This edition of CF NEWS No.2271 posted at 1.34 pm on Sunday, March 10th, 2019


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Bishop Schneider wins clarification on “diversity of religions” read more >>>
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USA Cardinal Cupich dragged his feet on case of child porn priest  VIDEO read more >>>
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Vatican watch



Acies Ordinata - Rome, February 2019




[Lepanto Institute] 2271.3e














Bishop Schneider wins clarification on “diversity of religions” from Pope Francis, brands abuse summit a “failure”

DIANE MONTAGNA reports from Rome for LifeSiteNews — In their recent ad limina visit to Rome, the bishops of Kazakhstan and Central Asia raised a number of concerns which have been widely shared in the Church over the last several years, concerning perceived ambiguities in the magisterium of Pope Francis.

At the March 1 meeting, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, also obtained from Pope Francis a clarification that God only permits but does not positively will a “diversity of religions.”

In an exclusive interview with LifeSite, Bishop Schneider said the concerns raised during the two hour meeting with the Holy Father included “Communion for divorced and civilly ‘remarried’ Catholics, the issue of Communion for Protestant spouses in mixed marriages, and the issue of the practical spread of homosexuality in the Church.”

In a direct exchange between Pope Francis and Bishop Schneider, the claim that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God” was also discussed. The expression, contained in a joint statement that Pope Francis signed last month with a Grand Imam in Abu Dhabi, has incited considerable controversy.

The Pope explicitly stated that Bishop Schneider could share the contents of their exchange on this point. “You can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God,” he told the assembled bishops, who come from predominantly Muslim regions.

The auxiliary of Astana in turn asked the Pope to officially clarify the statement in the Abu Dhabi document.

LifeSite sat down with Bishop Schneider in Rome following the ad limina visit. In a wide-ranging interview, we discussed his meeting with Pope Francis, his views on the recent Vatican sex abuse summit, and anticipated attacks on clerical celibacy at the forthcoming Amazonian Synod.

Schneider branded the sex abuse summit a “clerical show” and a “failure” for not addressing the “deep roots” of the crisis and issuing “very precise, compelling and incisive norms.” He expounds on what he believes are the four causes of the abuse crisis and proposes two concrete norms he believes should have come out of the summit.

Asked about Cardinal Blase Cupich’s denial of a causal relationship between homosexuality and clerical sex abuse, Schneider asked despairingly: “How can I speak with a man who denies reality?”

In the interview, Bishop Schneider also praises the open letter issued by Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller ahead of the Vatican abuse summit and suggests further action that cardinals and bishops might take to address the current crisis in the Church.


Here below is LifeSite's exclusive interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider

LifeSite: Your Excellency, what can you tell us about your recent ad limina visit and meeting with Pope Francis?

Bishop Schneider: It was for me a very spiritual experience — a pilgrimage to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, where we celebrated the Holy Mass. At the tomb of St Peter we sang for Pope Francis the antiphon “Oremus pro pontifice nostro” followed by the Creed. We also prayed for the intentions of the Pope to gain the plenary indulgence. We did the same at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls and at the Marian Basilica of St Mary Major.

Regarding our meeting with the Pope, he is the Vicar of Christ on earth in this time, and he was very fraternal and kind to us. It was a very kind atmosphere.

Our meeting with him lasted two hours. I consider this an act of great generosity on the part of the Pope, to spend so much time with our group of 10 bishops and ordinaries of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

During the meeting, the Pope invited us to freely express our concerns and even our criticisms. He stressed that he likes a very free conversation.

Some bishops were able to raise concerns about the life of the Church in our days. For example, the issue of Communion for divorced and civilly “remarried” Catholics; the issue of Communion for Protestant spouses in mixed marriages; and the issue of the practical spread of homosexuality in the Church. These points were discussed.

Then I also asked the Holy Father to clarify the statement in the Abu Dhabi document on the diversity of religions being “willed” by God.

The Pope was very benevolent in his response to our questions and sought to answer us from his own perspective on these problems. He answered in a more general way about principles of the Catholic Faith, but in the given circumstances we were not able to go into detail on the specific issues. Even so, I am very thankful to the Holy Father that he gave us the possibility in a very serene atmosphere to raise several concerns and to speak with him.

Can you say more about how Pope Francis responded to your concern about the Abu Dhabi statement on the diversity of religions? The controversial passage reads: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”

On the topic of my concern about the phrase used in the Abu Dhabi document – that God “wills” the diversity of religions – the Pope’s answer was very clear: he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God.

I tried to go more deeply into the question, at least by quoting the sentence as it reads in the document. The sentence says that as God wills the diversity of sexes, color, race and language, so God wills the diversity of religions. There is an evident comparison between the diversity of religions and the diversity of sexes.

I mentioned this point to the Holy Father, and he acknowledged that, with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously. I stressed in my response to him that the diversity of sexes is not the permissive will of God but is positively willed by God. And the Holy Father acknowledged this and agreed with me that the diversity of the sexes is not a matter of God’s permissive will.

But when we mention both of these phrases in the same sentence, then the diversity of religions is interpreted as positively willed by God, like the diversity of sexes. The sentence therefore leads to doubt and erroneous interpretations, and so it was my desire, and my request that the Holy Father rectify this. But he said to us bishops: you can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.

For readers who may not be familiar with the distinction between the permissive and positive will of God, can you give some examples of other things that God allows through his permissive will?

Yes, permissive will means that God allows certain things. God allowed or permitted Adam’s sin and all its consequences; and even when we personally sin, in some sense God permits this or tolerates this. But God does not positively will our sin. He permits it in view of the infinitely meritorious sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, and because he does not want to destroy our freedom. This is the meaning of the permissive will of God.

Vatican sex abuse summit

Many people, including victims of sexual abuse who had come to Rome for the February 25-27 Vatican summit on the protection of minors in the Church, were disappointed with the meeting for what they considered its lack of concrete action. Your Excellency, what do you believe would be the most effective way to solve the problem of sexual abuse and coverup in the Church?

When there is a huge problem — which the abuse of children, minors and adult subordinates by the clergy certainly is — we always have to go to the deepest root, as every good doctor and physician does.

We cannot resolve a sickness only by making a superficial diagnosis. A deep and integral diagnosis is needed. And in my opinion, this was not done at the summit, because one of the evident, observable and deepest roots of the sexual abuse of minors is homosexuality among the clergy. Of course, I will not say that all homosexuals are necessarily abusing children. This would be unjust and untrue. But we are speaking about clerical abuse in the Church, and so we have to focus on this illness. It has been proven that more than 80 percent of victims were post-pubescent males. It is therefore evident that the nature of the majority of this abuse involved homosexual acts. We have to stress that this is one of the main roots.

The other main root of the abuse crisis is the relativism on moral teaching which began after the Second Vatican Council. Since then, we have been living in a deep crisis of doctrinal relativism, not only of dogmatics but also of morals — the moral law of God. Morals were not taught clearly in seminaries over the past 50 years; it was often not clearly taught in Seminaries and Theological faculties that a sin against the sixth commandment is a grave sin. Subjectively there may be mitigating circumstances, but objectively it is a grave sin. Every sexual act outside a valid matrimony is against the will of God. It offends God and is a serious sin, a mortal sin. This teaching was so relativized. And this is one of the other deep roots. We have to stress this. And in my opinion, this was not stressed at the summit: the relativism of moral teaching, specifically on the sixth commandment.

Another deep cause is the lack of a true, serious and authentic formation of seminarians. There was a lack of asceticism in the life and formation of seminarians. It has been proven by two thousand years, and by human nature, that without physical asceticism like fasting, praying, and even other forms of corporal mortifications, it is impossible to live a constant life in virtue without mortal sin. Due to the deep wound of original sin and the concupiscence still at work in every human being, we need corporal mortification.

St. Paul says: “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Rom. 13:14) We can paraphrase these words, saying: do not nurture your flesh too much or concupiscence will dominate you. And this is exactly what often happened in seminaries. Seminarians and priests nurtured the flesh through a comfortable life without asceticism, without fasting and other bodily and spiritual mortifications.

But to me, the deepest cause of the clerical sex abuse crisis is the lack of a deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When a seminarian or a priest does not have a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ, in constant fidelity to a life of prayer and really enjoying a personal love for Jesus, he is easy prey for the temptations of the flesh and other vices.

Furthermore, when you have a deep and personal love of Christ, you cannot deliberately commit a horrendous sin. Occasionally, because of the weakness of human nature, a priest or seminarian could commit a mortal sin against purity. But in the same moment, he is deeply repentant and decides to avoid the next sin at any cost. This is a manifestation of a true love of Christ. But it is for me completely excluded that a person who deeply loves Christ can sexually abuse minors. It is for me impossible. To my opinion, a deep love of Christ excludes this.

These are the main roots: homosexuality among the clergy, relativism of doctrine, a lack of ascesis and above all the absences of a deep and true love for Christ. And this was not stressed in the summit. Therefore, I consider the summit to be a failure, as a doctor fails to cure an illness when he fails to address its causes. This problem will break out again.

You mentioned the statistic that 80 percent of victims were post-pubescent males. How do you respond to Cardinal Blase Cupich and others who point to the John Jay report and other studies as evidence there is no causal relationship between homosexuality and clerical sex abuse?

It’s a denial of reality. How can I speak with a man who denies reality? This is only explainable as an ideological position.

What concrete measures do you believe the summit should have taken to offer real solutions to the problem of clerical sexual abuse?

The summit should have issued concrete canonical norms, but it didn’t, and therefore I think the summit was a failure. It was a beautiful clerical show, it was a show of clericalism — all the clerics with their titles came from all over the world. And many beautiful words — very emotional words — were spoken. But these deep roots were not addressed, and concrete and incisive norms were not given.

To my mind, very precise, compelling and incisive norms should be given.

The first canonical norm I would propose is this: that people with homosexual inclinations should categorically not be accepted in seminaries. And if they are discovered, of course with respect and love, they must be dismissed from the seminary and helped to be healed and to live as a good Christian layman.

Currently the norms only say that those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be admitted to seminary, but for me this is not sufficient. What does “deep-seated” mean? If an adult man comes to the seminary and feels homosexual attraction, even if it is not yet deep-seated, it is still a homosexual attraction. And in itself it is already a condition that, in some circumstances — such as in the exclusively male atmosphere of a seminary — could develop into a deeper or more aggressive tendency.

And when he becomes a priest, he will be with seminarians, with young altar boys and so on. And so while perhaps in seminary these tendencies were not deep-seated, they can become deeper in certain circumstances.

If is for me in some way disingenuous. Let’s say that a young man is not an aggressive homosexual. He does not take pleasure in having homosexual tendencies, and they are not so deeply rooted. But when he acknowledges that he has these tendencies, or when it is proven by exterior acts or signs that he has homosexual tendencies, even if they are not deep-seated, he should be charitably sent away from the seminary. And this should be a canonical norm: that someone who acknowledges that he has homosexual tendencies, even not deep-seated, cannot be received into another seminary and cannot be ordained.

Homosexual tendencies are a kind of a personality disorder trait and a distorted perception of reality, since this signifies a desiring an object of pleasure against the natural order of the sexes. Magisterial documents call it an “objective” disorder. How can you ordain a man with a disorder in his personality or in his psycho-somatic makeup. Of course, there are other psychological disorders as well. We do not ordain men with certain psychological disorders, even when they are not so deep. It would harm the priesthood.

You mentioned exterior signs. In the canonical norm you propose, what sort of exterior signs do you have in mind?

If he were to have an exclusive and ostentatious friendship with a man, it would already be an exterior sign. Or if he looks at male pornography on the internet, this would be another sign. These are exterior, verifiable signs. Once these are discovered, such a seminarian should be forever excluded from ordination. Yes, he can be healed, but the seminary is not a sanitarium for healing people with psychological disorders or homosexual tendencies. This is naïve, and it will harm the priesthood and the person. It would be better for such a person to be a good Christian in the world and save his soul, and not to be a priest. We can and should help him, or course. But we have to be willing to say to him: you will not be ordained, it is for the salvation of your soul. Be a good Christian in the world.

Better to have fewer priests but healthy, psychologically healthy men. And deep lovers of Christ, deeply spiritual men. It would be better for the entire Church. Better to leave some parishes without a priest and some dioceses without a bishop for several years than to ordain a man who has a disorder, either homosexual or other personality disorders.

What other concrete norms do you believe the Vatican sex abuse summit should have issued?

In a case when a priest or a bishop commits sexual abuse, even one case, he has to be dismissed from the clerical state. There should be “zero-tolerance” in this case, and it should be established in Canon Law. There should be no exception. Of course, the fact of the sexual abuse must be proven and verified by a true canonical process, but when it is, he has to be dismissed from the clerical state.

These two norms (the categorical non-admittance to the seminary and to ordination of men with homosexual tendencies, and the dismissal from the clerical state), in my view, should have been explicitly mentioned in the summit, if it is to have a concrete impact. Otherwise it was a beautiful meeting, but more or less a clerical show with sentimental words and statements.

Should a priest who has abused minors receive any money from the Church?

I think yes. We have to be merciful and should not be cruel. We must always still be human and Christian, and I think the Church should at least temporarily give these clerics who are dismissed financial help – maybe for the first two years.

Open Letter of Cardinals Burke and Brandmüller

Prior to the summit, Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller issued an open letter calling on the bishops attending the summit to end their silence on the moral corruption in the Church and to uphold divine and natural law. How much do you think their open letter was listened to and heeded at the meeting?

I think the letter of the two cardinals was meritorious and very timely, and history will regard it as a truly positive contribution in this very delicate crisis of abuse on the universal level of the Church. It was a beautiful witness, and I believe this letter honored the College of Cardinals.

But I think it was heard more by the simple people than by the clerics: again, clericalism.

Some have suggested that the Vatican sex abuse summit was the greatest example of clericalism.

They failed to listen to the voices of the lay people. The voice of the laity was not heard sufficiently by clerics. Is this not clericalism?

What do you believe explains the obvious and repeated refusal to address the issue of homosexuality at the summit? Some have argued it might be due to a desire to protect homosexual networks within the hierarchy. Others have suggested it comes from bishops being afraid to say anything negative about homosexuality for fear of repercussions from the State.

I think that the first argument does not have considerable weight in the context of the summit. There are homosexual groups, but in this summit it was not decisive, in my opinion.

The second argument which you mentioned does have some weight but was not decisive. Fear on the part of bishops to confront the world is a factor; the fear of the world. Even though they may personally be against homosexuality, they fear a confrontation with the world. Clerical cowardice: again, clericalism.

But the deepest reason, in my opinion, is that there are mighty clerical clans among bishops and cardinals who want to promote and change in the Church the divine moral law on the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and of the homosexual lifestyle. They want to make homosexuality acceptable as a legitimate variant of sexual life. In my view, this is the deepest and perhaps the decisive reason why they were silent and failed to address this.

Amazonian Synod

In October a Synod on the Amazon will be held at the Vatican. Your Excellency, you lived in Brazil for a time and are familiar with the region. It’s been said there is a shortage of priests in the Amazon, which some say justifies introducing viri probati. Is it true that such a sacramental crisis and shortage of priests exist?

Well, there is a shortage of priests in Amazonia, but there is also a shortage elsewhere. There is an increasing shortage of priests in Europe. But the shortage of priests is only an obvious pretext to abolish practically (not theoretically) celibacy in the Latin Church. This has been the aim since Luther. Among the enemies of the Church and sects, the first step is always to abolish celibacy. Priestly celibacy is the last stronghold to abolish in the Church. The sacramental life is only the pretext for doing so.

In my own experience in the Soviet Union, we had several years go by with no Holy Mass. And we survived strong in faith. The faith was lived in the domestic Church which is the family. The faith was handed on through the Catechism. We prayed. We made spiritual communions, through which we received many graces. When suddenly a priest came after one or two years, it was really a feast, and we were so happy, and we sacramentally confessed, and God guided us. So I have had personal experience of this in my life, in the Soviet Union.

Regarding Brazil: I also lived and worked in Brazil for 7 years. And I know the Brazilians. They are very pious people, simple people. They would never think up married clergy. No, this is an idea put into their heads not by indigenous peoples but by white people, by priests who themselves are not living a deep apostolic and sacrificial life. Without the true sacrificial life of an apostle you cannot build up the Church. Jesus Christ gave us the example of the sacrificial offering of himself, as did the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, the Saints, the Missionaries. This built up the Church with lasting spiritual fruits for entire generations.

The shortage of priests in the Amazon is for me an example of the contrary: perhaps priests lack a deeply committed and sacrificial life in the spirit of Jesus and the Apostles and the Saints. They therefore seek human substitutes. Indigenous married clergy will not lead to a deepening and growth in the Amazonian Church. Other problems will surely arise with the advent of married clergy in the indigenous culture of the Amazon and in other parts of the world of the Latin Rite.

What is most needed is to deepen the roots of the faith and to strengthen the domestic church in the Amazon. We need to begin a crusade in the Amazon among these indigenous families, among Christian Catholics, for vocations – imploring God for vocations to the celibate priesthood, and they will come.

Our Lord said to “pray,” so this lack is a sign that we are not praying enough. And people will be tempted to pray even less because men are filling their heads with the promise that in October they will receive the possibility of having married priests. So they no longer pray for their sons to be priests like Jesus, who was celibate. And Jesus is the model for all cultures.

Even one good indigenous celibate priest, a spiritual man, could transform tribes, as the saints did. St. John Marie Vianney transformed almost all of France. Padre Pio is another example. I am not saying that we must expect this standard of holiness but am offering them as examples of the supernatural fruitfulness that can come through one holy priest. Even a simple, deep spiritual man who is dedicated to Jesus and to souls in celibacy, an indigenous priest from Amazonia, will surely build up the Church so much there, and awaken new vocations by his example.

This has been the Church’s method since the time of the Apostles. And this method has been tried and proven through 2000 years of the Church’s missionary experience. And this will be true until Christ comes. There is no other way. Adapting to purely humanistic, naturalistic approaches will not enrich the Amazonian Church. We have 2000 years of history to prove this.

I repeat: Brazilian people are deeply aware of the sacredness of the priesthood. This is what the Amazonian Synod should do: deepen the awareness of the sacredness of the celibate priesthood. The Church has such beautiful examples of missionaries. It should deepen and strengthen the domestic Church, i.e. family life. And the synod should start Eucharistic adoration and prayer campaigns for priests and new priestly vocations. Without the sacrifice of love, without prayer, we will not build up a local Church. With married clergy, no.

I am not speaking against the married clergy in the Orthodox Churches or Eastern Catholic Churches. I am speaking of the Latin tradition in America and Europe. We have to keep this treasure without weakening it though the introduction of a married clergy, because it has been proven by so much fruitfulness when we look at it from a comprehensive point of view.

Cardinals and the current crisis

Do you believe it’s important for the Cardinals to speak up about the crisis in the Church, and if so what form do you believe this should take?

Yes, it’s very timely and very necessary because the confusion is only increasing.

I think the cardinals should address the issue of the Abu Dhabi document and the phrase on the diversity of religions, because this statement leads ultimately to a denial of the truth of the unique and obligatory character of the Faith in Christ, which is commanded by Divine Revelation. In my view, the Abu Dhabi statement is the most dangerous from the doctrinal point of view. The cardinals ought respectfully to ask the Holy Father to correct this phrase officially.

I believe it would also be very timely and needed for cardinals or bishops to issue a kind of profession of faith, of truths, while also rejecting the most widespread errors of our time. In my view, they should make a very specific, enumerated profession of truths, saying for example: “I hold firmly that …” followed by the refutation of an error. I believe such a profession should include all of the main dangerous errors which are spreading through the life of the Church in our day.

A profession reaffirming the faith but also refuting the error?

Yes, in the same sentence. Such a text should be published and widely disseminated to priests and bishops, perhaps asking them to make a public profession with this text in parishes and cathedrals. There would be no novelties. It would only state what the Church has always professed.


A Peron-like response

“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom”

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA comments for Fatima Perspectives --In short, Francis issued a public declaration expressing a blatant heresy. Confronted with his error and the scandal it has caused, and even admitting his error, he informs Bishop Schneider that the Bishop can rectify it if he wishes, whereas he will say nothing publicly to correct his own publicly promulgated heresy.

In other words, Francis told el-Tayeb what he wanted to hear, and then told Bishop Schneider what he wanted to hear. He thus created space for plausible deniability for both parties. This is behavior befitting a politician, not the Vicar of Christ, charged with confirming his brethren in the Faith. But after six years of this sort of thing, can we expect anything else?

[LSN / FP] 2271.1a






















Does Amoris Laetitia contain error?

IN 2017, Pope Francis published his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The document derived from two previous synods and was immediately met with controversy by Cardinal Burke who with four other cardinals issued dubia regarding the document as containing error or heresy. Dr. Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon retell the historical background for the document and go through the passages and footnotes to explains the problems and debates regarding Amoris Laetitia.



[taylormarshall.com] 2271.1



























Proposal at Vatican to change Eucharist would create a 'new religion'

DIANE MONTAGNA reports from Rome for LifeSiteNews - Experts including Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider are sounding the alarm over a shocking proposal at the Vatican to consider changing the matter of the Eucharist.

Such a move, critics warn, would invalidate the Sacrament and create, in effect, a 'new religion.'

Jesuit theologian Father Francisco Taborda last week raised the possibility that the upcoming Amazonian Synod scheduled for next October might consider changing the matter of the Eucharist, allowing the use of a South American vegetable called yuca rather than wheaten bread.

Fr. Taborda told Crux on Feb. 28 that climate issues and inculturation warrant the change. Intense humidity during the Amazonian rainy season turns wheaten hosts into a pasty mush, he said, adding that 'in the Amazon, bread is made out of yuca,' a shrub native to South America from which tapioca is derived.

Taborda, a professor of theology at the Jesuit university in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was a featured speaker at a study seminar held at the Vatican on Feb. 25-27, in preparation for the October synod on 'Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.'

Key figures at the two-day seminar included Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a principal proponent of married priests in the Latin Rite. Also in attendance were presidents of Pan-Amazonian bishops conferences and other 'prelates and experts' from Amazonia and other geographical regions.

While Fr. Taborda acknowledged that a change to the matter of the Eucharist is a 'very complex question,' he said he believes it should be decided by local bishops.

LifeSite approached a number of prominent Catholic theologians and ecclesiastics to ask them if such a change is even conceivable. They replied unanimously and vehemently in the negative.

'It would be entirely improper for the Synod on the Amazon to discuss the change of the matter of the Holy Eucharist,' Cardinal Burke told LifeSite. 'To depart from the use of what has always been the matter of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist has the gravest of implications,' he said.

'This is completely impossible because it is against the divine law which God has given us,' Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, responded to the proposed change. 'To celebrate the Eucharist with yuca would mean introducing a kind of a new religion.'

Fr. John Saward, senior research fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, said that replacing wheaten bread with yuca would contravene the witness of Tradition, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Code of Canon Law.

And one prominent theologian, speaking on condition of anonymity, told LifeSite:

'If the Pope were to press ahead with this permission on the grounds of 'development of doctrine,' thereby aiding and abetting the heterodox theologians in Rome (or Brazil or Germany or wherever) who proposed it, then he will be authorizing a change of the substance of the Sacrament as determined by the action of Christ our Lord at the Last Supper. 'Masses' celebrated with 'yuca' bread would not be Masses; there would be no Real Presence, no Sacrifice.

Simply impossible

We asked these authorities to explain in more detail why it is simply impossible for such a change to occur.

Cardinal Burke explained that 'according to the Faith of the Roman Church, the matter of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is wheat bread and natural grape wine.'

'If any other matter is used, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is not validly confected,' he said.

The cardinal noted that 'the ancient custom of the Church, according to which only wheaten bread may be used for the Eucharistic Sacrifice, was confirmed at the Council of Florence (Bull of Union with the Armenians Exsultate Deo, November 22, 1439).'

'The matter of the sacraments respects what is taught in the Holy Scriptures,' Cardinal Burke also explained. 'The narrative of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist specifies that Christ took wheat bread, not barley bread or any other form of bread, at the Last Supper and changed its substance into the substance of His Body. The Greek word, artos, nearly always signifies wheaten bread.'

Bishop Athanasius Schneider agreed, saying: 'Our Lord Jesus Christ took wheat bread and natural grape wine, and the Church has constantly and in the same sense taught for over two thousand years that only wheat bread is the matter of the sacrament of the Eucharist. This is an infallible teaching of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium.'

The auxiliary of Astana added that the Catechism of the Council of Trent states that the matter of the Holy Eucharist is only wheaten bread. The relevant passage reads:

There are, however, various sorts of bread, either because they consist of different materials - such as wheat, barley, pulse and other products of the earth; or because they possess different qualities - some being leavened, others altogether without leaven. It is to be observed that, with regard to the former kinds, the words of the Savior show that the bread should be wheaten; for, according to the common usage, when we simply say bread, we are sufficiently understood to mean wheaten bread. This is also declared by a figure in the Old Testament, because the Lord commanded that the loaves of proposition, which signified this Sacrament, should be made of fine flour.

He therefore argued that to change the matter of the Eucharist from wheat bread to another kind of matter would be 'tantamount to inventing a sacrament, alien to the one established by Our Lord, which has been preserved unchangingly by the bi-millennial tradition of the entire Church in East and West.'

'To celebrate the Eucharist with yuca would mean introducing a kind of a new religion,' Schneider contended. 'Were they to introduce yuca as matter for the Eucharist, it would no longer be the sacrament of the Catholic religion. It would be a new Amazonian religion with Catholic decoration, but it would no longer be the sacrament of the Eucharist of the Catholic Apostolic Church.'

Bishop Schneider also pointed out that 'the Council of Trent, Pope Pius XII and John Paul II taught that the Church has no power to change the substance of the sacraments.'

'The Church can only change what she has established,' he said. 'Yet the Church did not establish the matter of the Eucharist. It was established by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who likewise established that water be the matter of Baptism.'

LifeSite also asked the highly regarded English theologian and author, Father John Saward, to explain why it is impossible to introduce a change in the matter of the Eucharist. Fr. Saward responded:

The witness of Tradition is as clear as can be: the only valid matter of the Eucharist is wheaten bread (panis triticeus). It is the teaching of the Council of Florence and is argued for by St. Thomas in his treatise on the Eucharist in the Summa: 'We believe that Christ used this kind of bread when He instituted the Eucharist' (3a q. 74, a. 3). 'Without wheaten bread,' St. Thomas goes on to say, 'the Sacrament is not validly confected' (sine quo non perficitur sacramentum) (3a q. 74, a. 4).

'The 1983 Code is likewise unambiguous: 'The bread must be made of wheat alone' (can. 924/2),' he added.

Saward argued that a vague notion of 'development of doctrine' cannot be invoked to justify this rupture with Sacred Tradition. The limits of such development, he said, are carefully set out by the First Vatican Council: 'That meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother Church has once declared, and there must never be a deviation from that meaning on the specious ground and title of a more profound understanding.' (Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius on the Catholic Faith, ch. 4).

The Oxford-based theologian noted that 'Blessed John Henry Newman made the same point in this way: 'There is nothing which the Church has defined or shall define but what an Apostle, if asked, would have been fully able to answer and would have answered.' (Letter to Flannigan). In other words, if you had asked St. Peter, 'What is the only valid matter of the Eucharist?' he would have replied, 'Wheaten bread.''

Fr. Saward also observed that, in recent times, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has insisted that celiac priests 'must consecrate and consume altar breads made of wheat, even if the gluten content is reduced.'

As recently as 2017, in fact, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued guidelines for bishops on the bread and wine to be used for the Holy Eucharist.

Serious questions raised

For all these reasons, Cardinal Burke has said 'it would be entirely improper for the Synod on the Amazon to discuss the change of the matter of the Holy Eucharist.'

'It would signify some doubt about the unbroken Tradition by which the Holy Eucharist continues to be the action of Christ in our midst, in fact, the highest and most perfect manifestation of His Presence with us,' he said. 'To depart from the use of what has always been the matter of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist has the gravest of implications.'

The cardinal added: 'One wonders why, after centuries of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the Amazon, now there is so much difficulty surrounding the use of hosts of wheaten bread.'

'There is something more involved than a problem of keeping the hosts fresh,' Cardinal Burke observed. 'The use of some local food, which is like bread but is not the kind of bread which Our Lord used at the Last Supper, reflects a totally horizontal view of the Holy Eucharist, in which the Holy Eucharist is the action of the community which gathers instead of the action of Christ Who gathers the community.'

If, as these authorities suggest, the proposal to change the matter of the Eucharist from wheaten bread to yuca represents a clear and manifest break with the Catholic Faith, the question arises: Should an orthodox bishop refuse even to participate in the Amazonian Synod were such a question on its agenda?

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Pope Francis orders archives of Pius XII's entire Pontificate to be opened

Piux XIIEDWARD PENTIN reports from Rome for the National Catholic Register - Pope Francis has ordered the opening the Vatican Secret Archives for the entire period of Venerable Pius XII's pontificate, a move that will help shed light on the contentious dispute that the pontiff was either heroic in support of the Jews during World War Two, or did too little.

In a message today to officials working in the Vatican Secret Archives, the Holy Father said the archives would be opened from March 2, 2020 - exactly a year after the 80th anniversary of Pius' election, which took place last Saturday.

The Pope said all the 'archival documentation' from his election on March 2, 1939, until his death on Oct. 9, 1958, would be 'open for consultation by researchers.'

This would therefore include the important years of World War Two, a time that became contentious in the postwar years, with critics calling Pius XII 'Hitler's Pope' for seemingly not doing enough to help save the Jews from the Holocaust.

But his supporters, some prominent Jews among them, have long argued that he acted prudently and heroically, and helped to save tens of thousands of Jewish lives. They have claimed he was the victim of a 'Black Legend' - a smear campaign masterminded by Soviet secret intelligence.

Historians and commentators on both sides of the so-called 'Pius Wars' debate have therefore long wished for the archives to be opened to know what really happened during those tumultuous years.

In his announcement today, the Pope said he took the decision after listening to the 'opinion of my closest co-workers, with a serene and confident spirit, sure that serious and objective historical research will be able to evaluate in the right light, with appropriate criticism, moments of exaltation of that pontiff.'

But he also said that 'without doubt' the archives would reveal 'moments of serious difficulties, of tormented decisions, of human and Christian prudence, which to some could appear like reticence, and which instead were very hard-won, human attempts, to keep lit the flame of humanitarian initiatives, of hidden but active diplomacy, of hope in possible good openings of hearts, in times of dense darkness and cruelty.'

The Pope added: 'The Church has no fear of history. On the contrary, she loves it, and would like to love it more and better, as God loves it! So, with the same confidence as my predecessors, I open and entrust researchers with this documentary heritage.'

Pope St. John Paul II began progressively opening the archives related to the pre-war years, when Pius XII, then Eugenio Pacelli, was apostolic nuncio to Germany (1920-1930) and then Vatican Secretary of State (1930-1939). In 2006, Benedict opened all the archives for the entire pontificate of Pius XI, from 1922 to 1939.

Benedict XVI declared Pius XII Venerable in 2009, recognizing that he possessed heroic Christian virtue.

Those who have fought hard to defend Pius XII over the years are delighted with today's announcement.

Exciting News

'This is exceptionally good news,' said Gary Krupp, founder of the Pave the Way Foundation.

Krupp said he has stressed 'many times' that to 'simply fix a date' for the archives to be opened 'will enable many of the critics enough time to apply for their credentials, travel to the Secret Archives, and research this material to reveal the truth of this terrible period in history.'

Ronald Rychlak, author of Hitler, the War and the Pope, said the news was 'most exciting,' adding that Pius' role in world history 'has been subject to much speculation and analysis.'

But both Krupp and Rychlak contend that enough information is already available to quash the 'Black Legend.'

'I have argued that there is already sufficient information available to make an informed decision regarding his opposition to Nazism and support for its victims, but speculation has remained,' Rychlak told the Register March 4.

Krupp noted that his foundation has unearthed over 76,000 pages of documents relating to the actions of the Holy See during World War Two, an effort they started in 2006.

'This material including eye-witness video interviews have been posted free of charge on our website,' he said. 'We have hundreds of wartime documents, from outside sources, proving the extraordinary efforts of the Holy See, under the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, to save lives, especially Jews.'

But he added their frustration is that 'so-called historians simply refused to come to our website to examine this material. Their excuse was that we are not historians or scholars.'

Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, who has been a staunch critic of Pius XII believing the wartime pontiff was silent during the Holocaust, also welcomed news of the opening of the archives, saying it was 'better late than never.'

'I hope that all the documentation will be made available to the researchers,' he told the Register March 4. 'My 'point of view' is based on objective historical data.' But he said he would be 'happy to call it into question if decisive new elements emerge.'

Questions Likely to Remain

Rychlak said although he hopes the complete opening of the archive 'will help us resolve matters once and for all,' he expects 'some questions are likely to remain.'

One of those, he said, could be that 'prudential judgements made at a time of war are always subject to second guessing.'

'When was a decision made or an action taken for tactical reasons?,' said Rychlak, who is also Jamie P. Whitten Chair of Law and Government at the University of Mississippi.

He also explained that the 'mere fact' that a wartime document appears in an archive 'does not mean that it is trustworthy or reliable.'

Disinformation, he said, 'was rampant during and after the war. False or misunderstood documents will be found in some archives.'

But he added: 'Despite my caution, more information is better than less' and that people he knows who have had full access to the archives have told him that the documents 'will confirm what historians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have concluded: that Pope Pius XII led a life of heroic virtue.'

Krupp told the Register that he believes when all the archival material has been fully studied, Eugenio Pacelli will be recognized as 'Righteous Among Nations' by the Holocaust memorial of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, an honor comparable to canonization for Jews.

He added he was 'very excited that His Holiness has taken this effort to end the worst character assassination of the 20th Century, and will finally end the Soviet KGB engineered 'Black Legend' forever.'

In his words to the Vatican Secret Archives today, the Pope encouraged the officials there to continue their efforts and to 'publish the Pacellian sources that will be considered important, as you have been doing for some years now.'

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Vatican theologian: ‘Clericalism’ is ‘smokescreen’ hiding homosexuality as real cause of the abuse crisis

JEANNE SMITS reports for LifeSiteNews – Homosexuality, not clericalism, is at the root of the abuse crisis the Catholic Church is facing, and especially the “Obama-era” style of thought that adult homosexual relations are not sinful: this is the gist of an interview given by a prominent Vatican theologian, Monsignor Nicola Bux, to the Italian daily La Verità.

The lively exchange between journalist Alessandro Rico and Don Nicola Bux was published in La Verità's February 25 edition. Monsignor Bux is a consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and a professor of liturgy and sacramental theology at the Theology Institute of Bari, Italy. Bux has been particularly outspoken over the last years regarding controversial statements and actions of the Pope.

In his most recent interview, Monsignor Bux insisted upon the specifically homosexual nature of a large proportion – 80 percent – of abuse cases in the Church: “Speaking about clericalism and pedophilia amounts to putting up a smokescreen,” he said.

Stating that “the number of homosexual clerics is much lower than people believe” – “less than 2 percent of the total” according to a study by the Congregation for the Clergy – Bux added that the inflated figures put forward in the press are “propaganda for the normalization of homosexuality.”

“Therapy” is necessary for homosexual clerics, he argued, suggesting that the problem today is not presenting the homosexual tendency itself as disordered, even in within the Church.

He also explained why in view of the truth of human nature — as created by God and proclaimed by the Church —, “sexual orientation does not exist.”

Bux added that true clericalism today lies in “the avoidance of confrontation and debate” with those cardinals who “guard the Catholic faith handed down by the apostles.”

Read this LifeSite translation of the full interview with Msgr. Bux below.


La Verità (LV): Don Bux, the interpretation given by the Pope regarding abuse is clear: it is not the fault of homosexual priests, but of clericalism. What do you think of that?

Monsignor Nicola Bux (Bux): Clericalism is a term that is inadequate to explain the issue of abuse.

LV: Why?

Bux: The Center for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University has explained that one should not speak of pedophilia, that is, an unhealthy attraction towards pre-pubescent children, but of ephebophilia, an attraction towards youngsters who have reached puberty or have passed puberty.

LV: What does homosexuality have to do with this?

Bux: The authors of the study add that this type of attraction regards homosexual persons in 80 percent of the cases. Therefore, speaking about clericalism and pedophilia amounts to putting up a smokescreen.

LV: But if so, why doesn't the word “homosexuality” appear among the 21 points for reflection that were distributed at the Vatican Summit?

Bux: Consider that the present pontificate started in the era of Barack Obama, the era of love is love, of homosexuals free to love each other as they wish, and in front of whom it is prohibited to speak about therapy…

LV: I beg your pardon: do homosexual priests need therapy?

Bux: At the press conference last Thursday, Bishop Charles Scicluna said that generalizing about a certain category, like that of the homosexuals, is not legitimate. And that homosexuality does not predispose to sin; rather, concupiscence takes on the inclination.

LV: What does that have to do with it?

Bux: Concupiscence is the inclination towards evil [an inclination we experience in our] human nature. Because of this, love uses the other for its own pleasure.

LV: Right. And so?

Bux: In the case of homosexuality, the person who is the object of that type of love is not truly loved, but desired according to the love that the subject feels for himself. That is where the moral problem lies.

LV: Is homosexual love not love?

Bux: It is disordered love.

LV: Then I will return to the first question: how should one act regarding a homosexual priest or seminarian?

Bux: It is necessary to assess the stage of what the Catechism defines as a “disorder.” In all cases, admitting persons with such a tendency in a seminary is forbidden.

LV: Tell me whether I heard correctly: should the psychological test proposed at the Vatican Summit be used to identify homosexual seminarians in order to exclude them?

Bux: At least on the basis of the Ratio for seminaries of 2016…

LV: In his book Sodoma, Frédéric Martel maintains that in the Church the gay lobby is so pervasive that homosexuality is now tolerated, at least as long it does not lead to pedophilia.

Bux: Based on a number of studies, for example those of the Dutch psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg, there are a lot fewer homosexual persons than is claimed by propaganda for the normalization of homosexuality claims.

LV: Are there fewer homosexuals than we believe?

Bux: Yes. And therefore, even the number of homosexual clerics is much lower than people believe. A few years ago, the Congregation for the Clergy considered that the proportion of homosexual clerics was less than 2 percent of the total.

LV: Is Martel wrong?

Bux: Martel’s thesis is profoundly wrong, but he has a definite goal: to prove that homosexuality is so widespread that it is useless to fight against it. On the contrary, it should be legitimized, somewhat like they are trying to do with drugs.

LV: One of the watchwords at the Vatican Summit was “zero tolerance”. Isn't there a risk that the pressure of public opinion will lead to summary judgments?

Bux: The expression “zero tolerance” is anti-evangelical. If the Lord were to have used this criterion towards humanity, humanity would have disappeared from the face of the earth.

LV: Are you saying it's bad to be too harsh with abusers?

Bux: “Zero tolerance” is a politically correct slogan that is repeated, parrot-like – under the pressure of public opinion – in order to prove that the Church has seized the sword and is cleaning up.

LV: So what should the Church be doing?

Bux: The Church should be patient and prudent. It should not evade the truth. Both the Old and the New Testament depict homosexual relations as grave depravity, because they are against nature. Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange used to say that one has to be uncompromising as regards doctrine, because one believes, but also understanding, in just proportion, because one loves. And he would add, ironically: “The Church absolves sinners, the Church’s enemies absolve sins.”

LV: Do you think it’s possible to show understanding to abusers?

Bux: They use so many expressions today like “welcoming”, “accompanying”… What does that mean? It means saving the person from the disorder in which he or she has been living, and if that person has committed crimes, to mete out a just punishment. That is why therapy is important…

LV: Ah, so therapy did have something to do with it?

Bux: Yes. I’m surprised that therapy isn’t ever being talked about. That is because if Obama’s agenda has been accepted, then homosexuality has been normalized.

LV: Nevertheless, on the one hand they want to normalize homosexuality, which is the breeding ground of abuse. On the other, severe penalties are being asked for the abusers themselves.

Bux: Exactly. Mgr Scicluna should explain why, if homosexual relations are not sinful, the Vatican has been so harsh with ex-archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick.

LV: McCarrick was punished after the investigation by the New York Times.

Bux: That’s a fact.

LV: Does the Pope move in the same direction as media winds blow?

Bux: He seems to me to be at the mercy of the conflicting pressures of public opinion which on the one side is horrified – who knows for how long still – when something is done to children, but which on the other side does not want to consider homosexual tendencies immoral.

LV: Meanwhile, at the same time McCarrick was being reduced to the lay state, Pope Francis named a protégé of his, Kevin Farrell, as the new Camerlengo. He is very close to the pro-LGBT Jesuit, James Martin.

Bux: Many have pointed at this contradiction. The point is that a number of pastors of the Church have abandoned the truth of the Gospel, perhaps out of fear. This is the root of the crisis.

LV: Will the Pope really clean things up?

Bux: One shouldn’t be imputing motives. But I don’t understand [how] a confrontation hasn’t been opened with that part of the Catholic world which, regarding the question, intervened by hitting the nail on the head. This is where true clericalism is to be found.

LV: In what sense?

Bux: In the avoidance of confrontation and debate. In acting like ostriches, who put their heads in the sand.

LV: Are you referring to the confrontation with conservative cardinals, who attributed the cause of the abuse to homosexuality?

Bux: They are not conservative cardinals, but those who “guard the Catholic faith handed down by the apostles,” holding together, in a Catholic way, doctrine, morals and praxis, without giving in to fashion. Something comes to mind…

LV: Tell me.

Bux: You think that, referring to homosexuality, the word “orientation” is fashionable even in the Church.

LV: Is that a mistake?

Bux: It is not an expression of Catholic morals! It’s an expression of the homosexualist lobby!

LV: What do you mean?

Bux: Sexual orientation does not exist.

LV: It doesn’t exist?

Bux: God created man and woman. Either God is the supreme establisher of order in creation, while man’s sin creates disorder, or objective order does not exist and all are free to construe it as they see fit. If in the Church, the teaching that God has created a clearly defined nature, made of the masculine and the feminine, were to be given up, and if it reduced itself to speaking about “orientation,” a fundamental principle of the Catholic truth would fall.

LV: What do you think of the “political” Francis, the one who had himself photographed with the badge “Let’s open the doors”?

Bux: That’s folklore. The true question is different.

LV: What is it?

Bux: It’s about knowing which should prevail in the Church: politics or faith. If the faith should prevail, then the Church must also accept being persecuted, in order to reaffirm the truth of the Gospel.

LV: So the Pope is mistaken in asking for everyone to be welcomed?

Bux: In reality, if you take all his statements into account, you won’t find an invitation to indiscriminate welcoming. Let’s say his comments are a bit peronist.

LV: Peronist?

Bux: Yes. You know that peronism is the capacity to put together one thing and its opposite, according to circumstances.

LV: Playing both sides of the fence.

Bux: Always regarding the consensus on not losing. The point is to know up to what point this approach is still winning. If you look at what’s happening in Italy, in Europe, in Latin America, I’d say it’s not.

LV: And what do you think about the environmentalist turn of the Church?

Bux: It’s another one of those functional items of the Obama agenda. As things are going, the Church will find itself in a Galileo affair in reverse. Scientists are divided. And the Church has no competence in the case.

LV: Father Antonio Spadaro says we need “democratic catholicism.”

Bux: Putting catholicism and democracy together is an oxymoron.

LV: No less?

Bux: Certainly. What does democratic catholicism mean? When you speak of the Catholic Church, you’re speaking of the people of God, hierarchically arranged. The Church isn’t a democracy in the least!

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When the Pope shrugs his shoulders at witchcraft

ADRIAN HAU writes for OnePeterFive -- What kind of people must we be, if God is permitting this man to destroy the Catholicity of the Church, to the degree to which it is possible to destroy the Church?

The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church, but that doesn’t mean that the enemy cannot inflict overwhelming damage in his rage against us.

I haven’t a clue if she, my then-roommate, was telling me the truth, because the Ordo Templi Orientis, the OTO, is a Gnostic secret society that doesn’t admit scrutiny. That said, I have no founded reason to doubt the idea that the final step in initiation to that group is to realize that you are a deity in your own right. For those who might be curious, the penultimate step is, or so I’m told, ritualized sodomy.

I don’t care to discuss my living arrangement at the time, save for this: I had forsaken my Catholic baptism because, I think, upon reflection, I saw nothing but duplicity in the institutional Church, a problem that persists in my diocese to this day.

In the void that follows such apostasy, I would have counted myself an occultist; I read tarot cards, I participated in occult rituals, I wrote a few of them, I cast spells, and every so often I was disturbingly efficacious at accomplishing natural things through decidedly evil and unnatural means. Perhaps the greatest insult in all of it: I called it religion.

The OTO is scarcely unique among occult groups experimenting with varying degrees of sexual libertinism and self-indulgence as substitutes for authentic religious piety. The Witches Bible Complete calls for ritualized symbolic, or actual, sexual intercourse for third-degree initiation. It can barely even be called a secret anymore. There are still places and times when the willfully blind gather themselves in literal orgies devoted to little more than their self-indulgence. I thank God that’s something that never came to pass for me — not that they didn’t make some attempts to drag me into it.

I reverted to the Catholic Church, in part, because she is to be the one safeguard in the world, the one sure rock against the self-indulgent, self-abusing luciferian religions that have sprung up in recent years like so many weeds. I escaped, and I thanked God for it — which is, I think, what has sparked so much anger at Pope Francis’s recent endorsement of the document “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.”

During his recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis signed a document that gives, insofar as it is possible, license to all of the above on the grounds that they are willed by God — the orgies, the tarot cards, the spells, the witchcraft. This is a direct contradiction and challenge to the First Commandment.

Worse, perhaps, is the duplicity of those who defend this idea as perfectly orthodox, based on the fig leaf that this is nothing more than God’s permissive will. That is total and complete nonsense, and it merits refuting on my part, because the whole thing is profoundly insulting. Those who have spread such deception into the text grasp at the straws that remain of orthodoxy. But in truth and charity, there is no Catholicity in this document.

The line in question:

'Freedom is a right of every person: each individual enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action. The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the rights, and saw that it was good also.

The common usage of language does not admit changing the sense of a thing in the same sentence. Hence, the plain meaning of the words as written is that the multiplicity of religions is a function of God’s active will. We know, because even the pagans and witches are inclined to celebrate after a fashion the diversity of the sexes: they place and hold as central to their liturgical rites the marital embrace, of which an essential component is the celebration of male and female.

It therefore follows naturally that God must also have willed them to be witches, pagans, and sorcerers.

The only alternative interpretation consistent with the usage of language is that God permits or allows male and female persons to exist but that they are not intrinsically good. Such a thing is absolutely alien to all traditional religions. For this understanding to be true, it would be a terrible and frightful irony that in pledging tolerance for all human persons, Pope Francis had undermined the most basic and intrinsic identity around which most people organize themselves: male and female.

Since, given the overwhelming evidence, we cannot reasonably expect clarification or correction from the mouth of Francis, I am compelled to break my long silence and to speak: witchcraft is evil. “Quoniam omnes dii gentium daemonia” — all the Gods of the gentiles are devils (Psalm 95:5). It is a Gnostic luciferian cult, which, when it’s not seeking personal aggrandizement and personal power, is engaged in the worship of demons. Though I wouldn’t have called it that at the time, I have channeled them. Witchcraft has nothing but scarcely concealed contempt for Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, and especially His Church. I lived it, approximately fifteen years. I got out for a few reasons; one was that the Church is the certain bulwark against this kind of evil.

I thought I got away from the pagans, thanks be to God. I got away from the witches, thanks be to God. I didn’t think the luciferians were waiting for me inside the Catholic Church. But they are inside the walls. They are present at every level of the Church, and that includes the highest office.

I believe that God will bring about a cleansing of the Church in some way. If this offering can spur the vox populi to begin rejecting these malefactors from within, then may God draw good out of all my evil works.

Make no mistake: they are workers of evil. Though they deny it in a multitude of rationalizations, modernists and luciferians are all, universally, opposed to the worship and reverence of Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ. When pressed, they answer, “Non serviam.” I will not serve. I will serve myself.

What kind of people must we be for God to permit this? The worst. A generation that has not been seen since the Flood. I don’t know what I will do in penance and sorrow over my sins, but it will surely need to be every bit as drastic as building an ark.

I cannot say if, or when, God will destroy the world again. I can say that until these malefactors and evildoers are purged from the Church from top to bottom, the inexorable decline will continue unabated and all but unmitigated.

May God have mercy on me. May God have mercy on us.

“The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds.” —St. John Eudes

[Adrian Hau was born in the middle of Canada in the early 1980s. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, where he presently resides with his wife and three children]

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Catholics who leave Church over scandals risk ‘existential nothingness’ for all eternity, says Dubia cardinal

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews – Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the dubia signers, warned Catholics who leave the one true Church, whatever the reason might be, that they risk falling into eternal damnation of “existential nothingness.”

Leaving the Church, Cardinal Brandmüller said, means “to fall into an existential nothingness, and this, at the moment of death, [would be] forever.” Brandmüller made the comment in a recent interview while speaking about the reasons for the increased numbers of Bavarian Catholics who have left the Church.

He also quoted St. Augustine who said that Catholics are like branches who are “either on the vine or in the fire.” Brandmüller also said, nonetheless, that he felt encouraged by the “growing numbers of young people” who have decided to “serve the Church” in spite of the current scandals.

Speaking with Dr. Armin Schwibach – the Rome Correspondent of the Austrian Catholic news website Kath net – Cardinal Brandmüller first explained some reasons why, in 2018, there has been an increase of 25% of Catholics leaving the Catholic Church in Bavaria. He said there were a number of cultural Catholics who stayed in the Church by virtue of habit but who have now left due to the scandals that are occurring in the Church.

“The sharp wind that is currently driving through the tree 'Church',” Brandmüller explained, “now blows away those dead and dried up leaves.” When “only 5% to 10% of the Catholics who pay the Church tax find their way to Church on Sundays, then it is clear how many really have the Faith and practice it.” Thus, those official steps taken for leaving the Church make merely visible “what has been a lived reality for a long time.”

In Germany, Catholics have to register with the state in order to pay obligatory Church taxes. When Catholics exit this system, the German bishops refuse to administer the Sacraments to them and declare them excommunicated. One problem with this system is that faithful Catholics in Germany are forced to fund projects from the official Catholic Church that sometimes promote heterodox views. Adding to the confusion caused in Catholics is that the Catholic Church in Germany in many parts now officially gives Holy Communion to “remarried” divorcees and to Protestant spouses of Catholics, something that violates the Church's teaching and discipline.

It is in this context that the German cardinal also sees another group of Catholics now leaving the Church in Germany. These are those who leave the Church “for completely different reasons.” “It is their protest against an apparatus that is encrusted in bureaucratic structures. For those [bureaucratic] officials, the truth of the Faith, the moral norms of the Gospels, the Sacraments, and the adoration of God play only a secondary role, if any.”

Further commenting on this group of Catholics — who leave the official structures of the Catholic Church in Germany which binds them to an obligatory financial support by way of the Church tax collected yearly by the state — the German prelate, who now lives in Rome, said that they “are people who would rather drive an hour in the car in order to witness a Holy Mass celebrated in a dignified manner.”

Responding to the searching question of Dr. Schwibach as to what went wrong in the last 60 years with regard to the communication of the image and substance of the Catholic Church, Brandmüller indicated that if one understands the Catholic Church as a form of “NGO with religious-folkloristic-charitable program,” then people leave if something is not pleasing to them. “But,” the Cardinal added, “the Church is really something completely different!” It is the “People of God,” the “Body of Christ,” he explained, adding that she is “not made by man, but it is the work and instrument of Jesus Christ for the redemption of mankind, of the universe.” He added that the Church “is also the barque of the fisherman Peter in order to pass the stormy sea. Of course, one can exit there....”

The true act of leaving the Church, according to the prelate, is taking place “when one apostatizes from the Faith,” the Cardinal further stated, adding that “this has nothing anymore to do with the state's Church tax office, but with the Living God.” The cardinal pointed to the consequences of this apostasy by referring to the Gospel of John, chapter 15, wherein the Evangelist explains that only those branches that are connected with the vine – with Our Lord – can bear fruit, and that those separated from the vine “dry up to be burned.” Here, Brandmüller quoted St. Augustine: “One of the two things will happen to the branch: either the vine or the fire.” Commenting on these words, the German prelate said to Dr. Schwibach: “Do you now understand that I really cannot do anything else but remain in the Church, as a branch on the vine? And this in spite of all the scandals.”

Brandmüller said that in his twenty years in Rome he has seen much “selfless service, piety, and loyalty to the Faith,” but also “much that is bad.” “Here,” he added, “one has learned to suffer in, under, and with the Church. But 'to leave'? That would mean to fall into an existential nothingness – and this, at the moment of death, [would be] forever....”

Ending the interview with a positive tone, Cardinal Brandmüller said that he is “filled with trustful assurance” because of the “growing number of young people who, while being fully aware of the current scandals and problems, are nevertheless determined to serve the Church, the Lord, either as priests or in the religious state. They often know from experience that the Church's apparatus looks upon them with mistrust, yes, even with aversion. They have experienced that he who prayed the rosary etc. was being dismissed from the priestly seminary.” Especially in France, the cardinal explained, there have been founded new religious communities “which wish to serve the Church with a decisive loyalty toward the Faith.” “The Holy Ghost is at work – even today,” he added.

Brandmüller, who is one of the two remaining dubia cardinals, concluded with the words: “The heraldry of the city of Paris shows a ship on the high waves on the Seine [river]. And with it the motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur – tossed back and forth by the waves – the ship does not, however, capsize! How much more is this applicable to the Church!”

[LSN] 2271.3c





















Francis versus Francis: Another day at the Papal Office

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives --

Pope Francis on February 28:

“Don’t say: ‘God’s compassion is great, he’ll forgive me my many sins’, and so I continue doing what I want. Regarding this, the advice of the father or grandfather is: ‘Don’t wait to convert yourself to the Lord, don’t postpone it from day to day because the anger of the Lord will suddenly burst forth’…”

Pope Francis on March 6:

“‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.’ These words are not at all a threat; on the contrary, they are a happy proclamation, a message of joy. Jesus doesn’t want to push people to convert by sowing fear of God’s impending judgment or the sense of guilt for the evil committed. Jesus doesn’t proselytize: He simply proclaims.”

First of all, the notion that “Jesus doesn’t proselytize” is among the most ridiculous of this Pope’s theological bloopers. If the statement “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16) is not proselytizing then nothing is. To proselytize means “to induce someone to convert to one’s faith” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). The warning by God Incarnate that He will condemn for all eternity those who refuse to be baptized and to believe in Him would appear to be a fairly substantial inducement to conversion.

At any rate, which is it? (1) Stop sinning and convert now, lest the anger of the Lord come upon you suddenly or, only a week later, (2) the Lord does not expect us to convert now for fear of His judgment, and His call to repent and believe because the Kingdom of God is at hand is “not at all a threat.”

Answer: either or both depending upon the rhetorical needs of the moment. For the art of strategic self-contradiction has characterized the entire ecclesiastical career of the man from Argentina. I am reminded — as I have been so often — of the dire prognostication at Rorate Caeli concerning this pontificate at its very outset, at the time I was expressing unqualified optimism. To quote Rorate:

“Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is.”

That’s putting it rather mildly, concerning the deluge of plainly heterodox pronouncements from Francis over the past six years. Above all, the outrageous declaration in Amoris Laetitia (¶ 303) that conscience can rightly tell divorced and “remarried” people that while “a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel” it can constitute “what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God” and “that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.”

God Himself is asking divorced and “remarried” people to continue living in adultery! For now. That is what Francis really believes and what he has falsely denominated “authentic Magisterium.” It can hardly be squared with his pious declaration on February 28 that one ought to convert and cease sinning lest he fall unexpectedly into the hands of an angry God.

But such is the purpose of strategic inconsistency, the modus operandi of Modernism. To quote Pope Saint Pius X on this score, under the heading “The Methods of the Modernists”:

“In [their] writings and addresses they seem not unfrequently to advocate now one doctrine now another so that one would be disposed to regard them as vague and doubtful…. Hence in their books you find some things which might well be expressed by a Catholic, but in the next page you find other things which might have been dictated by a rationalist. When they write history they make no mention of the divinity of Christ, but when they are in the pulpit they profess it clearly; again, when they write history they pay no heed to the Fathers and the Councils, but when they catechise the people, they cite them respectfully.”

It ought to be obvious to any reasonable observer at this point that in Francis we have a Modernist Pope. Worse, a Modernist who, unlike those assessed by Pius X, does not even bother to present a consistently orthodox camouflage for his liberalizing program but rather employs only an occasional orthodox utterance to throw his justified critics off the scent of the trail he follows relentlessly.

If this is not the Pope who will reign during the height of the calamity predicted by the Third Secret, I would hate to contemplate who would be.

[FP] 2271.3d






Humanae Vitae


"The most globally reviled and widely misunderstood document of the last half century"

Pope Paul VI's landmark 1968 encyclical explored the effects of then-new technologies on human reproduction, and reaffirmed the traditional Catholic anthropological teaching on the exclusive, permanent conjugal relationship of marriage as the fundamental building block of society. In the view of presenter Mary Eberstadt, Humanae Vitae is 'the most globally reviled and widely misunderstood document of the last half century [and] also the most prophetic and explanatory of our time.' Mary Eberstadt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute. Her writing has appeared in TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, First Things, The Weekly Standard, thecatholicthing.org and other publications. This talk was delivered at the University of Notre Dame, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Culture. Vitae



[De Nicola Center For Ethics and Culture & Ethics] 2271.4






































Parents as primary educators


Baby's hand


Those Birmingham parents are right

Teaching primary-age schoolkids about sexual matters is weird

BRENDAN O'NEILL writes for Sp!ked -- Liberal and left-leaning observers have found themselves doing something they never normally do: criticising Muslims. Specifically Muslim parents in Birmingham who have successfully pressured the local primary school to stop teaching their kids about homosexuality and transgenderism. Apparently it is outrageous for parents to exercise moral authority over their very young children and instead they should trust the state to impart the correct moral wisdom to their offspring. That’s the undertone of the coverage of this controversy: that officialdom knows better than a child’s own parents how that child should be raised and morally instructed.

The school in question is Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham. The school has a very large number of Muslim pupils. The parents of these pupils have been kicking up a storm over the school’s ‘challenging homophobia’ programme, which involves teaching the kids about gay relationships and the transgender lifestyle. They have protested outside the school with placards saying ‘No to the promotion of homosexuality to our children’ and ‘Education not indoctrination’. On Friday, 600 Muslim children aged between four and 11 were withdrawn from school for the day in protest. The school has reportedly given in to the parents and says it will no longer make it mandatory for all pupils to engage in discussions on homophobia.

Cue fury among the commentariat and in humanist circles. State-funded institutions should not capitulate to backward religious views, they say. At least we now know there is one group of people who come above Muslims in the chattering classes’ sympathy stakes: gay and trans kids. We are told that the right of gay and trans kids to feel safe and loved at school should override the right of parents to object to the teaching of certain sexual matters and ideas. This is wrong. Let’s leave to one side the problem of referring to kids as young as six and seven as ‘gay’ or ‘trans’ when such children are not sexual beings, far less au fait with the eccentric genderfluid thinking behind the transgender ideology – the more important point is that parental rights over children’s moral lives are incredibly important and must be defended.

Horrendous as this may seem to those who think they are right about everything, the fact is there are people out there who disagree with you about numerous moral and personal matters. There are communities that do not think same-sex marriage is morally equal to traditional marriage. There are people who do not believe a man can ever become a woman, no matter how many hormones he takes or surgeries he undergoes. There are fairly significant numbers of people who don’t agree that their kids should be taught about gay sex or any kind of sex for that matter. Biology lessons are one thing – every teenager should be taught the scientific reality of penises, vaginas, babies, etc. But sexual education, relationships education, education which seeks not only to provide children with scientific facts, but also to shape them morally, to make them view everyday life through a particular PC lens – many people disagree with this. They would rather their kids were taught maths, English, science, history and sport, not why it is outrageously wrong to refer to a trans-woman as ‘he’.

When it comes to moral and religious matters, parents should exercise the greater authority over their children. It is crucial for the sovereignty of the family and the rights of parents that their moral purview is not casually traduced by officials who presume to know better. Does this mean parents who don’t believe in the Big Bang can take their kids out of physics lessons? Nope. This is an established piece of scientific knowledge and a rounded education demands the teaching of it. Does it mean Muslim parents can demand gender-segregated classrooms? Again, absolutely not. Female equality is a long-established norm in the United Kingdom and it is right that nothing is done to undermine it, including in schools. But sexual-relationships education is something new. Transgenderism even newer. The idea that children as young as five should be educated about gay and trans people is an idea that didn’t exist just a few years ago – and as such it is parents’ right, everyone’s right in fact, to push back against it. It is their right to say: ‘This is a moral step too far and it undermines what my kid learns in the home.’

Something sinister is happening in both official and campaigning circles: people are using children, very young children, to try to reshape adult thinking and society more broadly. Perhaps fearing they will not be able to convince actual adults that transgenderism is a good idea or that children as young as six can be ‘gay’, instead the new moral instructors seek to inculcate kids with these ideas in the hope that the ideas will then filter into the home and into stupid adults’ brains. It is a highly undemocratic and sly way to try to bring about social change. If you want that school in Birmingham to teach children about gay and trans lifestyles, then convince the parents first – don’t use the kids as moral shields against what you clearly view as the imbecilic, backward adults they tragically have to go home to every night.

What a strange situation Britain finds itself in. When backward Islamist ideas are expressed on campus or in public life, liberals and leftists say very little and sometimes even accuse the critics of these ideas of ‘Islamophobia’. And so today’s growing and genuinely problematic Islamist outlook is never really confronted. But when Muslim parents demand something that is reasonable, something that many Christian and Jewish parents also desire – that is, the right to oversee their children’s internal moral lives – there is uproar. Islamist ideology goes unchallenged; appropriate Muslim concern with the state indoctrination of young children causes fury.

Everything is turned on its head.

[Sp!ked] 2271.p1
















United Nations


UN logo


Sex education

'I REMEMBER being taught by my parents that sex was supposed to happen inside marriage, but in 'sex ed' classes they told me that you should wait till you are in love and until you felt that you were ready… Then I saw how feelings of love changed as quickly as popularity statuses and promises of love were made and then broken over and over again, in the backseats of cars and in our parents basements.' - Monica

Comprehensive Sex Education Shapes Attitudes about Gender, Family, and Human Rights

The UN Comprehensive Sex Ed curriculum-the international standard among sex education experts--- 2018 UNESCO International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, teaches young people 'appropriate values' and behaviors about gender, marriage, family structure, reproductive technologies, sexual and reproductive rights, how to resolve different personal and parental sexual values, and how to 'promote' reproductive rights among family, friends, school, community, and government.

UNESCO's CSE Instruction about Sex and Relationships Advocates Immoral Behavior by Age 9

At age 5, children are taught that gender differences are a form inequality and that marriage is not a lifelong commitment. At age 9, children discuss how one can feel pleasure from physical contact (kissing, caressing, sexual contact). At age 12, pre-teens are instructed to engage in sexual behavior they think is best. At age 15, teenagers learn that their sexual values may differ from their parents' values.

Limitations of CSE and Strengths of Abstinence Sex Education

While UNESCO, CDC (in the US), and many County Boards of Education (e.g Fairfax County, VA) lead that way, insufficient evidence indicates that CSE helps young people in the long run, and plenty of evidence shows that it does not (rates cohabitation, abortion and STDs). By contrast school based abstinence programs track their effectiveness with critical public data. For example: Collier County, FL: Start at 2.00 on the video.



HIV, AIDS, and STIs Remain High Among Young People

Internationally, WHO reports that HIV and AIDS is one of the leading causes of death for young people, and UNESCO's data shows that one in twenty young adults contract an STI annually. In the U.S., rates of gonorrhea and P&S syphilis increased by 51.6%, 50.9% among young males, and 83.3%, 24.1% among young females, between 2013 and 2017.

Abstinence Sex Education is Effective

Abstinence sexual education programs centered on abstinence increase continued virginity, discontinuation of sexual activity, reduce sexual initiation, sexual activity, having multiple partners, and unintended adolescent pregnancy.

Decreased Contraception Education Has Not Increased

Despite concerned reports that adolescents are receiving decreased sex education about birth control (70% to 60%), the rate of adolescents who have ever had sex decreased from between 1991 and 2017 (54.1 to 39.5%) and teenage pregnancy rates fell by 80% between 1991 and 2017.

[Marripedia] 2271.5




















Secretary General calls for UN to curtail free speech

AUSTIN RUSE reports for the Friday Fax -- In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council last month, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that the UN system is going after what he calls “hate speech.”

In a February 25th speech in Geneva, Guterres said the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “belong to everyone, everywhere. They are independent of nationality, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, belief, or any other status.” It should be pointed out that UN member states have never agreed that “sexual orientation” is a protected category of nondiscrimination. This is an invention of the UN Secretariat and various UN committees.

Guterres said he is alarmed, however, “by the shrinking civic space in every region—and every corner of the internet.” He said activists and journalists are targeted by “campaigns of misinformation,” posing a danger to their lives. This and much else in the speech seems to point to his disapproval of President Donald Trump who, along with the president’s supporters, have sharply criticized what they see as the partisan nature of the mainstream media.

The Secretary-General said he is alarmed by “a groundswell of xenophobia, racism, and intolerance – including rising anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred,” and that “hate speech is a menace to democratic values, social stability, and peace.” He said hate speech “spreads like wildfire through social media, the internet, and conspiracy theories.”

In an apparent reference to Trump and to leaders like Victor Orban of Hungary, Guterres is concerned with speech that “stigmatizes women, minorities, migrants, refugees, and any so-called ‘other.’” He says, “hate is moving into the mainstream—in liberal democracies and authoritarian states alike.”

Under the guise of “human rights,” Guterres wants speech stopped that he says presents false information about policy differences. He specifically mentioned policy claims made by opponents to the Global Compact on Migration. He said opponents to the Compact initiated a “flood of lies about the nature and scope of the agreement.” What this suggests is Guterres proposes speech he and others on the left disagree with.

The United States has a long history of accepting even vile speech. Many years ago, outright Nazis were allowed to march through a mostly Jewish town of Skokie, Illinois. This was protected by the leftwing ACLU and ultimately by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In recent years, however, conservative speakers deemed “hateful” have been hounded off of taxpayer-supported colleges and universities. Large tech companies now routinely “de-platform” those voices they disagree with, voices that tend to be conservative on public policy issues. Some governments in the European Union have banned certain types of speech. Evangelical preachers have been hassled for preaching on public streets in certain parts of Great Britain. Two years ago, France made certain pro-life speech illegal. In the Colorado baker’s case, pro-gay speech has been compelled by the government. Polls in the United States show that young people on the left are willing to limit speech they disagree with.

Experts are concerned that Guterres seems to agree that certain speech that he deems wrong must be stamped out, and that he sees it as the role of the United Nations apparatus to silence it.

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China supplement


Cardinal Zen: ‘One wonders from which planet did our leaders in Rome descend?’

Cdl. ZenTHE CATHOLIC HERALD reports -- After Cardinal Fernando Filoni and a Chinese-appointed bishop both spoke out this week separately in support of the Vatican-China deal for fostering unity, Cardinal Joseph Zen responded strongly.

During a weeklong trip to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau, Cardinal Filoni told Macau News Agency March 4 that the provisional agreement between Beijing and the Holy See signed on September 22, 2018 “will be a very good thing for the Church in the future, and also for China.”

“One wonders: from which planet did our leaders in Rome descend?” Zen, the emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, responded on his blog on March 5.

In a lengthy interview with a Vatican-sponsored newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, called for greater trust between the ecclesial and civil authorities who manage religion in China.

“There is above-all the need to rebuild trust, perhaps the most difficult aspect, toward ecclesiastical and civil authorities entrusted with religious matters, as well as between the so-called official and unofficial ecclesial currents,” Filoni said. “It is not about establishing who wins or who loses, who is right or wrong.”

Zen responded, “The incredible thing is the invitation to trust the government! Is information on recent oppression measures missing from our superiors in the Vatican?”

Filoni said that he realized that it may appear that the Holy See is asking for “a unilateral sacrifice” from members underground Chinese Catholic community, “while nothing is requested of the ‘official’ members.”

“The issue should not be put in these terms; in fact, it is not about the ‘underground’ surrendering to the ‘official’ or to the civil authorities, regardless of the appearance, nor of a victory over the non-official community,” he continued.

“The underground status will fade away, but not the people involved. Their faith, their traditions, and their spirituality remain, which are enjoyed by the entire diocesan community,” Filoni said.

He pointed to September’s provisional agreement as a continuation of the dialogue between the Holy See and China under St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Zen objected to this claim, writing, “The Holy See intends to present the dialogue with China as a homogeneous process from John Paul II through Benedict until Pope Francis. Not so, John Paul II and Benedict, having lived under totalitarian regimes, never believed the Ostpolitik theory.”

“With the choice of Parolin as his Secretary of State, Pope Francis gave the curia’s group of powerful men the opportunity to resume their project of Ostpolitik,” Zen said.

“Now following Pope Francis in his optimism, they dangerously push him towards an easy surrender, hiding the horrible face of Chinese communism of which they are well aware,” Zen continued.

Filoni criticized those who “run the risk of rowing out of sync within the ship of Peter” and of leading the Chinese faithful into misunderstanding the agreement.

“Only with a superficial spirit or in bad faith could one imagine that Pope Francis and the Holy See would abandon the flock of Christ, wherever or in whatever condition it finds itself in the world,” Filoni said.

“Therefore, we must continue to work to improve the perception of the faithful, who are often influenced by media messages that are not altogether correct or balanced and find it difficult to understand the due discretion that surrounded the dialogue between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China,” he continued.

“The Pope, together with his coworkers, has done, is doing, and will do all that is possible to be close to the Church in China. Our methods are not infallible, but we truly love the Church and the Chinese people,” Filoni said.

Filoni said that he hopes “not to hear or read about local situations in which the Agreement is exploited to compel people to do what is not even required by Chinese law, such as joining the Patriotic Association.”

“In the sixty years since the creation of the Patriotic Association, everyone, in perhaps an unequal and dramatic way, has suffered, both in a physical and moral sense,” he said.

“It is the Lord who guides history. Therefore, I would hope that, first of all, in dealing with any possible dilemmas, they would know always how to see the other with trust, even if some aspects of the current situation are perceived as injustices and with difficulty,” Filoni said.

Zen responded, “His Eminence loves to have legitimate reservations about what the Holy See does, but in the meantime he accuses me of not rowing in harmony with the barque of Peter.”

Several Chinese bishops participating in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) also spoke out about the Vatican-China agreement this month.

The theme of this year’s CPPCC assembly meeting is “the study and application of Xi Jinping’s thinking on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.”

Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu of Mindong (Ningde), a member of the CPPCC, told Chinese press at the meeting, “There will be no official or unofficial Church when the Church is united,” reported UCA News.

Mindong is one of two dioceses in China in which an underground bishop was asked to step down to be replaced by a formerly excommunicated bishop.

Pope Francis reportedly asked the former bishop of Mindong to step down in obedience and “in sacrifice” so that Chinese government-appointed Bishop Zhan could take his place through a letter signed by Cardinal Filoni and Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

In response to a question about what this would mean for the underground church, Zhan responded, “Don’t you want the Church to be united? A Church schism is not the fundamental aspiration of Catholics.”

Cardinal Zen questioned, “Can the gentlemen at the Vatican tell us what we have gained with that agreement? Is it true that the Chinese communists have finally recognized the authority of the pope? Has the spokesperson of the Patriotic Association and the bishops’ conference not publicly declared that they will maintain the principle of the independent Church and that they will follow the leadership of the Party?”


[CH] 2271.CS1
























News from around the world


Canada Parenting and the Principle of Subsidiarity

DONALD DeMARCO writes for The Wanderer -- Pope Pius XI formulated the 'principle of subsidiarity' in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (1931). This principle means that the state or lesser, intermediate organizations should never intervene to do for a lower group - including the family or even the individual - what that lower group can do for itself. Thus, subsidiarity means that the smallest level of communality should be employed to achieve its end while the state should be regarded as the last resort. The state may help the family, but should not hinder it.

Society is built from the ground up. This explains why the family is the basic unit of society. Pius XI recognized this and honored it with his famous and widely applied principle. In a topsy-turvy world, however, the attempt is made to turn the pyramid on its head. An example of this is excessive interference by the government in affairs that are best handled by parents.

Canada's liberal government has introduced Bill S-206 which poses a serious threat to the autonomy of the family. What we mean here by autonomy, however, is not complete independence from the government but a certain freedom for parents traise their children in a reasonable way and in accordance with their own prudential judgments. The government should not take away from parents reasonable choices they make in particular instances that are part of responsible child-raising. Parents are responsible for normal disciplining of their children. Without discipline, the child will not be prepared to take his place on the larger stage of life.

According to Real Women of Canada (www.realwomenofcanada.ca), the bill would criminalize the following actions as assault: 1) picking up and moving your child to another room; 2) removing toys or objects from your child's grasp; 3) stopping your child from leaving his room or leaving his house; restraining your child against his will.

This is, it should be obvious, a far-reaching notion of child abuse. Moreover, if a doctor, teacher, friend, or family member observes any violations of Bill S-206, they assume a 'duty to report.' A parent may be charged by the police and children may be removed from the home by social services.

One hopes that this bill will not be passed and if passed, will not be enforced. Dr. Benjamin Spock introduced the Permissive Age for childrearing several decades ago, although much of his advice has been discredited. He did not envision the kind of permissiveness that is laid out by Bill S-206. Nor would he have thought that stopping a child from leaving the house could be regarded as a criminal act.

The system of child-raising proposed by Canada's liberal party is not only absurd, but unworkable. If a parent loses custody of a child because mom or dad violated one of the guidelines, what punishment lies in store for the bureaucrat who commits similar misdemeanors? And what about the child? Does any little boy or girl want to be wrested from his parents' home and sent to some kind of institution where he will be tended to by strangers? If this anti-parent bill is passed, will parents be fearful of imposing any kind of reasonable discipline on their children? The bill does not mention remedies for the trauma it may cause for children who are not aligned with the new ideology.

It is one thing to prevent child abuse. But it is quite another to prevent child abuse in a way that prevents normal child-raising. Parents may need assistance from time to time, but, in general, the parents themselves, and not the government, are in the best position to raise children without abusing them. Bill S-206 means that the government will not be as permissive toward parents as it demands that parents be permissive toward their own children. If S-206 is passed, its potential for abuse is alarming.

When one thinks of abortion and how, in the most brutal manner, especially with regard to late-term abortion when the child can feel pain, a child is put to death, it seems odd that a government would be so ultra-considerate of children who are born that they would fear those parents who did not abort their children. Abortion is merely a 'woman's right,' but the government must watch parents like a hawk lest they take a child to another room.

If this contradiction makes any sense it may be that the liberal party, so callous when it comes to the child in the womb, experiences a deep guilt that is suppressed. Not able to face its own complicity in horror, it tries to create the appearance that it is human and caring by being excessively solicitous to children who are born. Psychologists refer to this technique as compensation.

Being extremely concerned in one area about people is supposed to make up for being sorely negligent in another. Compensation is a defense mechanism in which people overachieve in one area to make up for failure in another.

The distinguished psychologist Alfred Adler introduced the term 'overcompensation' indicating an attempt to make up for an inadequacy in one field by driving to excel in another, but often in a way that is detrimental to the person. If the government gets it wrong on abortion, it will surely get it wrong on child-raising.

Abortion itself is a violation of the principle of subsidiarity. Abortion, as a matter of fact, is a major step in turning the moral universe upside down. In abortion, the mother interferes with the life of the child. It follows that the government will interfere with the life of parents. The government, which consists of paid bureaucrats who have no biochemical bond with the children they monitor, then presumes to be the basis of society. But a society that is upside down cannot flourish.

(Dr. DeMarco is a professor emeritus at St. Jerome's University and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He is a regular columnist for the St. Austin Review. His latest books, How To Navigate through Life and Apostles of the Culture of Life, are available at amazon.com.)

[The Wanderer?] 2271.6






















Denmark Government wants to speed up forced adoption process to take children from birth parents

JEANNE SMITS reports for LifeSiteNews - Denmark's minister for Children and Social Affairs has authored a government proposal making forced adoptions that would create definitive separations between children and birth parents easier for authorities.

Mai Mercado said in an interview with Berlingske that the biological parents' rights would not be affected by the new rules presented to the Danish parliament on Tuesday. The conservative politician claims that the proposal would cut red tape and legal requirements during the process to provide faster outcomes and significantly reduce costs for municipal services.

'This is all with the child's interest foremost,' she said.

Currently, when a local authority decides that biological parents will 'likely never' be able to take care of a child, a request is submitted to the Social Appeals Board ('Ankestryrelsen,' or 'social anchorage council') as well as a national government body (the state administration, 'Statsforvaltningen'). Both must green-light the adoption for it to go through.

A child may not be directly placed with its future adoptive parents until the procedure is completed. In the meantime, a foster family takes care of the child.

Under the proposed new rules, the Social Appeals Board would decide alone for or against the adoption. 'Ankestryrelsen' is an independent body within the state. It is attached to the Danish ministry for social affairs and integration and acts as an appeal court for decisions in the domain of social and labor law.

Since 2012, its family law division has also been charged with approving religious communities. Its decisions are final.

Under Mercado's proposed adoption rules, the requirement for children to be placed with foster families by waiting for approval would also be dropped, allowing them to join their new pre-approved family as soon as the forced adoption procedure is put into motion.

Over the last decade, Denmark has consistently reinforced its legislation allowing for the forced separation of children from their biological parents. From 2009 to 2015, local authorities could only obtain adoption without the parents' consent if they could prove that these would 'never' be able to take care of their child. Under this system, 13 children were forcibly adopted.

In October 2015, the radical social-democratic government, supported by the conservative and liberal alliance, relaxed the rules in a controversial move that allows for forced adoption when it is considered only 'likely' that biological parents will never be able to bring up their children properly.

The loosely defined law triggered criticism from several political parties and human rights activists. Among others, a spokesperson for Enhedslisten, Pernille Skipper, remarked at the time: 'Permanently removing children from their parents is an extremely serious matter. How do you assess that the parents will never be able to play a positive role in the child's life? (…) Just because the parents are mentally handicapped or have an abuse problem doesn't rule it out that at some stage they might be able to be there for the child in some way or other.'

Since the rule changed, the number of forced adoptions has risen somewhat, but the statistics are not clear. CPHPost Denmark wrote in 2017 that in more than two years since the rules were changed, 17 cases were recorded. New figures speak of 22 requests submitted by local authorities since 2015, of which 16 were approved by the Social Appeals Board, according to Berlingske. Other sources speak of six adoptions since October 2015.

At any rate, Danish municipalities appear to have been wary of initiating the procedure despite the legal adjustments in 2015. A report published in September 2018 by Ankestryrelsen said 49 municipalities had considered using the forced adoption procedure between October 2015 and March 2018 in 103 to 109 affairs but gave up in most cases.

According to the report, the reason given was that the procedure is lengthy - up to two years - and costly. Local authorities also deplored the fact that foster families do not have the possibility of adopting a child they are taking care of under the current procedure.

Clearly, Mercado has taken all of these effects into account in a bid to allow municipalities to be more 'flexible' in their decision to initiate a forced adoption process. The figures from Ankestryrelsen suggest that there could be a great deal more of these procedures.

Some organizations for the protection of children are in favor of the new rules. Rasmus Kjeldahl, director fo Børns Vilkår ('Children's conditions'), reacted to the proposal by saying he hopes there will be 'some more cases; it's probably an instrument that should be used a bit more in the children's own interest.'

He added that it is true in some cases biological parents can end up becoming capable of looking after their own children. But it is generally 'too late,' he added, saying it is not good for a child to be placed in random foster families while waiting for its parents to be capable of looking after children.

Benny Andersen, federal president of social educators, does not agree. He is concerned that forced adoptions will gain traction over the coming years because of the upcoming new rules and become an 'ordinary tool' in difficult cases. While acknowledging that some parents are not capable of bringing up a child, he recalls the well-documented fact that they have an important role to play in their offspring's lives.

'That door is completely shut when you withdraw the parents from the equation,' he remarked on socialpaedagogen.sl.dk, adding that it is for the children themselves that biological parents should be a part of their lives.

Some examples of 'incapable' parents provide an idea of the great variety of possible motives for separating of them from their children, he said. Some are away every two days, he said, and others don't give their children food or send them to sleep regularly. They simply can't give them the stability, the security and the love that are at the basis of a child's life.

Of course, he added, children should not grow up with violence and abuse from adults who cannot meet their fundamental needs, so he does not reject forced adoption on principle. But he did call it a 'serious and violent decision' both for the parents and the children involved.

Andersen suggests that the parents need to be helped and their children need to know how they are evolving. For example, are they fighting against an alcohol addiction, have they moved, are they looking for work?

There is a world of difference between irregular sleep habits and full-fledged abuse, but appreciating exactly what constitutes a reason for forced adoption can theoretically mean any of these things given the vague definition of the 'likely' impossibility of ever being capable of bringing up a child.

Besides, similar to its Scandinavian neighbor, Denmark is a welfare state and even a nanny state where public authorities widely use taxpayer money to adapt everyday life to its vision.

Mercado's legal adjustments will give more power to the Danish state to interfere with children's education and parents' primary rights regarding their own offspring. As the dictatorship of relativism progresses, these are dangerous tools to put into the hands of government.

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Italy Bishop of Mantua removes faithful priest

JULIANA FREITAG reports for ChurchMilitant.com - A bishop in northern Italy has removed a priest who opposed relaxing restrictions on Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried.

The diocese of Mantua, which recently implemented a pastoral ministry offering the possibility of admission to the sacraments for those in adulterous unions, removed the priest from his parish duties allegedly because of his outspoken defense of Church teaching.

Father Angelo Bisi, in charge of the parishes of Motteggiana-Villa Saviola, was removed from Villa Saviola after several years of contention with some parishioners, but the drastic decision came only after Fr. Bisi refused to read Bp. Gianmarco Busca's letter to the faithful presenting the Mantuan directives concerning the divorced and civilly remarried

The directives were inspired by the archbishop of Buenos Aires' guidelines for the application of chapter eight of Amoris Laetitia, which states that adulterers may also be admitted to Holy Communion - contrary to longstanding Church doctrine and discipline. Mantua's new pastoral ministry makes no mention of the fact that extramarital relations are adulterous, nor does it mention the need to repent or the option to remain in continence, as confirmed by number 84 of Pope John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio

Father Bisi has on various occasions publicly expressed disagreement with some of Pope Francis' decisions. In 2015, Fr. Bisi wrote a lengthy reflection on Facebook inviting the pontiff to 'think well' when handling the issue of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics:

'Church Doctrine holds and affirms that every sexual relation outside of marriage is a sinful act, and if one civilly remarries another person, someone else besides the sacramental spouse, they remain permanently in sin. This is the reason they can't be absolved, as absolution requires repentance and a change of of state. ... It's a very serious and grave issue. ... If the sacrament of matrimony collapses, everything else collapses with it.

In 2016, he wrote a sharp letter to the Holy Father questioning his proximity to anti-Catholic personalities and asking him to pay a visit to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi:

'We are aware that this Pope calls everyone ... aligned with his political ideologies, but he suffers from serious bouts of amnesia when it comes to everyone else. ... Pope Francis telephoned Emma Bonino [former Italian minister of foreign affairs who performed more than 10,000 illegal abortions] when he heard she was ill, he called Eugenio Scalfari [the atheist founder of leftist daily La Repubblica, whose conversations with Pope Francis always raise controversy], he immediately sent Abp. Vincenzo Paglia to see Marco Pannella [the late leader of Italy's Radical Party, an abortion rights champion and overall immoral public figure] when he found out that Pannella's state had deteriorated ... and so on. But unfortunately he has forgotten to give a quick call to those ... who attended Family Day, rallying in Rome for the values of the Christian family founded on the love of Christ. ... [Berlusconi] is about to have a difficult operation. He's not a very good practicing Catholic, but I know this doesn't matter [to Pope Francis]. ... Go and invite Berlusconi to repent and confess.

By October 2018, the tension had reached boiling point, and parishioners from Villa Saviola told media that Fr. Bisi's main problem was that he was 'stubborn' and 'spoke his mind.'

'His homilies start well, but then he tends to exaggerate his own opinions,' claimed one parishioner. 'He needs to be more diplomatic.'

For a priest to be removed from his role, there must be proof he has committed grave acts, such as theft, any sort of scandal, having a lover. I have not done any of these things.

All they have against me are conjectures. The bishop has been asking me to resign for a while, but I haven't done anything wrong. I really would like to know what I'm being accused of. I want to know who reported me to the bishop, because I'm entitled to a defense and I'll defend myself anywhere, be it in the diocese or in a civil legal setting. ... It's true that once, in church, speaking of family in the Christian sense, formed by a man and a woman, as God has taught, I've expressed my disagreement of civil unions or marriage between people of the same sex. ... Is this the accusation against me? Should I resign because I've expressed my opinion as a citizen, a Christian, a Churchman?

Finally in February, Bp. Busca removed Fr. Bisi from the parish. For now he is still responsible for Motteggiana, but it remains that there exist no grounds for his dismissal. According to secular news outfit Ultimissime Mantova, Fr. Bisi was 'lifted from his role for standing up for the truth of the Gospel.

Father Bisi declared that 'for a priest to be removed from his role, there must be proof he has committed grave acts, such as theft, any sort of scandal, having a lover. I have not done any of these things.'

Canon 1741 establishes the causes for the legitimate removal of a pastor: actions which bring grave detriment of ecclesiastical communion, ineptitude of mind or body, loss of good reputation, grave neglect of parochial duties and poor administration of temporal affairs.

Father Bisi is willing to take it to the Roman Rota if necessary. When asked if he would sign his resignation, he answered, 'It goes against my dignity and I'd be endorsing hypocritical accusations, which are actually calumnies. I'm not fighting to keep my place as a parish priest; I'm fighting for Christian values.'

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Italy Bishops write letter to victims of abuse

THE EPONYMOUS FLOWER / kath.net report - Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, has written a letter to Italian victims of abuse, according to a media report. This was reported by the newspaper 'Il Messaggero' on its website. Accordingly, the Episcopal Conference announces that it will cooperate with the Italian judiciary. At their meeting in May, the bishops said they wanted to 'fully cooperate with civil authorities,' the newspaper quoted from the letter to Francesco Zanardi, founder of the Italian victims' association 'Rete l'abuso'.

The bishops wanted to avoid 'any forms of concealment, whether by the victims or their families, or by ecclesiastical authorities.' Action must be determined by 'respect for the truth, justice and the well-being of the child, as well as people in charge of protection.' These should come first. The Episcopal Conference also wants to order that in the commissions of the dioceses for dealing with cases of abuse victims should also be represented, it says to other contents of the letter.

Zanardi had been disappointed after the four-day Catholic anti-abuse summit in the Vatican. The victims would have expected something different at the end of the global meeting - 'at least the announcement of the expulsion of several bishops,' he told the Italian daily La Repubblica.

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Italy Steve Bannon's Gladiator School: A view from within

S BannonNICHOLAS FARRELL writes for Chronicles -- About 50 miles south and east of Rome, high in the Apennine mountains, lies the Charterhouse of Trisulti whose isolated magnificence prompted the German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius (who stumbled upon it in the 1850's) to write in his classic work Years of Wandering in Italy, 'If a place exists where the human spirit can reach the gravest and highest meditation, this must be it, in one of the most sublime states of solitude I have ever seen.'

Here, in this huge deserted monastery founded in 1204, which has 15,000 square meters of roof, President Donald Trump's former chief strategist and the former chief executive of Breitbart News, Stephen K. Bannon, has founded what he told me will become 'a gladiator school for culture warriors.' The mission of this school, or academy to give it its formal title, is to save the West, no less, by restoring Judeo-Christian values to the heart of the political conversation.

But, I wonder, will those values be enough? Or do they require a belief in God to give them the necessary weight?

Forced to wear sackcloth and ashes in America, after being dumped by Trump and Breitbart, Bannon decided to dispense his volatile magic in Europe instead.

Certain people achieve greatness only in exile; Dante and Machiavelli wrote their masterpieces after being banished from Florence. What of Bannon?

The political arm of his European mission is The Movement, a Brussels-based think-tank which aims to help populist parties throughout the E.U. triumph in the May European Parliament elections. That is not going terribly well, as far as I can tell. The cultural-or should that be spiritual?-arm is this 'gladiator school' in the middle of the Apennine nowhere. This intrigues me more.

So, before Christmas, I went to take a look.

Bannon was in America when I was at Trisulti, but told me via email,

The Academy's aim is to train a new generation of cultural warriors-modern day gladiators who are formed with the intellectual training and the conceptual tools necessary to defend the Judeo-Christian West against its existential enemies. Over the last ten years, I have been working towards a global strategy for the defence of the West, and this Academy will play a major part in that strategy. I want Trisulti to be one of the international bases coordinating this battle.

The most pressing challenge is to have the will to survive as a civilization and to nurture the fighting spirit it takes for victory. This fighting spirit is what we intend to instill-not toward violence but the exact opposite, toward defeating the brainwashed mobs with superior arguments-and winning in politics, media, culture, business, academia etc.

The first thing we're going to do is give people their real identities back. We're not interested in people being woke. We're interested in seeing them awakened.

But Bannon then added, in what is possibly the most vitriolic attack ever made against a pope by a public figure of whatever political persuasion, that Pope Francis is 'beneath contempt' for his regular admonishment of political leaders such as Trump in America, Matteo Salvini in Italy, or Viktor Orbán in Hungary, who try to stop migrants crossing their borders-however illegal and unworthy of refugee status these migrants may be.

He said that the Pope-contrary to the dominant media message-in fact acts, whether intentionally or not, on the side of the global elite against the little guy. So, according to Alt-Right Bannon, the Pope, on migrants at least, is not nearly left-wing enough.

Bannon explained:

His greatest failings outside the spiritual and theological are siding with the globalist elites against the citizens of the nations of the world. Memo to the Pope-if you want to cultivate a media image of working man's champion, great; but you then actually have to stand up for the little guy, and not with the rich and powerful who drive the UN and the EU in favor of their own internationalist agendas at the little guy's expense. His attempts to demonize the populist movement in Europe and the United States are beneath contempt.
So should the Pope be replaced? Bannon replied:

The Pope is the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth. The Catholic Church is historically a pillar of Western Civilization. We're not trying to destroy the Pope, but call him back to his responsibilities to speak for the little guy rather than acting as spokesman for the globalist elites-who by the way are no fans of the Catholic faith.
For most of its eight centuries, the Charterhouse of Trisulti was the home of Carthusian monks and then, from 1947, Cistercian monks. Once upon a time there were 60 monks here and as many staff, but last year the three remaining monks left.

The monastery is owned by the Italian state, and the government several years ago put the lease out to public tender. A Rome-based Catholic charity, the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI)-whose illustrious patrons include the Pope's most vociferous conservative critic inside the Vatican, Raymond Cardinal Burke, plus loads of cardinals, plus Bannon-put in a bid and won.

The monastery costs €100,000 per year in rent, but each euro spent on its restoration is deducted. So if the institute spends €100,000 on restoration in a single year, it pays nothing in rent.

Trisulti made me think of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter books. And I wondered: What will Bannon's trainee magicians be given instead of wands and potions?

I was there to meet its British director, Ben Harnwell, 43, a university chemistry graduate, who is the son of a fireman and a local government accountant.

The monastery has hundreds of rooms, but for the moment Harnwell lives there utterly alone-apart from the last Cistercian prior, Don Ignazio, and his cook.

This story begins in 2004, when Harnwell was in Brussels working for a British conservative Euro MP and he completely lost faith in the E.U. project in which he had been such an ardent believer. He came to see it as the problem, not the solution-indeed, a force for evil.

He had become an Anglican only in his early 20's but now converted to Catholicism, and in 2008 set up the DHI in Brussels in order-as he put it- to 'protect Christian politicians in the public square from being no-platformed and sacked for their Christian views.' And in 2010, he moved the institute to Rome and an office 100 yards from the Vatican.

It was in Rome, four years later, that by chance he met Bannon, who was, at the time, still an unknown, more or less. This encounter would change Harnwell's life forever, for thus was born the idea of the 'gladiator school for culture warriors' to save the West.

Wearing an unseasonable panama hat combined with, of all things, a cardigan, Harnwell picked me up in a rattling Fiat Punto at the nearest station, 20 miles away from the monastery. 'The radiator's got a problem,' he said. Announcing that he had only just got his licence and wanted to 'test things to the limit,' he drove along the narrow and winding mountain roads to the monastery at speeds that could win the Almighty a few more converts.

The Charterhouse of Trisulti is most definitely a suitable place for anyone whose mission in life is to save Western Civilization-or indeed to destroy it, for that matter, in the style of a James Bond villain. Founded by Pope Innocent III, who used it as his summer residence, it is a vast Baroque citadel built mainly in the 17th century, set amid densely wooded mountains that touch the clouds. Famous in its heyday as the Harvard University of herbal science, its perfectly preserved pharmacy with its fabulous murals must surely be one of the finest monastic pharmacies in Christendom.

To be the first nonmonk in charge of such an extraordinary place-in all its 800 years-whose cloister was based on a drawing by Michelangelo and is as grand as any quad or court at an Oxford or a Cambridge college is, to put it mildly, quite a coup. Harnwell defines it as 'a shining city on a hill.'

What destroyed his faith in the European Project, he says, was the negative reaction of Euro MPs to the nomination of the conservative Italian politician and philosophy professor Rocco Buttiglione as E.U. commissioner in 2004. Buttiglione had made the fatal error of agreeing with the Christian view that homosexual sex is 'a sin' and saying that the family 'exists in order to allow women to have children and to have the protection of a male who takes care of them.' When it became clear as a result that Euro MPs would refuse to endorse his candidacy, he withdraw himself from consideration. 'If he had been a Muslim, despite Islam being far more hostile to homosexuality, no one would have batted an eyelid,' insists Harnwell. 'Rocco Buttiglione isn't a medieval fascist,' he continues. 'He's a perfectly reasonable and very well respected philosopher exercising a Catholic point of view.' It is Buttiglione's numerous and frantic left-liberal (and invariably secular) critics who behaved as fascists, says Harnwell, by shutting Buttig lione down. Buttiglione, to be clear, is the founding patron of DHI.

To understand the attitude of the dominant group-think in Brussels at that time-which has of course become ever more, not less, pervasive-it is enough to know that those drafting the E.U. constitution that same year refused to include the words 'Christian roots' in their definition of Europe.

The Buttiglione episode so angered Harnwell that it prompted him to found the DHI, whose mission statement according to its website is 'Defending the Judaeo-Christian foundations of Western Civilisation through the recognition that Man is made in the image and likeness of God.'

Along with Cardinal Burke, there are a dozen cardinals on DHI's advisory board, but it is its very special location combined with the involvement of the much-discussed Bannon that sets Trisulti apart from numerous other similar Catholic institutes and think tanks.

In 2014, Harnwell was somehow able to secure Bannon a meeting with Cardinal Burke at very short notice. 'Steve was impressed,' Harnwell told me. 'When he first came to Rome in those days he was not the rock star he is now with everyone queuing up to meet him. He'd have a couple of meetings, and if he was free for lunch and/or dinner, I'd be on standby in case he didn't have a better offer. I swear to God I couldn't get enough. I'd spent my whole political life waiting for someone to come along and say things like he sees them. Do you have any idea how that feels?' At the time, Bannon was still executive chairman of Breitbart, in those days nicknamed 'the CNN of the Tea Party' and defined by Bannon as 'virulently anti-establishment.'

Few people appreciate how important Bannon's Catholicism is to everything he does and why this, not weed, turned him into a rebel. I have met him four times, and on the second occasion asked him point blank, 'Do you believe in God?'

He answered, 'Yes, of course.'

He may have had three wives (one annulment, two divorces), but he regularly attends Mass-although, let us be clear, unless he is abstaining from sex, he is barred from taking Communion. But few people also appreciate just how left-wing he really is compared with so many of his largely left-wing liberal critics-above all, in his hostility to faceless global capitalism.

Soon after that chance 2014 meeting in Rome, Bannon agreed to give a speech to a conference organized by Harnwell at the Vatican via Skype from Los Angeles. In this so-called Vatican Speech, Bannon told his audience that capitalism has been debased because it nowadays treats people not as human beings but as commodities. And the reason for this was that Western Civilization had lost touch with the Judeo-Christian values that had-until the advent of militant secularism-tempered capitalism.

The West is under mortal threat not only from unbridled capitalism-Bannon added-but also from militant Islam:

We are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. . . . [The West] is at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict [that will] completely eradicate everything that we've been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years [unless] we fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity.

Bannon's Vatican Speech passed largely unnoticed in the media as he was hardly on their radar, but it did not slip by Harnwell, who was inspired by the words of this American whom he told me was 'a phenomenal genius' thanks to 'his grasp of the dynamics of the issues.'

So when Harnwell heard from a monk of his acquaintance that the Charterhouse of Trisulti was available he dedicated much of the next four years of his life to putting together a winning bid, which was finally approved in February 2018.

Following his troubles in America, Bannon has traveled to Europe often, especially to Italy, which he describes as the 'center of the political universe right now,' with its coalition government of two populist parties that smash the old left-right divide: the Alt-Left Five Star Movement and the radical-right Lega.

When I last met Bannon in Rome in June 2018 just after the formation of this populist government, he told me, 'We're going to have to take over the Catholic Church.' I assumed this was a joke-but was it?

I asked Harnwell what Bannon had meant. 'I'll tell you exactly what Steve meant by that, and he's absolutely right,' he replied. 'If we're going to save Western Civilization the Catholic Church needs to be part of that equation and on the right side of the equals sign. That's one of the reasons Steve is so fired up about bringing the Catholic Church back on track.'

Fine, but what puzzles me is whether a belief in Judeo-Christian values alone will be enough to save the West, or whether this civilization-salvation will require in addition the belief in God that gave birth to those values and gives them their force. But if the latter is the case, and given that fewer and fewer people believe in the Judeo-Christian God, aren't he and Bannon wasting their time?

Harnwell replied: 'Brilliant question. There's no Judeo-Christian religion. There's Judaism, and there's Christianity. We're specifically talking about the cultural values rather than the religious values that underpin the cultural values. So we absolutely want to build an alliance between the core who believe in God and the outer circles who believe if not in God then in Christian values.'

This seemed to fudge the issue, so I asked him to be more specific, and he replied: 'Jesus Christ never said that actual believers needed to be a numerical majority in order to transform society. In fact, He said the very opposite-we are to be the yeast that makes the rest of the bread rise. However, even bread still needs a minimum amount of yeast. The question isn't whether we can save Western Civilization without actually believing in God . . . [S]uch an attempt would be like trying to save a body after the soul had already departed.'

What of the plans for the gladiator school itself? Of its backers, Harnwell would say only that they are 'private individuals mainly in the U.K. and the States.' Catholics? 'We have some Jews.' So, playing agent provocateur, I trotted out one of the constant accusations from the liberal left against Bannon, which I am convinced is unfounded: But isn't Bannon supposed to be antisemitic?

'Yes, that's what they say isn't it? It's all bullshit! Please print that. I challenge anyone to show me one thing Bannon has ever said-and I've read every single interview and speech he's ever given-that is either antisemitic, fascist, or racist.'

Over a frugal kitchen supper-spaghetti with evil-looking little slithery black mushrooms called chiodiails) gathered in the woods that afternoon by the cook-with me and the prior, Don Ignazio, Harnwell mentioned that he is planning to buy a gun, in case of burglars. 'He who shoots another,' said Don Ignazio, who has otherwise remained silent, 'shoots himself'

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Norway Church of Norway apologizes for previous pro-life stance, says abortion promotes 'women's safety'

CASSY FIANO-CHESSER reports for Live Action News - In Norway, the largest Christian denomination is the Church of Norway, with an estimated 70% of Norwegians registered as members. Originally, the church was the official religion of Norway, with mandatory membership, but today, the church and the state have become separated. The church has likewise historically been pro-life, while Norway allows for legal abortion. However, the bishops of the Church of Norway recently released a statement actually apologizing for the church's pro-life stance and stunningly (and incorrectly) claiming that abortion 'promotes women's health, safety and security.'

'When the law of self-determined abortion was dealt with and adopted in the 1970s, the church was a clear opponent of the changes that were introduced,' the statement began. 'Priests and others were strong and clear in their criticism of the law for the purpose of protecting the unborn life. Today, we realize that the church's argumentation did not allow for a good dialogue. It's time to create a new conversation climate. We want to contribute to that.'

The new conversation, evidently, means acknowledging that abortion needs to be legal, despite also arguing that preborn babies are, indeed, human beings deserving of protection. The statement read, stunningly:

A society with legal access to abortion is a better society than a society without such access. It prevents illegal abortions and promotes women's health, safety and security. It is not least evident in a global perspective. Internationally, we see that churches are still contributing to the burden of many pregnant women in vulnerable positions.

In Norway, abortion is legal through 12 weeks, and can be approved through 18 weeks if a woman files an application (most of which are approved). More bizarrely, the church still apologizes for not being committed enough to 'women's liberation and rights.'

We acknowledge that the church has to a small extent taken over the situation that many pregnant women have been in, and has also failed to give credible expressions of understanding for women's experience and the challenges women have experienced. On the contrary, the church, as an institution throughout history, has shown a lack of commitment to women's liberation and rights. We are sorry. As a church we must change our way of talking about abortion and how we care for people who are affected.

The Church of Norway now essentially argues that while it continues to believe the lives of preborn children are worth protecting and saving, legalized abortion has led to a decrease in overall abortions, which therefore means abortion should remain legal. The country is currently in such a fertility decline that the government is encouraging families to have more children.

A common pro-abortion argument is that to decrease the number of abortions, banning abortion is counter-productive. But the problem is, this is a false argument.

The CDC has been tracking abortion rates since 1969, four years before Roe v. Wade, with the first abortion surveillance report released in 1970. That year, there were 193,491 abortions reported nationwide. In 1974, the year after Roe v. Wade, there were 763,476, with numbers that continued to steadily climb for decades until the late 1990s, when a sizable drop is shown between 1997 and 1998. This, however, is because all 50 states reported their abortion statistics to the CDC until 1997, and after that, some states stopped reporting - states like California, which has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the country.

Michael New, who holds a doctorate in political science from Stanford University and is a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute and adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute, likewise debunked this claim. New points out that the studies widely referenced by abortion activists, such as a March 2018 study published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, do not control for poverty rates, economic growth, demographic shifts, or other factors. Only one study, published in 'The Journal of Law and Economics,' did. New writes:

In their study, Levine and Staiger used time series-cross sectional data to analyze how the legal status of abortion impacted abortion rates in a range of Eastern European countries. The authors hold constant economic growth, the inflation rate, and the age composition of women of childbearing age. Their findings provide overwhelming evidence that the incidence of abortion is affected by its legal status. They find that countries where abortion is legal only to save the mother's life or for specific medical reasons have abortion rates that are only about five percent of the level in countries in which abortion is legal on request.

Furthermore, the results indicated that even modest abortion restrictions have an impact. Countries where abortion is legal only due to medical or social reasons have a 25 percent lower abortion rate than countries where abortion is available on request. This impressive dataset from a range of countries, many of which enacted policy changes regarding the legality of abortion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, clearly demonstrates that legal protections for the unborn save lives.

The Church of Norway's statement does acknowledge some legitimate wrongdoings - denying children born out of wedlock baptism, for example - and rectifying those wrongs is absolutely necessary. Women experiencing unplanned pregnancies need support, compassion, and love from their communities, especially their faith communities. But the Church of Norway does not need to apologize for being pro-life. If protecting all human life, including preborn lives, is their priority, then they cannot support legalized abortion. Contrary to what abortion activists would have us all believe, legalizing abortion does not decrease abortion rates. It increases them, and laws that put restrictions on abortion save lives.

[Published by LifeSiteNews with permission from Live Action News].

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United States Cardinal Cupich dragged his feet on case of child porn priest

Cdl. CupichCHRISTINE NILES, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. reports -- Chicago's Cardinal Blase Cupich waited nearly a month before removing a seminary rector found in possession of male child porn. He also failed to report the priest immediately to law enforcement - a violation of the Dallas Charter - which gave the offending priest time to get rid of the primary evidence.

Father Octavio Muñoz was arrested in 2016 for possession of child porn after Cook County investigators found hundreds of DVDs and videotapes 'that appear to depict minors in sexual penetration' as well as 'emails containing stories of sex with children,' according to Assistant State's Attorney Guy Lisuzzo at a 2016 bond hearing.

They also found 'undergarments of a size intended for children.'

Muñoz was rector of the now-defunct Casa Jesus, a seminary for Latin Americans established by the late Cdl. Joseph Bernardin in the late 1980s for the purpose of recruiting homosexual seminarians.

Father John Lavers, who headed a top-level 2012 investigation at Holy Apostles Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut exposing a homosexual pipeline from South America to East Coast seminaries, confirmed with Church Militant that Bernardin led the vanguard in recruiting and funnelling homosexuals from Latin America to Casa Jesus in Chicago.

Cupich quietly shut down the seminary in 2016 after multiple gay scandals, including the regular frequenting of gay bars by seminarians, as well as priests connected to Casa Jesus being accused of sexual misconduct.

'When I was at Casa Jesus, I used to go to gay bars, bring my friends. They didn't say anything,' said former seminarian Luis Stalin to NBC Chicago. Stalin said the rule for celibacy was often ignored.

A Chicago priest who spent time at Casa Jesus, and who asked not to be named, spoke with Church Militant and confirmed the rampant homosexual subculture. 'The rector knew. Everybody knew,' he said.

The incident involving Muñoz was the final scandal that led to the seminary's closure.
Muñoz helped lead the house of formation for seven years (2009-15), frequently traveling to Latin America - at the archdiocese's expense - to recruit seminarians for the Chicago archdiocese.

Cupich was criticized in 2016 for dragging his feet on the Muñoz investigation, failing to report him immediately to law enforcement, waiting nearly a month before removing him from ministry, and sending him out of state - without informing law enforcement.

Cupich's actions drew a sharp rebuke from the judge overseeing Muñoz's case. 'Isn't there counseling in the state of Illinois that he could've been afforded?' asked Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil during a court hearing in 2016.

A 2016 bond proffer gave the background on the Muñoz case:

'On or about 07/07/2015, an employee of the Archdiocese of Chicago was scheduled to show the new Casa Jesus Rector the apartment. The Archdiocesan employee and new Rector [Fr. Kevin Hays] knocked on the door to the apartment, and when there was no answer, the employee tried the handle but found the door locked. The employee used the master key to enter the apartment. ... The employee also observed a recliner chair with a TV tray and on the TV tray was an open computer, powered on, and it was running. The employee saw that the computer was a black Sony laptop, on which there was displayed a moving image on the screen that appeared to be running from a web cam. The image was of a young boy who had no pubic hair masturbating. Defendant was not present in the apartment at the time. Both the employee and the Rector left the apartment'.

According to the court document, Fr. Kevin Hays, current associate pastor at Notre Dame de Chicago, never reported the child porn to the archdiocese. After the employee learned that the incident was never reported, he contacted the archdiocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. When Hays was questioned as to why he failed to tell the archdiocese, he claimed he never saw the porn on the laptop.

Even after the employee reported the child porn, Cupich failed to contact law enforcement, waiting until July 20 - 13 days after the incident - to hire private investigators.

'Nearly two weeks passed between the time child pornography was seen inside the Casa Jesus apartment and when church officials began an investigation,' according to ABC7's I-Team report.

That was enough time for Muñoz to get rid of the Sony laptop. Although investigators found a black Sony bag for the laptop at Muñoz's apartment, the laptop itself was gone. Forensic examination of other electronic equipment, however, revealed child erotica and homosexual teen porn. It was only then that investigators contacted Chicago police, which launched its own investigation on July 30.

The Chicago archdiocese issued a statement at the time saying, 'Archbishop Blase J. Cupich removed Father Muñoz from ministry and withdrew his faculties, his authority to minister, after the archdiocese learned that the inappropriate material might involve minors.'
The statement fails to note, however, that Cupich waited until July 28 - three weeks after the incident - to remove Muñoz, and that he did not contact law enforcement when the incident was first reported.

According to Lisuzzo, after Cupich removed his faculties, Muñoz 'was moved by the archdiocese to a location for ... evaluation and business. The Chicago Police Department was not notified of that location.'

An arrest warrant was issued in August 2016, but police could not locate Muñoz, whom Cupich had sent out of state to St. Luke Institute, a notorious priest rehabilitation center in Silver Spring, Maryland. Saint Luke has a long history of scandal, founded by a homosexual who used to show gay porn to clients as part of their treatment. In 2014, CEO Fr. Edward J. Arsenault III was arrested and jailed for embezzling more than

200,000 to use on homosexual lovers.

After waiving extradition, Muñoz was transferred to the custody of Chicago police and charged with felony possession of child porn.
Cupich was tapped by Pope Francis to be a lead organizer of the recently concluded Vatican sex abuse summit, which critics - on the Left and Right - say accomplished little in the way of genuine reform.

'The unprecedented Vatican summit on the Catholic Church's sex-abuse crisis took place last week and it's still not clear what, if anything, was accomplished,' wrote Michael Pettinger for The Nation.

'Francis offered no detailed plan on how to prevent abuse, or binding rules on how to deal with abusers and cooperate with law enforcement,' wrote Ciara Nugent in Time Magazine.

'Vatican's Sex Summit on Clergy Sex Abuse Left Many Survivors Disappointed,' read the headline of an NPR report.

Cupich, who answered questions at daily press briefings, was criticized for evading issues and for his lack of transparency.

When asked by CNN's Delia Gallagher how laity can have confidence that the cardinals are being held accountable, Cupich's response amounted to an insistence that laity simply trust them.


And when Ann Thompson of NBC challenged Cupich on his alternate sex abuse proposal - which allows the bishops to investigate themselves - Cupich's response made clear he was sticking to his plan.

Reactions to his response were uniformly negative.

'Excellent question. Lame answer,' read one response by 'Pat' on Twitter. 'The truth is nobody trusts that the Cardinals/Bishops can police themselves. It's unfathomable that this is the best they can do 'believe us now.' Not good enough.'

'By choosing Cardinal Cupich to lead the abuse summit, the hierarchy told the laity that nothing will change,' wrote Kathy Lewis. 'He's a huge part of the problem and giving him such power negates the summit entirely. The laity rejects this summit as another attempt to avoid responsibility for abuse.'

'If the 'only thing' Cupich can tell us is that he polices himself, then there must be NO mechanism to hold the hierarchy accountable,' wrote Kevin Daley. 'Otherwise he'd tell us about it, right? @deliacnn destroyed this whole farce of a meeting with her question.'

[CMTV] 2271.12





United States Professor who rubbed out pro-life chalk drawings must pay 26K for infringing free speech
NANCY FLANDERS reports Live Action News - Nearly two years ago, Fresno State Professor Greg Thatcher and some of his students purposefully wiped away pro-life chalk messages written by the Fresno State Students for Life group. The chalk messages were approved by the university, but Thatcher decided to censor the pro-life message claiming that 'free speech is free speech in the free speech area' and that 'college campuses are not free speech areas.' He said he and his students were exercising their own free speech as he proceeded to rub the chalk off the sidewalk with his shoe.  

With the assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Students of Life filed a lawsuit and won the case. According to ADF, Thatcher was ordered never to interfere with Students for Life at Fresno State again and had to pay nearly

26,000 in attorney fees to student Bernadette Tasy and another student club member. He also had to attend a training on free speech given by ADF attorney Travis C. Barham.In an article for ADF, Tasy said that the impact of that attack against free speech was much greater than they could have imagined. They felt defeated after a year of having their fliers torn down or vandalized and the professor's actions left them feeling completely disheartened. But the video of the professor and his students was viewed thousands of times and inspired talk on social media about free speech. And Students for Life at Fresno grew from a few members to over 25 active pro-life participants.

'I also learned this important lesson,' wrote Tasy. 'Our ability to spread the pro-life message on campus goes hand-in-hand with our ability to speak freely.

'If it were not for this right, we never would have met Jess, a student at Fresno State.'

Thanks to the free speech rights of Students for Life and their willingness to not back down to pro-abortion bullies, Jess was able to visit the pro-life information table and pick up a 12-week fetal model. When Jess found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy not long after that encounter, she went to Planned Parenthood who told her that 'abortion was her only option.'

However, because of that fetal model, Jess chose life and gave birth to baby Eden. Not only was she able to welcome her child into the world, but she also proved abortion advocates wrong. She earned a 4.0 GPA and is now co-vice president of Students for Life at Fresno State.

'Jess is one of many pregnant and parenting students across America who are targeted by the abortion industry,' wrote Tasy. 'They are told they can't have a baby and go to school - that they won't reach their full potential as a mother. But Jess is proof that isn't true.'

And thanks to Students for Life at Fresno State and their willingness to stand up to pro-abortion individuals attempting to shut down their free speech rights, more students will have the chance to learn the truth about human development in the womb and that abortion is never necessary to achieve your goals.

[Published by LifeSiteNews with permission from Live Action News].

[LSN] 2271.13




International Michael Voris

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

[CMTV] 2271.14








International A few headlines of the week


France: Prisoner screaming “Allahu akbar” stabs prison guards with knife smuggled in by wife

India: 'We Muslims will set India on fire. We will kill them and blow them up'

International : ISIS call for steep escalation in online jihad

Netherlands : Islamic scholar: “No Western country has successfully integrated Muslims"

Tunis : Male and his German wife charged in ISIS ricin toxic terror plot

Yemen: Girls as young as three are being married off to much older men


[CF News] 2271.16











Unlearning ourselves in Lent

THE SEASON of humiliation, which precedes Easter, lasts for forty days, in memory of our Lord's long fast in the wilderness. . . .We fast by way of penitence, and in order to subdue the flesh. Our Saviour had no need of fasting for either purpose. His fasting was unlike ours, as in its intensity, so in its object. And yet when we begin to fast, His pattern is set before us; and we continue the time of fasting till, in number of days, we have equalled His.

There is a reason for this; in truth, we must do nothing except with Him in our eye. As He it is, through whom alone we have the power to do any good thing, so unless we do it for Him it is not good. From Him our obedience comes, towards Him it must look. He says, 'Without Me ye can do nothing.' [John xv. 5.] No work is good without grace and without love.

St. Paul gave up all things 'to be found in Christ, not having his own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is from God upon faith.' [Phil. iii. 9.] Then only are our righteousnesses acceptable when they are done, not in a legal way, but in Christ through faith. Vain were all the deeds of the Law, because they were not attended by the power of the Spirit. They were the mere attempts of unaided nature to fulfil what it ought indeed, but was not able to fulfil.

None but the blind and carnal, or those who were in utter ignorance, could find aught in them to rejoice in. What were all the righteousnesses of the Law, what its deeds, even when more than ordinary, its alms and fastings, its disfiguring of faces and afflicting of souls; what was all this but dust and dross, a pitiful earthly service, a miserable hopeless penance, so far as the grace and the presence of Christ were absent?

And this is singularly the case with Christians now, who endeavour to imitate Him; and it is well they should know it, for else they will be discouraged when they practise abstinences. It is commonly said, that fasting is intended to make us better Christians, to sober us, and to bring us more entirely at Christ's feet in faith and humility. This is true, viewing matters on the whole. On the whole, and at last, this effect will be produced, but it is not at all certain that it will follow at once.

On the contrary, such mortifications have at the time very various effects on different persons, and are to be observed, not from their visible benefits, but from faith in the Word of God. Some men, indeed, are subdued by fasting and brought at once nearer to God; but others find it, however slight, scarcely more than an occasion of temptation. For instance, it is sometimes even made an objection to fasting, as if it were a reason for not practising it, that it makes a man irritable and ill-tempered. I confess it often may do this.

Or again, weakness of body often hinders him from fixing his mind on his prayers, instead of making him pray more fervently; or again, weakness of body is often attended with languor and listlessness, and strongly tempts a man to sloth.

Yet, I have not mentioned the most distressing of the effects which may follow from even the moderate exercise of this great Christian duty. It is undeniably a means of temptation, and I say so, lest persons should be surprised, and despond when they find it so. And the merciful Lord knows that so it is from experience; and that He has experienced and thus knows it, as Scripture records, is to us a thought full of comfort.

I do not mean to say, God forbid, that aught of sinful infirmity sullied His immaculate soul; but it is plain from the sacred history, that in His case, as in ours, fasting opened the way to temptation. And, perhaps, this is the truest view of such exercises, that in some wonderful unknown way they open the next world for good and evil upon us, and are an introduction to somewhat of an extraordinary conflict with the powers of evil.

Stories are afloat (whether themselves true or not matters not, they show what the voice of mankind thinks likely to be true), of hermits in deserts being assaulted by Satan in strange ways, yet resisting the evil one, and chasing him away, after our Lord's pattern, and in His strength; and, I suppose, if we knew the secret history of men's minds in any age, we should find this (at least, I think I am not theorizing), viz. a remarkable union in the case of those who by God's grace have made advances in holy things (whatever be the case where men have not), a union on the one hand of temptations offered to the mind, and on the other, of the mind's not being affected by them, not consenting to them, even in momentary acts of the will, but simply hating them, and receiving no harm from them.

Let it not then distress Christians, even if they find themselves exposed to thoughts from which they turn with abhorrence and terror. Rather let such a trial bring before their thoughts, with something of vividness and distinctness, the condescension of the Son of God. For if it be a trial to us creatures and sinners to have thoughts alien from our hearts presented to us, what must have been the suffering to the Eternal Word, God of God, and Light of Light, Holy and True, to have been so subjected to Satan, that he could inflict every misery on Him short of sinning?

This then is, perhaps, a truer view of the consequences of fasting, than is commonly taken. Of course, it is always, under God's grace, a spiritual benefit to our hearts eventually, and improves them, through Him who worketh all in all; and it often is a sensible benefit to us at the time. Still it is often otherwise; often it but increases the excitability and susceptibility of our hearts; in all cases it is therefore to be viewed, chiefly as an approach to God- an approach to the powers of heaven - yes, and to the powers of hell.

And this is another point which calls for distinct notice in the history of our Saviour's fasting and temptation, viz. the victory which attended it. He had three temptations, and thrice He conquered, at the last He said, 'Get thee behind Me, Satan;' on which 'the devil leaveth Him.' This conflict and victory in the world unseen, is intimated in other passages of Scripture.

The most remarkable of these is what our Lord says with reference to the demoniac, whom His Apostles could not cure. He had just descended from the Mount of Transfiguration, where, let it be observed, He seems to have gone up with His favoured Apostles to pass the night in prayer. He came down after that communion with the unseen world, and cast out the unclean spirit, and then He said, 'This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting,' [Mark ix. 29.] which is nothing less than a plain declaration that such exercises give the soul power over the unseen world; nor can any sufficient reason be assigned for confining it to the first ages of the Gospel.

'He shall give His Angels charge over Thee, to keep Thee in all Thy ways;' [Ps. xci. 11.] and the devil knows of this promise, for he used it in that very hour of temptation. He knows full well what our power is, and what is his own weakness. So we have nothing to fear while we remain within the shadow of the throne of the Almighty. 'A thousand shall fall beside Thee, and ten thousand at Thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh Thee.' While we are found in Christ, we are partakers of His security. He has broken the power of Satan; He has gone 'upon the lion and adder, the young lion and the dragon hath He trod under His feet;' and henceforth evil spirits, instead of having power over us, tremble and are affrighted at every true Christian.

Therefore let us be, my brethren, 'not ignorant of their devices;' and as knowing them, let us watch, fast, and pray, let us keep close under the wings of the Almighty, that He may be our shield and buckler. Let us pray Him to make known to us His will, to teach us our faults, to take from us whatever may offend Him, and to lead us in the way everlasting.

And during this sacred season, let us look upon ourselves as on the Mount with Him - within the veil - hid with Him - not out of Him, or apart from Him, in whose presence alone is life, but with and in Him - learning of His Law with Moses, of His attributes with Elijah, of His counsels with Daniel - learning to repent, learning to confess and to amend - learning His love and His fear - unlearning ourselves, and growing up unto Him who is our Head.

[Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 6, No. 1] 2271.18














Event Events


Roman Life Forum






[VOTF] 2271.20











This prophetic 1940s Catholic magazine can help end the crisis in the Church

Editor's note - It is most unlikely that you'd be reading this CF NEWS bulletin if it wasn't for Carol Jackson. I first met Carol in New York in the early 1950s. She and her husband, Maurie Robinson, became some of our closest friends and she introduced us to many interesting people such as William Buckley Jr, and Philip Trower. It was Philip who introduced us to Dr. Thomas Ward, President and founder of the National Association of Catholic Families

STEPHEN KOKX writes for LifeSiteNews - One of the worst lies about the Catholic Church as it existed before Vatican II is that it was rigid, legalistic, and imbued with clericalism.

Anyone who's read pre-conciliar papal writings on Catholic Action knows that such charges are entirely bogus. Catholics living in the late 19th and early 20th century were anything but unthinking, rosary-counting dullards. (Even if they were, at least they prayed and didn't dissent from Church doctrine - something that can't be said for most of today's laity).

'Catholic Action,' for those who are unaware, is the name the Church previously used to describe lay efforts directly and indirectly aimed at the restoration of individuals, families, and societies to Christ. Today, the Church calls on the faithful to support the 'New Evangelization.' The two concepts are radically different, given that the New Evangelization only asks Catholics to 'witness' to their faith and not proselytize.

One person widely known for her pre-Vatican II activism in the United States is Dorothy Day. Controversial to some, a prophet to others, Day, in her own way, sought to apply Catholic doctrine to the corrupt modern world.

Unfortunately, the amount of attention historians give to Day has resulted in Catholics in the 21st century being less familiar with other counter-culturalists alive at the same time. Writers like Carol Robinson and Ed Willock, a friend of Day's about whom she wrote fondly after his premature death in 1960, are two such persons.

Born in 1911 and 1916 respectively, Robinson and Willock co-founded Integrity magazine in October 1946 in New York City. Their mission, according to Alex Barbas, founder of Arouca Press, was to synthesize religion and daily life.

'Integrity warned against complacency in the living of the faith in the modern world and often criticized American Catholics' penchant for compartmentalizing their faith,' Barbas said in a phone interview with LifeSiteNews.

'In their first issue, Willock and Robinson said that the solution was not going to come about on the natural or ethical level. Nor would it come about through an intensification of devotions alone. The root issue, for them, was what they called 'the integration of the natural and supernatural orders.''

Barbas, a family man who lives in Waterloo, Ontario, is re-printing every issue of Integrity over its 10-year existence. He has spent the better part of the last decade tracking them down in libraries, on the internet, and through personal contacts. He has done the same for other rare, out-of-print Catholic books, which he sells on his website for a small profit. Volume 1 of the first year of Integrity will be released by Arouca Press

Fr. Kenneth Novak, the former editor of Angelus Press, released during the 1990s and early 2000s several books featuring Integrity essays. But Barbas believes there is untapped wisdom in the vast number of Integrity articles that have not yet been reprinted.

'They might not have all the answers to our problems today, but Ed Willock's and Carol Robinson's insights on family life, politics, leisure, and every other area of Catholic living are unparalleled. They are wonderful examples of how the faith can allow a soul to see through the vanity of the world and its illusory ideas,' he said. 'Unlike many of today's Catholics involved in political life, they didn't round off the edges of their faith or speak generally about 'the natural law.' They presented the faith integrally.'

Barbas says he finds the duo fascinating because not only were their writings and speeches

prophetic, they lived the faith too. 'Willock had a large family and lived on a farm as part of a Catholic community in Marycrest, New York.

They practiced what they preached! There is much Catholics today can and must learn from them and their essays, which were clearly rooted in the great, anti-liberal writings of Pius IX, Leo XIII, and others.'

A glance at just a few of the article headlines published in Integrity reveals its unique, all-encompassing orientation:

'The family has lost its head'

'Why aren't Americans contemplative?'

'How modern man became merry'

'What is a grown-up?'

'Recreation and children'

'Accentuating the positive'

'Forward to the land'

'About television'

'The new science of society versus the laws of life.'

In some ways, Integrity is the pre-Vatican II version of Brent Bozell's Triumph magazine, which was founded in 1966 in response to the Second Vatican Council's liberalizing reforms and lasted until 1976. Both called into question the sacred cows of the day (libertarianism especially) and presented the faith in a holistic, sometimes blunt manner.

For instance, Integrity writers were under no illusion that American-style liberal democracy was the solution to atheistic communism. They unashamedly called for the conversion of the West to the Catholic faith.

'A naturally good society is impossible to fallen man,'