The First Liberal Was Named Lucifer

“What do I regard as the most troubling developments in the current pontificate? People are alarmed, and rightly, by the abandonment of clear doctrine, especially in the field of sexual morality, but to me the most appalling feature of Francis’s rule is the reckless submission to the spirit of the modern world. We now see a complete collapse of the Church’s defence in the face of the satanic advance against Christian society that has been evident for the past sixty years. I am struck by the extent to which, just in the last five years, the frenzy of ‘liberal’ society has strengthened in fields like the refusal to tolerate any opposition to abortion, or the attempt to deny the reality of human nature as regards sexual difference and marriage.” [From Dictator Pope official site on Twitter]

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Lucifer Descends Upon Earth

By Matt Walsh. From his book, The Unholy Trinity: Blocking the Left’s Assault on Life, Marriage and Gender

The first liberal was named Lucifer. He was an angel. He lived in Heaven millennia ago, before modern times, before ancient times, before time itself. He could still be there today if that’s what he’d chosen, but in his absurd and insatiable pride he would not bend his knee to the supreme will of God.

Non serviam. “I will not serve,” he said, wanting to love only himself.

Just like that, he and those who followed him were cast out of Paradise, down into the hideous depths of Hell, where he could reign over his pitiful kingdom of darkness. It was there, in the fires of damnation, that the philosophy of liberalism was born, although it wouldn’t be known by that name for many years.

It was this philosophy that led to the Fall of Man, when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptations of the serpent and attempted to make themselves equal to God.

It was the philosophy behind every act of human evil throughout history, at the bottom of every atrocity. It’s the philosophy you would have found incubating in Sodom and Gomorrah amid the orgy of heathens, or in the Temple of Baal, where the pagans made human sacrifices as part of their barbaric fertility rituals and to ensure for themselves wealth and prosperity.

This philosophy has propelled all the great villains throughout history. It is the philosophy of Judas, of Nero, of Genghis Khan, of Adolf Hitler, of Hillary Clinton. The specifics of what these people all believed, and how they framed it around the political circumstances of the day, isn’t terribly relevant, for they desired the same thing and worshiped the same god: the self.

What we call “liberalism” in public discourse today is really just the worship of self. It is the categorical belief in the supremacy of the individual…Of course, we all lapse into selfishness at times — I often provide proof of that — but those who affirm the ultimate primacy of the self all share the same ideology. Their worship might manifest itself in different ways, but they’re all cut from the same cloth woven by the Devil himself eons ago.

 

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Mass migration part of plan to water down Europe’s Christian identity

Perhaps BREXIT was not such a bad idea after all.

Immigrant violence worsens in Italy

A Catholic bishop has stated that the mass migration from Africa and Asia into Europe in recent years is part of a plan to change the Christian identity of Europe.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, 57, told an interviewer from Milan’s Il Giornale last week that “the phenomenon of so-called “immigration” represents an orchestrated and long-prepared plan by international powers to radically change the Christian and national identities of the European peoples.”

The Church, he said, was being exploited.

“These powers use the Church’s enormous moral potential and her structures to more effectively achieve their anti-Christian and anti-European goal,” he stated.

“To this end they are abusing the true concept of humanism and even the Christian commandment of charity. ”

Asked to comment on Italy’s new and very outspokenly Euro-skeptic Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, the bishop said that he did not know Italy’s political situation well, but that he applauded any European government’s attempt to emphasize their nation’s sovereignty and “historical, cultural, and Christian identity” against “a kind of new Soviet Union” with “an unmistakably Masonic ideology”: the European Union.

 

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Marine Le Pen calls immigration a ‘THREAT’ to French values during attack on globalisation Ms Le Pen has built her campaign around her fierce criticism of the European Union.

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Swiss Bishop Vitus Huonder: “Contraception is part of the culture of death”

Bishop Vitus Huonder of Chur

 

From LifeSiteNews:

A Swiss bishop is praising Humanae Vitae’s “prophetic significance” and warning that contraception is “part of the culture of death.”

On June 29, Bishop Vitus Huonder, of Chur, Switzerland published a “Word of the Bishop” in light of the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae on questions of life.

The 75-year-old bishop says that this document is prophetic “because the fears which Paul VI then expressed have all come to hand.” The Pope was especially and rightly concerned about the “destabilization of marriage and family” as a result of contraceptive practices, and the “separation of sexuality from procreation.” Additionally, Huonder mentions here the papal concerns that “men would not any more respect women as persons, but, rather, look at them largely as objects for their own fulfillment”; there also would develop the danger of governmental intrusion into the freedom of parents, with contraception being used as a “tool of pressure with regard to [restrictive] population policies.” The bishop then concludes: “All of these predictions of the Pope have come to pass.”

The “separation of sexuality from procreation” has led, in this Swiss prelate’s eyes, not only to a “sexuality without procreation,” but also to a “procreation without sexuality,” whereby “innumerable embryos are being discarded by the reproductive technologies.”

“They destroy the life of children in their first phase of life.”

Bishop Huonder adds, “Contraception is part of the culture of death about which St. Pope John Paul II again and again spoke.” Thus, Huonder sees a need “to show, with reference to the encyclical Humanae Vitae, how the Church sees the order of creation.”

The Swiss prelate sees that “the sexual licentiousness already in the youth prohibits their personal maturation.”

“The destabilization of marriages and, with it, of families has strongly increased,” he adds, saying that as a consequence, there is to be found “a fear of bonding and an incapacity to bind oneself.”

With regard to the killing of the unborn in the womb, Bishop Huonder makes it clear that “abortions cannot be effectively fought with the help of contraceptives,” adding that “the border between abortion and contraception has become fluid. Some contraceptives also have the effect of an early abortion [and thus are abortifacient].”

Moreover, Bishop Huonder warns that the effects of this contraceptive mentality and practice in Europe have led to a drastic demographic situation: “The demographic situation is meanwhile a matter of grave concern. The European people do not any more replace the generations. They have become dying people.”

With regard to natural family planning which is, under certain conditions, permitted by the Church, Bishop Huonder insists that, “in order to be permissible, there must be justified reasons. Also natural family planning can be abused by a contraceptive mentality.” For him, this matter has much to do with “self-discipline” and “character.” At the end of his pastoral guide, Bishop Huonder says:

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The Christian spirit can only develop in families if we learn in marriage and the family again to respect fully the order of creation. Let us take the truth seriously which the encyclical Humanae Vitae contains. That shall be a blessing for married couples and the families, yes for the Church as well as for our society.

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The St. Gallen Mafia’s “LGBT” Youth Synod

By Julia Meloni at Crisis Magazine:

October’s youth synod is about finishing the old business of the St. Gallen mafia. It will mark four years since Archbishop Bruno Forte crafted a manipulated synodal report on the “precious support” found in same-sex relationships—released the very daythat two Italian political parties backed homosexual unions.

Pope Francis approved the text before it was published, and his homily that day excoriated “doctors of the law”—an “evil generation”—for resisting the “God of surprises.” Archbishop Forte, meanwhile, declared to the media that “describ[ing] the rights of people living in same-sex unions” is a matter of “being civilized.”

Both men are followers of the late Cardinal Carlo Martini—the “ante-pope” and mafia leader. Martini endorsed same-sex civil unions before his death, after battling Humanae Vitae for years and preaching “discernment” on sexual issues in Night Conversations. In it the Jesuit plotted to use young “prophets” to revolutionize the Church—and said it would “never occur” to him to “judge” homosexual couples, years before Pope Francis’s “Who am I to judge?”

Other mafia alumni—the kingmakers behind Pope Francis’s election—crusaded for “gay Masses,” hailed “gay marriage” laws as “positive,” and tried to make homosexuality “central” to the family synod. Amoris Laetitia’s ghostwriter—the author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing—has openly lamented the pushback against the homosexual agenda there.

Amoris Laetitia, as one priest has shown, was really written to legitimize homosexual activity—but Humanae Vitae, natural law, and the Catechism’s language still stand in the way.

This is why Archbishop Forte and Cardinal Baldisseri planned, in prior synods’ working documents, to use young people to revolutionize moralizing language on sexuality (78), permitting a “re-reading” of natural law (30). Last year, Archbishop Forte already explained how the youth synod will develop Amoris Laetitia’s vow to integrate “everyone” (297).

Cardinal Baldisseri recently presented the synod’s Instrumentum Laboris, which lauds conscience for discerning “what gift we can offer … even if maybe not fully up to the ideal.” It says “some LGBT young people” want “greater care from the Church”—pushing the question of “what to propose” to young same-sex couples.

Baldisseri claims this revolutionary first use of “LGBT” by the Vatican merely quotes a pre-synodal document by young people—yet the ideological term never appears there. It’s an ominous disparity, given his history of synodal manipulation.

Another leader behind the Instrumentum Laboris is Fr. Giacomo Costa, S.J.—the Vice President of the Martini Foundation, handpicked by the pope to help lead the synod as a special secretary. Fr. Costa’s writings have promoted same-sex couples’ struggle for “social and civil rights.” He also helped write the synod’s preparatory document, which vows to execute Amoris Laetitia 37’s promise to “make room for the consciences of the faithful,” who “are capable of carrying out their own discernment.”

He and the Instrumentum Laboris are thus promoting Martini’s “School of the Word,” where young people just listen to the Bible for their own answers about God’s will. At the pre-synodal meeting, young Catholics, non-Catholics, and atheists were led in meditation on Jesus’s promise that truth will “make you free” (John 8:32), as explicated by Gandhi (“[God] is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist”) and the Muslim poet Rumi (“You are a copy of the holy Book of God… Look for whatever you want within yourself”).

Fr. Costa then helped oversee the young writers and editors of the pre-synodal text, as shown by photos of teams at work. While those handpicked young people deny a “conspiracy” or “agenda,” a number are aligned with groups militating for a revolution on sexuality.

Their first draft demanded “open-mindedness” on sexuality and the “welcoming” of “everyone” who violates the Church’s “desired ‘standards.’” Their final text said young people “may want the Church to change her teaching” on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage, and the priesthood. While it diplomatically admitted that “many” youths accept these teachings, it announced that what’s “important” is “discussion” with dissenting “convictions” on these “polemical issues.”

One of the four writers behind the first section works as a producer for Fr. Thomas Rosica, a Martini disciple who gave skewed briefings against “exclusionary language” on homosexuality at the family synod. Fr. Rosica recently acknowledged his staff member’s role in the document and said to “really pray” that “the right young people” are delegates at the synod (23:37).

Another one of the four writers—a journalist featured at Cruxrepresented the Lay Centre. This group tried to influence the family synod by hosting Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne, a participant of a “shadow council” on legitimizing same-sex unions (and an expert at a Vatican seminar for this synod). Both Msgr. Bordeyne and the Lay Centre’s co-founder sit on the board of a Martini-patronized group working to “welcome” homosexual couples.

Before sending its three delegates to the pre-synodal meeting, the Lay Centre hostedCardinal Tobin, who once welcomed an “LGBT pilgrimage” to Mass and recently saidthe Church is “moving on the question of same-sex couples.” One young delegate toldhim about the Church’s “mistakes” in ministering to those “of a different sexual orientation” (38:36). Cardinal Tobin criticized a “cold,” “nominalistic ethic,” saying young people’s “greatest fear” is that the Church “judges them.”

“Now, I think we can correct that, but we’re gonna need help,” he told her (43:04).

She then helped edit the pre-synodal text, saying the meeting showed that “all of us, even if we disagree with Church teachings … are hopeful and still want to be engaged.” She was also trained to fight for “radical inclusion” by Voices of Faith, whose latest conference attacked the Church for being “homophobic and anti-abortion.”

One Voices of Faith delegate helped write the text’s second section lamenting “rules” and “judgment.” Another was surprised by others’ silence on “LGBT” issues, admittingthat the question of including “homosexuality and gender” in the text was “contested until the end.”

That section is subversively modeled on the English Facebook group’s pleas for bold, open orthodoxy:

[The Church] must be stable and not “water down” her truths. [The young] want the Church to openly address issues often considered taboo: homosexuality, abortion, birth control, and gender.

Mysteriously, this cry metamorphosed into this:

The young … desire answers which are not watered-down, or which utilize pre-fabricated formulations. We, the young Church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing without taboo.

Baldisseri also emphatically told the young writers to “explore the [delegates’] different cultures,” so their first draft avoided “very Catholic things” like Adoration and called Jesus a “historical figure.” Others pushed back, yet there was a “tense point” where the meeting’s organizers expressed their desire that the writers not stay up amending the text.

The “huge online community” requesting the Extraordinary Form of the Mass claims it wasn’t “properly” represented by online moderators, who accused those young people of being a “lobby.”

Meanwhile, Fr. James Martin, S.J., is boasting that “LGBT”—a political term that Cardinal Baldisseri falsely attributes to the young people’s text—is now “harder” to criticize. Fr. Martin’s pro-“LGBT” book has been glowingly endorsed by Cardinal Farrell—a key leader behind the synod and the World Meeting of Families—and Fr. Martin recently headlined a conference organizing young people to lobby the synod, sponsored by an LGBT group that received extensive funding to push the homosexual agenda at the family synod.

Fr. Martin—who dreams of the day when the Catechism’s language on homosexuality will change, priests will be able to “come out” and same-sex couples will be able to kissat Mass—has been handpicked by the Vatican to headline the World Meeting of Families along with several top revolutionaries, cardinals who’ve already saidconscience determines whether one can receive the Holy Eucharist while engaging in homosexual activity, and who’ve already flaunted brazen homosexual-themed events within the sacred spaces of the Church.

We’re clearly in a well-plotted endgame now. According to the men behind Pope Francis’s election—ominously scandal-ridden figures like Cardinal Danneels, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick—the timeline was estimated at just four or five years to “make the Church over again.”

(Photo credit: Cardinal Baldisseri, Pope Francis, and Cardinal Farrell at a pre-synod youth meeting, March 19, 2018; Vatican Media/CNA.)

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July: Devotion to the Precious Blood

The Church dedicates the whole month of July to devotion of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord. In the old calendar the 1st July was its special feast day.

”The Liturgy, that admirable summary of the history of the Church, reminds us every year that at this date in 1849, thanks to the French army, the revolution which had driven the Pope from Rome was vanquished. To perpetuate the memory of this triumph and to show that it was due to the Saviour’s merits, Pius IX, at the time a refugee at Gaeta, instituted the Feast of the Precious Blood. Pius XI in 1934 raised it to the First Class.

The Heart of Jesus has made this adorable Blood circulate in His limbs; wherefore, as on the feast of the Sacred Heart, the Gospel presents to our view the thrust of the lance which pierced the side of the Divine Crucified, blood and water gushing forth. [The Office of Matins speaks of the blood which Jesus shed at the Circumcision, in the Garden of Olives, the flagellation, the crowning of thorns and on the cross.] Thus become united the two testimonies which the Holy Ghost bore to the Messias, when He was baptized in the water of the Jordan and when He was baptized in blood on the cross (Gradual). [The Docetes taught that Jesus was the Christ at His baptism, and had thus come by water, but being no longer Christ on the cross He had not come by blood.]

Let us do homage to the precious Blood of our Redeemer which the priest offers to God on the altar.”

(From The Saint Andrew Daily Missal)

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Devotion to the Precious Blood

St. Gaspar del Bufalo

As devotion to the Precious Blood was the dynamo energizing all St. Gaspar del Bufalo’s apostolic endeavors, so was it the heartbeat of his spiritual life. He saw all the mysteries of Christianity in some way or other tinged with the crimson of the Blood of Christ. In one of his manuscripts, he penned the following words:

All the mysteries are focused on the infinite Price of our Redemption like the radii of a circle converging in the center. In this devotion, all the truths of faith are summed up. For this reason, we say in the consecration of our chalice: the “Mystery of Faith.”

In a letter to Pope Leo XII he wrote:

The other devotions are all aids to Catholic piety, but this devotion is its foundation, support, and essence.

Devotion to Mary, in particular, took on a special hue as he beheld it irradiated by the Precious Blood. He considered the Precious Blood the source of Mary’s singular privileges: her Immaculate Conception, her Divine Motherhood, her Assumption, her Queenship; while, on the other hand, he looked upon Mary as the fount of the Price of Redemption as well as the dispenser of its infinite merits.

Not only the mysteries of the Church but also its glories bore a special affinity to the Precious Blood. They flowed forth from it as a torrent of water from a spring. “Oh fount of every mercy, grant that my tongue, purpled with His Blood in the daily celebration of the Mass, may bless you now and forever!” “The Divine Blood is the Price of our Redemption, healing balm for our souls, tender consolation in our labors; … it is the source of all the good we possess. Let us be bold and let us place our confidence in the merits of the Precious Blood.”

Along the “Ways”

In his favorite devotion, Gaspar found a unifying theme for the story of all mankind. Promised in the Garden of Eden, prefigured throughout the Old Testament, consummated in the New Testament, the Precious Blood runs like a unifying golden thread through the tapestry of mankind’s relations with God. “Other devotions,” said the Saint, “which are products of various times have holy and praiseworthy beginnings, but they go back only so far; this devotion is so ancient that it goes back to the moment when Adam sinned, for which reason Jesus was called, ‘the Lamb who has been slain from the foundation of the world.’”

Since adoration of the Precious Blood was the bloodstream of Gaspar’s own personal spiritual life, he quite naturally considered it a sure and attractive way of salvation for others also. In a treatise entitled The Most Precious Blood, Fount of All Spiritual Riches, he describes how the devotion is able to lead a soul from the foothills of the purgative way to the mountain heights of the unitive way. While in the purgative way, the soul, through meditation on the Price of Redemption, is led to abjure its past sins, to do penance for them, and to begin in earnest the practice of virtue. As the soul grows in the knowledge and love of the Divine Blood and advances to the illuminative way, it yearns to imitate the virtues manifested in the bloodsheddings of Christ: obedience, humility, resignation to God’s will, abiding love for God and neighbor. Progressing still further under the sanctifying influence of the Eucharistic Drink, the soul gradually attains to that sacrificial love for God characteristic of a Theresa: Aut pati, aut mori. It is led to cry out in the words of Gaspar, “Jesus has given us His Blood even to the last drop. What is there left to do? Jesus is a victim. Behold I am ready, O my God, to be a victim of love!”

[Source]

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Understanding the War against the West

CP&S comment: In 1917 Our Lady said to the three little seers at Fatima that, “If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world.” This was understood to be the spreading abroad of atheistic Communism. And so it was! But it was the poisonous Marxist ideology of Communism that caused the damage to faith and souls, not the marching military Communist troops people feared so greatly during the Cold War. This article explains exactly how the diabolical plan was put into motion.

Written by Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

As we celebrate the 242nd anniversary of this nation’s declaration of independence from Great Britain, perhaps it is useful and productive to reflect on some issues that continue to deeply affect us as a country in 2018.

Between the late 1940s—the beginning of what we call the “Cold War”—and the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991, America and its allies were engaged in a worldwide military, economic, and ideological defense of what our political leaders variously called, somewhat nebulously, “freedom,” “the democratic way of life,” or, better said, “our Western Christian civilization.” Although we were not totally agreed on just what we were defending, we did know, or at least most of us knew, what we were defending against: international Communism, a tyrannical system of government and of life antithetical to everything we considered noble, worthy, and sacred.

Communism had some definite advantages, at least on paper: it possessed a unity of purpose, a standard ideological narrative, generally centralized control of its political apparatus emanating from Moscow (with eventual exceptions of China, Yugoslavia, and perhaps a few other states), a revolutionary fervor and a certain attractiveness in the developing or “Third World.” It also faced a West that oftentimes appeared disunited in its strategy and approach to the Communist menace, from those who advocated victory over it, to others who strenuously desired to find a modus vivendi with it.

But its inherent weaknesses would bring the old Soviet Union to an ignominious end. By the 1980s the Soviet state and most of its European satellites suffered from disastrous economic policies, the ossification of its leadership cadres, and an inability to meet the increasing challenges of recrudescent internalized nationalism or to staunch the revival of traditional religious belief. This spelled the inglorious demise of the system that many disillusioned writers in the 1930s had once proclaimed as the “bright future of mankind.” In the end, those factors combined with American economic might, the political determination of the Reagan administration, and the rise of such powerful forces as Solidarnosz [Solidarity] and the stepped up opposition of the Catholic Church (e.g., in Poland), witnessed the truth of T. S. Eliot’s poetic expression: “How does the world end, Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

Yet, as scholar Professor Paul Gottfried has demonstrated in his studies, most especially in The Strange Death of Marxism, a virulent strain of Marxism continued and thrived, ironically, at the same time as an ossified Communism seemed to perish. As he explains, this variant of Marxism was less myopically dedicated to the eradication of capitalism, as long as it could control and manipulate capitalism internationally. What was singularly important for it was the revolutionary subversion and transformation of cultural, educational and religious institutions. And in its efforts to achieve that objective in Europe and in the United States, it has been singularly successful.

[…]

In a few short years, the legacy of and link to “high Western culture” had been severed and expelled from popular view, and the “Voice of Firestone,” “Bell Telephone Hour,” and the Met, were either off the air or exiled to the remote niche of “public radio.”

The 1960s into the 1970s became the time of “drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll.” Radical changes took place in how this nation understood marriage, the family and sex, and how we viewed the experimentation and use of drugs. Moral actions and beliefs once considered beyond the pale, were now, at first cautiously, propagated as normal, or, at least acceptable.

And this transformation had its turbulent echo in religion, in particular, in mainline Christianity. From 1962 until 1965 the Catholic Church convoked the Second Vatican Council. As Professor Roberto de Mattei has carefully documented in his magisterial study, The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story (2012), the council was hijacked almost from the beginning by a liberal-Modernist bloc, centered in Germany, France and the Low Countries. Indeed, as Father Ralph M. Wiltgen wrote just two years after the council, “the Rhine had most definitely flowed into the Tiber.” And the practical results, although pitched as a necessary pastoral, non-doctrinal updating, were, in fact, disastrous to both the Church’s teaching mission and its doctrinal stability.

In Protestantism the reverberations were, if anything, even worse. The worldwide Anglican Church, save in some African countries, seemed basically to renounce any pretense of orthodoxy. Mainline Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Disciples of Christ, and others followed suit. Even the Southern Baptists, a bastion of Christian conservatism, seem in recent days to be following uncomfortably the primrose path towards embracing a politically-correct “social gospel” porridge.

Of course, our entertainment industry, Hollywood and television programming most especially, paralleled this revolutionary pathway in productions and offerings. […]

From 1934 until 1965 film and movies were governed by a set production code and a national review board (the “Breen board,” so called after its chief motivator Joseph Breen, who had worked with Cardinal Dougherty of Philadelphia in the 1930s to set some parameters and standards on film entertainment). Productions had to pass the code to be released. Of course, complaints about “censorship” percolated throughout the period—the board was stifling artistic expression and free speech, the argument ran. But can anyone who has carefully viewed and considered in any depth the artistic cinematic output of those earlier years, and then compared it to what prevails today in so many cases, claim that the newer is better?

It would be too facile to blame these revolutionary changes in the West simply on Cultural Marxism. Yet, there are clear contours of descent that link the radical transformations we behold around us with this Progressivist variant of Marxist theory. Certainly, in education from the 1960s and onwards, there has been a truly startling transition: many institutions of higher learning, once the supposed oases for open debate and inquiry, are now turned into hothouses of extreme leftist indoctrination and dogmatic multicultural political correctness. And from this new dogmatism, there can be no dissent.

In the late 1950s and 1960s the rise of an “anti-colonialism” and “anti-white racism” in the Third World was coupled with a revolutionary response on college campuses to “white” European “oppression.” I recall having to read (in 1971) Franco-African Marxist Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth in a political theory class. Along with the influential cultural Marxist philosopher Michel Foucault, Fanon fathered a template of cultural revolution which, in turn, spawned a “liberation” ideology that would within a couple of decades dominate Western academic thinking. In the 1980s came further manifestations: “critical theory” in race and gender studies. The transformation of the economic structures and the foundations of the West would follow—would come as a result of those machinations, with the collaboration of a converted (better said, subverted) mainline Christianity, and the establishment of a newly dogmatized, Progressivist linguistic template.

This new Marxism owed far more to the globalist theorizing of Leon Trotsky than the stodgy commissars in Moscow. Trotsky’s evangelical message blended well with the New Left’s emphasis on societal and cultural transformation. Unlike the older Soviet variant, the new Marxism would achieve victory through the infiltration and conversion of Western institutions—the colleges and schools, the church, entertainment, and, finally, political discourse, and the enforcement of a strict code of speech and, eventually, thought.

And what is ironic about this process is that here in “the West,” while we have been drenched in this multifaceted cultural revolution, nations like Hungary, Russia, Poland, and some of the countries once under the Communist yoke in Eastern Europe emerged from decades of tyranny as if time, it seemed, were turned back fifty years, to a kind of status quo ante bellum. The old beliefs, the old traditions and ideas, the feelings of national pride, and the religious faith of the peoples of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Russia, that had once seemed suppressed and dead-and-buried, have blossomed anew as if very little had happened since Soviet troops occupied them in 1945. And strangely, it was the very existence of an “iron curtain” over much of Europe, a kind of protective prophylaxis that sheltered these countries for five decades from the worst effects of American-style imported crass commercialism, decaying moral standards, and the destruction of religious and cultural beliefs. Thus, it is no accident that nations like Hungary, Poland, and, most especially, Russia, having escaped the worst of those influences and having returned to older traditions, are now the strongest opponents of the decadent contagion that suffocates Western Europe and increasingly, the United States.

As Pat Buchanan has written:

“It is as if the world is turned upside down, with Russia stoutly opposing secularism and cultural destruction, while America and Western Europe embrace them.”

So it is that the United States and Western Europe stand at a cross roads. True, there has been something of a counter-revolution occurring. The successful “Brexit” movement in Great Britain, the rise of nationalist and populist movements in Italy, Russia, Hungary, and other European countries, and the election of Donald Trump are clear indications of that. This was a major flaw in the Progressivist strategy: Millions of citizens were left behind as the institutional victories of the cultural Marxist revolution continued, and they have now rebelled, if perhaps belatedly. But even the modest success of these counter-revolutionary efforts has brought a zealous and at times hysterical reaction from those who have used cultural Marxism and its multiple manifestations to advance the Progressivist Revolution.

Nearly a century ago Marxists theorists such as the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci understood that to defeat the “hegemon” of the Christian West it was not sufficient to challenge it head-on militarily, or at the ballot box. A broad strategy of infiltration and continuous subversion was required. That revolutionary process would take decades to achieve it aims. The fossilized and doddering Communist commissars reviewing their troops every May Day in Red Square would not succeed, but the destruction of the traditional supportive and basic institutions that gave life to the West, would.

And, thus, in November 2016 millions of desperate American citizens—most especially those left behind “deplorables”—finally had had enough and voted for a self-made iconoclastic billionaire, a bull-in-the-china shop, who promised to “drain the swamps.”

Marxism began a “long march” through our institutions a century ago. Now, 242 years after the Founders declared independence, our people must, absolutely, continue their counter-revolution and their efforts to preserve what remains of our heritage, and, with God’s help, begin the arduous, seemingly impossible, task of recovery.

[Source]

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Priest Tells Woman Not to Wear Veil at Mass

Here is another excellent response by Father Z from his ASK FATHER series.

From a reader…

“A woman was told by her priest to NOT wear her veil to Mass. It was blessed and so she didn’t know if she was required by obedience to not wear it, or since because it was blessed she should ignore his request. I believe she stopped when he gave a scorching homily about women trying to seem holier than thou by what they wear to church.”

First, shame on that priest.

While there is nothing that requires a woman to cover her head in church (except perhaps for Paul’s inspired words in 1 Corinthians), neither is there anything to prohibit a woman from covering her head.

Moreover, there is nothing immodest about these head coverings. On the contrary.

Moreover, there is a long and well-founded tradition of women wearing a head covering.

The blessing of the veil would not make a difference insofar as obedience is concerned. Father doesn’t have the authority to tell her what she can wear on her head unless it is patently immodest.

Does he also tell women that they cannot wear makeup or jewelry? Those are certainly vanities, whereas a head covering is meant to obscure rather than to reveal.

And I doubt that Father is psychic so that he can read the hearts of women… the most obscure of all mysteries to men, come to think about it.

Father ought to mind his own business and see to himself and how he is appareled.

Does Father wear the proper vestments for liturgical worship and dress properly as a cleric?

I don’t know who this priest is, but I suspect the answers to the above are “No” and “No”.

Does he similarly preach about the beachwear worn by the rest of the non-veil wearing congregation?

I’ll bet he doesn’t.

Anyone who wears, say, shirts with the flashy logos of their favorite teams is also saying: “Hey! Look at me and think about something that has nothing to do with why we are in church!”

Maybe Father is distracted by the beauty of modest women in veils. In that case, I recommend two solutions to his problem. First, back in the day and today in traditional circles priests were instructed to keep their eyes lowered while processing and while saying Mass. Second, stop saying Mass facing the people and start saying Mass ad orientem!

These could help him with either his distraction or his misogyny.

(The comment section on this topic at Fr Z’s blog is worth reading too.)

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Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B, 2018

 

Image result for talitha cumi

 

 

FIRST READING            Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.  For he fashioned all things that they might have being; and the creatures of the world are wholesome, and there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying.  For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.  But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it.

SECOND READING                  2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15

Brothers and sisters:  As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also.  For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.  Not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs, that there may be equality.  As it is written:  Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less.

 GOSPEL                Mark 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.  One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.  Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death.  Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”  He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.  There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.  She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had.  Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.  She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.  She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”  Immediately her flow of blood dried up.  She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.  Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”  But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”  And he looked around to see who had done it.  The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling.  She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.  He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.  Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”  While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”  Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”  He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.  When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.  So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping?  The child is not dead but asleep.”  And they ridiculed him.  Then he put them all out.  He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.  He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”  The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.  At that they were utterly astounded.  He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

My sisters and brothers in the Lord,

Death is not acceptable in so much of modern culture.  Yet death comes in so many ways to all of us.  The only death to fear is the death of the soul.  God created us to live but death has come into the world.  Physical death.  Everyone seems to want to fight against physical death.  For us who follow the Lord Jesus, physical death is the gateway to eternal life, to living with the Lord Jesus forever.

The first reading today is from the Book of Wisdom.  Even in this book from the Old Testament we hear:  “God formed man to be imperishable.”  God wants us to live!  Yet death came into our world.  The Old Testament knows already that death is not the final answer to our human existence.  Death is only final for those who belong to the company of the devil.

The second reading is from the Second Letter to the Corinthians.  Saint Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to share what money they have with those who have less.  This is another form of dying to oneself:  recognizing that we can share what we have, even if we don’t have much.  In much of modern culture today, the emphasis is on getting as much for oneself as is possible.  This is another expression of the fear of death.  We have a fear of not having all that we want.  It is important to recognize that very often what we want and what we need are very different.  We have to learn to die to ourselves in order to recognize this difference.

We are not invited to look at how others live, but at how we ourselves live.  We are invited to see what we have that we could give away to help others who have less.  Saint Augustine said already in early centuries of Christianity that we should strive to have less so that others can have more.

The Gospel from Saint Mark today returns us to the theme of physical death, but in two forms.  The woman with the hemorrhages would have been cut out of normal society for all of the 12 years that she had suffered from the hemorrhages.  Yet she felt somehow that if only she could touch the Lord Jesus, she could be healed and returned to life.

The daughter of the synagogue official really dies and those around her send a message to her father:  don’t bother Jesus!  Instead, Jesus knows what is happening and goes to the home and brings the young girl back to life, in spite of everyone doubting that it could happen.

Our challenge today is a simple question:  Am I alive in Christ?  Am I willing to share what I have with those who have less?  Can I really believe that Jesus is the whole meaning of life?

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

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DEVOTION OF THE FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS

Image result for our lady of fatima

The following is an explanation of the conditions contained in Our Lady’s request regarding the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays of the Month.

  1. Confess and receive Holy Communion

    On February 15, 1926 the Child Jesus alone came to visit Sr. Lucia and asked if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was being propagated. Sr. Lucia spoke of a difficulty some people have in confessing on the first Saturday, and asked if they might be allowed eight days in order to fulfill Our Lady’s requests. Jesus answered: “Yes, even more time still, as long as they receive Me in the state of grace and have the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

  2. Recite the Rosary

    Five decades of the Rosary may be recited at any time or place; yet, since one will be attending Mass in order to receive Holy Communion, a very desirable time and place would be before or after Mass in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Meditation on the mysteries according to one’s capacity is an essential condition for praying the Rosary. Yet, involuntary distractions do not rob the Rosary of fruit if one is doing the best he can.

  3. “Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.”

    The question is often asked: Does the meditation while reciting the Rosary fulfill this condition, or is there required an additional fifteen minutes of meditation? That an additional 15 minutes of meditation is required was recently confirmed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima. It is clear too from a statement by the first Bishop of Fatima.

    The last entry in the chronology of Fatima, published in the official Calendar of the Sanctuary for the year of 1940, and signed by Dom Jose Correia da Silva, the first Bishop of Fatima, gave a summary of Our Lady’s requests concerning the Five First Saturdays. From that official statement in the Calendar of the Sanctuary, we read the Bishop’s enumeration of the various items that pertain to the devotion of the five Saturdays:

    It consists in going to Confession, receiving Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary and meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. The Confession may be made during the eight days preceding or following the first Saturday of each month, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. Should one forget to form the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it may be formed at the next Confession, occasion to go to confession being taken at the first opportunity.

    The meditation embraces one or more mysteries; it may even include all, taken together or separately, according to individual attraction or devotion; but it is preferable to meditate on one mystery each month.

    Speaking of the requirement of “keeping me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary,” the Bishop’s comment that “it is preferable to meditate on one mystery each month” could apply only to an extra fifteen minutes, for each decade of the Rosary must have its own particular meditation. This is clear from the definition of the Rosary given in the official document of the Church on indulgences, the ENCHIRIDION OF INDULGENCES published by Pope Paul VI in 1968. It describes the Rosary as follows:

    “The Rosary is a certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of HAIL MARYS with an OUR FATHER before each decade, and in which the recitation of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of our Redemption.” (n. 48)

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Like the Rosary, this meditation may be made any time or place during the first Saturday. Yet again, like the Rosary, a very fitting time and place would be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament before or after Mass. The question has been asked: “Would an extra Rosary, which would require about fifteen minutes, fulfill this request? It would seem, if fruitfully meditated, that it would. Or again, the time could be spent reading meditatively on one of the fifteen mysteries, which is a form of mental prayer that involves reading with frequent pauses to reflect on the matter read.

  4. With the intention of making reparation.

    All of the conditions mentioned above – in numbers 1 to 3 – should be fulfilled with the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the occasion of the visit of the Child Jesus to Sr. Lucia (Feb. 16, 1926), she asked: “My Jesus, what about those who forget to make the intention?” Jesus answered: “They can do so at their next confession, taking advantage of their first opportunity to go to Confession.”

    The above are the minimum requirements for fulfilling the conditions of Our Lady’s promise to obtain for us “at the hour of death the graces necessary for salvation.” Yet, these Communions of reparation, as has been pointed out, are only a portion of the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These few pages are meant to help bring about a frame of mind and heart that will make us aware of the need of reparation all through the month, and not just on the first Saturday.

    WHY FIVE SATURDAYS?

    It is sometimes asked why Our Lady asked for Communions of reparation on five first Saturdays, instead of some other number. Our Blessed Lord answered that question when He appeared to Sr. Lucia May 29, 1930. He explained that it was because of five kinds of offenses and blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, namely: blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception, against her perpetual virginity, against the divine and spiritual maternity of Mary, blasphemies involving the rejection and dishonoring of her images, and the neglect of implanting in the hearts of children a knowledge and love of this Immaculate Mother.


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Here we go again!

Image result for laura ingalls wilder

 

 

by Frances Phillips (Catholic Herald)

The Wilder award has been renamed because the author is out of step with ‘core values’. But there’s so much more to her work

I felt somewhat gloomy when I read that the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) in America has now renamed what was formerly the Wilder Award, electing to call it the deliberately impersonal Children’s Literature Legacy Award. As generations of parents and children know, “Wilder” refers to author Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote a series of books for children in the 1930s and 1940s describing – with some artistic licence – her late 19th-century upbringing in a pioneer family.

Now it seems that Little House in the Big Woods (of Wisconsin), On the Banks of Plum Creek (a dugout in Minnesota), By the Shores of Silver Lake (Dakota Territory), The Long Winter (De Smet, South Dakota) and the others in the series have fallen foul of the ever-vigilant body of people who decide what is “inclusive”, what reflects “diversity” – and what is not in step with “core values”.

Because Ingalls Wilder’s attitudes to Native Americans mirrored the attitudes of her day, she occasionally included phrases and opinions that have rightly been censured in today’s more multicultural society. Thus one character’s observation in the pioneer world of the US after the Civil War that “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” is seen as shocking – conveniently forgetting that another, Pa, responded in a way entirely consonant with his humane and tolerant personality: “The Indians would be as peaceable as anyone else if they were left alone.”

I read all the Ingalls Wilder books to our daughters. What remains in my memory is not the rare lapse referred to above but the enduring values of family life, in which a father and mother loved each other and worked hard to provide for their children; where life was materially very hard (Laura’s favourite doll which was simply a paper cut-out) and sometimes dangerous; where survival depended on each family member sacrificing their own wishes; yet where there was still time to sit and listen to Pa playing his fiddle in the evening, bake festive food or to make “sugar snow”.

I recall once going into the bedroom of my oldest daughter, then aged 8 or 9, and finding her crying. When I asked what the matter was, she sobbed, “Mary has gone blind.” This was Laura’s older sister, the less adventurous Mary, who went blind through contracting meningitis (in the story it is changed to scarlet fever). I also recall trying to make “sugar snow” with our younger daughters. And I recall marvelling at the way patient, resourceful Ma kept the children busy and their spirits up as they sat in one room all day trying to keep warm during the freezing months of The Long Winter.

Wilder’s books are, alongside CS Lewis’s Narnia series, Anne of Green Gables and others, rightly regarded as classics of children’s literature. They will be read and reread long after all the texts manufactured by committees about “relevant issues” gather dust in the classroom.

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The Voice of True Shepherds

From LifeSiteNews:

ROME, June 27, 2018 

Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice for over two thousand years.

According to Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, the reception of Holy Communion by a non-Catholic would be a falsehood because Eucharistic Communion is meant to manifest the “perfect union” of the Church’s members. Admitting a non-Catholic who does not accept the integrity of the Catholic Faith (e.g. the papacy, the Marian dogmas, etc) and who continues visibly to adhere to his own community’s beliefs, therefore contradicts the “visible unity of the Church” and the “interior sacramental reality” of the Eucharist.

Bishop Schneider also said canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law (on the administration of certain sacraments to non-Catholic Christians in situations of emergency or danger of death) contains a “problematic and contradictory principle.” He added that the problems being created by the German bishops through their intercommunion proposal are “only the logical consequence of the problematic concessions formulated by canon 844.”

His comments were echoed by those of  U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Order of Malta, who told LifeSiteNews: “Receiving Holy Communion means that you accept all that the Catholic Church teaches. That is why it is a contradiction to permit non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion on a general basis.”

Burke said canon 844, paragraph 4, “needs to be revised because of its lack of clarity which has led to many contradictory practices in the matter of ‘intercommunion.’”

More machinations from the German bishops

Their comments come a day after the German bishops’ published their controversial pastoral handout on allowing some Protestant spouses to receive Holy Communion, despite concerns about the text from both within the German episcopate and senior Vatican officials.

In a statement on Wednesday the permanent council of the German bishops said they discussed the matter this week at a June 25-26 meeting and described the handout as an “orientation” aid to individual bishops rather than an official document of the bishops’ conference (despite having its origins in the conference where it was overwhelmingly approved).

In their statement yesterday, the German bishops expressed their wish “to provide spiritual assistance for those facing questions of conscience in individual cases who receive pastoral care for inter-denominational married couples who have a grave spiritual need to receive the Eucharist.

They add that such couples “have a very close mutual bond resulting from baptism, faith and the sacrament of marriage, and they share their entire lives.”

On his return flight from Geneva last week (see video here), Pope Francis said the difficulty he has with the handout is “not so much the content,” but that if approved but the bishops’ conference, it “immediately becomes universal.” He said it falls to the diocesan bishop to ascertain whether a Protestant spouse who is married to a Catholic may receive the Holy Eucharist.

Francis also said he thought a “guiding document” would be formulated to help diocesan bishops “handle particular cases.”

The Pope’s comments seem to contradict a May 25 letter sent by Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to the German bishops. In the letter, Ladaria said the proposed handout is not ready to be published because it “raises a number of significant issues,” “touches on the faith of the Church,” and effects both ecumenical relations and the interpretation of Church law.

Earlier today, respected Vatican journalist Edward Pentin summed up the machinations of the German bishops over the last month, tweeting:

Here below are the full texts of Cardinal Burke’s and Bishop Schneider’s comments on  Pope Francis’ inflight remarks regarding the German bishops’ intercommunion proposal.

Cardinal Raymond Burke  

“The question of giving Holy Communion to a non-Catholic is a question of faith, in fact, a question regarding a central article of the faith. In 1 Cor 27-29, Saint Paul makes clear the gravity of the matter. Canon law safeguards and promotes the reality of faith involved, namely the Eucharistic species which is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. As Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us, the Holy Eucharist contains the entire good of our salvation.

Canon 844, paragraph 4, provides for the giving of Holy Communion to a non-Catholic who has no access to his own minister and who manifests the Catholic faith, if he is in danger of death or, in the judgment of the Diocesan Bishop or Conference of Bishops, another grave necessity warrants it. Both conditions on the part of the person who is to receive Holy Communion must be verified, and there must be a grave necessity such as the danger of death, judged to be present by the Diocesan Bishop or Conference of Bishops.

In the end, what must be remembered is that the reception of Holy Communion constitutes the fullest expression of the Catholic faith. Apart from some true emergency for a non-Catholic who believes that the Sacred Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, not just an occasion when sentimental considerations would lead one to want to receive Holy Communion, even though he is not in the full communion of the Catholic Church, Holy Communion may not be administered to those who are not in the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Of course, the person approaching to receive Holy Communion must be properly disposed, that is, must be in the state of grace and must have observed the Eucharistic fast.

One is only admitted to the Sacrament of Holy Communion, when one is in the full communion of the Catholic faith. Receiving Holy Communion means that you accept all that the Catholic Church teaches. That is why it is a contradiction to permit non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion on a general basis.  The present legislation refers to some emergency situation, for example, the danger of death for a person who has the Catholic faith in the Holy Eucharist and does not have access to the minister of his ecclesial communion. In such a case, once the emergency has passed, the question is why has the person not entered into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Can. 844, paragraph 4, needs to be revised because of its lack of clarity which has led to many contradictory practices in the matter of “intercommunion.”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider  

Since the times of the Apostles (cf. Acts 2:42) the integrity of the Faith (doctrina Apostolorum), the Hierarchical Communion (communicatio) and the Eucharistic Communion (fractio panis) are inseparably connected with one another. In admitting a baptized person to Holy Communion, the Church should never dispense him from professing the integrity of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

It is insufficient to demand from him only the Catholic belief in the sacrament of the Eucharist (or in the sacrament of Penance and of the Anointing of the sick). Admitting a baptized person to Holy Communion, and not demanding from him as an indispensable prerequisite the acceptance of all other Catholic truths (e.g., the dogmas of the hierarchical and visible character of the Church, the jurisdictional primacy of the Roman Pontiff, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff, of the Ecumenical Councils and of the Universal and Ordinary Magisterium, the Marian dogmas etc.) signifies a contradiction to the necessarily visible unity of the Church and to the nature of the Eucharistic sacrament itself.

The proper effect of the Eucharistic Communion is namely the manifestation of the perfect union of the members of the Church in the sacramental sign of the Eucharist. Hence, the very reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church – even in exceptional cases –  by a Protestant or by an Orthodox Christian constitutes, ultimately, a lie. It contradicts the sacramental sign and the interior sacramental reality, inasmuch as they, the non-Catholics admitted to Holy Communion, willingly continue to adhere visibly to the other beliefs of their Protestant or respectively Orthodox communities.

We can discover in this context also the problematic and contradictory principle of canon 844 of the Code of the Canon Law (about the administration of certain sacraments such as the Holy Eucharist to non-Catholic Christians in situations of emergency or danger of death). This principle contradicts the Apostolic Tradition and the constant practice of the Catholic Church throughout two thousand years. Already in the sub-apostolic time of the second century, the Roman Church observed this rule as Saint Justin witnessed it: “This food is called among us the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true” (Apol. I, 66).

The problem created recently by the German Bishops’ Conference is, – to be honest – only the logical consequence of the problematic concessions formulated by canon 844 of the Code of the Canon Law.

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My Last Post

A big hello to all my friends and enemies here. God love you all.

By mutual agreement with my blog colleagues, I have decided to cease posting articles here, forever more.

Some of you will breathe a huge sigh of relief, no doubt. The rest will remain indifferent, which is only right and just.

In my simple way, I helped establish this blog away back in 2010. Since then, it has grown and grown and grown. It now attracts more than a 1000 hits a day, which makes it an internet sensation, surely.

All of this success is down to  gertrude, kathleen, and mmvc who have between them kept this site going. They appear to me to be tireless soldiers for God. Long may they fight and win.

Here is my final video offering, which is performed excellently by an Australian soldier:

Does Geoff approve?

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Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

June 29 is the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul – a holy day of obligation in many countries (but not in the United States)

Adapted from The Liturgical Year by Abbot Gueranger

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

After the great solemnities of Easter and Pentecost and the Feast of St. John the Baptist, none is more ancient, nor more universal in the Church, than that of the two Princes of the Apostles. From the beginning Rome celebrated their triumph on the day which saw them go up from earth to Heaven, June 29. Her practice prevailed, at a very early date, over the custom of several other countries, which put the Apostles’ feast toward the close of December. It was a beautiful thought which inspired the placing of these fathers of the Christian people in the cortege of Emmanuel at His entry into this world. But today’s teachings have intrinsically an important preponderance in the economy of Christian dogma; they are the completion of the whole work of the Son of God; the cross of Peter fixes the Church in Her stability, and marks out for the Divine Spirit the immutable center of His operations. Rome was well inspired when, leaving to the beloved disciple, St. John, the honor of presiding over his brethren at the crib of the Infant God, She maintained the solemn memory of the princes of the Apostles upon the day chosen by God Himself to consummate their labors and to crown both their life and the whole cycle of mysteries.

But we must not forget, on so great a day, those other messengers sent forth by the divine householder, who watered earth’s highways with their sweat and with their blood while they hastened the triumph and the gathering in of the guests invited to the marriage feast (Matt. 22: 8-10). It is due to them that the law of grace is now definitely promulgated throughout all nations, and that in every language and upon every shore the good tidings have been sounded (Ps. 18: 4, 5). Thus the festival of St. Peter, completed by the more special memory of St. Paul, his comrade in death, has been from earliest times regarded as the festival likewise of the whole apostolic college. In primitive times it seemed impossible to dream of separating from their glorious leader any of those whom Our Lord had so intimately joined together in the responsibility of one common work. In course of time, however, particular solemnities were successively consecrated to each one of the Apostles, and so the Feast of June 29 was more exclusively attributed to the two Princes whose martyrdom rendered this day illustrious. The feast of every Apostle during the year was formerly a holyday of obligation. The Holy See, in many instances having removed this precept, wished to compensate for it by ordering a commemoration to be made of all the Holy Apostles, in the Mass and Office of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. Eventually this commemoration was omitted. Moreover, the Roman Church, thinking it impossible fittingly to honor both of these on the same day, deferred till the morrow her more explicit praises of the Doctor of the Gentiles.

Since the terrible persecution of the year 64, Rome had become for St. Peter a sojourn fraught with peril, and he remembered how his Master had said to him, when appointing him shepherd of both lambs and sheep: “Follow thou Me” (John 16). The Apostle, therefore, awaited the day when he must mingle his blood with that of so many thousands of Christians, whom he had initiated into the Faith and whose spiritual father he truly was. But before quitting earth, St. Peter must triumph over Simon the magician, his base antagonist. This heresiarch did not content himself with seducing souls by his perverse doctrines; he sought even to mimic St. Peter in the prodigies operated by him. He proclaimed that on a certain day he would fly in the air. The report of this novelty quickly spread through Rome, and the people were full of the prospect of such a marvelous sight. The historian Dion Chrysostom states that Nero entertained the magician at his court, and moreover decided to honor the spectacle with his presence. Accordingly, the royal lodge was erected upon the via sacra. Here the attempted flight was to take place. The imposter’s pride, however, was doomed to suffer. “Scarcely had this Icarus begun to poise his flight,” says Suetonius, “than he fell close to Nero’s lodge, which was bathed in his blood” (In Neron. 12). The Samaritan juggler had set himself up, in Rome itself, as the rival of Christ’s Vicar, and writers of Christian antiquity agree in attributing his downfall to the prayers of St. Peter.

The failure of the heresiarch was in the eyes of the people a stain upon the emperor’s character, and if ill-will were united to curiosity, attention would be attracted toward St. Peter in a way that might prove disastrous. Also there was the peril of “false brethren” mentioned by St. Paul. This is a danger inevitable in a society as large as that of the Christians, where the association of widely differing characters is bound to cause friction, and discontent is aroused in the minds of the less educated on account of the choice of those placed in positions of trust or special confidence. This accounts for certain statements made by St. Clement in a letter to the Corinthians. He was an eye-witness of St. Peter’s martyrdom, and says that rivalries and jealousies contributed largely to bring about his condemnation by the authorities, whose suspicions concerning “this Jew” had been steadily increasing.

The filial devotedness of the Christians of Rome took alarm, and they implored St. Peter to elude the danger for a while by instant flight. Although he would have much preferred to suffer, says St. Ambrose (Contra Auxent.), St. Peter set out along the Appian Way. Just as he reached the Capuan gate, Christ suddenly appeared to him as if about to enter the city. “Lord, whither goest Thou (Domine, quo vadis)?” cried out the Apostle. “To Rome,” Christ replied, “there to be crucified again.” The Disciple understood his Master; he at once retraced his steps, having now no thought but to await his hour of martyrdom. This Gospel-like scene expresses the sequel of Our Lord’s designs upon the venerable old man. With a view to founding the Christian Church in unity, He had extended to his Disciple his own prophetic name of the rock or stone—Petrus; now he was about to make him His participator even unto the cross itself. Rome, having replaced Jerusalem, must likewise have her Calvary.

In his flight St. Peter dropped from his leg a bandlet, which a disciple picked up with much respect. A monument was afterwards raised on the spot where the incident occurred: it is now the Church of Ss. Nereus and Achilles, anciently called Titulus Fasciolae, the Title of the Bandlet. According to the designs of Providence, the humble Fasciola was to recall the memory of that momentous meeting at the gates of Rome, where Christ in person stood face to face with His Apostle, the visible Head of His Church, and announced that the hour of his sacrifice on the cross was at hand. (There is also a small church called “Domine quo vadis” erected near the spot where the apparition is believed to have taken place.)

From that moment St. Peter set everything in order, with a view to his approaching end. It was at this time he wrote his Second Epistle, which is his last testament and loving farewell to the Church. Therein he declares that the close of his life is near, and compares his body to a temporary shelter, a tent which one takes down to journey farther on. “The laying away of this my tabernacle is at hand, according as Our Lord Jesus Christ also hath signified to me” (2 Peter 1: 14). These words are evidently an allusion to the apparition on the Appian Way. But before quitting this world St. Peter provided for the transmission of his pastoral charge and for the needs of Holy Church, now about to be widowed of Her visible Head. To this he refers in these words: “And I will do my endeavor, that after my decease, you may also often have whereby you may keep a memory of these things” (Ibid. 15).

The best historical evidence confirms that it was into the hands of St. Linus that the keys were passed, which St. Peter had received from Christ as a sign of his dominion over the whole flock. St. Linus had been for more than ten years the auxiliary of the Holy Apostle in the midst of the Christians of Rome. The quality of Bishop of Rome entailed that of universal pastor; and St. Peter must needs leave the heritage of the divine keys to him who should next occupy the See which he held at the moment of death. So had Christ ordained; and a heavenly inspiration had led St. Peter to choose Rome for his last station, that long before had been prepared by Providence for universal empire. Hence, at the moment when the supremacy of Peter passed to one of his disciples, no astonishment was manifested in the Church. It was well known that the Primacy was and must necessarily be a local heritage, and none ignored the fact that Rome herself was that spot chosen by St. Peter long years before. Nor after Peter’s death did it ever occur to the mind of any of the Christians to seek the center of Holy Church either at Jerusalem, or at Alexandria, or at Antioch, or elsewhere.

The Christians in Rome made great account of the paternal devotedness he had lavished on their city. Hence their alarms, to which the Apostle once consented to yield. St. Peter’s Epistles, so redolent of affection, bear witness to the tenderness of soul with which he was gifted to a very high degree. He is ever the shepherd devoted to his sheep, fearing, above all else, a domineering tone; he is ever a Vicar offering himself, so that nothing may transpire save the dignity and rights of Him Whom he represents. This exquisite modesty was further increased in St. Peter, by the remembrance which haunts his whole life, as ancient writers say, of the sin he once committed, and which he continued to deplore up to the closing days of extreme old age. Faithful ever to that transcending love of which his Divine Master had required him to make a triple affirmation before confiding to him the care of His flock, he endured unflinchingly the immense labors of his office of fisher of men. One circumstance of his life, which relates to this its closing period, reveals most touchingly the devotedness wherewith he clung to Him who had vouchsafed both to call him to follow Him and to pardon his inconstancy. Clement of Alexandria has preserved the details as follows.

Before being called to the apostolate, St. Peter had lived in the conjugal state: from that time forth his wife became his “sister;” she nevertheless continued in his company, following him about from place to place, in his various journeys, in order to render him service (1 Cor. 9). She was in Rome while Nero’s persecution was raging, and the honor of martyrdom thus sought her out. St. Peter watched her as she stepped forth on her way to triumph, and at that moment his solicitude broke out in this one exclamation: “Oh, think of the Lord!” These two Galileans had seen the Lord, had received Him into their house, had made Him their guest at table. Since then the Divine Pastor had suffered on the Cross, had risen again, had ascended into Heaven, leaving the care of His flock to the fisherman of Lake Genesareth. What else, then, would St. Peter have his wife do at this moment but recall such sweet memories, and run forward to Him Whom she had known here below in His human features, and Who was now about to crown her hidden life with immortal glory!

The moment for entering into this same glory came at last for St. Peter himself. “When thou shalt be old,” his Master had mysteriously said to him, “thou shalt stretch forth thy hands and another shall bind thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not” (John 20). So St. Peter was to attain an advanced age; like his Master, he must stretch forth his arms upon a cross; he must know captivity and the weight of chains with which a foreigner’s hand will load him; he must be subjected to death, in its violent form, from which nature recoils, and drink the chalice from which even his Divine Master Himself prayed to be spared. But like his Master also, he will arise strong in the divine aid, and will press forward to the cross.

On the day fixed by God’s decree, pagan power gave orders for the Apostle’s arrest. Details are wanting as to the judicial procedure which followed, but the constant tradition of the Roman Church is that he was incarcerated in the Mamertine prison. By this name is known the dungeon constructed at the foot of the Capitoline hill by Ancus Martius, and afterwards completed by Servius Tullius, whence it is also called Carcer Tullianus. Two outer staircases, called “the steps of sighs,” led to the frightful den. An upper dungeon gave immediate entrance to that which was to receive the prisoner and never to deliver him up alive, unless he was destined to a public execution. To be put into this horrible place, he had to be let down by cords, through an opening above, and by the same was he finally drawn up again, whether dead or alive. The vaulting of this lower dungeon was high, and its darkness was utter and horrible, so that it was an easy task to guard a captive detained there, especially if he were laden with chains.

On the 29th of June, in the year 67, St. Peter was at length drawn up to be led to death. According to Roman law, he must first be subjected to the scourge, the usual prelude to capital punishment. An escort of soldiers conducted the Apostle to his place of martyrdom, outside the city walls, as the laws required. St. Peter was marched to execution, followed by a large number of the faithful, drawn by affection along his path, and for his sake defying every peril.

Beyond the Tiber, facing the Campus Martius, there stretches a vast plain, which is reached by the bridge named the Triumphal, whereby the city is put in communication with the Via Triumphalis and the Via Cornelia, both of which roads lead to the north. From the river-side the plain is bounded on the left by the Janiculum, and beyond that, in the background, by the Vatican hills, whose chain continues along to the right in the form of an amphitheater. Along the bank of the Tiber the land is occupied by immense gardens, which three years previously had been made by Nero the scene of the principal immolation of the Christians, just at this same season also. To the west of the Vatican plain, and beyond Nero’s gardens, was a circus of vast extent, usually called by his name, although in reality it owes its origin to Caligula, who placed in its center an obelisk which he had transported from Egypt. Outside the circus, towards its farthest end, rose a temple to Apollo, the protector of the public games. At the other end, the declivity of the Vatican hills begins, and at about the middle, facing the obelisk, was planted a turpentine tree well known to the people. The spot fixed upon for St. Peter’s execution was close to this tree. There, likewise, was his tomb already dug. No other spot in Rome could be more suitable for so august a purpose. From remotest ages, something mysterious had hovered over the Vatican. An old oak, said by the most ancient traditions to be anterior to the foundation of Rome, was there held in the greatest reverence. There was much talk of oracles heard in this place. Moreover, where could a more choice resting-place be found for this old man, who had just conquered Rome, than a mound beneath this venerated soil, opening upon the Triumphal Way and the Cornelian Way, thus uniting memories of victorious Rome and the name of the Cornelii, which had now become inseparable from that of Peter?

There is something supremely grand in the taking possession of these places by the Vicar of the Man-God. The Apostle, having reached the spot and come up to the instrument of death, implored of his executioners to set him thereon, not in the usual way, but head downwards, in order, said he, that the servant be not seen in the position once taken by the Master. His request was granted; and Christian tradition, in all ages, renders testimony to this fact which adds further evidence to the deep humility of so great an Apostle. St. Peter, with outstretched arms, prayed for the city, prayed for the whole world, while his blood flowed down upon that Roman soil, the conquest of which he had just achieved. At this moment Rome became forever the new Jerusalem. When the Apostle had gone through the whole round of his sufferings, he expired; but he was to live again in each of his successors to the end of time.

 

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COR ORANS: Another Evil Spirit of Vatican II

Written by Hillary White

Pope to Purge What’s Left of Catholic Nuns

More evidence keeps pouring into my email inbox that the current administration of the Congregation for Religious[1] is planning on using the provisions of Cor orans to totally rewrite the nature of contemplative women’s religious life, particularly the “conservative” and traditional communities, in the name of the “New Paradigm” of VaticanTwoism. [Editor’s Note:”Cor Orans” (“Praying Heart”) is the title of an April 1, 2018 document that Implements instructions on how to apply Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Constitution – “Vultum Dei Quaerere” (“Seek the Face of God”) addressed to Catholic women religious in contemplative communities. MJM]

As I have written many times elsewhere, the one uniform characteristic of the current pontificate is the purge. It is clear now that Jorge Bergoglio was elected by a group of 1960s progressives to bring about the final removal of the last elements within Catholicism that have resisted the Vatican II revolution. After 50 years of ambiguity, of the two implacably opposed “paradigms” living in an uneasy truce within the same institution, those few recalcitrants left who refused to accept the new liturgical forms, new theological “formulations,” the new disciplines are being forced either to conform or leave.

In all Catholic institutions the so-called “conservative” middle ground, the safe and reasonable compromise position that was allowed to exist under the last two pontificates has evaporated. As Amoris Laetitia will have the effect of forcing out priests and seminarians who refuse to desecrate the Holy Eucharist by giving it to unrepentant adulterers, so Cor orans will be used to remove “conservative” contemplative nuns who have refused to adopt the full Vatican II programme of “renewal” of religious life.

We must never forget the appeasement of LCWR by the Congregation for Religious after Pope Francis’ election. The new prefect[2], Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, effectively apologised to the world’s most notoriously heretical organisation of modernist religious, soothing feathers that had been ruffled by his predecessor’s abortive attempt at bringing them back to Catholicity. Contrast this with the ruthless suppression by that office of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate at the same time, and the programme becomes obvious.

This week I received another a document that included extensive quotes from a 2015 speech given by the Congregation’s Secretary, Jose Rodrigues Carballo, in which he darkly implied that traditional forms of Catholic religious life had “served their purpose” and must be allowed to die out so that something as yet undefined, but assuredly new and wonderful, could replace them.

At a meeting of religious formators in April 2015 in Rome, Carballo said quite clearly that it is Vatican II that must take precedence over the classical charisms of religious life.

“With this explicit reference to the Second Vatican Council, we point to our profound conviction that the council is the point of reference, non-negotiable, in the formation to the consecrated life.”

In his speech in Avila[3], Spain a month later, Carballo spoke even more plainly, denouncing the “many fundamentalist groups” in the religious life, saying, “This is not of the Spirit.” “Vatican II is our compass” he said, adding that the pope “takes his lead from Vatican II.”

Carballo said that with the collapse of vocations over the last 50 years, it is clear that the forms of religious life that have been known through the last 20 centuries have “done their task in the Church.” This, he said is a time of “purification” for the religious life. He called “some forms” of religious life “antiquated” and claimed that they “say hardly anything to people today.” These, he said “will not remain even though they have [had] a certain success.” [emphasis added.]

“As with the Gospel,” Carballo said, the charisms of religious life “are on-going,” they “develop” and “continue to grow over time.” He said, “Some forms are dying out. But new forms are rising.”

With regard to the living of their charism, “The church asks us not only for fidelity but for creative fidelity,” he said.

He asked the assembled Carmelites, friars and nuns, “What does Teresa want now?” and “we don’t want to walk as we did 500 years ago.” The charism “goes forward.” He denounced those who respond “We have always done it this way,” saying that “even good people need changes,” and being “faithful does not mean staying the same.”

As is usual with Catholic progressives, he went on to spin the total collapse of religious life since Vatican II as a positive, comparing the current “chaos” in religious life with the conditions before Creation, urging those present to “think of Genesis” and to imagine “a new creation” that is coming soon.

Speeches and documents from the Congregation for Religious often employ the phrase “creative fidelity” or “dynamic fidelity” when speaking of the ancient orders or charisms. At this meeting, Carballo clarified this, saying it means that being “faithful does not mean staying the same.”

This “updating”, he said, will be brought about through formation. “Only formation transforms the heart and mind.”

Given these hints, what Cor orans tells us is that with regard to the female contemplative life, the progressives, who expected the “chaos” of the post-conciliar upheaval they engineered to bring to birth a “new church,” are tired of waiting.

With this pope they have been given a mandate to crush the remaining hold-outs and, instead of “singing,” to bluntly force “the new church into being.” Cor orans’ language, put together with Carballo’s clear messages in his various speeches, has made it unmistakable; this is a purge.

And the document is equally clear about its status as a piece of legislation. It isn’t a suggestion; superiors are already reporting receiving messages from Rome, and the existing federations and associations, that they are to implement it “immediately”. It mandates membership in a federation, with that body’s president and council having unprecedented powers over finances, new foundations, formation and, crucially, decisions about the suppression of monasteries.

They know not what they do

And the religious orders themselves are already on board. A document from the same meeting, the 2015 General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites, blamed the imminent collapse of the order on the failure of the religious to get with the Vatican II programme.

[…]

[COMMENT: So the General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites blames the religious’ failure to attract vocations on not getting with Vatican 2… whereas the greatest failure of all time was that selfsame Vatican 2 Council ? This just gets crazier and crazier every minute. Read the rest of this pope purge article at The Remnant, HERE.]

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Your Priest is Ready to Die For You, to Protect the Seal of Confession

 By Fr Roger Landry

Many priests have, in fact, been imprisoned or died in protecting the seal of Confession.

One of the least appreciated aspects of the priesthood is the priest’s absolute commitment to keeping sacred and inviolable the seal of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

What this means is that under no circumstances whatsoever will a priest divulge what a particular person told him in Confession. Even if he’s threatened with imprisonment, torture or death. Even if others are about to scourge his mother. Even if someone is destroying his reputation by unjustly accusing him of doing nefarious things in the Confessional or of having committed the very crime that the penitent himself confessed. Even if the only thing a penitent has confessed is impatience at a red light.

The sacramental seal is something that makes even the most humanly inadequate, faint-hearted, easily intimidated, conflict adverse and pusillanimous priest ready for heroism. I often ask Catholics with whom I speak about the Sacrament of Penance: Do you realize that every priest is ready to die for you, to protect what you say through him to God? Most, young and old, have never really thought about it.

Many priests have in fact died in protecting the seal of Confession.

The most famous example is Saint John Nepomuk, confessor to Queen Johanna, wife of Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia, in the late 14th Century. The paranoid king thought his wife was unfaithful to him and demanded that Father John tell him what his wife confessed. He refused. The King escalated the threats of torture. None worked. Finally he ordered that Father John be bound, thrown off the Charles Bridge in Prague, and drowned.

Saint Mateo Correa Magallanes was killed in 1927 in Mexico for refusing to tell General Eulogio Ortiz what condemned prisoners had confessed. After he rejected the General’s order to break the seal, Ortiz put a gun to the side of Father Correa’s head. When the priest responded, “You can do that, but a priest has to guard the seal of confession. I am ready to die,” Ortiz ordered that he be brought to the outskirts of Durango and shot.

During the Spanish Civil War, two priests died protecting the seal. Blessed Felipe Císcar Puig heard the confession of a Franciscan friar about to be executed by firing squad in Valencia in 1936. Soldiers demanded he divulge what the friar had told him. Fr. Císcar refused saying, “Do what you want, but I will not reveal the confession. I would die before that.” They were executed together. In the same year, Blessed Fernando Olmedo Reguera, who was ministering to those imprisoned with him in Madrid, was pressured and tortured into revealing what they had said. He refused and was martyred.

As these examples show, tyrants and totalitarians have a particular hatred for the seal of Confession and have tried to break this absolute commitment priests have made to God and to their penitents. They won’t tolerate a greater allegiance than to them and their dictates. Like the ancient Roman emperors used to try to break young Christian virgins by threatening to expose them to brothels if they didn’t capitulate to their whims, so still today some leaders and governments try to break priests’ fidelity by forcing them to violate the confessional seal.

The front line for this assault is happening in Australia, where three territories (Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory) have passed legislation to force priests to break the seal of confession when someone confesses to them the sexual abuse of a minor. The Church’s absolute opposition and resistance to this egregious violation of religious freedom is being used by those who oppose the Church as “proof” that the Church is really more concerned about its “rituals” than about abused children, that she cares more about protecting abusers than victims.

The logic is akin to castigating defense attorneys for not betraying their clients and working with prosecutors or to doctors of not being opposed to crime if they operate on rather than execute criminals. It’s against the calling of attorneys and physicians to do that, in the same way that it is totally against the vocation of priests to betray penitents — which is one of the reasons why the penalty under Church law for a priest’s doing so is automatic excommunication.

Such attacks on the seal of confession are also totally impractical. Even if such laws are well-intentioned, they won’t make children any safer.

First, it’s hard to imagine any abuser — or anyone guilty of a serious crime for that matter — coming to confess to a priest if the person knew that the priest was de facto just a state informant who would betray his confidence.

Second, confessions are often anonymous, not only behind screens in confessionals but also with penitents coming to priests who do not know them. In such circumstances, would a priest be expected, as soon as someone mentions some form of abuse of a minor, to restrain the unknown penitent until the police arrive?

Third, abusers are notoriously secretive. If one actually comes to a priest to deal with the guilt of what he or she has done, that’s an opportunity for priests to help the person get help and do reparation, including turning oneself in, as priests seek to do whenever serious criminals come to confession. Sometimes that might be one of the few chances to try to stop the abuser before others are hurt.

Finally, priests just simply won’t break the seal, even under threat of fine, imprisonment or execution.

But none of this seems to matter in leaders in these three Australian territories. Because of the sins of some abusive priests — and the clear failure of some Church leaders to eradicate sexual abuse, care for victims and protect children as everyone would rightfully expect — there is now a full-scale punitive assault on every priest’s sacred duties with regard to confession, which is, basically, a direct attack on the priesthood and the Church itself. Even though a priest will not break the seal, it is a form of moral waterboarding to threaten him with fines, imprisonment or worse for not doing so. Do people really want to see faithful priests jailed for protecting the seal of confession because, frankly, some abusive priests, thanks to statutes of limitations, remain free?

The only way the law will be able to be enforced, moreover, will be through entrapping priests, in one of two ways: first, by sending in faux penitents to see what the priest will do when abuse is falsely confessed, since it’s unthinkable that a real abuser would ever report a priest for keeping the seal and not betraying him; second, by interrogating Catholic abusers as to whether they ever confessed their sins to a priest, perhaps in exchange for some leniency. Any priest named would be incapable of defending himself because of the seal, even if he had begged the abuser to turn himself in or refused him absolution.

In the United States, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted statues protecting confessional privilege or some communication between clergy and faithful, like similar privileges granted to the communication between spouses and between attorneys and clients. But there have still been attacks on the privilege. In Oregon, in 1996, prison officials surreptitiously recorded inmate Conan Wayne Hale’s confession to Father Timothy Mockaitis and sought unsuccessfully to use it in court. In Louisiana, Rebecca Mayeux sued Father Jeffrey Bayhi and the Diocese of Baton Rouge for Bayhi’s allegedly not reporting to authorities what Mayeux says she had said to him in confession in 2008, that she was being abused by an elderly parishioner. Mayeux was suing under the State’s mandatory reporter law that has language “notwithstanding any claim of privileged communications,” including presumably confessional privilege. Ultimately the Louisiana State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the seal of confession.

There’s no reason not to think, however, that mandatory reporting laws for sexual abuse, like those in Australia, Louisiana and elsewhere will not continue to be used to try to undermine the seal of Confession. Because of the priests’ inviolable adherence to the seal, such attacks would be at first purely symbolic: a way for a state to assert that the laws of God and the Church must be subject to the laws of the land. They could also prove, however, to be a means to try to damage the Church, by prosecuting faithful priests as criminals for protecting whatever any penitent tells him, and by giving the faithful who a reason not to frequent the Sacrament, under the hysteria that priests might somehow share what they say with third parties.

These laws, which would not have been imagined in previous generations in free societies, are being proposed and implemented now not merely as ill-thought reactions to the sexual abuse crisis but because many in our increasingly secularized society, including many Catholics, no longer have an appreciation for sacred communication in general and for the Sacrament of Penance in particular.

One of the goods that we can pray God will bring out of the assault on the seal of the Sacrament is that people will grow in greater awareness and esteem of what every priest will die for. We can also pray that Catholics will ask themselves: If a priest loves them enough to go to jail and die for them and to protect what they confess to God, might they take the Sacrament more seriously and receive it more frequently?

[Source, National Catholic Register]

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