This edition of CF NEWS No.2266 posted at 12.57 pm on Sunday, February 2nd, 2019.



Vatican watch

Pope Francis's calculated contradictions read more >>>
Cardinal Burke interview
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China supplement

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News from around the world

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CANADA Muslim leader says Christian belief offends him
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IRELAND Pro-choice politician denied Holy Communion
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PANAMA World Youth Day
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USA Abortion in the Big Apple
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USA Trump blasts Virginia Democrats for defending infanticide  VIDEO   read more >>>
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INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
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INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
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INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
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Trust in God's loving care read more >>>


Rome Life Forum read more >>>


Biography of Bugnini paints a startling picture   read more >>>


Pope Francis slams Catholic media for 'cruelty 'read more >>>
The BBC once promoted a Christian worldview; today a very different philosophy read more

Comment from the internet

Should pro-abort politicians be excommunicated?  VIDEO  ead more >>>
Saving the Social Teaching from Caricature
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Our Catholic Heritage

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B R E A K I N G   N E W S

By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch




Pope Francis's calculated contradictions

RICCARDO CASCIOLI writes - The press conference of Pope Francis on the flight back from Panama has, as always, provided all sorts of interesting ideas. Always remembering that we are dealing not with magisterial statements, but with personal opinions that are thus able to be questioned, nevertheless, they hold great weight, if only because of the fact that these judgments given by the pope are destined to orient Catholic public opinion and to create perceptions about the Church among those who are not Catholic. His statements are also worthy of discussion because on the one hand, they furnish us with an indication of the method the pope uses in his reasoning, while on the other hand, they offer us an indication of the pastoral choices which he is making or intends to make.

The principal thing that jumps out from this interview is the pope’s contradictory way of expressing himself, the way in which he affirms something but also its opposite, so that every individual person can take away from his discourses whatever pleases him. A perfect example is the response he gave in this conference regarding priestly celibacy. In the first part of his remarks, he defended with sword drawn the “gift” of celibacy and its perennial validity, which he says he does not intend to put into discussion, not even in the distant future. But then look at how he makes an exception: “There would only remain some possibility of it in far-off places, I am thinking of islands in the Pacific Ocean, it is something to consider when there is a pastoral necessity.” Which is to say: If there is a shortage of priests and the Eucharist can only be rarely distributed, then it’s okay. And thus we understand why certain news agencies ran headlines about this press conference saying, “Pope Says Celibacy Cannot Be Changed” while others said “Pope Says He Is Open To Married Priests.” From his discourse, each one can take the part which is most convenient for him.

In reality, going more to the roots of his response, it’s clear that we are always in the midst of the method of “initiating processes,” which is so dear to him. It always begins with exceptions: the far-off places, priests who visit their communities only once a year (but this is not a new problem, yet previous popes never considered the possibility of married priests), then the exceptions rapidly become the rule. After all, the German bishops have already started down this road, and the theme of “viri probati” will hold the bench at the Synod on the Amazon this coming October.

The pope also threw into the discussion the theses of a certain Fr. Fritz Lobinger regarding a form of “reduced” priesthood for married men, giving the impression of having an extemporaneous idea, not really thought through, as if to say this is one among many hypotheses which can be considered. What a lie! In fact, this is a path that has been carefully planned for a long time: Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Bishops and one of the closest collaborators of the pope, said in November 2017, referring to the theme of married priests, that Pope Francis had recommended to the German bishops during their ad limina visits in 2015 that they should read the works of Fr. Lobinger. Thus, it appears clear where they want to go with this battle.

Another example of this style of wavering is the pope’s words regarding migrants. The theme of hospitality, of open borders, of welcoming all, has been hammered over and over throughout this pontificate, to the point that the most fanatical fans of Pope Francis have begun to call for excommunication for those who even try to suggest putting a curb on illegal immigration. But yesterday, and to tell the truth not for the first time, the pope made a much more moderate and articulate statement and concluded it by supporting the concept of “let’s help them at their own house” – words that would seem to be plausible in the mouth of [anti-immigration right-wing Italian deputy prime minister] Matteo Salvini. And once again, each person can take from the discourses of the pope whatever pleases him.

Even in this case, however, the real process the pope has initiated ought to be understood from the collective total of all of his discourses and from the mechanisms he has placed in motion: in the face of any rule that every so often tries to stand in the way of the principle of welcoming all, there is a massive dose of interventions and gestures that support the abolition of national borders. And there are even bishops – as we also saw – who have become true and proper fanatics.

At any rate, the way in which Francis proposes his thought inevitably creates confusion, frustration, and division, and this is seen from the way in which observers and so many of the faithful fight with each other as a result of statements of the pope that contradict each other.

[This article originally appeared in Italian at La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. It is translated here for OnePeterfive by Giuseppe Pellegrino with permission from the author]

'We must provide sex education in schools'

DIANE MONTAGNA reports from Rome for ifeSiteNews that 'during the inflight press conference on his return to Rome from World Youth Day on Sunday, a Panamanian reporter asked the Pope his views on sex education, particularly in light of rising out-of-wedlock pregnancy rates in Central and Latin America. The reporter noted that critics of the Catholic Church blame the Church for the problem, 'because it opposes sex education.'

'I believe that we must provide sex education in schools,' Pope Francis responded to the reporter. 'Sex is a gift from God, it is not a monster, it is a gift from God, in order to love.'

The fact that people use sex education for profit or 'to exploit' others is a separate problem, he added. 'But we need to offer an objective sexual education, as it is, without ideological colonization.' If lessons on human sexuality schools are 'soaked with ideological colonization, you destroy the person,' he said.

The Pope continued, saying he believes children ought to be taught that 'sex is a gift from God, but not with rigidity,' since education is about bringing out the best in people and 'accompany[ing] them along the way.'

He said the problem lies with 'those who are responsible for education, whether at the national or local level,' e.g. what teachers and textbooks are chosen for this task.

'I have seen some books that are somewhat dirty,' he told journalists aboard the papal plane. 'I have seen all types [of books]. There are things that [help people to] mature and things that do harm.'

It's difficult to know what Pope Francis means by 'objective' lessons in human sexuality, as one need look no further than the Vatican's former Pontifical Council for the Family (now incorporated into the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life) to find a sex-ed program criticized by life and family leaders as 'thoroughly immoral' and 'entirely inappropriate.'

Two years ago, ahead of the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland, and under the direction of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the council released a sex-ed program for teens which included sexually explicit images, recommended sexually explicit movies as a springboard for discussion among mixed classes (boys and girls) ages 14-17, but left out any mention of mortal sin or the sixth and ninth commandments.

On the subject of sex-ed in Panama, the Pope said he didn't want to enter into local politics but reiterated: 'we need to have sex education for children.'

Not specifying at what age such education should begin, the Pope said 'the ideal' is 'to begin at home, with the parents.' But he added that this is 'not always possible,' either because of the family situation, or because parents 'don't know how' to teach their children about human sexuality.

'The school makes up for this,' he said, adding that if sex education is not provided the 'void' will be 'filled by any ideology.'

This is not the first time Pope Francis has spoken about the role of schools in providing sex education for children. A section in Chapter 7 of his apostolic exhortation on love in the family, Amoris Laetitia, was dedicated to 'the need for sex education.' Yet there is no mention in the section of parental rights, but only of the need for 'educational institutions' to 'provide a positive and prudent sex education.'

In his comments during the inflight press conference, the Pope also did not mention what role local parishes might play in educating parents so that they can form their children according to the Catholic vision of human sexuality.

Pope Francis's predecessors had a great deal to say both about human sexuality and about the role of parents in forming their children.

In his letter on the Christian family in the modern world, Familiaris Consortio, Pope St. John Paul said that parents are called to give their children a 'clear and delicate sex education' that is 'truly and fully personal.'

John Paul II also insisted on the fundamental right and duty of parents as the primary educators of their children. In Familiaris Consortio n. 37, he wrote:

'Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents.'

He also insisted that 'education for chastity is absolutely essential' to forming young people and children, since it is 'a virtue that develops a person's authentic maturity and makes him or her capable of respecting and fostering the 'nuptial meaning' of the body.'

'Christian parents,' he said, should form their sons and daughters in a way that enables them to perceive and receive God's call for their life. With this in mind, he said parents should 'devote special attention and care to education in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.'

Writing in 1981, Pope John Paul II also reaffirmed the Church's opposition to any form of imparting sex information that is 'dissociated from moral principles.' This, he said, only opens children and young people 'to vice.'

Pope John Paul II's words to parents were prophetic. Today across the world the rights of parents are frequently trampled upon by schools, as children - even little ones - are indoctrinated in gender theory, transgenderism and 'LGBT' ideology through so-called 'sex education' classes.

Here below is a LifeSite translation of the Q&A from the inflight press conference based on transcripts currently available. It will be updated as soon as the Vatican releases the official transcript.


Cabrerà (Panama): There is a problem throughout Central America, including Panama and much of Latin America: girls get pregnant early. In Panama alone, there were ten thousand last year. Detractors of the Catholic Church blame the Church because it opposes sex education. The Catholic Church has many schools in Latin America and in universities. I would like to know the opinion of Pope Francis on sex education…

Pope Francis: I believe that we must provide sex education in schools. Sex is a gift from God, it is not a monster, it is a gift from God, in order to love. That some people use it to earn money or exploit others is another problem. But we need to offer an objective sexual education, as it is, without ideological colonization. Because if in schools you start offering sexual education soaked with ideological colonization, you destroy the person. Sex as a gift from God must be taught, not with rigidity. To educate, from 'to form,' is to make the best of the person emerge and to accompany them along the way.

The problem is with those responsible for education, whether at the national or local level as well as (...), which teachers are chosen for this task and which textbooks, etc.. I have seen some books that are somewhat dirty. I have seen all types [of books]. There are things that [help people to] mature and things that do harm.

I don't say this without putting myself in the political problem of Panama. But they need to have sex education. The ideal is to start from home, with the parents. It is not always possible because there are so many different situations in families, and because they do not know how to do it. And so the school makes up for this, because otherwise it will remain a void that will then be filled by any ideology.

The pope’s remarks about sex ed are either naïve or nefarious

DR. PETER KWASNIEWSKI comments for LifeSiteNews
- I will admit that this past six years have battle-hardened me into a capacity for hearing and processing bad news, but even so, occasionally this pope of surprises can still make my jaw nearly fall from its socket.

Either Pope Francis knows nothing about what sex education materials look like nowadays, in which case he should have kept silent on the subject, or he does know what these materials look like, in which case he is recommending the tools of sin.

It isn’t as if the Church’s Magisterium has not offered considerable guidance on this question, always laying emphasis on caution, modesty, discretion, and above all, chastity. In the 1920s, when the concept of “sex education” for married couples was first gaining ground, Pope Pius XI memorably said in his great encyclical Casti Connubii of 1930:

'[W]holesome instruction and religious training in regard to Christian marriage will be quite different from that exaggerated physiological education by means of which, in these times of ours, some reformers of married life make pretense of helping those joined in wedlock, laying much stress on these physiological matters, in which is learned rather the art of sinning in a subtle way than the virtue of living chastely. (n. 108)

More pointedly, in 1929 Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, which has been called the Magna Carta on the Christian education of youths, expressly takes up the question. Strikingly, it is as if Pius XI is responding precisely to the dangers and errors contained in his successor’s position. And that they are truly dangers and errors cannot be denied, in light of the following authoritative exposition:

65. Another very grave danger is that naturalism which nowadays invades the field of education in that most delicate matter of purity of morals. Far too common is the error of those who with dangerous assurance and under an ugly term propagate a so-called sex-education, falsely imagining they can forearm youths against the dangers of sensuality by means purely natural, such as a foolhardy initiation and precautionary instruction for all indiscriminately, even in public; and, worse still, by exposing them at an early age to the occasions, in order to accustom them, so it is argued, and as it were to harden them against such dangers.

66. Such persons grievously err in refusing to recognize the inborn weakness of human nature, and the law of which the Apostle speaks, fighting against the law of the mind; and also in ignoring the experience of facts, from which it is clear that, particularly in young people, evil practices are the effect not so much of ignorance of intellect as of weakness of a will exposed to dangerous occasions, and unsupported by the means of grace.

67. In this extremely delicate matter, if, all things considered, some private instruction is found necessary and opportune, from those who hold from God the commission to teach and who have the grace of state, every precaution must be taken. Such precautions are well known in traditional Christian education, and are adequately described by Antoniano when he says: “Such is our misery and inclination to sin, that often in the very things considered to be remedies against sin, we find occasions for and inducements to sin itself. Hence it is of the highest importance that a good father, while discussing with his son a matter so delicate, should be well on his guard and not descend to details, nor refer to the various ways in which this infernal hydra destroys with its poison so large a portion of the world; otherwise it may happen that instead of extinguishing this fire, he unwittingly stirs or kindles it in the simple and tender heart of the child. Speaking generally, during the period of childhood it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.”

Perhaps Pope Francis or one of his defenders would reply: “Aha, but that is someone speaking in 1929. Today, everything is different.” He might play once again the “novelty card” as he did in his October 11, 2017 speech against capital punishment, in which the word “new” was mentioned 16 times, as a way of driving home that the Church must teach not only what is old, but also what is new, fresh, never seen before…

Human nature does not change; the demands of virtue do not change; the harm of premature and improper exposure to sexual topics, outside of the confines of the family, remains the same; the permanent damage sins of impurity cause in souls, in friendships, in families, in society as a whole, remains ever the same. Nothing of substance has changed between 1929 and 2019. All that has changed is that our world has become ferociously promiscuous, mired in morose delectation, addicted to carnal pleasure, steeped in iniquities that weaken the will and blind the reason. All of these effects were known to the Desert Fathers of ancient Christianity, who predicted all the consequences of self-indulgence. Far from needing to be up-to-date, we would be far wiser to look back and recover their wisdom.

I’m sorry, but as a parent myself, as a friend of many good Catholic parents, and as a lifelong educator of young people, my reply is unshakably firm: “What Pope Pius XI taught in his encyclicals Casti Connubii and Divini Illius Magistri more than adequately covers the issue of ‘sex education.’ I am content with old truths that nourish, and have no need of new opinions that poison.”

[LSN] 2266.1




















Cardinal Burke interview

Cdl. BurkeCARDINAL BURKE was recently interviewed by The Wanderer.

Q. More than a month has passed since the 'Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment' (October 3-28, 2018). Please offer your critique on the outcome of the synod asreflected in the Final Report.

A. The preparation for the synod was marked by much confusion and mixed signals, not unlike that which also characterised preparation for the previous synod on the family. The impression was given that young people are asking the Church to change her teaching on the natural moral law, that her traditional language in speaking about sexual morality is out-of-date. It also called into question the Church's teaching about clerical celibacy, that young men who are called to the priesthood also receive the call to celibacy, that is, to perfect continence.

At the same time, there was a number of faithful Catholic young people who were asking the Church to teach more clearly and courageously what she has always taught about the moral law, intrinsic moral evils and sexual morality.

During the synod itself, there were some critical moments in terms of the whole homosexual agenda. Thanks be to God, the troublesome LGBT language was removed from the final report. However, other unclear language was introduced. For this reason, there must be a strenuous effort to interpret the work of the synod, so that the Church's teaching on the correct sexual relationship between a married man and woman is effectively taught and not undermined.

After the synod, there was much talk that it was really about 'synodality.' As far as I know, that notion was not even discussed by the bishops at the synod. 'Synodality' is a very fluid term, and people who talk about it usually fail to define what it means.

The word is certainly being used in a sense that is inconsistent with its traditionally intended purpose in the Latin Church. A synod - whether on a diocesan, provincial or national level - has always been understood to be a meeting to determine how to teach and apply the Church's doctrine and discipline more effectively. Synods are not to be seen as a tool for changing Church doctrine or discipline. There is much confusion that needs to be clarified.

In itself, the document is long and wordy. It is difficult to read and to decipher from it a clear idea of what is actually being taught. In my mind, there is a very serious need to interpret this document in terms of what the Church's teaching and practice has always been.

In listening to the Pope, one is given the impression that he is giving more and more authority to individual bishops and conferences of bishops. But this is not the Catholic Church. Tweet

Q. As you pointed out, the theme of 'synodality' seems to have a certain prominence in the synod's final report - even though the concept was reportedly not discussed by those who participated, at least in any depth. Can you explain exactly what is meant by 'synodality' in the context of Pope Francis' vision for the Church? Why was it emphasised in the final report for a synod on the youth? Does the thematic element of 'synodality' represent a continuity or a rupture in the development of Church doctrine?

A. It is very difficult to know exactly what Pope Francis is referring to because synodality is associated with other terms like dialogue and listening, terms which also do not have a clear meaning. In listening to the Pope, one is given the impression that he is giving more and more authority to individual bishops and conferences of bishops. But this is not the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is one throughout the whole world because it has one shepherd, the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff. He is the foundation and principle of the unity of all the bishops and of all members of the faithful. He is called to exercise his authority over the universal Church by teaching the Faith with clarity and courage and by applying the Church's discipline with firmness and consistency.

If the notion of synodality is in some way relativizing the office of the Roman Pontiff (which seemingly it is), then it certainly is not coherent with what has been understood historically to be the purpose of synods in the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, it is iniquitous because it is destroying the authority of the successor of St. Peter, of the Petrine Office.

It is absolutely a principle of rupture rather than a development of doctrine. It is presented by those who are its propagators as a revolution. They talk about synodality as if it is a revolution in the Catholic Church, something that she has never known or seen before.

I have no idea why the theme of 'synodality' would come up in a synod for the youth. However, I recall this was also talked about during the prior synod on the family. It seems to me that perhaps, playing on the word synod (which in a classical sense in the Roman Catholic Church means, in the case of the Synod of Bishops, a group of bishops that meets to help the Holy Father teach doctrine more effectively and apply its discipline more efficaciously), a more fluid concept of synodality is being introduced so as to advance what is called the revolution in the Church.

In other words, the Catholic Church, in the end, would simply represent just a denomination. As an example, the Church would not have the same teachings and disciplines with regard to the Eucharist and marriage from one nation to another. There is, as I mentioned earlier, even an attempt to call into question the universal practice of clerical celibacy. We would end up with multiplying divisions among nations and even within nations. Principles akin to those put in force by the reformers during the Protestant Revolution would come into play.

Once you admit the principle of individuals and groups determining on their own what the Church's teaching is apart from the authority of the Church's Tradition, you open the way to endless divisions. The Roman Pontiff has the principal responsibility to safeguard and foster the Church's Tradition.

Q. A recurring theme I have noticed in news reports and commentaries on the synod's final report is that it contains numerous calls for dialogue, accompaniment, listening, etc. The topic of vocation - of helping young people discern a call to the priesthood, consecrated religious life, married life or single life - seems to have been shortchanged. Is that an accurate assessment? If so, what course of action is required as a remedy?

A. Based on my discussions with young people who took part in the synod, I would say that the assessment you have given is quite accurate. These 'slogans' were not used within the context of the teaching mission of the Church, which is essential. The work of a synod is to present the Church's teaching. Certainly, we must listen to young people, but they rightly expect to be responded to with the Church's true teaching. That is precisely the part that is missing.

When we accompany someone, we want to accompany them on the road to life, in a way that leads them to Christ (as Our Blessed Mother accompanied the wine stewards at the Wedding Feast of Cana). By the way the language is used, a way that is quite popular in the Church today, one is given the impression that accompaniment means 'going along,' that you just go along with what people are doing and saying. This attitude is simply a contradiction of our call to be a Christian witness. I think it is a great pity that the essential topic of the divine vocation was not taken up in a serious way at the synod.

Q. Chapter 12 of St. Paul's letter to the Romans seems very relevant to the topic of vocations. The Apostle implores his listeners: 'Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect' (Romans 12:2). Saint Paul's letter goes on to instruct us to use the 'gifts that differ according to the grace given to us' (Romans 12:6). Please offer your reflections, based on Romans 12, on how each of us is to use God's grace to faithfully and fruitfully live out our vocation.

A. The present time is being spoken of as the time of 'the reform of the Church.' What I have witnessed so far, however, is a lot of structural changes, institutional activities and other external manifestations. But the real reform about which St. Paul is speaking is the transformation of hearts. There cannot be any real reform in the Church which is not first interior - and that is turning our hearts to Christ.

What I fear is that this emphasis on exterior reform is leading us to conform ourselves more and more to the world. It should be significant to us that the present state of the Church is seen as being very worldly. We only need to look at the confusion with respect to the life issues, issues regarding marriage and the family or even the situation regarding the agreement that has been signed with the Chinese government. The latter, in effect, is a repudiation of generations of martyrs and confessors of the Faith in China.

What the Church desperately needs right now is a clarion call for interior reform. What is urgently required is to teach more effectively the Creed, the fundamental tenets of the Faith and to call for the conversion of lives. This will be what reforms the Church. When the Church is evangelized anew, it will transform society. Instead, what has happened is the Church has accommodated herself to a worldly way of thinking - to society's approach to things. The Church has rendered herself incapable of carrying out her mission to the world.

Q. We know the Evil One is the instigator of disorder and disunity. Based on Romans 12, how are we to respond to the confusion he has sown in the Church today and remain faithful to our Lord? How are we to read the 'signs of the time' and recognize and resist the attacks of the Evil One? How are we to be 'transformed by the renewal of our mind' (Romans 12:2) and 'have the mind of Christ' (1 Cor. 2:16)?

A. The very first element of this mandate is to come to know Christ. How do we know Christ? We must read Sacred Scripture and study the teachings which Our Lord has given us faithfully through the Church throughout the centuries. These are the tools our Lord has given us, so that we can have a solid knowledge of Who He is in our lives. On the basis of this knowledge, then, we can love and serve Him.

Right now, typical of a modernist approach, it is all sentimentality, of people wanting to have 'good feelings' about how they are living and about the Church. But it is not a question about good feelings; it is a question about truth and love. We need to return to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, study it deeply and conform our lives to what it teaches. In this way, our lives will be truly transformed by Christ Himself because the knowledge of Christ is not something that is abstract. It is a knowledge of Christ that involves our very being. To know Christ is to let Him reign in our hearts, to accept Him as our Lord, the Lord of all creation and of all history.

A Strange Directive

Q. The 11th-hour announcement at the USCCB Conference in Baltimore of the Holy See's directive that abuse-related measures not be voted on was met with dismay not only by the lay faithful, but also by many of the bishops who were in attendance. What is your assessment of what transpired at the last minute?

A. First of all, this is most unusual. On one hand, the Pope says he wants to give more authority to the conferences of bishops. On the other hand, when the bishops were legitimately addressing the very scandalous problem of sexual misconduct on the part of bishops in the United States, the Pope told them they were not permitted to discuss it. So that part is very strange.

I must be clear that in terms of the discipline of these bishops, the Pope is the only one who can discipline a bishop - the bishops do not have the power to discipline one another. The Pope appoints bishops, and only he can discipline them. On the other hand, the bishops were very correct, I believe, in saying that we need to address the situation in our conference in order to assist the Holy Father in taking the action he needs to take. Simply to say this is not to be discussed seems to raise a lot of legitimate questions in people's minds about the seriousness of the Vatican to get to the bottom of the terrible scandal created by Theodore McCarrick.

It is a scandal, first of all, in that he was a man who was seemingly abusing adolescents and also young adults in homosexual relations from the time he was a parish priest. Secondly, this had to be known when he was promoted to bishop, archbishop and then even elevated to the office of a cardinal of the Church. We must get to the bottom of this; those who were responsible for the scandal have to take responsibility and certainly cannot remain in authority. They must make reparation for the great harm they have inflicted upon the Church.

Q. A plan was presented by Blase Cardinal Cupich at the Baltimore conference proposing that sexual abuse allegations against bishops should be investigated by metropolitan bishops (or senior suffragan bishops in the case of alleged sexual abuse by a metropolitan bishop). Do you view this proposal as more or less tenable than the proposal that was to be voted on, i.e., to establish an independent lay-led commission? What is your expectation of what will happen at the upcoming February summit in Rome when decisions will apparently be made?

A. First of all, I think lay experts can be very helpful in investigating situations in order to get to the truth and, indeed, that they should be employed. But the person who has to direct the investigation, when it involves a bishop, is the Roman Pontiff, who alone has authority over bishops. He can certainly ask a metropolitan archbishop to assist him. Ultimately, however, those who are involved in the investigation need to report to the Pope and it is the Pope who has to take the appropriate action.

I am not in favour of a lay-led commission in the sense that the laity would be asked to take the responsibility which is clearly that of the Roman Pontiff and which has always been so. On the other hand, I believe that the lay faithful who are well-prepared in certain aspects of these kinds of crimes should be called upon to investigate and help get to the bottom of the matter.

With regard to the meeting in February, I do not think we should have any unusual expectations. In calling together the presidents of the conferences of bishops from all over the world for four days, what are they realistically going to be able to propose? What needs to be done is for the Pope to form a commission of experts that will help him to determine how to approach the whole matter.

Q. Several bishops gave impassioned addresses at the Baltimore conference. I was especially heartened by the words of Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, when he bluntly stated: 'It's part of our Deposit of Faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral.'

Several brother bishops gave him a round of applause. Yet there seems to be an ongoing attempt to 'soften' the Church's language pertaining to same-sex relationships (for example, to change the words 'intrinsically disordered' to 'differently ordered' as they apply to homosexual behaviour in paragraph 2357 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church). In your view, what is the predominant position of the U.S. bishops on this topic?

A. Such a change of words is simply not possible - homosexual attraction and homosexual activity are disordered, not ordered. We are not made that way; God did not make us to engage in sexual relations between two people of the same sex.

I would have to think that the majority of the bishops in the United States are not in favour of this kind of thing. However, there is an element in the conference of bishops that is pushing for it very strongly. Whenever you have a big body of prelates, certain pressure groups, especially those who have power, can drive a body to take positions that many individual bishops would find objectionable. There is definitely within the hierarchy of the United States an element which is not coherent with the Church on these issues.

Prelates, for example, who promote Fr. James Martin, S.J. (who is not coherent with the Church's teaching on homosexuality) within their dioceses, are an indication to us that there is a serious difficulty within the hierarchy that must be addressed.

[Republished by CMTV with permission from The Wanderer]

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Wikileaks publishes crucial Papal letter on Order of Malta affair

EDWARD PENTIN reports for the National Catholic Register - Wikileaks has published a confidential letter confirming that Pope Francis strongly opposed the Order of Malta distributing contraceptives as part of its humanitarian work and that he wished the issue be “completely resolved.”

In the letter, dated Dec. 1, 2016, and addressed to Cardinal Raymond Burke, the patron of the Order of Malta, the Holy Father stressed that the Order “must ensure that the methods and means it uses in its initiatives and healthcare works are not contrary to the moral law.”
He added that if, “in the past, there has been a problem of this nature, I hope that it can be completely resolved.”

The Pope was referring to the findings of an investigation by the Order, published in January 2016, which documented that Malteser International, the Knight’s large humanitarian aid agency, had distributed thousands of condoms and oral contraceptives, mainly to help prevent prostitutes in the Far East and Africa from contracting HIV/AIDS, but also as a program for family planning.

This had taken place while Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager was grand chancellor (1989—2014) and ultimately responsible for the work of Malteser International. Boeselager had been made aware of the issue at least since 2013, according to the Order, but was accused of taking inadequate action — an accusation he disputed.

In his Dec. 1 letter, the Pope told Cardinal Burke he would be “very disappointed if — as you told me — some of the high Officers were aware of practices such as the distribution of any type of contraceptives and have not yet intervened to end such things.”

“I have no doubts,” the Pope continued, “that by following the principles of Paul and ‘speaking the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15), the matter can be discussed with these Officers and the necessary rectification obtained.”

The letter was written in response to an earlier, Nov. 10 private audience between the Pope and Cardinal Burke.

The Register learned at the time that Pope was “deeply disturbed” by what the cardinal told him about the contraceptive distribution. Francis had also made it clear during that meeting that he wanted Freemasonry “cleaned out” from the order, and demanded appropriate action.

Francis made an oblique reference to that in the Dec. 1 letter, writing that members of the Order “must avoid secular and frivolous behaviour, such as membership of associations, movements and organisations which are contrary to the Catholic faith or of a relativist nature.”

If any Knights are members of these groups, the Pope went on, they “should be asked to remove themselves from the Order, because their behaviour is incompatible” with the faith and membership of the Order.

Based on these strong words of the Pope, on Dec. 6, Cardinal Burke and then-Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, confronted Boeselager and ordered him to step down — an order he twice resisted, leading to him being forcibly dismissed for insubordination (unlawfully, according to Boeselager) using a disciplinary procedure.

About a week later, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, then expressed his disapproval of the dismissal, saying the Pope had asked for “dialogue” to be used and had never called for the expulsion of anyone.

Some alleged Cardinal Burke had told Boeselager that the Pope had instructed him to tell him to resign, but the cardinal firmly denied this.

Known Freemason

In a separate confidential letter to Fra’ Matthew, dated Dec. 6, 2016, and also revealed today by Wikileaks, Cardinal Burke wrote that the Pope requested “necessary vigilance” over the works of the Order, “especially the purification of a mundane spirit and of the use of methods and means contrary to the moral law.”

He asked for the grand master’s “fullest cooperation lest the Holy Father find it necessary to address directly his concerns through a visitation of the Order.”

Following the dismissal of Boeselager, the then-former grand chancellor appealed to Pope Francis leading to Cardinal Parolin forming a five-member commission of inquiry. Three of the members were linked to a mysterious $118 million fund in Geneva (as was Boeselager), and one Fra’ Matthew said was a known Freemason — according to a separate document published by Wikileaks.

The leadership of the Order resisted the commission largely on the grounds that it interfered with the Order’s sovereignty, but on Jan. 23, 2016, the Pope asked Fra’ Matthew to resign which he agreed to do immediately. All the earlier decrees dating back to Dec. 6 were annulled and Boeselager was reinstated as grand chancellor on Jan. 28. The Pope subsequently appointed Cardinal Angelo Becciu as special delegate to represent the Holy See to the Order, supplanting Cardinal Burke’s role.

Wikileaks’ publication of the Pope’s letter and other documents today has brought some clarity to the Pope’s approach at that time over the contraceptive issue — an approach that, on paper at least, was clearly allied to that of Cardinal Burke.

But many questions relating to this troubled chapter in the Order’s history remain unanswered, particularly why the Pope sided with Cardinal Parolin and Boeselager over Cardinal Burke and Fra’ Matthew, and the role the mysterious Swiss fund played in the affair.

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Sexual abuse against nuns ~ the other bomb that is about to explode

S MagisterSANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome - To judge by what Francis has written and said - most recently on the plane that brought him back from Panama to Rome - sexual abuse committed against minors by sacred ministers will be the main topic of the summit convened at the Vatican from February 21 to 24 between the pope and the presidents of the roughly 130 episcopal conferences of the world.

The risk is that of bypassing, however, that plague which statistically turns out to be prevalent among the perpetrators of abuse in Europe and in North and South America, meaning homosexual activity with the young and very young.

But that’s not all. There is still another plague over which there hangs a pall of silence. And it is that of sexual abuse committed by clergy against nuns. It is a plague that is widespread above all in Africa, according to the reports that were the first to lift the veil. But that also turns out to be present in Asia.

Now taking place in India, in fact, is the most sensational scandal of this kind. It is that which has as its protagonist Bishop Franco Mulakkal, former head of the diocese of Jullundur, in Punjab, as well as a consultant at the Vatican for the pontifical council for interreligious dialogue, who ended up in jail and is now on trial; and it has as its victim a nun of Kerala belonging to the congregation of the Missionaries of Jesus, who is alleged to have been sexually abused by the bishop - who however says he is innocent - a dozen times, between 2014 and 2016.

Curiously, it is above all in Africa and Asia that the episcopal conferences, eight years after the order received from the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, have not yet developed guidelines for handling cases of sexual abuse of minors.

One of the reasons for this inertia - as Pope Francis himself has observed - is the scanty awareness, on these continents, of the gravity and universality of the question, imagined as pertaining only to the West. And this also applies to the plague of homosexual activity.

At the same time, however, there is also a lack of awareness of the gravity of that other plague, that of sexual abuse committed by clergy against nuns. And it is a form of blindness that primarily afflicts the Churches of Africa and Asia, where the phenomenon is most widespread, but of which the Churches of the West and even the mother Church of Rome are guilty.

One must go back to the nineties to find the first systematic accusations, forwarded by nuns to the Vatican authorities. But what is more grave is that since then very little has been done not only to counter the phenomenon, but at least to bring it to light.

It must be noted that the spotlights were focused on this reality by the Catholic media.

The first to break the silence, in March of 2001, was the National Catholic Reporter, which in an extensive article by John Allen and Pamela Schaeffer made public the two accusations forwarded confidentially to the Vatican, the one signed in 1995 by physician and AIDS specialist Sister Maura O’Donohue, and the one signed in 1998 by Sister Marie McDonald, superior of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa

The latest is the French newspaper La Croix, which in an article by Constance Vilanova of last January 17 expanded with new testimonies the two chief accusations of Sister O’Donohue, concerning 23 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, and of Sister McDonald.

As the headline in La Croix states, the code of silence continues to reign supreme, both among abusers and victims and among the respective hierarchical superiors, who tend to tolerate and cover up the misdeeds of the former, and instead to blame and punish the misfortunes of the latter.

And it is a code of silence that has its roots in a plurality of factors, at the origin of the abuse:

- the idea that celibacy and chastity forbid marriage but not sexual relations;
- the fear of contracting AIDS, which makes nuns a “safer” sexual object;
- the woman’s position of subordination to the male in society and in the Church;
- a lack of esteem for female consecrated life, on the part of bishops, priests, and laity;
- the financial dependence on the diocese of many small female religious congregations;
- the material and spiritual support given by clergy to nuns in exchange for sexual services.

It even happens that the priest or bishop may force into an abortion the nun he has gotten pregnant.

Last November 23, the International Union of Superiors General released a statement in which it asks “that any woman religious who has suffered abuse, report the abuse to the leader of her congregation, and to church and civic authorities as appropriate.” But it is not a given that the nun who reports will receive help. In fact, what often happens is the opposite.

Sister Mary Lembo, from Togo, is preparing a doctoral thesis on relations between priests and nuns in Africa, at the psychology institute of the Pontifical Gregorian University, in Rome. She has thoroughly analyzed 12 cases of sexual abuse and told La Croix that the code of silence continues to reign in Africa because there the figure of the priest “is respected and at the same time feared. The victims tend to blame themselves. In cases of abuse, it is often the religious sister who ends up under accusation, it is she who has drawn the looks and the attention to herself, it is she who ends up being condemned.”

For Pope Francis, the number one cause of sexual abuse is “clericalism.”

In Europe and the Americas this is a debatable theorem, especially if applied to homosexual activity, in a general climate in which this is justified, both outside of and within the Church.

But for the sexual abuse of clergy against nuns, in Africa and Asia, the theorem seems to a large extent well-founded.

This has been spelled out by Lucetta Scaraffia - Church historian, director of “Donne Chiesa Mondo,” the monthly supplement of L’Osservatore Romano, and until last December an “editorial consultant” for the newspaper of the Holy See - in a January 12 article in El Pais:

Ignoring women, she wrote, is “causing an undervalued phenomenon, that of abuses of members of the clergy towards religious women, classified by hierarchs as romantic relationships.”

But instead of being consensual romantic relationships, they represent the imposition of a man in a position of power over a vulnerable woman. Sometimes, they are forced to endure the unwanted relationship by their own superiors, who “fear reprisals against the religious institution.”


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Jesuit scholar of Islam assesses upcoming Papal visit to UAE

Egyptian native Father Henri Boulad says the historic visit offers a ‘golden opportunity’ to address some ‘thorny issues,’ but urges Pope Francis to take a more realistic approach toward Islam.

Fr BouladPOPE FRANCIS arrives in Abu Dhabi today, Sunday, becoming the first pope in history to set foot on the Arab Peninsula. The key event of the Feb. 3-5 visit is a “Human Fraternity Meeting” of interreligious leaders aimed at prompting the values of brotherhood and peaceful dialogue.

For Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad, the visit could mark a “step forward in Christian-Muslim relations” provided the Holy Father raises “clearly sensitive issues” affecting the region.

An expert of Islam and author of nearly 30 books in 15 languages, Father Boulad told National Catholic Register Rome correspondent Edward Pentin via email Jan. 19 that he expects the Pope to call on the Arab nations to face up to their responsibilities to welcome Muslim migrants from countries such as Iraq and Syria, but he also asked that the Holy Father change his position on Islam, calling his approach “much too naive and angelic.”

In an interview with the Register in 2017, Father Boulad said Islamist terrorists were applying what their religion teaches them, but that the Church had failed to address this because she had fallen prey to a leftist ideology that is destroying the West.

A native Egyptian, Father Boulad says that for dialogue to be fruitful, “we need a common basis of values and principles on which we all agree,” and that, given the UAE’s openness, the country “could — and should — play a key role to find such a basis in order to build together a permanent peace.”

EP : Father Boulad, what is your opinion of the visit, the first by a pope to the Arab Peninsula? Is it a step forward or could it foster syncretism?

HB : This first visit of a pope to the Arab Peninsula could mark a step forward in Christian-Muslim relations, provided that Pope Francis raises clearly certain sensitive issues, such as:

• the apostasy considered by Islam as a crime punishable by death; moreover, the UAE do not recognize or authorize the teaching of any religion except Islam.

• The status of second-class citizens and submission (dhimmi) for non-Muslims raises the issue of religious freedom.

• The status of women and the issue of citizen equality should be dealt with.

• If the Emirates disassociate themselves from Islamist terrorism, we expect them to firmly condemn the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh [ISIS] and other extremist groups.

Given the immense wealth available in the UAE, we expect them to give special care for Muslim migrants that have been coming over to Europe. Their support should be in concert with the oil monarchies of the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia. Therefore, we are expecting the Pope to urge these Arab-Muslim countries to face up to their responsibilities vis-à-vis their Muslim brothers seeking to emigrate. By welcoming them, they would spare them the cultural shock of their integration into Europe. It is outrageous that these Gulf countries refuse to open their doors to Syrians and Iraqis welcomed by far-less-wealthy neighboring countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.

EP : Do you think such visits to Muslim-majority nations can be more damaging than helpful to the Church and the faith?

HB : Such visits cannot be damaging. Rather, they offer a golden opportunity to frankly address some of the thorny issues raised above, which require concrete answers. This visit could encourage the UAE to open up to a more liberal Islam. The Pope should emphasize that the Emirates are already on the right track, by their openness to Christians, to modernity and to human rights. I would highlight several recent initiatives in the Emirates, which augur the best for a new era in Christian-Muslim relations:

• Qatar finances the construction of a Maronite church in Keserwan (January 2019);

• A cathedral will be built in Bahrain;

• Abu Dhabi will see the inauguration of St. Elias Cathedral; [and]

• The only Kuwaiti priest, Father [Emmanuel] Gharib, is able to celebrate the Bible in Bedouin attire.

However, we should not lose sight of what The Observatory of Religious Freedom says about Bahrain [e.g. non-Muslim missionary activities among Muslims are not allowed; the country’s Shia majority continues to face oppression] and the UAE [e.g., Muslim citizens do not have the right to change religion. Apostasy in Islam is punishable by death].

EP : Do you think Francis has in any way improved in his interaction with Islam?

HB : Unfortunately, no. I feel that Pope Francis has hardly changed his approach to Islam in any way. His policy of the outstretched hand is always the same: that is to say, much too naive and angelic. Massive migration to Europe, mainly from Muslim countries, which he supports, shows that he loses sight of the serious societal problems that will arise: the non-integration/assimilation of Muslims in host countries, the incompatibilities of Islam with human rights, secularism, freedom and equality — not to mention the contradictions in the Pope’s statements.

On the one hand, he asks the host countries to respect the culture of immigrants, their Islamic worldview and traditions. And on the other hand, he asks Muslims to integrate and to respect the laws of the host country. It is quite difficult to reconcile these two opposite views, since Muslims consider the Sharia [law] to stand above the laws of the secular European host countries.

It is well known that Muslims have never integrated in countries invaded by them. Rather, they have forced the conquered countries to lose — often permanently — their ethnic and cultural identities, their religions, their languages and their traditions. This is a serious problem that arises more and more with political Islam in Europe. The Pope seems to ignore the history of Muslim conquests and the societal problems posed to Europe by political Islam. This endangers European identities, their traditions and their Judeo-Christian roots.

In conclusion, I would say that the Pope’s visit to the UAE could help Islam in getting out its present confrontation with the modern world. The only reasonable way is dialogue. For such a dialogue to be fruitful we need a common basis of values and principles on which we all agree. Given the openness of the UAE, they could — and should — play a key role to find such a basis in order to build together a permanent peace.

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Humanae Vitae


Helping those with same-sex attraction

DR. PHILIP SUTTON, a practicing psychologist, shares some insights with Franciscan University students in this excerpt from his talk, 'Offering Compassionate Pastoral Care to Persons with Same-Sex Attraction'.



The full talk is here



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Preserving marriage, family life


Having big families  

DR. TAYLOR MARSHALL, Dr. Tim Gordon and their wives




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China supplement


Continued suppression of Underground Catholic Church

Despite an agreement between the Vatican and Beijing, Chinese authorities continue to squelch churches.

GU QI reports for Bitter Winter - The crisis facing the Underground Catholic Church in mainland China is getting worse by the day, as authorities, despite the Vatican-China deal of 2018, are raiding and shutting down underground church meeting venues one after another.

Making it extra precarious are the new requirements set into place by the new Regulations on Religious Affairs, which mandate that every meeting venue that doesn't join the official Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) is regarded as illegal and will be a target for closure. Bitter Winter has repeatedly reported that underground priests across China have been summoned by government departments for questioning and 'transformation.' The CCP simply interprets the agreement to the effect that priests of the Underground Catholic Church should simply join the CPCA.

In mid-October 2018, Machi Church, the largest underground Catholic Church in Baotou city of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, was raided by the authorities. On the same day of the raid, the Baotou Municipal United Front Work Department, in coordination with the local National Security Brigade, dispatched more than 300 special police and armed police to surround Machi Church and force church members to accept a government-assigned priest from the CPCA of Qingshan district of Baotou city as the church's priest.

Unwilling to be affiliated to the CPCA, church members used a large lock to bolt the church doors in an attempt to keep the CPCA priest out, unable to take over the church. It is understood that the rightful priest of this underground Catholic church was taken away by the police. Although he was later released, he was prohibited from entering the church to hold Mass.

To keep strong the church members' faith, the church's president held mass instead. But the authorities soon learned of this and immediately visited the president's home to give him a warning: Stepping up to the podium and holding mass was against the law for him and if he did it again, he'd be arrested. The authorities also threatened to revoke his family's business license.

According to believers, as early as the beginning of October, CCP-appointed Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu declared he would take over Machi Church to conduct Holy Mass, even though many believers refuse to accept bishops appointed by the government.



China's northern province of Hebei is a province with the highest number of Catholics in the country. The authorities' control over and suppression of the region's underground Catholic churches has never ceased. On October 22, officials from the Religious Affairs Bureau of Ningjin county, under the jurisdiction of Xingtai city in Hebei Province, stormed into a local underground Catholic church. Claiming that the church was unlicensed and that the church's priest was not recognized by the government, the officials forced believers to remove the paintings of the Way of the Cross - a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers - hanging on the wall, as well as all other religious symbols. Afterward, they sealed off the church with barricade tape.

A week before that, an underground Catholic church in Xingtai city's Qiaoxi district was also sealed off by the authorities on the grounds that the relevant procedures had not been completed. According to sources, at present, the authorities have arranged for personnel to monitor the church's priest. Once the priest enters the church, he will be arrested immediately.

At almost the same time, several underground meeting venues in Dingzhou city in Hebei were also forcibly shut down by the authorities. The president of a local church said that they had been required to have sermons by a government-assigned priest, and anyone who doesn't listen will be arrested.

'We won't listen to sermons from the priest sent by the government,' one believer said. 'The priest sent by the government has a wife and children, and he is fake.'

To adhere to their faith, believers were forced to divide and hold smaller gatherings separately.

'The Church is facing a calamity now. No matter how much the government persecutes us, we must earnestly pray to God and adhere to our faith,' an elderly church member said.

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Underground bishop skips retirement Mass

Bp.ZihuangBISHOP Zhuang Jianjian attended a retirement ceremony held by Shantou Diocese but was absent from a Mass presided over by Bishop Huang Bingzhang who was excommunicated until he was accepted by Pope Francis after the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops was signed last September.

A Vatican delegation travelled to China last month to oversee the placement of formerly illicit bishops into dioceses that had been run by underground bishops.

Bishop Zhuang, 88, told ucanews.com on Dec. 17 that he had visited Beijing and that Holy See representative Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli had asked him to retire, but he had not replied.

Bishop Huang, 52, is Bishop Zhuang's replacement.

An underground Catholic told ucanews.com that the Sino-Vatican agreement aims to unite the open and underground churches but most of the priests who support Bishop Zhuang were reminded by authorities not to attend the Shantou ceremony and Mass.

A priest said: 'They [the officials] are scared to death if we attend, so we are banned.'

According to chinacatholic.cn, a website run by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC), the retirement ceremony-cum-Mass was held on Jan. 22 at Hepo Catholic Church in Jiexi County in Jieyang City in Shantou.

The church is where Bishop Zhuang resides and serves as parish priest and it was the first time that Bishop Huang had presided over a Mass there.

The retirement ceremony was hosted by Bishop Su Yongda of Zhanjiang. CCPA and BCCCC vice-president Bishop Shen Bin read out the approval by BCCCC of assigning Bishop Zhuang as Shantou's emeritus bishop, and then Bishop Zhuang and Bishop Huang both delivered addresses.

The website reported that the Mass was presided over by Bishop Huang and concelebrated by Bishop Shen, Bishop Su, Bishop Gan Junqiu of Guangzhou, Bishop Liao Hongqing of Meizhou and Bishop Liang Jiansen of Jiangmen.

Bishop Zhuang told ucanews.com that he did not attend the Mass.

Over 30 priests, deacons, brothers, nuns and over 200 Catholics and guests from Guangdong attended.

'It is so weird that the [chinacatholic.cn] report has only two paragraphs to describe the event without any photos or details of speeches. This is quite different from the usual practice of reporting in detail with lots of photos,' a source called Peter told ucanews.com.

He said government officials and the bishops of Guangdong held a meeting before the Mass to declare that Bishop Zhuang was recognized as a bishop but he was retired 'since this is the decision of Rome.'

Peter said the Mass had three underlying meanings: Bishop Huang was presiding as a diocesan bishop; Bishop Zhuang had retired; and the BCCCC and Guangdong provincial CCPA and BCCCC recognized Bishop Zhuang as a bishop.

Meanwhile, a Shantou Catholic said that Hong Kong Emeritus Bishop Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun wrote in his blog on Jan. 21 that he received news from Shantou last year on the letter sent by the Holy See to Bishop Zhuang stating that 'he still can continue to take care of his priests.'

'It means this is like a structure of personal jurisdiction in the church - Bishop Zhuang continues to lead his priests as a prelate but Catholics are under the governance of the diocese, so why did Shantou Diocese still hold the retirement ceremony?' he asked.

He said that even though Bishop Zhuang is now 'retired,' China and the Vatican should resolve the issue of his original successor, Father Zhuo Yanchang, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as coadjutor bishop but has not yet been consecrated.

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That strange shyness of the EU towards China

M RespintiMARCO RESPINTI writes for Bitter Winter - In the second half of May, the member states of the European Union (EU) will hold elections to renew the European Parliament (EP), and it is logical that, one after the other, hot topics are surfacing. One of these is undoubtedly the relations that the EU has, and above all will have, with the other giants of the international political scene: for example, China.

Especially in a historical moment in which the Asian colossus is overtly expanding its power and its grip through the Belt and Road Initiative in spite of the fact that, although it has been the protagonist of the dizzying and proverbial economic growth, it is now lagging behind in the midst of the recent slowdown in its manufacturing output, the decline of the renminbi (Chinese yuan) compared to the US dollar, and the clash on tariffs with the United States of America (the effects of which are also felt in the EU).

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to have a seminar like the one organized by the German representatives to the EP, Jo Leinen, a Social Democrat, and Reinhard Butiköfer, of the Greens, respectively, president and vice president of the Delegation of the EP for relations with the People’s Republic of China, entitled Political values in Europe-China relations. It took place in the Altiero Spinelli building of the EP in Brussels on January 30, and featured Una Aleksandra Berzina-Cerenkova from the Latvian Institute of International Affairs in Riga; Alice Ekman from the Institut français des relations internationales in Paris; Mikko Huotari from the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, Germany; Tamsas Matura, from the Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary; Miguel Otero Iglesias, from the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid, Spain; and Tim Nicholas Rühlig, from the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm.

Human rights not at the top of the agenda

That said, at the cost of appearing naïve, even very much naïve, one would expect that talks about political and commercial relations among countries cannot disregard the respect for human rights and the fundamental liberties of the person. If it makes sense that two despotic countries find it easy to understand each other politically and economically, it also makes sense to expect that a democratic state demands from its probable or possible political and economic partner to respect at least the standards of democracy that it personally observes. How can one think that a democratic country can deal at political and economic level with another if the latter arbitrarily imprisons, tortures, abuses and even kills its citizens? You do not need to be morally superior to understand that trading with a country where human dignity is trampled daily is not good for affairs; even cynics get it. In fact, everyone understands how economically risky, not to say detrimental, it is to maintain commercial exchanges ? where all is based on trust, compliance with agreements, respect for rules and transparency ? with a treacherous and double partner, used to acting outside the law, to lie and to subjugate rather than to benefit its citizens.
Why then (and here is all my intentional naïveté announced above), when it comes to relations between the democratic states of Europe and a totalitarian country like China, are human rights not at the top of the agenda? The seminar of January 30th in Brussels, for example, didn’t put them on top of the list.

Raise the stakes

Well, a few words were said, some facts were mentioned, but with the handbrake pulled, stealthily. As if the scholars who intervened knew, consciously or subconsciously, not to push things beyond a certain limit. One could say that this is the way scholars operate since they express themselves differently from activists. True, but only partially. Yes, scholars do their job in a different manner from that of the activists, and rightly so; on the other hand, even scholars are able, if they want to, to put things clearly. Of course, differently from activists, but certainly not in a less straightforward way.

After all, in the Brussels seminar, Mikka Huotari explicitly said that several things happening in China are incompatible with the standards that the EU countries are accustomed to. Una Aleksandra Berzina-Cerenkova has specified that Latvians have little sympathy for the model of government that dominates China as well as for the flippant approach that Beijing adopts towards international law. Tamsas Matura reported that, if Hungary looks favorably on China, it is not so for the Czech Republic and Poland, whose societies are amply impatient towards the “Beijing model”, adding that, in these assessments, it is always necessary to carefully distinguish the attitudes of the governments from the orientations of the citizens. Alice Ekman has opportunely noted that, when dealing with China, one cannot take anything for granted so that each time it’s necessary to make sense of the words defining their meaning. Rights, law, government, and freedom do not have the same meaning in China as in Europe.

But then, if the scholars who spoke at the seminar feel some uneasiness, and somehow reveal it, why can’t we completely turn priorities upside down (I am still intentionally naïve) and make way for respect of human rights and fundamental liberties of a person a binding paradigm of any other yet legitimate political and economic question? Why, in short, can’t we start from those tenets, explicitly saying that as long as China does not change its attitude on human rights and fundamental liberties, there can be no partnership?

Now (and here my naïveté ends), in the globalized world, it is not possible to retreat in some splendid isolation. It is evident that, like it or not, the rest of the world has to come to terms with the Chinese economic power. But it is equally valid that the stakes can be raised, that the chip of respect for human rights can be put on the table. And it is not true that if one did it, China would leave the table: in order to trade, there must always be at least two.

Two kickers

Certain self-censorships are thus inexplicable. To scholars, who do not act in politics, it wouldn’t cost much to speak openly. At the price of seeming idealists, they can afford it because they hold no political office, and if they speak frankly, they may even benefit from it.

For politicians, however, the price may be higher. They have an ideological agenda to follow and have no intention of affording themselves certain liberties. This is a mischievous statement of mine, but the conclusion of the Brussels seminar on Wednesday has helped to nurture it.

Some thirty minutes prior to the conclusion of the seminar, once the speakers had all given their presentations, Mr. Butiköfer, who acted as the coordinator of the table, opened the Q&A session. He collected all the interventions from the public and then gave back the floor to the speakers. Out of the many questions, two touched the hidden heart of the problem. The first (the first ever) was Ryan Barry’s of the Uyghur Congress in Munich, Germany: he asked if the news of the million (at least) Uyghurs that the CCP unlawfully detains for religious and ethnic reasons in the Xinjiang’s “transformation through education” camps have had an echo in the European countries reviewed by the speakers. Another question was posed by a Chinese lady who asked if the politicians realized that any consideration on China couldn’t ignore the fact that China professes a Communist ideology and practices a Communist ideocracy, which aims at total domination and degradation of people. At this point, two kickers followed.

The first was Mr. Butiköfer’s management of the Q&A: he summarized all the audience’s questions, inviting the speakers to choose their favorite to answer but omitting the two mentioned above, Uyghurs and Communism. Then, he gave the floor to the speakers in reverse order compared to their first run of interventions; they chose to answer everything but the two above mentioned questions, perhaps because the moderator omitted them. Thus, at time expired, with an attendant who signaled to Mr. Butiköfer that it was time to leave the room to a subsequent event, Mikka Huotari took the floor again. And here is the second kicker: he meritoriously recovered the unanswered question on Uyghurs. But at that point, there was no more time, and the question remained suspended in the void (the one on Communism never reappeared on the horizon).

[Marco Respinti is Senior fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, a non-partisan, non-profit U.S. educational organization based in Mecosta, Michigan, and founding member and Board member of the Center for European Renewal, a non-profit, non-partisan pan-European educational organization based in The Hague]

[Bitter Winter] 2266.EU1


















Government forbids students from accessing churches

CHINESE authorities have been intensely repressing churches in the past few years by spreading propaganda among K-12 students that religion is harmful. Multiple government departments in Xingtai issued an open letter forbidding those who are underage from accessing religious venues.

The local departments of religion and education issued the open letter, entitled 'Why the Underage Should Not Access Religious Venues, to parents of all K-12 students.' The officials stressed that the letter is aligned with existing Chinese laws and that separation of church and school should be implemented. They also claimed it should be the obligation of parents and schools to prevent children from having a religion or accessing religious venues.

The open letter contains a list of reasons why students should not have a religious faith, including that the underage children are unable to think independently and they do not have independent civil capacity. If they are lured and forced to believe a religion and attend religious events, they are prone to be affected by illegal religious events and radical religious thoughts and their mental health and future eventually will be affected. All parents, regardless of their religion, should teach their children that they should not enter religious venues, or participate in religious events including religious trainings and summer camps, and they should stay away from all religious activities.

Likewise, a similar open letter was issued in Shandong last July and in Henan last May.

One Christian denounced the open letter by quoting the Constitution. He emphasized that forbidding children from religious venues is misinterpreting the laws and unlawfully stripping them of the students and their parents of their freedom of religion.

Chinese authorities have continued to strengthen the crackdown on students' religious rights since the New Regulations of Religious Affairs took effect in February of 2018.

[ChinaAid] 2266.6



















News from around the world


Austria Bishop offers 'remarried' adulterous couples blessing, Communion

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews - The Austrian Diocese of Innsbruck under the leadership of Bishop Hermann Glettler announced on January 25 that it will host a set of seminars for divorced and 'remarried' couples, at the end of which the couples will be allowed to receive Holy Communion and a 'celebration of reconciliation and of blessing.'

At each of these seminars - which are said to be inspired by Amoris Laetitia - there will be a divorced and 'remarried' couple present as a guide. One of these couples has publicly stated that it has already received a Church ceremony in Bavaria at which they promised loyalty to each other and then received a blessing.

As the official news website of the Austrian bishops, Kathpress.at, reported on January 25, Bishop Glettler on that same day launched this new initiative which intends to face today's life realities in light of the papal document Amoris Laetitia. 'To Begin Anew' is the title of the set of seminars offered to divorced and 'remarried' couples which are being hosted by a pastoral caretaker (either a priest or a deacon) and by a couple which itself has 'remarried' after a divorce.

'Even if a second Church marriage is not possible,' explains Glettler, 'we want to assure all couples that they have their place at the center of the Church.' The Austrian bishop makes it clear that he rejoices over such couples. As the diocese says: 'We rejoice that people, after experiences of failure in life, take courage again and dare to enter new relationships.'

Nowhere in the different texts published by the diocese on this issue is there any talk about the sinfulness of adultery that takes place when a married man or woman enters into a new sexual relationship.

The plan as laid out on the website of the Innsbruck Diocese is that divorced and 'remarried' couples meet with a pastoral caretaker (a priest or a deacon) as well as a divorced and 'remarried' couple in order to discern their personal history and situation. In the first step, one's own personal experience of failure is to be presented, with a discernment of what one can learn from these experiences for the future (the second step). In the third step, the larger group of persons affected the divorce is to be discussed, such as family members and friends, in order to promote 'reconciliation' and 'strength for new relationships.' The topic of failure is to be discussed in light of Bible stories in the proposed fourth step, showing that failure and new beginnings are human.

'God lifts people up and gives new life energy,' the diocesan program states. As a 'conclusion' of this 'path' of discernment during the seminar (which is being offered either over the course of several evenings, or, instead, during a one-day seminar), there is then to be offered a 'celebration of reconciliation and blessing.'

Bishop Glettler makes it clear that this accompaniment of divorced and 'remarried' couples is inspired by Pope Francis' post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, from which he presents a set of quotes in his flyer for the planned seminars. For the Austrian prelate, this new initiative is also a 'new beginning' for the Church, and he apologizes for past wounds that the Church has inflicted upon the divorced and 'remarried' couples in the past. It is, he says, about 'learning from those who experienced failure and a new beginning.'

Concerning Holy Communion for the divorced and 'remarried' couples, Bishop Glettler states: 'We wish to depart from a fixation on the question of the reception of Holy Communion.' After a period of discernment in these seminars, he explains, the 'concerned persons and couples are to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to receive Holy Communion. For both options, there are good reasons.' However, he adds, this new program 'To Begin Anew' is 'not meant as a licence for a thoughtless reception of Holy Communion.'

The diocesan website also presents one of the couples who will participate as coaches in these planned seminars. As Berhard Wasle explains, he 'married' Brigitte Wasle-Kaltenegger after the death of his wife, even though Brigitte Wasle-Kaltenegger herself was divorced. Later, they wished to have the Church bless their new relationship.

As Mr. Wasle explains: 'A deacon in Bavaria made this possible for us inasmuch as we gave each other in his Church a promise and were able to ask for the Divine blessing.'

Bishop Glettler explicitly links his new initiative with the Pope's document Amoris Laetitia, saying that this papal document has given love the capability 'to dare the future,' and he stresses: 'the source of the Christian Faith opens up new paths and unforeseen possibilities.'

There have been numerous national guidelines published in the world since Amoris Laetitia - such as in the Buenos Aires region, in Malta and in Germany - allowing some 'remarried' divorcees to receive Holy Communion, but, so far, the idea of giving a sort of official Church blessing to the 'remarried' divorcees seems to be a novelty. So far, in the German Diocese of Limburg some Church representatives merely discussed the possibility of blessing divorced and 'remarried' couples - as well as homosexual couples - at the beginning of 2018, but so far, there has yet been established such an official blessing as in Innsbruck.

[LSN] 2266.7



















Canada Muslim leader says Christian belief offends him

WORLD NEWS DAILY (WND) reports - A Muskim leader in Canada has declared that Muslims must take offense when people declare Jesus is the Son of God.

Sheikh Younus Kathrada says he stands by his statement that Muslims should be offended, though not necessarily become violent, when people worship Jesus or refer to him as the Son of God.

The Middle East Media Research Institute said he 'further criticized the media for wanting to make Muslims look like savages and said that since a proper Islamic state - which he said does not exist today - would punish murder, adultery, and other severe crimes by things such as death and amputation, his remarks cannot be taken to mean that he encourages these behaviours.'

He also stated: 'Because it seems that some reporters and media outlets have nothing better to do than spread lies and inaccurate reports, I feel that it is important to clarify things, but on our terms.'

'I have never and I still do not, and I never will, tell people to just go out and kill people willy nilly and so on and so forth,' Kathrada said. '… Do you know why I said that? I said that because after I made the comments that I did, I anticipated that there may be some unintelligent people out there, not my audience, but unintelligent people who may come across this sermon and they may accuse me of saying certain things that I did not say.'

He noted his comment that 'you and I must be offended when people say that they worship Jesus or when they say that Jesus is the son of God.'

'Guess what, I stand 100 percent behind these words. I said those words and I stand behind them, 100 percent.'

He said the Christmas holiday is Christian 'and it is based on what Islam deems to be blasphemy.'

'Don't tell me that we can be okay with saying 'Merry Christmas' you prove to me how it can be okay. Out of politeness, okay, so go and congratulate the fornicators then. You won't do it unless you are one of them or you happen to have that mentality where you think it is okay, there is nothing wrong with it. Or a rapist. … Extreme examples? Well, they are not extreme, they are real examples.'

He said it is wrong for Muslims to want to be polite.

In that case, 'You are not a principled individual.'

In a 'proper' Islamic state, he said, there will be 'severe punishments' for those crimes.

In Uganda, Muslims believe they can 'justifiably exact revenge' if they are subjected to such thoughts.

Robert Spencer wrote in Jihad Watch that Muslims 'now consider any public statement of the Christian faith to be a calculated insult to Muslims, for which they can justifiably exact revenge.'

'This is, or should be, sobering news for the comfortable Christians of the West who have made an idol out of 'interfaith dialogue' and fastidiously avoid saying anything remotely critical about Islam, even as the Muslim persecution of Christians continues worldwide.'

The Washington Times reported that in June a group of Muslims attacked Christian preachers in eastern Uganda during a 'crusade' in which Christians publicly professed their faith and invited others to join.

Muslims in the town accused the Christians of mocking Islam by publicly saying Jesus was the Son of God.

Christian pastor Moses Saku said the accusation provoked violence by local Muslims.

'They became very angry and began throwing rocks at Christians, chanting 'Allah akbar.' Many Christians were injured during the incident,' he said.

Spencer wrote with tongue in cheek: 'Christians, stop saying Jesus is the Son of God. It provokes Muslims.'

WND has reported on a movement among Muslim nations to create a worldwide ban on any criticism of Islam.

Leaders in Pakistan now say they are 'spearheading efforts to get countries to sign onto the 'International Convention on Preventing the Defamation of Religions,' which would provide Islam with that special protection.

The document states 'freedom of speech is an insufficient pretext for hurting the world's Muslims.'

[WND] 2266.8



















Ireland Pro-choice politician denied Holy Communion

THE SUNDAY TIMES reports - A Catholic priest refused to give communion to Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy at a recent funeral mass because the politician supported the introduction of legalised abortion services.

Fr John Hogan, parish priest of Multyfarnham in Co Westmeath, a regular presenter on EWTN, withheld the host from Troy on January 4 during a requiem mass at St Nicholas's parish church in the diocese of Meath.

Troy, who had been regarded as 'anti-choice', revealed last month in an interview with Hot Press magazine that he voted yes in the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment last May. Last week the TD said he would 'be making no comment on the matter'. Attempts by The Sunday Times to contact Hogan were unsuccessful.

[ST] 2266.9




















Panama World Youth Day

A LATIN- AMERICAN CATHOLIC reports for ChurchMiltant.com - I landed in Panama with cautious optimism. As a Catholic who loves his faith, and who forms himself daily, I had prepared for what I believed to be a pilgrimage. Through increased personal prayer, daily Mass, adoration and regular praying of the Rosary, I felt that I was ready to witness Catholics from all over the globe coming together to celebrate the oneness of the true Faith - our Catholic Faith.

I am fully aware of the slow and largely unnoticed, yet effective, impact of Modernism on our beloved Church, and was going in eyes wide open. What I was to experience over the next three weeks would shock, disappoint and anger me, as well as thrill and fill me with joy at times.

When I first learned that Panama was the host country for World Youth Day 2019 (WYD), I had my doubts as to their capacity to host large crowds, and was concerned regarding their organizational ability in general. I was right on many points. Things were largely disorganized, accommodation not always comfortable, there were no schedules or itineraries and most events ran late



The Panamanian people, however, were amazing! They are hospitable, colorful and vibrant. They are warm and kind-hearted and understand service to others. They opened their homes to us, people they did not know, and did so lovingly. Many have a simple yet profound faith, and the visible devotion to the Blessed Mother was wonderful to see.

A beautiful thing to witness was to see the local people walking out of the adoration chapel backwards, so as not to turn their backs on Our Lord.

Unfortunately, WYD Panama 2019 did not begin and end with the warmth of the local people.

Almost immediately, the lack of spiritual preparation by the pilgrims was evident, including most of those I was with from my own country. A lack of reverence during Mass, a focus on partying, drinking and embracing the hook-up culture and general disinterest in the real reason for the trip left me feeling deeply disappointed. This was not what Pope St. John Paul II had imagined for World Youth Day.

The apathy and lack of formation and understanding of the truths of our faith demonstrated by many I met was shown to be but a reflection of what is happening in our Church - priests taking part in drinking antics and inappropriate talk, and many walking around in civvies without a Roman collar to be seen, are just some of my observations.

Masses were valid, and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist was always the highlight of my day. The music, however, was protestant praise and worship, at best. Pilgrims sat on their phones after receiving the Eucharist, and the lack of reverence by many was astonishing. It was beautiful to see, however, most if not all receiving the Eucharist on their tongues, as seems to be the norm in Panama.

WYD Panama 2019 culminated in an all-night vigils.

For adoration, the Blessed Sacrament was on a big stage, the praise and worship band sharing the same space as Our Lord. It was noisy and irreverent, yet among all of the chaos and emotive swaying and hand-raising, some Catholics were kneeling reverently, gathered around the monstrance, quietly praying.

There was also a Marian procession, one of those moments that filled me with much joy when seeing devotion to Our Lady. Seeing Pope Francis was a bittersweet moment - part joy at seeing him who fills the seat of Peter, and part confusion and mistrust with all that has gone on, and continues to, during this papacy.

The Stations of the Cross - Jesus' worst time of suffering - was supported by dancers and entertainment on stage. The general message was that young people are not the Church of the future, but the 'now.' Yet the many people I spoke to seemed lost regarding their faith. Many don't even attend Mass in their home countries, some arriving at WYD as a result of a last-minute decision.

It was clear to me that most Catholics do not understand the truths of the Faith, ranging from teachings about sex before marriage, to contraception, to homosexuality and abortion. So many different versions of the truth are being taught - again reflective of the goings on at the highest levels of our Church. Such was the cross-section of Catholics at these events.

And then it was over.

Throughout our three-week pilgrimage, and especially over the six days of WYD, there just seemed to be an ongoing assault of the senses. Noise, music, lights, food, singing, dancing, entertainment, more noise, more dancing ...

There was very little, if any, time for reflection and quiet prayer. But we made time.

The goal was always not only to receive, but to give, and my prayer on the back of this WYD Panama 2019 trip was that if I was able to touch one person through the sharing of Catholic truths, in the midst of a seemingly blatant attempt to undermine them, this pilgrimage was worthwhile.

[CMTV] 2266.10




















United Kingdom Councils adopting agreed-upon official list of examples of "Islamophobia"

CHRISTINE DOUGLASS-WILLIAMS reports for Jihad Watch - It was only a matter of time before the will of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was embedded in the laws of Western nations in order to subvert Western freedoms. Even the previous sentence would be deemed “Islamophobic” according to the hit list circulating among councils in Britain, which is ultimately designed to shut down criticism of Islam by branding it “Islamophobic.”

The list of examples of “Islamophobia” does contain some things that must never tolerated in Western societies:

Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

Such actions are criminal, and it is already against the law in the UK and other free societies to call for violence against other human beings. No one in the West needs “anti-Islamophobia” (i.e., Sharia) tenets to prohibit what is already against Western laws.

But take a look at other criteria for “Islamophobia,” put forth by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG):

Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

No one has made up conspiracies about Muslims. The highest Islamic authorities in the world and many Muslim leaders routinely articulate themselves that the world is divided in two, and that the House of War (dar al-harb) that must be subjugated under the House of Islam (dar al-Islam). The Muslim Brotherhood Plan for North America also states:

‘The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions’.

Another example of Islamophobia provided by the All-Party Parliamentary Group:
Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.

Sharia is divine law to Muslims, and therefore is an “expression of Muslimness.” Thus any criticism of it will be deemed “Islamophobic.”

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated of Muslims who leave Islam (apostates): “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them.” Al-Qaradawi also famously said in reference to the death penalty for apostasy: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.” is that not an “expression of Muslimness”? So now criticism of his words will be considered to be “rooted in racism.”

An official guidebook published in Canada by the Toronto District School Board also condemned “Islamophobia” and defined the term to include “dislike directed…towards Islamic politics or culture.” This guidebook was prepared with the support of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (CAIR-CAN). A followup National Post article rightly stated:

‘Banning or even discouraging any “dislike” of “Islamic politics” would make it nearly impossible to combat the virulent Jew-hatred that we have seen emanating from some Muslim institutions in Canada’.

It does not take much acumen to recognize the wrongheadedness and malignant intentions of those who are working to impose “Islamophobia” restrictions upon free societies. So far, only “three local authorities have adopted APPG definition of Islamophobia,” but that’s three too many. The goal of all this is to subvert Western democracies under the Sharia. The West is rapidly moving toward the implementation of Sharia.

[Jihad Watch] 2266.10a





















United States Abortion in the Big Apple

NEW YORK reached a new depth of evil on January 22, 2019, when The Reproductive Health Act passed with a 38-28 vote and was signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- a...ahem...Catholic

Dolan cartoon

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives
- Andrew Cuomo, the ostensibly Catholic Governor of New York, has signed into law a 'Reproductive Health Act' that allows for abortions up until the moment of birth, authorizes even non-doctors to butcher the unborn child in the womb, and strikes the crime of feticide from New York's criminal law. In a hideously ironic twist, the same pretend Catholic had already vowed to end the death penalty for convicted killers in New York in 'solidarity with Pope Francis.' The same Pope Francis, by the way, who has demanded worldwide abolition of the death penalty but never called for worldwide abolition of abortion.

Cuomo has publicly bragged about his unwavering opposition to the Church's infallible teaching on marriage and procreation: 'I've experienced that all my political life. I experienced that when I said a woman had a right to choose. I experienced that at an exponential level when New York was the first large state to pass marriage equality, against the Catholic Church. So they've [Catholics] been against me on all of these issues.'

It is long past time for Cuomo - for the good of the Church and for his own good as a soul in desperate need of correction - to be formally expunged from the Church by means of a declared excommunication. At the very least, he must be denied access to Holy Communion pursuant to Canon 915, which provides that Catholics 'obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.'



Enter Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a Hogarthian icon of the corruption-ridden, go-along-to-get-along American hierarchy. On the news show 'Fox and Friends,' under questioning by Steve Doocy, Dolan bobbed and weaved concerning Doocy's polite demand that he defend the integrity of the Faith against Cuomo's relentless public onslaught: 'There's a Catholic governor cheering the fact that abortion would be legal in this state almost to the moment of birth…. There are calls from people in the Catholic Church for Governor Cuomo to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.'

To which Dolan, who had already made a tasteless joke about his excessive weight, replied: 'You're telling me! I get wheelbarrows of letters every day. I think that would be counterproductive, myself.'

Counterproductive? Doocy reminded the Cardinal that 'Well, he's [Cuomo] not following Catholic doctrine,' to which Dolan replied with the following twisted rationale:

'We would be giving ammo to our enemies who say this is an internal Catholic disciplinary matter. This is not really civil rights. This is not really biology. These Catholics don't have freedom when it comes to this. I think we'd be giving our enemies ammo.'

Giving our enemies 'ammo' by affirming Catholic teaching on the natural law, which applies to all men! In other words, Dolan argues that the way to fight the enemies of the natural law is to allow Catholics to trample on it without suffering any consequences.

Clearly perplexed by Dolan's gibberish, Doocy pressed the Cardinal again: 'But the Catholic Church, Cardinal, stands against abortion. And here is the most prominent Catholic in the State of New York, and he's saying 'This is a good thing!''

To which Dolan responded with more gibberish:

'The cannon laws [sic] which you quoted [Canon 915, evidently quoted off camera] would also say that you have to use it for medicinal purposes and you think that there is gonna be a good effect that's gonna come out of this. We have a governor that brags about it. We have a governor that uses his dissent from Church teaching as applause lines. We have a governor that takes quotes from Pope Francis out of context to draw an artificial cleavage between the bishops of New York and the Holy Father himself. He's not gonna be moved by this. So what would be the use?'

So according to Dolan, the correct approach to a 'Catholic' politician who wages war on the Church's teaching regarding the natural law is, in essence, to do nothing because Cuomo would not be moved - as if changing Cuomo's mind were all that was involved here.

Doocy, however, clearly understood that regardless of how Cuomo's subjective disposition might be affected, he certainly should not be allowed to commit the objective public scandal that Canon 915 prohibits. Accordingly, he asked Dolan: 'What about denying him Communion?' At which point Dolan began to squirm on camera:

'Well, look, that's - you're making me - I don't rarely get restless, but I am. That's kind of a pastoral issue that I think one has to talk to him about. And I think proper people have. And I'd be uncomfortable going into that. Rather spiritual and pastoral. But, that is, that's a good point. Not denying him. He may have already said 'I cannot approach the holy sacrament.''

Blah, blah blah. Dolan's maundering vainly concealed a cowardly refusal to stand up to a so-called Catholic who publicly boasts of having legislated infanticide and who even had the World Trade Center lighted pink to celebrate his diabolical triumph.

Compare Dolan's timorous tergiversation with this forthright statement by Cardinal Raymond Burke when he was still the Archbishop of Saint Louis:

'First of all, the denial of Holy Communion was repeatedly characterized as the imposition of a canonical penalty, when, in reality, it plainly articulates the responsibility of the minister of Holy Communion, ordinary or extraordinary, to deny Holy Communion to those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin…. [T]here are other cases in which Holy Communion must be denied, apart from any imposition or declaration of a canonical penalty, in order to respect the holiness of the Sacrament, to safeguard the salvation of the soul of the party presenting himself to receive Holy Communion, and to avoid scandal.'

Not for Dolan is such honesty and courage in defending the truth against its brazen public enemies, who operate within the sheepfold it is his duty to protect from ravening wolves like Cuomo. Instead, Dolan laughs and shakes hands with the Devil, just as he does annually at his disgraceful Al Smith Dinner, where he sups and yuks it up with the adepts of Moloch who rule a nation that has turned its back on God and is in the final stages of self-destruction.

With shepherds like Dolan, the Church is defenseless. Such is the crisis the Church must now endure.


MICHAEL MATT comments for The Remnant : In case you are curious, Eminence, this is what Catholic in the new Church - as opposed to your Church of idiocract - are concerned about




[And see 'Comment from the internet', below]

[FP / Remnant] 2266.11




















United States Trump blasts Virginia Democrats for defending infanticide

CLAIRE CHRETIEN reports for LifeSiteNews – President Donald Trump has lambasted Virginia Democrats for supporting abortion up until, during, and even after birth, calling Delegate Kathy Tran’s comments on her bill permitting abortion even as a woman goes into labor “terrible.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam suggested in comments that Tran’s bill would also allow doctors to refuse to resuscitate an infant born alive after a failed abortion “if that’s what the mother and the family desire.”

Trump told the Daily Caller he hadn’t heard Northam’s comments, but had seen the now-viral video of Tran defending her bill allowing abortion through 40 weeks of pregnancy.



“I’m surprised that he did that, I’ve met him a number of times,” the president said of Northam defending infanticide.

Of Tran’s comments, Trump said, “I thought it was terrible. Do you remember when I said Hillary Clinton was willing to rip the baby out of the womb? That’s what it is, that’s what they’re doing, it’s terrible.”

Indeed, Trump’s famous comments, among the most accurate abortion explanations ever offered by a politician, describing late-term abortion during his third debate with Hillary Clinton have been proven to be exactly what Democrats are trying to enshrine in law as they fret Roe v. Wade may be overturned.

“If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby,” Trump said on October 19, 2016. “Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me because based on what she’s saying and based on where she's going and where she's been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day, and that’s not acceptable.”

“How late in the third trimester could a physician perform an abortion?” Delegate Tran was asked during a subcommittee hearing.

She replied, “through the third trimester. The third trimester goes all the way up to forty weeks...I don't think we have a limit in the bill.”

“Where it’s obvious a woman is about to give birth?” asked the chairman of the subcommittee, Delegate Todd Gilbert.

Even when “she has physical signs that she is about to give birth?” asked Gilbert. “She’s dilating?”

“My bill would allow that, yes,” responded Tran.

“I certainly could’ve said a week from her due date and that would’ve been the same answer, correct?” asked Gilbert.

“That is allowed in the bill,” answered Tran.

Then Gov. Northam – a pediatric neurologist – called controversy over Tran’s bill “overblown,” and offered the following explanation of what would happen in a situation of a woman wanting an abortion who was already in labor: “So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: The infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

The Daily Caller also reported that of Tran’s and Northam’s comments, Trump said, “This is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before. The pro-life movement is very much a 50-50, it’s a very 50-50 issue, actually it’s gained a point or two over the years.”

“Trump seemed optimistic about the remarks, saying, ‘I think this will very much lift up the issue because people have never thought of it in those terms,’” the Daily Caller concluded.


[LSN] 2266.11a



















United States Traditional chant should enjoy 'pride of place' in the Mass, archbishop says

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY reports - Sacred music has a special role in the Catholic liturgy, and Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland in Oregon has written a pastoral letter reflecting on how Catholics can help provide the best music for Mass.

'We should always aim high to offer God the best and the most beautiful music of which we are capable,' Archbishop Sample said. Mass requires an 'art of celebrating' in which perhaps nothing is more important than the place of sacred music.

Citing a sermon of St. Augustine, he said, 'the new man sings a new song. Singing is an expression of joy and, if we consider the matter, an expression of love.'

The archbishop's pastoral letter, 'Sing to the Lord a New Song', was dated January 25, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Sample voiced hope the letter will be well received in the archdiocese and help advance 'an authentic renewal of the Sacred Liturgy according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the mind of the Church.'

Sacred music has a twofold purpose: 'the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.' This has serious implications for its place in divine worship.

Sample's pastoral letter traces teachings about sacred music from various popes and councils of the Church.

Benedict XVI said that the Church has created, and still creates 'music and songs which represent a rich patrimony of faith and love.' This heritage 'must not be lost.'

Pope Francis, too, has lamented 'a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality' in liturgical celebrations that acts to the detriment of their 'beauty and intensity.'

According to Sample, there are 'serious challenges in our own day' for efforts to seek to renew the liturgy 'in a way that respects, fosters and promotes the true nature of the Mass itself.'

He criticized the reduction of music selection at Mass to 'a matter of subjective 'taste'.' Liturgical music is not simply 'an addendum to worship' or something external added on to the form and structure of Mass.

'Rather, sacred music is an essential element of worship itself,' he said. 'It is an art form which takes its life and purpose from the Sacred Liturgy and is part of its very structure.'

Because sacred music is so essential, Catholics must reject the common idea that four songs can be chosen and 'tacked on.' Sacred music's role is 'to help us sing and pray the texts of the Mass itself, not just ornament it.'

Sacred music, rightly understood, has three qualities of 'sanctity, beauty and universality.'

Quoting St. Pius X, Sample said sacred music must 'exclude all profanity not only in itself, but in the manner in which it is presented by those who execute it.' The documents of the Second Vatican Council say sacred music is more holy the more closely connected it is with the liturgical action, 'whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites.'

Everything associated with the Mass must be beautiful, to reflect 'the infinite beauty and goodness of the God we worship.' Pope Francis has said liturgical and sacred music can be 'a powerful instrument of evangelization, because it gives people a glimpse of the beauty of heaven.'

Sample explained that universality in music means 'any composition of sacred music, even one which reflects the unique culture of a particular region, would still be easily recognized as having a sacred character.' Holiness is 'a universal principle that transcends culture.'

There is a lack of understanding and confusion about what music is proper to Mass, the archbishop said, adding, 'not every form or style of music is capable of being rendered suitable.' A Gloria set in a polka beat or in a rock music style is not sacred music, because these styles, however delightful in a dance hall or concert setting, do not have the qualities of sanctity, beauty and universality proper to sacred music.

While all forms of genuine sacred music have spiritual and emotional impact, there is 'a necessary divide' between sacred music and 'what generally we call entertainment.'

Sample reflected on the treasury of sacred music. Gregorian chant should enjoy a 'pride of place' in the Roman liturgy, according to the Second Vatican Council, and the faithful should be led to sing in Gregorian chant as far as is proper as a way to participate in the liturgy.

Sample acknowledged that Gregorian chant does not presently enjoy pride of place; it is rarely if ever heard. He said this situation must be addressed with 'great effort and serious catechesis' to help it more widely become a normal part of the Mass.

Other forms of sacred music which accord with the spirit of the liturgy are not excluded, especially polyphony. Sample cited composers such as Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis, and Allegri.

His general guidelines include an explanation of the right understanding of 'active participation' in the liturgy.

He said that 'popular' sacred music doesn't mean the music of pop culture, but rather 'forms of sacred music suited to the musical abilities of the people.'

Sacred music is native not only to Europe but draws on organic developments among other peoples who are part of the Latin rite. Music that is truly 'sacred' in their cultures deserves due consideration to help adapt worship and to help form their attitudes towards religion.

He criticized as erroneous the idea that lyrics alone determine whether a song is sacred or secular.

He praised musicians who worked hard to accomplish the goals of the Second Vatican Council. At the same time, he said much of his letter may contravene their musical formation.

This contradiction should not be interpreted as criticism of 'those dedicated church musicians who have offered their service with a generous heart and with good will.'

Musicians and music directors should have opportunities for ongoing education and liturgical formation. Musicians bear much of the responsibility for bringing beauty to liturgical celebrations. Pastors should encourage them to 'aspire to the highest levels of beauty in sacred music' and musicians should be sure to practice, rehearse, and prepare their contributions to worship.

Sample says sacred music directors deserve 'just compensation' for their time, skills, experience and training. The renewal of liturgical music includes 'a solid musical education for clergy and laity.' He encouraged church musicians to join or form associations 'committed to an authentic implementation' of the Church's instructions on sacred liturgy and sacred music.

Even parishes and missions without a large talent pool and other resources should work to provide sacred music that fits best with their abilities.

Pre-recorded music may not substitute for actual musicians. At the same time, music serves the needs of the liturgy, it does not dominate. Music 'should not seek to entertain or draw attention to itself or the musicians.'

The location and self-presentation of musicians in the church building is also important to consider. They and their instruments should never be located in the sanctuary, except for cantors and psalmists at the appropriate time. Where musicians are visible, they should strive not to draw attention to themselves.

Bishops and their cathedral parishes have a special duty to ensure archdiocesan liturgies are 'exemplary' in adhering to musical norms. Musical standards should have their fullest practice at the Chrism Mass, ordinations, and other liturgies the archbishop celebrates with the clergy and the lay faithful.

Sample's pastoral letter considers many other aspects, from church acoustics to the importance of silence.

'Silence in the liturgy allows the community to reflect on what it has heard and experienced, and to open its heart to the mystery celebrated,' he said.

Every parish should have a sung Mass every Sunday, offered 'with consistency and with the greatest care and attention the community can give it,' the archbishop said.

The pipe organ should have 'pride of place' as the instrument 'most in harmony with the spirit of the Roman liturgy.' Despite its diminished use, Catholics must be willing to invest for the future. The archbishop encouraged all parishes to include the pipe organ in their repertoire.

Other musical instruments must truly contribute to the beauty and sanctity of the Mass. Instruments like electric guitars 'are not suitable for accompaniment at Holy Mass,' and the rock drummer set is 'never appropriate.'

Sample entrusted the effort to improve sacred music to St. Cecilia, the patroness of church musicians, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculately Conceived.

'May the renewal and reform of sacred music in the Archdiocese of Portland lead us together to a beautiful and worthy celebration of the sacred mysteries of the Holy Mass, for the glory of God and the sanctification of all the faithful,' he said.

As Bishop of Marquette, Sample wrote a 2013 pastoral letter 'Rejoice in the Lord Always' on sacred music. He said he thought the previous letter promoted 'universal and enduring' values and ideas that are 'as valid today as they were then.'

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International Michael Voris

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



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International gloria.tv.news


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International A few headlines of the week

Germany :
Three arrested for trying to build bomb, plotting jihad massacre

Iran: Ayatollah: 'Until we turn the White House into an Islamic center, we'll all shout: Death to America!'

Kenya : Police beat, arrest man for refusing to renounce Christianity

Pakistan : Muslims enraged over Bibi acquittal; 'deserves to be murdered according to Sharia'

Philippines : Muslims murder 20, injure 111 with bombs in cathedral during Sunday Mass

Sri Lanka : New ISIS chapter behind high-explosives seizure

UK : 15 churches warned to stop all services or face bombings, stabbings

UK : Jihadist : 'We're embedded, we're the enemy within and they know not'

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International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



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Trust in God's loving care

LET a person who trusts he is on the whole serving God acceptably, look back upon his past life, and he will find how critical were moments and acts, which at the time seemed the most indifferent: as for instance the school he was sent to as a child, the occasion of his falling in with those persons who have most benefited him, the accidents which determined his calling or his prospects, whatever they were. God's hand is ever over his own, he leads them forward by ways they know not of.

[Parochial and Plain Sermons, IV, 261] 2266.17





















clock face Event

Rome Life Forum

THE ROME LIFE FORUM will be held at the Angelicum (Largo Angelicum 1, Rome) on 16 and 17 May, followed by the annual March for Life on 18 May 2019.

This year's Forum will be on the theme 'City of God versus City of Man - Global One World Order versuss Christendom'.

The Forum is open to all those who have leadership roles in the pro-life and pro-family movement or in movements concerned with the defence and diffusion of Catholic moral and social teaching.

Among the speakers addressing the Rome Life Forum 2019 will be Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Willem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk (the Netherlands), Fr Kevin O'Reilly OP (Angelicum, Italy), Prof. Roberto de Mattei (Lepanto Foundation, Italy), Steven Mosher (Population Research Institute, USA), Anthony Murphy (Catholic Voice, Ireland), John-Henry Westen (LifeSiteNews, Canada) and others.

Please register here

For further practical details and for information about sponsored places, please click here.

The Forum will be in English and Italian with simultaneous translation into both languages.

The Rome Life Forum is co-sponsored by members of the Voice of the Family coalition: Associazione Famiglia Domani (Italy), Family Life International New Zealand, LifeSiteNews and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (UK).

The Voice of the Family team looks forward to seeing you in Rome in May!

For further information, please contact: enquiry@voiceofthefamily.com or +44 (0)20 7820 3148 (UK).

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Biography of Bugnini paints a startling picture

Many facts once dismissed as conspiracy theories are shown to be historically accurate

Annibale Bugnini: Yves Chiron, Amazon £14.50

ChironFR. DOMINIC ALLAIN writes for The Catholic Herald - For Christmas I was given a copy of the newly translated biography of Annibale Bugnini, architect of the Novus Ordo Mass – and hero or éminence grise of the Council’s liturgical reforms, depending on your viewpoint. It is difficult not to tend towards the latter, though I don’t think the author intends it so.

Startling things emerge: many facts once dismissed as conspiracy theories because they were originally reported by those who opposed some reforms are here held to be historically accurate, perhaps the most notorious being the revelation that Eucharistic Prayer II was substantially composed in a Roman trattoria, since its authors were given only 24 hours for the task.

The tenuous thesis that the liturgical landscape of today is a direct outcome of the Council Fathers’ deliberations doesn’t survive a reading of this book. I suppose it is possible that the Holy Spirit, who blows where He wills, can work through the manipulations of committees, but it seems it is to such manipulations that we owe much of the reform. Consider the following facts recounted in the text.

When Pope John called the Council he set up an ante-preparatory commission to survey the world’s bishops. The replies to this committee (of which Mgr Bugnini was the secretary) reveal a desire to reform the liturgy. In what sense? Out of 2,109 responses from bishops, just three expressed the desire to restore Communion under both kinds. There was a sizeable demand for limited use of the vernacular, but only one French bishop wanted the entire Mass in French. Cardinal Montini (later Pope Paul VI) argued forcibly for “an extended use” of the vernacular, saying that “unless we do so the faithful will leave the churches.’’

In fact the limited use of the vernacular (because the Fathers naively thought that’s what they would get) was so uncontroversial that even a French missionary bishop, Marcel Lefevbre, voted for it. How has this filtered down as the mantra that the Council “did away with” Latin?

And how did we end up with a pastoral reality that in so many ways contradicts what the Constitution of the Ecumenical Council says, or guards with rubricist rigidity things never sanctioned by the liturgical reforms? And why the continuing attempts to marginalise anyone or anything having recourse to the directives of the Council’s Liturgical Constitution?

For example, I recently visited a religious house where I was told that plainchant is banned. The Constitution says it is to occupy “pride of place” in the Roman liturgy, but if you suggested reintroducing it you would be accused of wanting to “turn the clock back”. Yes, to the very point at which the Church said reform begins.

Ask for how to get to somewhere in rural Ireland and your interlocutor will reply, “Well, I wouldn’t start from here.” It is clear that the approach of the committees responsible for preparing and implementing the liturgical Constitution took a similar approach. Many of their minutes record discussion of radical innovations like Bugnini’s own unauthorised experiments from the 1940s, and several practices which would subsequently be introduced in the name of the Council. The discussion is followed by the request to omit them from the preparatory schema for the Council or postpone specifying details until afterwards, precisely because the measures were too radical to be agreed by the bishops.

Reading this makes me angry. Perhaps Lefebvre had a point inasmuch as he realised that when it came to the liturgy, the Council was sold a pup.

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Pope Francis slams Catholic media for 'cruelty'

Pope FrancisJEANNE SMITS reports for LifeSiteNews - Catholic media that identify and condemn statements and actions not in line with Catholic doctrine are opposing the 'centrality of compassion' and hampering evangelization in substance, Pope Francis told the bishops of Central America during his meeting with them at World Youth Days in Panama.

His words triggered an editorial piece by Andrea Tornielli on VaticanNews in which the new editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication doubled down on Francis' attacks, comparing his words to a 'photograph of a reality that unfortunately is plain for all to see' and adding his own criticisms of 'media that proclaim to be Catholic.'

These are the Pope's precise words:

'The outcome of our pastoral work, evangelization and mission does not depend on the material means and resources at our disposal, or on the number of our events and activities, but on the centrality of compassion: this is one of the unique things that we, the Church, can offer our brothers and sisters. I am worried about how the compassion of Christ has lost a central place in the Church, even among Catholic groups, or is being lost - not to be so pessimistic. Even in the Catholic media there is a lack of compassion. There is schism, condemnation, cruelty, exaggerated self-praise, the denouncing of heresy …'

We have here a typical example of the dichotomy Pope Francis has established in many ways between pastoral care and the upholding of the Church's teaching, where 'doctrine' and the law are held to be obstacles to mercy and inclusion.

It isn't difficult to imagine which 'Catholic media' he was alluding to. Many Catholic mainstream journals, magazines, and websites in the Western world - often those with official links to local episcopates - are obviously liberal, unclear on very clearly established points of doctrine, following the flow of 'new paradigms' and eager to keep up with the times.

Those that hang on to time-tested truths and traditional morality are easy to identify. It is they that voice concern about - say - the shifting standards of Amoris laetitia, openness to homosexual couples as such, the scrapping of perennial Church teaching on the death penalty, etc. This all would count as 'a lack of compassion': not welcoming sinners and at the same time pretending to be praiseworthy by contrast.

Interestingly, these Catholic media are presented as being guilty of 'schism'. That surely constitutes a doctrinal condemnation - a case of the pot calling the kettle black, perhaps? 'Cruelty', within that logic, would reside in the designation of evil or error by its name - to which the ultimate modern answer would be: 'Who am I to judge?'

Including the 'denouncing of heresy' in a list of objectively negative actions or attitudes is also remarkable. It rings as the condemnation of a pursuit that has been proper to the Catholic Church from the beginning, starting with unambiguous statements by Jesus Christ Himself ('Get thee behind me, Satan' is a good example) and going on throughout the centuries with the curse of the Councils on those who deliberately err, refusing the truths taught by the Church: 'Let him be anathema.'

To be sure, that requires thought, reflection, analysis and judgment: using the intellect to assess the veracity or the conformity of a point of view with regard to definite truths held by the Catholic Church. If heresy is wrong - and can cause souls to be lost - then denouncing heresy is of itself great charity, that aims to glorify God and, out of love, seeks to help others to know and to love Him as He is.

Why would that be contrary to 'compassion'?

Tornielli, a friend of Pope Francis and long his unofficial spokesman, went out of his way to expand on the aforementioned statement condemning a certain variety of Catholic media. In his role of editorial director, he adopted an editorial tone, paraphrasing the Pope's comments:

'His words are like a 'photograph' of a reality which unfortunately is plain for all to see: the spread - even among media that proclaim to be Catholic - of the habit of wanting to judge everything and everyone by putting one's self on a pedestal and raging against one's brothers and sisters in the faith who have different opinions,' he said.

Tornielli added, 'We should not believe that such a profoundly anti-Christian attitude (even if conveyed under Catholic' auspices) is a transitory phenomenon, linked only to the daily criticism of the present pontificate. In fact, at the root of this attitude lies something deeper and less incidental: the belief that in order to exist and confirm my identity, I must always find an enemy against which to direct my rage. Someone to attack, someone to condemn, someone to judge heretical.'

So Catholic media and Catholic journalists who are anxious to uphold the entirety of the Catholic faith would in fact be insecure individuals who can only come alive when they are seeking errors in those they do not like. This is psychobabble pure and simple, and completely ignores the central question: when denouncing this or that 'heresy,' are they right or wrong?

Tornielli illustrated his point with the description of Pope Francis' visit to the Las Garzas de Pacora Juvenile Detention Center to spend a few hours with young delinquents who could not participate in the World Youth Day events, showing the importance of compassion and mercy for sinners, in the same way that 'Jesus, who was capable of looking at people not for the mistakes, sins or crimes they have committed, but for what their lives could become if touched by mercy, compassion, and the infinite love of God Who embraces you before judging you,' as the Pope explained to the young people.

Between Tornielli's lines lies the idea that certain 'Catholic media' are incapable of understanding this - quite a hasty judgment.

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The BBC once promoted a Christian worldview. Today it champions a very different philosophy
BBC logoROBIN AITKEN writes for the Catholic Herald
- The BBC has wholeheartedly thrown its lot in with the liberal reformers; there has been no “impartiality” on any of the big moral issues of the past half-century. In every instance, the socially conservative argument has been depicted as callous, reactionary and dogmatic. Any counterargument to the prevailing liberal consensus is now ignored altogether; social conservative voices are conspicuous by their absence on mainstream current affairs programmes. That is sometimes because there is no one in the production teams who understands the social conservative position, so it is no longer considered when programmes are in the making. The liberals now have a national culture moulded by their thinking and their laws; it is their world now – the old morality has been utterly vanquished.

Consider the way in which Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion was promoted by the BBC. The book was treated with reverence, and the lavish coverage helped to propel its author to the highest pinnacle of intellectual celebrity. He is now one of that small, glittering band of international intellectual superstars in demand around the world. The BBC was not his only promoter – the Times, the Guardian and the Independent, as well as most other serious television and media outlets, all paid homage to the new guru – but the BBC’s imprimatur is always worth more than the others.

The Corporation still commands respect among media professionals; there is a noticeable cultural cringe when other broadcasters, particularly those from places such as Australia and Canada, come into contact with it. Partly thanks to the BBC’s heady sponsorship, The God Delusion became a global phenomenon which – given its intellectual mediocrity – takes some explaining. The eminent American sociologist Peter Berger gave much thought to the general phenomenon of secularisation, and his observations are peculiarly apt as a way of explaining the success of Dawkins’s book:

“There exists an international subculture composed of people with Western-type higher education, especially in the humanities and social sciences, that is indeed secularised. This subculture is the principal “carrier” of progressive, Enlightened beliefs and values. While its members are relatively thin on the ground, they are very influential, as they control the institutions that provide the “official” definitions of reality, notably the educational system, the media of mass communication, and the higher reaches of the legal system. They are remarkably similar all over the world today, as they have been for a long time … I may observe in passing that the plausibility of secularisation theory owes much to this international subculture.”

So ubiquitous was the coverage that it felt at the time as if The God Delusion was being promoted as a quasi-official philosophy; away with the Book of Common Prayer, in with a book for the common man. And in the context of Berger’s “subculture”, The God Delusion has become one of the standard texts of the secularists; an enormously influential work colouring the opinions of millions of people around the world. The fact of its essential vacuity doesn’t matter because, with its reputation enormously inflated by an uncritical media, it has been promoted to the status of holy writ.

The old moral code is difficult to live up to; its stern injunctions run counter to human instinct in every respect. It calls for self-restraint and self-abnegation and does so in the name of a higher power. That’s why people find it difficult, and why many don’t like it. Mr Dawkins’s alternative Ten Commandments, as listed in The God Delusion, have the great advantage of not being at all irksome – they are, in fact, a very agreeable and flexible set of rules which allow an individual to do pretty much what they want. They certainly would not act as a brake on selfish impulses. The crucial point to grasp is that because they admit to no outside authority, but depend entirely on the individual’s own judgment (one might say “conscience”) of what is right and what is wrong, they validate an infinite variety of outcomes. Each man becomes his own “god”, and sets the rules accordingly. The obvious problem is that most people find it difficult to resist the temptation to self-justify their actions, and tend to give themselves the benefit of the doubt.

The noble lie at the heart of this new morality is that we can, as individuals and as a society, dispense with an objective moral code without harmful consequences.

The claim is that the old moral code was judgmental and harsh and based on a non-existent deity who had supposedly laid down rules about human conduct; in fact, say the atheists, the rules were concocted by power-hungry priests. The new moral code, they say, which dispenses with God altogether, allows everyone to live happier lives – free from the guilt that the traditional rules engendered. This idea has been successfully marketed to the country (after all, it’s not that difficult to persuade people to do what their instincts urge them to do) and, exercising our democratic free will, we have enshrined in law measures that overturn the old moral code.

The countless discussions of Dawkins’s book provided easy fodder for the pocket-intellectuals who make BBC talk shows, but the practical effect of this unilateral moral disarmament were never addressed. In recent decades millions of people have become unmoored from the country’s traditional moral code with sadly predictable consequences, not least on the nation’s mental health.

Increasing incidence of mental illness has been apparent in recent years, not surprisingly because the UK has one of the highest rates of mental health problems in the world. According to an NHS survey reported in 2017, at any one time, a sixth of the population is suffering from a mental health problem. As reported by the BBC website: “It seems to be getting more common – or at least among those with severe symptoms. While the proportion of people affected does not appear to have risen in the past few years, if you go back a little further there has certainly been a steady increase.”

The result of our national, transgressive moral revolution is now apparent: a horribly diminished sense of security for millions of children and a coarsening and debasement of our attitudes to sex, plus a rise in mental illness across the population. In addition, there has been a profound change in the value we put on human life itself. It is often said that contemporary Britain is a post-Christian country; if so, the ills that afflict the nation today cannot be laid at the door of the old belief system. This country of unhappy children and uncertain adults – this is the world social liberal values have conjured into being.

The BBC which, once upon a time, understood its responsibilities differently and promoted a straightforward Christian view of the world, has been the midwife to this transformation; in fact, more than the midwife – an active agent of change agitating for the new morality. And, the change having been successfully realised – with permissive liberal values now triumphant – the BBC no longer even allows a social conservative challenge to the new dispensation. Any claim by the Corporation to be “impartial” in this debate is a lie.

[This is an edited extract from The Noble Liar: How and why the BBC distorts the news to promote a liberal agenda (Biteback Publishing). Robin Aitken is a journalist and author who worked for the BBC for 25 yea]rs

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Infamous Scribblers: Virtue Signalers on the Warpath

Fr. RutlerFATHER GEORGE W. RUTLER writes for Crisis Magazine - Our Lord condemned 'virtue signaling' in his parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the Temple.

newspapers 444447 640From October 22 to November 30 in 1878, a large fair was held in the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in New York City before its dedication. That took advantage of the magnificent open space before pews were installed to the distress of the architect James Renwick who objected that Protestant furniture had no place in a Catholic shrine. Renwick was a Protestant himself, but an aesthetic purist and an Anglican, not a Puritan; but Archbishop McCloskey needed money and, like having a fundraising fair, renting pews was a way to get it.

Six months earlier, and exactly one block north on the same side of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell had reclined in a bathtub in her huge mansion and slit her throat. She left a fortune of over twelve million dollars in today's money, as the nation's most notorious abortionist. Not unfamiliar with prison, her dismal career had been haunted by what we would now call investigative journalists in the employ of The New York Times. Founded in 1851, the 'Gray Lady' became the journal of the new Republican Party and helped the demolition of the corrupt Tweed Ring.

Times change, even for The New York Times, which over more recent years has abandoned its foundational moral rectitude. Although not proud of its whitewashing of the Ukraine famine and Stalin's show trials by the complicit reporter Walter Duranty, the newspaper has not renounced his Pulitzer Prize, nor has it demurred from the praise heaped on it by Fidel Castro when he visited their editorial office in a gesture of thanks for their support. There was that problem with Jayson Blair's plagiarism, and the misrepresentation of young men falsely accused of sexual violence at Duke University. The latter bears some resemblance to the recent incident in our nation's capital when youths from the Covington Catholic High School were accused of racist bullying. But The New York Times has had the decency, along with some others, to regret the haste with which it moved to condemn the innocent.

Catholics who do not know their history are accountable for letting it be maligned.

Unlike Mark Twain who noted that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated, those who now say that journalism is dead may have a good case. Yet one should not expect much from those who report the activities of others and by so doing arrogate to themselves the importance of the actors. Despite the fact that he was a journalist himself, G.K. Chesterton said that writing badly is the definition of journalism.

When hieroglyphics were the best, if static, medium of telling the news in the thirteenth century B.C., Rameses the Great advertised himself as the victor of the Battle of Kadesh, although truth tellers knew that he had lost it. The city of Trent spread a 'blood libel' against Jews in 1475 that led to a massacre, and not even Pope Sixtus IV could stop it, though he tried. In 1765, Samuel Adams, whose only worthy legacy is beer, falsely claimed in print that Thomas Hutchinson, a Loyalist, supported the Stamp Tax, with the result that the helpless man's house was burned to the ground. In 1782, five months after Yorktown, Benjamin Franklin produced a hoax news release during his sojourn in Paris, claiming that King George had induced American Indians to commit atrocities, and he also forged the name of John Paul Jones to another libel. And, of course, Marie Antoinette never said 'Let them eat cake,' (actually it was 'brioche') but those who wanted to believe it, did. George Washington had enough of journalists, and told Hamilton that he was quitting public life because of 'a disinclination to be longer buffitted [sic] in the public prints [sic] by a set of infamous scribblers.'

There is no need to recount the details of the latest incident in our nation's capital, when the high school boys were defamed by journalists with the accusation that they mocked an elderly Native American who was trying to calm a confrontation with a radical group of anti-white, anti-Semitic racists. Videos proved that there was no truth to this, but a flurry of demagogic 'virtue signaling' berated the boys without giving them a chance to testify. In the eyes of the secular media, the lads were at a portentous disadvantage, being white Catholic males, some of whom were wearing MAGA hats. The 'Native American' was described as an elderly Vietnam War veteran. But few 64 year olds today would qualify as geriatric. And in the last year that any U.S. combat units were stationed in Vietnam, 1973, he would have been 18 years old. Mr. Phillips, a professional 'activist' for the Indigenous Peoples March, also claims to be a marine veteran which may be the case, but to have been a Marine veteran in Vietnam when the last Marine combat divisions left in 1971, he would have been 16. This information has been ignored in some quarters. Journalists were supposed to expose hoaxes pretending to be facts, but now they prefer to call facts hoaxes. I speak without prejudice, since, having been born in New Jersey, I can also claim to be an Indigenous Person. Besides that, as a teenager, I was schooled in a college originally established for the education of what used to be called Indians.

That brings up a contiguous complaint. As soon as this incident was reported, The Washington Post, in its role as the intemperate sibling of The New York Times, ran an essay decrying 'the shameful exploitation of Native Americans by the Catholic Church.' For secularists, any missionary adventure must be exploitative and destructive of native culture, even though Christian evangelists have thwarted infanticide, human sacrifice, cremation of widows, polygamy, caste systems and, yes, slavery. That article in the Post made no mention of the Jesuit Martyrs who endured torture and death to bring the Gospel to dejected tribes and peace to internecine tribal slaughterers. Absent was mention of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha who was exiled by her own Mohawks for her love of Christ, and Saint Junipero Serra who transformed the fortunes of the indigenous 'gatherer' culture, or Saint Katherine Drexel who donated her vast inheritance to establish fifty missions among the native peoples, and heroic Bishop Martin Marty who brought science and literacy to the Dakota territory, and Father Pierre De Smart who fashioned the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, and so befriended Chief Tatanta Iytake ('Sitting Bull') that the venerable chief, impeded from his own reception into the Church by having two wives, wore a crucifix to his dying day and saw to it that Buffalo Bill Cody was baptized the day before he died. Defamation by journalists is unethical in the professional sphere and sinful in the economy of God, but to submit saints to detraction is blasphemous.

A mental image of Pope Leo XIII applauding the Wild West Show of Buffalo Bill and Chief Sitting Bull on tour in Rome would confound The Washington Post. Buffalo Bill and his entourage were wined and dined at the North American College there, an event that might have been inaccurately reported by CNN. But those are facts, and Catholics who do not know their history are accountable for letting it be maligned.

For secularists, any missionary adventure must be exploitative and destructive of native culture, even though Christian evangelists have thwarted infanticide, human sacrifice, cremation of widows, polygamy, caste systems and, yes, slavery.

Now, this incident with the Covington boys may be more significant than some transient scandal. One remembers Senator Joseph McCarthy using the media to his advantage, and to this day his foes will not admit that he did indeed expose some real threats to the nation. The young Robert Kennedy was his assistant attorney and McCarthy was godfather to Robert's first daughter, Kathleen, although he died four years later and obviously had no catechetical influence. But when his actions became extravagant, the Army attorney Joseph Welch asked, 'Have you no sense of decency?' The whole deck of cards collapsed. Perhaps the media are beyond a sense of shame now, wallowing in destructive polemics, but fair-minded people may be moved by this Covington incident to recognize the indecency of political correctness. Such correctness is most demeaning when it cloaks itself in an affected moralism which agnostic subjectivism has otherwise displaced from social discourse.

Our Lord condemned 'virtue signaling' in his parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the Temple. 'I thank you, Lord, that I am not like this sinner.' There are Pharisees in every corridor of society, but they find a most comfortable berth in the Church. So it was that the very diocese of the Covington students, without interviewing them or asking for evidence outside the media, promptly threatened to punish them. There was no reference to the hateful racism and obscene references to priests chanted by the cultic Hebrew Israelites as they threatened those Catholic youths. Instead bishops issued anodyne jargon about the 'dignity of the human person' without respecting the dignity of their own spiritual sons. The latest advertisement of the Gillette razor company portraying examples of 'toxic masculinity' did not accuse any bishop, but only ecclesiastical bureaucrats would consider that a compliment. Pope Francis, once off the cuff and at a high altitude in an airplane asked, 'Who am I to judge?' There might at last be some application of that malapropism to shepherds who jump to judgment and throw their lambs to the wolves of the morally bankrupt media in a display of virtue signaling and in fear of being politically incorrect.

[Crisis Magazine] 2266.20




















Literary converts


Evelyn Waugh


I realize that the Roman Catholic Church is the only genuine form of Christianity. Also that Christianity is the essential and formative constituent of western culture… - Evelyn Waugh

JOSEPH PEARCE writes for the National Catholic Register - These words were written by Evelyn Waugh to the Jesuit, Martin D'Arcy, on 21 August 1930, eight days before his reception into the Church. Waugh's reception caused considerable controversy, not least because he was considered among the avant-garde of the ultra-modern novelists. How could someone who had been lauded as ultra-modern succumb to the pillar of all things ancient? Such was the consternation at the news of Waugh's conversion that it made the national headlines. Two leaders in the Daily Express had already discussed the significance of Waugh's conversion before his own article, 'Converted to Rome: Why It Has Happened To Me?', was published in the same paper. It was given a full-page spread, boldly headlined. On the following day, the Express published a response to Waugh by a Protestant politician, and the day after it published an article by a Jesuit priest pondering the question: 'Is Britain Turning to Rome?'

Clearly Waugh's conversion had caused shockwaves of seismic proportions. Yet he was not alone. Two years earlier, the conversion of T.S. Eliot to anglo-catholicism had caused similar controversy. Virginia Woolf had reacted to Eliot's conversion with horror. 'I have had a most shameful and distressing interview with dear Tom Eliot, who may be called dead to us all from this day forward,' she wrote to a friend. 'He has become an Anglo-Catholic believer in God and immortality, and goes to church … there's something obscene in a living person sitting by the fire and believing in God.' What was most shocking to Woolf and her ilk was that Eliot and Waugh were 'modern'. They were doing innovative and exciting things with poetry and fiction. They were the heralds of the new dawn of modernity. How could the most exciting and cutting-edge literary talent find its home in the Church? The fact is that Eliot and Waugh had experienced the secular fundamentalist 'future' as a wasteland of barren emptiness. In the midst of this vacuity they had sought to fill modernity's vacuum with traditional Christianity seeing it as 'the essential and formative constituent of western culture'. This might have led to their being considered 'dead' to the suicidal nihilism of Woolf and her fellow Bloomsburys, but it breathed astonishing literary life into their post-conversion work. Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is arguably the greatest novel of the twentieth century, and Eliot's Four Quartets is indubitably the century's finest poem.

Nor were Waugh's and Eliot's conversions an isolated occurrence, which could be dismissed as a mere aberration or a minor blip on the map of humanity's 'progress' towards a 'post-Christian' future. On the contrary, they were following in the footsteps of a host of literary converts who had preceded them on the journey to Christian orthodoxy. Newman's conversion, as far back as 1845, had caused the intellectual and literary landscape of England to quake even more seismically than had the conversions of Waugh and Eliot almost eighty years later. His prose praised the Church with unexcelled brilliance and his poetry is amongst the finest written in an age of great poets.

A wave of converts followed in Newman's wake, notably Gerard Manley Hopkins, possibly the greatest of all Victorian poets, and Coventry Patmore, a lesser poet than Hopkins but a major figure in the Victorian age nonetheless. At the end of the nineteenth century, most of the leading writers of the English Decadence took the path of penance that led to Rome. Among the converts from this period were the brightest lights of the fin de siècle: Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Ernest Dowson, and Lionel Johnson. These English Decadents were themselves following what might be called the Decadent path to Christ, or the Magdalen path, which had been walked by the French Decadents before them. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Joris Karl Huysmans had all repented of their blasphemies and had been received into the Catholic Church, the last of whom even ending his days in a monastery.

The turn of the twentieth century saw the turning of many of the finest writers to Rome. Converts during the Edwardian and Georgian period included G.K. Chesterton, Maurice Baring, R.H. Benson, Christopher Dawson, Alfred Noyes and Ronald Knox. Graham Greene was received into the Church in 1926 and Roy Campbell entered the Church nine years later. After the second world war, prominent literary converts included Siegfried Sassoon, Edith Sitwell, Muriel Spark and Malcolm Muggeridge.

As if the foregoing litany of literati is not impressive enough, J.R.R. Tolkien can be considered a cradle convert, being received into the Church as an eight-year-old following the conversion of his mother. Tolkien described his magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings, as 'a fundamentally religious and Catholic work'. Although Tolkien's great friend C.S. Lewis is not a convert to Catholicism, he converted from atheism to a substantially orthodox Christianity under the benevolent Catholic influence of Chesterton and Tolkien.

Taken together, this host of literary converts has blazed a trail of light and hope through the darkened decades of modernity, producing some of the greatest works of literature to emerge in the desert of the secular wasteland.

Nothing else need be said, not least because these great writers have said it all so much better in their works. Let's end as we begin with the words of Waugh:

Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly.

[1] Selina Hastings, Eveyn Waugh: A Biography, London: Diane Pub Co, 1994, p. 225

[2] Joseph Pearce, Literary Converts, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999, p. 131

[3] Humphrey Carpenter (ed.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1981, p. 172

[4] Michael de-la-Noy, Eddy: The Life of Edward Sackville-West, London: Bodley head, 1988, pp. 237-8

[Joseph Pearce is Senior Editor at the Augustine Institute, editor of the St. Austin Review and the author of books on Shakespeare, Tolkien, Chesterton and other Christian literary figures].

[NCRegister] 2266.21




















Comment from the internet


Should pro-abort politicians be excommunicated?

What is Catholic Excommunication? Is it found in the Bible? What are the different kinds of excommunication? Should Catholic politicians violate Catholic teaching and morality be excommunicated? Dr Taylor Marshall and Dr Timothy Gordon dive into the history and current contemporary situation regarding excommunication.



[taylormarshall.com] 2266.22





















Saving the Social Teaching from Caricature

C FerraraCHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives - With his endless railing against the rich simply because they are rich, and his endless exaltation of the poor as if poverty equated to sainthood, Pope Francis has presented, not the Church's authentic social teaching, but rather a Latin American, socialist-tinged caricature of it.

Thus do we hear constant denunciations of the excesses of capitalism, which certainly exist and are condemnable, but never a word of criticism of the even worse excesses of socialism in such places as Venezuela, a once-prosperous nation reduced to economic rubble by the socialist policies of the dictator Nicolás Maduro, forcing the people literally to eat out of garbage cans in order to survive. Speaking of Maduro, Philip Lawler has written: 'As Venezuela burns, many Latin Americans ask: 'Where is Pope Francis?' The headline on a Catholic World Report essay by Samuel Gregg more or less speaks for itself. And Sandro Magister of L'Espresso raised essentially the same question …'

In fact, it seems Francis has never met a socialist, or for that matter, communist dictator he does not like, as we see in his relations with the Latin American dictators he has visited, including Fidel Castro and Bolivia's Evo Morales, who gave him the infamous hammer-and-sickle crucifix (pictured above), which he took home to the Vatican.

Then, of course, there is the communist dictatorship in Beijing, to which Francis has surrendered the rights of the true Church in China and on which he heaped praise in an interview with Asia Times back in 2016, including the following rather revolting encomium:

'I wish to convey my best wishes and greetings to President Xi Jinping [!] and to all the Chinese people. And I wish to express my hope that they never lose their historical awareness of being a great people, with a great history of wisdom, and that they have much to offer to the world. The world looks to this great wisdom of yours. In this New Year, with this awareness, may you continue to go forward in order to help and cooperate with everyone in caring for our common home and our common peoples.'

Go forward? Care for our common home? The Chinese people are being pushed backward into the pit of hell under a brutal atheist regime that persecutes the Church and forces abortions on women, while China is one of the world's worst offenders in terms of environmental pollution.

After nearly six years of Pope Francis, the Church's social teaching on economic justice needs to be rescued from the caricature he has made of it. The true social teaching is masterfully summarized in two landmark encyclicals: Rerum Novarum (1891) by Pope Leo XIII and Quadragesimo Anno (1931) by Pius XI, promulgated on the fortieth anniversary of Leo's encyclical. Suffice it to note here the basic elements of that teaching:

The Church embraces neither capitalism nor socialism, of which Pius XI declared: 'No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.'

• The Church condemns both capitalism and socialism as the modern 'isms' they are, because each, in its own way, leads to a social order that rejects the law of the Gospel as the limit on human action in the economic sphere, and each in its own way captures state power and turns it toward the end of a totalizing claim to dominance. Socialism does this by expropriating private property and capitalism by using government privileges to achieve monopoly power (e.g., Google and other state-supported tech giants) and an economic regime in which there is no moral restraint whatsoever on commerce (abortion, contraception, pornography, etc). That is, capitalism and socialism are opposite sides of the coin of Liberalism, whose false principles always conduce to the destruction of both public and private morality.

• The Church defends the right to private property, limited by the divinely imposed obligation of almsgiving, which proceeds from the universal destination of all goods, which are in the end only God's blessings, not man's absolute possession.

• The Church condemns socialist expropriation of private property.

• The Church condemns confiscatory taxation and the usurpation of local authority by central authority, defending instead what Pius XI called 'the principle of subsidiary function,' which holds that the rights of localities to govern must not be compromised by overreaching central authorities.

• The Church defends entrepreneurship, but cautions that the business owner has a duty, whenever he can, to pay his workers a wage sufficient for family support - not as a matter of state compulsion, but rather a Christian duty in natural justice. This obligation is no more 'arbitrary,' as libertarians claim, than the obligation to give alms. Its scope depends on the facts and circumstances of each owner, whose conscience (not state compulsion) ought to direct him in fixing wages for the employees whose labor makes him wealthy.

• The Church defends the rights of the workingman, which are these: (a) a living or family wage, (b) time for religious observances, (c) rest on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, (d) reasonable working conditions and hours that do not grind workers down, with time for recuperation, (e) the avoidance of child laboror labor for women inconsistent with the requirements of modesty and the upbringing of children, (f) a work environment that is not morally corrupting, and (g) the formation of Christian worker's associations or unions without interference by law.

These common sense principles - common sense, that is, informed by the Gospel - are a far cry from demagogic pitting of the rich against the poor or utopian demands for the 'eradication' of poverty, as if that largely relative state, which varies from place to place and time to time, could ever be eliminated entirely.

As Our Lord Himself declared against those who murmured against the woman who had anointed His head with precious oil rather than selling it and give the proceeds to the poor: 'For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but Me you have not always' (Mk 14:7). It is that divine wisdom about the reality of human existence after the Fall which underlies the true Catholic social teaching, a teaching that carefully avoids all the extremes which characterize our collapsing post-Christian civilization.

[FP] 2266.23




















The truth about the crisis in the Catholic Church



[Vox Catholica] 2266.23a




















Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Teampaillin




FIVE miles northwest of Michelstown is the ancient monastic site of Leaba Mo-Laga, or The Teampaillin. It takes its name from a disciple of Saint David of Wales - Saint Mo-Laga. There are remains (Nat.Mon). Most Irish records relating to the Dissolution of the Monasteries were destroyed in the burning of the Dublin Records Office in 1922.





















Allegri ~ King's College Choir




[BBC] 2266.25






















St Thomas Aquinas


The delight of God in goodness

IN GOD, there is another perfection: all goodness is pleasing to Him by nature, always and everywhere, whether it be in angels, in men, or in other creatures.

It's this goodness includes qualities of the body (like beauty, strength, grace, sweetness, and the fullness of natural maturity), qualities of the soul (such as perspicacity of the spirit, tenacity of memory, subtlety of the intelligence, rectitude of the will,, and freedom of the will), and natural gifts (such as the ability to read well, to sing well, to preach well, to be eloquent, sober, and continent, and to have well regulated habits). Finally, these goods include the gifts of grace, which please God above everything - gifts such as faith, hope, charity, humility, patience, mercy, obedience, truth, temperance, justice, prudence, and knowledge.

Similarly all evil displeases God everywhere and always and in whatever it exists. As justice is the enemy of injustice and impurity of purity, so the malice of man opposes the goodness of God, because it lessens or even completely destroys the divine good that grace gives to nature.

All that is good should also please us, always and everywhere and in every creature. We must protect and support goodness was solicitude, and resist boldly those who combat it.

We should always and everywhere detest evil with all our heart and exert ourselves to prevent it because it is injurious to God and harmful to one's neighbour; and much more because of the insult to the Creator than because of the danger to man.

But, alas, more often it is the opposite that takes place. For if we feel sad because someone is praised and loved an account of his humility, his piety, his devotions, or his other gifts, and if we try to diminish his merits, what do we show ourselves to be if not beings whom goodness does not please?

When we conversed with slanderers and laugh with them, when we delight in these frivolities and other faults of the same order, what do we do, if not confirm that evil things do not displease us?

[Saint Thomas Aquinas, Opusulum 62] 2266.26












































































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