A statue of Luther in the Vatican and a new papal definition of ‘lukewarm’

By John-Henry Westen, October 25, 2016, LifeSiteNews

pope_francis_luther3_810_500_55_s_c1Pope Francis will travel to Lund, Sweden, next week to assist in the launch of a yearlong commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg on October 31, 1517.

In a lead-up event at the Vatican on October 13, the Pope received a group of 1,000 Lutherans and Catholics from Germany in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall and addressed them from the stage where a statue of Luther was erected. The sight came as a shock to many Catholics because Luther was excommunicated and his theses rejected by Pope Leo X in 1520. The split he caused in Christianity remains as one of the most damaging in the Church’s 2,000-year history.

At the meeting, Francis reinforced his admonition from earlier this month against converting people. Weeks after saying it is a “very grave sin against ecumenism” for Catholics to try to convert Orthodox Christians, Pope Francis told the pilgrims “it is not licit” to “convince [non-Christians] of your faith.” In that meeting, the pope also offered a novel definition of “lukewarm,” which according to Pope Francis is when Christians “are keen to defend Christianity in the West on the one hand but on the other are averse to refugees and other religions.”

The word ‘lukewarm’ has significant meaning to Christians because of the words of Christ revealed in St. John’s Revelation (3:15-16): “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” The common interpretation of the verses was to condemn the practice of picking and choosing among the Christ’s teachings rather than holding to all of them. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “Half-hearted commitment to the faith is nauseating to Christ.”

In answer to a question about what he likes about the Lutheran Church, the pope said, “I really like good Lutherans, Lutherans who really practice their faith in Jesus Christ. What I don’t like are lukewarm Catholics and lukewarm Lutherans.” Italian daily La Stampa’s Vatican Insider quotes the pope as saying it’s a “contradiction” when Christians “are keen to defend Christianity in the West on the one hand but on the other are averse to refugees and other religions.”

The Pope’s application of Christ’s strong condemnation to those who would be averse to other religions is perhaps a warning to those who would object to his coming praise for Luther scheduled for October 31. Swedish Catholic professor Clemens Cavallin points out in an essay on the upcoming celebration with Pope Francis in Lund that the common prayer service to be used has a very positive view of Luther.

“The text,” he says, “paints a picture of Luther as a religious hero who found the way to a more true form of Catholicism.” Cavallin notes that in the liturgical guide, the Common Prayer, a section called Thanksgiving, is intended to express, “our mutual joy for the gifts received and rediscovered in various ways through the renewal and impulses of the Reformation. After the prayer of thanksgiving, the whole assembly joins in singing thanks for and praise of God’s work.”

“The ecumenical journey enables Lutherans and Catholics to appreciate together Martin Luther’s insight into and spiritual experience of the gospel of the righteousness of God, which is also God’s mercy,” the text says.

The section concludes with the following prayer of gratitude:

Thanks be to you, O God, for the many guiding theological and spiritual insights that we have all received through the Reformation. Thanks be to you for the good transformations and reforms that were set in motion by the Reformation or by struggling with its challenges. Thanks be to you for the proclamation of the gospel that occurred during the Reformation and that since then has strengthened countless people to live lives of faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

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25 Responses to A statue of Luther in the Vatican and a new papal definition of ‘lukewarm’

  1. JabbaPapa says:

    I don’t mind recognising that Lutherans retain many aspects of the Catholicity, or praying for unity —

    But as this “liturgy” itself points out, of those that started this “reformation”, “Their failures resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Families were torn apart, people imprisoned and tortured, wars fought and religion and faith misused. Human beings suffered and the credibility of the Gospel was undermined with consequences that still impact us today.

    The text has also been written quite clearly in the so-called “spirit” of the pre-3rd Edition English-language NO Missal, with all of its wishy-washy vagueness and occasional false irenicism.

    More worryingly, it also propagates the false theology of watered-down “what is held in common“, that is of pure Protestant origin and is directly condemned in Mortalium Animos as constituting a false ecumenism.

    It is worth remembering that nothing in Unitatis Redintegratio requires participation by Catholics in such ecumenical events, even where they may be so authorised, and given the no doubt extensive sessions of guitar-strumming arms-raised liturgical-dancery emotion-centred kumbaya “moments” that are likely desired for this dubious event, it’s hard to imagine why anyone in the Church would wish to participate, except for those with a particular Vocation or Ministry, as the Pope has, to be zealous in desire to gather back the lost sheep to the flock.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    “Pope Francis will travel to Lund, Sweden [to commemorate] Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the castle church of Wittenberg…”

    I’m willing to accept that he did in fact nail his theses to that church door. Would that it had been his testes instead, but it bugs me how famous accounts like that are now almost invariably scorned as “urban legends”.


  3. kathleen says:

    A “positive view” of arch-heretic, Luther?
    A “text” to be used at this meeting in Lund that “paints a picture of Luther as a religious hero” (gasp) “who found a way to a more true form of Catholicism”??

    Yeah, such a “true form of Catholicism” that it became, under Luther, a downward spiral of gradual denial of nearly all Her former doctrines! And opening the door to the so-called ‘Enlightenment’, otherwise known as ‘Secularism’. (To say nothing of the countless thousandss of martyrs his Protestant revolt triggered off.)

    And all this from a Pope who tells us it is not licit “to convince” others of our Faith?

    What about Our Lord’s commission to His Apostles? What about the perennial teachings of the Church that we should bring others “into the fold”?
    “And I have other sheep which are not of this fold; it is expedient that I bring them also, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16).

    Is the Pope even Catholic to talk like this, denying Christ’s commandments to His Church?

    I find this treachery all so mind-boggling, I wish it were just a bad dream from which I will soon wake up!


  4. kathleen says:

    How can you see the Pope as being “zealous in desire to gather back the lost sheep to the flock”, when he tells us that it is “a very grave sin against ecumenism” to even try to convince other Christians of the truths of Catholicism? The two concepts are in direct contradiction of each other!

    Unless of course he is after some type of looking-all-ways, universalism of the sort the Masons and Unitarians favour. Something eons away from Catholicism.

    And practising Lutherans themselves would reject these ideas!

    P.S. The final ‘prayer’ to be said at Lund is a joke, surely?


  5. Roger says:

    Decet Romanum Pontificem (English: It Pleases the Roman Pontiff) (1521) is the papal bull excommunicating Martin Luther, bearing the title of the first three Latin words of the text. It was issued on January 3, 1521, by Pope Leo X to effect the excommunication threatened in his earlier papal bull Exsurge Domine (1520) since Luther failed to recant. Luther had burned his copy of Exsurge Domine on December 10, 1520, at the Elster Gate in Wittenberg, indicating his response to it.
    There are at least two other important papal bulls with the title Decet Romanum Pontificem: one dated February 23, 1596, issued by Pope Clement VIII, and one dated March 12, 1622, issued by Pope Gregory XV.
    Toward the end of the 20th century, Lutherans in dialogue with the Catholic Church requested the lifting of this excommunication; however, the Vatican’s response was that its practice is to lift excommunications only on those still living. Roland Bainton in “Here I Stand after a Quarter of a Century,” his preface for the 1978 edition of his Luther biography, concludes: “I am happy that the Church of Rome has allowed some talk of removing the excommunication of Luther. This might well be done. He was never a heretic. He might better be called, as one has phrased it, ‘a reluctant rebel.'” Luther’s rehabilitation has been denied however by the Vatican: “Rumors that the Vatican is set to rehabilitate Martin Luther, the 16th-century leader of the Protestant Reformation, are groundless,” said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi March 10 2008

    SORRY ITS LONG but it is of course Relevant
    The Bull ‘Decet Romanum’: the Condemnation and Excommunication of Martin Luther, the Heretic, and his Followers, January 1521.

    The Bull “Decet Romanum”

    Through the power given him from God, the Roman Pontiff has been appointed to administer spiritual and temporal punishments as each case severally deserves. The purpose of this is the repression of the wicked designs of misguided men, who have been so captivated by the debased impulse of their evil purposes as to forget the fear of the Lord, to set aside with contempt canonical decrees and apostolic commandments, and to dare to formulate new and false dogmas and to introduce the evil of schism into the Church of God—or to support, help and adhere to such schismatics, who make it their business to cleave asunder the seamless robe of our Redeemer and the unity of the orthodox faith. Hence it befits the Pontiff, lest the vessel of Peter appear to sail without pilot or oarsman, to take severe measures against such men and their followers, and by multiplying punitive measures and by other suitable remedies to see to it that these same overbearing men, devoted as they are to purposes of evil, along with their adherents, should not deceive the multitude of the simple by their lies and their deceitful devices, nor drag them along to share their own error and ruination, contaminating them with what amounts to a contagious disease. It also befits the Pontiff, having condemned the schismatics, to ensure their still greater confounding by publicly showing and openly declaring to all faithful Christians how formidable are the censures and punishments to which such guilt can lead; to the end that by such public declaration they themselves may return, in confusion and remorse, to their true selves, making an unqualified withdrawal from the prohibited conversation, fellowship and (above all) obedience to such accursed excommunicates; by this means they may escape divine vengeance and any degree of participation in their damnation.

    I [Here the Pope recounts his previous Bull Exsurge Domine and continues]

    II We have been informed that after this previous missive had been exhibited in public and the interval or intervals it prescribed had elapsed [60 days]—and we hereby give solemn notice to all faithful Christians that these intervals have and are elapsed—many of those who had followed the errors of Martin took cognisance of our missive and its warnings and injunctions; the spirit of a saner counsel brought them back to themselves, they confessed their errors and abjured the heresy at our instance, and by returning to the true Catholic faith obtained the blessing of absolution with which the self-same messengers had been empowered; and in several states and localities of the said Germany the books and writings of the said Martin were publicly burned, as we had enjoined.
    Nevertheless Martin himself—and it gives us grievous sorrow and perplexity to say this—the slave of a depraved mind, has scorned to revoke his errors within the prescribed interval and to send us word of such revocation, or to come to us himself; nay, like a stone of stumbling, he has feared not to write and preach worse things than before against us and this Holy See and the Catholic faith, and to lead others on to do the same.
    He has now been declared a heretic; and so also others, whatever their authority and rank, who have cared nought of their own salvation but publicly and in all men’s eyes become followers of Martin’s pernicious and heretical sect, and given him openly and publicly their help, counsel and favour, encouraging him in their midst in his disobedience and obstinacy, or hindering the publication of our said missive: such men have incurred the punishments set out in that missive, and are to be treated rightfully as heretics and avoided by all faithful Christians, as the Apostle says (Titus iii. 10-11).

    III. Our purpose is that such men should rightfully be ranked with Martin and other accursed heretics and excommunicates, and that even as they have ranged themselves with the obstinacy in sinning of the said Martin, they shall likewise share his punishments and his name, by bearing with them everywhere the title “Lutheran” and the punishments it incurs.
    Our previous instructions were so clear and so effectively publicised and we shall adhere so strictly to our present decrees and declarations, that they will lack no proof, warning or citation.
    Our decrees which follow are passed against Martin and others who follow him in the obstinacy of his depraved and damnable purpose, as also against those who defend and protect him with a military bodyguard, and do not fear to support him with their own resources or in any other way, and have and do presume to offer and afford help, counsel and favour toward him. All their names, surnames and rank—however lofty and dazzling their dignity may be—we wish to be taken as included in these decrees with the same effect as if they were individually listed and could be so listed in their publication, which must be furthered with an energy to match their contents.
    On all these we decree the sentences of excommunication, of anathema, of our perpetual condemnation and interdict; of privation of dignities, honours and property on them and their descendants, and of declared unfitness for such possessions; of the confiscation of their goods and of the crime of treason; and these and the other sentences, censures and punishments which are inflicted by canon law on heretics and are set out in our aforesaid missive, we decree to have fallen on all these men to their damnation.

    IV We add to our present declaration, by our Apostolic authority, that states, territories, camps, towns and places in which these men have temporarily lived or chanced to visit, along with their possessions—cities which house cathedrals and metropolitans, monasteries and other religious and sacred places, privileged or unprivileged—one and all are placed under our ecclesiastical interdict, while this interdict lasts, no pretext of Apostolic Indulgence (except in cases the law allows, and even there, as it were, with the doors shut and those under excommunication and interdict excluded) shall avail to allow the celebration of mass and the other divine offices. We prescribe and enjoin that the men in question are everywhere to be denounced publicly as excommunicated, accursed, condemned, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them. They are to be strictly shunned by all faithful Christians.

    V We would make known to all the small store that Martin, his followers and the other rebels have set on God and his Church by their obstinate and shameless temerity. We would protect the herd from one infectious animal, lest its infection spread to the healthy ones. Hence we lay the following injunction on each and every patriarch, archbishop, bishop, on the prelates of patriarchal, metropolitan, cathedral and collegiate churches, and on the religious of every Order—even the mendicants—privileged or unprivileged, wherever they may be stationed: that in the strength of their vow of obedience and on pain of the sentence of excommunication, they shall, if so required in the execution of these presents, publicly announce and cause to be announced by others in their churches, that this same Martin and the rest are excommunicate, accursed, condemned, heretics, hardened, interdicted, deprived of possessions and incapable of owning them, and so listed in the enforcement of these presents. Three days will be given: we pronounce canonical warning and allow one day’s notice on the first, another on the second, but on the third peremptory and final execution of our order. This shall take place on a Sunday or some other festival, when a large congregation assembles for worship. The banner of the cross shall be raised, the bells rung, the candles lit and after a time extinguished, cast on the ground and trampled under foot, and the stones shall be cast forth three times, and the other ceremonies observed which are usual in such cases. The faithful Christians, one and all, shall be enjoined strictly to shun these men.
    We would occasion still greater confounding on the said Martin and the other heretics we have mentioned, and on their adherents, followers and partisans: hence, on the strength of their vow of obedience we enjoin each and every patriarch, archbishop and all other prelates, that even as they were appointed on the authority of Jerome to allay schisms, so now in the present crisis, as their office obliges them, they shall make themselves a wall of defence for their Christian people. They shall not keep silence like dumb dogs that cannot bark, but incessantly cry and lift up their voice, preaching and causing to be preached the word of God and the truth of the Catholic faith against the damnable articles and heretics aforesaid.

    VI To each and every rector of the parish churches, to the rectors of all the Orders, even the mendicants, privileged or unprivileged, we enjoin in the same terms, on the strength of their vow of obedience, that appointed by the Lord as they are to be like clouds, they shall sprinkle spiritual showers on the people of God, and have no fear in giving the widest publicity to the condemnation of the aforesaid articles, as their office obliges them. It is written that perfect love casteth out fear. Let each and every one of you take up the burden of such a meritorious duty with complete devotion; show yourselves so punctilious in its execution, so zealous and eager in word and deed, that from your labours, by the favour of divine grace, the hoped-for harvest will come in, and that through your devotion you will not only earn that crown of glory which is the due recompense of all who promote religious causes, but also attain from us and the said Holy See the unbounded commendation that your proved diligence will deserve.

    VII However, since it would be difficult to deliver the present missive, with its declarations and announcements, to Martin and the other declared excommunicates in person, because of the strength of their faction, our wish is that the public nailing of this missive on the doors of two cathedrals—either both metropolitan, or one cathedral and one metropolitan of the churches in the said Germany—by a messenger of ours in those places, shall have such binding force that Martin and the others we have declared shall be shown to be condemned at every point as decisively as if the missive had been personally made known and presented to them.

    VIII It would also be difficult to transmit this missive to every single place where its publication might be necessary. Hence our wish and authoritative decree is that copies of it, sealed by some ecclesiastical prelate or by one of our aforesaid messengers, and countersigned by the hand of some public notary, should everywhere bear the same authority as the production and exhibition of the original itself.

    IX No obstacle is afforded to our wishes by the Apostolic constitutions and orders, or by anything in our aforesaid earlier missive which we do not wish to stand in the way, or by any other pronouncements to the contrary.

    X No one whatsoever may infringe this our written decision, declaration, precept, injunction, assignation, will, decree; or rashly contravene it. Should anyone dare to attempt such a thing, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

    Written at St. Peter’s, Rome, on the 3rd January 1521,
    during the eighth year of our pontificate.



  6. JabbaPapa says:

    How can you see the Pope as being “zealous in desire to gather back the lost sheep to the flock”

    I was talking about the duties of the Pontifical Ministry, not about any Pope in particular in saying that. I should have been clearer.


  7. Roger says:

    St Paul rebuked St Peter!
    Our Lord rebuked St Peter.

    Luther? Is in Hell
    He has now been declared a heretic; and so also others, WHATEVER THEIR AUTHORITY AND RANK , WHO HAVE CARED NOUGHT OF THEIR OWN SALVATION BUT PUBLICALY AND IN ALL MEN’S EYES BECOME FOLLOWERS OF MARTIN’S PERNICIOUS AND HERECTICAL SECT, sect, and given him openly and publicly their help, counsel and favour, encouraging him in their midst in his disobedience and obstinacy, or hindering the publication of our said missive: such men have incurred the punishments set out in that missive, AND ARE TO BE TREATED RIGHTFULLY AS HERECTICS AND AVOIDED BY ALL FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS, as the Apostle says (Titus iii. 10-11).

    Understand that Pope Leo X Binds WHATEVER THEIR AUTHORITY.


  8. mmvc says:

    Roger @ 22.40, thank you for this. To think that such a strong defence of the Faith by the Church is almost non-existent in our times…
    The sad case of Tony Palmer (RIP) still brings tears to my eyes.


  9. Roger says:

    Tony Palmer ?
    Our Heavenly Father isn’t a tyrant.
    In Tony’s Case
    His Desire was to enter the mystical body of Christ (the Church) and this was denied Him for reasons contrary to Our Lord’s express Words.

    Tony’s Desire
    (Definitions from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)
    Baptism of Desire, and Baptism of Blood

    Baptism of Desire is one of the two possible substitutes for Baptism of water. When it is not possible thus to be baptized, an act of perfect contrition or pure love of God will supply the omission. Such acts are a perfect and ultimate disposition calling for the infusion of sanctifying grace, and at least implicitly include a desire and intention to receive Baptism of water should occasion offer. Infants are not capable of Baptism of desire. An heathen, believing, even though in a confused way, in a God whose will should be done and desiring to do that will whatever it may be, probably has Baptism of desire. It may reasonably be assumed that vast numbers of persons unbaptized by water have thus been rendered capable of enjoying the Beatific Vision.

    Baptism of Blood is one of the two possible substitutes for Baptism of water and consists of suffering martyrdom for the Faith or for some Christian virtue, which infuses sanctifying grace into the soul and forgives sin. Martyrdom produces this effect by a special privilege, as being a supreme act of love in imitation of the passion of Our Lord, but the martyr must have had attrition for his sins. Baptism of Blood extends to infants.

    Tony as a little one of Christ.
    Matthew 18
    14 Even so it is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

    For those who denied Tony’s Conversion.
    Mark 10
    14 Whom when Jesus saw, he was much displeased, and saith to them: Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.

    The need to Convert and the grave scandal of those who denied Tony!!
    Matthew 18
    3 And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
    5 And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.
    6 But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.

    John 14
    24 He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father’ s who sent me.


  10. mmvc says:

    Roger, as a senior cleric of an Evangelical Episcopal Church, Tony Palmer was no doubt a validly baptised Christian. But at some point he longed to convert to Catholicism and to receive the Sacraments with his Catholic wife and children. Incredibly, he was advised against this by his spiritual director, Cardinal Bergoglio. His tragic untimely death meant that his fervent and holy desire to become a member of the Catholic Church here on earth was not to be. One can only hope that Our Lord Himself received Tony into full communion at his death.

    What would Pope Leo X have made of this?

    Bergoglio, whom Palmer called “Father Mario,” acted as a spiritual father to the Protestant cleric, calming him (“he wanted to make me a reformer, not a rebel,” Palmer told me) and encouraging him in his mission to Christian unity.

    At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.

    “We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.


  11. Roger says:

    Pope Leo?

    Well lets look at the Christian Charity in action of a Great Pope Pius XII.
    The Marian Pope of the 20th Century.

    Consider first the plight of the Jews and the Conversion to Christ of the Chief Rabbi Of Rome.
    The Pope giving Confession!
    Pius XII and the story of the young Protestant girl.
    Without doubt Souls saw in Pope Pius XII Our Lord.
    Claims that Pope Pius XII never instructed people to protect Jews during the war, are contradicted by the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Anton Zolli.

    Israel Zoller was born in Brodj, Galizia, on September 17, 1881. His family name was italianized to Zolli. They were Polish Jews and had been Rabbis for four centuries. In 1920 Israel was named Rabbi of Trieste which then belonged to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. He also held the Hebrew Language and Literature Chair at the University of Padova. In 1940 he was deprived of this position by the Fascists and sent to Rome as Chief Rabbi.

    Zolli devoted an entire chapter in his memoirs to the German occupation of Rome and praised the Pope’s leadership: “… The people of Rome loathed the Nazis and had intense pity for the Jews. They willingly assisted in the evacuation of the Jewish population into remote villages, where they were concealed and protected by Christian families. Christian families in the heart of Rome accepted Jews. There was money in the treasury for the support of destitute refugees thus hidden. The Holy Father sent by hand a letter to the bishops instructing them to lift the enclosure from convents and monasteries, so that they could become refuges for the Jews. I know of one convent where the Sisters slept in the basement, giving up their beds to Jewish refugees. In face of this charity, the fate of so many of the persecuted is especially tragic.”

    Rabbi Zolli is the most important non-Catholic witness to the role of Pius XII in wartime Italy during the Nazi occupation and persecution of Jews. A biblical scholar whose courage and integrity cannot be challenged, Zolli, his wife and his twenty-year-old daughter Miriam, were each hidden my different members of the Roman resistance party Giustizia e Libertà. They were eye-witnesses of the deportation of Rome’s Jews by the Gestapo in 1943.

    Zolli asked to be received by the Pope. The meeting with Pius XII took place on July 25, 1944. Notes by Vatican Secretary of State Giovanni Battista Montini confirm the fact that on July 23 Rabbi Zolli addressed the Jewish Community in the Synagogue and publicly thanked the Holy Father for all he did to save the Jewish Community of Rome. His talk was transmitted by radio. On February 13, 1945, Rabbi Zolli was baptized by Rome’s Auxiliary Bishop Luigi Traglia in the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Present for the ceremony was Father Agostino Bea, the Pope’s confessor and future protagonist during the Council with regard to the dialog between religions. In gratitude to Pius XII, Israel Zolli took the name, Eugenio. A year later his wife and daughter were also baptized.

    Enjoy the following
    Pius XII blended casualness with dignity and many times ignored Vatican protocol during the papal audiences. The story goes that, on some occasions, people filled with repentance would tremblingly ask to go to confession. Always a priest and aware of divine grace at work, the Holy Father never failed to step to a corner with the penitent sinner and grant him absolution, while others waited in awe.

    In those days, women admitted to a papal audience had to wear long-sleeved, high-necked black dresses with a mantilla and a veil. A young woman newspaper correspondent during World War II was in a hurry, so her male companions smuggled her past guards to the great Consistorial Hall where the Pope would receive them. But when instructed to form a circle, the conspirators were forced to expose the young lady. As the guards were rushing her away, the Pope entered and signaled them to let her stay. He repaid her brashness with the gentle comment: “Ah, we see you are an American.”

    Screening for a general audience was not very intense. In fact, many ladies were not aware they had to dress according to protocol. One day, when asked to kneel, a young girl in culottes and wedgies and harlequin glasses refused. “I got a coat on – isn’t that enough? I’m not a Catholic! Why should I kneel?” Everyone was embarrassed.

    As the Pope arrived, the girl continued to abuse the guards. Suddenly the scene changed. The Pope approached her gently; she burst into tears on her knees. He comforted her and stretched forth his hands to raise her up, but she shook her head and begged his blessing. Pope Pius XII blessed her and the rest of the assemblage.

    The source of the above?

    Peter is always a Priest seeking to bring souls to Christ. We see this with Pius XII “.. Always a priest and aware of divine grace at work, the Holy Father never failed to step to a corner with the penitent sinner and grant him absolution, while others waited in awe. ..”

    Do I see a priest in Francis seeking to bring souls to Our Lords Church? No!


  12. Toad says:

    I still find the Palmer story very hard to swallow.
    And am deeply suspicious of all the spin being put on it, at least as reported by Mmvc, above.
    But, no – I don’t know the facts.
    However, it seems clear Palmer was a very weak personality, who couldn’t act – not even on his own deeply-held convictions,
    (Like C.S. Lewis? No?). And yet we cheerfully use his spinelessness to blackguard the pope.

    “In those days, women admitted to a papal audience had to wear long-sleeved, high-necked black dresses with a mantilla and a veil. A young woman newspaper correspondent during World War II was in a hurry, so her male companions smuggled her past guards to the great Consistorial Hall where the Pope would receive them. But when instructed to form a circle, the conspirators were forced to expose the young lady. As the guards were rushing her away, the Pope entered and signaled them to let her stay. He repaid her brashness with the gentle comment: “Ah, we see you are an American.””
    Roger, this story is totally incomprehensible.


  13. mmvc says:

    at least as reported by Mmvc, above.

    The report I linked to and quoted from was written by the pope’s biographer, Austen Ivereigh and published by The Boston Globe.

    Not mentioned in the article was that Tony Palmer had a Catholic bishop’s burial and was laid to rest amongst Catholic recusants in a crypt in Bath:

    “Fr. David told us that because Tony was not a Roman Catholic he had to ask his bishops permission to celebrate the requiem and though Tony’ s wife and children are Roman Catholics, permission still had to be given for the requiem. The bishop agreed but said that Tony could not be buried as a bishop as he was not a Roman Catholic bishop. However, Pope Francis said he should and could be buried as a bishop…and so that put an end to that little bit of ecclesiastical nonsense!”
    (source: Michael Daly CJ Blog, A few thoughts from the Requiem Mass Celebrating the Life of Rt Rev Anthony Palmer. 4th Feb 1966 – 20th July 2014)

    His remains “were taken to the Eyre Chapel Crypt, at Perrymeade Catholic Cemetery, in Bath” — a place of high honour…
    …”This miniature jewel of a chapel was built by Charles Francis Hansom in the 1860s for John Lewis Eyre, as a burial place and chantry for the Eyre family. Hansom designed an elaborate French Gothic chapel, with a beautiful altar in the form of a sepulchre containing an alabaster figure of Christ. In the crypt are buried members of the Eyre family, Recusants who came originally from Derbyshire.”


  14. Toad says:

    Certainly a very interesting story.
    Full of all sorts of thought- provoking ramifications.
    Many Thanks, MmvC.
    “Not mentioned in the article was that Tony Palmer had a Catholic bishop’s burial and was laid to rest amongst Catholic recusants in a crypt in Bath:”
    …Indicating that bishops get “better” burials than us canaille. …..


  15. Roger says:

    The Anglican Orders are NULL and VOID

    On the Nullity of Anglican Orders Apostolicae Curae
    September 18, 1896 by Pope Leo XIII

    (worth reading for an informative and detailed explaination)


    3. For an opinion already prevalent, confirmed more than once by the action and constant practice of the Church, maintained that when in England, shortly after it was rent from the center of Christian Unity, a new rite for conferring Holy Orders was publicly introduced under Edward VI, the true Sacrament of Order as instituted by Christ lapsed, and with it the hierarchical succession. For some time, however, and in these last years especially, a controversy has sprung up as to whether the Sacred Orders conferred according to the Edwardine Ordinal possessed the nature and effect of a Sacrament, those in favor of the absolute validity, or of a doubtful validity, being not only certain Anglican writers, but some few Catholics, chiefly non-English. The consideration of the excellency of the Christian priesthood moved Anglican writers in this matter, desirous as they were that their own people should not lack the twofold power over the Body of Christ. Catholic writers were impelled by a wish to smooth the way for the return of Anglicans to holy unity. Both, indeed, thought that in view of studies brought up to the level of recent research, and of new documents rescued from oblivion, it was not inopportune to reexamine the question by our authority.

    27. In vain has help been recently sought for the plea of the validity of Anglican Orders from the other prayers of the same Ordinal. For, to put aside other reasons when show this to be insufficient for the purpose in the Anglican life, let this argument suffice for all. From them has been deliberately removed whatever sets forth the dignity and office of the priesthood in the Catholic rite. That “form” consequently cannot be considered apt or sufficient for the Sacrament which omits what it ought essentially to signify.

    28. The same holds good of episcopal consecration. For to the formula, “Receive the Holy Ghost”, not only were the words “for the office and work of a bishop”, etc. added at a later period, but even these, as we shall presently state, must be understood in a sense different to that which they bear in the Catholic rite. Nor is anything gained by quoting the prayer of the preface, “Almighty God”, since it, in like manner, has been stripped of the words which denote the summum sacerdotium .

    25. But the words which until recently were commonly held by Anglicans to constitute the proper form of priestly ordination namely, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” certainly do not in the least definitely express the sacred Ordel of Priesthood (sacerdotium) or its grace and power, which is chiefly the power “of consecrating and of offering the true Body and Blood of the Lord” (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, de Sacr. Ord. , Canon 1) in that sacrifice which is no “bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross” (Ibid, Sess XXII., de Sacrif. Missae, Canon 3).

    From the above we understand that Tony Palmer as an Anglican was a lay person and was also lacking the Sacrament of Confirmation.

    However, Pope Francis said he should and could be buried as a bishop…and so that put an end to that little bit of ecclesiastical nonsense!”

    Who is right? Pope Leo XIII and Pope Julius III and Pope Paul IV and The Council Of Trent or the personal opinion of a maverick Bergoglio?


  16. Toad says:

    While we are screaming blue murder about Lutheranism, on one hand, why are we happy to cite and quote C.S. Lewis as a glowing example of Christianity? Would we do so if he had been a Lutheran, rather than an Anglican? If not, why not?

    And why was my mention of bishops who lived in Summer and Winter palaces censored?
    Too boring for the readers? I suppose so.


  17. Roger says:


    Saint Thomas Aquinas
    “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.”

    Luther and Lutheran’s do not believe in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    1/ His Book “Against the Roman Papacy: An Institution of the Devil”.
    “..Yesterday I burned the devilish work of the Pope, and I wish that it was the Pope, that is, the Papal See that was consumed. If you do not separate from Rome, there is no salvation for your souls…”

    2/In his pamphlet The Abrogation of the Mass, aimed at destroying the Mass
    “..All will now know that these sacrificial Masses have been proven injurious to Our Lord’s testament and that
    therefore nothing in the whole world is to be hated and loathed so much as the hypocritical shows of this priesthood, its
    Masses, its worship, its piety, its religion. ..”

    2/ A key tenet of Luther’s revolution is belief in the “Bible Alone.” In Luther’s system, there is no Church commissioned with Divine authority to teach in Christ’s name

    St. John Fisher, who lived at the time of Luther, expressed horror at Luther’s impiety: “My God!” he wrote, “How can one
    be calm when one hears such blasphemous lies uttered against the mysteries of Christ?
    How can one without resentment listen to such outrageous insults hurled against God’s priests? Who can read such blasphemies without weeping from sheer grief if he still retains in his heart even the smallest spark of Christian piety?”


  18. mmvc says:

    Interview with Pope Francis on the occasion of his apostolic trip to Sweden

    Click to access Interview_with_PF.pdf

    In ecumenical dialogue, the different communities should be mutually enriched with the best of their traditions. What could the Catholic Church learn from the Lutheran tradition?

    Two words come to my mind: «reform» and «Scripture». I will try to explain. The first is the word «reform». At the beginning, Luther’s was a gesture of reform in a difficult time for the Church. Luther wanted to remedy a complex situation. Then this gesture—also because of the political situations, we think also of the cuius regio eius religio (whose realm, his religion) —became a «state» of separation, and not a process of reform of the whole Church, which is fundamental, because the Church is semper reformanda (always reforming). The second word is «Scripture», the Word of God. Luther took a great step by putting the Word of God into the hands of the people. Reform and Scripture are two things that we can deepen by looking at the Lutheran tradition. The General Congregations before the Conclave comes to mind and how the request for a reform was alive in our discussions.


  19. Toad says:

    “Saint Thomas Aquinas
    “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass.”

    The world survived without it for several million years – until quite recently, Roger. 2,000 years is the mere blink of a geological eye.

    And it’s pointless addressing all that Luther stuff, above, at me – I ‘m not defending him . I withold judgement , as with most religious assertions. But, if my Mum and Dad (or yours ) had been Lutherans, (or yours) I would have been born one. and no doubt been taught that it was the only true religion, and likely have believed it for a while, until learning to think for myself (or you, for yourself) .
    Because I see no reason to be any less sceptical of Luther’s views on religious matters than I do of anyone else’s.
    You and I each might later have considered Lutheranism – and given it up. Lots of people have. Some just won’t budge. Early indoctrination too strong.


  20. Roger says:

    The world DIDN’T survive without the Holy Sacrifice Of The Mass! It existed in ANTICIPATION of the Perpetual Sacrifice.

    That Man has an eternal existence was commonly understood and known from the dawn of time. I would simply cite Homer as proof of this. Also evidence exists for catastrophic and globally disasters. Before Christ we can see the lack of Grace in the brutality and hatred that existed and is record between tribes and nations.

    Genesis is such a complex profound Book but it explains the reason for this fallen world and the coming of the Redeemer to restore to man what he had lost. The road of the Redeemer? The Virgin!

    The Old Law and its bloody sacrifices was in anticipation of Christs and that this Old Law would be fulfilled and replaced by a New Covenant that would last forever. The Perpetual Sacrifice.

    Christ didn’t come because of the sacrifices or prophets under the Old Law! He came because of the Immaculate Virgin and Our Lady’s FIAT. The Redeemer came and Died because of the Immaculate (it wasn’t for the demonic crowd and its leaders whom were baying for His Innocent Blood).

    Fatima is telling Man that His Sins and attacks on the Church are crying out to God for Justice. That those Enlightened Men of Science (Naturalism) in their blindness and stupidity were and are rejecting Grace and trying to take Mankind back into the darkness that existed before the coming of Christ.

    In this Age of calculated hatred of Christ to a level previously seen in Jerusalem on Good Friday Heavens response is The Virgin the Immaculate.

    Pope Pius XII was the Marian Pope of 20th Century as proven through the Dogma of the Assumption and the promulgation of Fatima (Blue Army etc..)

    From 1960 onwards we have had lip service to Mary and much patronising towards Jews, Calvinists, Lutherans, pagan religions etc.. BUT THE CHANNELS OF GRACE ARE THE SACRAMENTS AND THESE FLOW THROUGH THE ONE CHURCH! THE APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC CHURCH.

    To deny a Anglican a request to become a Catholic is to deny His soul of the Life Of Grace in the Sacraments! To waffle over Luther and Lutherians is to encourage these to remain bereft of the Sacraments.

    The Church has to Evangelise BUT if rejected Christ’s words apply.
    Our Lord’s instructions to His Disciples still apply!
    Luke 9
    5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off even the dust of your feet, for a testimony against them.

    Obedience to the Papacy ( thats the line of Popes from Peter). In other words Popes themselves are bound because what has been revealed and cannot be changed. What has been condemned remains condemned. Dogma builds on Dogma. The deposit of the Faith cannot be changed.

    This modern insanity that blindly believes in the separation of the temporal (State) from the spiritual (Church) but Man is Body, spirit and soul. The temporal and spiritual are INSEPARABLY BOUND.

    Understand as was the Case 2000 years ago so today the road to Christs Peace is to Jesus THROUGH MARY (the Immaculate). To continue to refuse or deny Conversions and worse to leave souls still in Original Sin (sic the Jews) as if they were exempt from Adam’s Sin is to betray Christ and Our Neighbour.


  21. JabbaPapa says:

    The world survived without it for several million years – until quite recently, Roger. 2,000 years is the mere blink of a geological eye

    Toad, your understanding of the Catholic conception of Time, Eternity, and the hic et nunc seems to be flawed. Your teleology in particular.


  22. mmvc says:

    Roger @ 15.53, God bless you for once again expounding the Truth here so clearly.


  23. Toad says:

    “Toad, your understanding of the Catholic conception of Time, Eternity, and the hic et nunc seems to be flawed.”
    More than likely, Jabba.

    “Also evidence exists for catastrophic and globally disasters. “
    Yes, it’s called geology.

    “Before Christ we can see the lack of Grace in the brutality and hatred that existed and is record between tribes and nations.”
    Some of us can still see it, Robot.
    …Nor do we have to look very hard.


  24. JabbaPapa says:

    Remember that Warning about the Smoke of Satan entering through cracks in the Church ?

    Well …

    St Peter’s since this morning and the Italian earthquake :


  25. mmvc says:

    St Peter’s since this morning and the Italian earthquake

    It’s St Paul’s rather than St Peter’s:

    The earthquake in central Italy has damaged the 4th century church in Rome commonly known as ‘St Paul’s Outside the Walls’.

    ANSA news agency reported that cornices fell and cracks appeared in the walls after the quake struck central Italy and shook many buildings in the capital.

    A beam that supported a large candelabra had also become detached causing more damage.

    The report said firefighters and police were called to the basilica, one of the most popular for Christian pilgrims after the quake.

    The Basilica is one of Rome’s four ancient, Papal, major basilicas, along with the Basilicas of St. John in the Lateran, St. Peter’s, and St. Mary Major.



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