This edition of CF NEWS No.2273 posted at 11.3 am on Sunday, March 24th, 2019.


Vatican watch

Six years in, the most troubling pope in history    read more >>>
Catholic Church, Where Are You?
   read more >>>
Liturgy and Vatican II: what did they think they were voting for?   read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit      VIDEO    read more >>>

United Nations

Pope Francis' dangerous and incomprehensible partnership with the UN VIDEO    read more >>>
Frustrated feminists, Catholic dissidents call for demotion of Holy See at UN read more >>>

China supplement

President Xi Jinping unlikely to meet Pope Francis during Rome trip    read more >>>
Cardinal Zen: Communists destroy foundation of equality
   read more >>>
The severity of religious persecution in 2018
   read more >>>

News from around the world

CANADA Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating Mass      VIDEO    read more >>>
More dissent from nuns
   read more >>>
GERMANY Can we ‘follow’ our bishops? Catholics react to push to overhaul teaching   read more >>>
POLAND Bishops release 'tragic' report on sexual abuse
   read more >>>
UK Parents’ uprising against “No Outsiders” LGBT curriculum spreads    read more >>>
USA Death rate is outpacing birth rate
   read more >>>
USA NY bill would require priests to violate confessional seal
   read more >>>
USA Cdl. Wuerl allowed homosexual predator to live with seminarians
   read more >>>
USA Interview with Superior General of the Society of St Pius X     VIDEO    read more >>>
     VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
     VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
     VIDEO    read more >>>


Our need of clearer teaching    read more >>>


Human Dignity at the Heart of Healthcare Conference read more >>>


Relationships and sex education read more >>>>

Censorship : Bergoglianity is at work on it ...
   read more >>>
Church 'blinded by mystery of iniquity' Cdl. Sarah says in new book    read more >>>
Catholic journalist faces police inquiry over same-sex pronoun read more >>>
Robert Spencer: So long, everybody
   read more >>>

Comment from the internet

Traditional Catholics unite the Clans      VIDEO    read more >>>
Bishop Schneider: On the question of a heretical pope read more >>>
Can We Love Tradition Too Much?
   read more >>>
How to ignore Walter Kasper and Co. and become a saint
   read more >>>
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Cardinal Danneels, Euthanizer of Belgian Catholicism
VIDEO    read more >>>
The most anti-Catholic country on Planet Earth
   read more >>>
The Gnosticism affecting Traditionalism     VIDEO    read more >>>
The Limitations of Papal Infallibilityread more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day    read more >>>
Saint of the day
    read more >>>
Plainchant for Lent
  VIDEO    read more >>>


Fasting in Lent   read more >>>


By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch



Six years in, Francis has shown himself to be the most troubling pope in historyUT MONTAGE

DR. PETER KWASNIEWSKI writes for LifeSiteNews - If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the photomontage above tells quite a tale, on this, the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis's papal inauguration on March 19, 2013.

As we know from the seldom dull annals of Church history, many popes have deserved, and received, abundant praise or bitter criticism from their contemporaries or from later ages. On the one hand, the papacy shines, like a jewel-studded crown, with dozens of saints who shouldered their burden of governance with heroic generosity and dedication. The papacy's record in this regard puts to shame the record of any other institution; indeed, no series of rulers of any earthly empire or kingdom can hold a candle up to it for longevity, stability, constancy, and virtue. On the other hand, as history shows, the papacy-though protected from definitively committing the Church to error-is not, after all, protected from moral failings or intellectual debility, from catastrophic political blunders in pursuit of policy or from excessive friendliness to the Church's enemies.

In a forthcoming book, Martin Mosebach vividly describes how we find both sides of the papacy illustrated in the first pope:

'Even those hostile to the papacy would have to admire the shape and construction of this office that, from the beginning, has preserved it-in the person of Peter-from crises. As the successor and representative of Christ, as the Rock on which the Church is to be built, even the most capable office-bearer is bound to fail. For this office of 'confirming his brothers in faith' Christ chose the very disciple who, while he had always shown courage and vitality, failed when it came to acknowledging his Master. 'Then he began to curse and swear'-the evangelist, describing Peter's apostasy beside the fire in the High Priest's courtyard, leaves us in no doubt as to the seriousness of this betrayal.

'By choosing Peter, Christ shows that the office of representative requires no special intellectual gifts and talents, no firmness of character and no proven stability-which means that every man is equally fitted and unfitted for this office. Christ became man and therefore every man is equally equipped to represent him. No pope can betray Christ more than Peter did in that courtyard, no pope can follow Christ more than Peter, who got himself crucified on his account. The choice of Peter establishes the clear distinction, in the Church, between the office and the person. It is this principle that makes it possible to encounter the incarnate, grace-bestowing Christ even in unworthy human beings. The choice of Peter also makes concrete the Catholic anthropology that sees man as weak and sinful, and yet called to pursue the highest perfection'.

Today, we are required more than ever to lean hard on 'the distinction between the office and the person.' The papacy deserves our veneration and our adherence; the incumbent pope may or may not be worthy of his office and may, in fact, be a major scandal, a stumbling block to the faithful and to those outside the flock. Christ does not and will not abandon His Church, even when churchmen abandon Him. The Head of the Church is and always remains Jesus Christ. The phrase 'Vicar of Christ' brings this out quite clearly: a vicar is one who stands in for someone, who represents Him, and has authority solely from and for Him. This concept not only does not lead to hyperpapalism, it undermines it in principle by showing the pope to be a stand-in for the actual eternal Head of the Church. The pope represents this Head on earth-and he can badly fail in his duty.

Mosebach rightly reminds us of a truth that, in healthier times, might seem a truism: man is weak and sinful yet called to pursue the highest perfection. The pope, more than any other, is reasonably expected to pursue this highest perfection, not only to set a good example for the other shepherds and sheep, but more particularly to secure his own salvation and the good of the flock entrusted to him.

Alas, we see weakness and sinfulness abounding at the Vatican and throughout the Church. The evidence of corruption has become so multifaceted and voluminous that it is impossible not only to deny it, but even to avoid corrosive contact with it. The prophet Jeremiah has words for a situation like this: 'My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have caused them to go astray' (50:6).

The photomontage above puts before us an unprecedented number and variety of book-length critiques published over the past few years, documenting the doctrinal aberrations and failures of Pope Francis, which are cause for the greatest alarm and the most fervent prayer and penance. We pray that where sin abounds, grace will abound the more.

Meanwhile, we know that the evils under which we suffer must be temporary; the only states that last forever are heaven and hell, which are not of this world. We may also take comfort and courage in the knowledge that God will not be mocked, but has already prepared in His eternal wisdom the doom that will come upon those who lift themselves above their humble status as successors, not replacements, of the apostles: 'As for your terribleness, the pride of your heart has deceived you, O dweller in the clefts of the rock, holding the height of the hill. Though you should make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there, says the Lord' (Jer 49:16).

To high-ranking prelates enjoying favor, influence, and power, the prophet cries out: 'You also, O madmen, shall be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue you' (Jer 48:2)-be it the sword of civil authorities or the sword of inevitable death.

'A sword against the oracle priests, that they may become fools! A sword against her mighty men, that they may be destroyed! … For it is a land of images, and they are mad over idols. Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her'. (Jer 50:36-39 ESV)

The 'land of images' might call to mind disturbing light shows on the façades of Roman churches; madness over idols calls to mind the frenetic chasing after the 'values' of European liberalism, the abstract 'ideals' of modernism, and the 'cult' of liturgical change. The 'wild beasts,' those who live by their carnal passions; the 'hyenas,' those who make incessant noise about progress; the 'ostriches,' those who bury their heads in the sand denying that there is a crisis-all these will find themselves cast off to Babylon. It is only a matter of time.

An infallible law of the moral order guarantees, and the world's history copiously illustrates, that evil necessarily consumes itself, and its protagonists end up destroying each other: 'The mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; they have fallen both of them together' (Jer 46:12). The mountain of literature critical of the Bergoglio pontificate and curia offers a somber witness, for our time and for future ages, to the inundation of wickedness in high places, and urges us to persevere in the Christian battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

[LSN 2273.1























Catholic Church, Where Are You?

The Cry of a Frontier Missionary

S MagisterSANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome - A missionary priest who has spent a lifetime on the frontier thousands of miles from Rome writes to me: 'By now it is no longer possible to doubt where the Church's leader is taking us: to a point at which one who is alive must of necessity react. How much longer can we remain silent?'

But meanwhile, he has broken the silence. With these sixteen dazzling reflections.

Convert… to what?

1. By now it is clear. The Catholic Church is no longer the same as it was before 2013. And I really want to see if someone succeeds in defining what the Catholic Church is today.

2. I pose this problem to myself all the more because the thing touches me personally. If I must present the Church to those who are outside, first of all I need to know to what kind of Church I belong. And in the second place, what must I say?

3. We who live in mission countries, where there are so many religions more or less in harmony, before doctrine and theories we distinguish ourselves by practical life, custom, laws, habits, duties.

For example, the Muslims do not eat pork, they practice circumcision, they observe the fast of Ramadan, they can divorce and remarry repeatedly, they can have two or more wives, they pray five times a day in a special way on Friday, etc.

The Hindus do not eat beef, they fast before certain feasts, the women marry only once even if the husband dies, they honor a great number of divinities, they cremate their dead, etc.

And Catholic Christians? At least until a while ago they could marry only once until the death of one of the spouses, their priests and nuns had to be be celibate and unmarried, they obeyed the pope, they were devoted to the Blessed Mother and the saints, they did not believe in wizards and spirits, they did not make animal sacrifices, in church men and women prayed together, they ate any kind of meat and fish, on Sunday they had the obligation to rest and to go to Mass, etc.

4. Jesus risen sent the apostles to baptize all the peoples of the earth in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And this is how Christianity spread and shaped the customs, laws, and habits of entire civilizations. All this brought as fruit many martyrs and saints and allowed many to have mystical experiences and to make us sharers in flashes of paradise.

5. To have all these gifts and these graces, how many persons have converted and have abandoned with many privations their communities of origin and their way of living!

6. But now I as a missionary no longer know precisely what the Catholic Church is. And since I see the pope, the cardinals, the bishops gradually and inexorably tolerating the legitimization of adultery, approving of sodomy, blessing homosexual marriages, admitting the parity of salvation with other religions… to what kind of conversion must I invite others?

7. The same thing also applies to any person in the West who perhaps is an atheist or unbeliever. Why should he convert and accept our faith if we profess all these things? I now understand some of the statements of the pope who says that there must be no proselytism. It takes great courage to try to convince people to believe in these aberrations.

8. Fortunately our bishops here on mission do not talk about all the oddities that are discussed in Rome. The only novelty is that now they make marriage annulments a bit easier, in spite of the fact that the people do not accept that so willingly, given that they have learned that marriage must not be dissolved in any case.

9. The risk is that of arriving at the scandal that, in this as in other mission countries, only Christians, Protestants and Catholics, should approve of adultery and sodomy. Among Muslims and Hindus, in fact, adultery (meaning a relationship outside of marriage) is a crime that is punished at a community and civil level. Sodomy is considered a very serious act and is the object of reprobation. The polygamy of the Muslims has nothing to do with adultery, because it is a social contract sanctioned by the rite of matrimony, with all the obligations of support of the wife and care of the children.

10. The tragicomedy of the thing is that in other religions, albeit without knowledge of the Gospel, there is no lack of solid norms founded on good sense and on nature, while now Christianity in its official leaders promotes and upholds the way of living and the morality of pre-Christian times. But then Jesus really came for nothing!

11. In Germany there are even those who make fun of the bishops of Africa as backward, because on their continent homosexuality is forbidden. All that is missing is the promotion of a new 'evangelization' in the name of this upside-down gospel, meaning in reality a new imposition of the false anthropological achievements of the West on the poor who have sound minds.

12. What I do not understand is the submission and silence of many bishops and priests. I do not see even a passive resistance. The martyrs faced death. But today only some laymen who are not bound by the ecclesiastical structures are speaking out, while priests and bishops - save for a few exceptions - stay quiet out of fear of retaliation and defamatory accusations.

13. The preaching continues that what is needed is not to divide, but to unite. And therefore to shut up, because open opposition would do too much damage to the Church. But this respectful attitude ends up favoring precisely those who work disaster.

14. The pope knows this, and he comes up with all sorts of things to protect himself. His continual trips, the accords with the Lutherans, the accords with the Muslims, the accords with China and so on are all trenches that defend him. How can one criticize him when wherever he goes he is welcomed with great fanfare and acclamation?

15. One precaution that the leaders of the Church adopt when they speak and decide and hold synods is not to go at all against the LGBT plans and credo. Never do they wonder if God the Father knows something about this and if God the Father thinks about it in the same way. God the Father never complains, and with Jesus having given the keys to Peter they think they can use them as they please and play the master.

16. But the Spirit of God is always alive. And therefore today as well we are sure that there are many saints who still allow God to live among us. O Lord, stay with us!

[magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it] 2273.2























Liturgy and Vaticsn II: what did they think they were voting for?

FR. JOHN HUNWICKE blogs - Vaggagini says somewhere "Three tendencies were manifested: some wanted no concessions to the vernacular; some wanted permission to say everything in the vernacular for all who wanted it; some wanted to maintain the basic principle of Latin, but also to open the door noticeably to the vernacular tongue." (The text of Sacrosanctum Concilium at para 54 actually reflects this stage of understanding very closely.) The last group, he said, were by far the largest. So, if you put that together, you clearly find that the overwhelming majority of the Council Fathers wanted at least to preserve a basically Latin Liturgy. And thought they were voting for this!

All but four bishops voted finally for the draft text: and those four lonely dissenters did not include Archbishop Lefebvre. He and his friends were happy with what they had voted for; with what they imagined they would get.

So how did we end up with the practical disappearance of Latin in less than a decade? And a radical deformation of the Roman Rite?

A friend once left a comment advancing the hypothesis that the Council, if anything, attempted to put the brakes on the radical slide into innovation which had been begun, on his own initiative, by Venerable Pius XII. I think there could be something in that. How about this as a summary of a possible narrative:

Over the decades, an international network of professional Liturgical Experts had grown up who were mostly not particularly marked by precise or original scholarship but maintained a close network of meetings, conferences, and journals. After the Council, they soon came to dominate the Diocesan Liturgical Committees which the Bishops set up, and then the liturgical bureaucracies created by the Episcopal Conferences. Bishops felt that they themselves didn't really know about Liturgy and were glad to be able to leave it to The Experts.

You remember the hoohaa that started up when Joseph Ratzinger began to write about Liturgy: "But he's not an expert in Liturgy". They meant: he's not one of us and he hasn't participated in our conferences and our journals and our international common agendas.

[liturgicalnotres] 2273.2a


























Humanae Vitae


Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit




[Fr John Hollowell] 2273.3























United Nations

UN logo


Pope Francis's dangerous and incomprehensible partnership with the UN

ELIZABETH YORE writes for The Remnant - From the outset, the renown think tank, Heartland Institute spotted the potted papal plant in the mate change hoax of the Francis papacy. As the world was mesmerized with the merciful and humble green Pope, Heartland recognized a flawed and unreliable model, devoid of science, reason, and flush with politics.

In April of 2015, the Heartland Delegation went to Rome to attempt a dialogue with the Pope about his dangerous and incomprehensible partnership with the UN sustainable development climate change globalists. Yet, the dialoguer in chief was not interested in dialoguing with the foremost climate scientific experts from Heartland, among them a NASA scientist from the lunar program. Rather, Francis chose his poison by dialoguing with the radical environmental socialists, assorted globalists, and Soros acolytes, like Ban Ki Moon, Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, to name just a few.

Call it climate gentrification. It was bound to happen. Bergoglio’s ceremonial term as Vicar of the Sustainable Development Goals appears to be ending, but not for lack of trying; Francis desperately sought to be the modern, hip, relevant, and the moral climate change protagonist. He even launched a new sin- an ecological sin!

Francis certainly gave it the old papal try. He surrounded himself with the leading Soros greenie globalist, UN Sustainable Development chief, Jeffrey Sachs. At latest count, Sachs has spoken at least 25 times at the Vatican as an honored expert and guest during the Francis papacy. This population control globalist even drafted papal documents, causing Vaticanistas to speculate that Sachs might receive a green zucchetto from the Pope.

During the last 6 years, the incessant papal eco conferences, resembled a Socialist Who’s Who featuring the hideous likes of Bernie Sanders, Joseph Stiglitz, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Gov. Jerry Brown, Naomi Klein, Population Bomb’s Paul Ehrlich. Francis threw his papal weight behind the Paris Climate Change Treaty, lobbied for support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, penned an Apostolic Eco Exhortation on the climate, and even demanded ecological conversion from the faithful. Whatever that is.

Francis rolled out his Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as the green platform to wage his climate change one world religion. Even the President of the Pontifical Academy, Bishop Sanchez Sorondo, elevated “climate change to Church magisterium,” deserving of a papal imprimatur and Vatican endorsement of the globalists’ precious Paris Climate Treaty. Francis joined the globalist tyrannical chorus of the “science is settled.” His global warming architect, Argentine Bishop Sanchez Sorondo mocked the global warming doubters saying that “we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.” Sorondo also repeated the lame globalist slam that the deniers are funded by the oil industry.

Despite plummeting popularity, Francis continues his eco jig with his global partners. This past month, Jeffrey Sachs (the green gift that keeps giving) was featured prominently at yet another Vatican conference on March 4-5, 2019! This latest Vatican/Sachs’ eco conference was immediately followed by the March 8, 2019 Eco Wingding with all the global heads of religions, entitled, (you guessed it) “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Listening to the Cry of the Earth and of the Poor.”

Not surprisingly, Francis does not mention Jesus Christ in his latest rambling and incoherent talk to the religious leaders, fearful of offending nonbelievers. True to form, Francis engaged in his personal rewriting of Catholicism, with green tropes like, “The key principle of all religions is the love of neighbor and the care of creation.” Francis makes it up as he goes along. Never mind that care of creation isn’t found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nor in the 10 Commandments. Francis, the Vicar of SDGs is tasked with forming a new one world religion based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, driven by the evil of climate change. Gaia has now replaced Jesus Christ. Sins are now calculated by carbon footprints.

‘Bless me Father, I forgot to recycle and I turned on the air conditioner'

'For your penance, your carbon tax will be doubled. Now, go green and go in peace.’

Francis deftly rode the climate wave for 6 years. Reveling in the media fawning, magazine covers, and globalist adulation, the climate change movement found its long-lost moral voice in, none other than, the Vicar of Christ. How masterful and cunning of them to secure such a powerful advocate. As if on cue, Francis obediently moved the needle to ensure the Paris Climate Treaty was signed and SDGs overwhelmingly passed at the UN within just two years of his elevation to the papacy.

Yet, as they say, the climate suddenly changed. Francis and his global planners were trumped and stumped.

Along came Donald Trump, who put the brakes on the global deal making of Obama and Francis, followed quickly by a tsunami (extreme weather event-noted) of clergy sex scandals raining down on Francis.

Francis is clearly annoyed that the world’s Catholics are more concerned about zero tolerance of clergy abuse, than a zero-carbon foot print. The shocking scandal of the papal rehabilitation of the notorious serial predator Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who Francis sent on multiple diplomatic junkets, shocked the world. The Vatican’s continual stonewalling on the McCarrick fiasco further enrages Catholics. Additionally, Francis faced cascading personal scandals of his own with papal cover ups of sexual predator priests and bishops in Chile, Argentina, Italy, and in America.

His popularity is cooling faster than the polar ice cap while the Catholic faithful are steaming over his cavalier attitude and laissez faire environment toward sexual predator priests and bishops.

Suddenly, the green Pope has blood red on his hands.

An important moral lesson is unfolding in this papacy.

Mega stardom and popularity are unsustainable. Ask Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Savile, and Harvey Weinstein. Popularity, like pollution, obscures reality, smothers humanity, and poisons the environment.

Francis desperately wants to change the subject from the scandal of clergy sex abuse to sustainable development. It won’t happen.

Instead of “Listening to the Cry of the Earth and of the Poor,” he should have listened to the cry of those children abused by clergy.

Elizabeth Yore is an international child protection attorney. She was a member of the Heartland 7 delegation that traveled to Rome in April 2015.


Pope Francis endorses the UN 2030 Agenda


WHY does Pope Francis endorse the UN 2030 Agenda? In 2015 Pope Francis issued Laudato Si on the environment and a few months later the UN issued its 2030 Agenda. Last week Pope Francis explicitly endorsed the 2030 Agenda. Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon examine the actual text of the document and how it subverts Catholic teaching.



[Remnant / taylormarshall.com] 2273.4



















Frustrated feminists, Catholic dissidents call for demotion of Holy See at UN
REBECCA OAS, Ph.D. reports for the Friday Fax - Dissident Catholics and their allies are calling once again for the Holy See’s status as a UN observer state to be revoked. At an event on the sidelines of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a group of collaborating activists calling themselves “Catholics for Human Rights” launched a petition for the UN to downgrade the Holy See’s status. This is the latest in a series of similar quixotic efforts launched sporadically in previous years, none of which has been successful.

The Holy See is a frequent target of such campaigns due to its unique status within the UN system, the moral authority it wields, and its history of convening international alliances to push back against attempts to create an international right to abortion and redefine gender and the family. In attacking the Holy See, feminists groups skeptical of all religions have found common cause with dissidents within the Church, such as Catholics for Choice and proponents of female ordination. The recent resurgence of the sexual abuse scandal in the Church has provided them with further ammunition.

However, the Holy See has powerful support, ranging from individuals to organizations to UN member countries. In 1999, pro-abortion Catholic dissidents called for the Holy See to be kicked out of the UN. A Declaration in Support of the Holy See was circulated, gaining over 4,000 signatures, including the largest Protestant and even the largest Muslim groups in the world. When the attacks on the Holy See were renewed in 2014, C-Fam relaunched the declaration in a campaign that currently has signatures from over 6,800 groups and 130,000 individuals.

At the CSW parallel event, speakers included a representative of Catholics for Choice and a women’s ordination activist.

Professor Mary Ann Case said that most of what causes the Vatican to obstruct “women’s human rights” and recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity as categories of rights were developments that occurred after 1965, when the Second Vatican Council ended. In fact, the Church’s positions on abortion and the complementary roles of men and women were being reiterated in response to new forms of opposition, which have only continued to grow in the last half century.

In its report on the Holy See at the UN, “Catholics for Human Rights” pointed out that the Holy See has not signed nor ratified the UN’s treaty against all forms of discrimination against women. They surmised that the reason was “the Holy See’s theological ideology makes it incompatible with the aims of the treaty.” Throughout the report, the group of dissident “Catholics” affords greater deference to UN documents than those of the Church in which they claim membership. This includes the nonbinding opinions of treaty bodies, such as the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which exceeded its mandate by criticizing the Holy See for its stance on abortion and homosexuality.

When asked to comment on the petition against the Holy See, a UN spokesman said that the Vatican’s status as an observer was for to UN member states to decide.


[C-FAM] 2273.UN1
























China supplement


Capitulation : China's President Xi Jinping unlikely to meet Pope Francis furing Rome trip

Vatican sources downplay the possibility of a papal audience as President Xi experiences internal opposition about recent agreement between China and the Holy See.

E PentinEDWARD PENTIN reports for the National Catholic Fegister - The leader of communist China arrives in Rome on Thursday, his first visit to Italy since the historic agreement last September between Beijing and the Holy See, but a papal audience is thought unlikely.

The Pope and senior Vatican officials strongly want such a meeting with President Xi Jinping to go ahead, coming just six months after a controversial Sino-Vatican two-year provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops.

The agreement also included the lifting of excommunications on seven illegitimate Chinese bishops.

But Vatican sources say a papal audience is unlikely, primarily because President Xi has received internal opposition about the agreement.

The Church, too, has been divided over the accord: The Vatican and the pact's supporters believe it to be a pathway toward the full communion of all Chinese Catholics, who are currently divided into two groups: the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the unofficial, underground Catholic Church in communion with Rome.

Critics such as Cardinal Joseph Zen, the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, have called the agreement an 'incredible betrayal.'

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, has been on the diplomatic offensive, trying to win greater support in China.

Writing the preface of a new book entitled The Church in China - A Future Yet to Be Written which is edited by papal adviser, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, he said the Holy See 'nurtures no distrust or hostility toward any country.'

The Church's work in China 'cannot be separated from a stance of respect, esteem, and trust toward the Chinese people and their legitimate state authorities,' he wrote.

Cardinal Parolin also said the 'urgency of evangelization' requires a 'unified approach,' drawing together theology, law, pastoral care, and diplomacy.

'The Pope's concern for the Church and the Chinese People still encounters resistance and opposition,' he wrote, and so he hoped the book will help 'overcome simplistic contrasts and untie the knots that still prevent the 'joy of a fruitful encounter.''

But despite these many hopes and overtures, there are no signs of a resumption of diplomatic relations (Beijing has always demanded the Holy See cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan as a precondition). Moreover, religious oppression and persecution appear to be continuing and, some critics say, worsening.

Earlier this month it emerged that the agreement is being exploited to compel Chinese Catholics to join the Patriotic Association, the state-run church, despite such compulsion being against Chinese law.

Asia News has reported that for several months, four priests of the underground community loyal to Rome have been kept in an unknown location, subjected to indoctrination and brainwashing to make them join the Patriotic Association.

Father Bernardo Cervellera, Asia News' editor, also wrote of 'the amazing fact' that some bishops, even among those who had their excommunications lifted, 'proclaim that it is time to erase' the underground community and join the state-run church (he also quoted a Church official opposed to such an approach). Father Cervellera said he believed a meeting between Xi and the Pope could help iron out those problems.

It is routine for a head of state visiting Italy to call in on the Pope during a visit to Rome, but an informed Vatican source told the Register Tuesday that he 'wouldn't bet on it happening,' and that a 'last-minute decision is possible but improbable.'

The source said the Vatican is likely to look toward an historic papal visit to China and its 12 million Catholics, something the Holy See has been planning for at least two years, and which it hopes will take place in 2020.

Reuters reported Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying he was unaware of any plans for Xi to meet the Pope, but that China is sincere about wanting to improve ties with the Vatican and has made 'relentless efforts to this end.'

President Xi will visit Italy, Monaco and France from March 21-24 with the main purpose of building economic ties.

In Italy, he is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Italian government, making it a supporting partner in the Belt and Road Initiative - a vast infrastructure project begun in 2013, involving 152 countries, and supported by Beijing with funds of up to $1 trillion.

[NCRegister] 2273.5























Cardinal Zen: Communists destroy foundation of equality

Cdl. ZenLA CROIX reports - Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in United States capital Washington on Jan. 28.

The medal is awarded each year to those individuals and institutions who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to freedom and democracy and opposition to communism and all other forms of tyranny, according to the foundation's website.

The 87-year-old emeritus bishop of Hong Kong has repeatedly written articles opposing the Vatican-China provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops and voiced the concerns of China's underground Catholic Church.

Here is the speech he gave at the award ceremony:

I quote from Isaiah (61:1): 'The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.'

In human history there were always the poor, the prisoners, the oppressed. The Industrial Revolution was unfortunately accompanied by an upsurge of wild capitalism. The capitalists, in possession of the means of production, exploited the proletariat, kept them under slavery. Karl Marx came on the scene as a prophet. He preached liberation through class struggle, which means bloody revolution.

The medicine was worse than the illness. Violence was never a solution to any problem. The problem is in human hearts: selfishness, greed. Without a loving heart, any system is doomed to become inhuman.

The communists preach equality, they preach fraternity, but they destroy the foundation of equality and brotherhood which resides in our human dignity rooted in our common origin from Our Father in Heaven.

All the communist countries, to our knowledge, achieved only equal poverty for everybody. Their main exports are human beings fleeing from the communist paradise (before they abandoned Marxism).I have not suffered personally from the Chinese Communist Party. I came to Hong Kong in 1948 (to join the Salesian Novitiate). The communists took power only in 1949, the following year. My relatives suffered as all families suffered under that inhuman regime, especially my brother-in-law, husband of my elder sister, the sweetest person.

One day they came to arrest him without saying a word, without saying of which crime he was accused. They sent him to work for the construction or repair of a railway, work under the sun. They even shaved his head. After a couple of months, they released him, sent him back home, again without any explanation.

My younger brother, a brilliant student at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, gradated in naval engineering. But they refused to give him the diploma and sent him to work far away from Shanghai in Fujian, a very poor place. They said it was because he was being trained as an agent in Hong Kong.

The so-called dictatorship of the proletariat, which is supposed to be provisional according to Marx, turned out to be the communist empire.

I had the opportunity to visit my native city Shanghai in 1974 (after 26 years of absence) before the end of the Cultural Revolution. We did not know why they opened the door ajar for Hong Kong people who dared to go. It was beyond imagination. The whole country was a concentration camp.

All religions had disappeared. The churches were either closed with seals or turned into factories, godowns (warehouses) or other uses. My parish church was a 'people's club' where people could get some simple food and recreational facilities.

With the open policy things were very different. I applied to teach in Shanghai Seminary in 1984 and permission came in late 1988. I went to Shanghai in the autumn of 1989, right after the Tiananmen Square event, when everybody was getting out of China. They treated me very kindly. Later they invited me to teach in other seminaries: Xian, Wuhan, Shijiazhuang, Beijing, Shenyang. I could teach in China, six months per year, for seven years (1989-96).

They treated me very kindly but I could see how they ill-treat and humiliate our people in our Catholic Church: harassment to those underground (coming out from prison or labour camps after more than 20 years, surviving their many companions in prison), no respect even for the bishops in the official Church (similarly survivors of prison and labour camps).

Today very little remains of true Marxism, but the atheist, persecuting dictatorship remains intact.You know the recent tightening of control on all religions in China. You know also the situation in Hong Kong, where very little remains of the promised high degree of autonomy. Hong Kong is soon to become just one of the cities in China.

I am here today to receive gratefully the medal not in my honour, because I paid almost nothing for my freedom, but for those who really suffered a lack of freedom in China and in Hong Kong.

I receive the medal for those who deserve it but cannot come here to accept it.

I want to remember all those heroes who offered their lives for the cause of human dignity and freedom. We do not mourn them; they are in God's blossom in eternal bliss. Those who tried to destroy their dignity only humiliated and degraded themselves.

I want to remember all those heroes who are suffering in China and in Hong Kong for voicing their respect for human dignity, for freedom and for democracy, those well-known and those anonymous heroes.

May my presence here today confirm your noble work in their support and may our presence today and our prayers every day bring them comfort and strength.

May God bless us all.

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The severity of religious persecution in 2018

WANG YICHI reports for Bitter Winter - The cross being removed from the Three-Self Christian Church in Shuaizhuang village, Daxinzhuang township, Xinxiang city

The cross being removed from the Three-Self Christian Church in Shuaizhuang village, Daxinzhuang township, Xinxiang city.

Henan province, in Central China, has seen some of the worst religious persecution, and has served as a model for repression across China. An anonymous government insider provided Bitter Winter with data regarding religious persecution that occurred in Henan Province's Xinxiang city in 2018.

With a population of about six million people, Xinxiang city has jurisdiction over six counties and four districts, and also administers two county-level cities. It is an important city in the northern part of Henan. According to government statistics, Xinxiang is home to nearly 180,000 religious people. Among them are about 87,000 Christians and about 60,000 Buddhists.

Xinxiang city was originally home to 190 registered Christian activity venues. By the end of last year, this number was reduced to about 70 through closures and mergers. In other words, about 60 percent of legal meeting venues were shut down.

In addition, the government has cracked down on unapproved private meeting venues. In total, 289 private venues were shut down, including various Three-Self church centers and 217 house church locations. Additionally, more than 300 venues have had their crosses and other building attachments removed, six Sunday schools were shut down, more than 20,000 religious-themed poetic couplets that adorned buildings were seized, and more than 5,000 copies of printed religious material were confiscated.

The Chinese government has also been working hard to promote its religious policies. In 2018, more than 200 religious policy study classes were held for religious teachers and staff of the United Front Work Department and the Religious Affairs Bureau. More than 1,000 propaganda billboards were made to promote the new Regulations on Religious Affairs, ensuring that every religious venue displays such a billboard prominently. 350,000 copies of A Letter to the Parents of Minors were distributed to promote anti-religious educational content. Students' parents were required to sign the letter, and copies were retrieved from parents for storage. More than 600,000 propaganda sheets promoting religious policies and regulations were printed and distributed. More than 20,000 tote bags with the government's propaganda on them and other propaganda materials were made, and 74 cultural performances were held in the countryside to promote the CCP's religious policies.

Last year, the authorities intensified their efforts to suppress the religious beliefs of university students as well as religious groups with foreign ties. Xinxiang city investigated more than ten thousand students for their religious belief at universities within its jurisdiction. The religious belief status of foreign teachers and international students were also registered. Through this investigation, the government was able to collect the information of more than 300 university students that have religious beliefs.

Also, Jehovah's Witnesses, South Korea's 'Shincheonji Church,' the 'Light of Life, Good News Church,' and other religious groups have all been severely suppressed. The government set up a task force on the pretext of 'investigating organizations infiltrating from abroad,' and punished more than 100 Christians. Among them were 13 members of Jehovah's Witnesses from both domestic and foreign countries (with seven Jehovah's Witnesses meeting venues shut down), 28 people from the Light of Life, 83 people from Good News Church, and seven people from South Korea's Shincheonji Church.

The underground Catholic churches in Xinxiang city are also targets of suppression. Underground priest Ding Wanshan and underground bishop Zhang Weizhu were targeted in crackdowns while holding religious activities in Huojia county and Weibin district, and in Fengqiu county, respectively. The local government shut down the 'Sha Wei Youth Group' established by underground priest Yan Shawei in Weibin district.

There has also been a sweeping crackdown on Islamic religious venues. In total, 14 public buildings with elements of 'Saudization' or 'Arabization' have been remodeled. Halal canteens at 40 schools and enterprises were 'reformed.' Besides, 16 companies were targeted due to concerns about the 'spread of halal,' destroying more than 900,000 packages of goods labeled as halal.

Bitter Winter often reports the personal stories of individuals and communities suffering under religious persecution. But statistics such as those outlined above helps to make clear the scale of repression, and the resources China is dedicating to the effort.

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News from around the world


Canada Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating Mass

MARTIN M. BARILASS reports for LifeSiteNews -- Police flooded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory after receiving an emergency call that a priest was stabbed while celebrating Mass on Friday morning.

When police officers arrived at approximately 8:40 a.m., security guards on site had already apprehended the alleged perpetrator, who appeared to be a tall, bearded man reported to be 26 years old. He was taken away in cuffs by police to a waiting patrol car on the scene.

Reporter Dan Spector tweeted, “St. Joseph's Oratory still swarming with police after a priest was stabbed in the middle of Mass this morning.” He cited worshipper Adele Plamondon, who said "Hate is all over the place right now." The motives and religious affiliation of the alleged attacker have not yet been reported. Police stated that the attacker is known to them.



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Germany More dissent from nuns

FR. JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs - The ultra-left La Croix stumps, not reports, on a German nun advocating women priests.

If one had the slightest… slightest… understanding of priesthood as flowing from the creation of Adam and Eve, the OT priestly office, and who Christ is, this would never come up, let alone be seriously proposed. Let's see what this German nun has offer.

'Leading Benedictine nun in Germany calls for women priests 'Why shouldn't we pray for gender equality [First, mistake. There is a difference between gender and sex.] in the Church? It is most important that all discussions on reform be offered up to God,' says Sister Ruth Schönenberger

'The leader of one of Germany's most important female religious communities has called into question the Catholic Church's exclusion of women from the ordained priesthood." It is surely only natural for women to be priests and I cannot understand the reasons given as to why not," ["only natural"? It would be the most unnatural thing imaginable!] said Sister Ruth Schönenberger, head of the Benedictine Priory of Tutzing, the Bavarian motherhouse of a worldwide missionary order." I am surprised that the presence of Christ has been reduced to the male sex," [Confusing categories… the "presence of Christ"… ] she said in a recent interview with katholisch.de, the official website of the German Catholic Church." Here in Tutzing, we, too, have excellently qualified women theologians. The only thing they lack is ordination - nothing else," said 68-year-old Schönenberger, prioress of Tutzing since 2015. [I know she's a nun, but at 68 she should know that, yes, there is something else lacking.]

'The priory is one of the most important in the Benedictine world. In 1885 it founded the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing, a congregation that today numbers some 1,300 sisters in 19 countries around the world.

'Priesthood should not be based on gender [IT'S NOT!]

'Schönenberger, who is responsible for the 70 members at the Tutzing priory and those at two other Benedictine convents, said the criteria for priesthood should not be based on one's gender. [again?] "Our present image/concept of the priesthood urgently needs to be fundamentally revised and I am genuinely surprised that priests themselves don't protest more against present developments since they involve them," [Perhaps because not all priests are as stupid as you take them for. I mean… some are pretty dumb, but not that dumb.] said the prioress, noting that men and women should be treated as equals. [Her vision of priesthood must be based on power.] "The extent to which this power imbalance [DING DING… say da magic woid, win a hunned dahlahs.] exists the world over is truly alarming and so is the fact that we have not learned to grapple with it more effectively. It is something we must rigorously tackle," Schönenberger said.

'She called for greater and open discussion on the issue to look for concrete steps that could be taken to remedy the imbalance "and not just comfort us women somehow - as, for example, by promising to look into the question of women deacons." [yawn] Schönenberger said she and her fellow sisters often discuss the subject. [I'll bet they do.]

New forms of Eucharist?

"After all, we experience concrete examples of subordination day after day. [Cf. Genesis… etc. And, for everyone's information, so do priests.] If we, as a group of women religious, want to celebrate the Eucharist together, we have to arrange for a man to come and celebrate it, every single day. He stands at the altar and leads the celebration. We are not allowed to," the Tutzing prioress said. "We intend to look for forms (of celebrating the Eucharist) which suit us and develop new ones," she added. [The bare hubris is amazing. The Golden Calf comes to mind. The worship of Moloch in the time of Solomon comes to mind.]

Worldwide prayers for gender equality in the Church

'She said she and her community fully supported the prayer initiative for gender [again] equality in the Church that was launched in February by Sister Irene Gassman, prioress of the Benedictine Monastery of Fahr (Switzerland).The Swiss religious has invited Benedictine communities around the globe - as well as parishes and other communities - to include the "Prayer on Thursday" during compline (or night prayer) each week. Schönenberger said prayer alone was not enough, but added: "Why shouldn't we pray for gender equality in the Church? It is most important that all discussions on reform be offered up to God."

The sheer hubris of this is nearly palpable. One almost needs to go and wash after reading this stuff. There is a strong undercurrent of the Enemy of the soul all through that piece, hardly a surprise given its source.

The whole issue of equality, btw, is explained in two chapters of Genesis, recounting the creation of our first parents. The creation account shows that there is equality between the sexes, but there is also hierarchy. Paul was very sensible of this especially in his Pastoral Epistles, esp. 1 Timothy 2.

[wdtprs.com] 2273.8























Germany Can we ‘follow’ our bishops?: German Catholics react to bishops’ push to overhaul sexual teaching

M KicksonMAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews – Catholic priests and laity in Germany are indignant over the March 11-14 spring assembly of the German bishops and their decision to start a “synodal” discussion about the Church's sexual morality and priestly celibacy in light of the current clerical sex abuse crisis. Many of them see this discussion as a dangerous development that could result in a schism.

As LifeSiteNews has reported, the German bishops had unanimously decided, at the end of their spring assembly in Lingen, to start a “synodal path” in their discussions (yet still without an existing synod itself) on the questions of priestly celibacy, sexual morality, and questions of clerical power. Bishop Franz-Josef Bode – the Vice President of the German Bishops' Conference and a promoter of the idea of blessings for homosexual couples – will lead the discussion on sexual morality. The progressivist lay organization Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) will be involved in this fostered synodal process. Professor Eberhard Schockenhoff, one of the speakers at the spring meeting proposed to put aside the Church's teaching against homosexuality, contraception, cohabitation, and masturbation.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Father Frank Unterhalt, the speaker of the German priestly group Communio veritatis, asking him for comment. He called the recent decisions of the German bishops a “detestable abuse of the abuse,” because “they obviously wish, under a deceptive pretext of a 'renewal', to establish their horizontal man-church.”

This German priest points out that “homosexuality as the cause of the large majority of [abuse] cases is now being consciously silenced, because 80% of the victims are boys between 14 and 18 years.” “Instead,” he adds, “celibacy and the whole [deposit of] sexual morality are being purposefully put up for discussion, in order to relativize God's Commandments and the perennial Magisterium of the Catholic Church.”

Further commenting on the German bishops' call for a limiting of male clerical power, Father Unterhalt explains that this method aims at “overcoming the hierarchical structure and authority of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ Himself.” The “true clericalism,” however, he adds, is now manifestly shown “especially by the President of the German Bishops' Conference himself and his followers who do not regard their office as a service for the Lord and for souls, but, rather, as an instrument of an immanentist, ecclesial-political career.”

For the German author Gabriele Kuby – who just published a booklet on the question of clerical sex abuse – the “choice of bishops who are to lead this 'synodal process', as well as the collaboration with the ZdK, clearly shows where the journey will take us: adaptation to the zeitgeist at the expense of loyalty to the full truth of the Gospels.” She asks, “why is there unanimous consent of the bishops for this?” She, like Father Unterhalt, points out that the real problem – namely, the homosexual root of the sexual abuse crisis – has been avoided by the German bishops.

As to the question of the unanimous consent to the German bishops' decision to start this controversial “synodal path” questioning the Church's sexual morality, one well-informed source told LifeSiteNews that there had been, indeed, some bishops who abstained from voting for the measure. Contacting the official press speaker of the German Bishops' Conference, Matthias Kopp, LifeSiteNews was told that they do not give information about the specific number of votes of an episcopal assembly.

Mathias von Gersdorff, commenting on the results of the episcopal spring assembly, asks: is “German Catholicism at the Abyss?” and he shows himself to be “highly concerned.” The decisions taken by the German bishops, he explains, “are capable of accelerating and intensifying the gravest developments of the Catholic Church over the last decades, thus leading to a final breach with the Universal Church.”

He, like Gabriele Kuby, points to the fact that Bishop Bode has been appointed to lead the discussion on sexual matters. “Especially the choice of Bishop Franz-Josef Bode (Osnabrück) as the leader of the forum on 'sexual morality' is the worst possible decision.”

Bishop Bode is among the bishops who strongly defend a loosening of Catholic moral teaching, and he even goes so far as to propose a Church blessing for homosexual couples.

Comments von Gersdorff: “They [the German bishops] consciously chose the bishops who have been working most intensely for years against Catholic sexual morality.” In light of this decision, he says, “the message from Lingen is: this is how it is and basta! That is how we want it.”

The words of von Gersdorff seem to be confirmed by a German bishop himself. As Cardinal Reinhard Marx – the head of the German bishops – put it during a 16 March diocesan meeting in his own Diocese of Munich-Freising: “We do not have to wait for Rome now, we have to go our own way.” According to his view, “nothing will ever change,” if one does not exert “a certain pressure, [and show] a certain will to change.” Rome, he added, does not yet wish to face the “systemic question” of sexual abuse, “but it will come, or [otherwise] we have to reintroduce it again and again.” According to another report, Marx also added at that same Munich diocesan council meeting – a gathering of lay organizations of the diocese – that “we want to free ourselves. We need to get rid of the baggage which hinders us to go into the future.”

Von Gersdorff himself sums up the situation by saying that both Bishop Bode and the ZdK which is also to be involved in the upcoming discussions, both aim at “the introduction of the maxims of the [cultural and sexual] revolution of the year 1968 into the Catholic Church. That is to say: the acceptance of wild marriages, moral-theological license for practiced homosexuality, etc.” Thus, he adds, the “aim of reform Catholicism is the dissolution of sexual morality and a negation of the natural law as a moral-theological foundation even up to forming a liberal situation ethics according to the zeitgeist.”

The German Catholic journalist Peter Winnemöller comments on the Austrian Catholic news website Kath.net on the German bishops' spring assembly and asks, in light of the episcopal questioning of the Church's moral teaching: “Will Catholics have to follow their bishops who have the intention – or exercise it – to change the Church's teaching? It is indeed a question as to whether the episcopacy was aware of the potentially schismatic explosive power of the consequences of the current decisions.”

For him, the German bishops “very obviously are not at peace with their office of leadership, nor with their priestly service. Instead of proclaiming the Church's moral teaching,” he adds, “there is the intention to adapt it to the customs of the time.” Winnemöller sees here that the aim is the “deconstruction of the existing morality and its practical consequences.”

LifeSiteNews has now reached out both to Cardinal Rainer Woelki – the archbishop of Cologne – and to the bishop of Regensburg, Rudolf Voderholzer, asking them for comments and whether they truly support the idea of discussing the Church's sexual morality. Cardinal Woelki let it be known that he will not at this moment comment on the matter. We will update the report should we hear back from Bishop Voderholzer.

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Poland Bishops release 'tragic' report on sexual abuse

THE CATHOLIC HERALD reports - Nearly 400 Polish priests were accused of sexual abuse of minors from 1990 until 2018, a study commissioned by the Episcopal Conference of Poland revealed last week.

The study covered data collected from the more than 10,000 parishes in Poland, and included religious orders.

According to the report, 382 priests were accused of abuse during the time covered, and the allegations concern 625 potential victims. Of the clerics accused, 284 were diocesan priests, and 98 belonged to a religious order.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, who leads the Episcopal Conference of Poland, called the report's findings 'tragic,' and said every instance of sexual abuse is a 'particularly painful' betrayal of public trust.

The archbishop also noted that while the Church must deal with the problem of clerical sexual abuse, it was important that the same kinds of abuse not be permitted to continue in other institutions.

Among allegations concerning diocesan priests, 54.2 percent concerned victims under the age of 15, and 45.8 percent victims over the age 15.

Allegations involving religious orders showed that a total of 44 priests-44.9 percent-were accused of sexually abusing someone under the age of 15. Fifty four priests, or 55.1 percent, were accused of abusing someone over the age of 15.

In total, 198 priests were accused of abusing those under 15, compared to 184 who were accused of abusing older teens.

In 58.4 percent of allegations of clerical abuse in Poland, males were reportedly the victims. Females were the reported victims in 41.6 percent of allegations.

Since 2002, when revelations of abuse by American clergy became worldwide news, the number of cases reported to Polish authorities has seen a gradual increase. In 2017, there were 36 allegations made against diocesan priests.

Of the 382 accused priests, a canonical penal process was pursued in 362 of these cases. There is no data available for the other 20 cases, nor is it explained in the report why this is the case. In 270 cases, the process was completed at the time of the study's commision, and the process was ongoing in 92 cases.

A total of 68 priests-almost exactly one quarter-were removed from the priesthood as a result of the canonical process. 109 were punished with a limitation of ministry or other sanctions, and 31 were transferred to either a different parish or in a location away from children. In 34 cases, the process was ended after the death of the accused, and in 28 cases, the priest was acquitted.

Only 168 priests were charged with a crime by civil authorities. At the time the report was published, the trial had concluded in 135 of those cases. Eighty-five priests were convicted of sexual abuse. In 36 cases, the charges did not move forward, and in 12 cases, the accuser did not want to cooperate and pursue charges. Two priests were aquitted.

There are 33 priests whose trials are ongoing.

Poland's statistics on clerical abuse tell a different than data concerning the United States. According to the 'John Jay study,' a report into allegations of abuse by American priests commissioned in 2002, only 27.3 percent of those abused by priests were over the age of 15. In the U.S., males accounted for nearly 80 percent of survivors of clerical abuse.

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United Kingdom Muslim parent revolt against LGBT syllabus spreads to more schools in Birmingham

'REBEL PRIEST' blogs - The parents’ uprising against the “No Outsiders” LGBT curriculum at Parkfield Community School in Saltley, inner-city Birmingham has spread to Anderton Park Primary School in Moseley, a Birmingham suburb after a 6-year-old boy from Year 2 told his parents he was forced to dress as a girl.

Muslim parents protesting outside the school demanded the withdrawal of the “No Outsiders” programme and the resignation of headteacher Mrs Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson.

Shouting slogans like “Our Children our Choice,” “Let Kids be Kids” and “Hewitt-Clarkson step down,” parents and children of all ages held up posters saying “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and “Education not Indoctrination.”

Parents say the school has been teaching the pro-LGBT syllabus since November 2018 without any consultation. They insist their children are too young to be taught gay, lesbian, and transgender issues and there is no statutory requirement for the school to be teaching such subjects.

Parents became aware of LGBT textbooks being read to their children after the Parkfield Community School protests began in January 2019. There were reports that boys were being asked to dress as girls and children were being taught a story of a prince marrying another prince, leading parents to wonder if the same material was also being taught at Anderton, Mrs Shaida Rashid, mother of an 8-year-old in Year 3, told Rebel Priest.

Parents met after a 6-year-old boy went home in tears because he had been asked to dress as a girl the next day to participate in a play. “There are a few other books we found in the school that are ‘gay stories’ and they were also getting taught that it’s okay to have two mummies and two daddies,” another parent who wished to remain unidentified said.

Meanwhile, a mother contacted other parents after her 4-year-old daughter who came home from nursery and started playing with her doll said to her: “Mummy, can you come and be the second mummy.” The mother says she was angry and asked, “What do you mean? Mummy needs daddy, mummy doesn’t need another mummy.” The child responded, “No Mummy, it’s okay. We are allowed to have two mummies and you need to be the second mummy.”

The parents then issued a petition and collected over 200 signatures. They told to the Chair of Governors that the headteacher wasn’t taking their complaints on board. There have been two meetings at a local mosque and are a third meeting will soon be held, parents said.

Mrs Rashid says that Mr Richard Harris, a teacher, confirmed that the story “King and King” had been taught since last term. The story is about a prince who spurns a number of princesses and falls in love with another prince and the two get married. “I apologise if this story has made you angry, but I was told by the headteacher to teach the children this story,” Mr Harris reportedly told parents.

However, headteacher Hewitt-Clarkson denied the allegations in a letter dated 18 March 2019, insisting, “We do not teach children about sex, we never have and never will in future.” Parents said that this statement itself was problematic as the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) would make pansexual education compulsory from September 2020.

“We do not have an LGBT programme or promote an LGBT ethos,” she stated. Nevertheless, she went on to explain that “we do promote understanding of all aspects of equality and talk to children about our society and the community we live in,” which, according to parents, is code for the “No Outsiders” lessons.

Hewitt-Clarkson also wrote that she and Mr Harris had a “great meeting with Mr Abdul Latif, an Imam from Evelyn Road Mosque about the issues that some people have currently.”

“No Mummy, it’s okay. We are allowed to have two mummies and you need to be the second mummy.”

However, Mr Latif said he did not concur with Hewitt-Clarkson. “I am now seeing this letter sent to me via Whatsapp with my name on it which I gave no permission for, detailing and implying my agreement to what the school is doing overall—a matter of which I am obviously uninformed let alone agree with,” he wrote.

Mr Shakeel Afsar from Justice for our Children said that the parents have “tried their best to hold collective consultations with headteacher who refused to hold the meeting on the grounds of law and order situation” (sic). When parents have spoken individually to Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson she has repeatedly reassured them that “No Outsiders” was not being taught, they claim.

Sources told Rebel Priest that Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson called the police yesterday even though the demonstrators were protesting peacefully. Two police cars arrived just as the protests were ending and police said they would allow the protests to go ahead.

Many of the parents say their have written letters to the headteacher reminding her of the Human Rights Act 1998 which affirms that “The State must respect the rights of parents religious and philosophical convictions in respect of education and teaching.”



Parents say they intend to protest daily until “No Outsiders” is withdrawn or collective consultations are held with parents or Hewitt-Clarkson is removed as headteacher from the school. Sources say that Sikh and Romanian Christian parents are also supporting the protests.

Rebel Priest contacted the school by phone and email and was told the headteacher would call back. So far, there has been no response from the school. “There has been concerning behaviour from a few parents over the last few days and it must change,” reads a notice from the school’s newsletter dated 28 February 2019.

Rebel Priest has also contacted the Lambeth Palace for comment asking if Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, would support the parents after Welby spoke at an interfaith gathering stating: “For British Muslims who are feeling under threat, we are with you....We will work with Bishops in the Church of England to see how we can be more effective in visible signs of togetherness.”

Earlier, David Urquhart refused to support Muslim parents who approached him stating that l stated that the diocese expected church schools “to address the requirements of the Equalities Act, recognising that it is a requirement of the law to prepare our children to live in modern day Britain.”

[https://www.julesgomes.com] 2273.9a























United States Death rate is outpacing birth rate

JOHN STONESTREET reports for BreakPoint - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported late last year that Americans aren't having enough babies to replace themselves. In fact, a record one in five American women will never have children, and those who do will, on average, never exceed two. As a result, the death rate is outpacing the birth rate, which means-except for immigration-the U.S. has joined many developed countries on the long, slow road of population decline.

That's bad news. Not having enough children as a society has costs that are hard to appreciate on the individual level. We know from examples like Japan and much of Europe that aging countries become economically top-heavy, especially those that promise extensive government services to the elderly. This results in runaway aging and population decline, and negatively impacts every sector of the economy except for maybe healthcare, depending on how you look at that one. It also places heavier and heavier burdens on the shoulders of an ever-shrinking workforce of young people, which leaves them even less likely to have kids.

On a deeper level, young members of a graying society lose hope for the future, or stop planning for it altogether. In Japan, this hopelessness manifests as one of the highest rates of suicide among youth in the developed world.

To be clear, the United States is not Japan, but as Jonathan Last writes in his book, 'What to Expect When No One's Expecting,' there's no example in history of a shrinking society experiencing long-term prosperity.

Given the impending demographic disaster, you might think this would be the wrong time to discourage people from having children. But some are doing just that. Citing numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the website Market Watch recently warned that the cost of raising children has grown an unbelievable 40 percent since the year 2000.

According to those USDA estimates, the average American parent spends almost a quarter million dollars raising a single child, not including college expenses. This translates to huge figures for families who have four, five, or even more kids. If these numbers are correct, a minivan-sized family will spend something on the order of a million dollars just to get their children through high school.

But I'm not buying those numbers, at least not totally. The USDA's estimates don't take into account things like shared living space, hand-me-down clothes, grandparents pitching in, or other common ways parents have learned to save money.

Such outlandish estimates of the cost of kids are now cited in article after article, making the case that few Americans can really afford kids. CNBC joined in recently with a piece called 'Here's how much money you save when you don't have kids.' To make matters worse, they cited a study purporting to show parents are less happy than non-parents.

All of this bean-counting in the government and secular media comes at a moment when the thing we need most is babies. Even sadder, it coincides with one of the hardest pro-abortion legislative pushes we've seen in decades. Our culture is simply less welcoming to little lives than ever before.

And yet those of us who have kids and those who desperately long and pray to have kids know how fundamentally skewed these cost-benefit analyses are, even if their math was better. Because children are priceless, and as my friend Dr. Ben Mitchell says, anytime you put a price tag on something priceless, you cheapen it.

The question of whether kids are too expensive raises much bigger worldview questions, such as, 'what's the purpose of life?' and 'what's the good life?' Children aren't a bucket list item, like paragliding or visiting Paris. It's an others-centered way of living-a radical statement of hope for the future-a declaration that you and I are not the center of the universe, and that the here and now is not the only thing that matters.

In a society already suffering from a birth dearth, the question isn't whether we can afford to have kids. It's whether we can afford not to.

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United States New York bill would require priests to violate confessional seal

STEPHEN WYNNE reports for ChurchMilitant.com - Under a proposed New York law, Catholic priests would be required to report cases of child abuse revealed inside the confessional.

With the clerical sex abuse crisis continuing to unfold across the state's eight dioceses, on Thursday, Assemblywoman Monica P. Wallace (D-Cheektowaga) introduced the CARE Act, a bill to force clergy of all faiths to notify law enforcement of child abuse.

Under current state law, dozens of professions are required to report harm to children, but a 'clergy privilege' provision exempts priests from revealing crimes revealed in confession. Under the proposed CARE Act, 'Such privilege shall not be grounds for failure to report a case of suspected child abuse or maltreatment.'

Neither Wallace's home diocese of Buffalo nor the New York State Catholic Conference have commented on the proposal.

The Empire State has featured heavily in the sex abuse scandals. The archdiocese of New York was home base for serial predator Theodore McCarrick, and it was where his decades of abuse were first exposed, kicking off the 'Summer of Shame' last June.

Months later, the archdiocese was again in the headlines for abuse, when Cdl. Timothy Dolan admitted one of his auxiliaries, Bp. John Jenik, had been credibly accused of homosexual assault of a minor.

In 2018, the diocese of Rochester acknowledged eight of its priests had been credibly accused of abuse, prompting a local priest to brand the unfolding crisis a disease 'straight from Hell.'

The diocese of Buffalo has been especially hard-hit. In September, a local seminary rector was forced out over abuse.

In October, whistleblower Siobhan O'Connor exposed the depths of cover-up inside the chancery. That same month, the diocese confirmed it was being subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for a probe into the trafficking of minors across state lines for sexual abuse.

New York's eight dioceses are feeling heat from state lawmakers over clerical sex abuse and cover-up.

In August, Church Militant broke the news that Attorney General Barbara Underwood was preparing an investigation into sex abuse and cover-up by New York Catholic authorities. An Underwood spokesperson confirmed the attorney general's office had 'directed her Criminal Division leadership to reach out to local District Attorneys - who are the only entities that currently have the power to convene a grand jury to investigate these matters - in order to establish a potential partnership on this issue.'

The following month, Underwood publicly announced an inquiry into all eight of the state's Catholic dioceses.

In January, lawmakers in Albany voted to extend the statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of minors. The Child Victims Act extended the statute of limitations in criminal cases by five years, allowing sex abuse victims to pursue charges against their abusers until age 28. It also permitted victims to file civil suits against predators - and institutions that enable them - until age 55. Crucially, it also opened up a one-time-only, year-long window for all victims of sex abuse to seek civil penalties, regardless of when the abuse happened.

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United States Cardinal Wuerl allowed homosexual predator to live with seminarians

dl. uerlCHRISTINE NILES, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. , reports for ChurchMilitant.com - Cardinal Donald Wuerl allowed Theodore McCarrick to move onto seminary property, in spite of knowing about allegations of homosexual predation, giving McCarrick free access to seminarians, some who lived and traveled with him.

In 2009, McCarrick was ordered by Pope Benedict to move out of Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Seminary in Washington, D.C. McCarrick then moved into a parish, but shortly afterwards left to live on the grounds of another seminary: the Institute of the Incarnate Word (Instituto del Verbo Encarnado, IVE), with Wuerl's full knowledge and permission.

As Church Militant has reported, McCarrick had close ties to the IVE, frequently flying down to Argentina to stay at the community's headquarters in San Rafael, where he visited with its founder, Fr. Miguel Buela, and ordained priests.

Buela, who now lives in Genoa, Italy, was credibly accused of sexually assaulting multiple seminarians and his priest-secretaries, and is currently banned by the Vatican from making any public appearances or having contact with members of the IVE. According to an inside source, however, Buela continues to meet every 15 days with the general superior, Fr. Gustavo Nieto, and sees and speaks with other members of the IVE as well - appearing to violate the sanctions imposed on him by the Vatican.

Sexual assault allegations have also reportedly been lodged against other members of the IVE.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò testified that among the penalties imposed by Benedict on McCarrick was the order that McCarrick leave Redemptoris Mater Seminary:

Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he was living, he was forbidden to celebrate [Mass] in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lectures, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance.

Then-papal nuncio Pietro Sambi communicated Benedict's order to McCarrick to move out of the seminary, and 'a stormy conversation, lasting over an hour' ensued.

'Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, then first Counsellor of the Nunciature in Washington and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. after the unexpected death of Nuncio Sambi in Baltimore, told me ... that 'the Nuncio's voice could be heard all the way out in the corridor,'' Viganò wrote.

McCarrick, on Wuerl's order, moved out of the seminary in 2009 and into St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Woodley Park.

Catholic News Agency confirmed the information with a priest at St. Thomas. 'It was all very sudden,' the priest said. 'I was moved around but given another room in the rectory.'

Although the timeline is unclear, at some point McCarrick decided to move into a house on the grounds of the IVE Seminary in Chillum, Maryland, where IVE seminarians and priest-secretaries were permitted to live with and work for him from 2014-2018.

According to an inside source, McCarrick gave IVE approximately $3 million to purchase the property in Maryland. He was also generous with the community in Argentina, leading some to suspect that, even though IVE leadership was aware of McCarrick's reputation as a homosexual predator, they refused to denounce him or distance themselves from him.

Wuerl has admitted to knowing about the sexual misconduct allegations lodged against McCarrick as early as 2004, and McCarrick moved out of Redemptoris Mater Seminary on Wuerl's orders, based on Benedict's orders - yet Wuerl appears to have done nothing to prevent McCarrick from moving onto the IVE Seminary's grounds.

Church Militant contacted the archdiocese to ask if Wuerl had granted McCarrick permission to live at the IVE Seminary. Spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi responded, 'The Archdiocese has stated on the record to multiple media outlets, in his then capacity as a Cardinal, McCarrick made his own living arrangements with no consultation with the Archdiocese of Washington.'

'Did Cdl. Wuerl order McCarrick to leave the IVE Seminary when he discovered the living arrangements?' The archdiocese did not respond.Tweet

Church Militant asked the follow-up question, 'Did Cdl. Wuerl order McCarrick to leave the IVE Seminary when he discovered the living arrangements?' The archdiocese did not respond.

Church Militant has since learned that McCarrick's priest-secretary - a member of the IVE who lived at the seminary - received a monthly stipend from the Washington archdiocese for his work, thus making it evident Wuerl knew of the living arrangements.

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Interview with Fr. Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of St Pius X




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International Michael Voris

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


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International gloria.tv.news

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International A few headlines of the week

200 cops arrest 10 Muslims “plotting to kill as many people as possible"

Italy : Muslim father tries to run over daughter for being too Westernised

Mozambique: Muslims murder 13 villagers, destroy over 120 houses, in quest to impose Sharia

Netherlands: Eyewitnesses say men carrying out jihad massacre, screamed 'Allahu akbar'

Netherlands : Utrecht killer left note saying he acted in the name of Allah

Nigeria: Muslims kill 140 Christians, destroy 140 homes in the last few weeks

Nigeria: Muslims murder another 10 Christians, bringing death toll to 140 since February 10

Pakistan: Mentally disabled Christian beaten by Muslim mob

Pakistan : Muslim student stabs professor to death over “anti-Islam” remarks

Turkey : Erdogan: we'll put anti-Islam Westerners in coffins

UK : MI5 says far right terror cases are /.;‘absolutely dwarfed by the number of Islamist cases’


[CF News] 2273.15























International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



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Our need of clearer teaching

THE SENSE of right and wrong, which is the first element in religion, is so delicate, so fitful, so easily puzzled, obscured, perverted... So biased by pride and passion, so unsteady in its course, that, in the struggle for existence amid the various exercises and triumphs of the human intellect this sense is at once the highest of all teachers, yet the least luminous.

[Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, II,253-54] 2273.17





















Human Dignity at the Heart of Healthcare conference

HUMAN DIGNITY AT THE HEART OF HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE Saturday 11 May Thornycroft Hall, Macclesfield. The Royal College of Physicians has this week declared itself neutral with regard to assisted suicide, after manipulating its form of voting. The pressure for euthanasia is only one of the many ethical conundrums which are increasingly facing healthcare practitioners. The next Thornycroft Conference will discuss these issues, looking first at what it means to be a Human Person, and then at the practical issues which face doctors and medical workers. The conference will end with a full dinner, to network and continue discussion. Discounts for medical students. Full details here

[CF News] 2273.EV1






















Relationships and sex education

LOUISE KIRK writes - Anyone who has looked at the way government has walked over the strong opposition to its plans for Relationships and Sex Education, pressing ahead with its draft Guidance document, will feel indignant. Over 11,000 people responded to its consultation, many of them parents and private individuals who by a large margin rejected the government's proposals but you wouldn't know it by the way the Guidance has been submitted for Parliamentary approval virtually unchanged.

Voting on the Guidance was halted in the House of Commons last Wednesday by the brave opposition of Philip Davies, MP for Skipton. The subject is likely to return this coming week. If you haven't already signed the petition asking the Government to halt progress, please do so at https://www.citizengo.org/en/node/166296

Whether or not the Guidance goes ahead, co-ordinating efforts to keep pressure on government and support true family values in education will remain critical. Advocates have put together an urgent 40 Days campaign. Have a look at their web page and pledge your £1. This is a clever way of getting the voice of many people who are wary of submitting their names on a petition: your pound can be submitted without revealing a name publicly. Please do your best to pass this campaign on.

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Censorship : Bergoglianity is at work on it . . .

Fr. HunwickeFR. JOHN HUNWICKE has republished an old post with its original thread, from 29 October 2018. He blogged - In the chaos of the 1960s, one notable casualty was the Church's system of the censorship of books. This disappearance was, I think, inevitable; in that febrile and aggressive atmosphere, it is inconceivable that the process of waiting for a diocesan Censor Librorum to read a book and make his comments, then for him to negotiate with an author about his/her ambiguities, and to agree a text ... then for the Ordinary or his VG to issue the imprimatur ... it is inconceivable that such a system could have survived. Then add Humanae Vitae and the spate of dissenting books and articles which would have needed to be refused the Nihil obstat ...

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

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

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

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

But now ... Synod 2018 Paragraph 146.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Church ‘blinded by the mystery of iniquity,’ Cardinal Sarah says in new book

Cdl.SarahJEANNE SMITS reports for LifeSiteNews— In his latest book, Le soir approche et déjà le soir baisse (“It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over,” a quotation from the episode of the Emmaus pilgrims in Gospel of St. Luke), Cardinal Robert Sarah decided to “speak out” for the “disorientated Catholics” hurting from the deep crisis the Church is going through.

“I can no longer remain silent. I may no longer remain silent,” Cardinal Sarah wrote in his opening paragraph. He has taken full measure of the “dark night” of the Church and “She is wrapped and blinded by the mystery of iniquity.”

Days before the book’s release in France on March 20, its introduction was published online, giving a foretaste of a truly gripping text that tackles today’s problems head on: sexual abuse, but also doctrinal relativism, social activism and lack of prayer, false accusations of generalized homosexuality and hypocrisy, and the doubts of the faithful who see the Church’s enemies in its very midst.

Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, offers no strategy, he says. Instead, he announces the timeless answers without which all efforts are useless – a deeply-rooted life of prayer, fidelity to the true teaching handed down by the Church rather than selling the Catholic doctrine short as “so many pastors” are doing, fraternal charity, and the love of Peter.

But his words are in no way a minimization of the ordeal the Church is going through.

Cardinal Sarah does not hesitate to speak – in the words of Pope Paul VI – of the “smoke of Satan” that has invaded the Church, openly designating the “traitors” who, like Judas Iscariot, have become “agents of the Evil one.” “They have sought to defile the pure souls of the littlest ones. They have humiliated the image of Christ present in each child,” at the same time humiliating and betraying so many faithful priests, he wrote.

“The Church is going through the mystery of the flagellation” at the hands of those “who should love and protect her,” warned Cardinal Sarah.

But the cause of the sexual abuse scandal, he added, can only be found in earlier betrayals: “The crisis which the clergy, the church and the world are going through is radically a spiritual crisis, a crisis of faith.”

The African cardinal recalls that the “mystery of Judas” – words borrowed from Pope Francis – resides in moving away from the teachings of Jesus, and can therefore be compared with the mystery of evil in our time.

“Jesus called him like all the apostles. Jesus loved him! He had sent him out to announce the Good News. But little by little, Judas’ heart was taken over by doubts. Imperceptibly, he started judging Jesus’ teaching. He said to himself: this Jesus is too demanding, and not efficient enough. Judas wanted to make the kingdom of God come on earth straightaway, through human means and according to his personal plans.” He stopped praying with Jesus and “sought refuge in the affairs of the world,” probably murmuring in his heart “I shall not serve” when Jesus washed his feet at the Last Supper, wrote Cardinal Sarah. “He received communion when his plans were already complete. It was the first sacrilegious communion of history. And he betrayed.”

According to Cardinal Sarah, the same faults, the same betrayals, are committed today: “We have abandoned prayer. The evil of efficient activism has infiltrated itself everywhere. We seek to imitate the organization of large companies. We forget that only prayer is the blood that can irrigate the heart of the church … He who does not pray has already betrayed. He is already prepared for every compromise with the world. He walks in the steps of Judas.”

The cardinal has harsh words for the abandonment of Catholic doctrine. This is where he sees the cause of the current sex-abuse scandals:

“We tolerate any calling into question. The Catholic doctrine is challenged, and in the name of self-styled intellectual postures, theologians take pleasure in deconstructing dogma and in emptying morals of their profound meaning. Relativism is the mask of Judas disguised as an intellectual. How can we be surprised that so many priests break their commitments? We downgrade the meaning of celibacy, we demand the right to a private life, which is the opposite of the priest’s mission. Some go so far as to claim the right to homosexual activity. One scandal follows another, involving priests and bishops.”

Cardinal Sarah goes on to warn his fellow priests that they will all be tainted by accusations that are true only for a minority. But “may your hearts not be troubled,” he added, recalling that Christ himself was taunted with the words “Crucify him!” and begging them not to be troubled by “biased research” that presents the pastors at the head of the Church as “irresponsible churchmen with an anemic interior life.”

“Priests, bishops and cardinals without morals will not in any way tarnish the luminous witness of more than 400,000 priests in the world who each day loyally, joyously and in a saintly manner serve the Lord. Despite the violence of the attacks that she weathers, the Church shall not die. That is the promise of the Lord, and her word is infallible.”

Specifically addressing those Catholics who are led to doubt, he spoke of Judas’ “subtle poison” of betrayal. The devil “wants us to see (the Church) as a human organization in crisis” when she is “Christ continuing Himself.” Satan pushes the faithful toward division and schism in “making us believe that the Church has betrayed.” “But the church does not betray. The church, full of sinners, is herself without sin. There will be always enough light in her for those who seek God.”

Cardinal Sarah warned faithful Catholics against the temptation of “wanting to take things into our own hands” – a temptation that would lead to division through criticism and ripping apart. “Let us not hesitate (…) to denounce sin by starting with our own.”

“I tremble at the idea that the seamless garment of Christ may once more be torn apart. Jesus suffered agony when seeing in advance the divisions of Christians. Let us not crucify Him anew,” the cardinal implored.

Cardinal Sarah is not seeking popularity or success, he insisted. “This book is the cry of my soul! It is a cry of love for God and for my brothers. I owe you, you Christians, the only truth that saves. The Church is dying because pastors are afraid to speak in all truth and clarity. We are afraid of the media, of public opinion, of our own brothers. The good pastor lays down his life for his sheep.”

As for confused Catholics whom he is addressing, Cardinal Sarah exhorted them, and especially priests, to prayer. “He who prays not damns himself,” he wrote, quoting St. Alphonsus. “It is not a question of accumulating devotions. It’s a question of being silent and adoring, of being on our knees, of entering with fear and respect into the liturgy. It is the work of God. It is not a theater.”

He goes on with his meditation: “Dear friends, do you want to put the Church back on its feet? Get on your knees! It’s the only way! If you do any differently, what you will do, will not be of God. (…) If we do not place our heads, in the way of St. John, on the heart of Christ, he will not have the strength to follow Him to the Cross. If we do not take the time to listen to the heartbeat of our God, we will abandon Him, we will betray Him as the apostles did themselves.”

Besides prayer, faithfulness to doctrine is necessary in the current crisis. Cardinal Sarah is clearly conscious of the reasons of today’s confusion. “How can we accept that bishops conferences contradict each other? Where confusion reigns, God cannot reside!” he wrote.

“The unity of faith supposes the unity of magisterium in space and in time. When a new teaching is given us, it should always be interpreted in coherence with the teaching that precedes it. If we introduce ruptures and revolutions, we break the unity that governs the holy Church through the centuries,” he insisted: “Those who loudly announce change and rupture are false prophets. They seek not the good of the herd.”

Fidelity to the truth means accepting the Cross, wrote Cardinal Sarah, adding that Christ requires that fidelity anew.

“He looks us straight into the eyes and asks each of us: will you abandon me? Will you renounce teaching the faith in all its plenitude? Will you have the courage to preach my real presence in the Eucharist? Will you have the courage to call these young people to consecrated life? When you have the strength to say that without regular confession, sacramental communion risks losing its meaning? Will you have the audacity to recall the truth about the indissolubility of marriage? Will you have the charity to do the same for those who threaten to fault to you for doing so? Will you have the courage gently to invite the divorced and remarried to change their lives? Do you prefer success or will you follow me? Please God that with St. Peter we may answer, full of love and humility, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’ (John 6:68).”

All this requires “the love of Peter,” wrote Cardinal Sarah: “The mystery of Peter is a mystery of faith. Jesus has chosen to confide his Church to a man. Lest we forget, he let this man betray him thrice in the face of all, before handing him the keys of his Church. We know that the bark of the Church has not been confided to a man because of his extraordinary abilities. But we know that this man would always be assisted by the divine Pastor in order to hold from the rule of the faith.”

This is the reason not to be afraid, he added, speaking of the “golden thread of the infallible decisions of pontiffs, successors of Peter” as opposed to the “black thread of the human and imperfect acts of Popes, successors of Simon,” in which we yet “feel the small needle guided by the invisible hand of God.”

In the same section of his introduction, Cardinal Sarah made clear that Catholics are not expected to be blind:

“Dear friends, your pastors are covered with faults and imperfections. But it is not in despising that you will build the unity of the Church. Do not be afraid to demand of them the Catholic faith, the sacraments of divine life. Remember the words of St. Augustine: ‘When Peter baptizes, it is Jesus who baptizes. But when Judas baptizes, it is still Jesus who baptizes!”

And he added: “If you think that your priests and bishops are not saints, be saints for them. Do penance, fast to repair the faults and cowardice. That is the only way to bear the burden of the other.”

The cardinal’s fourth exhortation is about “fraternal charity,” reflecting on the Church as a mother who opens her arms to us: “In her womb, nothing can threaten us. Christ has opened His arms once and for all on the Cross so that the Church can open hers to reconcile us with her, with God and among ourselves:” a call against the division that “persecutes Jesus.”

In short, Cardinal Sarah is calling on the faithful to recognize “the greatness and transcendence of God,” whom we should love unto death – the one condition that can allow us to hear the words spoken to St. Francis of Assisi: “Go and repair my Church.” Cardinal Sarah added: “Go, repair through your faith, your hope and your charity. Go and repair through your prayer and your fidelity. Thanks to you, my Church will once again become my home.”

These words were signed on February 22, during the sex abuse summit in the Vatican, at the moment when horrible accusations started piling up against the Church, especially against those of its members were most faithful to its timeless teaching.

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Catholic journalist faces police inquiry for using wrong trans pronoun

A CATHOLIC JOURNALISt, columnist for The Universe and contributor to The Catholic Herald, has been asked to attend a police interview after being accused of using the wrong pronoun to describe a transgender woman. 

Martin Evans reports for the Daily Telegraph that Caroline Farrow, mother of five, was contacted by the Surrey force to inform her they were investigating an allegation that she had made transphobic comments on Twitter.

Mrs Farrow is being investigated for a possible hate crime under the Malicious Communications Act, an offence that carries a prison sentence of up to two years. While the 44-year-old has been invited to attend the interview voluntarily, she says she has been threatened with arrest if she fails to go.

Posting on Twitter, she wrote: “I have done nothing wrong, nothing illegal and will happily do jail time for my right to say that people cannot change sex.”

Mrs Farrow, whose husband Robin is a Roman Catholic priest, often comments on social issues and is known for her deeply held conservative religious views.

Last September, she appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain with Susie Green, a transgender rights campaigner, to discuss the Girl Guides’ policy of not telling parents if a transgender child joins. Following a heated on-air debate, Mrs Farrow allegedly continued the spat on Twitter, during which she was accused of using the wrong pronoun in an exchange over Ms Green’s transgender daughter.

Mrs Farrow said she could not remember the offending tweets: “I probably said ‘he’ or ‘son’ or something.” She added: “I have pointed out to the police that I am a Catholic journalist [and] commentator and it is my religious belief a person cannot change sex.

“I now need to tell my children that Mummy is in trouble with the police because there was this girl, who was born in a boy’s body, whom I might have inadvertently referred to as a boy.”

Ms Green, who made the complaint, insisted the comments had been “distressing and spiteful”.
A police spokesman said: “A thorough investigation is being carried out to establish whether any criminal offences have taken place.”

Since the row, Mrs Farrow said she had been subjected to online abuse and threats to her family, to which police responded: “We have been made aware a number of allegations have been made on Twitter and we will contact the person concerned.”

The police involvement is likely to reignite debate on the use of resources at a time when officers are struggling with high levels of violent crime and knife violence.

Sara Thornton, who has just stepped down as the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, recently said that forces needed to get back to core policing rather than focus on issues such as hate crime. Her comments were echoed by Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, who has also said that police ought to prioritise the issues people cared about the most, such as violence and knife crime.

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Robert Spencer: So long, everybody

If I'm shut out of all platforms over the next few days, you'll know why.

R SpencerROBERT SPENCER writes for Frontpage Magazine -My friends, it could be time for me to be saying goodbye. Leftist and Islamic groups have been trying for years to silence all criticism of jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women and others, and in the New Zealand massacre they see the best chance in a long time to move in for the kill. I (along with other foes of jihad terror) could be banned from everything and rendered a non-person, a la Alex Jones, any day now.

This is no exaggeration. Meeting in Istanbul, the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has called on non-Muslim countries to ban 'Islamophobia,' which means criticism of Islam, including analysis of the motivating ideology fueling jihad terror. IUMS President Ahmed al-Raisouni said Friday: 'IUMS calls on non-Muslim countries to ban the spread of hatred against Islam and Muslims.'

Since analysis of the motivating ideology behind jihad terror is routinely smeared as 'hatred of Islam and Muslims,' this will likely outlaw all such analysis and make opposition to jihad terror effectively impossible.

And these bans are very likely coming. In America, they won't take the form of actual laws forbidding criticism of Islam (although remember that Tom Perez, the current head of the Democratic National Committee, refused to rule out the implementation of such laws a few years ago, when he was Assistant Attorney General in the Obama administration). They're more likely to take the form of a complete deplatforming. We will be able to speak, but no one will be able to hear us, as we won't be allowed on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the rest.

IUMS was not alone. Saudi King Salman tweeted: 'The heinous massacre that targeted worshippers in the mosque in New Zealand is a terrorist act, and it reaffirms the responsibility of the international community in combating hate speech and terrorism that is not condoned by religions or the values of tolerance.' Apparently terrorism that is condoned by religions is fine with him, as in 'strike terror in the enemies of Allah' (Qur'an 8:60). But by 'hate speech' he almost certainly means honest discussion of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence.

Domestically, the call for censorship came from the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has for years been trying to shut down all opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others. They have succeeded in fooling many people into thinking that it is 'bigotry' and 'racism' to oppose jihad terror, and have made those who discuss the motivating ideology behind jihad terror toxic in the public square. Now Hamas-linked CAIR is attempting to use the New Zealand massacre to achieve total victory: the complete closure of all media platforms to foes of jihad terror and Sharia oppression.

In its press conference on the New Zealand mosque shootings, CAIR top dog Nihad Awad (pictured above) named Donald Trump as responsible for the massacre, despite the fact that in the murderer's insane 'manifesto,' he asks himself: 'Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?,' and answers: 'As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.' The 'symbol of renewed white identity' part is all that the media is quoting. He never says he was incited to violence by Trump, or says anything about Trump and Muslims at all.

Awad also named Pamela Geller and me: 'Years ago when another terrorist attacked in Norway he quoted islamophobes like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.' Yes, he also quoted Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy and Charles Darwin and a host of others. He said he was inspired to violent actions by al-Qaeda. Awad does not, of course, say anything about that.

Anyway, CAIR's press conference was a full-court press for censorship, and it painted, yet again, a large target on our backs for increasingly unhinged and violent Leftists, as well as jihadis. CAIR calls for a total silencing on all platforms of so-called 'hate groups,' i.e., those who dare to note that jihad terrorists are inspired by Islamic texts and teachings. It is likely that the social media giants will comply; it will not be at all surprising if they succeed in getting us completely silenced.

Not surprisingly, it was in Britain that police moved most swiftly on this. The BBC reported Saturday that 'a 24-year old from Oldham' was arrested for a social media post 'making reference and support for the terrible events' in New Zealand. Approving of a massacre is disgusting, and if he was calling for or approving of violence then there is no justification for that. At the same time, the BBC report says: 'Social media firms and some news outlets have been criticised for sharing livestream footage of the attack and failing to address far-right extremism on their platforms.'

Calling for or justifying a massacre of innocent people is one thing. But that 'failing to address far-right extremism on their platforms' is quite another. For years now, Leftists and Islamic supremacists have insisted that opposing jihad mass murder and Sharia oppression of women and others constitutes 'far-right extremism.' So it is likely that those who will be shut down will not be limited solely to people such as this '24-year-old from Oldham' who was 'making reference and support for the terrible events.' It will include foes of jihad terror.

If and when we are all silenced, however, the jihad will not stop. The multicultural paradise will not dawn on the planet; in fact, there will be more jihad violence and strife than ever. There just won't be anyone around who dares to oppose it.

[Frontpage Magazine] 2273.19























Comment from the internet


Traditional Catholics unite the Clans

HOW can traditional Catholics unite the clans? Michael Matt of the Remnant and RemnantTV and Dr Taylor Marshall of New Saint Thomas Institute discuss the history of the Latin Mass movement and its theological origins with leaders like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), Michael Davies, and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). To use a term from Braveheart, is there a way to 'unite the clans' and join together in apostolates? Dr Marshall also explains his recent interest and appreciation for Archbishop Lefebvre and his biography.



[taylormarshall.com] 2273.20























Bishop Schneider: On the question of a heretical pop

Bp. Schneider CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectyives - A guest editorial at Rorate Caeli by Bishop Athanasius Schneider makes the point that advocates of the sedevacantist position are either unable or unwilling to grasp: that no matter what they think about the ecclesial standing of an allegedly heretical Pope, no matter how much evidence they believe they can amass as to his “manifest heresy,” their opinion in the matter is of no juridical consequence whatsoever for the Church. That is because no mechanism exists by which the Church as a whole could be provided with a definitive and binding declaration that a Pope has deposed himself on account of heresy and that another must take his place.

To quote Bishop Schneider: “The issue of how to handle a heretical pope, in concrete terms, has not yet been treated in a manner which approaches anything like a true general consent in the entire Catholic tradition. So far, neither a pope nor an Ecumenical Council has made relevant doctrinal pronouncements nor have they issued binding canonical norms regarding the eventuality of how to handle a heretical pope during the term of his office.” Consequently, he notes: “There is no historical case of a pope losing the papacy during his term of office due to heresy or alleged heresy.”

I repeat: there is no historical case—not one in 2,000 years—of a Pope having lost his office on account of heresy.

Bishop Schneider notes the closest thing to precedent, which only demonstrates the untenability of the sedevacantist position: the case of Honorius I, who explicitly endorsed the Monothelite heresy and yet was still considered a valid Pope even though “three successive Ecumenical Councils (the Third Council of Constantinople in 681, the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, and the Fourth Council of Constantinople in 870) and pope Saint Leo II in 682 excommunicated Pope Honorius I because of heresy…”. Moreover, those authoritative Church judgments “did not even implicitly declare that Honorius I had lost the papacy ipso facto because of heresy. In fact, the pontificate of Pope Honorius I was considered valid even after he had supported heresy in his letters to Patriarch Sergius in 634, since he reigned after that another four years until 638.”

Even more remarkably, notes the bishop, the “Liber Diurnus Romanorum Pontificum, a miscellaneous collection of formularies used in the papal chancery until the eleventh century, contains the text for the papal oath, according to which every new pope, upon taking office, had to swear that he ‘recognized the sixth Ecumenical Council, which smote with eternal anathema the originators of the heresy (Monotheletism), Sergius, Pyrrhus, etc., together with Honorius. (PL 105, 40-44).” And yet, the Church has always numbered Honorius in the canon of Popes!

The bishop provides still more devastating historical evidence of which this writer, for one, was completely unaware:

“In some Breviaries until the 16th or the 18th centuries, Pope Honorius was mentioned as a heretic in the lessons of Matins for June 28th, the feast of Saint Leo II: ‘In synodo Constantinopolitano condemnati sunt Sergius, Cyrus, Honorius, Pyrrhus, Paulus et Petrus, nec non et Macarius, cum discipulo suo Stephano, sed et Polychronius et Simon, qui unam voluntatem et operationem in Domnino Jesu Christo dixerunt vel praedicaverunt.’

“The persistence of this Breviary reading through many centuries shows that it was not considered scandalous by many generations of Catholics, that a particular pope, and in a very rare case, was found guilty of heresy or of supporting heresy. In those times, the faithful and the hierarchy of the Church could clearly distinguish between the indestructibility of the Catholic Faith divinely guaranteed to the Magisterium of the See of Peter and the infidelity and treason of a concrete pope in the exercise of his teaching office.”

Furthermore, not even in the case of Honorius was there any declaration of anathema while he lived, but rather only posthumously and then only by the authoritative acts of ecumenical councils and Popes.

Finally, as the bishop reminds us, the very notion that a heretical Pope deposes himself — again, there being no way to definitively declare this to the universal Church — is itself only a theological opinion that was “alien to the first millennium [and] originated only in the High Middle Ages, in a time when pope-centrism arrived at a certain high point, when unconsciously the pope was [falsely] identified with the Church as such…. It remains a theological opinion and not a teaching of the Church….”

What, then, is the Church’s remedy for a Pope who, in the rarest of cases, lends the weight of his office to some theological error? The remedy is to correct him while tolerating his presence until the end of his reign, leaving a judgment of culpability to a future Pope or Council. And correction of Francis is precisely what the bishop offers in his editorial:

“A theologically revolutionary change was made by Pope Francis insofar as he approved the practice of some local churches of admitting in singular cases sexually active adulterers (who are cohabitating in so-called “irregular unions”) to Holy Communion. Even if these local norms do not represent a general norm in the Church, they nevertheless signify a denial in practice of the Divine truth of the absolute indissolubility of a valid and consummated sacramental marriage.
“His other alteration in doctrinal questions consists in the change of the Biblical and the constant bi-millennial doctrine regarding the principle of the legitimacy of the death penalty.
“The next doctrinal change represents the approval of Pope Francis of the phrase in the Interreligious document of Abu Dhabi of February 4, 2019, which states that the diversity of the sexes together with the diversity of races and the diversity of religions corresponds to the wise will of God. This formulation as such needs an official Papal correction, otherwise it evidently will contradict the First Commandment of the Decalogue and the unmistakable and explicit teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ, hence contradicting Divine Revelation.”

The bishop’s editorial is rich with further historical material that exposes the shallowness of sedevancantist arguments, and I recommend a full and attentive reading of the piece. Suffice it to note the bishop’s own conclusion: “The act of deposition of a pope because of heresy or the declaration of the vacancy of the Papal chair because of the loss of the papacy ipso facto on behalf of a heretical pope would be a revolutionary novelty in the life of the Church, and this regarding a highly important issue of the constitution and the life of the Church. One has to follow in such a delicate matter – even if it is of practical and not strictly of doctrinal nature – the surer way (via tutior) of the perennial sense of the Church.”

And the perennial sense of the Church is devoid of any suggestion that the faithful can simply decide for themselves that a Pope has un-Poped himself on account of heresy. That notion is as useless as it is without foundation in Church history or the teaching of the Magisterium. The perennial sense of the Church, however, does counsel the correction of a wayward Pope as a matter of divine revelation. Thus did God inspire Paul to correct Peter when he threatened the Church’s mission at Antioch by feigning a continued observance of Jewish dietary laws:

“For before that some came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision.

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all: If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? (Gal 2: 12-15)”

A wayward Pope is subject to correction. He is not subject to the opinion of sedevacantists that he is no longer Pope, on the basis of which opinion today’s sedevacantists, going far beyond the problem with Francis, declare that we have had no Pope since 1958.

Some opinions are so absurd they refute themselves.


Rorate interviews Professor Roberto de Mattei regarding
Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s analysis

R die MattProfessor de Mattei, would you care to give us your opinion on the study His Excellency Monsignor Schneider made on a “heretic Pope”?

- I consider it an important document. Firstly, Monsignor Schneider is one of the most esteemed among contemporary bishops for his patristic culture and personal piety. Secondly, the subject is of very great interest and Monsignor Schneider had the courage to address it openly, unambiguously and uncompromisingly.

- Regarding this document, what points do you most agree with?

- First of all, I agree completely with Monsignor Schneider when he admits the possibility that a Pope can “promote doctrinal errors or heresies”, even if never ex cathedra. The hypothesis of a heretic pope is not only sustained by almost all theologians and canonists, but it is also a historical fact which occurred for example, with Pope Honorius, and which can tragically be repeated. Another point that Monsignor Schneider clarifies well, in the light of Church teaching, is that of the stance that is to be taken when faced with a heretical Pope. "In dealing with the tragic case of a heretical pope, all the members of the Church, beginning with the bishops, down to the simple faithful, have to use all legitimate means, such as private and public corrections of the erring pope, constant and ardent prayers and public professions of the truth in order that the Apostolic See may again profess with clarity the Divine truths, that the Lord entrusted to Peter and to all his successors." It is not enough to pray in silence, as if nothing has happened.

We need to resist and react. And the best way is that of fraternal correction, which is chiefly up to the bishops and cardinals, but which also ordinary lay-people can extend to the Pontiff, as happened with the Correctio filialis. I quote: "In this issue the numerical factor is not decisive. It is sufficient to have even a couple of bishops proclaiming the integrity of Faith and correcting thereby the errors of a heretical pope. It is sufficient that bishops instruct and protect their flock from the errors of a heretical pope and their priests and the parents of Catholic families will do the same.” I agree completely with Monsignor Schneider when he states that: “even if a pope is spreading theological errors and heresies, the Faith of the Church as a whole will remain intact because of the promise of Christ concerning the special assistance and permanent presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the truth, in His Church (cf. John 14: 17; 1 John 2: 27)".

- Is there any point of Monsignor Schneider’s analysis that you don’t agree with?

- I’m somewhat puzzled by his statement: “A pope cannot be deposed in whatsoever form and for whatever reason, not even for the reason of heresy.” Monsignor Schneider denies the possibility of the loss of the papacy, while admitting this thesis has been voiced by great canonists and theologians, like Cardinal Cajetan and St. Robert Bellarmine, in favour of it. The position that seems to me the most convincing is that of the Brazilian theologian, Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira, -who died recently - which he sums up in chapter VII of his book Can a Pope be…a heretic? The Theological Hypothesis of a Heretical Pope, (Caminhos Romanos, 2018).

Arnaldo da Silveira retains that there is a profound incompatibility between heresy and ecclesiastical jurisdiction. However loss of office is not automatic. Since as a visible society the Church’s official acts must also be visible, the heretical Pope continues in office until the full outward manifestation of his heresy. St. Robert Bellarmine teaches that the heretical Pope loses the papacy when his heresy becomes manifest. This is to be understood as a full manifestation, that is, one that imposes itself to acceptance by the sana pars of Catholics. If a part of Catholics considers the manifestation doubtful or insufficient, it is either because the latter is not full or the former are not the true sana pars. A clash will then become inevitable, and everything depending on the sensus fidei of Catholics and on the movements of grace. For as long as he is tolerated and accepted by the universal Church, the heretic will be true Pope, and in principle, his acts are valid. The loss of the Pontificate, therefore, will not result from a deposition by anyone but from an act of the Pope himself, who, by becoming a formal and notorious heretic will have excluded himself from the visible Church, thus tacitly resigning the Pontificate.

- What then is your final consideration?

- While not agreeing with the thesis that a heretic pope never loses the papacy, I think that Monsignor Schneider’s position is somewhat acceptable at the present time, in order to avoid that crypto-sedevacantism some traditionalists tend towards. On this point my position coincides with that of Monsignor Schneider, not on the theoretical level but on the practical level. I think that the errors or heresies of Pope Francis, even if professed publically, do not entail his loss of the papacy, since they are not known and manifest to the Catholic population. When I speak of the Catholic population, I’m not referring to the Catholic public opinion in the widest sense of the term, but to that restricted group of baptized who are today maintaining the Catholic faith in its integrity. Many of them still interpret pro bono the words and actions of Pope Francis and do not perceive any malice. We cannot say then that his loss of faith is evident and manifest.

When St. Robert or Cajetan wrote their books, society was fully Catholic, the sensus fidei was developed and it was very easy to perceive the heresy of a priest, a bishop, even of a Pope. Today the large majority of the baptized, the priests, the bishops, even the Pope, are immersed in heresy and very few people can distinguish the true faith. So the correct indications by great classical theologians are difficult to follow in practice. The famous canonist Franciscus Xaverius Wernz in his Jus Decretalium (tomus VI, 1913, pp. 19-23) makes an important distinction between public and notorious crime. Publicum does not mean notorious: “Publicum est vocabulum genericum quod sub se complectitur notorium, manifestum et public simpliciter” (p. 21). A crime is publicum when it is diffused, but it is not known as a crime by all the people. Notorious means something more: the crime is known by all: “Notorious fact they need no proof” (can. 1747, 1).

In my view, the promotion and spreading of heresy by Pope Francis is public, but not notorious in the canonical sense of the term. For this reason we must acknowledge him as Supreme Head of the Catholic Church. His deposition is for me, unfeasible, not in thesis, but at this concrete, historical point in time. Everything though may change from one day to the next. In this sense, I too, like Monsignor Schneider, rely on Divine Providence, but without excluding future scenarios, like that of a heretic Pope possibly losing the papacy.


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Can we love Tradition too much?

P KwasniewskiDR. PETER KWASNIEWSKI writes for OnePeterFive - The indefatigable blogger Fr. Dwight Longenecker is at it again. In a new article from March 15, 2019, entitled 'Tradition is the Democracy of the Dead,' he writes to assure us that he is a lover of tradition - but not excessively.

He rightly says one should be or become Catholic for the sake of its 2,000-year-old tradition - or, more accurately, its 4,000-year-old tradition, since the law, prophecies, and worship of Israel are fulfilled in the Church. But he also says that, since tradition is not static or unchangeable, we need to be willing to change with the times, according to the judgment calls emanating from Rome, and not make an 'idol' of the past.

Well, one can certainly live free of fear that today's Rome is in danger of making an idol of the past. One might rather fear its making an idol of the present or of the future.

This all too easy reduction of one's opponents to idolaters, which is one of the characteristic rhetorical moves used by Pope Francis and other progressives who are impatient of analysis and argument and wish to get on with modern pastoring, reminds me of what I like to call 'A Corollary of Godwin's Law': 'As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison of a defender of Catholic tradition to a Pharisee approaches 1.' Perhaps we could expand this to say 'a Pharisee or an idolater.' This slight adjustment makes it more interreligious too - surely an important consideration in this age of joint statements from popes and imams.

Moreover, this brings the corollary more into harmony with 'Bergoglio's Hypothesis.' That is surely a welcome step in building the new paradigm. In my formulation, this hypothesis reads:

'If there is a discrepancy between Catholic doctrine and European liberalism, then the former needs further 'development' until it harmonizes with the latter. If Catholics resist modernity or modern ecclesiastical reforms, they are guilty of nostalgic insecurity, temperamental rigidity, pharisaical neo-Pelagianism, and lack of fraternal charity'. [i]

In his article, Fr. Longenecker makes the classic move of Newman the Anglican: wanting to be in the sweet spot of the via media. Unlike the revolutionaries, I love tradition; unlike the traditionalists, I don't idolize tradition as an unchanging thing.

The first problem here is the caricature. Traditionalists fully recognize that liturgy develops over time. However, as with the development of doctrine, they see the development as tending, in broad lines, toward greater amplitude and perfection. So just as we don't decide to cancel out at some point the Nicene Creed for the sake of going back to the more ancient and pristine Apostles' Creed, in like manner, we don't cancel out the medieval and Baroque developments of the liturgy in our search for a more ancient and pristine Christian worship. Pius XII warned against 'antiquarianism,' but that became one of the two battle cries of the liturgical reformers - that and their aggiornamentalism, by which everything had to be adjusted and proportioned to the mentality of Modern Man (whoever he is).

The second and bigger problem is that Newman came to reject the via media approach when he realized that, on some questions, the right answer was found in the 'extreme' position, not in the middle position. For example, at the time of the Arian crisis, there were (to simplify things) the Arians, the Semi-Arians, and the Nicaeans. In all the political battles and regional councils, the Semi-Arians were able to position themselves as the reasonable middle between the extremists who denied the divinity of the Son and the other extremists who conflated the Son and the Father by identifying them both as God. In this, needless to say, they showed that they did not grasp, or did not wish to grasp, the position of St. Athanasius and other orthodox fathers, who, though a beleaguered minority, nevertheless held the truth and ultimately prevailed [ii].

So too in our present situation. The traditionalists maintain that there is nothing 'traditional' about the Novus Ordo and the rest of the papally imposed liturgical rites from the '60s and '70s. Even when the reformers claimed to be 'recovering' elements lost in antiquity, the way they went about it was distinctively modern: they took what chimed in with their fancy and filtered out difficult bits that could have been disturbing or distressing to modern audiences. And these men say outright in their articles and books that this is what they are doing; no conspiracy theories need apply. Moreover, they freely amputated and suppressed many extremely ancient features of the liturgy, such as the Pentecost octave and season, Septuagesima, the Ember Days, and the lectionary on which St. Gregory the Great preached in the late sixth century (how's that for ancient?), replacing them with innovative and hybridized material fashioned by scholarly brains. Constructivism on this magnitude and with this method is unprecedented in the Church's history. It is impossible to see what could be 'traditional' about this approach or the results.

Thus, when Fr. Longenecker says: 'I do what I can to pray the tradition, live the tradition, and worship in the tradition,' it is a perfect study in the art of equivocation. To 'pray the tradition' and 'worship in the tradition' is to pray and worship in union with all the centuries of Catholicism as they are glued together in the one Roman liturgical tradition that was ours until 1969, not to hit the ecclesial reset button as the conciliar enthusiasts did. One may admire conservatives' efforts to bring traditional elements in through the back door - when the local bishop's not looking too attentively, and the neighborhood climate is favorable - but one should have the candor to admit that this is a desperate and somewhat pathetic attempt to put old Humpty-Dumpty back together again. Fortunately, the real McCoy is still there, waiting to be rediscovered, and until a man has rediscovered it, he cannot quite say he has 'done what he can.'

It is telling when Fr. Longenecker implies that the only things unchangeable in the Church are her dogmas and proceeds to identify the essence of the Mass as the miracle of transubstantiation. Neoscholastic reductionism [iii] has been a problem for some time, but it is galling to see it in the context of an article that is supposed to be about Catholic tradition. Traditional liturgies are categorized into their ritual families and subfamilies (Latin or Byzantine, Slavic or Greek, Roman or Ambrosian or Mozarabic, etc.) based not on whether transubstantiation occurs, which is something they all have in common, but on exactly what their content is. Imagine saying to a Byzantine Catholic: 'You know, at the end of the day, your Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and our Novus Ordo are pretty much the same, because they both do the one essential, immutable thing: convert the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.'

I'm afraid what we are seeing is the result of speaking about such grave matters without the requisite knowledge of details. It is all too easy to say 'the Roman rite remains intact' when the only thing one is looking at is an outline of the order of Mass from 30,000 feet in the sky. But the devil's in the details - and the angels, too, whose role was greatly reduced in the Novus Ordo. Liturgical rites exist not as outlines or abstractions, but as concrete codifications of text, music, rubric, ceremonial, and cast of supporting artefacts. The more one drills into what the classic Roman rite actually is - its ancient ad orientem stance, its particular calendar and lectionary, its more than a thousand orations, its set of Prefaces, its monolithic Roman Canon, the early medieval offertory rite, and so forth - the more one can see how abruptly and comprehensively the Novus Ordo severs itself from that venerable rite. They are, in truth, two different liturgies that share some common elements, somewhat as the Eiffel Tower might be said to share in the verticality of the Gothic cathedral.

It is thus more than ironic when Fr. Longenecker cites G.K. Chesterton's famous words - 'Tradition means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead' - when the postconciliar liturgical reform was, in fact, in the entire history of Catholic liturgy, the most autocratic in its contempt for the collective voice of our ancestors, and democratic only in the sense that it proceeded by way of the voting of 'experts' on a panoply of committees that sliced up the parts of liturgy into study groups, like teams of computer programmers testing new operating system modules [iv].

In the finest, most lyrical passage of his article, Fr. Longenecker compares Catholic tradition to a giant old mansion with extensive gardens:

'I sometimes think that being a Catholic is like living in a grand old house like the one in Brideshead Revisited. It is an ornate, ancient and venerable structure, full of corridors of memories and alleyways of tradition. The walls are lined with the banners from ancient battles and the ancestors of grand reputation. The attic is full of curious and precious antiques and the kitchens and cellars are full of fine wine, casks of provisions and bundles of equipment for battle and for housework. The gardens are lush and expansive - some formal and fruitful, some still wild and untamed. The modernist would demolish such a house and send the contents to auction. But a Catholic should decide to live there, dust and shine the antiques, clean the carpets, polish the silver, restore the paintings, sharpen the halberds and shine the armor … and then he should draw back the drapes to open the windows and let in the fresh air and the morning light'.

The last phrase, a deliberate echo of John XXIII's famous remark about how the Church needs to open her windows and let in the air from the world (how's that workin' out for ya, postconciliar Church?), could be refurbished as a reminder that without the Holy Spirit, without the grace of God, we cannot produce good fruits, regardless of how handsome the tree may be. Fr. Longenecker would be the first to agree, I'm sure, that this interior necessity by no means suggests there is something wrong with the old house and its contents, which, after all, the First Cause of all things - the architect and first interior decorator, so to speak - intended to put there by His Providence.

It is ironic, again, that our author should choose just this metaphor of the old house and its rambling grounds, since it has always been the traditionalists' favorite comparison when they wish to describe the result of twenty centuries of gradual development in the liturgy, gently tended by gardeners and janitors. There is no question whatsoever that Archbishop Bugnini and his fellow experts had no patience for this old mansion. They wanted to raze it to the ground and build rational modern flats in its place. In his own words, Bugnini sought to 'rejuvenate the liturgy, 'ridding' it of the superstructures that weighed it down over the centuries.' This is why the new missal is so 'rationally' ordered, using simple blueprints over and over again instead of the wonderfully unpredictable variety in the old missal [v].

Among Catholics who care deeply about the sacred liturgy (and why should they not, when Vatican II calls the 'Eucharistic sacrifice' the 'font and apex of the entire Christian life'?), one finds several camps: those who believe that the changes after the Council went too far; those who believe that the changes were not comprehensive and radical enough; those who think that whatever happened happened, and we might as well make the best of it we can today; and those who think that approaching the liturgy with the mentality of progress and relevancy is the wrong way to let it be itself and do what it alone can do and, moreover, a path doomed to self-parody and implosion the more one goes down it.

The traditionalist takes the last view. It is based, first of all, on real and repeated experiences of the beauty and riches of the classic Roman rite, against which the impoverished text and ceremonial of the new rite stand out glaringly. There can be no substitute for familiarity. No one who is not intimately familiar with the old Roman rite is in a position to make any global commentary about how it compares with its intended replacement. It is time for those who make out their fellow Catholics attached to the usus antiquior to be actual or potential idolaters to step down from their high horses and walk a few miles in the same shoes, out of charity if for no other reason. Get to know the old rite - not just the Mass, but all the sacramental rites and blessings. See its qualities firsthand, and not from a distance.

Such people might be surprised at how different the view is from the ground. They might, indeed, come to see that the danger of idolatry - in the form of an unquestioned, perhaps even unrecognized, adulation of aggiornamento - is more real for those who endorse the Consilium's modern construction. It was, after all, the attitudes and antics of liturgical progressives that Joseph Ratzinger compared to the episode of the golden calf.

Unbeknownst to himself, Fr. Longenecker is ready to become a traditionalist if he merely discovers the applicability of his words to the entire liturgical reform:

'One of the disastrous results of the Second Vatican Council is that liturgists, clergy and religion who were so zealous to make the faith contemporary and relevant, felt that they could best do this not by valuing and re-invigorating the traditions of the Church, but by demolishing them in revolutionary zeal'.

Amen. Now just use your editing pen to excise some of the other misleading bits of the sermon.

[i] This hypothesis is based on a more fundamental assumption that I call 'Maritain's Axiom': 'Given the leavening of Greek philosophy, Roman law, Hebrew prophecy, and the Christian Gospel, Europe will develop the finest conscience, most ample respect for human rights, and most consistent rule of law that the world has ever known.' This axiom is true descriptively, in the context of Catholic civilization. It fails prescriptively, in the sense that the outcome is not guaranteed simply from the availability of the ingredients. Yet it is assumed as the basis of, e.g., Pope Francis's stance on the death penalty.

[ii] I've written elsewhere about 'the use and abuse of the via media.'

[iii] This phenomenon is defined and critiqued in two articles: 'The Long Shadow of Neoscholastic Reductionism' and 'Against Reducing the Mass to a Sacramental Delivery System.'

[iv] This comparison, incidentally, was made by Fr. Thomas Reese in an article called 'Reforming Catholic liturgy should be like updating software in which he compared the old liturgy to DOS and the reform to Windows - with the 1965 interim missal being 1.0, the 1969 missal 2.0, etc.

[v] See here for several examples.

[Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and The Catholic University of America. He has taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria, the Franciscan University of Steubenville's Austria Program, and Wyoming Catholic College, which he helped establish in 2006. He writes regularly for Catholic blogs and has published seven books, the most recent being Tradition and Sanity (Angelico, 2018). For more information, visit www.peterkwasniewski.com].

[1P5] 2273.21























How to ignore Walter Kasper and Co. and become a saint

Abusus non tollit usum

Cdl.KasperHILARY WHITE writes for The Remnant - When prelates talk about 'the universal call to holiness' it is difficult to stop oneself scoffing. When we hear the Kasperian/Bergoglian phrase 'process of discernment,' for instance, in reference to the programme to mandate the systematic desecration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, we experience a reflexive reaction of revulsion. And we might have a problem there. With all the deliberate, calculated distortion coming out of the Church in our times, perhaps the greatest danger is not that we will listen to them and be taken in by their blatant nonsense, but that we will end up rejecting the truths they are twisting and distorting.

Their smug, nauseating contempt for the Faith is deeply off-putting, but it can be worth gritting the teeth through it to hear what they say, if only to know where we should be looking to educate ourselves in the real Catholic Faith. Since the election of Jorge Bergoglio they have been quite helpfully open in their attacks, providing a pretty good indication where God most wants us to direct our attention.

Do they undermine the truth of the Holy Eucharist? Do they attack the institution of marriage? Do they claim that a plethora of religions or 'denominations' are willed by God? Do they say that Socialism is divinely ordered and Christ only 'king of our hearts' in private? Let's take this as a message from God and revisit those things and learn what the truth is.

In May, 2014, in an interview with Commonweal during his US publicity tour for the New Paradigm of the soon-to-be-released Amoris Laetitia, the wholesale re-writing of Catholic moral teaching, Cardinal Walter Kasper said that though the Church's traditional teaching on adultery was high and noble, as an ideal for some, it was not for the common run of men. It was 'heroic,' and they are few who are called to be heroes.

'To live together as brother and sister? Of course I have high respect for those who are doing this. But it's a heroic act, and heroism is not for the average Christian.'

For these, he had unveiled the 'Kasper Proposal,' by which 'average Christians' could be excused from observing the moral law. It was enough now merely to 'enter into a process' by which one would slowly come to 'discern' that the law of God was too harsh and couldn't be applied to your own 'concrete' circumstances, so you can just carry on sinning.

All this of course, meant that Cardinal Kasper was now denying the 'universal call to holiness' of Vatican II, that was so prominent an aspect of the 'hermeneutic of continuity' argument proposing that Council could be reconciled with traditional Catholic teaching. We must have 'moved beyond' Lumen Gentium 39: 'Therefore in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: 'For this is the will of God, your sanctification'.'

A useful rule of thumb does seem to be that whatever Walter Kasper says, the exact opposite is probably the truth. But we must be cautious not to throw out the baby with the bathwater: 'Abusus non tollit usum,' the 'abuse of a thing does not exclude its proper use.' Kasper's distortion is of a real Catholic thing; there is a process, a path to holiness, and it does involve 'discernment' and it does require the constant examination of conscience to root out evil habits. But the process doesn't end with giving up sin; it starts there.

What's the difference between Kasper's 'process of discernment' and the Way of the saints?

In the great Catholic tradition of spirituality, this process is called the 'Way of Perfection,' a well-trodden path, mapped out by 2000 years of spiritual writing, in which the soul passes through purifying trials in her advancement in the life of grace. This is, in short, the way you become a saint. This is the great secret of the Faith; it is how the martyrs endured the lions and the fires and all the tortures, how the Desert Fathers reached their extraordinary heights, how the Doctors overcame the darkening of the intellect to bring forward the profound truths of the Catholic Faith.

And it is this high and difficult road, this way of purification and growth in supernatural graces, through prayer and penance, that the Kasper Proposal and the Bergoglian New Paradigm would see closed to everyone forever.

Broadly, the path is divided into three stages: the beginner's Purgative Way, the proficient's Illuminative Way and the Unitive Way for the 'perfect' or advanced. It is the path to holiness that is the subject of one of the most neglected branches of theology of the modern Church; ascetic and mystical theology.

Kasper's distortion is to suggest that the Purgative Way doesn't lead to anything; that you can please God by merely entering into a 'process of discernment' that would bring you in a circle right back to your state of sin. And you would remain there forever - or in fact you would start spiraling downward into greater and greater sins, since the soul can never be in a static condition in this life.

But the reality is that a person who has determined to embark on the true process of purification will leave sin behind completely and instantly, and will begin the long and painful and glorious path to Christian perfection - Kasper's scoffed-at 'heroic virtue'. This means identifying faults and principal temptations, mental and moral habits that lead to sin and all venial sins, and rooting them out; subduing the passions through voluntary mortifications and corporal austerities and developing new habits of virtue.

Carrying on in a state of adultery while pretending to enter into a 'process of discernment' would completely negate the possibility of such progress, and ultimately - quite the opposite of the advertising - would land the soul in hell. The soul would, indeed, become inured to the sin through the process itself, and ultimately become addicted to its own self-deception, locking itself into the spiral forever. A terrifying thought.

Happily opposed to this nightmarish idea is the true Way of Perfection that brings greater and greater self-awareness, mental and moral clarity, devotion to truth and increase in charity - the love primarily of God, and then of neighbour.

How to become a saint: starting the Purgative Way.

In the book, 'The Spiritual Life and Prayer According to Holy Scripture and Monastic Tradition,' Abbess Cecile Bruyere explains how this process of perfection can be pursued.

But first things first: we have to be prepared for the journey. In Chapter VII, she speaks of 'the remote preparation for prayer,' meaning how one obtains a condition of soul that would allow the beginnings of advancement in Christian perfection.

'Not that we can create in ourselves that which only the Holy Spirit can give, but that we may prepare His way and strive to establish in our souls those dispositions which He ordinarily requires as conditions for attaining divine union.' It is, ultimately, this 'divine union' for which we were created, to be enjoyed forever in the Beatific Vision, and to which our whole earthly life must be ordered, or it is wasted.

She quotes St. John Cassian saying that prayer cannot be separated from the practice of the virtues:

'Its highest perfection, consists in a constant and uninterrupted perseverance in prayer, and in preserving so far as human frailty will permit, peace of soul and purity of heart… The whole edifice of the virtues is only raised to attain the perfection of prayer, and if it is not crowned with prayer, which unites and binds all the parts together, it will neither be solid nor lasting.

Without the virtues, it is impossible to acquire this peaceful and continual prayer, and without this prayer, the virtues, which are its foundation, will not reach their perfection.'

Prayer, the abbess continues, is the 'secret sanctuary in which God unites Himself to our souls. But prayer must be prepared for by purity of life.' And this is where the 'Purgative Way' comes in. This is the place where the rooting out of faults and imperfections begins.

But we aren't in it alone. The 'hour of prayer' she says, is where the soul is more 'fit to respond' to God's actions of grace, so it is also during prayer that the soul 'meets her habitual imperfections' since she is in the presence of the God who knows every hidden corner. All efforts to persevere in prayer would fail 'were the soul not to reserve some moments each day for self-examination.' But this examination is 'made before God, in the light of the graces received from His goodness, as on the threshold of eternity; it produces a complete surrender of ourselves into our Father's hands, and fills the soul with humble confidence…'

In a comprehensive refutation of Kasper's monstrous proposal, Abbess Cecilia offers true reconciliation: 'When the soul judges herself before God without excuse, without exaggeration, and places herself in her Saviour's hands, this act alone causes her to find grace and pity. Covered with her sins, the soul appears before Him like that poor woman whom the Pharisees brought before our Saviour and accused… Does it not seem that the Sovereign Holiness was disarmed before this sinner, who by her silence judges herself?'

'It is of utmost importance, therefore, for the sanctification of the soul,' that this self-examination be undertaken 'at least once a day,' seeking out not only sins but 'imperfections and secret tendencies.'

She adds a note that ought to be heard loudly and broadly in the current world of internet distractions. If we want to develop the true, grace-filled, supernatural spiritual life 'and obtain the gift of prayer,' we must 'banish vain preoccupations, repress the turmoil of our many idle thoughts, and all that savours of levity and instability of mind; we must mortify curiosity - that is the desire of knowing, seeing and hearing - all which things distract the soul by pouring it out upon external things, and causing it to lose all relish for what is spiritual.'

She adds that even the monastic rule of exterior silence would be of little use 'if the soul did not labour to rule the imagination' interiorly, something the ancient fathers like Cassian, in their deserts, had little experience of but which 'now-a-days… must be taken into serious account.[1]'

'Many Christians, after devoting themselves with zeal to good works, are taken up with childish and frivolous amusements. Why should they be astonished that they are not at once set free from these useless dreams when they come to prayer, and that they cannot without pain and effort apply their minds to the mysteries of our holy faith? How can they expect that a recollected spirit will fall upon them unawares?'

To combat this, the abbess recommends not only the purging of mental and imaginative distractions, and doing 'holy reading' of Scripture, but good old Benedictine work. 'For manual labour, regulated by obedience, is like a firm and immovable anchor which steadies the levity of the mind, whilst leaving it free to soar up to God.'

This is not, however, to neglect study of Scripture and the commentaries of the saints. Far from it, since it is from Scripture that we receive knowledge of God. She quotes Cassian again, who recommended his monks 'commit the holy Scriptures to memory.' Indeed, it was normal through all the ages of the monastic life for novices to begin their training by committing all 150 Psalms to memory… in Latin!

Cassian says:

'First of all, when our minds are occupied with these holy readings, they will necessarily be freed from all bad thoughts, and secondly, if whilst labouring to learn the Scriptures off by heart we do not always understand them, later on, when disengaged from exterior things we meditate upon them in the silence of the night, we shall penetrate into them more deeply and discover hidden meanings that we had not been able to grasp during the day, and that God reveals sometimes even during sleep.

'When this study has renewed our heart, the holy Scripture will appear to us under quite new aspect, and its beauty will go on increasing in proportion as we make progress…'

Specifically, and especially as a Benedictine, the abbess recommends the Psalms for prayer, 'which are the form and type of all prayer,' and of which the Divine Office - the eight-times-a-day formal prayer of all monks - mostly consists. It is meditation on the Psalms which re-forms the mind, recalibrates the soul from earthly concerns to the heavenly.

The pursuit of perfection is not for 'superficial souls'

It is a truth of the Faith that all are called to these heights of spiritual perfection. All human beings are intended by God for this intimate and perfect union with Him; and it is equally a truth that at least a taste of this union can be had in this life - which is what 'holiness' really is.

The Walter Kasper's of the world, and those who would follow this wide and easy path, are deceiving themselves. These are the ones Abbess Cecilia refers to as 'superficial souls' and 'light minds taken up with worldly solicitudes' to whom her book is not addressed. It is these - the ones who refuse this Way of Perfection - of whom the Lord said, 'They have their reward,' and woe to them, who have only this life and this world on their minds.

The saints teach us that the soul cannot remain in a static condition; it is always either advancing toward God or retreating away from Him. We are like people in boats on a strong-flowing river; stop rowing for a moment and the stream will carry us down toward eternal death.

To the ones who refuse to row against the stream of worldliness, Abbess Cecilia says, 'prayer and contemplation seem, at best, nothing but pious dreaming, useless things…'

'The true children of the Catholic Church think differently; they know that man is made for union with God, that God is man's end, and that his immortal soul has supernatural aspirations and aptitutdes which are the fruit of the grace of baptism and which cannot be violently restrained.

'They are well aware that, apart from a knowledge of extraordinary ways, man, by the very fact of his being Christian and a child of God, cannot, without peril and fault, be indifferent to divine things or close eyes to them.'

We must seek God, for He seeks us.


[1] NB: this book was first published in 1886. Only imagine what Abbess Cecile would have made of our nearly universal social media addiction and smart phones given even to children.

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FR. JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs - I often read from visitors here that they rarely, if ever, hear anything about the Four Last Things from their pulpits. I mention the reality of our possible eternal destiny with some frequency here and from the pulpit. It is my obligation to do so, precisely because it is my God-given job to get as many of you as I can to Heaven. Put negatively, to keep as many of you out of Hell as possible. This I do in the spirit of Augustine, who preached hard truths to his flock to save their souls and, importantly, to save his own soul.

The priest or bishop who will not preach hard truths will probably wind up in Hell. And, yes, I really believe that.

As if to fill a gap, Michael Voris has a video in which he contemplates the eternal fate of the late Cardinal