Worldwide Days of Prayer and Reparation for Amazon Synod Idolatry on Nov. 9th & 10th

 

Fr. Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, has called to make today, November 9th, and tomorrow, November 10th, days of prayer and reparation for the idolatrous events that took place in Rome during the Amazon Synod. Pagliarani writes:

In response to these events, we call on all members of the Society, including Third Order members, to observe a day of prayer and reparation, because we cannot remain indifferent to such attacks on the holiness of Holy Mother the Church. We ask that a fast be observed in all our houses on Saturday, November 9th. We invite all the faithful to the same and we also encourage children to offer prayers and sacrifices.

On Sunday, November 10th, 2019, each priest of the Society will celebrate a Mass of reparation, and in each chapel, the Litanies of the Saints, taken from the liturgy of the Rogations, will be sung or recited to ask God to protect His Church and to spare it from the punishments that such acts cannot fail to draw down upon it. We urge all priest friends, as well as all Catholics who love the Church, to do the same.

Such is due to the honour of the Holy Roman Catholic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is neither idolatrous nor pantheistic.

As a matter of concrete and specific action, I find this call, in solidarity with all Catholics around the world, to be of particular importance, and if it is observed, it will no doubt be of special efficacy.

Just a couple of hours ago, I also received (though it was not directly related) from His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a prayer of reparation for the idolatrous acts during the last Synod for the Amazon. For those choosing to offer prayer, penance, and reparation today, I can think of no better prayer than this, composed by the most stalwart defender of the faith in the episcopacy today:

Prayer of Reparation for the idolatrous acts during the last Synod for the Amazon

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, receive through the hands of the Immaculate Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary from our contrite heart a sincere act of reparation for the acts of worship of wooden idols and symbols during the Synod for the Amazon, which occurred in Rome, the Eternal City, the heart of the Catholic world. Pour out in the heart of Our Holy Father Pope Francis, of the Cardinals, of the Bishops, of priests and lay faithful, your Spirit, who will expel the darkness of their minds, so that they might recognize the impiety of such acts, which offended your Divine majesty and offer to you public and private acts of reparation.

Pour out in all members of the Church the light of the fullness and beauty of the Catholic Faith. Enkindle in them the burning zeal of bringing the salvation of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, to all men, especially the people in the Amazon region, who still are enslaved in the service of feeble material and perishable things, as the deaf and mute symbols and idols of “mother earth.” Enkindle the light of faith in those persons, especially in the persons of the Amazonian tribes who do not yet possess the liberty of the children of God, and who do not have the unspeakable happiness of knowing Jesus Christ and having in Him a participation in the life of your Divine nature.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are the one true God, besides Whom there is no other god and no salvation, have mercy on your Church. Look especially upon the tears and contrite and humble sighs of the little ones in the Church. Look upon the tears and prayers of the little children, of the adolescents, of young men and young women, of the fathers and mothers of families and also of the true Christian heroes, who in their zeal for your glory and in their love for Mother Church threw into the water the symbols of abomination which defiled her. Have mercy on us: spare us, O Lord, parce Domine, parce Domine! Have mercy on us: Kyrie eleison! Amen.

I know that this reminder comes at a late hour, but I hope that many of you will nevertheless be able to commit yourselves to these acts of prayer and reparation, and to offer your Holy Communions for the same intentions this Sunday, November 10th, so that Catholics around the world might act in unison in this important effort.

If you are able to get the prayer of reparation into the hands of your pastors by then, please request that they pray it at all the Sunday Masses this weekend. We cannot expect all of them to accept this request, but think of the power of as many of the faithful as possible praying together for this common purpose of reparation.

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Abp Viganò: ‘The abomination of idolatrous rites has entered the sanctuary of God’ (Exclusive)

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ROME, November 6, 2019, LifeSiteNews:

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is urging the re-consecration of St. Peter’s Basilica, in light of what he calls “the appalling idolatrous profanations” that have been committed in its walls through the veneration of the Pachamama statue.

In a new interview on the Amazon Synod with LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò has said: “The abomination of idolatrous rites has entered the sanctuary of God and has given rise to a new form of apostasy whose seeds, which have been active for a long time, are growing with renewed vigor and effectiveness.”

He continues: “The process of the internal mutation of the faith, which has been taking place in the Catholic Church for several decades, has seen with this Synod a dramatic acceleration towards the foundation of a new creed, summed up in a new kind of worship [cultus]. In the name of inculturation, pagan elements are infesting divine worship so as to transform it into an idolatrous cult.”

Clergy and laity alike “cannot remain indifferent to the idolatrous acts that we witnessed,” the archbishop insists. “It is urgent that we rediscover the meaning of prayer, reparation and penance, of fasting, of ‘little sacrifices, of the little flowers, and above all of silent and prolonged adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.”

In this in-depth interview (see full text below), we discuss with Archbishop Viganò what the “Pachamama saga” reveals about the state of the Church and how it is the logical consequence of other “aberrant” declarations made under the current pontificate. We also talk about the synod’s final document, which he calls a “head-on strike against the divine edifice” of the Church; what the Amazon Synod reveals about “synodality”; and what its organizers have accomplished.

According to Archbishop Viganò, the “Amazon paradigm” is aimed at fundamentally “transforming” the Catholic Church, is aligned with a “globalist” agenda, and “serves as a catwalk to ferry what remains of the Catholic edifice towards an indistinct universal religion.”

“For all of us Catholics, the landscape in the Holy Church is becoming darker by the day,” he says. “If this satanic plan is successful, Catholics who adhere to it will in fact change religion, and the immense flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be reduced to a minority.”

“This minority will likely have much to suffer … but with him it will conquer,” he says, concluding his remarks with the provocative, prophetic and timely words of the 14th century mystic and saint, Bridget of Sweden.

Here below is our interview on the Amazon Synod with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

LifeSiteNews: Your Excellency, how would you characterize the arc of the synod narrative? Is there an image that aptly summarizes it?

Archbishop Viganò: The barque of the Church is in the grip of a raging storm. To quell the tempest, those Successors of the Apostles who have tried to leave Jesus on the shore, and who no longer perceive His presence, have begun to invoke the Pachamama!

Jesus prophesied: “When you see the desecrating sacrilege … there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Mt 24:15;21).

The abomination of idolatrous rites has entered the sanctuary of God and has given rise to a new form of apostasy, whose seeds — which have been active for a long time — are growing with renewed vigor and effectiveness. The process of the internal mutation of the faith, which has been taking place in the Catholic Church for several decades, has seen with this Synod a dramatic acceleration towards the foundation of a new creed, summed up in a new kind of worship [cultus]. In the name of inculturation, pagan elements are infesting divine worship in order to transform it into an idolatrous cult.

What do you think is the most concerning or problematic part of the Amazon Synod’s final document?

The strategy of the entire Amazon Synod operation is deception, the preferred weapon of the devil: telling half-truths to achieve a perverse end. A lack of priests: they therefore say it is necessary to open up to married priests and to a women’s diaconate in order to destroy celibacy, first in the Amazon and then in the entire Church. On what continent was the Catholic Church’s first evangelization ever carried out by married priests? The missions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were carried out primarily by the Latin Church, and only to a very small extent by the Eastern Churches with married clergy.

The final document of this shamefully manipulated assembly, whose agenda and results have been planned for a long time, is a head-on strike against the divine edifice of the Church, attacking the sanctity of the Catholic priesthood, and pushing for the abolition of ecclesiastical celibacy and a female diaconate.

What did the Pachamama saga reveal? And what ought to be done in response?

In Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis stated in writing that God “wills” all religions. Despite the fraternal correction offered to him in person and in writing by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Pope Francis has ordered that his heretical declaration be taught in pontifical universities and that a special Commission be created to spread this grave doctrinal error.

Consistent with this aberrant doctrine, it’s not surprising that paganism and idolatry should also be included among the religions willed by God. The Pope has shown us this and has implemented it personally, profaning the Vatican gardens and the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, and desecrating St. Peter’s Basilica and the synod’s closing Mass by placing on the altar of the Confession that idolatrous “plant” that is closely connected with the Pachamama.

According to the tradition of the Church, the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina and St. Peter’s Basilica must be re-consecrated in light of the appalling idolatrous profanations that have been committed in them.

The Pachamama saga revealed a blatant and very serious violation of the First Commandment, as well as the drift towards idolatry in a “Church with an Amazonian face.” That rite, which took place in the heart of Christianity, and which Bergoglio attended, assumes the value of an initiatory rite of the new religion. Veneration of the Pachamama is the poisonous fruit of “inculturation” at any price, and a fanatical expression of “Indian Theology.” The Synod offered a launching pad for this new syncretistic, neo-pagan church, which is dedicated to the cult of Mother Earth, to the naturalist myth of the “good savage,” and to the rejection of the Western model and lifestyle of advanced societies.

Idolatry seals apostasy. It is the fruit of the denial of the true faith. It is born of mistrust in God and degenerates into protest and rebellion. Fr. Serafino Lanzetta recently said:

To worship an idol is to worship oneself in place of God… it is to worship the anti-god who seduces and separates us from God, i.e. the devil, as can clearly be seen from the words of Jesus to the tempter in the desert (cf. Mt 4:8-10). Man cannot but adore, but he must choose whom he will adore. In tolerating the presence of idols— the Pachamama in our present context — alongside faith, it is said that religion is basically what satisfies man’s desires. Idols are always enticing because one adores what one wants and, above all, one doesn’t have to endure many moral headaches. On the contrary, idols for the most part are the sublimation of all human instincts. The real headache, however, comes when moral corruption spreads and infests the Church. An “abandonment of God” for impurity, to become prostitutes to other gods by exchanging God’s truth with lies, and by worshipping and serving creatures instead of the Creator (cf. Rom 1:24-25). It seems that St. Paul is speaking to us today. The root of this sad and tragic story is dogmatic and moral collapse.

We cannot remain indifferent to the idolatrous acts that we have witnessed and left us dumbfounded. These assaults against the holiness of our Mother Church demand from us a just and generous reparation. It is urgent that we rediscover the meaning of prayer, reparation and penance, of fasting, of the “little sacrifices, of the little flowers,” and above all of silent and prolonged adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

Let us beg the Lord to return and speak to the heart of his Beloved Bride, drawing her back to Himself in the grace of her first and irrevocable love, after making the mistake of surrendering herself to the world and its prostitution.

What has the Amazon Synod shown us about the nature of “synodality”?

The Church is not a democracy. The Synod of Bishops, since Paul VI established it with the Motu Proprio Apostolica Sollicitudo on September 15, 1965, has always dealt with problems concerning the universal Church, and has granted bishops representing all episcopal conferences wordwide the right to participate. The Synod for the Amazon did not respect this criterion.

The Church in the Amazon certainly has major problems of its own, which therefore need to be addressed at the local level. To resolve them it would have been sufficient for the Latin American bishops to have followed the recommendations that Pope Benedict XVI made to them on the occasion of his visit to Aparecida in 2007. They did not do so. Indeed, for decades many of them have allowed if not encouraged adherents of liberation theology and ideologies of largely Germanic origin, with the Jesuits on the front line, to continue to refuse to proclaim Christ as the only Savior.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt 7:15). The situation in part of the Church in the Amazon has been a failure, partly because of the apostolic nuncios in Brazil, such as the current Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, who proposed candidates for the episcopate such as those we saw at the Amazon Synod. By holding a Synod in Rome, instead of holding a local synod, and by inviting bishops selected from among the blindest ones to guide other blind men, was there an attempt to export and spread the disease to the universal Church?

Pope Francis uses “synodality” in a highly contradictory and minimally synodal way! “Synodality” is one of the “mantras” of the current pontificate, the magical solution to all the problems affecting the life of the Church. The much acclaimed “synodal conversion” has supplanted conversion to Christ. This is precisely why “synodality” is not the solution but the problem.

Moreover, Pope Francis seems to conceive of synodality as a one-way street: the actors, content and results are planned and directed in a targeted and unambiguous way. As a result, the synodal institution is seriously de-legitimized, and the faithful’s adherence to it is undermined.

One also has the impression that synodality is being seized and used as an instrument to break free from Tradition and from what the Church has always taught. How can true synodality exist where absolute fidelity to doctrine is absent?

Speaking at the Angelus about the recently concluded assembly, Francis said: “We walked looking into each other’s eyes and listening to one another with sincerity, without hiding the difficulties.” These words speak of a synodality exercised from below, not from Christ the Lord nor from listening to his eternal Truth. They reflect a sociological and worldly synodality that serves a merely human, ideological project.

Do you have any thoughts on how the Vatican media apparatus handled the synod? Critics say it has lost all credibility.

During the Synod we witnessed a Soviet-style communication management, with the imposition of an “official version” that almost never coincided with reality. When the evidence of lies or ambiguity was brought to light by so many courageous journalists, they denied it or denounced conspiracy.

Garments were rent, to the point of filing an official complaint, over the goddess mothers Pachamama being thrown into the miry Tiber! Then there were the usual epithets: conservative and fanatical Catholics, retrogrades who don’t believe in dialogue, people who ignore the history of the Church, according to an editorial published in Vatican News, complete with a quotation from St. John-Henry Cardinal Newman, and was favorable to the statues. Yet the Newman quote, according to which the elements of pagan origin are sanctified by their adoption into the Church, not only testifies to the bad faith of the person who used it but also backfires against him.

The Newman quote in fact highlights the substantial difference between the wise practice of Christ’s Church and the methods of the modernist apostasy. Indeed, the Roman Church, which destroyed the tyranny of demonic idols (think of the demolition of the temples of Apollo by St. Benedict or the sacred oak by St. Boniface) and established the kingdom of Christ, adopts forms of ancient pagan religion and baptizes them. The new modernists, on the other hand, who believe that God positively wills the diversity of religions, happily surrender themselves to syncretism and idolatry.

What specifically about the Church and her Faith has been put at risk or threatened by the Amazon Synod?

The Amazon Synod is part of a process that aims at nothing less than changing the Church. The pontificate of Pope Francis is studded with sensational acts aimed at undermining doctrines, practices and structures that until now have been considered consubstantial with the Catholic Church. He himself has defined this process as a “paradigm shift,” i.e., a clear break with the Church that preceded him.

With the Amazonian Synod, the utopia of a new tribalist and ecologist church has emerged on the horizon. It is the old project of that Latin American progressivism that was already confronted by John Paul II and then-Cardinal Ratzinger but never really eradicated — and now it is being promoted by the top of the Catholic hierarchy. The aim of this Synod is to move towards the definitive consecration of liberation theology in its “green” and “tribal” version.

With this Synod, as on other occasions, the Catholic Church appears to be aligned with the strategies that dominate the globalist scene and are supported by powerful forces and finance. These strategies are radically anti-human and intrinsically anti-Christian. The agenda even includes the promotion of abortion, gender ideology, and homosexualism, and it dogmatizes the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

For all of us Catholics, the landscape in the Holy Church is becoming darker by the day. The ongoing progressive offensive portends a real revolution, not only in the way the Church is understood, but also in the apocalyptic images it gives to the whole world order. With deep sadness, we see the present pontificate marked by unusual facts, disconcerting behavior and statements that contradict traditional doctrine, and which sow a general doubt in souls about what the Catholic Church is and what her true and immutable principles are. It feels as though we are in the grip of a religious chaos of gigantic proportion. If this satanic plan is successful, Catholics who adhere to it will in fact change religion, and the immense flock of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be reduced to a minority. This minority will likely have much to suffer. But it will be sustained by Our Lord’s promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, and with Him it will conquer in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promised by Our Lady at Fatima.

What do you think synod organizers have accomplished from their point of view? What advances have they made in their agenda?

The organizers and protagonists of the Synod have certainly achieved one of their objectives: to make the Church more Amazonian and the Amazon less Catholic. The Amazonian paradigm is therefore not the end of the transformation process at which the “pastoral-revolution” promoted by the current papal magisterium aims. It serves as a catwalk to ferry what remains of the Catholic edifice towards an indistinct Universal Religion.

The Amazonian paradigm, with its pantheistic veneration of Mother Earth and utopian interconnection between all the elements of nature, should enable (according to the theological speculations developed in the Germanic regions) the overcoming of the traditional Catholic religion through a Worldwide and Stateless Pantheon. The recent Synod has been successful in the sense of creating an Amazonian church constituted by a set of beliefs, worship, pagan-sacramental practices, liturgies that are inculturated in communion with Nature, and many married Indian clergy, with a view towards ordaining women. It is an aberrant and truly significant step in the agenda of an “out-going Church” that is busy in the process of the Great Substitution of Catholicism with Another Religion, that which glorifies Man in the place of God.

You are the former apostolic nuncio to the United States. What would you think of the laity flooding the Vatican and Apostolic Nunciatures with letters?

“The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and men of violence take it by force.” (Mt 11:12). As Professor Roberto De Mattei invites us: “We must militarize our hearts and transform them into an Acies Ordinata. The Church is not afraid of her enemies and always wins when Christians fight. Our adversaries are united by their hatred of the good, we must unite in love for good and truth. This is not an ordinary battle but a war! It is urgent that the Catholic resistance be strongly united and visible in the face of the ongoing process of the Church’s self-demolition, also by overcoming “the many misunderstandings that often divide the field of the good and seek among these forces a unity of purpose and action, while maintaining their different legitimate identities” (De Mattei).

In this gravest of hours, the laity are certainly the spearhead of the resistance. By their courage, they must appeal to us shepherds and encourage us to come forward, with more courage and determination, to defend the Bride of Christ. The warning of Saint Catherine of Siena is addressed to us shepherds: “Open your eyes and look at the perversity of death that has come into the world, and especially into the Body of the Holy Church. Alas, may your hearts and souls burst at seeing so many offenses against God! Alas, enough silence! shout with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that, through silence, the world is dead, the Bride of Christ is pale.”

Is there anything you wish you add?

Let us give the last word to St. Bridget of Sweden, co-patroness of Europe:

The Father spoke, while the whole host of heaven was listening, and he said:

“Before you I state my complaint that I gave my daughter to a man who torments her terribly and binds her feet to a wooden stake so that the marrow has all gone out of her feet.”

The Son answered him: “Father, I redeemed her with my blood and betrothed her to myself, but now she has been seized by force.”

The Father exclaimed: “My son, I share your lament, your word is mine, your works are mine. You are in me and I in you. May your will be done.”

Then the Mother spoke, saying: “You are my God and my Lord. My body bore the limbs of your blessed Son, who is your true Son and my true Son. I refused him nothing on earth. For the sake of my prayers, have mercy on your daughter, the Church!”

The Father replied: “Since you refused me nothing on earth, I do not want to refuse you anything in heaven. May your will be done.”

After this, the angels spoke, saying: “You are our Lord, In you we possess every good thing, and we need nothing but you. When you chose this Bride, we all rejoiced; by now we have reason to be sad, because she has been given over into the hands of the worst of men who offends her with all kinds of insults and abuse. So have mercy on her according to your great mercy, and there is no one to console and free her but you, Lord, God Almighty.”

Then he said to the angels: “You are my friends and the flame of your love burns in my heart. I will have mercy on my daughter, my Church, for love of your prayers.” (Revelations, Book I, Chapter 24).

Again, let us allow St. Bridget to speak:

“Know that if any pope grants priests the permission to contract carnal matrimony, he will be spiritually condemned by God … God would completely deprive that same pope of spiritual vision and hearing as well as of spiritual words and deeds. All his spiritual wisdom would become altogether frozen. Then, after his death, his soul would be thrown into hell to be tormented forever, there to become the food of demons eternally and without end. Yes, even if Pope St. Gregory himself had decreed this, he would never have obtained God’s pardon from that sentence, unless he had humbly revoked it before death” (Revelations, Book VII, 10).

Lord, have mercy on your Church, for love of our prayers and afflictions!

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A laywoman’s guide to thriving at the Traditional Latin Mass

EDINBURGH, Scotland, November 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, is back in the news, thanks to an unfortunate article in the National Catholic Reporter.

It occurs to me that the abuse heaped on the ancient Catholic rite might inspire others to investigate it for themselves, and thus it would be helpful if an ordinary laywoman supplemented the excellent commentary on the TLM by such experts as Dr. Joseph Shaw and Dr. Peter Kwasniewski with a little homely advice. I am, after all, currently in charge of my TLM community’s After-Mass Coffee Hour. It’s my self-appointed job to make people feel welcome at the TLM.

1. The TLM is about reverent worship of God, not the community. If you go to a TLM, you don’t go to make friends―although you might make friends―or to have your existence acknowledged by the priest―although he certainly prays for you during the Mass―but to worship God through the prayers and profound silence of traditional Catholic worship.

At a TLM, “community” is a distant second to God. The time to socialize is before Mass, outside the church, and after Mass, perhaps in the parish hall. But the church itself is considered sacred space in which holy silence is kept, so that worshippers can pray with a minimum of distraction.

2. That said, infants wail. Although the TLM is the same wherever you go in the world, the communities are different. Some TLM congregations have many children. Some do not. In the past 11 years, my own small congregation has gone from no children to 10 children on the average Sunday. We’ve had to learn to adjust to the reality of non-monastic liturgical life.

That said, the parents of proven weepers tend to sit near the back of our church, so they can whisk the disconsolate ankle-biters outside when mere grizzling escalates to full-throated wailing. This may not be a practical solution for congregations made up chiefly of young families, but if you come to Mass without infants, it would be kind if you left the back pews free for people who do. Meanwhile, make the most of the unbroken silences God grants.

3. The definition of modest dress changes from place to place. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to err on the side of the conservative when you attend your first Traditional Latin Mass. In some communities, men wear suits and ties and women wear chapel veils and dresses with sleeves. In other TLM communities, especially in France, women go to Mass bare-headed and wear trousers.

The interest some American Catholics seem to take in women’s Sunday clothing is not shared by the rest of the world of Catholic tradition. In Scotland, the unspoken rule is just to dress in a way that indicates respect and does not distract others from their prayers. To raise an eyebrow at my own TLM, you’d have to wear leggings, a miniskirt, sweatpants, a rock band T-shirt, or a tank top revealing an exercise bra with “SEXY” written on the back in rhinestones. I saw such a bra at Mass about nine years ago, and it is permanently tattooed on my brain.

4. The TLM is much, much different from the Ordinary Form. It took me three Sundays before I felt comfortable with the Traditional Latin Mass because it was so different from the Mass I grew up with. On Sundays the liturgy usually begins with the Asperges, a rite of purification rarely used at the Ordinary Form, and the Mass itself begins in silence, except for the choir singing the Introit. This takes the place of the good old Entrance Hymn.

I spent months flipping confusedly from the red pamphlet showing the Latin and English translations for the unchanging parts of the Mass (the “ordinary”)  to the white handout showing the day’s prayers and readings (the “propers”). I figured it all out eventually, and it’s a big plus that the TLM is the same wherever I am in the world. I take my veil and missal, and I’m good to go.

5. Every Catholic who goes to the TLM is different from the others. I know I have to stress that going to the Traditional Latin Mass is about the worship of God through the ancient rite. It is not about finding like-minded community, let alone a substitute family―although it is possible you will make friends, depending on your age and personality.

The friendliness or reserve, the political opinions or lack thereof, will be influenced by the wider society in which the church is situated. In Edinburgh, a more reserved city than, for example, Glasgow, old-timers assume that people who go to the TLM want to be left alone unless they come to the After-Mass Coffee Hour. Meanwhile, we currently range in age from one to 90+ and have political opinions from all over the British spectrum. We are all different people, but our differences don’t matter as much as the Mass we attend on Sundays.

Some Catholics fear that TLM old-timers will sneer at them because they have small families. For what it’s worth, my husband and I have no children, and no one at Mass has ever been so rude as to ask us why not. Occasionally someone very timidly asks if we’ve considered adopting, and most recently I’ve explained that my husband’s health prevents it.

6. The “priesthood of the laity” is not emphasized at the TLM. Here is a story to illustrate this reality. Some years ago a young man converted to the Catholic faith in part because of blog posts I wrote about the TLM. A TLM priest asked me, therefore, if I would prepare something for the convert’s reception into the faith.

Now, I do have an M.Div. degree from a Catholic theologate, but I was a little confused at this very untraditional-sounding request from a traditional priest.

“Do you mean a reflection?” I asked.

“No,” said the priest. “I mean sandwiches.”

I made the sandwiches and later admitted to myself that the partygoers probably enjoyed my sandwiches more than they would have enjoyed my reflection. If you are used to taking on tasks once reserved to the priesthood, you do some dying to self when you join a TLM community. Meanwhile, some of the greatest women saints, including Doctors of the Church, scrubbed convent floors for years.

And as much as I admire St. Edith Stein for her writing, it’s the fact she cared for children in a Nazi concentration camp that makes me love her.

7. That said, the laity do have an important part to play. The Traditional Latin Mass does not need you, but you may need the Traditional Latin Mass, and there are many ways in which laypeople can help priests continue to offer it.

Perhaps the most important is to raise children to love and respect both the Traditional Latin Mass and the traditional understanding of the ordained priesthood. Sadly, the sex-abuse scandals of the past 30 years have made it clear not all priests can be trusted. However, we can raise our own sons to be good men and to help the ones who feel a call to the priesthood find the seminaries that will help them become good priests. We can also emphasize to our daughters the role the great female saints have played in the history of the Church and explain to them why both physical motherhood and spiritual motherhood are so important to the world.

Depending on the TLM community in your area, there may be a need for altar servers, who are always male, new choir members, and people to help out with a variety of ancillary tasks, including setting up After-Mass Coffee Hour. The best course of action is to ask one of the priests associated with the community what help is needed. However, I would recommend becoming thoroughly acquainted with the Traditional Latin Mass before taking on any responsibility that may inhibit your ability to worship. My husband sings in our choir, and he always welcomes opportunities to worship in the same manner as the rest of a TLM congregation. This is usually when we are away on holiday – see here for a partial list of TLMs around the world.

Naturally, you should not stint when the offertory basket comes around.

I find it very rewarding to be a woman in a TLM community. Paradoxically, only the women of the congregation don liturgical garb: our mantillas. Our local tradition is that married women wear black mantillas, and mine proclaims my spiritually maternal role. I enjoy presiding over the After-Mass tea pot and keeping an eye out for people standing around with no one to talk to. I am also happy to be of service to mothers of children, whether that is assisting with homeschooling or keeping an eye on the Guides. Most of all, though, I am delighted to be married to a man who takes the worship of God so seriously.

8. Take and read. After struggling with the question for years, St. Augustine converted to Christianity after hearing a child-like voice say “Tolle, lege” (Take and read). Opening the Bible, his eye fell on Romans 13:13-14, which instructs us all to choose Christ Jesus instead of sinful desires of the flesh.

To plumb the vast deeps of the Traditional Latin Mass, you too will have to do some reading. A good primer is Treasure and Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass by Lisa Bergman for St. Augustine Academy Press. The publishing company has also brought many Catholic classics for children back into print, so if you are a parent interested in traditional Catholic worship and catechesis, you may enjoy browsing its catalogue. 

I hope this little guide to the TLM will be helpful to you. I cannot stress enough that the whole point of this Mass is reverent worship of God, but at the same time I have to admit that I did find community―including friends and even a husband―there. Perhaps if you put God first, everything merely created eventually falls into place.

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The Three Stages of Apostasy. Which Stage We Are Seeing Now?

from: The Fatima Centre – https://fatima.org

Fatima Perspectives #1350

As is well known in the Catholic world, thanks to the tireless work of Father Nicholas Gruner, Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi, the personal theologian to five successive popes, revealed to a Professor Baumgartner in Salzburg, Austria in 1995 that “In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.”

But what is apostasy?  There is, first of all, the strict canonical definition: “Apostasy is a total repudiation of the Christian faith.” (CIC 1983, Can. 751) In his Summa Theologiae, however, Saint Thomas Aquinas discusses apostasy under various aspects, only one of which involves a total abandonment of the Faith. To quote the Angelic Doctor:

“Apostasy denotes a backsliding from God. This may happen in various ways according to the different kinds of union between man and God.

“A man may apostatize from God, by withdrawing from the religious life to which he was bound by profession, or from the Holy Order which he had received: and this is called ‘apostasy from religious life’ or ‘Orders.’

“A man may also apostatize from God, by rebelling in his mind against the Divine commandments….” ST II-II Q. 12

Saint Thomas goes on to say that “though man may apostatize in both the above ways, he may still remain united to God by faith.” It is only in the final stage of apostasy, the third stage, that the Faith itself is lost.  In that case, the apostate then “seems to turn away from God altogether: and consequently, apostasy simply and absolutely is that whereby a man withdraws from the faith, is called ‘apostasy of perfidy.’”

Why the “apostasy of perfidy” and not just apostasy simpliciter?  Because the word ‘perfidy’ connotes more than a mere loss of faith on the part of one man.  It is also a betrayal of Christ Himself, a rebellion against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and the Church He founded as the ark of salvation.  It can thus be seen as a form of spiritual treason against the divinely founded ecclesial commonwealth and its Ruler.

For more than sixty years now the Church has endured the spectacle of Catholic churchmen, beginning at the very top, paying tribute first to Protestant sects founded by men and then any and all religions, as we saw with the Assisi events of John Paul II, and now the outrages perpetrated in connection with the Synod on the Amazon, whose virtual icon was the demonic figure of “Pachamama,” given center stage in the pagan ritual conducted in the Vatican gardens with the approval of the Pope (see photo above).

All of this backsliding from the true God has been justified in the name of the novelties of “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue” which erupted into the Church through the opening provided by Vatican II, in whose texts these novelties appeared for the first time in Church history.

We now behold the outcome of which Pope Pius XI warned when he condemned the nascent “ecumenical movement” of the 1920s and forbade any Catholic participation therein. Pius observed that this movement, of liberal Protestant origin, was founded on “that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.”

It is obvious that this same false opinion is now “official” Vatican policy.  And the result of the spread of that opinion in the Church, just as Pius XI predicted, is precisely the “apostasy of perfidy” among Catholic churchmen. Quoth Pius:

“Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.”

Consider this absurdly heterodox paean to the “spirits” worshiped by “indigenous people” in the forests of the Amazon, which appears in the Synod’s final document:

“The life of the Amazonian communities not yet affected by the influence of Western civilization is reflected in their belief and rites regarding the spirits of the divinity [!], named in innumerable ways, active with and in the territory, with and in relation to nature …. Let us recognize that, for thousands of years, they have taken care of their land, their waters and their forests, and have managed to preserve them until today so that humanity might enjoy and benefit from the free gifts of God’s creation.”

“Spirits of divinity” that are “active” in the jungles of the Amazon?  No comment is necessary.  But notice the implied contention that “the influence of Western civilization,” not the one true Church of Christ and His Gospel, is the difference between tribes that still worship “spirits” and baptized Christians who worship the true God in the true religion. As if the conversion of pagan tribes were some sort of cultural imperialism rather than a saving operation of divine grace for the salvation of souls and the uplifting of nations by the Church on her mission in the world.

One is tempted to think that the participants in this ridiculous gathering of bishops were trolling the Catholic faithful when they published this superstitious nonsense.  But if they actually believe it, then, objectively speaking, they exhibit the third stage of apostasy: loss of the Faith.  Even if they may think themselves Catholic believers, they have lost the Faith in the sense that, for them, the religion revealed by Christ makes no salvific difference in the lives of people, is thus of no account in their salvation, and therefore is merely one of many religions in the world as to which, quite simply, take your pick without any adverse eternal consequences.  They have, in effect, done exactly what Pius XI foresaw: “little by little, turn[ed] aside to naturalism and atheism… altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.”

As Francis himself declared in answer to the question why God “allows” so many religions in the world:  “there are many religions. Some are born from culture, but they always look to heaven; they look to God.”  Given that view of all religions as good, why would anyone feel any necessity to repent, be baptized and enter the Catholic Church?  The Church is simply no longer presented as the ark of salvation.  The divinely revealed religion is no longer presented as the one true religion in which one must believe if he would be saved.  Institutionally speaking, then, we are witnessing an apostasy — an apostasy that begins at the top.

All signs point to this pontificate as the terminal stage of an ecclesial crisis whose resolution will involve either a miracle of grace and the election of a holy Pope, whose name may well be Pius XIII, or else a divine chastisement that will cleanse the Church of the filth remarked by Cardinal Ratzinger, just before his elevation to the Chair of Peter, and the meta-heresy of Modernism, whose signal error — that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy — now reigns supreme at the highest levels of the Church’s human element.

In either case, the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be the pivot on which salvation history turns in this epoch.

 

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10 German Dioceses Push for Major Changes During Upcoming ‘Synodal Path’

By Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register:

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops’ conference (Edward Pentin photo)

Now that the Pan-Amazonian Synod is over, attention is turning to the German bishops’ “synodal path” whose latest development is the publication of a joint letter from vicars general representing 10 German archdioceses which strongly endorses the synodal process that begins Dec. 1.

The letter, published on Tuesday, was addressed to the German bishops’ conference and the largest and most influential lay group in the country, the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK).

The vicars general, representing the archbishops of Berlin, Essen, Hamburg, Hildesheim, Limburg, Magdeburg, Münster, Osnabrück, Speyer and Trier, wrote that they considered “fundamental reform of the Church in Germany to be urgently necessary, indeed essential.”

According to Katholisch.de, a news portal administered by the German bishops’ conference, they said they wanted a Church “in which plurality and diversity are desired and permitted” as only an open and diverse church has the chance to “remain effectively present” in society. And they see the “synodal path” as means to achieve this.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German bishops’ conference, has said the two-year synodal path of meetings proposes to tackle “key issues” arising from the clerical sex abuse crisis, ostensibly with the aim of helping the Church align with the times. In particular, the bishops are set to question the Catholic Church’s perennial teaching on priestly celibacy, human sexuality and the role of women in the Church.

The ZdK, which openly supports ending priestly celibacy, ordaining women and blessing same-sex couples in churches, is to work closely with the German bishops during the process.

In their joint letter, the vicars general wrote that the crisis in the Catholic Church and “the many critical questions” they have provoked from people and the media are a “sign of the times” and a “challenge that God gives us for us.” For this reason, and after “deep and honest conversations,” they said they are “convinced that it is God’s will to take significant steps of change.” And they added that if the Church persists with a “business as usual” approach, she cannot do justice to her mission.

Noting that such changes can be painful, the bishops’ representatives said they hoped the “synodal path” would engender “an honest and open dialogue, characterized by mutual trust and respect and the willingness for mutual understanding.”

But they also notably ask the bishops’ conference and the ZdK to “refrain from insinuations and even accusations of lacking ‘orthodoxy.’” They said a reliance on “God’s spirit” will help participants to take “reasonable steps” to renew the Church.

The Spirit of God can help “to determine the appropriate ratio of Tradition and Innovation today,” they added.

“We expect that the results of the synodal path will change our practice significantly,” the vicars general concluded. “We want, and are open to, such changes. Moreover, we are ready as administrative managers in our dioceses, together with our bishops, to implement reform decisions.”

“Do we want to be a closed Church or one that embraces life and culture?” Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück said in a recent Washington Post interview on the “synodal path.”

But critics believe the process could lead the faithful down an erroneous path that will ultimately damage the Church and, according to Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, possibly lead to “schism within the Church in Germany” and a “German national church.”

German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has criticized German bishops for displaying what he views as “embarrassing arrogance” by pursuing a “self-destructive, national particularism.”

The vicars’ general letter is “basically an attempt to increase public pressure,” an informed German Church source told the Register. The Pan-Amazonian Synod, which has proposed the ordination of married men and further discussion of a female diaconate, “was not an end but just a beginning,” the source predicted.

Speaking on Monday evening, Cardinal Woelki stressed that unchangeable stipulations of the faith should not be questioned and recalled that Pope Francis did not want synods to resemble parliaments with “quasi-parliamentary votes on the faith.”

Also recalling Pope Francis, he said the answer to renewal was primarily through evangelization rather than change of structures, and that this meant reviving our friendship with Christ and immersing ourselves in the Tradition and doctrine of the Church.

He also warned against separating from the world Church. A choir, he said, is not about elevating individual voices.

He said, “Shrill sounds should therefore be avoided.”

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LGBT ‘Pride’ Masses taking over multiple Catholic dioceses in England

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Paul Smeaton

Advertisements for the Masses have become widely available in churches and on various official parish and diocesan websites. Many of these advertisements are emblazoned with the rainbow flag or popular Catholic images such as crosses or the Sacred Heart filled with the rainbow colours. Several of the groups involved in organizing these Masses take part in their local homosexual “pride” events.

In none of the advertisements or official publications about these Masses is the Catholic Church’s authoritative, constant teaching that homosexual sexual acts are inherently sinful made clear.

Playing a key role in the promotion and support of many of these Masses is the group “Quest.” Quest states on its website that it desires to see the “acceptance of homosexual relationships by the Catholic Church” and that its purpose is to help homosexuals reconcile their Catholic faith with the “full expression of their homosexual natures.” At their annual conference in 2018, Quest organizers showed a specially pre-recorded video presentation by the pro-homosexual celebrity priest Fr. James Martin.

This increase in LGBT+ Masses around the country has been welcomed by LGBT+ Catholics Westminster. This group has enjoyed the long-term support of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who is both their local ordinary and the senior Catholic cleric in England. In March of this year, the group were given privileged seats at a papal audience in St Peter’s Square, Rome, after which they were invited to meet and take photographs with Pope Francis. They were introduced to Pope Francis by Martin Pendergrast, an ex-priest who has been in a civil union with Julian Filochowski, the former head of Cafod, since 2006.

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Salford diocese

The diocese of Salford is the latest diocese in England to initiate an LGBT+ Mass — hosting its first such Mass on October 12 at Holy Name Church in Manchester. The Quest website claims that they played a crucial role in organising the recent Mass in Salford. They say:

The origins of this development go back to a meeting between the then Chair of Quest, Ruby Almeida, Gez Hodgson, Fr Paul Daly and Bishop John Arnold in September 2017 when the possibility of closer links with the LGBT+ Catholic community and the Salford Diocese were discussed. Bishop John was very supportive of the idea and so it has proved in subsequent contacts with his representatives.

On Sunday, October 6, Bishop Arnold publicised the Mass on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday morning programme Sounds.

In an email sent to the clergy of his diocese, Bishop Arnold reported his satisfaction with the event.

Thanks, I think, to good planning and organisation, the LGBT Mass went very well, and better than expected. The atmosphere was very good and the comments of people as they left were unanimously encouraging. There were something like 300 people there, a congregation which included family and friends and others who simply came along because they thought it was an important occasion. We must see now what the organisers might want to plan for the future. While it is good to recognise the needs of the group, it is also important not to organise things in such a way as to isolate them from parish life. There were just two voices of dissent present at the Mass and their discourtesy rather bankrupted the value of any statement that they might have wanted to make. My thanks to the Jesuit community who hosted the event at the Holy Name and to all who contributed to the occasion.

Clifton

In the diocese of Clifton, an “LGBT+ Mass” began in March this year at the parish of St Nicholas of Tolentino in Bristol. The parish website makes clear that the Mass is happening at the request of Bishop Declan Lang, the local ordinary.

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“Bishop Declan wishes to express pastoral care and concern for our Catholic LGBT+ community and so has asked St Nicholas of Tolentino Church to celebrate a series of Masses for this community and their friends and family and all who wish to take part.”

The same website also displays an image of a sculpture of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, crowned with a cross, and painted in the colours of the rainbow flag. The parish promotes its Mass with a poster that includes an image of a cross filled with rainbow colours.

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The Masses are also being advertised on the official diocesan website.

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Quest explain on their website that the Masses in the diocese began after they met with Bishop Lang last year:

Quest member John Flannery and Chair Ruby Almeida met with Bishop Declan Lang in November 2018. Bishop Lang approved the idea of holding a Mass for LGBT+, families and friends. Now, after less than three months, a series of Masses are to be held at St. Nicholas of Tolentino in Easton, Bristol.

Nottingham

The diocese of Nottingham organises an annual LGBT+ Mass and promoted an LGBT Mass on the feast of All Souls’ Day on November 2, 2019. The poster advertising the events states:

LGBT MASS: Fr Simon Robson OP will celebrate Mass for LGBT Catholics, their families and friends on Saturday, 2nd November at Sacred Heart Church, 25 Mere Road, Leicester, LE5 3HS, at 2pm. This is All Souls’ Day. We will remember all those who have been tortured, died and killed because of their gender identity/sexuality. All are welcome!

The website for the Nottingham diocese hosts a page with an explicit endorsement for the “LGBT+ Ministry” from Bishop Patrick McKinney. His message reads:

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Bishop Patrick wishes everybody a warm welcome in the diocese; that includes, in an explicit way, members of the LGBT+ community. To demonstrate and share the Good News of God’s love for all, the bishop has set up a pastoral ministry directed particularly at LGBT+ people, their families and friends. LGBT+ Catholics share their lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus with all other groups and communities in our diocese; we enrich each other and grow together as the Body of Christ.

Northampton

Last year, Bishop Peter Doyle of the diocese of Northampton attended a Quest conference. While there, he took part in a panel discussion about a specially recorded video presentation that pro-homosexual celebrity priest Fr. James Martin made for the event. A report from the Quest website says:

Bishop Peter spoke very warmly on behalf of the bishops, whilst acknowledging that there was a diversity of perspectives among his colleagues on LGBT+ issues. The fact that he is the first bishop to attend a conference for many years is significant.

In 2015, Bishop Doyle took part in a Vatican Radio interview where he suggested that Catholic teaching, via future synods, might eventually develop to accept “same-sex relationships.” When asked why more hadn’t been said about LGBT issues at the October 2015 Synod on the Family, he said:

I think it’s a combination of it being too difficult and also the basic, I suppose, theological anthropology — what I mean by that is that our understanding, from the Scripture, of man and woman… there is no room at the moment for a same-sex relationship. And so, I think they’ve sort of said — well, they haven’t actually said this, but in my heart, I wonder whether they’re saying — ‘We don’t know what to do.’ Now, that’s not going to be very helpful for these good people, but maybe something will come out unexpectedly, but at the moment, it seems to be being parked to one side.

When asked whether there needed to be a greater theological exploration of these issues, he said:

Well I think that has got to happen, hasn’t it? I think we can’t leave people dangling in the air and in limbo. The Lord loves us all, so somehow we have to find a way of embracing everybody. But it’s a real challenge at the moment and I just don’t think we’ve really begun to deal with it in any serious manner. That would almost need a Synod on its own I think.

Bishop Doyle is chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Committee for Marriage and Family Life and a member of the Department of Education and Formation.

Middlesbrough

The diocese of Middlesbrough hosts a monthly LGBT+ Mass since December 2017. It does so at the famous York Bar Convent, the oldest Catholic convent in England, dating back to 1686.

The diocese of Middlesbrough promotes the website Middlesbrough Diocese LGBT+ Ministry on its own official diocesan page. The same webpage also promotes a Facebook group dedicated to the “ministry.” In June of this year, this Facebook page posted an album of photos showing the group’s participation in the “Pride” event in York. This event was led by schoolchildren from the local area.

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The Middlesbrough Diocese LGBT+ Ministry website makes clear that those involved feel they have the support of their local ordinary, Bishop Terry McKinney, for their activities. They state on their home page:

Our Father in God, Bishop Terry, is clear there is a warm welcome here for everyone and that this includes, in an explicit way, members of the LGBT+ community, and their friends and family.

Westminster

The support for Quest from bishops and Catholic dioceses throughout England is perhaps unsurprising, given that in 2017, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the most senior Catholic cleric in England, wrote to priests recommending making use of Quest to minister to “those who live with a same-sex attraction and are often very anxious about their journey to God and their relationship with the Church.”

Quest had previously been banned from the Westminster archdiocese by Cardinal Nichols’s predecessor, Cardinal Hume, because of its overt promotion of homosexual behavior contrary to Catholic teaching.

In January this year, Cardinal Nichols celebrated Mass for the LGBT+ Catholics Westminster group. He previously celebrated Mass for the group in 2015.

In 2012, the LGBT Mass in Westminster was moved from Our Lady of the Assumption, on Warwick Street, to the Jesuit-run Church of the Immaculate Conception on Farm Street. At the time of the move, Cardinal Nichols issued a statement following concerns that the Masses were being used to promote the homosexual lifestyle. In that statement, he said that “consideration is being given to the circumstances in which these Masses are celebrated to ensure that their purpose is respected and that they are not occasions for confusion or opposition concerning the positive teaching of the Church on the meaning of human sexuality or the moral imperatives that flow from that teaching, which we uphold and towards which we all strive.”

In July of this year, the group again participated in the London “Pride” march and on their Facebook page dubbed the Mass that followed “our post-Pride Mass.”

The group has previously enjoyed the explicit support of Cardinal Nichols for walking in the march.

The home page of their website includes a picture that also appears to be from a “Pride” event. The logo displayed on their website depicts a cross against the background of a rainbow flag.

Prayer for England

​O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee.

By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more.

Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross.

O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that, with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.

​Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

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Chinese Catholics barricade themselves in church to prevent its destruction

Our Lady of China, intercede for our abandoned brothers and sisters!

From CNA:

Chinese Catholics barricade themselves in church to prevent demolition

Beijing, China, Nov 1, 2019 / 09:07 am (CNA).- Priests and parishioners have barricaded themselves in a Catholic church in the Chinese province of Hebei. According to reports, the Catholics are attempting to prevent the Chinese government from tearing down the Church.

The protest began at 6am Thursday morning at the church in Wu Gao Zhang, part of the Guantao district of Hebei, on the coast of northern China. Officials have ordered that the church be destroyed even though it is fully recognized and approved by the government. According to the website AsiaNews, local authorities have said the building lacks appropriate permits.

In September 2017, China enacted strict new regulations concerning religion. Since then, authorities have been vigilant in enforcing permitting requirements. Churches that are not found to be in compliance are destroyed[If not for that reason, then for any other.]

According to AsiaNews, many Chinese Catholics say that last September’s Sino-Vatican Agreement has served to embolden the government to take punitive action against Catholics who did not belong to state-approved churches.

Officials have reportedly claimed that “the Vatican supports us” and have ordered an additional 40 churches be destroyed.

[…]

“The government places spies in CPCA churches to specially monitor what priests say in their sermons and what activities they hold,” a priest from Yujiang reported to the magazine Bitter Winter. The Chinese government monitors the everyday activity of CPCA priests, their travel.

“Basically, the state knows everything about the priests,” he added.

[…]

Father Z’s comments:

I don’t think there is any way to avoid this conclusion: the Holy See sold out our Chinese brothers and sisters.

On that last point, if you don’t think this is happening in “free” countries, you are naive.

 

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BREAKING: Man who threw Pachamama idol into Tiber speaks out

Alexander Tschugguel, 26, of Vienna, Austria, spoke to LifeSite co-founder John-Henry Westen. He told him, “for me, it was really bad, because I saw in those statues and in those idols…a break of the First Commandment.” Alexander says he was motivated simply by the desire to “bring pagan things out of a Catholic Church.”

Tschugguel released his own video revealing himself and explaining his decision today. You can watch that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1p74C…

Here is Taylor Marshall’s somewhat longer and more in-depth interview with Alexander:

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Cardinal Burke: Church is ‘experiencing one of the greatest crises she has ever known’

From LifeSiteNews:

Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks at the Call to Holiness on Oct. 26 in Detroit.

Cardinal Raymond Burke told a sold-out Catholic conference in Detroit last weekend that “there is no question that the Church is currently experiencing one of the greatest crises which she has ever known.”

“Today perhaps as at no time in the past there is an ever more diffuse phenomenon of general confusion and error regarding doctrine and morals within the Body of Christ,” he told the crowd of 800 at the Oct. 26 Call to Holiness conference in a talk on “Keeping the faith in a time of confusion.”

And a “frightening manifestation of the gravity of the situation” is the Amazon synod’s working document, which “constitutes an apostasy from the apostolic faith by its denial of the unicity and universality of the redemptive Incarnation of God the Son,” added the cardinal.

The month-long Amazon synod ended Sunday amid heated controversy over the preeminence given to statutes of Pachamama, the Incan fertility goddess, at the event. Signaling more turbulence ahead, LifeSiteNews reported Saturday that the synod’s final document calls for allowing women’s ministries at Mass.

One of two surviving “dubia” cardinals, Burke obliquely referred to the Pachamama controversy when detailing the 40-point “Declaration of truths” he and Bishop Athanasius Schneider — who condemned the use of the pagan statues at the synod in an open letter — and several other bishops published May 31.

“Frighteningly evident” in the synod’s working document is the widespread error that “considers all forms of non-Christian spirituality and religion to be seeds or fruits of the divine Word,” said Burke.

“But as the Declaration makes clear, such cannot be the case with spiritualities and religions that promote any kind of idolatry or pantheism.”

The Declaration also refutes the widespread error “that Judaism and Islam have their own integrity, and that therefore it is wrong to work for the conversion of Jews or Muslims to Christ” by affirming “that salvation comes through faith in Christ alone,” Burke said to thunderous applause.

While the Church faced a “more serious doctrinal crisis” in the Arian heresy of the fourth century, which denied the divinity of Christ, there is today “confusion about many truths of the faith and a growing sense that the Church is no longer certain regarding the truths that she has always taught,” he said.

“The see of Peter not only does not clarify the confusion and correct the error, but appears to favor the confusion, which daily increases.”

An example of this is the Catholic Church in Germany embarking on the “synodal way,”  which some German bishops say is a process to rewrite the Church’s moral teaching, particularly on marriage, family, and human sexuality, added the cardinal.

As for development of doctrine, that never meant changing the doctrine, Burke stressed.

“There are some today who say that the Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts has developed so that now, in contradiction to the constant teaching of the Church, homosexual acts in certain circumstances are considered to be good and loving,” he said.

Indeed, so great is the confusion that some claim obeying the commandments can actually be a sin, Burke noted. “This may seem absurd to you, and in fact, it is. But this is how the reasoning goes.”

The Declaration of Truths provides “an effective help in giving an account of our faith in an ever growing secular and ecclesial culture of confusion, error and division,” Burke told the conference.

“But let me make clear that confusion is never a good. Confusion is the work of the devil. It always has been and it always will be,” he said to a burst of applause.

Responsibility to redress this confusion “weighs particularly” on bishops, whom Pope Gregory the Great described as “the watchdog who guards the flock against the wolves, warning the flock and driving the wolves away from the flock,” he said.

St. Boniface added, “The watchdog that does not bark when there is a threat to the flock is useless and harmful,” Burke said to more thunderous applause.

In the following Q&A, Burke assured the crowd that “I can’t imagine” the extraordinary form of the Mass being forbidden, as some people fear, given that Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum pontificum has given the traditional Mass “a real foothold” across the globe.

‘There are enemies of the extraordinary form, you know that well, but I don’t think that they’re going to prevail,” he said.

Moreover, when he celebrates the traditional Mass, older people are far outnumbered by “young people, young, single people,” Burke said to sustained applause.

Regarding the Society of St. Pius X, Pope Francis seems intent on reconciliation, but “a reconciliation has to be real,” the cardinal said.

There are still questions regarding the Society’s position on two Vatican declarations, which are not dogmatic: Nostra aetate, on other religions, and Dignitatis humanae, on religious freedom, that must be resolved.

Burke ended by exhorting people against discouragement, the “principal temptation” of Satan.

“Some people are getting very discouraged with what’s going on in general in the Church,” he said.

“I always say to them, look, look around how many wonderful young families are practicing their Catholic faith. Look at the number of the seminarians. Look at the pro-life movement, the strength that it has … So we can’t give way to discouragement.”

Burke is a “shepherd after the heart of the people” and a “priest who loves the people,” Call to Holiness Detroit organizer Deborah Bloomfield told LifeSiteNews, adding that for the conference’s closing pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form there was “standing room only.”

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Reflection for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

 

 

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Readings: Book of Wisdom 11:23-12:2; Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians 1:11-2:2; Gospel According to Saint Luke 19:1-10

The Liturgical Year 2018-2019 is drawing to a close. In less than a month we will begin a new Liturgical Year with the First Sunday of Advent on December 1st.

The Gospel passage for this Sunday in Ordinary Time tells us the beautiful story of someone who had a real conversion after encountering Jesus Christ. Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector of Jericho and tree-climber, ends up doing great things when the Lord comes to dine with him.

We are told Zacchaeus needed to climb a tree in order to see the passing Lord. This action says something about his tenacity or at least curiosity to know more about this rabbi of whom many spoke. Seeing the Lord and listening to his words, Zacchaeus reveals a readiness to change his ways and make amends for any he may have defrauded others.

The first reading this Sunday, written about a century before the birth of Christ, stresses the overwhelming kindness of God. It is clearly expresses that God loves all things that are and loathes nothing that he has made.

The second reading for Mass this Sunday, words of Saint Paul, emphasizes that the Lord does not come in an agitating or terrifying way, but rather in “every honest intention and work of faith.”

We see the truth of the first and second readings manifested in the attitude of Jesus toward the rich man Zacchaeus. From Jesus perspective, everything and everyone is holy. It is only the incorrect or evil use by selfish intention of the heart which results in profaning what is holy and in turn reducing people and objects to an unholy level of being.

Jesus invites himself to the home in order to dine with the rich tax collector Zacchaeus. The Lords is able to see the goodness of an otherwise despised person and causes a stir, whereby people say, “He has gone to a sinner’s house as a guest.”

In the course of their dining Zacchaeus admits he has cheated people but is ready and willing to make amends. Is it the shock of Jesus in his house that causes the change of heart? It doesn’t matter! Obviously, Jesus saw an opportunity here to convert the heart of a sinner. Presumably Zacchaeus remained a tax collector, but presumable an honest one after his encounter with Jesus. As a Jew, his own people did not respect him, but now he could at least carry out his work with a clear conscience, even if still despised by others.

The important point, no what the profession of Zacchaeus or anyone else may be, is simply that “the Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost,” as Jesus expressed it. While we rejoice in this reality, we must also apply it to our daily life, that is, never losing hope in others, either our friends, family, co-workers, perceived enemies, or whomever. We must keep striving to assist those in need, the loveable or not, and extend to them the loving hand of Jesus as best we can.

The late Father Carroll Stuhlmueller, of the Congregation of the Passion, sums up well our work, illuminating this Sunday’s Gospel text with this prayer:

“Lord, you are gracious and merciful. Impart your kindness to me so that I will always be slow to anger and compassionate towards all your works. You are faithful in your words and holy in all your works. Let me see your sanctifying and faithful hand in the words and works of my neighbour” (from “Biblical Meditations for ordinary Time, Weeks 23 – 34,” Paulist Press, 1984, p. 370).

Amen!

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Memorare

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The Holy Souls – With Twelfth Hour Love

Elizabeth A. Mitchell

In the midst of bustling London, on a sliver of pavement at the intersection of Edgware and Bayswater Roads, not far from the well-known Marble Arch, stands a marker, which reads, “The site of Tyburn Tree.”

In an abandoned cell, inside the now derelict Auschwitz Prison Block 11, is an image of the Sacred Heart, etched by a prisoner’s hands.

Those who suffered for their beliefs in these places of infamy, including the Tyburn martyrs and St. Maximilian Kolbe, have long since gone before us.  Silenced for their beliefs by regimes much stronger than their poor capacity to resist, their voices should have been extinguished forever.  These simple markers should be the only remnant of their overpowered and seemingly futile witness.

And yet, it is the tyrants and regimes themselves which have fallen away, powerless and defeated.  The gates to Auschwitz-Birkenau today swing open, empty and deserted.  The all-encompassing power that manned the guard towers and supervised the trains has long since passed away.  The gates of Hampton Court now welcome day visitors, its hallowed tenant, Henry VIII, reduced to empty legend.

But the gates of Tyburn Convent joyfully welcome consecrated souls offering their lives in prayer for that Faith and Truth, which all the King’s horses and all the Queen’s men could never conquer.

The crypt of Tyburn Convent houses the Martyr’s Chapel, a stunning collection of precious relics of the brave men and women – lay faithful, priests, and religious, who preserved the Faith in England under the reign of terror.  Among the quotes inscribed upon the crypt walls are words spoken by Carthusian Prior John Houghton. “I am bound in conscience, and am ready and willing to suffer every kind of torture rather than deny a doctrine of the Church,” he declared from the scaffold of Tyburn Hill, London, on May 4, 1535.

From his cell in Bell Tower, St. Thomas More, himself soon to be martyred, famously witnessed the procession to Tyburn of these Carthusian martyrs, noting to his daughter Margaret, “these blessed fathers be now as cheerfully going to their deaths as bridegrooms to a marriage.”

One of the great temptations, when we risk everything for the truth, is to think our sacrifice will be futile.  We will give all, and it will not have mattered.  The object will be lost, the world will forget, and we will be forgotten.  Even Our Lord, we fear, will forget our act of love, and generosity.  It will be useless and fruitless.  And so we waver.

*

But Our Lord will never forget.  The self-immolation will itself be the cause of the fruit; the offering will have power because it is absolute.  Only in holding nothing back, in giving everything, can we hope to gain anything worth keeping.

Saint Paul, having endured intense sufferings and facing a martyr’s death, declared with confidence in the reward of righteousness, that only one thing mattered: to fight the good fight, to stay the course, to keep the faith. (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)

“To love is to give of one’s all, including oneself,” St. Thérèse of Lisieux assures us.

In a letter written to her Mother Prioress on Passion Sunday, March 26th, 1939, a few brief years before her own death in Auschwitz, St. Edith Stein requested, “Please will Your Reverence allow me to offer myself to the heart of Jesus as a sacrifice of propitiation for true peace, that the dominion of the Antichrist may collapse?. . .I would like my request granted this very day because it is the twelfth hour.  I know that I am nothing, but Jesus desires it, and surely He will call many others to do likewise in these days.”

The twelfth hour.  We so often speak of the eleventh – that moment in which a glimmer of hope still remains.  But Christ delights in twelfth-hour love.  He allows us to see the dream die, and the fight to be lost, and then. . .He acts.  He demands hope when all hope is lost.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac […]. He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence he did receive him back and this was a symbol.” (Hebrews 11:17-19)

Lazarus has died (John 11:1-44); Jairus’ daughter has breathed her last (Mark 5:21–43, Matthew 9:18–26, Luke 8:40–56).  Christ, it seems, has come too late.  We can throw up our hands and declare that all is lost, or we can raise up our hands and declare in faith, Lord, to You is the Victory.  The sanctuary lamp of Our Lady’s heart glows ardent and undimmed in the Upper Room, even as He lies in the tomb.

To join the Wedding Procession of the Lamb requires our stepping out in faith.  To go ahead today requires heroic love, a “perfect love,” which “casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)  As the narrator declares in the final Act of Karol Wojtyla’s The Jeweler’s Shop, “Love was stronger than fear, and today they went ahead.”

Christ and His Church need our courageous love and witness, today, at this hour.  As we offer Him our lives, through a love stronger than fear, stronger even than death, He will give us all we cannot keep except by losing, in Him.  We give our hearts to Him with twelfth-hour love, and watch His saving power achieve the ultimate Victory.

*Image (above): The Carthusian Martyrs at Tyburn by Andrew Brown Donaldson, c. 1900 [London Charterhouse]

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Pope Benedict XVI: Listen to Jesus and then follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties

It seems fitting on this solemnity of All Saints to recall Pope Benedict’s invitation “to be witnesses of Christ in this epoch of ours”:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our Eucharistic celebration began with the exhortation: “Let us all rejoice in the Lord”. The liturgy invites us to share in the heavenly jubilation of the Saints, to taste their joy. The Saints are not a small caste of chosen souls but an innumerable crowd to which the liturgy urges us to raise our eyes. This multitude not only includes the officially recognized Saints, but the baptized of every epoch and nation who sought to carry out the divine will faithfully and lovingly. We are unacquainted with the faces and even the names of many of them, but with the eyes of faith we see them shine in God’s firmament like glorious stars.

Today, the Church is celebrating her dignity as “Mother of the Saints, an image of the Eternal City” (A. Manzoni), and displays her beauty as the immaculate Bride of Christ, source and model of all holiness. She certainly does not lack contentious or even rebellious children, but it is in the Saints that she recognizes her characteristic features and precisely in them savours her deepest joy.

In the first reading, the author of the Book of Revelation describes them as “a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Rv 7: 9).

This people includes the Saints of the Old Testament, starting with the righteous Abel and the faithful Patriarch, Abraham, those of the New Testament, the numerous early Christian Martyrs and the Blesseds and Saints of later centuries, to the witnesses of Christ in this epoch of ours.

They are all brought together by the common desire to incarnate the Gospel in their lives under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, the life-giving spirit of the People of God.

But “why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this Solemnity, mean anything to the Saints?”. A famous homily of St Bernard for All Saints’ Day begins with this question. It could equally well be asked today. And the response the Saint offers us is also timely: “The Saints”, he says, “have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs…. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning” (Disc. 2, Opera Omnia Cisterc. 5, 364ff.).

This, then, is the meaning of today’s Solemnity: looking at the shining example of the Saints to reawaken within us the great longing to be like them; happy to live near God, in his light, in the great family of God’s friends. Being a Saint means living close to God, to live in his family. And this is the vocation of us all, vigorously reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council and solemnly proposed today for our attention.

But how can we become holy, friends of God? We can first give a negative answer to this question: to be a Saint requires neither extraordinary actions or works nor the possession of exceptional charisms. Then comes the positive reply: it is necessary first of all to listen to Jesus and then to follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties. “If anyone serves me”, he warns us, “he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him” (Jn 12: 26).

Like the grain of wheat buried in the earth, those who trust him and love him sincerely accept dying to themselves. Indeed, he knows that whoever seeks to keep his life for himself loses it, and whoever gives himself, loses himself, and in this very way finds life (cf. Jn 12: 24-25).

The Church’s experience shows that every form of holiness, even if it follows different paths, always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of self-denial. The Saints’ biographies describe men and women who, docile to the divine plan, sometimes faced unspeakable trials and suffering, persecution and martyrdom. They persevered in their commitment: “they… have come out of the great tribulation”, one reads in Revelation, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rv 7: 14). Their names are written in the book of life (cf. Rv 20: 12) and Heaven is their eternal dwelling-place.

The example of the Saints encourages us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him.

Holiness demands a constant effort, but it is possible for everyone because, rather than a human effort, it is first and foremost a gift of God, thrice Holy (cf. Is 6: 3). In the second reading, the Apostle John remarks: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (I Jn 3: 1).

It is God, therefore, who loved us first and made us his adoptive sons in Jesus. Everything in our lives is a gift of his love: how can we be indifferent before such a great mystery? How can we not respond to the Heavenly Father’s love by living as grateful children? In Christ, he gave us the gift of his entire self and calls us to a personal and profound relationship with him.

Consequently, the more we imitate Jesus and remain united to him the more we enter into the mystery of his divine holiness. We discover that he loves us infinitely, and this prompts us in turn to love our brethren. Loving always entails an act of self-denial, “losing ourselves”, and it is precisely this that makes us happy.

Thus, we have come to the Gospel of this feast, the proclamation of the Beatitudes which we have just heard resound in this Basilica.

Jesus says: Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed those who mourn, the meek; blessed those who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful; blessed the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted for the sake of justice (cf. Mt 5: 3-10).

In truth, the blessed par excellence is only Jesus. He is, in fact, the true poor in spirit, the one afflicted, the meek one, the one hungering and thirsting for justice, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemaker. He is the one persecuted for the sake of justice.

The Beatitudes show us the spiritual features of Jesus and thus express his mystery, the mystery of his death and Resurrection, of his passion and of the joy of his Resurrection. This mystery, which is the mystery of true blessedness, invites us to follow Jesus and thus to walk toward it.

To the extent that we accept his proposal and set out to follow him – each one in his own circumstances – we too can participate in his blessedness. With him, the impossible becomes possible and even a camel can pass through the eye of a needle (cf. Mk 10: 25); with his help, only with his help, can we become perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect (cf. Mt 5: 48).

Dear brothers and sisters, we are now entering the heart of the Eucharistic celebration that encourages and nourishes holiness. In a little while, Christ will make himself present in the most exalted way, Christ the true Vine to whom the faithful on earth and the Saints in Heaven are united like branches.

Thus, the communion of the pilgrim Church in the world with the Church triumphant in glory will increase.

In the Preface we will proclaim that the Saints are friends and models of life for us. Let us invoke them so that they may help us to imitate them and strive to respond generously, as they did, to the divine call.

In particular, let us invoke Mary, Mother of the Lord and mirror of all holiness. May she, the All Holy, make us faithful disciples of her Son Jesus Christ! Amen.

(Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of All Saints, Vatican Basilica, Wednesday, 1 November 2006)

 

 

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Ritual bowl for demonic Pachamama placed on St. Peter’s altar at closing Mass of #AmazonSynod

From Fr Z’s blog:

Robert Moynihan is a long-time vaticanista.  In his latest “Letter #59, 2019: In plain sight“, he looks into the pagan element worked into the closing Mass of the Amazon Synod (“walking together”).  We had speculated about whether or not the wooden demon idols of Pachamama, a demon goddess to whom human sacrifice was offered, a kind of “mother earth” embodiment, but clearly demonic, would be involved at the closing Mass of the “walking together”.   Nope. No demon statuette.

That doesn’t mean that Pachamama, the demon pagans worshipped with human sacrifice, wasn’t being openly honored during the Mass, and even put on altar of St. Peter’s, above the bones of the Apostle!

Moynihan at great length establishes with reference to video of the closing Mass the bringing forward at the offertory a bowl with a plant that that Francis instructed Msgr. Guido (that poor man) Marini to put on the altar.  Of course gifts at the offertory are NOT to be placed on the altar, much less trash like this.

What was put on the altar?

A bowl of dirt with various plants, one with red flowers.

Those are ugly plants.  Since they are not beautiful, they must have some other meaning or purpose.

Skipping to the point… Moynihan posted:

Then, after further searching, I learned that a bowl of soil with plants in it is often connected with ceremonial rituals involving Pachamana.

There is one among many websites that describes the ritual (link):

“If it is difficult for you to move to a natural space to offer to Mother Earth, do not worry, you can perform your own ritual at home:

“- Use a bottle or flower pot full of dirt, there you proceed to make a hole, it is recommended to do it with your hands to connect with the energy of the ritual[This goes back to what happened in the Vatican Gardens… the pagan, demonic ceremony.]

“- A kind of well is made, and food and drinks are poured for the enjoyment of the Pachamama.

“- The food option is extensive, one can place anything from fruits to Creole foods and seeds. In the case of drinks, chicha, natural juices, honey, wine, even coca leaves are suggested.

“- Then we proceed to cover it with dirt and flowers.

“Every year more people join in and they learn to leave our daily work and reflect and realize who we are, where we are and have this gesture of recognition and thanks to Mother Earth, which we say is humanity, the earth, the air, the animals, the water, the fire, which is everything that makes our life.”

Also: “You should never miss something red, it is the favorite color of the Pacha!  [Red flower.]

So it seemed that the bowl of flowers presented at the offertory of the final Synod Mass, and then placed on the altar during the consecration, may have been connected with a ritual of veneration, and thanks, to Mother Earth, known as Pachamana…

So the images were not in the basilica, but perhaps an offering to Pachamana, in a bowl, was…

Ann Barnhardt has the goods on this black bowl.  HERE  She has several posts.  In summary….

These black bowls, the same as the one with the red flower on the altar of St. Peter’s, were all over the place in the Synod Hall.

They were all over the church Santa Maria in Traspontina, where all the evil displays and presence of this demonic shaman and women religious were found all day.

The black bowl was in the pagan Vatican garden ceremony in honor of Pachamama:

Look on the left.

A closeup shows there is a symbol on the bottom of the upturned bowl.  Ann may have found a version of that symbol, which is, surprise, for Pachamama.

Detail… rotated.

With a red flower in honor of the demon goddess on the altar at St. Peter’s at the direction of Francis.

So, an obvious statue wasn’t placed on or near the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, but this instrument with the demonic symbol was placed on the mensa of the altar of Sacrifice directly over the bones of Peter himself.

The implications of this are, frankly, horrifying to contemplate.

 

Here Fr Z looks more closely at what is behind the demonic Pacha cult

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‘For men only’: Cardinal insists Church won’t try to ordain women to priesthood

VALENCIA, Spain, October 30, 2019, LifeSiteNews:

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera affirmed that the male priesthood is of the essence of the Catholic faith and that “no one in the Church can do anything but admit that priestly ordination is for men only.”

In an opinion piece that appeared in the Spanish daily La Razón in September, Cardinal Cañizares, archbishop of Valencia, reacted to media reports about changes in Church discipline and doctrine that were to be discussed in the Amazon Synod that concluded Sunday.

The churchman said the male priesthood is of “the very essence of the Church and nobody in the Church can do anything but admit that priestly ordination is for men only. This cannot be changed.” In an article titled “Ordination of women to the priesthood?,” Cardinal Cañizares spoke also to concerns that German bishops will soon gather in a synod in what appears to be an attempt to modify Church discipline regarding celibacy for priests.

According to the cardinal, there have been “rumors” that the German bishops will “attempt to change some issues regarding sexual or marital morality and revise the current moral doctrine of the Catholic Church on those issues. There are some who are voicing alarm over a possible schism.” The rumors have come, Cañizares said in the article, in an “environment that does nothing to encourage peace and internal unity of the Church.” He gave assurances that there is no schism in the worldwide Church, “because the pope’s word is being very clear” in a letter the pontiff sent to German Catholics that seeks to dispel any fear of such “nonsense, which will never occur.”

The cardinal called on Christians to remain “calm” and called for “unity and full communion within the Church and faithfulness to the pope, Revelation, and the Tradition of the Church.” Any change regarding celibacy, he wrote, would mean that the “Church would no longer be as Jesus wanted.” He asked for increased prayer for unity in the Church in order to pursue its primary mission: evangelization.

Regarding the priesthood, Cañizares predicted that no ordination of women is on the horizon. He said the apostolic letter written by St. John Paul II in 1994, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, is clear about the issue and should be read by all Catholics, lay and ordained. He recalled that the pope spoke as supreme pastor of the Church and with the intention of assuring the faith of believers, “which is proper to his ministry.” The cardinal quoted the document, in which Pope John Paul II said: “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.” In the apostolic letter, the Polish pope noted in defense of Church doctrine that the Virgin Mary herself was not conferred priestly faculties, even while the role women play in the Church remains essential.

Asking rhetorically, “Will the Church change its position?,” the cardinal said that because the doctrine regarding the male priesthood is of the essence of the Church, neither the pope nor any other person can change it.

“It is unchangeable,” he wrote.

Revelation is the unique and unrepeatable event that is Jesus Christ and remains beyond the reach of human hands, he said. Therefore, “we cannot change its essential elements in line with the changing movements of history or the ‘demands’ of a given time or culture. That would only be possible if faith were the product of the speculation and creation of men. But it’s not like that. When culture becomes the criterion and measure of faith, the very foundation of faith is called into question,” he said.

“If the ‘culture’ is what decides what is valid and what is not in faith and in the life of the Church then we are saying that Jesus Christ has not happened. His person, his works, his gestures would not have a definitive value of ultimate and full Revelation. In this case it would not be the Word of God made flesh, in which God has told us everything; we would have to wait for another revelation; we would not be saved,” said Cañizares.

“And this is what is at stake in the priestly ordination of women. It is a question that belongs to the heart of faith. And that is why the Church, even if it wanted to, can do nothing but follow what Christ did, gathered in the Holy Scriptures, which chose its apostles only among men,” he insisted.

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