The National Association of Catholic Families


This edition of CF NEWS (No.2221) posted at 12.53 pm on Sunday, February 11th, 2018. 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

Despite denial, Pope received abuse victim's letter CONTINUE READING
As Chile crisis deepens, all eyes turn to Cardinal O'Malley CONTINUE READING
Bishop Sorondo and the Social(ist) doctrine of the Church CONTINUE READING

Humanae Vitae




Bishop Bernard Fellay on the Fatima centenary and Church crisis CONTINUE READING

United Nations

Who will fight for the Family at the UN? CONTINUE READING

News from around the world

GERMANY Cardinal Marx's idea is 'sacrilegous' CONTINUE READING
'A dark day for our republic' CONTINUE READING
UK Cardinal Cupich: Pope's teaching is paradigm shift in the Church CONTINUE READING
UK Secret Freemasons' lodges at Westminster CONTINUE READING
UK Teacher fired over LGBT views CONTINUE READING
UK Catholic Education Service's 'vile' document CONTINUE READING
UK Ofsted punishes Jewish school for refusing to endorse LGBT agenda CONTINUE READING
USA School board silences parents criticizing pro-LGBT policies CONTINUE READING
USA Overwhelming acceptance of abortion funding restrictions CONTINUE READING
USA The 'conciliatory' and 'moderate' language of Cardinal Wuerl CONTINUE READING
USA Archbishop urges priests to preach against contraception CONTINUE READING
INTERNATIONALThe World Over with Raymond Arroyo
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news


Gifts of the Holy Spirit   VIDEO CONTINUE READING




George Weigel gets it half right. And that's the problem CONTINUE READING
Irish Examiner runs fake 'poll' claiming doctors support legalising abortion CONTINUE READING

Comment from the internet

Is Francis opening doors to 'Queer Theology'? CONTINUE READING
Blessings for homosexual couples CONTINUE READING
Bishop Marian Eleganti on Amoris Laetitia CONTINUE READING
The spirit of resistance and love for the Church
The problem is not pedophilia but homosexuality CONTINUE READING

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day CONTINUE READING


Cardinal Valerian Gracias CONTINUE READING




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Vatican watch




Despite denial, Pope received abuse victim's letter

THE CATHOLICHERALD reports: 'Pope Francis received a victim's letter in 2015 that graphically detailed sexual abuse at the hands of a priest and a cover-up by Chilean church authorities, contradicting the Pope's recent insistence that no victims had come forward, the letter's author and members of Pope Francis' own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.

The fact that Pope Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has 'zero tolerance' for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.

The scandal exploded last month when Pope Francis' trip to South America was marred by protests over his vigorous defence of Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by victims of covering up the abuse by Fr Fernando Karadima. During the trip, Francis callously dismissed accusations against Barros as 'slander,' seemingly unaware that victims had placed him at the scene of Karadima's crimes.

On the plane home, confronted by reporters, the Pope said: 'You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven't seen any, because they haven't come forward.'

But members of the Pope's Commission for the Protection of Minors say that in April 2015, they sent a delegation to Rome specifically to hand-deliver a letter to the Pope about Bishop Barros. The letter from Juan Carlos Cruz detailed the abuse, kissing and fondling he says he suffered at Fr Karadima's hands, which he said Barros and others witnessed and ignored.

Four members of the commission met with Pope Francis' top abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, explained their objections to Pope Francis's recent appointment of Barros as a bishop in southern Chile, and gave him the letter to deliver to Francis.

'When we gave him (O'Malley) the letter for the Pope, he assured us he would give it to the pope and speak of the concerns,' then-commission member Marie Collins told the AP. 'And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done.'

Cruz, who now lives and works in Philadelphia, heard the same later that year.

'Cardinal O'Malley called me after the Pope's visit here in Philadelphia and he told me, among other things, that he had given the letter to the Pope - in his hands,' he said in an interview at his home Sunday.

Neither the Vatican nor O'Malley responded to multiple requests for comment.

While the 2015 summit of Pope Francis' commission was known and publicized at the time, the contents of Cruz's letter - and a photograph of Collins handing it to O'Malley - were not disclosed by members. Cruz provided the letter, and Collins provided the photo, after reading an AP story that reported Pope Francis had claimed to have never heard from any Karadima victims about Barros' behaviour.

The Barros affair first caused shockwaves in January 2015 when Francis appointed him bishop of Osorno, Chile, over the objections of the leadership of Chile's bishops' conference and many local priests and laity. They accepted as credible the testimony against Fr Karadima, a prominent Chilean cleric who was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for abusing minors. Bishop Barros was a Karadima protege, and according to Cruz and other victims, he witnessed the abuse and did nothing.

'Holy Father, I write you this letter because I'm tired of fighting, of crying and suffering,' Cruz wrote in Pope Francis's native Spanish. 'Our story is well known and there's no need to repeat it, except to tell you of the horror of having lived this abuse and how I wanted to kill myself.'

Cruz and other survivors had for years denounced the cover-up of Fr Karadima's crimes, but were dismissed as liars by the Chilean church hierarchy and the Vatican's own ambassador in Santiago, who refused their repeated requests to meet before and after Bishop Barros was appointed.

After Pope Francis's comments backing the Chilean hierarchy caused such an outcry in Chile, he was forced last week to do an about-face: The Vatican announced it was sending in its most respected sex-crimes investigator to take testimony from Cruz and others about Bishop Barros.

In the letter to the Pope, Cruz begs for Pope Francis to listen to him and make good on his pledge of 'zero tolerance.'

'Holy Father, it's bad enough that we suffered such tremendous pain and anguish from the sexual and psychological abuse, but the terrible mistreatment we received from our pastors is almost worse,' he wrote.

Cruz goes on to detail in explicit terms the homo-eroticised nature of the circle of priests and young boys around Fr Karadima, the charismatic preacher whose El Bosque community in the well-to-do Santiago neighbourhood of Providencia produced dozens of priestly vocations and five bishops, including Barros.

He described how Fr Karadima would kiss Barros and fondle his genitals, and do the same with younger priests and teens, and how young priests and seminarians would fight to sit next to Fr Karadima at the table to receive his affections.

'More difficult and tough was when we were in Karadima's room and Juan Barros - if he wasn't kissing Karadima - would watch when Karadima would touch us - the minors - and make us kiss him, saying: 'Put your mouth near mine and stick out your tongue.' He would stick his out and kiss us with his tongue,' Cruz told the Pope. 'Juan Barros was a witness to all this innumerable times, not just with me but with others as well.'

'Juan Barros covered up everything that I have told you,' he added.

Bishop Barros has repeatedly denied witnessing any abuse or covering it up. 'I never knew anything about, nor ever imagined, the serious abuses which that priest committed against the victims,' he told the AP recently. 'I have never approved of nor participated in such serious, dishonest acts, and I have never been convicted by any tribunal of such things.'

For the Osorno faithful who have opposed Barros as their bishop, the issue isn't so much a legal matter requiring proof or evidence, as Barros was a young priest at the time and not in a position of authority over Fr Karadima. It's more that if Bishop Barros didn't 'see' what was happening around him and doesn't find it problematic for a priest to kiss and fondle young boys, he shouldn't be in charge of a diocese where he is responsible for detecting inappropriate sexual behavior, reporting it to police and protecting children from pedophiles like his mentor.

Cruz had arrived at Fr Karadima's community in 1980 as a vulnerable teenager, distraught after the recent death of his father. He has said Fr Karadima told him he would be like a spiritual father to him, but instead sexually abused him.

Based on testimony from Cruz and other former members of the parish, the Vatican in 2011 removed Fr Karadima from ministry and sentenced him to a lifetime of 'penance and prayer' for his crimes. Now 87, he lives in a home for elderly priests in Santiago; he hasn't commented on the scandal and the home has declined to accept calls or visits from the news media.

The victims also testified to Chilean prosecutors, who opened an investigation into Karadima after they went public with their accusations in 2010. Chilean prosecutors had to drop charges because too much time had passed, but the judge running the case stressed that it wasn't for lack of proof.

While the victims' testimony was deemed credible by both Vatican and Chilean prosecutors, the local Church hierarchy clearly didn't believe them, which might have influenced Pope Francis's view. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz has acknowledged he didn't believe the victims initially and shelved an investigation. He was forced to reopen it after the victims went public.

He is now one of the Argentine Pope's key cardinal advisers.

By the time he finally got his letter into the Pope's hands in 2015, Cruz had already sent versions to numerous other people, and had tried for months to get an appointment with the Vatican ambassador. The embassy's December 15, 2014, email to Cruz - a month before Barros was appointed - was short and to the point:

'The apostolic nunciature has received the message you emailed December 7 to the apostolic nuncio,' it read, 'and at the same time communicates that your request has been met with an unfavourable response.'

One could argue that Pope Francis didn't pay attention to Cruz's letter, since he receives thousands of letters every day from faithful around the world. He can't possibly read them all, much less remember the contents years later. He might have been tired and confused after a weeklong trip to South America when he told an airborne press conference that victims never came forward to accuse Bishop Barros of cover-up.

But this was not an ordinary letter, nor were the circumstances under which it arrived in the Vatican.

Francis had named Cardinal O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, to head his Commission for the Protection of Minors based on his credibility in having helped clean up the mess in Boston after the U.S. sex abuse scandal exploded there in 2002. The commission gathered outside experts to advise the church on protecting children from paedophiles and educating church personnel about preventing abuse and cover-ups.

The four commission members who were on a special subcommittee dedicated to survivors had flown to Rome at their own expense specifically to speak with O'Malley about the Barros appointment and to deliver Cruz's letter. A press release issued after the April 12, 2015, meeting read: 'Cardinal O'Malley agreed to present the concerns of the subcommittee to the Holy Father.'

Commission member Catherine Bonnet, a French child psychiatrist who took the photo of Collins handing the letter to Cardinal O'Malley, said the commission members had decided to descend on Rome specifically when Cardinal O'Malley and other members of the Pope's group of nine cardinal advisers were meeting, so that Cardinal O'Malley could put it directly into the Pope's hands.

'Cardinal O'Malley promised us when Marie gave to him the letter of Juan Carlos that he will give to Pope Francis,' she said.

Cardinal O'Malley's spokesman in Boston referred requests for comment to the Vatican. Neither the Vatican press office, nor officials at the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, responded to calls and emails seeking comment.

But Cardinal O'Malley's remarkable response to Francis' defence of Barros and to his dismissal of the victims while he was in Chile, is perhaps now better understood.

In a rare rebuke of a Pope by a cardinal, O'Malley issued a statement on January 20 in which he said the Pope's words were 'a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,' and that such expressions had the effect of abandoning victims and relegating them to 'discredited exile.'

A day later, Pope Francis apologised for having demanded 'proof' of wrongdoing by Bishop Barros, saying he meant merely that he wanted to see 'evidence'. But he continued to describe the accusations against Bishop Barros as 'calumny' and insisted he had never heard from any victims.

Even when told in his airborne press conference on January 21 that Fr Karadima's victims had indeed placed Bishop Barros at the scene of Fr Karadima's abuse, Pope Francis said: 'No one has come forward. They haven't provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It's something that can't be accepted.'

He stood by Bishop Barros, saying: 'I'm certain he's innocent,' even while saying that he considered the testimony of victims to be 'evidence' in a cover-up investigation.

'If anyone can give me evidence, I'll be the first to listen,' he said.

Cruz said he felt like he had been slapped when he heard those words.

'I was upset,' he said, 'and at the same time I couldn't believe that someone so high up like the Pope himself could lie about this.'

[CH] 2221.1



















As the Chile crisis deepens, all eyes turn to Cardinal O'Malley

MICHAEL DAVIS writes for the Catholic Herald: 'eing Archbishop of Boston is not an easy job at the best of times. When Cardinal Seán O'Malley took the post, it was the very worst of times. He succeeded the late Bernard Francis Law, one of the most scandal-ridden prelates of the modern era. Law's gross mishandling of paedophile priests in his archdiocese made the Church in Boston synonymous with old men in Roman collars molesting altar boys. The laity's trust in their clergy collapsed, which in turn contributed to a vocations crisis that has forced the archdiocese to close or merge over 250 parishes in the last year.

O'Malley rose to the occasion. He has been so diligent in cleaning up Boston that several Italian Vatican-watchers floated the possibility of his succeeding Benedict XVI in 2013. In fact, his name appeared more times than that of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was considered the most papabile American in the 2005 conclave. O'Malley is now arguably the most powerful bishop in the United States.

When Pope Francis was elected, he found good use for the soft-spoken Capuchin. The following year, O'Malley was chosen to lead the Pontifical Commission for the Defence of Minors. The establishment of the commission was central to Francis's image as a reformer; that he entrusted the initiative to O'Malley is powerful testimony to his faith in him.

But O'Malley's responsibility for dealing with sexual abuse in the Catholic Church became something of a liability for the Holy Father last month, when Francis accused the victims of Chilean priest Fernando Karadima of 'calumny' for claiming that his bishop, Juan Barros, knew of his predatory behaviour and yet refused to act on the information. 'You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven't seen any, because they haven't come forward,' the Pope said in a press conference.

The laity, and the media in particular, were outraged - and nowhere more than in Boston. Kevin Cullen, a columnist for the centre-left Boston Globe, heaped scorn on the Pope:

It should be noted that, for all the talk of Pope Francis cutting a new path for the Catholic Church, he was elected by a conclave of cardinals that included some of those cynical and criminal enablers of abuse, like the disgraced and disgraceful former archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony.

To be honest -,and the good Sisters of Providence who taught me at Cheverus School in Malden always stressed the importance of honesty - I knew that Francis was no different, that he was right out of central Vatican casting, last year, when Marie Collins quit the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that Francis had created to much fanfare.

'Pope Francis fooled us,' Cullen concluded. 'He fooled us all.'

This had the potential to be disastrous for O'Malley, who is widely seen as a Francis ally. But he did his job and stood up for Karadima's victims. He said in a statement that the Pope's words 'abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile'.

Then, on 5 February, reports emerged that the Pope received a letter in 2015 which 'graphically detailed sexual abuse at the hands of a priest and a cover-up by Chilean church authorities'. Yet Francis had staunchly denied seeing any such evidence.

How do we know that Francis got the note? O'Malley apparently hand-delivered it to him.

According to these reports, the letter came to the attention of the Pontifical Commission for the Abuse of Minors in April 2015. This was shortly after Francis promoted Barros, against the advice of over the Chilean bishops' conference, which believed that he had indeed witnessed Karadima's attacks and kept silent.

Commission member Marie Collins told the Associated Press on 4 February: 'When we gave him [O'Malley] the letter for the Pope, he assured us he would give it to the Pope and speak of the concerns. And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done.'

Juan Carlos Cruz, the author of the letter, also insisted that O'Malley had delivered it to Francis. 'Cardinal O'Malley called me after the Pope's visit here in Philadelphia and he told me, among other things, that he had given the letter to the Pope - in his hands,' Cruz said in an interview at his home.

This is devastating for Francis, and uncomfortable for O'Malley. If the cardinal denies handing the letter to the Pope, his admirers will be horrified (though they may not believe him). But if he confirms Collins's and Cruz's accounts, he will seriously undermine public confidence in the successor of Peter. Either way, he cannot evade the question. He must tell us whether he handed this explosive document to Francis.

There is already talk that the Holy Father may be forced to resign over the letter. To quote National Review senior writer Michael Brendan Dougherty, 'The word conclave is being thrown around rather loosely by my sources.' If Francis does resign - which is hard to envisage, given his legendary stubbornness, but not impossible - O'Malley could be the favourite to succeed him, depending on how skilfully he negotiates this awful crisis.

Ultimately, however, it is the Pope rather than the cardinal whose entire reputation hangs in the balance this week. Francis's most loyal supporters are dumbstruck by this turn of events.

That alone speaks volumes.

[Catholic Herald] 2221.2





















Asia Bibi

Asia BibiCHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives: 'Back in 2010, the Pakistani Catholic woman commonly known as Asia Bibi (born Aasiya Noreen) was sentenced to death by hanging for the 'crime' of 'insulting Islam and the Holy Quran.' The pertinent provision of Pakistan's penal code (Section 295-C) provides that 'Whoever ... defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to a fine.'

The alleged insult occurred when Bibi, a farm worker toiling on a hot day, protested the nonsensical prohibition on non-Muslims drinking water from the same cup as Muslims. She was arrested and charged after a mob of angry Muslims swarmed her house and beat her and members of her family. Bibi, the first woman sentenced to death for 'blasphemy' in Pakistan, has been languishing in prison ever since while her appeals are endlessly processed and delayed and her many children grow up without their mother.

Pope Benedict XVI intervened almost immediately in the travesty. In a statement issued in November of 2010, he called for Bibi's release and decried the 'difficult situations of Christians in Pakistan' who face 'discrimination and violence.' But, as Antonio Socci has just reminded us, during the five years Pope Francis has occupied the Chair of Peter he has uttered not one word in her defense. Worse, 'he refused a private audience with the impoverished family of Asia Bibi, who succeeded in traveling to Rome to request help, and has denied them even a gesture of attention.'

Why? To quote Socci, because 'he never wants to displease Muslims.' Further, he notes, 'After terrorist attacks he [Francis] maintains that they have nothing to do with Islam, but he cannot say the same in the face of 'The Islamic Republic of Pakistan' which - on the basis of the law on blasphemy - condemns innocents to death. Therefore, he remains silent.'

Francis continues to remain silent even though, Socci further notes, quoting the Italian lawyer Luigi Amicone: 'Asia Bibi has spent the past 3,140 days imprisoned in an isolation cell without windows in a maximum security prison' while 'not even the tribunals of the first and second grade, who sentenced her to death under the pressure of fundamentalist groups, have had the courage to execute the verdict… and the Supreme Court of Pakistan continues to take its time postponing any definitive pronouncement' on the case.

With exquisite irony, while a socialist-friendly Pope maintains his shameful silence, the socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has offered asylum to Asia Bibi and her entire family as has the administration of the city of Milan, of which Amicone is city attorney.

Here we encounter yet another reason Catholics the world over are recognizing, to their horror, the growing debacle of this papacy, which must be considered unique in the history of the Church. Also unique, however, are the dire ecclesial circumstances foretold in the prophetic warning of the Third Secret of Fatima, of which this pontificate must surely be a central feature.

[FP] 2221.3


















Bishop Sorondo and the Social(ist) doctrine of the Church

Bp. SorondoRICARDO CASCIOLI reports for OnePeterFive: 'At this moment, the Chinese are the ones who are best achieving the social doctrine of the Church.' This quote alone, given at the beginning of an interview on China published by Vatican Insider (Spanish edition), should be enough to provoke the immediate dismissal of Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences and Social Sciences. Apart from being an insult to common sense, such an affirmation represents an explosive blend of: abysmal ignorance (both of the social doctrine of the Church as well as of the situation in China), ideological addiction, and contempt for Chinese Christians, who even now are undergoing a terrible persecution.

It is a mix which impiously reveals the total inadequacy of the Argentine prelate to hold such a sensitive role in the Vatican. Even more so because after that initial affirmation, Sorondo continued with a series of idiotic statements describing the People’s Republic of China as a sort of paradise on earth, a bit like the way the old Italian Communists thought of the Soviet Union of Stalin. Respect for the environment, the priority of having work for all, there are no slums, no drugs, and so on in his delirium.

But what is even more incredible is that to defend his thesis that the Chinese regime is promoting the common good, Sorondo cites the economist Stefano Zamagni saying he had personally 'assured' him. Whereas we have to reach Zamagni by telephone, obviously [for Sorondo] Professor Zamagni just falls from the clouds and – besides referring to his books and public interventions to know his thought – points out that 'we can speak of the common good only from within the Christian tradition.' It can be said of China that in recent years it has promoted political measure to 'reduce economic inqualities,' but to speak of the common good is simply ridiculous; Zamagni warns against looking only at the increase of the GDP without also considering other social indicators which paint a much less idyllic picture of China.

However we are almost certain that once again nothing will happen. Because, and we are keen to emphasize this, Sorondo’s statement on China is not a simple little gaffe, however absurd, of a nicely-robed Vatican official who is in the end harmless. If this were so we would shake it off with a laugh. No, the situation here is much more serious. His absurd statements on China are actually part of a greater context of the surrender of the Holy See to the Beijing regime, which is being spun in the Vatican in an irrationally optimistic way. Therefore the interview of Sorondo, who represented the Holy See in China at an international conference on organ transplants, reveals an attitude toward China [within the Vatican] which goes far beyond his personal preferences.

In the last few years Bishop Sorondo, with his Academies, has become the point of reference for the 'humanitarianist' shift of the Holy See which, for example, has permitted the infiltration of the Vatican by the most well-known proponents of the birth control movement. It is no coincidence that significant openings to the possibility of contraception have begun. To say nothing of the attempt to pass off a scientific hypothesis – of catastrophic global warming caused by human activity – as authentic magisterium. And things have developed to such an extent that recently Bishop Sorondo was able to calmly affirm that 'we are living a magic moment because, for the first time, the discourse of the Church and the discourse of world represented by the United Nations go together.' Truly a magic moment, as magical as the situation in China.

But this is precisely what is at stake: the ratification of the thought of the world by the Catholic Church. And in this Sorondo is only a pawn.

[Originally published at La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino]


[1P5] 2221.3a




















Humanae Vitae


The next phase in the Humanae Vitae 'rewrite' ~ pin it on the laity

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives: 'It is now obvious to Catholics of good will, not just the 'traditionalists' and 'Fatimites' who recognized it immediately, that 'the current Pope’s leadership has become a danger to the faith,' as Philip Lawler has put it. Lawler was writing when Francis had 'merely' opened the door to Holy Communion for public adulterers in 'second marriages,' thus condoning the intrinsic evil of adultery. But now Pope Francis clearly has his sights on undermining the teaching of Paul VI on the intrinsic evil of contraception — even as he prepares to canonize him! A curious pattern emerges: canonize the conciliar Popes and then dump their moral teaching.

Where the plot — there is no other word for it — to dump Pope Paul’s Humanae Vitae (HV) is concerned, the Pope’s collaborators have hit upon the Modernist tactic of referring the matter to 'the people of God.' Thus, Francis’ appointment to the 'new, improved' (i.e., destroyed) Pontifical Academy for Life, the 'moral theologian' Maurizio Chiodi, has declared that HV ought not to be considered a binding teaching of the perennial Magisterium merely because 'now the great majority of even believing married couples live as though the norm doesn’t exist.'

In response to that canard, which would reduce all of morality and indeed the entire Magisterium to a matter of majority opinion, Sandro Magister has published an anonymous intervention by 'an ecclesiastic with advanced specialized scholarly training, and one who has held significant teaching posts in Italy and abroad.' The intervention is anonymous because, under the reign of 'The Dictator Pope,' immediate reprisal is sure to follow against anyone with an ecclesiastical office who dares to speak the truth about this pontificate.

This Catholic scholar denounces as 'clumsy and misleading' the 'attempt to heap upon the faithful – in particular, spouses – the burden of proof that the teaching of HV on the natural regulation of births does not belong to the consolidated and perennial patrimony,' calling it a 'reckless judgment which would see Catholic spouses as being mainly or solely responsible for the non-implementation of the norm of HV…'

The appeal to 'conscience' as the judge of the morality of contraception is sophistry. The conscience that is to be followed must be well-formed, not one deformed by habitual sin. Nor can conscience ever supersede the commandments of divine and natural law, rendering moral what is intrinsically immoral. And, the writer observes, if the conscience of the majority of Catholics is no longer well formed on this matter, then the fault lies with the priests and, before them, the bishops who have failed to catechize the faithful properly because they themselves reject or are loath to defend the teaching of HV.  

Basing morality on the wandering of sheep that the shepherds themselves have misled is the height of folly and duplicity. It would mean, writes the scholar, that the errant consciences of the majority, malformed by the negligence of their own pastors, 'would be translated into a norm (new or modified, or reinterpreted) that would have to apply to all believers. If the testimony of their conscience is false, the faithful would bear the burden of a misleading guideline issued to the whole Church, and the theologian would be concealing his responsibility with regard to this ‘new course’ behind the people’s response to the Pilatesque question: ‘In conscience, what do you want to be liberalized: the natural regulation of fertility, or contraception?’'

In other words: 'Let the people decide' — the same people whose erring judgment has already been predetermined by the culpable failure or deliberate subversion of those who would present the matter to them for judgment. Indeed, such a move would make Pilate look virtuous, for he did not predetermine the judgment of the mob calling for Our Lord’s crucifixion but rather tried to avoid it.
The anonymous scholar concludes his piece by noting Chiodi 'was repeatedly called by the then-president of the Pontifical Council of the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, to give seminars on conjugal morality and procreation for the officials of this dicastery' — which Francis has since abolished. It appears he abolished the Council because its members, 'solidly formed in the school of Archbishop Paglia’s predecessors, Cardinals Alfonso López Trujillo and Ennio Antonelli – never bowed to that attempt at indoctrination promoted by the one who is now president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.'

Consider the reality now confronting us: a Pope who seeks to indoctrinate the belief that intrinsic evils can be justified based on the erring consciences of an ill-formed laity — ill-formed precisely by the false shepherds who would now consult them on matters of morality!

Truly, this is the apostasy that 'begins at the top.' But fear not. Keep the Faith and await with confidence the divine termination of this travesty once the Message of Fatima is finally heeded, doubtless under the leadership of a holy and courageous Pope.

[FP] 2221.4




















China supplement


In light of the recent and widely publicised discussions on the Vatican-China compromise, we are posting this special supplement.

Wolf in sheep's clothing
Vatican-China compromise
Cardinal Zen rebukes Secretary of State
On the reported capitulation
Vatican archbishop praises China
Stephe Mosher comments
The ideological temptations
Cardinal Zen unbowed
George Weigel comments
Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo in Wonderland
Pastors ordered to post signs on churches forbidding entry to ninors



Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, circa A.D. 2018

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives: Even the secular conservative news site Brietbart has begun to notice the corruption of the Catholic Church at the very top as a key element in the sociopolitical crisis that represents the final stage of what Patrick Buchanan has called The Death of the West.

Brietbart reports on an interview of the Argentinean Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo in a Spanish daily concerning his recent visit to communist China, where the Vatican is negotiating its surrender of the 'underground' Catholic Church to the domination of communist gangsters in Beijing. As if to further this act of ecclesiastical treason, Sánchez, whom Pope Francis has made chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, heaps praise on the evil Beijing regime, daring to proclaim that 'at this moment, the Chinese are the ones implementing Catholic social teaching best.' The Chinese, he declares, 'look for the common good and subordinate other things to the general welfare…. [T]he central Chinese value is work, work, work. There’s no other way, basically it’s what Saint Paul said: whoever does not work should not eat.'

Is any comment really necessary? Suffice it to say that under the communist dictatorship of Beijing, the Chinese people are, to quote Breitbart, subjected to 'forced abortions, slave labor, the rampant persecution of Christians, severely limited freedoms, and a church demolition campaign under China’s one-party system…'

Even Brietbart knows that Sánchez’s conception of 'the common good' is alien to Catholic social teaching, which maintains (quoting the Catechism of John Paul II) that 'the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion [i.e., freedom for truth, not error]…'

Moreover, the ultimate element of the common good is eternal beatitude, which the state, within its sphere of competence, is obliged to help each citizen attain. As Pope Saint Pius X declared in opposition to the error of 'separation of Church and State':

'That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him.

'Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man’s eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man’s supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it.'

Sánchez’s praise for Red China is a diabolical mockery of Catholic social teaching. But just who is this bishop, the friend whom Francis has elevated to such a position of prominence in the Church? Life Site News has exposed him for what he is: the classic wolf in sheep’s clothing.

In an article entitled 'One man, close to the pope, responsible for so much evil in the Vatican,' Life Site’s John-Henry Westen documented Sánchez’s connection to population control elites, including then-U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Jeffrey Sachs and Ted Turner, 'two of the best-known promoters of coercive population control in the world.' Westen provides the following quotation of Sánchez’s 'thought' regarding the Church’s teaching on procreation. His arrogant nonsense, delivered in broken English, tells us all we need to know about the man and should fill any Catholic with a mixture of dread and contempt:

'Many times, we don’t know exactly what is the doctrine of the Church – we know some part but not all the doctrine of the Church about the question of the fecundity … And the many, many priests say to me that the great solution for the question of procreation is the education of the womans. Because when you have education, we don’t have childrens. We don’t have seven children. Maybe we have one children, two children. No more. And this is also an obligation for the Church… [A]lso in the catechismos [sic] of the Church say: ‘the state has a responsibility for its citizens’ well-being. In this capacity, it is legitimate for the state to intervene to orient the demography of the population.’ This is also an idea of the Catholic Church.'

With each passing day it becomes more apparent that the human element of the Church is under the sway of her worst enemies — the enemies within, to allude to Benedict XVI’s revelation concerning the Third Secret of Fatima in 2010. That is, enemies worse than those who attack the Church from without, as Pope Benedict warned.

It seems that now our only recourse is to speak the truth in the face of this evil as we await what must be Heaven’s dramatic resolution of the greatest crisis the Church has ever suffered.

The Vatican-China Compromise

OnePeterFive reports: 'The Vatican-China Compromise continues to defy belief. Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, has now praised the Communist Chinese government as 'best implementing the social doctrine of the Church'. Sorondo virtually gushes about China's approach to poverty, drugs, the economy, and the environment. (Not mentioned, in light of Pope Francis' comments that capital punishment 'is, in itself, contrary to the Gospel' [spoiler: it isn't], is that China is the death penalty capital of the world, even treating it like a spectator sport.) Meanwhile, Roberto de Mattei's Corrispondenza Romana reports that new Chinese regulations in 2018 will clamp down on retreats and private religious gatherings in both the official Chinese Church and the underground Church - with the latter facing more severe consequences. 'Religious schools can meet only if they are registered and above all only under the control of the state. All other cases, including the celebration of Holy Mass, will be considered 'illegal religious activity .' The Global Times - a China-based English-language tabloid with ties to the Chinese government - is running a piece today accusing 'Western media outlets' and 'right-wing commentators in the West' of amplifying a 'civil war within the Catholic Church' over this issue.


Cardinal Zen rebukes the Vatican's Secretary of State over China: He is a 'man of little faith'

DIANE MONTAGNA writes for LifeSiteNews: 'Cardinal Joseph Zen has criticized the Vatican's Secretary of State over comments about the Holy See's relations with China. Zen, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, says Cardinal Pietro Parolin is a 'man of little faith' and that he wonders if Parolin knows what 'true suffering is.'

In a statement released on Monday, Cardinal Zen addressed the controversy over the Vatican legitimizing excommunicated bishops loyal to Beijing and the forcing of legitimate bishops of the underground Church into retirement.

Zen said that while several close associates have advised him to pray more and to speak less, he wants to 'keep talking,' especially because he senses that 'before long' he will no longer be able to speak.

'How many nights of suffering will the priests and laity endure, at the thought that they will have to bow down to and obey those bishops who are now illegitimate and excommunicated, but tomorrow will be legitimized by the Holy See, and supported by the government,' he said.

Responding to accusations regarding the appointment of bishops, Cardinal Parolin said in a Jan. 31 interview with La Stampa that the Church knows the sufferings endured by the Chinese people but is confident that once the question of episcopal appointments has been settled, the obstacles to Chinese Catholics living in communion with the Pope and among themselves should be greatly diminished.

'Does this man of little faith know what true suffering is?' Cardinal Zen asked.

'The brothers and sisters of mainland China are not afraid of being reduced to poverty, of being put into prison, of shedding their blood. Their greatest suffering is to see themselves betrayed by 'family,' he said.

The Cardinal of Hong Kong described Parolin's interview as 'filled with erroneous opinions,' and accused him of manipulating Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics.

One day earlier, on Jan. 30, 2018, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke issued an official statement concerning 'widespread news on a presumed difference of thought and action' between Pope Francis 'and his collaborators in the Roman Curia on issues relating to China.'

The communique came the day after Cardinal Zen revealed in an open letter the contents of a conversation he had with Pope Francis. The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong said he expressed to the Holy Father his grave fears over the recent steps taken in China by Vatican representatives regarding the appointment of bishops. Burke's statement read:

The Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the Secretariat of State, on Chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in China and on the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China, which he follows with special attention. It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy.

In his statement on Monday, Cardinal Zen took issue with the Vatican spokesman, calling him a 'caged bird' who should be comforted since he is 'forced to carry out such an embarrassing role.'

Here below is a LifeSiteNews translation (from Italian) of Cardinal Zen's full statement.



Several people who care about me have advised me to pray more and not to speak too much. Of course it is right to pray more, because the Lord is our hope and we have confidence in the intercession of Our Lady, the Mother of God.

They have probably advised me in this way out of the fear that if I speak too much, I will be more easily attacked. But I am not afraid of this, because my words are correct and helpful. At my age, I don't care whether I gain or lose.

I want to keep talking because I have the impression that before long I will not be able to talk anymore. And so I ask your forgiveness.

1. In the reading at Mass this Sunday, Job has to endure the long night of suffering, in which he laments that he no longer sees happiness with his eyes. But Psalm 146 invites us to praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted. In recent days, brothers and sisters living on the Chinese mainland have learned that the Vatican is ready to surrender to the Chinese communist party, and so they are uneasy. Given that illegitimate and excommunicated bishops will be legitimized, while the legitimate ones will be forced to retire, it is logical that the legitimate and clandestine bishops should be concerned about their fate. How many nights of suffering will the priests and laity endure, at the thought that they will have to bow down to and obey those bishops who are now illegitimate and excommunicated, but tomorrow will be legitimized by the Holy See, and supported by the government. Especially as a disaster has already begun without having to wait for tomorrow. As of February 1, new government rules on religious activity have gone into effect. The clandestine priests of Shanghai have asked the faithful not to go to their Masses anymore, because those who persist in doing so will be arrested! But do not be afraid, because the Lord heals the brokenhearted.

2. The Holy See's Secretary of State has said that 'we know the sufferings endured yesterday and today by our Chinese brothers and sisters.' But does this man of little faith know what true suffering is? The brothers and sisters of mainland China are not afraid of being reduced to poverty, of being put into prison, of shedding their blood. Their greatest suffering is to see themselves betrayed by 'family.' Parolin's interview is filled with erroneous opinions. It is not decent for a high-ranking official of the Holy See to manipulate the letter [to Chinese Catholics] of a Pope, even if he is already retired, by citing the passage (4.7): 'The solution to existing problems cannot be pursued via an ongoing conflict with the legitimate civil authorities,' but concealing the fact that the letter immediately continues by saying that 'at the same time, though, compliance with those authorities is not acceptable when they interfere unduly in matters regarding the faith and discipline of the Church.'

During World Youth Day in Korea, the Pope told the Asian bishops that 'the prerequisite of dialogue is coherence with one's own identity.' Well informed persons in the upper ranks of the Holy See are now saying with regret that 'we will be like a bird in a cage but the cage will be bigger; we are asking for as much space as possible.' But the real problem is not whether the cage is big or small, but who is in this cage. The clandestine believers are not in it. But now you want to force them into it as well, so that that they too may be 'reconciled' with those who are already inside! Of course, there are people in the cage who are trapped there, but there also servile and domineering persons who are inside it quite willingly. (I was the first to say that there is only one Church in China and that all believers, both of the official Church and of the clandestine Church, love the pope; but now I no longer dare to say this).

Since I have decided to let truth and justice prevail (everything I say starts from the principle of preserving the pope's reputation and setting the Church's doctrine in clear light), I have no difficulty in saying that I reported my opinions on 'dialogue' to Pope Francis when he received me in private audience three years ago. The pope listened to me attentively for forty minutes, without interrupting me. When I told him that, objectively speaking, the official Church of mainland China is schismatic (in that it has an autonomous administration independent of the Holy See and dependent on the government), the pope replied: 'Of course!'

3. Yesterday not a few individuals came to see me or telephoned me to offer me some comfort, following the accusation made against me by the spokesman for the Vatican. But they have misunderstood, because I do not need to be comforted. It would have been better for them to have gone to comfort that spokesman. He is the one who is a caged bird forced to carry out such an embarrassing role: this time he was very efficient and immediately criticized by intervention (and of course he read what had been written by others). One may recall that more than a year ago, prior to the 9th Congress of Representatives of the Chinese Catholic Church, he was the one who said that 'the Holy See is waiting to make a judgment based on proven facts.' One year later, they are still waiting to make judgments.

4. Also deserving of pity is the commentator from the 'South China Morning Post' who every day finds someone to criticize and lampoon: he must be an expert who knows everything and could have his say on all the programs de omnibus et aliquibus aliis. This person has written that I love politics more than religion. I want to wake him up a bit: 'Where angels fear to tread, the fools rush in.' Does he know what religion is, what faith is? He has said that I have decided to make the believers of mainland China suffer. But does he understand what the real suffering is for persons of faith? Nonetheless, the last thing he said was right: 'The Vatican has to readjust its worldly diplomacy, whatever its spiritual preferences.' But they are not only preferences, they are non-negotiable principles!

On the Vatican's reported capitulation to Beijing

GEORGE WEIGEL writes for the National Review: 'The 'examination of conscience' is an important part of Catholic spirituality, which always precedes confession but is ideally practiced at the end of each day: a review of what one got wrong, and what right, as preparation for an act of contrition and a prayer of thanksgiving for graces received. And while there are obvious and important differences between individual Catholics examining their conscience and Vatican diplomats reviewing the Church's successes and failures in the thorny, dense thickets of world politics, one might have thought that this spiritual discipline would have some bearing on the diplomacy of the Holy See, if only as a reality check.

But if you thought that, you'd be hard pressed to find evidence for it in the history of Vatican diplomacy's dealing with totalitarian regimes.

As an integral part of the 1929 Lateran Accords (which also created an independent Vatican City State while recognizing the Holy See as a sovereign actor in world politics), Pope Pius XI made a concordat with Mussolini's Italy - a treaty that was thought to guarantee the Catholic Church's freedom of action in the fascist state. Two years later, with blackshirt thugs beating up Catholic youth groups and the state media conducting a viciously anticlerical propaganda campaign, Pius XI denounced Mussolini's policies with the blistering 1931 encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno, in which he condemned fascism's 'pagan worship of the State.'

In 1933, as Hitler was consolidating Nazi power, Vatican diplomacy negotiated the Reich Concordat in another attempt to protect the Catholic Church from the totalitarian state through a web of legal guarantees. The strategy worked as poorly in Germany as it had in Italy, and in 1937, after many attacks on churchmen and Catholic organizations, Pius XI condemned Hitler's race-ideology in another thunderbolt encyclical, Mit brennender Sorge, which had to be smuggled into Germany to be read from Catholic pulpits.

Then came the Ostpolitik of the late 1960s and 1970s. Faced with what he once described as the 'frozen swamp' of Communist repression behind the iron curtain, Pope Paul VI's chief diplomatic agent, Archbishop Agostino Casaroli, began to negotiate a series of agreements with Communist governments. Those agreements were intended to provide for the sacramental life of the Church by facilitating the appointment of bishops, who could ordain priests, who could celebrate Mass and hear confessions, thereby preserving some minimal form of Catholic survival until Communism 'changed.' And another disaster ensued.

The Catholic hierarchy in Hungary became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hungarian Communist Party. In what was then Czechoslovakia, regime-friendly Catholics became prominent in the Church while the underground Czechoslovak Church of faithful Catholics struggled to survive under conditions exacerbated by what its leaders regarded as misguided Roman appeasement of a bloody-minded regime. In Poland, Holy See envoys tried to work around, rather than through, the heroic Cardinal Stefan Wyszy?ski, in a vain attempt to regularize diplomatic relations with the Polish People's Republic. And while all that was going on, the Vatican itself was being deeply penetrated by the KGB, the Polish SB, the East German Stasi, and other East Bloc intelligence services, as I documented from first-hand Communist secret-police sources in the second volume of my John Paul II biography, The End and the Beginning.

In light of this dismal track record, prudence and caution would seem to be the order of the day in Vatican negotiations with the totalitarians in charge in Beijing, at whose most recent party congress religion was once again declared an enemy of Communism. But there has been no discernible examination of conscience at the higher altitudes of Vatican diplomacy. And now it seems likely that an agreement between Rome and Beijing will be announced, in which the Chinese Communist government will be conceded a role in the nomination of bishops - another step toward what various older but still-key figures in the Vatican diplomatic service have long sought, namely, full diplomatic exchange between the Holy See and the PRC at the ambassadorial level.

One such figure, speaking off the record, tried to justify the impending deal by saying that it was best to get at least some agreement now, because no one knows what the situation would be in ten or 20 years. This is obtuse in the extreme.

If the situation gets worse - if, through increasing repression, Xi Jinping manages to hold together a Maoist political system despite a rising middle class - then what reason is there to have any confidence that the Chinese Communist regime would not tighten the screws on Catholics who challenged the state on human-rights grounds? What reason is there to believe that the Chinese Communists would break the pattern set by Italian fascists, German Nazis, and Eastern and Central European Communists by honoring treaty obligations? Has nothing been learned from the past about the rather elastic view of legality taken by all totalitarian regimes of whatever ideological stripe?

If, on the other hand, things get better in a liberalizing China, with more and more social space being created for civil-society associations and organizations, why should those Chinese interested in exploring the possibility of religious faith be interested in a Catholicism that had kowtowed to the Communist regime? Why wouldn't Evangelical Protestants who had defied the regime in the heroic house-church movement be the more attractive option?

Vatican diplomacy prides itself on its realism. But on any realistic assessment of China's future - the bad news or the good news - the Catholic Church comes out the loser if it caves to Communist demands that the regime have a significant role in the appointment of Catholic bishops now.

As described in press reports, the new deal between the Holy See and China also violates the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the embodiment of that teaching in the Church's own canon law.

For well over a century, Vatican diplomacy worked hard, and in this case effectively, to disentangle the Church from state interference in the appointment of Catholic bishops. That achievement was recognized by Vatican II in its decree Christus Dominus, 'On the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church.' There, the Council fathers said this about the imperative that the Church be free to choose its own ordained leaders: 'In order to safeguard the liberty of the Church and more effectively to promote the good of the faithful, it is the desire of the sacred Council that for the future no rights or privileges be conceded to the civil authorities in regard to the election, nomination, or presentation to bishoprics.' That conciliar desire was then given legislative effect in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, where canon 377.5 flatly states that 'for the future, no rights or privileges of election, appointment, presentation, or designation of Bishops are conceded to civil authorities.'

In theory, of course, Pope Francis, as the Church's supreme legislator, could suspend or even abrogate canon 377.5 in the case of the People's Republic of China. But to do so would not only make something of a mockery of Church law (a temptation too often indulged by some in recent years, in a campaign against 'legalism'). It would also be to deny the truth that Vatican II taught: The libertas ecclesiae, the freedom of the Church to conduct its evangelical and charitable mission by its own criteria and thereby remain true to its Lord, is not easily squared with state involvement in episcopal appointments.

Vatican diplomats, primarily Italians, have been obsessed with achieving full diplomatic exchange with the PRC for decades. It is argued, by these men and their defenders in the media, that China is the rising world power and that for the Holy See to be a player on the world stage requires that it be in formal diplomatic contact with Beijing. But this is a fantasy indulged by Italian papal diplomats for whom 'the Vatican' is still the Papal States, a third-tier European power that craves recognition of its status by superior powers. That world ended, however, at the Congress of Vienna.

The truth of the matter is that, today, the only power the Holy See wields is moral power, the slow accretion of moral authority that has come to Catholicism, as embodied by the pope, through the Church's sometimes sacrificial defense of the human rights of all. How playing Let's Make a Deal with totalitarians in Beijing who at this very moment are imprisoning and torturing Christians adds to the sum total of Catholicism's moral authority, or the papacy's, is, to put it gently, unclear. The same might be said for the de facto betrayal of Rome-loyal bishops in China who are now, it seems, being asked to step aside so that they can be replaced by bishops essentially chosen by the Chinese Communist Party apparatus. This is far less realism than a species of cynicism that ill befits a diplomacy presumably based on the premise that 'the truth will make you free' (John 8:32).

According to a (sometimes dubious) source, Pope Pius XI once said that he would deal with the Devil himself if doing so would accomplish something good and help the Church in its mission. I imagine that if he did say that, it was during one of that crusty pontiff's crustier moments, and an expression of his own willingness to face down the powers of Hell if necessary. But as strategy in the gray twilight zone of world politics, dealing with the Devil - at least as Vatican diplomacy has done in dealing with totalitarianisms - has never worked out. Consorting with the Devil's agents is a ticklish business; assuming their willingness to abide by agreements (much less their goodwill) is folly; and carrying the sulfurous odor of too much contact with the Devil's legions does absolutely nothing to advance the evangelical mission of the Church.

In fact, it does just the opposite.


Vatican archbishop praises Communist China as 'best' at implementing Church's social doctrine

CLAIRE CHRETIEN writes for LifeSiteNews: 'According to the head of the Vatican's Pontifical Academies for Sciences and Social Sciences, China's current communist regime which is infamous for its massive scale of human rights violations is the 'best [at] implementing the social doctrine of the Church.'

Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo told this to the Spanish-language version of Vatican Insider, and the Catholic Herald translated his remarks.

Sorondo praised China as 'extraordinary.'

'The economy does not dominate politics, as happens in the United States, something Americans themselves would say,' he said. 'You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs.'

China's support of the globalist Paris Climate Agreement - a deal from which President Trump withdrew the United States - means it has assumed a 'moral leadership that others have abandoned,' Sorondo said.

China's two-child policy, formerly its one-child policy, allows the government to violently force women to abort their babies.

'In 2012, 6.7 million women in China were forced to have abortions under the one-child policy, according to official statistics,' the Washington Post reported in 2015. 'Rates in previous decades often topped 10 million a year.'

Forced abortion still continues under the two-child policy.

'I find the Bishop's remarks frankly incredible,' Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, told LifeSiteNews. 'How could anyone with even passing knowledge of the atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party, historically and at present, possibly say that 'those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese'? One of primary social doctrines of the Church [is] respecting 'life and the dignity of the human person.'

'The Chinese government has boasted of 'preventing' 400 million lives through its One Child Policy. In so doing, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy,' she explained. 'Some of these forced abortions have been so violent that the woman died, along with her full term baby.'

China is a top location where gendercide, the practice of killing pre-born baby girls due to a cultural preference for boys, is widely practiced.

'China has also sterilized hundreds of millions of women,' Littlejohn continued. 'Some of these forced sterilizations have butchered the women, destroying not only their reproductive health, but their overall health as well.'

And 'because of the One Child Policy, there is not enough of a young population to support the elderly. Many elderly are left destitute and elder suicide in China is on the rise.'

'How is any of this consistent with respecting 'life and the dignity of the human person' - a doctrine absolutely central to Catholic social teaching?' Littlejohn asked.

Sorondo has been instrumental in bringing globally-recognized promoters of contraception, abortion, and population control to speak at numerous Vatican-run conferences. Some of these include John Bongaarts, Paul Ehrlich, Jeffrey Sachs, and Ban Ki-Moon (here, here, and here).

According to various reports that contradict Sorondo's claim, China has drug problems.

'The majority of the meth' in the Philippines comes from China, one report states. According to U.S. officials, the majority of synthetic opioids in America are produced in China.

There is wide availability of meth at 'the city's [Beijing] highest density of nightclubs and bars,' according to the New York Times. And 'China's wealthy coastal cities in the south were determined to have the highest total consumption of meth, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.'

As of 2014, more than 82 million people in rural China lived on less than $1 per day.

Sorondo has previously said the Pope's view on climate change is as authoritative as Church teaching against abortion.

At a 2017 Vatican conference on 'biological extinction,' Sorondo said women need 'education' so they will have one or two children instead of 'seven.'

'Because when you have education, we don't have childrens [sic],' he said in English. 'We don't have seven children. Maybe we have one children, two children. No more.'

He also suggested that couples consider the 'situation of their country' before having kids.

Michael Hichborn at the Lepanto Institute recently listed various papal encyclicals condemning socialism and communism. LifeSiteNews reprints them here:

Nostis et Nobiscum - Pope Pius IX, 1849

Diuturnum - Pope Leo XIII, 1881

Humanum Genus - Pope Leo XIII, 1884

Quod Apostolici Muneris - Pope Leo XIII, 1878

Libertas Praestantissimum - Pope Leo XIII, 1888

Graves de Communi Re - Pope Leo XIII, 1901

Rerum Novarum - Pope Leo XIII, 1891

Notre Charge Apostolique - Pope Pius X, 1910

Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum - Pope Benedict XV, 1914

Quadragesimo Anno - Pope Pius XI, 1931

Summi Pontificatus - Pope Pius XII, 1939

Mater et Magistra - Pope John XXIII, 1961

Octogesima Adveniens - Pope Paul VI, 1971

Centesimus Annus - Pope John Paul II, 1991

Sorondo's praise of China comes on the heels of reports that the Vatican is asking China's Catholic bishops, who face persecution and imprisonment, to step aside so that 'bishops' from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a fake church run by the communists, can take over.


Stephen Mosher comments

STEVEN MOSHER writes for The Stream: ' Recently back from his very first trip to China, Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo is waxing ecstatic. 'Those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church at this time are the Chinese.' So Sorondo gushed to the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, on Friday. 'They seek the common good, subordinating all things to the general good.'

That reminds me of Lincoln Steffens’ awestruck assessment of the Soviet Union. He said: 'I’ve seen the future, and it works!'

China is morally superior because it pays lip service to Global Warming? Really?

As we all know, Stalin’s USSR turned out to be one of the great killing fields of the Twentieth Century. Mao’s China was another.

Sorondo serves as the Chancellor of the both the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Science. He’s not a reporter. 'I found an extraordinary China,' he continued breathlessly. 'You do not have shantytowns. You do not have drugs, young people do not have drugs. There is a positive national consciousness. They want to show that they have changed, they already accept private property.'

Archbishop Sorondo surely rode in a chauffeured limousine from the airport to his five-star hotel. He probably did not see any shantytowns. The route, after all, got carefully Potemkinized. Foreign visitors get a splendid first impression.

His government handlers didn’t hesitate to lie to him about politically sensitive topics. They may have assured him that China’s youth are drug-free. But the country’s National Narcotics Control Commission recently said otherwise: 'China’s drug problem is severe and growing, with sharp rises in the abuse and production of synthetic drugs.'

China, for Sorondo, has 'positive national consciousness.' It relentlessly 'seeks the common good.' It’s also the main manufacturer of opioids such as fentanyl. Such drugs, illegally exported by China to the rest of the world, have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of young Americans, Canadians, and Filipinos.

How about China’s respect for 'private property'? See the ongoing destruction of Catholic and other Christian churches in China. These churches stoof on 'private' land. With the written permission of the Communist-dominated state. Which turned out to be worthless.

Sorondo’s most extravagant claim? That Beijing is 'defending the dignity of the person.' How? By 'following Laudato Si on the care of our common home [to limit CO2 emissions. . . China] is here assuming a moral leadership that others have abandoned.'

China is morally superior because it pays lip service to Global Warming? Really?

Is Beijing defending the 'dignity of the human person' by forcibly aborting women who conceive children outside the Communist Party’s birth plan? Is the Party showing 'moral leadership' by executing more people each year than the rest of the world combined?

Does Sorondo even know that China’s workers can’t organize free labor unions along the lines of Poland’s Solidarity? Or that workers who strike for higher wages — or for any wages at all — often face deadly force?

Of course, no interview with Archbishop Sorondo is complete without a little America-bashing. He said: 'The economy [in China] does not dominate politics, as it does in the United States. How is it possible that the petroleum multinationals control Trump, when we know that this is bad for the earth.'

No, Your Excellency, the economy in China does not dominate politics. But that is only because China is a bureaucratic totalitarian state. The Chinese Communist Party — and its politics — dominate not just production, but reproduction as well.

Sorondo’s slur that the oil companies, or anyone else for that matter, control President Trump is simply laughable. If anyone is his own man, it is Donald Trump.

Some of this nonsense is pretty much what we have one to expect from an anti-American Argentinean socialist. Especially one who thinks that the government can — if only we allow it enough power — to solve all social problems.

Sorondo, despite being the head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is known for being a sloppy thinker.

Not long ago, for example, he claimed that the Pope’s specific views on global warming were just as authoritative as the Church’s condemnation of abortion. Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, who studied theology under Joseph Ratzinger commented. He called these comments 'worse than wrong. They are an embarrassment to the Church.'

But Sorondo is probably just as much Chinese dupe as socialist fellow traveler.

It is an exhilarating experience to be flattered by a coterie of Chinese officials. They carefully gauge your political sympathies. They know how to appeal to them while flattering you. The treatment has made better men — Henry Kissinger, for example — lose their heads. So one might excuse Soronda by saying that he is a victim of China’s exquisite skills in barbarian management.

After you’ve been treated like visiting royalty, it seems churlish to remark on China’s continuing imprisonment of bishops or destruction of churches, even if they are your own bishops and your own churches.

I suspect that Sorondo was also, in his clumsy way, trying to blunt criticism of the forthcoming agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese Communist Party over the appointment of bishops.

If China is really, as he claims, doing such a remarkable job carrying out the 'social doctrine of the Church,' then the implication is that we should just overlook its persecution of the Church itself.
We should overlook the findings of the U.S. State Department. Its most recent annual report on freedom of religion found the Chinese government 'physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices.'

We should put all that aside. Why? For the sake of an agreement which cedes control of both the Patriotic and Underground churches in China to the Chinese Communist Party.

Perhaps Sorondo and others in the Vatican seem deluded. Communist Party negotiators convinced them that if the Vatican orders the Underground Church out of the catacombs and allows Beijing to choose its bishops, that the CCP will reciprocate by allowing greater scope for religious freedom and practice. If so, nothing could be further from the truth.

Of course, I’m an American. So Archbishop Sorondo would probably discount what I have to say. But I will say it nonetheless: Those of us who know Communist Chinese officials as the most duplicitous and masterful manipulators on the planet know that Chinese Party-State will violate any agreement that is signed before the ink is dry on the paper.

And whether Sorondo understands it or not — and I would guess he doesn’t have a clue — there’s only one reason why the Chinese Party-State wants an agreement with the Vatican at all. For control. It wants to control the appointment of bishops so that it can create a breakaway national church. It wants to control and limit the contact of that church with the outside world, and to put it on a path to gradual extinction.

Most of all, it wants to force the Underground Church out into the open. There its heroic bishops will give way to state lackeys. Its members more effectively watched. Its preaching stopped.

That the Vatican is contemplating cooperating with this scheme is mystifying. Why would any believing Catholic consent to hand over millions of believers in China to an officially atheistic Communist Party that is hostile to Catholicism, treats Catholics as second-class citizens, and will not even let them serve in the government or the military?

It is, as Cardinal Zen says, nothing less than a betrayal of faithful Catholics in China.

If Archbishop Sorondo and others in the Vatican ignore the true Church in China, if they’re determined to cave to the Chinese Communist Party, then they should simply shut up and do so.

Don’t insult our intelligence. Don’t claim that the Communist revolution has finally produced a society that has solved all of mankind’s social ills. Or that the Chinese Communist Party has done a better job implementing the social gospel than, say, the United States of America.

We’ve heard that claim before from political pilgrims to China going all the way back to Edgar Snow, who in Red Star Over China tried to convince us that Mao Zedong was building heaven on earth.

I will let you, dear reader, decide whether the Archbishop should be treated as a laughingstock or a liar, a dupe or a fellow traveler.

But, for whatever reason, he is propagating a myth as old as Marxism. And it is a myth that kills.

The ideological temptations at the Vatican

PHIL LAWLER writes for CatholicCulture.org: 'If Rome will be preparing for the canonization of Pope Paul VI later this year, only the most hardened ideologues could suggest that this year is the right time to scuttle his heroic encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Come to think of it, maybe the blessed Pontiff-who has already shown his intercessory clout with two miracles involving unborn children-could now intercede to protect the perennial teaching of the Church, which he championed at a great personal cost.

And speaking of hardened ideologues at the Vatican, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo has moved into the realm of self-parody with his claim that China offers the world's best example of implementing Catholic social teaching. What is it that the loquacious Argentine prelate so admires about the Beijing regime? Its commitment to religious freedom? Can't be. To the principle of subsidiarity? I doubt it; the entire, vast nation is ruled by a central government. Protection of the environment? Not likely; mainland China is the world's leading polluter. Respect for the rights of workers? Not in the slave-labor industries. Opposition to the death penalty? Guess again. Nuclear disarmament? Nope.

So what is it, then. The bishop cites a 'positive national conscience.' I don't think he's referring to the Communist Party's ideology, which seeks to be the 'national conscience.' But I'm at a loss to explain what else he might have in mind. And since Bishop Sanchez Sorondo is chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, this sort of political/economic analysis is an embarrassment to the Holy See.


Unbowed, Cardinal Zen blasts the Vatican

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives: 'In a February 5 blog post, published in English translation by Sandro Magister, Cardinal Zen throws false prudence (i.e., servile timidity) to the winds and tells the truth about the impending Vatican sellout of the Catholics of China to their communist overlords.

As he puts it: 'A few persons who care about me have advised me to pray more and not to talk too much. Of course it is right to pray more, because the Lord is our hope and we have confidence in the intercession of Our Lady, the Mother of God. They have probably advised me in this way out of the fear that if I talk too much, I will be more easily attacked. But I am not afraid of this, because my words are correct and helpful. At my age I don't care whether I gain or lose.'

If only the other Princes of the Church were as unconcerned about gain or loss at their advanced ages. Yet, to a man, they decline to speak candidly about the disastrous course of this - shall we say, unique - pontificate.

But Cardinal Zen cannot remain silent as he sees that 'the Vatican is ready to surrender to the Chinese communist party' and that 'the illegitimate and excommunicated bishops will be legitimized, and the legitimate ones will be forced to retire…'

He writes: 'How many nights of suffering will the priests and laity endure, to think that they will have to bow down to and obey those bishops who are now illegitimate and excommunicated, but tomorrow will be legitimized by the Holy See, supported by the government.'

Confident that the betrayal of Chinese Catholics into the hands of the Beijing regime is now all but irreversible, the regime, the Cardinal notes, has now declared that ' [a]s of February 1, new government rules on religious activity have gone into effect' under which 'the clandestine priests of Shanghai have asked the faithful not to go to their Masses anymore, because those who persist in doing so will be arrested!'

Taking direct aim at the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, Cardinal Zen mocks his statement that 'we know the sufferings endured yesterday and today by the Chinese brothers and sisters.' To which Cardinal Zen replies: 'But does this man of little faith know what true suffering is? The brothers and sisters of the Chinese mainland are not afraid of being reduced to poverty, of being put in prison, of shedding their blood: their greatest suffering is to see themselves betrayed by 'family.'

Cardinal Zen cites one of the by now numberless examples of deceptive Vatican pronouncements in the post-conciliar epoch: Cardinal Parolin's misleadingly cropped quotation from Benedict XVI's letter on the situation of the Church in China. Parolin quotes only the phrase 'The solution to existing problems cannot be pursued via an ongoing conflict with the legitimate civil authorities' while leaving out the immediately following caveat: 'at the same time, though, compliance with those authorities is not acceptable when they interfere unduly in matters regarding the faith and discipline of the Church.'

But interference in the faith and discipline of the Church is precisely what the communist gangsters in Beijing demand, and it is precisely what Pope Francis' Vatican has consented to. The faithful 'underground' Catholics will be forced into the schismatic CPA under threat of arrest. And the Beijing regime will choose the names of future candidates for the Chinese episcopacy through the phony 'Council of Bishops' that is nothing but (to quote Magister) 'an imitation episcopal conference under the strict control of the regime, from which are excluded all bishops who are recognized by Rome but not by the Chinese authorities.'

Cardinal Zen cites the ludicrous attempt to justify the betrayal by a Vatican source (quoted in the New York Times) who states that 'we are like birds in a cage, but the cage can become larger, we are asking for all the room possible.'

To which the Cardinal replies: 'But the real problem is not whether the cage is small or large, but who is in this cage. The clandestine believers are not in it. But now they want to force them as well to enter it, in such a way that they too may be 'reconciled'.' And inside this cage are not only 'persons who find themselves trapped there, but also servile and overbearing persons who find themselves inside quite willingly.'

And then the Cardinal reveals another example of Francis telling him what he wanted to hear, followed by actions exactly to the contrary:

'Since I have decided to let truth and justice prevail (everything I say starts from the principle of preserving the pope's reputation and setting the Church's doctrine in clear light), I have no difficulty in saying that I reported these opinions of mine on 'dialogue' to Pope Francis when he received me in private audience three years ago. The pope listened to me attentively for forty minutes, without interrupting me. When I told him that, objectively speaking, the official Church of the Chinese mainland is schismatic (in that it has an autonomous administration independent of the Holy See and dependent on the government), the pope replied: 'Of course!'

But the same Pope who acknowledges that the 'official' Church in China is schismatic is now poised to approve the Church's official condonation of that very schism under the pretense of a 'reconciliation' of Chinese Catholics with one another. A 'reconciliation' presided over and minutely controlled by communist dictators, including government surveillance cameras in 'official' churches.

A hundred years after the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, the errors of Russia continue to bedevil the world - with Vatican approval in China. Such is the unparalleled crisis the Virgin foretold, whose resolution will come only by the means She prescribed by divine authority: the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.


George Weigel comments

GEORGE WEIGEL writes for the Natioal Review: 'Despite the media and blogosphere attention he attracts, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, a 75-year-old Argentine who is chancellor of various pontifical academies, is a small-bore bit player in the current drama of what friends and critics alike regard as an increasingly dysfunctional Vatican. Yet when someone of even his relative insignificance announces that 'right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese,' that dysfunction comes into sharp relief — and a correction of the record is imperative.

Catholic social doctrine is built on four foundational principles: the inviolable dignity and value of every human person, the responsibility of all to exercise their rights in ways that contribute to the common good, the importance of social pluralism and civil society (and thus the rejection of totalitarianism), and the imperative of solidarity (the virtue of civic friendship that binds free societies together). Those principles helped shape the revolution of conscience that preceded and helped make possible the political revolution of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe. Those principles were also in play in the democratic transformations of Latin America and East Asia in the latter decades of the 20th century. Those principles remain the core of the social doctrine of the Church today.

And in 2018, those principles are systematically denied, in both theory and practice, by the People’s Republic of China.

Bishop Sánchez Sorondo seems to have been much impressed by a recent tour of the PRC, noting in an interview that the Chinese 'do not have shantytowns' and Chinese young people 'do not take drugs,' which he attributed to a 'positive national conscience.' In that same interview, the Argentine prelate also managed to get in a dig at El Norte, claiming that, in China, 'the economy does not dominate politics, as happens in the United States.'

What the bishop evidently did not see, or conjure with, during his tour were the following:

•  There are over 1,000 laogai camps spread across China, where slave labor is the rule and political prisoners are frequently murdered, so their transplantable organs can be harvested to benefit the more politically reliable members of the population.

•  In China, the state, not a husband and wife, determine the number of children a couple can have, and while the notorious one-child policy has been replaced by a two-child policy, the regime continues to insist that official cadres, not parents, decide on the number of children a family may welcome.

•  To enforce its internal population policies, the Chinese state claims the right to conduct compulsory abortions when women become pregnant in violation of state-determined birth quotas — a grotesque cruelty regularly practiced in the PRC today.

•  China’s draconian population-control policies have resulted in what amounts to a genocide of unborn baby girls, which has resulted in the most imbalanced boy-to-girl ratio of any country on the planet.

•  China’s people have no right of free movement within their own country, as the ministry of public security assigns every subject of the regime an official residence, a hukou, which is usually the home of one’s parents; yet many Chinese do move away from their hukou, making them illegal aliens in their own country. As one of America’s keenest students of China, Nicholas Eberstadt, put it in a memo to me, 'Peasants who move for work to a big city . . . have no right to services like health care or education; are routinely compensated less for work than ‘natives’ with comparable education and skills; and are virtually certain to lose in any dispute with a local. It’s Soweto with Chinese characteristics.'

•  China is an officially atheistic state, according to the Chinese Communist Party, and religious persecution is a staple of the regime’s repressive apparatus.

Those are the facts. To try to square them with the social doctrine of the Catholic Church requires something approaching a psychotic detachment from reality — or, worse, a willful ignorance, turning a blind eye to repression and persecution in order to indulge fantasies of a socialist paradise freed from the unpleasantness of bourgeois liberal society. The same detachment from reality also informed Bishop Sánchez’s praise of China’s adherence to the Paris climate accord and its 'moral leadership' in the field of climate change. What air, one wonders, did the bishop breathe in China, one of the most heavily polluted countries in the world? And does His Excellency imagine that a totalitarian regime, bent on asserting itself as a global power and unaccountable to its populace, is going to seriously address its problems of massive air, water, and soil pollution because it signed a piece of paper in the City of Light?

The 'useful idiot' has been a player on the world stage since the days of Lenin (although one wonders whether, in this case, the idiocy is so extreme that the perpetrator’s utility to the regime begins to decline). Bishop Sánchez Sorondo’s absurd misrepresentations of the realities of 21st-century China put him in a rogues’ gallery that includes such notables as Walter Duranty, who deliberately failed to report the Ukrainian terror famine in 1932–33 to the readers of the New York Times, and Herbert Matthews, whose encomia to Fidel Castro similarly misled the readers of what was once a national paper of record.

The further problem in Sánchez’s case is that his statements, however bizarre, inevitably implicate the pope he serves and cast doubt not only on the prudence of the Vatican’s current attempts at a démarche with the PRC (which I addressed here) but on the integrity of the Holy See. If a Vatican official, no matter how far down the totem pole, can, with impunity, spout inanities that provide cover for a wicked regime, something is gravely wrong in one of the few centers of power in the world whose primary stock-in-trade is truth-telling.

According to the Vatican yearbook, the Annuario Pontificio, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo turned 75, the normal retirement age for bishops, last September 8. Perhaps his China escapade will suggest to his superiors that it is past time to accept the resignation he submitted then, and thereby deprive him of the megaphone he has used to embarrass the Church, to grossly distort Catholic social doctrine, and to betray the persecuted Catholics of China.

Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo in Wonderland

BERNARDO CERVELLERA writes for AsiaNews.it : 'The President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences exalts China as the best implementer of the Churches’ social doctrine. The bishop seems oblivious to the shantytowns of Beijing and Shanghai, the expulsion of migrants, oppression of religious freedom. Appreciation for the Paris Climate Agreement, but silence on the links between wealth, corruption and pollution. An ideological approach that makes a laughing stock of the Church.

When my friends tell me they are going to China, I always advise them not to stop at the shopping centers, the ultra-luxury hotels and the skyscrapers, but also to go to out to the peripheries to get a better picture of real China. Since the economic disaster into which it had sunk after Mao's death, the country has certainly made great strides, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, modernizing industries and becoming an economic superpower that now overshadows the United States.

But from here to presenting China as the 'Land of Wonders' is a bit too far. In his interview following his recent trip to Beijing, Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo describes a China that does not exist or that vigilant Chinese escorts did not show him.

'There are no shantytowns', proclaims Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo. Did our bishop try to go to the south of the capital, where for months the city government has been destroying buildings and houses and driving away tens of thousands of migrant workers? Not to mention the suburbs of Shanghai or other Chinese megalopolis, where a 'cleansing' is underway and a ban on the 'low-end' and defenceless population?

The bishop, who is President of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, even states that the Chinese are 'the best implementers of the Churches’ social doctrine'. But perhaps he is not referring to these mass expulsions, which are very similar to a fruit of the 'culture of waste' so highly criticized by Pope Francis.

'No drugs', says the bishop: but did he go to Chinese prisons, filled with drug dealers and drug addicts, many facing the death sentence? And in Shenzhen, which is also the drug hub for Hong Kong?

Not to mention religious freedom in China. Religious freedom should be a pillar of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. We should perhaps propose the bishop read the daily news tracking violence, arrests of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, abuses on domestic churches, checks on official churches. The same rough road of dialogue between China and the Vatican shows the difficulty with which Beijing is reluctant to swallow drops of religious freedom for Catholics.

Maybe someone should tell Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo that since February 1, since the implementation of the new regulations, all the unofficial churches have been closed and at least 6 million Catholics have no meeting places: the threat of the regime that 'best implements of the Churches’ social doctrine' is arrest, stratospheric fines and expropriation of the buildings where the faithful gather. Furthermore, local authorities will henceforth prohibit 'minors under the age of 18' from entering churches, even official ones. As one priest said, 'China has transformed the church into a night club, for adults only '.

Let’s not mention the naivety with which Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo speaks of the Middle Kingdom as the place where one looks at the 'common good', where the economy does not dominate politics. What we need to mention, instead, is that in China the economy and politics are the same thing; that the billionaires sit in the Chinese parliament and determine politics according to their interests, which are not those of the rest of the population. According to scholars, at least one third of the Chinese population does not directly benefit from China’s economic development: farmers and migrants are not guaranteed land ownership (promised in the days of Mao and never kept); social rights and sometimes even pay are withheld, as shown by the monthly reports of the China Labor Bulletin.

Of course, and the bishop rightly states that China - unlike Trump and the United States - has decided to remain in the Paris Agreement on climate. But for now 'it has promised' to work to stop pollution, and the country has the most destroyed and poisonous environment in the world. This is undoubtedly the fault of many Western investors who exploit the sluggish Chinese legislation, but it is also the fault of the greed and corruption of Party members who prefer, just like many in the world, an immediate profit at the expense of their own population.

We can understand that in the enthusiasm of wanting an agreement between China and the Vatican, Chinese culture, Chinese people and Chinese mentality are exaggerated and exalted - as Pope Francis does - but presenting China as a model ... We should listen to the African bishops, who see the economy of their countries destroyed by the invasion of Chinese investment and labor and who watch as their resources are stolen from them, just as it once happened with the western colonizers.

It is true that in the world everyone is pressed to choose between the United States and China, between liberal capitalism and state capitalism, but the idolization of China is an ideological affirmation that makes a laughing stock of the Church and harms the world.


Pastors ordered to post signs on churches forbidding entry to minors

AS PART of its most recent clampdown on Christian churches, Chinese authorities have instructed priests and pastors to post signs on churches barring entry to minors.

The instruction is part of a new set of communist party-controlled regulations on religious activities that went into effect on February 1 and is aimed at preventing children and young people from getting religious instruction or taking an active part in Christian worship.

According to a report Thursday from ucanews, the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia, authorities have begun enforcing the government ban on minors in church in several regions, while forcing a number of Protestant house churches in Henan province to close.

The new regulations are an expansion of bans already tried out in certain regions. As Breitbart News reported last August, communist officials had already issued 'notices' to over a hundred churches in Wenzhou, within the largely Christian Zhejiang province, informing Christians that children are no longer permitted to enter any church. The notices stated that minors attempting to enter a church would be turned away at the door, even if accompanied by their parents.

Chinese authorities stated that church attendance and religious instruction keep young persons from developing 'a correct worldview and set of values.'

'Minors receiving religious education and formation too early in churches would seriously affect the normal implementation of the education system,' said the Ouhai district’s notice.

Failure to comply with the new regulations will result in churches being shut down, according to threats from government officials.

As one blogger noted, churches have become the third type of venue restricted to adults only, joining night clubs and internet cafés.

At the same time, enforcement on the ban on minors in church is being enforced more strictly even than the other two. 'When minors enter internet bars, the government and police turn a blind eye. However, they are becoming very strict in prohibiting minors from entering religious venues. It is ridiculous,' said a Catholic in central China, identified only as 'Peter.'

A priest from Henan province named Father Thomas told ucanews.com that authorities are determined to bring all religious activities under strict government control. 'The living space for the church is getting less and less,' he said.
'All religious sites must be registered; no religious activities can be held beyond registered venues; non-registered clergymen are forbidden to host religious liturgies; and party members and minors are prohibited from entering a church,' he said.

Observers predict that the enforcement of the new regulations will vary across the country, depending in large part on the relationship between the church and the local government

According to another priest of the underground Catholic community in northeast China, officials do not want to drive the church completely underground, because it 'would mean they would lose our traces and not know where we are.'

The public security bureau wants to know the whereabouts of all members of the clergy in order to keep religious activity firmly within its grasp, the priest said. 'For myself, I do not want to be hidden but if we are not allowed to have our religious gatherings, the only way is to become clandestine.'

Last week the head of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, proposed that China is the best example of a country where Catholic social teaching can be seen in action today, eliciting ridicule and indignation from a number of observers.

Bishop Sanchez returned starry eyed from a recent visit to China, describing the country as a paradise free of drugs and poverty, where the government is committed to defending the common good.

One China expert, a missionary priest, rebuked Sanchez for his ridiculous 'exaltation' of Chinese society, which has 'made the Catholic Church a laughingstock.'

Leading Catholic commentator George Weigel said that the Argentinean bishop suffered either from 'a psychotic detachment from reality' or 'willful ignorance, turning a blind eye to repression and persecution in order to indulge fantasies of a socialist paradise freed from the unpleasantness of bourgeois liberal society.'

In another searing rebuttal, the Acton Institute’s Dr. Samuel Gregg tore apart the bishop’s claims point by point, indicating a disconnectedness from reality that 'seems to have become the norm throughout parts of the Holy See lately—or at least a tendency to view the world through a distinctly leftist lens.'

'It doesn’t help the Holy See’s reputation to have some Vatican officials parading their fact-free, strikingly incoherent views of the world on the public stage,' Gregg wrote. 'Bishop Sanchez’s claim that China is somehow one of the world’s leading exponents of Catholic social doctrine is frankly outrageous.'

'It is also insulting to those Catholics and other Christians who have suffered so much for their faith under what is, after all, a regime that remains ideologically committed to atheistic materialism,' he said,


[FP / LSN / National Review / 1P5 / CWN / AsiaNews / Breitbart] 2221.6




















Fatima children


Bishop Bernard Fellay on the Fatima centenary and Church crisis

OnePeterFive Editor’s note: The questions in the following interview were first sent to Bishop Fellay near the close of 2017, but due to various obstacles, the interview could only be completed this month. Nevertheless, we have retained the references to the end of the centenary year of Fatima as contained in the original text of the questions. We are grateful to His Excellency for providing us with this opportunity to discuss the importance of Fatima in our present day.

Maike Hickson (MH): The Centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima is coming soon to an end. What is your assessment about how the Catholic Church has thus far celebrated it; and also about how the message of Fatima was actually presented to us at various mainstream Catholic events? What, if anything, was lacking in these celebrations, in contradistinction to the unattenuated tone and fuller message of Fatima?

Bishop Bernard Fellay (BBF): First of all, the fundamental message of Fatima is the promotion of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If something is missing, it starts there. There is almost no reference to this devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Secondly, there is also hardly any reference to the famous Third Secret of Fatima. Thus, Fatima is reduced to something rather ordinary, one apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary among others. Yes, let’s pray and receive graces, but nothing about the great influence of Our Lady on our terrible time and in the Church.

MH: Would you briefly recapitulate for us what, in your view, the main messages are of the whole set of apparitions concerning Fatima – and, more specifically, the substance of the Three Secrets of Fatima, as they have so far been officially presented to us?

BBF: In the first Secret, besides the devotion to the Immaculate Heart to Mary as a means of salvation, we have the vision of Hell. This reminds us of the important consequences of sin and that we must make sacrifices to win souls for Heaven. In the second, there is another consequence of sin: war. 'If the world does not convert, there will be another war, more terrible than the first.' What is the Third Secret? The part published is very cryptic: we see a persecution of the Church with many deaths, the Holy Father among them. But it is difficult to conclude much from this. In fact, in what has been published, we don’t see the triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Yet this was revealed by Sr. Lucy as the conclusion of the Third Secret.

MH: At several of these larger Fatima events, Cardinal Raymond Burke himself has participated and has often given lengthy speeches, such as a recent one presented at the The Buckfast Abbey Fatima Conference, on 12 October 2017. After first discussing various kinds of apostasy manifested in the Church’s history and also today, Cardinal Burke was then, for example, to say about the mysterious message of the Third Secret of Fatima, as follows:

'Without entering into a discussion regarding whether the third part of the Secret has been fully revealed, it seems clear from the most respected studies of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, that it has to do with the diabolical forces unleashed upon the world in our time and entering into the very life of the Church which lead souls away from the truth of the faith and, therefore, from the Divine Love flowing from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus.'

Would you comment on this analysis in light of the wider discussions as to what might not have been fully revealed to us with regard to the Third Secret of Fatima? Could the content of what Cardinal Burke here says be deduced or inferred from the officially published part of the Third Secret in 2000 about a bishop in white being killed on a hill?

BBF: Once again, it is quite difficult to draw concrete conclusions from these visions. We have other sources, like the conference of Fr. Fuentes and letters from Sr. Lucy, when she speaks of a diabolical disorientation in the hierarchy. Is it or is it not fully revealed? In a way, it doesn’t matter. It is the reality in which we now live that matters. In that sense, we may consider this current reality of the present catastrophic situation of the Church as a part of the message of Fatima.

MH: Let us thus delve more deeply into the question of the Third Secret. You yourself have given lectures where you present the argument that the Third Secret has not yet been fully published. Could you explain this argument and some of its implications?

BBF: The most obvious argument in favor of the incomplete Third Secret comes from the very texts of Sr. Lucy in her memoirs. She introduces the Third Secret by putting words in the mouth of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 'In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will be preserved…in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph, the Holy Father will consecrate Russia', and so on. This part is described by Sr. Lucy herself as the Third Secret and does not appear at all in what was published by Rome. Hence the conclusion, looking at the other parts of the messages, which include both a vision and an explanation, that for the Third Part, the explanation is absent.

MH: With this current interview, we hope, in part, to bring back into this year’s discourse about Fatima and its festive celebration the merciful warning message of the Mother of God as it pertains to a loss of Faith, even in the upper echelons of the Church. Only last year [2016], this matter has been once again freshly discussed by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, who revealed that this apostasy and 'infiltration of the Church to the very top' is a part of the Third Secret as it was once presented to her and to her husband (Dietrich von Hildebrand) by a well-connected and well-informed priest in Rome. Do you yourself have your own independent sources who have given to you privately some hints that, indeed, not all the parts written down by Sister Lucia of Fatima concerning the Third Secret have yet been published? If you do, could you give us some idea about the reports you received from your own understandably protected sources?

BBF: No, I have absolutely no personal knowledge of what else could be in the Third Secret.

MH: From your own studies on this topic, what is your assessment of what such a missing part of the Third Secret would likely and concretely contain? What would Heaven still want to warn us about?

BBF: Looking at all possible sides, it seems to me that there would be two parts: one, a terrible natural catastrophe or one caused by war. And secondly, the huge crisis in the Church. It is clear that the most important thing is the salvation of souls, but the threat of punishment on this earth helps lead many people back to God.

MH: Inasmuch as it has seemed to me personally that we are now witnessing within the Catholic Church what Our Lady might well have wanted to warn us about in the Third Secret, I therefore last year reached out to some high-ranking prelates in Rome. I asked them to help reveal the missing texts from Sister Lucia which would shed some more light on Our Lady’s merciful and warning message. Moreover, I was then told that there were people in Rome, indeed, who were then considering this sensitive matter very carefully, but nothing – to all appearances – then happened. I also know of other sources who admit having doubts as to how Rome so far has handled this matter. What is, in your own view, the reason for the continued hesitancy of those people in the Church who could disclose, for the greater good, much more information? What do they still have to fear or to lose? Would such a disclosure not be an act of mercy toward the suffering Church in this deep crisis?

BBF: I remember that Sr. Lucy, in an interview with a cardinal from India in the mid-1990s, was very afraid that the Pope would publish the Secret. She said, if she were to give the Holy Father advice, she would caution great prudence. If, for instance, the text contained something like the coming of the Antichrist or something else quite serious that would cast grave doubt on the authority of the Church, it could be a reason the same authorities are hesitant to publish this. I don’t pretend these examples are the case; I am simply speculating as to what some possible reasons might be for not releasing it.

MH: In light of the fact that we do not seem to advance any further in our attempts to gain a fuller knowledge of what Heaven had planned for us to know – while also knowing that our failure itself is within the Providence of God – what would be your counsel to those sincere Catholics still desiring to know the fuller truth about Fatima?

BBF: There are things more important than knowledge. That is the Catholic life. Obviously, if the Blessed Virgin Mary wanted this Secret to be known, there was an important reason for Catholics and maybe the world to know it. Even if we don’t have it, we are obliged to do our duty of state every day. This is what is most important.

MH: Asking you for counsel in another field of expertise: many Catholics observe with fear how some of those loyal faithful within the Church who defend the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage – such as Professor Josef Seifert, Father Thomas Weinandy, and others – are being ostracized and silenced. Some Catholics look with much fear into what our future will hold for all of us who are determined to be loyal to Christ and His Teaching. What inner disposition of the soul and clear conduct would you now especially recommend for us to develop and to pray for?

BBF: First, have an enormous trust in God, Who will never abandon those who are faithful. Count on His grace. Second, be steadfast to the Faith at any cost and obey the Commandments.

MH: Many observers increasingly seem to see parallels between the principles upon which the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) had based its own resistance against certain novelties coming from Rome earlier; and between the principles now applied by those critics of Pope Francis’ hortatory document Amoris Laetitia. Professor Seifert himself has even repeatedly made an explicit reference to your own analogous case. Would you explain to us these fundamental principles to the extent that you see them to be in some mutual and reinforcing correspondence?

BBF: We have souls to save. The Church is not new. If we follow what the Church has always done, and what the saints have always done, we are assured of being on the safe path to Heaven. In all times, the Church has considered novelties dangerous and the fruit of pride. We might, today, say that there is a sickness for novelty and change. But God does not change. The Faith does not change. The Commandments do not change. Be faithful to what the Church has always taught in her catechisms and you will be assured of being on the right side of this fight for God and His glory.

MH: The SSPX has from early on opposed certain aspects of ecumenism and religious liberty. How would you relate that earlier resistance to the current debate about the indissolubility of marriage in light of the fact that these other religions often do not believe in this dogma?

BBF: Since many religions reject the indissolubility of marriage, we might think that the steps taken by Rome would be inspired by ecumenism, but I am not sure there would be a necessary link there. I think the problem is a general relativization of truth and by consequence a lax application of the law and understanding of God’s commandments. Or, following the principles of personalism, such an insistence on the human person that God’s order is not primary. (In other words, Man becomes God.) You find this at the level of religion and even legislation today. John Paul II described this as anthropocentrism. We now see this applied to marriage. Everybody wants an easy life…

MH: In light of the seemingly growing apostasy from the Catholic Faith within the Catholic Church, could you tell us at the end of this interview how you see your own mission and the SSPX’s mission and specific role?

BBF: We could say, that the Society of St Pius X, by Divine Providence, not by our own merits, represents the past of the Church, what we call Tradition. This cannot be erased from the Catholic Church or Catholic life. So our mission is to remember this. We are not simply a monument to the past; we are a living witness of Tradition in the Church, which is above all the changes and moods of the modern world. The Faith remains our mission, specifically by reviving the Christian spirit, especially for the priests of the Catholic Church. Our specific role is to help restore the priesthood, in all its purity, to the Church. Every aspect of Christian life and even of the Church follows by consequence from this principle. If you want to help restore the Church, one must start with the priesthood.

MH: Do you yourself have any knowledge with regard to the rumors that Pope Francis soon will also go about altering or undermining the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum?

BBF: No, I have no knowledge of this.

MH: Do you have any expectations as to the Society’s official relationship with Rome, especially in light of the fact that you have personally signed the Filial Correction regarding Amoris Laetitia? Have the negotiations with Rome now been effectively stalled or postponed?

BBF: I don’t think there is any specific correlation between my signing of the Filial Correction and our status with Rome. We are at a certain standstill for the time being, but things remain open to further discussions.

MH: Are there some final words that would help us to grow in loyal love for Our Lord and Our Lady in light of the merciful message and warning of Fatima?

BBF: If the Blessed Virgin Mary made the effort to come to speak to the world, it must be important. So, listen to Her and Her words. Let us grow in great devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She will keep and protect our faith, hope, and charity and lead us, as She promised, to Heaven.


[1P5] 2221.7



















United Nations

UN logo


Who will fight for the Family at the UN?

STEFANO GENNARINI, J.D. writes: 'Even on the seventieth anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Commission on Social Development did not refer to the family as 'natural and fundamental group unit of society, entitled to protection by society and the state' at its annual session this week.

Following the Universal Declaration, the phrase has been repeated in every UN human rights treaty since 1948. Pressure from the LGBT lobby and their supporters at UN headquarters has led the Commission to limit references only to 'families' in the plural in its main resolution, and without the Universal Declaration’s signature phrase.

It is not an isolated incident either. UN agreements increasingly call for 'family-oriented' policies without any clarity on what constitutes a family. They do not even refer to 'the family' as distinct from other 'households' as the General Assembly has done in the 2030 Agenda.

The UN bureaucracy has already exploited this ambiguity to promote all manner of LGBT family policies, including homosexual marriage.

Just this week, Daniela Bas, a top official of the UN Secretariat, attempted to sabotage an event at UN headquarters organized by Poland and Hungary to promote family-polices. The two socially conservative countries took a moderate position and did not promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, knowing it alienates progressive Europeans and UN bureaucrats.

Bas did not reciprocate their courtesy.

'Families is not just ‘the family’ as we consider it traditionally to be,' Bas said after arriving late at the event. 'When we think of family we also have to enlarge our definition of family,' she added, saying that family just means 'community.'

Bas said this even though she acknowledged being told that family diversity was 'not the focus of the meeting.' She left after her statement without taking questions.

The UN Secretariat has been exploiting this backsliding for decades.

In the 1990s, UN agreements began to refer to family 'diversity,' away from the natural family, composed of a man and a woman and their biological offspring, which international law affords singular protections no other social group is entitled to right.

Promoters of diversity say that so long as international law and policy reserves a special place for the natural family, it discriminates against all other family structures and homosexual relations. This has been the position of European nations, some Latin American countries, and the United States under the administrations of both Obama and, to the surprise of many of his social conservative supporters, Trump.

Defenders of the natural family point out that protections singularly reserved for the family in international law may be extended to family structures analogous or deriving from the natural family, such as adoptive families, single-parent homes, or multi-generational families, but not to homosexual relations, because only the natural family is entitled to such protections, and not just any communal living arrangement.

Language about diversity has been blocked by socially conservative nations in UN agreements. And the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been blocked by socially progressive nations.

The outcome of this year’s Commission, including the first ever reference to sexual and reproductive health in its main resolution, may be chalked up to the left-leaning views of the chairman responsible for the final text, but backsliding on the family in UN policy has been in the works for decades.

So long as socially conservative nations are appeased by compromise and ambiguity the retreat will continue, and the UN bureaucracy will exploit it. On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the time to stand up for the family is now.

[C-FAM] 2221.UN1




















News from around the world


Germany Cardinal Cordes says Cardinal Marx’s idea of blessing homosexual couples is 'sacrilegious'

MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFiive: 'A German cardinal is responding to the recent interview of Cardinal Reinhard Marx in which he opens up to the idea of blessing homosexual couples (and implicitly thus the practice of sodomy). Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes – the former President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum – has written a commentary on this idea for the Austrian Catholic website kath.net.

'The initiative of Cardinal Marx ignores the clear Revelation of God,' comments Cardinal Cordes, and explains that 'the Church is in its pastoral care bound to Holy Scripture and to its interpretation through the Church’s Magisterium.' Here, the German cardinal refers to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (1:18-32) as interpreted by the German theologian Heinrich Schlier in his book Der Römerbrief (Freiburg 1977); the Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (29 December 1975) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2357), in order 'to recognize the binding instruction of the Church.' Cordes adds, saying: 'Marx does not even mention that homosexuality always contradicts the Will of God.'

Cardinal Cordes also calls the idea to bless homosexual couples 'frighteningly naive.' He says:

' Whoever reflects upon this for a moment, discovers the true intention of those concerned. […] In this case, people do not wish to receive God’s assistance for themselves; rather, they aim with their request at the recognition and acceptance of their homosexual way of life and its ecclesial valorization'.

The German prelate adds to this analysis his comment: 'An ecclesial blessing as a confirmation of a relationship which is contrary to the Will of God? That truly seems sacrilegious.'

For Cardinal Cordes, it is clear that Cardinal Marx 'misunderstands here the idea of pastoral care as a form of sentimental acceptance.' He sees a 'new version of situation ethics' and comments with the words 'Those things that are contrary to God ['Gottwidrigkeiten'] ('intrinsice malum – intrinsically evil') are always a sin.' With some strong words, Cardinal Cordes concludes his commentary as follows:

'Or how about 'in individual cases': more encouragement for the activities of the mafiosi? Accepting pastoral care for doctors who procure abortions? Which churchman is finally so presumptuous to expect more salvation from his confused 'compassion' than from listening to God’s Will? Which servant knows it better than his Master? In any case, a statement by St. Augustine shows the cardinal [Marx] his limits: 'Love the erring people; but combat with hatred their error! Without pride bask yourself in possessing the truth; fight for it with meekness and goodness!' (St. Augustine in Contra litteras Petiliani, 1,31)

This is not the first time, that Cardinal Cordes has publicly opposed Cardinal Marx. In 2015, he made a sharp rebuke of Cardinal Marx for his brazen claim that the German Catholic Church 'is not merely a subsidiary of Rome.' Cordes then resisted such a spirit of independence and warned against an 'anti-Roman effect' which could be 'destructive' for northern Europe and also destructive for the 'unity of the Faith.' Additionally, already in 2016, Cardinal Cordes had come to the rescue of the four dubia cardinals and their loyal defense of the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage. At that time, he had said:

'With an objective tone, the four cardinals have asked for the removal of doubts about the text [Amoris Laetitia]. They were met with a disproportionate protest. I was not able to understand this indignation; I also had doubts that these indignant persons were motivated by a desire to find the truth.


[1P5] 2221.8




















Ireland 'A dark day for our republic': Vote on repealing pro-life amendment in May

LAST WEEK, the Irish government officially approved putting the country's pro-life constitutional amendment to a vote at the end of May.

Ireland's Eighth Amendment protects the right to life of pre-born babies and their mothers. This pro-life law, unique for a first-world country, has long been the target of pro-abortion organizations like Amnesty International and George Soros' Open Society Foundation. The Eighth Amendment saves at least 5,000 lives a year.

If the Irish vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment, Parliament will most likely introduce legislation allowing abortion through 12 weeks of pregnancy for healthy babies and later throughout pregnancy for babies with disabilities or who were conceived in rape or incest.

Dr. Ruth Cullen, a spokeswoman for Ireland's Pro-Life Campaign, said it is 'a very sad and serious moment for our country.'

Repealing the Eighth Amendment 'would withdraw basic human rights from a group of vulnerable defenseless individuals instead of strengthening their constitutional protections,' she said.

Ireland's openly homosexual Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he'll support overturning the pro-life law.

'I don't believe the Constitution is the place for making absolute statements about medical, moral and legal issues,' he said.

'We already have abortion - unsafe, unregulated, unlawful,' said Varadkar. 'We cannot continue to export our problem and import our solution.'

'Dark day for our republic'

Varadkar's position on abortion has evolved.

'Four years ago, Leo Varadkar said that he was 'pro-life in that I accept that the unborn child is a human life with rights,' recalled Niamh Ui Bhrian of the Save the 8th Campaign. Now, 'he is campaigning to remove those rights from the constitution, and to eliminate the right to life up to 12 weeks. If he has come this far in four years, where will he be four years from now?'

'This is an extreme proposal that places the rights of the unborn in the hands of fickle and poll-driven politicians,' said Bhrian. 'The public are not voting for an abortion law just for 2018, but for 2028, 2038, and beyond. If this proposal is passed, we will never be given a say over the rights of the unborn again, because politicians will have nobody to answer to except an avowedly pro-abortion media.'

Save the 8th is launching a massive billboard campaign highlighting the importance of voting to keep the Eighth Amendment.

Simon Coveney, the deputy head of the Irish government, said he supports repealing the Eighth Amendment but denied supporting abortion on demand.

Irish abortion supporters have repeatedly said they don't support any restrictions on abortion and that it should be allowed right up to birth.

[LSN] 2221.9




















United Kingdom Cardinal Cupich: Pope Francis’ family teaching is a paradigm shift in the Church

Francis & Cupich CARDINAL Blase Cupich has urged Catholic leaders to embrace Pope Francis’ 'call to action' and to welcome 'a new way of relating to the lives of families today.'

The Chicago archbishop was delivering an address on Friday afternoon at the Von Hügel Institute, the Catholic think-tank affiliated with the University of Cambridge. He said ministry to families today must find 'a balance between teaching and listening' that is 'open to the possibility of learning from one another.'

In the talk, Cardinal Cupich threw his red hat in with the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who last month said Pope Francis had initiated a 'paradigm shift' in Catholicism with his 2016 pastoral letter on the family, 'Amoris Laetitia,' or 'The Joy of Love.'

ROD DREHERcomments for the American Conservative : 'From the National Catholic Reporter‘s take:

' 'The third of Cupich’s principles calls the conscience of the individual person an 'essential' element in the task of discerning how God is calling them to live their life.

'The cardinal cites at length from paragraph 303 of the exhortation: 'Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God.'

'He also cites the definition for conscience given in Gaudium et Spes as 'the most secret core and sanctuary of a man … [where] he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.'

'When taken seriously, this definition demands a profound respect for the discernment of married couples and families,' the cardinal states. 'Their decisions of conscience represent God’s personal guidance for the particularities of their lives. In other words, the voice of conscience — the voice of God … could very well affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal.' [Emphasis mine — RD]

'Cupich notes that Francis urges pastors to carefully exercise discernment, working with individuals to 'take into account the complexity of various situations.'

'It is hard to overstate the significance of this hermeneutical shift,' the cardinal states. 'By fully embracing the understanding of conscience found in Gaudium et Spes, Pope Francis points not only to the possibility of accompaniment in the Church’s ministry with families but also to its necessity.'

Well, I agree with His Eminence that it is hard to overstate the significance of this hermeneutical shift. Notice the highlighted part above. The voice of the individual’s conscience is the voice of God. The Church no longer teaches truth, but its own opinion of the 'ideal.'


'The result is not relativism, or an arbitrary application of the doctrinal law, but an authentic receptivity to God’s self-revelation in the concrete realities of family life and to the work of the Holy Spirit in the consciences of the faithful,' states the cardinal.

'As pastoral discernment attends to the reality of a situation, the conscience based Christian moral life does not focus primarily on the automatic application of universal precepts,' he continues. 'Rather, it is continually immersed in the concrete situations which give vital context to our moral choices.'

Oh, please. The result is relativism, straight up.

Here is a link to the full text of the Cupich speech. I want to point out sections that the NCR report didn’t cover. Such as:

'At the heart of this shift is a fully incarnational approach, which the Cardinal explains, is a two-way street. On the one hand the Church embraces the family with the Gospel message. Yet, since the family is already itself a Gospel, the Gospel of the family, there is a reciprocity to this incarnational approach that recognizes the contribution that families make to the Church’s understanding and proclamation of the Gospel. In other words, there has to be a holistic connection between our knowledge and our practice, our ideas and our experience have to inform each other.

See that? The family 'is already itself a Gospel'. What does that mean? Could it mean that the family is on the same level as the Gospel in terms of the proclamation of Truth?


'This insight has enormous consequences. If we are serious about fully appreciating that the concrete lives of families and couples are part of salvation history in which God continues to engage and redeem humanity, then at the least it will mean moving away from presenting an abstract and idealized presentation of marriage. Instead, we should begin with a view that married life is '…a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems' (AL 38). Likewise, if we accept that families are a privileged place of God’s self-revelation and activity, then no family should be considered deprived of God’s grace. Our ministerial approach should begin with the understanding that families are not problems to solve. Rather, they are opportunities for the Church to discern with the aid of the Spirit how God is active in our time and what God is calling us to do here and now.

Oh? What about the families of the 'three-person babies' that labs in Britain are about to manufacture? What about polygamist families?


'The presupposition must always be that whenever there is a family striving to live together and to love one another, the Spirit is already present. The task of those who minister to families, then, is to open their eyes to see, and to help families discern where God is calling them. All of this represents an enormous change of approach, a paradigm shift holistically rooted in scripture, tradition and human experience.

Uh huh. In what sense is the Spirit present in the family of four, all of whom call themselves transgender? In what sense can this be considered blessed by God?

More Cupich:

'It goes without saying that this will also mean rejecting an authoritarian or paternalistic way of dealing with people that lays down the law, that pretends to have all the answers, or easy answers to complex problems, that suggests that general rules will seamlessly bring immediate clarity or that the teachings of our tradition can preemptively be applied to the particular challenges confronting couples and families. In its place a new direction will be required, one that envisions ministry as accompaniment, an accompaniment, which we will see, is marked by a deep respect for the conscience of the faithful.

In 2016, some of Canada’s Catholic bishops approved clerical cooperation with euthanasia, explicitly citing Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis’s idea of 'accompaniment'.

Again, read the entire Cupich speech to see for yourself what one of Pope Francis’s closest allies has said.

I could be wrong, but this seems to me like a new religion. Cardinal Cupich recently denounced The Benedict Option. Having read this speech, I see why he finds the Ben Op so threatening. You conservative Catholic readers should too, and read the signs of the times.

[America/American Conservative] 2221.9a



















United Kingdom Two Freemasons' lodges operating secretly at Westminster

THE GUARDIAN reports: 'Two Freemasons' lodges set up for members of parliament and political journalists are continuing to operate secretly at Westminster, the Guardian has learned.

New Welcome Lodge, which recruits MPs, peers and parliamentary staff, and Gallery Lodge, established for members of the political press corps known as the lobby, both remain active, according to Freemasonry records.

A third lodge called the Alfred Robbins Lodge, which was also set up for journalists, also continues to meet regularly in London.

The identities of the members of these three lodges remain unknown outside the world of Freemasonry, however, and so discreet are the members of Gallery Lodge that few journalists working in the lobby appear to be aware of its existence.

One current member of New Welcome told the Guardian that its members keep Gallery Lodge masons at arm's length, on the grounds that while they are fellow members of the brotherhood, they are still journalists, and 'they wouldn't want journalists listening to their conversations'.

David Staples, the chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasons in England and Wales, said there was no contradiction between the practice of journalism and membership of Freemasonry.

'Contrary to populist perception, being a Freemason helps those members in roles serving society in the broader sense, including journalists, politicians, policemen and lawyers, to be better in those jobs by encouraging them to act as better people themselves. Their membership is a positive for both them as individuals, and for society at large,' he said.

More Freemasons would declare their membership, he added, if they did not fear prejudice and discrimination: 'There should be no conflict between an individual choosing whether to declare their membership or not with that individual's ability to do their job well. But there is, because some choose to believe otherwise, and some of our detractors are doing so based on nothing other than blind prejudice.'

The disclosure that both political journalists and politicians are Freemasons comes after the outgoing chair of the Police Federation alleged that Freemasons were blocking reforms in policing and thwarting the progress of women and officers from black and minority ethnic communities.

After three years as the chair of the Police Federation, Steve White said: 'I found that there were people who were fundamentally against any kind of change and any kind of progress, and they always happened to be Freemasons.'

The charge brought an angry denial from the UGLE. In a letter to the press, Staples said: 'We are quietly proud that throughout history, when people have suffered discrimination both in public and social life, Freemasonry has welcomed them into our lodges as equals.' He added that many Freemasons chose to keep their membership secret in order to avoid being discriminated against.

At Westminster, MPs and peers are not obliged to declare their membership of the Freemasons, although the Commons authorities say they can disclose this information voluntarily on the registers of members' and Lords' financial interests. None currently do so.

Nor do any political journalists declare their membership of the Freemasons on the register of journalists' interests, which is maintained by parliament.

The three lodges each meet four times a year at Freemasons' Hall, the UGLE's headquarters in Covent Garden, London.

The UGLE said Gallery Lodge currently has 45 members and Alfred Robbins Lodge - which is named after a former newspaperman and prominent mason - has 18 members.

'None of the members who have joined either of these two lodges since 2000 have their occupation recorded as journalist or anything obviously linked to the newspaper industry,' the spokesman said.

It is unclear how many of their members joined before that year, however, and UGLE will not identify the lodges' members.

The Guardian understands past members of Gallery Lodge have included former journalists at the Times, the Daily Express, the Scotsman, and several Hansard reporters.

While the New Welcome lodge has about 30 to 40 members, the Guardian understands only about four of the current members are MPs, and that none are peers. Most of the members of the lodge are former MPs, parliamentary staff or police officers who have served at Westminster. MPs who are Freemasons are members of other lodges, however.

Although New Welcome lodge was set up following the 1926 general strike, to admit Labour politicians who had previously been refused entry to Freemasonry, the Guardian understands that none of its current members are Labour MPs.

Many are said to have left the Freemasons in the 1980s, fearing they would lose their seats if they were questioned about membership while reapplying for the Labour party's nomination in between general elections, which had become a requirement at the start of that decade.

At least one Labour MP is said to have left New Welcome Lodge when facing reselection at this time, and arranged for his membership to be held in abeyance so that he could be quietly readmitted once he knew his parliamentary seat was secure.

[Guardian] 2221.10



















United Kingdom Teacher reported to counter-terrorism agency, fired over her views on homosexuality

A GOVERNMENT-FUNDED pre-apprenticeship academy in Bristol reported a Christian teacher as a 'radicalisation threat' for answering students' questions about her beliefs, Bristol Employment Tribunal has heard.

Svetlana Powell, a teacher of some 17 years' experience, told the Tribunal that she was dismissed by the T2 Apprenticeship Academy in Bristol in July 2016 after being asked by students about her views on homosexuality.

In reply to a personal question, Mrs Powell said that her personal belief was that homosexuality was against God's will, but that He loved every person, regardless of what they did, or who they were.

When told that one of the students identified as a lesbian, Mrs Powell in conviction of God's care and love for every person, turned to her and said: 'God loves you'. Two days later, the Academy's HR Officer, Stacy Preston, told Mrs Powell that she was fired for 'gross misconduct' with immediate effect.

The Academy's Chief Safeguarding Officer, Sian Prigg, told the Tribunal that after a group of students complained that they were 'brainwashed and preached to', she decided to contact the local coordinator for Prevent - the government's 'counter-terrorism' strategy group - to report the incident. Mrs Powell said she did not know of being reported as a 'radicalisation threat' until she brought a legal claim against the Academy and read Mrs Prigg's witness statement for the Tribunal.

Mrs Powell has told the Tribunal she had been a teacher for 17 years at a Bristol College with an exemplary record, before joining T2 Academy in May 2016 as a tutor. T2 is a pre-apprenticeship academy run by a private firm, Marr Corporation, on rolling contracts from the government.

Returning to work from a one-week holiday on 25 July, Mrs Powell was assigned to teach a class for 2 days, on 25 & 26 July 2016, in the absence of a fellow tutor. She was provided with a lesson plan, including a discussion on employability, or another topic which she considered to be appropriate.

Powell had previously taught one of the students in the class, and in a small group, he had told her that he was a Christian, and she had told him that she was too.

On the morning in question, the Christian student was distracting fellow pupils, and so the tutor asked him to stop and to focus on his work.

He was given a verbal warning by the teacher, saying that if he didn't produce a certain amount of work after the lunch break, she would have to move him away from the others, so that he could concentrate on his work and not distract other learners.

After the lunch break, the student continued talking while producing minimum work, so was asked to move away to the opposite end of the classroom. The student objected, and then started to be argumentative about the tutor's faith, asking her first a question about her personal beliefs on evolution.

Other students then started to ask the tutor's personal views on other faith issues, and as the class was engaging with the conversation, the tutor decided 'to use the students' interest in the subject and to have a discussion to accommodate the activities included in the lesson plan,' Mrs Powell said. 'I considered the topic appropriate, as the discussion about Christian views would contribute in raising cultural issues of our day and awareness of the religion of this country.'

The student who had originally been warned about his behaviour then asked the tutor for her personal views on homosexuality. She replied by saying that as a Christian, she 'personally' believed the Bible says that homosexual activity was against God's will, but that God still loves every person regardless of what they did, or who they were.

The same student then said that another student in the group was a lesbian, to which the tutor replied that God loved her. The tutor was then asked whether the lesbian student would 'go to hell', to which the tutor replied with the historic Christian view that for everyone who repents (turns to God), God has provided a way of salvation to us through His son, Jesus Christ. The tutor said nothing about 'hell'.

The discussion became very heated with the original student who had been disciplined talking over others. At break, that student, and four others left the classroom and then went to talk to the Academy manager, Liz Barker.

As a result of this, Svetlana Powell was then called into another room by Ms Barker, told that the students had made a complaint, and that she would take it further and would be contacting Human Resources. When Mrs Powell returned to work the next day, she was told she had been suspended, and should await news from her employer, via email.

Mrs Powell was invited to a disciplinary hearing the next day at 11am, and did not have time to obtain legal representation. At the Hearing on 27 July, she was grilled about her Christian faith and what she had expressed about it in her discussion with students.

After one hour, Mrs Powell was called back into the room and told her contract was being terminated on the basis that she could not control the class, and that her comments were offensive to some students. She was told to leave the Academy immediately, and that she would not be allowed to appeal her dismissal.

Mrs Powell, supported by Christian Legal Centre (CLC), is suing Marr Corporation in Bristol Employment Tribunal for loss of earnings.

CLC lawyer, Pavel Stroilov, told the court that Marr Corporation discriminated against Mrs Powell because of her Christian beliefs. He argued that the school's treatment of Mrs Powell is 'in stark contrast' to dealing with students' complaints against another teacher, Andrew Spargo, whom he described as an 'outspoken left-wing atheist'.

When questioning one of Marr Corporation's witnesses, Liz Barker, Mr Stroilov referred to an e-mail where she reported students' complaints that Mr Spargo spent most of his time in class 'preaching to them on the daily basis about how terrible England is and how many innocent people the government has killed, as well as why Jesus never existed'. On one occasion, Mr Spargo allegedly shocked the students by showing them a sketch of a naked woman with her legs open and vagina showing. On another, he allegedly twice told a student to 'get the f*** out of my classroom'.

'The school dealt with that situation pastorally,' Mr Stroilov said in his submission to the tribunal. 'Mr Spargo was only told off, and had his probation period extended for three months. He continues to teach at the Academy, and for all we know, carries on with anti-Christian and anti-British indoctrination of students. By contrast, Mrs Powell was dismissed on the spot for much milder comments. In my submission, we have proven today that this was because her views are Christian.'

Andrea Williams, barrister and CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, said: 'We are seeing a worrying trend of cases such as this. The fact that Svetlana was reported to Prevent for holding Christian views is a sign of our times. It shows how Prevent will be used to punish innocent and soft targets. A radical rethink is required.'

The case continues.

[LSN] 2221.11


















United Kingdom Catholic Education Service's 'vile' document

RETIRED HEADMASTER Eric Hester writes for Christian Order (reproduced by kind permission of the author): 'Quite the worst document for English Catholic schools I have ever seen has been produced under the auspices of The Catholic Education Service and St Mary's University, Twickenham.

If you have the stomach, you can view this vile production - Made in God's Image: Challenging homophobic and biphobic bullying in Catholic Schools - on the SPUC website. You will see that it is pure evil: dealing with foul and sinful practices as if they were normal and common. (In fact, they are so far from common that the absurd neologism 'biphobic' is not even listed in the very latest, online edition of the full Oxford English Dictionary!)

Fortunately, there has been a huge protest against the document: four dioceses have refused to distribute it and it seems to have been withdrawn for the moment. But these awful programmes are sometimes smuggled back in.

In dissolute lockstep with the degenerate 'sexual rights' agenda pushed by feminist and homosexual coalitions at the UN, who seek compulsory 'comprehensive education in sexuality' on a global level, the campaign by the Catholic bishops of England and Wales to corrupt sexually every child in England proceeds apace. They refuse to withdraw their usurpation of the rights of parents and are supporting the politicians' move for compulsory government sex education for every child in England.

Yet every document issued by the Popes on sex education says that the rights of parents are 'inalienable.' This means not only that in no circumstances can those rights be stolen from a parent, but also that a person cannot surrender his 'inalienable' rights even if he wished to do so.

His Grace the Archbishop of Liverpool is the man responsible for this attack on children, which is the worst attack in the history of our country. By all means write to His Grace, but you may find, as I have done, that polite letters asking by what right he condemns children to homosexual propaganda, will not be answered.

The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission of the Bishops' Conference has produced its annual report. As happens every year, it is a document that seeks to hide the truth and, therefore, will, indirectly, support abuse of children. This lavish booklet of over 40 pages is not worth the glossy paper on which it is printed. It has six tables but, as it has done every year, it keeps secret the most important statistic of all - the sex of those abused.

Could this he because Ihose abused are mainly boys, abused by men? Now I wondcr why (he Catholic Bishop's want to keep this fact secret'? Why do (hey ignore the pink elephant in the room'? When I was leading inspections of schools, had I been inspecting this bureaucratic keeper of secrets, I should have failed it. After all, this organisation is failing Catholic boys.

Cowardice vis-à-vis courage

The English Catholic bishops' letter before the general election forgot to mention anything of abortion or the sin of sodomy, though there was plenty about global warming. Craven, cowardly and supine don't even begin to describe their complicity.

However, the laity has found a new champion - Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, M.P. This staunch Catholic lay gentleman has refused to be bullied to give way in the least over abortion or 'gay marriage'. At the time of my writing this, only two English bishops have offered him any support at all - the bishops of Portsmouth and Shrewsbury. Is this MP shunned by the people of Britain? On the contrary, the latest polls show he is the most popular of all the MPs. There is a lesson here. But what chance our current hierarchy heeding it?

Modesty, chastity, purity, and virtue go largely unmentioned in the current frenzy over sexual harassment and predation. Without them, what's the cure?

[CO] 2221.12



















United Kingdom Ofsted punishes Jewish school for refusing to endorsec LGBT agenda

THE CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE reports: 'An Orthodox Jewish school has failed three Ofsted inspections because it refuses to endorse homosexuality and transsexualism, it has emerged.

The Telegraph reports that Vishnitz Girls School, a private school in Hackney, North London, has consistently been marked down by Ofsted for declining to give pupils a full understanding of ‘British values’. This is despite the fact that the school performs well in other areas.

Over the last two years, Ofsted has faced serious criticism for its British values drive, which some feel is used to punish schools with a religious designation.

Last month, Vishnitz Girls School failed its third inspection in less than a year, with Ofsted complaining that pupils are not 'taught explicitly' about LGBT issues.

An official report by the schools’ regulator states that the school is aware of its obligation to abide by the Equality Act 2010 but chooses not to teach pupils about ‘gender reassignment’ and sexual orientation.

Gill Robins, of the campaign group Christians in Education, said the decision shows LGBT rights are held above the rights of others:

'All equalities are equal, but some equalities are more equal than others.'

'It doesn’t matter how good your school is in all other respects – simply refusing to teach very young children about gender reassignment will lead to your closure.

'That is the possible outcome for not only this school, but other Jewish schools which refuse, as a matter of faith, to teach about LGBT issues.'

In 2014, new schools’ guidance from the Department for Education led to a series of hostile inspections by Ofsted, which began to grade schools based on their allegiance to so-called ‘British values’.

British values are defined as democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Pupils at another Jewish school were reportedly left 'traumatised' after being questioned by Ofsted on whether or not they had a boyfriend, how babies are made and whether they knew that two men could marry.

The following year, a Jewish Ofsted inspector warned that the regulator wants to clamp down on schools that 'don’t conform to their ideology'.

Christian schools were also subjected to hostile inspections by Ofsted, with pupils at Grindon Hall Christian School and Durham Free School facing intrusive questioning on transsexualism, homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Ofsted claimed that inspectors found evidence of homophobic behaviour in both schools – a claim rejected by staff, pupils and parents. Despite the outcry, The Durham Free School was closed down in April 2015 and Grindon Hall – one of the best performing schools in the North East – was rated inadequate.

The Christian Institute remains highly concerned about the Government’s British values drive, which includes plans to register and inspect Sunday schools

[CI] 2221.12a




















United States School board seeks to shut down parents criticizing pro-LGBT policies

AN INFLUENTIAL school district is shutting down the ability of parents to give feedback on controversial policies such as its gender identity policy, concerned parents are saying.

The Fairfax County School Board (FCSB), serving one of the busiest suburbs of Washington D.C., is in the process of introducing new restrictions for parents making comments during board meetings.

Among the restrictions parents have expressed concern about are rules that commenters may only speak about what the board allows on its agenda, banning anyone from speaking except the few who have previously signed up, and disallowing commenters from sharing speaking time.

Ever since the FCSB ushered in a transgender policy allowing boys in the girls' toilets, changing rooms, and showers in 2015, over 100 parents have barraged board meetings with criticism of the policy. Comments include not only concern about the policy itself, but that it was enacted quickly without public debate instead of lengthy, transparent consideration.

A massive parental backlash has prompted the board's proposed rule changes.

One concerned parent called the rule change a dangerous 'ploy to censor opposing speech.'

'It's a con game,' another parent told the Christian Post, which reported that by 'tightly controlling' comments to 'circumvent controversial topics' the board intends to 'squash any opposing voices.'

'If the LGBT or whomever manage to rig and get most of the speaking slots,' the concerned parent continued, not only will that particular meeting not air concerns, but 'by carefully controlling the agenda...the school board can block any speakers in the future who may want to try (to) retroactively address' an issue and 'shut down any opposition indefinitely.'

The board's existing rules already limit parental input, allowing just ten parents to briefly speak, and only those who sign up online early. 'Ten parents have just three minutes each to give their views,' Fairfax mom and former White House staffer Bethany Kozma complained to the Daily Signal.

'The Fairfax County School Board does not seem interested in listening to constituents who do not share their political views,' Kozma surmised. 'Rather than shutting down citizens who would defend the privacy of their children, the Fairfax County School Board should make good on its commitment to openness, respect, and the democratic process,' she opined.

This concern has been echoed by the critical comments from parents who were allowed to speak at board meetings going back to 2015.

Alan Telecki complained that some board members seek to censor parent opinion.

Stamatios Stamoulas said some students are not going to the restroom because opposite-sex transgenders are there. He also disagreed with presenting sex ed and transgenderism to the very young, without adequate opt-out provision.

John Murray said half of the students skip some classes over 'offensive, unhealthy, emotionally harmful, politically charged lesson(s)' that are 'offensive to religious faiths.'

Thorium Hussein criticized the gender identity policy for religious discrimination. Mrs. Hussein said she does not approve of her daughter going to the bathroom with boys. She further complained that young Muslim children should not be taught homosexuality, which that faith condemns.

'A controlling number of School Board members seem unwilling to listen,' Fairfax county resident Tim Hannigan noted. 'It's way past time for the School Board to quit ignoring the interests of parents and to partner with them to educate their children.'

Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit last year had a side panel discussion on transgenderism in schools. The panel pointed out that since the presidential election the federal government has begun to oppose it. Panelists emphasized that administration appointments matter a great deal, because policy implementation is just as important as the policy itself.

'Gender identity mandates hurt all kids, not just those kids who may be gender dysphoric,' FRC's Cathy Ruse explained. 'These policies make them question their sense of safety, security, certainty and everything.'

[LSN] 2221.13




















United States State Department finds overwhelming acceptance of U.S. abortion funding restrictions

LISA CORRENTI reports: 'A State Department report released this week found wide acceptance of the expanded Mexico City Policy which blocks funding for foreign groups performing or promoting abortion overseas. The report surveyed organizations which receive U.S. funds to deliver health care to vulnerable populations overseas.

The expanded policy, called 'Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA),' was instituted by President Donald Trump in January 2017 and extends the policy to the $8.8 billion in funds appropriated for global health assistance through Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Since the announcement last year, abortion advocates coalesced to attack the Trump administration with charges that health care delivery would flag and women’s health would be drastically reduced.

The State Department report contradicts these allegations, however, finding that as grants and contracts have come under review to renew funding nearly all prime partners have accepted the policy. Just four organizations refused to comply with the abortion ban out of 733 awardees.

Two of the non-compliance organizations are global abortion providers Marie Stopes International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Both organizations have bilateral USAID grants that would have gone through 2019 for approximately $30 million. USAID will direct the funds to other groups in the same areas, 'transition [ing] the activities of those organizations that have not agreed to the PLGHA standard provision to other partners, while minimizing disruption of services.'

USAID also reported 12 sub-grantee recipients that refused to comply. IPPF reports to work in 170 countries with hundreds of affiliated organizations. Many of these foreign affiliates are sub-grantee recipients benefiting from the multimillion-dollar prime grants awarded to U.S. organizations like EngenderHealth, Pathfinder International, PAI, and Population Services International – all which have publicly opposed the institution of the Mexico City Policy.

According to the report, the Department of State, USAID, HHS, and DoD 'have taken multiple steps to implement the PLGHA policy.' A standard provision was developed which is being included in grants and cooperative agreements for global health assistance including for PEPFAR, the Bush-era HIVAIDs initiative. Training to ensure compliance is ongoing for all stakeholders including interagency government personnel, U.S. Mission staff, and non-government organizations.

Under the standard provision of PLGHA, prime organizations and their sub-grantees are restricted from using any funding whether U.S. funding or an organization’s own funding to lobby 'a foreign government to legalize or make available abortion as a method of family planning' or 'conducting a public information campaign in foreign countries regarding the benefits and/or availability of abortion as a method of family planning.'

The standard provision requires awardees to agree to oversight and transparency to assure compliance. The recipient must acknowledge the State Department can at any 'reasonable time, announced or unannounced' conduct onsite inspections including 'independent inquiries in the community served by the recipient.' Violations of PLGHA will result in termination of an award with reimbursement of any unexpended funding to the State Department.

Exempt from PLGHA guidelines is funding for abortion due to rape, incest, or life endangerment of the mother. Also exempt is medical treatment for an induced or spontaneous abortion.

The State Department implementation report acknowledged that 'not all existing agreements have received new funding, so the picture on progress and challenges is still developing.' A further review will be conducted by December 15, 2018 when the remaining 500 organizations that have current agreements will have come under renewal.

[C-FAM] 2221.13a



















United States The Kingship of Christ and the Anti-Kingdom of Modernity

Cdl.WuerlPETER KWASNIEWSKI writes for OnePeterFive : 'Right after the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision was announced, the media quickly reported on the 'conciliatory' and 'moderate' language of Donald Cardinal Wuerl:

'The law of the land is the law of the land,' says Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. 'We certainly follow what the law says. That doesn’t mean we change the word of God. That doesn’t mean we change the scriptures, or the church’s millennia-long tradition of what marriage is.' [1]

In one sense, this is hardly surprising; we have seen the same Cardinal take a soft line towards pro-abortion politicians who abuse the Most Blessed Sacrament by receiving It despite their notorious, persistent public dissent from immutable teaching on faith and morals. At the same time, however, it should shock us profoundly, as one more instance of a shepherd abandoning the crystal-clear teaching of the Church. The greatest witness to this teaching is, of course, the Angelic Doctor, who writes:

'Human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence. [2]

'Every law made by man can be called a law insofar as it derives from the natural law. But if it is somehow opposed to the natural law, then it is not really a law but rather a corruption of the law. [3]

Both of these passages are quoted verbatim by Pope John Paul II in n. 72 of the encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae. The same doctrine is found equally clearly in St. Augustine and other Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Indeed, we find Martin Luther King, Jr., in his justly famous 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail,' citing both Augustine and Aquinas on precisely this point. How shameful it is when the shepherds of the Catholic Church cannot compare with the theological acumen of a Baptist pastor!

The doctrine that an unjust law (or judicial determination, or executive action, for that matter) is no law at all but rather a corruption of law, an act of violence, an insult to God, and a crime against all citizens, is taught most clearly by Pope Leo XIII, the greatest exponent of Catholic social teaching:

'But, if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense leveled against religion is also a sin against the State. Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition; for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused, but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. Commands that are issued adversely to the honor due to God, and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws. [4]

The only reason which men have for not obeying is when anything is demanded of them which is openly repugnant to the natural or the divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated. If, therefore, it should happen to anyone to be compelled to prefer one or the other, viz., to disregard either the commands of God or those of rulers, he must obey Jesus Christ, who commands us to 'give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,' and must reply courageously after the example of the Apostles: 'We ought to obey God rather than men.' And yet there is no reason why those who so behave themselves should be accused of refusing obedience; for, if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, they themselves exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null. [5]

Fortunately, the sound reasoning and the Spirit of Truth that led St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and Leo XIII is by no means absent from the Church today. In a homily preached around the same time as the 'conciliatory' language cited above, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke spoke these absolutely clear words:

'Yet almost two hundred years later [after the Declaration of Independence], in 1973, the highest tribunal of the nation took away the right to life from the innocent and defenseless unborn, and on this past June 26th, in defiance of 'the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,' the same Supreme Court redefined the nature of marriage and its fruit, the family, the first cell of the life of society. The deadly confusion and error which such decisions represent for the United States of America, and similar confusion and error in other nations, demand from the Church a clear, courageous and tireless witness to the word of Christ, to the truth written upon every human heart, the truth upon which the happiness of the individual and the common good absolutely depend. The Church cannot stand by silent or idle, while a people is destroying itself by lawlessness, even if the lawlessness be clothed in the garment of the highest judicial authority. [6]

The contrast speaks for itself. In the wake of such firestorms—to which the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia successfully added more fuel—we can see an ever-increasing challenge for Catholics: how do we live with, how do we respond to, the consequences of a divided hierarchy, a diluted witness, a squandered opportunity, and a mounting persecution? The enemy of human nature will only laugh at compromises as he energetically pursues the corruption of the shepherds, the confusion of the flock, and the damnation of sinners.

* * *

In his encyclical letter Libertas Praestantissimum, Pope Leo XIII explains that it is not man’s place to dictate to God what man owes Him, but rather humbly and obediently to receive from God the law that must be followed to please Him and attain the happiness for which He created us:

'If the human mind be so presumptuous as to define the nature and extent of God’s rights and its own duties, reverence for the divine law will be apparent rather than real, and arbitrary judgment will prevail over the authority and providence of God. Man must, therefore, take his standard of a loyal and religious life from the eternal law; and from all and every one of those laws which God, in His infinite wisdom and power, has been pleased to enact, and to make known to us by such clear and unmistakable signs as to leave no room for doubt. And the more so because laws of this kind have the same origin, the same author, as the eternal law, are absolutely in accordance with right reason, and perfect the natural law. These laws it is that embody the government of God, who graciously guides and directs the intellect and the will of man lest these fall into error. [7]

We see in these luminous words the confidence of a pope and of a church convinced of the reality and primacy of God, the existence of absolute truth, the ability of reason and faith to know that truth, and the ability of even fallen men to live according to that truth with the help of God’s grace. We find the same confidence and the same conclusions in Pope John Paul II’s masterful encyclical Veritatis Splendor.

Early in the twentieth century, Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson proclaimed with inimitable eloquence the same fundamental truth in regard to the condemnation of heresy, which, together with the reconciliation of the repentant heretic, is one of the greatest exercises of mercy of which the Church is capable:

'The Catholic Church then is, and always will be, violent and intransigent when the rights of God are in question. She will be absolutely ruthless, for example, towards heresy, for heresy affects not personal matters on which Charity may yield, but a Divine right on which there must be no yielding. Yet, simultaneously, she will be infinitely kind towards the heretic, since a thousand human motives and circumstances may come in and modify his responsibility. At a word of repentance she will readmit his person into her treasury of souls, but not his heresy into her treasury of wisdom; she will strike his name eagerly and freely from her black list of the rebellious, but not his book from the pages of her Index. She exhibits meekness towards him and violence towards his error; since he is human, but her Truth is Divine. [8]

How far we have lost this conception of the Church’s primary obligation to God, His truth, and His holiness, and how far we have settled for a worldly compromise with sin and error, can be seen if we consider an astonishing passage from Cardinal John Henry Newman, which, were it written today, would be considered offensive, outrageous, imbalanced, and possibly a form of hate speech:

'The Church aims, not at making a show, but at doing a work. She regards this world, and all that is in it, as a mere shadow, as dust and ashes, compared with the value of one single soul. She holds that, unless she can, in her own way, do good to souls, it is no use her doing anything; she holds that it were better for sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions who are upon it to die of starvation in extremest agony, so far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, though it harmed no one, or steal one poor farthing without excuse. She considers the action of this world and the action of the soul simply incommensurate, viewed in their respective spheres; she would rather save the soul of one single wild bandit of Calabria, or whining beggar of Palermo, than draw a hundred lines of railroad through the length and breadth of Italy, or carry out a sanitary reform, in its fullest details, in every city of Sicily, except so far as these great national works tended to some spiritual good beyond them.

'Such is the Church, O ye men of the world, and now you know her. Such she is, such she will be; and, though she aims at your good, it is in her own way,—and if you oppose her, she defies you. She has her mission, and do it she will, whether she be in rags, or in fine linen; whether with awkward or with refined carriage; whether by means of uncultivated intellects, or with the grace of accomplishments. Not that, in fact, she is not the source of numberless temporal and moral blessings to you also; the history of ages testifies it; but she makes no promises; she is sent to seek the lost; that is her first object, and she will fulfill it, whatever comes of it. [9]

Note that for Newman, the seeking of the lost means nothing other than the mission to save sinners from sinning—to induce them, however she can, by God’s grace, to follow His law, and thus to cease from lying, stealing, or any other action that can harm the soul, including the slightest venial sins. What, then, would Newman have said about the legalization of divorce, serial polygamy and polyandry (i.e., 'remarriage'), contraception, sterilization, abortion, sodomy? We are looking at the progressive dehumanization of man, the escalating asphyxiation of society, and the accelerating decomposition of the Church, with the concomitant loss of countless souls to eternal damnation—and there are still bishops who do not dare to speak up in defense of God’s truth and His immutable rights, or who absurdly claim that 'the law of the land is the law of the land,' or who are just hoping that if they sit still and do nothing, no one will raise a hand against them? It is like the apostasy of the Church in England under Henry VIII. We will have our heroic St. John Fishers and our St. Thomas Mores, along with a greater number of cowards, opportunists, apostates, and traitors.

Leo XIII, Cardinal Newman, and Msgr. Benson, like so many of their age, knew that the Catholic Church was locked in mortal combat with the irreligious and libertine spirit of modernity. They did not parley with it, they did not create committees for joint endeavors, they did not stand on their heads and squint with one eye until they could see something vaguely positive in it. They condemned it as poison, warned against it ceaselessly, and fought its dreadful effects with all their powers. They lost the fight, but only because their cause was betrayed by their own clerical brethren in the twentieth century. The crisis in the church is a crisis of bishops; whenever the Church is in turmoil, this will always be at the source of it. St. Gregory Nazianzen bears witness to this sobering fact when he writes:

'The light and eye of the Church is the Bishop. It is necessary then that as the body is rightly directed as long as the eye keeps itself pure, but goes wrong when it becomes corrupt, so also with respect to the Prelate: according to what his state may be, must the Church in like manner suffer shipwreck, or be saved. [10]

Nevertheless, it was Cardinal Newman who, in his Arians of the Fourth Century, offered a well-documented and timely reminder that it was primarily the laity, under the guidance of a few stalwart bishops, who kept the true Faith in the horrible time of the Arian crisis. Today it is and will be no different. Let us glory in our baptismal privilege of having and keeping the true Faith, in union with Christ crucified and risen; let us glory in our Confirmation that enlisted us in the ranks of our blood-stained victorious King, to bear Him witness and fight His battles on earth. 'Thus saith the Lord to you: Fear ye not, and be not dismayed at this multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God’s' (2 Chron 20:15).

* * *

The superb 'Lake Garda Statement on the Ecclesial and Civilizational Crisis' [11] started me thinking about the broad lines of the story in which we find ourselves, characters in a divine drama of light and darkness.

Even if they may have seen it coming, many Catholics were in a state of shock after Obergefell. How did this happen so quickly? How did we end up with a top-down legitimation of sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, perversions that make a mockery of nature, disorders that unravel the fabric of human society? The world is clearly a mess—hardly Christian even in those lands once favored by widespread allegiance to the one true faith. It is no fairy tale: once upon a time, the Western world was permeated with Christianity through and through; governments, laws, economies, the arts and sciences, were Catholic. What happened?

The story of modernity is inherently bound up with the politics and economics of rebellion, revolution, the false messianism of secularization and secularism. 'The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ. Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us' (Ps 2:2-3). Thanks to the naïve 'opening to the world' of the Second Vatican Council, a move that eviscerated the Church’s otherworldly interior, a vast number of Catholics today view history, culture, politics, and economics as foreign to,or outside of, theology and faith, as if the Church had nothing to say about human nature and life in this world.

Such a narrow mentality, an obvious exhibition of the vices of individualism and spiritualism, is explicitly rejected by a long line of modern Popes who saw clearly into our age. Just as no man is an island, Catholicism is not an atomistic thing but a social reality; it has always had and, where truly believed, will always have ramifications in the social order, the life and culture, the laws and structures, of peoples. Due to the fall of Adam, those very structures can become what Pope John Paul II called 'structures of sin,' preventing people from hearing the Gospel or at least making it more difficult for them to live according to it.

One cannot understand the human world around us without grasping how its characteristic ways of thinking and acting have come about and have frequently hardened into structures of sin that hinder the penetration of the Gospel and even the perception of the natural law. The clash between Christian and anti-Christian worldviews needs to be engaged by theologians. It is not possible to understand modernity or the Catholic response to it without grapppling with the theological-political question—the question of whether the State itself, as a creation of God redeemed by Christ, is bound by an inescapable obligation to seek out the one true religion, adhere to it, and subordinate itself to it. [12] Decisively rejecting this model of harmony between nature and grace, modernity is inherently an anti-Catholic set of choices, ideologies built from those choices, and structures emerging from those ideologies. [13] Both the analytical critique and any realistic solution must be theological, not merely humanistic/philosophical. [14]

Social, cultural, political, economic realities are messy and complicated, yes. But they do admit of principled analysis—and one that is properly Catholic and theological.

Are we content to stay in the darkness or do we wish to come into the light of true principles that can illuminate our thinking and acting? We have to descend from the lofty heights of unchanging mysteries such as the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation of the Word into the concrete situation in which we actually live out our lives as political animals. According to the Church, there is supposed to be a real interpenetration between those radiant mysteries and this messy but redeemable social life we lead.

Do Catholics understand how we got to a situation where millions of unborn children are murdered in the womb each year, and people think that men can marry men, or women women? This did not happen overnight, the result of an avalanche of money and political pressure. It is the culmination of a long historical process, the accelerating application of a process of revolt against first principles of nature and grace, beginning with the Protestant Revolt against ecclesiastical authority and sacred tradition, achieving its paradigm in the French Revolution’s rejection of temporal authority and human tradition, and sliding downhill to the Sexual Revolution’s rejection of social co-responsibility and self-restraint. There is nothing really left except mutilation, madness, and suicide.

Responding effectively to this process of revolt demands a certain knowledge of the causes of the disease, lest we continue, in open or subtle ways, to buy into the very errors that are causing the evils we decry. The sad truth is that the Catholic Church as an institution has, with an ever-lessening resistance, bought into the errors of the secularized and liberal West far more than it has successfully resisted them in the name of natural and revealed truths—the very truths that were preached from our pulpits only a few generations ago, attracting converts weary of modernity, its pomps and empty promises.

One could put the question this way: How did we get from Diocletian to Obama? Not by a direct line, but by a meandering path with heights and valleys that can be evoked by the mention of just a few names or phrases: Diocletian, Constantine, the Arian emperors, Theodosius, Charlemagne, St. Louis IX, Henry VIII, Cromwell, the American and French Revolutions, the modern imperial/nationalistic ideologies, Catholic resistance (García Moreno, Salazar), the dictatorship of relativism. Throughout this bewildering variety of regimes, with every new political-theological solution or dissolution, the Church, faithful bride of the Lord and servant of His sovereign truth, always held out one and only one ideal: the integral social reign of Christ the King. Something less than this may be tolerated for a time, as one might tolerate a prison, but nothing less can ever be embraced and held up for acceptance without risking the guilt of treason to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Most Catholic schools today ignore or distort Catholic Social Teaching, thus producing either useful idiots who keep sawing off the branch they are sitting on or ivory tower critics who cannot see how best to respond to the cultural crisis and do not seem particularly keen to labor for the integral social reign of Christ the King.

If the kingship of Christ is not understood to have profound, immediate, and uncompromisable political and economic ramifications for all mankind, including Americans, then it is not understood at all. Or rather, it has been domesticated, defanged and declawed by the self-worshiping modern State—a Catholicism rendered harmless as a vague spirituality to which none can object as long as it has no worldly consequences. This purely subjective feel-good 'religion' is not the incarnational confession of