. Erdmans, 1996), footnote 34 on p. 22, exposes von Balthasar's cautious but fundamental dependence on Teilhard.

[xi] Speech to Employers and Workers of a Pharmacy Company, February 24, 1966, in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, Poliglotta Vaticana, 1966, pp. 992-993.

[xii] Pope John Paul II, Gift and Mystery, (New York: Image, 1996), p. 73.

[xiii] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 334.

[xiv] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 29.

[xv] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Human Energy (New York Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969), p. 37.

[xvi] See Philip Trower, The Church and the Counter Faith (Oxford: Family Publications, 2006) for a résumé of intellectual currents leading up to Vatican II, or here for an essay on the Jesuit formation of Pope Francis.

[xvii] 'The Masonic bishop, priest, or layman will forsake his faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ. This may