This edition of CF NEWS No.2249 posted at 12.49 pm on Sunday, September 9th, 2018. VATICAN WATCH Prayer intentions for September : ''New bomb' in the Vatican? CDF dossier on Cardinal Farrell : Archbishop Viganò: punished for telling the truth? : Letter confirms Viganò claim: Vatican knew of McCarrick abuse in 2000 : The Vatican hunts for Viganò : Why did Pope Benedict resign? : Viganò responds to Vatican pushback : Catholic laymen ask Pope Francis for answers : Cardinal Burke : Francis must respond to dubia questions : St Gallen Mafia and Pope Francis HUMANAE VITAE The Challenge Goes Deep UNITED NATIONS UN pulls credentials of long-time correspondent NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD UK (Scotland) SPUC lodges appeal against abortion pills ruling : UK Pope's message to National Eucharistic Congress : USA Cardinal Wuerl meets with Pope Francis about crisis : New York launches abuse probe into all Catholic dioceses in state : INTERNATIONAL Michael Voris : gloria.tv.news : Some headlines of the week : The World Over with Raymond Arroyo NEWMAN What most surprised Newman about Catholicism MEDIA Why is the BBC promoting adultery? BOOK REVIEW Open to God; Open to the World COMMENT FROM THE INTERNET On the scandal of the Century : Why Archbishop Vigano is almost certainly telling the truth : Archbishop Vigano, hope in the midst of darkness : What has Pope Francis covered up : The heart of Bergoglianity : Pius X condemns Modernism: Relevant then, relevant now : The Confessions of an ex-Legionary: 'Why I Broke the Silence' : Let's say Pope Francis resigns. What next? : The Great Clarifier Clarifying (What 'ideology' exactly, Holiness?) : Francis takes the 5th then (Twisting the Gospel) preaches that silence = truth : It's different now : Abuse Crisis: In defending the Church, dump these excuses : A Church in turmoil : Ten reasons why Pope Francis' silence is a disaster : Restoring confidence in the Catholic faith . . . and more...



Vatican watch

Prayer intentions for September    VIDEO    read more >>>
''New bomb' in the Vatican? CDF dossier on Cardinal Farrell
   read more >>>
Archbishop Viganò: punished for telling the truth? read more >>>
Letter confirms Viganò claim: Vatican knew of McCarrick abuse in 2000 read more >>>
The Vatican hunts for Viganò read more >>>
Why did Pope Benedict resign?    VIDEO    read more >>>
Viganò responds to Vatican pushback
   read more >>>
Catholic laymen ask Pope Francis for answers   read more >>>
Cardinal Burke : Francis must respond to dubia questions read more >>>
St Gallen Mafia and Pope Francis VIDEO    read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

The Challenge Goes Deep    VIDEO read more >>>

United Nations

UN pulls credentials of long-time correspondent read more >>>

News from around the world

UK (Scotland) SPUC lodges appeal against abortion pills ruling read more >>>
UK Pope's message to National Eucharistic Congress read more >>>
USA Cardinal Wuerl meets with Pope Francis about crisis    read more >>>
USA New York launches abuse probe into all 8 Catholic dioceses in state read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Michael Voris    VIDEO read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
   VIDEO   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some headlines of the week
  read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
   VIDEO    read more >>>


What most surprised Newman about Catholicism   read more >>>


Why is the BBC promoting adultery? read more >>>

Book review

Open to God; Open to the World read more >>>

Comment from the internet

On the scandal of the Century    VIDEO   read more >>>
Why Archbishop Vigano is almost certainly telling the truth  read more >>>
Archbishop Vigano, hope in the midst of darkness    read more >>>
What has Pope Francis covered up   read more >>>
The heart of Bergoglianity
   read more >>>
Pius X condemns Modernism: Relevant then, relevant now
   read more >>>
The Confessions of an ex-Legionary: 'Why I Broke the Silence'
   read more >>>
Let's say Pope Francis resigns. What next?
   read more >>>
The Great Clarifier Clarifying (What 'ideology' exactly, Holiness?)
   read more >>>
Francis takes the 5th then (Twisting the Gospel) preaches that silence = truth
   read more >>>
It's different now
   read more >>>
Abuse Crisis: In defending the Church, dump these excuses
   read more >>>
A Church in turmoil
   read more >>>
Ten reasons whyPope Francis' silence is a disaster   read more >>>
Restoring confidence in the Catholic faith   read more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Madley    read more >>>
Saints of the Day
   read more >>>
Stabat Mater
   VIDEO    read more >>>


Thomas A Kempis    read more >>>


By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch


Prayer intentions for September



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A 'New bomb' in the Vatican? Italian daily teases CDF dossier on Cardinal Kevin Farrell

Cdl. FarrellSTEVE SKOJEC reports for OnePeterFive : 'The Italian traditionalist blog Messa in Latino (Mass in Latin) has reported that their own 'internal sources' at the Vatican have confirmed a report by the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano on September 4th, indicating that there is a possibly soon- to-be revealed dossier on the American Cardinal Kevin Farrell.

Farrell, picked by Pope Francis as the prefect for the new Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, is the highest ranking prelate from the United States. He is also a former Legionary of Christ - under the tenure of their founder, the monstrous abuser Fr. Marcial Maciel - and also one of those closest to the disgraced former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Farrell served as McCarrick's vicar general and auxiliary in Washington DC, living in the same residence with McCarrick until his retirement in 2006.

Farrell claimed, at the time revelations of McCarrick's abuse began to be made public earlier this year, that he had no knowledge of McCarrick's abusive activities. 'Never once did I even suspect' McCarrick, said Farrell to the Associated Press (AP) in July, 2018. In another, earlier interview, he told Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service (CNS) 'I was a priest of Washington, DC. I worked in the chancery, in Washington. And never. No indication. None whatsoever.' The video of that CNS interview came immediately under scrutiny because Farrell's facial expressions betrayed none of the emotions - such as shock - that he claimed to be feeling over the revelations.

But claims of new information from Francesca Fagnani of Il Fatto Quotidiano may bring light to Farrell's involvement in what has rapidly become the most high-profile abuse case in the Catholic Church. The Italian report, translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino for OnePeterFive, says that there is a 'violent and unprecedented civil war' in the Church that now involves even the pope. Following Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's bombshell testimony about coverups of the abuse of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick that included Pope Francis, Fagnani says that 'soon another bomb could break out.'

'According to reliable sources close to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,' says Fagnani, 'there may be a similar dossier on Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell.'

'Farrell was specifically nominated as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington,' writes Fagani, 'because Cardinal Theodore McCarrick wanted him as his assistant, and these two men became part of Pope Francis magic circle.' Farrell and McCarrick also lived together for years, sharing the same apartment. How could Farrell possibly not know all about McCarrick's sexual behaviors?'

Fagani then asks the obvious question without providing a specific answer:

What is contained in this new dossier on Farrell? The Pope and the Secretariate of State know about every single new thread of every investigation that is opened by the Tribunal of the CDF, so how could they possibly now know about this? Did Farrell's nomination to such a high post precede or follow the opening of this investigation? The historian Roberto DeMattei, among the most knowledgeable of Vatican experts, known for his traditionalist positions, adds this little comment: 'The link between the two prelates [McCarrick and Farrell] was known but never clarified. There may be something else behind the silence of Pope Francis and Cardinal Parolin.'

And what exactly might that 'something' be?

'I know Vigano personally. He is an honest and prudent man. I am certain that everything he says is true. He probably knows more. We know that the famous 'report of the three cardinals' [from Herranz, Tomko, DiGiorgi in 2012] exists on the moral and other corruption within the Roman Curia, which was given to Ratzinger prior to his resignation. This report has been seen by Francis and select number of others. What would happen if it was published?'

This report of the three cardinals, said to comprise 300 pages, was delivered to Pope Benedict XVI in December, 2012, and kept under pontifical secret. It was this document that some believe influenced the former pope to abdicate his position. According to a report published at Rorate Caeli in February, 2013,

For the largest Italian daily La Repubblica, the key part of the '300-page' cardinalatial report ('relatio') on the Vatican leaks ('in two red hardbound tomes') … was the identification of a hugely powerful and highly influential 'homosexual underground' in the Curia and in the universal Church.

This same report was mentioned by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in a followup interview last week after the release of his his testimony:

I spoke because now more than ever, corruption has spread to the highest levels of the hierarchy of the Church. I ask the journalists: why are they not asking what happened to the cache of documents that, as we all saw, were delivered at Castel Gandolfo to Pope Francis from Pope Benedict? Was that all useless? It would have been enough to read my report and the transcript that was made of my deposition before the three cardinals charged with the investigation of the Vatileaks case (Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko, and Salvatore De Giorgi) in order to begin some cleaning up in the Curia.

If indeed a dossier similar to that of McCarrick exists on Cardinal Farrell, another of the pope's hand-picked men, it would truly be explosive. But even more stunning would be the revelation of this long-buried report uncovering the working of the so-called 'Lavender Mafia' within the Church.

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Archbishop Viganò: punished for telling the truth?

ROBERTO DE MATTEI reports for Corrispondenza Romano -- Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who brought to light the existence of a network of corruption in the Vatican, calling into question those responsible, starting with the supreme ecclesiastical authorities, will be punished for telling the truth? Pope Francis is examining this possibility, if it is true, as confirmed by several sources, who consulted cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, and some other canonist, to study the possible canonical sanctions to be sprayed against the archbishop, starting with the suspension a divinis .

If the news were confirmed it would be of extreme gravity, and even a little surreal, since the "expert" summoned to sanction Msgr. Viganò would be that cardinal Coccopalmerio, who is accused by the former nuncio in the United States of being part of the "gay lobby" that dominates the Vatican.

We can not forget, moreover, that the cardinal's secretary, mgr. Luigi Capozzi, is involved in a case of gay orgies, in which the position of his superior must still be clarified. But the basic problem is of course another. The Catholic Church, as a visible society, has a criminal law, which is the right that it possesses, to punish the faithful who have committed violations of its law.

In this regard, it is necessary to distinguish between sin and crime. Sin regards a violation of the moral order, the crime a transgression of the canonical law of the Church, which is naturally different from the civil law of the States.

All crimes are sins, but not all sins are crimes. There are crimes common to civil and canonical legislation, such as the crime of pedophilia, but other crimes are such only for canon law and not for the penal law of States.

Homosexuality and concubinage, for example, are not considered crimes by most contemporary states, but serious crimes remain for the clergy that incur and as such are sanctioned by canon law. In fact, crime is not every external action that violates a law, but only that violation for which non-compliance is provided for a penalty, according to the principle of nullum crimen, nulla pena sine lege .

The Code of Canon Law, as recently mentioned by Father Giovanni Scalese in his blog Antiquo Robore , considers crime not only the abuse against minors, but also other sins against the sixth commandment, such as concubinage and the scandalous situation, which includes homosexuality (canon 395 of the New Code).

These distinctions do not seem clear to Pope Francis, who proclaims "zero tolerance" against civil crimes, such as pedophilia, but invokes "forgiveness" and mercy for the "sins of youth", such as homosexuality, forgetting the presence of this crime in the laws of the Church. But then, and here lies the contradiction, the laws of the Church are invoked to strike, not the immoral clergy, but who denounces the immorality of the clergy, as Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò, who in his testimony has done nothing but move along the line of the reformers of the Church, from Saint Pier Damiani to Saint Bernardino of Siena, great whippers of sodomy.

What is the reason for the canonical punishment that one would like to apply to the courageous archbishop? Pope Francis could answer, as in the fable of Phaedrus: I do not need to give reasons, I punish him Quia nominor leo , because I am the strongest.

But when authority is not exercised to serve the truth it becomes an abuse of power, and the victim of the abuse of power gains a strength that no one can take away from him: the power of Truth. At this tragic moment in the life of the Church, the first thing that not only Catholics, but the public opinion of all the world asks Churchmen is to "live without lies" to use a famous expression of Solgenitsin. The time of the socialist dictatorships is over and the truth is destined to prevail.

Vatican Academy for Life attacks Viganò, tweets articles that it says ‘contradict…account’

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN report for LifeSiteNews– The Pontifical Academy for Life, recently gutted and revamped by Pope Francis, has tweeted out news reports that it says “contradict Viganò’s account.”

Taking a break from tweets about papal homilies and clean water, the Academy tweeted twice on September 3 about Archbishop Viganò’s testimony concerning Pope Francis’ meeting with Davis. The first tweet, sharing a photo of Fathers Lombardi and Rosica, stated that “Vatican spokesmen contradict Viganò’s account of meeting with Pope Francis about Kim Davis” and linked to the Jesuits’ America magazine.

# Vatican spokesmen contradict Viganò’s account of meeting with Pope Francis about Kim Davis.
https://t.co/ACFHVF3wur pic.twitter.com/LZZzus4hPu
— Pontifical Academy Life (@PontAcadLife)
September 3, 2018

The second tweet reads: “Father Rosica quoted verbatim the former-nuncio as telling them (speaking in Italian): ‘The Holy Father in his paternal benevolence thanked me for his visit to the USA but also said that I had deceived him [in] bringing that woman to the nunciature.’” It too featured a photo of Rosica.

Although both tweets were badly received, the second tweet provoked more ire.

“This is shameful, coming from an agency of the Vatican,” wrote Mari Therese Reyes in response on Twitter. “You’re not doing the Pope any favours [by] doing this.”

“This agency was purged of excellent servants of God and true purpose - by the Pope,” wrote Loretta Westin also on Twitter. “Shameful tweets is all they have. “

Westin was referring to the sweeping changes made to the Pontifical Academy for Life last June. Among the new members is abortion supporter Nigel Biggar. His appointment was defended by the Academy’s new Chair, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

Paglia is himself controversial for the homo-erotic mural he commissioned for his cathedral church. The archbishop is depicted in this painting clinging to a semi-naked man. Viganò named Paglia as one of the “homosexualists” in the Vatican hoping to change doctrine regarding human sexuality.

One Twitter-user thought attacking the former papal nuncio was outside the Academy for Life’s remit. “What on earth is the Pontifical Academy of Life doing getting involved in the partisan attacks on Viganò?” asked Mary Strow. “You should be solely focusing on your mission of the dignity of every human life. This is disgraceful.”

“Inappropriate to use this account for spin purposes,” agreed Abellana Elisheva.

Others cast doubt on Father Rosica as a credible source of information.

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Letter confirms Viganò claim: Vatican knew of McCarrick abuse in 2000

LIANNE LAURENCE reports for LifeSiteNews — A Vatican letter to a New York priest confirms the Holy See knew of sexual abuse allegations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2000, Catholic News Service reported Friday.

The U.S. bishops’ official news service, Catholic News Service (CNS) also says the 12-year-old letter “confirms elements” of the explosive 11-page testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

Viganò’s principal allegation is that Pope Francis and a number of high-ranking prelates covered up McCarrick’s serial sexual abuse of seminarians.

He stated the Vatican knew as early as 2000, when he was an official at the Secretariat of State under Cardinal Angelo Sodano, of allegations that McCarrick “shared his bed with seminarians.”

Viganò testified the Vatican heard the allegations from both Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, U.S. nuncio from 1998 to 2005, and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, U.S. nuncio from 2005 to 2011

The letter obtained by CNS was sent in 2006 from Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, then Vatican substitute for general affairs, to Father James Boniface Ramsay, a whistleblower on McCarrick. Sandri has since been made a cardinal and serves as prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches

Now a pastor in New York City, Ramsay was professor at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Newark’s Seton Hall University from 1986 to 1996.

Ramsey told CNS he sent a letter to nuncio Montalvo dated November 22, 2000, detailing complaints from seminarians about McCarrick -- a letter which Viganò refers to in his testimony.

“I complained about McCarrick’s relationships with seminarians and the whole business with sleeping with seminarians and all of that; the whole business that everyone knows about,” Ramsey said.

Sandri’s letter, sent six years later, delicately referred to these allegations when he asked Ramsey for information on a Newark diocese priest and former Immaculate Conception student he was vetting for a Vatican post.

“I ask with particular reference to the serious matters involving some of the students of the Immaculate Conception Seminary, which in November 2000 you were good enough to bring confidentially to the attention of the then Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, the late Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo,” writes Sandri.

Ramsey told CNS he assumed Sandri euphemistically referred to “serious matters involving” students because the accusations against McCarrick were so sensitive.

While he didn’t get a formal response to his 2000 letter to Montalvo, the 2006 letter from Sandri proves the Vatican received the information, Ramsey said.

Viganò testified that “the office that I held at the time was not informed of any measure taken by the Holy See after those charges were brought by Nuncio Montalvo at the end of 2000, when Cardinal Angelo Sodano was Secretary of State.”

Viganò alleged Pope Francis not only disregarded sanctions Pope Benedict put on McCarrick, but that the pope took counsel from the now-disgraced one-time archbishop of Washington.

Viganò asserts that McCarrick, along with Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras and Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, was instrumental in the appointments of Cardinal Blase Cupich to Chicago and Cardinal Joseph Tobin to Newark.

McCarrick’s decades’ long sexual predation was finally brought to light when the New York archdiocese announced in June there were credible allegations the now 88-year-old archbishop sexually abused a teenaged boy while a priest in New York.

Since his testimony was published August 25, Viganò has been under fire from critics and his document, character and motives scrutinized.

CNS produced an August 29 video casting doubt on whether Benedict had placed sanctions on McCarrick. Vigano subsequently clarified the sanctions were private and McCarrick simply defied them.

Pope Francis has refused so far to directly address or launch an investigation into Viganò’s testimony, despite calls for him to do so from nearly 30 bishops and thousands of laypeople.

Almost 14,000 people have signed a LifeSiteNews pledge to support and offer prayers for Viganò, who according to an August 28 tweet by National Catholic Register’s Ed Pentin, fears for his life and has gone into hiding.

[And see 'Why Viganò is almost ceraainly telling the truth', below}


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The hunt for Viganò : Vatican spies tracking whistleblower

THE REV. MICHAEL X., JCL reports for ChurchMilitant.com - According to sources within the Vatican, the Secretariat of State of the Holy See — under the direction of Pietro Cardinal Parolin — has communicated an instruction to its internal and external security services to use its "intelligence resources" to locate the physical whereabouts of Abp. Viganò. This request has been communicated not only in order to prevent more unpredictable damage to the image of Pope Francis and the Holy See on the world stage, but also to "prepare the terrain" for the former apostolic nuncio-turned-whistleblower to be prosecuted for alleged multiple crimes against Vatican and Church law.

The urgency with which the location of Abp. Viganò is being sought is all the more palpable since, according to canon 1507 of the Code of Canon Law and other procedural and penal norms of the Holy See and Vatican City State, Abp. Viganò cannot be prosecuted or even punished unless he first be given the opportunity to be officially notified in writing of the specific canonical and Vatican crimes he is alleged to have committed and be given the opportunity to defend himself against them.

As first reported by the very well-informed Baron Roberto de Mattei (Corrispondenza Romana, September 5), criminal counts are said to be in the process of being researched and drafted in a libellus accusatorius (canonical criminal complaint) for Viganò having allegedly committed perjury for his having breached pontifical and other forms of state secrecy in violation of, among other norms, the Instruction Secreta continere on the Pontifical Secret issued on February 4, 1974 by John Cardinal Villot, Secretary of State of the Vatican.

The specific Norms of Secreta being researched for applicability and evidence in support of potential prosecution include:

1. Art. I-4 for Abp. Viganò’s alleged divulgation of extrajudicial denunciations received by him during his service of the Holy See regarding crimes against faith and morals and the Sacrament of Penance, and the process and decision pertaining to the handling of these denunciations regarding Theodore Cardinal McCarrick and other clerics referenced by Viganò in his testimony and in the articles of journalists to whom the archbishop is alleged to have disseminated such classified information;

2. Art. I-7 for his alleged dissemination of Vatican secrets gained by reason of office pertaining to appointments of bishops, specifically regarding the appointment of Cdl. Blase Cupich as archbishop of Chicago, Illinois;

3. Art. I-9 for his alleged divulgation of the electronically encrypted order transmitted by the Secretariat of State to Abp. Viganò regarding the appointment of Bp. Robert McElroy to the see of San Diego, California;

4. Art. I-10 for his breaching of "business or matters which are so grave in nature that they are placed under the Pontifical Secret by the Supreme Pontiff or a Cardinal of the relevant Dicastery."

News of the Vatican deploying its vast international resources to track down and prosecute Abp. Viganò are consistent with his assertions made to Aldo Maria Valli on their final encounter: that Viganò had "purchased a plane ticket," that he was "traveling abroad," that he "could not tell [Valli] where," that Valli "should not try to find him," that "his old cellular number will no longer be functioning," and that they "saluted each other one last time."

Viganò, in saying goodbye to Valli, appears to have known exactly what the worst elements of the Vatican and its agents are capable of. Let us hope he has taken every necessary precaution from falling into the hands of those who would wish him ill.


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Why did Pope Benedict resign?

DR.TAYLOR MARSHALL explains the reasons why Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 by showing a four stage scandal beginning with Archbishop Vigano blowing the whistle on the Vatican Bank in 2009-2010 and how it escalated into Benedict's resignation in 2013. It also explains the election of Pope Francis and frames the recent testimony of Vigano against Pope Francis on August 26 2018.



[Dr Taylor Marshall] 2249.3



















Viganò responds to Vatican pushback about Pope's meeting with Kim Davis

Archbp. ViganoDIANE MONTAGNA reports for LifeSiteNews - Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has responded to Vatican pushback against his statement on Pope Francis' meeting with Kim Davis, saying the majority of claims made by Fr. Thomas Rosica and Fr. Federico Lombardi are 'in their imagination.'

Viganò also said the media now needs to 'deal with the real problem: that Francis covered up for McCarrick for five years, allowing him to claim other victims.'

On Sunday, Fr. Federico Lombardi and Fr. Thomas Rosica - who handled the Holy See's press response to Pope Francis' private meeting with Kim Davis in 2015 - issued a joint statement disputing Viganò's three-page account detailing the circumstances surrounding Pope Francis' private meeting with Kim Davis on September 24, 2015.

In their statement, Rosica and Lombardi admitted to the 'fact that Viganò had spoken the night before the meeting (with Kim Davis) with the pope and his collaborators and had received a consensus.'

Lombardi and Rosica claimed, however, that Archbishop Viganò told them privately the Pope felt 'deceived' by him, not because of Davis' stand against the legalization of same-sex 'marriage,' but because of her marital history.

'You never told me that she had four husbands,' Pope Francis allegedly told Viganò, Lombardi and Rosica said.

In comments this morning to LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò doubled down on his initial statement, insisting that Pope Francis 'never mentioned Kim Davis' during their meeting at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, on October 9, 2015.

'Concerning the fact that she was married four times,' Viganò said, 'I told [Pope Francis] about this in our previous conversation on September 23, before going to Becciu and Gallagher. Indeed, I added that after her 'conversion' to a charismatic church, she took back her second husband,' he noted. Cardinal Giovanni Becciu was at that time an archbishop and Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State. Archbishop Paul Gallagher is the Secretary for Relations with States within the Secretariat.

Archbishop Viganò continued: 'The only thing that is true in what Lombardi and Rosica said is that I called them to come over to where I was staying. I only shared with them my grievances over the falsity with which they presented the Pope's private audience with Davis at the Press Office.'

'The rest of what they said is in their imagination,' he said.

Since the release of his extraordinary 11-page statement implicating Pope Francis and several senior Vatican officials in the McCarrick abuse cover-up, the media has chiefly focused on questioning or, at times, discrediting Viganò's credibility. Some have suggested he is a disgruntled former employee, while others have alleged that he himself 'quashed' an investigation into Archbishop Neinstedt of St. Paul Minneapolis.

Viganò has addressed the Neinstedt case with supporting documentation.

In his comments today, Archbishop Viganò said he is finished responding to questions about his own person, adding that it's time for journalists to investigate the substance of the allegations contained in his 11-page testimony. He said:

'Having clarified my position regarding [the Neinstedt case in] St. Paul and Minneapolis, and having had this confirmed by Auxiliary Bishop Cozzens, and having further clarified the Kim Davis audience, I do not now intend to return to matters regarding my own person. The media must continue to deal with the real problem: that Francis covered up for McCarrick for five years, allowing him to claim other victims.'

'From now on, I have nothing more to add. Now it is up to the media not to let it go, and to continue to do their part,' Viganò said.

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Catholic laymen ask Pope Francis for answers

ONE WEEK after thousands of Catholic laywomen signed a letter asking Pope Francis to respond to their questions about the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, a group of Catholic laymen have penned their own letter to the pope and American bishops, calling for an investigation into the Church’s role in preventing sexual abuse.

The letter is hosted on the website “Catholic Men United for Christ,” but it is not sponsored by any group or organization. The signatories of the letter pledge to do some form of fasting on each Friday starting Sept. 7, and continuing through 2018.

Signatories include popular Catholic author Scott Hahn, radio host Al Kresta, along with other notable Catholic leaders.

“Holy Father, we come to you for answers. You personally have been faced with allegations. These allegations have been leveled by a high-ranking church official, Archbishop Viganò. Further, many bishops in the United States have publicly stated that they believe these allegations should be investigated. We implore you to address them,” reads the letter.

“Moreover, regardless of the veracity of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations, our concerns about corruption remain.”

“Your Holiness, Your Eminences, and Your Excellencies: Amidst widespread global abuse, coverups, and hierarchical failure, what are you doing and what will you do to protect the people of God? We urge you to answer this simple question because the cost of the episcopal corruption is catastrophic.”

The letter requests that an investigation into Church hierarchy be carried out by “faithful lay men and women.”

The signatories “reiterate and support” last week’s letter from Catholic lay women, signatory Mark DeYoung told CNA, "but even more so, we're looking at the bigger picture at what has happened in various countries [...] in just saying that there is certainly established fact there is a problem with abuse."

Failure to combat this corruption and abuse could result in the reduction or elimination of ministries due to a lack of priests, DeYoung told CNA.

DeYoung, a theology graduate student, said that fathers have expressed concern about potentially sending their sons to seminary, and have even said that they "will not have their kids involved in the liturgy as altar servers” out of fear of sexual abuse.

This could result in "potentially the death of vocations and young people being active in the Church,” said DeYoung. He also said it was “heartbreaking” to read testimony from some of the Pennsylvania abuse victims who said that their abuse caused them to lose their religious faith entirely.

“We’re really fighting for these people, (and) we're also saying that as Catholic men that we're going to take responsibility for our own lives as well,” noting that not every Catholic man is faithful or properly follows Church teaching.

DeYoung told CNA that the letter came from the fact that many Catholic men are “angry, heartbroken, and really shocked at the state of the Church at the moment,” in terms of the abuse of minors as well as “the clergy members who are disobeying their vows and living and against the call to chastity and purity.”

In addition to the investigation into abuse and misconduct, DeYoung says that the signatories are also looking to the bishops for spiritual leadership during this chaotic time.

"We are men who love the Church, we love our bishops, we support our Holy Father, and we want to see the truth come out here," he said.

At press time, the letter had been signed by over 3,000 people.

[CNA/EWTN Nedws] 2248.4a













Cardinal Burke: Francis must respond to dubia questions.

'THE DUBIA must have a response', Cardinal Raymond Burke said in Rome at a press conference in remembrance of the first anniversary of Cardinal Caffarra's death, one of the four Dubia cardinals (September 6).

Burke pointed out that such a response is "simple": "Yes or no. That’s all. It’s not complicated.”

He recalled Caffarra’s “profound sadness” over Francis’s silence and asked the question whether Caffarra's pain contributed to his death.

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St Gallen Mafia and Pope Francis : What is it?

WJHAT is the St Gallen Mafia? How does it relate to the election of Pope Francis? Who is in it? What is it? And how do we know about it? Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon discuss





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Humanae Vitae


The Challenge goes deep

JAMES KALB, author of 'The Tyranny of Liberalism' and 'Against Inclusiveness', delivers his talked entitled 'The Challenge Goes Deep.' Mr. Kalb's talk was part of the Challenging the Secular Culture Conference, sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Policy at Franciscan University of Steubenville.



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United Nations

UN logo


UN pulls credentials of correspondent over spurious charges

AUSTIN RUSE reports for the Friday Fax : ' The United Nations has permanently canceled the press credentials of long-time UN correspondent Matthew Lee, founder and chief correspondent of the Inner City Press. The issue likely stems from what is often a testy relationship between UN bureaucrats, UN diplomats, and those they often view as outsiders. The often feisty and indefatigable Inner City Press is indeed an outsider.

Lee and his colleagues have covered the UN closely for years and have covered a wide range of issues including corruption, peacekeeping, and human rights. Inner City reports have been highly critical of top UN officials. Lee and his colleagues have therefore been a longtime thorn in the side of UN insiders.

For years and until February 2016, Lee carried prized resident-journalist credentials that allowed him to cover most UN events, including official press briefings. Perhaps even more prized, the badge gave him an office in the press area. The UN charged him with violating correspondent guidelines in February 2016 and downgraded his status to non-resident correspondent and took away his office.

On August 17th, Lee received a five-page letter from UN Under-Secretary-General Alison Smale, who formerly worked as a correspondent for the New York Times. She informed him that he would permanently lose his UN press credentials. Among other charges, Smale cited a July 3rd dust-up that saw Lee roughed up by uniformed UN security and escorted from UN headquarters. At the time, Lee was covering a UN budget meeting that had gone to 10 pm, long after the building was closed, but that would still have been open to those with UN badges, including Lee.

Smale’s letter charged Lee with “trying to gain unauthorized access to a locked area” of the UN and with refusing to comply with “repeated requests” by UN security to leave the premises. Lee had just video-recorded an interview with Tommo Mothe of Cameroon, the chairman of the UN budget committee, and was sitting down to type up his notes in the area outside several UN conference rooms and near the Vienna Café, common areas where anyone with a UN badge may congregate. The video appears to refute the Alison Smale’s charges.

Without a doubt, Lee is unorthodox. He is aggressive where other correspondents may view themselves as part of a club. He has been seen as an outsider and perhaps even a gadfly by the bigfoot journalists of the United Nations who tend to seek cozy relationships with top UN officials. The Smale letter includes charges that he has offended some of these other UN correspondents.

Inner City Press continues to cover UN business since many UN meetings are live-streamed, but what has changed is that Matthew Lee and his team will no longer be able to put a microphone in a bureaucrats’ faces and demand answers.

Pro-life groups understand such outsider status. Pro-life groups attending negotiations have been shadowed by UN security because anonymous sources at the UN have called them “dangerous.” Pro-life lobbyists have had their official badges pulled over spurious charges. UN bureaucrats have been openly hostile to pro-life and pro-family groups and the individuals representing them. What has happened to Matthew Lee and Inner City Press is all too familiar to social conservatives at the UN.

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News from around the world


UK (Scotland) SPUC lodges appeal against abortion pills ruling
SPUC, he Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has odged papers yesterday to appeal a judge's decision to back the Scottish Government’s controversial plans to allow DIY abortions at home.

SPUC Scotland filed the legal challenge in January, after Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, refused to reverse her decision to authorise the taking of misoprostol (the second stage of a medical abortion) outside a clinical setting.

The appeal follows a two day hearing earlier this year at the Court of Session, in Edinburgh, which Lady Wise rejected.

Speaking after the papers were lodged in Edinburgh, John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC Scotland said:
"While disappointed by the original decision it was always our intention to fight this case all the way. Our position and beliefs remain the same.

"At the original hearing our arguments convincingly exposed the unlawfulness of the actions taken by the Scottish Government in contravention of the law. After thorough consideration of the judgement and in tandem with legal advice we now appeal the decision.

"We owe it to our supporters who continue to make donations to cover our legal costs."

SPUC's challenge rested on two major grounds: firstly, that the home is not an approved place for abortions to take place, and secondly, that the Abortion Act demands the presence of medical, nursing or clinical staff during a procedure.

However, of primary concern is how going through the procedure at home will compound the trauma abortion inflicts on women, and render them more vulnerable to coercion.

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United Kingdom Pope Frances sends message to 6,000 delegates at the National Eucharistic Congress in Liverpool

POPE FRANCIS has encouraged the Catholics of England and Wales to emulate their martyrs by giving “eloquent and steadfast witness to Christ”.

In a message to about 6,000 delegates at the National Eucharistic Congress and Pilgrimage in Liverpool the Argentine Pontiff urged the faithful to continue to build upon the achievements of their forefathers.

“The history of the Church in your lands is marked in no small part by the central place that countless numbers of saints have given to the sacrifice of the Mass,” said the Pope in a letter read out by Archbishop Edward Adams, the Papal Nuncio.

“These holy men and women, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood, have given eloquent and steadfast witness to Christ in devotion to the Blessed Eucharist,” he said.

The suffering of the English and Welsh martyrs, he continued, speak “not so much of human cruelty as of the serenity and strength given by God’s grace in the face of trials”.

The Pope said: “They are rightly to be venerated and the Church in England and Wales must never lose sight of their precious memory.

“Remaining faithful to that spiritual legacy requires more than an act of remembrance,” the Holy Father added. “We must continue to bear witness to the same Lord and the same precious gift of the Eucharist today for past glories are always a beginning and not an end.

“The Lord is calling you still to go out and bear witness,” Francis said. “I pray that through a greater participation in the sacrificial gift of Jesus in the form of bread and wine you may all be sustained in faith and renewed in joyful missionary discipleship.”

Such witness, he said, would manifest itself particularly in practical concern for the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

The message of Pope Francis came on the second day of the congress, which was being held alongside the River Mersey at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

The event is being attended by Catholics from all over the UK, including most of the English and Welsh bishops.

The congress and pilgrimage will conclude on Sunday with Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols in the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.

This will be followed by a public procession of the Eucharist in the company of leaders of non-Catholic denominations.

In his welcoming remarks on Saturday, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool also paid tribute to the “great heritage” of Reformation-era martyrs from within his own archdiocese, naming Ss John Rigby, Edmund Arrowsmith and John Almond in particular, and placing at their intercession the success of the congress.

The keynote speaker on Saturday was Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles, also best-selling religious author and broadcaster, who received a standing ovation from delegates at the end of two long speeches.

Bishop Barron thanked the delegates for their “presence” and their “exuberance”, adding: “It means a lot, I think, for the Church which, as you know, is going through a painful time and during these periods I think it is so important that we return to the fundamentals.

“That means, above all, Christ in the Eucharist,” he said. “It is so wonderful that we are going to celebrate, to speak about and understand more deeply the Eucharist.”

During his first speech, Bishop Barron reminded delegates of their duty to evangelise. “We don’t have to fly over oceans to go to mission territory today,” he said. “You walk outside the door of any church in the Western world and you are in mission country.”

He said the “rising tide of secularism” was driving increasing numbers of people away from religion.

“I see it every day, especially among the young,” said Bishop Barron. “People are losing the sense of God, the sense of the transcendent.

“They need us. Everybody – they need us. We who have been Christified at the Mass are now sent to Christify the world.

“That is Vatican II in a nutshell,” he added. “The idea of Vatican II wasn’t to turn the Church into the world, it was to turn the world into Christ.”

During Eucharistic Adoration at the conclusion of the second day, Cardinal Nichols led the reflections.

He said: “In this Eucharist, this thanksgiving, lies the source of our mission. From this Adoration we run forth, wanting, longing to share with others this great secret outpouring of life and goodness which has been disclosed to us.

“There is no true mission in the Church that does not start here, in prayer, before the Lord.”

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United States Cardinal Wuerl meets with Pope Francis about crisis in D.C. diocese

Cdl. WuerlDANIEL BURKE, CNN Religion Editor, reports : 'Pope Francis met with embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington last Thursday in Vatican City, where they discussed the cardinal's personal situation, according to a source familiar with Wuerl's presentation to local priests in Washington on Monday.

Wuerl, who is archbishop of Washington, told the priests about the papal meeting, including Francis' advice that the cardinal should consult with his priests as Wuerl discerns his future. That was part of a larger conversation between the Pope and Wuerl, the source said.

Archdiocese of Washington Director of Communications Edward McFadden has said that Wuerl traveled to the Vatican last week, but declined to provide any specifics about the trip. The cardinal is a member of several powerful Vatican offices.

But the 77-year-old Wuerl is facing increasing scrutiny both over what he knew about abuse allegations against his predecessor, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in Washington, and how he handled abusive priests while he headed the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Wuerl has 'categorically denied' that any information about accusations against McCarrick was ever brought to him. He has also defended his overall record handling of clerical abuse in Pittsburgh, even while acknowledging 'errors in judgment.'

Still, Wuerl has been under increasing pressure to step down, including calls from prominent Catholics who say that healing in the church requires new leadership. Archdiocesan officials say he does not have plans to resign.

'Cardinal Wuerl has spoken extensively over the past two months, conveyed his profound sadness, apologies and contrition, and addressed every issue as it has arisen in a straightforward and transparent manner,' said McFadden, Wuerl's spokeman.

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United States New York launches abuse probe into all 8 Catholic dioceses in state
CALVIN FREIBURGER reports for LifeSiteNews – New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is launching an investigation into all eight of New York’s Roman Catholic dioceses for potential mishandling of sexual abuse claims, ABC-13 and the Associated Press report.

Underwood subpoenaed the dioceses Thursday for any documents relevant to allegations, potential payments to victims, and the results of any internal investigations conducted by the church.

She reportedly seeks a civil investigation into the church’s handling of such reports, and wants local prosecutors to convene grand juries for potential criminal investigations.

Disgraced now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusing minors, seminarians, and priests, was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York in May 1977.

The move follows a Pennsylvania grand jury report last month that identified 301 priests accused of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse, with six different dioceses allegedly hiding their crimes for several decades.

The “sophisticated” cover-up “stretched, in some cases, all the way to the Vatican,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, with church leaders keeping “secret archives” of abuse “just feet from the bishops’ desk.” Numerous abusive clergy were not only protected but promoted, the report found.

“The Pennsylvania grand jury report shined a light on incredibly disturbing and depraved acts by Catholic clergy, assisted by a culture of secrecy and cover ups in the dioceses. Victims in New York deserve to be heard as well – and we are going to do everything in our power to bring them the justice they deserve,” Underwood said in a press release that included a hotline and website for filing complaints.

"She will find the Archdiocese of New York, and the other seven dioceses in the state, ready and eager to work together with her in the investigation,” the Archdiocese of New York responded in a statement. “Since 2002, the archdiocese has shared with its 10 District Attorneys all information they have sought concerning allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and has established excellent working relationships with each of them [...] We look forward to receiving the subpoena, and working with the Attorney General."

Investigators in Illinois and Missouri have launched similar probes into handling of abuse reports in their jurisdictions, in response to the Pennsylvania bombshell.

The scandal has also highlighted criticism of Pope Francis, whom Archbishop Carlo Viganò alleges was warned about abusive McCarrick, but helped cover up the allegations. According to excerpts of the 2018 book The Dictator Pope provided to LifeSiteNews, the pope’s insistence “that he too is a champion against clerical abuse [...] appears to have evaporated with Benedict’s resignation.”

“For those paying attention, Francis started signaling the new direction immediately by choosing to honor one of the most notorious of the enabling bishops—namely his electoral ally Cardinal Danneels, who appeared with the new pope on the balcony at St. Peter’s Basilica on the night of the election,” author Henry Sire writes. “In the name of his favorite theme, ‘mercy,’ Francis decisively broke with the Ratzinger/ Benedict program of reform, reducing the penalty for priest abusers to ‘a lifetime of prayer’ and restrictions on celebrating Mass.”

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International Michael Voris

Vade, propheta ad populum meum . . . flicking his whip at the Bishops, cutting them in tender places, throwing stones at Sacred Congregations, and discharging pea shooters at Cardinals' (Newman)


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International gloria.tv.news


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International Some headlines of the week


Egypt : Christians jailed for worshipping in unlicensed houses

Finland : 13-year old repeatedly beaten for not wesring hijab

Netherlands : Americans stabbed in Amsterdam because of 'insults to Islam'

Pakistan : Christians beaten for protection church property

Malaysia : Two caned as lesbians 'in line with provisions in the Quran'

Spain : Man on plane screams 'Sharia is fairest rule of law, Christians are infidels'

Tunisia : Once-lavish tourist reorts deserted, abandoned after jihad massacres

UK : ISIL supporter planned terrorist attack using driverless car

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International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo


I. Call for clerical abuse celebration




II. Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Women



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What most surprised Newman about Catholicism

As an Anglican he had carefully avoided Catholic churches. One unexpected feature of his new religious life struck him forcefully

FR. IAN KER writes for TheCatholic Herald : 'The story of Newman's conversion to Catholicism is not quite the same as his subsequent discovery of Catholicism. There were then very few Catholic places of worship, and, in any case, to avoid the charge that the Oxford or Tractarian Movement was really just a preparation for conversion to the Church of Rome, Newman had carefully avoided Catholics and Catholic services, even when he was on his Mediterranean tour of 1832-3 and when he could hardly avoid being exposed to both.

And so it was that the feature of his new religious life as a Catholic that most struck him came as a complete surprise - namely, the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in Catholic churches. He wrote in a letter to a close friend, herself about to become a Catholic a few months later:

We went over not realising those privileges which we have found by going. I never allowed my mind to dwell on what I might gain of blessedness - but certainly, if I had thought much upon it, I could not have fancied the extreme, ineffable comfort of being in the same house with Him who cured the sick and taught His disciples … When I have been in Churches abroad, I have religiously abstained from acts of worship, though it was a most soothing comfort to go into them - nor did I know what was going on; I neither understood nor tried to understand the Mass service - and I did not know, or did not observe, the tabernacle Lamp - but now after tasting of the awful delight of worshipping God in His Temple, how unspeakably cold is the idea of a Temple without that Divine Presence! One is tempted to say what is the meaning, what is the use of it?

It is remarkable how it was the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament in Catholic churches that more than anything else impressed and moved Newman, even more than the Mass itself. And it tells us something very important not only about Newman but also about a central aspect of the impact of Catholicism on the imagination of the 19th-century English Protestant convert. Thus Newman is not only making a devotional and spiritual point when he writes to an Anglican friend:

I am writing next room to the Chapel - It is such an incomprehensible blessing to have Christ in bodily presence in one's house, within one's walls, as swallows up all other privileges … To know that He is close by - to be able again and again through the day to go in to Him …

Newman is saying something very significant about objectivity and reality. For it was that concrete presence of Jesus in a material tabernacle which, for Newman, above all produced that 'deep impression of religion as an objective fact' and which so impressed him about Catholicism. He admired 'every where the signs of an awful and real system'.

When Newman arrived in Italy a year later to prepare for the priesthood, he was immediately and vividly aware of a reality that powerfully impinged on his imagination, but of which he had been oblivious on his previous visit. Arriving in Milan, he immediately noticed that he had now an added reason for preferring classical to Gothic architecture, since its simplicity meant that the high altar stood out as the focal point of the church, with the result that the reserved Sacrament had particular prominence - for 'nothing moves there but the distant glimmering Lamp which betokens the Presence of our undying Life, hidden but ever working'.

His almost obsessive preoccupation with this 'Real Presence' was more than simply devotional: 'It is really most wonderful to see this Divine Presence looking out almost into the open streets from the various Churches … I never knew what worship was, as an objective fact, till I entered the Catholic Church.'

For what Newman had discovered was that the objectivity of the worship which so impressed him only reflected the objectivity of Catholicism, which he came to believe was a quite different religion from Anglicanism or Protestantism. Now he was delighted to find, as he thought, 'a real religion - not a mere opinion such that you have no confidence your next door neighbour holds it too, but an external objective substantive creed and worship'.

Newman's fascination with the reservation of the Sacrament reflects his celebrated philosophical distinction between the notional and real, notions being intellectual abstractions and the real what we personally and concretely experience. Catholics, he insisted, worshipped not dogmatic definitions but 'Christ Himself', believing in the '[Real] Presence in the sacred Tabernacle not as a form of words', or 'as a notion, but as an Object as real as we are real'.

[Fr Ker's Newman on Vatican II (2014) was reissued this year in paperback by OUP]

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Why is the BBC promoting adultery?

ANN FARMER writes for Mercatornet : 'A new six-episode show about sexual boredom and infidelity, Wanderlust, has been described as the BBC’s “filthiest drama to date”. The producers, of course, say that it is a serious look “at how we build and maintain happy relationships and asks if lifelong monogamy is possible - or even desirable”.

The production, which stars Australian actress Toni Collette, has even been presented as an aid to relationships. Yet the claim that infidelity can save a marriage has long been disproved, perhaps explaining the slightly newer suggestion that twice as much infidelity might do the trick.

Moreover, if the drama is supposed to be therapeutic, why make a film that people who need help would be too embarrassed to watch? A serious dramatic exploration would not resort to the titillating sex scenes which spice the show. And, as Lisa Williams says, it is possible to “recover that loving feeling without resorting to an affair”.

However, she quotes Dr Karen Gurney, a psycho-sexologist from The Havelock Clinic in Harley Street, who has some strange advice to offer: “Sex is not just about procreation.”

But if, as she agrees, it is the constant availability of sex that leads to boredom, one way to promote excitement would be to respect the natural fertility cycle of the woman, rather than expecting to “have sex” on a regular basis, making it as romantic as eating a sandwich. Even the advice which this “expert” offers – basically, for partners to be considerate and take an interest in each other in small ways – is aimed at achieving selfish ends.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that The Havelock Clinic pays tribute to Victorian sexologist Havelock Ellis, [1] a proponent of eugenics who supported birth control and euthanasia, and saw the rejection of infanticide as an “unfortunate” outcome of Christianity [1] – who proposed that poor relief be withdrawn from the “unfit” who refused to be sterilised. [3] As well as “improving the race” he sought to provide a “scientific” basis for a wide variety of sexual practices in order to normalise his own taste for voyeurism. [3] No doubt he would approve of the BBC’s voyeuristic promotion.

Everything that could be said on the subject of married ennui was said – or more importantly, left unsaid – in the 1945 David Lean film Brief Encounter. The difference is that Brief Encounter has a happy ending, as the bored wife returns to her long-suffering husband. The producers of Wanderlust would no doubt say she returned to her boring husband and her boring life – that the plot was far removed from real life.

But in fact infidelity is like serial burglary – the initial thrill wears off, leading the “burglar” to seek even greater thrills. The only “happy ending” is to be as happy as Hugh Hefner, who left an ever-growing trail of unhappy people and ruined lives behind him.

Like the burglar whose only skill is breaking in, the serial adulterer tunnels his way out of the cell of boredom only to find himself in the even smaller cell of his own ego. The glamorisation of the adulterer will not work, because no one can look up to an adulterer.

Anyone can break a promise; the real hero or heroine is the one who is willing to give up all others for the sake of one person (hint: not themselves). The real excitement in life is making a vow, and the real adventure is spending a whole lifetime trying to keep it.


[1] https://thehavelockclinic.com/about/

[2] 'The Control of Population' in 'On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue, 2 Vols. in One. Garden City, NY: Garden City Publishing Co., 1937, vol. II pp.169-170 (originally published as 'More Essays of Love and Virtue', 1931).

[3] Havelock Ellis, The Problem of Race-Regeneration, 1911.

[4] P. Grosskurth, Havelock Ellis, 1980.

[Ann Farmer lives in the UK. She is the author of By Their Fruits: Eugenics, Population Control, and the Abortion Campaign (CUAP, 2008); The Language of Life: Christians Facing the Abortion Challenge (St Pauls, 1995), and Prophets & Priests: the Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (St Austin Press, 2002)].

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Book review


Spadaro book


New book by Jesuit @antoniospadaro about Francis

Open to God; Open to the World. Pope Francis with Antonio Spadaro. Bloomsbury. £10.99

FR. JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs : 'Those of us who watch closely what is going on in the Church need to pay attention to happenings local and Roman and papal. When it comes to papal, we also have to watch the dicta et facta of those who surround the person of the Roman Pontiff. The close the intimate collaborator, the closer we watch. These are the people who not only execute and report on what Popes do, they help Popes determine their policies and emphases.

Hence, when one of Francis’ closest collaborators puts out a book, we at least take notice. Mind you, I am not saying we should read it. But we should take notice of it.

Jesuit Fr. Antonio “2+2=5” Spadaro, SJ, whose great interest in Pier Vittorio Tondelli is now more widely know, clearly one of Francis’ most important and intimate sherpas, has a book coming out with Bloomsbury.

In the spirit of openness Spadaro blocks me on Twitter.




Here are my emphases and comments.

Pope Francis’s impact on the modern world has already proved extraordinary. It is no surprise that he was voted Time magazine’s Person of the Year (in 2013), joining the likes of Martin Luther King (1964) and President John F. Kennedy (1961). [What a curious thing to include. Weren’t MLK and JFK both adulterers? One might counter that Hitler (1938) and Stalin (1939) were included. Of course TIME didn’t choose only the “good guys”, but – to be fair – significant figures. But, since these folks think that history and the Church began in the 1960’s, Time also had Richard Nixon (’71 &’72), Deng Xiaoping (’78 & ’85), Khomeini (’79), and… significantly in 2002 – WHISTLEBLOWERS! and in 2017 SILENCEBREAKERS] Francis has turned the Catholic Church upside-down, flung open the windows of the Vatican and started to purge the church of corruption, nepotism and financial skulduggery. But above all he is engaged with the poor, the starving and the marginalised. He has made important visits to troubled spots in the world and invariably people say his appearances change everything. [History is still to be written. But the best part is to come…]

Pope Francis is in constant dialogue with the outside world and with the universal Catholic Church. He likes being asked questions, finding it easy to respond, and maintains a good relationship with the press. In this new book are some of his most valuable engagements in dialogue form with people of all sorts and kinds. On the one hand, there is his recent engagement with priests in Colombia who are locked in a struggle for human rights. In another lengthy piece, he talks about the importance of scripture, in a way which shows how this is a living source of inspiration. Also included are the texts of the Pope’s most recent addresses in Myanmar, Peru and Chile.

Open to God: Open to the World offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind and workings of this entirely different Pope. As we see in these conversations the Franciscan revolution is under way and, in spite of Francis’s critics, the revolution will roll on and new horizons will be opened for the one and a half billion Catholics in the world today.

“He likes being asked questions, finding it easy to respond…”.

I think we might be permitted a dubitation about that, at least when it comes to certain issues.

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Comment from the internet


On the scandal of the Century



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Why Archbishop Viganò is almost certainly telling the truth

EDWARD FESER blogs : 'There are five considerations that seem to me to make it very likely that Archbishop Viganò’s testimony is truthful. To be sure, given how numerous and detailed are the claims he makes, it would not be surprising if he has gotten certain particulars wrong. And perhaps in his passion he has inadvertently overstated things here and there. But the main claims are probably true. I certainly do not believe he is lying. The reasons are these:

1. The deafening silence of Pope Francis

Pope Francis has been accused of grave offenses by a churchman of high stature who was in an optimal position to know about the matters in question. Yet he has refused to deny the charges or to comment on the matter at all. That is simply not the way one would expect a person to act if such charges against him were false. You would expect him immediately, clearly, and vigorously to deny the charges.

Some of his defenders suggest that the pope is merely exhibiting a Christ-like lack of concern for his own reputation. He is not defending himself, so the claim goes, any more than Christ defended himself against those who crucified him. Yet the pope has defended himself in other contexts. For example, he has defended himself against the accusation that he is a communist and against charges that he failed to speak out forcefully enough during Argentina’s “dirty war.” After he was criticized by some on the Left for meeting with Kim Davis in 2015, the Vatican issued a statement asserting that “his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.” In 2016, the pope defended himself against criticism of his refusal to associate Islam with violence. In 2017, he defended himself against criticism of his comparison of migrant camps to concentration camps.

So, the thesis that the pope prefers to “turn the other cheek” rather than answer critics simply doesn’t withstand scrutiny. He does answer them, sometimes. Why, then, would he not defend himself against the far more serious charges now at issue, leveled by an accuser far more eminent than some of the critics the pope has answered in the past?

Furthermore, it is not merely the pope’s own reputation that is at stake. The good of the Church is at stake. There is, as people on both sides of the controversy have noted, a kind of “civil war” brewing in the Church. The pope could help prevent that if he would only respond to the archbishop’s charges. Yet he has not done so.

Pope Francis’s defenders demand that the archbishop back up his charges with evidence. But the archbishop has told us where the evidence is. For example, he has told us that relevant documentation can be found in the files of the Secretariat of State at the Vatican and at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington.

Now, the pope himself has more power than anyone else does to make sure that this evidence is released. He could order Vatican officials to release whatever relevant documents they have, and order local church officials to do the same. And if that evidence would exonerate him, you would think that this is exactly what he would do. Yet he has not done so.

Moreover, at least some of Archbishop Viganò’s charges have to do with private conversations he says he had with Pope Francis. The archbishop’s own testimony about these conversations is evidence. If we want further evidence, only Pope Francis can give it, in the form of his own testimony about the conversations. Yet he refuses to comment.

Again, this is not the way one would expect someone to act against whom false charges have been made – which supports the conclusion that the charges are not false.

2. The apparent silence of Pope Benedict

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has not commented on any of the doctrinal controversies of the past five years, even though he must surely disapprove of some of what Pope Francis is widely claimed to have taught. For example, though Benedict has made it clear enough that he does not agree with the policy of admitting couples in invalid marriages to Holy Communion, he has remained silent about the controversy over Amoris Laetitia. The best explanation is that Benedict does not want to say anything that might inadvertently promote schism. Better in his view, apparently, to leave doctrinal confusion to be sorted out by a future pope than to split the Church apart.

Now, the current controversy is itself something that threatens to split the Church apart. Since Benedict seems to fear that outcome most of all, you would expect him to act in a way that is in his judgment most likely to prevent it.

So, suppose Archbishop Viganò is lying about the sanctions he claims Benedict imposed privately on Cardinal McCarrick. Then Benedict could correct the record and more or less end the current crisis. He wouldn’t even have to accuse the archbishop of lying. He could phrase his remarks in a way that simply asserts that what Viganò is saying is mistaken. Viganò’s credibility would be severely damaged, his defenders would have the wind taken out of their sails, and Pope Francis’s credibility would be largely restored at least in many people’s minds. In other words, the threat of schism would be greatly reduced.

But suppose Archbishop Viganò is telling the truth. Then, if Benedict publicly confirms this, he will vindicate the archbishop’s credibility and thereby do grave damage to Pope Francis. Indeed, such an act would be perceived by many as intended to damage Pope Francis. This would certainly greatly increase the possibility of schism, since many Catholics would see this as a war of popes – some rallying behind Benedict, others behind Francis. The very idea must be horrifying to Benedict, and rightly so.

So, if Benedict is worried about schism, then his silence seems much more comprehensible on the hypothesis that Viganò is telling the truth than it is on the hypothesis that what Viganò is saying is false.

Now, it may be that Benedict has tried to comment in a subtle and indirect way on the controversy. In a summary of developments since the release of Viganò’s testimony, Catholic News Agency notes that “a source close to Benedict” told reporter Edward Pentin that “as far as the former pope could remember” he had made a “private request” that McCarrick keep a “low profile,” where this differs from a “formal decree.”

If this communication was made at Benedict’s behest – and we don’t know that for sure – then this might be interpreted as the former pope’s way of finessing the difficulty of having to choose between either confirming Viganò’s testimony and thereby hurting Pope Francis, or undermining that testimony and thereby hurting Viganò. For on the one hand, the insinuation that Benedict does not clearly remember what happened but that in any case there was no formal decree seems to help Pope Francis. But on the other hand, the assertion that there was a private request to McCarrick that he keep a low profile confirms the gist of Viganò’s allegation.

Some of Pope Francis’s defenders are spinning Pentin’s report as if it undermined Viganò, but it does not do so. Viganò never said there was a formal decree against McCarrick in the sense of the imposition of sanctions as the outcome the standard formal investigative process. His whole point was that the action against McCarrick was something done privately by Pope Benedict rather than a matter of following ordinary disciplinary proceedings. As some commentators have pointed out, this would be similar to the way Benedict dealt with the disgraced Fr. Marcial Maciel.

Some have also claimed that the fact that McCarrick carried out some public actions in the years after Benedict’s alleged imposition of sanctions undermines Viganò’s story. Again, that is not the case. As Rod Dreher points out, the answer to this is that “McCarrick defied the pope’s order. One main theme of the Viganò statement is that these curial cardinals and their allies (Wuerl, McCarrick, et al.) are laws unto themselves.”

The bottom line is that Pentin’s source confirms that Benedict did take private action against McCarrick, just as Viganò said. So, either Pope Benedict has in this indirect and subtle way confirmed part of Viganò’s story, or (if the communication to Pentin was not made at the former pope’s behest) he has remained entirely silent on the controversy, which for the reasons I have given is more comprehensible on the supposition that Viganò is telling the truth. Either way, Benedict’s actions support the truth of Viganò’s testimony.

3. Archbishop Viganò’s concern for his own place in history and his immortal soul

Archbishop Viganò has very conservative theological views. Indeed, his critics insist on emphasizing this point, since they accuse him of having a grudge against a pope widely perceived to be theologically liberal.

Now, among the things any Catholic with very conservative theological views would believe is the Church’s traditional teaching that lying is always and intrinsically sinful, even when done for a good cause – and that it is always mortally sinful when the lie concerns a serious matter, such as another person’s reputation.

Another thing that Catholics with very conservative theological views believe is that while popes are fallible when not speaking ex cathedra, they ought always to be treated with great reverence, even when they are in error. A bad pope is not like the leader of some political faction with which one disagrees. Rather, he is like an errant father. He does not cease to be your father even when he does something bad, and his bad behavior gives no license for treating him with contempt. Even though he may under certain circumstances be criticized by his subordinates, this must be done only with caution and respect, the way a son might plead with his father to reconsider some unwise policy or to cease some abusive behavior.

A third thing that is true of Catholics with conservative theological beliefs is that they tend to have a very romantic view of Church history, and a supernatural one. They see it as an epic story of great saints who obey the divine law even at the cost of their own lives but who are always vindicated in the end; of evildoers who, however seemingly invincible, are always ultimately exposed and undone; and of the divine providence that guarantees these outcomes even when, humanly speaking, all seems lost.

They do not see Church history as fundamentally driven by grubby power politics. They do not see the saints as cynical and clever manipulators who get the edge over their opponents by ruthless means. No Catholic with traditional theological views looks back at the days of Pope Honorius, the Western Schism, or the Borgia popes and thinks: “If only I had been there, I would have come up with a very clever lie that would have saved the day!” Any traditionally-minded Catholic would see this as blasphemous presumption – the doing of evil for the sake of a good end, as if God were incapable of saving his Church in any other way.

Now, suppose Archbishop Viganò were lying. Then he would be committing what he knows to be a mortal sin, because he would be slandering no less than the Vicar of Christ. And he would be committing new mortal sins every time he reiterates these charges, as he has done in the days since he first released his testimony. Nor, as he would know, would sacramental confession wipe away his guilt under these circumstances, because if he were committed to a policy of persisting in this lie, he would lack the firm purpose of amendment that is a condition of being absolved.

If the archbishop were lying, he would also be guilty of contempt for the Vicar of Christ himself, and comparable to a son who humiliates his father and treats him the way he would treat a political enemy. And the archbishop would also be putting himself at grave risk of being remembered as one of the great villains of Church history – a Judas-like figure who slandered a pope and divided the Church. Even worse, he would be putting his immortal soul at grave risk of eternal damnation.

Secular readers and liberal Catholics might think this all very quaint and melodramatic. But the point is that this is the way a traditionally-minded Catholic would see things. In particular, it is the way Archbishop Viganò must see things, given that – as his critics themselves keep insisting – he has what they consider reactionary theological opinions.

Note that it is no good to respond by pointing out (as some have) that the archbishop once said some nice things about McCarrick at a public event, as if this were evidence that he is a liar. Viganò is a diplomat, and the job of a diplomat is to be diplomatic. Everybody knows that at public events, speakers will often say complimentary things about others in the room whether or not they really mean them, as a matter of politeness. This falls under the category of what moral theologians call a “broad mental reservation” rather than a lie, because the nature of the speech act is such that the ordinary listener is well aware that in such a context the speaker might just be being polite and not intending to speak the literal truth.

The archbishop’s testimony is not like that at all, because what he is doing in that context is precisely claiming to reveal literal truths. If what he is saying there is not true, it would be a lie and not a mere mental reservation.

But, again, to believe that the archbishop is lying in his testimony is to believe that he would be willing to do something that, by his own lights, would risk eternal damnation and perpetual infamy – all because he is irked about the Kim Davis affair or other relatively trivial matters. That is simply not plausible. The theological conservatism Viganò’s critics insist on emphasizing in fact makes it less likely that he would lie, not more likely.

4. Pope Francis’s record

As Sandro Magister, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, and others have noted, rehabilitating Cardinal McCarrick would in fact not be all that surprising given Pope Francis’s record. For example, Cardinal Godfried Danneels notoriously tried to protect a pedophile bishop from being exposed. As Pentin notes, Danneels also:

advised the king of Belgium to sign an abortion law in 1990… and refused to forbid pornographic, “educational” materials being used in Belgian Catholic schools. He also once said same-sex “marriage” was a “positive development” and congratulated the Belgian government for passing same-sex “marriage” legislation, although he has sought to distinguish such a union from the Church’s understanding of marriage.

End quote. Yet Danneels was invited by Pope Francis to appear on the balcony with him when his election was announced, and the pope appointed Danneels to a key position at the 2015 Synod on the Family.

Former Los Angeles archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony was, in 2013, disciplined by his successor for his mishandling of clergy sexual abuse cases in the archdiocese. But earlier this year, Pope Francis appointed Mahony as a special envoy – though Mahony eventually withdrew in the wake of protests from the laity.

Then there is the case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli. As Michael Brendan Dougherty reported last year in The Week:

Inzoli… [was] accused of molesting children. He allegedly abused minors in the confessional. He even went so far as to teach children that sexual contact with him was legitimated by scripture and their faith. When his case reached CDF, he was found guilty. And in 2012, under the papacy of Pope Benedict, Inzoli was defrocked.

But [Inzoli] was "with cardinal friends," we have learned. Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Inzoli, and Pope Francis returned him to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to a “a life of humility and prayer.” These strictures seem not to have troubled Inzoli too much. In January 2015, [he] participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.

This summer, civil authorities finished their own trial of Inzoli, convicting him of eight offenses. Another 15 lay beyond the statute of limitations. The Italian press hammered the Vatican, specifically the CDF, for not sharing the information they had found in their canonical trial with civil authorities. Of course, the pope himself could have allowed the CDF to share this information with civil authorities if he so desired.

End quote. Another case: Msgr. Battista Ricca, The Telegraph reports, “had a string of homosexual affairs that forced his recall from an overseas posting.” But, as Fr. Longenecker comments, even after the exposure of this history, Ricca “still works in the Vatican running the St Martha Hostel where the Pope lives and (as far as I can ascertain) still works at the Vatican Bank.”

Especially controversial was Pope Francis’s handling of the case of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused of covering up the sexual abuse of Fr. Fernando Karadima. Fr. Raymond de Souza’s account of the affair is worth quoting at length:

Barros… was promoted from being the military bishop to the Diocese of Osorno in 2015. Protests against this were voluble, and his installation Mass had to be cut short due to violent demonstrators in the cathedral. Most of his priests boycotted his arrival, and the rest of the members of the Chilean episcopate kept their distance.

Pope Francis, though, was determined to make a stand for Bishop Barros’ innocence. In 2015, in St. Peter’s Square, he accused the critics of the bishop of being politically manipulated by “leftists.” That episode – the haranguing Pope captured on video – is played constantly in Chile as an example of the Holy Father’s protection of Bishop Barros and his disdain for the concerns of victims…

The papal nuncio had arranged to have Bishop Barros resign; instead, the Pope confirmed his appointment and insisted upon it even in the face of the Chilean bishops’ vehement protest…

[I]n the most disastrous press interview of his pontificate, Pope Francis told journalists in Chile that those who said Bishop Barros was guilty of a cover-up were guilty of “calumny.”

After that, not only did the Pope have no allies in the Chilean episcopate, but Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the papal-picked “Council of Cardinals” and head of the Papal Commission on the Sexual Abuse of Minors, took the astonishing step of publicly rebuking the Holy Father, saying that his words caused “great pain” for sexual-abuse victims. The rebuke by Cardinal O’Malley was unprecedented, all the more shocking given that he is considered a close papal ally.

Chastened, and knowing that in a public quarrel with Cardinal O’Malley his own credibility would be shredded, Pope Francis accepted the rebuke during the news conference on the plane home, saying that the cardinal’s statement was just.

End quote. One can only speculate about why the pope has taken such a lenient attitude toward the priests and prelates in question. One possibility is that he takes such a policy to follow from his well-known emphasis on mercy over law and justice. Another is that he regards the churchmen in question as theologically sympathetic allies, and is for that reason willing to overlook their actions. Whatever the reason, a rehabilitation of McCarrick, including a canceling out of whatever penalties were imposed privately by Pope Benedict, would not be surprising given this history.

Pope Francis’s response to other criticism he has received over the last few years is also relevant to the current controversy. He has repeatedly refused to respond even to respectful pleas from eminent churchmen and theologians to clarify his sometimes doctrinally ambiguous statements, even though a clarification would instantly defuse criticism. For example, in response to the controversy over the implications of Amoris Laetitia, the pope could easily say: “Of course it is always wrong for a couple who are not in a valid marriage to engage in sexual relations. In no way is Amoris meant to deny that.” Yet he has refused to do so.

In short, Pope Francis is not known for “straight talk” or straightforward speech. Archbishop Viganò, by contrast, makes claims in his testimony that are extremely clear and frank. He also tells us where to find confirming evidence. He has thereby opened his assertions up to refutation (if they are false), rather than being vague and evasive. Now, a priori, the credibility of someone who makes clear and testable claims is greater than that of someone who is habitually ambiguous and evasive.

5. The response of Viganò’s critics

The New York Times reports that though Cardinals Wuerl and Tobin have denied they knew about the sanctions on McCarrick alleged by Viganò, the general tendency among those named by Viganò in his testimony has been to refuse to respond:

Following the pope’s lead, the Vatican has gone on lockdown.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, whom Archbishop Viganò also accused in the letter of covering up sexual misconduct by Cardinal McCarrick, rushed a reporter off the phone on Thursday evening.

“Look, I’m not in my office. Good evening. Good evening,” he said. And he was the most talkative.

The Times reached out to every cardinal and bishop said by Archbishop Viganò to have known about the alleged sanctions on Cardinal McCarrick by Benedict. More than a dozen of them declined or did not answer requests for comment…

A visit to the Vatican Embassy in Washington yielded no information.

End quote. Like the pope’s silence, this is odd. You would expect people innocent of charges of the gravity of those leveled by Viganò immediately, clearly, and vigorously to deny them. Of course, a guilty person might also deny charges raised against him. In his testimony, Viganò is particularly hard on Wuerl, whom he says “lies shamelessly.” But the point isn’t that people who deny charges made against them are always innocent. The point is that people who are innocent usually deny charges made against them.

You would also expect the pope’s most vigorous defenders loudly to be calling for the Vatican and the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington to release of all the documentation cited by Viganò, since the best way to discredit him would be to show that that documentation does not support his charges. But the defenders mostly don’t seem terribly interested in that.

What they do seem interested in is hammering on Viganò’s theological conservatism and his relationships to conservative Catholic media, as if this casts serious doubt on his credibility – in other words, the classic ad hominem fallacy of “poisoning the well.” The charges are either true or false, and Viganò’s motivations for making them are irrelevant to that.

That this attempt at “well-poisoning” is fallacious is only one problem with it. A second problem, as I have already noted, is that Viganò’s theological conservatism in fact makes it less likely that he would be lying, not more likely. A third problem is that the ad hominem tactic cuts both ways. Viganò’s critics can, with no less justice, be accused of wanting to smear him because they have a theologically liberal agenda that they fear will be threatened if Pope Francis is weakened or led to resign.

As the old lawyer’s saw has it, when the facts and law are on your side, you pound those; and when they aren’t, you pound the table instead. Viganò’s critics, who are now pounding the table so loudly while showing a strange disinterest in the facts (namely the documents Viganò has told us to look at), rather give the impression that they too believe that those facts are not on their side.

* * *

Of course, for all I have said, it is possible that new evidence might emerge that disproves Viganò’s key claims. More plausibly, it might turn out that though Viganò is not lying, he has gotten certain details wrong, or that his evident passion has led him inadvertently to exaggerate this or that claim or to overstate his case here or there.

Still, as things stand now, it seems very unlikely that he is lying, or that the broad outlines of his testimony are false. The best way to make progress in determining where the truth lies is for the relevant documents to be released and for the key figures named by Viganò to respond to his charges. The pope could order the release of the documents, and respond to Viganò’s charges directly and urge the others to do the same.

The ball is in his court.

[edwardfeser.blogspot.com] 2249.12a

















Archbishop Vigano, hope in the midst of darkness

Dr ThevathsanDR PRAVIN THEVATHASAN writes : 'Just about everything that Archbishop Viganò has written in his now famous letter can be verified without recourse to conspiracy theories. If you want to know what has become of the once wonderful Pontifical Academy for Life, read the letter. If you want to know why the Vatican has little time for the traditional family, read the letter. With regret, I note that while Benedict did his best to rid the Church of "filth", he did not succeed. He expected McCarrick to obey restrictions imposed on him without making it public because he thought too well of McCarrick. Unfortunately, McCarrick had far too much influence in the Vatican. And access to lots and lots of money. Surely one explanation for Benedict's resignation.

Thanks to the letter and the behaviour of McCarrick, the truth is emerging and the secular media is largely silent: the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been largely perpetrated by homosexual priests and many of them were protected. Even James Martin, a priest who belongs to the deviated wing of the Jesuits, to quote Vigano, admits that "many priest abusers had a homosexual orientation. That is undeniable." (August 30, 2018) It is difficult to believe that the Church is taking the abuse problem seriously when cardinals close to the pope are willing to turn a blind eye to homosexual activity in seminaries.

The problem here is dissent. Sadly, Pope Francis is himself willing to tolerate dissent. For example, Lifesitenews reports that he sent a letter of support to a conference featuring many dissenting theologians (August 29, 2018, Lifesitenews). It was organized by James Keenan, who also belongs to the deviated wing of the Jesuits. He is an ardent supporter of "same-sex marriage". Even more surprisingly, Father Charles Curran was a speaker. He was disciplined by Pope John Paul for his support of abortion and homosexuality. Is he being quietly rehabilitated by Francis? Yet another Jesuit, Alan Thomasset does not believe in intrinsically immoral acts. Stephan Goertz is an outspoken supporter of Church blessings for homosexuals. Craig A. Ford is a homosexual who detests the teachings of the Church on homosexuality. Tina Beattie, who once threatened me with litigation for referring to her in an editorial in the Catholic Medical Quarterly (www.cmq.org.uk) as being pro-choice on abortion, but was willing to be called a Catholic who argues that early abortion should be legal (these nice liberals are so tolerant) was also a speaker. It was she who wrote "I never expected to feel such a deep, sad, quiet sense of rightness about the "yes" vote" in the Irish abortion referendum (May 27, Independent Catholic News). Seems like she too is being quietly rehabilitated. Yet another speaker, Martin Lintner, also promotes the homosexual agenda.Those who arranged the conference included Linda Hogan, zealous promoter of "same-sex marriage". They have every reason to proudly proclaim that they were well received by Francis and the Vatican. Both Cardinals Cupich and Turkson attended and funded the conference. Cupich is now famous for his claim that the main role of Francis is to sort out the environment and immigration.

So, what we witness is the emergence of a counter-church and Francis is willing to tolerate and even promote it, a church without charity but with plenty of false mercy.We need to form ourselves according to the traditional teachings of the Church. We need to pray for and support our good priests and bishops and there are plenty of them. Personally, I think the rot is far greater than Francis. Even if he resigns, who might we get? A pope who eschews the traditional "Buona Sera" and greets us with a hearty "Nighty-night baby. I love you"? The Church does not belong to me, to Francis or whoever succeeds him. It is entirely Christ's. And that is why following Him might mean ignoring his visible head when he himself departs from Tradition.

Father Thwaites, a real Jesuit, often used to say "a fish rots from the head down." Interestingly, when I briefly expressed an interest in the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood, the first book he gave me to read was entitled "The Homosexual Network" by Enrique Rueda, a book that is now difficult to get hold of and needs to be read and updated. It was this book that helped me not to become too distressed even by the more demonic elements of the abuse crisis.

[CF News] 2249.13















What has Pope Francis covered up?
D AMIAN THOMPSON writes for The Spectator : '
The Catholic Church is confronting a series of interconnected scandals so shameful that its very survival is threatened. Pope Francis himself is accused of covering up the activities of one of the nastiest sexual predators ever to wear a cardinal’s hat: his close ally Theodore McCarrick, the retired Archbishop of Washington, DC.

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are also implicated; they did nothing, or almost nothing, while Mc-Carrick was seducing every seminarian he could get his hands on. (‘Hide the pretty ones!’ they used to say when he visited seminaries.) Yet powerful cardinals kept quiet and are now suspected of lying their heads off after Mc–Carrick’s crimes were recently made public.

McCarrick is the world’s only ex-cardinal. He was forced to resign in July when sexual abuse allegations against him were found to be ‘creditable and substantiated’ by American church authorities. But now the Pope is also being urged to step down — by his own former apostolic nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò says he told Francis in 2013 that McCarrick had ‘corrupted generations of priests and seminarians’. The Pope ignored him and lifted sanctions that Benedict, who’d been told the same thing, had imposed.

It’s not clear what these sanctions were: they don’t seem to have been as severe as Viganò claims and in any case McCarrick ignored the enfeebled Benedict. What’s certain is that Francis rehabilitated this disgusting old man, sending him swanning round the world as his emissary. Viganò also claims that McCarrick — a sanctimonious ‘progressive’ who, when he wasn’t unbuttoning cassocks, was wringing his hands over climate change — persuaded the Pope to promote his liberal protégés.

Meanwhile, last month a Pennsylvania grand jury lifted the lid on hundreds of abuse cases. Most of the accused priests are now dead. You could argue that things are different now. Since the US bishops issued new guidelines in Dallas in 2002, the incidence of abuse has fallen sharply. But there’s a catch. Bishops were exempted from the so-called Dallas Charter. Which was convenient for its author: Cardinal McCarrick — or ‘Uncle Ted’, as he invited his victims to call him as he groped them in his beach house.

If you’ve read all this in the newspapers, you must have been keeping a pretty close eye on the story: the coverage has been fragmentary, to say the least. Cardinals close to the Pope are terrified, waiting for bombs to go off. For the time being, however, they are one step ahead of media outlets — not difficult, given that (for reasons we’ll come to) the media aren’t chasing them.

Here, then, is my attempt at a brief overview of the two main issues.

First, there’s the collapse of the moral authority of the US bishops. They let a sexual abuser write their guidelines on dealing with sexual abuse — at a time when, we now learn, he had already faced scandalous and serious accusations.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the current Archbishop of Washington, says he knew nothing of his predecessor’s serial abuse. That’s odd, given that even his janitor could have told him. And what about Cardinal Joseph Tobin, given a red hat by Francis before his surprise appointment as Archbishop of Newark? In 2016, the Vatican journalist Rocco Palmo reported that McCarrick got Tobin the job; Viganò agrees. Yet McCarrick’s sins were news to Tobin.

Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who previously worked for McCarrick, told the press he was ‘livid’ that he, too, was ‘kept in the dark’. For six years he shared an apartment with Ted in Washington and he didn’t suspect a thing. Such naivety is touching, but perhaps a handicap if, like Farrell, you’re running the Vatican’s department for family life. Indeed, Farrell’s claim is so implausible that Italian journalists are openly mocking him. It’s also been noted that when he acquired a coat of arms, Farrell incorporated a tribute to Ted McCarrick into it.

Second, there are Viganò’s allegations against Francis. His testimony has its contradictions and hyperbole — but when, on his flight back from Ireland, the Pope was given the chance to deny that Viganò told him about McCarrick, he refused to comment. As a result, Catholics don’t know whether the Vicar of Christ willingly revived the career of a sexual predator, thus putting idealistic seminarians at risk. Perhaps they should be reminded that Francis invited the disgraced Cardinal Danneels of Belgium to his synod on the family. In 2010, Danneels was recorded telling a young man to shut up about being abused by a bishop who was also the young man’s uncle. Three years later, Danneels was also one of the cardinals who lobbied to make Jorge Bergoglio pope.

There are other cases of Francis ignoring gross allegations about his allies. Moreover, the duplicitous pontiff depicted by Viganò is instantly recognisable as the cynical, backstabbing Bergoglio in Henry Sire’s book The Dictator Pope, which — though profoundly hostile to its subject — is based on first-hand testimony from Argentina and Rome. Every Catholic should read it. Why do so many churchmen who knew Bergoglio regard him as a backstabbing cynic? And why does he refuse to set foot in his native country? Forthcoming revelations may enlighten us.

Finally, hardcore papal loyalists known as Team Francis are engaging in Nixonian black ops intended to discredit Viganò and anyone who believes him. Their task is made easier by the fact that the Pope’s critics include anti-gay conspiracy theorists; these can be hard to distinguish from non-bigoted Catholics who quite reasonably suspect that predatory gay clergy conspired to protect each other.

But the team’s one priceless asset is the mainstream media. Since editors no longer employ religious correspondents, and tend to be secular in their outlooks, they are happy to believe that the negative stories against the ‘progressive’ Francis are part of a right-wing conspiracy because he has said kind things about gays and divorce.

Where are the Catholics who support a gentler line on divorce and homosexuality but who, having reviewed the evidence, think Francis is unfit to occupy the See of Peter? Liberal Catholicism, for now, appears to have been hijacked by ‘Francisism’, a cult-like devotion to this pontiff that absolves him of all his sins, rather as he absolves those of his allies.

Team Francis are confident that their man won’t resign. He’s basically a Peron-ist, and they don’t go quietly. And even if conservatives forced him to announce his departure, church law says popes can’t be compelled to resign. ‘It would take only one or two diehard Francis cardinals to refuse to accept a successor on those grounds, and we’d be back to popes and antipopes,’ says a canon lawyer.

On the other hand, if Francis’s opponents reluctantly agree to sit out the reign of ‘a bad pope’, there are many ways of pulling up the drawbridge. They’ll pray for him at Mass but otherwise ignore his directives. The number of priests and, increasingly, bishops ready to do this is growing all the time. In that respect, the pontificate of ‘The Great Reformer’ has already ended in failure; whether it also ends in disgrace remains to be seen.

[Spectator] 2248.13a

















The heart of Bergoglianity

FR. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs : 'The heart of the Bergoglianist error is, in my fallible opinion, to be found in such texts as the letter Archbishop Nichols wrote last year to PF, assuring him that English Catholics believe that his election was the work of the Holy Spirit [not in my name, Vincent], and that the Holy Spirit guides him daily [ditto]; vide similar statements by now-Cardinal Farrell linking the Pope to the Holy Spirit ... Mgr Pio of the Rota ... ...

Now one of the Church's leading and most extreme hyperultrapapalists, the papolatrous Cardinal Maradiaga, has encapsulated that error in a single lucid sentence and, in so doing, has pushed the error a few notches further up the scale ... or even, you may feel, off the scale. Here are his reported words:

'To ask for the resignation of the pope is, in my opinion, a sin against the Holy Spirit, who ultimately is the guide of the Church.'

I need not remind you that the 'sin against the Holy Spirit' is, according to the words of the Lord, the unforgivable sin: unforgivable both in this world and in the next (Mt 12:31 sqq et parr).

Not even, apparently, merely a sin canonically reserved to the Holy See. A sin ... unforgivable!

As PF's grip on power becomes ever more threatened, it is natural that his cronies should become daily more extreme in their desperate rhetoric designed to protect their unfortunate and profoundly flawed hero.

But to say that calling on him to resign is a sin against the Holy Spirit goes even further than I had feared possible.

I wrote recently, 'They are running scared and they will become very dangerous'.

When I wrote this I had no idea just how scared and how dangerous. Is there anything they will stop at?

[litugicalnotes] 2249.14
















Pius X condemns Modernism: Relevant then, relevant now

Pius XPETER KWASNIEWSKI writes for OnePeterFive :'On September 8, 1907, Pope Pius X issued his encyclical letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis, On the Doctrine of the Modernists. The Modernists in question were a group of mostly European Catholic intellectuals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who, as they saw it, had the mission of bringing Christianity 'up to date' and into conformity with the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. To them, the march of modern progress, most plainly seen in the ever expanding discoveries of the natural sciences, forced a reinterpretation or redefinition of every major tenet of Christian doctrine, from the creation account to the inspiration of Scripture, from the Virgin Birth to the Resurrection, from ecclesiology to eschatology. Nothing, including the liturgy, was to be left unmodernized, or, in a term that would become fashionable later on, 'updated' (according to the Italian term aggiornamento).

The attempt to fashion a modernized Christianity - more 'spiritual' and 'authentic,' less 'mythical,' miraculous, and supernatural - meant sooner or later rejecting the very idea of an inerrant deposit of faith contained in Scripture and Tradition and of a Magisterium that understands and teaches this deposit without error and also without contradicting itself over the ages. As a consequence, many of the Modernists came to reject the great historic Creeds, drifted away from the Faith, and turned into hardened sceptics.

Although the Modernists never formed a definite school with a definite system (there was much variation in opinion from individual to individual, country to country, discipline to discipline), nevertheless, their ideas tended to emerge from similar currents of modern thought - particularly the strong influence of German philosophy, above all Kant and Hegel - and to issue in similar proposals for 'reinterpretation,' revision, and reform. As a result, it was possible and desirable for St. Pius X to publish a survey of the overall system to which these ideas would of necessity give rise, and then to demonstrate how it is utterly irreconcileable with confessional Christianity, or even with sound philosophy. The originality and power of the encyclical consists, in part, in its limning out of a fully consistent Modernism that probably did not exist in any individual's mind, but which was the complete package if one took the time to assemble all the pieces.

The hundredth anniversary of this encyclical in 2007 came and went without public celebration or official commemoration; relatively few Catholics nowadays have heard of it. Theologians and historians who deign to mention the document often dismiss it as an embarrassing papal tantrum, a belligerent caricature that fell wide of its mark, an unsympathetic and even uncomprehending refusal to assimilate the findings of honorably motivated modern theologians - and, in any case, lost whatever relevance it may have had when Pius X died. Indeed, a Jesuit historian in 2007 opined that 'the movement of the 'innovators' (at least the doctrinal and theological movement) remained confined to the restricted circles of Catholic scholars, mostly young priests or seminarians,' and therefore had no real impact on wider Catholic life and thought. The same historian 'highlighted the elements judged as most outdated: its excessively 'doctrinaire' structure, its excessively 'harsh and censorious' tone, and its 'excessively fundamentalist and hard-line' application.'

And yet…it can hardly escape the notice of one who reads it attentively that this encyclical is not only not irrelevant, but vastly more relevant now than it was a century ago. The errors in doctrine and practice that Pius X condemned are far more prevalent in the Church of today, and in Catholic educational institutions, than they were in the heyday of the Loisy, Tyrrell, and von Hügel. As for the Jesuit's remark, one is perhaps reminded of those who say that the Americanism condemned by Leo XIII was a 'ghost heresy' that existed only on European paper and not on American soil. On the contrary, I challenge anyone who reads Testem Benevolentiae today to make a case that the principles targeted by Leo XIII do not permeate and dominate the church in the United States. Leo XIII and his successor Pius X were astute doctors of the body politic and the body ecclesiastical: they knew the cancerous effects of false principles left unchecked. That is why they did their utmost to lead the Church away from the many reductive and destructive '-isms' of modernity, toward the only whole that precontains and validates all partial truths: the Catholic Faith.

Consider the Modernist reinterpretation of Christianity, as the encyclical Pascendi portrays it. For the Modernist, faith is an interior 'sense' originating in a need for the divine; it is not a gift from without, but an immanent surge, an intuition of the heart, a subjective 'experience.' Religion, accordingly, is when this 'sense' rises to the level of consciousness and becomes an expression of a worldview. What, then, is revelation? The awakening consciousness of the divine within me. Doctrine, in turn, is the intellect's ongoing elaboration of that awakening, while dogmatic formulas are mere symbols or instruments by which the intellect tries to capture the meaning of religious experience. Hence, of necessity, dogma evolves in response to the pressure of vital forces, with ever changing beliefs corresponding to ever changing understandings of reality and of subjective experience. What become of Scripture and Tradition? Tradition is the sharing with others of an original experience in such a way that it becomes the experience of others, too, while Scripture is the written record of particularly powerful experiences, expressed with poetic inspiration. Sacraments, finally, are public gestures by which the assembled faith community represents to itself a certain worldview and excites in itself an awareness of the divine.

No wonder the 1907 document Lamentabili Sane from the Holy Office condemned the following Modernist proposition (with many others akin to it): 'Truth is no more unchangeable than man himself, since it evolves with him, in him, and through him.' As Cardinal Mercier wrote in the same year: 'Modernism consists essentially in affirming that the religious soul must draw from itself, from nothing but itself, the object and motive of its faith. It rejects all revelation imposed upon the conscience, and thus, as a necessary consequence, becomes the negation of the doctrinal authority of the Church established by Jesus Christ, and it denies, moreover, to the divinely constituted hierarchy the right to govern Christian society.'

Once, I was teaching Pascendi to a group of college students. After we had finished laying out the Modernist redefinitions of traditional terms like faith and revelation, I asked them: 'What do you think of all this?' Sure enough, one student said: 'Well, it sounds a lot like what we learned back in my catechism class.' Another said: 'Yeah, I've heard stuff like that preached a few times from the pulpit.' Still another: 'My friend had a book about the Mass that was exactly the same as what you said.'

Then I asked: 'Why does St. Pius X reject all of it, lock, stock, and barrel?' A student piped up: 'Because it's all subjective, it's all in your head, and where's God?' A neighboring student added: 'It completely does away with the idea of faith as a gift, as something God does for you. The Modernists created their own God and their own religion, so that they didn't have to submit their minds to the real one. It takes humility to abandon oneself in faith and not to think that modern man is so special and different.'

As our discussion went on, this much became painfully clear to me (and, I hope, to my students as well): all the errors that Pius X analyzes in Pascendi are still being taught today - indeed, in the most scandalous dereliction of duty yet seen in Church history, by the pope himself, not just once or twice, but frequently, across a wide range of subjects. There is more need than ever for teachers who, deeply in love with the truth of Christ and of His Church, will speak that truth with love and live it with joy. These will be the torchbearers who bring the light of the Faith into the remaining decades of the 21st century and beyond, while the Modernist sect implodes.

After all, as our Lord said in no uncertain terms: Veritas liberabit vos, the truth will set you free. He Himself is that truth - Ego sum via, et veritas, et vita - and His Church is the 'pillar and bulwark of the truth' (1 Tim. 3:15). Because of the flight from God that began with Adam's rebellion and worms its way into the children of Eve, we will not be surprised if the world prefers the slavery of subjectivism to the truth that sets us free: 'The time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths' (2 Tim 3:3-4).

But surely it is not too much to ask of loyal Catholics that they not follow suit; that, instead, they seek out, study, and promote sound doctrine in all faith and humility; that they turn away from fashionable modern myths to embrace a heritage of perennial truths; that they accumulate teachers who, unashamed to be lowly pupils in the school of Christ, feed upon every word that comes from the mouth of God, and nourish their disciples with the same life-giving food.

[1P5] 2249.15
















The Confessions of an ex-Legionary: 'Why I broke the silence'

The author of the text is one of the eight accusers of Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. But on this and on other similar cases, the Vatican isn´t shedding any light

SANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome : 'Even now, almost 400 days after the explosion of the clerical sex abuse scandal in the United States on Jan. 6, 2002, the course of tack decided upon by the church leaders remains uncertain.

For having poorly handled the cases for which he was responsible, Cardinal Bernard F. Law had to resign as archbishop of Boston.

And the U.S. bishops have had to give themselves severe and binding regulations regarding handling of similar cases. The rules received the Holy See´s 'recognitio,' or formal approval.

But in this regard, the Holy See itself doesn´t seem to be acting as directly and coherently.

Rome acted with resolution in one case, that of the ex-archbishop of Poznan, Julius Paetz. It heard the accusations, verified them, and drew its conclusions by removing the guilty party - despite the fact that he was close to the heart of the pope, with whom he worked closely in the Pontifical Household before being made a bishop in Poland.

In 1995, at the end of a similar process, John Paul II asked for the resignation of none less than the then-archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër.

And yet today, faced with another cleric with very similar accusations against him, the Vatican does nothing. It refuses to listen to the accusers, refuses to open an investigation, which after all might result in a recognition of innocence, as happened last summer for the archbishop of Sydney, George Pell.

The accused party around whom Rome has built a protective wall is Fr. Marcial Maciel , founder of the Legionaries of Christ, one of the most flourishing orders born in the latter half of the 20th century. The order has numerous priestly vocations and enjoys a growing following around the world.

And yet in his case there´s reason for an investigation. On October 17, 1998, eight former high-level Legionaries delivered to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a petition of denunciation, in which they accuse Father Maciel of abusing them when they were boys, in the 50s and 60s, and of having illicitly absolved them in the confessional. Regarding the severe rules in place today in the United States, the opening of an investigation would be obligatory: even if only to decide that the case could not proceed, or that the accusations were unsupported, or that the accused was fully innocent. The Vatican congregation, however, decided to reject the petition and to not even open the case.

And with this act, the Vatican has not helped its own credibility, already clouded by years of episodes of hiding the guilty, of undeserved promotions, of untouchable positions: all actions to which the same fixed and severe rules for American dioceses ought to apply.

'Restoring Trust' is the title of the dossier containing these rules on the site of the U.S. bishops´ conference. It should be a program for the entire church, and even for the Vatican curia. Here´s the link:

> Restoring Trust: Response to Clergy Sexual Abuse

And here´s the background to the Maciel case. At this site:

> Legionari di Cristo. Questo processo non s´ha da fare (31.1.2002)

And a Dec. 7, 2001, investigative report by the National Catholic Reporter:

> 'Sex-related case blocked in Vatican', by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner

What follows is a never-before published recollection written by one of Father Maciel´s eight accusers. The text has the form of a letter, written last June to the director of the Mexican cultural magazine, 'Prometeo,' yet never published despite the fact it had been requested for that reason. The author, José Barba-Martín, was among the Legionaries of Christ and today he´s a tenured professor of history and literature at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Itam, a university in Mexico City.

The reasons of my silence by José Barba-Martín

Kind Dr. Eduardo Garza,

Recent discussions in which I participated in the Mexican media regarding sexual abuse by a prominent Mexican priest inevitably begged the question: in such serious matters why had my companions and I chosen to speak up now after so many years of silence? This led you to suggest I craft a response. That personal and gentle request prompted me to write in the form of a letter that lets my memory play with the concept of silence. Reminiscing would bring back an intimate and distant spectrum of silences. As I reflected I would realize how that particular form of freedom had vanished from my once happy life. Silence would no longer be a joyful experience for me due to a pseudo-religious experience of my youth that took my Christianity hostage for many years. Silence, once corrupted, turned oppressive.


Though Mexican by birth, my adolescence, spent in Europe a few years after the end of World War II, and my early youth, were ruled, ethically, by the concept of Human Will and marked by several experiences of Silence. Even as a child I was fascinated by silence, like an intuition that led me into the essence of things: their stillness, immobility, and otherness. In my social and moral life I would always associate silence with its opposite, the word, and also with the feeling of freely chosen solitude. That is why, when my speech, my mind and the pursuit of company and friendship were taken away, silence for me became associated with force and imposition.

I believe that my early upbringing in a deeply religious home laid the groundwork for a love and admiration of silence. From the beginning of my religious instruction and practice I was always stuck by the grandiose silence of God hovering over the obscure lifeless waters. Later, as a Humanities student, I was impressed by the many silences of Christ that I read about in De la Palma, Ricciotti, Hornaert, Papini, Daniel Rops and even in sensual Gabriel Miró´s 'Figures of the Passion'. In my first encounters with good poetry in Spanish, inherited from to the creative teaching of Luis Alonso Schökel at the University of Comillas in Spain, I empathized with Enrique González Martínez and the pure lyricism of his 'Silenter', simultaneously ethical and aesthetic. I listened to the poet Antonio Machado´s somber fountains which increased the quiet of still luminous evenings: 'only the fountain could be heard...' My soul became enraptured with the perfumed rhythm of Juan Ramón Jiménez´s 'Nocturnes': 'The night was immortal, serene, transparent...', 'the trees are still, their quietness is so human they seem more alive now than when they move their branches...'

Those wonderful days were also lively, full of walks and mountain climbing, while, at the same time, moderated by the constant presence of an imposing gray-green sea like an ancient and sober mythical tutor the sight of whom taught us depth, reflection and prudence. Ours was innocent adolescence, still free from deceit; ours too a spirituality without complications, a Christianity without sects or divisions. I was not aware at that time that I would be part of 'the Church´s Special Forces'. We had not yet been introduced to our future German companions, several of them members of Hitler Youth during the last years of the war: Joseph Hermann Schmidt Valkenberg (Solingen), Walter Lamertz (Dusseldorf), Hans Georg Beyler (Duisburg). They would be praised later, with obvious pro-Nazi admiration, as examples of Aryan strength, contrasting with our Mexican 'softness'.

The quiet and harmonious monastic life of the Cistercians left its mark on us during our stay at the Colegio Mayor Mexicano in Cóbreces, Santander, just a few miles from the Jesuit University of Comillas where Marcial Maciel´s followers were studying during the first years in Spain. We were also close to the Cabuérniga Woods, at that time still inhabited by wild boar and wolves as described by José María de Pereda in his novel 'Peñas arriba'. Nearby, the bells of the Cistercian Abbey of Santa María de Via Caeli - white and gentle as a lamb - tolled across the rolling green valley... A world worthy of William Wordsworth.

The mysterious wordless walk of the Cistercians fascinated us and our minds and hearts fell in love with things medieval and chivalrous: Mount Saint Michel, Chartres, Bernard of Clairvaux who left his weapons to become a spiritual troubadour. All these imaginings were reinforced by the presence of Father Fructuoso, the monastery bursar, who often came to our aid with food when the dollars changed on the black market or by Don Martin at the railway café in Santander were not enough to see us through. I remember this priest fondly because he was the one who authorized the Spanish translation of Thomas Merton´s 'The Seven Storey Mountain', which would later lead me to 'The Sign of Jonah' and 'Seeds of Contemplation'.

This idyllic period is full of more pleasant memories still: red sunsets on the cliffs over the Gulf of Biscay; listening to Beethoven´s Sixth Symphony under the apple trees across the road from the college; reading Horace at the beginning of Spring, or savoring Virgil at the gradual lengthening of shadows as the round sun slipped silently into the piggy bank hill beyond Vega de Pas...


One day, towards the end of September, we were headed for the Pyrenees on our way to Italy, through a France that - despite its recent defeat in Indochina - smacked of light clothing, relative wealth and freedom. It was paradoxical, I reflected, that as I left the world bound for religious austerity, life seemed to open up to me so brightly with fields of sunshine, shaded roads -as straight as the Ways of the Lord- along the blessed land of Proven?e, smelling of harvest and wine press. Vineyards, orange groves and olive trees mixed with my memories of Caesar´s Gallic Wars. Reddish Liguria received us with Italian Reconstruction. Quickly Genoa, Pisa, Livorno [with a large American military presence] sped by; then Grosseto, in our hurry to get to Rome, that triumphant, open city more than ever in the middle 1950s. Ancient Via Aurelia we had taken from France came to an end. The early October evening was clear, warm, contemplative. Everything I had learned so enthusiastically about Imperial and Christian Rome came together as in a dream at the sight of St. Peter´s dome glistening in the distance. This is what I was seeking: Rome, art, virtue and holiness. One afternoon, shortly after, in the glorious solitude of the Roman countryside, I would be dumb-struck by the beauty of it all.

Vertical glass panes of silenceÉ A few days after arriving in Rome at the college of the Legion of Christ, and as the long- awaited religious experience seemed right at hand, the time for letting go suddenly appeared. I was 'given my knights weapons' by the superior. They consisted of a prayer book called 'Manuale Christianum', a spiked metal band I would tie around my right thigh on Monday mornings, and a small knotted cord whip to scourge my back on Wednesday nights. During the daytime the spotless Travertine corridors of the modern Collegio Massimo coldly reflected the purposely imposed slow pace of young men. Doorknobs shone brilliantly, thanks to our strenuous efforts with Brasso. No fly stains could be seen on the spotless windowpanes that now separated us from the former free blue sky silhouetted by beautiful Roman pines. In the austere chapel a pale white Cross adorning the back wall focused our gazes. While in the conference room Warner Salmann´s image of Christ presided activities above a shiny black concert piano.

The cordial and friendly Spanish 'tú' from our previous times of camaraderie was suppressed. In its place stood the contradictory formal and distant 'dearest Brother'['Carissime frater' in Latin]. Our humanistic studies had familiarized us with the glorious concepts of Cicero´s 'De Amicitia' ['Friendship'], but from now on any ´personal friendship´ was strictly prohibited. Was this a peculiarity of religious life? We would later learn it was not. We were not allowed to contact students from other colleges, especially from the Colegio Español [Spanish] or from the Pio Latino [Latin American]. These seminarians - we were told - were lacking in the social graces typical of a Legionary; nor did not have 'the style of Christ' we were to put on. We Legionaries were supposed to be 'distinguished as princes and, at the same time, humble servants of all'. We were not prohibited as strictly from talking with students from the American or the Canadian Colleges; their buildings were modern like ours and they projected a suitable image of modernity. Unfortunately, none of us could speak their language fluently. Though Latin was the 'lingua franca' at the Gregorian University, not many spoke it well enough to hold a conversation.


Less than a year after entering the Collegio Massimo in Rome, Father Maciel, the Superior General and Founder, abruptly sexually abused me on two separate occasions. I have described the ordeal in detail in my notarized deposition. As I realized much later, if we had been less innocent and docile we might have understood the motive behind those rules of silence and isolation. If we had been psychologically capable we might have been able to tell the superiors of the other students about what was happening in our college and perhaps, in their turn, they could have alerted their superiors or Vatican authorities.

Canon Law does allow religious to choose their personal confessor, even a priest from outside the community. Nevertheless, we were repeatedly told - as a number of Mexican bishops have stated recently - that 'dirty linen should be washed at home'. However, just to cover the letter of the law, we were all brought en masse to the church of Sant´Andrea della Valle, not far from Chiesa Nuova, once a year for our confessions with an 'outside' priest. Needless to say, there was little danger of leaks. All those 'extraordinary' confessors were cloistered monks.

Nobody questioned the scrutiny by superiors of all incoming and outgoing mail. I know some companions who used codes to secretly transmit their true feelings. I, personally, once wrote a coded message in my own journal. A request for a copy of Canon Law would have been denied. Mention of ´Human Rights´ would have been totally out of place. Nothing was ours. Neither our own words, and with time, not even our own thoughts. One particular night in my Roman life my eye caught a book title in the Saint Paul Bookstore window: 'No man is an Island' by Thomas Merton, and the verse of John Donne, which in the 60s would inspire a Joan Baez song. But we, despite the appearances of Christian brotherly love, culturally and socially isolated, torn from family and country, were really an archipelago of solitudes, each one consumed by his own silenceÉ

Was God a source of consolation and support? There existed - according to our training - an indivisible union - hypostatic - between God and the Superior. Scripture tells us that 'The Spirit blows wherever it wishes', but in the Legion of Christ even the interior motions of the Holy Spirit are subject to the superiors´ suspicious scrutiny. I know the case of a Legionary whose English edition of Saint John of the Cross - a present from his father, a worthy poet in his own right himself - was taken from him. The spiritual director found it dangerous material. Mystics such as Teresa of Avila and Sebastián de Orozco were reserved to our Spanish Literature classes. The occasional visiting speaker might cite Catherine of Siena, Angela de Foligno, and Elizabeth Lesieur. Edith Stein, now a doctor of the church and already mentioned in some Madrid philosophy magazine, would have been dismissed for being Jewish. Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme and Jean Tauler were totally unknown to us. The richess of Greek spirituality, except a collection of sermons by St. John Chrysostom, did not exist in our world.

Our inner nutrition consisted in memorizing some of St. Paul´s Epistles, programmed reading of the most boring of Spanish spiritual writers, Padre Alonso Rodríguez´s 'The Exercise of Perfection and Christian Virtues', and the pious Dom Columba Marmion. Most of the recommended spiritual reading reinforced a high level of dependence on the superior: Father Colin´s 'The Worship of the Rule 'and 'The Worship of the Vows'. Our Novice Master, Rafael Arumí once praised an obscure nun´s work called 'Twelve Degrees of Silence', one of which was the trembling of the sanctuary flame. Fulton J. Sheen´s books ('Life is Worth Living 'and 'The World´s First Love'), well reviewed but rather light fare, were read to us at the refectory during meals. And, paradoxically, in the self-proclaimed 'Christ-centere'´ institute our principal food were Nuestro Padre´s Letters, for the most part insubstantial and apocryphal. I do no think, Eduardo, many people have noticed along a correspondence that covers more than fifty years its most complete inadvertency of very grave situations of the Church and of so many very important documents of the Church Herself and of the contemporary World.


On very few occasions in all the years I knew and lived under the same roof with him did I see Father Maciel in silence. I never once saw him praying alone contemplatively in a sacred space. Rarely did he say Mass when I was in Rome. 'Don´t mention my illness either to Father [Rafael] Arumí or to Father [Antonio] Lagoa', I remember him telling me, after he forcefully masturbated against my will my intimate parts for the first time. It was springtime and, not far away from the Infirmary [the principal theater of generalized and repeated individual torture], an almond tree was beginning to bloom on the cleanest blue sky. Later others and I would begin to fathom that sacrilegious contradiction: Feckless Dionysios wanted to hide his unbridled passion behind the perfect fa?ade of Apollo´s rigidly ordered collective spirituality. Why be truly virtuous when by pretending, in a world of appearances (everything 'as if' and always in the most opportunistic juxtaposition) using powerful techniques of domination and a clever cover-up system, 'spectacular' results become sufficient proof? Fr. Marcial Maciel well knows that 'there is nowhere in the world a museum of evil actions'. (Vladimir Jankélévitch -- 'The Evil Conscience' - would have so much to tell if we invited him in! But Fr. Maciel never imagined we would dare to analyze his psyche with an independent mind and under the light of certain psychological theories of Henri Baruk).

From then on I, for my part, began to live 'the silence of the innocent' and started letting myself slowly die as I anxiously awaited more silencing. That initial astutely mastered silence became the first of a series of imposed silences. It was able to happen with the connivance of others in the institution. I now clearly understand the dynamics after recovering psychologically such a long time later. For more information about mind control see the articles by Dr. John Hochmann of the University of Southern California, and William W. Sargant´s old book, 'The Battle for the Mind'. And Hassan´s 'Combatting Mind Control' (1988), Tobias-Lalich´s 'Captive Hearts Captive Mind ' (1994), M.T. Singer´s 'Cults in Our Midst' (1996).

I suffered the second assault by the same perpetrator on Holy Saturday 1955. It was in the evening of what was supposed to be Sacred Silence. God Himself and my confusion were my only witnesses. That is what I wrote in my notarized deposition. Though I know people will not believe me. Those who doubt should comprehend that a man over sixty does not need this kind of hassle. I am at a life stage when, as Kazantzakis wrote, it is time to quietly pick up the pencils. It is so disconcerting now to look back on how gratuitous and natural the abuse was; to realize just how absurdly improper it was: to sexually abuse a seminarian on Holy Saturday Evening. He did not attend the luminous Easter midnight Vigil. He had received his shots two hours before from those who had scrambled to find him his fix. In the dark of the infirmary, very late, he said to me: 'That´s the sound of Gregorian Chant in the chapel. Go upstairs, put your uniform on and join the community.' He didn´t need to tell me to keep silence. It was understood. The following day, a glorious Resurrection Sunday he celebrated Mass, with great devotion. And he raised the Host - holding it tensely - more than his usual prolonged performance.


Despite being victims of abuse, others and I, because of our repressed fears and our deep psychological dependence, remained in the Legion for some time. Even after leaving we not only kept silence for many years but at times even returned to work for the Legion. During this gray period after exiting, Father Maciel astutely used different people and methods to keep us ex-members separated from each other. He would ever so discretely whisper to one that another 'did not harbor good feelings towards the institution', thus suggesting we stay away from each other. Despite all this, some of us, previous victims, did later secretly mention our worries to prominent ecclesiastical dignitaries. We were always told to 'leave everything in God´s hands'. Other well-intentioned counselors told us to submit the testimonies in sealed envelopes to be opened after the perpetrator´s passing. We refused to do this for two reasons: we needed to empower ourselves by confronting him and we wanted to give him the chance to defend himself.

Churchmen - as Hans Küng wrote a some time ago in an editorial for 'El País' - always demand secrecy. This way they can control both speech and silence. In mid November 1956 when we were interrogated in Rome during the Maciel investigation and withheld the truth we had to swear not to reveal anything to outsiders. It took us so long to find out that others had been abused and were silent because we all felt bound by that original oath. Each one had to come to terms with the oath, with his emotional and spiritual health, his life, his profession and coping with the abuse. Individually we took different measures in isolation until finally, in an more open manner, in the late 80s and early 90s some of us started talking freely to each other. Our common efforts to redress the abuse culminated on February 13, 1998. That day we delivered an 'Open Letter to the Pope' to the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico City. Six months later, Monday, July 6, 1998, the Papal Nuncio, Justo Mullor García, personally took my call, which had been previously set up by Dr. Arturo Jurado the previous Friday. I was aware that our conversation was being taped at the Nunciature even though the Nuncio interrupted our conversation several times to admonish me not to tape the proceedings. At the end of our talk he reminded me that 'The Church has its own courts to deal with such matters' and he ordered me 'not to say anything about our conversation to reporters'. On Saturday October 17, the same year, when we delivered our petition to the former Holy Office in the presence of ecclesiastical judge Don Antonio Roqueñi, our canon lawyer Dr. Martha Wegan, and Father Gianfranco Girotti, undersecretary to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger we were once again sworn to silence. We accepted with the understanding that our complaint would be treated in good faith and following Canon Law guidelines. We did our part. Only when we saw how we were - contrary to the spirit and the letter of the law - summarily dismissed by the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith did we decide to go public again. Thus on the morning of July 31st. 2000 Dr. Martha Wegan and I met with Father Girotti in person and told him we would not remain silent any longer. The Vatican is so preoccupied with the purity of faith that it seems to neglect the purity of actions. Ratzinger himself, according to the brave revelation of Father Alberto Athié, told the bishop of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Monsignor Carlos Talavera, that silence was necessary in the 'delicate' case of Father Marcial Maciel. This has been repeatedly dealt with in the media.


We survivors also bear the weight of other silences: of the relatives who ignore us, of associates who have drifted away, friends who disappear, old companions who want nothing to do with us. The latter know perfectly well that we are telling the truth. They themselves were victims, confidants; some were participants and helped cover up; others have born false testimony against us accusing us of conspiracy. We feel for those who remain in the institution, some of whom grow old suffering from chronic depression and are medicated. These were the men who were supposed to combat Communism, Liberation Theology, New Age, fighting in favor of Bioethics and 'Human Ecology' [whatever happens to be the Trojan Horse in vogue to win over the current Pope]. These confrères, despite their philosophical and theological studies remain prisoners of other captive souls; their sadness is deathly. They have not been able to break the chains to liberate their own enslaved conscience. When will the moment come for them to salvage their dignity with the exercise of their last act of free will?

Other silences cause indignation: the silence of those at the top, of those that have so much to lose. This includes the spasmodic silence of certain media men who are under the domination of interests and powers, even when some good individuals have wanted to inform the public objectively and bravely: for instance Salvador Guerrero Chiprés ('La Jornada'), Ciro Gómez Leyva of TV Channel 40 in Mexico City, Carmen Aristegui and Javier Solórzano of the suppressed 'Círculo rojo' of Televisa who have suffered in their professional lives for having given us presence and voice in their programs. José Gutiérrez Vivó of Radio Red in Mexico City gave me the opportunity to express my views in his radio station. We are first greatly indebted to Gerald Renner and Jason Berry ('The Hartford Courant', 'National Catholic Reporter') and to Alfonso Torres ('Tribuna de Actualidad' de Madrid and 'La maravillosa aventura de los Legionarios de Cristo') for their so honest and continued research on the matter of our cause. Wherever there is grave injustice a Dreyfus case will surface. Who will be our definitive Emile Zola?

Another silence overwhelms us. How could we forget? The painful silence of the Pope, which seems to suffer from that old diplomatic trick of ambivalence: saying two different things at the same time. For those of us who grew up in the traditional faith this is the most disheartening silence of all.

Forgiving, a sister of silence, is a social form of voluntary forgetting. But an individual may not appropriate for himself the authority to grant total pardon, because this is a prerogative of Society, which is founded on the law, and that has been offended in our individuality. Memory, besides, depending on the manner it is exercised, can become a power or a problem. For this reason truthful testimonies are necessary cultural instruments and vital resources in the fight against injustice, against oblivion, and against future historical distortion. Yosuf Yerushalmi has written on this topic with great feeling and with profound knowledge. On my part I am writing in support of certain rights and duties of Society and in favour of the Church Herself, in spite of the malice and arrogance of some people within Her ranks whom Baruch Spinoza pointed at in his 'Tractatus Theologico-Politicus' long ago. In such a grave matter, if we remain silent forever, who would speak up later?

In order to write this letter, Eduardo, I went to the country. And I can now hear, at the end of the room, Alfred Brendel playing Franz Liszt´s 'God´s Blessing in Solitude'. I have no doubts about God´s silence because I know that our timing is not 'his timing'. As my noble and generous companions, I have written what my conscience dictated. I remember with deep sadness our dear Juan Manuel [Fernandez Amenabar]. Their revelations, their sufferings - I know so much about them - are more serious and painful than mine. For my part I will cling to Ps. 38: 'But I trust in you, O Lord; and you, O Lord my God, will answer me'. And so, generous friend and kind reader, if you have accompanied this far me, let me conclude, hoping against the odds, with this thought from Max Picard:

'In every other place, besides prayer, man´s silence serves his word; but now, in prayer, the word serves man´s silence: The word guides human silences toward divine silence.'

In a place of the Mexican countryside, June, 2002.

[http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it] 2249.16















Let's say Pope Francis resigns. What next?

MARTIN BÜRGER writes for OnePeterFive : 'By now everybody in the world, or so it seems, knows about the damning accusations made by the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò from Italy, implicating a number of bishops and cardinals, even the pope. Viganò, in his 11-page written testimony, calls on Pope Francis to resign: 'Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick's abuses and resign along with all of them.'

How can Pope Francis avoid resigning?

Given the clear call by Archbishop Viganò, there are only two possible replies. Either Pope Francis resigns or he doesn't. What happens if he doesn't resign? How can he justify not resigning? Pope Francis can claim that the testimony by Archbishop Viganò is flawed, entirely untrue at least in regard to himself. He can claim that he was not aware of whatever Viganò says he was aware of, and the conversations the archbishop mentions never happened. In this case, it's the pope's word against the word of one lone archbishop (so far). The pope will announce a thorough investigation into all the claims made by Viganò, and, after a little while, a few heads will roll. This will certainly include Cardinal Wuerl, who, in accordance with canon law, handed in his resignation letter two years ago, when he turned 75.

What about the next conclave?

The second scenario - Pope Francis resigns - can develop into two different directions. Pope Francis created a significant number of new cardinals - 59 of which can vote in a conclave as of today. One hundred twenty-four cardinals are eligible to vote, in total, even though Pope John Paul II decreed the limit to be 120 cardinals (Universi Dominici Gregis, 33). How many of those made cardinal by Pope Francis are really on board with the direction in which he's trying to take the Church? Some are easily grouped with Francis, like Cardinal Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Cardinal Cupich of Chicago, Illinois; and Cardinal Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops. On the other hand, certain people made cardinal by the current pope are not to be counted among his supporters. Think of Cardinal Müller, former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Forty-seven bishops were created cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, but it should be known that not all of them, perhaps not even the majority, would actually support a new pope who is more in line with Joseph Ratzinger. Yes, there are Cardinal Burke of the Order of Malta; Cardinal Sarah of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; and Cardinal Woelki, archbishop of Cologne, who was one among the few German bishops opposed to the idea of giving communion to Protestant spouses of Catholics. At the same time, you can find people like Cardinal Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Marx of Munich. Finally, Pope John Paul II is still responsible for 18 cardinals eligible to vote, most prominently Cardinal Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, who tends to say whatever his given audience wants to hear, as well as support and defend whatever any given pope proposes - be it Wojty?a, Ratzinger, or Bergoglio.

Of the 124 cardinals, the majority are the great unknown. One would have to look into their publicly voiced opinions, the way they celebrate the liturgy, whom they associate with, and, if they have an actual diocese, and the state of their seminaries and schools, as well as mass attendance, frequency of confession, and other things. Only after an enormous amount of research would it be possible to say with relative certainty (we're speaking about a divine institution, after all) whether or not the direction of Pope Francis would be continued by a new pope.

Will the conclave favor continuity with Pope Francis?

What happens if there is no majority in a conclave for the disciples of Francis? The most prominent opponent to a lot of what Pope Francis does is Cardinal Burke, who was bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin and archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri before heading the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. Pope Francis demoted him and gave him an honorary position with the Order of Malta.

It's unlikely for Burke to be elected pope. The cardinals will be afraid to elect someone from North America, because the media are sure to dig up every single speck of dirt that can be found, no matter how insignificant. The first reason is simply the desire for a scoop; the second is that Burke is a conservative, which almost nobody in the media would appreciate.

Other names come to mind, for instance Cardinal Müller, but it's impossible to know if enough cardinals would rally around him. A new pope from Asia or Africa is not unimaginable. The idea would be to elect a person distant from the epicenters of corruption and depravity in the West. At the same time, many cardinals might be weary of electing someone they don't know very well - the election of Bergoglio was a mistake some cardinals won't want to repeat. Also, the better known cardinals from these two continents are a mixed bag, at best, ranging from Cardinal Sarah on the one hand to Cardinal Tagle on the other. The spectrum may well extend even farther, given our lack of knowledge about most cardinals.

What's to be done now?

The scenarios outlined show that even if Pope Francis resigns, that doesn't guarantee sound theology and a morally upright life for our hypothetical new pontiff. There's a long way to go for the Church's human element to be restored to something resembling holiness. A lot of trust has to be earned. It's important for people in the Church to come forward and name names. Only then can the faithful make informed decisions regarding their shepherds. Above all, Catholics need to pray for a restoration of order, divine order, in the Church, as well as in society.

[1P5] 2249.17















The Great Clarifier Clarifying (What 'ideology' exactly, Holiness?)

HILARY WHITE writes for The Remnant : 'There are a lot of things about what is happening now to be glad about. These mostly involve things that are now becoming more widely known and understood by believing Catholics that had previously been obscure. Taken together they are creating what could be termed 'paradigmatic' changes - shifts of whole ways of thinking, a framework or paradigm for understanding the issues becoming clear.

It is these frameworks or narratives more than anything which have been manipulated by these powerful men. The point of manipulating people's minds, as Orwell taught us, is not to replace this or that old idea with a new one, but to make it impossible for the old ideas to be there in the first place, to erase the mental space for old ideas. Like coming out of the Matrix, these things have before now been close to impossible to describe; Catholics had to be shown, and Francis Bergoglio, the Great Clarifier, and all his friends are fulfilling their God-given task better than expected.

In the last couple of days we have seen responses from prominent churchmen of the Bergoglian clique, claiming that Vigano's attempt to expose their misdeeds is based on 'ideology'. On August 27th, we heard from the archdiocese of Newark, under Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who expressed his 'shock, sadness and consternation' at the Vigano document, which he said, 'cannot be understood as contributing to the healing of survivors of sexual abuse.'

'The factual errors, innuendo and fearful ideology of the 'testimony' serve to strengthen our conviction to move ahead resolutely in protecting the young and vulnerable from any sort of abuse, while guaranteeing a safe and respectful environment where all are welcome and breaking down the structures and cultures that enable abuse.

'Together with Pope Francis, we are confident that scrutiny of the claims of the former nuncio will help to establish the truth.'

(By the way, and speaking of innuendo, you wouldn't like to clarify which specific claims of Vigano's are 'factual errors' - and show us some documentation - would you, Eminence?)

This has been a theme of the Bergoglian pontificate too. Francis has repeatedly excoriated certain always-unnamed prelates for adhering to 'ideologies.' Speaking in Colombia in January this year, he did it again, blasting 'ever-present temptations of making the Gospel an ideology, ecclesial functionalism and clericalism.' Because he had, as usual, declined to define his terms, we have had a difficult time making people understand what this means. (Though Catholic World Report's Eduardo Echeverria makes some useful points here).

But this week we are able more easily to clarify; Vigano recounted what the pope means by it.

What exactly is this 'ideology'? It seems that it amounts to nothing more than a willingness to confess a supernatural faith, and to say that divine realities - the actual existence of God in the way the Church has always described Him - imposes a grave obligation to conform one's life, including in public action, to His preferences instead of our own.

'American bishops must not be ideologised.' At their very first meeting, Archbishop Vigano said these were the words of the newly elected pope when Vigano had identified himself as the nuncio to the United States.

Vigano recounts the follow-up meeting he had with the pope:

'I began the conversation, asking the Pope what he intended to say to me with the words he had addressed to me when I greeted him the previous Friday. And the Pope, in a very different, friendly, almost affectionate tone, said to me: 'Yes, the Bishops in the United States must not be ideologized, they must not be right-wing like the Archbishop of Philadelphia, (the Pope did not give me the name of the Archbishop) [Charles Chaput] they must be shepherds; and they must not be left-wing - and he added, raising both arms - and when I say left-wing I mean homosexual.' Of course, the logic of the correlation between being left-wing and being homosexual escaped me, but I added nothing else.'

(All emphases in the original.)

So, it is clarified at last; don't be 'ideological' means don't be 'right wing.' He also clarified that 'left wing' means 'homosexual,' but we have certainly been able to discern the pope's personal preference between these two in his curial appointments. Many of the men he has put into place around him are those same prelates Vigano named in his document as part of what the pope would presumably describe as a 'left wing' ideological cabal. They have certainly not troubled to hide their effort to push for the abolition of the Church's doctrine on homosexuality.

Spin and narrative frameworking

And now the narrative spinners have swung into action, in this case the indefatigable obfuscator John Allen at Crux, has announced that the official theme will be, 'It's all just the American Culture Wars.'

'Summing it all up, what's clear is that so far, supportive episcopal comments about Viganò, with the exception of Schneider, have come entirely from the United States, while the relatively few bishops or groups of bishops elsewhere who've spoken have all backed the pope.

'We'll have to see if that pattern holds, but it does raise a question about how Catholic leaders in other parts of the world might view this - whether some are tempted to think it's just another chapter in the American culture wars.

This is how these men in Rome, their journalistic propagandists and the members of their episcopal troupe around the Catholic world, regard the struggle to restore some semblance of moral sanity to secular laws: nothing more than political manoeuvring, 'ideology.' This is why we have seen little or nothing from the Francis-cabal about 'gay marriage' laws, euthanasia, abortion, etc. These are all merely artefacts of the 'ideological' Culture Wars. Nothing to do with 'the Gospel' or 'the Spirit'.

My own take on the John Allen piece is that it's just a list of the usual suspects. It does little more than tell us what we already knew: the episcopates of Latin America and Spain are as corrupt a pack of homosexual-enabling Modernists as the Bergoglians themselves[1], and in exactly the same way, and are mostly signalling their desire to be let into the cool kids club.

If John Allen wanted to convince me there is no support for Vigano outside a tiny rump of ideological 'right wing' US bishops, he should have spread his net a bit wider. He names CELAM - the conference of Latin American bishops, of which Bergoglio is acknowledged to be the undisputed king - Maradiaga, a self-proclaimed Marxist, Bergoglio's C9 mob enforcer who is under grave suspicion himself of financial wrongdoing and the subject of scorn by his own seminarians fed up with predation by homosexuals in his 'pink palace' in Honduras; and Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, who is understood to be playing his own, long game with an eye to the Big Chair.

'Ideology' = the Catholic religion

When Raymond Arroyo on EWTN on August 30 asked what he thought of the pope's comment about 'ideology,' Fr. Gerald Murray said, 'I found it puzzling because archbishop Chaput was one of the most outstanding bishops in the United States and he was recognized as such when he was moved from Denver to Philadelphia under the previous Pope. To say that his defense of Catholic doctrine is ideology… I'd really like to say to the Pope…'What do you mean Holy Father? Ideologies are human creations; the doctrine of the faith comes from God.'

And right here Fr. Murray has put his finger directly on the meaning. The Catholic Faith itself, the idea that doctrine comes directly from God, is regarded by these men as an 'ideology.' This is how these godless men, whose 'religious' beliefs seem to amount to little more than a vague, greeting-card Deism, describe the Catholic idea that a real God has real preferences about how we behave[2]. And given the climate of the times, that He most especially has real preferences about what we ought to do or not do with our reproductive body parts. That's the crux of the so-called Culture War; it is in essence merely a rejection of the godless, chaotic and now manifestly destructive Sexual Revolution.

The idea that this effort to re-establish moral sanity in law is 'ideology' can only come from an un-Catholic, unspiritual mind that sees the world and all human endeavour exclusively in terms of politics and material concerns, an observation already widely made about Pope Francis. It cannot be surprising that the godless men who have repeatedly demonstrated their rejection of Catholic moral teaching should condemn as ideologues the likes of Vigano and his defenders among the eipscopate who want to defend it.

A pope for the godless

It is also the reason Bergoglio himself has been so warmly received by the godless among the laity, both in and out of the Church. It is not merely that he tells them that God approves their debauchery, their contraception, their divorces, their cohabitation, even their attempts to 'change gender,' but that he fundamentally shares their godless assumptions about the nature of reality. There is in him no indication at all that he believes in the Living God. His ideas are founded upon godless principles indistinguishable from those of the godless non-Catholics of the modern godless world. From the beginning he has made it clear that he is their pope, not ours.

So once again, the words and actions of the Bergoglians have helped us to understand something important. The divide in the Church is not between 'conservatives' and 'liberals' but between believers and godless materialists. Those lining up cleanly on either side of the Vigano event are those who have chosen between these two sides.

This is the nature of the divide in the Church that Traditionalists have been aware of for some decades and have been trying to tell the 'conservatives.' This is the divide that just this week is finally being frankly described as a 'civil war.' This is the true nature of the de facto schism that 'good' bishops have largely tried to hide, paper over or ignore for 50 years.

15 years ago, in many conversations with my colleagues in the pro-life movement and at LifeSite, we discussed how the 'sides are lining up.' It was one of the most obvious working principles of what we did. Grasping the existence of this de facto schism in the Church was what made it possible to make sense of all the phenomena we were observing and reporting on. Without this key, the apparently contradictory behaviour of bishops and popes only generates confusion. But we have never found Bergoglio confusing. Indeed, he has been refreshingly forthright. The confusion only comes when one pays attention to what he says alone, instead of watching what he does. The man uses words the way a squid uses ink.

It's going to take a long time for the putrescence that has been building up and poisoning the Body of Christ all these decades to finish draining. We've got years to go yet, but at least now we have finally started. I pray with all my might that the action of Vigano, the findings of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, and the disgust, rage and horror being expressed by the laity towards the bishops who sat quietly and allowed it all to fester, is just the beginning. McCarrick and his enablers was only one very large, stinking, suppurating abscess that has been lanced and is draining, but there are many, many more to go.


[1] This was more than amply demonstrated by the sacking of prominent Catholic philosopher Joseph Seifert from his Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair at the International Academy of Philosophy by Archbishop Javier Martínez Fernández, of Granada, Spain.

[2] Unless it's to tell us not to use air conditioning or plastic straws.

[Remnant Articles] 2249.18

















Francis takes the Fifth then (twisting the Gospel) preaches that silence = truth

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives : 'The term in politics is 'stonewalling,' and stonewalling is exactly what Pope Francis and his advisors have chosen as the strategy for dealing with the explosive accusation by Archbishop Viganò, the Pope's own former ambassador to the United States, that Francis not only did nothing for five years about the documented sexual predation of ex-Cardinal McCarrick but rehabilitated the monster, who had lobbied for his election as Pope, and took his advice on the elevation of three pro-homosexual prelates to the cardinalate and key episcopal sees (Cupich, Tobin and Farrell).

The stonewalling began with Francis' declaration during the inflight press conference on the return flight from Dublin that he would 'not say a word' about Viganò's 11-page sworn testimony, published to the world, but rather would rely on the 'maturity' of the press to draw its own 'conclusions' (read: attack Viganò, which they have since been doing furiously).

After 'taking the Fifth' on the papal jet, Francis has continued his stonewalling with a 'meditation' in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta in which, as is his custom, he twisted Scripture to suit the rhetorical needs of the moment.

The Scripture reading for the day was from the 4th Chapter of Luke, verses 16-30, wherein Our Lord, after reading from the Book of Isaias in the synagogue at Nazareth, openly preaches to the Pharisees that He is the very fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaias on the coming of the Messiah, anointed by God 'to preach the gospel to the poor' and 'heal the contrite of heart, preach deliverance to the captives, and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of reward.' His listeners, 'filled with anger,' then 'rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.'

Ignoring the entire meaning of this passage of the Gospel, Francis focuses merely on Our Lord's ability to pass through the midst of the angry mob unharmed - after He had spoken the truth they did not want to hear - and somehow deduces from this the utter non sequitur that 'It is the dignity of Jesus. With his silence he defeats that wild pack and walks away because it was not yet his hour. This teaches us that when there is this way of acting, of not seeing the truth, silence remains.'

But, of course, Our Lord's silence comes only after He has spoken fearlessly the very truth that subjects Him to an immediate threat of death. Francis, on the other hand, refused to say a single word about the truth that exposes him to just condemnation, not the irrational anger of the Pharisees who wanted to kill their own Messiah.

Perfecting his deception, Francis further declared: 'Because the truth is mild, the truth is silent, the truth is not noisy. It is not easy, what Jesus did; but there is the dignity of the Christian who is anchored in the power of God.' Here there can be no question that Francis seeks to mislead the faithful into believing that what was not easy for Our Lord was to remain silent as He walked away from the mob, when in fact it was His proclamation that He was the fulfillment of biblical prophecy that, humanly speaking, was the cause of great danger for Him.

Having thus misappropriated the Gospel, Francis further declares that 'silence and prayer' are the only way to deal with 'persons who do not have good will, with those who look only for scandal, who look only for division, who look only for destruction' - meaning Viganò and his defenders, including bishops and cardinals, as if anyone didn't know.

Twisting the very Word of God to suit his own cunning refusal to address a just and damning accusation against him. There is simply no limit, it seems, to the audacity of this Pope. But, thanks be to God, more and more members of the faithful are coming to realize just what it is that confronts the Church in the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

[FP] 2249.19


















It's different now

FR>. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs :'The Dubia ... the Filial Correction ... how shy the clergy were about associating themselves with these initiatives.

But, with Viganogate, a number of bishops have been very willing to call for a proper investigation.

Why the change?

Of course, the major difference is that by softening the Church's witness against Adultery, PF was moving in the direction of fashionable assumptions held in the World. The Media, for the most part, would be overwhelmingly in favour of such a 'modernising' stance. The same is likely to be true of any softening of the Church's witness on homosexuality. And PF's views on the Death Penalty fit comfortably with the liberal Western Zeitgeist.

In these matters, the pope was easily seen as moving in line with a 'soft' consensus. And one has to admit that the so-called 'modernising' views are held by very many Catholics.

The problem now is clerical sexual abuse of minors or of the vulnerable, accompanied by a veritable industry of prelatical cover-ups. These are not subjects with which the Media are comfortable and relaxed. Nor is child-abuse nearly as acceptable and agreeable to the laity. 'Giving a second chance to people whose first marriages have broken down' ... that seemed kind, merciful, and modern. Not so sex abuse, cover up, pay outs, and silence clauses.

And in the secular sphere, it is commonplace for 'investigative journalism' to hunt down 'cover-ups' and 'hypocrisy'. The Vigano event plays into this culture and these assumptions.

So, all of a sudden, PF has lost the PR initiative, which has passed to his critics. This, surely, is why there is such incandescent rage among his cronies. They have been suddenly cast into an unfamiliar and uncomfortable position. Riding on the crest of a 'Francis is Merciful' campaign was rather fun. Being asked why their pope is so shy, so unwilling to answer questions about a rather horrible sexual scandal, is not at all what they thought they were signed up to.

And it is easier for bishops to call for 'transparency' and 'full disclosure' than it was for them to 'split hairs' in the realm of moral theology, and to discuss the finer points of the 'doctrine' of 'Development'. In Amoris laetitia and his Synods, PF followed his declared policy of 'creating a mess', of getting others to create facts which he would then be able to interpret and push forward. This immensely civilised PR policy for advancing heresy is unavailable now that the PR imperative is to distance PF from sex abuse and cover-ups. PF, and his rabble of shifty time-servers, find their backs right up against the wall; room for manoeuvre there is none.

In this abuse crisis, schmaltzy Viennese smiles and condescending advice to go away and read Newman will not solve the problems of an angry (albeit hypocritical) world, or of a bewildered and highly distressed laity.

(Maybe this would not quite be the moment for Archbishop Fernandez to produce a new and augmented Second Edition of his Manual on Kissing with a commending preface by PF.)

Yet the teaching found in Amoris laetitia, and the immorality disclosed out by Archbishop Vigano's 'Testimony', are essentially the same. The completely and radically flawed 'lenient'and laxist ethical casuistry proposed for the comfort of German adulterers could, with perfect logic and fairness, be called in aid by paedophiles. After all, there have been human societies in which paederasty and ephebophilia have been socially acceptable and on public display. They attracted their own extensive and distinctive romantic literature. I, of course, and my readers, will regard such ideas and such cultures with visceral disgust or with reasoned contempt. But the Vigano 'Testimony' has left PF and his faction without a leg to stand on.

Perhaps they do not read Hesiod in Argentine schools; maybe young Jorge never heard about Pandora and her pithos. But it will be as difficult as ever it was to get the poma back on the pithos.

We shall have much characteristically Bergoglian bluster. We may again see the sort of bullying which raised its ugly head after the Correctio even in 'civilised' countries like Austria and Britain.

But this must, surely, be ... if not the Beginning of the End, at least the End of the Beginning.

Because, at last, a hitherto largely quiescent episcopate is