This edition of CF NEWS No.2255 posted at 12.40 pm on Sunday, November 4th, 2018. NACF NEWS CF News under threat? VATICAN WATCH Youth Synod I-X : Did Pope Francis tell Michael Moore that capitalism is a sin? HUMANAE VITAE Marriage is an Icon of God's Relationship to Humanity UNITED NATIONS The sometimes-impenetrable way problems are attempted at the UN NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD AUSTRIA Muslims' right to not be offended trumps free speech, EU rules : 34 female religious superiors ask for access to all Church offices : HUNGARY Plans to encourage, support 'large, stable families' : NIGERIA Five nuns kidnapped , another two injured : PAKISTAN Asia Bibi freed after death penalty conviction overturned : USA America article denies link between homosexuality, clergy sex abuse : Pat Buchanan on Viganò testimony: 'This is a homosexual scandal' : INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news : Some jihad headlines of the week : Michael Voris : The World Over with Raymond Arroyo NEWMAN The Catholic University as Witness CORRESPONDENCE Relationships education BOOK REVIEWS A Black Book on Jihad : Jesus' response to the scandals? COMMENT FROM THE INTERNET The First Secret of Fatima : A Church drowning in sentimentalism : How I learned the difference between conservative' and traditional : The scandal of the modern Catholic funeral . . . and more . . .


NACF news

CF News under threat?   read more >>> 1

Vatican watch

Youth Synod : A Blasphemous Scam    read more >>>
Youth Synod : An intermediate reckoning    read more >>>
Youth Synod : You'll vote Bergoglian and like it   read more >>>
Youth Synod : Cardinal Baldisseri
   read more >>>
Youth Synod : A Synod ('walking together') of clichés
   read more >>>
Youth Synod : Pope ends Synod by again rebuking 'Great Accuser'
   VIDEO   read more >>>
Youth Synod : Synodalitas asynodica
   read more >>>
Youth Synod : Young Catholics tell bishops: 'We want orthodoxy, truth'
   VIDEO   read more >>>
Youth Synod : The Synod as the arm of Leviathan   read more >>>
Youth Synod : Against catchphrase theology    read more >>>
Did Pope Francis tell Michael Moore that capitalism is a sin?    read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

Marriage is an Icon of God's Relationship to Humanity    VIDEO   read more >>>

United Nations

The sometimes-impenetrable way problems are attempted at the UN   read more >>>

News from around the world

AUSTRIA Muslims' right to not be offended trumps free speech, EU rules     read more >>>
AUSTRIA 34 female religious superiors ask for access to all Church offices
   read more >>>
HUNGARY Plans to encourage, support 'large, stable families'    read more >>>
NIGERIA Five nuns kidnapped , another two injured
   read more >>>
PAKISTAN Asia Bibi freed after death penalty conviction overturned    read more >>>
USA America runs article denying link between homosexuality, clergy sex abuse
   read more >>>
USA Pat Buchanan on Viganò testimony: 'This is a homosexual scandal'
   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news   
  VIDEO      read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Michael Voris   
  VIDEO      read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
  VIDEO    read more >>>


The Catholic University as Witness    VIDEO   read more >>>


Relationships education    read more >>>

Book reviews

A Black Book on Jihad    read more >>>
Jesus' response to the scandals?    read more >>>

Comment from the internet

The First Secret of Fatima    VIDEO       read more >>>
A Church drowning in sentimentalism    read more >>>
How I learned the difference between 'conservative' and Traditional, the hard way
   read more >>>
The scandal of the modern Catholic funeral
   read more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Pluscarden VIDEO      read more >>>
   VIDEO    read more >>>


St Charles Borromeo    read more >>>


By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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CF News under threat?

Censorship ... Bergoglianity is at work on it ...

FR. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs : 'In the chaos of the 1960s, one notable casualty was the Church's system of the censorship of books. This disappearance was, I think, inevitable; in that febrile and aggressive atmosphere, it is inconceivable that the process of waiting for a diocesan Censor Librorum to read a book and make his comments, then for him to negotiate with an author about his/her ambiguities, and to agree a text ... then for the Ordinary or his VG to issue the imprimatur . .. it is inconceivable that such a system could have survived. Then addHumanae Vitae and the spate of dissenting books and articles which would have needed to be refused the Nihil obstat ...

There was undoubtedly rejoicing at the disappearance of the pre-modern apparatus of censorship; predictably, especially among 'liberals'.

Clandestinely, this development led to a new and only semi-visible form of censorship. The dominance of certain 'schools' in Academe, especially in subjects such as Liturgy, Biblical Studies, and Moral Theology, made it increasingly difficult to secure publication of ideas which defended or explicated Tradition.

Although the boot was invisible ... it was now on the other foot.

But now comes the paradox. The disappearance of Censorship preceded, at a polite distance, the emergence of the Internet. And in our own age it has become very difficult for anybody to monitor, let alone to control, the myriad ideas and opinions which can flicker across the World's computers. And, among all this material, orthodox and traditional statements and ideas have as free an access as everything else to the many fora of discussion. I very much doubt if the examination and critical assessment of this pontificate would have been as open and free as it has been, had the Internet not existed.

But now ... Synod 2018 Paragraph 146.

'The Synod hopes that in the Church appropriate official bodies for digital culture and evangelisation are established at appropriate levels ... Among their functions ... [could be] certification systems of Catholic sites, to counter the spread of fake news ...'

I very much dislike the look of this. It is no secret that some members of the CBCEW were, for years, very nervous about bloggers and especially clerical bloggers. The disgraceful episcopal suppression of one famous diaconal blog became quite a cause celebre. Management had lost a significant control. It is only a year or two since my friend Fr Ray Blake bravely put on the public record that he had found tanks parked on his lawn: tanks in the shape of his Bishop passing on the cheerful news that 'The Cardinal doesn't like ...'.

We seem to have come a long way from those broad sunlit uplands when Benedict XVI (remember him? The 'Rat', the 'Inquisitor', the 'Panzer Cardinal'? Yes, that one) encouraged blogging, and especially clerical bloggers. Now, the era of the boors and the bullies.

Shall we, in a few years' time, discover that we have Diocesan, National, and Worldwide systems for closing down free discussion in the Church? After all, the Synod will have 'called for it', won't it?

'Synodality' sounds so democratic, modern, open and free. What's not to like? And this Synod has concluded with the usual flurry of synthetic Bergoglian rhetoric about the Holy Spirit. In such liberated and happy times, don't you need to be paranoid to be suspicious?

Don't you believe it. Bullies are bullies are bullies.

The Vatican wants complete control of Catholic messaging

DOUG MAINWARING writes for LifeSiteNews : 'The Vatican's certification proposal raises numerous questions. Vatican leaders are now calling for Catholics on the Internet who do not meet their approval to be censored. The censorship would come in the denial of official certification from the Holy See,' explained Michael Voris at churchmilitant.com.

While details about how the process would work have not been disclosed, 'What is clear is that leaders in the Vatican are feeling the heat and are concerned about continuing to lose control of their carefully constructed narrative,' said Voris.

Voris then offered a litany of important questions raised by the synod proposal:

• What would be the criteria for applying and being granted certification?

• How many sites would be eligible?

• Is the Vatican communications office sufficiently staffed with people fluent in multiple languages to review each website during the application?

• How frequently would the renewal process be triggered?

• Would a renewal process even exist?

• What would be the mechanism for revoking a 'certification' already granted? (The presumption is that the certification would not be in perpetuity, but even that is a presumption.)

• Would 'certification' apply to just postings designated as news, or would it extend to commentary?

• And if commentary would be included, would certifiers sitting in the Vatican communications basement be sufficiently trained in cultural nuances and social circumstances to render a verdict on the commentary?

• If a given commentary on a newsworthy issue were determined to be out of bounds by the Vatican toleration and certification police, would that one instance trigger an automatic revocation of the certification?

• If not, how many 'chances' would be granted before the certification would be withdrawn?

Pointing out that thousands of articles in many languages would have to be reviewed daily, Voris notes that a 'behemoth' bureaucratic agency would have to be created to handle the workload.

Voris sees inclusion of the impractical proposal in the final synod document as a thinly veiled ploy. 'The real reason any talk like this is being presented in official Church documents is because it creates the appearance that some Catholic sites are simply untrustworthy and should not be followed.'

Multifaceted attack?

The proposal comes just as other forces within the Church have launched campaigns to shut down conservative websites.

Jesuit Fr. James Martin recently 'urged his nearly one million social media followers to get Facebook and Twitter to shut down LifeSite and Church Militant,' reported Austin Ruse, president of C-fam, in Crisis Magazine. 'He also called on his followers to complain to their bishops. He, too, believes these groups must be silenced.'

'Fr. Martin charges that outfits like Church Militant and LifeSite are nothing more than social media mobs sent to harass the innocent,' continued Ruse. 'However, counting Facebook and Twitter, Fr. Martin's social media presence is twice the size of Church Militant, LifeSite, and Lepanto combined. And Martin has never hesitated to unleash this sometimes-threatening social media mob.'

'Making false charges is straight out of Fr. Martin's playbook,' he added.

Severity and Libertinism: Harbingers of Truth-Deserting Persecution?

DR. ALAN KEYES writes for ChurchMilitant.com - Severity and libertinism: Though this combination of character traits is among the worst, it is also among the most common in societies where people are inclined to worship money and power. After all, they say, what's the point of having either if you can't abuse them? People of good conscience may answer that question in terms of doing good — for other individuals, and for society as a whole. But that answer implies regard for some standard of good as an end in itself. But money and power are instrumental goods. Those who worship either do so vain, for they treat the measure of worth as worth itself.

But if, beyond that, there is no standard for measurement, what one mistakes for worth is nothing more or less than one's own satisfaction. The preoccupation with money and power thus amounts to nothing more than the sum of pleasure one takes from constantly perishing moments of self-satisfaction. Such perishing moments can seem like happiness, just as long as a sufficiently rapid flow of money and power permits. If and when the shoals of fortune break the flow, however, the illusion of happiness cannot survive the pervasive fear and loathing that results. As de La Bruyere wrote of the sight of a fine estate now lost to fortune and it erstwhile master:

This palace, these furnishings, these gardens, these beautiful waters enchant you and make you exclaim upon first seeing such a delectable home, and imagining the extreme happiness of the one who possesses it. But he is no more. He did not so agreeably or tranquilly enjoy it as you do. He never had a quiet day therein, nor a tranquil night. He drowned himself in debt to bring it to such that degree of beauty which astounds you. His creditors drove him from it. Turning his head to look upon it from afar one last time, he died of a seizure. (Characters, Part VI — On the Goods of Fortune, §79)

What begins with longing, proceeds with fearful ambition. It culminates in constant disquietude and fear. Then — inevitably— comes death. Where is the happiness in this, unless it be in the occasional satisfaction of imposing one's will on events; and those conveniently around to witness them. When happiness mostly consists of the frequent pleasure of getting (making?) one's own way, what more is there to good than doing so at will?

From de La Bruyere's relentless critique of the grand and petit bourgeois of his day, it seems that the amalgam of severity and libertinism must have prevailed among them. Commanding pleasures are the mirror image of the pleasure of command. In the absence of wholesome love (i.e., love that bears fruit in service to the whole), is human sexual gratification much more than this? For vainly ambitious people, perhaps the only satisfaction greater than making people do as you say is that of making them feel what you would have them feel.

Readers may not readily understand why these thoughts came to me today as I considered the product of the Vatican Youth Synod, and in particular the passage it contains approving totalitarian censorship of internet sites that profess to be Catholic. That clerics who so boldly disregard the word of God should not be anxious to censor the words of faithful Catholics, made me wonder what their standard of conformity to Catholic teaching and character would be.

Current Vatican officials have proved themselves incongruously deferential to China's God and Christ-denying party dictators when it comes to deciding who may call themselves a Catholic bishop. Will they hesitate to bow with the same deference to other human authorities willing to ban Catholics who hold to the Church's respect for God's written and Incarnate Word, on matters such as marriage and sexual sin? What becomes of our religious freedom once the apparent leaders of the Catholic Church proclaim that such respect is no longer essential to Catholic belief?

At present, the Vatican seems strongly influenced by clerics who say that Catholics of good faith must conform to the licentious demands of secular libertines. So it seems logical to assume that these same clerics will welcome and co-operate with secular abuses of government power, already underway, aimed at silencing such Catholics. This means that the strange desertion of the Holy Spirit involved in the betrayal of Chinese Catholics not only portends persecution against them. It portends Vatican approval of secular government persecution against all Catholics who adhere to God's understanding of marriage; of procreation; and of the wholesome vocation of humanity both properly involve.

To promote libertinism masquerading as compassion, the libertine clerics will countenance severe repression of believers who do not slough off the mind of Christ. But since God's revelation stands anciently, timelessly against their betrayal of His goodwill, what good, what power do these clerics serve? Is it only their own?

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

[Dr. Alan Keyes served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations under President Ronald Reagan, and ran for president in 1996, 2000 and 2008. He holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard, and writes at his website Loyal to Liberty].


Some words of support for the NACF


Saint John Paul II  :   'Continue with what you're doing'

Saint John Paul II (again with emphasis)     'Contine with what you're doing'

Raymond Cardinal Burke  :   'Continue with what you're doing'


[liturgicalnotes / LSN /CMTV] 2255.1
























Vatican watch




Youth Synod : A Blasphemous Scam

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives :'Just as I predicted - but to no one's great surprise - Francis got what he wanted from the Synod on Youth and Blah, Blah, Blah. At the very beginning of the Final document's 25,000 words, 55 pages and 167 paragraphs of blah, blah, blah, made available to the Synod Fathers only in Italian, read to them aloud before they were rushed into voting on the Synod's last day, we read the following (translations by LifeSite News)

It is important to clarify the relationship between the Instrumentum laboris and the Final Document. The former is the unitary and synthetic reference framework that emerged from the two years of listening; the second is the fruit of the discernment carried out and brings together the generative thematic nuclei on which the Synod Fathers concentrated with particular intensity and passion. We therefore recognize the diversity and complementarity of these two texts….

There we have it: the Instrumentum Laboris (IL), with its incalculably destructive reference to 'LGBT youths' who 'decide to create homosexual instead of heterosexual couples and, above all, would like to be close to the Church' ( 197) is now to be considered 'complementary' to the Final Document, even though the Synod Fathers, led by the fiercely resistant African bishops, refused to permit incorporation of the term 'LGBT' in the Final Document itself. Recall that Cardinal Lorenzo ('the Book Thief') Baldisseri, the Synod's Secretary General, falsely claimed that the 'LGBT' reference in the IL was merely carried over from the final document of the preparatory meeting of 'young people' before the Synod, when in fact it appears nowhere in that document.

The likely next step in this scam will be for Francis to rubber-stamp the Final Document - to which, no doubt, will be appended the IL as a 'complementary' text, and then declare the entire mass of verbiage part of the 'Magisterium of the Successor of Peter' according to his own novel declarations in Episcopalis Communio.

Just to make certain the idea of 'LGBT youth' is smuggled into the fake Magisterium that Francis has concocted, the following additional verbiage appears in the Final Document in connection with a misleading reference to a declaration by the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) under John Paul II:

'150. There are questions concerning the body, affectivity and sexuality which require a deepened anthropological, theological and pastoral elaboration, to be carried out in the most appropriate ways and at the most appropriate levels, from the local to the universal. Among these, those relating in particular to the difference and harmony between male and female identity and to sexual inclinations emerge. In this regard the Synod reaffirms that God loves every person and so does the Church, renewing its commitment against all discrimination and violence on a sexual basis. It also reaffirms the decisive anthropological relevance of the difference and reciprocity between man and woman and considers it reductive to define the identity of persons solely on the basis of their 'sexual orientation' (CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, October 1, 1986, no. 16).'

Note the phrase 'It [the Synod]… considers it reductive to define the identity of persons solely on the basis of their 'sexual orientation',' citing the CDF document. But the CDF completely rejected any role of 'sexual orientation' in a person's identity, declaring that 'the Church… refuses to consider the person as a 'heterosexual' or a 'homosexual' and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.' The Final Document, dishonestly citing the CDF instruction (approved by John Paul II), now falsely implies that 'sexual orientation' is part of one's identity even if not solely what defines it. The homosexual camel now has its nose under the tent.

At the conclusion of the Synod, Francis uttered the now routine nonsense that this sham was a work of the Holy Spirit: 'We have made the document, we have studied it, we have approved it. Now the Holy Spirit gives us the document to work in our heart… It was the Spirit at work here.'

I will have much more to say on the Final Document in subsequent columns and on the pages of Catholic Family News. For now, suffice it to say that only one word describes the claim that this sham of a Synod, a product of human connivance and human error, is a work of the Holy Ghost. The word is blasphemy.

[FP] 2255.2






















Globe N A C F

Youth Synod An intermedia reckoning

Robert RoyaROBERT ROYAL writes for The Catholic Thing : 'A few days ago, I promised one last report on the Synod and its final document, but only after I had taken time to read the whole text – which still only exists in Italian – and to consider it carefully. There were many quick journalistic reactions, useful in themselves, but they tend to focus on the usual controversial points and stir up emotions that are then forgotten within a couple of news cycles. If we want to be a Church, however, that does more than just try to grab onto a few shreds of truth among the swirling digital and spiritual waters around us, we owe it to ourselves to make a serious effort – even in online forums such as TCT – whenever we can to move more deliberately, dive more deeply.

Still, it’s less than a week since the final document was approved, so this is only an “intermediate-range” assessment. More, much more, will need to be said and done in coming days because the fallout from this synod will probably be with us for decades.

But at least I’ve done a first, penitential slog through all 25,652 words now – which is mercifully about 10,000 fewer than the original Working Document – though partly through the fog of jet lag and despite several mishaps in the course of traveling home. (A New Commandment I give unto you: Do not trust NJ Transit to get you from Manhattan to Newark Airport.)

In particular, I was looking for an answer to the main question, as I formulated it in the previous report, “Which future for the Church?”

Would the Synod Fathers accept vague language about sexuality and synodality that could lead to anything – and probably will, as the vague formulations of Vatican II did in the 1960s and 1970s – or would they affirm not only Catholic moral teachings in a world that doesn’t understand them, but also the Church’s sense of itself as, of course, engaged with the world, but as possessing a truth and a Spirit that is not of the world.

The crucial points are there in the document, but smothered by committee-speak to the point that – if you read through the entire text without specially looking for such things – you’d hardly notice them. And these, of course, are the main concerns for anyone truly distressed over how to help young people negotiate our troubled time.

The one real strength of the document is the overall realization that young people today live in a much changed and rapidly pluralizing (some might say fragmenting, even self-destructing) world. In a way, that’s a cliché, of course, since the world is always changing. But the pace and scale and nature of change now is something unique.

So far as I know, only Eamon Martin, who bears the suggestive title Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, spoke cogently about the value the Church’s steady wisdom could have for young people struggling with such forces.

Sadly, the notion of sin has almost disappeared from the world of the young – as it also very nearly has from the document. The Devil is nowhere mentioned in those thousands of words, or the age-old struggle between Good and Evil. Is all that too strong a brew – is the whole dynamic of Redemption too overwhelming – now for the young people the Church seeks to help?

Which is why you can’t help wishing the Synod Fathers had gone easier on the repeated calls for dialogue, accompaniment, listening, etc., which, given the urgency of the challenges, sound terribly weak. Subjects like the environment, immigration, etc., which also came up repeatedly over the past month, are, by comparison and by far, of secondary importance. There’s no sense of putting first things first.

I’m reminded of how, at Vatican II, the whole question of Communism – the foremost anti-human ideology of its day, responsible for 100 million deaths in the twentieth century – was excluded from the Council’s deliberations, and on purpose. (At one point, 400 priests at the Council from 86 different countries proposed a formal condemnation of this murderous ideology, but the proposal was rejected.)

Various factors and subsequent explanations have been brought forward to explain how such a thing happened. But the simple fact remains that the bishops of the Catholic Church meeting in a formal ecumenical council could not find a way to express their rejection of the greatest evil of their time.

I wonder how we will look back at the past four weeks. The Bishops at the Youth Synod mention subjects like the sexual revolution, abortion, divorce and the breakup of the family, the digital pseudo-world, the flattening of the human horizon by widespread materialist and scientistic attitudes in modern societies.

But the almost ritualistic repetition of listening, accompanying, discerning reminds me of nothing so much as the old Christian-Marxist dialogue. The Church during the Cold War was dealing with a deadly serpent and treated it as if it was merely another dialogue partner. Indeed, lots of Christians went over to the Marxist/socialist side. The reverse was far more rare.

Where is the clear talk about discerning a religious vocation? About marrying? About having children – marriage and children being one of the ways young people often find their way to full adulthood and faith in the modern world? If you want to dabble in sociology – as the Synod organizers clearly did – social science itself has shown beyond all reasonable question that marriage, family, children constitute the documented pathways to a better life, happiness, health, prosperity, and religious commitment.

Was it too judgmental or controversial to say this outright? And to encourage young people to marry and have children if they don’t have a religious vocation? Instead, the text spends much time fretting over social pathologies; social and spiritual remedies are given very gingerly treatment in very general terms.

And as our courageous American Archbishop Charles Chaput has pointed out, the deadly evil of sex abuse received shamefully inadequate treatment in just three flat paragraphs while the text flirts with the sensitivities of young people about homosexual activity and same-sex attraction.

You have to read almost one-third of the way into the text before you come upon some real religious approaches to problems youth face – for example, the hope that the sacrament of Confirmation can become the beginning and not the end (as it more commonly is for most Catholics) of an adult commitment to the Faith.

And despite all the handwringing in the text about the need to understand how young people today are driven by images, feelings, and peers – and often seek a religion of well-being, the bishops are, at one point, forced to acknowledge: “In Christian communities, sometimes we risk proposing, without intending it, an ethical and therapeutic theism that responds to the human need for security and comfort instead of the living encounter with God in light of the Gospel and in the force of the Spirit.”

But on to another large question about both the text and the event. The late introduction of “synodality,” a topic barely discussed by the bishops themselves over three weeks, seems to reflect the intention of Pope Francis to make the whole Church “synodal.” He emphasized that theme in the midst of the 2015 Synod on the Family, and was visibly frustrated and angry at the end of that Synod when the deliberations and voting of the participating bishops did not give him the outcome he desired.

This time, the process was far more tightly managed. Two bishops named by the pope worked out the last quarter or so of the Final Document, which deals with “synodality.” And the pope himself seems to have been involved in the drafting. But this last-minute, and not very carefully thought out proposal for changing the understanding of the whole Church was itself not very “synodal” or polite.

Even quite reasonable requests by the bishops that translations be done in a timely way for those who do not know Italian so that they could give careful attention to what they were being asked to approve (within short time-frames as well) were rather brusquely turned away – a strange thing when the alleged desire of “synodality” is for all to listen and be heard, to “walk together” in an open and respectful and intelligent dialogue.

So in the end, we got a document that was not exactly the result of a consultative process, even among the bishop delegates. We have a new conception of a “synodal” Church in which all are part of the conversation and “walking together,” but in different ways – some proper authorities, others their collaborators, still others voices of various experiences who are to be encouraged in their differences, but also expected somehow, by an unspecified process or mechanism, to come together in a symphonic whole.

It took America’s Founding Fathers four months to write a carefully worded Constitution that would both give order to a diverse nation and, as far as humanly possible, avoid the danger of tyranny. It wasn’t until the year after that the people ratified it, and another year until it came into effect. Synodality – a matter of far greater import for the whole world – received no such serious treatment this past month. One wonders whether it’s really supposed to be treated seriously, or will become just another example of idealistic religious language with no real connection to anything.

And, in the final analysis, this document is addressed to whom? Under the old system, the bishops, in consultation with one another, produced a text on some topic and presented their conclusions to the pope for his approval or disapproval. (The rest of us were just incidental observers, so to speak, of the synodal process.) In the current dispensation, the pope himself seems to have been involved in the drafting, and it’s quite unusual for anyone to send a message to himself. Especially a message that he says could now become part of the ordinary magisterium.

So is the text – for most people sequestered for now behind the barrier of the Italian language and of a forbidding complexity and length – meant for the pope, the bishops of the world, the Catholic faithful? Does anyone know?

The Synod Fathers proposed, and then actually wrote, an additional brief message directly to young people, which you can read by clicking here. That at least has a definite purpose and audience, a gallant gesture, though I myself wish it had more sheer evangelical fire.

For all its lumbering indecision, the Final Document ends well, indeed very well in its closing, 167thparagraph. On this All Saints Day, it’s good for us to read words reminding us that the whole point of the Faith and of human existence is to become a saint:

Through the holiness of the young, the Church can renew its spiritual ardor and its apostolic vigor. The balm of holiness generated by the good lives of so many young people can cure the wounds of the Church and the world, recalling us to that fullness of love to which we have always been called; young saints spur us to return to our own first love.

Let’s hope that, despite the many shortcomings of us elders, it is so.


[The Catholic Thing] 2255.2a


















Globe N A C F

Youth Synod You'll vote Bergoglian and like it

HILARY WHITE writes for The Remnant : 'I'm in the village bar[1] having an evening pint and using the wifi. In Rome, the Synod fathers are voting on a document most of them can't read and which is reportedly not being read to them as promised because of 'translation errors' and other 'technical glitches' … Yeah… totally. 'Technical glitches.' [2]

In effect, this means that by the time Remnant readers see this, new legislation will have been created for the Church Universal that not even the bishops of the Synod have actually read.

The early reports, to the surprise of no one, are that the 'Synod on the Youth' was mostly (rather expensive) window dressing for the next phase in the Bergoglian rewrite of the Catholic Church's ecclesiological DNA. The real purpose for the whole tedious affair - including all the disco dance parties - was to insert the subroutine Bergoglian dogma of 'synodality' into the new programming.

That means, as far as anyone has been able to figure it, the devolution of certain carefully selected powers of ecclesiastical governance from Rome to the national bishops' conferences.

What's been talked about as an example is the issue of liturgical translations; but what has been done in that area so far is the creation of different and opposing 'interpretations' of the Church's law on granting permission for the divorced and civilly remarried to receive Holy Communion.

We've heard a great deal about 'synodality' this week, mostly in the context of reports that the bishops at the Synod are complaining of a bait n' switch. Apparently, the Francis Cabal has completely given up pretending to follow even the external forms of what they claim to be doing.

So unashamed has the manipulation become that Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai - a member of the drafting committee and a Bergoglian court favourite from the 'peripheries,' simply admitted at the press briefing that the final document would focus a great deal on 'synodality' even though this was something the bishops hardly spoke about at all.

'They're very heavily stressed, discernment and synodality, which really were not very much prominent in the discussions,' Crux reports Gracias saying. 'It wasn't very prominent in the minds of the synod fathers, but it's come out very strongly,' he admitted.

The original point of these Synods, so we were told, was to offer the pope advice. But now they're not even pretending this is a Thing anymore. So, what was the point again of getting bishops and kids to come to Rome to talk about a lot of stuff that isn't now going to be included in a document that is - again, supposedly - a summary of their discussions?

Survey says…It's PR.

To no one's surprise, the bishops are now being called upon to vote clause by clause on a document they were not being allowed to read in their own languages - unless they were Italians, of course. It was graciously conceded before the vote that they could have it read to them by translators as they were voting. But they're voting right now, and Edward Pentin is reporting on site and tweeted a few minutes ago, 'Sudden translation problems, too short a time to read the final document in Italian, substantial differences between draft and final document that expand controversial topics…' So, take even that much for what it's worth.

It was devious manipulation; now it's the rules

Our friend the highly informed Chris Altieri, formerly of the English Section of Vatican Radio, summarised the expectations …of … well, I guess of everyone who isn't being paid by some body of the Church… saying the last pair of Synods in the Octobers of 2014 & 2015, accomplished the cabal's goals using 'some pretty heavy-handed manipulation outside the established rules and with some pretty obvious winking at procedural regularity.' But this one is tootling right along, 'smooth as butter'. This of course is because what was in 2014 manipulation and procedural irregularity is now the normal operating procedure of the Synod, thanks to Baldisseri the Stealer of Books, and his boss.

And I think this is the pattern that we can now use to understand the functioning of the whole of the New Paradigm FrancisChurch.

Chris writes at the Catholic Herald that the document, mainly written by Cardinal Baldisseri, was a clever bit of papal sleight of hand, I suppose worthy of the Renaissance popes Bergoglio likes to both condemn and emulate, with equal enthusiasm. 'As far as any final document on Francis's watch is concerned…the Synod Fathers would end up saying whatever this Pope will have decided to say they said.' And so, it is working out as we speak.

Bergoglio and the Church of Francis

I thought this pretty much summed up the whole of the Bergoglian Paradigm Shift: what was forbidden on paper and done clandestinely anyway as a matter of course after Vatican II, with the popes and the hierarchy turning a carefully diplomatic blind eye, is now on paper and officially celebrated. All the same corruption, the doctrinal, disciplinary, canonical and procedural catastrophe, but now wrapped in pretty Vatican gift shop packaging and stamped with the Pope's own official seal of approval.

This is what papal positivism is and does. And the logic is pretty simple; it's a very straightforward syllogism: if the Faith is created by the popes, the pope can and ought to make or remake it in any way he sees fit. After all, 'the Holy Spirit chooses the pope,' at the Conclave, and 'the Holy Spirit guides the pope' once elected. The fact that the conclusion is completely contrary to 2000 years of Catholic teaching, being based on two false premises, two erroneous beliefs, seems not to be penetrating the minds of many people[3]. And it is this error that Bergoglio and his gang of thugs have elevated to the status of a new Mark of the Church.

And of course, they're not bothering to pretend that isn't what it means. In fact, as people like us are complaining that this has reduced the office of the pope to a kind of Catholic Delphic Oracle, mumbling out whatever he happens to think and demanding it be taken as the will of God, people in his own gang are making even larger claims. We remember the Canadian Fr. Tom Rosica claiming that the reason Francis is so wonderful is that he's not restricted by silly, old-fashioned things like Scripture or Tradition.

Today a screenshot from the Twitter feed of the Italian section of the Vatican News Service about sums it up: it's not Jesus Christ we're taking to the world now; it's Francis, the New Christ. Giuseppe Nardi writes about the trend among the official Vatican information services and the pope's chosen mouthpieces (and often enough from Bergoglio himself) of presenting him not as the successor of Peter, representing Christ, but as the successor to Christ Himself, a failed God judged by the modern world as too 'rigid' about things like divorce and remarriage. That this is straight-up blasphemy seems not to bother anyone Inside.

Synodality: it probably doesn't mean what you think

A friend of mine commented drily on Facebook about the bait and switch:

'Speaking for my three Catholic teenagers, I can confidently say that synodality is almost all they talk about with their friends. Well-worn and highlighted copies of Episcopalis Communio are strewn all over the place.

'Why, my eldest came up to me just this past Tuesday and said: 'Father, you have to understand that we youthful Catholic youths demand that reformed and actualized synodal structures be put in place to allow for the fully-realized dimensions of the episcopal munus!'

'And with that, I shed a tear of gratitude for the realization that we were finally breaking out of the mold of a self-referential museum-piece church.'

So, however it was done, we're getting Synodality. It's a farce, obviously. We knew that. Now everyone knows that. But now we have to figure out what exactly this 'synodality' thing is.

As we know the secret to understanding what Francis Bergoglio 'means' by any of his convoluted and oblique assertions - to understand, for instance what he means by 'collegiality' and 'synodality' - is to watch what he does. For nonsense like bishops doing the hip-hop jiggety at a makeshift disco in the Paul VI Audience Hall, it's all collegiality and synodal fruitbaskets. But when it comes to things that actually pertain to the governance of the Church, no pope has ever been as autocratic as this one.

Chris Altieri points out at Catholic World Report that in a number of crucial areas of Catholic life, this pope has done the exact opposite of his stated intention: founding and supporting communities of nuns and sisters, the judging of petitions for nullity of marriage and the regulation of seminaries. 'It sounds great and looks great on paper. Collegiality and synodality are great, until one tries to do something with them.'

'The little-noticed but highly significant clarification in 2016, regarding the need for 'consultation' with the Vatican before local bishops approve religious congregations within their jurisdictions - so-called 'congregations of diocesan right' - came down clearly on the side of the Vatican. The law governing the erection of institutes of consecrated life - usually small communities of women religious - is ambiguous, and many bishops and canon lawyers read it as merely advising but not requiring consultation. The clarification established once and for all that consultation is necessary before a bishop exercises his power to give any such new community legal recognition. A bishop may still go ahead and recognize the community, even if the Vatican gives an 'unfavorable' opinion. That's how it is on paper, anyway. It is fair to say that a local Ordinary is unlikely to choose such a hill as the place to die on.

'The 2016 document overhauling the organization of women religious, 'Vultum Dei quaerere,' and the instruction implementing the overhaul, 'Cor orans,' which the Vatican released just last month, also subject local religious life to stricter Vatican scrutiny and more direct Vatican control than ever previously countenanced. Most significantly, Cor orans establishes that houses of religious sisters must have at least eight professed women religious living permanently in them if they are to maintain their autonomy. If the number of women in a house drops to five professed religious, the community forfeits its right to elect a superior, and must inform the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life of the development, after which the Congregation is to form an ad hoc committee to choose an administrator for the community.

'Recent Vatican interventions in the organization of seminary education also restrict the latitude diocesan bishops and regional bodies have over their formation houses. That may be necessary and might even be too small a step in what persons concerned with priestly formation consider to be the right direction, but it is not easy to see how it is 'synodal' in any meaningful sense'.

To paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have your Synodal Catholicism any colour you like, as long as its Bergoglian.

While Mike Voris rejoices that the 'LGBT' issue was 'defeated' by pushback from the bishops and the prayers of the faithful, the much more dangerous reality seems to have escaped his notice. First, that acceptance of homosexuality, as we have heard from the closest colleagues of the pope, will continue to be a priority. The 'youth' and the Instrumentum Laboris have handily ensured that. And second, that the real purpose of these synods is not the simplistic insertion of the acronym 'LGBT' - or even of its attendant political implications - into a Post-Synodal Exhortation[4].

The purpose of all the Synods is and will continue to be the fundamental rewriting of the nature of the Catholic Ecclesiam. It isn't sexual morality - that artificial demarcation line between 'conservatives' and 'liberals' in the Church - that's at issue, but the much more fundamental concept of what the Church is. It's time to learn traditional ecclesiology, an area of theology much neglected by the 'conservative' Catholic discourse, guided as it is by the tenets of Americanism, that super-doctrine that doesn't like the Social Reign of Christ the King very much.

A 'conservative' like Mike won't perhaps immediately grasp the seriousness of this. Obviously to many people the 'defeat' of the acceptance of aberrant sexuality at the Synod is something to cheer. But it was a red herring. Meanwhile, the work of the Bergoglian retrovirus continues on to the next phase, mostly unopposed by the 'conservative' paradigm unable to identify the real dangers.

This is the vigil of the Feast of Christ the King. It is time to start thinking and learning all we can about the meaning of that long-lost Catholic teaching.

After all that 'work', the Synodal Eminences got to attend a little D-to-the-isco!

The dance is lit and the beat is fire. Watch the video clip HERE


[1] Not a 'bar' by North American standards, I'd like to stress. In Italy even the smallest village has at least a couple of 'bars' that sell you your 'breakfast' of coffee and croissants in the mornings, and the 'aperitivi' in the evenings after six. They close at eight, when everyone goes home to have dinner. It's an Italian social institution, akin to the village pub in England. Anyway, my internet at home is off until tomorrow and I'm having a pint and using the wifi.

[2] I believe it, don't you?

[3] Thanks, JPII. One sees why Bergoglio was moved to canonise the man who made it all possible.

[4] or whatever they're calling it now…

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Youth Synod Cardinal Baldisseri . . .

FR. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs : Cardinal Baldisseri is rumoured to have turned nasty when someone complained about the manipulation of the Synod. The complainant wondered how participants without much Italian could be deemed to have assented to texts which they had only heard hurriedly recited ... in Italian. B is said to have threatened that he would run the next Synod in Latin. (Interesting that he is so convinced that he will still be alive and still in post.)

That will be the day. Using Latin would in fact have the practical advantage of putting all the linguistic and national groupings on to the same level; the Italians, and those who had spent years working in the Curia, would no longer be unfairly advantaged.

Since, however, that is unlikely, perhaps the Synodal language should be English. English had more circoli than any other language-group. Or perhaps the main World languages should take it in turn to be the Language of the Synod. I am not joking.

When I was young, the Catholic Church in England was often sneered at as being 'the Italian Mission'. Now, with the de facto demise of the Church's international language, the sneer looks almost true.

I have little doubt that Blessed John Henry Newman would have considered that the proceedings at Synod2018 were simply invalidated by the unscrupulous way they were managed. His formula 'practised upon' springs to my mind (I am recalling the letter printed at LDxxv164sqq.).

Most worrying of all is the smuggling-in of topics which you and I might have thought irrelevant to the published themes of a Synod. Such as having a 'Youth ynod' slipping into its texts the need for the censorship of Catholics on the Internet.

These people have reached such a degree of confident arrogance that they do not even care when their motives and devices are transparently and indecently obvious.

Archbishop Chaput sensibly suggested that the Synod should, as a matter of urgency, deal with the homosexuality crisis in the upper clergy.

That's not how they work, though, is it?

In fact it's the exact opposite ...

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Youth Synod The Wanderer ~ a Synod ('walking together') of clichés

FR. JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs : 'At my old stomping ground, The Wanderer, there is a good summary and analysis piece by Peggy Moen (a terrific editor!) who attended much of the Synod ('walking together').

ROME - Following the Thursday, October 25 Youth Synodpress briefing, I spoke with Robert Royal, editor in chief of The Catholic Thing, and said that I could as well have skipped this one. It was void of any substance.

They didn't get what they wanted, he said, a pro-gay document, and that also it just wasn't going to happen.

He agreed with me that the African bishops were likely responsible for this turn in synod events.

The October 25 briefing presentations were all process and no content, I said.

But, said Royal: 'They would like the process to become content.'

Here are some examples of what was said in this press briefing. It took place two days before the vote on the synod's final document:

A youth delegate, Lucas Borboza Galhardo from Brazil, said: 'We walk together…a very strong participation - they've been listening to us.'

I thought of Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Mamfe, Cameroon, who, at the previous day's press briefing said: 'We should also get the youth to listen to the elders,' as it is not a matter of 'one-way traffic.'

Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, OFM, archbishop of Trujillo, Peru, pointed to 'a very important word . . . synodality' which is 'for the young and with the young.'

'The Church should . . . take on this synodality,' he added.

'We need to accompany all the discernment processes.' [What does that even mean?!?]

In the subsequent question period, Suzy Pinto of EWTN News Nightly asked the archbishop what 'synodality,' a word that 'is not known,' means. He replied, in part, that Pope Francis 'highlights that notion of walking together' with everyone in the Church, but also with those who are more distant. [Who has noticed that when I write about the Synod I always add 'walking together'?]

In his presentation, Arlindo Cardinal Gomes Furtado of Santiago de Cabo Verde called the synod 'an experience of the Church . . . a communion amongst everyone . . . altogether forming a real ecclesial family.' He called it 'a model for me.'

He added that we need to strengthen this process of working together, walking together.

Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve praised the synod's 'so many different colors, so many different languages' and called the discussions in the small groups 'unforgettable.' He said we must all 'truly walk together.'

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register tweeted on October 25: '

Synod18 sources: 'Synodality' as a new model of the Church (i.e. permanent revolution) is now being imposed on the assembly, despite it not figuring highly in working document nor synod discussions. It dominates 3rd part of final doc. draft, has no connection with synod theme.' ['permanent revolution' is a phrase made famous by Leon Trotsky.]

But along with a curious new word, 'synodality,' Francis-era clichés ran through these press briefing comments: 'accompany, walking together, listening, discernment process,' and more.

And the problem with a cliché is that its words have become empty of meaning.

In the question period, Vaticanista Sandro Magister told Paolo Ruffini, head of the Vatican's Department of Communication, that in the past few days, L'Osservatore Romano has given information that was not provided in the synod press conferences.

As one example, Magister cited L'Osservatore Romano's reporting that the Pope has taken part in the drafting of the final document. That is important news, said Magister, because the final document should be offered to the Pope, not written by him.

Magister asked: Do we also today have to wait for L'Osservatore Romano to get the information that was not given in the press conferences?

Ruffini - on the stage with the above four speakers and Greg Burke, director of the Holy See Press Office - replied to the effect that he would answer questions, and anyone could otherwise read L'Osservatore Romano. [??!??]

This, with all the above, speaks for itself.

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Youth Synod Pope ends Youth Synod by (again) rebuking 'Great Accuser' for 'persecuting' Church

DIANE MONTAGNA reports for LifeSiteNews - The Great Accuser took centre stage at the climax of the Vatican Youth ynod, with Pope Francis saying it is time to defend the Church against his constant attacks.

In concluding remarks to bishops, young people and other synod participants gathered in the synod hall on Saturday, the Pope said the 'Great Accuser' is persecuting the Church through 'constant accusations meant to sully' her.

'Our Mother is Holy, but we children are sinners. We are all sinners. Let us not forget that expression of the Fathers, the casta meretrix, the Holy Church, the Holy Mother with sinful children,' he said.

St. Ambrose, the fourth-century Father of the Church who baptized St. Augustine, first used the expressionQQQ 'casta meretrix' [chaste harlot] in his commentary on St. Luke's Gospel, to apply to the Church the symbolism of Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho who sheltered and saved fugitive Israelites in her home (Joshua 2:1-24).

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, a scholar of St. Ambrose who preached Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 Lenten retreat and wrote a book on the Ambrosian saying, explains the meaning of the startling expression in this way:

'The expression 'casta meretrix,' far from being a reference to sinfulness and guilt, this phrase actually refers to the holiness of the Church; and this reference is made not merely by means of the adjective, 'casta,' but through the noun. Furthermore, this holiness consists as much in her clear and unswerving loyalty to Christ her Bridegroom ('casta') as in the desire of the Church to reach all in order to bring them to salvation ('meretrix')'.

In his remarks on Saturday, Pope Francis continued: 'Because of our sins, the Great Accuser always takes advantage of them, as the first chapter of Job says: he prowls around, he prowls around the Earth looking for someone to accuse. At this time, he is strongly accusing us, and this accusation also becomes persecution.'

He therefore appealed for prayer and penance to defend the Church from the Great Accuser's 'constant accusations,' which he said are meant 'to sully' her.

'The Church must not be sullied; the children yes, we are all sullied, but not the Mother,' he said. 'That is why it is time to defend the Mother.'

The Pope went on: 'The Mother defends herself from the Great Accuser with prayer and penance. That is why I asked, in this month that ends in a few days, to pray the Rosary, to pray Saint Michael the Archangel, to pray to Our Lady that she may always cover Mother Church.'

'Let us continue to do so,' he said. 'It is a difficult time, because the Accuser who is attacking us attacks the Mother, but you don't touch the Mother.'

While Pope Francis' call for the children of the Church to defend their Mother from her enemies is commendable, and his invitation to pray the Rosary has been taken up by many, his words have left some observers wondering: Who exactly does he believe the Great Accuser is? The Devil, to be sure, but who are his agents?

While Pope Francis has not specifically named anyone, key figures close to him have.

Following the Pope's remarks on Saturday, the Bergoglian biographer, Austen Ivereigh, made it quite clear who he thinks is at the top of the list. In a series of tweets, he said:

Austen Ivereigh @austeni Pope ends saying something important here, that the Great Accuser attacks the mother (the Church) through us. Devil can do nothing without human agency. A person possessed by the spirit of accusation does the devil's work for him (convinced, of course, that they're doing good).

Synod2018@synod2018 'Questo é il momento di difendere la madre' Papa Francesco alla fine del Synod2018 7:46 PM - Oct 28, 2018 · Cholsey, England 90 77 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

Austen Ivereigh@austeni This is about the spirit involved, not whether something is true or false. The Great Accuser can use truths, half-truths or lies, or (usually) a mixture of them, twisted to suit a case. Viganò's accusations (if that's what you mean) are an obvious example.

Pope Francis' comments also have some wondering: If the Pope is talking about people bringing substantiated charges against pederast priests, or exposing a homosexual culture in the clergy or episcopate, doesn't that ultimately help rather than harm Holy Mother Church?

As one high-ranking prelate told LifeSite: 'The Great Accuser is the Devil. If people are bringing forward grievously sinful acts that have been committed against them, that's not sullying the Church. It's asking the Church to do justice and to rectify the situation.'

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Youth Synod Synodalitas asynodica

FR. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs: 'There is a delicious, delightful, glorious anomaly revealed by Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, who was one of the Synod's drafters (report in Crux ).

He has revealed that the stuff in the Synod's final document about 'synodality' and 'discernment' did not represent the thinking and deliberations of the Synod Fathers, but was bunged in by a couple of PF-appointed secretaries.

Synodality, that is, was interpolated into the account of the Synod's deliberations ... by ... a highly unsynodical manoeuvre.

You couldn't make that up, could you?

Cardinal Gracias, God bless him, went on to point out that you simply can't go around claiming that such a document is 'Magisterium', because Magisterial documents need to be drafted with painstaking care. He's dead right. And every person who reads his words owes a debt of gratitude to His Eminence for his clarity of expression. This is a highly welcome development: clarity has not been left solely to Cardinals Mueller and Burke.

'Magisterium' is not some amusing little political game to help PF to advance his dodgy agenda. It is something that relates to binding the consciences of the People of God. It says a lot about what is so terribly wrong with this pontificate and with this pontiff that he can treat serious matters, relating to the souls of the Faithful, with such unbecoming levity.

As I've written before, some of us have experienced all this sort of nonsense within Anglicanism. Lambeth Conferences used to issue their 'Encyclicals' together with the Conference's 'Resolutions'. Back in the 1960s, we had a theologian called Eric Mascall. Unlike most Anglican theologians, his academic background was in Higher Mathemarics. He was a decisive and ruthless logician, and to this he added a widely respected competence in Thomism.

After Lambeth, Eric wrote crisp and beautifully entertaining little pamphlets (published by the Church Literature Association, 4d) exposing the logical absurdities in the pompous and woffly bishoptalk in which these fatuous documents were couched.

Bergoglianity will do nothing to enhance the reputation of Synods, Synodality, Discernment, Accompaniment, Magisterium, or the Petrine Ministry. It will, if it gets the chance, reduce Christ's Church Militant to what Anglicanism already is ... a laughing stock among the ... er ... discerning.

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Youth Synod Young Catholics tell world's bishops: 'We want orthodoxy…we want truth'

CLAIRE CHRETIEN reports for LifeSiteNews - We want orthodoxy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and bishops who act like successors of the apostles rather than politicians, a group of young Catholics said in a message released to the world's bishops this week. .

In a video debuted just two days after the release of the Youth ynod's final document, young Catholics who attended a LifeSiteNews and Voice of the Family conference in Rome earlier this month implored bishops to proclaim the Church's teaching without compromise and let the Church influence the world rather than the world influence the Church. The 18- to 29-year-olds asked Church leaders to support Catholic youth who are trying to live out the Catholic faith. One urged bishops who recognize error and do not call it out - even if it's coming from the Pope - to resign and think about what their responsibilities are.

Some of the things the young Catholics said to the bishops are:

• 'Catholic youth today really want to be told the truth, not a watered-down version of the truth.'

• 'Please protect Catholic tradition, because that is what Our Lord would want.

• Without following the Lord's will, what good are we actually going to do? He knows better than we do.'

• 'One reason why the young love John Paul II so much [was] because he told them fornication was wrong and he told them in love.'

• 'We want orthodoxy, we want the Latin Mass, we want religious orders that wear their habits, we want big families. We want everything that the Church has taught for 2,000 years.'

• 'Do not listen to the world, but rather allow the world to listen to Christ.'

• 'Young people today don't want the faith to be handing us what the world is handing us. We want to have the unique truth that is found only in the Church.'

• 'There isn't a crisis of vocations, but there's a conspiracy against vocations, especially for those who appreciate the Traditional Latin Mass…there is an over-abundance of young men who love the beauty of the faith as it was before the Second Vatican Council…they've been suppressed by their bishops, by those at the Vatican, and by their local clergy, too, who seem to dismantle that vocation.



Everyone at the October 18-21 conference - about 50 people altogether - was kept busy with daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form and talks on the Catholic faith, vocations, and the state of the Church from pro-life activists, religious, and historian Professor Roberto de Mattei. The conference culminated with a talk and question and answer session with Cardinal Raymond Burke, all-night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - a number of the young people stayed in Adoration all night rather than just through their scheduled shifts - and Sunday Mass with Cardinal Burke.

The purpose of the all-night Adoration vigil was to pray for the Church and her leaders, many of whom were gathered in Rome at the same time for the Youth ynod. Since its very beginning, Catholics were concerned about the synod being used as a vehicle to normalize heterodoxy and undermine Church teaching.

The Synod final document contains a number of vague passages, including one about how youth should be helped to 'integrate the sexual dimension more and more into their personality.'

Cardinal Burke greets young parents and their son after speaking to a conference of young adults put on by LifeSiteNews and Voice of the Family

The phrase is prefaced by, 'In this way we help every young person, no one excluded,' raising questions about whether Church leaders are suggesting intrinsically disordered inclinations ought to be made part of people's identities.

Some say the simultaneous translations of the document that the bishops received before voting was inadequate.

According to Archbishop Charles Chaput, 'many bishops were frustrated by the lack of advance translations for important issues they were expected to vote on. As one of the synod fathers argued, it's actually immoral to vote 'yes' on significant issues if you can't even read and reflect on what the text says.'

The final document also says it should be read alongside the synod's widely-criticized Instrumentum laboris (IL), or working document. The working document is the first Church document in history to use the ideologically drive phrase 'LGBT.'

St. John Paul II's biographer, George Weigel, called the IL 'a bloated, tedious door stop full of sociologese but woefully lacking in spiritual or theological insight.'

'Moreover, and more sadly,' he added, 'the IL has little to say about 'the faith' except to hint on numerous occasions that its authors are somewhat embarrassed by Catholic teaching - and not because that teaching has been betrayed by churchmen of various ranks, but because that teaching challenges the world's smug sureties about, and its fanatical commitment to, the sexual revolution in all its expressions.'

Editor's note: The credit for this video goes to Brian Limas, who LifeSiteNews would like to thank for his tireless work on it.

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Youth Synod The Synod as the Arm of Leviathan

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives : 'Over the past five years, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as Pope Francis, has perfected the modus operandi by which he proposes to remake the Church according to his liking. Recall, in that regard, the stunning admission of Father Thomas Rosica, English-language attaché of the Vatican Press Office, that with Francis we now have a Church “openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture…” And this absolute dictator, Rosica further declares (or better: exults) “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants” because he is “free from disordered attachments.” Disordered attachments, that is, to perennial Catholic teaching and practice, commonly known collectively as Tradition.

The modus operandi follows this ten-point plan:

(1) determine which Catholic tradition will be broken and then call a Synod to provide cover for the break;

(2) stage-manage the Synod from start to finish, stacking its voting membership with bishops sympathetic to the break;

(3) produce a “Final Document” that purports to represent the Synod’s decisions, but which is pre-written by the Synod controllers installed by Francis, who insert whatever “goodies” Francis would like to see, whether or not the Synod Fathers actually discussed them;

(4) strew the Final Document with poison pills in the form of ambiguities opening the way to the planned break with Tradition;

(5) rush the Synod Fathers into voting for the windy, absurdly verbose and impossible-to-digest Final Document on the Synod’s last day, providing review copies only in Italian;

(6) declare the entire sham a work of the Holy Ghost no one may question;

(7) follow up with implementation of the “decisions of the Synod” — meaning the decisions of Francis — including an “Apostolic Exhortation” that exhorts the break with Tradition;

(8) remind everyone forcefully that Francis, who “humbly” depicted himself as merely “the Bishop of Rome” on the night of his election, is really the Supreme Pontiff, who must be obeyed even if he flatly contradicts every one of his predecessors (e.g., by authorizing Holy Communion for public adulterers or by declaring the death penalty an immoral attack on human dignity despite 2,000 years of contrary Church teaching);

(9) announce that the Catholic Church is now “a synodal Church” and stay tuned for the next synodal bulletin from “the Spirit”;

(10) condemn as Pharisees and rigorists, in league with the Great Accuser, anyone who objects to the “decisions of the Synod” or the corruption, including sodomy, rife among Francis’ inner circle of Synod managers and other Tradition-breaking co-conspirators, including the head of his very household, caught in flagrante delicto with a young man in a malfunctioning elevator.

This would be a preposterously elaborate joke if it weren’t exactly the truth about our unprecedented situation in the midst of this incredible pontificate.

In his masterwork Leviathan, a defense of the absolute authority of the civil ruler even over matters of right and wrong, Thomas Hobbes wrote: “This is the Generation of that great Leviathan, or rather (to speak more reverently) of that Mortal God, to which we owe under the Immortal God, our peace and defense.” The “major part” having chosen the sovereign and thus given birth to the mortal god of the State, “he that dissented must now consent with the rest… or else be justly destroyed by the rest.” [Cfr. Leviathan, II 17, 18]

Today, in the Church, the “major part” of a conclave having chosen Francis, we are told that we must obey without question “the mortal god” whose own publicity apparatus has repeatedly called him “the successor of Christ.” But, perhaps even worse than Hobbes’ vision, “the Immortal God,” including His Sixth Commandment, appears to have been forgotten under the reign of this mortal one, and anyone who opposes him must be destroyed.

From which dystopian catastrophe may God, through the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, soon deliver His Holy Church.

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Youth Synod Against catchphrase theology

NICHOLAS SENZ writes for The Catholic Thing :
In an interview, John Cleese, member of Monty Python and creator of the unforgettable series Fawlty Towers, once explained his strange relationship as a comedy writer with catchphrases. The radio series he listened to in his youth at times had whole segments that were little more than a string of one-liners, with no context or setting – just a door opening followed by a voice saying, “I won’t take my coat off, I won’t be staying,” followed by roars and howls of laughter. This left Cleese perplexed: where was the joke? The phrase didn’t mean anything – it had simply come to be associated in the mind of the listeners with humor, and thus they laughed. (Cleese and the Pythons eschewed punchlines and catchphrases for this reason, though they inadvertently created dozens of them.)

From another part of the English intellectual tradition: In his essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell warned of the dangers of imprecise language to the political health of a nation. Fuzzy expression begets fuzzy thinking, which begets more fuzzy expression, and so on. As Orwell writes, “As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases stacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.”

There is a tendency in some corners of the Church today to do “catchphrase theology,” to lean on words and phrases which sound positive and produce a warm feeling, but lack much definition or substance, at least in the way they are presented.

Many people have complained, for example, that the recent Synod on Youth suffered from such defects. This has merely followed a trend of the last few years. Despite the frequency with which they have been used recently, words like “discernment” and “accompaniment” remain opaque to most of us. They produce a pleasurable buzz – “Ah yes, that is it, that is what we must do” – in some minds. But others are left confounded and confused. It’s like hearing a catchphrase or inside joke with which you’re not familiar.

A regular pattern has emerged: controversial issues are raised, a call for clarity follows, only to get lost in the fog of these terms.

It is a disorienting experience to continuously hear certain figures in the Church call for “updated language,” “deeper reflection,” and “putting things in terms of today,” only to find the texts produced by those same people to be constructed out of impenetrable sociological argot and paragraphs that read like something that Hegel crumpled up and threw away as being too convoluted.

This phenomenon also occurs by taking key phrases from the Church’s teaching tradition, isolating them, and imposing upon them a new and very different definition. For example, the phrase about being “open to life,” which is the key to understanding the Church’s understanding of the morality of procreative acts.

Within the tradition, the phrase means that conjugal relations should not be impeded by any artificial means that would thwart their primary purpose, the transmission of life. Yet some theologians and commentators have cut these words out of their context and reinterpreted them in a manner such as, “Yes, indeed, I am open to life: I am open to all that life has to offer, to all kinds of experiences and moments; and to be able to have that openness, for now, we must contracept.”

No serious Catholic should read that phrase this way. Which is akin to the kind of judicial activism that strains its eyes to find new and expansive rights guaranteed in the Constitution (such as, to stick with the theme, when Justice William O. Douglas found in the Third Amendment’s protection against soldiers being quartered in private homes an implied right to contraceptives).

But for some people, if we can somehow cram a new meaning into the old phrase, the exercise is deemed a success. We preserve the words of the tradition without preserving the tradition.

Likewise, many have seen a similar dynamic in the attempts at the last few synods to introduce novel interpretations of traditional teaching so as to insert questionable ideas into the mix – even to the point of asserting a meaning for a phrase that is opposed to its typical definition (note recent usages of terms like “casuistry” and “gradualism”).

In all of these cases, theology becomes less an endeavor of clarifying than stretching. Instead of attempting to make our thought more solid and concrete, it becomes gaseous, the content diluted to the point where it can mean anything. You can’t help wondering, given the way that some people use these terms, what sorts of sins cannot be “discerned” into acceptability or “accompanied” into respectability.

Such a way of proceeding reduces things to a word game, fitting for a college dormitory where pedantic sophomores try to argue that the couch over there doesn’t really exist if you think about it, but not for theologians attempting to deepen the Church’s understanding.

We do not need catchphrases and buzzwords and pre-fabricated hen houses. We need the truth. We need words and ideas that adequate the mind to reality, to the truth of God about our purpose and call, “for God is not the author of confusion.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

[Nicholas Senz is the Director of Children's and Adult Faith Formation at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Arlington, TX, where lives with his wife and two children. He holds master's degrees in philosophy and theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA. His website is nicholassenz.com]


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Did Pope Francis tell Michael Moore that Capitalism is a sin?

Michael MooreSUSAN JONES reports for CNS - Michael Moore, the liberal film-maker, told "Late Night" with Seth Meyers that he met the pope two weeks ago and asked him about income inequality:

I went to the weekly audience, and then he asked to speak to me privately. It was an amazing moment, and I asked him if I could ask him a question. And he said, "Yes."

And I said, "Do you believe that an economic system that benefits the few, the wealthy at the expense of the many is a sin?" And he said to me, "Si" in Italian. And I said, "So you believe capitalism, the kinda -- the capitalism we have now is a sin?" He goes, "Yes, it is." He said, "The poor must always come first."

And then he grabbed my hand and he said, "Please, pray for me." And I said, "I will, and please pray for me. And he said, "No, you have to make more movies." And I'm like, "I just wanted a prayer." He's like, "No, you go back to -- you go back work." He has a sense of humour.

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Humanae Vitae


Marriage is an Icon of God's Relationship to Humanity

DR. JOHN BERGSMA, Associate Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, talks about 'Marriage is an Icon of God's Relationship to Humanity' at the 2012 Applied Biblical Studies Conference on campus in Steubenville, Ohio.



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United Nations


UN mlogo


The sometimes-impenetrable way problems are attempted at the UN

STEFANO GENNARINI reports for the Friday Fax : 'UN issues, and UN documents, are highly complicated and almost impossible for laymen and even experts to follow. Child pornography is such an issue.

In a current negotiation, European diplomats want to replace any reference to “child pornography” in UN resolutions with “child sexual abuse material,” a term they argue will lead to better protections for children.

An EU diplomat told the Friday Fax, “The EU does not seek to dilute in any way the obligations under the [Convention on the Rights of the Child] CRC or its Optional Protocols.” The diplomat said the EU wanted to “avoid stigmatizing the child and to clarify that these practices always constitute the sexual exploitation of children.”

And this is where it gets complicated. Does this help or hurt efforts to prosecute child sexual abuse and child pornography? It is hard to tell.

The EU diplomat said this effort came from a 2008 UNICEF conference and was based on the statement agreed there. However, the declaration from that conference never proposed dropping references to “child pornography” but rather adding “child sexual abuse material” next to it. For wholly deleting it, diplomats point to yet another conference and document called the Luxembourg Guidelines, an unofficial document generated by UN and EU officials and selected pressure groups.

The Luxembourg Guidelines are said to be controversial because they undermine yet another document, a binding hard-law treaty called the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

This treaty strictly defines child pornography as “any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes.” And it comprehensively penalizes “producing, distributing, disseminating, importing, exporting, offering, selling or possessing” child pornography. According to the Convention, a “child” is anyone under the age of 18.

International attorney Abbe Jolles, who specializes in sex abuse cases in aid agencies, says the new language proposed by EU diplomats and backed by UN staff may have the effect of getting accused staff members off the legal hook for abuse.

And then there is the difficulty of countries with different consent laws.

In countries that don’t have age-of-consent laws such as France or where the age of consent to sex is lower than 18, the guidelines admit the inadequacy of the “child sexual abuse material” standard to protect children under the age of 18 but above the age of consent.

In the case of “sexting,” the guidelines recommend avoiding “blaming the child for what happens” or “holding the child criminally liable.” They do not explore the possibility that differences in ages and maturity might warrant criminal liability.

And the guidelines don’t use the word “pornography” regarding children being deliberately exposed to it. It recommends using “harmful content” instead, in recognition that pornography for teenagers “is not necessarily harmful but could be a matter of exploring sexuality.”

Former longtime U.S. child pornography prosecutor Robert Flores warned the Friday Fax last year that not all those proposing these changes may be operating in good faith, suggesting it may represent a case of regulatory capture.

“The pornography industry wants a perpetual supply of 15-year-olds,” he said.

Such are the ongoing complications when UN diplomats try to solve a problem.

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News from around the world


Austria Muslims' right to not be offended trumps free speech, European Court of Human Rights rules

JAMES RISDON reports for LifeSiteNews - Islam's founder, Mohammad, married a six-year-old girl who moved into his home three years later, according to a hadith, an authoritative teaching of that religion outside of the Koran, but a European human rights court says he can't be called a paedophile.

A woman who did just that nine years ago was found guilty of disparaging religious doctrines, ordered to pay a fine of €480, and the cost of the proceedings against her.

At a seminar called Basic Information on Islam in 2009, she stated that Muhammad 'liked to do it with children' and later added, 'A 56-year-old and a six-year-old? What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?'

That was enough for the Vienna Regional Criminal Court to find in mid-February 2011 that she had implied Muhammad had paedophilic tendencies and she was convicted. Appellate courts failed to overturn that decision.

The woman, who is only identified as E.S. in court documents, then took her case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). There, she argued her statements were based on facts, were made in the context of an objective and lively discussion that contributed to public discourse, and were not intended to defame the founder of the Islamic faith. She also argued religious groups have to tolerate even severe criticism.

It wasn't enough to sway the court.

'The (ECHR) found in particular that the domestic courts comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant's statements and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria,' a statement by the ECHR noted.

'It held that by considering the impugned statements as going beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate, and by classifying them as an abusive attack on the prophet of Islam that could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace, the domestic courts put forward relevant and sufficient reasons,' said the court.

In agreeing with the Austrian courts, the ECHR put the right of Muslims to not be offended above freedom of speech, says John Carpay of Canada's Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

'You cannot have both freedom of expression and the right not to be offended,' he said. 'If you have freedom of speech, people will be offended from time to time … Freedom of speech is about pursuing truth through debate and it's entirely subjective as to what is hateful.'

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Austria Thirty-four female religious superiors ask for access to all Church offices, including priesthood

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews - The general superiors of 34 female orders from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg are demanding more influence in the Church. As part of an international umbrella organization, they ask that women be admitted to all offices in the Church, including ordained offices. Already in 2016, some superiors general of the umbrella organization asked Pope Francis about a commission on female deacons. The final document of the Youth Synodseems to resonate with some of the requests of the women religious.

As several German-speaking outlets reported on October 25, the German-speaking members of the International Union Superiors General (UISG) had a meeting in Innsbruck, Austria, at which they also requested that women have voting rights at future synods of bishops.

'In the future, more women are to be included at synods of bishops - of course with voting rights. That is the only way they can influence decisions,' they explain.

The general superiors of the German-speaking orders met from October 18 to 22 in Innsbruck, according to a report on the website of the Austrian religious orders. The local bishop, Hermann Glettler, visited the general superiors during their meeting and spent some time with them. Inge Metzmacher, pastoral counselor of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, moderated the discussions.

According to this report, these religious leaders see a need for a new 'culture of dialogue, of participation, and of gender equality' in the Church. The Church's teaching should be adjusted to 'new scientific findings in the theological and other academic disciplines.' The general superiors are of the opinion that an increase of qualified women in the Church would bring 'diversity and an enrichment on all levels.' One could learn from religious communities 'how men and women have fruitfully worked - and still work - together for the people.'

Already on October 16, Sally Hodgdon - the Vice President of the UISG participating at the Youth Synodin Rome - had raised the issue of women in the Church and their access to ecclesiastical positions. Hodgdon declared that there will be in the future voting rights for women at synods of bishops.

As the report on the website of the Austrian religious orders states, the German-speaking members of the UISG, by a majority number, support a German declaration from December 2017. This declaration was formulated at a theological conference in Osnabrück and contains a call for the admission of women to all offices and services of the Church, including the offices of the ordained ministry (deacon, priest, bishop). According to this declaration, as supported by the 120 participants, true ecumenism cannot advance 'without an agreement concerning the presence of women in all ecclesiastical offices.'

The international association consists of 2,000 representatives of apostolic religious organizations worldwide, with 900,000 members altogether.

As the report on the German-speaking general superiors' meeting points out, it had been upon the initiative of the UISG that Pope Francis himself, in May of 2016, then established a commission to study the history of the female diaconate.

During a May 12, 2016 meeting between Pope Francis and the UISG, the following comments and questions were, according to Zenit's translation of the Vatican's transcript, put before him by one religious sister: 'There is in the Church the office of the Permanent Deacon, but it is only open to men, whether married or not. What impedes the Church from including women among the Permanent Deacons, precisely as happened in the early Church? Why not constitute an official commission that can study the question?'

The Pope answered, 'I think it will do the Church good to clarify this point: I agree and I will speak about doing something of this nature.' He added, 'I think I will ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to refer studies to me on this topic.' He concluded his reflections with the words: 'Therefore, on the diaconate, yes, I accept and it seems useful to me that a commission should clarify this well, especially in regard to the early times of the Church.'

As Sister Sally Hodgdon likewise explained on October 16, this commission has already written such a report. However, she does not yet know whether this is its final report. Observers wonder why nothing has been heard for quite some time about this commission. One of its members, Professor Karl-Heinz Menke, wrote in June 2018, however, a commentary for the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost. He argued that female deacons would now be possible if it had not been for the recent magisterial teachings of Pope Pius XII and of the Second Vatican Council. Since then, the diaconate has been declared to be part of the three-fold office of ordination which is only open to men, and therefore women are to be excluded from it.

According to Sister Hodgdon, the Youth Synodtouched upon the matter of female deacons three or four times during the plenary discussions. She was an auditor at the synod, but without voting rights. A novelty at this synod was the fact that two non-ordained religious brothers were actively participating and had voting rights. This brought up the question as to why religious sisters were excluded from those very rights.

As LifeSiteNews reported on October 27, the final document of the Youth Synodcontains some controversial passages highlighting the importance of female influence in the Church. Paragraph 148 speaks about 'the presence of women in ecclesial bodies at all levels, even in positions of responsibility, and the participation of women in ecclesial decision-making processes, respecting the role of the ordained ministry.' These expressions seem to resonate with some of the statements and requests already made by the International Union Superior Generals over the last weeks and years.

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Hungary Plans to encourage, support ‘large, stable families’

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews - The Hungarian government wants to reverse its own demographic decline the old fashioned way: by making it easier for the nation’s own citizens to have bigger families.

To this end, Prime Minister Victor Orbán’s government is launching a formal consultation with Hungarians to elicit their ideas on how the state can give more effective support to families. Survey forms will be sent to an estimated 8 million households over the next month. Parliamentary State Secretary Csaba Dömötör says that subjects to be discussed will include support for young married couples, ways to encourage couples to have more children, and flexible employment hours for working mothers.

According to the pro-Orbán “About Hungary” website, Hungary’s demographic policy – which eschews mass migration in favour of homegrown babies – has already had a strengthening effect on the nation’s families:

“Since 2010, when Prime Minister Orbán’s government took office, Hungary’s demographic policy has shown real results: by 2017, abortion numbers had dropped by more than a third, from 40,449 to 28,500, divorces saw a marked decline (from 23,873 in 2010 to 18,600 in 2017), and the number of marriages had risen by some 42 percent.”

There were 35,520 Hungarian marriages in 2010 and 50,600 in 2017.

“About Hungary” also reported that since Orbán’s election, 83,000 Hungarian families have received subsidies for buying homes, saved on their taxes, and discovered 50 percent more daycare places.

Hungarian university student Alexander Masir, 22, told LifeSiteNews that Orbán’s policies have indeed had an effect on the nation.

“I think his reforms are a moderate success,” he said. “The birth rate is growing, and his tax reform means that families with four or more children pay virtually no income tax or other contributions.”

Masir, who is studying at Glasgow University, says that the policies have also helped his own family.

“My family, although smaller, also benefits from recent legislation, receiving support for my little brother mainly.”

Orbán’s policies are at odds with those of the European Union, which emphasize porous borders and mass migration instead of national identities. In July Orbán gave a speech in which he offered five politically incorrect tenets for “building up” Central European countries, beginning with a defense of European Christian cultures and the traditional family.

“The first is that every European country has the right to defend its Christian culture, and the right to reject the ideology of multiculturalism,” he said.

“Our second tenet is that every country has the right to defend the traditional family model, and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father,” he continued. “The third Central European tenet is that every Central European country has the right to defend the nationally strategic economic sectors and markets which are of crucial importance to it.”

“The fourth tenet is that every country has the right to defend its borders, and it has the right to reject immigration.”

“And the fifth tenet is that every European country has the right to insist on the principle of one nation, one vote on the most important issues, and that this right must not be denied in the European Union. In other words, we Central Europeans claim that there is life beyond globalism, which is not the only path. Central Europe’s path is the path of an alliance of free nations,” Orbán concluded.

Orbán’s ideas are also a significant departure from previous Hungarian governments, Masir told LifeSiteNews.

“Earlier governments, notably before 2010, emphasised individual autonomy instead of the reasonable duty of contributing to the community that raised us,” the Kecskemét native said. “There was nothing at all said about the tens of thousands of young people moving abroad to work and villages and the countryside being depopulated.”

“Alongside the important reforms, the most recent major one being CSOK, a benefit scheme for building or acquiring a first home for new families, the youth are invited to stay in the country, to settle down, and to have large, stable families,” he continued. “It's being made clear that the workplace is only one of the many options available to women. However, there was also a response to the more Western-style urban model certain families are following, and so the government also started building many new nurseries.”

Meanwhile, Masir believes that Orbán has not yet turned the demographic tide.

“I’d say the program gestures in the right direction,” the student said. “However, it so far has failed to turn around the demographic loss [although] there is an improvement in that field as well. They do a lot for large families, both in poverty and the middle class; however, there is less of a success with getting young professionals to have their first or second child.”

If consulted on how to make Hungary even more family friendly, Masir would suggest that the government work more closely with the Catholic Church.

“There is still an obvious link that's being neglected between faith and families,” he said. “The largest and healthiest families in my classes were all practicing Christians, and most of those Catholic; I would advise him to integrate the government's action with that of the Church.”

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Nigeria Five nuns kidnapped in south-eastern Nigeria, another two injured

FIVE nuns of the Order of the Missionary of Martha and Mary of the diocese of Issele-Uku, were kidnapped, in the State of Delta in the south-east of Nigeria.

According to news sent to Agenzia Fides, they were kidnapped on October 25 while returning from a burial. They were taken near Agbor, about 25 miles west of Issele-Uku. The religious women were in a vehicle which the kidnappers shot at. Contacted by the local press, a priest from the diocese of Issele-Uku said: 'Pray for the release of the five nuns kidnapped in Agbor, and for the two other nuns who were in the same vehicle'.

The abduction of the nuns is only the latest in a series of similar incidents that have long been occurring in Delta State and in other areas of south-eastern Nigeria. A priest of the same diocese of the abducted nuns, has even been kidnapped twice. Fr. Andrew Anah, of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Obomkpa, had in fact been kidnapped for the second time on 5 June and then released in early July. Fr. Anah was kidnapped for the first time in 2017, and was released after a few days. (L.M.)

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Pakistan Asia Bibi freed after death penalty conviction overturned

Asia BibiASIA BIBI, the Catholic woman condemned to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, has had her conviction overturned by the Supreme Court in Pakistan. The judge has told her she is free to go immediately.

ROBERT SPENCER writes forb Jihad Watch : 'It all started for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Catholic wife and mother, on June 14, 2009 – or more precisely, it all ended for her on that day. She recounted in August 2013:

'I, Asia Bibi, have been sentenced to death because I was thirsty. I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers'.

Picking fruit with a group of Muslim women, Bibi was ordered to fetch water for them – and drank a bit of it herself in the stifling heat. A Muslim woman rebuked her for doing so, saying to the other women: “Listen, all of you, this Christian has dirtied the water in the well by drinking from our cup and dipping it back several times. Now the water is unclean and we can’t drink it! Because of her!”

Bibi stood up to her, responding: “I think Jesus would see it differently from Mohammed.” That drove the Muslim women into a fury, and they started yelling at Bibi: “How dare you think for the Prophet, you filthy animal!” That’s right, you’re just a filthy Christian! You’ve contaminated our water and now you dare speak for the Prophet! Stupid bitch, your Jesus didn’t even have a proper father, he was a bastard, don’t you know that. You should convert to Islam to redeem yourself for your filthy religion.”

The embattled woman stood her ground, responding: “I’m not going to convert. I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?”

Several days later, she was arrested for blasphemy as an enraged mob beat her and screamed, “Death! Death to the Christian!” She has been in prison ever since, awaiting execution for her “crime.”

But in a decision that brought an abrupt and unexpectedly happy ending to her case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled that Bibi had made a statement in which she “expressed her full respect to the Holy Prophet and the Holy Quran and she offered to take an oath on the Bible to the Investigation Officer (IO) to prove her innocence which was refused by the IO. Therefore, the appellant being innocent deserves acquittal.”

The Supreme Court noted the thinness of the prosecution’s case: “The entirety of the prosecution case revolved around the statement of two ladies, namely, Mafia Bibi (PW.2 [that is, prosecution witness 2]) and Asma Bibi (PW.3) and the extra-judicial confession of appellant. The said (PW’s) stated that the appellant, in the presence of other Muslim ladies, passed derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad. It is pertinent to mention here that admittedly, as is evident from the contents of the FIR and also the statements of the witnesses, there were 25-30 ladies present at the spot when the appellant allegedly passed blasphemous remarks against the Prophet Muhammad, however, none of the other ladies except Mafia Bibi (PW.2) and Asma Bibi (PW.3) reported the matter to anyone. At this stage, it is to be noted that the said ladies did not appear before the Court to support the prosecution case.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling, as might be expected in an Islamic Republic, was thoroughly Islamic. It noted that “no one could be allowed to defy the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and be left unpunished.” It added, however, that “there is another aspect of the matter; sometimes, to fulfill nefarious designs the law is misused by individuals leveling false allegations of blasphemy. Stately, since 1990, 62 people have been murdered as a result of blasphemy allegations, even before their trial could be conducted in accordance with law.”

And that is the danger that Asia Bibi faces now. CNN reported Wednesday that the Islamic movement Tehreek-e Labbaik “had previously vowed to take to the streets if Bibi was released, and protests broke out in Islamabad and Lahore soon after the ruling was announced. Within hours, the protests were large enough that government officials in the cities were urging people to stay inside and avoid adding to the chaos.”

Asia Bibi has suffered enough. She should be granted asylum in the United States or some other country where she can live in relative safety, away from the mobs that are today brandishing signs reading “Hang Asia” and baying for her blood. It’s a matter of simple justice, something that Asia Bibi has had very little opportunity to experience. Those who hope that Asia Bibi will now receive justice may hope that President Trump will step in and ensure that she is brought to a safe haven – before he tackles the related and larger question of whether the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is in any genuine sense an ally of the United States.


The Pakistan government said on Friday night that Asia Bibi is to be banned from leaving Pakistan under a deal struck to appease hardliners. The ban will dash her hopes of starting a new lfe abroad.

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United States Jesuit-run America magazine runs article denying link between homosexuality and clergy sex abuse

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN writes for LifeSiteNews - The Jesuit-run publication America has carried an article by a professor-psychologist who claims that homosexuality is not the 'root cause' of clerical sexual abuse. The photo accompanying the article contained an angel with a rainbow in the background.

Dr. Thomas G. Plante, a professor of psychology at the Jesuit Santa Clara University and an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine, had his article published on October 22 in which he states that sexual orientation is 'simply' not a factor in the clerical sex-abuse of minors.

'Many people believe that homosexuality is the root cause of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Church since about 80 percent of the known victims have been male,' he wrote.

'This has led some church leaders to suggest that banning homosexual men from the priesthood could prevent future victimization of children in the church,' he continued. 'While it may be understandable that some believe this, it is simply not true,' he averred.

Plante did not appear to understand that men with deep-seated homosexual attractions are already de jure, if obviously not de facto, barred from admission to seminaries. This teaching in the Catholic Church is not new and has been backed by Pope Francis.

Plante said that readers need to be clued in on the 'psychopathology of sex offenders and paedophiles' to understand the issue.

It was one of many times in which Plante skirted the fact that the majority of underage victims, at least in the United States, have not been pre-pubescents who are of sexual interest only to paedophiles but adolescent boys.

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report clearly identified the 78% of abuse cases it scrutinized as examples of 'homosexual predation'. However, despite this finding, Plante wrote that 'the research data on the topic makes clear that sexual orientation alone is not a risk factor for paedophilia or for committing sexual crimes against children or teens or anyone. Sexual orientation by itself is irrelevant to child sexual abuse behaviour or risks.'

Plante suggested that priests who prey on male children and teens have been ''situational generalists', or men who simply abused victims to whom they had access' and 'with whom they had the opportunity to develop trust.'

'In the Catholic Church, these individuals tended to be boys. If Father wanted to have private time with an altar boy or perhaps take a boy off on a camping trip or to a baseball game back in the 20th century, no one would have thought much of it. Boys were trusted with priests. But most of the clergy sex offenders during the last half of the 20th century, according to the [second, 2011] John Jay Report, viewed themselves as more likely to be heterosexual than as homosexual,' he wrote.

Again lumping pedophiles and ephobiles in the same paragraph, Plante stated that risk factors for pedophiles included 'impulse control problems, brain injury, poor peer relationships, antisocial personality, a lack of nonsexual intimate connections with others, alcohol and substance abuse, and a history of sexual victimization.'

'Sexual orientation is not a risk factor at all,' he concluded.

Then he divided child abusers into those who target children, those who target teens those who prefer adult sexual partners but 'select minors as a substitute', and those who 'like most clerical sexual offenders in the church elect those with whom they have access and trust.'

Blaming homosexual men for sexual abuse of minors is not the solution, Plante counsels. He also reminds readers that only a small percentage of people select children and teens for sexual abuse, and most of them are heterosexual, married and 'noncelibate' [sic] lay people who 'tend to exploit members of their own family.'

Plante's interpretation of the data may not provide the full picture. He failed to mention the findings of the first John Jay report.

There were two John Jay Reports into clerical sexual abuse in the United States. The first John Jay Report, published in 2004, was officially called The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States. This first study reported that 81% of victims within the fifty year period under scrutiny were male. Of all the victims, only 22% were under the age of 10. Of the remainder, 51% were aged between 11 and 14, and 27% were aged between 14 and 17.

The second John Jay Report, published in May 2011, was officially called The Causes and Context of Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010. As Plante attests, it blames 'situational generalists' for the attacks on boys.

But not every psychiatrist agrees with Plante or the second John Jay Report's assurances that the primary reason that criminal clerics preyed on males was opportunism.

Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons recently wrote in LifeSiteNews that his professional opinion 'as a psychiatrist with forty years of clinical experience is that the cause of the abuse crisis is rooted in psychological and spiritual conflicts in bishops and in priests, specifically a narcissism and a profound weakness in male confidence which inclines them to homosexual predation.'

Citing his 40 years of treating priest abusers, Fitzgibbons said that in every case of sexual involvement with children or teenagers he knew of, 'the perpetrator had previously been involved in adult homosexual relationships.'

Fitzgibbons believes that the second John Jay Report is seriously flawed.

'The Causes and Context study (2011) by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice concluded that the childhood and adolescent sexual abuse committed by clergy was unrelated to homosexuality,' he observed.

'Instead, they identified the predation and abuse of adolescent males, the primary victims in the crisis, as a crime of opportunity or availability. While criminologists may describe homosexual predation in imprisoned men as arising from availability, this theory is not applicable to the general public or to priests,' he continued.

He thinks there was a deceitful attempt on the part of those involved in the report to cover up the role of homosexuality.

Fitzgibbons also opined that the second John Jay Report ignored 'severe psychological conflicts' and behaviours present in abusive clergy:

'The John Jay second study ignored the severe psychological conflicts and grooming behaviors in priests and bishops, such as Archbishop McCarrick who sexually abused minors, seminarians and adults,' he wrote.

The psychiatrist told LifeSiteNews that by disguising the real causes, the cover up of clerical sexual abuse of minors is still going on. Fitzgibbons is particularly incensed at the blame being placed on 'clericalism' by Pope Francis.

'We have this massive, massive denial of the true origins,' he said.

Fitzgibbons has asked for Pope Francis to stop the cover-up.

'The Pope should acknowledge that the worldwise sexual abuse crisis is caused by clerical homosexual predation. The logical response: encourage priests and seminarian to lead chaste lives.'

He recommends that the Courage apostolate be developed for international online use in the Church 'as soon as possible' to assist clerics in remaining chaste and to protect 'youth adults and seminarians from ongoing sexual abuse.'

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United States Former presidential candidate on Viganò testimony: 'This is a homosexual scandal'

Pat BuchananSTEPHEN KOKS reports for LifeSiteNews: 'In a forcefully-written column titled 'A Cancer on the Papacy,' former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan pulls no punches as he contends that the Catholic Church is going through perhaps its 'gravest crisis' since the Protestant Reformation, and that homosexuality is to blame.

A former aid to Richard Nixon who in a 2002 column argued that Vatican II was an 'unrelieved disaster,' Buchanan calls for not only a thorough investigation of the 'stunning' claims made by Archbishop Carlo Viganò, but an extensive 'purge' and severing from the priesthood of those who covered up the scandals.

'The issue here is whether Pope Francis knew what was going on in the Vatican and in his Church, and why he was not more resolute in rooting out the moral squalor,' Buchanan writes.

Priests that prey on children are not only guilty of sin but are 'criminal predators' who deserve to be put in 'penitentiary cells' rather than parish rectories.

Echoing the sentiments of a growing number of U.S. bishops (and laity), Buchanan believes it is imperative, given the gravity of the revelations, that Rome address Vigano's allegations that more than 30 high-ranking cardinals, bishops, and priests - including Pope Francis - covered up sexual abuse.

'For too long, the Catholic faithful have been forced to pay damages and reparations for crimes and sins of predator priests and the hierarchy's collusion and complicity in covering them up.' The church 'needs to act decisively now.'

At its core, 'this is a homosexual scandal,' Buchanan plainly states. 'Applicants to the seminary should be vetted the way applicants to the National Security Council are. Those homosexually inclined should be told the priesthood of the Church is not for them, as it is not for women.'

Traditional Catholic teaching holds that 'homosexuality is a psychological and moral disorder, a proclivity toward acts that are intrinsically wrong, and everywhere and always sinful and depraved, and ruinous of character,' Buchanan wrote.

Although Buchanan ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 1992, 1996, and 2000, his ideas, according to Politico writer Tim Alberta, served as the ideological underpinnings of the Trump campaign and now presidency.

In an article published in the spring of 2017, Alberta points out that many of the policies President Trump ran on, and is now implementing, were first proposed by Buchanan more than twenty years ago. These policies include secure borders instead of open borders, fair trade instead of free trade, nationalism instead of globalism, foreign policy restraint instead of interventionism, and America first instead of NATO first, among other things.

Buchanan concludes his essay by reminding his readers of the media's fawning attitude towards liberal clergy.

'Undeniably, Francis, and the progressive bishops who urge a new tolerance, a new understanding, a new appreciation of the benign character of homosexuality, have won the plaudits of a secular press that loathed the Church of Pius XII.'

He rhetorically asks, 'Of what value are all those wonderful press clippings now, as the chickens come home to roost in Vatican City?'

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International gloria.tv.news


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International Some jihad headlines of the week


Abu Dhabi : Forum planned to establish that Islam is a religion of peace and justice

Belgium : Medieval Brugge's Christmas Market renamed Winter Market as Christmas 'could offend other beliefs'

Canada : Adoption from Muslim countries banned; it's prohibited under Sharia

Egypt : Muslims attack Coptic Christians,, seven killed

France : Journalist reports 'innumerable neighbourhoods ruled by Islamic law'

Germany : Letter in Arabic threatens attacks to derail high-speed train

Indonesia : Sharia rules woman be caned in public for being 'in close proximity' to boyfriend

USA : Migrant builds bombas intended for jihad massacre in Mexico

Vatican : ISIS threatens to assassinate Pope Francis


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International Michael Voris

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



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International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo  




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The Catholic university as witness

A CATHOLIC institution of higher education is a place of learning. But it's also a place of witness. It's where young people learn how to know their faith and to live it. It's also where the culture at large can encounter the wisdom of Christ.

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



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Post box


Relationships Education

COALITION FOR MARRIAGE (C4M) write : 'The Government’s consultation on Relationships and Sex Education closes on Wednesday (7th). Please respond today if you have not already done so.

The key points to make are:

marriage should be seen as the ‘gold standard’ for relationships, not simply one option amongst many;

parents should have the right to withdraw their children from teaching that might conflict with their beliefs about marriage.

Please share this with parents and other interested parties. As many people as possible must speak up to protect the teaching of marriage, the role of parents and the innocence of young children.



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Book reviews


A Black Book on Jihad

The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS, Robert Spencer, Hardcover £20.19

History of JihadMATTHEW HANLEY writes for The Catholic Thing : 'Anyone genuinely curious about the history of the 20th century has probably heard about the Black Book of Communism, an exhaustive account of the damage Marxist ideology inflicted around the globe. Its authors estimated that Communism claimed the lives of about 100 million people. That sobering, round figure tends to stick in the mind, even if some seek to explain it away.

Robert Spencer's new book The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS - along with Raymond Ibrahim's Sword and Scimitar - gives us something akin to the Black Book of Communism. It's a powerful account of the domineering brutality that Jihad has inflicted near and far, from its bloody 7th century origins to the present day. As Spencer makes abundantly clear to anyone willing to take seriously the facts he summons up, 'Islamic piety always underlay the jihad.' For this reason, he is only too likely to be belittled or scorned.

There is no firm number of total deaths by way of jihad over the centuries. Might it exceed the 100 million mark? It likely approaches that figure in India alone; the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Will Durant argued in 1935 that the 'Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.' This is hardly on anyone's radar, and Spencer fills a major gap in our understanding by detailing what occurred in the subcontinent in all its vivid, revolting detail.

In the Muslim mind, infidels are to be given three options: convert, pay, or die. But the payment option is offered only to 'people of the book': Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians. Hindus and Buddhists aren't on that list, so only two options remained: submission or death. Allah the most merciful?

In the first (8th century) foray, the instructions were as clear as day: kill all the combatants, arrest and imprison their children, and grant protection only to those who submit. Massacres ensued in rapid succession, but killing so many can get exhausting. When the general on the ground, faced with the practical difficulty of mass extermination, started encouraging surrender and granting protection without conversion, his superior back in Iraq was incensed - and sent word: 'God said: 'Give no quarter to infidels but cut their throats. Then you shall know that this is the command of the great God.''

When another leader, centuries later, displayed sympathetic inclinations towards non-Muslims, his younger brother (Aurangzeb) had him beheaded and reportedly wept for joy upon receiving his head. This was the guy who gave the capitol of modern day Pakistan its name. In 1670, he not only destroyed the temple at Mathura but renamed it Islamabad. Looting temples, often stocked with precious metals, was a prime source of enrichment and a precursor to razing them to the ground, which jihadists did systematically.

Another little known but highly consequential event was the battle of Manzikert (near Armenia) in 1071 in which the supposedly still stout Byzantines were routed. This paved the way for the Greek peoples inhabiting Asia Minor to be overrun by the Turks (which subsequently gave rise to the Ottoman Empire and modern day Turkey).

Spencer documents the whole history of jihad in a chronological manner. This, surprisingly, had never been done before. He proceeds century by century, which means that different geographical regions are treated side by side. Like a spectator at a tennis match, the reader's eyes go from west to east and back again, over and over, following sanctioned episodes of execution, plunder, rape, torture, enslavement, destruction, humiliation, and oppression. It is an utterly devastating approach.

He relies heavily on contemporary sources that exhume long buried accounts of great human agonies inflicted upon infidels. They also reveal a mindset that regards killing as a 'good action' for which jihadists hope to 'receive future reward.' Spencer also includes a telling aside about the jihadist origin of the word Assassins.

The jihad actually reached Rome in 846; invaders looted the basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul - both of which were outside its walls, which they were unable to breach. Thereafter, necessary precautions were implemented because:

It had not yet become customary for the Roman Pontiff to proclaim the peacefulness of Islam and benign character of the Qur'an, and to decry the building of walls.

Suffice it to say Spencer has made it his life's work to follow the counsel of previous popes, such as Sixtus IV (15th century), who warned us 'not to remain plunged in. . . inertia' while Islam advances.

Spencer recently left Catholicism for Orthodoxy. It might be more accurate to say Church leaders left him, or prodded him out. This is a man who has been banned from entering the United Kingdom, while radical imams there freely proclaim that Islam will dominate the world. But he has been hardly more welcome to share his erudition in dioceses here or regarded more positively by the U.S. Bishops Conference. Whether it emanates from Church or State, it is utter madness that drives such contempt for the man and his message.

Astute observers such as William Kilpatrick have been warning that the Church's inadequate and inaccurate stance vis-a-vis Islam today could well lead to a large scale loss of confidence. Spencer apparently decided enough was enough.

This book does us a favor by shining a light on a supremacist creed that stands in opposition not only to the West, but to every other form of governance and law.

Yet Islam is the religion that the Left, which supposedly detests hegemony, most seems to esteem.

We don't believe jihadists' plainly stated motivations in part because we have lost much of our own faith - along with a sense of faith altogether. The last chapter - aptly titled 'The West Loses the Will to Live' - is dispiriting precisely because our feeble posture today foolishly dismisses the peril obviously evident from the litany of atrocities Spencer chronicles throughout the book. It substantiates what we are ultimately immersed in: a great spiritual crisis

[Matthew Hanley is senior fellow with the National Catholic Bioethics Center. With Jokin de Irala, M.D., he is the author of Affirming Love, Avoiding AIDS: What Africa Can Teach the West, which recently won a best-book award from the Catholic Press Association. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Hanley's and not those of the NCBC].


St. Pope John Paul: Islam will invade Europe

A CLOSE FRIEND of Saint John Paul II has affirmed that the late pope, revealed to have been a mystic, told him that Europe would be invaded by Islam.

Speaking to a large group at the hermitage of 'Saints Peter and Paul' this past October, Monsignor Mauro Longhi of the Opus Dei prelature recounted a conversation he had with the late pontiff in March of 1993 on one of their many hiking trips in the mountains. Having got ahead of the rest of their companions, Longhi and St. John Paul took a sandwich break.

In video footage of the October talk, Longhi is heard saying that he noticed that the saint's hands were trembling. (John Paul's Parkinson's disease had not yet been revealed in 1993.) The pope noticed the then-young man's gaze.

'Dear Mauro, it's old age,' he explained.

Longhi jumped in to say, 'But, no, Holiness, you are young.'

'It's not true,' the pope snapped back. 'I say that I am old because I am old.'

Longhi continued: 'Then Wojtyla changed tone, and making me privy to one of his night-time visions, told me, 'Tell this to those whom you will meet in the Church of the third millennium. I see the Church afflicted by a deadly scourge. Deeper, more painful and more deadly than those of this millennium', referring to … communism and Nazi totalitarianism. 'It's called islamism. They will invade Europe. I saw the hordes coming from the West to the East', and he described to me the countries one by one: from Morocco to Libya to Egypt, and so on to the eastern parts. The Holy Father added, 'They will invade Europe, Europe will be like a cellar, old relics, shadowy, cobwebs. Family heirlooms. You, the Church of the third millennium, will have to contain the invasion. Not with armies, armies will not suffice, but with your faith, lived with integrity.

According to La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, which broke the story in Italian, Longhi is a 'priest above suspicion,' having 'enjoyed the personal esteem not only of John Paul II but also of Benedict XVI, so much so that in 1997 he was called to the Vatican dicastery of the Congregation for Clergy.' Between 1985 and 1995 Longhi, who was ordained in 1995, accompanied John Paul II on his skiing and hiking trips, hosting him at Opus Dei's summer home in Abruzzo, which at the time was only 'a simple house in the countryside.'

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Jesus' response to the scandals?

A little-known book of private revelations to a Benedictine priest offers some answers.

In Sinu Iesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart - The Journal of a Priest at Prayer.Angelico Press

In Sinu JesuFR. ROGER LANDRY writes for the National Catholic Register : 'This second wave of the revelation of the sexual-abuse scandals in the Church has been sickening and disheartening for so many as we confront the suffering of countless victims, the wickedness of predators, the lack of spiritual paternity and pastoral determination on the part of those with the responsibility to root it out, and the corruption and tepidity that not only tolerate such filth and infidelity but sometimes augment it.

Those who know Church history are aware that throughout the centuries there have been periods of infidelity and iniquity in which spiritual cancer spread throughout the members of Christ's Mystical Body, the clergy, religious orders, the laity - even the papacy. They also know that in response to such pervasive degeneracy, God was not indifferent and inert.

Where sin abounded, his grace superabounded, witnessed above all in the saints, movements and devotions that he himself inspired to bring the Church to her knees in prayerful conversion.

Hope comes from the recognition that God never abandons his people but remains with us - speaking to us in prayer, purifying us through penance, sanctifying us through his sacraments, and desiring to draw good even out of evil we have committed and endured. The pace of reform always depends on the level of cooperation we give to God's work of rebuilding.

Over the past several months, there have been many voices, including my own, that have tried to sketch out the ways the Church needs to be reformed, but if we were able ecclesially to receive Jesus' clear input - not just our inferences based on what he has said to us already through the living word of sacred Scripture, but the Divine Physician's diagnosis of the problem and prescription for healing for the Church's present wounds - what might he say?

I think the answer to that question may have been sketched out through credible private revelations given to an anonymous Benedictine priest from Oct. 3, 2007, through June 2, 2016, found in the book recently published by Angelico Press entitled, In Sinu Iesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart - The Journal of a Priest at Prayer.

The words In Sinu Iesu come from the Latin Vulgate of how St. John reclined during the Last Supper, 'on Jesus' breast' (John 13:23). This priest's journal, in which he humbly and plausibly claims to have regularly heard Jesus and Mary speaking to him, reminds us that Jesus desires to have an intimate heart-to-heart relationship with all of his beloved disciples, but especially with his priests.

Throughout its 308 pages, Jesus and Mary - and also on rarer occasions God the Father and a few saints - cover many fundamental aspects of the Christian spiritual life in such a profound, direct and moving way that it's the most compelling text of spiritual reading besides sacred Scripture that I've read in years.

What I'd like to focus on, however, is what Jesus communicates to his interlocutor about the roots of the priestly scandals and what God is asking the clergy and all the faithful to do in response.

'All of heaven weeps over the sins of my priests,' Jesus states, which are a 'grievous affront to my own priesthood,' adding, 'Every time a priest sins, he sins directly against me and against the most Holy Eucharist toward which his whole being is ordered. When a priest approaches my altar laden with sins that have not been confessed or for which he has not repented, my angels look on with horror, my mother grieves, and I am again wounded in my hands and my feet and in my heart.'

Would we expect any less?

Jesus' desire, however, is not to condemn but to convert:

'I am about to renew the priesthood of my Church in holiness. I am very close to cleansing my priests of the impurities that defile them. Soon, very soon, I will pour out graces of spiritual healing upon all my priests. I will separate those who will accept the gift of my divine friendship from those who will harden their hearts against me.' He emphasizes about the latter what we now all know: 'Those who do not live in my friendship betray me and impede my work. They detract from the beauty of holiness that I would see shine in my Church.'

The root of priestly sins, Jesus says, is the 'loneliness' that comes from a lack of friendship with him. Jesus desires to be the friend each priest needs, 'the Friend with whom they can share everything, the Friend to whom they can tell everything, the Friend who will weep over their sins without, for a moment, ceasing to love them.'

He laments, 'If priests lived in my friendship, how different my Church would be! … Many of the sufferings and hardships experienced with my Church at the hands of her ministers, my priests, would not exist.'

The lack of 'experiential knowledge of my friendship and love,' Jesus continues, 'is the root of the evil that eats away at the priesthood from within.'

This lack of friendship, he says, is seen in the 'coldness and indifference' with which priests approach Jesus in the Eucharist.

'There are priests who go into my church only when they have a function to perform.' They receive little from their daily Communion 'because they expect so little.' He adds sorrowfully, 'Even after two thousand years of Eucharistic presence in my Church, I remain unknown, forgotten, forsaken, and treated like a thing to be kept here or there.'

Priests, moreover, 'keep themselves apart from me. Their lives are compartmentalized. They treat with me only when duty obliges them to do so.' And because of loneliness, they look for love 'in other places and in creatures unworthy of the undivided love of their consecrated hearts,' as they try to 'fill the emptiness within with vain pursuits, with lust, with possessions, with food and drink.'

What's the remedy?

'The sins of my priests call for reparation,' Jesus declares. The particular reparation he implores is Eucharistic adoration. 'The renewal of my priesthood in the Church will proceed from a great return to the adoration of my real presence in this the Sacrament of my love. … This is the remedy for the evil that has so disfigured my holy priesthood in the Church.' He underlines, 'I want priest adorers and reparators, priests who will adore for priests who do not adore, priests who will make reparation for priests who do not make reparation for themselves or for others.'

He says that priests 'will be renewed in holiness and purity when they begin to seek me out in the Sacrament of my love,' meaning the Eucharist.

Time with Christ in prayerful adoration will develop that friendship that is the source of true priestly life.

'The secret of priestly holiness,' Jesus states, is 'a life of friendship with me, a 'yes' renewed each day to the gift of divine friendship that I offer each priest.' This is where priests learn to identify 'with all my interests, with all my sorrows, with all that offends me, and … with my burning zeal for the glory of my Father and for the holiness of all my people.' He adds, 'All the rest is secondary.'

To enter into friendship with Jesus means to enter, he notes, into a 'privileged and sweet relationship with my Mother,' imitating the relationship both St. Joseph and St. John had with her. 'The great renewal of the priesthood in my Church will begin when priests understand that I want them to live in the company of my Immaculate Mother.' He wants us to each pray the Rosary and the Ave Maria Stella and to entrust our lives and needs to her, both big and small.

The reform also involves, he says, embracing the purifying fire of love of the Holy Spirit in very practical ways:

'I will pour out the Holy Spirit upon all priests in the form of a purifying fire. Those who welcome that fire will emerge from it like gold from the furnace, shining with holiness and with a wonderful purity for all to see. Those who refuse my fire will be consumed by it.'

Living by the fire of the Holy Spirit means demanding that priests strive for holiness.

'There has never been in all of history a single priest whom I have not destined for a great holiness,' Jesus says. 'A holy priest is quite simply one who allows me to live in him,' and for this reason, 'I offer them my presence in the Eucharist. Yes, this is the great secret of priestly holiness.' So many of the problems in the clergy and in the Church have come from priests' lowering the bar for themselves and everyone else.

To grow in holiness, Jesus says he wants priests to 'go to confession weekly,' to meditate each Thursday on Chapters 13-17 of the Gospel of St. John, preferably together with adoration, and to grow in the exercise of spiritual fatherhood based on trust in God's fatherhood.

'The fatherhood of the priest is a grace that I shall renew in the Church now,' because the Church 'suffers in that so many priests do not know how to live the grace of their fatherhood,' abandoning souls to 'live like spiritual orphans.' Jesus says to his Benedictine dialogue partner and through him to all priests, 'Be a father.'

Finally, Jesus encourages the prayer of what he calls the 'Chaplet of Reparation' or the 'Offering of the Precious Blood for Priests.' Like the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, it is prayed on ordinary rosary beads. On the Our Father beads, we say, 'Eternal Father, I offer you the Precious Blood of your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb without blemish or spot, in reparation for my sins and for the sins of all your priests'; on the 10 Hail Mary beads, pray: 'By your Precious Blood, O Jesus, purify and sanctify your priests'; and at the end of each decade, the prayer is: 'O Father, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named, have mercy on all your priests and wash them in the Blood of the Lamb.'

What a beautiful prayer to say for the renewal of the clergy!

What I've shared are just a few coins of the enormous treasure contained in In Sinu Iesu. I urge you to buy this book and prayerfully read it. I encourage you to purchase a copy for the priests of your parish and the bishop of your diocese.

And I exhort you to pick up copies for your friends and family members who don't know how to respond to the scandals the Church is enduring. It will bring you and them into the heart-to-heart conversation with Jesus that is at the root of the renewal the Church urgently needs.

[Father Roger Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts].

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Comment from the internet


The first and second secrets of Fatima

Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon








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A Church drowning in sentimentalism

DR. SAMUEL GREGG writes for the Catholic World Report : 'Whenever I teach graduate seminars, I lay down one rule for the participants. While they're free to say what they think, they cannot start any sentence with the words 'I feel . . .' or ask a question which begins 'Don't you feel . . .?' Quizzical expressions immediately appear on some students' faces. Then I inform them I couldn't care less what they feel about the subject-matter.

At that point, there's at least one gasp of astonishment. But before anyone can even think 'trigger,' I say, 'Perhaps you're wondering why I'm not interested in your feelings about our topic. Well, I want to know what you think about the subject. We're not here to emote to each other. We're here to reason critically together.'

The puzzled looks disappear. Students, it turns out, grasp that reasoned discussion can't be about a mutual venting of feelings. And that's as true for the Church as for graduates.

Catholicism has always attached high value to reason. By reason, I don't just mean the sciences which give us access to nature's secrets. I also mean the reason that enables us to know how to use this information rightly; the principles of logic which tell us that 2 times 2 can never equal 5; our unique capacity to know moral truth; and the rationality which helps us understand and explain Revelation.

Such is Catholicism's regard for reason that this emphasis has occasionally collapsed into hyper-rationalism, such as the type which Thomas More and John Fisher thought characterized much scholastic theology in the twenty years preceding the Reformation. Hyper-rationalism isn't, however, the problem facing Christianity in Western countries today. We face the opposite challenge. I'll call it Affectus per solam.

'By Feelings Alone' captures much of the present atmosphere within the Church throughout the West. It impacts how some Catholics view not only the world but the faith itself. At the core of this widespread sentimentalism is an exaltation of strongly-felt feelings, a deprecation of reason, and the subsequent infantilization of Christian faith.

So what are symptoms of Affectus per solam? One is the widespread use of language in everyday preaching and teaching that's more characteristic of therapy than words used by Christ and his Apostles. Words like 'sin' thus fade and are replaced by 'pains, regrets' or 'sad mistakes.'

Sentimentalism likewise rears its head whenever those who offer reasoned defenses of Catholic sexual or medical ethics are told that their positions are 'hurtful' or 'judgmental.' Truth, it seems, shouldn't be articulated, even gently, if it might hurt someone's feelings. If that was true, Jesus should have refrained from telling the Samaritan woman the facts about her marital history.

Affectus per solam also blinds us to the truth that there is-as affirmed by Christ Himself-a place called Hell for those who die unrepentant. Sentimentalism simply avoids the subject. Hell isn't a topic to be taken lightly, but ask yourself this question: When was the last time you heard the possibility that any of us could end up eternally separated from God mentioned at Mass?

Above all, sentimentalism reveals itself in certain presentations of Jesus Christ. The Christ whose hard teachings shocked his own followers and who refused any concession to sin whenever he spoke of love somehow collapses into a pleasant liberal rabbi. This harmless Jesus never dares us to transform our lives by embracing the completeness of truth. Instead he recycles bromides like 'everyone has their own truth, do whatever feels best, be true to yourself, embrace your story, who am I to judge,' etc. And never fear: this Jesus guarantees heaven, or whatever, for everyone.

That isn't, however, the Christ revealed in the Scriptures. As Joseph Ratzinger wrote in his 1991 book To Look on Christ:

A Jesus who agrees with everything and everyone, a Jesus without his holy wrath, without the harshness of truth and true love is not the real Jesus as the Scripture shows but a miserable caricature. A conception of 'gospel' in which the seriousness of God's wrath is absent has nothing to do with the biblical Gospel.

The word 'seriousness' is important here. The sentimentalism infecting much of the Church is all about diminishing the gravity and clarity of Christian faith. That's especially true regarding the salvation of souls. The God fully revealed in Christ is merciful but he's also just and clear in his expectations of us because he takes us seriously. Woe to us if we don't return the compliment.

So how did much of the Church end up sinking into a morass of sentimentalism? Here's three primary causes.

First, the Western world is drowning in sentimentalism. Like everyone else, Catholics are susceptible to the culture in which we live. If you want proof of Western Affectus per solam, just turn on your web-browser. You'll soon notice the sheer emotivism pervading popular culture, media, politics, and universities. In this world, morality is about your commitment to particular causes. What matters is how 'passionate' (note the language) you are about your commitment, and the cause's degree of political correctness-not whether the cause itself is reasonable to support.

Second, let's consider how faith is understood by many Catholics today. For many, it appears to be a 'feeling faith.' By that, I mean that Christian faith's significance is judged primarily in terms of feeling what it does for me, my well-being, and my concerns. But guess what? Me, myself, and I aren't the focus of Catholic faith.

Catholicism is, after all, a historical faith. It involves us deciding that we trust those who witnessed to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who transmitted what they saw via written texts and unwritten traditions, and who, we've concluded, told the truth about what they saw. That includes the miracles and Resurrection attesting to Christ's Divinity. Catholicism doesn't view these as 'stories.' To be a Catholic is to affirm that they really happened and that Christ instituted a Church whose responsibility is to preach this to the ends of the earth.

Catholic faith can't therefore be about me and my feelings. It's about capital-T Truth. Human fulfilment and salvation consequently involves freely and constantly choosing to conform myself to that Truth. It's not about subordinating the Truth to my emotions. In fact, if Catholicism isn't about the Truth, what's the point?

Third, sentimentalism's pervasiveness in the Church owes something to efforts to downgrade and distort natural law since Vatican II. Natural law reflection was in mixed shape throughout the Catholic world in the decades leading up to the 1960s. But it suffered an eclipse in much of the Church afterwards. That's partly because natural law was integral to Humanae Vitae's teaching. Many theologians subsequently decided that anything underpinning Humanae Vitae had to be emptied of substantive content.

While natural law reasoning recovered in parts of the Church from the 1980s onwards, we're paid a price for natural law's marginalization. And the price is this: once you relegate reason to the periphery of religious faith, you start imagining that faith is somehow independent of reason; or that faith is somehow inherently hostile to reason; or that your religious convictions don't require explanation to others. The end-result is decreasing concern for the reasonableness of faith. That's a sure way to end up in the swamp of sentimentalism.

Other reasons for sentimentalism's traction in today's Church could be mentioned: the disappearance of logic from educational curricula, excessive deference to (bad) psychology and (bad) sociology by some clerics formed in the 1970s, inclinations to view the Holy Spirit's workings as something that could contradict Christ's teachings, syrupy self-referential Disney-like liturgies, etc. It's a long list.

The solution isn't to downgrade the importance of emotions like love and joy or anger and fear for people. We aren't robots. Feelings are central aspects of our nature. Instead, human emotions need to be integrated into a coherent account of Christian faith, human reason, human action, and human flourishing-something undertaken with great skill by past figures like Aquinas and contemporary thinkers such as the late Servais Pinckaers. Then we need to live our lives accordingly.

Escaping Affectus per solam won't be easy. It's simply part of the air we breathe in the West. Moreover, some of those most responsible today for forming people in the Catholic faith seem highly susceptible to sentimentalist ways. But unless we name and contest the unbridled emotivism presently compromising the Church's witness to the Truth, we risk resigning ourselves to mere NGO-ism for the near future.

That is to say, to true irrelevance.

[Dr. Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He is the author of many books, including Becoming Europe (2013) and For God and Profit: How Banking and Finance Can Serve the Common Good (2016)]

[CWR] 2255.22




















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Uncomfortable Lessons: How I learned the difference between 'conservative' and Traditional, the hard way

HILARY WHITE writes for The Remnant :'There are times I feel like Charlie Brown being convinced by Lucy to take just one more run at the football.

Every now and then, perhaps in some kind of seasonal cycle, I experience one of my little episodes, these periodic fits where I begin to think that perhaps there could be a monastery of nuns out there who, while they have the Bugninified liturgy have also somehow retained the holy Faith and the essence of their charism. These painful attacks happen fairly regularly, and every time it happens I sit down at the computer and start searching for That Monastery[1]. And nearly every time, I find it. I find a place where there are the Benedictine habits and Chant, beautiful, prayerful surroundings and at which the traditions of the ancient monastic life are maintained. At least, on the website.

And, still in the throes of my glowy optimism, I sometimes email them and ask to come and make a check-it-out visit. And every time I try this, I discover that I was right the first time; you can't be Catholic - at least, not too Catholic - in NuChurch. Quite apart from the question of how much Novusordoism you can stand, being the kind of Catholic you are likely to become if you have already learned of the inadequacies of the Bugnini liturgy - and all that usually goes with that - makes you the kind of Catholic they don't want.

And who can blame them? Who wants to have a settled and comfortable monastic life invaded by someone whom you know fine well thinks you're compromised, no matter how polite she may be? How much fun could it be to have your lovely new 'chants' - written specially for the community in 1972 by a good priest friend of the abbess - disdained as an unsingable novelty by some annoying interloper? How many times will you put up with being asked, 'What time is Prime?' before getting a bit fed up?

In fact, starting all the way back in 2001 it was this process of visiting 'conservative' nunneries in the US that first made me start to realise that there was something going on that wasn't part of the narrative I'd learned. When I finally learned the terms, I started to see that there was something much more serious separating 'conservatives[2]' from Traditionalists than mere differences in stylistic preference.

The time I visited the Visitation monastery in Ottawa (since closed for lack of vocations). Full habits! I thought. A beautiful monastery in the French Visitation architectural tradition! I thought. Grilles! I thought. Even a little bit of Chant! I thought. Being presented with 'some retreat material' authored by some of the most notorious heretics in the Church, telling me that the 'historical Jesus' had never intended to found a Church at all. Watching the nuns standing and sticking their hands through the grille to receive Holy Communion. And finally, being sent off at the end with a hug and a cheery benediction: 'I hope we didn't shock you too much.' It didn't seem polite to say, 'Yes, you did.'

The time I attended a vocation retreat of some teaching sisters in the US, famous as leaders in the 'conservative revival' of the late Fr. John Hardon. Being ushered into a conference where the most notorious heretics in the Church were praised as visionaries and the 'real force behind the Council.[3]' Hearing from a priest they brought in to hear confessions that because John Paul II was the pope, and therefore personally chosen by the Holy Spirit, he couldn't possibly ever be wrong about anything, ever. Getting right back on the bus back to Toronto inside 24 hours.

The time I attended the Institute on Religious Life conference at Mundelein in Chicago and sitting in a little huddle at lunch with a tiny group of Trads, all wondering what we were doing there, and explaining to Avery Cardinal Dulles that yes, we all attended the Traditional Rite. Yes, the one with the Prologue of John's Gospel at the end. No, none of us really wanted to be lectors or 'Eucharistic ministers,' thanks. Yes, we were all perfectly comfortable with our level of 'active participation' by praying and listening… He didn't seem to be able to come to grips with it, and neither did any of the 'conservative' CMSWR sisters[4] I met there.

Nor did the Franciscan Friars of the Primitive Observance to whom I turned then for advice. These are the ones who broke away from the Franciscans of the Renewal so they could live the original 1221 Rule of St. Francis and not wear shoes. I liked them. And they had a community of sisters forming, so I went to visit and I liked them too. I was on board with getting up at four am, sitting on the floor and praying a lot and not wearing shoes[5].

At a 'Youth 2000' retreat[6] they gave conferences in which we heard that we are all called to greater 'authenticity' in the practice of Catholicism in the face of growing hostility of the world. I liked this too. I was on board! I wanted authenticity. I wanted a 'path to a radical, transformative life in Christ'. I also told them I wanted the Divine Office in Gregorian Chant and the Mass as it had been in the time of St. Francis too. I mean, why not ask for everything, right? I was told I'd better go be a Benedictine somewhere. Somewhere else, that is.

So then there was that last time, in 2004, when I went to visit a Benedictine monastery where the Chant was all Gregorian and the Mass was all Latin. There it all was; habits, grilles, Chant, Latin, and the Benedictine life lived according to (most of) the Rule of St. Benedict. It looked like paradise on earth to me. I visited several times. I told them I wanted to join and they let me apply. They also let me give notice at my job and my apartment.

And then, while on a Christmas retreat, making the mistake of asking, in complete innocence of the political landmine I was stepping on, 'If you've got the traditional Benedictine Divine Office and the Novus Ordo Mass entirely in Latin, and your chaplain is from Clear Creek, why not just have the traditional Mass as well?' Following this, being told, a few weeks before I was going to enter, 'We don't think you have a vocation.'

And then giving up and becoming quite depressed. And talking about it all to my friends, one of whom was a priest of the SSPX and having him say, 'Well, I don't want to make you feel worse, but I think these difficult experiences should be teaching you something…' And getting on the internet to find out what that was.

Since then I've learned quite a few things, very few of them cheerful. Then I left Canada and moved back to Britain where I learned a great many other non-cheerful things, and then a year later went on to Rome for the last four interesting years of Benedict's reign… And so on, and that which followeth…

One of the things I've learned is that my own desire for contemplative life isn't going away. But at the same time the knowledge grows that it is impossible to fulfill this aspiration in any established community that adheres to what we are now officially calling the New Paradigm. Twice more I've given in to the promptings of the vocational fit, and both times I've learned the lesson again.

Most recently it struck a couple of weeks ago and I visited a monastery of Benedictines who sing the Divine Office partly in Italian and partly in Latin using the Chant. They just moved a few years ago into a beautiful place, built in the 16th century, a couple of hours north of where I live and told me that there was no upper age limit.

I can understand wanting to have the text of the Psalms in a language people can read and meditate on with ease. Their hymns, antiphons and other repeated parts of the Office were mostly in Latin, as were the propers at their Mass. And the Mass was ad orientem, there being no 'people's altar'[7] in this old Tuscan church.

As always, it looked good on paper. But bad signs abounded: the foremost being sisters all lining up and receiving Holy Communion in their hands. They seemed to keep no enclosure at all, inviting not only me but a lay couple in to have lunch in their refectory; signs reading 'clausura' seemed to mean nothing to anyone.

Silence was also absent, with only one meal of four being conducted in the Benedictine manner, in silence with a table reading. All others were accompanied by loud chatter from the four sisters and a somewhat embarrassed and disapproving silence from the two young (South American) postulants. The chatter moreover, especially boisterous in the presence of the lay couple, was about nothing religious, nothing meaningful; it was small talk. It seemed rather forced, as though they had something to prove and felt somehow obliged to talk about nothing serious in order to prove it. it seemed that questions about following the Rule more closely in general would also be thought silly and pointless. All that was something they were well out of, a burden they were relieved was no longer required.

What was really missing? Awareness, and seriousness. The oddness of the liturgy might be possible to overlook, but the total lack of consciousness of anything like a crisis made it clear there was no common ground. There was certainly no sign of awareness of a need to revive or restore anything. They are, like nearly all the monastic world, New Paradigmists, for whom this or that traditional Catholic artefact is kept as a kind of decorative trinket, an aberration, tolerated because of a general agreement on the lack of seriousness of the monastic life itself. Comparing them to what I knew of Benedictines elsewhere, it seemed more like 'playing nuns' than anything more serious. I wondered why they were bothering.

And that is, by extension, what Traditionalists are always, always going to find when we try to play along politely with the New Paradigm. The New Paradigm is about not taking the Faith very seriously. It's about reducing the patrimony to stylistic preferences, a personal taste for guitars or Chant, habits or polyester pant suits. It's about being officially in monastic life but not bothering very much about doing monastic things. It's about having the Benedictine habit but not the conversatio mores… the externals drained of their purpose. It's about preferring lesser things while rejecting greater things. About having even great and ancient things, like the 1221 Rule of St. Francis, but flinching away in disgust from the great and ancient Mass that St. Francis loved.

And it's about telling married couples that their marriage is probably technically invalid anyway, and that getting divorced and 'married' to someone else is not that big a deal in the eyes of the Lord. It's about telling Catholics not to bother to strive for perfection because 'heroism isn't for average Christians.' It's about rewriting Holy Scripture to make Jesus Christ less 'rigid' about things modern people don't like. About excising the very words of Christ on the 'first and greatest commandment' to invert reality itself, to elevate love of neighbour over the primacy of the love of God; in fact, and in the fine old Stalinist tradition, to photoshop the love of God entirely out of the picture as though it had never been there.

In 2001 I set out on a path to discover that not only was there no 'conservative' revival of religious life happening in the Church, but that the category itself was a fiction. It took a while longer to get to the conclusion that there were, in reality, two entirely different religions functioning in the institutions of the Church. And they are not living together in happy harmony. I'm still working out the details of how to understand the proposal, 'It's a different religion,' but the truth of what is now being called the New Paradigm has become very difficult to deny, reconfirmed every time I submit to the vocational fit and go to look at its fruits up close.

Next up: We can't walk away, so what are we going to do about it?

Stay tuned…


[1] I happen to know that internet 'nun-gazing' is a bit of a hobby for many of us. Pretty sure some of the creators of nun websites know this.

[2] What is called 'conservative Catholicism' in the United States is a movement more or less unknown anywhere else. It is a product of a political alliance in the 1980s between Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals to fight the abortion laws and that developed later into the broader 'Culture Wars'. It was boosted by a similar alliance - or at least the appearance of one - between Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. By 1991, when the Berlin Wall came down and Soviet-supported communist regimes in Eastern Europe fell, the alliance had more or less begun to dissolve, leaving in its wake in the Church an entrenched political position mainly based on the 'conservative' opposition to abortion, dividing up bishops on this or that side of the line on this or related issues. None of this happened anywhere else. Therefore the division of the Church into the three parties that Americans think is normal exists only in the US, with some spillover into Canada: a 'liberal' majority, a 'conservative' minority and a tiny fraction of Traditionalists refusing to stop talking about the inadequacies of both - and thereby annoying everyone. Everywhere else, there is the vast Catholic establishment run by the likes of Cardinal Marx, and a tiny completely insignificant, mostly-ignored but sometimes heavily persecuted little fraction of a fraction of Trads, hiding in the hills. Outside North America the 'conservative middle ground' game is not much played.

[3] Chenu. De Lubac. Rahner. And indeed, they were.

[4] CMSWR, the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious, founded by Fr. Hardon, was intended as an 'orthodox conservative' alternative to the neopagan wackadoodles in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. That whole thing is a blog post for another day, but it became one of the red flags that taught me things weren't really as rosy as the 'conservative' Catholic leadership wanted us to believe. Until I came to Rome I was never able to wrap my head around there being two implaccably opposed American associations of religious equally recognised by Rome. And I never understood why 'the Vatican' didn't do something to reign in LCWR whose excesses seemed to grow with each year their membership came nearer to extinction. Then, as I said, I came to Rome and it all became clear.

[5] Things have developed a lot for these sisters since that long-ago day. They've found a permanent home and elected to become cloistered in the manner of traditional Poor Clares. I still like them a lot, and they seem like the sort who wouldn't be too averse, should it be put to them in the right way, to adopting the traditional rites. Maybe.

[6] This is a thing I first encountered at World Youth Day, 2002, where they get a big room, a gymnasium in this case, and build a kind of wooden pyramid structure in the middle, put a big monstrance on top and floor cushions all around, and the kids come and pray. And there's a band. This is to aid meditation. I liked the praying part. Could do without the band. But I was impressed with the kids. We were all sort of camping at this school, and I had thought I'd like to get some adoration time in by myself, so set my watch for 2 am. When I got down to the big adoration chamber there were at least fifteen kids already there, two of the sisters and two priests hearing confessions. I'll never be among those who completely condemns these sorts of things. There were real conversions happening. Obviously there are better ways to do it, but that was really Christ in that monstrance, and those were teenagers praying to Him.

[7] The visiting priest, however, took it upon himself to correct this oversight by turning around to say the formula of consecration, while holding the Host up and smiling at everyone while he waved it back and forth. I was open-mouthed with astonishment. I've never seen anyone do anything like this before, and sincerely hope never to see it again.

[Remnant] 2255.23


















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The scandal of the modern Catholic funeral

PETER KWASNIEWSKI writes for LifeSiteNews – Once upon a time, a very important person in my life died. I attended the funeral. It was a Novus Ordo canonization ceremony, conducted by a priest and three women in skirt-suits ministering in the sanctuary. Everyone at the funeral was dressed in black—except for the priest, who was wearing white. The disjunct was glaring and tasteless. The contrast between the deep human instinct of mourning, which can be said to be an ineradicable part of the sensus fidelium, and the crackpot liturgical reformers who introduced white as a color for Masses for the dead, was never so obvious to me.

The day before, however, my family and I had gone to a traditional Requiem Mass, sung by a priest friend. The contrast was not just profound, but shocking. Between that day