For Jesuits Satan no longer exists

CP&S comment – In light of the continuing refusal of Pope Francis to either answer the straightforward questions of the ‘Dubia‘ made public last year, or to even grant an audience to the four Cardinals, co-authors of the Dubia, to discuss the evident reigning confusion over the Church’s teaching on the permanence of marriage after the publication of Amoris laetitia, diverging from the clear Words of Christ Himself and taught throughout the long history of the Catholic Church…. one could frankly ask oneself these searching questions:

Does Pope Francis not “fear God”? Does he not fear God’s holy justice for those who lead the souls of men into peril (Mark 9:42)? Does he think Our Lord (and subsequently the Catholic Church) got it wrong for twenty centuries before he became Pope? Are Cardinals (who are in ecclesiastic terms, the pope’s advisors) deemed unworthy of being taken seriously and therefore can be humiliated and ignored?  Pope Francis claims to believe in the Devil: but is he unaware of the Devil’s ‘wiles’ and ‘snares’ that he appears to have fallen victim to?

The following insightful article from the SSPX, though respectful towards Pope Francis, elucidates the root problem among many in the Church today (not excepting plenty of Jesuits!) A weakening in the belief of the existence of the Devil invariably leads eventually to a weakening of belief in God. One or two steps later, and we find we have fallen victim to the topical ‘Cult of Man’ – a belief that Man alone is in charge of his own destiny, for Man has become his own ‘g’od. Once again he is repeating the Devil’s original denial: “I will not serve”!

*****

For Jesuits Satan no longer exists. He is one “of the symbolic figures” we have created to express the consequences of the evil choices men make

SSPX

It is astonishing, disturbing, and saddening to read certain remarks that seem to question the Faith of the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

It is sometimes said that the devil does not really exist, as if belief in the devil was optional or even debatable in the Church. Satan would be just a way of speaking of the mystery of evil in our lives, a symbol belonging to an outdated culture of bygone days. But is he really?

The trend is towards disbelief, even in the Catholic Church. For example, on May 31, 2017, Fr. Arturo Sosa, the Jesuit Superior General – traditionally known as the “Black Pope” because of the importance of his position – ventured to broach the theme of evil in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

To the question of the journalist, who asks whether the question of evil finds its explanation in a process of purely human psychology or comes from a higher being, Fr. Sosa gave an answer so astounding that it is worth quoting in full:

From my point of view, evil is part of the mystery of freedom. If the human being is free, he can choose between good and evil. Christians believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and God is free, but He always chooses to do good because He is all goodness. We have created symbolic figures, such as the devil, to express [the reality of] evil. Social conditioning can also represent this figure, since there are people who act [in an evil way] because they are in an environment where it is difficult to act to the contrary.

In other words, evil is reduced to a purely psychological dimension and to an a priori category that is really just the fruit of the history of mentalities.

Fr. Sosa was answered from the opposite perspective by a son of St. Francis on the other side of the Atlantic. Archbishop Charles Chaput, a Capuchin, is in charge of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In his column on June 5, a few days after the resounding publication of the El Mundo interview, the prelate wrote on the question of evil, offering an analysis of the ideas of Leszek Kołakowski (1927-2009), a Polish Catholic philosopher known for his criticism of Marxism: “The devil and evil are constants at work in human history and in the struggles of every human soul,” he once declared.

The archbishop continued on a sharper tone: “And note that Kolakowski – unlike some of our own Catholic leaders who should know better – was not using the word ‘devil’ as a symbol of the darkness in our own hearts, or a metaphor for the bad things that happen in the world.” It’s hard not to see this as a dig at the General of the Jesuits.

Archbishop Chaput’s final remark is also very interesting: “The devil, more than anyone, appreciates this irony, i.e., that we can’t fully understand the mission of Jesus without him. And he exploits this to his full advantage. He knows that consigning him to myth inevitably sets in motion our same treatment of God.” He could hardly have made it more clear: denying the existence of the devil sooner or later leads to a profession of atheism.

Fr. Sosa is known for being close to the current pope. However, Francis does not share the Jesuit’s opinion on the mystery of evil – far from it. In a compilation of then-Cardinal Bergoglio’s letters, homilies, and talks called, “Only Love Can Save Us”, the existence of the devil is clearly asserted: “Careful: we are not fighting against human powers, but against the powers of darkness. Just like he did with Jesus, Satan will seek to seduce us, to lead us astray, to offer us ‘viable alternatives’.”

More recently, on October 30, 2014, in a homily during his morning Mass at Santa Marta, the Holy Father was very explicit: to think they have “made people think that the devil was a myth, a character, an idea, the concept of evil. The devil exists and we have to fight against him.”

On this point, the pope is faithful to the teaching of the Church.

The holy Gospels are full of references to the fact that the Devil really exists as a person. Jesus confronts the prince of Darkness several times when He practices exorcisms on possessed people. He meets him personally in the desert before vigorously driving him away: “Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve” (Mt. 4:10). He speaks of him in His teachings, describing Satan’s action in the world, or announcing that the “gates of hell” will never prevail against the Church He is going to found (Mt. 16:18).

Likewise, St. Paul, in his epistles, makes a clear distinction between the sins of men and the one who inspires them, Satan and the other evil spirits who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. He exhorts us to put on “the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). The great Apostle himself is tried, lest the greatness of the revelations made to him exalt him: “There was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me” (II Cor. 12:7).

As for St. John, he gives us the words of Christ that are anything but ambiguous: “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (Jn. 12: 31). In the Apocalypse, he presents the victory of the immolated Lamb after a terrible battle against Satan, his angels and his followers: “And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Apoc. 12:9).

In keeping with Sacred Scripture, all of Tradition unanimously asserts the existence of Satan and the evil spirits.

The Fathers of the Church unmask them in their battles against the errors of the gnostics and the heresies spread by the prince of lies. Among them are Tertullian, St. Irenaeus, Origen, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. John Chrysostom, St. Eusebius of Vercelli, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Leo the Great, and others.

The devil is a creature of God; he was initially excellent and even brilliant, but he did not remain in the truth where it had been established: The devil “was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof” (Jn. 8:44). Satan rose up against the Lord, and the evil was not in his nature, but in a free and contingent act of his own will, an act of pure malice and revolt, by which he sought to take the place of God.

When the Manichean dualism resurfaced with the Cathars and the Albigensians, the Fourth Ecumenical Council of the Lateran, in 1215, solemnly taught that “the devil and other demons were created by God naturally good, but they became evil by their own doing. Man, however, sinned at the prompting of the devil.”

The existence of Satan therefore has indeed been constantly maintained by the Faith of the Church. It is a truth that is not up for debate, for it is an integral part of her most solemn teaching. It has been asserted by multiple councils under the form of professions of faith.

By Christ and holy baptism, the Christian is set free from the devil’s dominion (Council of Florence, 1442). Through justification by grace, he escapes the “power of the devil and of death” (Council of Trent, 1547), but if he sins again, he is again delivered “into the power of the devil”, unless he resorts to the sacrament of penance (Council of Trent, 1551). Such is the Faith of the Church, and the reason the baptismal promises are renewed every year in the Easter liturgy. To into eternal life, one must renounce Satan, profess the Faith in the Most Blessed Trinity and adhere to Christ the Saviour.

May these reminders of the Faith of the Church enlighten the General of the Jesuits and help him to submit to them. The devil and the dogmas, that is to say, the truths revealed by God, are not just symbols. Otherwise we fall into the “sewer of all heresies”, that St. Pius X condemned under the name of Modernism.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

VIDEO Edward Pentin and Fr Murray on the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals

The video below from EWTN’s ‘World Over’ has been highlighted by number of Catholic bloggers, including Fr Z who thinks that Ed Pentin is ‘arguably the best English-language Vaticanista in Rome right now’:

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Reflection for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Image result for fear of the lord
The Lord speaks to us today of one of the most central struggles in our life: fear. Yes, fear is one of our deepest drives and though it has a positive purpose, too often we miss the mark in directing its energy. The positive role of fear is to alert us that something is wrong and to divert us from danger. With our fallen nature, though, we often fear the wrong things while lacking a sober fear of the right things. We major in the minors of life; we get all worked up about passing things but do not have a sober and reverent fear of eternal things. We fear sinful and weak human beings, but not God, who is just, who sees all, and who will assign us our eternal destiny.

The Lord thus teaches us today in order to help us to “get fear right.” He sets forth the proper object of our fear, points to the outcome of succeeding or failing in this matter, and reminds us of our proper role in this world as we master our fear.

I.  The Object of Fear Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one … And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna … Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Wrong Fear In speaking to the object of fear, Jesus is asking us to consider what and whom we fear most. We are going to fear someone and something. We are just too tiny and weak to be wholly free of fear. Yes, fear has its place and purpose; the problem is that we often fear the wrong things. We are a bit like Chicken Little, who was afraid of an utterly false threat (that the sky was falling) and in her panic ran right into the wolf, who devoured her.

Jesus is clear: Fear no man. The worst thing a human being can do to you is to kill you physically. Even if that happens, though, if you are faithful, dying is the path to Heaven; it’s a maximum promotion! Maybe people can steal your things or make your brief life here a little less pleasant, but life does not consist in our possessions. As an old gospel hymn says, “Trouble don’t last always.”

In a moment, Jesus will tell us whom we should fear. For now, consider again Jesus’ teaching: Fear no man. Yet the fact is that we do fear human beings. It’s incredible to find out how afraid we are. We’re afraid of everybody and everything! We’re more afraid of men than we are of God. We’re afraid of physical dangers, certainly, but even more so we’re afraid of being rejected by other people; of not being liked by others. We’ll do just about anything to ingratiate ourselves to others and to assuage our fear of being rejected or laughed at. We’ll gossip and lie; we’ll spend a lot of money on clothes, cosmetics, fancy cars, big houses, or the latest iPhone. Desperate to fit in, young people may join gangs, drop out of school, use drugs, fornicate, and/or engage in self-destructive behaviors, all in a desperate quest to be thought “hip” and loved.

Yes, too many of all ages have a mighty fear of rejection and humiliation by other human beings. And because we’re afraid of not being liked, we’ll do almost anything.

Not only does this fear drive us to do many things we shouldn’t, it also keeps us from doing many things we ought to do such as preaching the Gospel and insisting on what is right. Think of the martyrs of old who died professing the faith, and here we are afraid that someone will raise an eyebrow!

Fear is one of the chief habit patterns of sin, and it brings about countless other sins. It has to go.

Thus Jesus says, “Fear no one.” That is, fear no man. Whom do you fear more, men or God? Honestly?

Right Fear God is the proper object of our fear.

Jesus teaches very provocatively, … rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna …

Some think that this text refers to Satan, but it does not. Luke’s version makes this even clearer: But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him (Luke 12:5).

This cannot be Satan because Satan is not our judge. Although he can tempt us, he has no authority to determine our final destiny. Scripture says that Satan, our accuser, has been cast out (see Rev 12:10). Further, it declares, The Father judges no one, but has consigned all judgment to the Son that the world may revere him (Jn 5:22).

Many are uncomfortable thinking of the Lord in this way. They prefer to think of Him as an affable fellow, a harmless hippie who’s not all that concerned with things like holiness and conversion, and who in the end will just wave everyone through.

This is simply not what Scripture teaches. God is holy, and His holiness exudes a power and glory that we must be purified in order to endure, let alone enjoy. Frankly, Heaven would be a miserable place for anyone who has not been brought up to the temperature of Heaven or been accustomed to the bright light of God’s truth. Heaven is not our personal “designer paradise.” It is the Kingdom of God in all its fullness and with all its values: forgiveness, generosity, love of one’s enemies, chastity, and so forth. There are many who don’t want anything to do with some or any of these values. They are much like the older son in the parable of the prodigal son, the one who stands outside angry and unwilling to the enter the feast given by his father. He finds forgiveness untenable; he loathes the feast because his wayward brother is honored there. Judgment Day is something to have a holy fear about, for it is the day when God will ask this question: “Do you want the Heaven I offer on its terms or not?” On the Day of Judgment, God will assess what our decision has amounted. He will either welcome us into the feast or close the door and consign us to the “other arrangements” we ourselves have made and perversely preferred. Jesus says, As for anyone who hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him… The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day (John 12:47-48).

Balanced Fear This proper fear is not a cringing one, rooted only in the dread of punishment (though if that’s all you’ve got, go with it). Rather, it is a reverential fear that remembers God’s love for us and His desire to save us. Jesus says, Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Although this proper fear remembers God’s love and does not give way to the imbalance of purely servile fear, neither does it swing to the other imbalance, which disregards the loving respect we should have for God and His holiness. God is who He is and Heaven is what it is. We simply cannot endure such realities without being purified and prepared for them first. God must have our repentance in order to do the work necessary to enable us for Heaven’s brightness and His fiery glory.

A reverential and balanced fear acknowledges God’s love and mercy, but also His awesome glory. Such a fear takes seriously our need to prepare for judgment and to avail ourselves of God’s graces in the sacraments, the Liturgy, His Word, and prayer.

II.  The Outcome of Fear Jesus adds, There is nothing that is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known … Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

Our fear is going to have an outcome for either good or ill. If we have the wrong fear (fearing man more than God), it will lead us to silence and even outright denial of God and His truth before others. Fearing the opinion of the world and human beings more than God makes us silent and too easily conformed to a world opposed to Him. This amounts to a tacit denial (by silence) or to an outright denial wherein we publicly scorn God and/or His revealed truth in order to ingratiate ourselves to this world. The consequence of this denial is Jesus’ affirmation of our denial of God the Day of Judgment. The martyrs and confessors of the faith shine brightly before God, but we cannot endure their brightness because we have hidden out in the dark places and preferred the darkness of error to the light of truth.

If we have the right fear, we want to please God rather than man. We delight in representing Him and His teachings before others, even joyfully enduring the world’s scorn. If we fear God, we fear no one else. If we can kneel before God, we can stand before any man. If we fearlessly, charitably, and joyfully acknowledge God before others, we will be acknowledged before God the Father as someone who truly sought Him and witnessed to Him. A proper and balanced fear brings an outcome of glory and happiness. An improper fear (of man rather than God) brings denial, because we fear and prefer the opinions of men and this world rather than God. On Judgment Day the Lord will acknowledge our preference to His Father.

For a good outcome, make sure you have the right and balanced fear!

III. The Office of Holy Fear What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

The Lord is summoning us to speak fearlessly to the world on account of a holy fear of Him.

1. But in the face of strong opposition, we were bold in our God to speak the gospel of God to you. … We speak … not in order to please men but God, who examines our hearts. As you know, we never used words of flattery or any pretext for greed. God is our witness! Nor did we seek praise from you or from anyone else (1 Thess 2:2-6).

2. Do you think I am seeking the approval of men, or of God?… I would not be a servant of Christ (Gal 1:10).

3. From henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear in my body the brand marks of the Lord Jesus (Gal 6:17).

4. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than God. For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).

What about you? Do you speak the word of God to an often-scoffing world? Or do you fear the world more than God, and therefore stay silent, hiding out? If we reverently fear God more than the world, then we will speak out even in the face of opposition. We love the Lord more than we love the world. Therefore, we speak!

Summation – Make sure you fear the right thing, in this case the right One. Here is what Jesus teaches: Do not fear man. Rather, have a holy reverent fear of God. Get fear right. Stop getting so anxious about what mere mortals think of you. Your destiny will hinge on getting fear right. Fear the Lord; acknowledge Him before men and proclaim His world, and you be acknowledged greatly by him in Heaven. If you fear men and the world, just watch how quickly cave in, compromise, and deny the Lord, preferring worldly trinkets and the praise to eternal glories. But if you go that route, that’s all you’ll get. Beware, the Lord will one day have to acknowledge your preference: “Father He denied. He said no to our offer.”

Decide now whom you will fear. Your destiny depends on that decision.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

St. John the Baptist – Defender of Holy Matrimony

“John the Baptist accusing Herod and Herodias”, Jacob Backer, ARSH 1633

Ann Barnhardt: “The following is an EXTREMELY prescient and timely sermon of St. Peter Chrysologous who was a Fifth Century bishop of Ravenna in Italy. For anyone who is following events surrounding the […] relentless attack on marriage, it is impossible to read this without seeing the contemporary relevance. Emphases mine.

*****

Today while the virtue of John and the ferocity of Herod are related to us, our innards were shaken, our hearts trembled, our sight grew dim, our mind became dull, our hearing deserted us. For is there anything within human sensation that remains undisturbed within when a large amount of vice destroys a large amount of virtue?

“Herod,” it says, “apprehended John, and had him bound, and put in prison.” (Mt. 14:3) John was the school of the virtues, the instructor of life, the model of sanctity, the pattern of morality, the mirror of virginity, the epitome of purity, the example of chastity, the way of penitence, the pardon of sins, the discipline of faith. John was greater than a human being, equal to the angels, the apex of the Law, the seed of the Gospel, the harbinger of the Apostles, the silence of the Prophets, the lamp of the world, the herald of the Judge, the Forerunner of Christ, the preparer for the Lord, the witness of God, the mediator of the Whole Trinity.

But Herod is the very one who desecrated the Temple, ruined the priesthood, disturbed its proper order, profaned the kingdom, corrupted anything that had to do with religion, the Law, life and morals, faith and discipline. Herod was ever an assassin toward his fellow citizens, a brigand toward people of any distinction, a ravager toward his allies, a robber toward those of his own household, a killer of the common folk, a murderer of his children, a slayer of foreigners, a parricide towards his own, drenching the land with gore in his bloodthirstiness. And so it is that he gulped down the hallowed blood of John from his enormous cup of cruelty. But now let the reading speak for itself.

“Herod,” it says, “apprehended John and had him bound.” He who had released sins’ shackles is bound with the shackles of a sinner, so that pardon once shackled might not leave any room for pardon. “He had him bound and put in prison.” Herod, you are the one who committed adultery, yet John the Baptist goes to prison? Thus one who is guilty sits in the judge’s place and passes judgment, the persecutor of innocence takes the place of a defender. I ask, where is truth to be found? Where is good reputation? Where is decency? Where is the good name of the public magistrate? In fact, where is God? Where is the human being? Where is decorum? Where is the law? Where are purely natural rights? Everything all at once has been thrown into turmoil, O Herod, because of the way you act, pass judgment, and give orders.

“He apprehended John,” it says, “and he had him bound, and put in prison.” Herod, you are being subpoenaed, his shackles place the blame on you, the prison accuses you, the harm done to John publicly points to you. The one who looks for the reason for John’s arrest finds in you what deserves punishment, and the cause for his distress about John. John, who is recognized throughout the world for his reputation, who is known for his virtue, who is widely renowned for his sanctity, by attracting to himself those who inquire into the harm done to him, sees to it that your incest becomes disclosed to all; he brings it about that you are put to shame in public, since a reproof in private was unable to reform you.

John kept after Herod with warnings, not with an accusation; he wanted him to mend his ways, not to perish; but Herod preferred to perish rather than to reform. To those held captive by crimes the freedom of innocence become most odious. Virtue is antagonistic to the vicious, sanctity is detestable to the sacrilegious, chastity is inimical to the shameless, integrity is a punishment to the corrupt, temperance is a foe to the wanton; mercy is unbearable to the cruel, godliness to the ungodly, justice to the unjust.

The Evangelist attests to this when he says: “John kept saying: ‘It is not right for you to take the wife of your brother Philip.’ ” This is the reason why John runs afoul. The one who warns the wicked is a considered offensive. The one who rebukes those who are at fault is deemed blameworthy. What John had to say concerned the Law, justice, and well-being; his remarks certainly were not spoken out of hatred, but out of love: but see what kind of reward he received for his devotion from the ungodly one!

“Although he wanted to kill him,” it says, “he was afraid of the people.” It is easy for one to turn away from justice who is motivated by the fear; not of God, but of human beings. This fear can postpone the opportunity to sin, but cannot take away the will to sin. Therefore it is also the case that those whom fear delays from committing iniquity become even more eager for iniquity. It is only the fear of God which corrects minds, banishes offenses, preserves innocence, and bestows an endless capacity for good. But let us hear about what the most blessed John actually suffered.

“On Herod’s birthday,” it says, “the daughter of Herodias danced in the middle of his dining room, and it pleased Herod, and he made an oath promising to give her whatever she asked of him. But, having been advised earlier by her mother, she said: ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist on a dish.’ And the king was deeply saddened on account of the oath: nevertheless, because of those who were dining there he ordered it to be given to her, and sent to have John beheaded, and his head was placed on a dish and given to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.” ( 14:6-11)

You have heard, brothers, how great is the cruelty which is born from pleasure. “And his head was placed on a dish.” (v.11) An house is transformed into an arena, the table turns into a theater, dinner guests become spectators, a banquet is changed into frenzy, a meal becomes a massacre, wine changes to blood, a funeral is held on a birthday, to mark one person’s beginning is another person’s ending, a banquet is changed into a murder scene, musical instruments ring out the tragedy of ages.

A beast, not a girl, enters; a ferocious animal, not a woman, prances about; along her head she combs out her mane, not her hair; she stretches and contorts her frame, but it is her savagery that grows and intensifies, her cruelty that looms large, but not her body; this wild animal unequaled in ferocity roars with her mouth, gnashes her teeth, she is not struck by a sword, but wields it. “Advised earlier,” it says, “by her mother,” (v.8), and brandishing a lance from her mother’s heart, as a new kind of beast, she disdains preying upon the body and proceeds to lop off the head itself.

But, lest anyone think that we want to hear ourselves talk about such things, we do not want to hear ourselves talk, but we want to cry out so that the joys of your festivities be celebrated prudently, so that the parties that mark your birthdays maintain moderation in merriment, so that Christ may attend your feasts, that the banquet be held in the sight of the Author; may the very nature of the celebration to which we are invited be honoured by decency; may the happiness of your table extend to the poor, may your household dance with the discipline of innocence. May debauchery depart, may dissipation be banished; may the plague of dancing girls, the bawdy songs of musicians, what fuels pleasures, what weights down the belly, and what shipwrecks minds all be done away with, be wiped out with the feasts of Herodias, so that your joy at present may reach an happiness that lasts forever.

Today, brothers, we have directed our sermon to Herod, because the listener is well aware how great is the martyr’s bliss, when he hears about the misery of the persecutor. Nevertheless, it is fitting for us to know both that John came to birth as a result of his death, and that Herod died as a result of how he spent his birthday.

(From Selected Sermons of St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 127)

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Pope Francis’ silence is a bold denial of objective truth: former Vatican Bank chief

From LifeSiteNews:

Why doesn’t the Pope respond to the Dubia? The former director of the Vatican Bank thinks he knows why. In a biting essay in Italy’s La Verità, translated below, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi suggests that Francis is sending two messages through his silence: that he can contradict himself if he likes and that he wishes to impose a “New Catholic Morality” on the Church. This new morality would be based not on doctrine but on the subjective opinions of the individual conscience. Meanwhile, Amoris Laetitia’s denial of eternal damnation contradicts Jesus’ assertions in the Gospel that sinners are indeed in danger of this fate. Ultimately, Francis’ silence — which allows doubts to continue to flourish — is a denial of objective truth.

I see two implicit messages in the Pope’s failure to answer the dubia. The first implicit message is “I can contradict myself if I want to.” At the start of the Synod on the Family (October 2014), the Pope invited the cardinals to speak openly and frankly, without fear of embarrassing the Pope (the famous parresia). And yet for months the Pope has refused to respond privately or publicly to the dubia expressed by four cardinals who represent a large part of the faithful.

The second implicit message seems to be a declaration of the intent to impose a “New Catholic Morality.” This would be founded on the awkward circumstances of the new ethical demands (or requirements) of new situations created by the secularized world, not on the Commandments, the Catechism and the Magisterium invoked by the “obsolete” Veritatis Splendor.

In the past, the Church’s concern was to keep the faithful “strong in the Truth” in order to conserve the faith. She therefore discouraged a disposition to interpret doctrine and the magisterium in a subjective and dangerously misleading manner. Indeed, back then the task of pastors was to confirm the certainties of faith by “teaching,” not just by “listening.”

Today, it could be said that you should have subjective and unresolved doubts to demonstrate that you have an “authentic faith.” You must not try to resolve them or seek answers to questions on points of ambiguous interpretation because that would be insolent and arrogant. Doubts are necessary because it seems that we don’t want to affirm a single, absolute and objective truth. A pluralist and dialectical truth has taken its place because this latter truth, a truth based on the conclusions of a “self-taught” individual conscience, has replaced doctrine as the judge of actions (praxis).

One might say that traditional morality has been overridden by circumstances (and not the ideal), and since we should not longer judge (that is, objectively evaluate circumstances), the Church seems to want to renounce the possession of the truth and its teaching (unless it concerns the environment, poverty and immigration). Thus, a failure to respond to the dubia confirms that doctrine is abstract and that it is of no use to salvation because truth is transitory, subjective and open to differing interpretations. It is better to dialogue, then, than to teach something that is no longer eternal.

For months, theologians have been forced, or have been obliged, to highlight only a few parts of Amoris Laetitia, neglecting the parts that leave doubts and generate subjective interpretations. This means that AL does not seem to be as “objective” as some assume. But the controversial points aren’t so marginal, minor or irrelevant to the many good parts. I suggest that readers read for themselves the articles in question (AL 297,  299, 301, 305, 329 … ) and ask themselves the questions posed by the four cardinals and Catholics who refer to the Catechism, the Gospel and the specific Magisterium (Casti Connubi, Veritatis Splendor, Familiaris Consortio … ). The dubia are concerned with what is a grave (mortal) sin here: the possibility of  the reception of sacramental absolution and the Holy Eucharist by those who live illegitimately as husband and wife and don’t want to stop. The dubia ask what marital chastity is and if situations exist in which we must sin because there are temptations greater than our strength. They ask if situations exist in which a form of ignorance justifies sin.

Dear readers, the dubia ask if a new morality is or is not being proposed and if the help of God, which never fails, aims to keep us from sinning or to keep us from feeling guilt after having sinned. The dubia are not a bizarre and spiteful showing off by four cardinals.

Beware! In the Gospels, Jesus says 15 times that there is a risk of eternal damnation if someone persists in a grave sin, while Amoris Laetitia 297 claims that no one can be condemned forever because it is not the logic of the Gospel. Thus, eternal damnation would seem to have become a heresy. However, AL 304 says also that the general norms in its formulations cannot embrace all particular situations, implicitly admitting the existence of so many doubts left to subjective and dangerous interpretation.

The Pope’s failure to answer the dubia would illustrate that doubts must be resolved subjectively because Truth is no longer objective. Thus, the Church today seems to be declaring that she does not want to have a doctrine to propose to the world. She believes that circumstance determines doctrine, rather than the contrary. Therefore, the new Church seems to want to give moral suggestions but without precepts, without laws. It is useless to ask if this is so.

Translated by Dorothy Cummings McLean with permission from La Verità

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Act of Consecration for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honouring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.

Amen.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saint Thomas More: Nothing can come but what God wills.

From today’s Office of Readings for the Feast of St John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs:

Extract from Saint Thomas More’s letter written in prison to his daughter Margaret
(The English Works of Sir Thomas More, London, 1557, p. 1454)

With good hope I shall commit myself wholly to God

Saint Thomas More’s farewell to his daughter, Margaret

Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness.  His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience.  God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty.  In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest.  I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God.  Either he shall keep the king in that gracious frame of mind to continue to do me no harm, or else, if it be his pleasure that for my other sins I suffer in this case as I shall not deserve, then his grace shall give me the strength to bear it patiently, and perhaps even gladly.

By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.

I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear.  I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help.  And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.
And if he permits me to play Saint Peter further and to fall to the ground and to swear and forswear, may God our Lord in his tender mercy keep me from this, and let me lose if it so happen, and never win thereby!  Still, if this should happen, afterward I trust that in his goodness he will look on me with pity as he did upon Saint Peter, and make me stand up again and confess the truth of my conscience afresh and endure here the shame and harm of my own fault.

And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost.  I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him.  And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice.  But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy.

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.

COLLECT
O God, who in martyrdom
have brought true faith to its highest expression,
graciously grant
that, strengthened through the intercession
of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More,
we may confirm by the witness of our life
the faith we profess with our lips.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Francis effect: ‘Courageous priest’ retreats ‘into the longstanding Tradition of the Church’

By Dexter Duggan at The Wanderer:

A veteran clergyman described by an admirer as “the most courageous priest in our San Diego Diocese” warned at his pre-retirement party that although the priority of Christianity is saving souls, he was hearing more from prelates concerned about earthly matters than religious ones.

Fr. Richard Perozich, sometimes involved in news events reported in The Wanderer, gave a farewell talk in early June to about 30 members of Ecclesia Militans of San Diego, conservative lay Catholics for whom he served as spiritual adviser.

Perozich’s final assignment as pastor, ending at the close of June, is at Immaculate Conception Church in San Diego’s historic Old Town, near where St. Junipero Serra offered his first Mass in California in 1769. Perozich plans to move to the Hawaiian island of Maui, living, he said, “more as a hermit monk.”

According to his text provided by a listener to The Wanderer, Perozich told the Ecclesia Militans gathering, at the La Jolla home of one of its members:

“I hear new opinions substituting for truth. I hear studied ambiguities, carefully crafted statements which allow for multiple interpretations. I hear calls to change language of truth to a language that will not offend sinners. I hear sophistries, good-sounding arguments with just enough truth, but which are misleading.
“When those who are supposed to care for me are not doing so, in my opinion, I must retreat from them into the longstanding Tradition of the Church. I have to be vigilant about my own holiness in the Holy Spirit so as not to be drawn into their spirit of this age and be corrupted by it,” he said.

He criticized both the long-serving retired San Diego bishop, Robert Brom, and current Bishop Robert McElroy.

The Wanderer asked Kevin Eckery, the diocese’s vice chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs, if he or McElroy was aware of the critical comments or had a reaction to them.

Eckery promptly replied on June 9: “No reaction, Dexter. Wasn’t there.”

In its September 11, 2014, hardcopy issue, The Wanderer reported that prominent dissenter Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former master general of the Dominican order and a foe of traditional Church teaching on homosexuality, would be a major speaker at the San Diego Diocese’s annual convocation for its priests later that month. However, Perozich declined to attend that convocation. The California Catholic Daily website posted a story that July about Perozich’s refusal headlined, “Guess who might get in trouble? Guess who doesn’t really care.”

Local conservative Catholics said a speaking invitation to Radcliffe was extended by Fr. Michael Murphy, the pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Coronado, a beautiful, wealthy residential community across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego.

After Bishop Brom retired in 2013, he was succeeded by coadjutor Cirilo Flores, who didn’t even complete a year as bishop before dying of cancer in early September 2014. McElroy, previously an auxiliary bishop in San Francisco, was named by Pope Francis to succeed Flores and was installed in April 2015.

The December 15, 2016, hardcopy issue of The Wanderer reported that McElroy rebuked Perozich after the priest emphasized the non-negotiable moral issues in the November election for his parish voters. McElroy subsequently issued a statement saying there were other issues as well, including poverty and economic justice, the environment and immigration.

Perozich told his farewell gathering in La Jolla in early June:

“It can be a little more daunting when one is a priest and whose spiritual father and brothers seem to me to be moving away from clarity of truth to ambiguity, from the spiritual to the worldly, from holiness into sin. Recent sophistry: bishop wanting solar panels in every parish, gays and lesbians welcomed in every parish, their children in our Catholic schools.”

Allyson Smith, one of the Ecclesia Militans members present for the talk, told The Wanderer:

“Father spoke how we can no longer depend on major political, educational, and economic institutions, including the Church, to protect and enable us to practice our Catholic faith, and so therefore we must find a ‘Benedict Option’ that entails rebuilding our own societal structures and ‘intentional communities that more fully embody our Christian faith.’
“He detailed some of the problems with the Church at large, and within our local Diocese of San Diego, such as the trend toward acceptance of sexual immorality and opinions now being substituted for truth, that have led him to seek his own version of the Benedict Option in retirement, living as a hermit monk community of one,” Smith said, adding:
“Above all, he exhorted us to be holy, as Christ is holy; to continue daily Scripture reading, prayer, and reception of the sacraments.”

Currently in the diocese, Perozich told his listeners: “Priests who were ignored before because of their lifestyles are now on boards and giving talks and photographed with the bishop; others are promoted in the diocese. It has reached a level too great for me to tolerate, so I choose the Benedict Option for myself.”

He said some people believe the Benedict Option equates with disengaging and withdrawing. But, Perozich said, it’s “all about being active and engaging the problems of society. It recognizes, however, that solutions will begin locally, in the relationships that we can influence. Rebuilding will begin there. Do we really think that our political, educational, and economic institutions will provide a secure future for the practice of our Christian faith?”

Complaints Perozich listed against the San Diego Diocese included, “Vapid days of recollection and retreats for us priests” and “Public promotion of sodomy and adultery with Holy Communion.”

“My skills are pastoring, anointing, Confession, Mass, preaching, teaching,” he continued. “I can balance a budget, rebuild a failing parish, speak Spanish and be faithful to the Tradition of the Church. I cannot be faithful to the sophistries promoted by prelates. . . . “Other than be faithful myself, I am unable to influence my fellow clergy except for about ten priests here,” he said. “Most just go along, and if they are faithful, they are silent about it. I cannot be that way. . . . I have an intentional community of one, living apart more as a hermit monk.

“I support the Church financially, but not any diocese and certainly no parish who has drag-queen ministers, openly homosexual employees, giving Communion to adulterers, supporting community-organizing groups for $15 minimum wage, open immigration, inviting Muslim refugees but not our brother Christian ones who are being killed in the Middle East. I have other ways of giving money to the church and to faithful ministries,” he said.

“I cannot leave the Church even if its leaders deviate. It still is protected by the Holy Spirit from total destruction, but can still be damaged. Now, I do need to care for my own spiritual health and will do so intentionally in a way I find fulfilling,” Perozich said.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

A Morning Laugh!

From Nick Donnelly

“The absurdity of Francis’ pontificate in a tweet”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

 

On June 21st, the Church celebrates the memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, a 16th century Jesuit seminarian known for his radiant purity and holiness. He was born March 9, 1568, in Castiglione, Italy, to a wealthy and influential family. His father had big plans for his oldest son. He sent Aloysius to serve in the court of King Philip II of Spain. Although destined for the military, unbeknownst to his father, at age 9, Aloysius dedicated himself to religious life, making a vow of perpetual virginity. Saint Charles Borromeo gave him his first Holy Communion.

A kidney disease prevented Aloysius from having a full social life. Consequently, he spent his time praying and reading about the lives of the saints. He was drawn to spiritual things more than material wealth. As a teenager, he asked permission to renounce his inheritance and to pursue his religious vocation. At first his father opposed him, but in time relented. When he was 18, Aloysius joined the Jesuits.

In 1591, a plague ravaged Rome. The Jesuits would open a hospital in response. As a young seminarian, Aloysius went around the city looking for the sick whom he carried to the hospitals where he bathed them himself and prepared them for death. Because he nursed patients, washing and caring for them, he contracted the disease. His fever persisted and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed. Still, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing he would die.

In a letter to his mother shortly before his death, he reveals a steward’s understanding that everything, even death, is God’s gift: “When [God] takes away what he once lent us, his purpose is to store our treasures elsewhere more safely and bestow on us those very blessings that we ourselves would most choose to have.”

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was born into eternal life on June 21, 1591, at the age of 23. He was named the patron of youth by Pope Benedict XIII at his canonization. In addition to his selfless love for others, especially the sick, the helpless and the dying in whom he saw the crucified Christ. He was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Almighty ever-living God, giver of heavenly gifts, who in Saint Aloysius Gonzaga joined penitence to a true innocence of life, grant through his merits and intercession that we may follow his example and imitate him in penitence.

 

Saint Aloysius’ Act of Dedication to the Virgin Mary

O Holy Mary, my Mother,

into your blessed trust and custody,

and into the care of your mercy

I this day, every day,

and in the hour of my death,

commend my soul and body.

To you I commit all my anxieties and miseries,

my life and end of my life,

that by your most holy intercession

and by your merits

all my actions may be directed

and disposed according to your will 

and that of your Divine Son. Amen.

 

(source: Big Catholics)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pope Francis ignores Cardinals’ request for an audience to discuss Dubia

These are anxious times for the Church. Doctrinal anarchy and unorthodoxy are reigning in Rome. We had hardly caught our breath after the shocking news of the new heretical appointees to the Pontifical Academy of Life, when we hear about this….

ardinal Carlo Caffarra, the archbishop emeritus of Bologna, asked for an audience on behalf of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals. (Edward Pentin photo)

National Catholic Register correspondent, Edward Pentin, had only two days earlier reported on the ‘Doctrinal Anarchy’ as Bishops’ Conflicting Positions on Amoris Laetitia Show: “Since the publication last year of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, a “doctrinal anarchy” that was feared and predicted at the synods on the family is becoming apparent”, and the urgent necessity for a final Papal clarification on these confusing conflicting interpretations of AL, when news of the latest rebuff towards the four Cardinals who signed the Dubia hit the headlines. Card. Caffara wrote a Letter requesting an audience with Pope Francis to discuss the Pope’s continuing refusal to respond to their questions a year on from when Amoris laetitia was published, but has been met with….. (you guessed it) total SILENCE. Ed Pentin reports:

“The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.

Reasons for Going Public:

The cardinals’ decision to go public with the letter demonstrates increasing frustration on their part at receiving no response to their request, as they have an overriding concern that souls are at stake, that the Church is becoming deeply divided, and that many Church leaders and their flocks are very confused, concerned and wanting clarity.

Also evident in their request is their emphasis on dialogue, seeking to keep channels of dialogue with Francis open to give him the chance to answer, and their unquestionable respect for the Petrine Office whose authority they are keen to preserve.”

We are now informed that Fr Hunwicke’s excellent hard-hitting analysis of the situation has been blocked by Facebook and Twitter. The PC cyber police are out in full force! Therefore we republish it here below.

Cardinals, Collegiality and Amoris Laetitia UPDATE.

By Father John Hunwicke (19th June 2017)
UPDATE (20/6)
This morning the Settimo cielo blog prints the text of the latest appeal by the Four Cardinals for an audience to discuss the Dubia which they raised earlier with the Sovereign Pontiff. I repeat, below, the piece I published yesterday, Monday.

Collegiality did not wait to be invented by Vatican II. In the 1950s, Papa Pacelli, Pius XII, wrote to each bishop of the Catholic Church to ask (1) whether he believed in the Corporal Assumption of the Mother of God; and (2) whether he considered it opportune for the dogma to be defined. The subsequent Solemn Definition followed upon the overwhelming consensus apparent in the replies of the world-wide episcopate.

More than a year has passed since the emergence of the divisive and poorly drafted document called Amoris laetitia. In this time, many Bishops and episcopal conferences have issued guidelines making clear that nothing has changed since St John Paul II in Familiaris consortio, and Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, reemphasised the Church’s immemorial discipline: ‘remarried’ divorcees who will not repent of their adultery and undertake either to separate or at least to try, with the help of God’s grace, to cohabit chastely, exclude themselves from the Sacraments during the time of their impenitence.

A few conferences and Bishops have issued statements understood as meaning that the thusly impenitent may, by virtue of Amoris laetitia, receive the Sacraments. Yet other conferences, such as that in England and Wales, have been manifestly unable to agree among themselves. It is clear that the Universal Episcopate is not united behind a ‘German’ interpretation of Amoris laetitia. Very far from it.

In the context of the Unity of the Una Catholica and of the collegial nature of the Universal Episcopate, cum et sub Petro, the time has surely come for this ‘dialogue’ to be moved to a new stage. Manifestly, if we are to persist with the embarrassing notion that we belong to one Church with one Teaching about the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, steps must be taken to move in the direction of coherence, harmony, and united witness. The idea that someone who is excluded from the Sacraments by his own impenitent rejection of the Gospel needs only to walk across the border between Poland and Germany, or from one American diocese to another, to be welcomed enthusiastically as a communicant in good standing, is obviously a profoundly unCatholic absurdity which needs speedily to be resolved. Indeed, if one of Bishop Lopes’s Ordinariate parishes in America were geographically within a ‘liberal’, Cupichoid, diocese, the dissonance between the two in doctrine and discipline would be even more ludicrous.

The time has surely come for the Four Cardinals who intervened last year with their Dubia to revisit the question. And the time for Bishops, Successors of the Apostles according to the teaching of Leo XIII and of Vatican II and not mere vicars of the Roman Pontiff, to speak with courage, clarity and unanimity. And for clergy, laity, and academics to do the same. Remember that, at the height of the Arian Crisis, it was not among the Bishops or even in Rome that the Faith was most conspicuously preserved and defended. Remember the careful and lucid teaching of Blessed John Henry Newman, beloved Patron of our English Ordinariate, on the Suspense of the Magisterium.

Parrhesia, boldness in witnessing to the Truth, a virtue which was once (only a couple of years ago … it seems like an eternity, doesn’t it?) so very incessantly on the lips of the current occupant of the Roman See, is surely still an obligation for all faithful Catholics.

The more who speak boldly, the more difficult it will be for individuals to be put under unsympathetic pressure.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

URGENT PRAYER ALERT! The Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia ask an AUDIENCE

4 cardinals 5 dubiaFrom Edward Pentin at the faithful National Catholic Register (not to be confused with faithless Fishwrap):

Full Text of Dubia Cardinals’ [The Four Cardinals who submitted the Five Dubia] Letter Asking Pope for an Audience
The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.

Edward Pentin

Here below is the full text of the letter, signed by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on behalf of the four dubia cardinals, asking Pope Francis for an audience to discuss deep concerns over the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The Holy Father has yet to acknowledge the cardinals’ written request. […]

“Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus. We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the munus of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five dubia, asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you.  [An Audience Sheet…]

Most Holy Father,

A year has now gone by since the publication of Amoris Laetitia. During this time, interpretations of some objectively ambiguous passages of the post-synodal Exhortation have publicly been given that are not divergent from, but contrary to, the permanent Magisterium of the Church. Despite the fact that the Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith has repeatedly declared that the doctrine of the Church has not changed, numerous statements have appeared from individual Bishops, Cardinals, and even Episcopal Conferences, approving what the Magisterium of the Church has never approved. Not only access to the Holy Eucharist for those who objectively and publicly live in a situation of grave sin, and intend to remain in it, but also a conception of moral conscience contrary to the Tradition of the Church. And so it is happening — how painful it is to see this! — that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta. And so on. One is reminded of the bitter observation of B. Pascal: “Justice on this side of the Pyrenees, injustice on the other; justice on the left bank of the river, injustice on the right bank.”

Numerous competent lay faithful, who are deeply in love with the Church and staunchly loyal to the Apostolic See, have turned to their Pastors and to Your Holiness in order to be confirmed in the Holy Doctrine concerning the three sacraments of Marriage, Confession, and the Eucharist. And in these very days, in Rome, six lay faithful, from every Continent, have presented a very well-attended study seminar with the meaningful title: “Bringing clarity.

Faced with this grave situation, in which many Christian communities are being divided, we feel the weight of our responsibility, and our conscience impels us to ask humbly and respectfully for an Audience.

May Your Holiness remember us in Your prayers, as we pledge to remember You in ours. And we ask for the gift of Your Apostolic Blessing.

Carlo Card. Caffarra

Rome, April 25, 2017

Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist

*

AUDIENCE SHEET [NB]

1. Request for clarification of the five points indicated by the dubia; reasons for this request.

2. Situation of confusion and disorientation, especially among pastors of souls, in primis parish priests.”

In primis, parish priests.

Pray, friends, pray.

PRAY.  Offer fasts and mortifications.  PRAY.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Catholics, you have been robbed of the Mass

From Une Voce Miami. (With a h/t to our longtime visitor from Australia, Geoff Kiernan, for alerting us to this video)

*****

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

Numerous men, both before and after the Novus Ordo Mass was promulgated in the wake of Vatican II, have warned us about the dangers inherent to the Faith in changing its liturgical worship. The statistics have shown us that the great falling away from Mass attendance over the past fifty years is sufficient proof that they were right.

“To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorises, cannot but be a sign of division – a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith – is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error.” ~Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci

Catholic author, Michael Davies, in ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’, pp. 142-143 writes:

“What matters in the Tridentine Mass is the reverence due to God, that the sacrifice should be celebrated in a manner appropriate to the majesty of God to Whom it is offered. Article 14 of the ‘Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy’ is unambiguous, attention must be focused upon the congregation rather than God.”

Thus, Vatican II officially teaches that attention in the Mass must be on man rather than God. And this is why at the New Mass we hear about every kind of abomination which are all directed to making the worship conform to the assembly.

Michael Davies, ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’, p. 170:

“…the most evident characteristic of the new liturgy is that it is the Cult of Man rather than the Cult of God. The last thing it intends to convey is that we are in but not of the world; the last thing it intends is that we should be drawn out of our ordinary lives. The leit-motiv of contemporary writing on the [new] liturgy is that the congregation must be made to feel at home during Mass and this is best done by insuring that that the liturgy reflects its particular milieu… This is particularly true in the case of children…the Directory on Children’s Masses….”

Perhaps that is why so many children have left the practice of their Faith once they reach adulthood: they outgrow it! This tragedy was foreseen but the warnings went unheeded.

Many have also warned about the dangers of changing the language of the Mass from Latin into the vernacular….

Much more ore could be said on the subject: the abuses that followed in with the NOM are legion. Although some of these changes to the Mass could be justified by ambiguously written passages in V2 documents, there are plenty of others that have no justification whatsoever, and yet have gone uncorrected by ecclesiastical authorities.

It must also be said that there are many good priests who offer the NOM with due reverence and piety, making the most of its shortcomings and its greatly reduced aspect of adoration of God. This is especially so when it is celebrated ad orientem and in Latin.

However, since Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, an Apostolic Letter that of his motu proprio by which he specified the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church may celebrate Mass with no restrictions in the holy Tridentine rite (also called the Traditional Latin Mass), there has been a slow but steady comeback to the Faith through the Church’s ancient and beautiful Liturgy. The initial problem was the lack of priests who know how to celebrate the old rite, and the reluctance of the many seminaries steeped in Modernism to teach it! But this is being gradually solved by a surge of young traditionalist vocations to the priesthood, and some laudable new orthodox orders.

Yet the fact remains: it is now young Catholics, who never knew the strong and flourishing pre-Vatican II Church, who are discovering the truth and wonders of our Catholic heritage and the incomparable Mass of the Ages who (as Geoff Kiernan mentioned the other day on the Chartres pilgrimage post) will be the torch-bearers of the resurgence of Our Glorious Faith in the coming years.

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Reflection for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (N.O.): Second Sunday after Pentecost (E.F.)

In many places, this Sunday features the (moved) Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Our Lord.

On a solemn feast like this many things occur that might be preached and taught. Here are three areas for reflection: the reality of the Eucharist, the requirement of the Eucharist, and the reverence for the Eucharist. We will look at each in turn.

I. The Reality of the Eucharist – On this solemn feast we are called above all to faith in the fact (as revealed by the Lord Himself) that the Eucharist, the Holy Communion of which we partake, is in fact a reception of the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, whole and entire, in His glorified state. We do not partake of a symbol. The Eucharist is not a metaphor; it is truly the Lord. Neither is it a “piece” of His flesh; it is Christ, whole and entire. Scripture attests to this in many places.

A. Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

B. 1 Cor 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a partaking in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a partaking in the body of Christ?

C. Luke 24:35 They recognized him in the breaking of the bread.

D. 1 Cor 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.

E. John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.

This last quote is a profound theology of the Eucharist from Jesus Himself. He makes it clear that we are not to think of the Eucharist as symbolic or metaphorical.

As Jesus spoke the words saying that the bread was His flesh, the Jewish people grumbled in protest. But Jesus did not seek to reassure them or to say that He was speaking only symbolically when saying that they must eat His flesh. Rather, He became even more adamant, shifting His choice of words from the polite form of eating, φάγητε (phagete – meaning simply “to eat”), to the impolite form, τρώγων (trogon – meaning to “munch, gnaw or chew”).

So insistent was He that they grasp this, that He permitted most of them to leave, no longer following in His company due to this teaching (cf Jn 6:66). Yes, the Lord paid quite a price for His graphic and “hard” teaching (Jn 6:60).

Today, He asks us, Do you also want to leave me? (Jn 6:67) We must supply our answer each time we approach the altar and hear the words, “The Body of Christ.” It is at this time that we answer the Lord, “Amen,” as if to say, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life! (Jn 6:68)

Would that people grasped that the Lord Himself is truly present in our Churches! Were that so, one would never be able to empty our parishes of those seeking to pray with the Lord. As it is, though, only 25% of Catholics attend Mass regularly. This is more evidence of the “narrow road” and of how few there are who find it. Jesus experienced that most left him 2000 years ago, and many today continue to leave Him (or stand far away), either through indifference or false notions.

What father would not be alarmed if one of his children stopped eating? Consider, then, God’s alarm that many of us have stopped eating. This leads us to the next point.

II. The Requirement of the Eucharist – This is where the “Unless!” in my title comes in. When I was young I thought of Church and Communion as just something my mother made me do; it was just a bunch of rituals and stuff. I never thought of it as essential for my survival. But Jesus teaches something very profound in John’s Gospel today. In effect, He says that without Holy Communion (the Eucharist) we will starve and die spiritually.

Here is what Jesus says: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you (John 6:53).

As a child and even as a young adult I never thought of Holy Communion as essential for my life, as something that, if not received regularly, would cause me to die spiritually. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? If we don’t eat food in our physical lives, we grow weak and eventually die. It is the same with Holy Communion with respect to our spiritual lives.

Remember in the Book of Exodus that the people in the desert were without food and feared for their lives. So God gave them bread from Heaven called “manna” that they collected each morning. Without eating that bread from Heaven they would never have made it to the Promised Land; they would have died in the desert.

It is the same with us. Without receiving Jesus, our Living Manna from Heaven, in Holy Communion we will not make it to our Promised Land of Heaven! I guess it’s not just a ritual after all; it is essential for our survival.

Don’t miss Holy Communion! Jesus urges you to eat.

A mother and father in my parish recently noticed that their daughter wasn’t eating. Within a very short time they took her to a doctor, who diagnosed the problem; now the young girl is able to eat again. Those parents would have moved Heaven and Earth to make sure their daughter was able to eat.

https://i0.wp.com/blog.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/060615.png

It is the same with God. Jesus urges us to eat, to receive the Holy Communion every Sunday without fail. Jesus urges us with this word: “Unless!” Holy Communion is our required food.

III. The Reverence for the Eucharist – One of the mistaken notions about the Eucharist is confusing this sacred meal with the table fellowship Jesus had with sinners. He was known to “welcome sinners and eat with them.” But Holy Mass is not one of those sorts of meals. The Last Supper, wherein the essential reality of the Mass was first set forth, was held in the context of the Passover. This was a sacred meal shared within the family. And thus Jesus celebrated that Last Supper with the twelve Apostles.

The confusion by many today about the difference between the sacred meal of the Eucharist and common table fellowship leads many to misconstrue the Eucharist; it also helps to explain the Church’s stance.

Those who think of the Mass as the mere table fellowship Jesus had with sinners, think of the Eucharist as a “Come one, come all” sort of meal. And many also add, “Come as you are.” In their view, there are no requirements; all that matters is that Jesus is offering. “Don’t worry,” they say, “about ‘membership’ or the need to be reconciled from sin. After all, Jesus ate with sinners and didn’t worry about that stuff.”

But again, this is not what the Last Supper was. Jesus celebrated the Mass in the context of the Passover. Such meals presupposed that the people gathered together were family. This was an intimate meal celebrated in the context of faith, however weak or strong, but a faith that was presupposed. Jesus said to them, “You are the men who have stood by me in my trials” (Lk 22:28).

This is one reason that the Church has always limited the Eucharist to those who are initiated, who are “members of Christ’s Body” through faith, and who keep communion with His Body the Church through assent to her teachings, remaining members of His Body by being in a state of grace.

It further explains the need to receive the Eucharist worthily by first confessing our serious sins through the Sacrament of Confession. St Paul teaches,

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died (1 Cor 11:28-30).

So here, too, we see that the Mass is not akin to the table fellowship that Jesus at times kept with sinners. Rather, it is a sacred meal that presupposes membership in Christ’s Body through faith and the forgiveness of all serious sins that might have severed that communion. Holy Communion is meant to strengthen a communion that already exists. And thus our “Amen” upon receiving Holy Communion is not a lie, but is consonant with the reality of existing communion.

For now, simply note that our reverence for Holy Communion requires us to receive worthily, in a state of grace that has preserved the communion we celebrate. Further, to receive worthily also requires that we have the faith of the Church, the Body of Christ, and keep communion by a belief in conformity and communion with it.

On this Solemnity of the Body of Christ we are summoned to deepen our faith in the Lord, present in the Eucharist and acting through His Sacraments. Routine may have somewhat of a dulling effect, but it cannot be so much so that we receive the Lord of glory in any way that could be called mindless or lacking in the reverence we ought to have for Him.

Ask the Lord to anoint your mind so that you never forget your need for the Eucharist. Unless! Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no life in you (cf Jn 6:53). But receive this great gift worthily and with a communion that befits the Holy Communion to which we are summoned.

+ + + + + + + + + + + +

Second Sunday after Pentecost (E.F.)

The Epistle today reminds of us of the imperious duty of loving our fellow men. Like Christ who gave himself for us, we must love our neighbour to the point of giving our life for him, as He did.

In the Gospel the parable of the guests invited to the supper is applicable to the Eucharist as well as to the Messianic feast to which we are all invited. Whenever we approach the holy table we should that this ‘communion’ with God prepares us for the final union in the life to come. The sanctifying anticipation that we enjoy in this Sacrament qill achieve its full consummation in the glory of heaven.

The Collects invite us to centre on our love of God, to wean ourselves from earthly things and to ‘make our life more like the life of heaven’.

INTROIT

The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because He was well pleased with me. Ps: I will love Thee O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT

Grant Lord that we may have a perpetual fear and love of Your Holy Name; forr You never fail to direct and govern those whom You establish in the steadfastness of Your love. Through Our Lord.

Epistle:  1 John 3.  13 -18.  Gospel:  Luke 14.  16 -24

POSTCOMMUNION

Having received Your sacred gifts, we implore You, Lord, that by our assiduous assistance at these holy mysteries, they may the more surely avail to our salvation. Through Our Lord.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Jesuit Scholar: Seeking to Defend Islam at All Costs Is Betraying the Truth

CP&S comment:  A perceptive analysis in an interview with Jesuit Father Henri Boulad on the misguided views some are preaching about Islam. To attempt to make out that the ideology for jihadist terrorist attacks is due to a perverted interpretation of the Koran is not backed up by the evidence. The call to jihad is written all through the Islamic ‘holy book’ and has ignited the previous (relatively) dormant hatred of members of the Islamic faith system once again, leading to the many Islamic atrocities of recent times. Denying this reality helps no one and, as Fr Boulad reveals, it is a betrayal of the truth.

Jesuit Father Henri Boulad. (www.cathkathcatt.ch)

In an interview with the [National Catholic] Register, Egyptian Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad explains why he believes Islamist terrorists are applying what their religion teaches them, and why the Church fails to address this because she has fallen prey to a leftist ideology that is destroying the West.

By Edward Pentin

The Church should not defend Islam “at all costs” and seek to “exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name” or else “one ends up betraying the truth,” a leading Jesuit scholar of Islam has asserted.

Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad believes that when it comes to dealing with Islam, the Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberal left ideology which is destroying the West” based on the pretext of “openness, tolerance and Christian charity.”

In a June 10 interview with the Register, Father Boulad reveals that he shared these sentiments with Pope Francis in a letter he wrote to him last August, telling him that many think the Pope’s own views on Islam are “aligned with this ideology, and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions, and compromises in compromises, at the expense of the truth.”

“Christians,” he wrote, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”

Some said the Pope took a diplomatic yet slightly firmer line on Islam when he gave an address to Al Azhar university in Cairo at the end of April.

Father Boulad, 85, an Egyptian and a relative of the Jesuit scholar of Islam, Father Samir Khalil Samir, also discusses in this interview why he believes Islamists are merely carrying out what their religion teaches, whether Islam is capable of reform, and how, despite its problems, the religion can help the Church in acting as a bulwark against secularist ideology.

 

Father Boulad, what evidence is there to show that Islam is inherently violent?

Here are clear statements of the Koran itself :

“Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran 2:191

“Make war on the infidels living in your neighbourhood.” Koran 9:123

“When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5

“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran 3:85

“The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them.”… Koran 9:30

“Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam” Koran 5:33

“Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19

“The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.” Koran 8:65

“Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.” Koran 3:28

“Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12

“Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.” Koran 8:60

Added to these are a few samples of Muhammad’s teachings and life. Here are some quotations taken from Muslim sources:

– “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” – (Muslim 1:33)

– “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” (Ibn Ishaq 992). Muhammad’s life was a succession of warfare, plundering and killings… and every Muslim is invited to imitate this supreme “model”.

– Muhammad owned and traded slaves – (Sahih Muslim 3901), and ordered his followers to stone women for adultery. – (Muslim 4206)

– He himself beheaded 800 Jewish men and boys, (Abu Dawud 4390) ordered the murder of women (Ibn Ishaq 819, 995) and killed those who insulted him. – (Bukhari 56:369, 4:241)

– According to him, Jihad in the way of Allah elevates one’s position in Paradise by a hundred fold. – (Muslim 4645)

– In his last ten years, he ordered 65 military campaigns and raids. – (Ibn Ishaq) and killed captives taken in battle. – (Ibn Ishaq 451)

– He encouraged his men to rape enslaved women, (Abu Dawood 2150, Quran 4:24), he put apostates to death, plundered and lived off the wealth of others, captured and enslaved non-Muslim people.

– After Mohammed’s death, his followers attacked and conquered the populations of 28 countries and declared holy war on the people of five major world religions.

Examples from Islamic history:

– In the first 240 years, 11 of the first 32 caliphs were murdered by fellow Muslims.

– Muslim clerics have always engaged in or condoned terrorism all along history and up till now.

– We witness daily religious violence against Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians. The converts to Christianity are beheaded.

– The victims of slave traffic done by the Arabs during almost ten centuries amount to tens of millions of people.

– Each year, thousands of Christian homes and churches are torched or bombed by Muslim mobs, and hundreds of Christians, priests, pastors, nuns and other church workers are murdered at the hands of Islamic extremists. The so-called justification varies, from charges of apostasy or evangelism, to purported “blasphemy” or ” insulting” Islam. Innocent people have even been hacked to death by devout Muslims over cartoons. Islam is an open-ended declaration of war against non-Muslims.

 

Are the extremists simply being faithful to an authentic Islam in your view?

Clearly YES. Extremists are just applying what their religion teaches them to do.

 

Should the Pope and the Vatican shed what some view as political correctness and address Islam for what scholars and others believe it really is?

Of course. To illustrate my view, I quote here some excerpts of my personal letter to Pope Francis addressed to him last August:

“It seems to me that — on the pretext of openness, tolerance and Christian charity — the Catholic Church has fallen into the trap of the liberal left ideology which is destroying the West. Anything that does not espouse this ideology is immediately stigmatized in the name of “political correctness”. Many think that a certain number of your positions are aligned with this ideology and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions and compromises in compromises at the expense of the truth.”

“The West is in an ethical and moral debacle, both religious and spiritual. And it is not by relativizing the painful reality that these societies will be helped to emerge from their disarray. By defending at all costs Islam and seeking to exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name, one ends up betraying the truth.”

“Jesus said to us, ‘the Truth will set you free.’ It is because he refused any compromise on this point that he knew the fate which was his. Following him, countless Christians preferred martyrdom to compromise, as is the case in Egypt and elsewhere to this day.”

“In the extreme fragility of Christians — both in the West and in the East — they are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality. Your predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had the courage to take a clear and unambiguous position. His attitude has raised a lot of shields and earned him many enemies. But is not a frank confrontation healthier than a dialogue based on compromise? When the Jewish hierarchs asked the apostles to stop announcing the Gospel, they replied: “As for us, we cannot not proclaim what we have seen and heard …” (Acts 4:20).

“It is high time to emerge from a shameful and embarrassed silence in the face of this Islamism that attacks the West and the rest of the world. A systematically conciliatory attitude is interpreted by the majority of Muslims as a sign of fear and weakness. If Jesus said to us: Blessed are the peacemakers, he did not say to us: Blessed are the pacifists. Peace is peace at any cost, at any price. Such an attitude is a pure and simple betrayal of truth.”

 

How much is violence more of an Arabic problem, given the significantly fewer violent attacks in, for example, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation?

One can say that ‘Arabs’ are naturally violent. But the same could be said of the Barbarians who conquered Europe in the past. These invaders have been progressively ‘civilized’ by the Christian faith to become what they are now. In my opinion, the religious element plays an essential role in shaping a society. The fact that Christian ‘Arabs’ are different than Muslim Arabs is a proof of the strong connection between religion and society.

 

Are there genuine and workable possibilities for reform of Islam and can dialogue ever be effective?

All attempts to reform Islam by liberal open-minded Muslims have tragically failed so far and I doubt that a ‘reformed Islam’ will still remain ‘Islam’. Here are six unsuccessful attempts to reform Islam in the last two centuries:

1. Reformism in the 19th century: Afghani, Mohamed Abdo, Rashid Reda

2. The Renaissance — or Nahda — in late 19th-early 20th century: Yasji, Girgi Zeidan, Taha Hussein, Salama Moussa, Tewfik el-Hakim…

3. Kemalism and the secularization of the Turkish state — Kemal Atatürk — 1923

4. The Baath and its Pan-Arabism ideology: Michel Aflaq, Bitar, George Habash and the PLO

5. Egyptian nationalism and the neutrality of the state (principle of secularism) – 1919 : Saad Zaghloul: “Religion is God’s affair and the State everybody’s. ”

6. Reversal of the decree on the abrogating and abrogated. At the instigation of El-Azhar institution, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha was hanged in Khartoum on 18.1.1985 for wanting to give the pre-eminence to the Mekkan verses over the Medina ones inciting to war, hated and intolerance.

 

The Church has often allied with Islamic countries in the past in defense of life issues. Islamic countries can also act as a filter against secularist ideas, preventing such trends as gender ideology from entering their society. How can Islam’s strengths in these areas be best promoted despite its associations with violence?

On such ethical issues, and others, the Church should ally with Muslims to fight against whatever demeans and degrades the human being. This is fertile ground for understanding between the two religions. It can also pave the way for us to denounce anything which is morally unacceptable in Islamic teaching.

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments