This edition of CF NEWS No.2280 posted at 12.57pm on Sunday, May 12th, 2019.



Vatican watch

Evangelization over Doctrine - Cart before the Horse?      VIDEO   read more >>>
Pope's new norms on sex-abuse leave power in hands of bishops read more >>>
Francis' plans to re-order curia: Another looming disaster   read more >>>
What's up with Pope Francis and Protestantism?
     VIDEO   read more >>>
Leading Catholics react to Open Letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy
  read more >>>
Before he was accused of heresy, Catholics reached out to Francis numerous times
  read more >>>
Bishop Schneider: Pope must formally correct statement that God wills false religions   read more >>>
Did they rig the election?      VIDEO   read more
Cardinal Mueller: "There never has been an ordained diaconate learn more >>>

Humanae Vitae

Theology of the Body and Humanae Vitae      VIDEO   read more >>>

Gratia Gratum Sodomiticum

In Belgium it is the Rainbow Church  read more >>>

United Nations

UN Committee tells United States not to protect Catholic nuns   read more >>>

News from around the world

AUSTRALIA Muslim to Christians: 'It's time to wake up'      VIDEO   read more >>>
FRANCE L'Arche founder Jean Vanier dies aged 90
  read more >>>
HUNGARY Family Minister says supporting the Family is not ‘Nazism’ read more >>>
IRAN Minister admits Christianity is spreading in 'parts' of his country
  read more >>>
PAKISTAN Asia Bibi finds refuge in Canada but faces Muslim retribution   read more >>>
UK Catholic Education Conference betrays parents
  read more >>>
UK Thought crimes against transgender agenda
  read more >>>
UK Primary school bans teachers from calling pupils 'boys and girls'
  read more >>>
     VIDEO   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
     VIDEO   read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
  read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
     VIDEO   read more >>>


Newman's positive as well as negative points      VIDEO   read more >>>
A new critical edition of Newman's essays   read more >>>


Roman Life Forum read more >>>


YouTube pulls ads on interview with LifeSite co-founder      VIDEO   read more >>>

Book review

Sir Jacob comes to realise . . .   read more >>>

Comment from the internet

The Prophecies of Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich      VIDEO   read more >>>
Evelyn Waugh predicted the collapse of Catholic England
  read more >>>
Angry left-wing Catholic attacks traditionalists
  read more >>>
Courage - a Cardinal Virtue
  read more >>>
Common sense   read more >>>
Jimmy Akin: Technically speaking Pope still a Catholicread more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Thwaite  read more >>>
Saints of the day   read more >>>
Music for Easter   
VIDEO   read more >>>


Thomas a Kempis  read more >>>



By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch


Evangelization over Doctrine - Cart before the Horse?

WHY did Pope Francis place Evangelization over Doctrine? Is it the Cart before the Horse? Is he espousing a form of Lutheranism? What is Proselytism? Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon set out to discuss these questions and topics.



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Globe CF  NEWS

Pope's new norms on sex abuse leave power in hands of bishops.
CHRISTINE NILES. M.St (Oxon). J.D., reports for ChurchMilitant.com
~ Thhe pope's new motu proprio on sex abuse allows the bishops to investigate themselves, cutting laity out of any investigation and failing to direct clergy to report abuse to secular authorities.

Published on Thursday, Vos Estis Lux Mundi places the metropolitan archbishop in charge of any investigation into allegations of abuse by brother bishops. The metropolitan's power is near-total.

In the initial stages, the metropolitan is given authority to reject a claim as unfounded and drop any investigation. "If the Metropolitan considers the report manifestly unfounded, he shall so inform the Pontifical Representative" — the papal liaison, who then informs the competent dicastery in Rome.

If the metropolitan believes the claim is founded, he is then placed in charge of overseeing all aspects of the investigation, including:

a) collect[ing] relevant information regarding the facts;

b) access[ing] the information and documents necessary for the purpose of the investigation kept in the archives of ecclesiastical offices;

c) obtain[ing] the cooperation of other Ordinaries or Hierarchs whenever necessary;

d) request[ing] information from individuals and institutions, including civil institutions, that are able to provide useful elements for the investigation.

Article 19 — the last article — gives brief mention of complying with state law on reporting requirements; however, nowhere in the motu proprio are clergy instructed to report abuse to secular authorities, leaving the investigation entirely within the ranks of the Church.

Critics are slamming the document as insufficient, noting its striking similarity to the Wuerl alternate sex abuse proposal heavily promoted by Cardinal Blase Cupich in Baltimore, Maryland in November. That plan also proposed placing sex-abuse investigations of fellow bishops under the auspices of the metropolitan.

In the case of Cupich, he would be the metropolitan in charge of overseeing any investigation of brother bishops in his jurisdiction. Theodore McCarrick — laicized after being exposed as a serial homosexual predator — would have been the metropolitan in charge of investigating abuse by bishops, if the norms had been in place during his time in Washington D.C.

The Wuerl/Cupich proposal also made clear laity would not be involved in any investigation — a direct contradiction to ideas proposed by other American bishops, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, head of the Pontifical Commission on Protection of Minors, who agreed that laymen should take part in investigating abuse.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio, stunned American bishops in Baltimore when, in his opening speech, he rejected the possibility of a lay board to investigate sex abuse. Pierre had been spotted dining and conferring privately with Cupich and Wuerl at the Marriott hotel, and both Wuerl and Cupich had been seen frequently together in Rome in the weeks leading up to the November Baltimore bishops meeting.

Although the majority of bishops, including DiNardo, were caught off guard by the turn of events — there was an audible gasp in the room when DiNardo announced that Rome wanted the votes on sex abuse reform delayed until the February synod — it was clear Cupich had already been aware of the plan. He was first on his feet to address the news with what seemed a prepared speech, insisting that the Holy Father is "serious" about getting to the bottom of the McCarrick abuse scandal and that bishops should spend the remaining months discussing next steps.

Those "next steps" never came at the February summit, widely criticized for its failure to propose concrete steps to address abuse at the hands of bishops.

The only significant difference in the motu proprio from the Wuerl/Cupich proposal is that the motu proprio includes adult seminarians and religious in the same criminal categories as minors and vulnerable adults. Even so, a seminarian or religious who alleges abuse at the hands of a bishop must still submit to the investigative authority of the metropolitan, who then submits his final determination to the Holy See.

Confidence in Church leadership is at an all-time low, after revelations last summer exposing McCarrick as a serial sexual predator, after having been the public face of the response to the sex abuse crisis in 2002. He played a key role in formulating the Dallas Charter, meant to hold clergy accountable for abuse — all while abusing minors, seminarians and clergy himself.

The publication of the Pennsylvania grand jury report in mid-August, followed by Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò's testimony about a clerical homosexual network within the Church conspiring to cover up McCarrick's crimes, led to a cascade of criminal probes launched in multiple states, with a number of attorneys general insisting the Church cannot police itself.

The new norms issued by the Vatican Thursday continue the same paradigm, allowing the Church to police itself, and leaving power to investigate abusive bishops in the hands of the bishops themselves.

Comment ~ Pope Francis signs document protecting 'consensual' clerical sodomy

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA comments for Fatima Perspectives ~ Yes, the title of this column is provocative, to say the least, but that is what is really going on with the just-signed Apostolic Letter Vos Estis Lux Mundi (VELM). VELM lays down requirements for reporting “crimes of sexual abuse” committed by clerics, which “offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful.” But VELM is just another layer of bureaucratic procedure that ignores the underlying rot of the widespread homosexual infiltration of the clergy.

We know this as soon as we read the description of the prohibited “delicts against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue”:

… forcing someone, by violence or threat or through abuse of authority, to perform or submit to sexual acts…

… performing sexual acts with a minor or a vulnerable person;

… production, exhibition, possession or distribution, including by electronic means, of child pornography, as well as by the recruitment of or inducement of a minor or a vulnerable person to participate in pornographic exhibitions…”

The term “vulnerable person” is defined as “any person in a state of infirmity, physical or mental deficiency, or deprivation of personal liberty which, in fact, even occasionally, limits their ability to understand or to want or otherwise resist the offence…”. Notice how even the term “vulnerable person” is limited to cases of physical or mental deficiency or coercion. Apparently, “vulnerable person” does not include legal adults who are persuaded to engage in sexual acts by clerics who convince them there is nothing wrong with such conduct.

So, to sum up: VELM does absolutely nothing to address (1) “consensual” acts of sodomy involving clerics and their willing partners in one of the sins that cry out to Heaven for retribution; (2) the “production, exhibition, possession or distribution” of adult (versus child) pornography, or (3) consensual adult participation in pornographic exhibitions.

That is, the entire “gay subculture” and its practices among the clergy are left untouched so long as they do not manifest themselves in criminal offences against minors or the coercion of “vulnerable” adult partners in sodomy. Otherwise, VELM exhibits no concern about sexual “delicts against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue.”

Clearly, therefore, Francis sees no need to remedy the homosexual corruption of the priesthood. He does not even intimate that “consensual” sodomy involving clerics is also an evil that “offend[s] Our Lord, caus[ing] physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and… the community of the faithful.” In fact, the carefully limited definitions in VELM implicitly treat sodomy between “consenting adults” in the clergy as something that is not even to be reported, much less punished. We see at work here a kind of positivism in ecclesiastical law: whatever is not prohibited is permitted. Indeed, in this case what is permitted is not even worthy of mention.

What a mockery, then, are VELM’s pious declarations that “Our Lord Jesus Christ calls every believer to be a shining example of virtue, integrity and holiness” and that “a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed… so that personal sanctity and moral commitment can contribute to promoting the full credibility of the Gospel message and the effectiveness of the Church’s mission.”

Here as elsewhere it is evident that not only has “the Great Reformer” reformed nothing, he has actually made the corrupt ecclesial status quo worse, as Henry Sire (aka Marcantonio Colonna) documents beyond reasonable doubt in his The Dictator Pope. VELM is just another sign of a radically dysfunctional papacy that represents what has to be the terminal phase of the ecclesial crisis the Church has endured since Vatican II.

But it is precisely at such points in Church history that Providence opens the way to restoration — in this case with the heavenly assistance of the Virgin Mother of God.


Pope Francis changes the rules




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Globe CF  NEWS

Francis' plans to reorder curia: Another looming disaster

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives ~ As reported by LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sacked by Pope Francis, is now sounding the alarm about the Pope's impending "reform" of the Roman Curia, as revealed by a draft document set to be published at the end of June.

The document, an apostolic exhortation, is entitled "The Roman Curia and her service to the Church in the world today." Here we go again with "the world today," as if it were radically different from the world of yesterday merely because of the passage of time. When one sees "the world today" in any Vatican document of the post-conciliar epoch, one knows that another ruinous novelty is coming down the chute.

In this case, as Müller warns, the imminent overhaul of the Curia will require "'doctrine' … to take a backseat to 'evangelization'" as the entire curia is levelled into a collection of co-equal dicasteries (mere departments), with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), once the chief curial office, now to be no more important than any of these other dicasteries, indeed no longer in existence at all.

Quoting the German daily Passauer Neue Presse, LifeSite's Maike Hickson notes the Cardinal's dire assessment that under this impending reform the Roman Curia "finds itself in a state of suspension ["ortlosen Schwebezustand"], because it is not anymore clearly oriented toward serving the Pope for the Universal Church." The draft of the Apostolic Constitution, she says, "is a conglomeration of subjective individual ideas, pious wishes, and moral pleas along with individual quotations from Council texts and statements of the current Pope."

What most concerns Müller is what preoccupied Father Gruner as well: the exaltation of the Vatican's secular and diplomatic activities over those of the Faith as such. The draft document blurs the distinction "between the secular institutions of the Vatican as a sovereign state, the Holy See as a subject of International Law, and the ecclesiologically founded primacy of the Pope" who is, "as bishop of Rome, in the succession of the Apostle Peter, the visible principle and foundation of the unity."

Just as Father Gruner did thematically in issue-after-issue of The Fatima Crusader and in this apostolate's books and pamphlets, Cardinal Müller now laments (as Hickson reports) "the 'fatal mistake' [of] Pope Paul VI's own earlier curial reform," which under the impending "reform" is "now being worsened." And, just as Father Gruner did, Müller now admits that "sometimes the Secretary of State has even 'darkened' the Pope's 'essential mission'" - as we see with the Vatican Secretary of State's secretly negotiated betrayal of the Underground Church in China.

Overall, says Müller, "To now give today priority to the secular tasks over the spiritual mission is a mistake that urgently needs to be avoided" lest there be a "secularization of the concept of the Church" as "an international company" with national subsidiaries. And once the CDF is reduced to just another in a jumble of dicasteries - corporate departments, as it were - "What, then, is the difference between the Dicastery for Evangelization and the Dicastery for the … Is there on the one side an evangelization without content and on the other side the proclamation of the 'Faith in Christ, the Son of the Living God'"?

Hickson notes a report by Crux that "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."

To me it seems that something more sinister is afoot. This reform will only formalize the situation Francis has already created: the decommissioning of the CDF, to which he no longer pays any heed in promulgating his various novel opinions on such matters as Holy Communion for public adulterers and the declaration that capital punishment is now, according to him alone among all the Roman Pontiffs, immoral in every case.

This suspicion is confirmed by the news that under the reform there will be "a sort of 'super dicastery' for evangelization… which is to be more important than the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)." So, it seems that one co-equal dicastery will be more equal than the others.

But, as Fr. Thomas Weinandy, a courageous critic of this calamitous pontificate, has observed: "How can one preach the Gospel without telling others of the marvelous mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, or the great gift of the Sacraments, etc? Doctrine and the Church's moral teaching is what evangelization is all about. It is the Good News!" Otherwise, he says, "What may be proclaimed would simply be empty words that do not bring life…"

Empty words that do not bring life. Is there a better description of the plethora of all-but-meaningless verbal novelties that have bedeviled the Church since Vatican II? What are the fruits of "ecumenism," "dialogue," "interreligious dialogue" and Francis' "culture of encounter"? Nothing but confusion and a kind of fatal boredom with the current activities of the Church's human element. And who, after all, would be attracted to a Church whose primary concerns these days appear to be "climate change," wealth redistribution, and the promotion of mass Muslim migration into once Christian nations? No wonder vocations and Church membership have declined under this Pope despite his immense popularity with the worldly powers that be - indeed, because of it!

But let Francis do as he wishes and what God permits him to do. For it is God, not Francis or indeed any Pope, Who will have the final say about the current parlous state of ecclesial affairs. And it is His Blessed Mother who will be the instrument for undoing all the harm this pontificate and the previous half-century of foolhardy "reforms" have visited upon Holy Church.

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What's up with Pope Francis and Protestantism?

EVERY sincere Catholic looks forward to the unification of Christians in answer to the prayer of Christ Himself. Yet tragically there have been splits in the Church which have caused many to be deprived of the fullness of the truth. Unfortunately, Pope Francis' approach to the question of those Christians who lack the fullness of faith has been very confusing.

John-Henry Westen discusses why Pope Francis' many comments and actions related to Protestantism have been concerning faithful Catholics.



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Globe CF  NEWS

Leading Catholics react to Open Letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews - Catholic philosophers, theologians, apologists, canonists, and journalists have responded to the April 30 'Open Letter to the Bishops' where 19 prominent clergymen and scholars accuse Pope Francis of committing heresy. Reaction to the Open Letter, which now has 77 signers, is across the board. Even those known for their defense of orthodox faith are by no means united in support for the document. A few pundits strongly support the Open Letter ? or at very least its authors. Others are reluctant to endorse its charge that Pope Francis is guilty of the 'delict of heresy' and that he must 'suffer the canonical consequences of this crime.'

Renowned philosopher Dr. Joseph Seifert has recently signed a petition (see below) calling on the world's bishops to examine the Open Letter and 'investigate Pope Francis for heresy', saying that he believes it is the 'holy duty' of the hierarchy to examine the serious charge of heresy against the pontiff. The petition has been signed by over 4,200 as of this writing. .

Last week, both the founder and the CEO of Ignatius Press, Fr. Joseph Fessio and Mark Brumley, stated that the open letter should not be ignored by Catholic leaders in Rome. 'It's an important document,' Fessio said. Brumley said that his first reaction was that the letter was 'something that someone of some significance at the Holy See should address.'

'As I read through it, I wasn't quite persuaded that we had formal heresy or even that the statements [cited] of the Holy Father were materially heretical… But because of the arguments in the document and the persons making the argument, I think this is something that should be taken seriously,' he said.

Fessio said that his first thoughts when reading the document was that it would be ignored if its authors weren't significant. 'But as a matter of fact these authors ? some of them, anyway ? are quite reputable,' he said.

One of the signers includes Fr. Aidan Nichols, a leading theologian in the English-speaking world.

Dr. Christopher Manion, a member of the board of the Population Research Institute, wrote in The Wanderer that the authors of the Open Letter had written it because 'we cannot remain silent' about the historic crisis in the Church.

Describing a Catholic who continues to give money to the Church despite disliking the actions of the bishops, Manion wrote:

'The signers of this latest letter seem to be motivated by the same sense of duty. They are morally obligated to tell the truth. They know there's nothing they can do to correct the manifest errors their letter alleges. Our bishops can, they explain, so the letter respectfully requests that they [do] their duty as our shepherds. The truth-tellers have done their job, and it's up to the bishops to do theirs.'

Writing for The Stream website, journalist John Zmirak praised the courage of the signers of the 'Open Letter,' saying that Francis is 'a pope who feels empowered to rewrite ancient doctrines, and rely on his own authority to reverse the teachings of his predecessors.'

'So it's heartening that these Catholics are willing [to] stand up against this pope and his agenda,' Zmirak continued.

'[Pope Francis] gives every sign of preferring the approval of elites, of the princes of this world, to faithful witness to doctrine. He presides over a regime of corruption unmatched since the Renaissance. As I wrote here a year ago: 'It has all the corruption, hubris, sodomy and worldliness of the original. But none of the art,'' he added.

Writer Charles Coulombe gave an interview in which he voiced his belief that the signers of the Open Letter must have known that they were risking professional ruin and therefore thought 'that their silence would lead to something worse.'

He suggested that the Open Letter might have been issued to prevent Pope Francis from ordaining deaconesses, an act that would overthrow the sacrament of orders.

Novelist Stephen O'Reilly wrote in his Roma Locuta Est blog that the Open Letter was a 'must read for all Catholics.

'It provides a very strong case for the accusation it makes, one which the cardinals and bishops of the Church would be derelict not to take up and sincerely consider,' he wrote.

'Unfortunately, for all the early talk about a 'formal correction' of the Pope from Cardinal Burke, the leadership in the Church has for the most part been quite disappointing during this prolonged moment of crisis.'

Reservations about the Open Letter

In last week's episode of 'The World Over', EWTN host Raymond Arroyo interviewed Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. of Ignatius Press about the 'Open Letter.' Fessio pointed out that Catholic theologians and cardinals have asked for clarifications of Pope Francis' teachings before now. He also called Open Letter signer Fr. Aidan Nichols a 'renowned, serious theologian.' Fessio cited St. Ignatius of Loyola's dictum that 'every good Christian ought to be more willing to give good interpretation to the statement of the other than to condemn it as false' and said that this applied not only to Pope Francis but to the writers of the Open Letter.

Arroyo stated that there is no mechanism to make the pope resign and that he didn't know how the bishops could discipline Francis, even if he were a heretic.

'I just think it's very dangerous territory here,' he said. Although sympathetic to previous requests for papal clarification, Arroyo believes the Letter, which he summarized as 'You're a heretic, and you should resign' has a 'very different posture.'

'I'm just not sure this is the vehicle to promote change for the good,' Arroyo said and added that, given its refusal to acknowledge earlier requests for clarification, he didn't believe the Vatican will respond to the document.

Writing in his Catholic Culture blog, Phil Lawler, editor-in-chief of Catholic World News, indicated that he had great respect for those who signed the letter, but that he worried the letter 'does more harm than good, compounding the problem that loyal Catholics now face.'

Lawler addressed the problem of who, if anyone, can 'make the authoritative judgement that the Pope has fallen into heresy and therefore lost his authority.' He believes that the authors of the Open Letter ought to have appealed privately to bishops.

'To their credit, the authors of the Easter Letter recognize the need for an authoritative statement, for a judgment by the world's bishops,' Lawler wrote.

'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.'

Lawler also believes that from now on anyone who challenges the pontiff will, like the writers of the Open Letter, be charged with 'infidelity and schism and rash judgement.'

'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,' he wrote.

'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.'

This also means that the 'timid bishops' will be even less likely to speak out, Lawler believes.

Dr. Klaus Obenauer, a professor of Theology at the University of Bonn, said in Kath.net that he had expected Francis to be accused of heresy since 2013. However, Obenauer believes the Open Letter's charges of heresy to be overstated, and that Francis is not guilty of 'direct heresy.' The professor stated that for heresy to exist, there must be a stubborn denial or inability to believe in a truth of faith, and this denial and doubt must be clear. In the case of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, Pope Francis distanced himself from a clearly heterodox proposition at the insistence of Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

Canonist Ed Peters indicated on Twitter that he will offer a 'thoughtful rebuttal' of the Open Letter:

'Interesting to see how 'the Right' is offering thoughtful rebuttals of the Easter Open Letter (and yes, mine is coming shortly), while 'the Left' is engaged mostly in ad hominem sniping against the signatories,' Peters wrote.

Steve Skojec, editor of the 'One Peter Five' blog, wrote that the Open Letter was 'an interesting document' although he was surprised that it had omitted mention of Pope Francis' protegé Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and the pontiff's 'attempt to categorize the death penalty, at least implicitly, as an intrinsic evil.'

Skojec is inclined to believe, with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, whose essay on the topic he cited, that nobody can depose a ruling pope.

Strongly Oppose the Open Letter

Writing in the National Catholic Register, Catholic Answers' Jimmy Akins stated that the letter fails to sustain the charge of heresy. He believes that the 19 signers, who include not only Fr. Aidan Nichols but also Professor John Rist, lack the qualifications to know what heresy actually is.

Akins holds that to be a heretic a Christian must doubt or deny a truth that the 'Magisterium has infallibly defined' to be 'divinely revealed.' He believes that the signers of the Open Letter failed to demonstrate that Pope Francis obstinately doubts or denies dogmas that the Magisterium has infallibly defined to be divinely revealed.

Fr. George W. Rutler, author and pastor of St. Michael's parish in New York, critiqued Akins' dismissal of the original signers of the letter as 'incompetent and unqualified,' saying that Akins is an amateur of uncertain academic achievements whereas Fr. Aidan Nichols is 'one of the most distinguished theologians in the English-speaking world.'

The Catholic News Agency's Ed Condon argued that the signers of the Open Letter had failed to make a distinction between the 'crime of heresy' and 'what their letter actually appears to allege ? material heresy.'

Condon stated that 'few experts have concluded that it serves to demonstrate the obstinate manifestation of heretical beliefs by the pope in law or fact.' He did not, however, name them.

Writing in The Wanderer, theologian Fr. Brian Harrison revealed that he had been asked to sign the Open Letter, but declined to do so because he believed it was unfair.

'I declined, because I don't think you can judge someone - especially a Pope! - to be a formal (i.e., pertinacious or obstinate) heretic without first hearing what he might have to say in his self-defense. That's an elementary question of due process!' Harrison wrote.

'The Church (via the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) always does this with any theologian suspected of heresy, so how much more should the Pope himself be given a chance to explain himself before being publicly branded as formally heretical!' he continued.

Harrison said that although Francis has said things that Harrison believes to be heretical, and although Harrison suspects Francis may be 'formally heretical,' the theologian would not 'assert that he definitely is.' Harrison believes it is not clear that Pope Francis actually knows that his statements and actions are heretical. The priest also argued that some statements Pope Francis has said may have been misreported, and pointed out that Francis often makes 'off-the-cuff' statements whose implications he hasn't thought out.

Harrison argued also that Francis's errors may be only 'proximate to heresy,' and that that it has not been shown that Francis 'obstinately' adheres to formal heresy?a condition necessary for a judgment that someone is a formal heretic.

American Dominican scholar Fr. Thomas Petri, OP sharply criticized the writers of the Open Letter on Twitter and predicted that they would receive severe canonical punishments. He too believes that Francis is not guilty of material heresy.

'Many theologians and clerics agree that Amoris Laetitia is a locus of concern and debate, especially in how chapter eight is to be interpreted. But it's not at all clear to me that anything @pontifex has said on the matter rises to material heresy,' Petri wrote.

Signers defend themselves

Philosopher Professor John Rist, one of the original 19 signatories of the 'Open Letter', told LifeSiteNews by email today that he expected that there would be 'little support even among conservatives' for the initiative.

'In the present situation there is no need for the Bergoglians to say much; their work is being done for them by those who should be the friends of the letter writers. Often they are making rather bureaucratic suggestions rather than facing the real issues in the Church, such as that one of the reasons I signed the letter was because it renewed the ignored plea of the dubia cardinals for 'clarification'.'

Rist believes that commentators are 'merely evading the issue' when they concentrate on the canonical accuracy of the Open Letter's charge against Pope Francis or the number of canonists or scholars with doctorates in theology on the list.

'On that last point, in view of the present situation in theology generally, having more people with doctorates might have been a positive disadvantage,' Rist said.

'What has happened, I think, is that these commentators have used feeble objections on minor points to avoid the main issue,' he continued.

'This perhaps could be summed up by my view that [Pope] Bergoglio wants to transform the Church into a mildly spiritually flavoured NGO.'

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, one of the original Open Letter signers, defended his action, stating in an article that the document provides 'furnishes clear evidence of heretical (not just erroneous) statements that may be found in the approved writings of Pope Francis, as well as evidence-in the form of repeated acts and omissions of governance-that he is fully aware of what he is promoting.'

'Many people have been asking: What's the good of taking a step like this? Will it not further polarize the situation? Will it not offer excuses to the Bergoglio party to intensify their confinement and persecution of Catholics? Is it not overwhelmingly likely to be ignored? Can anyone do anything about a wayward pope-mustn't we just wait until God sorts it out for us? And besides, aren't the signatories lacking in sufficient theological qualifications,' he writes.

In answer to these questions, Kwasniewski provides three reasons why the document is 'good and valuable.'

Signing the document is a 'step we take before God, as a testimony of our conscience,' he wrote.

'Perhaps there are others who can sleep like babes without raising a voice of protest to the autodemolition of the Faith and the misleading of countless souls; who see what the Pope is saying and doing, but who shrug their shoulders and figure that it won't redound to lasting damage. I am not such a person, and I think the same is true of the other signatories,' he added.

Dr. Josef Seifert

MAIKE HICKSON reports ~ A-renowned Catholic philosopher Dr. Josef Seifert has signed a petition calling on the bishops of the world to 'investigate Pope Francis for heresy.'

The petition was launched by one of the signers of the April 30 Open Letter to Bishops where 19 prominent clergymen and scholars accused Pope Francis of committing heresy and asked 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.

Seifert, president of the new laity-led Academy for Life and close friend of the late Pope St. John Paul II, defended signing the petition in a written statement provided to LifeSiteNews (see full statement below).

'I sign this petition because I agree with the bulk of the letter signed by 20 distinguished Catholics and because I believe, as they do, that it is a holy duty of all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church, as successors of the Apostles, to examine carefully any serious charge of heresy committed by the Pope,' he wrote.

'If they find these accusations correct, they have the further duty as brothers in the apostolic Office to tell the Pope without any false and cowardly fear, in all frankness and filled with the same Holy Spirit in which St. Paul publicly criticized and reprimanded the first Pope Peter, whom Christ Himself had chosen, that he strayed far from God's truth and will,' he added.

The petition, titled 'Appeal to the bishops to investigate Pope Francis for heresy,' has been signed by 4,200 as of this writing.

The Open Letter was originally signed by 19 clergy and scholars, but that number has now increased to nearly 80.


Dr. Josef Seifert's full comment on why he signed petition to prelates asking them to investigate accusations that Pope Francis committed heresy

I sign this petition because I agree with the bulk of the letter signed by 20 distinguished Catholics and because I believe, as they do, that it is a holy duty of all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church, as successors of the Apostles, to examine carefully any serious charge of heresy committed by the Pope. If they find these accusations correct, they have the further duty as brothers in the apostolic Office to tell the Pope without any false and cowardly fear, in all frankness and filled with the same Holy Spirit in which St. Paul publicly criticized and reprimanded the first Pope Peter, whom Christ Himself had chosen, that he strayed far from God's truth and will.

The bishops and Cardinals who are called to assist the Pope in His Magisterium, ought to make it clear to Pope Francis that he has a sacred duty, following the example of his predecessor Pope John XXII, who revoked solemnly the heresies he had committed, to revoke any heretical affirmation of his, not only the seven listed in the letter.

They ought to make it perfectly clear that his duty likewise demands that he revoke any nomination of Cardinals and bishops, who committed, or protected perpetrators of, sexual abuses and who damage the faith and mission of the Holy Catholic Church. They should warn Pope Francis as well, for the sake of the Church and his own immortal soul, that, as demonstrated in this letter, any of his elevations of clergy to high offices which they fill unworthily to the detriment of the Holy Church that Christ has founded in infinite love and through the sacrifice of his own life, ought to be revoked.

They should make it clear to Pope Francis, in all humility and love of God, that such nominations put at risk his own and many other souls, such that for love of Christ and these souls Pope Francis ought to depose such persons without delay from positions in which they damage the Church and betray Christ like Judas did.

Bishops and Cardinals should understand that these are not acts of disobedience and rebellion against the Pope, to which the letter invites them, but acts of love and true obedience to Pope Francis and to Jesus Christ, his and our only master, our unus magister. Adveniat regnum tuum (Your kingdom come) - soon!

- Josef Seifert, Dr. phil.habil., Dr. h.c., Founding Rector of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality Liechtenstein




Saint Francis of Assisi

"At the time of this tribulation, a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error.  Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer."

(From Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi. Washbourne Publishing House, 1882, pp. 248-250, with imprimatur by His Excellency William Bernard, Bishop of Birmingham)



Update : When creeping normalcy bias prorects a chaotic Pope


DR. PETER KWASNIEWSKI comments for OnePeterFive ~ Reactions to the Open Letter accusing Pope Francis of holding seven heretical propositions — a letter that now bears the signatures of 81 clergy, religious, and scholars — have ranged from strong support (Zmirak, Coulombe, Verrecchio) to sympathetic critiques (Lawler, Feser, Weinandy, Shaw) to undisguised hostility (Akin, Armstrong, Condon, most media outlets).

The authors in the “sympathetic critiques” category make some good points worthy of further consideration. I am all the more inclined to listen to them because they agree, right off, that Pope Francis is a colossal problem, that his pontificate has left a wreckage of errors and scandals, and that we are in full meltdown mode. In other words, they have eyes to see and ears to hear, so their disagreements with the Open Letter have more to do with the nature of the arguments to be made, the forum in which to make them, and the ramifications for future steps. Such critics are not in denial. Our disagreements are like those among the Allied Powers as to the best strategy for resisting the Axis.

They complain, incidentally, that we have made the work of orthodox Catholics and especially bishops harder by supercharging the atmosphere, but the irony is that we have already helped them to be seen as moderates in the conversation, when what they are saying would have sounded extreme a year ago. “We don’t hold that the pope is a formal heretic. We just hold that he has introduced massive confusion, has led bishops and episcopal conferences widely astray, refuses to do his duty as vicar of Christ by upholding traditional doctrine, fails to respond to reasonable petitions, and threatens to drive the Church into schism. That’s all.”

Meanwhile, one of the signatories, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, has entered the ring with a formidable defense of the Open Letter. Pierantoni brings clarity without embellishment. I highly recommend this interview as a substantive response to our critics.

However, what has really surprised me in the past week — though perhaps it should not have — is the extent of the insensibility that has descended upon the so-called “conservatives” in the mainstream. Much criticism I have read serves only to confirm the gravity of the situation the letter addresses. The general lack of alarm at the seven manifestly heretical propositions, or the contortionist glosses of papal texts to exonerate their author from said heresies, in spite of all words and deeds converging upon them, proves at least this much: Francis’s battle of theological attrition has been successful beyond the St. Gallen Mafia’s wildest dreams and is poised for new conquests.

Just a few short years ago, everyone who considered himself a conservative was up in arms about Amoris Laetitia and skeptical of the elaborate rabbinical apparatus that attempted to square it with the Church’s perennial teaching. Now it’s as if they’ve given up; they shrug their shoulders and say, “I’m sure it’ll all be fine someday. It’ll come out in the wash. Put credentialed theologians and canonists on the case, and everything Francis says and does can be justified.” We strain the canonical gnats and swallow the doctrinal camel.

It seems that many simply do not wish to confront the weighty and ever mounting evidence of the pope’s errors and reprehensible actions, of which the letter provided only a sample sufficient to make the case. This is not to say that Francis altogether lacks true words and admirable actions. It would be nearly impossible for someone to say false things or do bad things all the time. That is beside the point. It is enough for a pope to assert a doctrinal error only once or twice in a pontifical document, or to perform really bad acts (or omissions) of governance a few times, in order to merit rebuke from the College of Cardinals or the body of bishops, sharers in the same apostolic ministry. With Francis, however, there is a lengthy catalogue, with no sign of coming to an end. If this does not galvanize the conservatives into concerted action, one has to wonder — what would? Do they have a line in the sand? Or has papal loyalism dethroned faith and neutered reason?

Things that made everyone anxious just a few years ago are now taken in stride: now we all just live in a post-Bergoglian Catholic Church, where you can make exceptions about formerly exceptionless moral norms, give Communion to those living in adultery, and say God wills many religions as He wills two sexes, or — a point not addressed in the Open Letter — dismiss the witness of Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium (trifecta!) on the death penalty. The frogs have grown accustomed to floating in ever hotter water and have decided to call it a spa.

It may therefore be concluded that the pope’s strategy of dismantling the Catholic Faith plank by plank in slow motion is working. He ignored the dubia on Amoris Laetitia because he knew he could not answer them in an orthodox sense without undermining his entire double-synod Kasperian project. He has ignored over thirty attempts to reach out to him, whether by the mighty or by the lowly, by small groups of reputable scholars or by petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures. The Open Letter simply draws the final conclusions.

I admire and appreciate the work being done by our assiduous Catholic apologists, who beaver away, day after day, to refute Protestant Fundamentalists, militant atheists, homosexual and feminist agitators, and other such opponents. But to think the current crisis of Pope Francis can be contained by means of a few pat “Catholic Answers” is like trying to extinguish the flames of Notre Dame with a squirt gun.

Frankly, it is a world-class scandal for a pope even to seem to be lending support to only one heretical proposition, let alone showing textual and behavioral adherence to (at least) seven such propositions. It is, moreover, no defense of the pope to say his statements are “ambiguous” and can be taken several different ways. Even if the sum total of evidence did not adequately resolve our doubts, such vagueness about grave matters would be no less reprehensible in a pope than outright error. The pope is given to the Church to clarify Christ’s teaching, not to obscure it; to instruct in the truth, not to make room for fashionable theories that leave the faithful confused as to what they should believe and how they should live.

Let us not forget that Pope St. Leo II condemned his predecessor Pope Honorius for negligence in upholding the orthodox faith. A teacher wrote to me:

'If my students don’t understand something I’ve taught, if they have a concern about the content (or their parents do), or think I’m contradicting myself, I stop and explain it clearly, and I apologize for causing any confusion. I’ve never read Francis say anything like that, ever. There’s an old story of a man who never lied. A stranger to the village came to meet him and question him. He realized he never lied because all he did was talk in circles'.

This is why people — accurately — call the Argentinean pontiff a Peronist. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth so that the progressives will get the encouragement they need to carry on, while the ultramontanists can get a comforting reassurance to go back to sleep.

The open letter has stirred conservatives to a frenzy because they can’t bear the thought of a heretic on the throne of Peter. Well, as parents say to children, “guess again.” The third Council of Constantinople judged Honorius after his death to have “confirmed the wicked dogmas” of Monothelitism and anathematized him. Outside infallible ex cathedra pronouncements, it is possible for a pope to deviate from the Faith. It can happen. And Francis runs circles around Honorius. Francis is an unprecedented trial for the Church of God.

A friend of mine wrote me these sobering words, with which I entirely agree:

'Paragraph 675 of the Catechism speaks of a final trial of the Church. We are entering some sort of arrest, scourging, mocking, and crucifixion of the Church that is going to be very difficult for people who love the Church to understand. Just as Christ’s disciples had their faith shaken — “this can’t be happening if he really is the Messiah” — so it is happening now for the sons and daughters of the Church: “this can’t be happening if the Church really is infallible and indefectible and the gates of hell will not prevail.” We are headed for a vast purification that will leave much of the Catholic landscape utterly unrecognizable, washing away the petrified filth of vice and error and restoring her to her lost beauty. But it is going to be very difficult to make sense of it as it happens, and, as Our Lord ominously warns, many will lose their faith'.

In this modern-day Passion of the Church of Christ — replete with temptations all the more dangerous for their more than human subtlety, cloaked in garments of sophistry and pushed by figures of authority — let us hold fast to the Catholic Faith and pray more fervently than ever. In this way, Our Lord’s haunting question “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk. 18:8) will be able to be answered: Yes.


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



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Before he was accused of heresy, Catholics reached out to Francis numerous times

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews ~ The April 30 Open Letter to Bishops has caused much discussion among Catholic circles. The authors of the letter have appealed to the bishops of the world, for the sake of the salvation of souls, "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." Some of the heresies they name flow out of the Pope's post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, on marriage and the family, and which opened the path to many episcopal guidelines now allowing "remarried" divorcees to receive Holy Communion contrary to perennial Church teaching.

Some Catholic commentators have argued against this Open Letter with the claim that Pope Francis deserves the benefit of the doubt with regard to some of the papal quotations as they are presented by the Open Letter. As Father Thomas Petri, O.P., for example, stated:

I'm disappointed that a group of theologians, some of whom I admire, chose to express themselves by contributing to a letter calling the Pope a heretic. Their citations of him can be all interpreted in a way that gives the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt, which we owe him.

In a similar manner, other commentators have asked whether the authors have ever first contacted the Pope privately, or whether they first went to their own bishops with their objections. For example, the Vice-President for the Center of Legal Studies at the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), Stefano Gennarini stated on twitter:

'I only want to know one thing. Did any of the folks on this list even try to express their concerns with His Holiness privately, through their bishops, or even publicly, before inciting others to schism' [sic].

These are objections that should be faced and discussed. Since we are in the middle of an unprecedented situation in the history of the Catholic Church, reasonable people can come to different conclusions here. It must be remembered that during the time of the 14th-century anti-popes there were saints on both sides.

Leila Marie Lawler, wife of Catholic commentator and book author Phil Lawler, commented on this ongoing discussion on Twitter, saying: "Worst take: 'Give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt' - as if criticism is personal and not about objective issues, the defense of which he has ultimate responsibility. Instead, protect those 'little ones' exposed to error and its corrosions," adding in her follow-up Tweet: "The 'benefit of the doubt' defense has been used from Day One of this pontificate. Where is charity for the little ones?"

In light of this piercing comment, it is worthwhile bringing to mind just how many Catholics, as children of God, have called out to the Pope for clarifications, corrections and help, and how many learned Catholics - cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen alike - have issued, during the last six years, pleas to Pope Francis himself.

This list of initiatives taken under Pope Francis' pontificate was started on Twitter by this author, and then substantially enriched by others, such as Leila Lawler and Julia Meloni. The list is now very long, and it will prove how many chances Pope Francis has received to respond to accusations of his allegedly heterodox teachings.

In March of 2013, Pope Francis was elected. In February of 2014, he asked Cardinal Walter Kasper to give a speech to the College of Cardinals, in which he presented his idea to give Holy Communion to some "remarried" divorcees. This speech was hotly discussed at the consistory, with perhaps about 85% of the attending cardinals opposing Kasper's progressive ideas, according to a report by Marco Tosatti.

This event - together with Pope Francis' announcement of a two-fold Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family in 2014 and 2015 - inspired the first public attempts at preserving the Church's traditional teaching.

What follows is a non-exhaustive list of 20 direct attempts by clergy and laity to reach Pope Francis for clarification. Following this is a list of indirect attempts.

Dot  In October of 2014, a large U.S. Catholic parish - St. John the Baptist (Front Royal, Virginia) issued an Affirmation of Faith Concerning Marriage and the Family that gained more than 1,000 signatures from parishioners and was sent to Pope Francis.

Dot On 16 April 2015, the Catholic newspaper The Wanderer published an Open Letter to Pope Francis, in which the signatories asked Pope Francis that he "would celebrate the conclusion of the Synod of the Family with a clear and strong reaffirmation of the Church's timeless teachings on the indissolubility of marriage, the nuptial nature and definition of marriage and conjugal love, and the virtue of chastity, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church."

Dot After the first troubling synod, in December of 2014, the author of this article herself made her own small attempt to defend the Church's teaching on marriage by writing an Open Letter to Pope Francis, arguing on the basis of her own experience as a child of divorce. This letter was sent to Pope Francis, but was never responded to. It was also sent to the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, but was not responded to, either.

Dot  On 24 April, very shortly after the publication of the papal document, Bishop Athanasius Schneider published a charitable and clear critique of Amoris Laetitia, speaking about the confusion and "contradictory interpretations even among the episcopate" flowing from this papal text, and calling upon the Church's hierarchy and the laity to beg the Pope for a clarification and an official interpretation of Amoris Laetitia in line with the constant teaching of the Church.

Dot  On July 13, 2016, in a spirit of love, humility, and faithfulness, 16 international life and family advocates asked Pope Francis in a powerful "plea to the Pope" to unambiguously speak the truth of the Catholic faith, to end doctrinal confusion, to restore clarity, and to be the Holy Father that Catholics need.

Dot  In July of 2016, 45 clergy and scholars published their letter to the cardinals of the Catholic Church, in which they "request that the Cardinals and Patriarchs petition the Holy Father to condemn the errors listed in the document in a definitive and final manner, and to authoritatively state that Amoris Laetitia does not require any of them to be believed or considered as possibly true." The letter contains a very detailed list of potentially heretical or heterodox statements that could be drawn out of Amoris Laetitia.

Dot  On 3 August 2016, Professor Josef Seifert published a detailed critique of Amoris Laetitia, listing several errors in the document that could be potentially heretical, and asking the Pope to "revoke them himself." Seifert was later, in August of 2017, to issue a second text on Amoris Laetitia, with a question addressed "to Pope Francis and to all Catholic cardinals, bishops, philosophers and theologians. It deals with a dubium about a purely logical consequence of an affirmation in Amoris Laetitia, and ends with a plea to Pope Francis to retract at least one affirmation of AL." That question pertains to AL's claim "that we can know with 'a certain moral security' that God himself asks us to continue to commit intrinsically wrong acts, such as adultery or active homosexuality."

Dot  On 14 November 2016, four cardinals published a letter to Pope Francis that they had sent to him privately on 19 September and that remained unanswered, which is very unusual. The letter contained the now-famous five dubia concerning Amoris Laetitia, for example as to whether those who live in a second "marriage" after a divorce may now receive the Sacraments and as to whether there still exist intrinsically evil acts, that is to say acts that are under all conditions to be regarded as evil. The cardinals requested a papal audience, but were never received. The four dubia cardinals are Cardinals Joachim Meisner, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, and Walter Brandmüller. (Two of the four dubia cardinals have since died.)

Dot  Subsequently, 15 cardinals, archbishops, and bishops individually expressed their support for the dubia, among them Cardinals Joseph Zen and Willem Eijk, Archbishop Charles Chaput and Archbishop Luigi Negri.

Dot  At the end of 2016, two scholars, Professor John Finnis and Professor Germain Grisez, publish an Open Letter to Pope Francis, asking him "to condemn eight positions against the Catholic faith that are being supported, or likely will be, by the misuse of his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia." They also called upon the bishops to join this request.

Dot  On 23 September 2017, more than a year after the publication of Amoris Laetitia, 62 clergy and scholars issued a "Filial Correction" of Pope Francis, in which they stated: "we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness."

Dot  On 1 November 2017, Father Thomas Weinandy published a letter that he had sent to Pope Francis in July of that year. In that letter, Weinandy says that Francis' pontificate is marked by "chronic confusion," and he warns the Pope that a "seemingly intentional lack of clarity [of teaching] risks sinning against the Holy Spirit."

Dot  On 2 January 2018, three Kazahk bishops - among them Bishop Schneider - issued a Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage in light of Amoris Laetitia, and especially in light of the many episcopal pastoral guidelines permitting Communion for the "remarried" divorcees. These prelates reaffirm the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage and the family. Subsequently, one cardinal and six bishops - among them Cardinal Janis Pujats and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò signed this statement.

Dot  Also in January of 2018, Cardinal Willem Eijk asked Pope Francis publicly to clarify questions about Amoris Laetitia and to clear the confusion stemming from the document. Eijk proposed that the Pope write an additional document in which doubts should be removed.

Dot  On 7 May 2018, Cardinal Eijk once more raised his voice and asked Pope Francis to clarify questions arising from the discussion among German bishops to give Holy Communion to Protestant spouses of Catholics. He observed that "the bishops and, above all, the Successor of Peter fail to maintain and transmit faithfully and in unity the deposit of faith contained in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture."

Dot  Pope Francis, over the course of several years, made statements against the death penalty. He finally decided, in August of 2018, to change the Catholic Church's Catechism, declaring the death penalty to be immoral in all cases. Two weeks later, a group of 75 prominent clergy and scholars issued a public letter to cardinals asking them to urge Pope Francis to recant and rescind this change in the Catechism.

Dot  In August of 2018. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò published a testimony, in which he claims, among many other things, that Pope Francis was aware of the moral corruption of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and of the fact that Pope Benedict XVI had placed certain restrictions upon him, but that he chose to ignore them. The Archbishop called upon the Pope to resign. When Pope Francis was asked about this document, he answered, saying that he would later respond to it ("When some time passes and you have drawn your conclusions, I may speak."), but then he never made any response.

Dot  In August of 2018, 47,000 Catholic women worldwide called upon Pope Francis to answer the question as to whether Archbishop Viganò's claim is true.

Dot  The U.S. Website Church Militant - who up to then had been careful not to criticize Pope Francis for his teaching on marriage and the family - called upon Pope Francis to resign, in light of his complicity with McCarrick's sins.

Dot  In 2019, Pope Francis signed the controversial Abu Dhabi Statement which says that the "diversity of religions" is "willed by God." Both Bishop Athanasius Schneiderand Professor Josef Seifert strongly opposedthis formulation and called upon Pope Francis to rescind it. Bishop Schneider, on 1 March, was able to receivefrom the Pope in a private conversation a sort of correction that this formulation really meant the "permissive will of God," yet both he and Professor Seifert maintain that a public and definite correction is needed.

Indirect attempts by clergy and laity to reach Pope Francis

Dot  Cardinal Gerhard Müller - then the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - published a book The Hope of the Family, in which he maintains the indissolubility of marriage, adding that "Not even an ecumenical council can change the doctrine of the Church."

Dot  The Voice of the Family, an international coalition of pro-life and pro-family organizations was founded ahead of the first family synod in 2014, establishing a website and organizing conferences in Rome in order to protect marriage and family from perceived threats.

Dot  Five Cardinals - Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Gerhard Müller, Carlo Caffarra, Raymond Burke, and Velasio De Paolis - write, together with other authors such as Professor John Rist (one of the signatories of the Open Letter to Bishops), a book in defense of the Sacrament of Marriage, called Remaining in the Truth of Christ.

Dot  At the first Synod of Bishops on the Family, in October of 2014, there was a group of bishops strongly opposing to introduce heterodox statements concerning homosexuality and "remarried" divorcees into the synod document; subsequently, neither the Kasper proposal nor a change of the Church's teaching on homosexuality was included in the final document.

Dot  In 2016, before the publication of Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia, tens of thousands of Catholics signed a Filial Appeal, a Declaration of Fidelity to the Church's unchangeable teaching on marriage. This appeal had also been signed by Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Caffarra, Cardinal Pujats, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

Dot  Also before the second family synod, Father José Granados - at the time Vice-president of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome - published a book in defense of the indissolubility of marriage.

Dot  In May of 2015, before the second Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family, nearly 1,000 priests issued a statement asking the synod to affirm the Church's teaching on marriage and the family.

Dot  In August of 2015, Ignatius Press publishes the Eleven Cardinals Book, called Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family: Essays from a Pastoral Viewpoint. The authors - among them Cardinals Paul Josef Cordes, Dominik Duka, O.P, and John Onaiyekan, but also Robert Sarah and Carlo Caffarra - once more defend the Church's teaching on marriage and publish proposals for a good pastoral care for marriages.

Dot  In September of 2015, just before the second synod, eleven African prelates - among them Cardinal Robert Sarah and Cardinal Barthélemy Adoukonou - published a book, Christ's New Homeland: Africa, in which they analyzed and sharply criticized the essential preparatory Vatican documents for the upcoming synod, once more defending the Church's teaching on marriage and the family.

Dot  In February of 2019, just before the beginning of the 21-24 Abuse Summit in Rome, the two remaining dubia cardinals - Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller - wrote an Open Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops encouraging them "to raise your voice to safeguard and proclaim the integrity of the doctrine of the Church" and also to address the protracted problem of homosexual networks in the Catholic Church.

Dot  At the same time, the Swiss lay organization Pro Ecclesia and LifeSiteNews launched a petition to "Stop homosexual networks in the Church" that aimed at tightening the Church's law in order both clearly to punish the priests who violate the Sixth Commandment by homosexual acts and those who abuse minors and vulnerable adults such as seminarians.

Dot  Also in 2019, Cardinal Gerhard Müller published his Manifesto of Faith, in which he restated the main tenants of the Catholic Faith and Morals as they have always been taught and as they can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He did so with the expressed reference to the many clergy and laymen who have asked him for such a doctrinal clarification in the middle of a grave confusion in the Church.

Dot  In April of 2019, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI published a letter on the sex abuse crisis, in which he points to the moral and doctrinal laxity that has entered the Catholic Church in the wake of the cultural revolution of the 1960s. Here thereby tried to help to point to deeper explanations of the current sex abuse crisis than the mere references to "abuse of power and spiritual abuse," as well as "clericalism, as they had been presented at the February 2019 Sex Abuse Summit in Rome.

Dot  Throughout these years, there have been many individuals who have raised their voices. Among the first papal critics were the now-deceased Mario Palmaro and Alessandro Gnocchi ("We do not like this Pope") and Professor Roberto de Mattei, who accompanied this papacy with numerous articles and commentaries. Then there were also Father Brian Harrison (here and here) and the internationally renowned Catholic philosopher Professor Robert Spaemann who is now deceased.

Dot  Later on, several books were written which describe in a critical manner Pope Francis' leadership and doctrinally confusing actions and words. Among them are The Political Pope by George Neumayr, The Dictator Pope by Henry Sire, The Lost Shepherd by Phil Lawler (who subsequently also authored The Smoke of Satan dealing with the sex abuse crisis), and José Antonio Ureta's book Pope Francis' Paradigm Shift: Continuity or Rupture in the Mission of the Church? - An Assessment of his Five-year Pontificate

Pope Francis has not responded

This written record of some of the major charitable and urgent initiatives taken by prelates, priests, academics, and earnest laymen is by far not exhaustive, but it sheds light on the many beautiful manifestations of a loyal witness to the Faith that were meant to be pleas both to Pope Francis to amend his ways, as well as to cardinals and bishops to help him decisively act in this regard.

However, Pope Francis has not responded in any visible and clear way - nor met with those who have called upon him (not even with the four dubia cardinals) - to all of these initiatives, except for the recent meeting with Bishop Schneider which, nonetheless, was finally without any clear and unequivocal results.

Despite these pleas, Pope Francis appears to be continuing his course of obstinately revolutionizing the Catholic Church at the cost of doctrinal orthodoxy and her moral clarity.

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Bishop Schneider: Pope must formally correct statement that God wills false religions

Bp. ShneiderMAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews — In a new interview, Bishop Athanasius Schneider makes it clear that the pope’s private correction of his official Abu Dhabi statement — according to which the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God” — that Bishop Schneider himself was able to receive from Pope Francis on March 1 is not sufficient. The Abu Dhabi statement “is still valid,” and thus, says Schneider, “there is being proclaimed a new Gospel, a Gospel that is not the one taught by the Incarnate Word of God, that was loyally preached by the Apostles and passed on to the Church.”

“There can be no doubt,” Schneider explains, “that Saint Paul would say today, concerning this controversial formulation in the Abu Dhabi statement: ‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema’ (Galatians 1:8–9).”

Pope Francis signed the controversial “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” with Grand Imam Ahmad el-Tayeb in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019.

“Up to now, neither the pope, nor an office of the Holy See speaking in his name, have made a public correction with direct reference to the dubious passage concerning the ‘diversity of religions’” in the Abu Dhabi statement, Bishop Schneider explains in an interview with Gloria.tv. “Therefore,” he concludes, “the formulation concerning the diversity of religions is still valid.”

In the interview, Bishop Schneider goes over in detail the different developments concerning his discussion with Pope Francis about this Abu Dhabi statement.

He insists that the correction given to him by the pope during an audience on March 1 has only a “private character,” and he explains that he gave the pope on the same day a letter asking him to “rescind” the formulation on the “diversity of religions.” Pope Francis, on March 5, answered Bishop Schneider in a letter, saying that in the Abu Dhabi document, the expression “is willed by God” means the “permissive will of God.”

“I then wrote, on 25 March, yet another personal letter,” explains Schneider. In this letter, he asked the pope if he may repeat “publicly for the whole Church” what the pope had said and written to Schneider in private. Schneider asked him to do so “because of the confusion in the Church that is growing daily concerning the truth that the Faith in Jesus Christ as the only Redeemer of mankind is the only religion directly and positively willed by God.” (One wonders how Grand Imam Ahmad el-Tayeb would respond to such a possible correction of the Abu Dhabi Statement.)

Asked about the fact that Pope Francis, during the general audience on April 3, explicitly spoke about the “permissive will of God” with regard to the diversity of religions, and whether the pope thereby did not thus “remove the problem,” Bishop Schneider says: “With this formulation, Pope Francis does not make a direct reference to the much-discussed passage of the Abu Dhabi statement.” Additionally, the prelate states, there is no express teaching mentioned that the Faith of Jesus Christ “is the only religion positively willed by God.” Bishop Schneider mentions that Pope Francis did send to him personally a copy of that March 3 statement during the general audience. But he continues, saying that while this March 3 statement may be a “small step forward,” it is still the case that “the statement that is incorrect in itself and as it is to be found in the Abu Dhabi document continues to stand without a clear and authentic correction within the Church” and that “it even is being further spread with its objectively erroneous formulation.”

“Thereby,” Bishop Schneider states, “the truth about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Redeemer of Mankind and, subsequently, the Faith in Him as the only religion willed by God is being relativized. This way, the danger grows increasingly that the essence of the whole Gospel and, with it, of the depositum fidei [deposit of the Faith] is being denied.”

In the face of a growing relativization of the “uniqueness of Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ,” explains the prelate, it is even more important now that the “whole Church and, in the first place, Pope Francis” openly speak about this matter. “The document of Abu Dhabi was, however, not helpful with regard to the main mission of the Church.”

He also points out that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent a February 21, 2019 letter “to all the Church’s universities” with the explicit request that they help spread, on all levels, the principles contained in the Abu Dhabi document. That letter then also quotes the controversial passage on the diversity of religions. (LifeSiteNews reported on this letter here.)

Speaking about the consequences of the further spreading of the uncorrected Abu Dhabi document, Bishop Schneider points out that it will further “relativize the uniqueness of Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and with it also the essence of the Gospel and of Divine Revelation.”

In his last sentences, Bishop Schneider expresses his “burning desire” that daily “more and more voices among bishops, priests, and faithful will come who ask respectfully and lovingly from the pope that he unambiguously correct the statement in the Abu Dhabi document.”

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Globe CF  NEWS

Did the rig the election of Pope Francis?

DID they rig the Election of Pope Francis (plus Chile refusal of Communion on tongue)? Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon discuss recent Catholic events and the description by Cardinal Kasper of a meeting of cardinals before the election of 2013 to elect Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis.




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Cardinal Mueller: ‘There has never been an ordained female diaconate’

Cdl.MullerMAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews ~ Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, insists that in the history of the Catholic Church, “there has never been an ordained female diaconate (except a blessing, in part, similar to the minor orders and to the sub-diaconate).”

This statement, given to LifeSiteNews, has now been confirmed by some of Pope Francis' words on the findings of his female deacon commission that had submitted its findings to the Pope back in the summer of 2018.

Cardinal Müller told LifeSiteNews that he has “collected and reviewed all the sources for this topic” and that he has also presented his findings in three different books: Priesthood and Diaconate (San Francisco, 2002); Frauen in der Kirche (Women in the Church – Würzburg 2001), and Der Empfänger des Weihesakramentes. Quellen zur Lehre und Praxis der Kirche, nur Männern das Weihesakrament zu spenden (The Recipient of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Sourceas concerning the teaching and practice of the Church, to administer only to men the Sacrament of Holy Orders – Würzburg 1999).

LifeSiteNews had reached out to Cardinal Müller in light of the comments made by Professor Peter Hünermann, who is a proponent of the female diaconate and who recently told LifeSiteNews that the recent commission on the female diaconate had found that “there is no historical evidence that in the patristics women were ordained as deacons.”

Cardinal Müller, in his own comments, points to the “character of the Sacrament of Holy Orders as a representation of Christ Himself as the Bridegroom,” thus excluding women from the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

“For people like Professor Hünermann and others, the diaconate is only the first step to the sacramental priesthood,” the German prelate explains, “that is why individual historical documents are being bent until they fit.”

“It is sad,” he said. “There is no sign of any broad tradition in the Universal Church of a sacramental [female] diaconate.”

Already early in his work as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Müller had made it clear that a female diaconate is not possible. In 2013, he said: “The Sacrament of Holy Orders, in the steps bishop-priest-deacon can, according to the Church's teaching, only validly be received by a man.” Female deacons existed in certain regions in the history of the Church, he then added, but they “did not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders in its real sense.” Their role was, for example, to visit women, something that was impossible for a priest to do.

In 2001, the German prelate spoke about the Church Fathers and showed that they always rejected the idea of ordaining female deacons: “All important Church Fathers explicitly rejected as heretical the practice of a few communities separated from the Church to admit women to the diaconate and to the priesthood.”

Having been a member of the Vatican commission that studied the history of the diaconate under the leadership of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Müller has dealt with this topic for many years and has always come to the same conclusions. Female ordination is not possible. In 2016, when Pope Francis decided to set up yet another study commission on the female diaconate, Cardinal Müller had pointed out that there had already been such a commission which worked within the International Theological Commission. After a ten-year period of studying the topic, the commission published its own report in 2002.

The report stated at the time:

'With regard to the ordination of women to the diaconate, it should be noted that two important indications emerge from what has been said up to this point:

1. The deaconesses mentioned in the tradition of the ancient Church – as evidenced by the rite of institution and the functions they exercised – were not purely and simply equivalent to the deacons;

2. The unity of the sacrament of Holy Orders, in the clear distinction between the ministries of the bishop and the priests on the one hand and the diaconal ministry on the other, is strongly underlined by ecclesial tradition, especially in the teaching of the Magisterium.

Now, for the first time, Pope Francis himself revealed the findings of the female deacon commission that he had established in 2016 and which had submitted its final report in the summer of 2018. At an in-flight press conference on his recent return from a May 5-7 apostolic visit to Bulgaria and Macedonia on Tuesday, the Pope said that, according to the commission, “the formulae of ordination for the [female] diaconate found until now are not the same as for the male diaconate and are more similar to what today would be the abbatial blessing of an abbess.” “There were deaconesses in the beginning,” he added, but the question is whether “it was a sacramental ordination or not.” “What is fundamental,” the Pope explained, “is that there is no certainty that there was ordination with the same form and finality as male ordination.” He further explained, saying:

'They [the female deacons] helped, for example, in the liturgy of baptism, which was by immersion. When they baptized a woman the deaconess assisted. They also assisted for the anointing of the woman’s body. Then a document came out that showed the deaconess was called by the bishop when there was a marital dispute, for the dissolution of the marriage or the divorce or separation. When the woman accused her husband of having hit her, the deaconesses were sent by the bishop to look at her body for bruises, and so they testified for judgment'.

Thus, Pope Francis' commission appears to have come, in important aspects, to the same conclusion as the previous commission of 2002, and also as Cardinal Müller's own research has shown it. However, the Pope somewhat vaguely added that the members still had some disagreements about this question and that they would thus individually continue their own research.

We will see what Pope Francis will tell the International Union of (female) Superiors General, who three years ago asked him to appoint a commission to study the question of female deacons, when he meets them on May 10.

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Humanae Vitae


Theology of the Body and Humanae Vitae

DR. BOB RICE, panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn, and special guest Dr. Michael Waldstein, translator of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, discuss the relevance of Humanae Vitae and the Theology of the Body today.



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Sanctifying sodomy

In Belgium it is the Rainbow Church

Cdl. de KeselMARCO TOSATTI reports for La Nuevo BQ (Google translation) ~ 'The condemnation of homosexual acts is no longer sustainable'. This was said by Cardinal De Kesel, archbishop of Brussels, speaking to a gay group to which he also anticipated the project of some religious ceremony for homosexual unions. That this is contrary to the Scriptures, to Tradition and even to the recent magisterium for the cardinal is no problem.

Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, the man who destroyed - with the complicity of the Holy See - the Community of the Holy Apostles, a thriving vocations in de-Christianized Belgium, met the HLMW gay group on April 24th and said that " The Church must respect homosexuals more, even in their experience of sexuality ". That is, acts such as sodomy, which have always been condemned in the Old and New Tetestamento, could find ecclesiastical approval.

Needless to say, all this is in contrast with the ever-tradition of the Church, the Holy Scriptures, the catechism and various recent documents of the Holy See. According to the gay propaganda website hlwm.be, De Kesel alleged that the condemnation of homosexual acts 'is no longer sustainable'.

Of course, the cardinal, a protégé of Cardinal Danneels , implicated in a scandalous case of cover-up of sexual abuse, and a great friend and adviser of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, referred to the words of Francesco 'Who am I to judge'; but it has not reported, as too often happens in these cases, the entire quotation, which refers to the catechism, and has limited itself to the use made of it by the groups of homosexual activism. De Kesel said that only ten years ago, observations like those he was making would not be possible. An arrow to Benedict XVI, who, according to what we are told, did not have a great esteem by the current archbishop of Malines-Brussels. And probably, knowing how picky Pope Ratzinger was in terms of episcopal choices, he will have had his good reasons.

De Kesel admitted that he himself, twenty years ago, would have expressed himself differently about homosexuality and would have followed the teaching of the New Testament and the Church. According to De Kesel, the Church in Europe 'has changed for the better': Instead the Church in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia would not yet be 'included in this change' for the better ''.

But De Kesel did not limit himself to this. In the meeting, as reported by many newspapers in the country, the cardinal said he wanted to reflect on some form of prayer celebration to give a religious seal to a homosexual relationship. Needless to say, following this way of thinking the cardinal comes into direct conflict both with what the Catholic Church teaches and also - it seems - with what the reigning Pontiff says.

In the encounter with the community of which we spoke, the cardinal confirmed that he is reflecting on such a hypothesis. In the conversation both homosexual relations and the distinction between them and a Christian marriage between a man and a woman were discussed. The cardinal would have said that he hopes to be able to respond to the request, present in Catholic homosexuals, to be able to benefit from a symbolic recognition of the Church for their union.

Catholic commentators note that in spite of its progressive progressiveness, a religious marriage would seem to go too far. And he would not be very much in favor of an ecclesiastical 'blessing', because the resemblance to a natural marriage would seem too strong. The idea of the cardinal, to satisfy his homosexual audience, would rather be that of a 'thanksgiving celebration', or a 'prayer celebration'. But without exchanging rings ...

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United Nations


UN logo


AUSTIN RUSE, President/C-Fam, Editor & Publisher/Friday Fax, writes ~ I am furious, and so should you be. A UN committee has actually told the U.S. government that it may not protect an order of Nuns who do not want to pay for artificial contraception which would violate their religious freedom.

There is now a full-scale attack on pro-lifers at the UN, and we must band together to stop them.

A few weeks ago, the UN Human Rights Committee told the United States to “review” several pro-life policies that the American people support.

1. The UN orders the U.S. to do away with Mexico City Policy, which forbids American money from supporting abortion groups overseas.

2. The UN Committee says the President must rescind his executive order on free speech and religious liberty.

3. The Committee says the Little Sisters of the Poor must provide contraceptives in their employee health insurance.

4. The Committee even went after the various U.S. States that have enacted sensible abortion regulations like requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at the local hospital.

This is an overreach on a massive scale. The UN has no such right to tell the U.S. or any other country what to do on the question of abortion and contraception. And the United Nations has no right to limit the religious freedom of citizens anywhere in the world.

The UN has long been the home of anti-life, anti-family, and anti-Christian radicals. Even now, a group that is very close to C-Fam has come under attack from leftist governments and leftist media outlets. And I suspect, they are coming for C-Fam next.

This is why this is happening. Because they are losing. The only way they can win is by lying and then using the UN apparatus to punish those who are beating them.

We have made great strides in recent years.

Reproductive health is controversial again! Along with our allies, we did that.

Comprehensive sexuality education is poison again. Along with our allies, we did that, too.

Sexual orientation and gender identity cannot even get a hearing at the UN. Our allies and we did that, too!

So, they are coming for pro-life governments, and they are coming for pro-life groups.


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News from around the world

Australia Muslim tells Christians: 'We tried warning you,' it's time to 'wake up' about threat of radical Islam

GEORGE THOMAS reports for CBN News ~ As Sri Lankan authorities worry about the potential of more suicide attacks by the group behind the Easter Sunday bombings, one Muslim activist is issuing an urgent warning to Christians around the world about the growing and very real threat of radical Islam.



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France L'Arche founder Jean Vanier dies aged 90

AN ANNOUNCEMENT on L'Arche's website on May 7th announced the death of Jean Vanier's death. 'In recent days, while remaining very present, he had declined quickly.

'We all know Jean's place in the history of L'Arche and Faith and Light and in the personal stories of many of us. Jean's life has been one of exceptional fruitfulness. First and foremost we wish to give thanks for that…

'In his last message, a few days ago, Jean said: 'I am deeply peaceful and trustful. I'm not sure what the future will be but God is good and whatever happens it will be the best. I am happy and give thanks for everything. My deepest love to each one of you.''

The son of a former Governor General of Canada, Georges Vanier, Jean Vanier was born in Geneva on September 10, 1928, where his father was en poste. He was educated at Dartmouth Naval College (now Britannia Royal Naval College) and served in the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy before moving to Paris to study philosophy. His first publication was his doctoral thesis on Aristotelian ethics.

In 1964, feeling the need to do something more meaningful with his life, Vanier bought a house in Trosly-Breuil, northern France, and founded L'Arche, a community for those with learning disabilities to live with their carers and be helped to grow to their full potential. L'Arche International now has 150 sites around the world.

L'Arche's leaders announced that his funeral will take place in his community at Trosly

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Hungary Family Minister says supporting the Family is not ‘Nazism’

K NovakEDWARD PENTIN reports for the National Catholic Register ~ The Hungarian Parliament passed sweeping pro-family legislation April 1, guaranteeing various married couples and families interest-free loans, mortgage assistance and even childcare allowances for grandparents.

The seven-point package is an “important milestone” in the history of Hungarian family policy, says Katalin Novak, Hungary’s minister for the family, in a Europe that is renouncing its Christian culture and “slowly committing suicide.”

Novak also explains in this April 12 interview with the Register why Hungary has pursued such an overt pro-family approach since 2010, one that statistics show has led Hungary’s abortion rate dropping by 33.5% from 2010 to 2018, marriage increasing by 43%, and divorce decreasing by 22.5% between 2010 and 2017.

She also explains how the Hungarian government has persisted with its pro-family policies despite being demonized as “far-right.” The radicals are those who “believe that immigration should be the only path to choose,” Novak argues. “It’s not normal, for example, to compare family support to Nazism.”

Mrs. Novak, how important was the recent World Congress of Families in Verona — which brought together pro-family leaders from all over the world — to your work in support of the family, and how might it influence your policy formulation in the future?

As a pro-family politician, I appreciated the opportunity to promote the priority and importance of families and present the Hungarian family-friendly model. The event in Verona was a very good opportunity to spread the word to my colleagues about best practices that actually work in Hungary.

We are building a family-friendly country, and we’ve achieved quite a lot in this field. Last year, the birth rate was at its highest for 20 years, as was the number of marriages. I was more than happy to share our experiences with other countries’ representatives and decision-makers.

What were the main points of your talk?

In my speech, I talked about a Europe that is slowly committing suicide. If we renounce our Christian culture and at the same time stop promoting the importance of the family and children and just accept anything that might happen to our continent, we are in practice sacrificing ourselves and committing suicide.

I presented the Hungarian model’s family-policy measures. The Hungarian government has been pursuing a strong family policy and the goal of being a family-friendly country since 2010. This seeks to achieve a turnaround in demographic trends by supporting legislation, financial incentives, assistance, services and a family-friendly mentality. We are also helping those who are already raising children as much as possible. Traditional strong families represent an asset which we intend to defend — not only in Hungary, but internationally, as well.

Were you surprised by the extent of opposition to the congress, and why do you think it drew so many attacks?

I wasn’t surprised, as we’re used to the habits of the left-liberal media, NGOs and politicians that label everything not in line with their views as wrong, radical and far-right extremism. We’re not radicals — we simply want to strengthen families as much as we can, instead of prioritizing immigration.

In Central Europe, we not only understand the demographic crisis we face, but we also want to find our own solutions that address our young people who would like to have children. This is the difference between Central and Western Europe. Western political elites don’t want to dig deeper into the problems, and they choose the simplest path: mass immigration.

We believe that the demographic crisis can only be solved in the long run by relying on our own internal resources. We’ve asked Hungarians many times about how they imagine their future, who they want to live with, and how many children they want.

The answers were crystal-clear: Hungarians are family-oriented; and they love their families, their culture and their traditions. We’ve been given this direction by the Hungarian people. We want to strengthen families, women and young people. We want to provide security, and we want to protect our Christian culture.

In relation to your government’s support for the family, how have you managed to introduce such policies in the face of opposition, and what can other countries learn from your example?

After we won the election in 2010 with a two-thirds majority, we decided to build a family-friendly country and to strengthen families raising children. We thought the opposition would be a partner in this, but since then there have been very few decisions in the field of family policy that they’ve supported. So if we had always taken the opposition’s opinion into account, Hungary would now be on the brink of collapse. There wouldn’t be such a comprehensive family-support system, a family-friendly tax system, a housing program, 800,000 new jobs, and many opportunities to create a balance between life and work. The socialists have driven our country into deep crisis before, and they would do it again. They’re only interested in grabbing power again; to achieve this goal, they’ve even joined forces with the Hungarian far right.

We now spend twice as much on families as in 2010: almost 5% of total GDP, exceeding the OECD average by almost 100%. We have a very complex, comprehensive support system, and we help families in many different fields, including nursery developments, the tax system, housing and pension policy. We are open to sharing our experiences and best practices worldwide.

How can policies supporting the family be separated from the demonizing label of “far right”?

In many cases, everything is considered “far right” that is to the right of a given position. Is it far right and extremist to support families, just because of this? The question itself is misleading.

In our eyes, the radicals are those who believe that immigration should be the only path to choose. It’s not normal, for example, to compare family support to Nazism — as one Swedish minister has done. Our main aim is to provide opportunities and to make it possible for young Hungarians to freely decide about their lives. Is this far right?

How do you see the future? Do you see the tide turning and governments adopting more pro-family policies in the coming months and years?

The starting point is that in Europe there is a battle between anti-migration and pro-migration countries. We want to solve the demographic challenges by strengthening families, while they prefer migration over empowering young Europeans to have more children.

Meanwhile, there are more and more people that are deeply worried about the unchecked influx of illegal immigrants and the rise of terrorist attacks. Europewide I see that there is an increasing demand for good policies that enable people to live better, to have more choice and to receive help when needed.

The European Parliament election in May will be an important milestone. The question is very much about whether the EU is able to renew and strengthen itself by putting families at the core, instead of surrendering.

One thing is clear: We shall continue to support families in the future, and in this we hope to have more and more allies — like Poland or Italy, among others.

What measures does this new legislation, the Family Protection Action Plan, include?

This seven-point package is an important milestone in the history of Hungarian family policy and also in our attempts since 2010 to build a family-friendly country. The law has just been approved by Parliament and will be effective from July 1:

• Married couples in which the wife is under 40 will be eligible for an interest-free, general-purpose loan of 31,000 euro. Repayment can be suspended, significantly reduced or written off entirely if the couple go on to have children.

• Families raising at least three children will be eligible for a grant of 7,800 euro to buy a new car seating at least seven people.

• There will be universal crèche [baby crib] provision by 2022. Therefore, we will be creating 21,000 additional crèche places over the next three years.

• We are providing the opportunity for families to reduce their mortgage loans by 3,100 euro upon the birth of a second child. Upon the birth of a third child, this amount increases to 12,500 euro.

• The preferential home-loan scheme will be extended: Families will be able to use it for purchasing existing properties as well as new ones. The amounts on which repayment relief is available are up to 31,000 euro or 48,000 euro, depending on the number of children.

And from 1 Jan. 1, 2020:

• We are providing lifetime exemption from personal income tax for Hungarian women who have given birth to at least four children or who will give birth to a fourth child.

• Grandparents will be eligible for childcare allowance.

This is not the end of our work. There is more to come! Hungarian families can count on us.

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Iran Intelligence Minister admits that Christianity is spreading in 'parts' of his country

STEVE WARREN reports for CBN News ~ Iran's intelligence minister has admitted publicly for the first time that Christianity is spreading throughout Iran.

Iranwire.com reports Mahmoud Alavi, the Islamic Republic's intelligence minister, was giving a speech in front of several Shia Muslim clerics when he announced 'Christianity is spreading in 'parts' of Iran.'

In an apparent attempt to make light of the people are converting, Alavi said: 'These converts are ordinary people whose jobs are selling sandwiches or similar things.'

The intelligence minister also told the clerics to quit bickering among themselves.

'We had no choice but to summon them to ask them why they were converting,' said Alavi told the assembled group. 'Some of them said they were looking for a religion that gives them peace. We told them that Islam is the religion of brotherhood and peace. They responded by saying that: 'All the time we see Muslim clerics and those who preach from the pulpit talk against each other. If Islam is the religion of cordiality, then before anything else, there must be cordiality and peace among the clerics themselves.'

'It is not the job of the intelligence community to find the roots of these conversions from Islam. But it's happening right before our eyes,' he added.

Iran is known for its mounting persecution of Christians. The Islamic Republic is listed as number 9 among the world's top persecutors of Christians, according to Open Doors USA. Christians in Iran are forbidden from sharing their faith with non-Christians. Consequently, church services in Persian (Iran's national language) are not allowed.

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Pakistan Asia Bibi finds refuge in Canada but faces Muslim retribution

Asia BibiMARTIN M. BARILLAS reports for LifeSiteNews — Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who was sentenced to death in Pakistan for violating Muslim law, has arrived in Canada in the hope of starting a new life.

After spending years on death row in her native Pakistan, Asia Bibi (aka Asia Noreen) may spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder despite finding refuge in Canada. Muslims have sworn to kill her despite being acquitted of charges of violating Pakistan’s laws barring blasphemy. She was sentenced to death in 2010 after being accused of blasphemy under Pakistani religious law following a dispute with two Muslim women in her village over a cup of water. According to Bibi’s accusers, Muslim sharia law forbids Christians from using the same eating and drinking utensils used by Muslims.

This is great news for Asia Bibi, who can hopefully live a peaceful life free of threats and imprisonment now. But there will continue to be more people suffering like she has while mobs and governments seek to punish the bogus “crime” of blasphemy.

Bibi told her persecutor, "I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Muhammad ever do to save mankind?" For these remarks, Bibi was beaten by her Muslim neighbors who had pursued her home. Police arrived to arrest her and take her into custody, pending trial. Once convicted, she faced possible hanging, which is the prescribed death for blasphemers in Pakistan. While no one has been hung for blasphemy yet in modern Pakistan, many of the accused have died at the hands of enraged Muslim mobs.

Bibi’s case soon garnered the attention of the world, gaining support from Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, as well as various Christian groups around the world. When they called for Bibi’s release, Salman Taseer, a Pakistani Muslim politician, and Clement Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic who was serving as Pakistan’s Minister for Minority Affairs, were murdered on orders of Muslim militant groups.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in November 2018 that negotiations were afoot to bring Bibi to Canada. Confirming that Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, had begged for asylum in Canada, United Kingdom, or the United States, Trudeau said Pakistan was "very dangerous" for him and his family. Recently, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan told the BBC that Bibi would soon leave Pakistan.

In October 2018, the supreme court of Pakistan overturned Bibi’s conviction and she was eventually released from prison. Violent protests, led by the Islamic group Tehreek-e-Labbaik, broke out across Pakistan as Muslims called for the murder of the judges of the high court. Meanwhile, Bibi and her family were taken into protective custody. In hiding, she and her family were hunted down by Muslim extremists who went on a house-to-house search for her. While she remained in custody, two of Bibi’s daughters preceded her to refuge in Canada.

Bibi’s lawyer, Saiful Malook, and his family fled Pakistan fearing for their lives after her acquittal. According to Fr. Raymond J. DeSouza, a Canadian Catholic priest and columnist, 10 million Pakistani Muslims stand ready to kill Bibi for a reward, which has been offered by a Muslim religious leader.

Currently, Bibi’s whereabouts in Canada are unknown. There are reports that she may be provided with a new identity while authorities find a new home for Bibi and family. Canadian authorities are expected to protect her and members of her family. The Catholic Church is also expected to provide a welcome to her, even while there are fears that churches may in turn become targets for Muslim terrorism. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused comment on May 8.

According to the CIA Factbook, Christians and Hindus together constitute but 3.6 percent of Pakistan’s 200 million people. The majority, however, of persons accused of blasphemy are non-Muslims. Hindus constitute the largest minority group in Pakistan, which broke away from India in the late 1940s.

According to Open Doors, Christians are especially targeted by Pakistan’s sharia blasphemy laws. The group, which advocates for religious freedom, stated, “Under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, Christian persecution is a growing problem and Christians continue to live in daily fear that they will be accused of blasphemy — which can carry a penalty of death. Additionally, radical Islamists seem to be gaining more political power, and the new ruling government must maintain good diplomatic relationships with some radical groups. Christians are largely regarded as second-class citizens, and conversion to Christianity from Islam carries a great deal of risk.”

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United Kingdom Catholic Education Conference (CES) betrays parents

JULES GOMES reports for ChurchMilitant.com ~ Catholic authorities in England and Wales have enthusiastically endorsed the government's new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) laws, which override parental rights and normalize same-sex marriage and transgenderism for children as young as four.

The regulations, approved during Easter week by the House of Lords, brings to an end a long-running internal battle within the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and the Catholic Education Service (CES) over the issue of teaching same-sex relationships in primary schools and the role of parents as the "primary and original" educators of their children.

The statutory instrument, which makes teaching LGBT relationships and sexual practices compulsory, abolishes the right of parents to withdraw primary school children (aged 4 to 11) from relationships education where children will be taught about gay relationships and same-sex parenting.

Parents can still withdraw their primary school children from sex education, but for withdrawing children in secondary schools parents will have to seek the head teacher's permission. The head teacher can refuse this "request."

Children in relationships education classes will have to demonstrate "respect" and acceptance for gay relationships, agreeing that such relationships are just as normal, valid, positive and beneficial as traditional marriage.

Despite vigorous opposition to the regulations from traditionalist Catholics and sustained public protests by Muslim parents in a number of cities in England, the CES representing the bishops' education policy for 2,300 Catholic schools and colleges in England and Wales has eagerly embraced the new regulations.

Lord Agnew, the minister responsible for faith schools, said in the lords' debate that the guidelines had the "strong support" of the Board of Deputies as well as the Church of England and CES.

"We expect levels of withdrawal to be very low; the Catholic Education Service notes presently that the withdrawal rate from sex education in Catholic schools is 0.01%," he stated.

"We welcome this commitment by the Government to improve Relationships and Sex Education in all schools," Paul Barber, the CES director, said. Barber insisted that the regulations "are compatible with the Catholic model curriculum" and are age-appropriate, equip students to make good life choices and keep children safe.

Ignoring the government takeover of parental rights, Barber claimed that the government shared the Catholic Church's view of parents as the prime educators of their children and the CES were "pleased to see the Government sharing this fundamental principle."

Countering this claim, Dr. Tom Rogers, Catholic education manager for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said: "The CES's support of recent Government legislation on RSE, in particular, represents an appalling betrayal of Catholic, and indeed all parents, as they try to live out their God-given role as primary educators of their children."

Catholic sources told Church Militant that progressives, influenced by the militant gay campaigning organization Stonewall, had won a protracted in-house battle by using the resource Made in God's image: Challenging homophobic and biphobic bullying in Catholic schools as a "Trojan Horse to pave the way for a more explicit LGBT indoctrination agenda."

The 40-page resource, jointly produced by the CES and St. Mary's University, Twickenham, misrepresents Catholic teaching. It states that homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358) but leaves out the section about "homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity" and homosexual acts as "intrinsically disordered."

The resource cites the letter on "The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons" "that homosexual inclinations are not sinful" but fails to quote the whole sentence, which goes on to read, "It is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."

Sources said the resource was discussed at a Catholic bishops' conference but the revised version remains ambiguous. It relies heavily on Stonewall materials, even though Stonewall has been anti-Catholic, particularly through its "Bigot of the Year" award.

Catholic gay activist Terence Weldon wrote on his Queering the Church blog: "I can confirm that much of this material is not just 'similar' to the Stonewall material - it's identical to some of what was used in Stonewall's own training."

"Deliberately or not, the English bishops have in effect entered an informal partnership with Stonewall," he added, mentioning that the document did not go far enough since it was silent on "transphobic bullying."

The lone episcopal voice of Bp. Philip Egan of Portsmouth warned that "the influence of Stonewall and LGBT Youth is clear in the CES document because it includes quite a bit of 'cut and paste' from Stonewall."

A cleric, speaking on condition of anonymity, blamed Cdl. Vincent Nichols for the CES' surrender to the LGBT agenda:

Cardinal Nichols as former chair of CES is notorious for his support of the pro-homosexual Soho Masses Pastoral Council. He even told Catholics protesting these gay Masses to "hold their tongues." There are a number of clues to a worldview within the CES that embraces LBGT and is dismissive of Catholic moral doctrine.

Meanwhile, critics objecting to Barber's commendation of the RSE regulations as age appropriate pointed to the graphic booklet Too much, too young: Exposing primary school sex education materials produced by The Christian Institute which uncovers explicit resources already being used in primary schools.

Sex historian and campaigner Dr. Lisa Nolland challenged Barber's version of RSE as "safe."

"Some of what passes under this rubric is a million miles from 'healthy' or 'safe' - just type in 'fisting' or 'felching' to the popular NHS-endorsed Respect Yourself (for 13-year-olds)," Dr. Nolland said.

"Or see Brook's Traffic Light Tool, which gives a green light to oral, anal and vaginal sex for 13-year-olds as long as there is developmental and age proximity," she said. "Such 'advice' is now offered to youngsters and far more is on the cards and yet how are leaders with a duty of care responding?"

Judith Nemeth, director of the Values Foundation, an organization of Catholics, Anglicans, Jews and Muslims campaigning against the RSE proposals, told Church Militant that "acknowledging that gay marriage is now legal in the U.K. does not automatically lead us to teaching the misleading parental phenomenon of '2 Daddies and 2 Mummies.'"

Some of what passes under this rubric is a million miles from 'healthy' or 'safe.'Tweet

"Although there is much good in the RSE guidelines, it has to be acknowledged that it is also the tool of the LGBT and secularist lobbies to prematurely 'indoctrinate' [quoted by one of the lords] future generations regarding the validity of same-gender relationships," Nemeth said.

A spokesperson for CES commented:

'Parents are the primary educators of their children, that's why Catholic schools work closely with parents to ensure that Relationships and Sex Education is delivered in an age-appropriate manner. As such, across England, just 0.01% of parents decide to withdraw their children from RSE in Catholic schools'.

He added, "RSE in Catholic schools is delivered in line with the Church's teaching on human wholeness, safeguarding children for life in modern Britain."

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United Kingdom Thought crimes against transgender agenda

BRUCE WALKER reports for ChurchMilitant.com ~ The agenda to normalize transgenderism brooks no half measures. Just ask Maya Forstater, an otherwise liberal feminist who lost her think tank job for a series of tweets and an essay in which she stated biology determines gender.

Based squarely in both science and natural law, her thought crime committed in the public square cost Forstater her job. As a result, she is suing her former employer for wrongful termination based on a restrictive policy of her free speech rights.

Forstater, 45, was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development (CGD) where she conducted fundraising for a policy initiative requiring her tax expertise. The CGD is a left-of-centre, London-based institute that covers various issues, including health, climate change, migration and finance issues. The organization fired Forstater late last week.

A CGD email to Forstater reads: 'You stated that a man's internal feeling that he is a woman has no basis in material reality. A lot of people would find that offensive and exclusionary.'

The email referred to several tweets expressing Forstater's concerns that women could be endangered by men identifying as women encroaching in previously all-women 'refuges, hostels, prisons, changing rooms and hospital wards, as well as women's sports.'

Following her dismissal, Forstater wrote:

'Last summer, the UK government launched a public consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004 towards 'self ID.' Like most people I agree that transgender people should not face discrimination and harassment as they live their lives. But I am concerned about the impact of self ID on women and girls, and in particular on single sex spaces and services such as women's refuges, hostels, prisons, changing rooms and hospital wards, as well as women's sports.

'I am concerned that governments around the world are rushing through laws and policies which say that people with male bodies can become women simply by identifying as women. This is happening without adequate consultation or consideration for the impact on women's privacy, safety and inclusion'.

Forstater made the comments on her personal Twitter account, providing the disclaimer that her opinions were her own and didn't reflect the views of CGD. Nonetheless, she was let go for 'fear-mongering' and tweeting that the 'truth' was 'that men cannot change into women.'

Forstater also charged that serial sexual predator Karen White, born Stephen Terence Wood, was a man. According to The Guardian, 'White entered the UK prison system as transgender. However, despite dressing as a woman, the 52-year-old had not undergone any surgery and was still legally a male. She was also a convicted paedophile and on remand for grievous bodily harm, burglary, multiple rapes and other sexual offences against women.'

Because he identified as a woman, Wood was placed in a woman's prison where he sexually attacked two female inmates in September 2017.

Forstater maintains committed to liberal feminist causes. She explained: 'I am also a mother and a feminist, and I think that sexist stereotypes about women and girls, and about men and boys are damaging for children and adults. In 2012 I was one of the co-founders of the campaign 'Let Toys Be Toys' to push retailers to stop using sexist stereotypes in marketing toys.

However, she draws the line at denying clearly defined gender distinctions: 'I support transgender people's human rights and I believe that trans people are vulnerable, but no one group should overrule others. I lost my job for speaking up about women's rights, in a careful way and in a tone of ordinary discussion and disagreement. I worked for a think tank and I thought you ought to be able to think and talk about things. I found out I was wrong about that'.

She is backed by Index on Censorship, whose director, Jodie Ginsberg, said, 'From what I have read of her writing, I cannot see that Maya has done anything wrong other than express an opinion that many feminists share - that there should be a public and open debate about the distinction between sex and gender.'

'I had planned to work at CGD for the next two years on a project I had helped to develop and raise funds for,' wrote Forstater. 'Instead, my tweets were investigated and I was told my appointment would not be renewed. This is fundamentally unfair, and it is in the public interest for this decision to be challenged so that people holding these beliefs are protected from discrimination.'

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United Kingdom Primary school bans teachers from calling pupils 'boys and girls'

THE DAILY RECORD reports ~ A primary school has sparked controversy after reportedly banning teachers from calling their pupils boys or girls.

Instead, teachers are the school are being told to use gender-neural terms for the benefit of kids who are confused about their gender.

Director of children and learning at Southend Council, Brin Martin, says the move from Leigh North primary in Essex is a positive one.

He said: 'Celebrating difference encourages children and young people to respect diversity. It's not about changing them,' as the Sun reports.

But the school's head teacher, Ant Hautler, admitted: 'The letter has been spread around and has angered the community.'

It comes as a letter, reportedly by an outraged parent, was sent to locals branding the move as 'indoctrination'.

It read: ''This removes every child at the school's gender and causes confusion in children who otherwise would be perfectly happy.

'Where will it lead? Mixed-sex toilets? Mixed changing areas - which is indecent?'

However Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton, of LGBT group Stonewall, argued: 'It's vital to create school environments where all children can reach their full potential.'

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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


AFGHANISTAN : Five dead in jihad attack on American group because they promoted gender equality

BRAZIL : Catholic school students tricked in repeating chapter of the Koran containing insults to Christians and Jews.

INTERNATIONAL : Ramadan: more bloodshed expected as 'jihad is the best form of worship'

INTERNATIONAL : Jihadists using Instagram to recruit support for terror attacks on the West

PAKISTAN : Ramadan Day 3 ~ Right-kind of Muslims kill nine wrong-kind of Muslims

UK : BBC admits, Christian persecution 'at near genocide levels'

UK : 'Furious' Muslim convert seeks compensation because her pasta sauce “tasted” like bacon

UK: Secret Government report warns over 48 British Islamic schools are teaching intolerance and misogyny to future imams


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International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



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Brother Peter Dimond of the Most Holy Family Monastery discusses Newman's positive as well as negative points



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Clockace  Event


Rome Forum

Cdl. BurkeROME'S premier pro-life and pro-family conference is being held next Thursday, May 16 and Friday, May 17.

This year’s Rome Life Forum will feature four Cardinals, including two signatories of the dubia, as well as the top pro-life, pro-family Catholic leaders from around the world. The conference will be followed by the Rome March for Life Saturday, May 18. This year, 2019, marks the sixth annual Rome Life Forum, which is sponsored by Voice of the Family. The theme for this year’s conference is: “City of God vs. City of Man – Global One World Order vs. Christendom.” Co-sponsors for the conference include Associazione Famiglia Domani (Italy), Family Life International New Zealand, LifeSiteNews, and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (UK).

The 2019 conference comes at a tumultuous time not just in the Catholic Church but in the world. Populist and nationalist movements are rising up to oppose state multiculturalism and the liberal world order. During his pontificate, Pope Francis has welcomed radical environmentalists and population control activists to the Vatican. He has also called on nations to “build bridges and not walls.” This has left some Catholics wondering if he is now the face of the global left.

Below is the full schedule of events at this year’s conference. If you are interested in live streaming the 2019 Rome Life Forum, click here to learn more.

Thursday, May 16 (All times Rome)

10:10 am — Fr. Wojciech Giertych O.P. (Angelicum): Opening remarks

10:20 am — His Excellency Willem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk (the Netherlands): Gender theory: a threat to the family and the proclamation of the Christian faith (In Italian)

11:10 am — Professor Roberto de Mattei (Lepanto Foundation, Italy): Mysterium iniquitatis: from one world order to global chaos (In Italian)

1:00pm — John-Henry Westen (LifeSiteNews, Canada): Finding hope in the midst of the revolution (In English)

3:30pm — Bishop Athanasius Schneider: The hopelessness of the city of man without God (video address in English)

4:00 pm — Anthony Murphy (Catholic Voice, Ireland): On faith, life and the family in Ireland — example from the west (In English)

4:45 pm — Steve Mosher (Population Research Institute, USA): On faith, life and the family in China — example from the east (In English)

Thursday, May 16 (All times Rome)

10:00 am — Fr. Kevin O’Reilly OP (Angelicum, Italy): Sacrificate sacrificium iustitiae: the transformation wrought by the cross of Christ (In English)

10:50 am — Dr. Alan Fimister (UK/USA): No abiding city - the challenge of St Augustine (In English)

12:15 pm — Fr. Linus Clovis (Family Life International NZ): The reign of Mary – mirror of the City of God

3:30pm — His Excellency Janis Cardinal Pujats: On topical questions for the family and for the society (Video address)

3:45pm — His Excellency Walter Cardinal Brandmüller: Prehistory of Humanae Vitae (In Italian)

4:15pm — His Excellency Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke: Filial piety and national patriotism as essential virtues of citizens of heaven at work on earth (In English)

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Thinking aloud: In praise of a new critical edition of Newman’s essays

Essays Critical and Historical, Volume I, by John Henry Newman, Newman Millennium Edition Volume XIII edited by Andrew Nash. Gracewing, 2019. Hardcover, 570 pages, Viking £35I

Newman EssaysEDWARD SHORT writes for the CatholicWorld Report ~ When John Henry Newman published his Essays Critical and Historical in 1871, a collection he had written as an Anglican on topics ranging from rationalism and the American Episcopal Church to the liberal Anglican historian Henry Hart Milman and the catholicity of the Anglican Church, the Dublin Review ran a notice of the collection observing how

'Fr. Newman speaks very touchingly in his Preface of his past position… that “from various circumstances he has been obliged through so many years to think aloud.” We believe he is one of the extremely few men recorded in history, to whose reputation this circumstance will prove beneficial rather than injurious'.

Andrew Nash, in his exemplary edition of the first volume of the collection for the Millennium Edition of Newman’s works, points out that while Newman explained that his motive for publishing the essays was, as he said, “to reduce what is uncatholic in them,” he was nonetheless “far from defensive” about them, since they served, in part, to explain his eventual disillusionment with the Anglican Church. Since his choice to republish was made after his Apologia pro vita sua (1864) had regained him many new Anglican readers, “his strategy behind the republication,” as Nash notes, “was to influence this Anglican audience—to show them, as the Apologia had argued throughout, that his Tractarian principles led him to Rome and therefore should lead other Anglo-Catholics to Rome too.” In this regard, Nash is right to suggest that the essays can be read as an appendix to the Apologia.

Yet, for Nash, what is most remarkable about the essays is “how consonant” they are “with [Newman’s] later Catholic faith;’ indeed, “his critique of… Protestant Christianity… now looks strikingly perceptive, even prophetic;” and the insight they offer into “the consistency of Newman’s principles and the trajectory of their development…” makes them of particular interest now, when Newman is so soon to be canonized.

In republishing the essays, Newman was also sharing with his readers something of the Anglican difficulties with which he had to struggle in order to embrace what he referred to as “the one true fold of the Redeemer.” Once he had sorted these difficulties out and repudiated the Anglican for the Catholic faith, he could reaffirm the objectivity of truth because he had personified it in his own self-sacrificing conversion. This is clear in a letter that he wrote to Mrs. Froude, the wife of the man to whom he dedicated the collection (Hurrell Froude’s brother, William, the sceptical naval engineer), after the last of these Anglican essays had been written in 1844. “Surely,” he wrote, “the continuance of a person who wishes to go right in a wrong system, and not his giving it up, would be that which militated against the objectiveness of Truth—leading to the suspicion that one thing and another were equally pleasing to our Maker, where men are sincere.” In thus allowing himself to be shown thinking aloud, Newman could show that he had acted faithfully on his own long-held conviction, expressed so memorably in the speech he had given on being made a cardinal, that “Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another,” a doctrine “inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true.

Nash’s point about the collection confirming the consistency of Newman’s thought is borne out nicely by a passage in the essay entitled Apostolical Tradition (1836), in which Newman reviews a book of letters between an Anglican clergyman and his Unitarian brother. There, he has occasion to observe:

'We have said that the common ground, on which these disputants erect their arguments, admits of being used in behalf of error; but we must go further. Their first principle really is inconsistent with there being any certainties in Revelation whatever; for, if nothing is to be held as revealed but what every one perceives to be in Scripture, there is nothing that can be so held, considering that in matter of fact there is no universal agreement as to what Scripture teaches and what it does not teach: and why are one man’s opinions to be ruled by the readings of another? The right which each man has of judging for himself ipso facto deprives him of the right of judging for other inquirers. He is bound to tolerate all other creeds by virtue of the very principle on which he claims to choose his own. Thus ultra-Protestantism infallibly leads to Latitudinarianism'.

Of course, this confirms one of the grounds on which Newman took issue with liberalism – its affinity with infidelity – but it is also interesting to note that this passage is not found in the original text, which is content to describe the common ground on which the brothers argued thus:

'Both parties acquiesce in the fundamental position that truth of doctrine is to be gained from Scripture by each person for himself; and here lies the [‘primary misapprehension’] of the controversy, which in consequence becomes a trial of strength between the two individuals…'

Here, the gist of the two passages may be the same, but the more detailed rewrite from 1871 is considerably more compelling. Nonetheless, both passages refute those tiresome detractors of Newman, who insist that his opposition to liberalism was neither coherent nor consistent.


Like most good writers with something to say close to their hearts, Newman is often autobiographical in these essays, albeit in an oblique way. For example, in his essay entitled “Poetry with reference to Aristotle’s aesthetics” (1828), he praises the poet George Crabbe (a favorite of James Joyce) by calling attention to his Tales of the Hall (1819), which clearly puts the reader in mind of Newman’s fraught relationship with his younger brother Charles, who, although brought up in the same Anglicanism as his brother, went on to embrace the utopian socialism of Robert Owen (1771-1858).

'In the writings of [Crabbe] there is much to offend a refined taste; but, at least in the work in question, there is much of a highly poetical cast. It is a representation of the action and reaction of two minds upon each other and upon the world around them. Two brothers of different characters and fortunes, and strangers to each other, meet. Their habits of mind, the formation of those habits by external circumstances, their respective media of judgment, their points of mutual attraction and repulsion, the mental position of each in relation to a variety of trifling phenomena of every-day nature and life, are beautifully developed in a series of tales moulded into a connected narrative. We are tempted to single out the fourth book, which gives an account of the childhood and education of the younger brother, and which for variety of thought as well as fidelity of description is in our judgment beyond praise. The Waverley Novels would afford us specimens of a similar excellence. One striking peculiarity of these tales is the author’s practice of describing a group of characters bearing the same general features of mind, and placed in the same general circumstances; yet so contrasted with each other in minute differences of mental constitution, that each diverges from the common starting-point into a path peculiar to himself. The brotherhood of villains in Kenilworth, of knights in Ivanhoe, and of enthusiasts in Old Mortality, are instances of this'.

Apropos this lively foray into literary criticism, Nash observes that it was included in a collection otherwise given over to theological issues because, “For Newman, the poetical and the spiritual are the same thing.” Indeed, in one passage in the essay, Newman says categorically, “With Christians, a poetical view of things is a duty—we are bid to colour all things with hues of faith, to see a Divine meaning in every event, and a superhuman tendency.” Certainly, the historian in Newman saw how Gibbon’s inability to enter into this fundamental reality disabled him from writing any reliable history of the rise of Christianity.

For another instance of Newman’s introducing autobiographical sidelights into his texts, readers can consult his essay here on St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 50 -98/117), written for the British Critic in January of 1839, which prefigures how the patristic scholar in Newman found the basis for his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845) in the writings of the early Fathers. Newman always laid great stress on the need to bring a certain critical sympathy to the study of Christ and His Church. “One serious truth should be kept in view in judging of the Fathers,” he wrote, and that is that “they who come with modern notions will find in them no notions at all,” especially if “they are not willing to discern that their writings are Catholic.” He faults Gibbon severely for lacking this sympathy, even though as a young man he delighted in the historian’s orotund prose. As Nash shows, he also faults himself for misreading the Fathers when he first encountered them. In this regard, his criticism recalls something from one of G.K. Chesterton’s detective stories, “The White Pillars Murder” (1925), in which the shrewd detective Dr. Adrian Hyde observes: “Clumsy eavesdropping must be worse than the blind spying on the blind. You’ve not only got to know what is said, but what is meant. There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.”


“On the Introduction of Rationalistic Principles into Revealed Religion” (1836), which began life as Tract 73 of the Tracts of the Times is another proof of the long-standing consistency of Newman’s opposition to liberalism. Nash’s textual appendix shows that Newman only revised the very opening of the piece; the rest he left untouched. What he added is a witty swipe not only at Thomas Erskine (1788-1870), the Scottish Episcopalian theologian, whose writings teem with Socinianism, but James Fitzjames Stephen, the skeptical circuit court judge and litterateur, who had descended upon Newman at the Oratory in 1865 after abusing him in Fraser’s Magazine for falling short of what the judge superciliously referred to as the “canon of proof.” Newman’s addition to the opening is worth quoting at length.

'That is, I cannot believe anything which I do not understand; therefore, true Christianity consists, not in “submitting in all things to God’s authority,” His written Word, whether it be obscure or not, but in understanding His acts. I must understand a scheme, if the Gospel is to do me any good; and such a scheme is the scheme of salvation. Such is the object of faith, the history of a series of divine actions, and nothing more; nothing more, for everything else is obscure; but this is clear, simple, compact. To preach this, is to preach the Gospel; not to apprehend it, is to be destitute of living faith. Of course I do not deny that Revelation contains a history of God’s mercy to us; who can doubt it? I only say, that while it is this, it is something more also. Again, if by speaking of the Gospel as clear and intelligible, a man means to imply that this is the whole of it, then I answer, No; for it is also deep, and therefore necessarily mysterious. This is too often forgotten'.

A passage from this same essay, which Newman left untouched, bears out Nash’s claim that these Anglican essays often tally with Newman’s later Catholic faith. The proponent of the necessary complementarity between faith and reason in Newman may have enriched our understanding of this essential element of Catholic orthodoxy in many of his Catholic writings, but, first, as a conscientious Anglican, he had to disentangle reason from rationalism, a disentangling for which those who wish to dispute the accuracy of Newman’s opposition to liberalism have yet to account. If understanding any complex issue requires making precise distinctions where confusions might arise, no one was ever as adept at this as Newman. Here, one can see the true genius of the man.

'As regards Revealed Truth, it is not Rationalism to set about to ascertain, by the exercise of reason, what things are attainable by reason, and what are not; nor, in the absence of an express Revelation, to inquire into the truths of Religion, as they come to us by nature; nor to determine what proofs are necessary for the acceptance of a Revelation, if it be given; nor to reject a Revelation on the plea of insufficient proof; nor, after recognizing it as divine, to investigate the meaning of its declarations, and to interpret its language; nor to use its doctrines, as far as they can be fairly used, in inquiring into its divinity; nor to compare and connect them with our previous knowledge, with a view of making them parts of a whole; nor to bring them into dependence on each other, to trace their mutual relations, and to pursue them to their legitimate issues. This is not Rationalism; but it is Rationalism to accept the Revelation, and then to explain it away; to speak of it as the Word of God, and to treat it as the word of man; to refuse to let it speak for itself; to claim to be told the why and the how of God’s dealings with us, as therein described, and to assign to Him a motive and a scope of our own; to stumble at the partial knowledge which He may give us of them; to put aside what is obscure, as if it had not been said at all; to accept one half of what has been told us, and not the other half; to assume that the contents of Revelation are also its proof; to frame some gratuitous hypothesis about them, and then to garble, gloss, and colour them, to trim, clip, pare away, and twist them, in order to bring them into conformity with the idea to which we have subjected them'.

Nash’s gloss on this important essay is perceptive: “Through Abbot [an American Congregationalist with whose rationalism Newman took issue] and Erskine, Newman is in fact fighting a theological battle with opponents nearer home such as R.D. Hampden and others of the Liberal school of theology within the Church of England.” While there were many differences between these two groups – Erskine and Abbott being comparative lone wolfs, while Hampden had the support of liberal Oxford behind him – both men sensibly fled the field after encountering Newman’s polemical artillery, Abbott devoting himself to composing children’s books and Hampden to tending to his garden.

One of the most perceptive – and eloquent – of the pieces here is Newman’s essay on the American Episcopal Church, in which he sought to detect some signs of life at a time when he was beginning to despair of his own highly rarefied form of Anglicanism at home, though what he found was hardly reassuring. “To tell the truth,” he confesses, “we think one special enemy to which the American Church… lies open is the influence of a refined and covert Socinianism.” For Newman, what the Americans wanted, especially those smug, moneyed Americans, who made up the bulk of the Episcopal Church, was a religion “which neither irritates their reason nor interferes with their comfort.” Why?

'Severity whether of creed or precept, high mysteries, corrective practices, subjection of whatever kind, whether to a doctrine or to a priest, will be offensive to them. They need nothing to fill the heart, to feed upon, or to live in; they despise enthusiasm, they abhor fanaticism, they persecute bigotry. They want only so much religion as will satisfy their natural perception of the propriety of being religious. Reason teaches them that utter disregard of their Maker is unbecoming, and they determine to be religious, not from love and fear, but from good sense'.

Since the character and development of Newman’s principles have been deliberately misrepresented by those who wish to appropriate him and his work to advance the neo-Modernism now undermining the doctrinal, sacramental, moral and liturgical integrity of the Church, Nash’s elegant and discriminating edition will serve as a welcome reminder of the Servant of Truth in Newman.

Modernism, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a program of heterodoxy that seeks to conform the Church to the intellectual, moral and social aberrations of the modern world. After Pius X released his encyclical condemning Modernism, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, which he delivered on the Nativity of Our Lady in 1907, the Modernists responded by conceding that: “Our religious attitude is ruled by the single wish to be one with Christians and Catholics who live in harmony with the spirit of the age.” The assiduous efforts of those within the present hierarchy to conform the Church to our own age’s mistaken views on homosexuality and concubinage will give readers a fair understanding of just how Modernist some of the hierarchy have become. When we refer to Newman’s prescience, it is to this that we must ultimately refer, since Modernism, of its essence, is the apotheosis of rationalism.


Since the essay on St Ignatius abounds in arcane references, Nash’s notes are indispensable. Indeed, his annotations throughout the volume are enviably apt, combining as they do learning, precision, succinctness and wit. For example, after quoting a bishop in St. Ignatius’s time saying of heretics, “I warn you against wild beasts in human form, whom you ought not only not to receive, but, if possible, not even to fall in with; only to pray for…,” Newman remarks:

'So speaks a bishop of the first century, — “wild beasts in human form;” have not such terms been done into English in the nineteenth by the words of “venerable men,” men of “inoffensive,” “uncontroversial” dispositions'?

To which Nash appends the amusing note: “Newman is being ironic; these are the epithets given, by their supporters, to Anglican writers of liberal, unorthodox opinions.” As in his superb edition of Newman’s Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics (1851), Nash is never unappreciative of Newman’s vigilant satirical sense.

With respect to a passage from Newman’s finely satirical essay on Selina, Countess of Huntingdon (1707-91), whose evangelical Methodism still flourishes in England today, Nash shows what a self-deprecatory critic of his former Tractarian allegiances – especially his via media — Newman could be. In his essay, Newman writes of the disciples of the Countess trying to hector their countrymen into subscribing to what became known as “The Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion,” a hectoring about which Newman dryly remarks:

'Here, if we mistake not, we see the meaning of the style of certain publications [i.e., the writings of the Tractarians], to which the last seven years have given birth, and which have been accused, though more so at first than now, of intemperance and harshness, of repelling people, instead of attracting them. We suspect their writers thought that the very first point to be secured in the controversy, was the inflicting upon all readers that theirs was a whole positive consistent objective system, which had to be mastered, not one which men already partly held and partly not, and from which they might pick and choose as they pleased, but one which they had to approach, study, enter upon, and receive or reject, according to their best judgment. They wished it to be recognized as a creed…'

Nash’s gloss on this is marvelous: “Newman knows perfectly well what the writers thought, being one of them himself. His pose of the detached observer is thus ironic.” If Newman’s detractors obsess over what they imagine his penchant for self-vindication, Nash points, instead, to his delicate self-mockery, which was of a piece with his intellectual honesty.

The most well-known of Newman’s detractors, Frank Turner, the confused Yale professor, asserted that Newman only claimed to oppose liberalism to ingratiate himself with Rome’s theological conservatives: his real bète noir was Evangelicalism. Putting aside the derisory inaccuracy of such an assertion, we can see in Newman’s essay on the Countess of Huntingdon that while he might have had certain core objections to Evangelicalism, he had a soft spot for Evangelicals. Of the Countess herself, he says:

'Lady Huntingdon… sets Christians of all times an example. She devoted herself, her name, her means, her time, her thoughts, to the cause of Christ. She did not spend her money on herself; she did not allow the homage paid to her rank to remain with herself: she passed these on, and offered them up to Him from whom her gifts came. She acted as one ought to act who considered this life a pilgrimage, not a home,—like some holy nun, or professed ascetic, who had neither hopes nor fears of anything but what was divine and unseen'.

Lastly, in his essay, “Prospects of the Anglican Church” (1839), Newman shows with what fair and dispassionate generosity he could view the Oxford Movement after it had begun to fizzle out, another sign of how these essays look forward to the Apologia:

'There will ever be a number of persons professing the opinions of a movement party, who talk loudly and strangely, do odd or fierce things, display themselves unnecessarily, and disgust other people; there will be ever those who are too young to be wise, too generous to be cautious, too warm to be sober, or too intellectual to be humble;—of whom human sagacity cannot determine, only the event, and perhaps not even that, whether they feel what they say, or how far: whether they are to be encouraged or discountenanced. Such persons will be very apt to attach themselves to particular persons, to use particular names, to say things merely because others say them, and to act in a party-spirited way… There is no warrant, however, for supposing that the agents themselves in the present revolution of religious sentiment partake in the fault we have been specifying; though, as is natural, it is the fashion to lay it at their door. It has been the fashion; though, in spite of a certain learned dignitary in the North, we hope it is a fashion going out, to accuse them of being simple Dominics, or men who contract their notion of religious truth to a narrow range of words, and would fain burn every one who scruples to accept it'.

Nash’s notes here are not only informative but funny. Apropos the “certain dignitary in the North,” he points out, “As the 1839 text reveals, this was George Townsend (1788-1857), low church Anglican divine extremely hostile to the Oxford Movement… Strongly anti-Catholic, in 1850 he had an audience with Pope Pius IX and attempted to convert him to Protestantism.” As for Newman’s reference to ‘Dominics,’ Nash writes: “i.e. like St. Dominic (1170-1221), founder of the Order of Preachers, seen by Protestants as a fanatical heresy hunter.” It is commentary like this that gives Nash’s edition its sparkle.

In May of 1884, when he was 83 and feeling less than spry, Newman told a correspondent: “The weakness and stiffness of my fingers react upon my brain. I have thoughts and forget them, and lose my thread of argument and any vivid impression, before I can write it down. I never could think, never profitably meditate, without my pen and now that I cannot use it freely, I cannot use my mind.” This melancholy state of affairs certainly did not obtain when Newman was writing the brilliant essays that adorn this first volume of Essays Critical and Historical, a thinking aloud made all the more fascinating by Andrew Nash’s smart, incisive, revelatory editing.

[Edward Short, a good fried of CF NEWS, is the author of Newman and his Contemporaries and Newman and his Family, both published by Bloomsbury, and Adventures in the Book Pages, published by Gracewing. His most recent book Newman and History has just been published by Gracewing. He lives in New York with his wife and two young children].

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Globe CF  NEW




YouTube pulls ads on interview with LifeSite co-founder, saying that it 'isn't suitable'

LISA BOURNE reports for LifeSiteNews ~ YouTube demonetized a video conversation between Catholic evangelist Patrick Coffin and LifeSiteNews co-founder and editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen this week, the video-sharing platform saying it had 'confirmed it wasn't suitable for all advertisers.'



Such things are happening to Christians and conservatives with greater frequency, but Coffin said the effort to quell his message signifies he's doing something right in proclaiming the Gospel.

'Ask yourself why more Christian media outlets are not being deplatformed and demonetized,' he said. 'There's a terrible dearth of boldness among Catholics and other Christians, which is rooted in fear, and that's a subtle rejection of the Holy Spirit.'

'I talk about this and related issues all the time on my podcast and inside the membership site. Getting shunned and shunted by Big Tech because of the Gospel without compromise is a sign of things going right!'

Coffin has had six or seven YouTube videos demonetized out of more than 120 since starting his Catholic media apostolate more than two years ago, and he says in his experience, it's usually subjects that go against the politically correct grain of the world today.

'I have done over 120 episodes of The Patrick Coffin Show and one livestream,' he said, 'but the only ones demonetized have dealt with transgender confusion, resolving the homosexual compulsion through therapy, prayer, and masculine-led affirmation, the damage done by the sexual revolution, and anything with the word Muslim or Islam in the title.'

'Those topics,' said Coffin, 'in my anecdotal experience, draw the attention and ire of the word-combination logarithms used by Big Tech to censor political incorrectness, which has been (quite successfully) rebranded as fomenting 'hate.'

'According to the M.O. of previous ad removals by YouTube, we discussed homosexual behavior in a way that doesn't jibe with the spiritus mundi,' he added.

Coffin had reached out to some top influencers who are media-savvy and practicing their Catholic faith a few weeks ago, he said, and Westen was one of his first picks for his new 8 P.M. livestream on Wednesdays.

'I told him it's not an interview per se,' recounted Coffin, 'just a live conversation about events in and out of the Church, in which we comment on the questions that roll in or discuss things together.'

The conversation was livestreamed on Wednesday, May 1, and the next day, YouTube informed him it had demonetized the video.

Demonetization means that the YouTube page-owner cannot earn revenue from the ads that typically scroll before viewers before the video begins.

'Hi PatrickCoffin.media,' the YouTube message to Coffin opened. 'After manually reviewing your video, we've confirmed that it isn't suitable for all advertisers. As a result, it will continue to run limited or no ads.'

It then identified the video: 'A Livestream with John-Henry Westen.'

Coffin posted about the YouTube demonetization message on his Facebook page.

'Welcome to soft deplatforming,' he said. 'I can't even have a conversation with John-Henry Westen without our betters at YouTube deigning to remove all ads. 'Free speech for me but not for thee.' -Nat Henthoff.'

''Isn't suitable for all advertisers' is YouTube boilerplate language for 'our central committee decided we didn't like your views,'' Coffin told LifeSiteNews. 'How can they know what all advertisers find suitable or unsuitable unless they polled them or called each of them on the phone about it?'

Coffin said his conversation with Westen was a basic, lively exchange about several news events.

It included the recent open letter from clergy and scholars accusing Pope Francis of heresy; how it's been a slow process for some to recognize and acknowledge the regular ambiguities put forth by the pope, Francis's strategy for hiring homosexualists and hard-left advisers as his main advisory staff and his selective firing of Catholic prelates deemed too rigid or anti-pastoral, the attitude of the left toward free speech, the Kim Davis affair and how it was misreported by Vatican press staff, the problem of homosexual cliques in the seminaries as noted by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and thoughts about Benedict's abdication.

Coffin has objected to YouTube's removal ads in the past and said he's learned that when officials say they did 'manual review,' that's the 'final kibosh.'

It would be inordinately time-consuming and likely futile to pursue an appeal with the Google-owned video-sharing giant, and he said his is a minor case compared to what's happened to others.

'I could spend my whole life fighting ad strikes,' he said, 'as YouTube knows.'

'Other folks, such as Steven Crowder, have gotten the same one-sided treatment,' said Coffin. 'In Steven's case, [it was] worse. Or they've been completely banned for life, like Milo Yiannopoulos.'

The experience is a sad commentary on the fear media CEOs feel when confronted with contrary viewpoints, Coffin told LifeSiteNews.

'Demonetizing, deplatforming, depersoning through total bans on social media platform only radicalizes people,' stated Coffin, 'further deepening the enmity between groups and fostering echo chambers instead of an open marketplace of ideas. Classic liberals understand this. The left does not.'

Coffin launched his media apostolate in late 2016 after seven years of hosting Catholic Answers Live to bring a 'badly needed platform of hope' to the culture. Coffin told LifeSiteNews that minus such go-rounds with suppression of ideas, his evangelization and apologetics media venture is going amazingly well, with The Patrick Coffin Show getting regular downloads in 110 countries.

'People are fed up with The Establishment Catholic Media,' he said, 'and want tools to repair the DNA damage to the culture, despite the man in the white hat in Rome at this time.'

Coffin said he plans to keep on doing exactly what he's been doing, only more frequently and with greater commitment.

'By God's grace,' he said, 'my beloved members of Coffin Nation community support the effort to repair the damage done to the cultural DNA, so to speak, through personal transformation in Christ, growing in productivity, living the full life Jesus promises in John 10:10 ('The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly').

'Boldness is contagious,' said Coffin. 'Join us.'

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Globe CF  NEWS

Book review


Sir Jacob comes to realise . . .

TillotsonFRANCIS PHILIPPS writes ~ It is generally agreed that something happened to the culture in the 1960s. Immediately during the post-war period higher education was still in the hands of the mandarin classes and deference was paid to their superior knowledge and authority. There was even a popular advertising poster of the 1950s which read 'Top People take The Times' showing men in formal dress.

I make this comment as I have just been reading the first novel of a young member of this mandarin class, published in 1951. Tillotson by Philip Trower, who died aged 95 in January this year and about whom I have subsequently blogged, is available on Amazon and is worth resurrecting, partly because it is an elegant and accomplished piece of writing for a young man in his twenties and partly because it assumes an educated and cultured readership. It is thus dated, with echoes of EM Forster - especially as it is set in an invented country somewhere in 'the Levant' - and the high-minded frivolity of the Bloomsbury Group.

In later life, Philip described it as a 'children's story.' I see what he means; it is essentially a fable, for adult children - that is, a caste somewhat removed from real life by their inherited incomes and their leisure. A group of upper-class aesthetes and others meet up in a town called Tortola in a country called Doria, drawn together by a mysterious personality - Tillotson - who is never seen. A famous art historian who has invented the concept of 'unique vitality' to distinguish great sculpture from its imitations, he is linked to the other characters through romance (a faded duchess), feigned friendship (with a Swedish art collector), itemising his collection (a young secretary) and so on.

The author, educated at Eton and Oxford and who fought in the War in Italy, was, at the time he wrote the novel, a nominal member of the Church of England. To be civilised was to be respectful to a major religious faith, even if you did not take its truths seriously. His alter-ego in the novel is a young baronet, Sir Jacob D'Albey, who is seeking a sentimental and aesthetic education abroad in the villa of his uncle, Uther Pendragon; the latter, worldly and sophisticated, acts as his mentor.

Pendragon, in the witty, cynical tone of the novel, reflects on the big questions of life: 'It takes time to be good. Is it worth beginning? Suppose he were to put all his money on a Christian way of life and then found that God didn't exist, would he not have wasted his life in pointless unselfishness?' He sees that for Jacob, these thoughts have the urgency of youth: 'He can't avoid the questions, 'What are we doing? Where are we going? Are we put here to enjoy ourselves, or are we put here to be good? Somehow an answer must be found. God does not provide one, and next to God is Art.'

Warming to his theme, Pendragon continues: 'As a religion, art has two advantages. It demands sensitivity and intelligence, but none of the unpleasant virtues like self-sacrifice. It is a religion for the elect, combining mystery with limitless speculation…' Later in the novel, Jacob himself comes to realise that, 'Although, if enjoyed for their own sakes, the arts can give comfort, they cease to do so when by them men try to come nearer an understanding of God and death.'

Soon after finishing the book, Philip turned his back on writing this kind of fiction. He had realised the limitations of high culture just as Jacob had, and had become a Catholic. And then came the 1960s, when only a serious faith could withstand - just - the deluge that followed.

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Globe CF  NEWS

Comment from the internet


The Prophecies of the Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich: We were warned

Stigmatist and Mystic Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004. Her warnings to the Church have gone largely ignored.



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Globe CF  NEWS

Evelyn Waugh predicted the collapse of Catholic England

E WaughCASEY CHALK writes for The American Conservative ~ Imagine a society enfeebled by constant, top-down, progressivist experimentation offering universal, programmatic solutions to problems that are either inherently localist or transcendent. Imagine an intellectual elite who are arrogantly uninterested in-and perhaps conscientiously deaf to-the concerns of ordinary, working-class people. Imagine a media that serves as a microphone for this elite, actively avoiding stories that don't harmonize with their enlightened narrative.

This probably sounds a bit like the milieu that resulted the cultural distemper of the 2016 presidential election and that still largely defines American politics today. It is also, interestingly, a description of the liturgical changes imposed upon the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom during the 1960s

, as painfully described in A Bitter Trial, a series of correspondences between English Catholic writer Evelyn Waugh and John Carmel Cardinal Heenan.

The liturgical changes in question stemmed directly from the Second Vatican Council, which met from 1962 to 1965. For many, the council was, in the famous words of Pope John XXIII, a chance to "open the windows [of the Church] and let in some fresh air." This was not so much the case for Waugh, who loudly (though unsuccessfully) protested the radical transformations foisted upon Catholic worship. These changes included an emphasis on vernacular languages over Latin, a revised lectionary, and significant alterations to the components of the Mass. Waugh's words in response to this revolution are arresting: "Church-going is now a bitter trial," he wrote. Elsewhere he said, "the Vatican Council has knocked the guts out of me." To a friend, he wrote, "I have not yet soaked myself in petrol and gone up in flames, but I now cling to the Faith doggedly without joy." In another letter to a cleric, he sought to know the least he was "obliged to do without grave sin." This is remarkable, coming from one of the most famous Catholic writers of the 20th century, one who had previously adored the Mass.

One of Waugh's most persistent criticisms of the liturgical changes is that progressive, elitist-driven experimentation hurts ordinary people the most, undermining their confidence in important institutions. Vatican II represented, in Waugh's mind, a rejection of the needs and opinions of local people. "A vociferous minority has imposed itself on the hierarchy and made them believe that a popular demand existed where there was in fact not even a preference," he warned.

Nor were parish priests, the local leaders who best understand the common man, sufficiently consulted. Waugh wrote: "I know of none whose judgment I would prefer to that of the simplest parish priest. Sharp minds may explore the subtlest verbal problems, but in the long