UP-DATE FOLLOWING CARDINAL DANNEELS REVELATIONS
Friday 25 September 2015
I truly believe Pope Francis has good intentions , but I admit to being bitterly disappointed by his address to the American Congress this week.
While some are saying that his statement that we have a “responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development” are a reference to the evil of abortion, I don’t think they are. They can be taken to refer to abortion, but in that he immediately went on to explicitly mention the death penalty he failed. He failed to mention the slaughter of innocents in the very arena (politics) that defends abortion as a human right for women. Supporters of abortion are thus entitled to say “Francis said to protect and defend human life but he did not mention abortion; he mentioned the death penalty; therefore his remarks are about the death penalty”. Can we really argue with that? Had he meant to include abortion he would have named it, surely, as he did with the death penalty?
At first I thought Francis was simply being a coward; that he is too afraid of offending the USA (or of losing his credibility with the political left) to tackle the supreme humanitarian crime in which the USA and other Western powers such as the UK engage. But it suddenly occurred to me: this is not cowardice. Why Francis does not mention abortion but seems obsessed with the environment and subsidiarity is nothing to do with cowardice, it is that he is simply too provincial to be a world leader; he is still preaching and leading in accord with the problems he saw in Argentina. Annulments there take several years; he has presumed it is the same the world over and imposed laws for rapid declarations of nullity; the condition of the poor in the shantytowns of Buenos Aires is extreme; he has assumed it is the same the world over.
It is not then that the Pope is a coward. Rather, it is that Francis is a provincial guy with a provincial view unsuited to global responsibilities. His mind-set is still in Argentina and he is preaching to Argentina and its problems. He has not progressed to seeing the whole view from his window at the Domus Sanctae Marthae; he still looks out and imagines he sees shantytowns everywhere. Undoubtedly there is poverty the world over, and it certainly needs to be addressed. Only the cold-hearted could say otherwise. But today’s spiritually poverty; the loss of the sense of sin and of grace- has led to the slaughter of millions of innocent lives by dismemberment while alive in the womb; the killing of the sick rather than the care of the sick, and the destruction of the natural family to which every child has a right. As such some of us see the greatest poverty as poverty of the spirit: until we change minds and hearts by the Gospel we will not end abortion, euthanasia or protect the family. So while we want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked; shelter the harbourless and visit the sick & imprisoned, we know that we must first instinct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful and admonish the sinner -without which hearts and minds will not change. Uninstructed by the Gospel the human person, predisposed by concupiscence, follows sin and darkness, not grace and light. Global leaders cannot afford to make important speeches on huge public stages and fail to mention the gravest evils of the day.
UP-DATE FOLLOWING CARDINAL DANNEELS REVELATIONS
UP-DATE FOLLOWING CARDINAL DANNEELS REVELATIONS
Revelations (see RorateCaelie here) that several Cardinals banded together in what one of them (Cardinal Danneels) described as a Mafia Club to actively canvas for Jorge Bergoglio so as to get a more modern Church, leaves a bitter taste of subversion. If these Cardinal-electors wanted and canvassed for their man so as to get a ‘modern Church’ (in fact, departure from the constant teaching of the Church), they must have known before hand what kind of catholic Bergoglio was/is, or they would not be seeking to elect him. This puts his actions at last year’s Extraordinary Synod, his nominations for this year’s Synod (and the exclusions he made), very disturbing and a picture of manipulation arising that is hard to avoid. It also puts his trip to the USA in a new light: he appears a willing puppet of men who seek to abandon the Faith of the Gospel for the ideologies of the world. I do hope he turns out to be another Pio Nono and come in liberal but go out strictly orthodox.
While we may yet be in for a period of great turbulence and division within the Church, but she will emerge even stronger than she was after Trent and before Vatican II, for Truth is Christ and Christ has conquered the world they are so enamoured by. Can we off any advice to the Cardinals involved? Yes, the advice of Christ Himself: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers treated the false prophets in the same way”. To us Christ advises, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”, (Luke 6v26-27). In all honesty. if Christ’s words do not worry them, they have lost The Faith.
Wednesday 16 September 2015
Has Pope Francis ‘let drop his mask’ -and indicated the untrustworthy nature of the current Episcopate?
When soon after his election Pope Francis was considered to be a liberal it was quickly declared that he is a loyal son of the Church. One wonders if this loyalty is what is being questioned in the remark that he has ‘let drop his mask’, as reported here by LifesiteNews. It is always possible that Francis is simply allowing dissent to come to the forefront so as to override it in the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.
Lifesite, however, records two striking stories around Pope Francis. The first is that the “a seven-page dossier that is now being privately circulated in the Vatican among Curial members who are opposing Pope Francis's recent decision to liberalize the process of marriage annulments” (as linked to above); the second is that a “major appeal by theologians urges Pope to delete ‘seriously defective’ Synod texts on contraception” (see Lifesite News here)
Taken together, these indicate that high-ranking voices are concerned about Pope Francis’s attitude towards immutable doctrine. I cannot help but recall a reaction first voiced in my own living room on the night Francis was elected: “I have a gut feeling that this man thinks that the Church belongs not him as its CEO, not to Christ, and that he will do untold damage to the Faith and the Church”.
When Cardinal Pell defended Francis as a loyal son of the Church it was interesting that the examples he gave were of a pope who is “very, very concerned for the day-to-day life of the people, and for those who are suffering, those not well off and those in difficult situations.” In my opinion the Cardinal’s defence could do little to stem the tide of criticisms of Francis; the two articles linked to above demonstrate a perception by many that Francis is not loyal to The Faith. Unfortunately the picture of Francis as having little regard for the doctrine of The Faith will only be made worse by his ‘selective selection’ of members for the up-coming Synod. As reported by that pinnacle of the Catholic Blogosphere Rorate Caeli, Cardinal Tong Hon seems to have been lied to by the Vatican as to why he is not being invited (age being said to be the reason), since many attending are older than he –including Cardinal Kasper. Meanwhile Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco –a warrior of a Bishop in one of the most sexualised communities in the USA- is exempted for no good reason (other than, like Cardinal Tong Hon, he is likely to hold to the Tradition of the Church). Truly, Francis has to be careful that he is not leaving to history a picture of himself as a Pope willing to manipulate a Synod to favour his personal agenda rather than the Tradition, using an impression of collegiality to do so. If, as I believe, Truth will win out, it may not be in this Synod but later in the Church’s life. After all, if Francis and the Synod can ditch all that has gone before for 2000 years plus, a future Pope and Synod can ditch Francis and the 2014/2015 shenanigans. Indeed those very shenanigans make this a real possibility, so don’t be too afraid of what happens in October. It will be a noteworthy but impotent blip in the history of the Church –ever heard of the Robber Council? It was the later-condemned Ephesus Council II.
The most disconcerting aspect of these shenanigans is that Francis is able to pick and choose among those who make up the episcopate. It is not sad that a Pope has the power to do this; rather, it is sad –if not alarming- that with the current state of the episcopate it is possible for him to choose between those who will and those who will not hold to the Tradition. We should not, as we currently are, hear folk voicing concerns over who will be attending the Synod: we should be able to trust the episcopate implicitly. Sadly, the ‘selective selection’ of those who will attend the Synod demonstrates that we cannot implicitly trust the episcopate. How sad this must be for those Bishops who are or who desire to be faithful to the Tradition but feel held back by their Episcopal brothers who have a liberalising tendency/agenda. Pray and fast for the Synod; God will reward the effort.
As Archbishop Fulton-Sheen would say, “The truth is the truth even if no one believes it, and error is error even if everyone believes it”. And The Truth will eventually win the fight, even if it loses a round at this Synod, because the Truth is Christ, and he has overcome the world.
Monday 14 September 2015
uch a career, hobby or relationship, when it diminishes our devotion to the Mass, cannot be of God, for God does not bring about that which lessens our devotion to Him -and our hold on salvation.
Saturday 12 September 2015
Collegiality is not, and this is by Divine Will, joint government of the Church by Pope and Bishops. There is to be a common solicitude for all the Churches (expressed via advice and support? –such as in a sharing of priests, of resources, of good practice points etc, and common statements reiterating official Church teaching) but not shared Governance since this intrinsically impacts upon and reduces the governance exercised by a Bishop in his own Diocese, for which he alone is accountable to the Divine.
There is much to be done. It is down to the Bishops to lead us, led by Rome. Oremus.
Thursday 10 September 2015
NOTE: Vatican II tried to hold onto Traditional teaching and values and in this way is able to be read in a hermeneutic of continuity, but it also sought to open doors to the world and by doing so allowed ambiguous texts (thus texts of dubious orthodoxy) to creep in too; texts which Cardinal Kasper admitted were placed there deliberately:
Saturday 5 September 2015
Pope John XXIII asked that we throw open the windows of the Church to the world. Doing so has turned out to be disastrous since the world does not want to engage with the Church unless we follow the world’s ways and abandon the ways of Christ. The world is not interested in dialogue; it has a monologue to which we are expected to give assent. It is not for nothing that Christ said He had taken us out of the world: “you do not belong to the world, I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (Jn.15v19). Sadly, many members of the hierarchy seem so taken with dialogue that they have forgotten Our Lord’s words to Saint Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn.14v6).
There is only one Way to heaven: Christ and His Gospel. The Church seems reluctant to preach that truth, while the world seems determined to criminalise it with devout Christian’s being persecuted for living by The Gospel, such as those who have refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex pairing; those who refused to let hotel rooms to a same-sex pairing, and the lady who refused to sign marriage certificates for same sex pairings. The world with which many in the hierarchy want us to dialogue is a world that persecutes us and wants us to approve of the killing of babies in the womb and of the dying.
The Church has, it seems, forgotten that death will not dialogue with life -it seeks to overcome it, and that darkness will not dialogue with the light because light by its very nature light dispels darkness. How blind can some in our hierarchy be? Do they not realise that they are trying to engage with a world that seeks only the destruction of the Gospel so that the worldly can have things their way (and at the root of all the attacks against religion is nothing other than the pull of the flesh: the worldly want to be able to indulge in sex whichever way they want it, with whichever person they want it, and at whatever time they want it -with no responsibilities whatsoever. It is not to end persecution or inequality that causes the world to attack the Church; they attack the Church because she proclaims the natural law, contrary to their desire to have legal support and protection for indiscriminate sexual experience and an unbridled sexual appetite.
The world will only be happy when religious people take their moral norms from what is legal, and they are only going to be happy to let us worship as we need to as we do not preach the Gospel during that act of worship, which the over-sensitive and misconstruing mind might describe as ‘hate speech’ (though we preach only against acts, and never people).
I tire of but will not stop saying that we need  put the catechism back into schools;  offer liturgy that thanks and adores God; one which offers propitiation for sin and petitions God for grace, rather than what we have now which too often celebrates and entertains man; and  impose canonical sanctions where they apply (to errant theologians and politicians who vote for anti-life legislation). The salvation of souls is at stake. No one doubts the good heart and intention of those who seek to “lift the burdens from men’s shoulders”, but if it is lifted by falsehoods; by telling folk they are not in sin when they are, no good can from it. Souls will be lost by those who deliberately choose lifestyles which contravene the law of God, and with them will go the souls of the hierarchy who condone and affirm those lifestyles. Pray, and fast for the Church and for souls –and give united public witness from the whole Church to the world of today.
The new evangelisation is the re-evangelisation of the Catholic people according to Pope John Paul II, who said we need a “new evangelisation of those peoples who have already heard Christ proclaimed” –but it would never have been necessary had we kept the Catechism in our schools and drawn out its message in later school years as all the best teachers did, while worshipping with God at the centre instead of us.
Thursday 3 September 2015
That excellent site, Torch of the Faith (see link at the side of this blog), have this to say in their most recent post:
“...movements of potential persecution seemed to begin against us for the things that we have said in the public realm. Certainly, our writings here are being observed. The silence of so many Catholics - at least in public - left us feeling even more exposed.”
The administrators of TOTF do not say here who the persecution is coming from, or who is observing them, or indeed how they know this, but let us be clear: such hostility is unacceptable. I am sorry that this dedicated couple are experiencing some persecution, and hope it is not coming from the clergy. Clerics may have no canonical authority over what laity say in their blogs and sites, but they can make it very difficult for good folk by making their criticisms known to other laity because it can isolate those with whom the cleric is at odds. That seems to me to lack in prudence and charity.
It can be that laity simply do not like or want to hear what is being said by their brothers and sisters in Christ, and so turn cold towards them. This may not be active persecution but it is at least close to (if not an example of) what is known as passive aggression.
Why should speaking the truth or even offering an opinion cause personal hostility? Why should laity –in this case Torch of the Faith- not be allowed their say and be respected for it?
I have not found their posts to be offensive to any individual, even though the actions of individuals may be criticised, as in the posts about the irregular activities that took place during the celebration of the Requiem Mass for Cilla Black. But unless TOTF criticise individuals and make defamatory remarks about them, why are they not applauded?
I think the majority of bloggers who seek to live the fullness of the Catholic Faith always try to act and speak in charity. They seek to refrain from making comments about persons and using offensive adjectives to describe them, but remain clear about why they see the actions or words of individuals as wrong. I think TOTF are among those bloggers, and I hope the persecution they fear is beginning against them does not come to fruition. Oremus.