Why Is The Professional Left Enamoured With Abortion?

Written by Fr Bill Peckman

Why is the professional left enamored with abortion? Long gone is the Clintonian “safe, rare, and legal” mantra once held. It is replaced with a militant advocacy around the world.

First, the professional left is enamored with eugenics. Born of fear or elitism, eugenics seeks to control population growth so as to create a perfect humanity. It might take the extreme forms of genocide as seen in Nazi Germany, Communist Russia and China, or in the widespread use of abortion as birth control. It might be seen in the sustaining of permanent underclasses, which once controlled, can be shrunk to elimination. This is why abortion rates among the poor and minorities are so high.

Second, the professional left is enamored with concept of the state as God. Certainly this is tenet of marxism/communism. Many socialist regimes disdain religion. If the state is God, then those who control the state are God. As a god, they dispense rights, have omnipotent control over every aspect of life, and can cull the herd in order to lead. Abortion is not just a tool, but it is a primary tool, of killing the unwanted who they feel will belong to potentially burdensome populations. Without an outside God, the state can eliminate by fiat and convince the population they are doing it for the good of society.

Third, the professional left is enamored with the concept of the state as the parent. The more decisions that can be ripped away from a parent who, like God, might not support the agenda or support the narrative, the more control over every aspect of life can be garnered. If even the most basic right, that to life, can be erradicated, then all other rights can be controlled and eliminated. If the state can replace God, the churches, and parents with the state, there is nothing to stop the full implementation of the eugenic agenda.

Abortion is the most nefarious symptom of the disease, but the disease is larger and it must be the entirety we fight.

(Source)

*****

At the annual Vigil for Life rally in the U.S.A., at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Cardinal Dolan tells the marchers: “Pray against ‘powers of darkness’!”

(We join in prayer with our American friends walking in the March for Life today.)

And Ed Condon on the Catholic Herald  asks: “What’s really behind the push for ‘buffer zones’?”  (“The abortion lobby is running scared. No wonder it’s targeting pro-lifers.”)

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The Pope marries a couple on the papal airplane. Hmmm.

From Father Z’s Blog:

I fairly dread papal trips these days. You never know what is going on happen on the papal airplane. Will there be another presser in which the Holy Father will says something like, “Who am I to judge?” That was a gift – now perpetually taken out of context and abused – that keeps on giving.

I read at Crux that the Holy Father married (witnessed the marriage) of a steward and stewardess on the papal airplane – during the flight.

Paula Podest, 39, and Carlos Ciufardi, 41, have been together for over ten years. They met in the air, where she was his boss as a flight attendant for LATAM, Chile’s flagship airline.
They have been civilly married since 2010. Days before they were scheduled to have their church wedding, an earthquake destroyed the church where they were supposed to marry.  [According to the Daily Mail, that was 8 years ago.  8 years… and they haven’t married in church?  I suppose they had marriage prep.  Also, in the case of an earthquake, the church building isn’t a sine qua non for getting married.  It is sad that they couldn’t get marriage in that church, but… marriage is the really important part of the equation, not the building or photos.]
On Thursday, as they were posing with Francis and the rest of the crew for the official picture, Francis asked them if they were married in the Church. They told him no, and the pontiff immediately took charge, asking them if they wanted him to marry them, and they agreed.

The newlyweds shared the conversation they had with the pontiff with the journalists, with Podest acknowledging that she was “still in shock,” so he did most of the talking, even though, from what they told journalists, “she’s still the boss in the house,” as she was at the airline when they met.
“It was historic,” the pope told them. “Never has a pope married a couple on a plane.”
“He asked us if we were married, I said no because of the earthquake, and he said, ‘well, I’ll marry you’,” according to Ciufardi.
The spouses asked the pontiff if he was certain about marrying them on the plane, asking him “are you sure?”

When the pope asked for a witness, they tapped the CEO of the airline, and to make sure there was no doubt over the validity of the sacrament, the pope “asked the cardinals who were with him” to draft the license, which they did. The document is handmade, signed by one of the cardinals, also a witness.
“He held our hands, blessed the rings, and he married us in the name of God,” Ciufardi said.
“What he said to us is very important: ‘This is the sacrament the world needs, the sacrament of marriage. Hopefully, this will motivate couples around the world to get married’,” Ciufardi said.
Speaking about the rings, Francis said that they shouldn’t be either too tight, because “they would be a torture,” or too loose, or else they might risk misplacing them.

These days there are controversies over the meaning of marriage.  These days, fewer and fewer couples are marrying.

For example, if a couple who are in an adulterous relationship because at least on party divorced his true spouse and then civilly marries another woman – without the church giving a declaration of nullity concerning his first, true marriage, can that remarried, adulterous couple be admitted to Holy Communion, even though they haven’t made any commitment to live chaste lives? Some say, “Yes!”, and, by doing so, they call into question the very meaning of matrimony and also the Eucharist.

At the very least, they make a mockery of matrimony, trivialize it.

I trust that this well-intentioned gesture by Pope Francis isn’t taken merely to be some sort of stunt, which the badly-motivated will utilize to trivialize the sacrament of matrimony even more than is is being trivialized today.

Another thing: may this couple stay together!  It would be… not so great were they to split up after this rather dramatic aerial display.  Headline: Papal midair marriage crashes!

I can’t say that I like the whole airplane thing.   The Pope makes his calls.  Who am I to judge?

Can we put sentimentality aside for a moment?   Gestures like this have consequences.  This wasn’t some odd priest on an airplane, it was the Vicar of Christ.

Again, this is all very huggy and warm and fuzzy.  But let’s think about this.

I wasn’t there, of course, but I think it could have been a good idea to make sure they knew what matrimony is really all about.   That’s what marriage preparation is for.  They’ve been civilly but not sacramentally married for 8 years.   All this time they didn’t seek the sacrament?  What’s that about?   Maybe the Pope got their story.

When a priest marries a couple, he should be reasonably sure that they know what they are getting into.  He can be fairly sure if they had some kind of marriage prep, done by himself or by another priest, etc.  You have to know before you witness the marriage of couple – if they are going to enter into this sacramental bond – whether or not they have the right intentions.   Does the couple – I’m speaking generically now – any couple – intend to remain together for life?   Do they intend for their bond to be exclusive?   Do they intend to accept the gift of children?

Also, the sacrament of matrimony is one of the “sacraments of the living”.  It should be received in the state of grace, after a good examination of conscience and confession.   Not by “surprise”, as it were.

Moreover, you have to ascertain if they are both free to marry, having no previous bond that the Church had to examine.  I imagine that, before tying their knot the Holy Father asked them about these things.  Right?   He was a diocesan bishop.  He knows about these things.

The Pope can dispense immediately anything that can be dispensed.  But if there is a previous bond… nope.  And an airplane isn’t the place to deal with Pauline or Petrine Privilege.   Get that wrong when you are Pope and problems result.

Sure, this on-the-spot – well…it was “on-the-spot” only relatively speaking – marriage took care of one instance of a couple living together. There are a lot more out there.

I wonder if the on-the-spot thing won’t spur odd situations:

“The Pope married someone on an airplane!   Why won’t you, Father, marry us right now here at the zoo?”

What do you want to bet that sort of thing will pop up for priests after this?

I hope that this no doubt well-intentioned gesture by the Holy Father won’t also wind up being one of those gifts that keep on giving, but not in a good way.

Anyway, I wish that couple a holy and happy life.

Please share!
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THE IMMUTABLE TRUTHS ABOUT SACRAMENTAL MARRIAGE.

I HAVE BEEN ASKED WHETHER OR NOT I FULLY SUPPORT THE STATEMENT ISSUED ON DECEMBER 30, 2017 AS A PROFESSION OF BELIEF IN THE IMMUTABLE TRUTHS ABOUT SACRAMENTAL MARRIAGE. LET THERE BE NO DOUBT, I DO SUPPORT AND ENDORSE IT. +RENE HENRY GRACIDA

Profession of the Immutable Truths About Sacramental Marriage

After the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (2016) various bishops issued at local, regional, and national levels applicable norms regarding the sacramental discipline of those faithful, called “divorced and remarried,” who having still a living spouse to whom they are united with a valid sacramental matrimonial bond, have nevertheless begun a stable cohabitation more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse.

The aforementioned rules provide inter alia that in individual cases the persons, called “divorced and remarried,” may receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion, while continuing to live habitually and intentionally more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. These pastoral norms have received approval from various hierarchical authorities. Some of these norms have received approval even from the supreme authority of the Church.

The spread of these ecclesiastically approved pastoral norms has caused a considerable and ever increasing confusion among the faithful and the clergy, a confusion that touches the central manifestations of the life of the Church, such as sacramental marriage with the family, the domestic church, and the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.

According to the doctrine of the Church, only the sacramental matrimonial bond constitutes a domestic church (see Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 11). The admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” faithful to Holy Communion, which is the highest expression of the unity of Christ the Spouse with His Church, means in practice a way of approving or legitimizing divorce, and in this meaning a kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.

The mentioned pastoral norms are revealed in practice and in time as a means of spreading the “plague of divorce” (an expression used by the Second Vatican Council, see Gaudium et spes, 47). It is a matter of spreading the “plague of divorce” even in the life of the Church, when the Church, instead, because of her unconditional fidelity to the doctrine of Christ, should be a bulwark and an unmistakable sign of contradiction against the plague of divorce which is every day more rampant in civil society.

Unequivocally and without admitting any exception Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God’s will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce. An approval or legitimation of the violation of the sacredness of the marriage bond, even indirectly through the mentioned new sacramental discipline, seriously contradicts God’s express will and His commandment. This practice therefore represents a substantial alteration of the two thousand-year-old sacramental discipline of the Church. Furthermore, a substantially altered discipline will eventually lead to an alteration in the corresponding doctrine.

The constant Magisterium of the Church, beginning with the teachings of the Apostles and of all the Supreme Pontiffs, has preserved and faithfully transmitted both in the doctrine (in theory) and in the sacramental discipline (in practice) in an unequivocal way, without any shadow of doubt and always in the same sense and in the same meaning (eodem sensu eademque sententia), the crystalline teaching of Christ concerning the indissolubility of marriage.

Because of its Divinely established nature, the discipline of the sacraments must never contradict the revealed word of God and the faith of the Church in the absolute indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage. “The sacraments not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called “sacraments of faith.” (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 59). “Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1125).

The Catholic faith by its nature excludes a formal contradiction between the faith professed on the one hand and the life and practice of the sacraments on the other. In this sense we can also understand the following affirmation of the Magisterium: “This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.” (Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 43) and “Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).

In view of the vital importance that the doctrine and discipline of marriage and the Eucharist constitute, the Church is obliged to speak with the same voice. The pastoral norms regarding the indissolubility of marriage must not, therefore, be contradicted between one diocese and another, between one country and another. Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has observed this principle as St. Irenaeus of Lyons testifies: “The Church, though spread throughout the world to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the Apostles and their disciples, preserves this preaching and this faith with care and, as if she inhabits a single house, believes in the same identical way, as if she had only one soul and only one heart, and preaches the truth of the faith, teaches it and transmits it in a unanimous voice, as if she had only one mouth”(Adversus haereses, I, 10, 2). Saint Thomas Aquinas transmits to us the same perennial principle of the life of the Church: “There is one and the same faith of the ancients and the moderns, otherwise there would not be one and the same Church” (Questiones Disputatae de Veritate, q. 14, a. 12c).

The following warning from Pope John Paul II remains current and valid: “The confusion, created in the conscience of many faithful by the differences of opinions and teachings in theology, in preaching, in catechesis, in spiritual direction, about serious and delicate questions of Christian morals, ends up by diminishing the true sense of sin almost to the point of eliminating it” (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitenia, 18).

The meaning of the following statements of the Magisterium of the Church is fully applicable to the doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning the indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage:

  • “For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient doctrines faithfully and wisely, which the faith of the Fathers has transmitted. She strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus — that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning” (Pius IX, Dogmatic Bull Ineffabilis Deus)
  • “With regard to the very substance of truth, the Church has before God and men the sacred duty to announce it, to teach it without any attenuation, as Christ revealed it, and there is no condition of time that can reduce the rigor of this obligation. It binds in conscience every priest who is entrusted with the care of teaching, admonishing, and guiding the faithful “(Pius XII, Discourse to parish priests and Lenten preachers, March 23, 1949).
  • “The Church does not historicize, does not relativize to the metamorphoses of profane culture the nature of the Church that is always equal and faithful to itself, as Christ wanted it and authentic tradition perfected it” (Paul VI, Homily from October 28, 1965).
  • “Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ” (Paul VI, Encyclical Humanae Vitae, 29).
  • “Any conjugal difficulties are resolved without ever falsifying and compromising the truth” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).
  • “The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm [of the Divine moral law]. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, 33).
  • “The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good. Basing herself on these two complementary principles, the church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34).
  • “The Church’s firmness in defending the universal and unchanging moral norms is not demeaning at all. Its only purpose is to serve man’s true freedom. Because there can be no freedom apart from or in opposition to the truth”(John Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 96).
  • When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the “poorest of the poor” on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal” (emphasis in original) (John Paul II, Encyclical VeritatisSplendor, 96).
  • “The obligation of reiterating this impossibility of admission to the Eucharist is required for genuine pastoral care and for an authentic concern for the well-being of these faithful and of the whole Church, as it indicates the conditions necessary for the fullness of that conversion to which all are always invited by the Lord“ (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration on the admissibility to the Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried, 24 June 2000, n. 5).As Catholic bishops, who – according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council – must defend the unity of faith and the common discipline of the Church, and take care that the light of the full truth should arise for all men (see Lumen Gentium, 23 ) we are forced in conscience to profess in the face of the current rampant confusion the unchanging truth and the equally immutable sacramental discipline regarding the indissolubility of marriage according to the bimillennial and unaltered teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. In this spirit we reiterate:
  • Sexual relationships between people who are not in the bond to one another of a valid marriage – which occurs in the case of the so-called “divorced and remarried” – are always contrary to God’s will and constitute a grave offense against God.
  • No circumstance or finality, not even a possible imputability or diminished guilt, can make such sexual relations a positive moral reality and pleasing to God. The same applies to the other negative precepts of the Ten Commandments of God. Since “there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 17).
  • The Church does not possess the infallible charism of judging the internal state of grace of a member of the faithful (see Council of Trent, session 24, chapter 1). The non-admission to Holy Communion of the so-called “divorced and remarried” does not therefore mean a judgment on their state of grace before God, but a judgment on the visible, public, and objective character of their situation. Because of the visible nature of the sacraments and of the Church herself, the reception of the sacraments necessarily depends on the corresponding visible and objective situation of the faithful.
  • It is not morally licit to engage in sexual relations with a person who is not one’s legitimate spouse supposedly to avoid another sin. Since the Word of God teaches us, it is not lawful “to do evil so that good may come” (Romans 3, 8).
  • The admission of such persons to Holy Communion may be permitted only when they with the help of God’s grace and a patient and individual pastoral accompaniment make a sincere intention to cease from now on the habit of such sexual relations and to avoid scandal. It is in this way that true discernment and authentic pastoral accompaniment were always expressed in the Church.
  • People who have habitual non-marital sexual relations violate their indissoluble sacramental nuptial bond with their life style in relation to their legitimate spouse. For this reason they are not able to participate “in Spirit and in Truth” (see John 4, 23) at the Eucharistic wedding supper of Christ, also taking into account the words of the rite of Holy Communion: “Blessed are the guests at the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19, 9).
  • The fulfillment of God’s will, revealed in His Ten Commandments and in His explicit and absolute prohibition of divorce, constitutes the true spiritual good of the people here on earth and will lead them to the true joy of love in the salvation of eternal life.

Being bishops in the pastoral office, who promote the Catholic and Apostolic faith (“cultores catholicae et apostolicae fidei”, see Missale Romanum, Canon Romanus), we are aware of this grave responsibility and our duty before the faithful who await from us a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage. For this reason we are not allowed to be silent.

We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:

It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth .

31 December 2017, the Feast of the Holy Family, in the year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.

 

 

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There Are More Than 215 Million Persecuted Christians Worldwide

Report by Courtney  Grogan on CNA/EWTN News

Open Doors USA’s releases annual ranking of the 50 worst countries for violence and persecution against Christians.

WASHINGTON — There are more than 215 million persecuted Christians worldwide, according to the 2018 “World Watch List,” Open Doors USA’s annual ranking of the 50 worst countries for violence and persecution against Christians.

The report found that one in 12 Christians worldwide are victims of violent persecution. Open Doors USA cites the spread of radical Islam and increasing religious nationalism as the two major drivers of global Christian persecution.

North Korea tops the list of worst offenders, as it has for the past 16 years. Although the communist North Korean government claims to provide freedom of religion in its constitution, no one can be openly Christian within the atheist state without facing arrest, re-education in a labor camp, or, in some cases, execution.

Despite the danger, Open Doors USA finds that there has been tremendous growth in underground Christianity in North Korea in the last two decades. The report estimates that there might be up to 300,000 Christians living clandestinely in North Korea.

Afghanistan comes in a close second in this year’s “World Watch List” ranking. Afghan citizens in this 99%-Muslim country are banned from becoming Christian. Open Doors USA reports that underground Christians in Afghanistan have been killed by their own family members, who viewed the Christian conversion as a shameful apostasy.

Islamic oppression continues to be a growing concern for many Christians around the world. For eight of the top 10 countries on the list, Islamic extremism is the primary cause of Christian persecution.

Islamic militancy has been on the rise in Somalia, where Christians, if discovered, are often martyred. Christians in Egypt, India, Libya, and Kazakhstan also experienced increased persecution since last year’s report.

Pakistani Christians experienced the most documented violence, according to the report. Islamic militants in Pakistan specifically target Christians. A suicide bomb on Easter Sunday 2016 killed 74 people and injured hundreds more.

In addition to the spread of radical Islam, the report identified a rise in religious nationalism and intense persecution in central Asia as major trends in the persecution of Christians. Hindu nationalism has increased in India and Nepal, as has Buddhist nationalism in Burma and Sri Lanka. And persecution of Christians in central Asian nations, including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, is intensifying under nationalist, pro-Islamic governments.

Also included on the list were Mexico and Colombia, where organized crime and corruption were cited as the source of Christian persecution.

Open Doors USA documented that 3,066 Christians were killed; 1,252 were abducted; 1,020 were raped or sexually harassed; and 793 churches were attacked within the reporting period for the 2018 list.

The World Watch List includes specific prayers requests for each of the top 50 countries, recalling Open Doors USA’s founder Brother Andrew’s faith in the power of prayer to aid those who are suffering afar: “Our prayers can go where we cannot. … There are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”

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Is the Face of the Migrant the Face of Jesus?

 

In the face of increasing Muslim violence in Europe, Pope Francis has remained firm in his defense of mass migration.

In his Urbi et Orbi Christmas message, he compared migrants to the Holy Family forced to journey to Bethlehem and unable to find a room in the inn. And in his January 1st message for the World Day of Peace, Francis denounced those who decry “the risks posed to national security” by mass migration. Such people, said the pope are guilty of “demeaning the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God.”

As on previous occasions, Francis observed that those who fail to welcome migrants “are sowing violence, racial discrimination, and xenophobia.” On the other hand, those who welcome migrants are welcoming Christ. In an address to representatives of Caritas in September, Pope Francis told his audience that “Christ himself asks us to welcome our brother and sister migrants and refugees with arms wide open.” On other occasions he has said that in the face of the migrant we see the face of Jesus.

Ever since his election, one of the Pope’s favorite themes is that those who close the borders are, in effect, closing the door on Jesus. If you’re a Christian that argument is hard to resist. Who wants to slam the door on Jesus? Who wants to be told on the Last Day, “I was a stranger and you did not welcome me”?

The Pope’s argument is an emotional one, but it’s a powerful one, and it’s based in scripture to boot. Because of his office and because of his invocation of Jesus and the Holy Family, his appeal on behalf of migrants merits close examination—all the more so because so much is at stake.

The first thing to keep in mind is that most of Christ’s admonitions are aimed at individuals, not governments. If a boat full of migrants capsizes near shore, and you are in a position to help, you have a Christian obligation to lend a hand. Governments also have a responsibility to rescue endangered migrants at sea, but they have a corresponding obligation not to encourage such a dangerous crossing in the first place. Moreover, it should be obvious that governments have no obligation to allow an unlimited flow of migrants to come across their borders. There is no duty to do what is mathematically impossible. A government’s duty to its own citizens may even require the closing of its border under certain circumstances. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” is a message directed primarily to the hearts and minds of individual Christians, not to the Swedish Migration Agency.

Still, what does an individual do when voting time rolls around? Does he vote for the welcoming party or does he vote for the close-the-borders party? And if he votes for the latter does that mean he’s shutting the door on Jesus?

The trouble with drawing an analogy between Jesus and Muslim migrants is that, like all analogies, it limps. It applies to some situations, but not to others. And if it’s applied too broadly, it becomes very confusing. It’s easy enough to see the face of Jesus in the child who comes across the border in the arms of his mother, but how about the young man who enters with visions of jihad dancing in his head? Do you want to say to the man who has just been run over on London Bridge by a refugee jihadi that Jesus was driving the car? And while we’re on the subject of London, do you want to tell the delivery man who has been the victim of an acid attack that he should strive to see the face of Jesus in the face of his assailant? According to the Sun, “vast areas of East, North and South London have been declared ‘no-go zones’ by terrified delivery drivers because of the acid attack epidemic.” Members of the House of Commons were recently told that London now has more acid attacks per head than any other city in the world.

The question is, why aren’t we being encouraged to see the face of Jesus in the acid-scarred face of the delivery man? Unlike many of the migrants, he truly is a victim. We know that the majority of the migrants are young men, and most of them are not fleeing war. In fact, 80 percent of migrants who claim to be fleeing the war in Syria are not really from Syria at all. Moreover, judging by the current crime wave in Europe, a significant number of these migrants are more victimizer than victim.

It’s not a good idea to politicize the birth of Jesus, but that’s what Pope Francis seems to be doing in his Urbi et Orbi Christmas message. “Christmas,” he said, “invites us to focus on the sign of the Child and to recognize him in the faces of little children, especially those for whom, like Jesus, ‘there is no place in the inn.’” He then proceeds to “see Jesus” in the faces of suffering children in various parts of the world, but most of them seem to be Muslim children. For example, “children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israel and Palestinians,” “Syrian children,” “children I met during my recent visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh,” and “children forced to leave their countries to travel alone in inhuman conditions.” Pope Francis then concludes, “May our hearts not be closed as they were in the homes of Bethlehem.”

The last, of course, is directed toward “selfish” and “fearful” Europeans and Americans who oppose the Pope’s open borders policy. The trouble is, Francis’s invocation of the Child Jesus is decidedly one-sided. As he says, we should try to see the face of Jesus in the face of suffering migrant children. But why can’t we also see the face of Jesus in the face of the victims of Muslim migrants—those who have been beaten, raped, stabbed, and run over? How about the many child victims of the jihad truck massacre in Nice, France two years ago? The child victims of the jihad attack on the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England? The 1,400 teenage victims of the Pakistani rape gangs in Rotherham, England? One could also include all those Muslim children who are victims of their own religion. For example, it’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of Muslim children living in Europe have been subjected to female genital mutilation. Why is the Christ Child analogy not extended to these other child victims?

This Christmas, Pope Francis also employed a related analogy—one he has often used in the past. He drew a comparison between today’s refugees and the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt to escape King Herod. Francis never specifies who today’s Herods are, but it’s clear that his message is aimed at those Europeans and Americans who are tempted to close their hearts to the Holy Family which comes to us today, he says, in the guise of Muslim migrants.

As with so many of the Pope’s Biblical references, this one can be used both ways. One can just as easily make the case that those who are opening the borders to Muslim migrants are, in effect, opening the gates to Herod’s army. By importing a culture that justifies rape, honor violence, and terrorism, ecclesiastical and government elites are aiding and abetting the Herods of today. And they should not be surprised if a slaughter of the innocents ensues.

There is another analogy to consider. If Herod had succeeded in finding the Christ Child, Christianity would have been nipped in the bud. Although he failed, the attempt to exterminate Christianity is a perennial one. Today that attempt comes mainly from the Muslim world, and there can be little doubt that many Muslims hope to bring their war against Christianity to Europe. From that perspective, it is not the “welcomers” who are offering shelter to the Christ Child, but rather those courageous Europeans who are resisting today’s equivalent of Herod’s troops.

There is a sense in which one is justified in seeing the face of Jesus in Muslim refugees. But there is another sense in which one can quite rightly see the face of jihad.

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A Church in Crisis – Bishop Athanasius Schneider speaks

The outstanding speech by Bishop Schneider in the video below (only uploaded onto YouTube two days ago) was delivered at the “Catholic Identity Conference” last October 2017. It is an absolute “must watch” for all Catholics concerned about the growing Apostasy in the Church today.

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Curia Stories. The Comeback of the Cardinal Secretary of State

From Sandro Magister at L’Espresso:

The address that the pope delivers at the beginning of each year to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See bore an unmistakable imprint on Monday, January 8: that of the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

It was the address of a great professional of diplomacy, entirely devoid of those third-worldist reprimands which are dear to Jorge Mario Bergoglio. A sign that the “comeback” of Parolin, who has now regained full control of the Vatican curia, has even made inroads with Francis.

At the beginning of the pontificate this was not the case. Francis had set up around himself a grand council of eight cardinals, and the secretary of state was not one of them; on the contrary, the reform of the curia that was bandied about was aimed above all at his office, which from the time of Paul VI had been the focus of the highest concentration of power, excessive in the judgment of many curia officials.

And in fact, the first attempts at reform moved precisely in this direction. In March of 2014, one year after his election as pope, Bergoglio created a brand-new secretariat for the economy to which he assigned the future control of all the assets of all Vatican offices, including the substantial sums, never shown on the public balance sheets of the Holy See, administrated by an all-powerful office of the secretariat of state which was obeyed even by the APSA, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the strongbox of the Vatican’s goods and properties.

Australian cardinal George Pell, whom Francis put at the head of the new organism, didn’t pussyfoot around. He laid out in public the amount of unaccountable money in the possession of the secretariat of state and of other Vatican offices, 1.4 billion dollars, obviously asserting control over it, and presented as imminent the absorption of the APSA into his secretariat.

But none of this happened. Without making any noise, the power centers besieged by Pell resisted, and then struck back. With the pope increasingly listening to and accommodating them instead of the Australian cardinal. And with Parolin, whom Francis in the meantime had added to the eight cardinals of the grand council, pulling the strings of the counterattack.

Today the results are plain for all to see.

Pell retreated to Australia months ago, embroiled in a trial in which he seems more victim than offender, without the pope having appointed any successor for him at the head of the secretariat for the economy.

Also remaining vacant since last June is the key post of auditor general, after the brutal dismissal of its first and last occupant, Libero Milone, accused of investigating where he shouldn’t have.

The cardinal prefect of the APSA, Domenico Calcagno, has in fact replaced both of them, with the full support of Bergoglio, who often has him as a mealtime guest at the refectory of Casa Santa Marta.

And Parolin is more powerful than ever, thanks to Pope Francis’s predilection for churchmen who, like him, belong to the diplomats’ guild.

In fact, two other key cardinals of this pontificate come from diplomacy: Lorenzo Baldisseri, appointed by Bergoglio as secretary general of the synod of bishops, and Beniamino Stella, whom the pope made the head of the congregation for the clergy. They have no specific expertise, but they are perfectly obedient executors of the will of Francis to steer things in the predetermined directions: from communion for the divorced and remarried to the ordination of married priests.

At the secretariat of state, it is the “substitute” Angelo Giovanni Becciu, another career diplomat, who acts as executor of the pope’s wishes and as headsman, as for example with Milone or with the Knights of Malta.

In this latter case, Parolin as well was personally involved in the removal of the Grand Master. But it is rare for him to show himself. The dirty work is left to others. He flies high. So high as to be now the only candidate for succeeding Francis with a serious chance of being elected pope.

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)

———-

This commentary was published in “L’Espresso” no. 2 of 2018 on newsstands January 14, on the opinion page entitled “Settimo Cielo” entrusted to Sandro Magister.

Here is the index of all the previous commentaries:

> “L’Espresso” in seventh heaven

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The Forces of Evil Cloaked as Social Progress – a short homily

From Fr. George William Rutler’s ‘Weekly Column’, January 14, 2018.

The romantic soul of William Wordsworth thrilled over the French Revolution: “Oh! Pleasant exercise of hope and joy! . . . Bliss was it in the dawn to be alive. But to be young was very heaven!” He crossed the Channel to see it in action, but when the Terror began he fled in horror. Then there is the story of Beethoven tearing up the first page of his Sinfonia Eroica, originally dedicated to Napoleon, upon news that his hero had succumbed to the vanity of a crown. The anarchist Emma Goldman hailed the Russian Revolution, but when fact obliterated her fantasy, she acidly described the Bolshevik State “crushing every constructive revolutionary effort, suppressing, debasing, and disintegrating everything.” The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact shattered the illusions of many armchair Communists.

Disillusionment can decay into cynicism, but it can also be a salvific dose of reality. Eugenicists in the last century envisioned a demographic utopia, only to find that illusion cruelly mocked by the Nazi death camps and made macabre by abortion mills today. Arthur and Elizabeth Rathburn of Grosse Point, Michigan are just the latest of people on trial for trafficking in the body parts of unborn babies. In 2013 the FBI discovered in their warehouse over one thousand heads, limbs and organs of infants. Their indictment seems to have been delayed because of what was previously a political reluctance to implicate Planned Parenthood. Increasing numbers of our population are recognizing unpleasant truths.

Recent changes by our Executive Branch mark a shift in policy—reinstating the pro-life Mexico City Policy, moving to defund the United Nations Population Fund, expanding the religious exemption to the Health and Human Services Department’s contraception mandate, and favoring a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—as well as encouraging the annual March for Life this January 19, marking the 45th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade decision. One does not want to be overly optimistic, but illusions are being shattered and, save for stone hearts, the consciences of many may be recognizing the consequences of naïvely underestimating the forces of evil cloaked as social progress.

The Scottish king Robert the Bruce provided a lesson in persistence. Defeated in battle, he was tempted to give up, but for three months he took refuge in a cave where he watched a spider persevere in building a web, after failing numerous times. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” The line has edified schoolchildren, but it also helped the Bruce secure his kingdom after victory at Bannockburn. Various places claim the site of the cave—Dumfriesshire, Arran Island, Craigie, Taitlin Island—but that cave is wherever people learn from their mistakes and do not succumb to cynicism. “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).

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Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Image result for Christ to Peter - who am I

 

 

FIRST READING 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was. The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.” Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you,” Eli said. “Go back to sleep.” So he went back to sleep. Again the Lord called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.” At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet. The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the Lord came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Brothers and sisters: The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body; God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

GOSPEL John 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” – which translated means Teacher -, “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” – which is translated Christ -. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” – which is translated Peter.

My sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,

We are all called to follow the Lord Jesus. Just as all peoples of the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, were called to be faithful to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, so are we and especially now that we have Christ Jesus as the final revelation. The Book of Samuel shows us that we must wait on the Lord and listen for His Word. The First Letter to the Corinthians tells us that the redemption of our body is part of this plan. And the Gospel reminds us that sometimes we set out to seek the Lord and find out that it was the Lord who called us first.

Discipleship! We want to be faithful to this God who has sent His Only Son to save us and who gives us His Own Spirit. We are all a bit like Samuel in the first reading today, from the First Book of Samuel: we are confused about who is calling us. Often we can think that it is our human situation or some friend or a spouse or a religious superior who is calling us—and only then we find out that truly it was the Lord Himself. Every day we can prepare ourselves. We can make the words of Samuel our own: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

Yet how can we say that we are listening if we do not spend time reading the Scriptures and listening to the Word of God? How can we say that we are listening if we never attend Church services? How can we say that we are listening if we do not listen to the presence of God in our sisters and brothers?

The second reading, from the Letter to the Corinthians reminds us that our bodies are sacred gifts of God and not to be misused. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Today we can find so many ways to numb our bodies with pleasure, with addictions with distractions and with countless way of destruction. We must recognize that our bodies are truly joined to the Lord and members of Christ Himself.

The Gospel brings us back to this direct form of discipleship. In this account from the Gospel of John, it is the followers of John the Baptist who are now seeking out Jesus because of the testimony of John the Baptist. It is clear from this account that Andrew was completely converted by this short encounter with Jesus because he goes to his own brother, Simon, and tells him: We have found the Messiah!! We can only imagine the incredible message that was to Simon. Most likely Simon had his doubts because that seemed to be part of his nature, but he went along and he also becomes completely converted.

Jesus has shown them a path of life that convinced them that He, Jesus, was the long awaited Messiah, the Savior, the one who could lead them to the Lord. May Jesus be that Messiah and Savior in our lives.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

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Scandalous Pontifical Honour

 

By Michael Hichborn from Lepanto Institute:

Ploumen 05

On January 12, reports began surfacing on Twitter that Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Netherlands, was honored by Pope Francis with the title of Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great.  The Lepanto Institute was able to confirm from a December 22, 2017 Dutch radio broadcast that Ploumen indeed received the honor.  In a brief video clip promoting the broadcast, Ploumen displays the medal while saying that she received it from the Pope.

Here is the video:

Here is a crude translation of the exchange:

BNR – And this is the umpteenth prize that Lilianne Ploumen observes, won in 2017 and from whom they came.
Ploumen – Yes, it is a high distinction from the Vatican; from the pope.
BNR – From the pope.
Ploumen – Beautiful.
BNR – Yes.
Ploumen – It is Commander in the order of St. Gregory.
BNR – And that despite that you are pro-abortion.
Ploumen – Yes you can check.

To say that Lilianne Ploumen is “pro-abortion” is an extreme understatement and doesn’t even come close to the scandalous reality of her activism.

Ploumen 02In January of last year, after US President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, Ploumen launched a new NGO called She Decides to provide mass amounts of funds to organizations that would no longer receive funds from the US government.  The Mexico City Policy automatically denies US funding for international organizations which perform or promote abortion.

Referring to the Mexico City Policy as a “Global Gag Rule,” Ploumen stated that the intention of She Decides was to continue support for existing programs being run by organizations such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International.  She said, “These are successful and effective programs: direct support, distributing condoms, making sure women are accompanied at the birth, and making sure abortion is safe if they have no other choice.”

By July of 2017, Ploumen’s program had raised over $300 million.

In October of 2017, Ploumen wrote an article for the Financial Times, in which she emphatically stated, “America’s regressive policies on abortion are a calamity for girls’ and women’s rights that the rest of the world must counter.”

Ironically, just a few days ago, Ploumen was awarded the Machiavelli Prize “for her campaign for the safe abortion fund SheDecides.” The article on the award indicates that “The Machiavelli prize is awarded to a person or organization which the jury considers has excelled in public communication. In particular, the jury praised the speed at which SheDecides was set up and went global.”

It is worth noting that from 2004-2007, Ploumen was the Director of Programs and on the Board of Directors for CORDAID, the Dutch Catholic aid relief agency that was caught funding Planned Parenthood and dispensing contraception.

Ploumen 03But Ploumen’s anti-Catholic activity isn’t restricted to abortion.  In September of 2017, Ploumen participated in the United Nations LGBTI Core Group.  As the first speaker at the event, Ploumen noted that LGBTI rights are human rights.  In her opening remarks, she said, “We cannot be complacent. [Today] in more than 70 countries homosexuality is still criminalized…stigma against LGBT people continue all over the world.”

In 2014, Ploumen ended foreign aid to the country of Uganda for passing a bill banning sodomy and same-sex “marriage.”

In February of 2010, Ploumen called on LGBT activists to descend upon and disrupt Mass at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, wearing pink triangles with the words “Jesus excludes no one.” The reason?  She and other pro-LGBT activists were protesting the Church’s moral teaching regarding homosexuality.

The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great was established in September 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI.  The honor of membership in the Order is conferred on individuals for their “personal service to the Holy See and to the Roman Catholic Church, through their unusual labors, their support of the Holy See, and their excellent examples set forth in their communities and their countries.”

It remains to be seen what service Lilianne Ploumen has provided for the Catholic Church or the Holy See, given her staunch support for homosexuality, abortion and contraception.  Given that the one thing that Lilianne Ploumen is known for in the past year is the establishment of a fund that provides hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations that commit abortion and dispense contraception, it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate her recent Pontifical honor from this grievous and scandalous act.

CPS comment: One more reason to join the Rosary Crusade for the Purification of the Church on 2nd February

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Rosary Crusade on the feast of the Purification and Presentation on 2nd February 2018

Rosary To The Interior:
For the Purification of the Church

 

Whilst this was originally written for Catholics in the United States, it has to be commended for all Catholics – wherever in the World you might reside. I shall be praying my Rosary; please join me.

DATE: February 2, 2018, the Feast of the Purification and Presentation
TIME: Chosen by you, or your Group.
PURPOSE: To pray for Please read the Triumph of the Light of Christ over sin and error.  [Read entire proposal below]

 

Image result for our lady of the rosary

On February 2, 2018, which is the day celebrating the double Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also called Candlemas), there will occur throughout the  United States the gathering of faithful in their parish churches  to pray the Rosary for the intention of the Purification of the Church, and the Triumph of the Light of Christ over all sin and error.

The Presentation celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into His Temple. It is, in fact, the premier Feast of Light¸ and the Triumph of Light over the Darkness of Evil. Traditionally called Candlemas, it signifies the “success” and triumph of the Incarnation, has been traditionally celebrated with triumphal candlelight processions, and is the liturgical day designated for the blessing of candles.

The Purification is the Feast of Our Lady considered to be the oldest Marian liturgical Feast in the Church (having its beginnings in the liturgical life of the Church in Jerusalem) which, while exteriorly signifying an act which fulfilled the prescription of the Old Law, interiorly represents a whole new reality. The purification prescribed in the Old Law was in consequence of original sin and the pain and “sorrow” which now accompanied all childbirth. Mary, conceived without sin, was free from this sorrow. The Purification of the New Testament is therefore to be identified with the interior suffering of Mary, and the prayer and penance of her spiritual children, which is necessary for the purification of the  Church in order that Christ’s Light may radiate throughout the Church, and from there into the world:

“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

The Church has now been penetrated by a darkness greater than at any time in its history – not only the darkness of sexual sins and other moral “filth”, but that which consists of every conceivable form of error masking itself as truth, and of darkness masquerading as light. The task of unmasking these “thoughts”, and thus paving the way to the Triumph of the Truth of Christ, has been entrusted to Mary. Most specifically, it has been entrusted to Our Lady of the Rosary. St. Paul writes, “The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.” The Rosary, as revealed in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, is this armor of light possessing the power from God to cast off the works of darkness which now pervade the Church, the world, and especially the minds and hearts of individual Catholics.

We need to be immensely grateful to Poland for beginning this militant crusade with its “Rosary on the Borders”, and for Catholics in Italy and Ireland who have followed suit. The title “Rosary to the Interior” is singularly appropriate to such an effort in the United States, since we are a primary source of the evils that have permeated the modern world: abortion, contraception, the destruction of the family, pornography, homosexuality, materialism and consumerism, all the evils of the media which destroy the intelligence and morality of young and old alike, denial of the Kingship of Christ over all nations, and manifold heresies in regard to the Truths of Christ.

We also need to recognize that Polish Catholics were right in coupling this collective praying of the Rosary to the fate of their nation. St. James the Apostle declares: “the friendship of this world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). In the United States this “friendship of the world” has taken the form of constant compromise with American culture and politics, which has produced all those evil “fruits” mentioned above. The campaign of the Enemy within the Church is now taking the form of declaring an end to this “enmity” between Christ and the world, and of promoting inclusiveness towards every conceivable form of evil. The Rosary must therefore be embraced not only as a form of armor protecting us from personal evil, but as a militant weapon in order to defeat the deceits of those who work in darkness, from within, to overthrow Christ and His Church. It must now, first and foremost, be directed in intention towards the Interior of the Church.

Finally, it would seem especially necessary, given the profound lack of unity which exists among various apostolates and agendas operating within the United States, that this effort not be taken over by any one organization. We pray that it will rise from the hearts of many, be promoted by every form of organization and media, and be subsumed by none. Let it thus proceed as a united effort to purify the Church and convert our nation.

Additional Considerations:

We are at a point in the history of the Church in which none of the normal apostolates which sustain the life of the Church – catechesis, proper intellectual formation, all sorts of organizations in defense of faith and morals, apologetics, etc. seem to possess the power to resist and defeat the enemy, who is always encroaching and making progress against what appear to be even our best defenses (including the rosary). We pray the rosary “against” Islamic jihad, secularism, abortion, and all those forces and institutions which wage war against all that we hold sacred (including Marriage and the Family), and we pray the rosary “for” an end to these things. And yet they continue to advance, seemingly at a geometrically increasing pace. We must ask why.

The answer consists in that truth which has been succinctly expressed in a great many ways by such Popes as Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pope Pius X: namely, that only the Catholic Church possesses the light and the power to build, nourish, and protect Christian civilization. And, tragically, this power and light has now been weakened and dimmed to a point that the Church has largely been reduced to the status of a minor character and victim upon the world stage. The salt has lost its savour, the light is hidden, the bride befouled. And what is most debilitating about this interior pollution, both within our individual selves and the Church as a whole, is that it is self-perpetuating and increasingly blinding. The more compromised with the world we become, the greater becomes the hidden guilt which causes us to be obsessed with the enemy without, rather than doing what is necessary to restore the light within.

The Rosary To The Interior: For the Purification of the Church, while being inspired by the Rosary on the Borders in Poland on Oct 7, and the Rosary on the Coast in Ireland on Nov 26, is indeed constituted as something quite different. It requires that we turn our gaze inward in order to see both the problem and the solution. It certainly may be amended to suit individual circumstance, but the intention should remain the same. It is a Rosary to the Interior. It is a Rosary for Interior Purification. It is a Rosary to rekindle a Light that has been profoundly dimmed. And this is why it almost cries out for Candlemas – the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary – for its occurrence.

As to organization of this event: This effort is designed to begin in the hearts and minds of individual believers, inspire them in a missionary effort towards their local parishes and pastors, and culminate in rosaries and prayers in these churches for the purification of the Church. By its very nature it requires not organization along secular lines (states, nations, geographical boundaries, etc.), but is designed to move along, and upwards through, the sinews of the divinely constituted structure of the Church. Letters have already been sent to over 200 bishops detailing the nature and purpose of this event. These letters were not intended for making this event into something which would begin from the top of the hierarchy. Informing the bishops was simply the Catholic thing to do, and hopefully will help create an attitude of receptivity among them. We might tend to think that it is only the simple faithful who possess the poverty of spirit necessary to utter this cry for help (and this truly is what this event must be), but it is also true that any bishop or priest who loves Christ and Church (and we certainly are not allowed to make preemptory judgments about who may or may not possess such a love) must also now be in a state of increasing helplessness, where he too might be open to God’s grace, and to seeing that the solution to our present crisis lies in the supernatural means which God has provided. In the charity we are to possess as Catholics, and as members of the same Mystical Body, we must not in any way dismiss or ignore them.

Note: Any of the above may be freely used and copied. As long as the intention remains the same – “Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church” – it may also be amended to suit individual circumstances. We suggest that parish priests and bishops be asked for permission to use their Church, and even to promote this endeavor from the pulpit and the church bulletin. Finally, we would ask all those interested in participating in this Rosary to the Interior to consider what contacts they might make in order to promote this effort towards the purification of their Church. Its power and effectiveness, with the aid of God’s grace, is designed to begin in the heart of each individual believer and multiply to unity with all the faithful in a cry for God’s mercy and assistance.

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Changing Practice by altering Perception while leaving Doctrine untouched

Steve Skojec in one of his recent blog posts observed:
 
‘This pope who ever says one thing while manipulating events toward a different end. A cabal of advisors and surrogates empowered to spread the messages of the revolution through the Church, changing practice by altering perception while leaving doctrine untouched — the latter tactic making it possible for the useful idiots to keep saying that the pope has done nothing unorthodox.’
 

This post from The Motley Monk’s Omnibus blog confirms that the sinister course of erosion of Catholic teaching under the present leadership looks set to continue:

The President of the German Bishops’ Conference and adviser to Pope Francis, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, has proposed jettisoning the “blind rigorism” of the Church when it comes to sexual morality.

Why? Marx believes it’s “difficult to say from the outside whether someone is in the state of mortal sin.”

That’s true. After all, Jesus did teach his disciples:

You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. (Luke 16:15a)

Consider this case:

  • A Catholic spouse has been physically and emotionally abused by her husband. Nothing she has suggested or done has helped. Traumatized after five years of suffering abuse, the wife civilly divorces her husband. Several years later, she falls in love and marries–without the benefit of an annulment  –a kind and loving gentleman who has helped her heal from the trauma. Now in the 10th year of a civil marriage to her second husband, she goes to Confession and tells her story to the priest. He reminds the penitent that she is living in an state of objectively serious sin and that, short of receiving an annulment of her first marriage, if she wishes to receive Holy Communion, she must live with her husband as brother and sister.

Picture

Cardinal Raymond Burke (left) vs. Cardinal Reinhard Marx

 

This case pinpoints the problem the Church has been confronting for centuries:

  • Mercy.” One side–today including Cardinal Marx–asserts that the pastoral situation calls for mercy. The “existential facts” of the woman’s life history indicate the second bond isn’t seriously sinful but, in fact, God has blessed it because the chaos of with the first bond has been replaced by the order of the second bond. Only hardhearted, blind rigorists would disagree.
  • Justice.” The other side–today including Cardinal Raymond Burke–asserts it must be established that, before the fact, there was no bond in the first marriage (thus, deserving of an annulment) and then to convalidate (sacramentalize) the second civil bond. Short of that, the woman and her second husband in the second civil marriage are living in a state of objectively serious sin. If the woman wants to receive Holy Communion, she and her husband must live as brother and sister. These are the only two options for resolving this dilemma because this is what Scripture and Tradition teach.

Public opinion characterizes the former approach as “caring and pastoral” and the latter as “unfeeling and uncharitable.”

But, it must be asked, “What about the more difficult, virtuous way–the narrow way–about which Jesus taught his disciples? He said:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Important as all of that really is (and it is!), what’s extremely important about this particular interview is that Cardinal Marx included not only men and women in what are called “irregular situations” (like the case above) but also those in very irregular situations, namely, homosexual relationships. Applying the same principles to the latter as he did the former, Marx opines that there must be “respect for a decision made in freedom” as well as for the voice of “conscience.” Marx adds that this requires considering an individual’s “concrete circumstances” as well as “one’s own responsibility in light of the Gospels” which includes “listening the voice of the Church.”

That’s what it means for the Church to jettison “blind rigorism”?

How about jettisoning Scripture? After all, after Jesus said  “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.” But, Jesus also happened to add:

What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15b)

And that’s not the end of this story…just it’s opening trope.

Picture

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode (“Let’s keep things ambiguous”)

 

Perhaps taking his cue from Cardinal Marx, the Vice President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, is once again calling for discussion concerning “blessing” homosexual relationships. Believing that “silence” in this matter isn’t helpful and there’s “much [that is] positive” in them, Bishop Bode is proposing that the German hierarchy now reflect “upon a blessing [of homosexual couples], which is, however, not to be mistaken as a wedding.”

Of course not.

But, why? In Bishop Bode’s carefully considered estimation, political reality dictates a “marriage for all” that’s different from the Church’s understanding of marriage. He asks: “How do we do justice to them?” Adding: “How do we accompany them pastorally and liturgically?”

Not only that. Bishop Bode proposes reconsidering whether active homosexual relationships are gravely sinful. He said:

We have to reflect upon the question as to how to assess in a differentiated manner a relationship between two homosexual persons. Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?

Let’s be clear: This is secular progressivism. It’s aimed at co-opting and undermining Scripture, Church teaching, and worship with the objective of legitimizing a political agenda within the Roman Catholic Church. That’s not bigotry but fact: The secular progressives within the Church want to remake Her in their ideological image and likeness. Anything short of that is due to bigotry, they assert.

The simple and straightforward truth is: That’s not Roman Catholicism.

Let the discussion begin…

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Teaching the Real Presence Without Words

In this exceptionally insightful article, Liturgy Guy (Brian Williams) identifies the main cause for people leaving the Church: a lack of knowledge and/or understanding of the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. The awesome mystery of Transubstantiation – Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity present under the appearance of bread and wine – is no longer taught properly either at home, at school, or even in Catechism classes, often due to a lack of supporting externals. When this fundamental teaching of our Catholic Faith was safeguarded by a reverent Liturgy in the Holy Mass, with signs and gestures that upheld it, greater understanding then naturally followed on. Bishop Athanasius Schneider made an observation about joining kneeling and receiving Communion: “I’m kneeling now because here is Someone who is greater than I, even this little Host, and so I open my mouth like a little child to receive the Kingdom of God like a child — even more than the Kingdom of God, the Lord of the Kingdom of God.”

*****

by LITURGY GUY

Most of the faithful are in agreement that we must do a better job teaching young Catholics about their faith. Recent studies have shown that many Catholics have already left the Church by the time they reach adulthood. What has also been discovered is that many never really understood the faith to begin with.

Nowhere may this be more evident than with the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist. Quoting the Council of Trent, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation. (CCC 1376)

Few Catholics today would argue against the need to better catechize the young about the Real Presence. What too many fail to understand, however, is that good catechesis doesn’t always require words.

Just as the Mass itself is an action (the offering of the Holy Sacrifice on the altar) teaching the faithful about Our Eucharistic Lord is less about words, and more about actions. The picture at the top of this post demonstrates my point. What individual elements are we seeing that attest to the Real Presence?

  •  The young woman is kneeling to receive Holy Communion.
  •  She is veiling in the presence of the Eucharist.
  • Communion is being distributed on the tongue and from the consecrated hands of a priest.
  • The priest has his index finger and thumb pressed together on his other hand since they touched the host following consecration.
  • The altar server is holding a paten under the chin of the communicant “so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 93).

Everything captured in this photograph teaches us about the Real Presence; and without words. There are those in the Church today who view all of the afore mentioned elements as superfluous. Many have spent decades jettisoning them from the Catholic Liturgy. Thankfully they are all either common to, or required at, the Traditional Latin Mass.

Educators tell us that people learn through different means. While one person may be an auditory learner, another may be a visual learner, and yet a third might be a kinesthetic learner (by movement). Catholics benefit from all three.

And yet, through the removal of such traditional disciplines as those illustrated in the picture above, the liturgical minimalists have failed to fully catechize the faithful. They have also treated Our Eucharistic Lord as mere bread through their innovations and deprivations.

Indeed, the best catechesis seldom requires words.

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In this interview with Fr Mitch Pacwa on EWTN (made nine years ago) Bishop Athanasius Schneider gives a beautiful testimony to the way we should receive Holy Communion:

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Devotion of the Popes to St Philomena

Somewhat late in the day but today, still the 10th January, is, according to tradition, the day we celebrate the birthday of early Christian virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena. 

From Sensus Fidelium

At the beginning of the 19th century, St. Philomena was utterly unknown in the Church and to the world. No mention of her name or Martyrdom had been handed down in tradition, nor do we find any trace in the historical records of the Martyrs. yet, before the century closed, her name resounded throughout Christendom. Cardinals, Patriarchs, Bishops, and many others of rank flocked among the crowds that came to Mugnano to pray for her intercession.

A most significant feature of Saint Philomena’s renown is the remarkable devotion that the Popes have shown to the little Wonder Worker. Since the finding of her relics, Pope after Pope has shown her public honor and fostered a personal devotion to her. It is indeed remarkable that the highest eulogies of the saint have come from the Sovereign Pontiffs. Pope Leo XII (1823-1829), who preceded Pope Gregory XVI in the Pontifical Chair, expressed the greatest admiration for this unknown child-saint, and gladly gave his permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor.

Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846), who authorized her public veneration, showed his esteem and devotion to the saint by giving her the title of Patroness of the Living Rosary, and donating a magnificent gold and silver lamp to her sanctuary.

Of all the Popes, however, Pope Pius IX cultivated the most special devotion to the Virgin Martyr. As Archbishop of Spoleto, he was one of her devout clients and did much to spread her veneration. Later in life, when Archbishop of Imola, he fell very ill and his cure was attributed to Saint Philomena’s intercession. When raised to the throne of St. Peter, this Pope availed himself of his power to bestow still greater luster on the saint at Mugnano, where he offered Holy Mass on the altar of the saint, and afterwards publicly venerated her relics. In 1849, he named her Patroness of the Children of Mary.

Leo XIII imitated his predecessor in the honor shown Saint Philomena during his pontificate. Before his election to the papacy he made two pilgrimages to her shrine. After he became the Vicar of Christ, he gave a valuable cross to the sanctuary. He approved the Confraternity of Saint Philomena, and enriched it with indulgences. Furthermore, he raised it to an Archconfraternity.

No less devoted to the little saint was our beloved St. Pius X. Costly gifts, among them the magnificent gold ring already mentioned, were given by him to her shrine. He often spoke warmly of her and manifested his devotion to her in various ways. Pope Saint Pius X raised the Archconfraternity of Saint Philomena to a Universal Archconfraternity and named St. John Vianney its Patron. This Pope and great Saint of Holy Mother the Church solemnly declared:

“. . . to discredit the present decisions and declarations concerning Saint Philomena as not being permanent, stable, valid and effective, necessary of obedience, and in full effect for all eternity, proceeds from an element that is null and void and without merit or authority.” [1912]

Saint Philomena Prayer

Hail, O innocent Philomena, who, for love of Jesus, preserved the lily of thy virginity in all its brightness. Hail, O illustrious Philomena, who shed thy blood so courageously for Jesus Christ.

I bless the Lord for all the graces He granted thee during thy lifetime, and most especially at the hour of thy death. I praise Him and glorify Him for the honor and power with which He has crowned thee, and I beseech thee to obtain for me from God the graces I request through thy intercession.

Saint Philomena, beloved daughter of Jesus and Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Amen.

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Cardinal Caffarra “Suffered Terribly” Because of Pope Francis

 

Gloria TV reports:

An unnamed ex-journalist who is a Catholic, writes on Marco Tosatti’s blog (January 6) that the late Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the four Dubia cardinals, “suffered terribly” because Pope Francis had not deemed him worthy of an answer.

The ex-journalist adds, “The light-headed Bergoglio, who makes phone-calls to the right and to the left, who gives interviews like an actor, who appears at the birthdays of prelates close to him, who does not hesitate to take pen and paper in order to punish Cardinal Robert Sarah, never found half-an-hour to speak with a man who was held in the highest regard by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.”

When Francis visited Carpi in April 2017, Francis embraced Caffarra in front of the photographers. The ex-journalist writes, “With pain Caffarra told me that the Pope escaped him all day: he had cunningly limited himself to this photo.”

The ex-journalist comments, “How difficult it is to love your neighbour when he is close, and how easy it is to love the migrants, the foreigners from afar, when chatting from a balcony or pontificating on a plane!”

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