This edition of CF NEWS No.2300 posted at 12.54 pm on Sunday, September 29th, 2019




NACF President interview with LifeSiteNews VIDEO    read more >>>


Now we're getting somewhere: Burke and Schneider finally point the finger    read more >>>
Francis and the Amazon Schism
   VIDEO    read more >>>
Liberation theologian: "Seize" the Synod, it's "of great importance"
   VIDEO   read more >>>
Who has Pope Francis invited to the Amazon synod ?    VIDEO    read more >>>
Proposal for ‘new humanism’ would wipe out Christianity: Mother Miriam   VIDEO    read more >>>
Cardinal Sarah's Cri de Coeur
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Prelates' praise Henry VIII's rebuke of Martin Luther
   read more >>>
Pope Francis explains what he means by ‘proselytism’ and ‘evangelization’    read more >>>
Relativism is ‘root of the new moral paradigm proposed by Pope Francis’: De Mattei    read more >>>


The prophetic power of Humanae Vitae    VIDEO    read more >>>


How to survive the satanic destruction of marriage and family    VIDEO    read more >>>


Chinese churches ordered to celebrate Communist regime’s anniversary    VIDEO    read more >>>
Ban on under-18s impacts vocations as Beijing tightens control   read more >>>


CANADA Gender theory pioneer admits 'I made it all up'   read more >>>
GERMANY An attack on Christ's Lordship    read more >>>
GERMANY Cdl Marx: 'no stop sign' from Pope Francis    read more >>>
GERMANY Two bishops announce they didn’t vote for ‘synodal path’ statutes read more >>>
GERMANY Theologian withdraws from German synodal path
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IRELAND Bishop backs female priests as diocese votes to ordain women
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KENYA Bishops' condom push    read more >>>
UK SPUC calls on politicians to stop abortion in Northern Ireland   read more >>>
UK 'Safe space' badges at trans forum   read more >>>
UK Scotland's named person scheme scrapped
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UK Irony
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UK Britain rebuffs US anti-abortion moves
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USA Vatican suspends US archbishop's decision
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   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL gloria.tv.news
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INTERNATIONAL The World Over with Raymond Arroyo
   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL A few more headlines of the week
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Who was Cardinal John Henry Newman?   read more >>>


Our Church reformed or deformed?    read more >>>


John Humphrys on Kremlin' style 'BBC Thought Police'    read more >>>
The man who broke the Viganò story   read more >>>
Satire is alive and well - despite the thought police    VIDEO       read more >>>


Why so much hostility and disagreement?    VIDEO    ead more >>>
Papal Standards - and Questions
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The strange death of Catholic international thought
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What Comes After Transgender?
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How the Pope's man in Washington is protecting Msgr. Rossi
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Site of the day    VIDEO    read more >>>
Panis Angelicus
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Dom Hubert Van Zeller, OSB    read more >>>


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[LSN] 2300.N1



















Now we're getting somewhere: Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider finally point the finger

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA reports for The Remnant ~ In an addendum to their historic eight-page declaration (for the full text see here) against the errors of the Instrumentum Laboris for the upcoming 'Shamazon Synod,' as Michael Matt dubs it, Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider finally squarely identify Pope Francis as the ultimate source of 'the almost general doctrinal confusion which is reigning in the life of the Church in our days,' which they had hitherto attributed to some sort of malaise of indeterminate origin.

The addendum begins with the usual acknowledgment of the parlous state of doctrine nearly sixty years after the Second Vatican Disaster: 'ambiguities regarding the indissolubility of marriage, which is being relativized through the practice of the admittance of persons cohabitating in irregular unions to Holy Communion, due to the increasing approval of homosexual acts, which are intrinsically contrary to nature and contrary to the revealed will of God, due to errors regarding the uniqueness of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work, which is being relativized through erroneous affirmations on the diversity of religions, and especially due to the recognition of diverse forms of paganism and their ritual practices through the Instrumentum Laboris for the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon.'

Apart from 'erroneous affirmations on the diversity of religions,' which have proliferated since the Council (one thinks of the infamous Assisi events during the reign of John Paul II), the specific developments enumerated in the passage quoted have arisen during this pontificate as its peculiar indices of papally-induced ecclesial decline.

What, then, of Francis? Finally, Burke and Schneider bring his role into focus:

•  'However, if we would be silent, we would violate our conscience. In this context we think of the well-known words of the future Saint Cardinal John Henry Newman (who will be canonized on October 13, 2019): 'I shall drink - to the Pope, if you please, - still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards'….

•  'We think of these memorable and germane words of Melchior Cano, one of the most learned bishops during the Council of Trent: 'Peter does not need our adulation. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are those who most undermine the authority of the Holy See: they destroy, instead of strengthening its foundations'.

•  'In recent times, there has been created an atmosphere of an almost total infallibilization of the statements of the Roman Pontiff, that is to say, of every word of the Pope, of every pronouncement, and of merely pastoral documents of the Holy See….'

And then this:

•  'One must keep in mind the fact that the Apostle Paul publicly reproached the first Pope at Antioch in a matter of a lesser gravity, compared to the errors which in our days are spread in the life of the Church….

•  What would St. Paul, St. Athanasius and the other great figures of Christianity say, when reading such a phrase and the errors expressed in the Instrumentum Laborisfor the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon? It is impossible to think that these figures would remain silent, or would let themselves be intimidated with reproaches and accusations of speaking 'against the Pope'….

•  …. How would the Apostle Paul react today, if he would read the sentence of the Abu Dhabi document [signed by Pope Francis] which says that God wants in His wisdom equally the diversity of sexes, nations and religions (among which there are religions which practice idolatry and blaspheme Jesus Christ)!…. The affirmation on the diversity of religions in the Abu Dhabi document and especially the errors in the Instrumentum Laboris… contribute to a betrayal of the incomparable uniqueness of the Person of Jesus Christ and of the integrity of the Catholic Faith.

•  When Pope Honorius I in the seventh century showed an ambiguous and dangerous attitude regarding the spread of the heresy of monothelitism, which denied that Christ had a human will, St. Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent a bishop from Palestine to Rome [to demand a papal retraction]…. If St. Sophronius lived today, he certainly would be accused of speaking 'against the Pope'.

•  A similar situation existed in the fourth century, when with the silence of almost the entire episcopate, the consubstantiality of the Son of God was betrayed in favour of ambiguous doctrinal affirmations of semi-Arianism, a betrayal in which even Pope Liberius participated for a short time. Athanasius never tired of publicly denouncing such ambiguity. Pope Liberius excommunicated him in the year 357…. It is significant that Pope Liberius, unlike all his predecessors, was the first pope whose name was not included in the Roman Martyrology.

And, finally, this:

•  'For the Pope is the first in the Church to whom applies this admonition of the Holy Scripture: 'Hold the form of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.'' (2 Tim. 1:13-14)

Unless and until there is direct opposition from members of the hierarchy to the ruinous course of this pontificate, there is no hope, humanly speaking, of a course correction. Perhaps now that these two prelates have finally identified Pope Francis as the source of the particular errors they oppose, other hierarchs will follow their example, which in turn follows that of Saint Paul in his rebuke of the first Pope. Perhaps, that is, they will do their duty as descendants of the Apostles.

Failing that, however, the only remedy for our situation will be from on high, as God undoes the folly and punishes the defection of His ministers.

[FP/Remnant] 2300.1



















Francis and the Amazon Schism

REMNANT EDITOR Michael Matt takes a closer look at the eco-theology of the Pan-Amazonian Bishops Synod, to kick off in two weeks.

Do you think this is really about women deacons and married priests? Or is there something much more sinister going on?

Plus, in addition to calling for the establishment of a 'new humanism,' Francis borrows a page from Hillary Clinton's playbook and tells the world that 'it takes a village' to establish peace and justice for all.

And Jesus Christ? Well, Francis evidently forgot to mention Him again.

Finally, in his latest video message, Francis scolds President Trump for being a heretic from the new Eco-Religion when it comes to opting America out of the Parish Treaty on Climate Change.



And who did Pope Francis invite to the Amazon Synod?




[Remnant] 2300.2














Pope’s proposal for "new humanism" would "wipe out Christianity": Mother Miriam

NEWS of the pope’s just-launched “Global Pact” for “new humanism” has “to do with ruining our society, ruining our culture, and destroying the family,” Mother Miriam said on her live show Monday.

On September 12, the Vatican issued a statement inviting religious, humanitarian, and international leaders, and leading politicians, academics, scientists, and athletes, to sign a “Global Pact on Education.”

On her Monday show, Mother Miriam read and reflected on a LifeSiteNews article about it.

“We did not awake this morning to glorious news, and it all has to do with ruining our society, ruining our culture, and destroying the family,” she said.

The goal of the “Global Pact on Education” is to hand “on to younger generations a united and fraternal common home.” Mother told listeners this is the “common home of the devil. There is no common home we have but Heaven and Christianity on Earth this side of Heaven. We have no common home other than that.”

According to a Vatican site promoting the pact, “Pope Francis has invited everyone who cares about the education of the young generation to sign a Global Pact, to create a global change of mentality through education.”

“Beloved, that is what the communists set out to do well over a hundred years ago,” Mother responded. “The evil has entered into the Church, and it has been bought by the very pope himself and the hierarchy.”



Mother reminded listeners that we are called to be stewards of God’s creation and to educate our children.

Over the last few weeks, Mother’s shows have focused on the duty of parents to educate their children. She has called on parents to pull their children out of public schools to protect them from gender ideology and graphic sex education. Mother has advocated bringing children home and not passing off their primary duty of educating their children to others. The pope is proposing nearly the opposite.

“This [the Global Education Pact],” the pope said, “will result in men and women who are open, responsible, prepared to listen, dialogue and reflect with others, and capable of weaving relationships with families, between generations, and with civil society, and thus to create a new humanism.”

Mother called the pope’s initiative to globalize education “demonic.”

“This is not to protect the family at all. An educational village that will once and for all destroy the family and the human race.”

She was careful to emphasize that she was calling the proposition, not the pope, demonic.

Pope Francis stated that to reach his proposed objectives, everyone needs to “have the courage to place the human person at the center” and to “train individuals who are ready to offer themselves in service of the community.”

To this Mother responded, “Isn’t that what is wrong with our world today, beloved? Instead of placing Christ at the center, we place man at the center?”

The article Mother went through outlined the pope’s objectives, including to “heal the fracture between man and the Absolute.”

Mother noted that “the Absolute” is an ambiguous phrase and could refer to Buddha, the Muslim god, or any god. “What happened to God? The Absolute is not one of God’s names.”

Mother finished the reflective portion of her show by reminding listeners, quoting Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore, that the only way to change society is through the education of children.


[LSN] 2300.2a



















Cardinal Sarah's Cri de Coeur: The Catholic Church has lost its sense of the Sacred

Cdl. SarahCARDINAL ROBERT SARAH has said the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazon Region, being a regional assembly of bishops, is not the forum to discuss priestly celibacy - a subject that is 'unbearable' for the modern world because 'some Westerners can no longer tolerate this scandal of the cross.' The subject is one of many the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments discusses in this exclusive Sept. 13 interview with Register Rome correspondent Edward Pentin, including the reasons why he decided to write his latest book, The Day Is Now Far Spent (Ignatius Press).

He addresses the current crisis in the Church and society and believes it is driven primarily by atheism, not placing God at the center of our lives, as well as a prevailing wish to impose 'personal opinion as truth.' Those who announce 'revolutions and radical changes,' he warns, 'are false prophets' not 'looking out for the good of the flock.'

The Guinean cardinal also explains why Africa's grace is to remain 'a child of God,' discusses the positive and negative effects of liturgical reform, and says a 'demon' wanting our 'spiritual death' is what makes some prohibit Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. 'How can we not be surprised and deeply shocked that what was the rule yesterday is prohibited today?' he asks, and he urges a 'move away from dialectical oppositions.'

EP: What is the primary concern you want to convey to readers in your book?

Cdl.S: Don't misunderstand this book. I don't develop personal theses or academic research. This book is the cry from my heart as a priest and a pastor.

I suffer so much from seeing the Church torn apart and in great confusion. I suffer so much from seeing the Gospel and Catholic doctrine disregarded, the Eucharist ignored or profaned. I suffer so much from seeing the priests abandoned, discouraged, and [witnessing those] whose faith has become tepid.

The decline of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus the Eucharist is at the heart of the current crisis of the Church and its decline, especially in the West. We bishops, priests and lay faithful are all responsible for the crisis of faith, the crisis of the Church, the priestly crisis and the de-Christianization of the West. Georges Bernanos wrote before the war: 'We constantly repeat, with tears of helplessness, laziness or pride, that the world is becoming de-Christianized. But the world has not received Christ - non pro mundo rogo - it is we who received him for him; it is from our hearts that God withdraws; it is we who de-Christianize ourselves, miserable!' (Nous Autres, Français, 'We French' - in Scandale de la Vérité, 'Scandal of the Truth,' Points /Seuil, 1984).

I wanted to open my heart and share a certainty: The profound crisis that the Church is experiencing in the world and especially in the West is the fruit of the forgetting of God. If our first concern is not God, then everything else collapses. At the root of all crises, anthropological, political, social, cultural, geopolitical, there is the forgetting of the primacy of God. As Pope Benedict XVI said during his meeting with the world of culture at the Collège des Bernardins on Sept. 12, 2008, 'The 'quaerere Deum' - 'searching for God,' the fact of being attentive to the essential reality of God is the central axis on which all civilization and culture is built. What founded the culture of Europe - the search for God and the willingness to let oneself be found by him, to listen to him - still remains today the foundation of every true culture and the indispensable condition for the survival of our humanity. For the refusal of God or a total indifference towards him is fatal for man.'

I have tried to show in this book that the common root of all current crises is found in this fluid atheism, which, without denying God, lives in practice as if he did not exist.

In the conclusion of my book, I speak of this poison of which we are all victims: liquid atheism. It infiltrates everything, even our speeches as clergymen. It consists in admitting, alongside faith, radically pagan and worldly ways of thinking or living. And we satisfy ourselves with this unnatural cohabitation! This shows that our faith has become liquid and inconsistent! The first reform to be made is in our hearts. It consists in no longer making a pact with lies. Faith is both the treasure we want to defend and the strength that allows us to defend it.

EP: This movement which consists of 'putting God aside,' making God a secondary reality, has touched the hearts of priests and bishops.

Cdl.S: God does not occupy the centre of their lives, thoughts and actions. The life of prayer is no longer central. I am convinced that priests must proclaim the centrality of God through their own lives. A Church where the priest no longer carries this message is a Church that is sick. The life of a priest must proclaim to the world that 'God alone is enough,' that prayer, that is, this intimate and personal relationship, is the heart of his life. This is the profound reason for priestly celibacy.

The forgetting of God finds its first and most serious manifestation in the secularized way of life of priests. They are the first to have to carry the Good News. If their personal lives do not reflect this, then practical atheism will spread throughout the Church and society.

I believe that we are at a turning point in the history of the Church. Yes, the Church needs a profound and radical reform that must begin with a reform of the way of being and the way of life of priests. The Church is holy in herself. But we prevent this holiness from shining through our sins and worldly concerns.

It is time to drop all these burdens and finally let the Church appear as God has shaped her. It is sometimes believed that the history of the Church is marked by structural reforms. I am sure that it is the saints who change history. The structures then follow and only perpetuate the actions of the saints.

EP: The notion of hope is a fundamental element of the work you do, despite the grim title of the book and the alarming observations you make about the state of our Western civilization. Do you still see reasons for hope in our world?

Cdl.S: The title is dark, but it is realistic. Truly we see the whole of Western civilization crumbling. In 1978, the philosopher John Senior published the book The Death of Christian Culture. Like the Romans of the fourth century, we see the barbarians take power. But this time, the barbarians are not coming from outside to attack the cities. The barbarians are inside. They are those individuals who refuse their own human nature, who are ashamed to be limited creatures, who want to think of themselves as demiurges without fathers and without heritage. That's the real barbarity. On the contrary, civilized man is proud and happy to be an heir.

We convinced our contemporaries that in order to be free, we must not depend on anyone. This is a tragic mistake. Westerners are convinced that receiving is contrary to the dignity of the person. However, civilized man is fundamentally an heir; he receives a history, a religion, a language, a culture, a name, a family.

Refusing to join a network of dependency, inheritance and filiation condemns us to enter the naked jungle of competition from a self-sufficient economy. Because he refuses to accept himself as an heir, man condemns himself to the hell of liberal globalization, where individual interests clash without any other law than that of profit at all costs.

However, the title of my book also contains the light of hope because it is taken from the petition of the disciples of Emmaus in the Gospel of Luke: 'Stay with us, Lord, for it is nearly evening' (24:29). We know that Jesus will eventually manifest himself.

Our first reason for hope is therefore God himself. He will never abandon us! We firmly believe in his promise. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Holy Catholic Church. She will always be the Ark of Salvation. There will always be enough light for the one who seeks the truth with a pure heart.

Even as everything seems to be in the process of being destroyed, we see the luminous seeds of rebirth emerging. I would like to mention the hidden saints who carry the Church, in particular, the faithful religious who put God at the center of their lives every day. Monasteries are islands of hope. It seems that the vitality of the Church has taken refuge there, as if they were oases in the middle of the desert - but also, Catholic families who concretely live the Gospel of life, while the world scorns them.

Christian parents are the hidden heroes of our time, the martyrs of our century. Finally, I want to pay tribute to so many faithful and anonymous priests who have made the sacrifice at the altar the centre and meaning of their lives. By offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily with reverence and love, they carry the Church without knowing it.

EP: How does this book complement your two previous volumes - God or Nothing and The Power of Silence? What does this one add to those two?

Cdl.S: In God or Nothing, I wanted to give thanks to God for God's intervention in my life. By God or Nothing, I would like to succeed in placing God at the centre of our lives, at the centre of our thoughts, at the centre of our actions, at the only place he must occupy, so that our Christian journey can revolve around this Rock on which every man builds himself and structures himself until he attains 'to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ' (see Ephesians 4:13).

The Power of Silence is like a spiritual confidence. We cannot join God; we can only remain in him in silence.

This last book is a synthesis. I try to clearly describe the current situation and describe its root causes. This last book indicates the serious human and spiritual consequences when man abandons God. But at the same time, The Day Is Now Far Spent strongly affirms that God does not abandon man, even when man hides behind the shrubs in his garden, like Adam. God goes in search of him and finds him, hence a glimmer of hope for the future.

EP: In recent years, the Church has suffered many controversies related to the questioning, according to some, of the Church's moral teaching by Church leaders, for example on Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), ignorance of the magisterium of John Paul II (which the Pontifical John Paul II Institute has recently modified in a clear manner), efforts to undermine Humanae Vitae (Human Life) and the revision of the death penalty, to name just a few. Why is this happening, and should the faithful be concerned?

Cdl.S: We are facing a real cacophony from bishops and priests. Everyone wants to impose their personal opinion as a truth. But there is only one truth: Christ and his teaching. How could the doctrine of the Church change? The Gospel does not change. It is still the same. Our unity cannot be built around fashionable opinions.

The Letter to the Hebrews says: 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching. It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them' (13:8-9) - because [of] 'my doctrine,' says Jesus. 'My teaching is not my own but is from the One who sent me' (John 7:16). God himself often repeats it to us: 'I will not violate my covenant; the promise of my lips I will not alter. By my holiness I swore once for all' (Psalm 89:35-36).

Some people use Amoris Laetitia to oppose the great teachings of John Paul II. They are mistaken. What was true yesterday remains true today. We must hold firmly to what Benedict XVI called the hermeneutic of continuity. The unity of faith implies the unity of the magisterium in space and time. When a new teaching is given to us, it must always be interpreted in coherence with the preceding teaching.

If we introduce ruptures, we break the unity of the Church. Those who loudly announce revolutions and radical changes are false prophets. They are not looking for the good of the flock. They seek media popularity at the price of divine truth. Let's not be impressed. Only the truth will set us free. We must have confidence. The magisterium of the Church will never contradict itself.

When the storm rages, you have to anchor yourself to what is stable. Let us not chase after fashionable novelties that may fade before we have even been able to grasp them.

EP: To what extent do you believe, as some critics do, that post-conciliar liturgical reforms have led to the current crisis in the Church of which you speak in your book?

Cdl.S: I believe that, in this matter, Benedict XVI's teaching is luminous. He dared to write just recently that the crisis of the liturgy is at the heart of the crisis of the Church. If in the liturgy we no longer put God at the centre, then neither do we put him at the centre of the Church. In celebrating the liturgy, the Church goes back to its source. All its raison d'être is to turn to God, to direct all eyes towards the cross. If it does not, it puts itself at the centre; it becomes useless. I believe that the loss of orientation, of this gaze directed towards the cross, is symbolic of the root of the Church's crisis. Yet the Council had taught that 'the liturgy is mainly and above all the worship of the divine majesty.' We have made it a flatly human and self-centred celebration, a friendly assembly that is self-aggrandizing.

It is therefore not the Council that must be challenged, but the ideology that invaded the dioceses, parishes, pastors and seminaries in the years that followed.

We thought the sacred was an outdated value. Yet it is an absolute necessity in our journey towards God. I would like to quote Romano Guardini: 'Trust in God; nearness to him and security in him remain thin and feeble when personal knowledge of God's exclusive majesty and awful sanctity do not counterbalance them' (Meditations Before Mass, 1936).

In this sense, the trivialization of the altar, of the sacred space that surrounds it, have been spiritual disasters. If the altar is no longer the sacred threshold beyond which God resides, how would we find the joy of approaching it? A world that ignores the sacred is a uniform, flat and sad world. By ransacking our liturgy we have disenchanted the world and reduced souls to a dull sadness.

EP: What aspects of the liturgical reform have had a positive or negative effect on the faithful, in your opinion?

Cdl.S: It is important to underline the profound benefit that the greatest variety of biblical texts offers for meditation. Similarly, the introduction of a moderate dose of vernacular language was necessary.

Above all, I believe that the concern for a deep and theological participation of the faithful is a major teaching of the Council. Unfortunately, it has been misused for agitation and activism. It has been ignored that the active participation of the people does not consist in distributing roles and functions, but rather in introducing the faithful into the depths of the Paschal Mystery so that they may accept to die and rise with Jesus through a more authentic and radiant Christian life based on evangelical values.

To refuse to consider the liturgy as opus Dei, as a 'work of God,' is to run the risk of transforming it into a human work. We then enjoy inventing, creating, multiplying formulas, options, imagining that by talking a lot and multiplying formulas and options, they will be better listened to (see Matthew 6:7).

I believe that Sacrosanctum Concilium is an important text to enter into a deep and mystical understanding of the liturgy. We had to get out of a certain rubricism. Unfortunately, it has been replaced by a bad creativity that transforms a divine work into a human reality. The contemporary technical mentality would like to reduce the liturgy to an effective work of pedagogy. To this end, we seek to make the ceremonies convivial, attractive and friendly. But the liturgy has no pedagogical value except to the extent that it is entirely ordained to the glorification of God and to the divine worship and sanctification of men.

Active participation implies in this perspective to find in us that sacred stupor, that joyful fear that silences us before the divine majesty. We must refuse the temptation to remain in the human to enter the divine.

In this sense, it is regrettable that the sanctuary of our churches are not a place reserved for divine worship, that we enter them in secular clothing, that the passage from human to divine is not signified by an architectural boundary. Likewise, if, as the Council teaches, Christ is present in his word when it is proclaimed, it is unfortunate that readers do not have an appropriate dress that shows that they are not saying human words but a divine word.

Finally, if the liturgy is the work of Christ, it is not necessary for the celebrant to introduce his own comments. It is not the multitude of formulas and options, as well as the continual change of prayers and an exuberance of liturgical creativity, that pleases God, but metanoia, the radical change in our lives and behaviours seriously polluted by sin and marked by liquid atheism.

It is necessary to remember that, when the missal authorizes an intervention, it must not become a profane and human discourse, let alone a commentary on current events, or a worldly greeting to those present, but a brief exhortation to enter into the mystery.

Nothing profane has its place in liturgical actions. It would be a serious mistake to believe that worldly, spectacular elements would encourage the participation of the faithful. These elements can only promote human participation and not participation in Christ's religious and salvific action.

We see a beautiful illustration of this in the prescriptions of the Council. While the Constitution [on the Sacred Liturgy] has repeatedly recommended the conscious and active participation and even the full intelligence of the rites, it recommends in one movement the Latin language prescribing that 'the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.'

Indeed, the intelligence of the rites is not the work of human reason alone, which should grasp everything, understand everything, master everything. The intelligence of sacred rites presupposes a real participatio in what they express of the mystery. This intelligence is that of the sensus fidei, who exercises the living faith through the symbol and who knows by attunement more than by concept.

Christ's passion is also a liturgy; only a look of faith can discover the work of redemption accomplished out of love. The only [thing] human reason sees in it is the failure of death and the horror of the cross. Entering the participatio actuosa implies that, like the disciples of Emmaus, we let ourselves be touched by the breaking of bread to understand the Scriptures.

As Pope Francis reminded us a short while ago, the priest does not have to give himself the appearance of a 'showmaster' (or show host) to win the admiration of an assembly. On the contrary, he must participate in Christ's action, enter into it, become its instrument. Therefore, he will not have to speak constantly and face the assembly, but, rather, he will have to act in persona Christi and, in a nuptial dialogue, involve the faithful in this participation.

It is therefore appropriate that, during the Penitential Rite, the Offertory and the Eucharistic Prayer, all turn together to the cross or, better still, to the east, to express their willingness to participate in the work of worship and redemption carried out by Christ and through him by the Church.

EP: Why do you think more and more young people are attracted to traditional liturgy / the extraordinary form?

Cdl.S: I do not think so. I see it; I am a witness to it. And young people have entrusted me with their absolute preference for the extraordinary form, more educative and more insistent on the primacy and centrality of God, silence and on the meaning of the sacred and divine transcendence. But, above all, how can we understand, how can we not be surprised and deeply shocked that what was the rule yesterday is prohibited today? Is it not true that prohibiting or suspecting the extraordinary form can only be inspired by the demon who desires our suffocation and spiritual death?

When the extraordinary form is celebrated in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, it reveals its full fruitfulness: How can we be surprised that a liturgy that has carried so many saints continues to smile at young souls thirsty for God?

Like Benedict XVI, I hope that the two forms of the Roman Rite will be mutually enriching. This implies getting out of a hermeneutic of rupture. Both forms have the same faith and the same theology. To oppose them is a profound ecclesiological error. It means destroying the Church by tearing it out of its Tradition and making it believe that what the Church considered holy in the past is now wrong and unacceptable. What a deception and insult to all the saints who have gone before us! What a vision of the Church.

We must move away from dialectical oppositions. The Council did not wish to break with the liturgical forms inherited from Tradition, but, on the contrary, to better enter and participate more fully in them.

The Conciliar Constitution stipulates that 'new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.'

It would therefore be wrong to oppose the Council to the Tradition of the Church. In this sense, it is necessary that those who celebrate the extraordinary form do so without a spirit of opposition and therefore in the spirit of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

We need the extraordinary form to know in which spirit to celebrate the ordinary form. Conversely, celebrating the extraordinary form without taking into account the indications of Sacrosanctum Concilium risks reducing this form to a lifeless and futureless archaeological vestige.

It would also be desirable to include in the appendix of a future edition of the missal the Penitential Rite and the Offertory of the extraordinary form in order to emphasize that the two liturgical forms illuminate each other, in continuity and without opposition.

If we live in this spirit, then the liturgy will cease to be the place of rivalries and criticism and will finally lead us into the great heavenly liturgy.

EP: In many parts of Africa, although liturgies are often long, they are also characterized by free expressions of song, dance and applause - which some would describe as an abuse of a more reverent, dark and prayerful liturgy. And yet, orthodoxy is alive and well on the continent. How do you explain this?

Cdl.S: In Africa, the faithful sometimes walk for hours to go to Mass. They are hungry for the Gospel and the Eucharist. They walk for miles and come to Mass to stay with God for a long time, to listen to his word, to be nourished by his Presence. They give to God their time, their lives, their fatigue and their poverty. They give to God everything they are and everything they have. And their joy is to have given everything.

Their joy sometimes manifests itself too externally, and Africans must learn interiority and silence. They must ban applause and shrieking that have nothing to do with the mystery of God; they must eliminate speech, folklore, the exuberance of words that hinder the encounter with God. God dwells in man's silence and interiority; man's heart is the Temple of God - because I know that Africans know how to get down on their knees and commune with respect and reverence.

I believe that Africans have a deep sense of the sacred. We are not ashamed to worship God, to proclaim ourselves dependent on him. Above all, Africans are happy to let themselves be taught the faith without contesting or questioning it. I believe that Africa's grace is that of knowing itself and remaining a child of God.

I underline in this book that at the heart of modern Western thought there is a refusal to be a child, a refusal to be a father, which is basically a refusal of God. I discern in the depths of Western hearts a deep revolt against the creative fatherhood of God. We receive from him our nature as men and women. It has become unbearable to modern minds.

Gender ideology is a Luciferic refusal to receive a sexual nature from God. The West refuses to receive; it only accepts what it builds itself. Transhumanism is the ultimate avatar of this movement. Even human nature, because it is a gift from God, becomes unbearable to the Western man.

This revolt is in its spiritual essence. It is Satan's revolt against the gift of grace. Basically, I believe that the Western man refuses to be saved by pure mercy. He refuses to receive salvation and wants to build it by himself. The 'Western values' promoted by the U.N. are based on a refusal of God that I compare to that of the rich young man in the Gospel. God looked at the West and loved it because it did great things. He invited the West to go further, but the West turned away, preferring the riches it owed only to itself. Africans know that they are poor and small before God. They are proud to kneel, happy to be dependent on an Almighty Creator and Father.

Cdl.S: EP: The Church in Africa is well-known for her sense of community, sharing, transcendence and respect for the magisterium. How can these forces best be used to show the way forward for the universal Church, especially in those parts where secularism and nihilism have taken root?

The West was at the root of the crisis. It is up to it to implement the antidote. To do this, we must start from the experience of the monasteries. They are places where God is simply and concretely at the center of life. God is the Life of man's life. Without God, man resembles a huge and majestic river that would have cut itself off from its source. Sooner or later, this river will dry up and die permanently.

We must create places where virtues can flourish. It is time to regain the courage of non-conformism. Christians must have the strength to form oases where the air is breathable, where, quite simply, Christian life is possible.

I call on Christians to open oases of gratuitousness in the desert of triumphant profitability. Yes, you cannot be alone in the desert of society without God. A Christian who remains alone is a Christian in danger. He will eventually be devoured by the sharks of the trading society.

Christians must gather in communities around their churches. They must rediscover the vital importance of an intense, continuous and persevering life of prayer. A man who does not pray looks like a seriously ill man who suffers from total paralysis of the arms, legs, and has lost the use of speech, hearing, sight. ... This man is cut off from all essential relationships. He is a dead man. To renew our relationship with God is to breathe, to live fully.

We must create places where the heart and mind can breathe, where the soul can turn to God in a very concrete way. Our communities must put God at the center of our lives, our liturgies and our churches.

In the avalanche of lies, one must be able to find places where the truth is not only explained but experienced. It is simply a question of living the Gospel! Not to think of it as a utopia, but to experience it in a concrete way.

EP: In many countries, the loss of popular piety seems to have accelerated the process of de-Christianization, especially among the working classes. How do you explain this loss of religiosity?

Cdl.S: In this book I explain that we dreamed of a 'pure' and intellectual Christianity. We have refused to allow God to incarnate in our lives. The poorest are the first victims. I believe that the false theological opposition between faith and religiosity is the root of this error. The first manifestation of faith is our religious worship. The Rosary, pilgrimages, prayer on one's knees, devotion to the saints, fasting have been despised and ridiculed as semi-pagan practices. Today, the Lenten fast, that is, the 40 days of abstinence and food deprivation, exists for many only in the ritual. This practice is abandoned. However, there is still medical fasting for the well-being of our body. Without concrete religious attitudes, our faith risks becoming an illusory dream.

EP: Why is the Pan-Amazon Synod so preoccupying to many people, including some respected cardinals? What are your own concerns about the Oct. 6-27 meeting?

Cdl.S: I have heard that some people wanted to make this synod a laboratory for the universal Church, that others said that, after this synod, nothing would be the same as before. If that is true, this approach is dishonest and misleading. This synod has a specific and local goal: the evangelization of the Amazon.

I am afraid that some Westerners will confiscate this assembly to move their projects forward. I am thinking in particular of the ordination of married men, the creation of women's ministries or giving jurisdiction to laypeople. These points concern the structure of the universal Church. They cannot be discussed in a particular and local synod. The importance of its subjects requires the serious and conscious participation of all the bishops of the world. Yet very few are invited to this synod. To take advantage of a particular synod to introduce these ideological projects would be an unworthy manipulation, a dishonest deception, an insult to God, who leads his Church and entrusts him with his plan of salvation.

In addition, I am shocked and outraged that the spiritual distress of the poor in the Amazon is being used as a pretext to support projects that are typical of bourgeois and worldly Christianity.

I come from a young Church. I knew the missionaries going from village to village to support the catechists. I have lived evangelization in my flesh. I know a young Church doesn't need married priests. On the contrary. She needs priests who will give her the witness of the lived cross. A priest's place is on the cross. When he celebrates Mass, he is at the source of his whole life, that is, at the cross.

Celibacy is one of the concrete ways in which we can live this mystery of the cross in our lives. Celibacy inscribes the cross into our flesh. That is why celibacy is unbearable for the modern world. Priestly celibacy is a scandal for the modern, because the cross 'is foolishness to those who are perishing' (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Some Westerners can no longer tolerate this scandal of the cross. I think it has become an unbearable reproach to them. They come to hate the priesthood and celibacy.

I believe that bishops, priests and the faithful everywhere in the world must rise up to express their love for the cross, the priesthood and celibacy. These attacks against the priesthood come from the richest. Some people think they are all-powerful because they finance poorer churches. But we must not be intimidated by their power and money.

A man on his knees is more powerful than the world. It is an impregnable bulwark against atheism and the madness of men. A man on his knees makes Satan's pride tremble. All of you who, in the eyes of men, are without power and influence, but who know how to remain on your knees before God, do not be afraid of those who want to intimidate you.

We must build a bulwark of prayers and sacrifices so that no breach will hurt the beauty of the Catholic priesthood. I am convinced that Pope Francis will never allow such a destruction of the priesthood. On his return from World Youth Day in Panama on Jan. 27, he told journalists, quoting Pope Paul VI: 'I would rather give my life than change the law of celibacy.' He added: 'It is a courageous phrase, in a more difficult moment than this, 1968/1970. ... Personally, I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church. Second, I don't agree with allowing optional celibacy, No.'

[This interview was translated from the original French by Ben Crockett of EWTN News]




Cardinal Sarah on the “Shamazon” Synod:
Naïveté, a rhetorical pose or willful blindness?

CHRISTOPHER A.FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives ~ Sandro Magister reports on the critical comments by Cardinal Robert Sarah on the imminent Synod on the Amazon in which he himself will participate, thus bringing to three the number of cardinals who have sounded a warning about this looming disaster (Walter Brandmüller and Gerhard Müller being the other two).

Sarah expresses his fear that “some Westerners will confiscate this assembly to move their projects forward. I am thinking in particular of the ordination of married men, the creation of women’s ministries or giving jurisdiction to laypeople. These points concern the structure of the universal Church.” Noting that the Synod is stacked with Western bishops assigned to the Amazon region who are clearly disposed to adopt both ruinous novelties, Sarah protests that “They cannot be discussed in a particular and local synod. The importance of its subjects requires the serious and conscious participation of all the bishops of the world. Yet very few are invited to this synod. To take advantage of a particular synod to introduce these ideological projects would be an unworthy manipulation, a dishonest deception, an insult to God, who leads his Church and entrusts him with his plan of salvation.”

All true, of course. Quite dubious, however, is Sarah’s confidence that “Pope Francis will never allow such a destruction of the priesthood.” In support of this claim he cites Francis’ remark during an in-flight press conference, quoting Pope Paul VI, that “I would rather give my life than change the law of celibacy” and that “Personally, I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church. Second, I don’t agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.”

But what about the rest of what Francis said, which Sarah conspicuously avoids mentioning? To wit: “There remains only some possibility for very far places. I think of the Pacific islands, when there is a pastoral necessity, the pastor should think of the faithful.” So, Francis admits that he views as a possibility that which Sarah maintains he would never allow. But more than a possibility, an idea worthy of serious consideration! As Francis further observed:

“There is an interesting book by Fr. Lobinger — this is an issue of discussion between theologians, it is not yet [!] my decision… Fr. Lobinger says that the Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church. But where there is not the Eucharist, do you think Caroline, in the Pacific islands, maybe there…

“In many places, says Lobinger, who does the Eucharist? The directors, the organizers of those communities are deacons or sisters, or directly, the laity. And Lobinger says: you can ordain an older married man, it is his thesis, but only that exercise the munus santificandi, that is, that celebrate the Mass, that administer the sacrament of reconciliation and of unction.

“Priestly ordination gives three munera [functions]: regendi [governing], that that commands; docendi [teaching], that that teaches, and santificandi [sanctifying]. This comes with ordination. But the bishop gives them [the viri probati] only the license of santificandi. The book [of Lobinger] is interesting.

“And maybe it could help to think about the problem. I believe that the problem should be open in this sense: where there is a pastoral problem due to the lack of priests. I do not say that it should be done, because I have not reflected, I have not prayed sufficiently on this. But the theology should be studied….

“I make this example to show the places where it should be done. [!] I was speaking with an official of the Secretary of State, a bishop, that had worked in a communist country at the beginning of the revolution. When he had seen the crisis of the Revolution arrive it was the 1950s. The bishops secretly ordained peasants, of good religious faith. The crisis passed and 30 years later the thing was resolved. And he told me the emotion that he had when during a concelebration of the Mass he saw these farmers with their farmer hands put on their shirts to concelebrate with the bishops. This has been given in the history of the Church. It is something to study, think, rethink, and pray about.“

Where in these words does Cardinal Sarah see a papal determination never to allow the ordination of married men? The quoted remarks indicate quite the opposite: a defense of the idea, supposedly limited only in application to certain places but meaning yet another novel exception that will swallow the traditional rule. Worse, Francis clearly contemplates ordaining “utility priests” who can dispense the sacraments but would have no theological formation nor any authority to teach or govern, as if there could be a priest with only one of the three charisms of the priesthood.

Thus, a prudent skepticism, borne of six years of bitter experience with this progressivist Pope, would indicate that the ordination of married men, at least by way of “exception,” is exactly what Francis has in view and may well already have arranged as a fait accompli.

It is the same with female deacons. During another in-flight press conference, this one on the return to Rome from Macedonia, Pope Francis waxed ambiguous about whether women can be “ordained” to the diaconate. Said Francis concerning the deliberations of his semi-secret commission on the matter:

“There were women deacons at the beginning. But was it a sacramental ordination, or not? It’s what they [the commission] are discussing and are not seeing clearly. It is fundamental that there is not certainty that it was an ordination with the same formula and the same finality of men’s ordination. We arrived at a certain point. But now each member of the commission is studying, according to their own thesis. This is good.”

There is no possibility whatsoever that women can receive a “sacramental ordination” to any degree of the priesthood. There were no ordained women deacons “at the beginning” of Church history. There were no deaconesses at all. This is merely a Modernist fiction Francis has clearly embraced.

So what, really, is the basis for Cardinal Sarah’s conviction that Francis “will never allow” what he has made clear he views sympathetically: the ordination of married men and some version of female “deacons”? I see only three alternatives: inexplicable naïveté, a rhetorical pose (in the hope that Francis will take the hint), or willful blindness.

If the last, one can only suppose that, understandably enough, the good cardinal cannot quite bring himself to recognize the prospect of a Pope who is literally attacking the Church. But when even a commentator as sober as Philip Lawler has finally been forced to recognize that “the current Pope’s leadership has become a danger to the faith” and that “I’m afraid of this Pope,” I respectfully suggest that it is long past time for Cardinal Sarah to remove the blinders and do what a Prince of the Church must do in such circumstances, following the example of Saint Paul: withstand a wayward Pope “to his face.” (Gal 2:11)

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Cardinal Müller and Bishop Schneider praise Henry VIII's rebuke of Martin Luther

M C HoffmanMATTHEW CULLINAN HOFFMAN reports for LifeSiteNews.com - Two high-ranking prelates of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Gerhard Müller and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, have written strong endorsements of a new German edition of one of the most significant refutations of Protestant doctrine ever penned: the Defense of the Seven Sacraments, by English King Henry VIII.

The new translation represents what appears to be the first German edition of the work to be published in almost 500 years. In commemoration of the book's publication Müller has written an introduction to the work (read full introduction here), calling the Protestant Reformation 'contrary to Christ's Will with regard to His Church,' and warning that 'the year 1517 cannot be in retrospect a reason for joy.'

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has written an afterword to the book, praising it as a 'theological masterpiece' and noting that Martin Luther, 'overturned in a radical manner this Divinely instituted order of the Sacraments and who thus carried out a revolution against the tradition' of the Church.

The Defense of the Seven Sacraments is a polemic written against Martin Luther's rejection of Catholic sacramental doctrine, particularly his redefinition of the sacrament of the Eucharist, and his denial of the existence of five other sacraments. It was written by Henry VIII in 1521, while he was still a strong Catholic, leading the pope to give him the title 'Fidei Defensor' ('Defender of the Faith') a style used by English monarchs ever since.

Henry's Latin was so excellent that it was admired even by Luther himself, although he expressed his doubts that the king was responsible for it. The work was translated into multiple languages and read widely in Europe. Although Henry later entered into a schism with the Catholic Church, he never repudiated his work, and always maintained the Catholic doctrine of the sacraments in his schismatic Church of England.

Henry regards Luther as a pawn of the devil, and a deceiver who uses faulty reasoning, lies, and distortions to lead people out of the Catholic faith and to deprive them of the sacraments established by God to convey the grace of salvation.

The endorsement of the work by Müller and Schneider is in sharp contrast to the strongly conciliatory gestures made by Pope Francis towards Lutherans in recent years. Francis has even gone so far as to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the 'Protestant Reformation' launched by Luther, for which purpose he erected a statue of Luther in the Vatican. The Vatican has also issued a commemorative stamp of the Reformation with Luther and his follower Philip Melanchthon at the foot of the cross, where the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Apostle are normally depicted.

Cardinal Müller's foreword reminds readers that Protestantism is deeply contrary to the Catholic faith, and that the separation of Protestants from the authority of the papacy is contrary to the will of God.

'The separation from Rome and the divisions among Christians in the (various denominational) communities - which are fundamentally different with regard to the creed, the sacramental life, and the recognition of the bishops as successors of the Apostles, and as lawful shepherds instituted by Christ - are contrary to Christ's Will with regard to His Church,' writes Müller .

To the contrary, Jesus 'founded the Church in her unity, holiness, Catholicity, and apostolicity, built upon St. Peter and his successors, the bishops of Rome,' so that they may be 'the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of the doctrinal and communal unity' of Christians.

Müller condemns the idea of a joyful celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, noting that Luther's doctrines included the condemnation of the pope as the 'anti-Christ.'

'The year 1517 cannot be in retrospect a reason for joy over the celebration of the reformatory breakthrough to evangelical freedom and to the 'liberation from the reign of the pope, the Anti-Christ, over the true church' through which liberation Christianity only then found its true appearance and its correct identity,' writes Müller, adding that 'this historic date should be for all Christians an occasion for penance and for a renewal in Christ.'

Müller notes that the image of Martin Luther as a 'reformer' is not an accurate one: 'Martin Luther (1483-1546) did not, after all, aim at a spiritual and moral reform of the Catholic Church; but, rather, that he openly provoked a breach with 'the Church, which is governed by the pope together with the bishops in communion with him' (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 8).'

Luther's thought was particularly opposed to the Catholic understanding of supernatural grace and its role in salvation.

'Especially his [Luther's] text - in which he pronounced the liberation of the heretofore Church from the 'Babylonian captivity of the Church' (1520) under the Church's hierarchy - and from the Catholic concept of Grace to be found in the Church's teaching on the Seven Sacraments, which was in his eyes wrong, proves that there is a completely contrary understanding of the essential questions of salvation and the ecclesial and sacramental mediation of salvation,' writes Müller.

Bishop Athanasius Scheider: 'Luther gave the mortal blow to the Divine sacramental order'

Athanasius Schneider, the German-speaking auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, praises Henry VIII's work as a 'theological masterpiece,' and observes that Martin Luther's rejection of the Catholic doctrine of the Seven Sacraments is deeply contrary to the tradition transmitted by the Catholic Church since the beginning of Christianity.

Schneider repeats a quote by Henry VIII of St. Bernard of Clairvaux as a 'fitting' response to Luther's doctrines: 'The heretics are tearing apart with their poisonous teeth, according to their whims, and in a sort of competition, the Sacraments of the Church as their own mother's heart' (Assertio, cap. 11).

After outlining the sacraments and their purpose of conveying supernatural grace, Schneider notes that Martin Luther 'overturned in a radical manner this Divinely instituted order of the Sacraments and who thus carried out a revolution against the tradition which was valid before his time for one thousand and five hundred years, and which pertained to the essential life of the Faith and of the Church.'

'Luther made his own subjective interpretation of the written Word of God as the only criterion, thus rejecting Sacred Tradition, that is to say the unwritten Word of God to which one has to show the same honor and respect as toward the written Word of God (see Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, 9).'

As a result, Luther's 'sacraments' are 'not Divinely instituted means of the transmission of grace, but, rather, signs or symbols of God's promised grace,' writes Schneider. 'Luther gave the mortal blow to the Divine sacramental order by denying the true sacrificial character of the Eucharist, which he reduced to a meal, which he called the 'Last Supper.' However, the whole life of the Church and of each of the faithful revolves around the sacramentally realized sacrifice at the Cross.'

'The king characterized this attack of Luther in a fitting way with the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux: ' The heretics are tearing apart with their poisonous teeth, according to their whims, and in a sort of competition, the Sacraments of the Church as their own mother's heart' (Assertio, cap. 11).

Book is antidote to 'ambiguities that reign supreme among Catholics' regarding the sacraments

'In these days of confusion about Holy Communion being given to people living in adultery, as suggested by Amoris laetitia, Henry VIII's book is a masterly defense of the Sacraments of the Church against the ambiguities that reign supreme among Catholics,' said Raymond de Souza, a Knight of Malta and pro-life activist who commissioned the New Millennium translation into German as well as a new English edition of the work.

'Henry VIII masterly defended the seven Sacraments that Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted for our salvation, and refuted Luther's heresies in chapter and in verse. The New Millennium English edition quotes the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church over 100 times, to show how Henry VIII was thoroughly faithful to Church teaching five hundred years ago,' De Souza told LifeSite.

'This book is a must in our days for those who have doubts about the sacraments of Marriage, Confession and Holy Communion. Its careful study provides all the arguments to solve the ambiguities of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Letitia, which has caused great confusion among the Faithful to this day,' De Souza said, adding that the book 'has acquired a greater timeliness after a statue of the heresiarch Marin Luther was erected in the Paul VI auditorium in the Vatican.'

Although De Souza has sent the book to Francis, he not yet received a letter acknowledging receipt of the book. He has, however, received a letter of thanks from Queen Elizabeth after sending the book to Buckingham Palace.


Click here to purchase the English translation of the Defense of the Seven Sacraments, by Henry VIII. Click here to purchase the German translation.

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Brazilian liberation theologian: "Seize" the Amazon Synod, it’s "of the greatest importance"

DOROTHY CUMMINGS McLEAN reports for LifeSiteNews ~ A liberation theologian told an audience that they must “seize” the Pan-Amazonian Synod.

Video footage has emerged of Domincian priest Carlos Alberto Libanio Christo, better known as Frei Betto, 75, telling an audience at the 11th National Summit for Faith and Politics this July that it would be better not to “propose liberation theology” in order to achieve their goals at the synod.

“There is one issue that can be a gateway for the mobilization of many people: let’s not start by speaking of liberation theology straight away; this scares people,” he said, speaking in Portuguese.

“Let’s start by talking about social-environmental issues.”

He added: “We need to mobilize and seize the Pan-Amazonian Synod, which is a synod of the greatest importance.”



The video concludes with Frei Betto, who once advised for the now disgraced former President of Brazil, Lula de Silva, saying that the synod would “anger the Bolsonaro government.”

Jair Bolsonaro is the current president of Brazil and has most recently been in the news for asserting to the United Nations the sovereignty of Brazil over its territory in the Amazon and blasting the country’s former regime.

According to PBS, Bolsonaro said: “My country was very close to socialism, which led us to a situation of widespread corruption, serious economic recession, high crime rates and continuous ceaseless attack against family and religious values that are part and parcel of our traditions.”

Bolsonaro decried the idea that the Amazon belongs to the world and accused foreigners of sentimentalizing its indigenous peoples.

The 11th National Summit for Faith and Politics was hosted in the Archdiocese of Natal, the capital city of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in Northeastern Brazil, between July 12 and July 14, 2019. It was promoted with the assistance of the Service of Rural Assistance of the Archdiocese of Natal, and its theme was “Democracy, Public Policy and Social Alternatives.”

Ricardo German, a Brazilian student of philosophy and theology at Edinburgh University, told LifeSiteNews via social media that Frei Betto is a proud socialist.

“Betto openly considers himself a socialist, going as far as to affirm that socialism is “the political term for ‘love,’” German said.

“He was a political advisor to, and personal friends with, Brazil’s former president and convicted money-launderer and embezzler Lula da Silva?an advocate for same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion?as well as to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro,” he continued.

German recalled that Frei Betto is also in favor of the legalization of abortion, having once said, “Even though I am against abortion, I support its decriminalization in certain cases.” The Dominican priest doubled-down by saying, “The State is secular and must have the right to defend the lives of the poorest women by ceasing to criminalise abortion, which does not entail supporting it.”

In a 2013 interview with Inter Press Services, the liberation theologian declared that his movement should not be consigned to the past.

“Liberation theology still plays an important role in the Latin American Catholic Church, especially in and through basic Christian communities, Bible reading groups, and meetings like the forthcoming National Conference on Faith and Politics in Brasilia in November,” he said.

“I believe, moreover, that this school of thought has compelled papal discourse on social affairs to change. Recently pontiffs have been more forceful about these issues, shown by the criticisms of neoliberalism voiced by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, or on the positive side, the visits they both made to Cuba.”

Pope Francis had recently been elected, and Frei Betto said that he was hopeful about the pontificate of “Pope Chico Bento”:

“I am very hopeful about the pontificate of Pope ‘Chico Bento’ ... because he is Latin American. He is open to social questions and, above all, committed to defending the rights of the poor.”

Ricardo German explained to LifeSiteNews that Chico Bento is “a character from a very popular series of comic books for young children in Brazil, ‘Turma da Mônica’. He lives in a rural town and is known for being the stereotypical Brazilian ‘farm kid,’ loving the country life, nature and animals.”

“Chico” is also a common nickname for “Francisco,” Portuguese for “Francis.”

Frei Bento predicted that the Argentinian pontiff would have to allow debate on controversial matters:

“Pope Chico Bento will have to open up debate within the Catholic Church on urgent, burning issues that have long been kept on ice: an end to mandatory celibacy, ordination of women to the priesthood, condom use, biogenetics and the reform of the Roman Curia,” he said.

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Who has Pope Francis invited to the Amazon Synod?

POPE FRANCIS has invited the likes of Jeffrey Sachs, Cardinal Marx, Cardinal O’Malley, and Bishop McElroy, et al to the Amazon Synod. Why these details are important. Dr Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon discuss




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Pope Francis explains what he means by "proselytism" and "evangelization"

Speaking earlier this month to Jesuits in Mozambique, the Holy Father linked proselytism to the ‘prosperity gospel,’ and endorsed the controversial 2017 essay co-authored by Father Antonio Spadaro.

E PentinEDWARD PENTIN reports from Rome for the National Catholic Register ~ In comments to a group of Jesuits in Mozambique published Thursday, Pope Francis gave arguably his clearest explanation to date of what he means by proselytism and evangelization, but did so by indirectly endorsing a controversial “ecumenism of hate” essay that appeared in the Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica.

In his Sept. 5 comments published Sept. 26 in La Civiltà Cattolica, the Pope made it clear that he sees proselytism as tied with the “prosperity gospel” popularly promoted by certain Protestant groups, although he also appears to see “Catholic fundamentalist” groups as promoting the same ideology, one which Holy Father said emphasizes “proselytism more than evangelization.”

In particular, he makes a point of endorsing a controversial 2017 essay in which Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, Marcelo Figueroa, editor of L’Osservatore Romano’s Argentine edition and a Presbyterian pastor, criticized Evangelical and Catholic “fundamentalist” groups for creating an “ecumenism of hate.”

The two editors saw them as promoting a “theology of prosperity,” fostering a “political Manichaeism,” a “cult of the apocalypse,” and driving towards an “ecumenism of conflict” with the goal of “nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.”

The essay was criticized in the U.S. as showing an ignorance of U.S. politics and religion.

From his comments, the Pope clearly sees proselytism as linked to a prosperity gospel, an attempt to “make proselytes” which, he said, Jesus condemned in the Pharisees.

For the Pope, evangelization is and must be free.

“Evangelization is essentially witness,” he told the Jesuits in Mozambique. “Proselytizing is convincing, but it is all about membership and takes your freedom away.”

Below is the complete exchange, given to a group of 24 Jesuits on Sept. 5 in Maputo, Mozambique:

Next came a question from Bendito Ngozzo, chaplain of the Santo Inácio Loyola High School: “Some Protestant sects use the promise of wealth and prosperity to make proselytes. The poor become fascinated and hope to become rich by adhering to these sects that use the name of the Gospel. That’s how they leave the Church. What recommendation can you give us so that our evangelization is not proselytism?”

POPE FRANCIS: What you say is very important. To start with, we must distinguish carefully between the different groups who are identified as “Protestants.” There are many with whom we can work very well, and who care about serious, open and positive ecumenism. But there are others who only try to proselytize and use a theological vision of prosperity. You were very specific in your question.

Two important articles in Civiltà Cattolica have been published in this regard. I recommend them to you. They were written by Father Spadaro and the Argentinean Presbyterian pastor, Marcelo Figueroa. The first article spoke of the “ecumenism of hatred.” The second was on the “theology of prosperity.” Reading them you will see that there are sects that cannot really be defined as Christian. They preach Christ, yes, but their message is not Christian. It has nothing to do with the preaching of a Lutheran or any other serious evangelical Christianity. These so-called “evangelicals” preach prosperity. They promise a Gospel that does not know poverty, but simply seeks to make proselytes. This is exactly what Jesus condemns in the Pharisees of his time. I’ve said it many times: proselytism is not Christian.

Today I felt a certain bitterness after a meeting with young people. A woman approached me with a young man and a young woman. I was told they were part of a slightly fundamentalist movement. She said to me in perfect Spanish: “Your Holiness, I am from South Africa. This boy was a Hindu and converted to Catholicism. This girl was Anglican and converted to Catholicism.” But she told me in a triumphant way, as though she was showing off a hunting trophy. I felt uncomfortable and said to her, “Madam, evangelization yes, proselytism no.”

What I mean is that evangelization is free! Proselytism, on the other hand, makes you lose your freedom. Proselytism is incapable of creating a religious path in freedom. It always sees people being subjugated in one way or another. In evangelization the protagonist is God, in proselytism it is the I.

Of course, there are many forms of proselytism. The one practiced by soccer teams, acquiring fans, is all right, obviously! And then it is clear that there are those forms of proselytism for commerce and business, for political parties. Proselytism is widespread, we know that. But it doesn’t have to be the case with us. We must evangelize, which is very different from proselytizing.

St. Francis of Assisi told his friars: “Go out to the world, evangelize. And, if necessary, use words, too.” Evangelization is essentially witness. Proselytizing is convincing, but it is all about membership and takes your freedom away. I believe that this distinction can be of great help. Benedict XVI in Aparecida said something wonderful, that the Church does not grow by proselytism, it grows by attraction, the attraction of witness. The sects, on the other hand, making proselytes, separate people, promising them many advantages and then leaving them to themselves.

Among you there are certainly theologians, sociologists and philosophers: I ask you to study and deepen the difference between proselytism and evangelization. Read well Evangelii Nuntiandi of Paul VI. There it is clear that the vocation of the Church is to evangelize. Indeed, the very identity of the Church involves evangelizing. Unfortunately, however, not only in the sects, but also within the Catholic Church there are fundamentalist groups. They emphasize proselytism more than evangelization.

Another typical thing about proselytizing is that it does not distinguish between the internal and external forums. And this is the sin into which many religious groups fall today. That is why I asked the Apostolic Penitentiary to make a statement on the internal forum, and that statement is really very good.

Evangelizers never violate the conscience: They announce, sow and help to grow. They help. Whoever proselytizes, on the other hand, violates people’s conscience: This does not make them free, it makes them dependent. Evangelization gives you a dependence, that is, it makes you free and able to grow. Proselytizing gives you a servile dependence at the level of the conscience and the society. The dependence of the evangelized person, the “paternal” dependence, is the memory of the grace that God has given you. The proselyte instead depends not as a child, but as a slave, who in the end does not know what to do unless he or she is told.

Once again I recommend these two articles in Civiltà Cattolica: read them and study them because they address much of what I am telling you. Here I tried to communicate to you the main message.


[NCRegister] 2300.SA1














Relativism is "root of the new moral paradigm proposed by Pope Francis": Roberto Di Mattei

A WORLD-RENOWNED Catholic academic and historian has stated that “ethical relativism,” which has so completely undermined marriage and the family, “is at the root of the new moral paradigm proposed by Pope Francis.”

Professor Roberto di Mattei made the comment, at a conference earlier this month, in reference to the ongoing battle in the Church over the family since the publication of Pope Francis’ 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Sept. 6-8 conference, organized by Voice of the Family, an initiative of LifeSiteNews and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, was titled “Handing on the Deposit of the Faith.” It was held at Newman Hall, University Catholic Chaplaincy, in Cardiff, UK.

In his talk, titled Family and the Revolution (read full talk below), di Mattei focused on the restoration of the Catholic family as necessary to “reform society and the Church.”



“The work of restoration must lean above all on supernatural means: prayer, grace and the sacraments. Above all, prayer – the elevation of the mind to God, is necessary. And the highest form of prayer is the Holy Mass. But we need priests to celebrate the Mass and administer the sacraments, which constitute the vital nourishment for Christians. Thus, we must conclude that above all there is a need for priests. While this is true, we also need mothers, because without mothers there will not be priests,” he said.

“We also need fathers, because without fathers there are neither mothers, nor children, nor a future. We need men. And, as Monsignor Delassus says, we no longer have men because we do not have families to produce them,” he added.

The professor outlined the philosophers promoting relativism who have aimed at destroying the family, including “Marx and Engels, Sigmund Freud, and the intellectuals of 1968.”

He lamented that this destructive agenda finds allies today within the Catholic Church.

“In the last fifty years the crisis of the family has assumed frightening dimensions. What makes the situation even more serious is that the attacks on the family are not coming only from the outside, but also from within the Church.”

“This philosophy, which has even penetrated the Catholic Church, is at the root of the new moral paradigm proposed by Pope Francis,” he said.

Speaking of the battle over the family within the Church, Professor di Mattei said that in his view it was “only one battle in a context of a greater war between two cities which have battled throughout history, the two cities of which Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote: the city of God and the City of Satan.”

He contrasted this ongoing battle within the Church over the family with what he identified as the three non-negotiable values outlined during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

“The ‘non-negotiable values’ are thus the right to life; the right to a natural family; the right of education of one’s own children. These rights are linked among themselves, because it is within the family that life is born and it belongs to the family to develop life by means of education”.

Professor di Mattei argued that a true “sense of Tradition” is crucial in winning the battle over the family against those utilizing the philosophy of relativism.

“Tradition is the living and unchangeable element of society. Tradition is what is stable in the perennial unfolding of things, it is what is unchangeable in a world that changes, and it is so because it contains in itself a reflection of eternity. The family is the deposit of Tradition in society.”

He concluded his talk by reminding his listeners that the Fatima seer Sister Lucia had warned that the “decisive battle between the Kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over the family.”

Quoting Lucia, he continued: “And those who will work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation. But there is no need to be afraid because the Blessed Mother has already crushed the serpent’s head.”

“This is what the Madonna promised at Fatima, and we, with immense faith, believe her,” he commented.


Family and the Revolution, By Prof. Roberto de Mattei

The following talk was given at the Voice of the Family conference “Handing on the deposit of the Faith – the mission of the Catholic family today”, held at Newman Hall, University Catholic Chaplaincy, Cardiff, 6-8 September 2019.

The words of Sister Lucia of Fatima

In an address given in May 2017 at the Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Carlo Caffara confirmed that he had received a long hand-written letter from Sister Lucia in 1983 or 1984 that ended with these words:

“Father, there will come a moment in which the decisive battle between Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family. And those who work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation. But there is no need to be afraid, because Our Lady has already crushed his head.”

Cardinal Caffarra died a few months later, in September 2017, just when he found himself at the centre of the battle over the family which opened up within the Church after the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis. But this battle – which we continue to live out today – is only one battle in a greater war between two cities which have fought throughout history; the two cities of which St Augustine of Hippo wrote: the City of God and the City of Satan. The City of God consists of the Church of Jesus Christ, the other of the followers of Satan. The two cities oppose one another on earth like two armies: the purpose of each is to annihilate the other and thus their conflict is continuous and unending.

The family is an earthly image of the City of God, which is the Church. So the destruction of the family has been a permanent objective of the enemies of the Church.

The family makes the state

The Church teaches that the family is not a simple union between two individuals but a social institution. And it is not a simple social institution like so many others, but a social institution based on a sacrament: the Sacrament of Matrimony. This has many consequences.

In a 1946 discourse, Pius XII affirmed that the two pillars of the civil order conceived of and willed by God, are the family and the state.1

There is a fixed relationship between the family and the state. The prosperity of nations depends on the prosperity of families and vice versa. The decline of nations is, therefore, linked to the decline of the institution of the family.

The existence of this relationship is logical and obvious. From our birth, we are all members of a society, because as the Book of Genesis says, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). The family is born with man, just as every form of society is born with man: the family, the state, and the Church – which, since it was founded by Jesus Christ and headed by Him, is the most important society of all. And for this reason, the Magisterium of the Church has always spoken of the family as the first cell of society, the image and model for all of society, which is born from the family and expands from the family. Pius XII writes:

“Every family extends and expands itself in the relation which the bonds of blood unites. And the alliances of different families, through their harmonious agreements, compose, link by link, a net whose harmony and solidarity assures the vital unity of a nation, the great family of the great home that is the Fatherland.”2

In La città antica (1864), the French historian, Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges (1830-1889), demonstrates how the family is the founding element of ancient civilization, both Greek and Roman. The greatness of Rome is based on the family, which Cicero defines as seminarium rei publicae.3 The Roman family was founded on fides, the nuptial contract between the spouses. A group of families formed the gens, which was recognised a common ancestor and which guarded the mos majorum, the customs of the ancients and the nucleus of the moral tradition.

Christianity elevated matrimony to a sacrament, affirming its indissolubility. When the Roman Empire collapsed the only reality which endured to form the basis of a new society was the family. The birth of the Middle Ages coincided with the development of the family institution. As Régine Pernoud observes, to understand Medieval society we need to study its familial organisation: “It is there that we find the ‘key’ to the Medieval Period and also its originality.”4

What was novel about that era was the status and authority of the Church: while in the pre-Christian period every family had its own religious cult, in the anarchy which followed the fall of the Roman Empire, the ecclesiastical institutions, with the Pope at their apex, guided the spiritual and moral rebirth of society. This was the origin of feudalism: the baron was above all the head of a family to whom other heads of families showed homage. The grouping together of feuds was the origin of kingdoms. The territory of the king is the patria, which takes its name from pater, the father. The king is the father of a people and the kingdom is governed like a family.

For over one thousand years, the family constituted the model of political society in Europe. The French Revolution abolished the monarchy, but the paternal character of monarchical government lasted until 1918. The Austrian Empire was still ruled by a monarchical and familial system. In traditional monarchic law, the king performed a public mission in the service of the people, to whom he was like a father.

Marriage is also a sacrament

The family is not only the first element of the state from a historical point of view. Citing Pius XI’s encyclical letter Casti Connubii, Pius XII states: “The family is the fundamental cell, the constitutive element of the State”.[5]

The family is based on marriage and as Pius XI explains in Casti connubii, marriage consists of three great goods: proles, fides, sacramentum:[6] the children, fidelity, and the sacrament. The proles is the purpose of marriage, the procreation and education of children; but the proles presupposes the fides, the pact of fidelity between the spouses. Marriage is a contract which is born from the free consent of two spouses, but which cannot be dissolved by their will, because it is rendered indissoluble by the sacrament. The sacramentum, the symbol of divine creation and the image of the Church as the Spouse of Christ, makes the matrimonial contract indissoluble. Fides and proles are both part of other traditions, while the sacramentum characterises only the Christian family and makes it sacred. Because there is a distinct but connected relationship between the natural order and the supernatural, the sacramentum, fides and proles are not separate elements but form a single whole

The entire life of the Church is organised around the seven sacraments. Marriage is the sacrament which indissolubly unites man and woman and gives them a specific grace to live together and educate their children. Like Holy Orders, it has a social character. This social purpose is natural but also supernatural: to beget and educate children destined for Heaven, the supernatural destiny of every human being who comes into existence.

Thus the Christian family is not only seminarium rei publicae, as Cicero defined it, but also seminarium ecclesiae. It is the first cell of both the State and the Church. The Church militant on earth is formed by families, both natural and religious, and is herself a great family, under the guidance of the Pope and bishops.

It is for this reason that marriage is placed under the watchful care of the Church.

The attack of the Revolution on the family

The antithesis of this Christian vision of the family is the revolutionary project for the destruction of the family. In the last two hundred years, the principal enemies of the family have been Marx and Engels, Sigmund Freud, and the intellectuals of 1968.

The first denial of the family is philosophical, and it is the daughter of the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). In The Origin of The Family, of Private Property, and of the State7 Engels pretends to demonstrate scientifically that the family is not a natural reality, but an arbitrary superstructure produced by history that is destined to disappear. The family, according to Engels, cannot be a natural reality because there is no permanent and stable nature of man. From the Marxist perspective, all that exists is matter animated by continual movement; nothing is permanent, everything changes and is transformed. In primitive times, argues Engels, humanity lived not only in the communism of goods but also in sexual promiscuity. Only later, in the society of classes born with private property, was the family born, where the woman was the victim and the man the exploiter. There is also a relationship between familial alienation and the exploitation of the proletariat, the oppressed class. The movement towards communism thus includes the “liberation of the woman” by way of the suppression of the family and of marriage. The social model for communism is the life of primitive men, such as those still living in the Amazon.

The second denial of the family is of an ethical character and comes from Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and his followers. If Marxism attacks the philosophical bases of the familial institution, Freudianism attacks its moral foundation. The family is, in fact, a reservoir of moral values, that arise from the effort of generations to progress morally and materially. Freud opposed Christian morality, based on the spirit of sacrifice, with a hedonist morality, based on pleasure, the libido, which constitutes the hinge of psychoanalytic theory. The Austrian psychoanalyst introduced two new ethical categories: the repression and the liberation of instincts. Man ought to free himself from repressive morality which prevents him from realising himself, in order to give a free outlet to his own desires and his sexual urges. A disciple of Freud, Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), sought to combine psychoanalysis with the doctrines of Marx. He was the founder of so-called Freudo-Marxism which lies at the roots of the student revolt of 1968. Its principal theoretician was Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979). The fundamental thesis of 1968 is that Marxism must be overcome because it limits itself to a political revolution without subverting the values of culture and daily life.

One of the foundational texts of 1968 was The Death of the Family8 by David Cooper (1931-1986). For Cooper, the bourgeois “happy family” is indissoluble and therefore lies at the root of all social repression. The “madness” is not only the response to pathological institutions like the family, but it is a value in itself, the foundation of a new political consciousness.

It should be added that the intellectuals of the destruction of the family who prepared 1968 did not limit themselves to works of philosophical theory but, in accordance with the principles of Marxism, demonstrated the strength of their ideas by initiating concrete projects for the conquest of power.

It was the communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) who elaborated the strategy for the conquest of power in the West, and the American author Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) set out its most radical conception and “the long march through the institutions”.9 Among Alinsky’s disciples is Hillary Clinton, whose senior thesis at Wellesley College, written in 1968, was titled: “There is only the Fight . . . : An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”

Like Gramsci, Alinsky also maintained an absolute ethical relativism. Relativism is the cultural vision that dominates our times. There is no natural law, no absolute and universal principles. Everything depends on historical circumstances and the intentions of the subject. This philosophy, which has even penetrated the Catholic Church, is at the root of the new moral paradigm proposed by Pope Francis.10

“Non-negotiable” values

Benedict XVI frequently denounced the contemporary “dictatorship of relativism”. In his speech to the European Popular Party, 30 March 2006, he recalled the existence of “principles which are non-negotiable”. He listed these as:

“…the protection of life in all its phases, from the first moment of conception to natural death; the recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family, which is a union between a man and a woman based on marriage, and its defense from attempts to render it juridically equivalent to forms of union that are radically different which in reality damage it and contribute to its destabilization; the protection of the rights of parents to educate their own children.”

The “non-negotiable” values are thus the right to life; the right to a natural family; the right of education of one’s own children. These rights are linked among themselves because it is within the family that life is born and it belongs to the family to develop life by means of education.

I will limit myself to analysing briefly the contemporaneous attack on these three non-negotiable values: family, life and education.

The family

The principal attack on the family is constituted by divorce, which dissolves its structure. The origin of divorce arises from the Protestant Revolution, but its introduction into European society happened thanks to the French Revolution. All of the leaders of the Protestant reform permitted divorce, beginning with Martin Luther in his De captivitate babylonica. Luther denied that matrimony is a sacrament, and, consistent with this position, denied its indissolubility. He affirmed that matrimony could be dissolved ipso facto by infidelity on the part of one of the spouses. Divorce spread widely in the following centuries in Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican countries, but civil divorce was officially introduced in public institutions only after the French Revolution. Article 7 of the Constitution of 1791 considered matrimony uniquely as a civil contract: “the law considers matrimony only as a civil contract.” The law of 20 September 1792, organised the civil state of marriage. Thus was born the concept of civil marriage, which was previously unknown. From the moment that matrimony was only as a civil contract, the State claimed that it had the right to regulate it. The Church, which already in the Council of Trent had reaffirmed the sacramental character of marriage, claimed its rights over marriage with several important documents, such as the encyclical Arcanum by Leo XIII issued on 10 February 1880.

The principles of the French Revolution were diffused in all of Europe by Napoleon’s Civil Code of 1805 which in addition to divorce affirmed the obligatory equal division of the paternal patrimony between all of the children. From the moment that marriage was considered only as a civil contract, the state claimed that it had the right to regulate it. But with divorce, the family ceased to be a natural institution and became a consensual pact between individuals, destined to be able to be dissolved at any moment and for whatever reason. The supreme law became that of the self-determination of the individual. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of The Citizen of 1789 attributed to man the possibility of doing whatever he wants, even to his own harm, ignoring or denying every natural and moral law, with the only limit of not causing harm to the freedom of others. Freedom declares article 4 of the Declaration, “consists in being able to do whatever does not harm others: thus the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those limits which assure to other members of society the enjoyment of those same rights”. Such limits, the Declaration specifies, “may be determined only by law,” which, according to article 6 of the text, is the expression of the “general will”.


The same principle of self-determination is at the foundation of the attack against the second non-negotiable right: the right to life. Abortion, which is the killing of the innocent in the womb of the mother, is a logical consequence of the contraceptive mentality, which spread throughout Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. The primary proponent of the necessity of reducing births was the Anglican pastor Thomas Robert Malthus (1776-1834). Malthus, however, in contrast to his followers, proposed chastity as the one licit means of limiting births. Anti-natalist neo-Malthusianism developed in England at the end of the 19th century, thanks to Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891), an atheist doctor affiliated with Freemasonry, and Annie Besant (1847-1933), a feminist who later became the president of the Theosophic Society. Their ideas were diffused in America by Margaret Higgins Sanger (1879-1966), an anarchist who was the foundress of a movement in favour of the right of a woman to be the “absolute mistress of her own body”. If it is licit to limit births in the name of having absolute mastery over one’s own body, the next logical step after contraception is abortion.

Abortion was legalised for the first time in Russia in 192011 when the transformation from the political Revolution to the sexual Revolution was formulated.12 In 1922 a conference was held at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, directed by David Ryazanov (1870-1938), with the purpose of deepening the concept of the cultural Revolution, or rather of a total revolution which would involve man himself, his nature, his customs, and his deepest being. In 1929 the directors of the institute invited Wilhelm Reich to Moscow for a series of conferences. This led to the publication of the treatise Dialectic Materialism and Psychoanalysis, the founding text of Freudo-Marxism. The practice of contraception and then of the right to abortion spread rapidly in the West in the 20th century. Pius XI in Casti Connubii condemned these crimes in a definitive and binding way.


The third non-negotiable value is denied by sex education. Education is the formation of man, giving him the means to strive for the end for which he has been created. It has for its subject man burdened by original sin, needing to correct his evil inclinations. Parents have the natural and divine right to educate their own children. This right precedes that of civil society, and it is subject to the judgment of the Church. The Church is, in fact, a spiritual mother who educates her children by means of her Magisterium, and only she can guide them to the fullness of their earthly and heavenly destiny.

The state wanted to take away from the Church and from families this right in order to replace Christian education with anti-Christian education. So-called sex education is, in reality, a form of cultural and moral corruption. The most radical expression of this moral corruption is so-called gender theory, which is the initiation of children into moral perversity. According to this theory, there is no masculine or feminine identity rooted in human nature except what we define as masculine and feminine. Man and woman are only historical constructs, roles given by society, which have nothing to do with biological sex. Gender theory finds its roots in the evolutionism of Marx and Engels, in the psychoanalysis of Freud and Reich and in the feminism and homosexualism of authors like Michel Foucault (1926-1984). In the perspective of these authors, man does not have his own essence nor a specific nature. His body is unformed matter which can be manipulated as one pleases, according to necessity.

If abortion kills the body, gender education kills the soul. For this reason, parents have the right to defend their own children from this aggression, assuring them an authentic religious instruction and refusing to entrust them to the corrupting influence of state education.

The work of the restoration of the family

What is to be done? There is a necessary point of departure. We cannot have the illusion that we can fight and win this battle with merely natural forces. Nothing can be done except with the help of grace.

The work of restoration must lean above all on supernatural means: prayer, grace and the sacraments. Above all, prayer – the elevation of the mind to God, is necessary. And the highest form of prayer is the Holy Mass. But we need priests to celebrate the Mass and administer the sacraments, which constitute the vital nourishment for Christians. Thus, we must conclude that above all there is a need for priests. While this is true, we also need mothers, because without mothers there will not be priests.

We also need fathers, because without fathers there are neither mothers, nor children, nor a future. We need men. And, as Monsignor Delassus says, we no longer have men because we do not have families to produce them.13

It is said that behind every great man there is a great woman. This is only partly true because the contrary is also true: often, behind a great woman, there is a great man.

We need both men and women, both fathers and mothers. And not simply biological fathers and mothers but fathers and mothers who will educate their children, form them and lead them to eternal life. “Mother, the Christian woman sanctifies her son; daughter, edify your father; sister, better your brother; spouse, sanctify your spouse,” writes Monsignor Delassus (1836-1921).14 “Heureux l’homme à qui Dieu donne une sainte mère!” “Happy the man to whom God gives a holy mother!” writes the poet Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869).15

“Thank you, my God, a thousand times thank you, for having given me a holy mother!” exclaimed St Basil and St Gregory Nazianzen, at the death of their mother St Emilia.

“I want to make my son a saint,” said the mother of St Athanasius.

Behind St Augustine there was St Monica, behind St Dominic there was Blessed Giovanna d’Aza who saw three of her sons raised to the altar; behind St Louis IX there was Bianca di Castiglia; behind St John Bosco there was Margherita Occhiena, “Mamma Margherita”. And, when he was complimented on the piety he had shown from his childhood, the Cure d’Ars would say “after God it was the work of my mother”.

We need Christian families, holy families, like the Martin family, who gave four Carmelites to the Church. From the marriage of Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie (Zélie) Guérin in 1858, nine children were born, but only five daughters survived. The parents had the joy of giving all five children to the Lord: four in the Carmel of Lisieux and one to the Visitation Sisters of Caen. The most renowned of them is St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. “The good God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth,” wrote St Therese in a letter on 26 July 1897.

Therese was only 14 years old when, during a pilgrimage to Rome, she understood her vocation as a spiritual mother for priests. In her autobiography, she writes how, after having known many holy priests in Italy, she also understood that, notwithstanding their sublime dignity, they remained weak and fragile men. “Let us live for souls, we are apostles, let us save above all the souls of priests…let’s pray, let’s suffer for them, and, on the last day, Jesus will be grateful.”

When St Therese was already very sick and walked with great fatigue, her doctor ordered her to take a daily walk in the garden. Although she did not believe there was any point to this exercise, she did it faithfully every day. One time one of her fellow sisters who accompanied her, seeing the great suffering which walking caused, said to her: “But Sister Therese, why do you go through all of this exhaustion if it makes more suffering for you than it relieves?” The saint responded: “You know Sister, I am thinking that perhaps right at this very moment a missionary in a far-off country feels very tired and discouraged, and so I am offering my exhaustion for him.”

This is the communion of saints, which links together all Christians in a supernatural bond that has the family as its first model.

The natural and divine idea of the family

It is impossible to reform society and the Church without holiness. But there is no holiness possible without a model to which we can make reference.

In the last fifty years, the crisis of the family has assumed frightening dimensions. What makes the situation even more serious is that the attacks on the family are not coming only from the outside, but also from within the Church. But the first remedy is indicated by Pius XI in Casti Connubii: to meditate on the divine idea of matrimony and, with the help of God, to live in conformity with this idea. The Christian family today needs above all to be defined because one cannot love or live out, what one does not know. Pius XI recalls a maxim of sound philosophy and sacred theology: “to restore to their pristine state, according to their nature, the things which have deviated from rightness, there is no other way than to bring them back to conformity with divine reason, which (as the Angelic Doctor teaches) is the exemplar of perfect rightness.16 And thus it is necessary, in order to restore right order in the matter of marriage, that all consider the divine design concerning marriage and seek to conform themselves to it.17

According to the divine design, the family is a society, founded on marriage, which indissolubly unites a man and a woman for the purpose of the procreation and education of children.

It is this image of the family, which according to Pius XI, “it is necessary above all to recover the natural and divine idea of the family as a permanent and stable model which does not change even over the course of centuries; a model which may undergo eclipses and have crises but which has an intrinsic perfection.”

Otherwise, we are forced to give in to relativism in matters of the family, from so-called “homosexual marriage” to polygamy which, in many respects seems to be the final destiny of the West.

Family and tradition

At one time, the word “family” in traditional society did not mean only the father, mother and children, as it does today, but all of the descendants from one’s ancestors as well as future children.

Msgr Louis Isoard (1820-1901), bishop of Annecy, relates an episode which makes us understand what life was like in the France of the Ancien Régime. It is a conversation between a prince of the royal family and one of his peasants. The farmer, looking at the prince, says to him: “Last December makes 347 years that we are under your patronage.” The prince responds to him, “We were here before you; I don’t know the exact number, but I only know that it was more than six hundred years.” And Msgr Isoard comments: “Behold, two men in whom the sense of Tradition was not yet deformed.”

What is the sense of Tradition?

Each one of us, affirms the French bishop, lives, or ought to live, in his own unique life three different existences.18 We ought to have the feeling of having already lived not only in our parents but also in our grandparents and great grandparents. The life of our ancestors, which we don’t always know about, but of which our parents have spoken represents the first life which we have not lived, but which we ought to relive.

There is a second life, which is our present life, the life of each day and the present moment, which in reality is only a flowering or a shining forth of the first life. I continue the work of my great grandfather, fill out his thought, I do what he wanted to do, correct his errors, develop his virtues, prolong his action in this world.

Then there is a third life, which is the one that is projected into the future. It is the way of my children and my grandchildren, those whom I know and those which are yet to come. We do not live only in our ancestors, but also in our children, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We sacrifice for their sake. Our family is at the centre of many generations. The life of the family is similar to the life of the Church, which coincides with Tradition.

Tradition is the faith of the Church which the popes have maintained and transmitted over the course of the centuries; it is the ordered development, in time, of a principle or a nucleus of principles which as such are immutable. During times of crisis, the rule is that of Benedict XV, who in his encyclical Ad beatissimo Apostolorum Principis of 1 November 1914, declared against the modernists: “We desire that the ancient noted law remain intact ‘Do not modify anything, be content with Tradition’: nihil innovetur nisi quod traditum est.”19

Tradition is the living and unchangeable element of society. Tradition is what is stable in the perennial unfolding of things, it is what is unchangeable in a world that changes, and it is so because it contains in itself a reflection of eternity. And the family is the deposit of Tradition in society.

The prophet Jeremiah thus turns to God in the Book of Lamentations: “Converte nos Domine ad te et convertemur; innova dies nostros sicut a principio” – “Make us return to you, O Lord, and we will return; renew our days as in the beginning.”20

A true reform of society is always a return to the perfection of the beginning. Tradition is nothing other than this: fidelity to the original principles, those on which everything else is guided, from which everything stems. We are men and women who, in this era of confusion in which we live, lift our eyes to God like Jeremiah, looking for unchanging principles on which to construct the life of men and of society. We defend the family because above all we defend the principles that the family preserves and hands down. But these principles are guarded by the Church. Today the Church is under attack and we, her children, are fighting to defend her, because she is the first and the noblest of Mothers.

And it is in this perspective that we meditate on the words of Sister Lucia with which we opened, and with which we will conclude:

“Father, there will come a moment in which the decisive battle between the Kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over the family. And those who will work for the good of the family will experience persecution and tribulation. But there is no need to be afraid because the Blessed Mother has already crushed the serpent’s head.”

This is what the Madonna promised at Fatima, and we, with immense faith, believe her.


[1] Pius XII, Discourse of 20 February 1946.
[2] Pius XII, Radio Message to French families, 17 June 1945.
[3] Cicero, De Officiis, I, 54.
[4] Régine Pernoud, Lumières du Moyen Age, Grasset, Paris 1981, p. 10.
[5] Pius XI, Encyclical Casti connubi of 31 December 1930.
[6] St Augustine, De nuptiis et concupiscentia, II; PL 44, 421; De bono coniugali, 24, 32; ibid.40, 394.
[7] Friedrich Engels, L’origine della famiglia, della proprietà privata e dello Stato, Editori Riuniti, Rome 1970, p. 103.
[8] David Cooper, The Death of the Family, Penguin, New York-London 1971.
[9] Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America, Encounter Books, 2001.
[10] José Antonio Ureta, Pope Francis’s “Paradigm Shift”. Continuity or Rupture in the Mission of the Church?, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, Spring Grove, PA, 2018.
[11] Cf. Giovanni Codevilla, Dalla Rivoluzione bolscevica alla Federazione Russa, Franco Angeli, Rome 1996.
[12] Gregory Carleton, The Sexual Revolution in Russia, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.
[13] Monsignor Henri Delassus, Il problema dell’ora presente. Antagonismo tra due civiltà, Desclée, Rome 1907, vol. II, p. 546.
[14] Ibid, p. 580.
[15] Alphonse de Lamartine, Harmonies poétiques et religieuses; Harmonie poetique, III, 9.
[16] St Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, 1a–2ae, q. 91, a. 1-2.
[17] Pius XII, Encyclical Casti Connubii cit.
[18] Cit. from Monsignor Henri Delassus, Il problema dell’ora presente, vol. II, pp. 541-542.
[19] St Stephen I, Letter to Saint Cyprian, in Denz-H, n. 110. 4.
[20] Lamentations 5: 21.

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The prophetic power of Humanae Vitae

POPE PAUL VI's landmark 1968 encyclical explored the effects of then-new technologies on human reproduction, and reaffirmed the traditional Catholic anthropological teaching on the exclusive, permanent conjugal relationship of marriage as the fundamental building block of society. In the view of presenter Mary Eberstadt, Humanae Vitae is 'the most globally reviled and widely misunderstood document of the last half century [and] also the most prophetic and explanatory of our time.'

Mary Eberstadt is a Senior Research Fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute. Her writing has appeared in TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, First Things, The Weekly Standard, thecatholicthing.org and other publications. This talk was delivered at the University of Notre Dame, sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Culture.



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How Catholics should survive the satanic destruction of marriage and family

THE NACF'S GOOD FRIEND Father Linus Clovis has encouraged Catholics to resist erroneous teachings on marriage, coming from outside and even inside the Church, and to embrace the responsibility of being the chief means of conveying the true Faith to their children.

'Believing families are indeed the true fortresses and, as such, need to be defended against the assaults of the devil,' said Fr. Clovis of Family Life International at a U.K. Catholic conference earlier this month. The conference was organized by Voice of the Family, an initiative of LifeSiteNews and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. The Sept. 6-8 event, titled 'Handing on the Deposit of the Faith,' was held at Newman Hall, University Catholic Chaplaincy, in Cardiff, UK.



Quoting the late Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, the founding president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, Fr. Clovis advised Catholics 'how to preserve the Catholic Faith in its entirety and raise children to eternal life.'

I will tell you very frankly that I do not see any other place outside the family where the faith which you have to believe and to live can be sufficiently transmitted. Moreover, in Europe during the collapse of the Roman Empire and during the later barbarian invasions, what the Benedictine monasteries then did can likewise be done now by the believing families, in today's reign of a new spiritual-anthropological barbarism. And thank God that faithful families exist and still resist. Believing families are the true fortresses. And the future is in the hands of God.

Fr. Clovis reminded families of the advice given by Cardinal Caffara with reference to the confusion caused by Pope Francis' 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The post-synodal apostolic exhortation has been interpreted by some bishops in various places around the world as allowing Catholics living in a so-called second marriage to receive Holy Communion contrary to Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the proper disposition required to receive.

Read and meditate upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church §§1601-1666. And when you hear some talk about marriage - even if done by priests, bishops, cardinals - and you then verify that it is not in conformity with the Catechism, do not listen to them. They are the blind leading the blind.

Highlighting the severity of the situation within the Church, Fr. Clovis remarked that the 'Catholic Church has, until Pope Francis, been the world's most consistent and brightest beacon of truth on Christian moral teachings.'

He argued that the institution of marriage has been a particular target of revolutionaries throughout the centuries.

An integral part of the satanic strategy has been the provocation of numerous heresies over the centuries: Gnosticism, Manichaeism, the Albigenians, the Cathari, the Waldensians, Marxism, etc. - which, in their diverse variants, have committed and continuously commit outrages against the nature of marriage.

The condition in which marriage finds itself today in the West is simply tragic. Civil laws have changed the definition of marriage because they have eradicated the biological dimension of the human person. They have separated the biology of generation from the genealogy of the person in much the same way that the unity and procreativity of the marital embrace have been separated. Even more tragic is the condition in which the Church of Christ finds herself.

Fr. Clovis pointed out that in the last 40 years, the 'world and the Church' have 'changed so completely as to be unrecognisable: the family, that fundamental cell of society and of the Church has, at least in the Western world, been destroyed.'

'The family is destroyed and, with the contemporary rejection of the natural order, Satan's victory seems complete,' he noted.

The priest, however, that marriage itself cannot be destroyed, no matter how man may try to redefine it out of existence.

'Since God Himself is the author of marriage, it is not and can never be a mere human institution despite the many variations found throughout the centuries in different cultures, in social structures and in spiritual attitudes. It is rather a divine institution that, far from being contingent on the subjective and inconsistent whims of men, does participate, in some measure, in the immutability of God Himself, with respect to its nature, its ends and its laws.'

Fr. Clovis urged Catholics to give particular importance to prayer, especially to devotion to Our Lady and never to lose hope. Drawing on the writings of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, he pointed out that the Church has experienced moments of great crisis before in her history but that 'Christ was with his Church then and he is with her now. Our times and the future are in the hands of God.'

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Chinese churches ordered to celebrate Communist regime’s anniversary

CWN reports -- The State Patriotic Association of Catholics has ordered the dioceses to hold ceremonies to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. All the official churches are asked to sing the national anthem, to practice the flag raising ceremony, to pray for the homeland. All these activities must be documented and sent to the headquarters of the National Patriotic Association. Yesterday in many parishes the mass began with the singing of the national anthem.

Even the official Protestant churches have artistic events and performances inspired by patriotism and communism. In these circumstances it is also important to celebrate sinicization. All these events are usually attended by members of the United Front, which oversees religion activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.

All the religious groups present in the country recognized by the government, including the Islamic Association of China and the Buddhist one, have put together events related to the 70 years of the People's Republic of China. At the same time, police surveillance of house churches (unofficial) and their members has been stepped up.

Meanwhile, the State Administration for Religious Affairs is preparing some new regulations for religious groups. Under which it will be mandatory for religious groups to propagate the policy of the Communist Party and to educate the faithful to support the Party leadership.



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Ban on under-18s impacts priestly vocation as Beijing tightens its control over Church

UCANEWS reports ~ Fewer young altar servers have participated at the Eucharistic celebration in some parishes since the Chinese government banned anyone under 18 from entering churches.
Although the decline in young altar servers has not seriously affected the liturgy of the Mass, some Catholics worry that it will impact recruitment to the priestly vocation.

The age restriction was launched nationally in 2018 and although it has not yet been strictly imposed in some areas the story is very different in others, such as the provinces of Henan, Shanxi and Liaoning.

A source in Liaoning Diocese, an open church community, told ucanews.com that the local authority had this month banned anyone under 18 from entering the church in his parish.
The pastor has always trained youngsters to be altar servers at Mass most Sundays. “But we have now been told of this age restriction, so no more altar servers at the Mass,” the source said.
He admitted that many priests and bishops had enjoyed good relations with Communist Party officials, who had turned a blind eye to what happened in church.

“But since the inspector’s team came, everything has become very strict,” said the source, who hoped the situation might return to normalcy after the inspectors have left the parish.

The source said that in a short run, the effect on the parish would be minimal, since services do not usually have altar servers present, but he worried it might affect the priestly vocation.
“The seminary in Liaoning Diocese has been struggling to enroll young men. No one is coming in,” he said.

According to reports by the Holy Spirit Study Center, there had been a significant drop of the number of seminaries and seminarians across the country.

In 2014, there were ten seminaries and 560 seminarians from the open church community, with 12 seminaries and 300 seminarians from the underground community.

However, four years later, there were only eight seminaries and 385 seminarians in the open church community, with six seminaries and 100 seminarians in the underground community.
An underground priest from northeastern China, who identified himself as Father Peter, noted that although acting as altar servers was not limited to young men “this position really cultivates the priestly vocation for boys.”

“First of all, when the parents bring their children to worship God, the children are always attracted by the priest, who wears a beautiful vestment and says Mass in front of the altar, “he said.

“If the kid sees that another young boy of a similar age to him can be close with the priest and serving him, the kid may long for the same thing. It is a good chance to cultivate the vocation,” Father Peter continued.

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GERMANY Cardinal Marx: "no stop sign" from Pope Francis for our German synodal path on celibacy, sexual morality

Cdl. MarxMAIKE HIICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews ~ On the first day of the German bishops' fall assembly in Fulda, Cardinal Reinhard Marx gave a press conference, in which he discussed his recent meeting with Pope Francis and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, as well as his plans for the upcoming German synodal path, which, as he insists, is "not a synod" or a "particular council" which would be subject to canon law.

Speaking about his visit and conversations in Rome which ended on September 20, the President of the German Bishops' Conference and archbishop of Munich-Freising insisted that they have been "throughout positive and encouraging."

"There is no stop sign," explained Marx, "it was a constructive encounter" with Ouellet and the Pope, so that "I cannot see that the synodal path now somehow would be endangered."

That is to say, Pope Francis did not tell Cardinal Marx to stop a project that plans to question the Church's teaching on celibacy, on sexual morality, on the all-male priesthood, as well as on the link between ordination and governance in the Church.

Further commenting on Pope Francis and his June letter to the German Catholics, Cardinal Marx said that "the Pope really has opened the doors with his letter, and as we understand him, as I understand him - and as I also have found it confirmed in my conversation [with him] - he points to aspects which we should keep in mind and which are not new to us and which we accept."

Asked as to whether the final statutes of the German synodal path - as the German bishops will vote on them during their September 23-26 gathering - need to be approved, Cardinal Marx answers: "A condition that a higher approval is required? - I did not hear that."

That would mean that Rome lets the Germans have it their own way. LifeSiteNews reached out to Matthias Kopp, the press speaker of Cardinal Marx, asking for a further elaboration of Cardinal Marx' comments, but Kopp so far has not yet given a response to the question.

German synodal path to lead to Vatican III?

Cardinal Ouellet, the head of the Congregation for Bishops, had written a September 4 letter - with a critique by the Congregation for Legislative Texts attached - to the German bishops, saying that the German synodal path intends to "convoke a particular council without, however, using that term." Such a particular council, however, is subject to canon law. For such a synodal path to have binding character, would lie "outside of its [the German Bishops' Conference] competence," the letter states. The documents also point out that decision making has to be linked to the "hierarchical structures" in the Church.

Furthermore, the document of the Congregation for Legislative Texts asks: "How can an assembly of a particular church make decisions on topics of the Universal Church, and how can a bishops' conference be dominated by an assembly, the majority of which are not bishops?" Here, the critics point to the strong influence of laymen in the German synodal path.

At this year's spring assembly, the German bishops had approved of the synodal path in the last minutes of their March 11-14 gathering in Lingen, after having heard invited speakers questioning the Church's teaching on homosexuality, cohabitation, contraception, the gender theory, as well as other important moral topics. The synodal path is to begin this Advent and last for two years.

Putting aside Rome's objections to the synodal path as a "binding" process, which would include lay involvement, also with regard to the voting process at the end, Cardinal Marx now says that the German synodal path is meant as a "discussion," at the end of which the German bishops would then send a "votum" to Rome, asking Rome to continue this debate.

"This then is also not the end of the synod," Marx explained, "[because] then the synodal path goes on to Rome."

One may wish and work for the idea to "change the Church's law," according to the German cardinal. "If nothing would change, we would not have had a council," he added, making a reference to the Second Vatican Council. "It is even legitimate," he continued, "to speak of a next council, that is not forbidden."

In light of these words, one may well imagine that Marx' plan is to start a synodal path which then will lead to a Third Vatican Council in Rome.

Marx is now saying that, in spite of the fact that he calls the German synodal path "binding," it is merely meant to be a discussion - with no further binding character for the bishops involved - and that the result of this discussion would then be sent to Rome, with certain requests attached. "Of course, we cannot, with the help of a synodal path, remove the legislative power of a diocese," Marx now states. He also insists that the German bishops wish to remain in union with the Universal Church. "We can only make decisions in communion with the Pope."

This case-by-case method has been applied by Marx already with regard to the guidelines on Communion for Protestant spouses. After many disturbances and interventions from Rome, Pope Francis had given approval that Marx publish the German bishops' controversial guidelines approving of Communion for some Protestant spouses, but with the reference that it is left to each bishop whether he wishes to implement them or not.

Thereby, the doctrinal objections against these guidelines were simply overlooked and ignored. Practice dominated doctrine.

In this manner, Cardinal Marx now also hopes to continue his synodal path in Germany, which in his eyes then should influence the Universal Church.

At the September 23 press conference, the German prelate insisted that it is not only the Germans who wish for change. "I see that on the level of the Universal Church, there is much movement," Marx stated. It is not so, that in other countries, "all are of the same opinion." "That is to say," he added, "we also make contributions for the Universal Church."

The German bishops are set to finalize the statutes for their synodal path in the coming days. The fact that the Pope seems to have given free reign to Cardinal Marx and his fellow bishops will encourage them to approve of their statutes. Observers expect that there will be only few abstentions or counter votes on the final vote.

Opposition to German synodal path

Two German bishops, however, are publicly known to have opposed the synodal path: Cardinal Rainer Woelki and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer. They only recently proposed an alternative plan for the synodal path which would have been in accordance with canon law and which would have stressed the need for evangelization, as distinct from questioning the Church's perennial teachings on matters such as celibacy and homosexuality. It would have left out altogether the discussion of female ordination, which as Woelki and Voderholzer insist, has already been ruled out by the Church.

Cardinal Woelki, in a talk dated September 25, 2019, reminds his fellow Germans with reference to Pope Francis' letter to the German Catholics that "the synodal path may not take place without the Universal Church." He once more warns against "a substantively and also formally separate path which would cut us out from the Universal Body of Christ."

But they are not alone in their opposition.

Archbishop Nicola Eterovi?, in his September 23 address to the German bishops, reminded the German Bishops' Conference of the need to concentrate on the task of the "evangelization," a task that applies also to the "particular churches." He also quotes Pope Francis' recent words that "a synod is not a parliament" which is subject to the methods as they are being used in politics. Once more, Eterovi? stresses in his address the "primacy of evangelization," something that both Woelki and Voderholzer also support.

'Fixation' on female ordination

Moreover, Professor Marianne Schlosser, a member of the doctrinal commission of the German Bishops' Conference and a participant of the synodal path's forum on women, declared on Friday that she canceled her participation since she saw that the discussions have a "fixation" on the topic of female ordination, something that has been long ruled out by the Catholic Church.

In an additional Open Letter as published by the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost, Schlosser also explained in detail as to why a female priesthood is not possible, in light of God's Revelation. She shows herself "shaken" by the fact that women are now asking "the question of power" and link it to the matter of ordination, since the Catholic Church is not about power, and, according to Saint Gregory the Great, those who push themselves forward for ordination should not be ordained. "In the Church," she explains, "there is only to be the authority as it has been bestowed upon by Christ Himself." Schlosser also is troubled by the claim that women have a "right" to ordination.

She sees a "wrong understanding of ordination" at play. Professor Schlosser also insists upon the fact that Pope John Paul II' explicit ban on female ordination in his 1994 document Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has a "binding" character. Such a teaching, as many others, she adds, do not need an explicit formal declaration. "It is not at all the case that everything that has to be accepted 'de fide' - that is to say in the Faith - is formally declared a dogma."


Comment: Electric Boogaloo

STEVE SKOJEC writes for OnePeterFive ~ Earlier this month, I wrote a commentary on an alleged conflict between the Vatican and the German Church over their proposed “binding synodal process” on issues “arising from the clerical abuse crisis: clerical celibacy, the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and a reduction of clerical power.”

It was reported by CNA in early September that the decision of the German bishops to proceed with their proposed synodal assembly (which would have major input from an uber-progressive lay group known as ZdK) “comes despite a warning from Pope Francis to the German bishops that they must remain in step with the whole Church.”

For Catholics straining to see this pope in an orthodox light, there appears to be a reflexive need to latch on to these throwaway contrivances that make Francis look as though he actually wants to stop the corruption of the Church, not further it. Which is, I suspect, why he does it. The credulous are easy enough to keep on the bandwagon — just throw them a couple of crumbs and they see it as a feast.

As pertains to this staged dramatic tension between Germany and Rome, carefully choreographed to make the viewer believe they are not in perfect sync — I wrote:

'As each of the synods during the pontificate of Francis gets underway, we are treated to what has become a familiar dance. For lack of a better description, we’ll call it the “Rhine-Tiber Two-Step.” It typically takes the form of a carefully calculated good cop/bad cop routine between Rome and the German Church — a church with deep pockets that is widely believed to have bought undue influence by paying the bills of the financially troubled Vatican. There are always some unusually bold steps in the dance, but those are just to dazzle and distract. What we inevitably wind up with as the music stops is some form of Hegelian synthesis that moves the agenda of “reform” (AKA revolution) forward just a little bit farther'.

I gave several examples of how this dance works from the past couple of years. And then I laid down my prediction on this specific issue:

'Don’t be distracted by the dance. Whatever it is that they really want, the German Church will get its way, and it will become the seedbed for similar results in other countries where the will to follow suit exists'.

Yesterday, at LifeSiteNews, Maike Hickson reported (above) that the music had stopped, and the dance was wrapping up as predicted:

'Yesterday, on the first day of the German bishops’ fall assembly in Fulda, Cardinal Reinhard Marx gave a press conference, in which he discussed his recent meeting with Pope Francis and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, as well as his plans for the upcoming German synodal path, which, as he insists, is “not a synod” or a “particular council” which would be subject to canon law.

'Speaking about his visit and conversations in Rome which ended on September 20, the President of the German Bishops’ Conference and archbishop of Munich-Freising insisted that they have been “throughout positive and encouraging.”

“There is no stop sign,” explained Marx, “it was a constructive encounter” with Ouellet and the Pope, so that “I cannot see that the synodal path now somehow would be endangered.”

'That is to say, Pope Francis did not tell Cardinal Marx to stop a project that plans to question the Church’s teaching on celibacy, on sexual morality, on the all-male priesthood, as well as on the link between ordination and governance in the Church'. [emphasis added]

When you learn how to identify it, the pattern practically leaps out at you. It would be harder to spot if they were less formulaic, but they’ve found a rhythm and it seems to work for them, so why change? It’s not like anyone is holding them to account.

As regards my suspicion that whatever Germany does will be a prototype for the larger Church, Marx touched on that in his press conference as well:

'Putting aside Rome’s objections to the synodal path as a “binding” process, which would include lay involvement, also with regard to the voting process at the end, Cardinal Marx now says that the German synodal path is meant as a “discussion,” at the end of which the German bishops would then send a “votum” to Rome, asking Rome to continue this debate.

“This then is also not the end of the synod,” Marx explained, “[because] then the synodal path goes on to Rome.”

'One may wish and work for the idea to “change the Church’s law,” according to the German cardinal. “If nothing would change, we would not have had a council,” he added, making a reference to the Second Vatican Council. “It is even legitimate,” he continued, “to speak of a next council, that is not forbidden.”

'In light of these words, one may well imagine that Marx’ plan is to start a synodal path which then will lead to a Third Vatican Council in Rome'.

Vatican III, put on by this wretched hive of scum and villainy. Now isn’t that a cheery thought?

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GERMANY Two German bishops announce they didn’t vote for controversial "synodal path" statutes

MAIKE HICKSON reports for LifeSiteNews – The German Bishops' Conference has approved of the statutes and preamble of the synodal path as it is to be started in Advent of this year. The statutes had been heavily criticized by the Vatican, especially because the topics of the synodal path question matters that belong to the Universal Church, such as female ordination, celibacy, and sexual morality. Rome also cautioned that lay involvement in decision-making processes may be a violation of canon law.

However, after Cardinal Reinhard Marx spoke with Pope Francis in person, he received permission to continue the work of his project, especially after he convinced Rome that – in spite of earlier insistence that the synodal path was to be “binding” – the German bishops merely wish to prepare some reform proposals to present to Rome, for a continuation of the German synodal path on a Roman level. There is even talk about a new council.

Two German bishops – Cardinal Rainer Woelki and Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer – have been prominently opposing the content and the structure of the German synodal path. They speak of a possible “path of destruction” (Voderholzer) and of “schism” (Woelki).

Today, at the end of the German bishops' fall assembly in Fulda, they approved of the controversial statutes – most probably with slight changes – and of a new preamble which will have references to the importance of evangelization, as Pope Francis and the Vatican had requested. But the plan to establish four discussion forums questioning the Church's doctrines on celibacy, female ordination, and homosexuality, among others, will remain the same.

The statutes were approved by the majority of the 65 bishops, with 12 counter votes and one abstention.

The two above-mentioned resisting bishops, Woelki and Voderholzer, had recently proposed an alternative plan and statutes which would not have been open to questioning the Church's teaching, but, rather, which would have dwelt on the topic of evangelization. The German bishops rejected their plan. Woelki and Voderholzer have made it public that they voted against the controversial statutes of the synodal path today.

Cardinal Woelki wrote on twitter: “I could not support the statutes in this form, but I do not wish to refuse the dialogue. Let us try to renew the Church together. But this has to be a renewal in the Faith, a renewal of our relationship with Christ!”

Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer published a statement in which he also makes it clear that he voted against the statutes.

Moreover, Voderholzer explains that he wishes to remain loyal to his oath and promises, as given two times in his life – once as a professor in Trier, and once in 2013, at his episcopal ordination. He then had promised “to present and defend the Catholic faith in an unabridged manner,” as he writes. “I feel bound to it [the promise] and I see that this promise is currently being especially challenged.”

With regard to the synodal path, Bishop Voderholzer says that he maintains as an option, “to exit it altogether, after some initial experiences.” But for now, he, like Woelki, does not wish to refuse to dialogue.

In his view, the focus of the current four discussion forums of the synodal path “seem to miss the reality of the crisis of faith in our country.” The “primacy of evangelization,” as the Vatican also said, should be at the center of the debates. “I can only regret that this alternative plan [as proposed by Voderholzer and Woelki] has not received the support of a majority of my fellow bishops.”

Furthermore, Bishop Voderholzer wishes to give witness to the public “that there exists at least a minority of bishops (and from a historical point of view, which one day will look upon the fact that at least there ‘existed’ a minority), which was filled with the concern that the true problems are not being addressed and that even more frustration is created by inviting certain expectations and hopes.”


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GERMANY A German attack on Christ's Lordship

SOHRAB AHMARI writes First Things ~ for Half a millennium after the Reformation, Germans are making trouble again for the Roman Church. This time, Germany’s Catholic bishops have set out to remake the Church in their own liberal image.

The German episcopate this week adopted a statutory framework to govern its upcoming “Synodal Assembly.” The agenda will include reviewing “Church teaching on sexual morality, the role of women in Church offices and ministries, priestly life and discipline, and the separation of powers in Church governance.” And lest there be any doubt about the direction the majority aims to take in these areas, the bishops drafted the statutes with the Central Committee of German Catholics, a lay outfit that advocates women’s ordination, an end to priestly celibacy, and various other concessions to the sexual revolution.

These moves have met with severe disapproval from a broad spectrum of ecclesial opinion in Rome. Pope Francis has asked the Germans to focus on evangelization in their synod. The Congregation for Bishops has described Germany’s “binding synodal path” as “invalid.” And the Church’s traditionalist prelates, most notably Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, are up in arms—in response to the German process as well as to the upcoming Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, also heavily driven by the Germans.

What are the stakes, for the Church and the gospel? Can the German and Amazonian processes be stopped? To find out, I sat down last week with Cardinal Burke at his apartment just off St. Peter’s Square. The resulting interview has been edited for length and clarity.


Sohrab Ahmari: Your Eminence, is the German bishops’ “binding synodal path” connected to the upcoming Pan-Amazon Synod?

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke: They are very much connected. In fact, a number of the great proponents of the thrust of the Amazon Synod working document are German bishops and priests. And certain bishops in Germany have taken an unusual interest in this Amazon synod. For instance, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen has said that “nothing will be the same” after the Amazonian Synod process, the Church will be so completely changed, in his view.

SA: Is Germany’s “synodal path” ecclesially valid?

CB: It’s not valid at all. This has been made very clear. . . . In the letter to German bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of the Congregation for Bishops [told the Germans] that they are undertaking a process that is basically outside the Church—in other words, attempting to create a church according to their own image and likeness. As far as I’m concerned, this synodal way in Germany needs to be stopped before greater harm is done to the faithful. They have already begun this, and they insist that it can’t be stopped. But we’re talking about the salvation of souls, which means we need to take whatever measure is necessary.

SA: What is motivating the German bishops’ push, both in their own country and in the Amazon?

CB: The German bishops believe that they can now define doctrine, which is false. Otherwise, we would end up with a whole group of national churches, each with their own preferences regarding doctrine and discipline. The catholicity of the Catholic Church is exactly what’s at risk. The Catholic Church is a church that has one faith, one sacramental system, and one discipline throughout the whole world, and therefore we’ve never thought that each part of the world would define the Church according to particular cultures. That’s what’s being suggested in this working document of the Amazon and in Germany.

They say that the Amazon region is a fount of divine revelation, and therefore when the Church goes there in her missionary capacity, she should learn from the culture. This denies the fact that the Church brings the message of Christ, who alone is our salvation, and addresses that message to the culture—not the other way around! So yes, there will be objectively good elements in the culture, inasmuch as conscience and nature point to revelation; there are things in the culture that will respond immediately to the Church’s teaching. But there will be other elements that must be purified and elevated. Why? Because Christ alone is our salvation. We don’t save ourselves, either individually or as a society.

SA: But the proponents of the Amazonian process say there are too few priests in the Amazon region.

CB: So we need to cultivate priests for the missions, and secondly, we need to cultivate vocations among the native peoples themselves. I visited Brazil in June of 2017, and I was visiting with an archbishop who had been bishop in the Pan-Amazon for more than a decade. I asked him directly this question, because there was talk already then about relativizing the Church’s teaching on celibacy to recruit more priests. And he told me that while he was bishop, he devoted himself especially to the development of vocations, and there were a good number of vocations.

Very clearly he said, “It’s not true, this notion that the people in this region don’t understand perfect continence required of priests or don’t respond to it. That’s not true at all.” He said, “If you teach them about the celibacy of Christ himself and therefore the fittingness that his priests should also be celibate, they can certainly understand that.” Amazonians are human beings like you and me, and they can order their lives with the help of God’s grace.

SA: A larger point made by proponents of both the German and Amazonian processes is that conditions in modernity are simply too difficult to sustain the Church’s moral teaching and her discipline, whether involving priestly celibacy or divorce and remarriage for lay people.

CB: I took part in the 2014 session of the Synod of Bishops on the family, and that argument was specifically used with respect to those who are divorced and their being able to enter into a so-called second marriage. It was a German cardinal who said the Church’s teaching on marriage is an “ideal,” that not all people are able to realize it, and therefore we need to give those who fail in marriage the possibility of entering into a second marriage.

But the fundamental error is that marriage isn’t an ideal! It’s a grace. Marriage is a sacrament, and those who marry, even the weakest human beings, receive the grace to live according to the truth of marriage. Christ by his coming has overcome sin and its fruit, which is eternal death. He gives us, from his own being, from his own glorious body, the grace of the Holy Spirit to live in matrimony.

God gives grace to us whether we’re married or celibate. Christ himself is the example. He did not marry. He chose perfect continence in order to be for everyone, to be the savior of all. So he shows the cooperation with grace as it relates to the sexual aspect of our being. So the celibate clergy are also a tremendous encouragement to the married. Because it isn’t easy to be married, either. It’s not easy to be faithful. It’s not easy also to give one’s whole life, to be married until death do us part. And likewise, it isn’t easy to embrace the grace of procreation. So there’s this great mystery of divine grace in our lives, and that’s what’s being missed here. There’s a very strong influence here of German idealism, of Hegelian historicist notions.

SA: But doesn’t our hyper-sexualized culture make it so much harder to adhere to the Church’s moral teachings? I sometimes think that the great saints had it so much easier, either because they were cloistered, or because when they stepped out into the world, they weren’t confronted with such a thoroughly “pornographized” atmosphere.

CB: But even Saint Anthony of the Desert suffered these tremendous temptations. He saw images of naked women in his hermitage. One of our difficulties in life is that sometimes we permit ourselves to see sinful things: This is the great evil of pornography. We see images that stay with us and remain sources of temptation later. But in all of that, God gives us the grace to combat these temptations. Saint Paul says in the beginning of the letter to the Colossians, “I rejoiced to complete in my body what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.” It isn’t that there is anything lacking in Christ’s sufferings, except that we have to unite ourselves to them.

This is the mystery. Many today, because of the advances in science and technology, think that life should always be easier and more convenient, and they bring that mentality into the Church. So if there is any teaching that is hard, they simply say, “Well, that can’t be right. It must be all right to fornicate or whatever else.”

SA: Eminence, let’s turn to the legal structures involved: What is a synod? What is its legal or canonical status within the Church’s structures?

CB: The concept has always been there. The fundamental concept of a synod was to call together representatives of the clergy and the lay people to see how the Church could more effectively teach and more effectively apply her discipline. Synods never had anything to do with changing doctrine or with changing discipline. It was all meant to be a way of furthering the mission of the Church. The definition of a synod is based upon the truth that every Catholic as a true soldier of Christ is called to safeguard and promote the truths of the faith and the discipline by which those truths are practiced. Otherwise, the solemn assembly of bishops in synod would betray the mission. A synod, according to the Code of Canon Law, is supposed to assist the Roman pontiff with counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals, and the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline. There’s nothing there about altering the doctrine or the discipline!

The working document of the Pan-Amazonian synod is a direct attack on the Lordship of Christ. It says to people, “You already have the answers, and Christ is just one among many sources of answers.” This is apostasy!

Christ is Lord, and in every time and place—this is the genius of the Church. When missionaries have preached Christ, they have also recognized the gifts and talents of the people to whom they were preaching. The people then expressed in their own art and architecture the truths of the Church. They added their own flavor to the expression of the underlying Truth. You’ve probably seen the Japanese Madonnas. They’re done in the Japanese style—but the mystery of Divine Maternity is expressed!

SA: Against this backdrop, Eminence, what gives you hope today in the Church?

CB: Liturgical renewal among the young is everywhere, and it gives me great hope. There are many young priests and seminarians who don’t buy this revolution one iota. And it’s the liturgy that often attracts them so much, because that is the most perfect and immediate encounter we have with Christ. They’re attracted to the ancient usage, the Extraordinary Form, because it has so many more symbols and is so much more expressive of the transcendent aspect of our life of faith: Our Lord descends to the altar to make himself sacramentally present.

Many people come to me very discouraged, some people wanting to leave the Church. But it isn’t all darkness. Look at these young people. Look at these vocations, not just in the United States, but even in Germany. You know they talk about the secularization of Germany, but there are still good Catholic young people and Catholic families. . . . I believe that Christ said that he would never abandon us, that he would be with us until the consummation of the age. I believe him. I trust him.


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GERMANY Theologian withdraws from German synodal path

THE CATHOLIC HERALD reports ~ A member of the International Theological Commission has announced that she is no longer available to participate in the "binding synodal path" undertaken by the bishops' conference of Germany.

Marianne Schlosser, a member of the International Theological Commission, cited concerns over both the approach and methodology of the "synodal path" when she announced that she could no longer participate.

Schlosser, a professor of theology at the University of Vienna and the recipient of the 2018 Ratzinger Prize, was invited to take part in the Synodal Way's forum "on women in ecclesial roles and offices" as an expert.

Saying she could not identify with the intermediate report of the preparatory group, Schlosser raised a number of issues, in particular identifying a "fixation on ordination" of women.

This "fixation" was neither theologically and historically nor pastorally and spiritually justified, she told news agency KNA. The Catholic Church teaches that it has no authority to admit women to priestly ordination.

Schlosser said the discussion about ordination had "been conducted for so long," all arguments had been exchanged and were on the table.

Since it was "not a disciplinary question," the topic "could not be negotiated in a synodal forum with mixed members", i.e. between bishops and laity, she said.

Schlosser had not been present for the two preparatory meetings held sofar.

The theologian also expressed the fear of a progressive polarization of the church in Germany.

On Sep 23, 2014, Pope Francis appointed Schlosser as a member of the International Theological Commission. She was also appointed a member of the study commission investigating the female diaconate in 2016.

The Bavarian is also an advisor to the Faith Commission of the German bishops' conference and since January 2018 a member of the Theological Commission of the Austrian bishops' conference.

A version of this story was first published by CNA Deutsch.

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IRELAND Bishop backs female priests as his diocese votes to ordain women

Bp. FlemingJULES GOMES reports for ChurchMilitant.com ~ An Irish bishop has committed himself to a specially devised delegation process for ordaining female priests after 69% of Catholics in his diocese voted in favor of the ordination of women.

The vote was part of a "listening process" initiated by Bp. John Fleming of the Killala diocese in north Mayo and west Sligo, after an analysis of clergy numbers indicated that the 22 parishes of the diocese would be served by three to six priests by 2037.

One thousand and five hundred people across the diocese were surveyed on a range of questions as part of Bp. Fleming's "Placing Hope in Faith" project. The feedback was processed by the Institute for Action Research and turned into proposals that were voted on by a representative diocesan assembly.

The 300-strong diocesan assembly, which included delegates from the 22 parishes, voted on a range of issues, while 120 people participated in 10 focus groups, in the second phase.

Eighty percent voted in favour of women deacons, 69% supported women priests, 85% supported married priests and 81% cast their ballot supporting married priests returning to active ministry.

The assembly also voted 86% in favour of changing the Church's teaching on homosexuality to reflect the inclusion of all people regardless of sexual orientation, marital status or family status.

Father Brendan Hoban of the Association of Catholic Priests told the Irish Examiner that Bp. Fleming had committed himself to incorporating the suggestions made by the assembly into diocesan policy if they were within the diocese's capacity to pursue.

Suggestions outside the diocese's capacity would be forwarded to the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference and to the apostolic nuncio who would be asked to forward them to the relevant authorities in Rome.

"There was no point us deciding that we were going to ordain women or married men as we don't have the ability to do it, but we could control organizing lay ministers in a different way," Fr. Hoban commented.

Bishop Fleming had earlier stated, "These proposals, when accepted, will then become diocesan policy and form the basis of our Pastoral Plan for the Diocese."

Catholic writer and deacon Nick Donnelly blasted the proposals as heresy:

'Bishop John Fleming is allowing the dethroning of God's word in the diocese of Killala by clergy and laity who are either irresponsibly ignorant at best, or destructively luciferian at worst. Instead of the ensuring the obedience of faith, Bp. Fleming has allowed disobedience towards the Catholic faith to run riot among the flock he has a duty to protect.

He continued: 'The fact that the overwhelming majority support changing doctrine on homosexuality and the ordination of women shows that this was not a mature conversation among adult Catholics. Bishop Fleming's "listening process" is not an authentic expression of the Sensus Fidei, instead he has given voice to heresy that threatens to break the communion of the Church.

Quoting the late poet John O'Donoghue, Fleming explained:

"In modern Ireland, you'll find the most searching and penetrating analysis of what is going on, and what we need to do, not among the priests or religious or theologians but among the people. So, we need to ask the people what they think and what's going on." These are important words in the context of our Listening Process here in the Diocese of Killala.

Calling the process an "inclusive initiative," Fleming said he was anxious to hear the voices of people who no longer went to Mass or attended occasionally as well as the voice of young people.

Fleming said that in setting the process in motion, he had been inspired by Pope Francis, who said in his message for the 2016 World Communications Day that "listening … means being able to share questions and doubts, to journey side by side, to banish all claims to absolute power and to put our abilities and gifts at the service of the common good."

The Killala diocese expects the conclusions of the focus groups by December and has promised to implement their initiatives in 2020.

In 2009, Bp. Fleming and the Killala Council of Priests decided that no provision should be made for the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

The Ecclesia Dei Commission, under Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, wrote to Bp. Fleming insisting that the restriction was forbidden under Church law since Pope Benedict had made universal provision for the availability of the Latin Mass.

A spot survey of all Masses over three consecutive weekends in September 2017 indicated that attendance overall was just 30%. There are 37,000 Catholics in Killala diocese.

Meanwhile, the Association of Catholic Priests is hosting a seminar on "Women and the Church: Equality of Opportunity" next month with Mary McAleese as the main speaker.

In 2018, the GAZE LGBT Film Festival presented Dr. McAleese, former president of Ireland, with the inaugural Vanguard Award for her "unwavering support for the advancement of the LGBT+ community."

Sharon Tighe-Mooney, campaigner for women's ordination and author of the controversial book What About Me? Women and the Catholic Church, is also one of the main speakers.

Eight men were ordained in Ireland this year, fewer than two priests per million. In 1973, there were 62 priests in Killala diocese.

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KENYA Infiltration of the Bishops' Conference

Executive secretary might be behind condom push

WILLIAM MAHONEY, Ph.D., reports for ChurchMilitant.com ~ A recent report by The Lepanto Institute and subsequent correspondence suggest that somebody involved with the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has used the conference to promote condoms in contradiction to the teachings of the faithful Kenyan bishops.

The KCCB's Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK) released a letter endorsing condom use for preventing the spread of disease, a position that contradicts the KCCB bishops' consistent condemnation of condom use for any reason.

Church Militant asked Jesuit Br. Elias Mokua, the KCCB's national executive secretary for the Commission for Social Communication, about the letter.

He responded: "Please ignore the message as it is an example of fake news!"

Church Militant spoke with Michael Hichborn, president of The Lepanto Institute (LI), about subsequent correspondence based on LI's report.

"Following the publication of our article, I was contacted by Bp. Paul Kariuki Njiru, the local ordinary for the diocese of Embu, Kenya," he said. "His Excellency explained that the letter we had obtained was the 'wrong version' of the letter, providing a corrected version dated the same day."

After thanking the bishop for providing the corrected version of the letter, Hichborn followed up with some additional questions:

I asked how it was that such a letter was generated with condom promotion in it to begin with. I also asked how it was that this version was circulated, apparently without the KCCB's knowledge. I asked who wrote the original version of the letter, and I asked why Jacinta Mutegi, the executive secretary for the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya, is in leadership positions in at least two organizations that are thoroughly committed to the spread of condoms.

Jacinta Mutegi, the executive secretary of the CHCK, is one of the signatories on the "wrong version" of the letter.

Mutegi serves in leadership roles with two agencies that promote the spread of condoms, as listed on her LinkedIn profile, and may have been the one responsible for the promotion of condoms in the letter, according to Hichborn.

She is a member of the board for the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and a member of the Global Fund's Kenya Coordinating Mechanism (KCM). Both the NACC and the KCM promote the use and spread of condoms. The NACC even posted a graphic video showing how to put on a condom.

Hichborn says that after the letter promoting condoms was distributed, teachers began complaining about it in WhatsApp groups.

Contacts also told Hichborn that Catholic doctors in Kenya have seen the letter and expressed their opposition, which is consistent with their stance against HPV that has aired on TV in the country.

If she is the responsible party, Mutegi, who is neither a medical doctor nor a health care professional, has ignored the Catholic doctors' medical advice as well as subverted Kenya's faithful Catholic bishops.

Hichborn explained how the idea of a "wrong version" of the letter seems to support his initial hypothesis in the report:

The acknowledgement that a "wrong version" of this letter existed to begin with, combined with the fact that it was indeed circulated beyond the basic editing and approval process, seems to corroborate the hypothesis I established in the report: the promotion of condoms in the "wrong version" of the letter very likely was included without the bishops' knowledge or approval.

This situation in Kenya is representative of a pattern, as Hichborn explained: "As I have maintained throughout the majority of my work regarding the deeply concerning pattern of contraception and condom promotion within the Catholic Church, the biggest issue has to do with ideological bureaucrats operating within chanceries and bishops' conferences. And once again, this case appears to be no different."


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UNITED KINGDOM SPUC calls on politicians to take action to stop abortion in Northern Ireland
PAUL SMEATON reports for LifeSiteNews
~ The UK’s largest pro-life group has launched a petition campaign calling upon politicians in Northern Ireland to restore their devolved government before an October deadline in order to stop abortion in the province.

Since 1967, Northern Ireland has been the only part of the United Kingdom where abortion has remained presumptively unlawful. While abortion claims over 500 lives daily in the rest of the UK, opposition from the people of Northern Ireland has prevented all attempts to liberalize the Province’s pro-life laws.

In addition to electing MPs to the UK’s parliament in Westminster, Northern Ireland also has its own devolved government in Stormont. This government operates according to ‘The Good Friday Agreement’ which was developed in the 1990s and became effective in December 1999. The Good Friday Agreement requires that the Northern Ireland government in Stormont includes parties representing both people who wish for Northern Ireland to be united in political union with The Republic of Ireland and people who wish for Northern Ireland to remain in political union with the United Kingdom.

The Stormont coalition collapsed in 2016 when the party Sinn Féin pulled out of government. And in the absence of a devolved government, the UK’s government in Westminster has proposed a bill that would overturn Northern Ireland’s pro-life laws and bring about what pro-life groups are calling the “most radical abortion regime in Western Europe”. The bill would make it so that self-induced abortion, sex-selective abortion, and use of illicit abortion drugs, before the 24th week, will not be treated as a criminal offense.

Pro-life groups in Northern Ireland are warning that only the restoration of devolved government before 22 October can prevent this from happening. But at present that seems unlikely as two of the conditions that Sinn Féin has set for its return are the introduction of abortion and same-sex “marriage”. The terms of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Act mean that the party can achieve these two goals simply by preventing an early return to power-sharing.

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) is calling upon the Democratic Unionist Party (the DUP) in particular to take the lead in restoring the Stormont government before the 22nd of October in order to prevent the imposition of a “radical abortion regime” by politicians in Westminster.

The DUP is the largest political party in Northern Ireland and has played a key role over many years in maintaining the Province’s pro-life laws. Their pro-life stance was recently reaffirmed by the leader, Mrs. Arlene Foster, in an article in The News Letter, a Belfast daily, on 21st September.

Mrs. Foster wrote that the DUP’s "position on abortion remains resolute and unchanged since the Party’s inception. We are a pro-life party and will continue to support the rights of both the mother and the unborn child."

In an article also published in The News Letter, Philip Lynn of SPUC Northern Ireland has called upon the DUP to act on their pro-life convictions at this “momentous time”.

He writes:

'SPUC is sincerely grateful for the DUP’s principled pro-life stand, which Mrs Arlene Foster reaffirmed in her Newsletter article on the 21st September, and which has undoubtedly saved countless lives.

'However, as the largest pro-life party, and as the largest party full-stop, it’s vital that the DUP acts, at this momentous time, in line with their stated policy, and in a way that is commensurate with their power, influence, and mandate.

If they fail to do so, it would seem that the consequences for unborn children in Northern Ireland will be disastrous.

Mr. Lynn continues:

'On 24th July the Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act 2019 received Royal assent and passed into British law. Originally intended to support the talks process at Stormont by postponing the date of a Northern Ireland election, successive amendments brought by Labour backbenchers, with the complicity of Theresa May’s government, has extended the Act’s remit to impose both same-sex marriage and a radical abortion regime on our Province.

'The Act does two things that pro-life people need be concerned about: first, it repeals sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which effectively enables abortion for any reason up to 28 weeks gestation.

'Secondly, the legislation instructs the Secretary of State to make abortion regulations in line with the United Nations’ ‘CEDAW report’. At this stage it is not clear what these regulations will contain, although some form of public consultation is likely to occur in the near future.

'Under section 13(4) of the Act these measures come into effect on 22nd of October unless a Stormont Executive is formed on, or by, 21st of October. As such, ensuring the return of Stormont [Northern Ireland’s devolved government] represents the only remaining prospect of saving the lives of countless unborn children in Northern Ireland'.

Liam Gibson, SPUC’s Northern Ireland political officer, said that this radical change to Northern Ireland’s abortion laws was unconstitutional. In an interview recorded for LifeSiteNews, he warned of the grave danger of political power being exercised in this manner from Westminster over Northern Ireland, saying “they will be ruthless and now that they’ve seen that they can get away with unconstitutional laws there’s no telling what they will do”.



With Sinn Féin set to potentially achieve two of its stated objectives by refusing to return to Stormont, pro-life groups are focusing their efforts on calling on the DUP to increase the pressure on the other parties for the restoration of devolution.

Pro-life people in Northern Ireland can sign SPUC’s petition calling on the DUP to return to Stormont.

But pro-life people in the rest of the UK can also take action to stop the bill. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Chief Whip of the DUP, recently told the 2019 SPUC National conference that the support of people in England, Wales and Scotland is needed to stop abortion being imposed on Northern Ireland.

SPUC is encouraging their supporters in England, Wales, and Scotland to write to their MP, reminding him or her that the Good Friday Agreement commits Westminster to respecting the right of the people of Northern Ireland to decide for themselves what their law on abortion will be. SPUC suggests that supporters ask their MPs to write to Julian Smith MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, urging him to recall the Assembly before October 21 and allow abortion law to be decided by the elected representatives of Northern Ireland.


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