This edition of CF NEWS No.2279 posted at 11.55 pm on Sunday, May 5th, 2019



Vatican watch

Open letter: Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy    read more >>>
Cardinals kept in dark over Pope's plans
   read more >>>
Cardinal Kasper denies any 'networking' to elect Francis
   read more >>>
Alzheimer research grant denied; Wuerl secures millions for scandal-ridden hospital
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What unites Secularists and Mohammedans?
   VIDEO    read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

Humanae Vitae, 50 Years Later: Progress or Regress?    VIDEO    read more >>>

United Nations

Pope Francis calls for new ‘supranational’ authorities to enforce UN goals read more >>>

Sanctifying sodomy

German bishop predicts sweeping change regarding sexual morality   read more >>>

China supplement

Catholics worried about 'political scanning'    read more >>>
Report: Religious freedom conditions worsening in China   read more >>>
Muslims who fail to stop and chat face visit from police read more >>>
U.S. religious freedom report condemns Vatican-China deal    read more >>>

News from around the world

ARGENTINA Bishop Enrique Angelelli    read more >>>
MALTA Archbishop turns blind eye to homosexual parish scandal
   read more >>>
NIGERIA "Christians are being killed like chickens"    read more >>>
UK (Northern Ireland)
Aontú 'only party that will defend right to life'
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UK (Scotland) Anti-Catholic vandals desecrate another church
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Dominican priest: California confession bill threatens all religions
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USA Peter's Pence, Soros' Pence: Pope to give aid to illegal immigrants
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USA NY Archdiocese lists 120 accused clergy - missing notable names
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USA Parents protest extreme pro-LGBT school curricula legislation
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   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
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INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
   VIDEO    read more >>>


On Newman's conversion and his sermons    VIDEO    read more >>>


C-FAM under attack at the United Nations    read more >>>

Comment from the internet

Reflection on the scholars' document   VIDEO    read more >>>
Liberal feathers fly    read more >>>
“The most terrible schism the world has ever seen” read more >>>
The fight against clericalism takes a dangerous turn
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What to do VIDEO    read more >>>
Re-examining 'brain death
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Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Thryberg    read more >>>
Saints of the day
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Four hundred years ago read more >>>
Concordi Laetitia
   VIDEO    read more >>>


Saint Catherine of Siena    read more >>>


By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch




Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews ~ Prominent clergymen and scholars including Fr. Aidan Nichols, one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, have issued an open letter accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to "take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation" of a pope committing this crime.

The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis' embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church's faith and morals.

"We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis's words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church," the authors state. The open letter is available in Dutch, Italian, German, French, and Spanish.

Among the signatories are well-respected scholars such as Father Thomas Crean, Fr. John Hunwicke, Professor John Rist, Dr. Anna Silvas, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, and Dr. John Lamont. The text is dated "Easter Week" and appears on the traditional Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena, a saint who counseled and admonished several popes in her time.

The 20-page document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has "effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church," especially in light of his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

The authors of the open letter state in a summary of their letter (read below) that it has now become clear that Pope Francis is aware of his own positions contrary to the faith and that the time has come to go a "stage further" by claiming that Pope Francis is "guilty of the crime of heresy."

"We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied," the authors state.

They clarify that they are not claiming Pope Francis has "denied truths of the faith in pronouncements that satisfy the conditions for an infallible papal teaching."

"We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit," they state.

In light of this situation, the authors call upon the bishops of the Church to take action since a "heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil."

For this reason, the authors "respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex ('the salvation of souls is the highest law'). The bishops can do this, the writers suggest, "by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy."

The authors first present in detail - and with theological references to substantiate their claims - the different positions against the faith Pope Francis has shown himself to hold, propagate, or support, including "seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth."

One of the heresies the authors accuse Pope Francis of committing is expressed in the following proposition: "A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action." Many of these heretical statements touch on questions of marriage and the family and are to be found in Amoris Laetitia, but there is also a new claim made by Pope Francis in 2019 - namely, that the "diversity of religions" is "willed by God" - that is listed in the open letter.

In one section of the open letter, the authors list the many prelates as well as lay people, who, despite openly dissenting from Catholic doctrine and morals - either by word or by deed - have been by Pope Francis either publicly praised (such as Emma Bonino) or raised to influential positions (such as Cardinal Oscar Rodrigez Maradiaga). On this list are names such as Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, and Bishop Juan Barros.

The fact that Pope Francis never responded to the dubia (questions) concerning Amoris Laetitia published by Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller, and Raymond Burke is mentioned. Moreover, the authors point out that Pope Francis has changed the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life to such an extent that orthodox Catholic experts have been replaced by heterodox experts, such as Father Maurizio Chiodi.

Addressing the bishops of the world - among whom are to be found all the present 222 cardinals - the authors of the open letter express their gratitude toward those bishops who have defended Catholic doctrine by their own personal witnesses.

"We recognise with gratitude that some among you have reaffirmed the truths contrary to the heresies which we have listed, or else have warned of serious dangers threatening the Church in this pontificate," they state. Here, the dubia cardinals, but also Cardinal Willem Eijk, are mentioned. The authors also thank Cardinal Gerhard Müller for his Manifesto of Faith.

The authors believe, however, that at this time in history, six years into the Francis pontificate, more is needed, namely a more direct and authoritative approach. They recognize their own limits when they tell the bishops: "Despite the evidence that we have put forward in this letter, we recognise that it does not belong to us to declare the pope guilty of the delict of heresy in a way that would have canonical consequences for Catholics."

"We therefore appeal to you as our spiritual fathers, vicars of Christ within your own jurisdictions and not vicars of the Roman pontiff, publicly to admonish Pope Francis to abjure the heresies that he has professed. Even prescinding from the question of his personal adherence to these heretical beliefs, the Pope's behaviour in regard to the seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth, mentioned at the beginning of this Letter, justifies the accusation of the delict of heresy. It is beyond a doubt that he promotes and spreads heretical views on these points. Promoting and spreading heresy provides sufficient grounds in itself for an accusation of the delict of heresy. There is, therefore, superabundant reason for the bishops to take the accusation of heresy seriously and to try to remedy the situation," they state.

The authors make it clear that it is up to the bishops to take action and that they do not need a majority among the bishops to do so.

"Since Pope Francis has manifested heresy by his actions as well as by his words, any abjuration must involve repudiating and reversing these actions, including his nomination of bishops and cardinals who have supported these heresies by their words or actions. Such an admonition is a duty of fraternal charity to the Pope, as well as a duty to the Church," they state.

"If - which God forbid! - Pope Francis does not bear the fruit of true repentance in response to these admonitions, we request that you carry out your duty of office to declare that he has committed the canonical delict of heresy and that he must suffer the canonical consequences of this crime," they add.

Thus, the authors state, "these actions do not need to be taken by all the bishops of the Catholic Church, or even by a majority of them. A substantial and representative part of the faithful bishops of the Church would have the power to take these actions."

The full 20-page document may be read here.

A select bibliography to support the case made in the open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church about Pope Francis' heresies may be read here.

A petition launched by the organizers of the open letter to support their initiative can be found here.



Summary of open letter to bishops as presented by the authors themselves

The Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church is the third stage in a process that began in the summer of 2016. At that time, an ad hoc group of Catholic clergy and scholars wrote a private letter to all the cardinals and Eastern Catholic patriarchs, pointing out heresies and other serious errors that appeared to be contained in or favoured by Pope Francis's Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia. The following year, after Pope Francis had continued by word, deed, and omission to propagate many of these same heresies, a 'Filial Correction' was addressed to the pope by many of the same people, as well as by other clergy and scholars. This second letter was made public in September 2017, and a petition in support of it was signed by some 14,000 people. The authors of that letter stated however that they did not seek to judge whether Pope Francis was aware that he was causing heresy to spread.

The present Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church goes a stage further in claiming that Pope Francis is guilty of the crime of heresy. This crime is committed when a Catholic knowingly and persistently denies something which he knows that the Church teaches to be revealed by God. Taken together, the words and actions of Pope Francis amount to a comprehensive rejection of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexual activity, on the moral law, and on grace and the forgiveness of sins.

The Open letter also indicates the link between this rejection of Catholic teaching and the favour shown by Pope Francis to bishops and other clergy who have either been guilty of sexual sins and crimes, such as former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, or who have protected clergy guilty of sexual sins and crimes, such as the late Cardinal Godfried Danneels. This protection and promotion of clerics who reject Catholic teaching on marriage, sexual activity, and on the moral law in general, even when these clerics personally violate the moral and civil law in horrendous ways, is consistent enough to be considered a policy on the part of Pope Francis. At the least it is evidence of disbelief in the truth of Catholic teaching on these subjects. It also indicates a strategy to impose rejection of these teachings on the Church, by naming to influential posts individuals whose personal lives are based on violation of these truths.

The authors consider that a heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil. It strikes at the basic good of the Church and must be corrected. For this reason, the study concludes by describing the traditional theological and legal principles that apply to the present situation. The authors respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded, they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex ('the salvation of souls is the highest law'). They can do this by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.

While this Open letter is an unusual, even historic, document, the Church's own laws say that "Christ's faithful have the right, and, indeed, sometimes the duty, according to their knowledge, competence, and dignity, to manifest to the sacred pastors their judgment about those things which pertain to the good of the Church" (Code of Canon Law, canon 212.3). While Catholics hold that a pope speaks infallibly in certain strictly defined conditions, the Church does not say that he cannot fall into heresy outside these conditions.

The signatories to the Open Letter include not only specialists in theology and philosophy, but also academics and scholars from other fields. This fits well with the central claim of the Open Letter, that Pope Francis's rejection of revealed truths is evident to any well-instructed Catholic who is willing to examine the evidence. The signatures of Fr Aidan Nichols OP and of Professor John Rist will be noted. Fr Nichols is one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, and the author of many books on a wide range of theological topics, including the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger. Professor Rist, who is known for his work in classical philosophy and the history of theology, has held chairs and professorships at the University of Toronto, the Augustinianum in Rome, the Catholic University of America, the University of Aberdeen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Open Letter is released just after the celebration of Holy Week and Easter Week, in the hopes that the present 'passion' of the Church will soon give way to a full resurrection of God's saving truth.

Clergy and academics who wish to sign the open letter may send their name and credentials to organizers at this email address: openlettertobishops@gmail.com. All requests will be thoroughly vetted.

List of signers:

• Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Québec-Vie, member of the John-Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family

• Robert Cassidy, STL

• Fr Thomas Crean, OP

• Matteo d'Amico, Professor of History and Philosophy, Senior High School of Ancona

• Deacon Nick Donnelly, MA

• Maria Guarini STB, Pontificia Università Seraphicum, Rome; editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio

• Prof. Robert Hickson, PhD, Retired Professor of Literature and of Strategic-Cultural Studies

• Fr John Hunwicke, former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford

• Peter Kwasniewski, PhD

• John Lamont, DPhil (Oxon.)

• Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law; Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News

• Fr Cor Mennen, JCL, diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), canon of the cathedral Chapter. lecturer at de diocesan Seminary of 's-Hertogenbosch

• Stéphane Mercier, STB, PhD, Former Lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain

• Fr Aidan Nichols, OP

• Paolo Pasqualucci, Professor of Philosophy (retired), University of Perugia

• Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, Professor of Medieval Philosophy, University of Chile; former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

• Professor John Rist

• Dr. Anna Silvas, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, University of New England

• Prof. dr. W.J. Witteman, physicist, emeritus professor, University of Twente


A mess




Phil Lawler comments

PHIL LAWLER comments for CatholicCulture.org ~ Was it sheer frustration that prompted a group of Catholic scholars to issue their open letter charging Pope Francis with heresy? If so, I can understand. I share the frustration. The silence of the Catholic hierarchy, in the face of confusion that is tearing the Church apart, is maddening.

If silence compounds the crisis—and it does—then I admire those who speak out, knowing full well that they could pay a high price. The “Easter Letter” does ask questions that demand answers. Moreover I have a great deal of respect for some of the men who signed this letter, and I count a few of them as personal friends. So I am reluctant to dismiss their effort. Nevertheless I fear that this letter does more harm than good, compounding the problem that loyal Catholics now face.

Well, is the Pope a heretic? I am not qualified to address that question. As a matter of fact, I don’t know who is. St. Robert Bellarmine introduced the possibility (note: he mentioned it as a theoretical possibility, not as an established certainty) that a Pontiff who promoted heresy would forfeit his office. But citing that argument begs the question. Who could make the authoritative judgment that the Pope had fallen into heresy and therefore lost his authority? Certainly not a handful of independent scholars.

To their credit, the authors of the Easter Letter recognize the need for an authoritative statement, for a judgment by the world’s bishops. But if that is their goal, should they not have approached sympathetic bishops privately, quietly, to make their case? Because by taking their arguments to the mass media, they have made it less likely that bishops would support them.

Peter Kwasniewski, one of the principal authors of the letter, now says that the document lists “instances of heresy that cannot be denied.” This, I’m afraid, is a demonstrably false statement. The “instances of heresy” mentioned in the letter have been denied, and repeatedly. The authors of the letter are convinced of their own arguments, but they have not convinced others. In fact they have not convinced me, and if they cannot persuade a sympathetic reader, they are very unlikely to convince a skeptical world.

Still it is significant, isn’t it, that some scholars are making this argument, however unpersuasively? Isn’t it significant that the speculation of St. Robert Bellarmine is being cited—not only by these men, but by many Catholic commentators? Questions have certainly been raised about the doctrinal orthodoxy of Pope Francis, and those questions are not being answered.

The most important questions in the Easter Letter are not terribly new. They were raised, very carefully and respectfully, by the four cardinals who signed the dubia. They have been raised by world-class Catholic theologians and philosophers. (One thinks, for instance, of the open letter penned in 2016 by John Finnis and the late Germain Grisez.) They have been raised as questions, issued in pleas for clarifications, rather than as accusations.

And the questions have not been answered.

If Pope Francis has not answered the queries of the dubia cardinals, and of the dozens of other Catholics who have begged for clarification, he is certainly not going to respond to the Easter Letter. Instead his supporters have attacked the motivations of the Pope’s critics, charging them with infidelity and schism and arrogance and rash judgment. Those charges—aimed at suppressing discussion—are now much easier to sustain, because the authors of the Easter Letter have made themselves such tempting targets. It will be easier, now, to classify anyone who challenges the Pope as a member of the same group that is making charges of heresy. Consequently life will be more difficult for those of us who are not calling for the deposition of the Roman Pontiff, but simply for a clarification of Church teaching.

While the claim that the Pope has committed heresy is at best a leap of logic, the charge that he has allowed—in fact caused—confusion is irresistible. For many months now, many of us have been urging bishops to issue clear statements of Church teaching, to counteract that confusion. Now, by asking bishops to do something that none of them is likely to do, the authors of the Easter Letter have given timid bishops one more excuse for their silence. Pleas for clarity can now conveniently be lumped together with charges of heresy, as evidence of “extremism.”

The authors of the Easter Letter compound the problem by combining some strong arguments with some very unpersuasive complaints. Their critique of Amoris Laetitia is fairly compelling; their suggestion that the Pope’s controversial appointments are evidence of heresy is ludicrous. The introduction of these lesser issues devalues the entire letter. Surely the authors know—or should know—that the defenders of Pope Francis will fasten on these trivial matters, exploiting them to argue that the letter should not be taken seriously. Thus the very structure of the Easter Letter betrays a lack of prudence, a failure to anticipate the likely consequences of this public statement.

It is this display of imprudence that raises my suspicion that the letter is the result of pent-up frustration, because I do not think that the authors of this letter—the ones I know, at least—are imprudent by nature. Faithful Catholics, crying out for pastoral help, wonder what sort of dramatic action we could take, to wake our shepherds from their slumber. The frustration is mounting steadily, as the epidemic of confusion has spread throughout the Church. It will continue mounting, as the confusion continues to spread, until bishops speak out.

But what is it that we want bishops to say? That the Pope is a heretic? I, for one, would be content if bishops made it clear that the Church’s teaching has not changed, will not change, cannot change on fundamental questions such as the inviolability of the marriage bond and sanctity of the Eucharist. I fear that this letter, by asking bishops to do too much, might have the unhappy result of giving them an excuse for their failure to do the minimum, in terms of fulfilling their teaching office.


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Cardinals kept in dark over Pope's plans to put evangelization ahead of doctrine

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews ~ In the recent days, reports have come out about the soon-to-be-published Vatican document that will specify the curial reform that aims at emphasizing evangelization over doctrine as it has been planned for years by Pope Francis and his Council of Nine Cardinals (but now consisting of six cardinals). As LifeSiteNews was able to find out, the Pope has now sent a draft of his document to national bishops' conferences, some superiors of religious orders, and to certain experts, but not to all of his own cardinals who are properly called upon to help him in governing the Catholic Church.

Crux and other English media outlets had reported over Easter that, according to a Spanish article in the weekly Vida Nueva, there now exists a draft document circulating - called Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel) - which plans to restructure the Roman Curia. The Vida Nueva report is based also on interviews with two members of Francis' C9 Council, Cardinals Oscar Maradiaga and Oswald Gracias, thus giving it much credibility.

In the new draft-document, it is foreseen that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the former Holy Office that was always either the first or the second most important section in the hierarchy of the Vatican, right after the Holy Father - would be, as it were, 'downgraded' (in the words of papal biographer Austen Ivereigh) and superseded by a new dicastery for Evangelization.

Ivereigh commented in his own report on the curial matter, saying: 'The 'downgrading' of the CDF in the new constitution reflects the new role that has developed for the congregation over the past six years: no longer a policeman ensuring 'orthodoxy,' under its new prefect, Cardinal Ladaria, its doctrine section has instead offered theological reflection on the pope's teaching and a resource for commissions such as the one exploring women deacons.'

Cardinal Maradiaga is quoted by Crux as saying: 'Pope Francis always underlines that the Church is missionary. For this reason, it's logical that we put in the first place the dicastery for Evangelization and not the one for the Doctrine of the Faith.'

Also, the role of the Roman Curia as a whole will be revised. As Crux writes: 'Once the text is approved - which will be on a 25-year 'trial period' - the Vatican dicasteries will no longer be instruments for the pope to supervise local churches, but will actually be there to serve bishops from around the world. They will no longer be a 'body' in between the pontiff and the college of bishops, but an institution that serves both.'

Such changes would indeed be revolutionary.

This piece of news has made many informed Catholics raise their eyebrows, inasmuch as it is feared that Pope Francis' own ideas of the Church's new mission - away from doctrine and and in favour of social topics such as immigration and various dialogues with other religions - will replace the CDF's major mission to help preserve the uniqueness of the Catholic Faith whole and entire, as passed down to us from Apostolic times, and as further deepened by Sacred Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. Many ask how one could separate Evangelization from Doctrine.

As one Catholic commented on Twitter with a wink of irony: 'Evangelization meaning of course more emphasis on environmentalism, immigration and UN development goals. Less emphasis in doctrine meaning of course more attacks on Church Tradition.'

Several sources who spoke to LifeSiteNews with a request for anonymity about these planned reforms - which also include the idea that the Roman Curia will turn into a body serving the local bishops and being on an equal hierarchical level with them - are very troubled by these plans. They ask whether this reform will also further weaken the Church's unified doctrinal teaching and whether it will further lead to a decentralization conducive to a doctrinal and moral 'anarchy.' Others look at possible effects upon the world's episcopacy and fear for a further weakening of the local bishops' independence, and thus wonder how new bishops will be chosen.

'This could turn out to be something very grave,' one source in Rome told LifeSiteNews.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former CDF prefect, told LifeSiteNews that the cardinals themselves - the highest in rank in the Catholic Church and called to advise the Pope and collaborate with him in the governance of the Church - have not even received a copy of the draft document so that they may then comment on it and make proposals for any possible correction.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Mr. Alessandro Gisotti - the interim director of the Holy See Press Office - asking for confirmation of this information. The Holy See Press Office responded and said: 'We received your email. We suggest you to read the press release on the Briefing of the 'ad interim' Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, on the 28th Meeting of the Council of Cardinals with the Holy Father Francis, 20.02.2019 where you can find the list of who would have received the 'Praedicate Evangelium.'' The attached link gives the following confirmatory information:

'The members of the Council of Cardinals indicated how to proceed with the consultation of the draft that the Holy Father, in the name of synodality, intends to promote. It was decided that the national Episcopal Conferences, the Synods of the Oriental Churches, the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Conferences of the major superiors and some Pontifical Universities will be consulted.'

As can be seen here, except for the cardinals who are heading up the dicasteries in the Vatican (and those who are in the Council of Nine Cardinals) most of the more than 220 cardinals of the Catholic Church are being excluded from proper counseling of the Pope in the matter of a major reform of the Roman Curia.

Yet, the cardinals' very mission is to assist the Pope in governing the Church - also by way of dialogue.

For years, Pope Francis seems to avoid their counsel as a group, since he has avoided for quite a while a meeting (called extraordinary consistory) with the College of Cardinals on the occasion of elevating new prelates to the cardinalate. The two times he did meet with the College of Cardinals were in 2014 - when they discussed Cardinal Walter Kasper's proposal to admit 'remarried' divorcees to Holy Communion - and then again in 2015.

It remains to be seen if Pope Francis will send to the cardinals for their counsel the draft-document of his curial reform. It would be important that his cardinals be included in a reform that could lead to a sort of inversion of the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church, as it has been established over time and, most fundamentally, going back to Apostolic times.

There is still time. As it is reported, the current plan is to promulgate Praedicate Evangelium on June 29, 2019, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. As CNA reports, there are speculations that Pope Francis might, just before 29 June, convoke an extraordinary consistory on the curial reform, the first time since 2015. For such a possible meeting, the cardinals will also need to have the draft-document ahead of time.

[LSN] 2279.2























Cardinal Kasper denies any 'networking' to elect Francis, despite attending pro-Bergoglio meeting

Cdl.KasperMAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews ~ As LifeSiteNews reported, Gerard O'Connell's new book The Election of Pope Francis reveals more details about how it came about that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio came to be elected pope during the 2013 conclave. O'Connell especially mentions one meeting of some 15 cardinals on the eve of the conclave, 11 March. That gathering took place at the apartment of Cardinal Attilio Nicora, with Cardinals Walter Kasper, Francesco Coccopalmerio, Oscar Maradiaga, and Cormac Murphy-O'Connor present, all of whom are said to have supported Cardinal Bergoglio's election. O'Connell, who insists that there did not take place any sort of background planning or plotting, says that this meeting was a 'crucial meeting' at which it became clear for the first time that Bergoglio already had a substantial number of supporters (around 25 votes). As O'Connell recounts, the cardinals present took notes on how many supporters of Bergoglio they knew among the electors.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Cardinal Kasper and gave him this LifeSiteNews book review for comment. It was Kasper who received the honour of having been praised publicly by Pope Francis four days after his election.

Cardinal Kasper, in his general comments (see below) on the content of the book as presented by LifeSiteNews, confirmed the existence of this crucial meeting at Cardinal Nicora's apartment. Nicora was once the auxiliary bishop under Cardinal Carlo Martini in Milan. Kasper also said that at that meeting, it became clearer to him that Bergoglio had a chance of being elected. He says: ' I was a little late and, when I came [to the meeting], I was informed about the meaning of the group [i.e., to see how many votes Bergoglio could well receive]. It is true: I agreed, and [it was] only from this moment on that I was more or less sure.'

In O'Connell's book, Kasper is being quoted as saying: 'two days before the conclave [sic - it was on 11 March, and the conclave began on 12 March], there was a small group from different countries, not just Italians, but also some from the Vatican, and they said we should go for Bergoglio. Then it was clear for me. Beforehand it was very unsure, but his intervention in the pre-conclave meetings had been very important; his speech made a great impact.'

Cardinal Walter Kasper, in his comments to LifeSiteNews insisted that 'during the conclave there was no networking.' He added that 'Bergoglio's name was only very late on the screen. I think, this is important against all stupid suspicions of manipulation and conspiracy theories (and a helpful reminder that the 'forecast' of journalists can fail!).' (please see below for the full statement of Cardinal Kasper)

In a follow-up e-mail, LifeSiteNews asked Cardinal Kasper for a clarification of his words. For, in a recent interview with the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz, he had insisted not to have partaken in any sort of secret planning groups: 'I would reject anyway any kind of prior secret plannings about which Pope we would like to have next, or also about whom we would like not to have. [....] That is why I never would solicit votes.'

LifeSiteNews pointed out to Cardinal Kasper that he himself confirmed that he did take part in a March 11 meeting, where the participants made a tally to find out how many supporters Bergoglio would have during the conclave. 'Is this not a prior planning?' LifeSiteNews asked. In addition, LifeSiteNews quoted Gerard O'Connell who states in his new book that Cardinal Kasper and a few other cardinals 'did not disguise their backing for him [Bergoglio].' Here, too, LifeSiteNews asked Kasper for further comment.

It seems here that perhaps there is a fine line between a simple meeting of discussion and not disguising one's favorite candidate on the one hand and a planning meeting and soliciting votes on the other hand.

LifeSiteNews asked Cardinal Kasper to comment on these points. He responded, saying: 'Now I regret at hindsight that I have answered you. You twist everything.'

He said in his response to the follow-up question of LifeSiteNews:

'It is reasonable and absolutely correct that it is forbidden - as it unfortunately happened in earlier conclaves up into the 19th century, according to Church history - to form groups with the obligation to vote according to the group [Fraktionszwang], or even to welcome promises for one's vote, in short, that all of this is forbidden. But it is really simply reasonable and normal - yes, it is even absolutely necessary for the forming of a personal judgment and conscience - that cardinals meet in order to reflect in a small circle (when all of them are together, there are 180-200, then everybody can only speak one time), and to weigh things and to receive information (not everybody knows each other) and then to form together a non-binding opinion. How else shall one then otherwise come to a personal clarity? At our meeting, afterwards no one was bound and fixed; each could also continue his own reflection, and no one was later asked whether and how he voted. That one afterwards speaks with someone who was not present that evening [at the meeting] and informs him, cannot be forbidden either. That has nothing to do with solicitation. When additionally someone from that group afterwards thinks for himself privately and then speaks about how many [votes] there roughly would be, then that is his personal opinion which binds no one.

'And now let us be honest: Do you really want to pretend that there were not also other groups who took counsel among themselves, as well, but which came to a different conclusion? You surely don't believe that yourself. When you report that someone else [Cardinal Scola] first had more than 40 votes [more than Bergoglio] (by the way, I do not remember it anymore, whether this number is correct), then these more than 40 votes did not come out of nowhere either, but do show that most probably there have taken place some prior consultations. I do not reproach anyone for this, I consider it to be normal. The Holy Spirit does not work magically, but by way of legitimate (!) human means, among them personal conversations. If you now have suspicions about this, then this is not anymore mine and not anymore the Catholic Church.

'It is normal that among cardinals who come from different regions, cultures, and schools of thought there are different opinions. But for me, this is much more a miracle that only the Holy Spirit can work, namely that they can come to an agreement within a very short time, and with a majority of more than two thirds and, what is more, that then all, without exception (!) and for whomever they had previously voted, exchange the sign of peace with the newly elected [pope], thus expressing their communio with him.

'However, what I find bad and scandalous is the fact that in recent time some few cardinals and bishops damage this communio and more or less openly oppose that Pope with whom they had exchanged the sign of peace after his election.



Cardinal Kasper's commentary on LifeSiteNew's book
review of Gerard O'Connell's The Election of Pope Francis

Some remarks:

'There was not a dinner in the apartment of Cardinal Nicora, but only some drinks and snacks. I was a little late and, when I came, I was informed about the meaning of the group. It is true: I agreed, and only from this moment on I was more or less sure. But the main problem is not this meeting. The main problem is: How out of only about 15 participants (or some estimated 25) could become more than two thirds, what means more than 80 in only 5 ballots. During the conclave there was no networking. Afterwards some cardinals told me, and it was also my own impression, that 'there was something moving during the conclave,' and some mentioned, 'there was the Holy Spirit at work.' (Maybe, or probably, others think differently!)

'Yes, there were many meetings during the pre-conclave, and they are very helpful, especially for cardinals from abroad. The meeting in the Venerable English College was only searching and explorative. One meeting among German-speaking cardinals already before the first Congregatio (among them Meisner and Schönborn) was in my apartment. Some tendencies and possible candidates were mentioned, but no mention was made of Bergoglio. Thus, Bergoglio's name was only very late on the screen. I think this is important against all stupid suspicions of manipulation and conspiracy theories (and a helpful reminder that the 'forecast' of journalists can fail!).

'The meeting of 2005 you mention was not in the apartment of Cardinal Silvestrini, but in some official building (which, I can't remember). This wasn't a meeting of the St. Gallen club, but a much larger group moderated by Silvestrini. As I remember, the name of Bergoglio wasn't mentioned directly. In this context let me say: in St. Gallen we never spoke about candidates for a future conclave. The St. Gallen meetings were initiated by Cardinal Martini during the pontificate of John Paul II (when I was still a bishop in Germany, i.e. before 1999) as an exchange among bishops, who considered themselves as friends, about their pastoral experiences and perspectives for the future of the Church, especially in Europe. (The description in the biography of Cardinal Danneels is more the interpretation of the authors of the biography than my personal understanding, and Danneel's quip remark of a mafia is totally misleading). After 2006, there were no more meetings anymore of this group. So it is absolute nonsense that we could or wanted to organize or even manipulate the conclave of 2013.

Cardinal Walter Kasper

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Papal Foundation denies Alzheimer research grant while Wuerl secures millions for scandal-ridden hospital

LISA BOURNE reports for LifeSiteNews ~ Medical researchers at a U.S.-, Catholic-based institute say they were shocked at being denied a $150,000 Papal Foundation grant for their ground-breaking Alzheimer's research last year while $25 million was recently awarded to a scandal-plagued dermatological hospital in Rome.

The Iowa-based John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) was rejected for a $150,000 grant for Alzheimer's research in August 2018, just as controversy arose surrounding the Papal Foundation, the Holy See, and a stunning $25 million grant to the Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata (IDI), a dermatological hospital, in Rome.

The JP2MRI grant was titled 'Developing Ethical Adult Stem Cell Therapies for Degenerative Neurological Diseases,' and had been made in June 2018 for a budget period of September 2018 through August 2019.

The JP2MRI grant was declined, according to a August 17, 2018, letter from the office of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

The explanation given by a representative of the nuncio was that 'while the Papal Foundation recognizes the importance of the initiatives of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, the grants issued from the foundation typically provide assistance for projects that will benefit people in developing countries; therefore, the Papal Foundation decided that this proposed project does not qualify for this grant.'

The nuncio's representative requested in his letter that the local ordinary, who is required to sign off on grants to the Papal Foundation, inform the JP2MRI of the grant denial.

The fact that Alzheimer's research would benefit people across the world notwithstanding, the reasoning behind the denial of the project that would benefit people in developing countries adds to questions about how the IDI qualified for a Papal Foundation grant of any amount.

LifeSiteNews broke the story last February with leaked internal Foundation documents showing that beginning in the summer of 2017 Pope Francis personally requested, and later partially obtained, the $25 million grant for the fiscally and legally troubled IDI. The grant's handling from Rome to the U.S.-based Foundation's board, which is composed of U.S. bishops, including every U.S. cardinal living in America, had some lay members angry and/or resigning from the Foundation.

Aside from the large amount of the grant, there were significant questions regarding the use of the funds, given the hospital's troubled history, and concerns expressed by lay members did not stop the grant from going through.

Lay membership, or becoming a 'steward' in the Papal Foundation, entails pledging 'to give $1 million over the course of no more than 10 years with a minimum donation of $100,000 per year.' Those funds are invested to make a perpetual fund to assist the Church.

The foundation usually awards grants of $200,000 or less to organizations in the developing world via the Holy See.

While lay stewards provide the funding for the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, the bishops on the board control Foundation decisions, and grants are administered through the Holy See.

The controversy surrounding the IDI grant is complex and ongoing, but its size being 100 times the normal grant amount alone - along with its controversial handling and the fact that the dermatological hospital is in Rome and not in the developing world - have raised significant concern.

Further, since the story broke, questions persist and continue to arise regarding Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl's actions to push the grant through, and whether the massive grant was tied in any way to prospective leniency at the Holy See for disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who remained listed on the Foundation roster until the story broke last June of his serial sexual abuse.

LifeSiteNews inquired with the Papal Foundation about the JP2MRI grant request and also status of the IDI grant but did not receive a response.

An attempt to make the same inquiry with the Vatican Secretary of State resulted in an email response that bounced back.

In lieu of making contact with the Vatican Secretary of State, LifeSiteNews inquired with the Vatican Press Office and did not receive a response.

LifeSiteNews did not reach out to the U.S. papal nuncio because JP2MRI had done so after the grant denial. The nuncio himself advised JP2MRI in clear terms that the Vatican Secretary of State had directed the nuncio's office to pass along notification of the grant denial, and that communication regarding grant requests was the extent of the nuncio's role in the matter.

Dr. Alan Moy, JP2MRI founder and scientific director, said he was shocked to see that $25 million was to be given from the Foundation to the Vatican to bail out the dermatology hospital.

Like many, the IDI grant caused him to question whether Papal Foundation funds are being spent as they are represented.

Moy points out that his institute's grant was to fund research to develop treatment for Alzheimer's disease, which affects individuals worldwide regardless of locale or socio-economic status.

And in addition to JP2MRI achieving medical research success that would benefit people across the world, it is also doing so while conducting its work expressly in accord with Catholic teaching, making it highly unique in the medical field today.

JP2MRI has made substantial progress in adult stem cell research and currently has one of the largest adult stem cell repositories in the United States.

'John Paul II Medical Research Institute, which is essentially one of the few pro-life medical research institutes in the world to develop stem cell therapies consistent with Catholic teaching, is the only organization to develop a stem cell that fully replaces the need for embryonic stem cells,' he said. 'This work has been published. Ironically, we receive more interest from secular entities than from the Catholic Church.'

JP2MRI is focused on regenerative medicine in which adult stem cells will be used to treat patients with chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes, which Moy said make up 75 percent of healthcare costs. Adult stem cells have the potential to repair damaged organs, he said, which in return would decrease those healthcare costs.

JP2MRI recently announced the regenerative medicine milestone of creating safer and ethical pluripotent stem cells from cord blood and peripheral blood obtained from donors - meaning that there is now an ethical alternative to the unethical method of harvesting embryonic stem cells from a newly conceived human person (embryo), often at the cost of that person's life.

JP2MRI is also in the midst of a 'Campaign for Cures' to conduct research to replace aborted fetal cells used in medical research and pharmaceutical manufacturing of a variety of drugs.

Moy said the experience with the Vatican has been disappointing and gives the sense of minimal priority with regard to the issue of embryonic stem cell research.

'It appears there is a disconnect between the Vatican and the advancement of pro-life medical research,' he told LifeSiteNews.

Additionally, JP2MRI's inquiry to the Vatican asking whether alternative grant sources were available within the Holy See was to no avail.

'We received no response from the Vatican to our appeal to find a suitable support mechanism within the Vatican if the Papal Foundation was not the right vehicle,' he said.

Moy stresses that the Institute's experience in being denied a grant is nothing compared with the sexual abuse of children and seminarians and its subsequent cover-up. Still, what seems to be in some parts of the Catholic Church a disregard for the promotion and support for advancing pro-life causes and the promotion of Catholic teaching is nonetheless disheartening.

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What unites Secularists and Mohammedans?

DR. TAYLOR MARSHALL and Timothy Gordon discusses Notre Dame, martyrs, and the film Taken as they diagnose why it is that Secularism works with Mohammedans, despite having differing worldviews. What unites them?



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Humanae Vitae


Humanae Vitae, 50 Years Later: Progress or Regress?

Internationally recognized Humanae Vitae expert Dr. Janet Smith delivered this exclusive talk to the Christendom community on February 5, 2018.



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Sanctifying sodomy


Pro-LGBT German bishop: ‘Nothing will be the same’ in Church after Amazon Synod
Bp.OverbeckDOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews ~ A pro-homosexual German bishop has predicted that sweeping changes to the Catholic Church regarding sexual morality, the male priesthood, and priestly celibacy will follow the next Vatican-run meeting of bishops planned for later this year.

According to Katholische.de, the official website of the German Catholic Bishops, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, the ordinary of Germany’s Essen diocese, told reporters that the October Synod in the Amazon will lead to a “break” in the Church and that “nothing will be the same as as it was.”

Overbeck said the hierarchical structure of the Church, its sexual morality, and the general picture of what a priest is (“Priesterbild”) would be scrutinized, and the role of women in the Church would also be reconsidered.

The bishop also related that the decline in the number of Catholic believers in Europe and Latin America would be discussed, along with “the immense exploitation” of the natural environment and violations of human rights.

The Synod will take place October 6-27, and its primary themes are ecology, theology and pastoral care, the concerns of indigenous peoples, and human rights.

According to Katholische.de, Overbeck said Francis, having a South American perspective, ensured “awareness of these challenges.”

Slated for removal from the Church is her “Eurocentric structure,” Overbeck promised, saying the local churches in Latin America and their clergy would become increasingly independent.

Meanwhile, reflecting on the priest shortage in both Europe and Latin America, the Bishop of Essen declared that the local churches are already mainly run by women religious.

“The face of the local church is female,” Overbeck said.

Katholische.de reported that the bishop had offered some statistics about the lessening of the influence of the Catholic Church in countries like Brazil: Catholics, who used to comprise 90 percent of the population, now total only 70 percent. Overbeck said the Church must address this and find answers. Apparently, it will do this in a “step by step” process over several synods.

Although Overbeck didn’t mention the issue, the German Bishops’ website then suggested that the question of married priests will also be discussed.

Bishop Overbeck is known for wanting to change Catholic teaching on homosexuality. In January, Katholische.de reported that Overbeck had, in an article for the Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz, proposed a reassessment of homosexuality.

Overbeck called for a “de-pathologization” of homosexuality that could lead to an “overdue liberation” for people with same-sex attractions. The Bishop fears that unless this is undertaken, there will be an “intellectual marginalization of the Catholic moral teaching.”

One should be glad that, with the help of new scientific insights, “prejudices” concerning sexuality are being “overcome,” he wrote.

Saying the German Bishops’ study on clerical sexual abuse had shown that neither heterosexual nor homosexual orientation “as such” was a factor, Overbeck argued that it was “absurd” for a bishop to deny homosexual men priestly ordination.

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United Nations

Pope Francis calls for new ‘supranational’ authorities to enforce UN goals

Pope  FrancisDIANE MONTAGNA reports for LifeSiteNews ~ Pope Francis made a strong push for globalism on Thursday, calling for a “supranational, legally constituted body” to enforce United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and implement “climate change” policies.

Speaking to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the Pope said: “When a supranational common good is clearly identified, there is need for a special legally constituted authority capable of facilitating its implementation.”

“Think of the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and peace,” he told members of the Pontifical Academy, who are meeting this week at the Vatican for a May 1-3 plenary session themed: “Nation, State, Nation-State.”

Featured speakers included German Cardinal Walter Kasper, who spoke on: “Peace Stemming from Justice. Theological Reflections Between Men, Communities and Nations”; Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France, who delivered the opening talk on day two, themed: “Nation, State, Nation-State and the Doctrine of the Catholic Church”; and German climatologist and founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who addressed the Pontifical Academy on “The State of the World.”

In his address, the Pope said that while “the principle of subsidiarity” requires that “individual nations must be given the power to operate as far as they can,” still “groups of neighboring nations — as is already the case — can strengthen their cooperation by attributing the exercise of certain functions and services to intergovernmental institutions that manage their common interests.”

The thrust of the Pope’s remarks focused on growing trends toward nationalism, which he said threaten migrants, the “universal common good” and the power of the United Nations and other transnational bodies to implement the Sustainable Development Goal agenda.

The Church “has always exhorted men to love their own people and homeland,” he said. “At the same time,” he added, “the Church has warned persons, peoples and governments about deviations from this attachment when it is about excluding and hating others, when it becomes conflictual nationalism that builds walls, indeed even racism or anti-Semitism.”

“The Church observes with concern the re-emergence, almost everywhere in the world, of aggressive currents towards foreigners, especially immigrants, as well as that growing nationalism which neglects the common good,” Pope Francis continued.

“There is a risk of compromising already established forms of international cooperation, undermining the aims of international organizations as a space for dialogue and meeting for all countries on a level of mutual respect, and hindering the achievement of the sustainable development goals unanimously approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 25 September 2015,” he told members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

SDGs: eliminating poverty or children?
Many are concerned that some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while billed as aimed at eliminating poverty, are really about eliminating children. “Reproductive health services” for example, which are referred to in the SDGs, are often a euphemism frequently employed to mean abortion in UN debates.

As Steven Mosher, Population Research Institute, explains:

Developing nations who adopt the SDGs will be pressured to legalize abortion, even though the word abortion never appears in the document. They will be told, falsely, that there is an “international consensus” that reproductive rights includes a right to abortion. They will be instructed that laws protecting the unborn violate this consensus and must be replaced with new laws permitting abortion on demand. And they will be threatened with the withholding of international aid unless they comply.

Pope Francis did give some recognition to concerns about “ideological colonization” of socially and morally conservative countries in the developing world in his remarks:

Multilateral bodies were created in the hope of being able to replace the logic of revenge, domination, oppression and conflict with that of dialogue, mediation, compromise, harmony and the awareness of belonging to the same humanity in the common home. Of course, these bodies must ensure that States are effectively represented, with equal rights and duties, in order to avoid the growing hegemony of powers and interest groups that impose their own visions and ideas, as well as new forms of ideological colonization, often disregarding the identity, customs and traditions, dignity and sensitivity of the peoples concerned. The emergence of such tendencies is weakening the multilateral system, with the result of a lack of credibility in international politics and a progressive marginalization of the most vulnerable members of the family of nations.

‘Supranational common good’

LifeSite spoke with Dr. Alan Fimister, an internationally renowned authority on Catholic social teaching and on Robert Schuman, the founder of the European Union.

Dr. Fimister explained that, according to traditional Catholic social teaching, the temporal community or “State” is created by man’s natural needs and search for perfection in this world, and is the community that contains within itself everything required to attain that temporal perfection and security.

But if it can no longer do so, then the logical result would be the creation of a larger unity, he said. “Obviously national states are held together by history and culture and not just economics and military necessity, so such amalgamations can be very delicate and sensitive, giving rise to potentially explosive tensions.”

Fimister went on to say that the most obvious way in which the imperfection or inadequacy of a temporal community is manifested is defeat in war, such as the nations of Europe experienced between 1939 and 1945 “with the obvious exception of Britain,” he added.

“On the other hand, the heavenly destiny given to man on the Cross is the cause of the universal assembly or Catholic Church, so that new needs and priorities of the natural order are only accidentally supranational, whereas the common good of the Church is essentially supranational and universal,” Dr. Fimister explained.

“In other words, the Gospel is for every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Rev 7:9). But the material needs of South America or Europe or the Far East will differ from each other quite naturally.”

Fimister said the danger is that an accidentally supranational body created to deal with temporal problems which transcend the resources of traditional nation-states will correspond to no common political culture or language, no “demos.”

“Without the ‘demos’ there is only the ‘kratos,’ or power answerable to no one and serving its own private good as an oligarchic bureaucracy, a sort of FIFA (International Federation of Football) on steroids,” he argued.

Fimister expressed sympathy with some of Pope Francis’s aims but raised a note of caution:

Pope Francis is commending and defending the kind of regionalized supranational entities exemplified by the EU which was indeed established under Catholic inspiration in the nineteen fifties. Robert Schuman the founder of the EU wanted to create a “generalized democracy in the Christian sense of the word” and warned that an anti-Christian democracy would end in “tyranny or anarchy.” Schuman thought the only force capable of truly transcending national egotism was supernatural charity. Without this, these institutions would become monsters of “supranational egotism” worse than the nation states that preceded them.

Fimister added that secularizing eugenicists like the International Planned Parenthood Federation “greatly favor a supranational bureaucracy” because it “allows them to advance their agenda without doing so under the scrutiny of national political culture with shared language and history, which is far more likely to expose and scrutinize their objectives than a distant bureaucracy that is answer to no one in particular.”

In his address to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Pope Francis appeals to the authority of St. Thomas Aquinas in his conception of the national state and its role. However, his predecessor Pius XI, in the 1920s — unimpressed with the League of Nations — the predecessor of the United Nations, pointed out that only the Gospel has the resources necessary to unite the nations of the world.

In his 1923 encyclical on St. Thomas Aquinas, Studiorum ducem n. 20, Pius XI wrote:

[St. Thomas Aquinas] also composed a substantial moral theology, capable of directing all human acts in accordance with the supernatural last end of man. And as he is, as We have said, the perfect theologian, so he gives infallible rules and precepts of life not only for individuals, but also for civil and domestic society which is the object also of moral science, both economic and politic. Hence those superb chapters in the second part of the Summa Theologicaon paternal or domestic government, the lawful power of the State or the nation, natural and international law, peace and war, justice and property, laws and the obedience they command, the duty of helping individual citizens in their need and co-operating with all to secure the prosperity of the State, both in the natural and the supernatural order. If these precepts were religiously and inviolably observed in private life and public affairs, and in the duties of mutual obligation between nations, nothing else would be required to secure mankind that “peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ” which the world so ardently longs for. It is therefore to be wished that the teachings of Aquinas, more particularly his exposition of international law and the laws governing the mutual relations of peoples, became more and more studied, for it contains the foundations of a genuine “League of Nations.”

The issues raised by Pope Francis’s remarks to Pontifical Academy of Sciences reflect the controversy that has raged throughout his pontificate as to whether he is substituting secular rationalistic goals for the supernatural ideals of the Church.

Here below is a LifeSite translation of Pope Francis’s address to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.


Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you and thank your President, Prof. Stefano Zamagni, for his kind words and for accepting to preside over the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Also this year you have chosen to discuss an issue of permanent relevance. Unfortunately, we have before our eyes situations in which some nation-states implement their relations in a spirit more of opposition than of cooperation. Moreover, it must be noted that the borders of States do not always coincide with the demarcations of homogeneous populations and that many tensions come from an excessive claim to sovereignty by States, often precisely in areas where they are no longer able to act effectively to protect the common good.

In both the Encyclical Laudato si’ and in the Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps this year, I drew attention to the global challenges facing humanity, such as integral development, peace, care of our common home, climate change, poverty, war, migration, human trafficking, organ trafficking, the protection of the common good, and new forms of slavery.

St. Thomas has a beautiful notion of what a people is: “The Seine river is not ‘this particular river’ because of ‘this flowing water,’ but because of ‘this source’ and ‘this bed,’ and hence is always called the same river, although there may be other water flowing down it; likewise a people is the same, not because of a sameness of soul or of men, but because of the same dwelling place, or rather because of the same laws and the same manner of living, as Aristotle says in book III of the Politica” (On spiritual creatures, a. 9, ad 10).

The Church has always exhorted men to love their own people and homeland, and to respect the treasure of various cultural expressions, customs and traditions and right ways of living rooted in peoples. At the same time, the Church has warned persons, peoples and governments about deviations from this attachment when it turns into excluding and hating others, when it becomes conflictual nationalism that builds walls, indeed even racism or anti-Semitism. The Church observes with concern the re-emergence, almost everywhere in the world, of aggressive currents towards foreigners, especially immigrants, as well as that growing nationalism which neglects the common good. There is a risk of compromising already established forms of international cooperation, undermining the aims of international organizations as a space for dialogue and meeting for all countries on a level of mutual respect, and hindering the achievement of the sustainable development goals unanimously approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 25 September 2015.

It is a common doctrine that the State is at the service of the person and of the natural groupings of people such as the family, the cultural group, the nation as an expression of the will and profound customs of a people, the common good and peace. All too often, however, States are subservient to the interests of a dominant group, mostly for reasons of economic profit, which oppresses, among others, the ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities who are in their territory.

From this perspective, for example, the way in which a nation welcomes migrants reveals its vision of human dignity and its relationship with humanity. Every human person is a member of humanity and has the same dignity. When a person or a family is forced to leave their own land, they must be welcomed with humanity. I have said many times that our obligations to migrants are articulated in four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. The migrant is not a threat to the culture, customs and values of the host nation. He too has a duty, to integrate into the nation who receives him. To integrate does not mean to assimilate, but to share the kind of life of his new homeland, even though he himself as a person the bearer of his own biographical story. In this way, the migrant can present himself and be recognized as an opportunity to enrich the people who integrate him. It is the task of public authority to protect migrants and to regulate migratory flows with the virtue of prudence, as well as to promote reception so that local populations are formed and encouraged to participate consciously in the integration process of the migrants being received.

The issue of migration, which is a permanent feature of human history, also enlivens reflection on the nature of the Nation-State. All nations are the result of the integration of successive waves of people or groups of migrants and tend to be images of the diversity of humanity while being united by common values, cultural resources and healthy customs. A state that arouses the nationalistic feelings of its own people against other nations or groups of people would fail in its mission. We know from history where such deviations lead.

The Nation-State cannot be considered as an absolute, as an island in relation to its surroundings. In the current situation of globalization not only of economy but also of technological and cultural exchanges, the Nation-State is no longer able to procure by itself the common good for its population. The common good has become global and nations must associate for their own benefit. When a supranational common good is clearly identified, there is need for a special legally constituted authority capable of facilitating its implementation. Think of the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and peace.

While, according to the principle of subsidiarity, individual nations must be given the power to operate as far as they can reach, on the other hand, groups of neighboring nations — as is already the case — can strengthen their cooperation by attributing the exercise of certain functions and services to intergovernmental institutions that manage their common interests.It is to be hoped that, for example, we will not lose in Europe the awareness of the benefits brought by this path of rapprochement and harmony between peoples undertaken after the Second World War. In Latin America, on the other hand, Simón Bolivar urged the leaders of his time to forge the dream of a Great Homeland that knows how to welcome, respect, embrace and develop the riches of every people.

This cooperative vision among nations can move history by relaunching multilateralism, which is opposed both to new nationalistic pressures and to hegemonic politics.

Humanity would thus avoid the threat of recourse to armed conflicts every time a dispute arises between Nation-States, as well as evading the danger of economic and ideological colonization of superpowers, avoiding the tyranny of the strongest over the weakest, paying attention to the global dimension without losing sight of the local, national and regional dimensions. Faced with the plan of globalization imagined as “spherical,” which levels differences and suffocates localization, it is easy for both nationalism and hegemonic imperialism to re-emerge. In order for globalization to be of benefit to all, one must think of implementing a “multifaceted” form of globalization, supporting a healthy struggle for mutual recognition between the collective identity of each people and nation and globalization itself, according to the principle that the whole comes before the parts, so as to arrive at a general state of peace and harmony.

Multilateral bodies were created in the hope of being able to replace the logic of revenge, domination, oppression and conflict with that of dialogue, mediation, compromise, harmony and the awareness of belonging to the same humanity in the common home. Of course, these bodies must ensure that States are effectively represented, with equal rights and duties, in order to avoid the growing hegemony of powers and interest groups that impose their own visions and ideas, as well as new forms of ideological colonization, often disregarding the identity, customs and traditions, dignity and sensitivity of the peoples concerned. The emergence of such tendencies is weakening the multilateral system, with the result of a lack of credibility in international politics and a progressive marginalization of the most vulnerable members of the family of nations.

I encourage you to persevere in your search for processes to overcome what divides nations and to propose new paths of cooperation, especially with regard to the new challenges of climate change and new slavery, as well as the excellent social good that is peace. Unfortunately, today the season of multilateral nuclear disarmament seems outdated and no longer stirs the political conscience of nations which possess atomic weapons. On the contrary, a new season of disturbing nuclear confrontation seems to be opening, because it cancels the progress of the recent past and multiplies the risk of war, also due to the possible malfunctioning of very advanced technologies that are always subject to natural and human imponderables. If, now, offensive and defensive nuclear weapons are placed not only on earth but also in space, the so-called new technological frontier will have raised and not lowered the danger of a nuclear holocaust.

The State is therefore called upon to assume greater responsibility. While maintaining the characteristics of independence and sovereignty and continuing to pursue the good of its people, today its task is to participate in the construction of the common good of humanity, a necessary and essential element for world equilibrium. This universal common good, in turn, must acquire greater legal value at international level. I am certainly not thinking of a universalism or a generic internationalism that overlooks the identity of individual peoples: this, in fact, must always be valued as a unique and indispensable contribution to the greatest harmonious design.

Dear friends, as inhabitants of our time, Christians and academics of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, I ask you to collaborate with me in spreading this awareness of renewed international solidarity in the respect for human dignity, the common good, respect for the planet and the supreme good of peace.

I bless all of you, I bless your work and your initiatives. I accompany you with my prayer, and you too, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!

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China supplement


Chinese Catholics worried about 'political scanning'

A new appraisal system for religious personnel in Henan is seen as an attempt to kick out uncooperative clergy

UCANEWS.com reports ~ Catholics in China's Henan province are concerned that a new appraisal system for religious personnel is a front for political screening.

A Henan priest told ucanews.com that the provincial Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and Catholic Church Committee approached him during Holy Week to seek to appraise him.

A few days later, he found the newly launched annual appraisal scheme with an assessment form on WeChat. "The appraisal is ridiculous," he said.

Rules state that the appraisal should be started each December and finished before the end of the year. All clergy with the Chinese Catholic Religious Personnel Certificate issued by the two organizations are to be appraised.

The appraisal focuses on loving the China Church, patriotism, morality, law obedience, upholding canon law, performance, and knowledge of theology and social services. Each item is worth 10-15 points in the appraisal.

If the subject gets less than 55 points or violates religious regulations, he/she will fail the appraisal and will be warned or prohibited from carrying out his/her duties.

"Only those who can pass the appraisal are suitable to be religious personnel, otherwise their church affairs will be prohibited," a Catholic commentator who identified himself as Ma Du told ucanews.com.

He said this kind of appraisal aims to kick out religious people who do not listen to the government.

"It equals political scanning. To verify religious personnel should be the right and power of a bishop. The measure is like the government management model but not the church system," Ma Du said.

Henan is second only to Zhejiang in its number of Christians. The Catholic Church in Henan has nearly 300,000 faithful in 10 dioceses.

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Report: Religious Freedom Conditions Worsening in China

New regulations ban 'unauthorized' religious teachings in effort to 'sinicize' beliefs

JEFFREY CIMMINO reports for The Washington Free Beacon ~The 2019 annual report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) highlights worsening religious freedom conditions in China over the past year.

The report observes that "religious freedom conditions in China trended negative," especially after new regulations "effectively banned ‘unauthorized' religious teachings and required religious groups to report any online activity." China's government "continued to persecute all faiths in an effort to ‘sinicize' religious belief, a campaign that attempts not only to diminish and erase the independent practice of religion, but also the cultural and linguistic heritage of religious and ethnic communities, particularly Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims."

The report focuses on the persecution of Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and the Falun Gong.

Over the past two years, China has detained up to more than two million Uighurs and other Muslims in "internment camps," which the Chinese government initially denied existed, but has since defended "as a means to combat terrorism and provide vocational training." Former prisoners say those in the camps had to renounce their faith and swear loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party.

The government has taken other steps to interfere in the lives of Muslims in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, "including discriminatory profiling at armed checkpoints and police stations; travel restrictions both within and outside of China; and Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking systems, facial and iris recognition, DNA sampling, and voice pattern sampling to monitor Muslims." USCIRF also received "credible reports" Chinese security services tried to harass Uighur Muslims living outside of China, including those in the United States.

Anurima Bhargava, one of USCIRF's commissioners, said the situation for China's Uighurs has worsened more rapidly in recent years, although the apparent increase in persecution could be a result of the fact that abuse was not documented as closely in past years.

"We are certainly building off of what is an increased sense of awareness of the scope, how many people, the ways in which people are being [treated]…. There's a sense that it's getting worse, that we're in sort of an internment camp situation," Bhargava told the Washington Free Beacon.

In Tibet, Chinese officials "continued to pursue a strategy of forced assimilation and suppression of Tibetan Buddhism." The government imprisoned monks and nuns who would not renounce the Dalai Lama and confiscated the Chinese passports of several hundred Tibetans who attended teachings given by the Dalai Lama in India.

The Chinese government and Catholic Church reached a provisional agreement in September 2018 whereby "the pope would rehabilitate seven bishops from the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) who had been excommunicated, in return for a veto over any future appointments by the Chinese government." China's government used the deal to justify pressuring clergy and underground church members to join the CCPA. There were many reports of Chinese officials closing underground churches and destroying crosses.

Protestants also suffered under an intensified crackdown, as thousands of Christians were arrested and thousands of churches or religious sites were demolished.

Chinese authorities also arrested practitioners of Falun Gong, and many reportedly "suffered physical violence, psychiatric abuse, sexual assault, forced drug administration, and sleep deprivation."


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U.S. religious freedom report condemns Vatican-China deal

ELIZABETH YORE reports for Breitbart ~ According to the Holy See Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the agreement was to normalize religious freedom for the Catholic Church in Communist China. Suspiciously, the Vatican refused to release any specifics andsteadfastly guarded the conditions of the deal. The details still remain a secret, but the repercussions of the highly controversial Vatican-China detente do not.

It is becoming apparent that the Vatican made a deal with the devil and lost.

On April 30, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued its 20th Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. USCIRF is a federal government commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the president and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The 226-page report addresses widespread violations of religious freedom around the globe and designates violating countries in tiers, with Tier 1 countries noted as "Countries of Particular Concern" (CPC) for violations of religious freedom.

Potential sanctions can accompany Tier 1 designations.

This year's report found and highlighted the disturbing increase in religious freedom violations by the Chinese government. Not surprisingly, China is listed as a Tier 1 country. The Commissioners emphasized in the introduction of the 2019 report that China remains a particularly violent perpetrator against religious freedom. The report found that, of all the countries, "China is in a category all by itself". The report proclaims the continued surge in religious persecution by the Chinese Communists:

One such saga is currently unfolding in China where the government has been particularly pernicious toward religion and religious believers during the last 20 years and increasingly so in recent years, including in 2018.

The report forcefully demands that the U.S. government take swift action against Chinese officials. Chinese religious freedom advocates estimate that the Chinese government is detaining up to 3 million religious minorities, including Christians, Muslims, and especially Muslim Uighurs.

The U.S. government and the international community must swiftly and resolutely sanction Chinese officials and agencies that have perpetrated or tolerated severe religious freedom violations, including Chen Quanguo, Communist Party Secretary in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and other Politburo Members.

The Vatican is excoriated for its China Deal

One of the key findings in the report on China sadly resonates for Catholics in light of the controversial and recent Vatican religious freedom deal with China. The report specifically condemns the secret Vatican deal with the Chinese government in 2018:

In September, the Vatican reached a provisional agreement with China that would allow the government a role in the appointment of new bishops; nevertheless, repression of the underground Catholic Church  increased during the latter half of the year. The government also raided or closed down hundreds of Protestant house churches, including Zion Church, Rongguili Church, and Early Rain Covenant Church. Meanwhile, more than 900 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested during the year simply for practicing their beliefs or distributing literature about the Falun Gong.

In March 2018, jurisdiction over religious affairs was transferred from the government to an organ of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), further eroding the barrier between religion and party.

While the Vatican was urging patience with the Chinese, the Chinese were ramping up the persecution of religious minorities. The ink was not even dry on the Vatican deal when the Chinese began a systematic demolition of churches and the roundup and arrest of Catholics and other Christians.

In the report, the Commissioners expressed deep concern about the persecution of religious minorities in China and highlighted the troubling Vatican-China deal. In fact, one of the Commissioners, Johnnie Moore, issued a pointed addendum statement specifically regarding the Vatican agreement to be included in the 2019 report. Below is Moore's damning and biting criticism of the Vatican deal:

'My personal opinion is that one of the most alarming incidents as it relates to religious freedom in the entire year was the decision by the Vatican to negotiate a diplomatic relationship with China that resulted in the recognition of government appointed bishops and which also in effect deposed prominent Chinese religious leaders who had persevered through horrific persecution in previous generations in China, including China's most well-known Catholic leader.

'Literally, within days of the Vatican negotiating its deal, the Chinese used it as cover to embark upon the closure of several of the nation's largest and most prominent unregistered church communities. That has continued. Being that the Vatican is both a Church and a State, it is my opinion that the Vatican now bears a significant moral and legal responsibility to help solve the problem which it helped create albeit inadvertently by providing China license to viciously crack down on Christian communities (as cited in this report), and by providing the Chinese government further cover to continue its incomprehensible, inexcusable and inhumane abuses of Muslim citizens in the western part of the country' [emphasis added]

'While I am entirely for direct engagement on these issues, including with the most severe violators in the world, that engagement must not result in these types of unintended consequences, as has been the case in China. The Vatican made a terrible mistake, which it must take seriously. This debacle must be dealt with urgently and seriously [emphasis added].

A few weeks before the issuance of the USCIRF report, Cardinal Parolin appeared at a religious freedom symposium at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and weakly defended his failed detente with China. Parolin stated, Our hope is that it will help, not limit, religious freedom. But we should be patient. I know that people want things immediately.

Contrary to the Vatican's naive aspirations, the reality on the ground in China is that the Vatican deal is severely limiting religious freedom for Chinese Catholics. Calling for patience in the face of the ongoing demolition of Churches and brutal detention of Catholics rings hollow and desperate.

This 2019 USCIRF religious freedom assessment provides a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the persecution and conditions of religious minorities in Communist China and addresses the disastrous impact of the Vatican secret deal with the Chinese Communist government. Simply put, the Vatican provided cover for the Chinese inhuman abuses.

The report's conclusion tragically mirrors the statements by the heroic retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen. Cardinal Zen pleaded with the Vatican not to negotiate with China for fear of renewed Christian persecutions. Zen's prophetic plea proved correct according to the religious freedom report.

Zen described the China deal as an' incredible betrayal' and a 'omplete surrender' for the underground Chinese Catholic Church. As he predicted, persecutions are increasing and the suffering is ongoing at the hands of the Vatican's negotiation partner, the Chinese Communists.

It is urgent that Catholics around the world, freedom-loving countries, and the United Nations condemn Pope Francis for his foolhardy and horrific deal and demand that the Vatican immediately and entirely withdraw from this agreement that provided China cover to violently crack down on Christians. Nothing less will do.

Contrary to the Vatican's advice, patience is disastrous. It is not merciful. The Pope of Mercy should understand.

[Elizabeth Yore is the former Special Counsel at Harpo with Oprah Winfrey. She is an international human rights attorney, specializing in child protection]


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Muslims who fail to stop and chat face visit from police
JAMIE FULLERTON reports for the Daily Telegraph ~ Giving cash to mosques, failing to chat to neighbours and walking in public without authorisation have been revealed as seemingly mundane reasons for police investigations of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) pulled apart a police app to reveal the scores of seemingly lawful acts that officers record on phones and then link to a mass surveillance database. The United Nations believes at least a million Muslims in the vast region have been detained by Chinese authorities in “re-education” centres.

Beyond the detainment camps, many Xinjiang citizens are believed to be under house arrest or barred from entering public spaces. The police app can track individuals’ movements and alert officers when they enter public spaces without permission.

The United Nations believes at least this many Muslims are being held by Xinjiang authorities in ‘re-education’ centres

“Suspicious” behaviour listed includes giving petrol to friends and failing to “socialise with neighbours”. Further red flags include collecting “money or materials for mosques”, getting a new phone number and using “abnormal” amounts of electricity. Police are prompted to check if citizens use foreign messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram, which are harder to monitor and censor than domestic apps.

HRW said that using such apps has resulted in individuals being detained in Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in north-west China.

The findings fit a pattern of Muslims being held in prison-like venues in Xinjiang – which Beijing claims are “re-education” or “vocational” centres – for making gestures of religious faith.
China’s communist government said the draconian surveillance and security measures are in place to quell terrorism threats. Protests and violence in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital city, in 2009 helped prompt the clampdown.

HRW’s report showed that police log information about individuals on the app, which connects with China’s Integrated Joint Operations Platform – a mass surveillance system including cameras and checkpoints. Yaqiu Wang, a researcher at HRW, called the app findings “really, really frightening for the Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, and also for the future of humanity”. There are fears that it could be rolled out across China.

Maya Wang, the author of the report, said: “Our research shows, for the first time, that Xinjiang police are using illegally gathered information about people’s completely lawful behaviour and using it against them.”

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News from around the world


Argentina Bishop Enrique Angelelli

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA reports for Fatima Perspectives - The purported beatification of Enrique Angelelli, Bishop of La Rioja, the pro-socialist agitator who died in a car crash in 1976 during Argentina's "Dirty War" against leftwing terrorists, has already provoked entirely justified criticism - for example, here and here.

Angelelli's alleged "martyrdom," based on the belated claim that his car was forced off the road by unknown assassins sent by the military government, is reason enough to doubt the beatification, which in any event is not at all secured by a charism of infallibility.

As even the liberal journal Crux magazine admits the attempt to pin vicarious blame for the car crash on two octogenarian ex-military officials in 2014 - 48 years after the accident! - does not pass the smell test: "Another element of Angelelli's sainthood case that has raised doubts is the fact that the documentation didn't include the full report of the car accident in which he was killed. Though two people have been condemned for it, there's a witness who says he heard the accident and there was no second car involved, meaning no one to throw the bishop's car off the road."

Rorate Caeli aptly summarizes this travesty of a beatification (conducted last Saturday by Vatican Cardinal Becciu, head of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints):

"There were many radical bishops in the wild years following the Second Vatican Council. But Enrique Angelelli, bishop of La Rioja, Argentina, was probably the most radical. He was a Communist in all but name and stridently supported the terrorist organization 'Montoneros', the leftist terrorist branch of the Peronist movement. It can be undoubtedly said that the horrid military dictatorship that governed Argentina from 1976 until the Falklands War was brought about as a brutal overreaction to the terrorist attacks coordinated by Montoneros in favor of a Socialist-Peronist revolution. Angelelli was so leftist, so radically leftist and so political, that the shocked practicing faithful of his own diocese used to call him in life 'Satanelli.'"

My focus here is on what one commentator has aptly observed of the rabble-rousing prelate, who inserted himself into an armed conflict between a brutal military regime and its equally brutal terrorist opponents: that Angelelli was "a bishop who instead of being a follower of the Apostles of Pentecost, followed Judas."

By this the commentator means that it was Judas who, being scandalized by the Passion, wanted Our Lord to act as a worldly revolutionary, leading a rebellion against Caesar. And it was Judas who rebuked Mary Magdalene for lavishly anointing the feet of Our Lord in anticipation of His Passion, declaring: "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?" (John 12:4-6) As Saint John writes: "Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein."

And what but thieves are the socialist and communist tyrants who, in the name of "the people," mercilessly oppress them while they themselves live in luxury? Angelelli's rabble-rousing sermons did not merely protest true injustices in Argentinian society, which certainly existed, but rather openly invited a socialist revolution that would have mired the poor in far worse misery, as we see today with the horrific state of Venezuela. One example is provided by a website that is a glowing tribute to the "martyr." The site quotes these bromides of liberation theology whereby Angelelli stoked the resentment of the poor against the rich and invoked the theme of class warfare to topple "systems" of oppression:

"We are living an historic hour where the changes are profound in the mentality of men and in the structuring of human society. There are systems … that cause many sufferings, injustices and fratricidal struggles. Many men suffer and the distance that separates the progress of a few and the stagnation and even the retreat of many increase. The present situation has to bravely face, fight and overcome the injustices that it brings….

"The people are the ones who do not oppress but fight against oppression… The anti-people are the force that responds to outside interests. It is personified in a minority that wants to preserve its privileges. It is the one that prevents the growth of the people and struggles to plunge it into oppression and slavery. It is the one that slows down our history…."

This is precisely the Gospel of Judas, according to which "the people" engage in a struggle to achieve social and economic equality, a worldly kingdom of the triumphant proletariat - which, of course, always ends in their brutal subjugation, which Pope Francis never seems to notice as he relentlessly condemns only the injustices of capitalist economies.

But the Gospel of Judas, which is the gospel of Angelelli and the Pope who approved his "martyrdom," is not the Gospel of Our Lord, Who admonished Judas: "For the poor you have always with you; but Me you have not always." (Jn. 12:8). And it was Our Lord Who, rather than call upon His followers to rebel against the injustices of the Roman emperor, meekly submitted to an unjust death sentence on the orders of Caesar's procurator.

The evil of liberation theology consists in its call for a worldly kingdom, the kingdom envisioned by Judas, rather than the Kingdom of Heaven. But no purported beatification can validate this falsification of the true Gospel of Our Lord. Like the other novelties of this calamitous pontificate, it will amount to nothing in a Church restored to her rightful order by that courageous and holy Pope who will finally honor Our Lady's request at Fatima.

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Malta Archbishop turns blind eye to homosexual parish scandal

PHILIP BEATTIE reports for ChurcMilitant.com ~ There is more evidence that double standards favoring the homosexual agenda are at work in the archdiocese of the island of Malta, currently governed by Pope Francis' principal predatory priest investigator, Abp. Charles Jude Scicluna.

On the one hand, faithful Catholics who prayed the Rosary in reparation for the abomination of Malta's 'Gay Pride' annual parade in Sept. 2018 were denounced by Abp. Scicluna's curia. On the other, a longstanding scandal in one of Malta's most important parishes involving a practicing homosexual layman's active involvement in parish liturgical activities continues to provoke controversy.

The homosexual parish scandal relates to one William Muscat, a former seminarian in the Malta archdiocese. It is reliably understood that Muscat was expelled from the archdiocesan seminary in Rabat by the then-seminary director, Fr. Jimmy Bonnici.

On Sept. 20, 2012, Muscat, then 27, was found guilty in Malta's courts of cyber hacking his former alleged homosexual lover's computer, by taking unlawful possession of software data that included allegedly lewd homosexual images, together with copying or modifying the latter's computer software and passwords.

This criminal case was instituted by the Maltese police force against Muscat, who was given a three-year suspended prison sentence by the Maltese Courts. It is certain that Abp. Scicluna was made aware of his case ever since Scicluna's consecration as coadjutor bishop of Malta in Nov. 2012.

William Muscat, who hails from the town of Mosta, has been active for several years in the Mosta parish church as a senior acolyte. The parish church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was elevated to the status of a basilica by Abp. Scicluna in 2018.

Over the past three years, clothed in liturgical vestments, Mr. Muscat has carried the traditional tintinnabulum (little bell) in solemn processions organized by the Mosta basilica. His current homosexual partner is known to have accompanied these processions in recent years, taking photos of Muscat. Over the course of 2018, Malta's current archbishop participated in two processions during which Mr. Muscat has processed carrying the tintinnabulum directly in front of the archbishop.

In spite of tolerating Mr. Muscat's active homosexuality at the parish, the same Abp. Scicluna had no problem disassociating the Maltese Church from a public Rosary rally of reparation organized by a lay Catholic conservative association, Pro Malta Christiana, in Sept. 2018. Pro Malta Christiana organized the public prayer of the Rosary in Malta's capital, Valletta, on the eve of the annual 'Malta Gay Pride' parade held on Sept. 15.

In a strongly worded press statement, the Maltese Archdiocesan Curia stated that Pro Malta Christiana 'does not form part of the Church in Malta and each person must bear the responsibility for its actions. The Church respects people of all sexual orientations and recognizes the dignity of each and every one.'

The Catholic group replied through the press that it was an obligation of the Catholic faith to offer public reparation to God for what the Catechism of the Catholic Church terms 'an intrinsically disordered condition' and to pray for the conversion of sinners.

Additionally, Abp. Scicluna has so far failed to disassociate the Church in Malta publicly from the pro-homosexual statements made by Fr. Kevin Schembri during the recent popular TV program 'XARABANK,' which was aired on Malta's state television on March 8. The priest was sent as the archbishop's representative to state the Catholic position on homosexuality.

Father Schembri stated on the program that homosexuals 'are born this way,' this 'being part of God's plan.' He added that homosexual relations are perfectly normal 'so long as they are based on true love.'

Father Schembri stated on the program that homosexuals 'are born this way,' this 'being part of God's plan.'Tweet

Since the program's airing, the Maltese curia has been bombarded by scores of e-mails by confused Maltese Catholics asking for a doctrinal clarification. The archbishop's silence may arguably be construed as an implicit confirmation of Malta's episcopal double standard when it comes to treating Catholics who oppose the homosexual agenda in Malta as compared to those promoting this agenda. His treatment of Pro Malta Christiana compared to his silence on Fr. Schembri's televised remarks speaks volumes.

This situation is extremely grave in view of the fact that Abp. Scicluna has been appointed by the current pontiff as Adjunct-Secretary for the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while Fr. Schembri is the Maltese curia's Defender of the Marriage Bond for matrimonial nullity cases in Malta.

Several Maltese Catholics, alarmed by this disturbing trend in Maltese ecclesiastical circles, have started asking questions:

Is sodomy no longer a sin for the Church in Malta?

Why did Abp. Scicluna expressly send a heterodox priest to represent him and the Maltese Church on a TV program discussing the issue of homosexuality?

How can a high ecclesiastical personage who now forms part of the Vatican's institutional watchdog charged with defending orthodoxy in doctrinal matters remain silent in the face of heresy by one of his priests in his own back yard?

It's also worth recalling that Malta's present archbishop in 2017 allowed a homosexual group that campaigns for the Catholic Church to accept homosexual 'marriage,' sodomy and adoption of children by same-sex couples to operate unofficially in the archdiocese of Malta. Drachma LGBTI, which labels itself 'Catholic,' was given formal permission to hold meetings in Maltese Catholic parishes, retreat centers and in the Catholic chapel of the country's only university. In 2014, Abp. Scicluna presided at a eucharistic celebration put on by the Drachma group aimed at ending 'homophobia,' with the front of the altar draped in a rainbow pride flag.

Church Militant reached out to both the Malta archdiocese and the parish in Mosta for comment but received no response.

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Nigeria "Christians are being killed like chickens"

DIANE MONTAGNA reports for LifeSiteNews ~ Hundreds of Christians have been killed in recent months and entire Christian villages wiped out, as the international community stands by in silence, an archbishop at the heart of the persecution in northwest Nigeria has said in an urgent appeal for help.

Speaking with LifeSite by phone from his archdiocese in Kaduna on April 26, Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso said that “Christians are being killed like chickens,” and time is running out.

“Right now, as I am talking to you, the rainy season has come and villagers who provide food for us are afraid to go to their farms because they will be kidnapped, because they will be killed,” he said. “So I do actually fear that if nothing happens between now and the next two months when people are supposed to be planting and they don’t go to their farm, only God knows what will happen to us next year in terms of food security.”

Archbishop Ndagoso said he believes the targeted attacks on Christian villages by Fulani extremists are not only religiously motivated but stem also from “injustice and impunity.”

He explained that the Nigerian constitution safeguards freedom and equality of religion. But he said in the northwest states of Nigeria where Muslims number close to 98 percent of the population, Sharia law permeates the legal system, and illiteracy rates are high, Christians are “a very tiny minority who unfortunately in the eyes of some do not count.”

Archbishop Ndagoso is therefore appealing to the Trump administration and the entire international community to help the Nigerian government to ensure security for its people.

“I have always said: the first duty of every government anywhere in the world is to protect and safeguard the lives and property of their citizenry. But I can tell you right now in our country that is not the case, especially in the northwest. Citizens are being killed like chickens,” the archbishop repeated.

The mainstream media has been largely silent about the intense persecution of Christians in northern Nigeria. Earlier this month, following a string of attacks, Nigerian born pro-life activist Obianuju Ekeocha tweeted out:

Please can the international media cover the intense suffering and killing of Christians in my country? Please can celebrities have at least one vigil (like the one they had for those killed in the New Zealand mosque)? Don’t Christians deserve vigils too? https://t.co/JgbLlADjnv — Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) April 7, 2019

Archbishop Ndagoso appealed for urgent help for his people, saying: “Any person, any organization, any institution that has influence: let this influence be used for the common good. And right now, let that influence be used for the common good of Nigeria so that peace may reign in our country. This is my call.”

Here below is our interview with His Excellency Matthew Ndagoso of the Archdiocese of Kaduna.

Your Excellency, can you tell us about the nature of the persecution in your region of Nigeria and why Christians are being targeted?

Nigeria is about the only country in the world where you have more or less an equal number of Christians and Muslims, of course along with followers of traditional religions. That said, there is a concentration of Christians in the southern part of the country, especially in the southeast. There is also a concentration of Muslims in the north, especially the northwest.

Our ecclesiastical province of Kaduna is situated in the northwest. It has the highest concentration of Muslims; in fact, certain states within the region are almost 98 percent Muslim. Therefore, in these states, Christians are a very tiny minority who unfortunately in the eyes of some do not count.

Even though our constitution provides freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and equality of everyone before the law, Christians in these northwest states where Muslims command the majority are not taken seriously. Their rights are not respected, because they are only tolerated, not treated as equals.

It is always very difficult especially as it pertains to the acquisition of land for the building of churches. You will be surprised to know that in some of these states the last time a legal certificate of occupancy was given for the building of a church would have been during the Colonial era. Once the local government knows a certificate of occupancy is going to be given to a church, you won’t get it. They will tell you to go and follow the due process — the due process that doesn’t exist. And when you try to follow it, you won’t get it. So it makes it very, very difficult.

I repeat, even though the constitution guarantees freedom of religion, in these states the authorities don’t respect it. That is the kind of persecution that Christians, especially in the northwest of Nigeria, are undergoing.

You don’t normally see people being killed — except by Boko Haram and the extremists – but there is a systemic persecution of Christians in these states. The political leaders do not have the political will to address the issues, to enforce the provisions of the constitution regarding the equality of religions and the equality of citizens before the law.

So there is a systemic persecution of Christians arising from tension between the national constitution and local enforcement of those provisions. But haven’t there also been attacks on Christian villages by Boko Haram or the Fulani herdsman?

Yes. Since last October there have been serious attacks in villages especially in my archdiocese of Kaduna. Hundreds and hundreds of villagers have been killed.

It is an ethnic and cultural problem. The Fulani are animal herders and a lot of them are not settled. Unfortunately, over the years the leadership of the states — which has always, except for a very brief moment, been in the hands of Muslim leaders — don’t seem to have taken seriously the concern of people in these rural areas. So, there is constant conflict, caused mainly by poverty and ignorance, between the Fulani herders and the local people, who are mostly Christian and followers of the traditional religion.

This conflict has led to attacks and the burning of so many villages. I can tell you that between January and now, more than 10 villages that are mostly Christian have been burned and destroyed. There are thousands and thousands of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in villages around the area whom we are looking after.

Is it also a religious persecution?

The attackers are so-called “herders” and are supposed to be religious. Yes, religion is part of it, but I think the biggest problem is the injustice that exists for the local people. People sometimes see it as discrimination against them because of their religion, because they do not belong to the Islamic religion. The few Muslims that live among them are provided with amenities, and so they see it as preferential treatment for the Muslims against the Christians.

I think truly it is a matter of that systemic injustice that has been perpetrated for over a century. Since the post-colonial era, most of the leaders here have been Muslims, and I think not enough has been done to allay the fears of Christians and followers of traditional religions. That is why they see it as a persecution against them because of their own religion.

Essentially, for me, it is injustice and impunity — people do things without punishment and they get away with it. Many villages have been burned, many hundreds of people have been killed and yet we do not have any rest.

Unfortunately, local leaders among the Christians and followers of the traditional religions are the ones who are arrested and imprisoned while nothing has been done about those who have been killing. This is why people think it is religious discrimination. This is the reality they are living with.

Does your state, like many in the north, live under Sharia law?

You will recall that around 2001 we had the Sharia problem here in Kaduna. Like it or not, Sharia law has been applied in so many places, especially when you go to local courts where the judges are Muslims. Even though in law there are supposed to be native law courts and sharia courts, very often in these places you will discover that the attitude is permeated by Sharia law.

Yet in Western Nigeria, Christians and Muslims live side by side in peace.

Exactly. In the Western part, it is also closely evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. They have lived very well. I think they have understood what religion is all about. In one family, you will find Christians and Muslims living together.

Of course, it is the most educated part of the country. The rate of literacy in the Western part of Nigeria is very high. Therefore, they have come to understand what religion is about and they are able to manage their religious differences. They don’t see it as a problem. They help each other. It is our hope to one day come to this place.

What message do you have for people outside Nigeria, especially in the West, regarding a solution to the persecution of Christians?

What I would say to those outside the country is that all we are asking for is justice.

Our constitution is very clear about the equality of citizens. People anywhere in Nigeria should be treated according to the constitution. I think it is a big problem that in certain parts of the country people are blatantly ignoring with impunity the provisions of the constitution and doing things according to your religious beliefs. I don't think this is right. In this country, I think we should have one constitution guiding people equally.

As a Christian, as a Catholic, canon law applies to us when as Christians dealing with ourselves within the Church. The same thing should also apply to Muslims. But when it comes to dealing with citizens, I think the constitution should be supreme. There are places in northern Nigeria where the constitution is not supreme, and this is why it is leading to discrimination against others.

We are signatories to international laws, to human rights conventions, and our government should be prevailed upon to respect and treat every Nigerian according to the law. Every Nigerian should be treated equally.

Unfortunately, the international community knows what is happening, and yet people behave as though nothing is happening.

What action would you like the US administration under President Trump to take — perhaps in the United Nations — to bring pressure on the international community to address this issue and to help Nigeria.

Exactly. If I tell you the level of insecurity in our country today you won’t believe it, especially among the people in the northwest, especially in Kaduna. It is one of the states where everybody walks around afraid. There are kidnappers and bandits and they are killing people. Villages are being burned down. In other parts of the country if something happens, the president shows up. But here people are being killed and nothing is being done about it. All we are asking is that the international community prevail upon our country.

I have always said: the first duty of every government anywhere in the world is to protect and safeguard the lives and property of their citizenry. But I can tell you right now in our country that is not the case, especially in the northwest. Citizens are being killed like chickens.

Therefore, I think the international community should prevail upon our government to ensure the lives and property of our citizens are protected. This is what we want. Once security is assured, people can go about their business.

Right now, as I am talking to you, the rainy season has come and villagers who provide food for us are afraid to go to their farms because they will be kidnapped, because they will be killed. So I do actually fear that if nothing happens between now and the next two months when people are supposed to be planting and they don’t go to their farm, only God knows what will happen to us next year in terms of food security. These are things the international community needs to talk about. Yesterday, our senate was talking about security. I think not enough — I repeat, not enough has been done to protect the lives of the citizens and property in this country, especially in the northwest. This is what we want the international community to focus on.

Have any priests of your archdiocese been caught in the violence?

One of my priests was kidnapped. It happened on March 6th. For the first two weeks we were hearing from the kidnappers, but since April 8th we have not heard a word from him. So we are afraid. We are not even sure whether he is alive. Even if he is dead, we want his dead body back so that we can bury him. It’s over a month now that he’s in captivity so we fear that he may have been killed.

He is not the only one. There are many others in captivity who have been kidnapped. Men, women and children are being kidnapped for ransom. Unfortunately, many have been killed. Sometimes, even after collecting the ransom they kill the people.

It is very rampant, and nothing is being done. People feel helpless. People are despondent. People are hopeless.

As a bishop, how do you guide your people through this?

Well, our religion is a religion of hope, especially as we are in the Easter Season. The message of Easter is really clear: violence and evil do not have the last word. No matter how difficult the situation is, our hope is that our God is always in charge. The victory of Christ over sin and death is our hope. No matter how dark the days are, there will be a daybreak. That is the message I give my people. The worst enemy of every religion, particularly the Christian religion, is hopelessness. If people lose hope, they feel they have nothing to live for. So this is my message, this is my work, this is the difficult path I have now. Our challenge now is to keep people’s hope alive, because if they become hopeless then you can be sure the worst will happen. So my task as a religious leader is to keep hope alive, especially in the face of the victory of Christ over sin and death. Evil does not have to last word. At the end of the day, good will prevail over evil, and so that is the message that I give to my people.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We need help in terms of prevailing on our government regarding the security situation now. If there is anything the international community can do to help our government in terms of security because they look helpless as it is now. Therefore, if there is anything anybody can do to help our government secure security to our country – especially regarding the insurgency of killing and kidnapping – I think we would appreciate it. What we want is for people to be able to move freely, to have their businesses, to tend to their farms, to live normal lives, this is what we want for Nigeria. At the moment, I can tell you this is not the case.

Any person, any organization, any institution that has influence: let this influence be used for the common good. And right now, let that influence be used for the common good of Nigeria so that peace may reign in our country. This is my call.

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UK (Northern Ireland) Aontú, the "only party that will defend right to life"

JAYNE McCORMACK reports for BBC News ~ The leader of Aontú has said his party is the only all-Ireland party to stand up for the universal right to life.

Peadar Tóibín was speaking as he launched his party's first local government manifesto in west Belfast.

Mr Tóibín set up the party after quitting Sinn Féin last year because of the party's decision to change its policy on abortion.

He said that during canvassing, voters had raised the issue of abortion with the party's election candidates.

"It is unbelievable that Aontú is the only party that stands up for the human right to life," said Mr Tóibín.

"Aontú want to make sure that there is a real voice and a real alternative for many people who feel that they have no-one to vote for.

"We are simply saying that this is a core value for ourselves, and we won't let you down on this issue."

He said his party was also hoping to take ground from the mainstream nationalist parties, and accused them of "detaching themselves from grassroots".

The party is standing 16 candidates in Northern Ireland's local government elections
He described Aontú as a long-term project, adding: "We are rooted in our communities, we are not here to fiddle around the edges, we are here to build a new political movement."

The party also supports a border poll. Its manifesto says it will strive for the unity of the Irish people and the development of a "strong all-Ireland economy as a remedy to Brexit uncertainty".

Mr Tóibín, who is well-known for his anti-abortion stance, was a Sinn Féin TD (member of the Irish parliament) until last November.

He had been twice suspended by Sinn Féin in recent years for defying its policy on abortion, before leaving 9a party amid claims he had been frozen out over his anti-abortion views.

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UK (Scotland) Two attacks in two days ~ anti-Catholic vandals desecrate another church

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports LifeSiteNews ~ Scottish Catholics are shocked and worried after a recent bout of vandalism in and near the city of Glasgow.

On Saturday, April 27, anti-Catholic graffiti was found spray-painted on a bus shelter outside Holy Family Catholic Church in Mossend. On Monday, April 29, vandals entered St. Simon Catholic Church in Glasgow and attacked the sanctuary, overturning candles and a shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa, and breaking a statue.

The anti-Catholic graffiti included the timeworn sentiment “F*** the Pope.” The local police said they would meet with the local Catholic diocese.

“Enquiries are ongoing into offensive graffiti painted on boarding near to a Catholic church in Mossend, Lanarkshire (...) ,” the Lanarkshire Police Division tweeted.

“The local policing team in Bellshill will meeting with local representatives from the Diocese of Motherwell with regard to this incident.”

Police in Glasgow stated that there is no evidence the attack on St. Simon’s, the principal place of worship for the city’s Polish community, was either motivated by sectarianism or a hate crime:

“We received a report at around 4:20 pm on Monday April 29 of vandalism at St Simon's Church in Glasgow,” a representative from Police Scotland said. “Officers attended and enquiries are ongoing.”

“There is nothing to suggest that it was a hate crime or motivated by sectarianism.”

However, many residents of Scotland, living in a country where anti-Catholic incidents are on the rise, shared their beliefs on Twitter that the church vandalism was indeed a hate crime.

A spokesman from Sancta Familia Media, a Mossend-based Catholic apostolate, told LifeSiteNews that he thought perhaps the police didn’t want to raise “community tensions.”

Asked if he thought the anti-Catholic graffiti outside Holy Family Church and the destruction at St. Simon’s were related, the Scottish Catholic said it didn’t matter.

“To me as a Catholic it doesn’t matter if they’re related or not because we’re seeing much more vandalism now,” he said. “There’s just a general rise in anti-Catholicism in Scotland.”

LifeSiteNews’ source recalled an overnight attack on a Catholic Church in Coatbridge, in which the Blessed Sacrament was removed from the tabernacle and scattered on the floor. He also referred to an incident in Glasgow last July when a Catholic priest was spat on by a participant during an “Orange Walk,” an annual parade that traditionally expresses pride in British Protestant heritage.

“Priests attacked in the street, churches ransacked - what’s next?” the Sancta Familia spokesman asked.

A representative for the Archdiocese of Glasgow published disgust with the desecration of St. Simon’s on Facebook.

“A shameful attack on a much loved church,” the post said. “Let’s find those responsible and send out the message loud and clear that this kind of action is unacceptable.”

An anti-sectarian group named “Call It Out” sent out an appeal over Twitter to challenge recent anti-Catholic acts.

“In the last 10 days we have seen vandalism of a Catholic cemetery in Glasgow, anti-Catholic graffiti on a bus stop outside a Catholic Church in Lanarkshire and now an act of desecration of a Catholic Church in the West End of Glasgow,” the group tweeted.

“Please stand with us in challenging this!”

Scottish politicians have also turned to Twitter to signal support for the Catholic community and decry the recent incidents of vandalism. Richard Leonard, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, wrote that anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland must cease.

“This is distressing,” he wrote. “The whole congregation of St. Simon’s have my solidarity, and we must do all we can to stamp anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland.”

Similarly, Willie Rennie, the leader of Scotland’s Liberal Democrats, tweeted that the attack on the church was “very disturbing and should be investigated by @policescotland.”

Anas Sawar, the Labour Member of Scottish Parliament for Glasgow and a Muslim, tweeted: “Solidarity. Another unacceptable and hate-filled attack on a place of worship. We must come together and challenge this. An attack on one faith is an attack on all faiths.”

However, there has not been a response by Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party. This does not sit well with Sancta Familia Media’s spokesman.

“A Muslim MP has shown his solidarity, so why can’t the First Minister?” he asked.

“If this sort of thing is tolerated, what’s the next step?”

Historically, there has been an uneasy relationship between Scotland’s Protestant majority and Catholic minority. In the 20th and 21st centuries, sectarianism was exacerbated, or prolonged, by football rivalries, most famously between supporters of Glasgow’s “Catholic” Celtic and “Protestant” Rangers soccer teams.

Although relationships between the different communities of Christian church-goers are healthy today, Scottish Catholics must still contend with the bigotry of those wedded to the old sectarianism and those who seek to stamp out Catholic beliefs about marriage, sexuality and the family.

Although Catholics represent only 15 percent of the Scottish population, they suffer 57 percent of all religion-motivated hate crimes

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United States Dominican priest: California confession bill threatens all religions

CNA reports ~ If California moves forward with its proposed law trying to force priests to violate the seal of Confession, it is not just Catholicism but all religions that will suffer, said a Dominican priest in a recent op-ed.

Writing last Sunday in USA Today, Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, assistant professor of canon law at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California, warned that "If this bill passes, no religion is safe."

"If a core principle as deeply ingrained in Catholic tradition and doctrine can be wiped away this easily by the state, no fundamental rights of religion or conscience are safe."

The proposal, California Senate Bill 360, would seek to require priests to violate the sacramental seal of confession in suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.

More than 40 professions, including clergy, are already covered by state law requiring them to notify civil authorities in cases of suspected abuse or neglect of children. Current law provides an exemption for "penitential communications" between an individual and their minister if the requirement of confidentiality is rooted in church doctrine.

Senator Jerry Hill introduced the proposed legislation in February, saying, "The law should apply equally to all professionals who have been designated as mandated reporters of these crimes - with no exceptions, period. The exemption for clergy only protects the abuser and places children at further risk."

In his op-ed, Pietrzyk asserted that the bill is "nothing less than an attempt to jail innocent priests."

While the purpose of mandatory reporting statutes is good, he said, "there is no evidence that forcing priests to disclose cases of abuse learned of in the confessional would have prevented a single case of child abuse."

Instead, he said, "There is every reason to believe the elimination of the privilege would mean that perpetrators would simply not bring it to confession."

The bill would force a priest who hears in the confessional about sins regarding sexual abuse to choose to "face possible imprisonment or to betray that confidentiality and violate his deepest conscience and the laws of God and the Roman Catholic Church."

"I know priests all along the theological and ideological spectra, none of them would ever consider breaking the seal of the confessional," Pietrzyk said.

The Catholic Church holds that confession is a critical sacrament, allowing penitents to receive the grace of Christ and forgiveness of their sins, the priest explained.

"Although the priest acts as an instrument, confession is fundamentally about the encounter of the penitent Christian with God; he admits his sins to God and through the priest receives God's absolution.It is a privileged moment in which a person reveals the deepest part of his conscience to God."

The Church teaches that the "seal of confession" is inviolable and cannot be changed by human authority, because its origin is in divine revelation, Pietrzyk said. A priest who intentionally violates the seal commits a mortal sin and incurs an automatic excommunication.

"The Catholic Church holds that the information received by the priest in confession does not belong to him. It belongs to God alone," he explained." For that reason, a priest is absolutely - meaning there are no exceptions - forbidden from revealing the sins of a penitent."

This belief is foundational to Catholic teaching, which existed for centuries before the United States was founded, the priest noted. And it has long been upheld by courts and civil authorities.

In 1813, Pietrzyk said, the New York Court of General Sessions stated, "To decide that the minister shall promulgate what he receives in confession, is to declare that there shall be no penance; and this important branch of the Roman Catholic religion would be thus annihilated."

In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged, "The priest-penitent privilege recognizes the human need to disclose to a spiritual counselor, in total and absolute confidence, what are believed to be flawed acts or thoughts and to receive priestly consolation and guidance in return."

Given the religious and historical context of the seal of confession, California's proposal should alarm all Americans, Pietrzyk said.

"To force individuals to choose between the most sacrosanct part of their religious beliefs and imprisonment is what the Bill of Rights was entirely meant to avoid."

[CNA]. 2279.10























United States Peter's Pence (Soros' Pence?) Pope to give $500,000 to aid illegal immigrants

ELIZABETH YORE reports for The Remnant - DrudgeReport headlines scream 'Pope Funds Caravan' or 'Border Battle: Pope Funds Caravan.' The Vatican wires half a million dollars from Peter's Pence to aid the illegal immigrant caravan marching over the southern border of the United States.

Attention Catholics! Pencil in June 30, 2019 on your church calendar. It signifies this year's collection day for Peter's Pence, the global collection plate for the Pope's favourite charities. According to the USCCB website, the purpose of Peter's Pence Collection is to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster, and disease.

Surely, the persecuted Christians in Iraq, Egypt and Nigeria desperately deserve $500,000 to help them rebuild their devastated churches, schools, homes, and lives at the brutal hands of Islamic jihadists, do they not? After all, these innocent Catholics weren't breaking the law when the violent jihadis terrorized their land, destroyed their Churches and raped their women.

What about the underground Catholic Church in China who are experiencing a massive destructive crackdown and demolition of their churches and lives by the Communist government? They could use $500,000 from Peter's Pence to rebuild their places of worship.

Clearly, Catholics victims of the suicide bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka by Islamic terrorists would benefit greatly with $500,000 from Peter's Pence, would they not?

Certainly, the funds from Peter's Pence should be directed to the Catholic Church in the Middle East and Africa, after a genocidal year of unrelenting terrorism and Christian persecution by Boko Haram and other Islamic terrorists?

No, Francis is focusing on the Soros agenda, not the persecuted Catholics' agenda. Recall that this is the Pope who said, 'If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.'

Francis shares the Soros view that 'national borders are the obstacle.' The Pope incessantly interjects his view into American politics, by commenting about Trump's wall as 'those who build walls will become prisoners of the walls they put up' or intruding into the political campaign that politicians who promote a wall are 'unchristian.'

The Vatican is no friend of America, what with the disturbing news that The Vatican appropriated $500,000 of Peter's Pence funds to aid and abet lawbreakers on our southern border.

The man who sits safely and securely behind his 39-foot Vatican wall undermines American security by funding open borders.

By pouring monies into illegal migrant caravans, Pope Francis is facilitating the soaring crime rates of human trafficking, illegal drugs, criminal organizations, and exploitation of women and children, along with the organized participation and funding of George Soros and the United Nations. Central American immigrants from the MS-13 gangs are flowing over our porous border and wreaking havoc in our communities.

It's noteworthy that American Catholics are the largest contributors to Peter's Pence. It is time to shut off the financial spigot to this Vatican scheme to undermine the safety, security and sovereignty of Europe and the United States. Closing wallets to the Vatican, sends a message that American Catholics want the border closed and secure. Like the Pope, Americans deserve a wall to keep us safe.

On the last Sunday in June, the second collection basket will be passed for Peter's Pence. Close your wallet.

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United States New York Archdiocese's list of 120 accused clergy is missing notable names

CHRISTINE NILES, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D., reports for ChurchMilitant.com ~ The archdiocese of New York has published a list of clergy credibly accused of abuse of minors, but missing from the list are names of several notorious clergy. Sources confirm Cdl. Timothy Dolan is hiding out in a mansion in Sloatsburg during the list's release.

Published Friday, the list of 120 priests only includes archdiocesan clergy and 'does not include priests belonging to religious orders or institutes [or] 'extern' priests who were ordained in other dioceses.'

The name of Fr. Thomas Kreiser does not appear on the list, indicted by a grand jury for molesting a minor.

Kreiser, arrested in September for abusing a 10-year-old girl and now facing trial, had reportedly been recommended last year for a pastorship by chancery officials - in spite of the fact that he'd been caught in 2011 embezzling $25,000 from his parish to spend on personal expenses, including online gambling.

The archdiocese used five criteria to determine whether a priest's name should be included on the list:

• the archdiocesan Review Board found the allegation to be credible and substantiated;

• the accused was laicized or permanently removed from ministry as a result of the allegation;

• the accused admitted the allegation;

• the accused was convicted of a crime in connection with the allegation; or

• there was a civil settlement as a result of the allegation prior to the creation of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Although Kreiser has been indicted by a grand jury for molesting a minor and is awaiting trial, he has not yet been convicted.

The name of Fr. Gary Mead is also not included on the list, as his misconduct involved adults. Mead was busted in a sex sting in 2007, police records showing that the former pastor of St. Gregory Barbarigo parish in Garnerville was caught performing 'lewd acts' in a public restroom off Interstate 684, a known haunt for gay cruising, in well-heeled Westchester County.

He had solicited sex from an undercover policeman and tried to fondle him, and was arrested and charged with loitering and forcible touching.

The sting was prompted by a complaint from a parent who had taken his 10-year-old son to use the restroom and witnessed homosexual activity between various men.

After disappearing for a few years, Mead returned to ministry, and was promoted to head of Instructional Television (ITV) for the archdiocese, a post he continues to hold.

The name of Fr. Peter Miqueli is also missing from the list, sued by parishioners in 2015 for embezzling nearly $1 million dollars to use on drugs and gay-for-pay prostitute Keith Crist.

Tatyana Gudin, former girlfriend of Crist, has confirmed that Crist had frequent paid sexual encounters with Miqueli that included $1,000 sexual trysts, $300 bottles of whiskey and the drug Dilaudid.

Miqueli resigned in disgrace in 2016, later sent to Our Lady of Consolation in the Bronx. Sources confirm he spent time away at a clerical rehabilitation center in Michigan called The Guesthouse.

The chancery recently recommended that he be restored to active ministry, but the nomination was blocked after strenuous objections from the priest personnel board.

Dolan recently announced Miqueli's suspension, one week after Church Militant reported that the cardinal was failing to remove priests recommended for removal by Judge Barbara Jones, tasked to lead the investigation into clerical abuse in the New York archdiocese.

According to The New York Times, the estate includes 'an eight-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot manor house on seven lakefront acres here, with a private tennis court, outdoor pool and 70-foot indoor lap pool that resembles a Venetian canal.'

Gifted to the archdiocese in 2015, the property was originally intended for use as a retreat center for clergy, but is no longer being used for that purpose. Instead, it's serving as the private vacation home for the cardinal, who stays in the mansion several times a year.

Located at 4 Springhouse Road in Sloatsburg, it's currently listed on a New York real estate website at $3.5 million (although it was originally put on the market in 2015 for $9 million). Photos of the estate can be viewed at this website.

The mansion has presented a case of bad optics for the archdiocese, undergoing a recent spate of school and parish closures owing to financial struggles. The cardinal is also in the midst of a fundraiser, asking the faithful to give generously so the archdiocese can stay viable.

'No matter how you look at it, it was a very generous donation to the archdiocese,' Joe Zwilling, spokesman for the New York archdiocese, told The New York Times. 'So we might as well get whatever use out of it we can while we own it, rather than just have it sit there empty.'

Zwilling claims the mansion will likely be sold at some point, but a stipulation in the donation prevents the property from ever being sold.

'And if for any reason they want to get rid of it, they have to give it back to us,' said Amanda Bowman, who donated the estate to the archdiocese.

Church Militant has reported extensively on former vicar general Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo's close connections to Miqueli, Mead and other problematic priests within the archdiocese.

Multiple sources who have spoken with Church Militant on the record and anonymously confirm that Mustaciuolo had reportedly long been aware of Miqueli's embezzling as well as his relationship with prostitute Keith Crist, and acted to protect him.

Mustaciuolo is current CEO of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, worth $3.2 billion in assets (all cash), and among the top 25 largest grant-making foundations in the country. Critics have questioned how someone as tainted by scandal could be chosen to lead such a large non-profit, whose chairmen include Alfred Kelly (CEO of Visa), Samuel DiPiazza (former CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Catherine Kinney (former president of the NY Stock Exchange). Board members also include Carla Harris (vice chairman at Morgan Stanley), along with the bishops of New York.

Church Militant has confirmed that complaints about Mustaciuolo's role at Cabrini have been submitted to the New York attorney general's office, which is reviewing the complaints.

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United States Parents protest extreme pro-LGBT school curricula legislation at New Jersey state house

THE DAILY SIGNAL reports ~ A rally this past weekend gave New Jersey parents an opportunity to oppose a new state law requiring public schools to teach children about the 'political, economic, and social contributions' of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

The new law also requires schools to stress such contributions made by disabled persons, but it's the LGBT education component that prompted organizers to plan the rally.

'When you teach about George Washington, you don't teach that George Washington had sex with his wife and what he did; we teach what George Washington did as a president,' Victoria Jakelsky, a political consultant and parental rights activist in New Jersey, told The Daily Signal in an interview Wednesday.

'But they are twisting it around to say that anyone who is LGBT, they're going to explain what they did, who their relationships were [with], and incorporate it as gay and lesbian and bisexual people are the history-makers,' Jakelsky, a paralegal by training, said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed the legislation into law Jan. 31, and it is set to go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year.

Jakelsky was among those organizing the rally Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the New Jersey State House in Trenton to help educate and mobilize parents to oppose the state law.

'We have no hope of fighting this through the legislative [process] so the only option is to rise up or to have a lawsuit,' she said.

The Facebook page with information about the rally listed over 15 speakers, including R.J. Snell, director of the Center on the University and Intellectual Life at the Witherspoon Institute and a lecturer at Princeton University.

'This rally has been organized to notify parents about the new law that Murphy signed in January to mandate that LGBTQ 'history' is placed into ALL public middle school and high school curriculum starting in the 2020-2021 school year,' another Facebook post reads.

It says the rally was for those who want to speak the truth, defend parental rights, preserve religious liberty, and assist parents of children in public schools to collaborate with school boards to 'protect their children and perhaps fight for Christian world views to also be taught.'

In 2013, state legislators in Colorado passed legislation on sex education that required students to undergo 'culturally sensitive' sessions. This meant 'sex ed lessons would incorporate minority perspectives on sex that had not previously been represented in sex ed - including LGBT individuals, but also other groups,' Stephanie Curry, policy manager for Family Policy Alliance, wrote in a recent commentary in The Daily Signal.

A new bill in Colorado's Legislature would 'prohibit religious, moral, and ethical perspectives on sex from being discussed in the classroom' and ban speech that promotes abstinence, Curry wrote.

Family Policy Alliance's vice president for strategy, Autumn Leva, wrote in another commentary for The Daily Signal that the Equality Act, a priority bill for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being used to 'manipulate schoolchildren to carry water for the LGBT political agenda - whether their parents like it or not.'

The Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to characteristics - race, color, religion, sex, and national origin - already protected from discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Emilie Kao, director of the the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the Equality Act would harm any victories that parents have gained at keeping LGBT policy and curriculum at bay.

'The Equality Act could override the efforts of parents across the country, like those in New Jersey, to preserve their freedom to teach their own children about sexuality, marriage, and biology at a time and manner of their choosing,' Kao said, adding:

The act would codify in federal law certain viewpoints about sexual orientation and gender fluidity while censoring and punishing nonconforming viewpoints. All people should be treated with dignity and respect, but federal legislation should not determine that all students learn about homosexuality and transgender theory in their school curriculums.

Jakelsky said her goal is to bring attention to the issue so that parents will be able to opt out of New Jersey's LGBT education programming.

'What we think is going to happen is that we're going to find a way to work with the school board to be able to give the parents an opportunity to opt out, or at least be notified when this [LGBT material] is being part of the lesson plan,' Jakelsky said.

She said organizers of the rally want to protect children and give parents a say in their children's education.

'All of us feel very passionate that this is a mission we are called to do, and we are just determined to stop this from being implemented, or provide parents a way to protect their children,' Jakelsky said.

[Published by LifeSiteNews with permission from The Daily Signal]

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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

AFTER remaining quiet for five years, often reported dead, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, leader of the Islamic State, appears in a 17-minute video, rallying what remains of his forces to launch further attacks on the "Christian Crusaders".



Australia : Islamic activists: If you oppose chopping off hands, you're intolerant

Australia : Islamist hid bomb disguised as mincer in his brother's luggage

Australia : Journalist planned to lure, behead Christians in revenge for NZ massacre

Australia : Jihad-linked group teaches rejection of national anthem

Egypt : Church closed after Muslim mob beats up priest, scares 200 school children

Sri Lanka : Authorities seek Islamic cleric who justified Easter bombings in internet broadcast, preached that idolaters 'need to be slaughtered'

Turkey : Erdogan: "There's no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it"

USA : Jihad plot in Southern California: “I feel like I should make a Christian's life miserable"


[CF News] 2279.16























International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



[EWTN] 2279.17


























Dr. Mark Clark speaks on the John Henry Cardinal Newman on his conversion and his sermons.



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Letter box


C-FAM under attack at the United Nations

AUSTIN RUSE. President/C-Fam, Editor Publisher/Friday Fax,writes ~ I cannot give you any specifics because it would make the situation worse, but C-Fam is under sustained and direct attack from powerful forces at the UN because of our strong pro-life position at the UN.

We are working hard to alleviate the situation which is based on false and unfair charges against us. But this attack points up the effectiveness of C-Fam personnel who are at the very center of all UN negotiations that touch on life and family.

Just before Easter, for instance, the United States threatened to veto a Security Council resolution on rape during war because the resolution was being used by radicals to advance a right to abortion. The resolution passed on Tuesday without any reference to sexual and reproductive health.

All credit goes to the Trump negotiators, but I will point out that C-Fam has argued for this position for many years, often against the wishes of other pro-life groups at the UN who have been willing to accept "reproductive health."

I will also point out that it has been our own Susan Yoshihara who has worked on Security Council issues related to the issue of children born of rape in war. These poor children have never been protected by the countries they were born in because of the circumstances of their conception. We have worked to change that.

So, now we find ourselves threatened with possible expulsion from the United Nations because we are uncompromisingly pro-life AND because we are so effective.

I write to you as a regular reader of the Friday Fax and as someone who recognizes how important it is to stand up for the unborn and the family at the UN. You know how perilous things are at the UN, especially those who view abortion practically as a sacrament!

I ask for your immediate prayers, prayers of thanksgiving for our recent great victory at the Security Council, and prayers that our attackers will be defeated.

I would also ask you to make an emergency financial donation to our work. We have an immediate need of $10,000 to cover pressing expenses.




Can you afford $500? $100? $50?

We are always in desperate need of financial support and now is no different. We are up against powerful forces including governments and billion-dollar UN agencies…AND WE BEAT THEM! No wonder they are so angry with us.

So, pray right now and please give as much as you can.

[C-FAM] 2279.19
























Comment from the internet


Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon reflect on the scholars' letter




[LSN] 2279.20























Liberal feathers fly

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives ~ A story at Reuters on the just-published Open Letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy reveals more than Reuters and its author, one Philip Pullella, seem to realize. According to the headline, “Conservatives want Catholic bishops to denounce pope as heretic.” The article is preceded by the advice “5 min read” — an indication of just how superficial is the media’s understanding of the issues involved in the Letter.

First of all, the “conservatives” mentioned in the headline, meaning the original 19 signatories of the letter (now more than 1500 in number), include Father Aidan Nichols, who, as Pullella notes, is “one of most recognized theologians in the English-speaking world.” As Nichol’s participation would indicate to anyone with any real understanding of Catholic teaching, these “conservatives” are nothing more or less than orthodox Catholics appalled and alarmed by Francis’ reckless pontificate. That a theologian of Nichols’ stature would lend his name to the Letter demonstrates the gravity of the crisis Francis has created.

What Pullella is really reporting, however inadvertently, is the astounding news that orthodox Catholics have been compelled to speak out publicly against a heterodox Pope in a situation that makes the heretical opinion of Pope John XXII on the beatific vision look trivial by comparison.

Pullella’s take on the Open Letter, however, is drearily shallow: “The letter attacks Francis for allegedly softening the Church’s stance on a range of subjects. They say he has not been outspoken enough against abortion and has been too welcoming to homosexuals and too accommodating to Protestants and Muslims.” In the same vein, WABC News (as I heard on the radio today) characterized the Letter as a protest against “openness to LGBTQ relationships.”

But the Letter has nothing to do with such emotion-laden jargon as “welcoming” and “accommodating” and “openness.” As if Francis were being “attacked” just because he is a nice person whereas his critics are mean-spirited Pharisees, as the not-so-nice Francis routinely denominates orthodox Catholics in the endless stream of demagogic denunciations he has uttered over the past six years.

What the Open Letter is really about is a Pope who seems determined to undermine the foundations of the Catholic religion even in matters as fundamental as the Sixth Commandment, thus endangering both the temporal and eternal welfare of the very people he is supposed to be “welcoming” and “accommodating” when in truth he is leading them down the primrose path.

Thus, the Letter abundantly documents the following errors of Francis, especially those stemming from his disastrous Amoris Laetitia, which essentially legitimates sexual relations outside of marriage in cases where the participants deem themselves incapable of doing otherwise:

“I. A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.

“II. A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.

“III. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.

“IV. Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right, or requested or even commanded by God.

“V. It is false that the only sexual acts that are good of their kind and morally licit are acts between husband and wife.

“VI. Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.

“VII. God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non- Christian.”

Even Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, who can hardly be called a “radical traditionalist,” has come out of retirement to make this observation on the Open Letter:

“There’s seven different … heresy counts. Each one is clearly stated. Each one of them is backed up by previous Church teaching, either councils or popes. And then they show where Pope Francis has made statements that seem to contradict these Church teachings, and then also how by his actions and his inactions, in some cases, he was to corroborate that understanding.”

At this stage in the Francis Debacle, I doubt there is any sober and orthodox Catholic of repute who would defend the increasingly wayward course of this pontificate. But Francis can always count on one defender: the liberal media that sides with him as he denounces the faithful for defending the Faith of their fathers.

It is no exaggeration to say that what we are now witnessing, as Roberto de Mattei has written, is “Neo-Modernism, entrenched at the very top of the Church,” which “preaches false peace and false fraternity. But false peace brings war into the world, just as false fraternity brings schism, which is war inside the Church.”

Tellingly, de Mattei notes the prediction of St. Luigi Orione in 1913, four years before Our Lady appeared at Fatima to provide in the Third Secret a prophetic warning of what Orione had predicted: “Modernism and semi-Modernism cannot go on – sooner or later it’s going to be Protestantism or a schism in the Church which will be the most terrible that the world has ever seen.”

But that terrible state of affairs can only be the harbinger of a dramatic and decisive divine intervention that will bring it to an end. That intervention will involve the ultimate Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the long-delayed Consecration of Russia.


[FP] 2279.20a























“The most terrible schism the world has ever seen”

R de MatteiROBERTO de MATTEI writes for Corrispomdenza Romana / Rorate Caeli ~ On February 4, 2019, at Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al- Tayyeb, signed the document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”. The declaration opens in the name of a God, who, if he has to be a God common to all, cannot be anything other than the Allah of Muslims. The God of Christians, in fact, is one in nature, but Triune in persons, equal and distinct, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since the time of Arius and thereafter, the Church has been battling the anti-Trinitarians and the Deists who deny, or set aside this mystery, which is Christianity’s greatest. Islam, on the contrary, rejects it in horror, as the Sura “of authentic worship” proclaims: “He, God, is one! God, the Eternal One! He will not generate, nor was he generated, and none is equal to him!” (Koran, 112, 2,4).

Actually, in the Abu Dhabi declaration, worship is not given either to the God of Christians or to the God of Islam, but to a secular divinity, “human fraternity”, “which embraces all men, unites them and renders them equal.” We are not dealing here with “the spirit of Assisi - which in its syncretism recognizes, nonetheless, the primacy of the religious dimension over that of the secularist - but with an affirmation of indifference. In no point, in fact, is a fundamental metaphysic of the values of peace and fraternity mentioned, but these are continually referred to. The document, when it affirms that “pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings”, does not profess the ecumenism condemned by Pius XI in Mortalium animos (1928), but the religious indifferentism condemned by Leo XIII in the encyclical Libertas (June 20, 1888), which he defines as “a doctrinal system teaching each is free to profess the religion he likes and even not to profess any at all.”

In the Abu Dhabi declaration, Christians and Muslims submit themselves to the core principal of Freemasonry, whereby the French Revolution values of liberty and equality should find their synthesis and attainment in universal brotherhood. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, who along with Pope Francis drew up the text, is a hereditary sheik of the Confraternity of Sufis for Upper Egypt, and, in the Islamic world, Al Azhar, the university of which he is rector, is characterized for its proposal of Sufi esotericism, as “an initiatory bridge” between Eastern and Western Freemasonry (cfr. Gabriel Mandel, Federico II, il sufismo e la massoneria, Tipheret, Acireale 2013).

The document in an insistent and repetitive manner, calls upon “the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world”, to work strenuously to spread “the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace,” expressing “the firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence”. These values, it stresses, are the “anchor of salvation for all”. Thus, “the Catholic Church and Al Azhar” ask that “this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.”

On April 11, at Santa Marta in the Vatican, the Abu Dhabi document was sealed by a symbolic gesture. Francis prostrated himself on the ground before three political leaders from Sudan and kissed their feet, imploring peace. This gesture should be judged not so much for what it affirms: the submission of the Church to political powers, but for what it negates: the rejection of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who represents Christ, in Whose Name every knee shall bend in heaven and on earth (Philippians 2, 10) must receive homage from men and nations and not pay homage to anyone.

The words of Pius XI in the encyclical Quas primas, (1925) resonate: “Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.”

The gesture made by Pope Francis at Santa Marta also negates a sublime mystery: The Incarnation, Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Savior and Redeemer of mankind. By denying this mystery, the salvific mission of the Church - called to evangelize and civilize the world - is denied. Will the Amazonian Synod which takes place next October, be a new phase in this rejection of the Church’s mission, which is also the rejection of the Vicar of Christ’s mission? Will Pope Francis kneel before representatives of the indigenous people? Will he ask them to transmit to the Church their tribal wisdom of which they are carriers?

What is certain is that three days later, on April 15, the Cathedral of Notre Dame (a descriptive image of the Church) went up in flames that devoured the spire, leaving the foundation intact. Does this not signify that, despite the collapse at the very top of the Church, Her Divine structure endures, and nothing will be able to demolish that?

A week later, other events shook up Catholic public opinion. A series of terrorist attacks, incited by the followers of that same religion Pope Bergoglio submits to, transformed Easter of the Resurrection into a day of Passion for the universal Church, with 310 dead and more than 500 wounded. Even before it consumed the bodies, the fire consumed the illusions of those Catholics, who with applauds and guitars intone the alleluia, while the Church is experiencing Her Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Some may object that the bombers in Sri Lanka, even if they were Muslim, do not represent Islam. Yet not even the Imam of Al Ahzar, who signed the document of peace and fraternity, represents all of Islam. Pope Francis, on the other hand does certainly represent the Catholic Church. But for how long?

There is no true fraternity outside the supernatural, which does not come from relationships among men, but from God (1 Thessalonians, 1,4). In the same way, there is no peace possible outside that of Christian peace, since the source of true peace is Christ, Incarnate Wisdom, Who “preached peace to you that were afar off, and peace to them that were nigh” (Ephesians, 2, 17). Peace is a gift from God, brought to mankind by Jesus Christ, Son of God and Sovereign of Heaven and Earth. The Catholic Church founded by Him, is the supreme depositary of peace, since She is custodian of the truth and peace is founded on truth and justice.

Neo-Modernism, entrenched at the very top of the Church, preaches false peace and false fraternity. But false peace brings war into the world, just as false fraternity brings schism, which is war inside the Church. St. Luigi Orione had dramatically foreseen it all on June 26 1913: “Modernism and semi-Modernism cannot go on – sooner or later it’s going to be Protestantism or a schism in the Church which will be the most terrible that the world has ever seen.” (Writings, vol.43, p.53).

[RC] 2278.20b























The fight against Clericalism takes a dangerous turn

STEVE SKOJEC writes for OnePeterFive ~ "Clericalism" has been a favorite buzzword of Pope Francis almost since the inception of his pontificate. He wields it like a Swiss army knife, applying it to every problem he doesn't have a sufficient alternative explanation for. (There's also not a little irony in his use of the term, but that's par for the course.) Most recently, he levelled the vaguely defined charge of clericalism