This edition of CF NEWS No.2253 posted at 12.46 pm on Sunday, October 7th, 2018. VATICAN WATCH Youth Synod : Vatican announces review of Archbishop McCarrick files: Young Catholics praise clergy who 'proclaim orthodox teaching' : Archbishop mocks Viganò, I wonder if he 'thinks he… should be pope' : Müller confirms abuse investigation agains UK Cardinal was stopped HUMANAE VITAE Emotional virtue PRESERVING MARRIAGE, FAMILY LIFE One Catholic father versus the culture of McCarrick UNITED NATIONS Committee : Nations may not exclude abortion from "Reproductive Health" CHINA SUPPLEMENT China calls the shots : The new agreement : Agreement draws criticism from religious freedom advocates NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD GERMANY Münster Bishop will not ordain 'traditionalist candidates : ITALY Victims accuse Pope of 'disastrous' negligence in clerical abuse cases : UK (Northern Ireland) New threat to the unborn : UK Milquetoast bishops return from Rome : Six-year-olds forced to write homosexual 'love letters' : Parents who won't let son wear skirt maybe referred to social services : USA Convert from Islam creates group overwatch Cardinals : Search warrant executed on Detroit Chancery and Sacred Heart Seminary : Scott Hahn: Don't laicize sexual predators-excommunicate them NEWMAN The Catholic intellectual tradition COMMENT FROM THE INTERNET Is it okay to Criticize Pope Francis? : Vatican II, 'a catastrophe of historical dimensions' : Norcia Monk to Catholics: On prayer and fasting, don't be a baby : Pre- and post-Conciliar Catholicism are not the same religion : Viganò's verities hang like a black cloud over the Vatican . . and more . . .



 PLEASE NOTE.We're taking a short
autumn break. We hope that
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Vatican watch

Youth Synod I    read more >>>
Youth Synod II
   read more >>>
Youth Synod III
   read more >>>
Vatican announces review of Archbishop McCarrick files
   read more >>>
Young Scottish Catholics praise clergy who ‘proclaim orthodox teaching’ read more >>>
Archbishop mocks Viganò: I wonder if he 'thinks he… should be pope'    read more >>>
Cardinal Müller confirms abuse investigation agains UK Cardinal was stopped    read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

Emotional virtue    VIDEO    read more >>>

Preserving marriage, family life

One Catholic father versus the culture of McCarrick    read more >>>

United Nations

UN Committee says nations may not exclude abortion from “Reproductive Health”    read more >>>

China supplement

China calls the shots    read more >>>
The new agreement
   read more >>>4
Agreement draws criticism from US religious freedom advocates
   read more >>>

News from around the world

GERMANY Münster Bishop will not ordain 'traditionalist candidates    read more >>>    read more >>>
ITALY Victims accuse Pope of 'disastrous' negligence in clerical abuse cases    read more >>>
UK (Northern Ireland) New threat to the unborn
   read more >>>
UK Milquetoast bishops return from Rome read more >>>
UK 6-year-olds forced to write homosexual 'love letters'
   read more >>>
UK Parents who won't let son wear skirt may be referred to social services    read more >>>
USA Convert from Islam creates group to overwatch Cardinals
   read more >>>
USA Search warrant executed on Detroit Chancery and Sacred Heart Seminary   read more >>>
USA Scott Hahn: Don’t laicize sexual predators–excommunicate them    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
   read more >>>
   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
   VIDEO   read more >>>12
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
   VIDEO    read more >>>


The Catholic Intellectual Tradition    VIDEO    read more >>>

Comment from the internet

Is it okay to Criticize Pope Francis? VIDEO    read more >>>
Vatican II, 'a catastrophe of historical dimensions'
   read more >>>
Norcia Monk to Catholics: On prayer and fasting, Don't be a baby
   read more >>>
Pre- and post-Conciliar Catholicism are not the same religion
   read more >>>
Viganò’s verities hang like a black cloud over the Vatican
read more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Palgrave   read more >>>
Dies Irae
   VIDEO    read more >>>


Fr. Eugene Boylan, O.Cist.R.    read more >>>

By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch

Pope Francis


Youth Synod I : A forked staff: Perfect symbol for the Synod on Youth

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives : 'As one website observes, when the Antichrist arrives to preach his lies among men, seducing “(if it were possible) even the elect” (Mk. 13:22), his forked tongue “will have the eloquence of angels, his honeyed words will pierce to the very heart of those who hear him. His arguments and positions will be so well presented that even those who recognize him will be hard pressed to resist what he has to say.”

The Antichrist will make the devil’s ultimate sales pitch. For now, however, the forked tongue belongs to lesser voices, lacking all eloquence and nuance, including those who will be spouting empty demagogic slogans and emotivist rubbish at the Synod of Youth and Blah, Blah, Blah now underway in Occupied Rome.

We have heard it all before at the last phony Synod, which was merely a disguise for what Francis wanted from the beginning and shamelessly passed off as the voice of the Holy Ghost. And now — bearing a forked staff, appropriately enough — Francis has said it all again in his homily at the beginning of this elaborate stage show for further subversion of the Church:

For we know that our young people will be capable of prophecy and vision to the extent that we, who are already adult or elderly, can dream and thus be infectious in sharing those dreams and hopes that we carry in our hearts…

May the Spirit grant us the grace to be synodal Fathers anointed with the gift of dreaming and of hoping. We will then, in turn, be able to anoint our young people with the gift of prophecy and vision…

Hope challenges us, moves us and shatters that conformism which says, “it’s always been done like this”. Hope asks us to get up and look directly into the eyes of young people and see their situations….

And this demands that we be really careful against succumbing to a self-preservation and self-centredness which gives importance to what is secondary yet makes secondary what is important.

The gift of that ability to listen, sincerely and prayerfully, as free as possible from prejudice and conditioning, will help us to be part of those situations which the People of God experience….

This disposition protects us from the temptation of falling into moralistic or elitist postures, and it protects us from the lure of abstract ideologies that never touch the realities of our people….

Here we go again: “prophesy and vision,” “dreams and hopes,” “see their situations,” eschewing “conformism,” moving beyond what is “secondary,” freedom from “prejudice and conditioning,” rejecting “moralistic or elitist postures” versus “the realities of our people.”

In other words: another poisonous dose of situation ethics to follow the recent scandal of “permission” for Holy Communion to be administered to people who intend to continue engaging in sexual relations within “second marriages” which constitute “none other than disgraceful and base concubinage, repeatedly condemned by the Church,” to quote Blessed Pope Pius IX.

This preposterous sham of a Synod features the attendance of two communist Chinese bishops handpicked by Beijing from the ranks of the Catholic Patriotic Association, which, following the Vatican sellout of the Underground Church, promptly declared its “independence” from Rome. Francis ludicrously declared in his homily that the attendance of these puppets of Beijing and its “independent” pseudo-Church means that “the communion of the entire Episcopate with the Successor of Peter is yet more visible thanks to their presence.”

The inevitable outcome of this sham (barring a veritable miracle) will be a further erosion of the Church’s moral foundations under the specious pretext of an expression of the “ordinary Magisterium” that takes into account “situations” and “concrete realities” — as if reality and morality were somehow opposed, when in fact it is conformity to God’s moral law that leads a soul to the reality of true freedom.

God help us. God rescue us. Holy Mother of God, intercede for us and obtain for the Church that holy and courageous Pope who will put an end to this utter madness by doing at long last what You requested of the Roman Pontiff nearly a century ago at Tuy: the Consecration of Russia to Your Immaculate Heart.


The forked staff

The forked staff which Pope Francis tried to pass off as a ferula, was a gift from young people, one wearing a wicca symbol, who specifically requested that he used it during the Synod's opening Mass. The forked staff with a nail driven through it is a 'Stang'. According to a watchcraft blog, Stang is a witch/warloc's ceremonial staff, 'primarily a symbolic tool rather than a working one, and as such it stands for the Devil and his dual nature.


International press frustrated over lack of information coming from inside the Synod hall

VATICAN CITY, Italy, October 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Papal confidante Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro justified withholding specifics about discussions at the Vatican’s Youth Synod from journalists and others, saying reports of interventions making it outside the Synod hall squelches discernment and “freedom of spirit.”

The Youth Synod is not a place for debate, Spadaro told reporters covering the Synod Friday. Rather it should be “a spiritual place, not a place of debate of opinions.”

LifeSiteNews has observed that reporters from all over the world and varying political spectrums — convened at the Vatican to cover the Youth Synod — have expressed frustration about the lack of information coming from inside the Synod hall.

In one example Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput OFMCap gave a significant intervention yesterday, telling Synod Fathers that “LGBTQ” and other like language should not be used in the Vatican Youth Synod document.

“There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are,” Chaput said, “as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ.”

“This has never been true in the life of the Church, and is not true now,” he told the Pope, cardinals, bishops and young people gathered in the Synod hall.

Chaput’s comments are especially significant at a time when forces inside the Church and out would have Her alter or disregard Her eternal teaching on sexuality.
But there was no specific mention of his remarks at the synod press briefing Thursday.

Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., the chief executive of Salt and Light Television in Canada, and the English language media attaché to the synod, addressed journalists after the briefing, also did not mention of Chaput’s statements.

Rather, he said the session concerned the plight of migrants, the need for a listening Church, and the Church’s credibility in regard to the sex abuse.

Asked whether “homosexuality” and “gay relationships” were part of the interventions, Father Rosica responded, “Not those exact words, the issue was present, but there wasn’t any dominant issue.”

Confirming that the Church’s sexual abuse crisis was brought up in several interventions, Rosica said, “The sex abuse issue has affected young people, and they want clarity, transparency, authenticity from us.”

Spadaro suggested that releasing specifics would interfere with "discernment."
“Something important is that the Pope said at the first extraordinary synod that the synod is not a parliament but discernment,” Spadaro said. “This is the significance of these requests.”

“In the end, discernment means that we are all together,” he continued, “and also that one is free to say what one wants, with great tranquility, knowing that what one says remains inside, because there is no real discernment if, in the end, I know that what I say will immediately go out.”

“In this case, there’s no freedom of spirit,” Spadaro said of releasing discussion specifics from inside the Synod. “[There can be freedom precisely because] you know that it is a spiritual place, not a place of debate of opinions.”


The reduction of religion to sentimenalit





[Combined agency reports] 2253.YS1
















Youth Synod II : As the new Synod opens

ROBERT ROYAL reports from Rome for The Catholic Thing: 'Father Thomas J. Reese is a Jesuit – former editor of the Jesuit magazine America. He’s, generally speaking, a strong supporter of Pope Francis, both in his efforts to change the Church and in his political initiatives on subjects such as the environment, immigrants, and global poverty. Towards the end of the briefing in the Vatican press office (the first for the Synod on Young People), he asked what may become the central question that will loom over the whole four weeks of the synod.

Pope Francis, he said [to reconstruct from memory], has spoken repeatedly of hope, of dreaming big, of bold new initiatives, of letting the Holy Spirit inspire us to things we’ve never done before. So, in the first full synod session [twenty-five bishops, plus two lay people spoke], was there anything really new, anything that surprised members on the briefing panel?

Paolo Ruffini, one of the lay members of that panel and head of the Vatican communications office, admitted: Well, no. There was nothing really that jumped out as entirely unexpected, though the interchanges among the various participants – serious speaking and listening (and the Jesuitical “discernment”) – were a good beginning for the synod.

He was probably right that such modest, well-trod steps were about as much as can be expected from a couple of hundred people who’ve just arrived, many of whom don’t know each other – and have never participated in a Vatican event before. But the larger question remains: it may also well be that these basic, interpersonal exchanges – which we may hope will lead to deep friendships and fruitful initiatives – are all that will really come out of the synod.

The pope and his advisers had decided in the planning stages to discard the old practice of treating the synod as a kind of academic conference; they deliberately chose to make it instead a “walking together,” one meaning of the Greek term synodos.

In practical terms, this means that five bishops at a time make presentations of just a few minutes each, based either on their longer, previously prepared texts (which they’ve already submitted to the synod officials), or they respond, off the cuff, to something someone may have said earlier. (Archbishop Chaput spoke yesterday and, as usual, brought much-needed, brisk realism to the proceedings.) After each set of five, the whole group sits quietly and meditates on things they found especially salient. As Fr. Antonio Spadaro S.J., one of the pope’s prominent spokesmen, explained: this sitting and waiting for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is a very Jesuitical thing to do.

Still, it produced no great surprises today, and that’s probably a good thing.

Because the Church faces an unusual problem at the moment. As the youngest member of the panel, Joseph Cao Hun Minh Tri, a 21-year-old Vietnamese layman emphasized, the young people he knows, especially in his home country, speak urgently and often of “finding your true passion in life,” of discovering a way to live that gives life meaning and leads to true happiness. But as anyone paying attention knows quite well, few young people these days believe they will find what they are looking for in the Church.

According to participants, there was a surprising number of bishops asking for pardon on this first day; at least five of the bishops who spoke apologized, not only because of the sexual abuse in several countries, but for the Church’s failures to accept and accompany, listen and learn, from young people singly or in families. It’s quite clear that there’s a widespread attitude that the Church should stop lamenting where young people are not, and to go find them where they are.

Fair enough, but if that is to work at all, it’s not going to happen by dreaming big dreams, which don’t seem to come down to earth, but by patient, hard work – the kind of work that many groups, especially in the United States but not only there, are already doing in reaching out to young people.

Christianity took around three centuries to convert the pagan Roman Empire, and that happened when the Faith was young and a novelty, not as today, older and – however wrongly – regarded as old hat. There are no quick fixes for our situation. For multiple reasons – not all of them the fault of the Church and needing apology – people have drifted away to lives that are shallow and anguished and unsatisfying, but that they know they don’t know how to reform. And still don’t turn to the Church.

Any realistic response to this situation has to be ready to grind away over the long haul, winning people back one at a time, family by family.

Chiara Giaccardi, a professor of sociology at the Catholic University of Milan, and in Italy a well-known writer on ways of inviting young people into dialogue with the Church, spoke during the panel of the “Copernican Revolution,” whereby the Church is no longer a “limiter” on action but a “listener.”

But if it’s a listener, at least in Giaccardi’s framing of the concept, it only seems to hear things it already wants to hear. She spoke of meeting people concretely and how – in the pope’s famous formula – “Reality is greater than ideas.” But the realities she referred to seemed to be the old and not very inspiring ideas about immigrants, the marginalized, and the importance of sex for full personal development. Nothing wrong there, in theory. But in practice, it would be difficult to call this a bold new initiative or some ambitious dream for the young, who’ve heard it all, many times, in many ways, before.

One of the major problems that seems to be almost never discussed in “dialogues” like these is something the Church truly does have to apologize for: generations of soft-pedaling the faith, turning it into a namby-pamby sentimentality about love and acceptance, and blurring the strong teachings to be found in the Scriptures and the tradition, in Catholic grade schools, high schools, colleges, and universities – even in programs like RCIA intended to prepare people to enter into full Communion.

In other words, we’ve been afraid to preach the kinds of things that all people, including young people, need to hear, because they are real answers to real questions.

But to do that, the Church would have to find new courage (and real cleverness) to speak as well as to listen. For now, that doesn’t seem to be on the agenda.


Update - Cardinal Sarah declines election to key Synod committee

CARDINAL Robert Sarah, elected as a member of the Information Commission responsible for disseminating news on the Vatican Youth, has declined the position “for personal reasons,” it has emerged.

At a Vatican press briefing, Bishop Fabio Fabene, undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, told journalists that Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, did not specify what his motives were for declining the position, but only said that it was due to “personal reasons.”

Cardinal Sarah, of Guinea, is also the author of two acclaimed books: God or Nothing and The Power of Silence.

Fabene added that Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa — who came in next in the vote tally — was made a member of the commission in Cardinal Sarah’s place.

According to article 15 of a new ‘Instruction on the celebration of synodal assemblies and the activities of the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops,’ issued on Oct. 1, the Information Commission is responsible for establishing “criteria and methods for the dissemination of news.”

Article 15 specifies further that: “Press conferences may be held on individual topics by the Synod Fathers appointed by the President of the Commission.”

The Instruction states that the commission is composed of: “the President and the Secretary, who are appointed by the Roman Pontiff, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops [Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri]; the Undersecretary [Bishop Fabio Fabene]; the Special Secretary [Fr. Giacomo Costa, S.J.], the Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication [Mr. Paolo Ruffini], the Director of the Press Office [Mr. Greg Burke], “as well as five Members elected by the Assembly according to the Regulations of the Synod Assembly.”

The members elected to the Youth Synod’s Information Commission include: Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Quebec, Canada; Cardinal Wifrid Napier of Durban, South Africa; Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria; Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines; and Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia.

[The Catholic Thing / LSN] 2253.YS2
















Youth Synod III : Cardinal Baldisseri : We're not removing 'LGBT youth' from Vatican Synod working text

DIANE MONTAGNA reports for LifeSiteNews : 'Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the official responsible for organizing the upcoming Vatican Youth Synod, has said he will not remove the acronym "LGBT youth" from the Synod's working document, even though youth didn't ask for it to be included. The cardinal, however, has claimed that they did.

At a press conference this morning, LifeSiteNews reminded Baldisseri, who is the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, that at the June 19 presentation of the synod's working document [Instrumentum Laboris], he had said the phrase "LGBT youth" was taken from the pre-synodal document compiled by young people at their meeting with the Pope and Synod organizers, March 19-24, 2018.

Baldisseri stressed at that presentation that synod organizers were "very diligent in taking into account the work done by the bishops' conferences, but especially the results of this meeting with youth, of which they were the protagonists."

"They provided us with a document, and we quoted it. This is the explanation for this," he said.

Today, we told Cardinal Baldisseri that we had looked back at the final document of the pre-synodal meeting with youth in March, and the acronym "LGBT" doesn't appear anywhere.

"It's not there?" Baldisseri replied. "No," we said.

This correspondent therefore asked Cardinal Baldisseri if he would consider removing the phrase "LGBT youth" from the Instrumentum Laboris to avoid it being inserted into the final document, and becoming part of the Magisterium of the Church.

This issue is significant because there is increasing concern that this synod is being used as a vehicle for general acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle within the Church. This concern has been heightened by the fact that a new Apostolic Constitution on the structure of synods, issued two weeks ago, has established that the final document of a synod, if approved by the Pope, would become part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. By implication, this could mean the acronym "LGBT" could become enshrined in the papal magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

The concern is further heightened by the fact that a faction within the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family sought to introduce a shift in the Church's teaching on homosexuality through their interim report, releasing the document to the media before the Synod Fathers had seen or reviewed it. At the time, veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister said this introduction "would not have been possible without a series of skillfully calculated steps on the part of those who had and have control of the procedures."

"Look, I am not removing anything," Cardinal Baldisseri retorted this morning. "The Synod Fathers will discuss it article by article. All the texts, even the loftiest in the world, will be discussed."

The passage in question, contained in paragraph 197 of the Instrumentum Laboris, reads:

Some LGBT youth, through various contributions that came to the Secretariat of the Synod, wish to "benefit from a greater closeness" and experience greater care on the part of the Church, while some ECs [Episcopal Conferences] ask what to propose "to young people who instead of forming a heterosexual couple decide to form a homosexual couple and, above all, wish to be close to the Church."

The Holy See has never used the acronym "LGBT" in a Vatican document.

Observers note that doing so would effectively legitimize an acronym invented by the homosexual and transgender movements.

Official Vatican documents instead speak of persons "who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex," or of those suffering from same-sex attraction. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes homosexuality as an "objectively disordered inclination" and homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to the natural law."

The XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on 'Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment' ends on October 28.


Update : ‘LGBT’ should not be in Vatican documents: Archbishop Chaput tells Youth Synod

ARCHBISHOP Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has told Pope Francis and members of the Synod of Bishops that “LGBTQ” and other similar language should not be used in the Vatican Youth Synod document.

In his intervention on the floor of the Vatican’s Synod Hall, Archbishop Chaput said: “There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are; as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ.”

“This has never been true in the life of the Church, and is not true now,” Chaput told the Pope, cardinals, bishops and young people convened in the Synod Hall. “It follows that ‘LGBTQ’ and similar language should not be used in Church documents, because using it suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way.”

Archbishop Chaput’s remarks come just three days after Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary for the Synod of Bishops, refused to remove the term “LGBT youth” from the synod’s working document (Instrumentum laboris).

At an Oct. 1 Vatican press conference, LifeSiteNews reminded Cardinal Baldisseri that he had initially claimed the phrase “LGBT youth” was a quote taken from a pre-synodal document compiled by young people at their meeting with the Pope and Synod organizers, March 19-24, 2018.

We told Baldisseri that we had looked at the final document compiled by young people, and the acronym “LGBT” appears nowhere.

“It’s not there?” Baldisseri replied. “No,” we said.

This correspondent therefore asked Cardinal Baldisseri if he would consider removing the phrase “LGBT youth” from the Instrumentum Laboris to avoid it being inserted into the final document, and becoming part of the Magisterium of the Church.

“Look, I am not removing anything,” Cardinal Baldisseri responded. “The Synod Fathers will discuss it article by article. All the texts, even the loftiest in the world, will be discussed.”

The passage in question, contained in paragraph 197 of the Instrumentum Laboris, reads:

Some LGBT youth, through various contributions that came to the Secretariat of the Synod, wish to “benefit from a greater closeness” and experience greater care on the part of the Church, while some ECs [Episcopal Conferences] ask what to propose “to young people who instead of forming a heterosexual couple decide to form a homosexual couple and, above all, wish to be close to the Church.”

The Holy See has never used the acronym “LGBT” in a Vatican document.

Fr. James Martin, SJ swiftly responded to news of Archbishop Chaput’s synod intervention, tweeting out: ' James Martin, SJ@JamesMartinSJ - Why should we use "LGBT" or "LGBTQ" in the church? Because people have a right to name themselves, and this is the name many choose. And there is such a "thing" as an "LGBTQ Catholic" and a "transgender catholic." They are members of the Body of Christ. 5:13 PM - Oct 4, 2018

No specific mention of Archbishop Chaput’s intervention was made at the synod press briefing. Father Thomas Rosica, the English language media attaché to the synod, who spoke with journalists after the briefing, also made no mention of Chaput’s remarks. Asked if “homosexuality” and “gay relationships” were part of the interventions, Father Rosica replied: “Not those exact words, the issue was present, but there wasn’t any dominant issue.” Father Rosica did confirm that sexual abuse was raised in several interventions. “The sex abuse issue has affected young people, and they want clarity, transparency, authenticity from us.”

[LSN] 2253.YS3



















Youth Synod IV: Young Scottish Catholics praise clergy who ‘proclaim orthodox teaching’

DAN HITCHENS reports for The Catholic Herald
: '
One hundred young Scottish Catholics have signed an open letter paying tribute to priests who have helped them by teaching Catholic doctrine.

The letter, signed by 107 Catholics aged between 18 and 35, was addressed to Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh, one of the bishops attending the synod on young people which begins today in Rome.

The signatories, all aged 18-35 and normally resident in Scotland, express their gratitude for the gift of faith, adding: “We desperately want to share this great gift with so many lapsed and non-Catholics among our family, friends, and colleagues, who have not rejected Catholicism but a poorly-understood shadow of it.”

They also warn of a recent trend, in the public discussion ahead of the synod, of suggesting that “difficult aspects of the Church’s teaching” should be downplayed in order to be closer to young people’s lives.

This way of thinking, the letter says, is “utterly in contradiction to our lived experience”. The attraction of Catholicism, the signatories say, is the Church’s “claim to truth”, the liturgy and sacraments, understanding of “the human person”, and “moral teaching, that while so very challenging, also offers the only path to true joy and human flourishing”.

Clergy who preach Catholic orthodoxy are singled out for praise: “Far from being ‘out of touch’, it is those priests who proclaim orthodox teaching in its fullness with joy and courage who have brought the light of Christ into our lives, and really offered us His Mercy – the remedy for a broken world, which does not pretend human brokenness is irremediable, but truly heals and gives the grace we need to live new lives of virtue. To those priests, we are unendingly grateful.”

They add: “A faith that merely legitimises the habits we otherwise have anyway is simply not worth it.”

The letter also addresses some of the socio-economic difficulties young Catholics face, arguing that “Our economic and social structures are based almost entirely round a presumption of contraception, and this makes it extremely difficult for any couples who live faithfully according to God’s commandments”.

A “renewal of Catholic culture”, the letter says, will be built on the foundation of the family.

The full letter to Archbishop Cushley, together with the list of signatories, is below.

Your Grace,

We write to you in advance of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. As young Catholics across Scotland, we would like to express our hopes and concerns for the future of the Church in this country.

In some of the discourse surrounding the synod, we have noted a trend of suggesting that difficult aspects of the Church’s teaching, in matters of morals and matters of faith, need to be downplayed, or even put aside, in order to be relevant to people’s lives and sensitive to their difficulties. Some even imply that priests who hold to orthodox teaching are out of touch with the lives of lay people, and of young people especially. However, it is in fact this line of thought that is utterly in contradiction to our lived experience. What made us become and/or remain Catholic, against ever increasing cultural pressure, are those aspects of the faith that are uniquely Catholic, not things that can be found in social clubs, in NGOs, or in political parties. What matters is precisely the Church’s claim to truth; Her liturgy and Sacraments; Her transcendent doctrine, communicated in teaching but also through beauty and goodness; Her understanding of the human person, laid out so powerfully for the modern world by St John Paul II; and Her moral teaching, that while so very challenging, also offers the only path to true joy and human flourishing as we see in the lives of the saints. These are the things that convince us that here is something worth the sacrifice, something good for us and for every human being.

Young Catholics are inspired by the heroic virtue espoused by the Church, in opposition to the cynicism and pessimism of postmodern culture. A faith that merely legitimises the habits we would otherwise have anyway is simply not worth it. Far from being “out of touch”, it is those priests who proclaim orthodox teaching in its fullness with joy and courage who have brought the light of Christ into our lives, and really offered us His Mercy – the remedy for a broken world, which does not pretend human brokenness is irremediable, but truly heals and gives the grace we need to live new lives of virtue. To those priests, we are unendingly grateful.

Sadly, far too few young people have encountered this fullness of the faith lived out visibly and confidently. A young Catholic father in America recently wrote to Archbishop Chaput that “The disastrous effect that Beige Catholicism (as Bishop Robert Barron aptly describes it) has had on my generation can’t be overstated.” (“From the Heart of a Young Father”, Charles Chaput, First Things, 18th April 2018). God has, in His mysterious ways, providentially and gratuitously blessed us with encounters, pastors, and formation that many of our peers have not had. We desperately want to share this great gift with so many lapsed and non-Catholics among our family, friends, and colleagues, who have not rejected Catholicism but a poorly-understood shadow of it. If the synod is to bear fruit, it is with this task that it must help us.

We need to ensure that our local Catholic communities are permeated with a Catholic worldview, and unashamed that such an orientation is very different from the prevailing cultural trends. The sacramental life, beyond just Sunday Mass, needs to be obviously and visibly the foundation of Catholic existence. We must draw on our rich heritage to ensure the liturgy is celebrated with beauty and splendour so as to reveal and draw us into the profound mysteries taking place. We need to see the various vocations lived out fully and joyfully, with parishes and dioceses forming a living iconography of faith, so that we can discern God’s will for our own lives, not in isolation but in an ecclesial context.

Young people need the chance to get to know our priests as priests – not just as administrators, nor presiders rushing from church to church, nor again merely as pals, but as fathers, whose fatherhood is rooted in their sacramental identity as men called and set apart to absolve and to offer the Holy Sacrifice. Young Catholics find priests who live their vocation to celibacy faithfully and joyfully to be highly credible witnesses to the joys and challenges of life in Christ.

The Church must be proactive and not merely reactive in facing the crisis affecting marriage and the family. To a large extent, Catholic married life has come to be treated as little different from secular relationships. Our economic and social structures are based almost entirely around a presumption of contraception, and this makes it extremely difficult for any couples who live faithfully according to God’s commandments. So many of our generation are living with the consequences of broken families, and this has engendered a cynicism about marriage. However, these young people have never been shown an alternative and therefore the Church has a great opportunity and obligation to clearly, confidently, and joyfully proclaim the truth about marriage. Young Catholics have a right to hear these truths at a local level so that our parishes are consciously supportive of the vocation to holiness in married life. This is vital since it is firstly in the family that vocations are fostered and it is on this foundation that an authentic renewal of Catholic culture and the life of the Church will be built.

There is no doubt that discovering and living out one’s vocation is very difficult in the modern world, as indeed it has been in every age. However, we know that God’s grace is enough for us and we hope and pray that a renewed faith and confidence in this will suffuse the Church and inspire young people to discern and live out their vocations faithfully.

Entrusting the synod to the intercession of St John, youngest of the Apostles, we assure you of our prayers.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Gerald Bonner

Conor and Naomi Gildea

Ruairidh MacLennan

Christopher and Margaret Akers

Thomas Joseph Burns

Etienne Charpy

Grace Deighan

Euan Fairholm

Elena Feick

Elaine Furmage

Ricardo German

Christopher Grant

Caitlin Hainsworth

Rosemary Healy

Declan Jennow

Andrew Kelly

Árpád Stephen Kuffler

Rebecca MacKinnon

Katy Mallon

Bernhard Massani

James Joseph McDonald

Jamie McGowan

Andrew McManus

Calum and Rachel Munro

Aoife Ong

Megan Pawelczyk

Martin Ramage

Michael and Allie Robinson

Molly-Rose Smith

Victoria Stephens

Caitlin Tennent

Brian Timmons

Christina Viegelmann

Calum Douglas Wilson

Samuel Begbie

Celia Gabriela Alvarez

Campano Greta Cydzikaite

Sean Deighan

James Michael Farrell

Michael Fenn

Paul Aidan Gallacher

Lewis Giacchetto

Louise Grant

Mr and Mrs Mark Hamid

Myriam Heggarty

Maryfrances Jennow

John Kennedy

Kenneth Law

Cailean MacLennan

Sarah Mallon

Anna McCourt

Callum McGinley

Liam McKechnie

Ross Gregory Mitchell

Niall and Ruth O Coinleáin

Matthew Pace

Fraser and Jane Pearce

Stefan Rástocký

Matthew Sheppard

Thomas Starkie

Andrew Stewart

Aidan Timmoney

Mihnea Vlad Turcanu

Maria Ward

Rebecca Wood

Anna Benová

Stuart James Campbell

Clare Deighan

Deryn Teoh En-Jie

Catherine Farrelly

Naomi Forrester

Joseph and Julie Geoghegan

Julie Gilmore

James Edward Greechan

Šimon Hanzal

Felicity Howard

Lily Kearns

Ethan SH Kim

Carter Lyon

John Patrick Mallon

Alexander Masir

Charis McCrosson

Ciaran McGonigle

Róisín McLaren

James Mulholland

Hannah O’Neill

Katharina Alice Patommel

Miguel and Maria Carolina

Pereira da Silva

Andrew Robertson

Bartosz Skrzypczak

Petre and Mollie Stegaroiu

John Stockdale

Erin Timmoney

Henry Viall

Ian and Kristiina Watt

Oscar Wright

[CatholicHerald] 2253.YS4
















Vatican announces review of Archbishop McCarrick files, yet no Apostolic Visitation

The "thorough study" announced yesterday is not an apostolic visitation but a review of documents already “in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See.”

JD FLYNN reports for the National Catholic Register / CNA : 'The Vatican announced yesterday that it would review its files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians during decades of ministry as a bishop.

The Archdiocese of New York has already conducted a formal investigation into one allegation that Archbishop McCarrick serially sexually abused a teenage boy in New York, and announced in June that the allegation had been found credible.

In an Oct. 6 statement, the Vatican said that Pope Francis has decided to combine the information from that investigation “with a further thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick, in order to ascertain all the relevant facts, to place them in their historical context and to evaluate them objectively.”

“The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues,” the statement said, however, adding that Pope Francis has said previously during his papal trip to Philadelphia in 2015: “‘We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead.’”

Archbishop McCarrick is the former Archbishop of Washington, DC, and served before that as Archbishop of Newark, Bishop of Metuchen, and auxiliary bishop in New York.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked the Pope for a thorough Vatican investigation — called an apostolic visitation — into McCarrick, and his ecclesiastical career in the U.S. Although DiNardo repeated that request during a Sept. 13 meeting between the Pope and U.S. bishops’ conference leaders, the Vatican has thus far declined to order the visitation.

The "thorough study" announced Oct. 6 is not an apostolic visitation but a review of documents already “in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See.”

Sources have confirmed to CNA that Pope Francis is scheduled to meet privately with DiNardo and Archbishop José Gomez, vice-president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, on Oct. 8.

A source familiar with the investigation told CNA that the Archdiocese of Washington has gathered additional information about Archbishop McCarrick that could be included in the Vatican review.

At least some American bishops have had knowledge of some aspects of Archbishop McCarrick’s alleged misconduct since 2005, when two New Jersey dioceses reached a legal settlement with some alleged victims of the archbishop. A further settlement was reached in 2007.

Questions have been raised about whether those bishops properly acted upon knowledge of allegations against then-Cardinal McCarrick, and whether and when other American bishops, among them Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, had knowledge of the archbishop’s conduct. One American bishop, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, told a journalist in August that he had heard rumors in 2017 about sexual misconduct on the part of then-Cardinal McCarrick, but declined to investigate them because they seemed unbelievable.

On Aug. 25, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., released a letter alleging that he had made reports about Archbishop McCarrick’s misconduct to his superiors beginning in 2006, and that others had made reports about the archbishop’s actions beginning in 2000. Archbishop Viganò said those reports went largely ignored until Pope Benedict XVI imposed restrictions on Archbishop McCarrick’s ministry in 2009 or 2010.

Among other things, Viganò alleged that Pope Francis lifted the restrictions on Archbishop McCarrick’s ministry after his election to the papacy, and that Archbishop McCarrick became an adviser to the Pope.

The Pope has declined to respond directly to Archbishop Viganò’s letter.

In a subsequent letter, released Sept. 29, Archbishop Viganò suggested that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, had direct knowledge of the history of allegations and responses in Archbishop McCarrick’s case, and urged him to “bear witness to the truth.”

While some claims made by Archbishop Viganò letter have been corroborated, the veracity of other claims have been called into question, leading to considerable controversy over its significance. Archbishop Viganò has claimed that files in the archives of the Vatican and its nunciature — embassy — in the U.S. will corroborate his charges.

The Vatican’s Oct. 6 statement said that “both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable.”

“The Holy Father Pope Francis renews his pressing invitation to unite forces to fight against the grave scourge of abuse within and beyond the Church, and to prevent such crimes from being committed in the future to the harm of the most innocent and most vulnerable in society.”

[NCRegister] 2253.SU1

















Australian archbishop mocks Viganò: I wonder if he 'thinks he … should be pope'

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews - An Australian archbishop has made derisive comments against Archbishop Viganò, suggesting that the Vatican whistle-blower thinks he'd make a better pope than Francis.

'The latest Vigano broadside (un'altra Viganata!) leaves me wondering if the Archbishop thinks that he rather than @Pontifex should be Pope.

papabile.' stated Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane on Twitter

In his second testimony - released last week - former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò repeated his central assertion that Pope Francis knew that Archbishop McCarrick was 'perverse and evil' when he made him 'one of his principal agents in governing the Church.' Viganò also expressed concern over revelations that Pope Francis had played a role in covering up for or blocking investigations into other priests and prelates, including Fr. Julio Grassi, Fr. Mauro Inzoli, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

In his original testimony - released in August - Viganò had called on the pope to resign.

Archbishop Coleridge has shown himself to be an ardent supporter of Pope Francis' reform of the Church. He stated in 2015 that the Catholic saying 'love the sinner, hate the sin' with reference to homosexuality no longer holds since the distinction 'no longer communicates in the real world' where sexuality is 'part of [your] entire being.' He has also argued that using the word 'adultery' for remarried divorcees needs to end. He criticized the four dubia Cardinals in 2016 for searching for what he called 'false clarity' amid 'shades of gray.' In 2016 Coleridge's archdiocese defended the staging of a sexually charged, explicitly anti-Christian ballet and fashion show in a Catholic church.

Coleridge's September 29 tweet attracted negative attention from several prominent Catholic laymen.

'It [Viganò's claim] should make you [Coleridge] wonder if what he claims is true, replied Steve Skojec, the editor of the 'OnePeterFive' blog. 'How about you man up and support him?'

This thought was echoed by Damian Thompson, editor of the Catholic Herald, who tweeted:

'Shouldn't it leave you wondering whether, as Vigano insists, Pope Francis was informed of McCarrick's serial abuse right at the start of his pontificate? It has not been denied. Why?'

'Indeed,' American canonist Ed Peters tweeted in response to Thompson, 'a petty comment from a prelate. What so worries them about a simple question, Is Viganò right?'

Christopher Manion, director of the Campaign for was even more pointed.

'Do you want the truth, your Excellency, or do you want to cover it up?' he asked Coleridge.

Damien O'Donnell, the president of the European Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities, told the Australian archbishop that he believes Viganò doesn't want to be pope, but is acting for the good of the Church.

'On the contrary,' he tweeted, 'I believe [Viganò], like the vast majority of devoted Catholics, has serious concern for OUR Church, the Bride of Christ and the many who have suffered at the hands of these predatory prelates who are being protected by the loud silence of pontifex.'

More than one commentator suggested that the archbishop was 'fawning' over Pope Francis in the hopes of receiving preferment. Of 151 direct replies to the tweet, very few sympathized with Coleridge. The rather one-sided response was not lost on the Tweeters themselves.

'Nice ratio,' remarked a tweeter from the Catholic Minority Report blog.

Coleridge has sneered at a fellow bishop over Twitter before. Mocking the grief of Cardinal Jospeh Zen for the sufferings of Catholics in China, the Brisbane archbishop tweeted: 'Things can be tough in China, I know, but I just wish the Cardinal would smile once in a while.'

[LSN] 2253.1

















Cardinal Müller confirms sex abuse investigation against UK Cardinal was stopped

MAIKE HICKSON and JOHN-HENRY WESTEN report for LifeSiteNews – Cardinal Gerhard Müller has confirmed that the Vatican investigation into sexual abuse by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor was not completed, but instead was stopped for lack of the Pope’s approval.

The cardinal spoke with LifeSiteNews in Washington, D.C. while there to speak at the Napa Institute’s Conference on Authentic Catholic Reform.

LifeSiteNews asked Cardinal Müller if Pope Francis had indeed halted the investigation into Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who passed away in 2017. Müller was until recently the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican body tasked with investigating sex abuse cases. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was accused of abusing a girl when she was 13 or 14 during the 1960s.

Cardinal Müller told LifeSiteNews he was “bound by Pontifical Secret,” but said that “the Pope’s approval is required for investigations” of a Cardinal. LifeSiteNews informed Müller that some news reports were suggesting he had completed the investigation, rather than the investigation having been interrupted and prevented from continuing.

LifeSiteNews asked the cardinal if he would at least go on the record to indicate that the investigation was stopped, rather than completed, and he agreed, “yes.”

Despite suggestions to the contrary, neither LifeSiteNews nor Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claimed that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was guilty of the abuse. Rather, LifeSite’s original report focused on the fact that the investigation into the allegations did not follow proper Church protocol, and Archbishop Viganò mentioned the halting of the investigation in the context of the Pope’s larger record on sex abuse cover-up.

The bizarre circumstances around the Pope stopping the investigation were revealed by famed Vatican reporter Marco Tosatti. From a source close to Cardinal Müller, Tosatti learned that the Cardinal, when he was Prefect of the CDF, was interrupted by a phone call from the Pope while saying Mass in June 2013 at the Church of Santa Monica (next to the CDF building) for a small group of German students.

As Tosatti put it in an article for First Things last year:

His secretary joined him at the altar: “The pope wants to speak to you.” “Did you tell him I am celebrating Mass?” asked Müller. “Yes,” said the secretary, “but he says he does not mind—he wants to talk to you all the same.” The cardinal went to the sacristy. The pope, in a very bad mood, gave him some orders about a dossier concerning one of his friends, a cardinal.

In a joint report with LifeSiteNews last week, Tosatti revealed for the first time, via a source close to Cardinal Müller, that it was the CDF’s investigation of Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor that Pope Francis nixed during that urgent phone call.

From a source in England close to the Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor case, LifeSiteNews learned that the lady around 2009 accused Murphy-O’Connor of involvement in her abuse. She had been, as a young teen in the 1960s, a victim of notorious pedophile priest Michael Hill. She asserted around 2009 that there were several priests involved in her abuse at the time, with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor being one of them. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor later infamously transferred the known abuser Hill to be the chaplain at Gatwick airport despite warnings that he would offend again. (He did indeed offend again.) The lady in question is an acknowledged victim of Fr. Hill and was paid at the beginning of the 2000s a £40,000 settlement by the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton for the abuse she suffered.

While the left-leaning Tablet in England has claimed that the woman’s allegations against Murphy-O’Connor were investigated by police and the Church and found lacking in credibility, our source in England provides needed clarification.

Our source notes: “The police did not decide that she was not credible, but that they did not have corroborating evidence.” The source added that, had the police not found the victim a credible source, “they would not have investigated the case.” Rather, the source said, the police took the case so seriously that they interviewed Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor himself “under caution,” which means that they made it clear to him that his answers could be used against him in court. Moreover, the source says the police never closed the case, but put it aside awaiting corroborating evidence.

The Tablet author Christopher Lamb omits in his description of the history of the case that the Archdiocese of Westminster altogether refused to investigate the allegations of the female victim according to Church protocols. As LifeSiteNews has reported, it was not the Archdiocese of Westminster, but two other dioceses – Portsmouth and Northampton – which filed a case directly with the CDF in 2011. As our well-placed source in England has affirmed, it was not Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster since 2009, who instigated the CDF investigation. Only in 2011 – that is, three years after the lady started to claim Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor abused her – Nichols finally had his diocesan officials meet with her in person. Still, they did not open an investigation.

According to our source in England, Bishop Crispian Hollis (of Portsmouth, now retired) and Bishop Peter Doyle (Northampton) both knew the female victim for years and found her a credible person. “All people involved [i.e., police, as well as the English bishops filing the case with the CDF] found that the female victim is a credible witness,” the English source told LifeSiteNews.

The Tablet reports on a CDF investigation in 2011 of the case under then-CDF head Cardinal William Levada. That investigation apparently determined there was no case. However, our English source states that the CDF’s investigation in 2011 was not thorough, inasmuch as the victim herself was not even personally interviewed by the CDF officials.

As The Tablet so ambiguously puts it, the need to restart the case then in 2013 was due to an “administrative gap.” Of what that “administrative gap” could be, our source commented: “The CDF itself had not followed protocol.”

That is the very reason why, in 2013, Peter Doyle – the Bishop of Northampton who originally worked in Portsmouth and who knows the victim personally – together with Portsmouth “complained to Rome” and urged Nichols to restart the CDF investigation in 2013, according to our English source. But once Cardinal Müller finally got the 2013 CDF investigation underway, Pope Francis put a stop to it.

Damian Thompson of the Catholic Herald, notes that there were “some English bishops” who were “unhappy at Westminster breaking rules.” Speaking of The Tablet article, he wrote on Twitter September 30: “This report is basically accurate. I believe in ++Cormac’s innocence. But this isn’t the whole story. Some English bishops unhappy at Westminster breaking rules; the CDF intervened. ++Mueller knows the truth.”

“Cardinal Nichols should explain precisely how he handled the Cormac allegations,” Thompson wrote on Twitter September 26. “They may have lacked credibility, but there’s no indication that the Church’s abuse procedures were properly implemented. Far from it.”

On Twitter, The Tablet’s Lamb and Austen Ivereigh, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s former assistant, suggested that The Tablet’s report discredited Archbishop Viganò. Viganò listed in his recent follow-up testimony Pope Francis’ “halting of the investigation of sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor” as one example of the pontiff’s complicity in sex abuse cover-up. The discrediting of Viganò would vindicate Pope Francis, not only with regard to his role in the Murphy-O’Connor case, but in the face of larger cover-up accusations surrounding the ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick debacle.

Cardinal Müller’s confirmation that the CDF’s investigation of Murphy-O’Connor was indeed halted would seem to vindicate Viganò, though.

Murphy-O’Connor had been the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton from 1977 until 2000, when he was appointed Archbishop of Westminster. He was also a member of the St. Gallen Group that tried to get Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) elected, first in the 2005 conclave, and then again in 2013.

In his biography of Pope Francis, Ivereigh wrote that days prior to the conclave, which began March 12, 2013 in Rome, Murphy-O’Connor was tasked by the St. Gallen “mafia” to inform Jorge Bergoglio of a plan to get him elected. According to Ivereigh, Murphy-O’Connor was also tasked with lobbying for Bergoglio among his North American counterparts as well as acting as a link to those from Commonwealth countries. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor recounted in his memoir An English Spring that when Pope Francis met the English cardinal in July 2013, the Pope told him, “You're to blame!”

[LSN] 2253.1a

















Humanae Vitae


Emotional virtue

DATING is hard. In today's world of social media it's even harder. How do we deal with the emotional ups and downs of seeking a relationship in the era of social media?

Sarah Swafford, author of 'Emotional Virtue: A Guide to Drama-Free Relationships,' quotes one of the best pieces of advice she ever received, 'You're running around looking for someone to be your savior when you already have one,' and explains why a focus on seeking to grow in virtue, rather than being focused on our own happiness, is the key to finding happy and healthy relationships in her talk entitled 'Emotional Virtue.' Ms. Swafford's talk was part of the Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium at Franciscan University of Steubenville.



[Franciscan University of Steubenville] 2253.2















Preserving marriage,
family life




One Catholic father versus the culture of McCarrick

A CATHOLIC FATHER writes for OnePeterFive : 'My family has had its inevitable brushes with the Culture of McCarrick. They emerge unexpectedly in our day-to-day activities and unfold fully on Sundays at church.

One began at a country club swimming pool two summers ago. Shortly after our boys, then nine and six, began splashing around, a group of teen girls entered. They were junior high school-age, as revealed in conversation they saw no need to conceal. One soon began boasting of her romantic relationship with another girl.

On a separate occasion, we were in an elevator along with a mother and her children who were having a conversation about how a boy was allowed to use the girls’ bathroom at school. The family seemed to approve.

Prior to this, my wife and I had been living out of the country and our boys were born overseas. While we were a little surprised by how things seem to have changed in the U.S. over our time away, we don’t have any illusions that the culture offers any assistance to people trying to raise families in the light of faith. We try to be on guard for mainstreamed perversity that might insinuate itself between us and our children – even in the most mundane settings.

We had also counted on the Church, which is supposed to be for us where the culture is against us. It’s a “field hospital” where nicked up families can be healed and fortified in the faith before heading back out to the fight.

Yet care is not forthcoming. Week after week, we get nothing but the slow, stupefying drip of silence from the pulpit and from our schools. Meanwhile, the culture continues to chip away.

After the Alfie Evans saga, we got – nothing. Two men can marry and raise children, and from the pulpit we got nothing. On abortion, I guess I’d have to admit we get a little bit of lip service once in a while. But on items like contraception, drug abuse, children and parents alienated from each other in a filthy, puerile culture – nothing, nothing, and more nothing.

This is where the real evil of Theodore McCarrick deals its soundless blows. The man himself may be gone (unless you live in Kansas), but the culture he represents is ensconced on the couch in the Church’s living room, with his feet on the table and his mind on the obscene. This obese, demonic lump has no plans to go anywhere, and if we don’t like it, well, we can shut up and pray.

Families like mine come to church each Sunday, put their fair share and maybe more in the collection plate, send their children to Catholic schools, and end up being victimized. Even if every pederast predator were caught, even if there were no harassment in the seminaries, those living unchaste lifestyles subsidized by the Church are doing great damage. With their influence, they are keeping the truth on a leash, and families are paying the price.

As a father, I know I am the one responsibility for the moral education of my children. So when we are confronted with boys using girls’ bathrooms or girls dating each other, I have to do two things: provide moral clarity by way of explanation and make certain that I am raising my children in a setting where they will know something is wrong about certain things they have seen or heard.

But is it too much to ask for a little messaging help from the Church? There are beauty and coherence in the Church’s teaching on personal morality – especially as it should be applied to the prominent issues of the day. But it is left unarticulated. Instead, we get accommodations to the zeitgeist veiled as exhortations to “tolerance,” “diversity,” and “mercy.” There is nothing merciful about leaving the truth unspoken.

How long will it be before my children recognize the conflict between the silence from the pulpit and the morality I am teaching and attempting to model for them? Cardinal Timothy Dolan admitted the problem when asked about abortion, so-called “same-sex marriage,” and contraception in a news interview a few years ago. “I look at myself,” he said, “in my almost 37 years as a priest, rare would be the times that I preached about those issues.” As a husband and father, this is not what I need.

At this point, I am not even asking for the Church to be a sign of contradiction in the culture. I’m begging it to preach the fullness of the faith within its own walls and for Catholic schools not to be ashamed of their identity and tradition.

At our boys’ school not long ago, a new teacher put a small, LGBTQ triangle-shaped rainbow sticker on the window of his classroom door. Another father and I talked to the principal about it immediately, and the sticker was gone by the end of the day. While that was the appropriate response, it never should have come to that. The morals of the school should have been clear enough that no teacher would ever have thought of putting up one of those stickers. I also wonder if anyone else would have raised the issue if my friend and I hadn’t said anything. This is the state of the faith.

True and clear messaging is vital for adolescents. A 1994 study found that three of four boys who think they are homosexual as teenagers even out their sexual desires by the time they are adults. Of children who think they’re the opposite sex, 80 to 95 percent come to accept themselves as they are. These numbers clearly show that the lost can find their way home. But our churches are not even leaving the porch light on, and some get stuck in the wilderness, in a misery they may never have approached if they had heard a few of the right words at the right time from the pulpit.

That is because McCarrick remains with us, at least for now. He’s among the faithful every Sunday in all that you are not hearing but should be.

[1P5] 2253.SAT1

























United Nations


UN logo

UN Committee says nations may not exclude abortion from “Reproductive Health"

SUSAN YOSHIHARA reports for the Friday Fax : 'A UN committee denounced Malta’s laws protecting children from abortion as a violation of the human right to sexual and reproductive health.

The UN committee that monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities said Malta may not exclude abortion from the term “sexual and reproductive health” as the country did in a formal reservation it made when ratifying the treaty.

The committee’s action confirms that the term was inserted in the treaty as a stalking horse for abortion rights, as nations with protective laws feared when the agreement was negotiated twelve years ago.

Article 25 of the treaty requires States parties to “Provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality, and standard of free or affordable health care and programs as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programs.”

When Malta signed the treaty in 2007 it lodged a reservation saying, “Malta understands that the phrase ‘sexual and reproductive health’ in Art 25 (a) of the Convention does not constitute recognition of any new international law obligation, does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion.”

Malta told the committee the interpretation was “the result of the country’s overarching national policy under which abortion was illegal. The Government did not plan to amend the legislation governing termination of pregnancy, although it was aware that social trends in that regard were evolving.”

The committee disregarded this, telling Malta to withdraw the reservation and implying that it was never valid. While the committee’s opinion is not binding, it will be used by abortion groups and activist judges to challenge Malta’s abortion laws.

During the treaty’s final negotiation, the term “sexual and reproductive health” was rammed through over the objections of twenty-three nations who feared it would be construed as creating an international right to abortion.

At the time, European delegations characterized such objections as unfounded and overblown. They reassured delegates that the treaty did not create any new rights and would only be used to promote nondiscrimination in health care.

According to an eye-witness account, the chair of the negotiation asked delegates for a show of hands to see if any of them thought the controversial term created any new rights. No hands were raised.

To further assuage delegations, a footnote was added stating that the inclusion of the term in the treaty “would not constitute recognition of any new international law obligations or human rights.”

Even with the footnote, in a statement when the General Assembly adopted the treaty, the U.S. objected to the use of the term “sexual and reproductive health” that was nearly identical to Malta’s reservation. Twelve other nations followed suit, and no delegations contradicted them. In fact, Canada stated that the treaty did not create new rights.

When President Barak Obama asked the U.S. Senate to ratify the treaty in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Let’s be clear: The Disabilities Convention is a non-discrimination treaty. It won’t create any new rights that do not otherwise exist in our domestic law.”

The U.S. Senate rejected ratification, in part because Kerry could not say if reservations would protect the U.S. from the imposition of a human right to abortion.

Two other European nations, Poland and Lithuania, have similar reservations on the controversial term. El Salvador’s reservation was attacked by Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland for six years until that country withdrew it in 2015.

[C-FAM] 2253.UN1




















China supplement


China calls the shots

SANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome : 'To the gesture of Pope Francis who on the same day as the signing of the agreement with China exonerated from excommunication the seven bishops forcibly installed in recent years by the communist party without the approval of the Holy See, the Chinese authority responded by designating themselves the two bishops who will go to Rome to participate in the upcoming world synod:

It is the first time that this has happened, and the decision seems to be a taste of what is to come with future episcopal appointments, on the basis of the agreement stipulated with the two sides. An agreement whose contents have not been made known, but that evidently is not impartial.

While in the past, first in 1998 and then in 2005, the Chinese bishops invited to the synods of those years by John Paul II and Benedict XVI respectively never received authorization to go to Rome, today instead the opposite has happened. The Beijing authorities have been the ones to designate the bishops to send to the synod, and Rome has not raised any objections. It was the Chinese high official Wang Zuo'an, director of the state administration for religious affairs, who made their designation public.

The two selected are John Baptist Yang Xiaoting, bishop of Yan'an-Yulin, and Joseph Guo Jincai, bishop of Chengde. Both of them have long been highly docile executors of the commands of the Chinese authorities, and the latter - one of the seven absolved from excommunication - is also general secretary of the pseudo episcopal conference of Chinese bishops, which still does not include the 'clandestine' bishops who are in communion with Rome but not recognized by the regime.

Today the known 'clandestine' bishops number 17, 7 of whom are well above the age of 75. And two of them now find themselves flanked, in their respective dioceses, by two government-appointed bishops pardoned in recent days by the pope. In the diocese of Shantou the 'clandestine' bishop is 87 and could be replaced easily. But in that of Xiapu-Mindong the 'clandestine' bishop Vincent Guo Xijin, 56, will have to step aside for his competitor Vincent Zhan Silu, bowing to the 'sacrifice' asked of him by the Vatican last winter. Here too in confirmation of how the Chinese regime finds itself at an advantage over its counterpart.

On all the bishops currently present in China - on whose names the Annuario Pontificio is silent, except for those of Hong Kong and Macao - Settimo Cielo furnished a detailed organizational chart last February, on the basis of the highly informative book by the vaticanista Gianni Cardinale that came out at the beginning of this year from the presses of Libreria Editrice Vaticana:

> Chinese Bishops Illegitimate, Official, Clandestine… Which Ones Francis Is Rewarding and Which He Is Not

But it must be added that in the diocese of Ningbo, where the last known bishop, named Hu Xiande, 'clandestine,' died on September 25, 2017, the Holy See limited itself to stating that 'the successor has taken possession of the diocese': a sign that there must be a new bishop there who also is not recognized by the Chinese government, whose identity has however not been revealed.

A further observation concerns the strange case of the eighth bishop from whom last September 22 Pope Francis lifted the excommunication not while he was alive, but after he had died.

In the papal act of withdrawal of excommunication it is in fact written that this bishop, Anthony Tu Shihua, a Franciscan, who passed away on January 4 of 2017, 'before dying had expressed the desire to be reconciled with the apostolic see.'

'L'Osservatore Romano' did not publish an obituary for this bishop, just as for every illegitimate bishop who has passed away without being reconciled with the Church, either publicly or in the internal forum.

There are therefore two possible explanations for the 'post mortem' absolution granted by Pope Francis in recent days.

Either the Holy See found out only long after his death that he wanted to be reconciled. Or the Chinese government absolutely demanded from Rome his posthumous rehabilitation. And got it.

[L'Espresso] 2253.3

















The new agreement

DONALD R. McCLAREY writes for the American Catholic : 'Few people in the West know more about Communist China than Steven W. Mosher, Here are some of his thoughts about the Vatican agreement in regard to the Chinese government

Here the suggestion is that 'clandestinity'-hiding from the Communist authorities-is no longer necessary because these same authorities are supposedly no longer 'imposing direct control above and beyond the legitimate competence of the state.'

But this is patent nonsense. New controls are being imposed on the Catholic Church, and on all religions, even as I write. The increasingly oppressive Communist regime headed by a Communist party leader, Xi Jinping, who self-consciously models himself on the brutal Chairman Mao Zedong, is cracking down on all forms of religious expression.

New restrictions on religious activity were announced on February 1st of this year. According to a priest of the Underground Church, the new rules state that 'all religious sites must be registered, no religious activities can be held beyond registered venues, non-registered clergymen are forbidden to host religious liturgies, and that minors and party members are forbidden from entering churches. … The living space for the Church is getting less and less.'

Has anyone in the Vatican read these new regulations, which make it clear that China is quickly reverting to Maoist-type oppression? Do they consider that banning anyone under the age of 18 from entering a church an act falling within the 'legitimate competence of the state'? Has it occurred to anyone there that now may be a particularly inauspicious time to force the Underground Church into the embrace of the Chinese Communist Party, as the new agreement does?

I note that Article 73 of the new regulations expressly forbids a priest or bishop from 'being subject to the control of foreign forces', a rule which would seem to violate the allegiance they owe to the Magisterium. The same regulations forbid them from 'organizing and presiding over unapproved religious activities held outside religious venues.' Strictly interpreted, this would mean that a priest could be punished saying Mass in a private home, or even for blessing someone outside the church precincts.

The Pope writes, 'I now invite all Chinese Catholics to work towards reconciliation.'

But the division between Catholics in the underground and patriotic Churches was not caused by the Catholics themselves. Rather, it arose in reaction to actions by the Chinese Communist Party, which in 1958 set up a Party-controlled Church called the Catholic Patriotic Association. Those Catholics who were not willing to compromise their faith went underground.

This division cannot be healed by Catholics themselves, because they were not the cause of it. The Chinese Communist Party was the cause of the original division, and it remains today a dominating and controlling presence over all Catholics in China.

The entire exercise seems somehow backwards, because historically it was the Underground Church that remained loyal to the Magisterium, while the Patriotic Church accepted the authority of the Chinese Communist Party to govern its affairs.

Now their roles are seemingly reversed. The Pope's secret agreement apparently recognizes the Catholic Patriotic Church, and puts the onus on the long-persecuted Underground Church to accept supervision and control by its authorities. That is to say, it lends the authority of the Magisterium to the Communist Party itself, which will be able to claim-rightly-that the Pope has ordered underground bishops, priests, and laity to cooperate with the religious authorities anointed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Will the secret agreement help to unify China's divided Catholic Church and 'heal the wounds of the past?' Or will it only deepen that division by driving the Underground Church even further underground as the Catholic Patriotic Church and its bishops are recognized by the Vatican?

Anyone who wants to understand the difference between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis merely has to read and compare their two letters to the Chinese faithful. The letter of the Pope Emeritus (a phrase that breaks my heart) is detailed and refined. It shows a deep understanding of the situation in China, is compelling in the immediacy of its prescriptions, and is filled with a spirit of hope and charity.

The short letter of the current occupant of the See of Peter is none of these things. It is vague and unconvincing. Its central argument-that the faithful in China and around the world should simply trust that he knows what he's doing-relies upon the story of Abraham.

As the Pope writes, 'Called by God, Abraham obeyed by setting out for an unknown land that he was to receive as an inheritance, without knowing the path that lay ahead. Had Abraham demanded ideal social and political conditions before leaving his land, perhaps he would never have set out. . . . I want to confirm you in this faith … and to ask you to place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the Church's discernment of his will.'

In other words, Pope Francis is asking Catholics to trust his secret agreement with the Chinese Communist Party because he has correctly discerned the will of God.

Perhaps he has. Nevertheless, in dealing with a situation as complex as that which is found in China, and one which involves the exercise of a considerable amount of prudential judgment, I would welcome an argument more compelling than a simple appeal to papal authority.

Let's be bluntly honest here. Pope Francis does not give a damn about faithful Chinese Catholics. He is pursuing his own agenda and that agenda has virtually nothing to do with a Pope's role to defend the teaching of the Church, and, to the best of his ability, to defend faithful Catholics. What he is doing to faithful Chinese Catholics he is attempting to do to faithful Catholics around the globe, to place us in the hands of absolute governments if they mouth the Leftist pieties which are the true Sacred Writ for our Pope. PopeWatch has difficulty in deciding whether the Pope is more ignorant than evil, or more evil than ignorant, but in either case he should be regarded by faithful Catholics as what his actions reveal him to be: an enemy of their Faith.

[The American Catholic] 2253.4
















Holy See-China agreement draws criticism from US religious freedom advocates

KEVIN J. JONES reports for CNA/EWTN News .- The Holy See's provisional agreement with China on the appointment of bishops has drawn criticism from some U.S. religious freedom leaders, who contend that it concedes too much to power to the government and undermines efforts to protect other suffering religious groups.

'I confess that I am skeptical, both as a Catholic, and as an advocate for the religious freedom of all religious communities in China,' Thomas Farr, president of the Religious Freedom Institute, said Sept. 27.

'Earlier this year the Vatican quite properly expressed grave concerns about China's comprehensive anti-religion policy, and its apparent goal of altering Catholicism itself.'

Farr is a former American diplomat who was the first director of the U.S. State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom, from 1999-2003. He spoke before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. His comments addressed the state of religious freedom in China, especially for Catholics; the potential for further action from Congress and American diplomacy; and the Vatican-China agreement.

On Sept. 22 the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had recognized seven illicitly ordained bishops after the signing of a provisional deal with the Chinese government over the nomination of bishops. Under the deal, the Chinese government can propose candidates as part of the nomination process, but the Pope must give final approval.

The Pope explained his decision in a Sept. 26 letter to China's Catholics, acknowledging the 'deep and painful tensions' centered especially on the figure of the bishop as 'the guardian of the authenticity of the faith and as guarantor of ecclesial communion.' He said it was 'essential' to deal first with the issue of bishop appointments in order to support the continuation of the Gospel in China and to re-establish 'full and visible unity in the Church.'

He acknowledged the different reactions to the provisional agreement, both from those who are hopeful and from those who might feel abandoned by the Holy See and question 'the value of their sufferings endured out of fidelity to the Successor of Peter.'

Farr, speaking to the congressional subcommittee, said he is concerned the provisional agreement 'will not improve the lot of Catholics in China, much less the status of religious freedom for non-Catholic religious communities.' It risks harming religious freedom and 'inadvertently encouraging China's policy of altering the fundamental nature of Catholic witness.'

'In my humble opinion as a Catholic, and an advocate for religious freedom, the Vatican's charism is to support that witness, as Pope Saint John Paul II did in Communist Poland,' he said.

Farr thought the process for choosing Catholic bishops was comparable to 'the way parliamentary candidates are approved in Iran' where theologians vet prospective candidates for their loyalty to the government.

'Is it likely that the Chinese government would forward to the Vatican the name of a bishop faithful to the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church?' Farr asked. 'It seems far more likely that the bishop would be chosen at a minimum for his acquiescence to the regime, if not his fidelity to its anti-Catholic purposes.'

Johnnie Moore, a religious freedom advocate who now serves on the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom, told CNA he entirely supports 'direct engagement with governments which have a checkered past when it comes to religious freedom, working together to find a better future.'

However, he thought many people outside of the Catholic community are 'entirely confused by the timing and why the Holy Father agreed to - for all intents and purposes - demote faithful, persevering priests who had endured so much for so long.'

Moore, a past vice-president of communications at the evangelical Christian, Virginia-based Liberty University, is now CEO of communications firm The Kairos Company.

'Surely, (Pope Francis) could have found a way to have a meaningful relationship with the Chinese-appointed bishops without picking sides between his flock and those who've viciously opposed it for so long,' he said. 'I'm also afraid that clever leaders in China will use this deal with the Vatican to distract the world from their resurgent, egregious mistreatment of other religious communities.'

Farr's remarks tried to place China-Vatican relations in a historical context. In the centuries that Catholics have been in China, beginning even before missionary priest Matteo Ricci's founding of a Jesuit mission in 1601, they have encountered 'the assertion that Catholicism is incompatible with Chinese culture and must either be rooted out or adapted in ways that would change its fundamental nature.'

While Christianity became associated with European imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, against which many Chinese rebelled, it also suffered intense persecution after the Cultural Revolution after communist forces took power in 1949 under Mao Zedong.

China's government attempted to absorb or destroy all religion. It expelled the papal representative to China and over a decade's time engaged in 'brutal treatment' of Catholics, Protestants and other religious groups, Farr said. This intensified under the Cultural Revolution begun in the 1960s.

'Priests and nuns were tortured, murdered (some were burned alive), and imprisoned in labor camps. Lay Christians were paraded in their towns and villages with cylindrical hats detailing their 'crimes',' he said. Catholic clergy and laity were among the tens of millions who died 'terrible deaths.'

'While Mao proved that a policy of eliminating religion is unrealistic, his successors have constantly experimented in finding the 'correct' way to control, co-opt, and absorb religion into the communist state,' Farr continued. Since the 1970s, China's religious policies have had 'ups and downs as new Chinese leaders adapted policies to achieve the objective of control.'

'Not all Chinese policy involves overt repression of religion,' he said. In recent decades, China's leaders have at times supported 'religious groups perceived to be capable of consolidating Beijing's absolute power.' According to Farr, this has sometimes meant praise for non-Tibetan Chinese Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism as China's 'traditional cultures.'

'Clearly those three groups pose a lesser threat to Communist rule than do the Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, and Christians,' he said. 'For the moment at least, it is the latter three religious communities that are the objects of continuing repression, especially the Uighurs.'

Citing State Department estimates of 70 million to 90 million Christians in China, with about 12 million Catholic, he said the growth of Chinese Christianity, especially through conversions to Protestant denominations, is 'of great concern to the Chinese.'

Moving the State Administration for Religious Affairs to the United Front Work Department, which historically has been tasked with controlling China's ethnic minorities, ensures 'increased monitoring and control over the perceived threat posed by religion's growth in China.'

Moore, a commissioner on the U.S. international religious freedom commission, had voiced astonishment that the Vatican would normalize its relationship with China 'within one week of China so brazenly closing Beijing's large Zion Church and just a few weeks after the United Nations, the New York Times and the U.S. State Department all revealed that China has forcibly placed as many as one million Muslims in re-education camps.'

'Honestly, I was in total disbelief. I said to myself, 'not this, not now' and then, I just prayed,' he continued.

Following a two-day review of China's record in August, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has said that up to 1 million Uyghurs may be held against their will and without trial in extra-legal detention, on pretext of countering terrorism and religious extremism.

Farr voiced fear that the agreement reflects a 'failed Cold War 'realpolitik' diplomacy' of the 1960s Vatican that was changed by St. John Paul II, a failure he blamed on a lack of realism about 'the evil of communism.'

'It harmed the Church in parts of Eastern Europe,' he said. 'The post-war Vatican was not then, and is not now, a secular power capable of changing the behavior of communist governments by dint of its political diplomacy.'

He contended that the Vatican is 'the only authority in the world constituted precisely to address the root causes of totalitarian evil,' citing ST. John Paul II's cooperation in the 1980s with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

'The Holy See's role should be now, as it was then, to press for human rights and, especially, for religious freedom for all religious communities in China,' he said, arguing that the Vatican's charism is not diplomacy, but 'witness to the truth about God and man.'

'As for China's Catholics, the Vatican should demand nothing less than libertas ecclesiae, the freedom of the Church to witness to its adherents, to the public, and to the regime its teachings on human dignity and the common good.'

Farr suggested to Congress that the U.S. government should make the case to China that the growth of religion and religious communities is natural and inevitable in all societies. Efforts to kill it or blunt its growth are 'impractical and self-defeating,' and persecution only slows economic development and increases social instability and violent extremism. Accommodating religious groups, by contrast, will help economic growth, social harmony, and stability.

China is a major force in the world and has enormous influence on global affairs and American interests, he said. U.S. policymakers do not typically address religious freedom in this context.

'Far more than a humanitarian issue, the way China handles its internal religious matters is of sufficient importance that the United States should make religious liberty a central element of its relationship with the East Asian nation,' he said.

The agreement between the Holy See and mainland China has met with varied reactions within China.

Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang of Macau wrote Sept. 24 that he was pleased to have learned of the agreement: 'I thoroughly reckon that both parties have worked towards this provisional agreement after a long period of time with persistent effort of research and dialogue. This agreement is a positive move especially in favour of the communion of the Catholic Church in Chin and the Universal Church.'

Bishop Lee encouraged the faithful 'to pray for the progress in Sino-Vatican relationship, with the hope that this provisional agreement may really be implemented, so as to contribute to and benefit the Chinese society and the Church's charitable, pastoral, social, and educational apostolates, striving to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ far and wide.'

But Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who has long been an opponent of rapprochement with the Chinese government, told Reuters just days before the agreement was reached that 'they're giving the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It's an incredible betrayal.'

The Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong said the consequences of the deal 'will be tragic and long lasting, not only for the Church in China but for the whole Church because it damages the credibility.'

[Mary Rezac contributed to this report].

[CNA/EWTN News ] 2253.5
















News from around the world


Germany Münster Bishop will not ordain 'traditionalist candidates for the priesthood'

THE EPONYMOUS FLOWER reports : Bishop Felix Genn of Münster rejects 'traditionalist candidates for the priesthood.' This is being reported by German media, who quoted Genn with the following sentence: 'I can tell you decidedly: I do not want to consecrate pre-conciliar clerical types and will not consecrate them.' Genn last made the criticism in August. At that time he was criticized by a pastor because Genn attached himself to the 'musulmans'. The decay of the Church in the diocese of Münster is complete, everyone can see this. Nevertheless Bishop Felix Genn says, 'completely unrealistically: 'Islamization is certainly not taking place,'' Emmerich Pastor Paul Spätling wrote in his open letter to the Bishop of Münster.

Spätling apparently criticized an exhibition in Münster Cathedral with 14 artists on the subject of peace. In addition, above the entrance portal of the cathedral in neon letters is an Arabic lettering with the greeting 'as-salamu 'alaikum'(God's peace be with you). The pastor criticized this with the words: 'One no longer greets Christians with Dominus vobiscum, but the musulms with as-salam-alaikum. Why not immediately with Allah alu akbar?.'

[EF] 2253.6

















Italy Pope Francis accused of ‘disastrous’ negligence in clerical abuse cases

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews – An Italian organization of sex abuse victims has accused Pope Francis and those who work closest with him of failing to “intervene” in Italian cases where they knew of clerical abuse.

On 2 October, the Italian organization of sex abuse victims Rete L’Abuso, or “abuse network,” together with the international abuse victim organization Ending Clerical Abuse (ECA), hosted a press conference in Rome. According to a Kath.net report, Rete L’Abuso's president Francesco Zanardi accused both the Vatican as well as the Italian government of gravely negligent omissions in this field of sexual abuse.

Zanardi called Pope Francis' dealing with sex abuse “disastrous.”

“It’s been dramatic and disastrous,” he said, adding “His commitment to ‘zero tolerance’ is only on paper and for the TV cameras.”

In four concrete cases, the Pope had been informed about the abuses of Italian clergymen, or those who covered-up for them, without his then taking steps against them, said Zanardi at that press conference.

One case involved abuse allegations against Father Mauro Galli in Milan. The priest was transferred by Milan Archbishop Mario Enrico Delpini to another parish — in Legnano — and put in charge of youth ministry. The priest’s conduct and the Archbishop’s handling of it were reported to the Vatican on several occasions, Zanardi said.

“Despite this,” he went on, in July 2017 Pope Francis made him [Delpini] the archbishop of Milan” while having detailed information of his background in covering-up for this abusive priest.

Rete L’Abuso laid out three other Italian cases that they say Pope Francis was aware of and took no action. Reported Crux:

[] A boy abused in the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary, which serves middle- and high school students and is located within Vatican walls.

[] The Antonio Provolo Intitute [sic] for the deaf in Verona, a case the group claims reached Pope Francis in 2014 when a delegation of former students and alleged victims met with him in the Vatican to hand-deliver a letter detailing abuses in the institute for decades. Father Nicola Corradi, an Italian priest sent to Argentina to run a similar institute in the northern province of Mendoza, was arrested in Nov. 2016 for abuse in Francis’s native country.

[] Father Silverio Mura the southern diocese of Naples, who was transferred from one parish to the other despite allegations of sexual abuse. In early 2018, the network found that the priest had been transferred to Pavia, where he had changed his name to Silverio Aversano, using his mother’s maiden name. One of Mura’s victims encountered Francis, who allegedly looked into it, but the priest is now once again missing.
Zanardi is of the opinion that the State should investigate ecclesial abuse cases. For that to occur, however, the Lateran treaties between the Holy See and Italy need to be altered.

However, often it is the case that even state institutions act in a way that protects the Church, the speaker continued. Therefore, he calls for an independent inquiry commission according to the model of some other countries. For Italy, Zanardi estimates that some 300 ecclesial offenders are now said to have committed sexual crimes.

When LifeSiteNews reached out to Rete L’Abuso for more information, Simone Padovani explained that the organization has no political affiliation and that its main purpose is to work so as to “stop all the cover-up!” and, for sure, not to “tell the Church how to manage her priests.” (The organization has received, however, for one of their events the hospitality of the Radical Party in Rome.)

Upon request for more information also with regard to this organization's accusations against Pope Francis, LifeSiteNews received from Rete L’Abuso a link to an article written in English by Zanardi himself. In that article, he covers in more detail his allegations against Pope Francis and the Vatican with regard to the ongoing cover-up of sexual abuse.

In this article, Zanardi makes it clear that the Church's approach to sexual abuse is still deficient in the way that it only looks at these crimes quite abstractly as a “crime against morality” and not as a “crime against the person.” This deficient concept leads to the Church's not opening herself up to “civil interventions toward [on behalf of] the victims,” he argues. His organization is now working with the United Nations in these matters. It is important to note that he speaks mostly of pedophilia, and not of homosexual abuse, on the part of the clergy.

In his article, Zanardi also discusses the “Court of Bergoglio” and its cover-up of sexual abuse. He specifically names many of those whom he claims are involved. For example, the Italian points to Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer who currently heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Church (CDF). He claims that the Cardinal “is certainly not the person most suited to that charge who in fact boasts over the years [about] a significant recidivism in the firing and protection of pedophile priests.”

Becoming more detailed, Zanardi says: “One of the cases that made the most clamor is that of Don Giovanni Trotta who in 2012 was reduced to the lay [state] laical and Ladaria who in a decree, ordered silence 'to avoid scandal among the faithful.' So the ogre violated other children undisturbed. In the CDF, Ladaria treated dozens of other cases, all unresolved in at least, regarding justice for the victims.”

After his being appointed as the Prefect of the CDF on 3 July 2017, explains Zanari, “we immediately see Ladaria working to cover-up alleged abuses of the pope’s altar boys.”

“Even here there is no solution indeed. The alleged molester, Don Gabriele Martinelli, was not only not even suspended, but in 2018 he even collected reservations for the spiritual exercises of the [religious association] Opera Don Folci, which was attended by the same Ladaria [Ladaria was a speaker. See here a link to that event]. A few days ago the news passed quietly in Italy, where Ladaria was sued in Lyon [along] with Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and five others [here a link to the story]. A process that could be avoided because Ladaria is not in France and the Vatican has not yet given any answer on its participation in the trial that will be held next January.”

Martinelli, according to one report, was a student at the Vatican's St. Pope Pius X junior seminary under Pope Francis when he is said to have abused boys as young as 13 years old. Nonetheless, he was ordained – in spite of warnings – in July of 2017. However, the Vatican denied the allegations in November of 2017, claiming that they were unfounded. One specific victim claims to have been abused by an older boy in the pre-seminary from age 13 until 18. That abusing boy could be identified as a priest now serving in Como, according to the Avvenire report.

As the Vatican specialist Nicole Winfield reported in November of 2017, the Church had put strong pressure on those who went to the public with abuse allegations concerning the abusing student and later priest. However, even a high-ranking clergyman at one point admitted that he believed the allegations. As Winfied says: “However, [the journalist Gaetano] Pecoraro interviewed the Como vicar who handled the investigation, the Rev. Andrea Stabellini, who confessed when he thought the camera wasn't filming that he had recommended the investigation continue because he believed there was sufficient evidence offered by the boys. He was overruled. In an interview with AP, Pecoraro said he had since come to learn that diocesan and other church officials were pressuring Stabellini to recant.”

As Rete L’Abuso's speaker Simone Padovani informed LifeSiteNews, that his organization has already informed Monsignor Enrico Radice (the former rector of the pre-seminary at the Vatican where the Pope's altar boys live) and Bishop Diego Coletti (Como), as well as the religious association Opera Don Folci – with whom Don Martinelli is currently working – that a penal process will be started with regard to abuse allegations against Don Martinelli, who still this summer organized events for that religious association which has affiliated nuns and priests and which is located in Como, Italy. The Opera Don Folci runs the pre-seminary St. Pius X, and in 2015, it honored Monsignor Enrico Radice when he left his position after twelve years as the rector of that seminary. This pre-seminary is a place for 11-18 year-old-boys who go to a nearby Catholic school and otherwise also help with the liturgical service at the Vatican.

Among the members of the “Court of Bergoglio,” the author also points to Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, the “protector of the pedophile priest Nello Giraudo who helped in the election of Bergoglio.” At the 2013 Conclave, Zanardi – who had himself been terribly abused by the now-convicted Father Giraudo – made his own public appearance in Rome calling for the removal of Cardinal Calcagno who had been complicit in the cover-up of this protracted clerical abuse, according to Zanardi. He was able to have some access to Vatican documents which showed that Cardinal Calcagno had asked the CDF's Prefect, Cardinal Ratzinger, for advice, making it clear that he already knew of the abuse. However, according to Zanari, Calcagno nevertheless kept this abusing priest in places where he also had access to children.

As a CNN report has it: “Further documents reveal church officials were aware of [Father] Giraudo's crimes from as far back as 1980. On 29th March 2010, [Titular] Archbishop Ladaria of Thibica wrote to the current Bishop of Savona, Vittoria Lupi. It says Giraudo 'was reported in 1980 for abuse of minors' and that Giraudo admitted his own 'pedophile tendencies' to the Vicar General of Savona in 2002. Despite all this, it took more than 30 years before the Church forced Giraudo to write a letter of resignation on March 27th, 2010.”

Zanardi also names “Archbishop Mario Delpini and his colleague Pierantonio Tremolada, who tried to cover up the case of Don Mauro Galli and, again, Bishop Diego Coletti and his colleague Angelo Comastri, collaborators of the alleged abuses of the pope’s altar boys." He also names Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, "reported for the cover-up by the alleged victim on the basis of the Motu Proprio of Bergoglio, who never intervened.”

Zanardi concludes this part of his essay – which also deals with the Italian government's deficient handling of sexual abuse – with the statement that “Bergoglio collects accusations from one pole to the other on the planet, even if the Italian newspapers do not speak of it, he did not intervene in the case of the Veronese priest Don Nicola Corradi [see here a report on this case involving Pope Francis] and now 'the pope of transparency closes in silence,'" he said, finally "debunking the myth" that he is for "zero tolerance, which has never been there.”

[LSN] 2253.6a

















United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) A new threat to the unborn

SPUC reports : 'In the latest of a series of attempts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland through the courts, a woman who travelled to England for an abortion is seeking a declaration of incompatibility with human rights law in cases of so-called 'fatal foetal abnormalities.'

Last month, a woman who procured her underage daughter's abortion with pills she illegally bought online went to court to challenge the decision to prosecute her. Now, Sarah Ewart, who travelled to England five years ago for an abortion after she found out her daughter had anencephaly, is applying for a judicial review of Northern Ireland's abortion laws. Amnesty International, who are supporting her case, argue that 'Northern Ireland's abortion law is in violation of the UK's human rights obligations.'

The challenge follows the dismissal of a case brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (HRC), who argued that the Province's abortion laws are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), in the cases of rape, incest, 'fatal foetal abnormalities' and disability.

Although the Supreme Court dismissed the HRC's case on the grounds that it could not claim to be a victim for purposes of a judicial review, four of the seven justices said the law in the Province breached Article 8 of the ECHR. They claimed that the law was incompatible with the right to respect for private and family life in prohibiting abortion in cases of rape and incest and 'fatal foetal abnormality'. A fifth judge agreed with them that it was incompatible in the last case (where the baby has a life-limiting condition).

The justices unanimously agreed that the law is compatible with human rights in the case of non-fatal disabilities.

Now, Ms Ewart, who has standing as a victim, is bringing a case in her own name....

[SPUC] 22537
















United Kingdom Milquetoast bishops return from Rome

THE BISHOPS of England and Wales (most of whom remain curiously silent about the evils engulfing the Church) have returned home after their ad limina visit to Rome. On their return they issued a statement:

(W)e were immensely privileged to share conversation with Pope Francis for over two hours. It was a most remarkable and intimate experience. . . It is a joy of knowing that he is with us . . As we spoke with Pope Francis we realised, more and more, that he simply radiates this joy and peace. He is indeed gifted with a unique grace of the Holy Spirit of God. Even in this time of turmoil, the Holy Father is so clearly rooted in God and blessed by God. His peace is secure. His life is serene. We know, because he showed us his heart. It is the heart of a loving father.
In our turn, we affirmed our deep communion with him and promised him our love, support and prayers. We expressed confidently these sentiments on behalf of all the faithful Catholics of England and Wales . . .'



FR JOHN HUNWICKE blogs : 'So there I was, the other day, strolling down St Giles without a care in the world. I had just stocked up at the World's premier Deli, Manos in Walton Street. As I had passed the Tower of the Winds (American readers may be more familiar with a copy of this building in Athens), I had looked over the new statue of Dr Radcliffe ... no; it's not worthy of such a great man; nor a fitting monument to the great age of Oxonian Jacobitism. But then, what do you expect? Redeat magnus ille genius Britanniae ...

Then I stopped as I recognised a brother priest. After Rome, Oxford must be one of the most priested cities in the World. Urbs felicissima. We Exchanged Fellowship. "When you get home", he advised me, "have gin. A very, very stiff gin. Then another. Then read the Communique of the CBCEW just issued at the end of their ad limina visit to the Holy See. Then have some more gin".

I always do my best to take the advice of brother clergy. I have profound confidence in their sacerdotal wisdom.

I soon saw what he meant about the gin.

The Communique includes a passage which seemed to me familiar: "[PF] is indeed gifted with a unique grace of the the Holy Spirit of God. Even in this time of turmoil, the Holy Father is so clearly rooted in God and blessed by God. His peace is secure. His life is serene. We know, because he showed us his heart. It is the heart of a loving father. In our turn, we affirmed our deep communion with him and promised him our love, support, and prayers. We expressed confidently these sentiments on behalf of all the faithful Catholics of England and Wales."

It seemed familiar because it is manifestly from the same drafting hand which composed a letter to PF on the fourth anniversary of his election to the Throne of S Peter. "On behalf of the Catholic Community of England and Wales ... we thank God that the Holy Spirit guided the Church in the process of your election and that the same Holy Spirit guides and supports you day by day".

I would have to concede that such statements are probably not formally heretical. After all, each of the Baptised is gifted with a grace of the Holy Spirit which must be unique; crafted specifically for each differently created and variously loved individual. Praised be to God for this.

But if these encomia are meant to have any meaning beyond that of sycophantic woffle, then give me instead ... any day of the year ... the robust common sense and deft Bavarian humour with which Pope Benedict XVI responded when some fool of a journalist asked him whether the Holy Spirit guided Papal Conclaves.

Call me an unfaithful Catholic if you like, but I have no desire to be associated with these papolatrous statements implying that the Holy Spirit is the private personal bailiwick of PF. They seem to me to come close to blasphemy.

Nor am I very clear what is meant by "deep communion". I think I understand "communion" as a theological and canonical concept. I think I know the difference between being in full, and being in unfull, communion with the Church. But what on earth are these gradations of deepness in the matter of Communio?

"Are you in Communion with the See of Rome!" "Up to a point, Lord Copper".

[CF News / liturgicalnotes] 2253.7a
















United Kingdom Six-year-olds forced to write homosexual 'love letters' to teach 'accepting diversity'

A PRIMARY school in England makes children as young as six write 'love letters' inserting themselves into a homosexual fairytale, according to a recent video from BBC Radio Manchester.

The Blaze reports that the video profiles a class at Bewsey Lodge Primary School, in which teacher Sarah Hopson has her students place themselves in the role of Prince Henry and write a letter asking male servant Thomas to 'marry' him.

'This school teaches children about LGBT relationships from an early age,' text over the video explains. 'This class of 6 year olds is learning about gay marriage [...] all ages take part in LGBT lessons.'

Children are 'going to go out into that world and find this diversity around them, and they'll find that at a young age as well,' Hopson told the BBC. 'And the more they can be accepting at this age, you're not going to face it further on because the children will be accepting now and will be accepting this diversity around them.'

Bewsey Lodge appears to pride itself for pushing the envelope in promoting homosexuality and gender fluidity to young children. It has gender-neutral uniforms, and its website declares that 'any form of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia is unacceptable,' and posts a code of conduct declaring 'respect' for anyone's 'gender identity, marriage,' or 'sexual orientation.'

The school's 'Personal, Social, and Health Education' (PSHE) program seeks to 'provide pupils with [...] opportunities to explore, clarify and if necessary challenge, their own and others' values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities.'

The program lists 'Diversity and equality (in all its forms)' as one of its overarching concepts, with goals to teach students 'to be a productive member of a diverse community' and about their 'rights and responsibilities as members of diverse communities.'

Specifically, it calls for teaching about 'sources of support and reassurance' for 'diversity in sexual attraction and developing sexuality,' the 'difference between sex, gender identity and sexual orientation,' recognition of 'diversity in sexual attraction,' understanding 'accepted terminology' on LGBT topics, the 'need to challenge sexist, homophobic, transphobic and disablist language and behaviour,' and more.

The guidelines also suggest that 'living together' and 'civil partnerships' are equally valid to marriage in 'demonstrat[ing people's] commitment to each other,' and call for teaching 'about the potential tensions between human rights, British law and cultural and religious expectations and practices.' The next line declares the 'primacy of human rights,' but does not elaborate on its definition of 'human rights.'

In June, Bewsey Lodge accepted an 'Educate and Celebrate' Best Practice Gold Award for its pro-LGBT work.

Various members of the BBC's audience took exception to the school's actions and priorities, Breitbart adds.

'Why not teach them life skills, how to cook, how to wash and iron, how to manage money and save, learn about bank accounts and mortgages?' one asked. Another blasted the school for 'imposing an adult agenda onto little children,who could not care less about the topic, if not compelled by adults.'

Children 'need to be kids for as long as they can be,' lamented a third commenter opposed to introducing students to sexual topics at such an early age.

[LSN] 2253.8















United Kingdom Parents who won't let their son wear a skirt may have to be referred to social services, schools advised

PARENTS who refuse to let their son wear a skirt to school may need to be referred to social services, a council’s guidance has advised schools.

Mothers and fathers who dismiss a “gender questioning” child’s requests to change their name could also be a trigger for concern, according to Brighton and Hove City Council’s “Trans Inclusion Schools Toolkit”.

It comes after warnings that schools are "sowing confusion" in children's minds by over-promoting transgender issues, and that children are being encouraged to “unlearn” the difference between boys and girls.

The guidance advises teachers on how to handle a number of different scenarios, including if parents say: “I refuse to allow my son to change his name or wear skirts”.

Schools are advised that some parents may “struggle” to accept their child’s gender identity and it may be a long time before they accept the change.

“If a setting has a significant concern about the child’s wellbeing and or safety in relation to how the parents or carers are managing the exploration of the child’s gender identity it may be necessary and advisable to follow safeguarding procedures,” schools are told.

The Department for Education (DfE)’s statutory guidance on safeguarding says that staff with concerns about a child must alert the school’s safeguarding lead, and if necessary contact social services or the police.

Another scenario outlined in Brighton and Hove City Council’s guidance document is parents who contact the school to ask: “My daughter doesn’t want a boy changing next to her, what if he looks at her body?”

It explains that in such a case, “it would not be appropriate to remove the trans pupil from the changing rooms”.

Instead, the school should focus on increasing their “training and awareness raising” to ensure that all pupils understand that a transgender girls is a “real girl”.

The guidance document, now in its third edition, was produced by Allsorts Youth Project, a charity that supports young people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ).

It advises that in “all cases”, transgender pupils should be allowed to use the changing room that corresponds to their gender identity, rather than their biological sex.

This means that any boy who identifies as a female should be allowed to use girls’ changing rooms, even if it makes other girls feel “uncomfortable”.

“It is important to ensure that these are safe environments for all by challenging underlying attitudes and bullying behaviours,” the guidance says.

A spokesman from Brighton and Hove Council said the version of the toolkit, which is published online on the Allsorts Youth Project’s website, is undergoing final checks before being sent out to schools.

Earlier this year, it emerged that a teacher who was accused of “misgendering” a child was told by police that she had committed a hate crime.

The teacher, who claimed they were a “grammatical purist”, refused to acknowledge that the pupil self-identified as a boy and failed to use the pupil’s preferred pronouns of “he” or “him”

[Daily Telegraph] 2253.8a
















United States Convert from Islam creates group to overwatch Cardinals

SeindeldinTHE EPONYMOUS FLOWER writes : 'It's hard to say what the alignment of this organization will be, but 'Crux' isn't too excited about the recent convert from Islam. The fierce looking man above is none other than the great Mohamed Alí Seineldín who converted to Catholicism and served in the Argentine army. He was eager for his men to pray the Rosary and go regularly to confession.

Kath.net reports : 'A few days ago, an organization called 'The Better Church Governance Group' was founded by [Possibly heretical] laymen. This according to 'Crux'. They demand worldwide investigations into cardinals. By April 2020, a 'Red Hat Report' will be presented. In the first year more than 1 million US dollars will be invested in research. All 124 future pope voters will be scrutinized. About 100 researchers, academics, investigators and journalists are to be deployed worldwide. In addition, 10 former FBI employees to work on the project.

The group was founded on the campus of the Catholic University of America (CUA). Jacob Imam, the director of the organization, emphasizes at the inaugural meeting that this is not to be understood as an attack on Pope Francis. [Because he's allied to their concerns? This from the 'Crux' article: 'I think it's fair to say that a defender of traditional values is not something he would identify himself with.']

Imam himself converted from Islam to Christianity 3 years ago. 'Cardinals must be publicly held accountable for certain offenses, they must know that people will know that if they have voted for a particular person, there is a dark side to this decision that will be acknowledged, so we are also ready to to accompany it with fasting and prayer, but we can no longer allow our children, the innocent, the little ones, the seminarians to be devoured in this way, as has happened so far.'

The final report provides for a rating for each cardinal. It is examined exactly how he has behaved in cases of abuse. Imam announces that after the cardinals' screening, bishops around the world will also be investigated. It should also be determined to what extent they are consistent with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

When asked at the inauguration event, whether also possible homosexual cardinals should be made known, the director explained that with various rumors this will very carefully noted but care must be taken.

[EF] 2253.9















United States Search warrants executed on Detroit Chancery and Sacred Heart Seminary

OnePeterFive has received word that the Michigan Attorney General executed search warrants at the Archdiocese of Detroit Chancery and Sacred Heart Major Seminary this morning. The search appears to be related to the investigation into the Church’s handling of clerical abuse opened by the Attorney General’s office in August.

Sacred Heart seminary’s Vice Rector, Fr. Stephen Burr, issued an internal memorandum about put out an internal note about the actions of law enforcement this morning (see below). Burr describes the actions taken as “a normal part of these types of investigations”, but one person with knowledge of this morning’s events described the presence of law enforcement this morning as “unexpected”.

The email from Vice Rector Fr. Stephen Burr follows:

Dear Seminary Community,

I wanted to inform you about some activity in the diocese earlier today. Around 9 a.m. this morning, several law enforcement officials entered the Chancery and executed a search warrant, as part of the Attorney General investigation which was announced previously. A search of buildings and files is a normal part of these types of investigations. The Archdiocese of Detroit is fully cooperating with authorities. The officials arrived at Sacred Heart Major Seminary around 10:45 a.m. to gather additional records at the diocese Archives on the seminary property, and will later go to the St. Joan of Arc office of Monsignor Michael Bugarin, the Archbishop’s Delegate for Clergy Misconduct.

As always, please be assured of my prayers.


[1P5] 2253.9a
















United States Scott Hahn: Don’t laicize sexual predators ~ excommunicate them

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews – Catholic apologist, author, and Franciscan University of Steubenville professor Scott Hahn has stated that clergy convicted of being sexual predators shouldn’t be defrocked, they should receive “excommunication.” He appeared to be referring to now ex-Cardinal McCarrick without mentioning him by name.

Hahn said to participants at the Napa Institute’s Authentic Catholic Reform Conference in Washington D.C. earlier this week that excommunication is a “hard medicine” that ultimately seeks the good of the one being punished. He also said that calls for the predatory ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick to be “reduced to the lay state” indicated contempt for the laity.

Hahn, whose lecture was titled “Universal Call to Holiness,” had just told his audience that lay people, no less than clergy, were called to be saints.

“What has brought this to my attention recently is a prelate, that we may all have read about, who was convicted, and then he was basically forced to resign from his cardinalate,” Hahn stated.

“And why? Because he was a predator. He was also a promoter of other predators,” he continued. “He was also a protector. And so what do they say? ‘He can no longer be a cardinal.’ And then people said, ‘That’s not enough’. So what should we do to punish him? ‘Defrock him!’” And what does that imply?”

“Reduce him down to the level of the laity,” he answered his own question. “Think about that. What does that imply? What do people think about laity? That if you’re a prelate, and a predator, and a promoter, and a protector, and you’re caught... Boom! You can’t be clergy; you have to be at the level of the laity!”

“So much for the universal call to holiness,” he exclaimed.

The former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was removed from public ministry this June after a credible allegation that he had molested an altar boy was made public. Other allegations of abuse of boys and young men followed. In July, after Catholic institutions scrambled to distance themselves from the once-powerful prelate, McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals. Then in August, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal nuncio to the USA, released a testimony alleging that Pope Francis, knowing of McCarrick’s unsavory reputation, made him "one of his principal agents in governing the Church."

Echoing an earlier lecture, Hahn pointed out that St. Paul prescribes the “hard medicine” of excommunication in his First Letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 5:1-5). In this passage, Saint Paul condemns the sexual immorality of a member of the community and advises the community to banish the man:

“In the name of the Lord Jesus...you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that on the day of the Lord Jesus his soul may be saved.”

The point of excommunicating “this immoral man” is not “to get even” or even primarily “to purify the Church” but for “the man’s salvation,” Hahn said. He turned to the Second Letter to Corinthians (2 Cor 2: 1-9) to point to the “result of this excommunication.” The sincerely repentant sinner can now be welcomed back with joy, “for that was the whole point” of the punishment.

Hahn exhorted his hearers not to concentrate exclusively on clerical sins — "It’s easy for us to hate the sins of the clergy" — but also to develop a “holy contempt” for the sins they “commit the most, and enjoy the most, and rationalise the most because they’re the sins that will do the most damage”, not just to themselves, but to the Church and their families.

Nevertheless, the lecturer returned briefly to the subject of clerical sin to point out that although sex between clerics and consenting adults is not a crime, it’s a mortal sin.

“But even more than mortal sin, it was desecration,” Hahn stated. “It was profaning that supernatural fatherhood in a way that is spiritually incestuous as well as sodomit[ical].”

He said that it was “almost unbelievable” that people were confronting these sins and wondering if McCarrick should be merely stripped of the cardinalate or also laicized.

Hahn believes we have a crisis that eclipses the Reformation of 500 years ago and is more akin to the three scandalous reigns of Benedict IX, the first pope in history to be accused of sodomy, almost one thousand years ago.

Saying that the laity have to take the universal call to holiness seriously, Hahn encouraged them to take responsibility for changing those things they can change. But as well as investigating the clergy, lay people need to live a sacramental life.

Key to this is going to confession, constantly tending one’s marriage, and being a good parent. Hahn emphasised that being a good father, implies having a fatherly, rather than a motherly love, a love that accepts children for who they are but still encourages them to do better.

Quoting a professor from his student days, Hahn said that the culture would be transformed “if Catholics simply lived out the sacrament of matrimony.”

[LSN 22539.9a
















International Some headlines of the week

Australia : Self-described 'Islamic Bonnie and Clyde" plot to attack 'non-believers'

Germany : ISIS makes new threats against subway systems

Greece : Islamic State jihadis rule migrant camp by Sharia law

Iraq: Former Miss Baghdad shot dead for violating Sharia modesty rule

Pakistanm: Muslim father beheads 18-year-old daughter and boyfriend in honour killing

UK: Pro-Sharia, pro-caliphate group using children to peddle pro-jihad literature

Netherlands: Muslim preacher says female genital mutilation is “recommended

Netherlands: Muslim preacher says female genital mutilation is “recommended”

Nigeria : Muslims slaughter 17 Christians, including four children and a grandmother, in jihad raid

Spain : Jihad recruitment-ring operating in seventeen jails smashed

USA : ISIS threatens jihad massacres at concerts


[CF News] 2253.10


















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).


[CMTV] 2253.11


















International gloria.tv.news


[gloria.tv] 2253.12
















International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



[EWTN] 2253.13




















The Catholic intellectual tradition

DR. JANET SMITH, Professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and author of 'Why Humanae Vitae Was Right', talks about the importance of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition as a tool for personal formation



[Franciscan University of Steubenville] 2253.14


















Comment from the internet


Is it okay to criticize Pope Francis?

Archbishop Vigano issued his SECOND testimony addressing the silence of Pope Francis, the investigation of Cardinal Murphy O’Conner, and the role of Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon discuss the importance of Cardinal Ouellet and how Cardinal Muller has recently validated the account of Pope Francis cancelling the investigation of Cardinal Murphy O’Connor.




















Vatican II, 'a catastrophe of historical dimensions'

On Thursday, September 27, Roberto de Mattei presented his book Vatican Council II in Madrid . A story never written . Francisco José Fernández de la Cigoña , author of the blog Stork of the Tower, and Father Gabriel Calvo also spoke

R de MatteiROBERTO de MATTEI said : 'The Church is not afraid of the Truth. This principle serves as a guide to guide us through the storm that has arisen as a result of the explosive testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, and also constitutes a key to reading my story of the Second Vatican Council.

The Church does not fear the Truth, because the Church is the Truth. The Church is the Truth because it is divine and because it announces to the world the Truth of its Head and founder, Jesus Christ, who said of himself: Ego sum via, veritas et via (Jn 14, 6). The truth about the Church is the truth about Christ and about Christ, which is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The history of the Church, Leo XIII explains in a letter of September 8, 1889 to the French episcopate, is like a mirror in which his life shines through the centuries. ' The historian of the Church, ' says Leo XIII, 'will be much more effective in making his divine origin known, the more loyal he has been in not dissimulating anything from suffering than the mistakes of his children , and sometimes also of his ministers, have caused this Bride of Christ for centuries . Studied in this way, the history of the Church, by itself, constitutes a magnificent and convincing demonstration of the truth and divinity of Christianity . '

The Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is formed by a divine, holy and immaculate part, and by a human part constituted by its members, men wounded by original sin and who can fall into vice and error. This has happened and will happen, but it should not discourage us; On the contrary, as Leo XIII says, it is ' a magnificent and convincing demonstration of the truth and divinity of Christianity' : a proof of the indefectible character of the Church, which crosses the centuries like a boat that crosses the waves and the storm. For this reason, we have no interest in denying the guilt of those unworthy Churchmen, because to deny them means to attribute said faults to the Church; instead, we have to affirm with force that all the good that exists in the Church derives from its impeccable nature, and that all the evil that is present in it comes from the imperfect nature of the men who form it.

The pastors of the Church can not only sin, but also misuse their government, fail to fulfill their mission and even fall into schism and heresy. When this happens, the Catholic historian must not remain silent or cover up the facts, but has the obligation to reconstruct the events and make a judgment, as long as he sticks to the truth and moves the love of the Church and not the desire to denigrate it. If the historical facts pose theological problems, the historian can not ignore these problems and must submit them to the judgment of the Church. In the same way, each faithful, whatever their position and function, has the right to ask questions, as did the four cardinals with their dubias in 2016 about the exhortation Amoris laetitia; In exceptional cases, the faithful also has the power to reprimand ecclesiastical authorities, provided that this is done in a reverent and devout manner, as did, in 2017, 250 scholars with the correctial filialis addressed to Pope Francis.

St. Thomas devotes a whole question of the Summa Theologiae to fraternal correction and explains that this is an act of charity, superior to the care of the diseases of the body and alms, ' because with it we fight the evil of the brother, it is say, sin ' [1] . Fraternal correction can also be directed by inferiors to superiors, and laymen by prelates. However, says the Angelic Doctor, 'in the corrections that the subjects make to their superiors, the forms must be respected and they should not be presented with insolence or harshness, but with meekness and respect' [2] . When there is danger to the faith, the subjects are forced to reprimand their prelates, even publicly: ' Therefore Paul, who was a subject of Peter, publicly rebuked him for the danger of scandal in the faith' [3] .

Finally, it is licit to expose the scandals when corruption reaches the vertices of the Church and spreads intolerably.

When scandals represent an exception, it is right to spread a veil over them, to avoid the risk of thinking that it is a generalized behavior of the prelates. But when scandals are the norm, or at least a way of living extended and accepted as normal, denouncing them publicly is the first step towards the necessary reform of customs. This is what Archbishop Viganò has done with his testimony of August 22. Therefore, we make our words when we write:

' To restore the beauty of holiness to the face of the Bride of Christ, terribly disfigured by so many abominable crimes, and if we really want to get the Church out of the foul quagmire into which it has fallen, we have to have the courage to bring down this culture of omertà and publicly confess the truths that we have kept hidden. It is necessary to tear down the wall of omertà with which the bishops and priests have protected themselves to the detriment of their faithful; omertà that, in the eyes of the world, runs the risk of making the Church appear as a sect, omertà not very different from what we find in force in the mafia. 'What you say in the darkness ... will be proclaimed from the roof' (Lk 12, 3) ' .

When someone has the courage to denounce evil, the response of the highest ecclesiastical authority can not be silence. Silence means admission of guilt and demonstrates, in addition, an attitude of arrogant contempt towards those who, for the love of the Church, denounce these faults.

Therefore, we should not be afraid to tell the truth about the profound doctrinal and moral crisis that the Church is experiencing today. And we must not be afraid to tell the truth about the Second Vatican Council, which has an obvious and undeniable relationship with the Hodier crisis.

What is the nature and what have been the historical consequences of the Second Vatican Council? The capacity of the historian is to understand the essence of an event, trying to locate the causes and consequences of it in the ideas and deep trends of an era.

It is presented to the Second Vatican Council - which did not formulate any dogma - as a dogmatic fact that can not be discussed. And your documents are considered untouchable.

However, in order to understand the nature of the Second Vatican Council and its relation to the current crisis, before judging its texts we must historically value its facts. Historical knowledge does not have, as an end, the interpretation of documents, but the truth of the facts.

Let's stick, therefore, to the facts. John XXIII, in the speech with which he inaugurated Vatican II on October 11, 1962, explained that the Council had not been called to condemn errors or define truths, but to propose, with a language appropriate to the new times, teaching perennial of the Church. This is why Vatican II has been defined as a linguistic event. You have to judge your language before your documents. And this language must be explained within a new pastoral, a new relationship that, from the sixties of the twentieth century, was established between the Church and the modern world. The modern world was characterized by a process of secularization that attacked Chiesa. The new pastoral accepted this secularization as an irreversible phenomenon, so it took over and blessed it. The slogan was not to seek confrontation, but dialogue. The Church stopped fighting the modern world, and 'worldization' penetrated the Church. The valorization of sexuality was part of this 'mundanization' and the exercise of sexuality, as a form of human fulfillment, was its consequence.

The current scandals are children of this process of 'mundanization' of the Church, which has its great charter in the constitution Gaudium et Spes , the last document officially promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, which wanted to redefine the relations between the Church and the world, scrutinizing ' the signs of the age ' (nn 4, 11). The formula was to live the truth of Christianity within the thought of the world to make it more understandable and acceptable to contemporary man.

The Gaudium et Spes sought dialogue with the modern world believing that the route it had traveled, from humanism and Protestantism to the French Revolution and Marxism, was an irreversible process. Modernity was about to enter into a deep crisis, which manifested its first symptoms after a few years, in the Revolution of 68. The Council Fathers should have carried out, at that moment, a prophetic gesture challenging modernity Instead of embracing his decomposing body as, unfortunately, it happened.

The pastoral changed and the consequences were disastrous. The collapse of dogmatic and moral certainties, moral permissiveness, disciplinary anarchy, the infiltration of heresy through the new catechisms and the new liturgy, resulted in the abandonment of the priesthood and religious life by thousands of people. priests, and the distance of the religious practice of millions of faithful. The 'spring of faith' that should have emerged after the Second Vatican Council revealed an icy winter .

In the post-conciliar years there were attempts to stop this religious and moral revolution. It is enough to think about the encyclical Humanae Vitae that, in 1968, confirmed the Catholic doctrine regarding conjugal morality. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Humanae Vitae , but this encyclical was questioned, precisely, by the most important protagonists of the Second Vatican Council, namely: Cardinals Alfrink, Doepfner, Frings, Heenan, Koenig and, above all, Suenens. The Cardinal Primate of Belgium Lèo-Joseph Suenens (1904-1996) was appreciated and was protected by the Popes of the Council. John XXIII had welcomed his suggestion to give a pastoral stamp to Vatican II. Paul VI had appointed him 'moderator' of the Council, becoming the leader of the four moderators present. Suenens was also the man who during the Council, on October 29, 1964, raised the question of birth control, pronouncing in the full Basilica of St. Peter, with vehement tone, the words: ' Do not repeat the process of Galileo! '

When Cardinal Suenens pronounced these words, another cardinal became indignant and, unable to stop himself, gave a fist on the table. This man was Cardinal Ernesto Ruffini (1888-1967), archbishop of Palermo.

Today we must ask ourselves: the prophetic voice, in the conciliar classroom, was that of Cardinal Ruffini, who represented fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, or that of Cardinal Suenens who, after the promulgation of Humanae Vitae , questioned the Magisterium and its protector, Pope Paul VI?

Let us also ask ourselves: were prophets who, at the Council, denounced the brutal oppression of communism demanding its solemn condemnation, or those who considered, as the architects of Ostpolitik , that an agreement had to be reached with communism because it interpreted the desire to justice of humanity and would survive, at least, one or two centuries more, improving the world?

' Every time an Ecumenical Council has met, ' Cardinal Antonio Bacci (1885-1971) affirmed in the classroom, ' he has always solved the great problems that beset that era, condemning his mistakes. Silence on this point I think it would be an unforgivable gap; What's more, it would be a collective sin . (...) This is the great theoretical and practical heresy of our time. And if the Council does not address this issue, it is a lost Council ! '

The Second Vatican Council has not been a lost Council; it has been an execrable Council, destined to be condemned because it represents a catastrophe of historical dimensions. I am not making a theological judgment about the documents; I am making a historical judgment about the event itself. The documents of a Council are not abstract formulations: they must be studied in their genesis and in their historical consequences. The documents of the Council can not be separated from the historical context in which they saw the light, and from the consequences they have had. The Council of texts can not be separated from the Council of history. And the Council of history can not be separated from the post-conciliar period, since it represents its realization.

The Second Vatican Council establishes an inseparable link with the post-council because it is a pastoral Council; and the pastoral is judged by the results.

The results of this pastoral, fifty years later, are disastrous. On January 27, 2012, inaugurating the year of faith, Benedict XVI said: ' As we know, in vast areas of the earth faith is in danger of being extinguished like a flame that no longer finds food. We are facing a deep crisis of faith, in the face of a loss of religious sense, which constitutes the greatest challenge for the Church today . '

Pope Benedict wanted the Year of Faith to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, since it was his wish that the texts left to us by the Council Fathers be read ' in an appropriate manner , and that they be known and assimilated as qualified and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Tradition of the Church '(Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu own Porta Fidei , with which the Year of Faith is summoned). This thesis - the thesis of the so-called 'hermeneutics of continuity' - is the guiding thread of his pontificate: from the famous Discourse to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005, to the last one, less known but not less important, of February 14, 2013 to the Roman clergy.

In these speeches, Benedict XVI admits the existence of a link between the current crisis of faith and the Second Vatican Council, but considers that this crisis is caused, not by the Council itself, but by a bad hermeneutic, an incorrect interpretation of its texts.

But if over fifty years a false and abusive interpretation of the documents of the Council has prevailed, whose responsibility is it? Is it only of the bad hermeneuts, or also of the documents that, because of their deliberate ambiguity, have allowed a heterodox reading? If the texts have been misrepresented and undue reference has been made to the conciliar documents to do things different from those they established, is the responsibility only of the progressive theologians, or also of those who have let this progressivism grow in the Church without intervene to condemn and repress it?

What dioceses, parishes, seminars or pontifical chairs dismissed the bad hermeneuts? On the other hand, we know that those who remained loyal to the Tradition were dismissed, discriminated against and persecuted. And, even today, progressives occupy the vertices of the Church, while orthodox Catholics continue to be marginalized.

The Second Vatican Council is not just a set of documents: the sixteen constitutions and promulgated declarations constitute the theological result of the Council, but they do not explain it and do not conclude it altogether. The thesis of the hermeneutics of continuity has been defeated because history is not built by the theological debate, let alone the hermeneutical debate. The resignation from the pontificate of Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013 represents, in my opinion, his confession of impotence in the face of the crisis that is shaking the Church, and the failure of his attempt to separate the post-conciliar praxis of the Second Vatican Council, isolating his texts of history. Nobody knows the true causes of the resignation of Pope Benedict, but certainly the failure of the hermeneutics of continuity contributed to it.

Pope Francis embodies the thesis opposed to the Ratzingerian: he is not interested in the theological debate, nor in the hermeneutics. Pope Francis represents the Second Vatican Council in action: that is, the triumph, in his person, of pastoral care over theology.

The specificity of the Second Vatican Council has been the primacy of pastoral care over doctrine, the assimilation of doctrine in pastoral care, the transformation of pastoral care into pastoralism. We are being told that the doctrine of the Church does not change, that it changes the way of communicating this doctrine to the faithful; changes the pastoral praxis. It is the thesis of Cardinal Kasper and other theologians and pastors, and he proposes again the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia .

Amoris laetitia does not explicitly deny the doctrine of the Church in relation to divorced persons who have remarried, but affirms that it is necessary to distinguish between the idea, which does not change, and the pastoral reality, in which the concrete application of the The principle is left to the conscience of the faithful, or of his spiritual director. Thus, the pastoral loses the absolute references of morality and proposes a day-to-day ethic, case by case. Human action is reduced to a decision of the conscience of each individual, which is no longer rooted in the objectivity of a divine and natural law, but in the evolution of history.

Likewise, it will be said that in principle the teaching of Humanae Vitae on contraception is still valid, but on a practical level the Holy Spirit will illuminate the conscience of the spouses and their confessors. The same principle of praxis will be applied to the intercommunion with the Protestants, who will have to resolve, on a case by case basis, the episcopal conferences and each individual bishop. This is the 'new paradigm' of Pope Francis. Doctrine dissolves in praxis. The role of the Church is reduced to blessing everything that arises from the sociological reality. The theologian becomes a pastor, and the pastor becomes a sociologist.

Behind this way of thinking there is a conception of the world that replaces the immutable order of metaphysical and moral principles with the primacy of becoming, converting the subjective experience of man into the sole criterion of reality.

Pastoralism appears as a theological transposition of the Marxist philosophy of praxis. The main theorist of the philosophy of praxis in the 20th century was the communist theorist Antonio Gramsci; but the origin of this ideology goes back to the Theses on Feuerbach of the young Marx, published by Friedrich Engels in 1888, as an appendix to his volume on Ludwig Feuerbach . In the second thesis on Feuerbach, Karl Marx states that man must find the truth of his thought in praxis; and in the eleventh thesis he maintains that the task of the philosophers is not to interpret the world, but to transform it. For the communists, the true philosopher is not Karl Marx, who is the theoretician of the Revolution, but Lenin, who set it in motion, verifying in praxis the truth of Marx's thought. For neomodernism, the true theologian is not Karl Rahner, the theorist prince of progressivism, but Pope Francis, who has not theorized the revolution in the Church, but who is carrying it out, verifying in pastoral praxis the truth of thought of Rahner and the Nouvelle Théologie .

Pope Francis uses towards those who criticize him the same ferocious language that Lenin used against his opponents.

On September 3, in Santa Marta, Pope Francis has defined his critics as ' a pack of wild dogs .' The writer Marcello Veneziani wrote this comment in Il Tempo on September 5: ' No, Your Holiness, a Pope can not call 'wild dog' to others and, above all, when it comes to Catholics, Christians, believers . Dogs is the contemptuous definition that Islamists give of infidels and Christians. Even the most ruthless terrorists have been defined by the pontiffs who have preceded Francisco 'men of the Red Brigades', 'men of the Isis'. Never dogs . Going down to these levels of rancor is not worthy of a Holy Father . '

That they call us 'dogs' does not bother us. In Sacred Scripture, unfaithful shepherds are called dumb dogs who have stopped barking and fall asleep ( Isaiah 56, 11). We rejoice to be domini canes , dogs of the Lord, who bark to tear the silence of the night. St. Gregory the Great writes in the Pastoral Rule that the bad shepherds ' for fear of losing the favor of men, do not dare to speak freely of what is just, and, according to the expression of eternal Truth, do not perform the office of good shepherds in the guard of their flocks, but that of mercenaries, because, seeing the wolf arrive, they flee to hide in a guilty silence. These are the words of the Lord, rebuked by the mouth of the Prophet, calling them 'dumb dogs that can not bark' (Is 56, 10); and again he complains about them, when he says : 'You have not confronted, nor have you opposed as a wall for the house of Israel, to sustain the fight on the Lord's day' (Ez 13: 5).

And what else is it for a shepherd but to turn his back on the enemy, to shut up the truth out of fear? On the contrary, if he presents his chest in favor of his flock, it is as if he were opposing a wall to the enemies in defense of the house of Israel. And the Lord admonished him by means of Isaiah, saying: 'Cry, do not stop, make your voice sound like a trumpet' (Is 58, 1). ' [4]

In turn, mons. de la Bouillerie (1810-1882), bishop of Carcassonne, in his Etudes sur le Symbolisme de la nature [Studies on the symbolism of nature] , observes: ' Woe to me! Can it not be considered that, whenever the heresy and the schism have separated entire countries from the Church, among the pastors many have imitated the behavior of the scribes and the Pharisees ? The troops have dispersed ! ... Why ? Because the dogs have been silenced. Of all the evils that can devastate, on this earth, the Church of Jesus Christ, nothing is more frightening than the silence of the shepherds (...) ' [5] .

When the pastors are silent, when they forget the virtue of the fear of God, when they eliminate the thought of hell and relativize the notion of sin, how can one not be astonished at the explosion of concupiscence and the glorification of sin within the Church?

The mute shepherds now threaten the barking dogs by saying: 'Accusing Pope Francis you accuse the Popes who preceded him, because the blame that you attribute to the reigning pontiff goes back to them'.

The accusation does not scare us; and if it were necessary to demonstrate the responsibility of John Paul II and Benedict XVI in the moral decadence and the spread of the errors of the last decades, we would not be afraid to recognize it, because first of all we seek the truth.

It is the love of truth that pushes us to affirm that limiting scandals to pedophilia, as the presidents of episcopal conferences around the world will do when meeting in Rome with Pope Francis on February 21, is hypocritical, because ignores the plague of homosexuality, which is not only a vice against nature, but is also a power structure within the Church. And it is hypocritical to limit oneself to denouncing moral scandals without referring to its doctrinal roots, which go back to the years of the Council and the post-conciliar period. We criticize the Second Vatican Council in the name of truth, with the conviction that this historical event initiated the process of self-destruction of the Church that, today, reaches its ultimate consequences.

An American Catholic, non-traditionalist writer, Philip F. Lawler has written that the pontificate of Pope Francis is a disaster. ' The Papacy of Francis has been a disaster for the Church ' [6] .

Lawler is right. It is a truth in fact that many observers, even non-Catholics, admit as evidence. The pontificate of a Pope is a historical fact that includes words, acts, omissions, spirit and documents. But if the five years of pontificate of Pope Francis can be judged a disaster -and many today affirm it-, on the basis of the facts, how can the historian be denied the right to express the same judgment on the Second Vatican Council? , also considered a historical event that includes words, acts, omissions, spirit and documents of what happened in Rome since that dismal month of October 1963? If a Pope can be a disaster, can not a council of the Church be a disaster, however solemn and legitimate?

For this reason many of us are not afraid to make a negative judgment about the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis, his last historical product.

We do not fear the truth, neither in what concerns the present, nor in what concerns the past. The time of truth has arrived. And the hour of truth is also that of the next and irreversible rebirth of the Church, which we entrust to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Michael the Archangel, of which we will celebrate its feast within two days.

[1] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae , II-II, q. 33, a. 1.

[2] Ibidem, a. 4, ad 3.

[3] Ibidem .

[4] S. Gregorio Magno, Regola pastorale , II, 8, pp. 95-98 Lib. 2, 4

[5] François-Alexandre Roullet de La Bouillerie, Etudes sur le Symbolisme de la Nature Interprété d'après l'Ecriture Sainte et les Pères , Martin-Beaupré Frères, Paris, p. 300-301

[6] Philip F. Lawler, Lost sheperd . How Pope Francis is misleading his Flock , Regnery Gatewau, Washington 2018, p. 190

[Corrispondenza Romana] 2253.16

















Norcia monk to Catholics: On prayer and fasting, don't be a baby

OnePeterFive Editor's note: Julian Kwasniewski conducted this interview with Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB of the Benedictines of Norcia at the Sacred Liturgy Conference in Salem, Oregon, June 27-30, 2018.

JULIAN KWASNIEWSKI : In his Holy Rule, St. Benedict tells the monks to put the liturgy before all else. According to tradition, St. Benedict died just having received communion. How does the Eucharist become, in a particularly monastic way, the source and summit of a monk's life?

Fr. Cassian Folsom: Well, that is a complicated question because St. Benedict is referring specifically to the Divine Office, and it was only later that daily celebration of Mass became a feature of monasteries. In the 6th century there may have been daily communion, but not daily Mass. But it's not clear, and we don't know very much about how Mass was integrated into the horarium the way it is today: right in the most important place, at 10 A.M., almost at the center of the day and the other hours of the office.

But let me come at the question from another angle. When the monk makes vows, it is always within the context of the Eucharist, and he places his vow chart on the altar, at the time of the Offertory. He is offering himself, with Our Lord, to the Father. That is the Eucharistic content of the monk's life, that kind of self-offering with Our Lord in the Eucharist, to the Father. Now, around that core of the profession, there is all the beauty of the ritual, the chant, and the other texts - but that is all around this core of self-offering.

JK : You mentioned the various rites surrounding the core of the profession. How do you think the spiritual and liturgical tradition of the Church enhances the monk's union with Christ?

CF : These things serve as a vehicle. You are right. There are many ways, but the way of the liturgy is primary for the monk. I would put it this way: I will use an analogy. Someone says 'I would like to learn how to swim.' And you say, 'Well, okay, let's go down to the ocean,' and they just want to put their big toe in the water, and you say, 'Well, that's very nice, you got that a little bit wet, but you have not learned how to swim.' And they might say, 'Oh, well then I'll just wade,' and they wade by the beach, maybe up to their knees. 'You got more wet,' you say, 'but you still haven't learned how to swim. Until you dive in and are surrounded by the water, you can't swim.' I think that for the monk, liturgical prayer is like diving into the water, and you are surrounded by it on all sides. You do it over and over again, year after year after year, and so you become, by osmosis, almost impregnated by the water. Like a fish, that is the environment in which you live, and you can't live without it, otherwise you will die. So I think that liturgical prayer acts like that in the life of the monk.

JK : In chapter 32 of the Holy Rule, St. Benedict enjoins the humble cellerar to treat all the tools of the monastery as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar. How should this inform our celebration of the Eucharist? Why does St. Benedict transmit this very high level of respect down to the simplest things?

CF : Well - I love that passage, by the way - it shows what the sacramental economy is about. That is a fancy way of saying it, but the material world speaks to us of the immaterial world. Matter communicates the spirit in some way. That's what sacraments do. St. Benedict, in this admonition to the cellerar, is saying that. We can see very clearly in the liturgy, in the Eucharist in particular, that the material elements are transformed and bring us into the spiritual realm. 'But,' St. Benedict is saying, 'it's not just restricted to the liturgy. It is every aspect of our life.' And so, in this particular case of the tools of the monastery, those things, instruments, communicate spiritual realities to us. The monk has to learn how to read the material elements to see the spiritual reality. That translates into a whole attitude, where you take care of things. It should manifest itself in the way you set the table, for example, with things lined up properly, or that you clean your tools after using them - whatever it might be. Creation tells us about the Creator, and material things made by man also communicate to us the Creator. It is a sacramental principle that is pretty fundamental.

JK : Why do Benedictines take vows of obedience, stability, and conversion of manners? Can you explain how they are different from and yet united to the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience?

CF : This is a controverted question, but there is a simple answer! I don't mean to be facetious, but when the monk makes vows, it is 'a package deal.' St. Benedict did not intend three separate objects of our vows: it's monastic life. He became a monk when Romanus put the habit on him. Later tradition makes that the object of three separate vows, but in the Rule itself, they are synonymous; they are all talking about the same thing. The monk lives in a monastery, under an abbot: well, that's stability and obedience, and conversatio morum just means the monastic way of life. In a juridical model, how can you 'vow' a way of life? Usually, the vow is of some particular object. So that's why I say it is a package deal.

In the 13th century, with the arrival of the mendicant orders, that triple synthesis of poverty, chastity, and obedience becomes very popular…the so-called 'evangelical counsels,' because in the Gospels, Our Lord speaks about those aspects of those who would be perfect. 'If you want to be perfect, sell all you have and follow me.' But the Gospels never talk about those three things in the same breath; it is a [later] synthesis.

But because those three vows became even canonically regulated, even in monastic law we have to say in our statutes that the monastic vows include what the Church intends by poverty, chastity, and obedience.

JK : It seems like one of the things that characterizes the Church in the 21st century is a loss of faith in the power of prayer. Could you elaborate on how this especially manifests itself in the loss of contemplative vocations and the loss of an understanding of their value and even purpose?

CF : We live in an activist society, not just now, but for centuries. The Church oftentimes absorbs the values of the world, and so the Church tends to be very activist also. You are supposed something for God. And to use Mother Teresa's expression, to do something for God is a glorious thing. But…maybe God should do something beautiful for you. And you should receive that first! So I think that the fundamental issue is, as the Scriptures say, 'You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.' So God takes the initiative, then we respond. In a life of prayer, so-called 'contemplative' vocations, the primary actor is God, not we. The world doesn't understand that and doesn't believe it. And, since the Church is often very worldly, the Church doesn't understand it or believe it, either! The fundamental thing is that God takes the initiative, and we receive that…so how can you give what you have not received?

JK : What might be one little thing a layman reading this might be able to do to become less activistic?

CF : I think lots of people say they want to pray, but this usually does not translate itself into anything concrete because we don't make for ourselves a rule of prayer. That is, 'I will get up at a certain time in the morning, and I will dedicate a certain amount of time to prayer.' To put it in a nutshell, everyone needs a rule of prayer. You can't just leave it up to your good intentions or how you happen to feel that day.

JK : This Sacred Liturgy Conference's theme is transfiguration in the Eucharist. What would you say is the primary thing that must be transformed when a monk enters the monastery?

CF : The old Adam. The 'old man' must die. And that's very, very difficult. One of the collects that I mentioned in my talk today used the phrase 'de die in diem': day by day. This dying to self takes place day by day; it's not once and for all. When we talk about 'conversion' - that the goal of the monk's life is to convert himself - that means to put on the New Man, Christ, and to let the old man die. That's baptismal language, you know, nothing new. But because of original sin, and actual sin as well, the old man resists, kicking and screaming. And so it becomes a life project.

JK : Do you think the singing of the Suscipe at the profession is a plea for God to take the monk out of himself? This isn't my own insight, but might it be like St. Thérèse saying, 'I'm not strong enough to climb the ladder, so Jesus will be my elevator.'

CF : That's very lovely! It's a nice insight. Suscipe…it's a petition, that God accept the gift that we offer, the gift of ourselves. That's a response to God's initiative, too, isn't it? The process of purification I was speaking about: we can be activistic about that also! No, God will do that for you, and you have to cooperate with Him. So the insight there is good: God purifies us, but we give ourselves to Him.

JK : How have the earthquakes, the building of a new monastery, the toughing it out in the mountains helped the monks enter into the monastic spirit? I have heard several times from the community that living on the mountain has helped.

CF : Yes…God used the earthquakes to bring our monasticism to a new level, most obviously by giving us a different physical environment. To be out of the noisy town in the silent national park on the mountain side is much more conducive to the monastic life: silence, solitude, land, the possibility of more manual labor, the possibility of organizing our life without the restrictions of the town.

JK : So it's not a disturbance of the life of contemplation, but something that makes it richer?

CF : Oh, absolutely! We are just as delighted as can be! And, because we are not limited to the schedule of Masses in town, for example, we have more flexibility. Here is a concrete example: the vigil of Saints Peter and Paul is a fast day in the monastery. But a fast day for a vigil means that mass is at three in the afternoon, because if you receive Communion, you are breaking your fast. So we don't have Mass in the morning on that fast day: it is with the Eucharist that you first break your fast. It's in the old missal, if you read carefully. In town, we couldn't do that because you had to have something regular that the people could attend. So we have the increased flexibility, which enables us to live the monastic life more intensely.

JK : So much of the Bene