This edition of CF NEWS No.2237 posted at 12.43 pm on Sunday, June 10th, 2018. VATICAN WATCH Pope Francis' prayer intention for June : Vatican formally says no to intercommunion for Protestants : Close collaborator of Pope Francis advocates female priests : Vatican orgy: 12 facts you need to know : 2019 Pan-American Synod ~ possibility of married, even female priests HUMANAE VITAE The Vatican is coming after Humanae Vitae: Time to fight back CHINA SUPPLEMENT Plan to remove 'foreign influence' from Catholic Church : Desperate bid to defend planned sell-out : 115,000 at vigil in memory of Tiananmen dead EUROPE A dismal record: Why are they destroying the nuns? : EU High Court rules all States must welcome same-sex spouses NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD ARGENTINA Prelate's predecessor ordered to depart his diocese pronto : AUSTRALIA New law requires priests to break the Seal of Confession : GERMANY CDF to bishops ~ hey, Fellas, not so fast! : Cardinal Marx sounds displeased with Vatican ruling : IRELAND What remains of the Faith? : ITALY Family Minister: 'The Family is under attack' : POLAND Cardinal Burke says Vatican, bishops, have failed to defend morality : SPAIN Cardinal Sarah at the Chartres Pilgrimage 2018 : UGANDA Two million celebrate feast of Uganda martyrs : UK Bishop: Missing Sunday Mass is a serious sin : Northern Irish MPs heckled in Parliament for defending pro-life views : USA Conflict between religious liberty and Court decree on gay marriage : Bishop warns LGBT Pride is morally offensive 'in the extreme' : Knights of Columbus sued for fraud, racketeering : Trump names pro-life doctor as head of nation's Family Planning Program : Psychiatrist confirms that demonic possession is real : Court sides with baker who refused to do gay 'wedding' cake : INTERNATIONAL Savonarola Voris : gloria.tv.news : Some jihad headlines of the week : The World Over with Raymond Arroyo NEWMAN Tradition as a Form of Discernment EVENT Hope London MEDIA Catholic Family News (USA) : Movie review ~ Pope Francis: A Man of His Word COMMENT FROM THE INTERNET Sir Roger Scruton at the Oxford Union : New CDF statement on female priests, opening to female deacons? : Britain's next Catholic Prime Minister? : The evolution of the Catholic Church into oblivion : Craving approval isn't evangelization : How Amoris Laetitia can jeopardize the Seal of Confession. . .



NACF news

Walsingham pilgrimage : Bishop Schneider   VIDEO  read more >>>

Vatican watch

Pope Francis' prayer intention for June   VIDEO    read more >>>
Vatican formally says no to intercommunion for Protestants
   read more >>>
Close collaborator of Pope Francis advocates female priests
   read more >>>
Vatican orgy: 12 facts you need to know
   read more >>>
2019 Pan-American Synod ~ possibility of married, even female priests read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

The Vatican is coming after Humanae Vitae: Time to fight back read more >>>

China supplement

Plan to remove 'foreign influence' from Catholic Church    read more >>>
Desperate bid to defend planned sell-out
   read more >>>
115,000 at vigil in memory of Tiananmen dead
   read more >>>


A dismal record: Why are they destroying the nuns?   read more >>>
EU High Court rules all States must wsame-sex spouses read more >>>

News from around the world
ARGENTINA Prelate's predecessor ordered to depart his diocese pronto
   read more >>>
AUSTRALIA New law requires priests to break the Seal of Confession
read more >>>
GERMANY CDF to bishops ~ hey, Fellas, not so fast!
   read more >>>
GERMANY Cardinal Marx sounds displeased with Vatican ruling
   read more >>>
IRELAND What remains of the Faith?
   read more >>>
ITALY Family Minister: 'The Family is under attack'
   read more >>>
POLAND Vatica, bishops, have failed to defend morality
read more >>>
SPAIN Cardinal Sarah at the Chartres Pilgrimage 2018
  VIDEO   read more >>>
UGANDA Two million celebrate feast of Uganda martyrs
read more >>>
Bishop: Missing Sunday Mass is a serious sin
read more >>>
Northern Irish MPs heckled in Parliament for defending pro-life views
read more >>>
USA Conflict between religious liberty and Court decree on gay marriage
   read more >>>
USA Bishop warns LGBT Pride is morally offensive 'in the extreme'
   read more >>>
USA Knights of Columbus sued for fraud, racketeering
   read more >>>
USA Trump names pro-life doctor as head of nation’s Family Planning Program
  read more >>>
USA Psychiatrist confirms that demonic possession is real
   read more >>>
USA Court sides with baker who refused to do gay 'wedding' cake
   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Savonarola Voris
  VIDEO   
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
  VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
  VIDEO   read more >>>


Tradition as a Form of Discernment   VIDEO    read more >>>


iHope London read more >>>


Catholic Family News (USA)  read more >>>
Movie review : Pope Francis: A Man of His Word
  VIDEO  read more >>>

Comment from the internet

Sir Roger Scruton at the Oxford Union   VIDEO    read more >>>
New CDF statement on female priests, opening to female deacons?
   read more >>>
Britain's next Catholic Prime Minister?
  VIDEO    read more >>>
The evolution of the Catholic Church into oblivion   read more >>>
Craving approval isn't evangelization read more >>>
How Amoris Laetitia can Jeopardize the Seal of Confession read more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Haccombe    read more >>>
Feast of Corpus Christi
  VIDEO    read more >>>


Saint Augustine
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Breaking news

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[CF News /EWTN] 2237.1

































Vatican watch



Pope Francis' prayer intention for June

THAT social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences'.



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Vatican formally says no to intercommunion for Protestants

THE VATICAN'S doctrinal watchdog is closing the door on intercommunion for Protestant spouses, with the support of Pope Francis.

On Monday, German Catholic news site Kath.net published exclusive quotes from the letter, dated May 25. Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Abp. Luis F. Ladaria, wrote, 'The Holy Father has therefore come to the conclusion that the document [by the German bishops' conference about intercommunion] is not ready for publication.'

The German bishops' conference caused controversy earlier this year when it proposed allowing Protestants married to Catholics to receive Holy Communion at Mass. Canon 844 only allows non-Catholic baptized Christians to receive Catholic sacraments under 'grave necessity,' such as 'danger of death' - and even then, they must profess Catholic belief about the sacraments.

Reinhard Marx, argued that Protestant spouses should be allowed to take Communion at Catholic Mass after 'careful examination' of conscience and professing Catholic belief, but without fully entering the Catholic Church. Marx and others argue allowing Protestant spouses to receive Catholic Eucharist could be a 'necessity' for saving their marriages.

Inside sources have been saying since April that the CDF was opposed to the German intercommunion idea. But in a closed-door meeting with Pope Francis last month, the Holy Father declined to issue a decision, instead asking that the bishops come to an 'amicable' consensus themselves. He received widespread criticism from various bishops and cardinals for his failure to act.

Archbishop Ladaria's May 25 letter provides three 'essential reasons' for the decision to reject intercommunion.

First, the letter says that the issue of who can receive Holy Communion is relevant to the entire Church, not just the Church in Germany. This is in contrast with Cdl. Marx's now-infamous quip about liturgical debates: 'We are not a subsidiary of Rome.'

The second reason provided is that the intercommunion proposal has harmful universal implications for 'ecumenical relations with other churches and ecclesial communities.'

Archbishop Ladaria's third argument for halting the German bishops' plan included the proper interpretation of canon law:

The topic concerns the law of the church, especially the interpretation of Canon 844. Because there are unanswered questions in some parts of the Church, the competent dicastery of the Holy See has already been commissioned to clarify these issues promptly at the world church level. In particular, it seems appropriate to leave the verdict on the existence of an 'urgent and serious plight' to the diocesan bishop.

This statement from Abp. Ladaria reinforces what is written in Canon 844, which gives 'danger of death' as an example of 'grave necessity' and leaves the decision in all cases besides danger of death to 'the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops.'

But the CDF's top prelate emphasized that the question of 'grave necessity' should be left up to individual bishops deciding on individual cases, rather than a sweeping judgment from a bishops' conference.

Canon law also requires that non-Catholics wishing to receive Catholic sacraments under dire circumstances must 'manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments' and be 'properly disposed.' (Presumably, the latter means living in a state of grace.)

The Holy Father has therefore come to the conclusion that the document is not ready for publication.Tweet

The phrase 'ecclesial communities' used in Abp. Ladaria's letter is a common technical term for Protestant sects because they do not have valid Eucharist nor Apostolic Succession.

The phrase 'other churches,' meanwhile, refers to communities that have broken off from the Pope's authority but have maintained Apostolic Succession and a valid Eucharist. The most widely known example of this would be the Eastern Orthodox churches, who are at odds with the Pope but have maintained apostolic succession and valid sacraments.

Ines Angeli Murzaku, a professor in Church history, argued in an op-ed Sunday for Catholic World Report that intercommunion for Protestants could threaten Catholic-Orthodox relations:

If intercommunion with Lutherans or other Protestants was ever approved (which I strongly doubt), it would not only be 'sacrilegious' and an 'outrage' against the sacrament of the Eucharist, as Cardinal Sarah has put it, but would also cause a trauma in modern ecumenism and damage Catholic-Orthodox relations, something the Catholic Church would avoid at any cost.

Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox, Murzaku reasons, have far more in common theologically than Catholics and Protestants. To admit Protestants to Holy Communion while leaving the Eastern Orthodox in schism would contradict Catholic ecclesiology, she argues, and the Orthodox patriarchs might take it as an insult, undermining ongoing efforts to bring the Orthodox churches into full union with the Catholic Church.

The topic concerns the law of the church, especially the interpretation of Canon 844.Tweet

Bishops around the world have argued about the German intercommunion proposal, with many speaking out against it.

Former CDF prefect Cdl. Gerhard Müller slammed the idea of intercommunion, calling it indicative of a loss of faith in the Eucharist. Ottawa's Abp. Terrence Prendergast and Philadelphia's Abp. Charles Chaput have both weighed in, opposing the idea. Likewise, Cdl. Willem Eijk from the Netherlands voiced his opposition to the German intercommunion proposal.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, wrote in February that giving Holy Communion to non-Catholics is 'sacrilegious' and an 'outrage.' The cardinal wrote this in a preface to a new book about reception of Holy Communion on the hand vs. on the tongue.

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Close collaborator of Pope Francis advocates female priests

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews: 'In the wake of the Vatican's strong declaration on the impossibility of women's ordination, Catholics should recall that a close episcopal collaborator of Pope Francis has publicly opposed this infallible teaching of the Church.

Bishop Erwin Kräutler, the retired bishop of Xingu, Brazil, and a long-term proponent of the married priesthood, was called a 'co-author' of the 2015 papal encyclical Laudato si' and was recently invited by Pope Francis to the pre-synod council that is preparing for the 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod. Kräutler is said to have written a draft for the pope's signature concerning the future ordination of married men, the so-called viri probati. In two 2016 interviews, Kräutler personally went even farther than that plan: he wished for the priestly ordination of (married) women. These statements gain new importance in light of the recent intervention of Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning the female priesthood.

In a 2016 interview, the bishop claimed that the 1994 Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis which rules against female priests 'is not a dogma and does not even have the weight of an encyclical.' When asked whether one could revise that earlier papal document, the retired bishop responded: 'Nothing is here impossible!'

In another interview that year, with Austrian regional newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung, Kräutler said 'about the question of celibacy' that he is 'in favor of the idea that everybody has the right to choose his own life plan,' adding: 'But it is not acceptable that the Eucharistic celebration is dependent upon the availability of a celibate man.' When asked whether lay people could so easily take over such tasks, the prelate answers: 'Of course they may.' One might not make such a decision within a day or so, 'but one can reflect upon the conditions for the admission to the priesthood.'

Later in the interview, and touching upon the idea of ordaining women to the priesthood, Kräutler says that he is 'skeptical' concerning the priestly ordination of the so-called 'viri probati' (morally proven married men), because: 'Then there would be half of humanity excluded! At the Xingu [River], there are two thirds of the communities that are now being led by women.' Here, the prelate makes it clear that he wishes for both female and male (married) priests.

Bishop Kräutler's words have some weight also in light of an October 2017 report of the German newspaper Die Zeit in which this bishop is said to have written the draft for the permission of ordaining viri probati to the priesthood that was then placed on the desk of Pope Francis for him to consider, with regard to the upcoming 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod.

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Vatican orgy: 12 facts you need to know

PETE BAKLINSKI reports for LifeSiteNews : 'A high-ranking Vatican monsignor who is a secretary to one of Pope Francis' closest collaborators was arrested by Vatican police after they caught him hosting a cocaine-fueled homosexual orgy in a building right next to St. Peter's Basilica.

Here are 12 facts about the scandal.

1. Vatican police arrested Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, 49, some two months ago during a raid in which he was allegedly caught in the act of hosting a cocaine-fueled gay orgy in the former Palace of the Holy Office.

2. Capozzi reportedly managed to evade suspicion from Italian police by using a BMW luxury car with license plates of the Holy See, which made him practically immune to stops and searches. This privilege, usually reserved for high-ranking prelates, would have allowed the monsignor to transport cocaine for his frequent homosexual orgies without being stopped by the Italian police.

3. The Vatican-owned building in which the raid happened is currently being used by various high-ranking churchmen, including prefects, presidents, and secretaries to the Roman Curia. Police reportedly became suspicious after tenants in the building complained repeatedly about constant comings and goings of visitors to the building during all hours of the night.

4. At the time of the arrest, Capozzi was allegedly so high on cocaine that he was hospitalized for detoxification for a short period in the Pius XI clinic in Rome.

5. Despite Pope Francis' promises of transparency and of cleaning up the Curia, not a word about the scandal has been spoken by any Vatican officials. Italian media broke the story last week after receiving inside information.

6. Capozzi was apparently in the running to become a bishop at his boss Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio's recommendation.



7. Capozzi is bizarrely still listed as an active staff member on the website of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legal Texts.

8. Capozzi is currently in an undisclosed convent in Italy undergoing a spiritual retreat. There has been no mention of a process of laicization for his transgressions.

9. Capozzi's boss is Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the Vatican's top canonical official. He is one of Pope Francis' closest collaborators and ardent supporters.

10. Coccopalmerio has spoken publicly about what he has called 'positive elements' in homosexual relationships. He said that while homosexual relationships are deemed 'illicit' by the Church, Catholic leaders, such as himself, must 'emphasize' the 'positive realities' that he said are present in homosexual relationships.

11. There is speculation that Coccopalmerio knew about the gay orgies and did nothing about them.

12. Coccopalmerio has been in the vanguard of advancing Pope Francis' makeover of the Catholic Church. This includes writing a book earlier this year that defended Francis's 2016 Exhortation Amoris Laetitia as allowing civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery as well as unmarried cohabiting Catholics living in fornication to receive Holy Communion. His book was praised by left-leaning Church leaders, such as Cardinal Blase Cupich, even though it completely contradicted clear Catholic teaching on marriage, the Eucharist, and confession.

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Humanae Vitae


The Vatican is coming after Humanae Vitae: Time to fight back


CHRIS JACKSON writes for The Remnant : 'On September 11, 2017 Edward Pentin penned an article for the National Catholic Register entitled, “Humanae Vitae Comes Under Fire.” In that article he stated, that “recent developments in Rome indicate a campaign is underway to challenge the encyclical’s prohibition against artificial contraception.” Evidence includes the revealing of a formerly secret commission tasked by the Vatican, with the Pope’s approval, to “study” Humanae Vitae. The commission was discovered only through an Italian website obtaining a classified memorandum from the Vatican Secretary of State referring to it.

The memorandum states that the commission is to “promote a comprehensive and authoritative study” of the encyclical to coincide with its fiftieth anniversary this summer. Mr. Pentin then goes on to give observations of the theological bent of the commissions four members which is less than encouraging.

Mr. Pentin writes: ' Before his death on Sept. 6, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra had privately expressed similar grave concerns about the commission. Like others, he believed the opening of the archives was a ploy to obtain selected findings and then present them to show that Paul VI’s commission was moving in the direction of loosening the Church’s teaching on contraception, but undue pressure was placed on the Pope to reassert the doctrine.

'Another expected strategy by commission members and other “revisionists” is to present any re-interpretations as part of a “change in paradigm” in moral theology, just as was achieved with Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) in allowing for some civilly remarried divorcees to receive Holy Communion. The emphasis is expected to be on changing pastoral practice to make it more applicable to today — a tactic, say critics, to alter and soften Church teaching by finding exceptions, while all the time insisting the doctrine won’t be changed.

The clincher is remembering what Pope Francis himself said about Humanae Vitae:

'Finally, there are Pope Francis’ own comments regarding the encyclical’s teaching. Asked in 2014 if the Church should revisit the issue of contraception, he replied: “It all depends on how the text of Humanae Vitae is interpreted. Paul VI himself, toward the end, recommended that confessors show great kindness and attention to specific situations.”

'He added it is not a question of “changing doctrine, but to go into the depths, and ensuring that pastoral [efforts] take into account people’s situations, and that, which it is possible for people to do.”

'And speaking to reporters in February last year, Francis cited favorably a mythological story of Paul VI allowing nuns in the Congo to use contraception for cases of violence. The case has historically been used by dissenters as a means to circumvent the encyclical’s teaching. The Pope is also sympathetic to the vision of the Church of the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Martini, who was very vocal in his opposition to Humanae Vitae.

Further adding to the sense that there is a plot afoot are the recent articles coming out in leftist “Catholic” publications attacking the very root of the Catholic moral teaching against artificial contraception. The timing of these articles seems to indicate the leftist intelligencia is preparing the way by presenting systematic dissections of the Catholic teaching that can no doubt be adopted by the “commission” to change it.

One such article is titled “Indefensible: Moral Teaching After Humanae Vitae” and found in the sordid pages of the leftist “Catholic” magazine Commonweal. The article is important as it was penned by an intellectual heavyweight in leftist circles who, like the modernists Pius X spoke of, makes what appears to the unwary to be a convincing case, but in reality it is filled with erroneous and dangerous premises. The author, Michael Dummett, “was Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University until his retirement in 1992. He has taught at Stanford University, Princeton University, the University of Bologna, the University of Ghana, and Harvard University.” Need I say more.

Examining a few of the supposed leftist “Catholic” arguments against the Church’s perennial teaching on artificial contraception will let us know what to expect this summer. In addition, my hope is that a truly Catholic professor of moral theology, or several, can take on articles like these and provide sound refutations to counter the onslaught of sophistry that the media machines of the “Catholic” left have begun to spew in anticipation of the commission’s report. For we all need to be prepared to counteract the poisonous onslaught that is around the corner.

The piece condescendingly begins with the sentence, “Though the church contrived to slide out of its condemnation of usury, it has difficulty discarding a teaching that declares some type of action immoral.” Any informed Catholic of a saner age would stop reading the article immediately, identify the author as an anti-Catholic bigot and move on. Sadly, however, this is Francis’ Church in 2018 and this author’s arguments are most likely holding sway with high ranking prelates in Rome, thus I have no choice but to engage them.

The idea that the Church (notice how the author uses a small “c”) “contrived to slide out of” any moral teaching including usury is, of course, absurd. This is explained briefly and adequately enough here.

The gist of the author’s argument is contained in the following two paragraphs:

'A certain type of act, defined by a given form of description, may be intrinsically wrong. If so, it can never be morally justified by an ulterior purpose, however commendable; this is what is meant by saying that the end does not justify the means. For instance, to give someone a fatal dose of poison must in all circumstances be wrong: even if the purpose is to frustrate the known plan of the victim to massacre an entire family, it will still be wrong. It would be a misuse of the principle of double effect to appeal to it in justification of such a murder. The poisoner could not legitimately argue, “What I was doing was to save that family from slaughter; I had no interest in the death of my victim in itself.” Nor can the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki be justified on the score that what was being done was to end the war and the deaths of the inhabitants were side effects. Double effect can be invoked only when the act is in itself morally legitimate, even though in the particular circumstances it will have foreseeable evil side effects. Nothing can be a side effect if it is the means by which the objective of the act is realized. The poisoner cannot claim the death of his victim as a side effect: it is only through the death of the victim that he saves the family from massacre. Conversely, an act that is not intrinsically morally illegitimate may be wicked if it is done for an evil purpose. Thus to give someone a piece of information that it is not in itself wrong to impart in order to humiliate him or to prompt him to do something shameful is rendered an immoral act by the intention with which it was done.

'The use of the Pill by a married woman with contraceptive intent does not fall into either of these categories. No one supposes that it is intrinsically wrong for a woman to take the Pill, for example, for its original purpose of regularizing irregular periods. It has been persuasively argued that the Pill may be legitimately taken with contraceptive intent, for instance, by a nun who knows herself in danger of rape. Equally, the intention, on the part of a married couple, of reducing the frequency or number of the wife’s pregnancies is, as already noted, recognized by the church as legitimate and, in appropriate circumstances, praiseworthy. In the ruling of Humanae vitae, we have therefore a condemnation as morally wrong of an act not intrinsically wrong but held to become wrong when it is done for a particular end, even though that end is likewise not in itself wrong. It is incomprehensible how this could be so; it is impossible to think of a parallel—at least, I have not been able to think of one. Whatever may be thought about the maintenance in the encyclical of the traditional teaching on other methods of contraception, the prohibition on the use of the Pill is indefensible on the basis of moral theology as it has always been previously understood, and throws the moral teaching of the church into confusion.

Where to begin? There is no time to cover all of the errors in these paragraphs, so I will focus on the most important. The author fails to take into consideration a critical aspect of what is happening when a married woman uses “the Pill.”

The author admits the Pill was originally meant to treat irregular periods. In this case there is a medical condition in which the body is not functioning as intended. It is legitimate for medical science to treat the condition. In that case there are serious side-effects to the treatment, especially side-effects such as temporary infertility, means to treat the disorder that do not have such a consequence should be sought. If the disorder cannot be treated in any other way, and the disorder is serious enough that it needs to be treated, then a side-effect of temporary infertility during treatment would precisely fall into the category of “double effect.”

The principle of double effect is when a good or morally neutral act, in this case the treating of a medical disorder, unintentionally causes a bad or evil side effect, in this case infertility. In these cases of course, the good done by the act, still needs to be balanced against the unintended evil effect.

What the author is arguing here, however, is completely different. The author is arguing that a married woman should be morally allowed to take the Pill with no intention to correct any medical disorder whatsoever, but for the very purpose of making herself infertile. In other words, the author is arguing that it is a morally good act to take a medicine to intentionally create a medical disorder in your own body.

The irony is that in the preceding paragraph the author was just talking about how it would be morally illicit to give poison to someone who tells you he is about to murder a family. However, in his world, it is perfectly licit to administer yourself poison in the form of the Pill to prevent your body from functioning properly. Such is the mind of the left.

The author misses the point of the Catholic teaching on the issue because he apparently has no foundation in the Natural Law. Instead he argues for what he previously just argued against. Namely that one can use “the ends justify the means” argument to determine moral liciety. By taking the Pill in the author’s scenario, a married woman is saying that the ends, in this case refraining from having a child for a serious reason, justify the means, deliberately consuming a substance with the express purpose of creating a disorder in your body. The latter act is always wrong and can never be justified in and of itself. That is commonly referred to as “intrinsically evil.”

To give an analogy, as the author is fond of, it would be logically similar to a person taking morphine or pain killers for the express purpose of getting high--and potentially damaging their health--versus a legitimate purpose of easing pain associated with grave injuries, surgery, etc. Similarly, in the case of cancer, sometimes treatments render the patient sterile. But the point of the treatment is to treat the cancer to avoid death, not to sterilize oneself. Intentionally sterilizing oneself would, of course, be a sin.

In the final analysis, one can see the clever sophistry present in the arguments of this Oxford Logic professor who spoke regularly at Stanford, Princeton, and Harvard. He has all of the prestige of these bastions of anti-Catholicism on his resume and is printed in so-called “Catholic” publications like Commonweal. And make no doubt, his arguments will be well represented to the four members of the Humanae Vitae commission. It will be our job, especially the moral theologians and experts among us, to call them out every step of the way.


[Remnant] 2237.6





















China supplement


Plan to remove 'foreign influence' from Catholic Church

THE CATHOLIC HERALD reports : 'China has launched a five year plan for the 'development' of the Catholic Church, aimed at altering religious principles and practices to coincide with Chinese communist ideals. This plan was approved by the Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics and the Council of Chinese Bishops, neither of whom is recognised by the Holy See.

The goal of this plan is to eliminate 'foreign influence' and to ensure governmental control of all religious activities, including a submission of religious leaders to the Communist Party.

The groups have not released any specific details, but the five year plan will include 'understanding the history of the church' in China, driving theological research, and emphasising evangelism. Architecture, arts and liturgy will also change in order to fit better with Chinese ideals.

The idea that religions should conform to Chinese principles has prevailed for many years but President Xi Jinping emphasized the idea in a 2015 address to the United Front, the overseeing body of all non-communist entities in China. During the address, Xi called for the eradication of outside influences on religion.

China and the Vatican are currently undergoing negotiations.. A May 18 article by the South China Morning Post quotes the Pope as saying he will not 'compromise Catholic principles' by giving China the power to appoint their own bishops. However, China does not want to allow the Pope to appoint religious leaders, seeing it as an influence of Western ideals in their country.

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Desperate bid

In desperate bid to defend planned sellout of Catholics to Beijing, Vatican blames Red Chinese persecution of Christians on American neo-cons

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives : 'Just when it seemed a sellout of China's 'underground' Catholics was imminent, Beijing revealed that it has no intention of ever recognizing the rights of Chinese Catholics to the free and unhindered practice of the Faith, even as to those who find themselves in one of the outlying 'official' churches deemed insufficiently submissive to the government.

Thus, in Henan province, a center of Chinese Catholicism, the regime has intensified its persecution of Catholics and Protestants alike in recent months. As UCA News reports, provincial Communist Party boss Wang Guosheng has suppressed even ten 'official dioceses' in the province since last March as part of a campaign of persecuting 'Catholic and Protestant underground and open churches, while a deceased underground bishop's tombstone was demolished, unregistered underground priests have been driven away, and church properties have been confiscated.'

Sandro Magister reports that 'the website Vatican Insider, known for its connections to Pope Francis' is engaged in a desperate spin operation in order to salvage the planned sellout. Alluding to Beijing's propaganda in defense of its actions, Vatican Insider argues in a recent article that Beijing is really focused only on 'stop[ping] the proliferation in that province of the 'domestic churches' of Protestants and apocalyptic sects, supported by the religious right in the United States for the sake of overthrowing the Chinese regime,' and that any persecution of Catholics is incidental.

A most revealing inadvertent admission, as it can hardly be grounds for suppressing the activities of any sort of Christian sect that the sect is perceived to threaten an atheist regime that has no right under God to exist. Meanwhile, the Vatican is perfectly content to accommodate the same regime's persecutions without offering it the least resistance. But whatever happened to the usual post-Vatican II plea for 'religious liberty' for all sects? That must give way to the rhetorical needs of the moment. One must not expect consistency from the ideologues who now hold the levers of power at the Church's summit.

At any rate, as Magister notes, here the Vatican is recycling the discredited 'Rockefeller theory,' which held that Rockefeller money was responsible for the surge in Latin American Protestant sects. If anything, Rockefeller money would have backed the rise of socialist and communist variants of Liberation Theology within the Church in Latin America, as the result of which, writes Magister, quoting Massimo Introvigne, many Latin American Catholics, 'Dissatisfied with these positions… voted with their feet and joined the fast-growing Pentecostal churches.'

As Introvigne notes, it was the liberation theologians themselves who, even as they were driving Catholics out of the Church with their corrupted version of the Gospel, 'argued that Pentecostals were successful because they were financed by the Rockefeller Foundation and other fronts for American imperialism.' That conspiracy theory, he writes, 'was consistently laughed at by academic scholars of Latin American Pentecostalism,' who recognized that 'the most successful Pentecostal denominations in Latin America were indigenous and not significantly financed by U.S. agencies, some of them being in fact anti-American.' Indeed, the rapid expansion of Protestantism in once-Catholic Latin American nations is primarily the fault of a Catholic hierarchy imbued with 'ecumenism' and the ruinous 'spirit of Vatican II.' The faithful wanted bread and they were given instead the stones of the 'conciliar renewal.' All of Rockefeller's billions could not have done a better job of subverting the Church in Latin America.

Today, however, the Vatican of Pope Francis resuscitates the same dead theory in order to cover up the depredations of a communist regime it quite absurdly defends against supposed American efforts to undermine it. Anything for the deal that Francis and his collaborators so ardently desire. But, as Introvigne observes: 'Negotiating with Beijing is like the proverbial supping with the Devil. You can do it, but you need a very long spoon.' In this case it seems the Vatican has dispensed with the spoon and is plunging its collective face into a vat of Chinese Communist propaganda. Meanwhile, the Church in China is being scourged as the Vatican shamelessly covers for those who wield the whip.

[FP] 2237.8




















115,000 at vigil in memory of Tiananmen dead

PAUL WANG reports for AsiaNews : 'At least 115 thousand people took part in the Victoria Park vigil in memory of those who were killed by the Chinese army on 4 June 1989 in Tiananmen Square. The large number of participants surprised the organizers: for several years diverse pro-Beijing groups have contested the peaceful event claiming that 'there was no massacre' 29 years ago. In addition, a growing number of young 'localists', who care for democracy in Hong Kong, refuse to participate, considering the vigil ineffective. In reality there were many young people and students at the vigil, as well as entire families.

Many Protestant and Catholic Christians were also present. As per tradition, they held a moment of prayer for the 'martyrs' of Tiananmen at a pavilion of the Victoria Park, just before the vigil. Their prayer was led by Card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.

At the vigil, a series of commemorative videos, elegies similar to prayers, songs, the ritual of flowers laid before a copy of the monument of heroes, which stands in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, also saw the two moving video testimonies: that of Li Wenzu, wife of human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, and that of Di Mengqi, one of Tiananmen's mothers.

Di recalled her son, Wang Hongqi, 19, who greeted her on the morning of June 3, 1989, on his way to work and who never returned because he was killed by soldiers. As a mother, I hope the state can step forward to clarify its stance on the massacre,' Di said. 'If not, I'll not close my eyes in my grave '.

Hong Kong is the only place in China where the Tiananmen massacre can be freely remembered. In the People's Republic every event or commemoration is prohibited and many activists are forced under house arrest or forced to take a vacation in the company of members of the public security.

Li Wangling, sister of the late dissident Li Wangyang, released a short video on Facebook to thank the people of Hong Kong for supporting the murdered of Tiananmen.

Her brother, who had participated in the 1989 democratic movement, was in prison for 22 years. Released in 2011, he lived under police surveillance 24 hours a day. He died in 2012 in a case of suspected suicide.

Wang Dan, one of the leaders of the then protests, now exiled in the United States, also thanked the Hong Kong people who attend the vigil: 'Every year we attend the candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong ... and we have seen that this moral support has continued for 29 years ... It is something that the people of Hong Kong should be proud of '.

The Hong Kong Alliance in support of the democratic and patriotic movements in China, who organize the vigil, is already preparing for the next year's event, marking the 30th anniversary. These days, until June 10, the group has organized an exhibition on Tiananmen in the Shek Kip Mei district.

[AsiaNews] 2237.9




















The 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod and the possibility of married priests, even female riests

MAIKE HICKSON reports for OnePeterFive : 'The Vatican presented something important on Friday, 8 June, at a press conference: the Preparatory Document for the upcoming 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod in which there is now talk about giving women some “type of official ministry” and of making “courageous” and inculturated proposals with regard to the Church’s “inclusive ministerial action.” One of the leading organiziers of this synod, Bishop Kräutler, says this reform should include married priests, male and female. The Preparatory Document itself refers indirectly to a decisive meeting that took place, in 2014, between the Pope and Kräutler.

As a Reuters report today sums it up, today’s press conference and the Preparatory Document for this Pan-Amazon Synod suggest “role for married priests, women in the Amazon.” Thus, even a secular news outlet such as Reuters has largely grasped the meaning of both the 23-page-long Preparatory Document, and also the interventions of the various speakers at today’s press conference. It also adds in its report the words of the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Baldisseri, as spoken at today’s press conference:

'Pressed by reporters at a news conference about ‘viri probati,’ Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said: “The Church is not static … there is possibility of movement.”

'But he urged patience and caution. “Let’s leave the time necessary for reflection about everything that is in here.”

The Preparatory Document for the 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod

In light of these words, let us now review some of the arguably stunning claims of that Preparatory Document. Afterwards, we shall present to our readers the ideas as they were laid out already in 2016 by Bishop Erwin Kräutler – a member of the pre-synod council – who is the retired bishop of Xingu, Brazil (a part of the Amazon region).

To say it now at the beginning: the whole preparatory document is permeated with the spirit of inculturation, liberation theology, Mother-Earth-vocabulary, and grass-roots spiritualism. To sum it up, this is a new syncretistic religion. For example, in the attached questionnaire at the end of the document, one may find a question that it thoroughly incompatible with the missionary spirit of the Catholic Faith: “If there are Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation in your territory, what should the Church do to defend their lives and rights?”

Let us now go through the document more thoroughly. The text has a strong sociological and revolutionary tone, for example when it asks “How can we work together toward the construction of a world which breaks with structures that take life and with colonizing mentalities, in order to build networks of solidarity and inter-culturality?” [emphasis added] As is stated later, for these organizers, the coming of the Western civilization into the Pan-Amazon region was mostly a painful and negative event:

'Also, the III Conference of Latin American Bishops, held in Puebla (1979), is a reminder that the occupation and colonization of indigenous lands was “an extensive process of domination”, which was full of “contradictions and deep wounds” (DP 6). Later, the IV Conference of Santo Domingo (1992) recalled “one of the saddest episodes in Latin American and Caribbean history”, which “was the forced transfer, as slaves, of an enormous number of Africans”. [emphasis added]

Having set the aggressive tone against undue Western influencing of the indigenous cultures of this region in the world (to include the missionary work?), the document highlights that we, the Catholic Church, can learn from those indigenous peoples. It highlights the role of “Wise elders – called interchangeably ‘payés, mestres, wayanga or chamanes,’ among others” who “promote the harmony of people among themselves and with the cosmos.” In light of the papal encyclical Laudato si and its attentiveness to putative ecological problems in the world, and thus to the need for an “ecological conversion,” the indigenous people are being presented as someone we should listen to and learn from. There is to be found another reference to that 1979 Puebla document by stressing the themes “participation and base communities (Puebla 1979).”

In light of the attentiveness to “Mother Earth” and creation in general, the Holy Eucharist thus becomes here “an act of cosmic love.” The text states:

'The Eucharist, therefore, redirects us to the “living center of the universe”, to the overflowing core of love and inexhaustible life of the “incarnate Son” [sic], present under the species of bread and wine, fruit of the earth and work of human hands (cf. LS 236). In the Eucharist, the community celebrates an act of cosmic love, in which human beings, together with the incarnate Son of God and all creation, give thanks to God for new life in the risen Christ (cf. LS 236). [emphasis added]

In light of ecological dangers and unjust exploitation of the local people by capitalist organizations, and other related problems, the text speaks about the need for changes in light of a “prophetic dimension”: “Faced with the current socio-environmental crisis, there is an urgent need for guidance and action, in order to implement the transformation of practices and attitudes.” [emphasis added]. Here, once more, the whole creation is somehow included into the mystical life of the soul: “Ecological conversion means embracing the mystically-interconnected and interdependent nature of all creation.” Nature and Grace, the natural and the supernatural life are intermixed, or conflated.

Moreover, the synod text calls for yet another conversion, a “change of heart,” and it speaks of a “new paradigm,” saying: “Embracing life through community-based solidarity entails a change of heart. This new paradigm opens up new perspectives for personal and societal transformation.” [emphasis added]

While speaking about community-based matters, it is the indigenous people who now have to teach the Church: they “have much to teach us” (EG 198). The document continues:

For this reason, Pope Francis pointed out that “we need to let ourselves be evangelized by them” and by their cultures, and that the new evangelization implies “lending our voice to their causes, but also [we are called] to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them, and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them” (EG 198). His teachings, therefore, could set the direction of priorities for the new paths of the Church in the Amazon.

Here, it is worth mentioning that the text regrets that some in the West still look down on these cultures and even “demonize” them: “Today, unfortunately, traces still exist of the colonizing project, which gave rise to attitudes that belittle and demonize indigenous cultures.”

To sum up this part of this troubling document – points 1-13 – the tone is set that the Church should listen to the local cultures in order to help them save their own region from ecological and social disaster. The West, it claims, has cruelly colonized this region over the last centuries and thus now should humbly take the clues for the solution from the local people and their cultures, especially since they are so close to Mother Nature.

It is in this light that we need to consider the words concerning who should be responsible in that region, in order to fill the gap in the face of a serious lack of priests. As is stated, many parishes have only a few times a year a visiting priest, and with him the Holy Eucharist.

Moreover, the important chapter 14 is entitled “Ministry with an Amazonian face.”

The document tells us that “the Church in the Amazon Basin has come to recognize that […] her pastoral care has been spread precariously thin.” Thus, there is need for “new paths for pastoral care.” Let us consider the longer paragraph:

These new paths for pastoral care in the Amazonia call for “re-launching the work of the Church” (DAp 11) in the territory and for delving deeper into the “process of inculturation” (EG 126), which requires the Church in the Amazon region to make “courageous” proposals, that is, the “daring” and “fearless” attitudes that Pope Francis asks of us [this is the reference to a conversation between the pope and Bishop Kräutler]. The prophetic mission of the Church is today carried out through its inclusive ministerial action, which allows indigenous peoples and Amazonian communities to be its “principal interlocutors” (LS 146) regarding all the territory’s pastoral and socio-environmental matters. [emphasis added]

These words apparently mean that the indigenous people have to tell the Church how to fill out the her “prophetic mission” and “inclusive ministerial action.” In order to “transform the Church’s precariously-thin presence and make it broader and more incarnate,” there is a the “need for ‘Eucharistic integrity’ (DAp 436) for the Amazon region,” so that all the baptized can “participate in the Sunday Mass.” It is here that the Preparatory Document reminds us, in light of Vatican II, that the “People of God share in the priesthood of Christ,” while maintaining a distinction between “the common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood (cf. LG 10).”

Now the text proposes to “evaluate and rethink the ministries that today are required to respond to the objectives of ‘a Church with an Amazonian face and a Church with a native face [Quote from Pope Francis].’” [emphasis added] It is this concept of an “inculturated pastoral ministry” – formerly an especially cherished idea of the liberation theologians – that enters now the official Church documents. Inculturation means here to respect, for example, that women often are the leaders in the local communities and that men might dislike anyway celibacy. It is here that the document therefore proposes to consider giving women a “type of official ministery.” It is fitting once more to quote a longer passage:

'One priority is to specify the contents, methods, and attitudes necessary for an inculturated pastoral ministry capable of responding to the territory’s vast challenges. Another is to propose new ministries and services for the different pastoral agents, ones which correspond to activities and responsibilities within the community. Along these lines, it is necessary to identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role which women play today in the Amazonian Church. It is also necessary to foster indigenous and local-born clergy, affirming their own cultural identity and values. Finally, new ways should be considered for the People of God to have better and more frequent access to the Eucharist, the center of Christian life (cf. DAp 251). [emphasis added]

There was once a time where the Church sent missionaries to places where there was a need of priests; there was once a time where the native peoples in all the world were invited to conform to Christ’s teachings and to the Church’s sacred traditions and customs – while respecting, where possible, local differences. Now the new and “reformed” Church wishes to ask the native peoples what would please them. Not what pleases God, as traditionally taught through His Church.

Speaking about a “Church with an Amazonian face,” the following chapter 15 considers “new paths” and a “new shape of this Church,” adding that it will properly be “starting from its peoples’ experience of cultural diversity. Our new paths will impact ministries, liturgy, and theology (Indian theology).” [emphasis added]” Here, “the entire People of God, along with their bishops, priests, religious men and women, and religious and lay missionaries,” are to approach this “new journey with an open heart.” The “leading roles of the peoples themselves” are to be strengthened. “We should refine an intercultural spirituality to help us interact with the diversity of peoples and their traditions.”

Finally, some of the questions added to the attached questionnaire in the synod document also show us the method and direction of this revolutionary attempt at remodeling the Church of the Pan-Amazon region with regard to the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood:

3. Is there room for indigenous expression and active participation in the liturgical practice of your communities?

4. One of the major challenges in the Amazon Basin is the impossibility of celebrating the Eucharist frequently in all places. How can we respond to this need?

5. How can we recognize and value the role of the laity in various pastoral areas (catechesis, liturgy, and charity)? […]

10. What are the particularly Amazonian activities and ministries that you believe should be created and promoted?

11. In what ways can consecrated life and its charisms contribute to the building up of a Church with an Amazonian face?

12. The role of women in our communities is of utmost importance, how can we recognize and value them on our new paths? [emphasis added]

Bishop Kräutler’s Reform Plan Laid Out in 2014: Female Priests; Married Priests

Let us now turn to Bishop Kräutler and his ideas. In 2014, on 4 April, he had a private audience with Pope Francis. In this meeting, there happened two important things. First, the bishop presented the pope with a Spanish text filled with recommendations with regard to the pope’s upcoming document Laudato si, all of which were incorporated by the pope into this encyclical (according to Kräutler). Second, the conversation turned to the lack of priests in the Amazon region. It was in this context, as we shall see, that the pope asked the bishops of that region to make “bold and courageous proposals,” or, as the Preparatory Document itself states, to make “’courageous’ proposals, that is, the ‘daring’ and ‘fearless’ attitudes that Pope Francis asks of us.” [emphasis added]

In the aftermath of this papal audience, Bishop Kräutler helped found the Red Ecclesial Panamazonian Network REPAM, a network of nine Churches of the Pan-Amazon region (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam and French Guyana, Peru and Venezuela) which claims to have been “inspired by Laudato si” (which, in turn, was effectively co-authored by Kräutler himself.) It seems that Pope Francis himself initiated the founding of that network-organization during his 2013 visit to Brazil – his first papal visit. Bishop Kräutler is the coordinator of the Brazilian REPAM branch. Guiseppe Nardi, journalist for the German website Katholisches.info, has made a great contribution covering the role of REPAM, especially with regard to the upcoming 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod.

Not only does today’s Preparatory Document give four references to REPAM, but more importantly, as Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said in today’s press conference, the synod preparation was made in close collaboration with that REPAM network. Baldisseri said:

'For this reason, since the beginning of the synodal journey, the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops has worked in close connection with the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM), an organism that carries out ecclesial activities in that region.

Let us now consider what Bishop Kräutler himself has in mind concerning the problem of the lack of priests in this Pan-Amazon region. In a report that I recently made for LifeSiteNews, I highlighted the fact that this bishop stated in two different interviews in 2016 that he is in favor of not only married priests – the so-called viri probati – but also in favor of ordaining female priests. As I then wrote:

'In a 2016 interview, the bishop [Kräutler] claimed that the 1994 Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis which rules against female priests “is not a dogma and does not even have the weight of an encyclical.” When asked whether one could revise that earlier papal document, the retired bishop responded: “Nothing is here impossible!”

Moreover, in his 2016 book, entitled Habt Mut (“Be Courageous,” published by Tyrolia Verlag), Erwin Kräutler speaks about Pope Francis and his path of reform, but he also speaks on several occasions about his 2014 conversation he had had with the pope.

As Kräutler makes clear, Pope Francis was very sympathetic to his ideas. When Kräutler spoke about the lack of priests in the Pan-Amazon region, the pope himself brought up the experience of “a diocese in Mexico, where the bishop mitigated and softened, in part, the problem of the lack of priests by ordaining 300 married leaders of parishes as deacons.” Here, the Pope was referring to Samuel Ruiz García, Bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas (Chiapas). The German journalist Giuseppe Nardi showed that this bishop had an “indigenous priesthood” in mind when ordaining those 300 deacons in the 1990s. In 2001, when the bishop retired, the Vatican stopped this endeavor. However, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, appointed by Pope Francis to be the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, later gave permission to resume that practice, in 2014.

The strange thing about this Mexican experiment is that Bishop García not only ordained a large number of indigenous married men to the diaconate; but he also had their wives “co-ordained” in a very unusual way, taking into account the cultural role of the wives of indigenous leaders.

Here, it might be good to know that in 2015, when Pope Francis visited Mexico, he went to the grave of Bishop García (d. 2011) and prayed.

It is also worthwhile to mention that REPAM’s own managing director, Mauricio Lopez, gave in November of 2017 an interview where he makes reference to this experiment as started by Bishop García, indicating the idea of having a couple who is chosen by the community to “do the service” and to become spiritual leaders of that community. For him, it is about finding a new “Church model.” Again, REPAM is being directly mentioned as having helped to organize the upcoming 2019 Pan-Amazon Synod.

So when, in his 2014 conversation with Bishop Kräutler, the Pope refers to this Mexican bishop, it should earnestly trouble all faithful Catholics. But, regrettably, it even gets worse.

According to Kräutler,

'The Pope also brought up the proposal of a bishop in South Africa – it is Bishop Fritz Lobinger – according to whom parishes without priests could be led by a “Team of Elders.” Bishop Lobinger recommends also that one should ordain them so that they can also celebrate the Eucharist with their parishes. The English expression [“Team of Elders”] has the advantage that the “elders” themselves do not necessarily need to be old in age. [emphasis added]

These “elders” are, rather, to be “experienced” men, but what Kräutler does not say here is that Lobinger himself pictured that, among these ordained “elders,” there could also be women included. In any event, it was in this specific context, according to Kräutler, that the Pope had then made the request for “bold proposals.” The Pope used the word “corajudos,” explains Bishop Kräutler, who is originally from Austria. This expressive word also connotes or deftly implies boldness, fearlessness, and openness.

Some of our readers might recall in this context that Pope Francis discussed, in 2015, with the German bishops the books of Bishop Lobinger. At that time, the Pope told the German bishops on their Ad Limina visit to Rome that he had read the three major books of Lobinger which deal with the shortage of priests and with possible solutions.

As Bishop Kräutler himself further explains in his 2016 book, Pope Francis hopes for a more decentralized Church. Kräutler, together with the Brazilian bishops’ conference, now works on such proposals (as now can also be seen in today’s Preparatory Document). It is about “new forms of Christian parishes and their leadership, to include the Eucharist on Sunday.” Here, the bishop brings up the idea “ad experimentum” to ordain to the priesthood the so-called viri probati (morally proven married men), but for him, this proposed solution is defective because it “would exclude the women.”

According to this Austrian bishop, Pope Francis would even be open to ordaining women to the priesthood. Kräutler says that “I do not believe that he would say a strict ‘no’ to the ordination of women, a quod non.” He would not just come and personally make such a change, Kräutler adds, for the Pope knows that he will need the approval of the bishops. Additionally, he should make such an allowance regionally, at first, not right away for the universal Church. According to Kräutler, the Pope well knows that sometimes in the Church’s history, there were decisions made, “which a few decades earlier, nobody could have imagined.” Here, the bishop mentions as an example how the Church changed her positions with regard to the topic of separation of Church and state, as well as to the topic of democracy. He also mentions Vatican II’s text Dignitatis Humanae, “which did away for good with” the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX, especially with regard to religious liberty.

Bishop Kräutler concludes: “Certain convictions and interpretations, which once were presented with vehemence, and even defended as being unchangeable, have often, nevertheless, completely changed during the course of history.” Here, he insists that this is also how Pope Francis looks upon changes in the Church’s teaching: “I am convinced that Francis stands in this tradition which is finally open for the dialogue and for changes.”

Speaking about female priests, Kräutler admits that the situation is somewhat more difficult due to the 1994 document Ordinatio sacerdotalis as written by Pope John Paul II, even though, in Kräutler’s eyes, it does not represent “a doctrine ‘de fide definita.’” (A week ago, Onepeterfive reached out to Bishop Kräutler, asking him whether he will now change this claim in light of the recent 30 May statement of Archbishop Luis Ladaria, according to whom the interdict on female priests is part of the Church’s infallible teaching. So far, we have not heard back from him.)

Bishop Kräutler continues, saying that, since Pope John Paul II’s statement “is very determined,” the Pope “will not do anything alone in the question of priesthood, celibacy and female ordination, but, if so, then it will be together with the bishops.” Here, he “certainly also will not make a decision that will be immediately implemented in the whole world.” For this to happen, there would have to be “a prominent number of bishops’ conferences in Latin America, in Asia, in Africa” which desire a change. Only such a world-wide consensus “would have enough weight, in order to revise the earlier statement of a pope.” “But all by himself, Francis will certainly not do it.”

Kräutler’s own proposal is that there should be first some “regional solutions.” Even in Brazil, there are regions that do not lack priests. In the Amazon region, however, there is a great lack of priests, the prelate explains. For those regions, one could allow some changes. “But it has to be clear: it is not about a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to celibacy. Sometimes, people accuse me of wishing to abolish celibacy,” Kräutler adds. “No, I do not wish it at all, and the Pope does not wish it, either.” It is visible here that Kräutler and the Pope must have talked in detail about this matter, as well.

Furthermore, Kräutler details his idea that those women who are now preparing and leading the liturgy of the word on Sunday – as well as younger and older men – could be further prepared “so that they would preside over the Eucharist for their parish. For their parish! This limitation seems to me important.” The Austrian bishop thinks that this group of people are men and women who are ordained only for their own parish. “Ideally, this could be even two or three people, in the sense of the Teams of Elders, as proposed by Bishop Lobinger.” In this regard, Kräutler insists upon the ordination of these persons.

It was intentional to present Kräutler’s own ideas and recollections here in detail because they all might very well reappear, in one way or another, in the upcoming Pan-Amazon Synod discussions. Kräutler’s own plan as laid out here is most probably part of the papal agenda. We shall remain attentive to this matter of moment for the Catholic Church.

[1P5] 2237.SU3
























EU flag


A dismal record: Why are they destroying the nuns?

HILARY WHITE reports for The Remnant : 'Today I've received an interesting document issued by the Carmelite Order in Europe following a meeting of the 'Federations of Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Europe & the Holy Land' in Avila, February 2009. As a snapshot of the current condition of Carmelite monastic life after it had been completely 'federated,' it paints a depressing picture; but as a demonstration of what 'federations' are likely to achieve once Cor orans is implemented universally, it clangs in the mind like a funeral bell.

The meeting covered Carmels of the Teresian, Discalced, reform from Germany, five areas of Spain, three from France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia and the Holy Land[1]. The reports from each region showed that many of the provisions found in Cor orans were already in place: federations with broad powers, including financial control and combined formation courses, 'religious assistant' priests appointed by the federation and overseeing individual monasteries and superiors giving up their authority to the federations. Given that this was 2009, it is clear that the plans to force all contemplative monasteries in the world into this disastrous European mould were well under way long before Pope Benedict was even considering resigning.

Reconciled to managed extinction

The report shows average ages of nuns between 65 and 80, 'infirmary Carmels,' nuns in state nursing homes, entire communities living in care facilities and half the Carmels with no one in formation. Solutions offered are equally uniform: heaped-up bureaucracy, common formation courses between monasteries developed by 'religious psychologists,' ever more powers handed to federations. This is federated Carmelite monastic life under Pope Francis' New Paradigm of fully implemented VaticanTwoism.

Very little is said of any efforts being made to increase vocational outreach using the internet or through diocesan contacts. And perhaps most telling of all, not one word is offered of applying any systematic religious solutions; no one is suggesting increased prayer or fasting, Rosary campaigns or novenas in what has to be the Carmelite Order's most desperate hour. Nothing is said of increased intensity of devotion to the charism, study of the foundress or returning to sources, still less of strengthening the Carmelites' traditional independent self-governance or reconsidering the wisdom of 'the path taken'. Indeed, in one case in Spain, the sisters themselves advocate abandoning traditional Teresian autonomy altogether.

The report from Great Britain notes: '18 Carmels have closed in the last 40 years. There have been two amalgamations in recent years and another one involving three Carmels is in process. Two communities at present are living together in one monastery as a temporary measure.'

The case of the Netherlands is downright bizarre; sisters so old that even the federation structures are breaking down. Only one fully autonomous functioning Carmel still exists in the Netherlands, and the remains of four entire communities are living in a single care home run by religious brothers. But in this situation, the 'solution' undertaken has been an elaborate bureaucratic reshuffle, including gaining approval from Rome, for 'a completely new structure,' whose main task, no doubt, will be the making of funeral arrangements and disposing of library books.

The atmosphere is weirdly resigned - one federation report recommended simply 'forgetting the numbers' - with many notes of mutual congratulation over 'unity,' the creating of 'links' and the 'building of trust' and 'dialogue' between communities. The report from Belgium - federated in 1997, average age 73 with one sister in formation for 11 monasteries - states tersely that their biggest problem is 'ageing' but under 'possible solutions' says only, 'We want to continue along the path we have begun.'

It is only in the report from Croatia where the problem changes abruptly from aging nuns and no vocations to too many vocations with not enough room[2]. It is also notable that it is only in the Croatian report that Christ gets a direct mention.

Federation of Croatia & Bosnia-Herzegovina: 82 nuns in 5 convents, with an average age of 47, and eleven in formation. This outlier differs from the Western European federations in several respects, notably that it was only federated in 2002. But the effects of the federating/formation courses are already being felt: 'Nowadays, two monasteries have difficulty because of a lack of vocations.'

Path taken: Have made a foundation in Albania; however this community is not federated. From the beginning, our Association has organized formation courses for the younger sisters as well as courses of permanent formation. Each year, we have one or two seminars, which are also the occasion to the meeting of the Council of the Association. The duration is 3 to 4 days and they take place every time in a different Monastery of the Association. We invite the sisters of other Carmelite convents friends to our formation courses: sisters from Albania, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

Present Problems: In general, in our Association the vocations continue growing, but there are differences between the monasteries. Nowadays, two monasteries have difficulty because of a lack of vocations.

Possible solutions: We do all what is in our hands in the area of the vocational promotion, collaborating in this way with Christ who calls by his Spirit.

These self-generated reports were made in response to a questionnaire set out for the meeting. All speak of nothing but bureaucratic responses: shared 'formation courses,' meetings of superiors, amalgamations and suppression of houses and finally 'care homes' and houses given over entirely as infirmaries. A tale of controlled, systematized extinction.



Federation: Germany

date when erected: 1980

number of convents: 14

number of nuns: 178

solemnly professed: 170

in formation [3]: 8

average age: 66

Path taken: for 15 years they have organized formation courses: on-going & initial formation, and for formators. Meetings for prioresses.

Present problems: have got very old. Some sisters are in care-homes run by Franciscans. Different sisters have volunteered to help there.

Possible solutions: two convents intend to amalgamate.


Federation: Spain - Castile Burgos

Date when erected: 1978

Number of convents: 20

Number of nuns: 245

Solemnly professed:

In formation: 9

Average age: between 64

Path taken: they have worked on communion and systematic formation of the communities. They have established a formation-house for new vocations and held a month long intensive course according to the ratio, given by the same sisters of the federation. In 2004 they established a Carmelite infirmary to help the communities. Courses have been organized to accompany the youngest sisters of the federation, given by a religious psychologist.

Present problems: ageing of the sisters and a lack of vocations; we have not arrived at any practical conclusion in the way of amalgamations-restructuring though attempts have been made. The incorporation of sisters from other countries without due discernment in some cases.

Possible solutions: we are making enquiries.


Federation: Spain - Catalonia

Date when erected: 1993

Number of convents 4

Number of nuns: 60

Solemnly professed:

In formation: none

Average age: 71

What has been done: there has been one suppression and two convents have amalgamated

Present problems: ageing of the sisters and a lack of vocations. We need outside help.


Federation: Spain - Navarre

Date of erection: 1994

Number of convents:16

Number of nuns: 229

Solemnly professed:

In formation: 10

Average age: 69

What has been done: there has been work on formation: each year, a course on on-going formation and one for those recently professed. There have been 3 suppressions and 3 amalgamations. Work will continue in this area, in order to keep a balance within the communities, based on the present communities and the new vocations.

Present Problems: Ageing of the communities, resulting in weakening of life in all its facets. It is not easy to express the reality. A lack of vocations is with us as a reality in everyday life. Moreover, the high number of Carmels makes difficult to maintain all presences.

Possible Solutions: It is completely necessary to assume the way of the restructurings, in order to live what is essential, forgetting the numbers. The challenge to grow in confidence and communion should lead us to downgrade the famous and untouchable autonomy because, to a daughter of Saint Teresa, the really important thing is to look for HIM and to live in obedience. Another of our challenges is caring [for] the ecclesial presences. We think this is the way will lead us to recreate from the interior the Charism of the Mother Teresa.


Federation: France - Toulouse Bordeaux

Date when erected: 1955

Number of convents: 20 + 1 abroad, Athens

Number of nuns: 274

Solemnly professed: 268

In formation: 6

Average age: 70,6

What has been done: There have been 1 amalgamation & 6 suppressions. The federal priority is the formation. There has been a lot of work in formation: for prioresses, formators & initial. Also with the extern sisters.

The infirmary Carmel was closed due to the difficulty of finding a prioress and other personnel. The sisters have gone to other Carmels, except some who have gone to state geriatric homes.


Federation: Italy - Lombardy

Date when erected: 1996

Number of convents: 16

Number of nuns: 220

Solemnly professed: 209

In formation: 11

Average age: 65

Present problems: there are big differences between the various convents.

The number of vocations has diminished quickly and the numbers increased of those who have left during formation and during the first years of solemn profession. Nonetheless there have not been amalgamations or suppressions. In some convents old age is a real concern.

Possible Solutions: They are working on formation through courses. Also on communion between the communities. There are meetings of the Council with the communities. We are ready to accept sisters who cannot be cared for in their own communities. However, this has not been accepted because they do not want to be separated.

The strangest report came from the Netherlands where, for a single surviving autonomous monastery and an average age of 81, resources were mobilised to create 'a completely new structure,' complete with approval from the Congregation for Religious:

Federation: Netherlands

Date when erected: 1971

Number of convents: 6

Number of nuns: 73

Solemnly professed: 73

In formation: ....

Average age: 81 [NB, the bold was in the original.]

What has been done: 13 Dutch Carmels and one in Iceland have united in a Federation. This has created a close communion from the beginning. Everyone has collaborated in the process of amalgamations and suppressions.

Present Problems: Only one Carmel functions fully autonomously in the Netherlands. 4 communities are in a care-home run by the Brothers of the Immaculate Conception. Another Carmel was renewed in 1990. At the original Carmel an infirmary wing has been added for those sisters who require nursing; it is run by Franciscan sisters.

With the passing of time the Assembly of the Federation has transferred tasks to the President of the Federation, according to the faculties described in the statutes, in particular regarding our mutual solidarity. Also, with the passing of the years, the Congregation for Religious has placed responsibility directly into the hands of the Council of the Federation. Finally, the autonomous Carmels have asked help from the Federation in order to protect their interests.

Due to our very advanced age in the Netherlands we have reached the moment when a General Assembly is no longer possible. We are left with the problem that in the communities there are no sisters who can or who want to be prioresses or council sisters. The structure of the Federation that we have had till now is thus no longer possible.

Possible solutions: The Federation Council, the Religious Assistant, together with a canon lawyer of the Dutch Conference of Religious, have worked hard on a completely new structure, in which in its first draft the autonomy of the Carmel has been constantly kept in mind.

We began from three points:

1) Maintenance of the formal autonomy of the Carmels that still exist, but with the chance to transfer tasks gradually to the council of the Federation.

2)Appointment of The Federal board or Federal Council of the Federation, preferably appointed by the Superior General. The team will consist of a president and vice-president who are members of one of the convents, appointed to functions, and of three people who are members, or not, of one of the convents.

3)A Supervisory council, also to be appointed periodically by the Superior General, which will be made up of three members, whose president will be, preferably, a member of a religious institute, preferably of the Carmelite Order and appointed to functions. This council sees itself as a supervisory body and to give advice that will more or less replace the Assembly of the Federation.

In October 2008, the President, the Religious Assistant and a Lawyer were in Rome where they explained the proposals. They had meetings with Fr. General and with the Congregation for Religious. These were open meetings that helped us to clarify matters.

An important concern was that they would allow us to use lay people on the Federal Council of the Federation and the Supervisory council. We were aware that we were not dealing with a simple matter, but we think that, in view of our present situation today, we do not have much choice.

It is important to continue to protect the interests of our Federation in the most responsible and careful way, so that all the sisters, even those advanced in years, can continue to live their life in Carmel.

Definitive permission came at the 25th of February.


Given this incredible picture of a Carmelite Order in the last rattle of its death throes, the rest of the summaries of speeches given at the meeting in Avila read as outright surreal, leaving us to wonder if any of these people are attached in any way to reality.

Sr. Enrica Rosanna, the representative of the Vatican's Congregation for Religious told them that the 'two great challenges to our contemplative life' are 'the challenge of globalization and the challenge of irrelevancy.' She warned the nuns against bringing vocations from other countries to keep their monasteries alive, dropping a hint about what now seems to be a particular obsession of the Congregation. Cor orans would take this subject up definitively in 2018:

The nuns were exhorted to 'stay awake to welcome the dawn' of a bright new future:

'These are difficult and uncertain times, but it is also the time to stay awake as the new dawn is already announcing itself.'

'Our aim must be to be open to the future. We should not forget that we are following in the tradition of Teresa of Jesus and in the tradition of all those who have followed in her footsteps. It is a wide road that opens up before us. We must be women of hope and faith. We must always believe that God is the one who directs history. From this derives our task, to be creative and, at the same time, faithful (creative fidelity).' [emphasis in the original.]

While there can be no doubt that the impending total extinction of the Carmelite Order in Western Europe was foremost in the minds of the nuns present, it seems that the issue was simply not addressed out loud by the representatives of the bureaucracy.

Instead, Sr. Enrica, after this bizarre and cryptic comment, spoke of the 'problems and difficulties that we can encounter' in discernment of mostly non-existent vocations, including 'consumerism, modern means of communication, difficulties in creating a stable personality, autonomy of the young, the need to be always supported, the ideology of subjectivism.'

What are these people smoking?

Given that this was three years or more from the abdication of Benedict and the installation of the New Paradigm of Francis/Kasper, one wonders what this 'new dawn' was actually about. Perhaps a useful question for one of the nuns present could have been, 'A 'new dawn' of what, exactly?' This kind of coded language has been popular with the progressivist faction in the Church since the 1960s, when the expectation was for the installation of a totally new Church. Was Sr. Enrica somehow anticipating the fulfillment of those hippie-era dreams in the years to come?

It is certainly clear from Francis' first acts as pope that he had dealing with conservative and Traditionalist nuns high on his list of priorities. His first appointment, no more than three weeks after the Conclave was Jose Rodrigues Carballo, the Religious Congregation's Secretary and - given the scandal that erupted on his leaving them - the financial wrecking ball of the Franciscan Friars Minor. The first task Francis gave Carballo was the demolition of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.

Certainly this record of the European Carmelites' meeting is jammed with hints that Cor orans was on the way. On the final day of the meeting, the 'theme for the day' was offered by then-Father General Luis Arostegui: 'Government: the need for change. Autonomy and Association; autonomy and Fr. General; other solutions to government.'

The devolution of authority of superiors of individual monasteries to federations was obviously on someone's mind, as was a plan to see to it that monasteries change superiors frequently: 'Essential autonomy can fail due to the relationships within the community: abuses by permanent superiors who decide on the freedom and decisions of the community,' the Father General warned.

And there were certainly hints that a general re-organisation of structures of authority was in the works. A common tactic of politicians who want to initiate changes is to 'ask questions' rather than make suggestions, and Arostegui asked some very leading questions indeed in this closing address:

'Who discerns the existence or not of vital autonomy; is it the community or chosen people?

'Are there instances that work well within the Church which balance autonomy in a way that can be helpful in these situations?

'At the time of St. Teresa she was an example of someone balanced. Stability is one reason [for autonomy], but is stability understood in such a way that it can obstruct the spirit of mission and your availability to the Order and to the Church?

'The valiant and prophetic initiative of Pope Pius XII to create Associations and Federations opened up contemplative life, though it was also thought that it could harm cloister and autonomy. Can such essential autonomy continue as it is?

'50 years ago there was stability. How do we conceive today the relationship between autonomy and Federation-Association and between autonomy and Fr. General?

'Could there be other forms of government?'

Following the Father General's address are notes from the language groups, including the following:

'While some communities do not want their autonomy to be touched, and have certain fears of 'external' interference, others want a more moderate and flexible autonomy that, without going to the Congregation would have a juridical form, where the President with her Council can intervene in extreme cases that today we watch with pain, our hands tied. Though we want these legal channels to be established, it must remain clear what the limits of the Federation Council are, in order to avoid abuses of power on the part of the same.'

'...The absence of vital autonomy is also noticed when… the same person remains prioress for years.'

'...We need criteria that expand number 203 of our Constitutions and clarify vital autonomy. We perceive that there is a shortage of authority figures. We do not want new figures but rather those that already exist (Associations, [federation] Presidents, Provincials...) be empowered in a legal way (canonically) to help communities in difficulty, for the mission to discern, to counsel, to accompany.'

'...We are also concerned for those communities not affiliated to Federations, we see that we should be close to them.'

Maybe this summary document of 2009 can give us an idea what to expect from Rome in 2018, now that the 'progressivist' faction in the Vatican is in the ascendancy and is free to act without restriction. What comes clear comparing this document to Cor orans is that the Vatican's machinery has long been at work forcing a uniform and essentially bureaucratic, heavily authoritarian and legalistic vision of contemplative life on anyone who fails sufficiently to resist it. And with the statistics offered at this meeting we can see clearly where this road leads.

So many Catholics in the last 40 years assumed that under the 'conservatives' John Paul II and Benedict XVI at least the Vatican was 'onside.' At least in Rome they understood the terrible threat of the Bolshie VaticanTwoist revolutionaries. But this report of 2009 shows a clear picture of a Roman congregation determined to see the revolution through to its inevitable conclusion.


[1] An aside that will perhaps be noteworthy to traditionalist readers is the little comment in the report on the difficulty of having a liturgical observance between all the disparate nations represented at the meeting.

'Eucharist and Lauds in Spanish. Fr. Isidore D'Silva had prepared a booklet with the liturgy for each day. Each psalm was in a different language, and was prepared by the corresponding liturgical group. However, having the text in front of us made it easier to follow the recitation in other languages. The end result was that we could all join in the liturgy. We were all united in the praise of the Spirit who had brought us there together from different languages and nations.'

[2] Solution: new foundations, the spreading of the Carmelite charism into new territories.

[3] This includes all sisters up to final profession, not just postulants and novices.

[Remnant] 2237.10




















EU High Court rules all States must welcome same-sex spouses

STEF|ANO GENNARINI reports for C-FAM : Homosexual rights got a boost from a groundbreaking judgment of the European Court of Justice that forces all EU member states to welcome the same-sex “spouses” of EU citizens, even when they are not EU nationals.

The European Court of Justice fell short of imposing an obligation on EU member states to recognize homosexual marriages but opened another avenue for homosexual marriage in Europe by declaring a “derived right of residence” in EU states for same-sex spouses of EU nationals who are non-EU citizen.

The Court recognized that homosexual marriage may not be a human right but held that homosexual couples can still claim a right of residence in EU countries based on the right to free movement in the EU treaty.

The Court reasoned that for purposes of EU law the term ‘spouse’ “is gender-neutral and may therefore cover the same-sex spouse of the Union citizen concerned.” The EU directive to which the court referred was a 2004 directive on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.

This is a breakthrough for homosexual rights in Europe following several years of setbacks, particularly at the European Court of Human Rights, another European court with exclusive jurisdiction on human rights matters, which repeatedly and explicitly stated that homosexual marriage is not a human right under European human rights law because European law only recognizes traditional marriage as a human right. Some 12 EU member states do not recognize homosexual marriage and will be affected by the judgment.

The European Court of Justice cited the human rights court to rule that the “relationship of a homosexual couple may fall within the notion of ‘private life’ and that of ‘family life’ in the same way as the relationship of a heterosexual couple in the same situation.”

But the Court was careful to state this did not establish a right to homosexual marriage. This “does not undermine the institution of marriage,” the judgment of the Court opined, because marriage remained “defined by national law” and “falls within the competence of the Member States.”

The judgment further clarified, “Such recognition does not require that Member State to provide, in its national law, for the institution of marriage between persons of the same sex. It is confined to the obligation to recognize such marriages, concluded in another Member State in accordance with the law of that state, for the sole purpose of enabling such persons to exercise the rights they enjoy under EU law.”

The Court therefore concluded that “an obligation to recognize such marriages for the sole purpose of granting a derived right of residence to a third-country national does not undermine the national identity or pose a threat to the public policy of the Member State concerned.”

The judgment will likely have repercussions on cases at the European Court of Human Rights. In the last judgment on this issue it left open the possibility of imposing homosexual marriage in based on non-discrimination. Having been granted a right of residence in EU member states same-sex spouses will likely claim they are being discriminated against by not receiving full legal recognition of their homosexual marriage.


[C-Fam] 2237.SA$





















News from around the world


Argentina Respected predecessor of new Archbishop ordered to depart his diocese immediately

MAIKE HICKSONreports for OnePeterFive: 'It is a story that reads like a passage from The Dictator Pope: Pope Francis recently accepted the age-related resignation of Héctor Aguer, the Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina - the capital city of the Buenos Aires province - and will replace him with his close confidant and ghost-writer, Archbishop Víctor Manuel 'Tucho' Fernández. Not only did the pope accept the resignation of Archbishop Aguer within just a few days of its mandatory submission, he also ordered him, through the nunciature, to immediately leave the diocese and not to remain there for his retirement.

On 2 June, the Vatican announced the pope's decision on Archbishop Aguer's replacement. The press statement says:

'The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of La Plata, Argentina, presented by H.E. Msgr. Héctor Rubén Aguer.

'The Pope has appointed as archbishop of La Plata, Argentina, H.E. Msgr. Víctor Manuel Fernández, currently titular archbishop of Tiburnia'.

What our readers might not know is that Archbishop Aguer had submitted his resignation only a week previously, on 24 May. According to Elisabetta Piqué, writing for the Argentinian daily La Nación, the fact that the pope accepted Aguer's resignation so quickly 'represents a sign of the change in leadership that lies in wait for the archdiocese.' Piqué notes in particular the expectation that, following Aguer's departure, the diocese - known for its 'conservative positions' and 'confrontational style' as well as for being 'almost obsessed with issues of sexual morality' will take on 'an entirely different and renewing stamp' under its new Archbishop. Piqué reports that Aguer and Bergoglio were auxiliary bishops together in Buenos Aires from 1992 to 1998, and that they were 'always 'friends'' - the quotes around 'friends' are in the original - but with 'very different styles' and ideas.

Perhaps the most important part of the story comes from a history of conflict between Bergoglio, with his friend Tucho, and the more orthodox elements in the Argentine Church. As Piqué notes, there was the matter of a years-long battle Bergoglio waged against 'a conservative Argentine ecclesiastical lobby' when he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires, fighting for his friend, Fernández, to become rector of the Pontifical Universidad Católica Argentina. A lobby of which, Piqué implies - though does not state directly - Aguer was a part. (The reasons for that battle are not insignificant, and we will return to them in a moment.)

If the Archbishop had simply had his resignation accepted at the mandatory age of seventy-five, the story might end there. But there is more at work.

Some of the following information stems from Archbishop Aguer's own last homily given on 2 June, as well as from a piece published on the well-informed Argentine traditionalist blog, the Wanderer (not to be confused with the American Catholic newspaper of the same name). What is depicted is the rapid and even callous removal of a beloved prelate and pro-life champion who had served his diocese for almost two decades - but who had also been one of Jorge Bergoglio's most noteworthy conservative opponents within the Argentine episcopacy. From the Wanderer report, we read:

'As Bishop Aguer himself explained in his farewell homily [on 2 June] and as other sources confirmed, his resignation was presented [to the Holy Father] when he turned 75 on May 24. Seven days later [on 31 May], he received a call from the Nunciature to receive the pontifical orders: Corpus Christi [on 2 June] was to be his last public liturgy; [La Plata's Auxiliary] Bishop [Alberto] Bochatey was appointed apostolic administrator; he must leave the archdiocese immediately after the celebration, he can not reside in it as archbishop emeritus, nor may he transfer his own headquarters to his successor. At the end of the Mass, an Orthodox bishop who was present took the microphone and offered to Mons. Aguer his house to stay since, literally, he has nowhere to go (his plans were to retire at the former minor seminary of La Plata)'.

We have been able to confirm some of these facts independently with another Argentine source. This source, however, adds information about new developments in this case since 2 June, namely that Archbishop Aguer has now been granted a few more days in order to celebrate one last farewell Mass and in order to find a new home for himself. He still will not be granted the role of transferring his diocese into the hands of his successor. Thus, while there is a small mitigation, the fundamental injustice in his case remains the same.

This stern method of operation reveals, in the eyes of the writer of the Wanderer post, an 'unveiled revenge and manifestation of the lack not only of Christian but also human virtues, and even of the most elemental chivalry' as it is shown by Pope Francis. The article continues, saying that Mons. Aguer 'had a good reputation and he was appreciated by most of the Argentine faithful, as well, because of the clarity with which he said things and because of his courage in defending the Gospel.' Moreover, he was especially clear with regard to the problem of abortion. (See here


a CNA report which shows his impressive language and resistance in 2007.) In fact, even his final homily on June 2nd was dedicated in large part to admonishing those considering voting in support of legalization of elective abortion in Argentina later this month. Only at the very end of his sermon did he reveal that the Holy See had informed him this Corpus Christi homily was to be his 'farewell' to the people he had served for so long.

The report from the Wanderer continues: 'In the midst of the debate over abortion, Aguer's voice had been particularly clear, and Catholics who are fighting a good battle found true leadership in him.' In a piercing conclusion, the author wonders if this 'silver bullet' - removing Archbishop Aguer only to replace him with a direct agent of the Bergoglian 'reform' who will undo much of his predecessor's work - will backfire on Francis himself: 'To remove him in such a humiliating way will cause many of those faithful to wind up understanding who Bergoglio really is.'

Subsequently, the Wanderer blog presents much about the background of Archbishop Fernández and his personal history in Argentina, based on eyewitness accounts. The author alleges that Fernández is known for being a careerist willing to advance his own position at the expense of his peers. Most importantly, the blog says that Fernández has a large influence over Pope Francis' teaching, to include his Apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Sandro Magister's work exposing that several passages of AL are essentially plagiarisms of Fernández' own earlier writings are referenced on this point.

Not mentioned - but very significant to this story - is the fact that these writings of Fernández that were later transformed, in part, into Amoris Laetitia, were the same ones that got him in trouble with the conservative Argentinian bishops in the first place. As Sandro Magister reported in May of 2016, 'they actually gave cause to the Congregation for Catholic Education to block his candidacy for the position of rector of the Universidad Católica Argentina.'

It is with this understanding that one can begin to see why suspicions of revenge are on the lips of some Argentinian Catholics. The cleric who was opposed for his unorthodox positions has not only seen them included in the seminal work of a pope - but has now been promoted and placed by that same pope in the position of one of his most noteworthy opponents.

Also highlighted by the Wanderer is Fernández' 1995 book, Heal Me With Your Mouth - The Art of Kissing, a text well-known to critics of Fernández. Perhaps even more shockingly, the blog quotes from an article written by Fernández shortly after the papal election of Bergoglio, in which, while seeking to defend the new pope, Fernández uses vulgar phrases such as 'let's not f*** [around]' ('No jodamos') and 'sh**,' saying, for example, that 'Bergoglio did not sh** anyone' ('Bergoglio no cagó a nadie'). [We are sorry to have to use such words here, but they are very revealing of the mind and recklessness of this prelate who was made an archbishop only two months after Bergoglio became a pope.] This was Fernández' attempt at painting a sympathetic portrait of Bergoglio, saying that with him there is now a chance 'to bring Christ back into the centre of the Church.'

Luis Alvarez Primo, a graduate of the Universidad Católica Argentina and former professor of Political Philosophy, spoke with OnePeterFive about the resignation and replacement of Archbishop Aguer. Primo noted that La Plata is the 'second most important diocese in Argentina,' and that it would now be headed up by a man known, not for his intellectual or doctrinal erudition, but rather for the kind of work outlined above. Primo also recalled 'the less than fraternal relationship that Bergoglio had with Archbishop Aguer,' and the uses to which Fernández has been employed during the present pontificate, adding the concern that Fernández was appointed to 'destroy the very good Catholic episcopal work by Archbisop Héctor Aguer' who was, in Primo's opinion, 'probably the best bishop in Argentina for the last 10 years.'

Primo noted that Aguer 'was one of the few bishops who headed a pro-life campaign against abortion at a time when congress in Argentina is about to pass a law repealing all restrictions on abortion.'

He summed up the entire affair as 'Another lost Catholic battle in the culture wars.'

Onepeterfive has reached out to both press offices of the Vatican and of the Archdiocese of La Plata, asking for comment. Should we receive an answer, we shall update this post.

[1P5] 2237.11



















Australia New law requires priests to break the Seal of Confession

FR. JOHNN ZUHLSDORF reports : Every once in a while, like the occasional blooming of the giant Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, some government entity attempts to criminalize the practice of our Faith.

The latest rotting-flesh blossom occurred inCanberra, Australia. On 7 June the Australian Capital Territory’s Legislative Assembly passed a bill which in effect would require priests to break the Seal of Confession and report abuse of children to law enforcement.

• Priests can’t and won’t break the Seal.
• Priests can’t and won’t break the Seal.
• Priests can’t and won’t break the Seal.


(Wdtprs.com) 2237.SA1





















Germany CDF to bishops : Hey, Fellas, not so fast!

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives : 'Sandro Magister has published at his blog the integral text of the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to the German bishops on the subject of the plan by its episcopal conference to issue a document allowing for the administration of Holy Communion to the Protestant spouses of Catholics, presumably including the Protestant 'spouses' of divorced and 'remarried' Catholics - a sacrilegious twofer. Such (with a few noble exceptions) is the corruption of the state-supported German hierarchy, which the Vatican pretends is still in communion with the Holy Catholic Church.

The CDF's letter, signed by Cardinal Ladaria, the new head of the CDF, was prompted by the objection of seven dissenting German bishops who protested that the proposed sacrilege is contrary to the Faith and the unity of the Church. Magister writes that by approving issuance of the letter Francis has 'blocked' the German bishops' document. True, but to read the text of the letter is to understand that Francis has said in effect: Don't rush en masse toward an exit from the Church's bimillenial discipline, rooted in divine law on the function of Holy Communion as the preeminent sign of the Church's unity. Rather, exit one at a time, diocese by diocese! In just the same way the bishops are abandoning the Church's bimillenial prohibition of Holy Communion for public adulterers even though John Paul II, in line with Tradition, declared that it is 'intrinsically impossible' to admit them to Communion.

The CDF's loophole is found in paragraph 2(c) of its letter, which reads [translation mine]:

'The subject concerns the law of the Church, above all the interpretation of canon 844 CIC. Since in certain sectors of the Church there are in this regard open questions, the competent dicasteries of the Holy See are engaged in producing a timely clarification of such questions at the level of the universal Church. In particular, it appears opportune to leave to the diocesan bishop the judgment on the existence of an 'imminent grave necessity.''

Here the CDF refers to Canon 844 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which allows for the administration of Confession, Holy Communion and Extreme Unction to Protestants when there is 'the danger of death… [or] some other grave necessity urges it… provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.'

Putting aside the hugely problematic character of the unprecedented innovation involved in this canon as a universal norm, one can imagine a particular situation in which a dying Protestant, who makes an act of Catholic faith and wishes to confess his sins, can make a good confession and be given Holy Communion (the viaticum) on account of what is effectively a deathbed conversion, even if there is no time for formal instruction in the tenets of the Faith. (To be distinguished are cases not involving an emergency in which a Protestant would have to undergo the full process of formal conversion in order to be received into the Church.) Over the centuries, I have no doubt that Catholic priests, zealous for the harvest of souls as they are about to leave this world, have followed just that practice in order to save dying Protestants in hospitals, on battlefields and elsewhere without any need for a change in canon law.

Deathbed conversion aside, however, what constitutes a 'grave necessity' for the administration of the Sacraments to a Protestant? Certainly not the mere fact of a Protestant's marriage to a Catholic. If that were a 'grave necessity,' what wouldn't be? Yet, the CDF has clearly just authorized each diocesan bishop to decide for himself that intermarriage indeed constitutes a grave necessity. Nowhere does the CDF's letter forbid such an 'interpretation' of Canon 844. Rather the letter as a whole is, if not a green light, a yellow light: proceed with caution, but only one bishop at a time.

Cardinal Müller, whom Francis strategically sacked as head of the CDF in favor of the 'moderate' Ladaria, has written a devastating critique of the German bishops' plot, which ought to be read in full. In pertinent part, he writes:

'Though a denominationally mixed marriage and family is likely to be a great challenge for spouses and their children, it may, at the same time, be an opportunity from the ecumenical point of view. Most certainly, however, it does not represent a situation of 'grave and pressing need,' requiring the administration of the Catholic Church's sacraments to the non-Catholic party for the salvation of his or her soul. If Protestant Christians come to the inner conviction that in their conscience they affirm the whole Catholic faith and its ecclesial form, then they must also seek full visible communion with the Catholic Church….

'It is even suggested that bishops' conferences or individual bishops have a magisterium of their own by which they can interpret Revelation in their own right in a manner that is dogmatically binding without ties to the pope and the universal episcopate. This proposal not only reveals a frightening lack of theological education, but it is nothing more than a monstrous attack on the unity of the Church in Christ.'

But it is precisely Francis - can anyone doubt it at this point? - who is unleashing a monstrous attack on the unity of the Church, as seen already with his explicitly approved fracturing of the universal Eucharistic discipline respecting the divorced and 'remarried.' To recall his truly terrifying pronouncement in Amoris Laetitia:

'Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs.'

Pure double-talk: unity of teaching and practice is necessary, except when it isn't. And pure Gnosticism as well: the Holy Spirit has yet to reveal the 'entire truth' of Divine Revelation. Francis, apparently, will issue various bulletins on what 'the Spirit' has revealed lately.

May God help His Holy Church in the midst of this incredible debacle.

[FP] 2237.12




















Germany Cardinal Marx sounds displeased with Vatican ruling

THE EPONYMOUS FLOWER reports : 'After the conversation of Cardinal Marx and Cardinal Woelki and some other German bishops in Rome, the controversial document of the German Bishops' Conference for the common Eucharistic reception in confessional marriages. This was announced by the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis F. Ladaria, DBK Chairman Reinhard Cardinal Marx, in an official letter (in German). The letter is dated May 25th. Archbishop Ladaria explains to Marx that he spoke to Pope Francis on both May 11 and May 24. After the talks, he wants to bring with the 'explicit consent' of the Pope a few points to consideration..

First, that 'the manifold ecumenical efforts of the German Bishops' Conference' are honored. However, according to the letter, the conversation on 3 May 2018 showed that the text of the Guidance raises a number of issues of major importance. 'The Holy Father has therefore come to the conclusion that the document is not ready for publication.' Ladaria refers to the document 'Going with Christ - On the track of unity. Confessional marriages and joint participation in the Eucharist. A Pastoral Assistance of the German Bishops' Conference '.

The Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith mentions three 'essential reasons' for rejection in the letter. The question of the admission to Communion of Protestant Christians in inter-confessional marriages is a topic that touches the faith of the Church and is of relevance to the world Church. In addition, the question has 'impact on ecumenical relations with other churches and ecclesial communities', which should not be underestimated. Literally, item 3 is quoted as follows: 'The theme concerns the law of the church, especially the interpretation of can. 844 CIC. Because there are unanswered questions in some parts of the Church, the competent dicastery of the Holy See has already been commissioned to clarify these issues promptly at the universal Church level. In particular, it seems appropriate to leave the verdict on the existence of an 'urgent and serious emergency' to the diocesan bishop.'

Ladaria expressly pointed out that it was a great concern of the Holy Father 'that in the German Bishops' Conference the spirit of episcopal collegiality remains alive'.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx is obviously not pleased with the letter from Rome. He informed his spokesman on Monday evening: 'The letter of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of May 25, 2018 has reached the President of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, this evening (June 4, 2018) On 3 May 2018 in Rome, the participating bishops were told that they should find 'as unanimous a rule as possible' in the spirit of ecclesial communion, and the President is therefore surprised that this letter from Rome has arrived even before finding such a unanimous settlement. The President also sees further need for discussion within the German Bishops' Conference, especially in the Permanent Council and the Autumn Assembly, but also with the corresponding Roman Dicasteries and the Holy Father himself. '



A “puzzled” and “surprise” Card. Kasper is “furious

FR JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs : ‘You know how Communion in the hand was accomplished. You know how the use of “altar girls” was achieved.

Libs intentionally violate the law until the law is changed. That’s what happened. Moreover, even the restraints and caveats in the modified laws were ignored. Libs do whatever the hell they want, while – channeling their inner Alinsky – point their fingers at the slightest deviation of law by more conservative Catholics.

I read something interesting at CNA about the reaction of some German bishops to the instruction from the Holy See’s CDF – clearly at the direction of Pope Francis – that they were not to issue a document about Communion for non-believing non-Catholics.


One day after Bishop Feige, Cardinal Walter Kasper also went public with an editorial published by the German bishops’ conference website.

After writing that he is “furious” that the letter to Cardinal Marx apparently was leaked to the press before even reaching its destination, Kasper expressed “puzzlement” at “the impression that even those who should know better should claim that non-Catholic Christians are fundamentally excluded from communion, Ror that this should at least first be clarified by the Universal Church.” [Did you get that?]

Kasper, who is the emeritus Archbishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, also flatly rejected concerns that the German proposal constitutes a Sonderweg, i.e. a form of German exceptionalism.R [Uh huh. Keep repeating that. Even at the risk of looking ridiculous, stick to it!]

Furthermore, Cardinal Kasper wrote that he is “all the more surprised” since [NB] in German dioceses “there already is a widespread practice of non-catholic spouses, who consider themselves serious Christians, stepping up to [receive] Communion, without any bishops, who after all know of this practice, thus far voicing concerns.” [They consider themselves “Christians”. But Christians don’t all believe the same things about the Eucharist, priesthood, the meaning of Calvary, etc. And bishops there are doing nothing.]

In his comments, Kasper also rejected concerns – raised by several other cardinals and bishops – that the German “pastoral handout” would constitute a Qnormalization of Protestants receiving Holy Communion in general, explaining that proposal’s approach pertained to an “individual decision of conscience and pastoral counseling.”
[Sounds just like Amoris laetitia ch. 8, doesn’t it.]

See what’s going on?


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Ireland What remains of the Faith?

J G P CONNOLY writes for OnePeterFive : 'By the night of Friday, 25 May, one already knew the outcome from the exit polls. The margin of victory for abortion was too huge for there to be any doubt. The result, while disheartening, was not surprising – any truly faithful Catholic living in modern Ireland could see that the storm clouds have been gathering for many years. Now their full fury has swept over us.

For those looking in from the outside to comprehend the extent of this disaster, perhaps a few pertinent facts are needed. The Catholic bishops own 97% of the schools in the Republic of Ireland. The Constitution of the country is rooted in Christian values and begins with an invocation to the Blessed Trinity. Seventy-eight point three percent of the population in the 2016 census identified as Catholic. In other words, over three quarters of Irish people espoused some notion of connectedness with the Church.

In reflecting on these figures, the enormousness of the scandal is revealed. One realizes that no liberal political elite, no ideological judiciary forced this into existence; the populace of Ireland by a majority of two thirds voted to murder present and future generations of their country for their own selfish, immoral needs. The only section of the Irish population, overwhelmingly educated in Catholic schools, to vote against abortion were the over 65s. Almost 90% of 18- to 24-year-olds voted to legislate for abortion. Imagine: the cohort of Irish voters closest to childhood voted almost to a man to destroy future children. The figures for the older age groups, formed in “Catholic” schools, are just as depressing, with small incremental decreases but still large majorities in favor of death.

In the space of three years, two thirds of these Catholic school graduates have voted for “marriage equality” and now for abortion. How can so many baptized Catholics vote for an intrinsic evil? What went wrong?

Reflecting on this fills me with sadness and brings to mind a passage from the Gospel of John.

The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. (John 10:11-13)

Given the result of the vote, it goes without saying that the flock is well and truly scattered. It is not an unjust criticism or arrogance to state that a major portion of the blame lies with the institutional Church – with the bishops, the shepherds.

Catechetical instruction before the Second Vatican Council was perhaps not as robust as it should have been, but the people still knew right from wrong. Then the tsunami of the ’60s happened. In Ireland, this revolution was felt both in the Church and in the public square. Change for change’s sake seemed to be the zeitgeist, and as the leaders of the flock sought to be relevant, they succeeded rather in becoming relative.

“Sharing the faith experience” replaced solid doctrine in the classrooms, a vague, ill defined program of dialogue and questioning, resulting in generations of Catholics who believe that their gravely deficient knowledge of God’s immutable laws trumps two thousand years of divine revelation as taught by the Church. The bishops informed us that these new religious programs would lead to the new springtime, that this dialogue with modernism would lead to an enrichment of the Church, that the Gospel message would spread throughout all lands with this new presentation, that the young generation would respond to this new paradigm.

Almost 90% of 18- to 24-year-olds in Ireland voted for abortion. Some springtime. Some response.

In the name of progress and reform, the shepherds presided over the “wreck-ovation” of churches so that minds were wrenched away from the contemplation of the divine. Catholics now perceive these sacred spaces as theirs – the community meeting hall, not God’s house, where they offer gifts to God through their own actions. The true sense of the sacrificial nature of the Mass has been lost; sacramental words are now alien and, when employed, are greeted with incomprehension by nearly all Irish Catholics. This is what the shepherds have led their flocks to – not rich and verdant pastures, but desert.

In one simultaneous blow, two of the pillars of the formation of Catholic souls were wiped out: the school and the parish. This left the family as the only bastion for the salvation of the young. Many devoted parents recognized the dangers and valiantly fought a rearguard action against this rot. They pointed out the inherent dangers, the contradictions to the Faith. They were ignored or fobbed off with platitudes and promises that never materialized.

To the great harm of many, the relationship between the Irish Church and the people, forged in the heat of persecution and famine, now came back to haunt them. They trusted the clergy even while their children were being led astray. The domino effect ensued, where one generation was denied the fullness of Truth, with the ill effects magnified in the following generations. This is reflected in weekly Mass attendance figures: in the period 1972-2011, down from 91% to 30%. Urban areas report recent figures of just 13% of weekly attendees. Even among those who do attend, attitudes towards the referendum were split. Figures are not out, but possibly a third or two fifths voted for abortion.

It is ironic that on the island of Ireland, it is the northern Protestants who are the staunchest defenders of family and life values. The Catholic clergy long ago stopped preaching on contraception, cohabiting, sodomy. In the campaign before the vote, the clergy were noticeable by their absence. A handful spoke out from the pulpit urging a no vote; in one parish, dozens of the congregation got up and left. As a friend of mine remarked, they were so used to not hearing anything substantive that when they were told the Truth, they couldn’t stand the shock!

The bishops presided over this disaster. Despite the falling numbers and the evident lack of proper Catholic knowledge, they continued down the same reckless path. They mistook cultural Catholicism as some sign of healthy faith expression, but the fact is that by the 1980s, the societal landscape was changing, and they lacked the fortitude to present a strong defense of the Truth. Their moral voice was wiped out by their shameful handling of the clerical homosexual abuse crisis and meant that many no longer listened when they occasionally did teach properly.

The future for the Church in Ireland is bleak: falling numbers, persecuted by powerful forces that seek to eradicate it from the land, weak leadership. Yet this is nothing new. Twice in its history, the Irish Church has been wreathed in shadows. The early Church brought light to pagan Europe after the fall of Rome. Then she rose again after the penal laws and persecution: this land of saints and scholars sent missionaries to bring light to all corners of the globe.

The Faith will remain in Ireland – small, isolated, but waiting.


Pro-life prayer rallies may be banned

ALEXANDER SLAVSKY reports for ChurchMilitant.com : 'After legalizing abortion last week, Ireland is considering banning pro-lifers from praying outside of abortion mills.

The May 25 referendum saw 66 percent of the Emerald Isle's 2.15 million voters throwing their support behind the killing of unborn children. Pro-abortion politicians are now weighing in ways to prevent pro-lifers from ministering to women outside of abortuaries.

Health Minister Simon Harris is seeking to create 'buffer' zones to shield abortion-seeking women from 'abusive or offensive images,' which are nothing more than images of unborn babies. The proposed legislation will form part of those laws being considered to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.

But pro-lifers are saying the buffer zone proposal is another attempt to 'silence' the voices of those who provide mothers with information and support, including the risks of abortion and facts about the developing unborn baby.

This comes as the Irish government is also considering subsidizing the cost of abortions, allowing for the murder of an unborn child to be accessible for any woman, regardless of economic circumstances. And Ireland is thinking of keeping abortion within its state system, preventing the set-up of outside abortion giants.

'Our priority is that no woman is treated differently because of her economic circumstances - part of the reason we legalized abortion is to ensure women no longer turned to the web for abortion pills,' a source recently told the Irish Independent. 'We want women to have a full range of options open to them, and while some will opt to have a termination after the 72-hour pause period, others will not.'

Lawmakers are considering whether to extend the summer session in order to pass abortion legislation that would also allow abortion for up to six months for certain 'mental health' reasons. The law could go into effect as early as January 2019. But there is fear that Ireland's abortion law will mirror Britain's, where one in five pregnancies end in abortion every year.

In Britain, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, and most killings are owing to 'mental health,' comprising 97 percent of abortions in England and Wales in 2016.

Before last Friday's abortion vote, pro-lifers exposed the 'extreme' nature of the referendum that was the most significant since 1983. The Eighth Amendment - the constitutional provision protecting the right to life for the unborn - was passed that same year with 67 percent approval.

Pro-lifers are saying the buffer zone proposal is another attempt to 'silence' the voices of those who provide mothers with information and support.Tweet

The Eighth Amendment declared that 'the State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.'

Doctor Eamon McGuinness, past chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told The Irish Times in April that the Eighth Amendment 'prevents Irish doctors from deliberately, as an elective matter, causing the death of an unborn child. It awards to the child in the womb the right to have their life protected in Irish hospitals.'

People with disabilities and their families warned that the decriminalization of abortion could result in a spike in the number of terminations owing to Down syndrome and fetal abnormalities.

''Kill' is such a horrible word, it's such a nasty word, but how else do I describe taking a life before its natural end, that someone could choose to end another person's life that is a human, maybe a small human, but still, nonetheless, a human?' said Anne Mulligan, an Irish mother who has a daughter with Down syndrome.

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Italy Family Minister: 'The Family is under attack. They want to dominate us and cancel our people'

THE EPONYMOUS FLOWEER writes : We were sent this link by a twitter follower. Here is a google translate with some editing. We don't think that Corriere Della Sera is too happy with this heroic Catholic's point of view. 'The natural family is under attack. They want to dominate us and cancel our people.' The new minister for the Family and Disability, Lorenzo Fontana declared this in 2016, as stated on his website.

[Corriere Della Sera] At the conference of the Pro Vita Onlus association held in Verona, he explained that 'on the one hand the weakening of the family and the fight for gay marriage and the teaching of gender theory in schools, on the other the mass immigration that we undergo and the simultaneous emigration of our young people abroad. These are all related and interdependent issues, because these factors aim to erase our community and our traditions. The risk is the cancellation of our people.' The example to follow is Russia: 'If thirty years ago Russia, under the Communist, materialistic and internationalist yoke, was the farthest imaginable from the ideas of identity and defense of the family and tradition, but today it is the model for those who believe in an identity model of society.'

The 38-year-old minister of the new government of the League and Movement 5 Stars, former vice-secretary of the Northern League who describes himself as 'Veronese and Catholic' on Twitter, in March 2017 defined 'the order of the Court of Appeal of Trento on double paternity (a law which recognizes that a child can have two fathers), a defeat for society ".

At the end of May he participated in the March for the Life of Rome to support the abrogation of the law 194 on abortion with the cry of 'abortion is the leading cause of femicide in the world'.

A graduate in Political Science, he particularly cares about the demographic theme: 'Politics must take care of the family, we can not waste any more time. Children are the investment of the future. Every year it is as if we lost a city the size of Padua, the demographic decline is comparable to that caused between 1918 and 1920 by Spanish fever,' he said in an interview. In January, again on the same subject, the former prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni, commented: 'For the outgoing Council President, the aging Europe needs migrants; for us, aging Europe needs to generate new children'.


Comment : Beware that Latin Mass! The Political Miracle in Italy and Its Link to Catholic Tradition

CHRISTOPHER FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives : 'In my last column on the political situation in Italy I noted reports of a breakthrough in the creation of a government based on the new populist, anti-EU parliamentary majority resulting from the stunning electoral triumph of both the Five Stars and League parties.

As the New York Times reported on May 31 (with evident deep regret): “After 88 days of impasses and negotiations, two Italian populist parties with a history of antagonism toward the European Union received approval Thursday night to create a government that has already unsettled the Continent’s political order.”

Horrors! How dare the Italian people “unsettle” the “political order” of the Continent, meaning the artificially imposed EU monolith? No one must kick against the goad of what I have called the World Oligarchic Complex (WOC).

As the Times woefully explains: “Only days ago, President Sergio Mattarella of Italy rejected a populist government over concerns about a proposed finance minister who had helped write a guide for withdrawing Italy from the euro, Europe’s single currency.” But, the Times frets, “the populists reshuffled, keeping the same prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and other top players, but moving the objectionable finance minister to a less critical post.”

And now the Conte government is in place, leaving the Italian press and the world media at large to fret and fume over this dangerous insurrection against the supposedly irresistible tide of post-Christian political modernity. (A myth exploded by the resurgence of Christian populism in both Hungary and Poland, a phenomenon now spreading to the Italian peninsula.)

And dangerous it is. For it seems Italy’s new government is being led by the WOC’s most dreaded foes, whose political influence was long assumed to be dead and buried forever: not mere Christians of some sort, which would be bad enough from the WOC’s point of view, but actual Catholics.

As Roberto de Mattei observes at Corrispondenza Romana, the Italian press is savaging the new Minister of the Family, Lorenzo Fontana, for “having expressed himself in favor of the natural family, protected by Article 29 of the Constitution, and to have noticed the existence of a demographic crisis in Italy and to have participated in the March for Life of May 19.” Fontana has declared that “we must not be afraid to confront the dictatorship of one thought… We have shoulders broad enough to resist the gratuitous attacks with evidence of the facts, the force of ideas and of concrete actions.”

Fontana — horror of horrors — attends the traditional Latin Mass, liberated from its false imprisonment by Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum. As “Father Z’s” blog notes, the Italian leftist mucky-muck Andrea Grillo, displaying the cunning of the devil, senses that Summorum and that sinister Latin Mass are something the WOC must fear. His social media feed warns: “One of the conditions of the Fascism of Fontana is Summorum Pontificum. Remember!” But not only in Italy! The whole world is threatened by this outburst of Catholic Tradition! As Grillo frets: “The legitimization that Summorum Pontificum ensures for the political reactionary drift must be reported. Not only in Italy.”

As I have demonstrated in my book on the subject, the whole project of the moderns has been aimed at the total suppression of the influence of the Catholic Church on the body politic. But the project seems to be threatened by recent developments in Hungary, Poland and now Italy, which was thought to be irretrievably under the WOC’s thumb.

As De Mattei writes of Fontana: “The minister can count on the help of these men of good will, but he can count above all on the help of Heaven, who does not abandon those who are not ashamed of proclaiming themselves Catholic, defend the natural law and fight against the new barbarians for the noblest of ideals which is the restoration of Christian civilization, the only civilization of history worthy of the name.”

And, as the late great Romano Amerio wrote of our situation in his masterwork on the current ecclesial crisis, Iota Unum: “Faith in Providence thus proclaims the possibility that the world might rise and be healed by a metanoia which it cannot initiate but which it is capable of accepting once it is offered.”

The offer of precisely that metanoia — the reconversion of an entire civilization — is the essence of the Message of Fatima and its call for the consecration of Russia. Meanwhile, until that happens, God will not refrain from assisting those who do His will in public life.

May Our Lady of Fatima deliver Europe and the whole world from the tyranny that has so long suppressed the Social Kingship of Christ over men and nations.

[Hat Tip: This article could not have been written without the pointers provided by the indispensable Canon 212 — simply the best traditional Catholic news aggregation site on the Web. Every Catholic who cares about the state of the Church and the world should consult it every day].


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Poland Cardina Burke :  Vatican, bishops have failed to defend morality

Card. BurkeDAVID NUSSMAN reports for ChurchMilitant.com : 'Cardinal Raymond Burke says Church leaders have failed to defend Catholic moral teachings. He's also calling on the faithful to fight against moral evil, and be prepared to suffer.

In an interview with Polish conservative weekly Sieci, Cdl. Burke talked about how the laity need to stand up and defend morality in the modern world.

Above all, be brave. Do not let the idea overwhelm you that we can do nothing. Prepare to fight, also to suffer. This suffering can be both physical and social, eg ridicule, mockery, isolation, indifference. But there may also be persecution and imprisonment. But we must fight for what is our life, which is our eternal life. We cannot allow the Church to go in a false direction.

About the crisis in the Church, the cardinal said, "The situation in the Church is very alarming, first of all, because the fundamental truths of faith are undermined, put into question."

He went on to lament that "there is no strong leadership from Rome that could explain and clarify these matters."

Speaking specifically about Ireland's recent abortion vote, the cardinal said that Ireland's bishops, and even the Vatican, have failed to lead the laity in the battle to defend the right to life.

"In Ireland, during the pre-referendum campaign to protect the lives of the unborn, and likewise during the previous referendum on so-called same-sex marriages, people fighting in these battles did not receive support from Rome, and the bishops themselves too weakly defended moral principles," he said.

In the lead-up to Ireland's abortion referendum, many news stories mentioned the near-absence of Catholic priests and bishops in the fierce debate over abortion.

In the aftermath of the abortion lobby's victory in the Republic of Ireland, the response from Irish clergy was strong in some cases, but weak in others.

On the one hand, Bp. Kevin Doran of Elphin warned that those who voted in favor of decriminalizing abortion were culpable of grave sin. He said that pro-abortion voters ought not receive Holy Communion unless they repent and go to Confession.

People fighting in these battles did not receive support from Rome, and the bishops themselves too weakly defended moral principles.Tweet

On the other hand, Primate of All Ireland Abp. Eamon Martin stirred up controversy by saying that the Republic of Ireland should ensure that abortion is "safe," "legal" and "rare."

Saying abortion should be safe, legal and rare has long been a leftist excuse for broad legalization of killing unborn children.

A sneak peek of Cdl. Burke's Polish interview was published by Polish website wPolityce. The full text of the interview is available to those with a subscription to Polish weekly Sieci.

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Spain Cardinal Sarah at the Chartres Pilgrimage 2018




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Uganda Over 200 million celebrate feast of Uganda's martryrs

Uganda crowdOVER 200,000,000 African pilgrims streamed into Namugongo, Uganda, last Sunday to commemorate the 45 Ugandan Christian martyrs executed for resisting the homosexual advances of King Mwanga II in the late nineteenth century.

On June 3, 1886, King Mwanga had 26 of his male pages who had converted to Christianity burned alive at Namugongo, the present-day site of the national shrine to the Uganda martyrs. Among the other 19 Christian martyrs, the king had six castrated, six beheaded, five dismembered, and two speared.

According to historian Marie de Kiewiet Hemphill, the “immediate pretext, if not the whole cause, for the tragedy was the refusal of the young Christian pages at the court to yield to Mwanga’s unnatural desires.”

Initially, Mwanga bore no animosity toward the Christian missionaries, both Anglican and Catholic, but as king, he resented the Christian influence over the behavior of his subjects. While still loyal to their king, the Christian converts professed ultimate fidelity to Christ and refused to yield to Mwanga’s homosexual advances.

Mwanga took this to be a treasonous insult and became determined to rid his kingdom of Christian teachings and its adherents.

Mwanga took no action against the women among the converts but carried out his fury only against the men who refused to give in to him. The king became infuriated with “the religion which made them prefer death to submission to his shameful demands,” wrote John F. Faupel, in African Holocaust: The Story of the Uganda Martyrs.

On June 3, 1886, the Christian feast of the Ascension that year, the king rounded up his pages who had converted to Christianity and had them march several miles to Namugongo, where he burned them alive on a pyre.

The heroism of the young martyrs galvanized Christianity in Buganda (present-day Uganda), and June 3 has become a national day of Christian celebration.

Ugandan Catholic priest Paul Gyaviira Muwanga said last week that June 3 is a fundamental day for the nation’s Christians because of the witness of the martyrs executed in Namugongo.

“We should not forget that there are other martyrs who lost their lives before and after June 3rd but we remember all of them on that day, in praying for grace so that God can have mercy unto them,” Father Muwonga said.

Ben Tenywa, the author of A Short History of the Uganda Martyrs who works at the Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, said that the martyrs continue to inspire Ugandan Christians today.

“We would like to emulate them and we pray through intercession to give us courage to be like them,” he said. “People walk from far to make a journey of faith as an act to sanctify themselves spiritually.”

For Sunday’s celebrations, police estimated that at least two million people attended the mass, with pilgrims present from all over Uganda as well as from other countries in Africa, Europe, and even the United States.

Some of the pilgrims traveled hundreds of miles on foot to reach the shrine. More than 30 bishops from throughout Africa were joined by more than 200 priests in concelebrating the mass, over which Archbishop Emmanuel Obbo of Tororo, Uganda, presided.

Pope Paul VI canonized the Uganda Martyrs in October 1964.

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United Kingdom Bishop : Missing Sunday Mass is a seriou sin

IN A PASTORAL LETTER for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St. Andrews & Edinburgh stressed the importance of the Sunday Mass obligation for Catholics.

“It is true that many people think of Sunday as just part of the weekend, a welcome break from the usual routine, and perhaps a day for family, or sporting activities,” the UK archbishop said in the letter.

“Naturally, it’s good to relax and make time for these things, but our culture has largely forgotten that Sunday is a weekly holiday because of its meaning as the Christian holy day,” he continued.

Cushley went on to emphasize the importance of attending Sunday Mass. He noted that missing Mass due to extraordinary circumstance, such as an illness, is acceptable, but under normal circumstances, “attending Mass on Sunday is a solemn and binding obligation.”

“If we deliberately fail in this matter, it is a grave sin and we must go to confession before receiving communion again,” he said.

Sunday, our weekly day of rest, shows God’s people that true fulfillment is only found in the Creator, said Cushley. It is an “earthly reflection of God’s own eternal restfulness,” when people are reminded that “life has a higher goal than physical survival or financial gain.”

Cushley also highlighted the importance of the Eucharist, saying the Sacrifice of the Mass is a “foretaste of heaven” that empowers “us to do real and lasting good in the world.” Without the power of the Mass, we are not only cut off from the mystery of grace, but also from Christ and community, he said.

The archbishop went on to encourage parents to bring their children to Mass every Sunday as a good example of living out the Catholic faith.

“There’s no better thing you can do for them [children] than to bring them to meet the living Lord Jesus at Mass every week,” Cushley said, adding “if you teach them like this to seek the Kingdom of God first, you can be sure He will bless them in all the other ways that you hope for.”

Cushley also encouraged members of his archdiocese to make their Sunday obligation a priority over other commitments, saying Catholics should place Christ in the Eucharist ahead of everything else.

“Coming to Mass only every other week, or occasionally, is not the same as being faithful to his New Covenant. Surely, we cannot treat Christ our Saviour as one option among others for us to shuffle at our convenience,” he said.

“I therefore urge you, brothers and sisters, to make the choice to attend Sunday Mass, to make it a priority, and to bring others with you.”

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United Kingdom Northern Irish MPs heckled in Parliament for defending pro-life views

NORTHERN IRISH MPs faced sustained heckling and attempts to shout them down this week in Parliament, as they defended the pro-life views of their constituents. The Speaker had to intervene to make sure DUP MPs were heard during an emergency debate called by Labour MP Stella Creasy on repealing sections of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act (OPA), in a bid to decriminalise abortion across the UK, including in Northern Ireland.

The first pro-life MP to speak, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, rebutted claims from Ms Creasy and others that his views were out of touch with the people of Northern Ireland. 'Frankly, Mr Speaker,' he said, 'I would not have been returned for my sixth term in Parliament, if I was so disconnected from the people I represent.'

The DUP chief whip defended the right of the devolved administration to decide on this sensitive issue, and went on to say that 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland today because the Abortion Act 1967 was not accepted. 'I am proud of that pro-life position, I am proud of the fact that there are so many people alive in Northern Ireland today because we have a law that respects the rights of both women and of the unborn child and we will maintain that position.'

There was particular uproar when Sammy Wilson of the DUP spoke up passionately for the rights of the unborn child. Hannah Bardell of the SNP branded his comments about people who 'would have been discarded in a bin before they are born' as 'disgusting'.

Pro-life speeches and interventions were also made by other members of the DUP, as well as Conservative MPs Fiona Bruce and Maria Caulfield. Ms Caulfield denounced the emergency debate as a 'Trojan horse' that was about bringing abortion on demand to the whole of the UK, and 'it is disrespectful to the women of Northern Ireland to say otherwise...


Comment Pro-lifers have little to celebrate from the Supreme Court’s Northern Ireland ruling

PROF. ANDREW TETTENBORN writes for the Catholic Herald: ‘Until yesterday, Northern Ireland alone in the United Kingdom retained a commitment to limits on abortion roughly compatible with Catholic doctrine (even though ironically the strongest support came from the DUP; Sinn Fein, with its largely Catholic voter base, officially disagreed with it).

On Thursday the Supreme Court formally declined to interfere, on procedural grounds of mind-numbing dreariness. Having said this, it then did interfere, and did so in spades. A majority made no bones about its view that the prohibition on abortion in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality infringed the rights of pregnant women to private and family life under Article 8 of the ECHR. The President of the court indeed left little doubt of her own personal impatience with the pro-life position generally; furthermore Lord Mance, speaking for the majority, said that even though the court had no jurisdiction to intervene, he expected its view to be given effect as soon as possible.

This decision contains one crumb of comfort. On the basis of disabled equality, the court did not demand the availability of a termination on grounds of non-fatal abnormality. We must no doubt be thankful for small mercies. Elsewhere there is little to be joyful about. Two comments, in particular, are worth making.

For one thing, with pregnancy due to rape and incest it is all very well for the court to stress, as it did, the interference with the autonomy of the mother, which in the case of rape is absolutely horrific (though less so in the case of incest). But past interference with the mother’s abstract autonomy, while it demands our greatest help and sympathy, is hardly justification for present interference with the life of a viable and entirely innocent foetus. The arguments advanced in the case for downplaying the latter – that the European Convention on Human Rights does not regard the unborn as a person, and (incredibly, by two Justices) that the value of the unborn child is not inherent but contingent on actual social attitudes – are, to say the least, hardly convincing.

Perhaps more importantly, anyone not steeped in human rights law might think this whole scenario a peculiar application of it. The idea of human rights is, after all, that these are special rights regarded as so important that states, and their the ordinary political processes, cannot be trusted with dealing with them.

Whatever you may think of the morality of the matter, bear in mind the import of what we have just been told by our Supreme Court – not simply that abortion ought to be allowed in cases of rape, incest, and so on, but that any state which does not permit it deserves to be excluded from the community of civilised nations.
Many, to say the least, will find this view singularly hard to swallow.

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United States America in conflict between religious liberty and Court decree on gay marriage

TERENCE P. JEFFREY reports for CNSNews.com : 'In his dissenting opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Clarence Thomas predicted that the court's declaration that same-sex marriage is a right would ultimately lead to conflict between that purported right and religious liberty.

In his concurring opinion today in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Thomas concludes: 'This case proves that the conflict has already emerged.'

In Obergefell, decided by a 5-4 vote in 2015, the Supreme Court declared that the 14th Amendment creates a right for people of the same sex to marry one another.

'The Court's decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution, but with the principles upon which our Nation was built,' Thomas wrote in his dissent in Obergefell. 'Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not enti­tlement to government benefits. The Framers created our Constitution to preserve that understanding of liberty.

'Yet the majority invokes our Constitution in the name of a 'liberty' that the Framers would not have recognized, to the detriment of the liberty they sought to protect,' Thomas continued. 'Along the way, it rejects the idea-captured in our Declaration of Independence-that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the government. This distor­tion of our Constitution not only ignores the text, it inverts the relationship between the individual and the state in our Republic. I cannot agree with it.'

In his Obergefell dissent, Thomas went on to warn: 'In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. Today's decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.'

'The majority appears unmoved by that inevitability,' wrote Thomas.

'It makes only a weak gesture toward religious liberty in a single paragraph,' Thomas said in his Obergefell dissent. 'And even that gesture indicates a misunderstanding of religious liberty in our Nation's tradition. Religious liberty is about more than just the protection for 'religious organizations and persons . . . as they seek to teach the principles that are so ful­filling and so central to their lives and faiths.' Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.'

In the Masterpiece Cakeshop case decided today, the issue was whether the state of Colorado could make the owner of a small bakery create a wedding cake for the celebration of a same-sex marriage.

'Jack Phillips is an expert baker who has owned and operated the shop for 24 years,' Justice Kennedy explained in the opinion of the court. 'Phillips is a devout Chris­tian. He has explained that his 'main goal in life is to be obedient to' Jesus Christ and Christ's 'teachings in all aspects of his life.''

The baker indicated that he would gladly sell his other products to a same-sex couple and would make other types of cakes for them, but that he would not create a cake to celebrate their same-sex wedding. He argued that this violated both his First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion and his First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which held that the baker was required by law to make the cake, had in fact violated the baker's right to the free exercise of religion.

But the opinion of the court, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, was narrowly focused and turned on the court's determination that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not been 'neutral' toward the baker's particular religious beliefs when it decided it could force him to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. (Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch joined Kennedy's opinion. But Gorsuch filed a separate concurring opinion joined by Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas also wrote a concurring opinion, which was joined by Gorsuch. Kagan wrote yet another concurring opinion joined by Breyer, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a dissent that was joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.)

Under the court's precedents, Kennedy pointed out, a business owner could in fact be forced to act against his religion but not because of state 'hostility' toward his religion.

'Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's consideration of this case was incon­sistent with the State's obligation of religious neutrality,' wrote Kennedy.

'The reason and motive for the baker's refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions,' Kennedy said. 'The Court's precedents make clear that the baker, in his capac­ity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws.

'Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be de­termined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach,' said Kennedy.

'That requirement, however, was not met here,' Kennedy said. 'When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires.'

'The Civil Rights Commission's treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection,' wrote Kennedy.

'That hostility surfaced at the Commission's formal public hearings, as shown on the record,' Kennedy said.

In his concurring opinion, Thomas argued that the baker's right to freedom of speech had also been violated.

'While Phillips rightly prevails on his free-exercise claim, I write separately to address his free-speech claim,' said Thomas.

'The conduct that the Colorado Court of Appeals ascribed to Phillips-creating and designing custom wedding cakes-is expressive,' said Thomas. 'Phillips considers himself an artist. The logo for Masterpiece Cakeshop is an artist's paint palate with a paintbrush and baker's whisk. Behind the counter Phillips has a picture that depicts him as an artist painting on a canvas. Phillips takes exceptional care with each cake that he creates-sketching the design out on paper, choosing the color scheme, creating the frosting and decorations, baking and sculpting the cake, decorating it, and delivering it to the wedding.'

'He sits down with each couple for a consultation before he creates their custom wedding cake,' Thomas said. 'He discusses their preferences, their personalities, and the details of their wedding to ensure that each cake reflects the couple.'

Thomas argues that wedding cakes are designed to communicate a message.

'If an average person walked into a room and saw a white, multi-tiered cake, he would immediately know that he had stumbled upon a wedding,' said Thomas.

'The cake's purpose is to mark the beginning of a new marriage and to celebrate the couple,' Thomas wrote.

'Accordingly, Phillips' creation of custom wedding cakes is expressive,' said Thomas. 'The use of his artistic talents to create a well-recognized symbol that celebrates the beginning of a marriage clearly communicates a message-certainly more so than nude dancing.'

'By forcing Phillips to create custom wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, Colorado's public-accommodations law 'alter[s] the expressive content' of his message,' wrote Thomas.

'Forcing Phillips to make custom wedding cakes for same-sex marriages requires him to, at the very least, acknowledge that same-sex weddings are 'weddings' and suggest that they should be celebrated-the precise message he believes his faith forbids,' Thomas concludes.

Then Thomas points back to the warnings in his own dissent-and in Justice Samuel Alito's dissent-in Obergefell.

'In Obergefell, I warned that the Court's decision would 'inevitabl[y] . . . come into conflict' with religious liberty, 'as individuals . . . are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples,'' says Thomas.

'This case proves that the conflict has already emerged,' he says.

'Because the Court's decision vindicates Phillips' right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day,' Thomas says.

'But, in future cases,' Thomas concludes, 'the freedom of speech could be essential to preventing Obergefell from being used to 'stamp out every vestige of dissent' and 'vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.' Id., at__(ALITO, J., dissenting) (slip op., at 6). If that freedom is to maintain its vitality, reasoning like the Colorado Court of Appeals' must be rejected.'

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United States Bishop warns that LGBT Pride is morally offensive 'in the extreme'

A BISHOP has raised the alarm about LGBT 'Pride' as the movement begins its annual advocacy in the month of June.

Providence, RI, Bishop Thomas Tobin issued a statement on Twitter last weekend urging caution to Catholics about events celebrating gay pride month.

LGBT activists and others observe 'gay pride' each year in June in conjunction with the anniversary of the June 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City's Greenwich Village. The series of riots occurred in reaction to a police raid on the establishment popular with the gay community and are regarded as the birth of the modern LGBT movement.

Pride events, in particular parades, carry a reputation for extremely lewd dress and behavior, including public sex acts, and children are often present and exposed to sordid displays.

'Catholics should be very wary of events in the June LGBTQ month,' Bishop Tobin said. 'It's not a fun-filled, family-friendly celebration of respect. It promotes a lifestyle and agenda that, in the extreme, is morally offensive.'

Thomas J. Tobin


Catholics should be very wary of events in the June LGBTQ month. It's not a fun-filled, family-friendly celebration of respect. It promotes a lifestyle and agenda that, in the extreme, is morally offensive.

11:32 PM - Jun 1, 2018


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Some responses to Bishop Tobin thanked him for speaking in the manner he did about the subject.

Many others excoriated his tweet as shameful, offensive, unchristian, bigotry and hypocrisy, harmful to the world and the Church, and consisting of fascism and xenophobia.

One tweet replied to Bishop Tobin that he had been reported to Twitter for 'homophobic bigotry targeting an orientation.'

A number of replies invoked Pope Francis and his repute for an LGBT openness, as though the bishop was countering the pope's teaching. And common among the negative replies to Bishop Tobin was the notorious 'Who are you to judge?' maxim co-opted from the pope in 2013 and employed by LGBT advocates since.

'Have you listened to Pope Francis?' one user replied to the bishop, linking to an article on the pope's reported private comments to Chilean sex abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz saying God made him gay and that it was okay to be gay.

Bishop Tobin responded to that tweet, clarifying the pope's approach.

'Pope Francis loves people and welcomes them,' Bishop Tobin replied, 'as Jesus does, as we all do. Pope Francis does not condone immoral behavior.'

The Catholic Church differentiates between human beings and sexual urges and does not identify individuals by sexual inclinations. It says that while same-sex attraction is not a sin, homosexual acts very much are.

The Church teaches that sexual relations are reserved for marriage, which is between a man and woman (CCC-2360).

Church teaching also states that homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered, and that individuals who experience them 'must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided' (CCC-2358).

But the Church also teaches that homosexual acts are 'acts of grave depravity' and they 'are intrinsically disordered,' and further that 'under no circumstances can they be approved' (CCC-2357).

The Church says as well that, 'homosexual persons are called to chastity' (CCC-2359), which is also what its teaching says about all people.

Bishop Tobin has been a vocal proponent of Catholic Church principles.

He defended the Providence College student who'd been attacked for supporting marriage, and he has spoken in defense of marriage life and on the importance of worthiness to receive Holy Communion.

In a column last year Bishop Tobin wrote that while it was good to 'encounter' and be 'welcoming' with people, this does not mean doing so at the expense of the truth.

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United States Knights of Columbus sued for fraud, racketeering

STEPHEN WYNNE reportsfor ChurchMilitant.com :'A top Knights of Columbus executive - responsible for overseeing the organization's multibillion-dollar insurance operation - has abruptly stepped down from his position. The sudden departure comes as the world's largest fraternal Catholic organization is in court fighting accusations of fraud, racketeering, theft of trade secrets and breach of contract.

The Hartford Business Journal reports that on May 11, Chief Insurance Officer Thomas Smith, Jr. notified Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson of his retirement, effective immediately. According to Kathleen Blomquist, senior director of corporate communications for KC, Smith's departure is unrelated to an ongoing legal battle with UKnight Interactive (UKnight), a Colorado-based IT firm KC had once employed.

The lawsuit claims KC is hiding the true numbers of its members in order to keep up the appearance that it has sufficient numbers in its rolls to ensure future insurance payouts.

In 2017, UKnight filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Knights of Columbus, accusing executives of breach of contract. As part of its complaint, UKnight alleges that the organization is concealing a declining membership base in order to safeguard its multibillion-dollar insurance operation. In short, the lawsuit claims KC is hiding the true numbers of its members in order to keep up the appearance that it has sufficient numbers in its rolls to ensure future insurance payouts.

Speaking to Church Militant, UKnight spokesman Robert Siegfried, Vice Chairman of Communication for Kekst and Company, explained the IT firm 'created a website that interconnects parties' - a valuable tool for an organization with 15,000 regional and local 'councils,' or chapters. The project was UKnight's 'first entry into the business world, in terms of developing a customer base,' Siegfried said. 'In fact, Knights of Columbus was the only party they were marketing their services to.'

But 'after working for several years with the Knights of Columbus, getting their system in place with the Knights of Columbus, the Knights didn't go forward with their system,' he said.

According to the complaint: 'In 2009, UKnight began designing and implementing websites for independent, local Knights of Columbus councils in the Dallas, Texas area. UKnight's work was so successful at helping local councils increase membership, improve communication with members, and increase sales of insurance products that it was encouraged to make a proposal directly to KC for adoption by the entire Order.

The suit alleges that in September 2011, KC executives informed UKnight they had selected the IT firm as their 'designated vendor for the entire Knights of Columbus fraternity,' offering to 'formally announce UKnight as such in exchange for UKnight accommodating certain requests (such as adding legal disclaimers to the websites) made by the KC legal department,' as well as 'allowing KC to make certain graphic design changes to its platform.' UKnight notes that the contract was oral - the firm moved ahead without a signed written contract.

UKnight alleges that according to the terms of the agreement, KC 'was not required to make any payment' for its services. Instead, the company's revenue would come from subscriptions to these services, 'paid individually by each subscribing insurance agent, local council, assembly, and others.'

This arrangement meant KC's endorsement of UKnight as dedicated vendor was critical to its business model. But, the suit alleges, the endorsement never came; instead, as UKnight worked to build a complex interactive, interconnective system to 'serve the specific needs' of KC, the vendor received only repeated promises the endorsement was on the way.

According to the complaint, in January 2016, KC suddenly informed UKnight it was launching a search for a new vendor - a devastating blow to the IT firm. 'Knights of Columbus decided not to continue moving forward,' Siefgried told Church Militant. 'That severely impaired the business potential of UKnight and ultimately the value of its business.'

The suit alleges UKnight was dismissed because KC executives discovered that UKnight's system would reveal fraudulent membership figures.

According to papers filed in court, as its relationship with UKnight was developing, 'KC, its independent local councils, and outside ratings agencies and software companies' collaborated to 'artificially inflate the Knights of Columbus' insurable membership numbers, to artificially improve the demographic structure of this risk-pool, and to conceal this scheme.'

Demographic analysis suggests the Catholic Church in the United States and Canada is in the beginning stages of an unprecedented retraction, with millions of its most dedicated, active members entering the last phase of their lives, while younger generations abandon the Church for other faiths or none at all. As pews empty, coffers drain and parishes and schools shut down.

[A] shrinking membership and aging demographic would severely threaten its insurance rating as payouts to members' families upon death depend on a steady stream of new premiums and payments from younger members.Tweet

The complaint suggests that the Knights of Columbus is beginning to suffer from this same demographic collapse: 'While KC has earned on average less than 5% returns on its $22 billion invested, the number of death benefits paid out has increased 5.67% year-on-year, demonstrating both a downward financial spiral and the effect of its rapidly-aging demographic.'

If true, this would have major financial implications. 'The Knights of Columbus has two major sources of revenue,' Siegfried explained. 'One is membership; one is financial products. In particular, insurance sold to members of Knights of Columbus.'

And KC's insurance products are 'sold exclusively to members of the Knights of Columbus local councils in the United States and Canada only':

[A] shrinking membership and aging demographic would severely threaten its insurance rating as payouts to members' families upon death depend on a steady stream of new premiums and payments from younger members. Indeed, because KC currently has over $105 billion of insurance in force written against only $22 billion in assets, its insurance program must demonstrate that the Order's membership is growing and that its demographic is not aging in order to maintain the perception of viability to meet its future payout obligations.

The suit alleges KC inflates its membership numbers to maintain a veneer of sustainability. It accuses the organization of preventing its 15,000 local councils from deleting inactive members from their rolls, creating 'phantom' councils of dead and lapsed members:

Numerous agents and former agents of the Knights of Columbus