Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod

From the Official Vatican Network, News.Va:

Vatican City, 23 June 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office a press conference was held to present the Instrumentum Laboris of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme, “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and contemporary world” (4-25 October 2015). The speakers were: Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, general rapporteur of the 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops; and Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Italy, special secretary of the 14th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

The Instrumentum Laboris, explained Cardinal Baldisseri, is divided into three parts following the structure of the Relatio Synodi, demonstrating the close link between the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2014, dedicated to “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”, and the upcoming Ordinary General Assembly. The first part, entitled “Listening to the challenges of the family”, relates most directly to last year’s Synod, while the second, “Discernment of the family vocation”, and third, “The mission of the family today”, introduce the theme of the next one.

The cardinal highlighted certain novelties in the first part, which refer principally to the anthropological-cultural, socio-economic and ecological contexts, “now happily enlightened by the new Encyclical letter Laudato si’”. The challenges, he explained, are “poverty and social exclusion, old age, widowhood, bereavement in the family, disability, migration, the role of women, emotional life and education in sexuality, and bioethics”.

In the second part, “Discernment of the family vocation”, the Relatio Synodi is enriched with an extension of the themes regarding natural marriage and sacramental fullness, indissolubility as a gift and a duty, family life, union and fruitfulness, the missionary dimension, faith, prayer, catechesis, the intimate bond between Church and family, the young and fear of marriage, and mercy.

The third part, devoted to “The mission of the family today”, begins with a broad-ranging reflection on the family and evangelisation, and explores in depth a number of other issues such as the family as subject of pastoral ministry, nuptial liturgy, renewed language and missionary openness.

The general secretary of the Synod of Bishops noted that it makes reference to “the family and ecclesial accompaniment, the streamlining of procedures for causes for annulment, the integration of faithful in irregular situations, the eventual introduction of a penitential route, the pastoral problems regarding mixed marriages and disparities of worship, as well as questions related to responsible procreation, reduction of births, adoption and fostering, respect for life from conception to natural end, and education of future generations.

“The reference to the economic hardship experienced by many families, who run the risk of being subject to usury, is very relevant”, he added, “as is the socio-political commitment of Christians in favour of the family, also in the international context. In this regard, it would be useful to re-propose the Charter for the Rights of the Family, linked to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man”.

Cardinal Baldisseri illustrated the work of the Secretariat of the Synod Council between one assembly and another, which began in November 2014 with the presentation of the “Lineamenta”, composed of the Relatio Synodi and a series of 46 questions relating to the reception and deepening of this Synod document. The “Lineamenta” was sent to the synods of the sui iuris Oriental Catholic Churches, to the Episcopal Conferences, to the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and others, with an invitation to respond by 15 April 2015. The Secretariat General received 99 answers from the competent bodies, along with 359 observations sent freely from dioceses, parishes, ecclesial associations, grass-roots groups of faithful, civil movements and organisations, etc. The inter-synodal period has thus been shown to be “a valuable opportunity for listening to what the Spirit says to the Church in the plurality of her components”.

Finally, with regard to the methodology of the upcoming General Assembly, it was mentioned that it is Ordinary and not Extraordinary like the previous one and, in accordance with the suggestions of the members of the Synod, “it will continue with the project of the development of the Synod taking a dynamic approach more suited to our times”.

The Synod fathers reiterated the need to avoid a “long series of individual interventions, as has happened in previous Synod assemblies, to ensure that they are better distributed in the time available and not presented one after another. The importance of the Circuli Minores was noted, as was the need to maintain the principle of thematic order. Thus, the three weeks of the Synod will be divided in correspondence with the three parts of the Instrumentum Laboris. The first week will be devoted to the first part of the document, the second to the discernment of the family vocation, and the third to the mission of the family today. “At the end of the third week, time will be set aside for the preparation of the final text of the document, which will be presented to the Assembly for the final modifications, to be inserted into the text before its final approval. The method will ensure the opportunity to intervene on the part of all those entitled to do so, including at the end of the day, and will enable more time to be assigned to the Circuli Minores. It is expected that a final document will be produced and consigned to the Holy Father”.

With regard to information during the Synod Assembly, the cardinal mentioned the Holy Father’s affirmation that “the Synod is a space in which the Holy Spirit can act, not parliament. The Synod Fathers are invited to express themselves with parrhesia. They will be free to communicate with the media at their discretion and with responsibility”.

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Laudato Si Meme

CILHtizWEAEGCHuFrom Twitter, again.


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EXCLUSIVE Cardinal Walter Kasper Interview with Raymond Arroyo

Earlier in June, and with the October 2015 ‘Synod on the Family’ looming ever nearer,  EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo interviewed Cardinal Walter Kasper (German theologian and former head of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity) about his controversial views made evident at the preliminary Synod last October of granting Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, and his role in shaping those discussions, not only at the Synod, but internationally as well.

We thank our friend and regular commenter, MICHAEL KENNY, for alerting us to these videos. As he quite rightly states: “The amount of back-tracking, special pleading and…to be honest, outright lies seen here [to Raymond’s penetrating questions] is, frankly, incredible. He says things like ‘I have always been a servant of the Church’ or ‘this, no, I had nothing to do with this’ with a straight-face! Thankfully there is some very wise analysis from a canon lawyer after each part, showing up what Kasper says against his actions. The positive side of the interviews is that you can feel Kasper is starting to understand that he has gone way too far, and that he may have played his hand too soon – the tide is turning against him, and he is trying to cover his tracks.”

Published on Jun 5, 2015
Part ONE of an EXCLUSIVE interview with WALTER CARDINAL KASPER. ROBERT ROYAL, president of the Faith and Reason Institute, and FR. GERALD MURRAY, canon lawyer and pastor of the Church of the Holy Family in New York City join us with reaction to our interview with Cardinal Kasper.

Published on Jun 12, 2015
Part TWO of an EXCLUSIVE interview with CARDINAL KASPER on his role in shaping the agenda at the Synod for the Family, what he expects to be discussed there this October, and his feelings toward those Cardinals who criticized his “proposal” to give Communion to some divorced and remarried Catholics. Plus, FR. GERALD MURRAY again, with reaction and analysis of the interview.

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No air conditioning in heaven

From the blog, All Passing Things 

I'm guessing the phone was charged through wind turbines

I’m guessing the phone was charged through wind turbines

It took me a couple of days to find the time to get through it all, but I finally finished reading Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si. It is admirable for one thing, the persistence of a man intent on shutting out the sounds, images and statistics related to the people that he represents being murdered with the most depraved barbarity throughout the world. Focusing instead on such evil acts as air conditioning….and stuff.

As Catholics, those who are being strung up nooses in Arab streets, nailed to crosses and stoned like St. Stephen, deserve better than to hear their Holy Father devote 200 pages…200 pages to a bunch of daffodils rather than to their souls and to their mortal selves. The lost children of Western Catholicism deserve a Pope who implores them to forgive the clergy for the crimes of the past and return to the Church in all her majesty. Even the murderers of ISIS, the degenerates who abort children and the slaves to the body who support state sanctioned same-sex ‘marriage’ need a Pope who will put the possibility of them changing their ways and entering heaven first.

The Papacy is making headlines, but never before has the Pope been so impotent and irrelevant whilst appearing under the guise of being at the very heart of society’s ills and fortunes. When we think of Pope Benedict XVI driving the politically correct brigade insane with his condemnation of Islam at Regensburg or Pope Leo XIII staring Freemasonry straight in the face with several confrontational and much needed encyclicals, we think of a Pope who actually got the world thinking, reflecting on its allegiance to forces which were opposed to the will of God. This encyclical does none of that.

Luadato Si speaks about the world, about God, in exactly the same tone of voice as do the atheists, agnostics and apathetic. The secular term Judaeo-Christian is used. Earth is referred to as ‘mother’ and ‘sister’. The sun is our ‘brother’ , as is the river. Wild associations are made, human trafficking can only be stopped by addressing climate change.

The Pope has approached a spiritual problem, greed ensuring the systematic manipulation and destruction of ecological environments beyond that which is necessary to production and survival, from the guise of a humanist viewpoint. God and the collective souls of humanity which he created and entrusted the world unto are no longer in possession of dominion over the lesser species, but we are all one beating pile of lettuce or cabbage or mice, equally blissful in our ignorance of anything other than the fact that we exist, and feed and move. Francis has failed, intentionally it seems, to affirm that the biggest obstacle to unfettered capitalism and economically justified abuse of the environment is the dignity of man as a result of him having been afforded a soul by God.

There are those who will point to elements of orthodoxy, the mentioning of Blessed Charles de Foucauld and St. Thomas Aquinas (though no mention of a Pope before John XXIII). But, Pope Francis does not mention these because he wants to convert the eco-extremists of the secular world to the Catholic faith. Rather, Francis wants to say to those who are Catholic, let us focus instead on vague and unreasonable demands on the individual that in reality can only be achieved by the governments of China, India and the USA, due to their high volume of population and industry. Francis is even explicit in saying that the Catholic faith does not provide the impetus to save the earth from its human inhabitants, rather we need to adapt some semi-pagan pseudo religious ‘spirituality’.

“I would like to offer Christians a few suggestions for an ecological spirituality grounded in the convictions of our faith, since the teachings of the Gospel have direct consequences for our way of thinking, feeling and living. More than in ideas or concepts as such, I am interested in how such a spirituality can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world. A commitment this lofty cannot be sustained by doctrine alone, without a spirituality capable of inspiring us, without an “interior impulse which encourages, motivates, nourishes and gives meaning to our individual and communal activity”.

When the history of this awful epoch in the Church is written, we’ll remember that when the blood of the martyrs began to spill, the Pope was more concerned with the blood of the animals. He quoted Muslims, used the term Judaeo-Christian and rather than talk about crimes against humanity for their own sake, equated them with abusing the environment, as though that was the standard by which such things as murder, human trafficking and abortion should be judged.

While Benedict called for a reform of the United Nations in Caritas in veritate, due to its unmitigated and undemocratic spread of ideologies related to the richest nations (namely, abortion) Francis here chillingly calls for a true world political authority. Imagine that, the solution to a singular mentality aimed at self-service is to have a singular authority.

Obama is a big fan of the encyclical...surely that can only be a good sign?

Obama is a big fan of the encyclical…surely that can only be a good sign?

For the record, to pick three of the holy figures mentioned in the encyclical as models of thoughtfulness to the environment.

Therese_von_Lisieux  St. Therese de Lisieux was 24 years old when she died a painful death to tuberculosis and other ailments, during which the great saint suffered much agony and despair before finally triumphing in faith.


St. Francis of Assisi walked through fire to prove his faith and died with the wounds of stigmata afflicting his mortal body.

charles de foucauld

Blessed Charles de Foucauld died in the African desert, after a life devoted to helping the poor and misplaced. He was brutally murdered on his own by a gang of aggressive proto-Islamist Muslims.

That is why we commemorate them. If Francis wants to create people who treat the world around them with its due care and honour, he should focus first on saving souls and creating saints. The secular humanist approach is bound not only to fail, but to offer a serious dent in the Church’s quest for respectability of a sort that seems to be afforded only to the Dali Lama. As Bishop of Rome, Francis wants to assume a role not unlike the Archbishop of Canterbury, where the erstwhile friend of the environment occasionally makes headlines for lambasting the vague notion of ‘consumerism’ without attacking its cause.

Yes, the environment needs to be taken care of. Yes, we need [to take measures to avoid] the extinction and the abhorrent mistreatment of animals. But if Francis is only concerned with the body and not the soul, as he appears to be, he will never cure these ills. Man must be taught to love God before he can love himself, he must be taught to love himself before he can love the world around him.

Perhaps the Pope’s intentions were pure, but by very nature of his choice to write about this rather than the fact that the Church has lost half of its adherents the world over, he has seriously undermined any good that he could have done with it.

In contrast to this tragicomedy, here are the brilliant words of Pope Leo XIII, simple and true, from the encyclical Rerum Novarum. Brief as they are, they remind us that we should not despair, certainly not over things like air conditioning.

“God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place.”

As the Pope’s beloved St. Therese informed us, the world is thy ship and not thy home.


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Two Final Prayers of St Thomas More

These beautiful prayers were written by St Thomas More (whose feast day we celebrated yesterday, 22nd June) while he was being held prisoner in the Tower of London.

Sir Thomas More, by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1527

Sir Thomas More,
by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1527

“Give me the grace, Good Lord:

To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.

To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.

Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labour to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God. To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.

Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

To have the last thing[s] in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand. To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell. To pray for pardon before the judge comes.

To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favour as they did him with their malice and hatred.

These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.



“O GLORIOUS BLESSED TRINITY, Whose justice hath [reduced] unto perpetual pain, many proud rebellious angels, whom Thy goodness had created to be partakers of Thine eternal glory. [By] Thy tender mercy, plant in my heart such meekness, so that I may by Thy grace follow the motion of my good angel, and so resist the proud suggestions of those spiteful spirits that fell; so I may through the merits of Thy bitter passion, be partaker of Thy bliss, with those holy spirits that stood, and now confirmed by Thy grace, in glory shall stand forever. Amen”

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Duties Of Traditional Catholic Fathers – 2


Continuation of how to be a holy good Catholic father and husband.

Children must also be formed religiously, which includes learning to pray and developing the habit of daily prayer, fidelity to and proper use of the Sacraments, sacramentals, devotions, and other means of grace until they are well formed in piety. Trained in this way, they will stand on guard more readily and manfully against the suggestions of indulgence which initiation into worldly and bodily pleasures ceaselessly propose.

joseph1bAs for the subject matter itself, the instruction ought to include the diversity of the sexes, its origin from God and its dignity, the beginning of life in plants and animals, the organs of reproduction (obviously done with somecare), the functions of maternity and paternity, the grave reasons that demand sexual morality be observed, respect for women, the great sinfulness and harm of self-abuse, the meaning of puberty in both sexes, the possibility of healthfulness of continence and self-control, the moral dangers of the world and the social diseases to be guarded against.

Clearly not all of these concepts can be imparted at one time, for young children would not understand or there would be scandal of little ones. Moreover, while fiction and exaggeration should be avoided, a strictly scientific and technical instruction is not necessary or generally advisable either. It is clear also that parents, and especially mothers, are naturally suited for the delicate task of early guardians of chastity, though the later instruction should be supplemented by sound sermons, solid catechism classes, and individual advice given in the confessional.

490px-Saint_Louis_roi_de_France_remettant_la_regence_a_sa_mere_Blanche_de_Castille_par_Joseph-Marie_VienCorrection. – The duty of correction consists in rectifying the child of his defects, in protecting him against  scandal, and in watching over his friendships. The child is full of defects;  his vices grow with age. The main point is to detect them at the start in order to mitigate them and then always to be watchful towards preventing their growth.

In order to be fair, the correction of a child should be calm. The correction that is administered in an outburst of indignation or ill-temper does more harm than good (this point can hardly be stressed too much).

Correction should be reasonable, that is, proportioned to the offense; yet it is better to be more lenient than too severe as that is God’s way of working with us. The vital thing is to show the youthful offender the reason for the correction and punishment of his fault, and the evil of it, in order to train his mind to hate and shun evil and to esteem and love the good. As every experienced parent knows, a child matures well when the love of virtue and the hatred of vice comes from within.

Correction must be kind. Parental love must always be evident in the correction, even the most severe, so that it may bring about the humble and contrite return of the child, and that the delinquent may never lose sight of the love of his father, who is bound by duty to reprimand and punish him for his own good.

Correction should be dignified. The father is a leader. He should respect and inspire respect for the authority of God vested in him. If he should avoid undue severity— which crushes and discourages—he should still more avoid weakness which breeds contempt. Let the father be dignified in his speech, discreet in action (especially when in public places), noble and patient in hoping for reform, and kind in granting forgiveness.

700px-joseph_telling_his_dream_to_his_father A father should protect his children against scandal, which awakens in them the dormant idea of evil; it is the father’s compelling duty to shield his children against its fatal strokes. Children’s natural inquisitiveness, ignorance, weakness, and tendency to copy others out of human respect, all make it easy for them to sin and form bad habits.

As the child’s reason develops, the father should caution him prudently but forcefully against the inevitable scandal awaiting him in the world: prudentlyby instilling in him a horror of evil, denounced first in general, then more in detail according to the strength of the child’s virtue and the extent of the danger; forcefully, by the power of faith, of love and of honor.

Let the father be strict in his prohibition of dangerous books and other forms of media, (smart phones that parents pay for full of temptation to look at pornography), which leave an indelible impression in the memory. Let him be firm in forbidding bad company; the strongest virtue cannot hold its own very long against this deadly peril.

Happy the child whom a firm and kind hand has guided at the first awakening of his passions and sustained in the midst of his early struggles. He will bless eternally the love that saved him by preserving his virtue from a sad and unfortunate catastrophe. This virtue alone is worth more than all the natural and material goods a father could ever bestow upon his children.

The father must also watch with care over the friendships of his offspring. The heart needs friendship. The child who loves especially his father and mother, and later his brothers and sisters, leads a pure and happy life. Father and mother must unite in their efforts to instill and foster in their children the spirit and love of family life. In this way, children will truly be happy in the midst of their family and seek such happiness in their own future families (either as parents or as religious). Fathers must also be on guard against any division the children may perceive between him and his wife. Children are adept at exploiting parental disagreement to their own advantage. This causes much turmoil between spouses and allows the child to develop a spirit of duplicity and selfishness. A father must, therefore, be vigilant to ‘nip in the bud’ such behavior. He should ensure that any disagreements with his wife are dealt with in private (away from the children) and that he and his wife always present a united front, saying in so many words: “Your mother and I are one: what she commands, I command; if you disobey and disrespect her, then you also disobey and disrespect me.”

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50 Years Ago: Dietrich von Hildebrand Confronts Pope Paul VI

First posted by Peter Kwasniewski on Rorate Caeli


The following excerpts are taken from a fascinating 2001 interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand (the full text is available here) that is required reading for every Catholic who wants to understand what has happened in the Church since the mid-20th century. I found myself thinking once again about this interview because Alice mentions a private meeting that her husband had with Pope Paul VI on June 21, 1965, 50 years ago this Sunday (right before the very last, October-December session of the Second Vatican Council), which was followed up with a manuscript that really ought to be published someday. Read on…

* * *

TLM: Dr. von Hildebrand, at the time that Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council, did you perceive a need for a reform within the Church?

AVH: Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.

TLM: In terms of the present crisis, when did you first perceive something was terribly wrong?

AVH: It was in February 1965. I was taking a sabbatical year in Florence. My husband was reading a theological journal, and suddenly I heard him burst into tears. I ran to him, fearful that his heart condition had suddenly caused him pain. I asked him if he was all right. He told me that the article that he had been reading had provided him with the certain insight that the devil had entered the Church. Remember, my husband was the first prominent German to speak out publicly against Hitler and the Nazis. His insights were always prescient.


TLM: Did your husband think that the decline in a sense of the supernatural began around that time, and if so, how did he explain it?

AVH: No, he believed that after Pius X’s condemnation of the heresy of Modernism, its proponents merely went underground. He would say that they then took a much more subtle and practical approach. They spread doubt simply by raising questions about the great supernatural interventions throughout salvation history, such as the Virgin Birth and Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, as well as the Resurrection, and the Holy Eucharist. They knew that once faith – the foundation – totters, the liturgy and the moral teachings of the Church would follow suit. My husband entitled one of his books The Devastated Vineyard. After Vatican II, a tornado seemed to have hit the Church. … The aversion to sacrifice and redemption has assisted the secularization of the Church from within. We have been hearing for many years from priests and bishops about the need for the Church to adapt herself to the world. Great popes like St. Pius X said just the opposite: the world must adapt itself to the Church. …

There have been two books published in Italy in recent years that confirm what my husband had been suspecting for some time; namely, that there has been a systematic infiltration of the Church by diabolical enemies for much of this century. My husband was a very sanguine man and optimistic by nature. During the last ten years of his life, however, I witnessed him many times in moments of great sorrow, and frequently repeating, “They have desecrated the Holy Bride of Christ.” He was referring to the “abomination of desolation” of which the prophet Daniel speaks.

TLM: This is a critical admission, Dr. von Hildebrand. Your husband had been called a twentieth-century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. If he felt so strongly, didn’t he have access to the Vatican to tell Pope Paul VI of his fears?

AVH: But he did! I shall never forget the private audience we had with Paul VI just before the end of the Council. It was on June 21, 1965. As soon as my husband started pleading with him to condemn the heresies that were rampant, the Pope interrupted him with the words, “Lo scriva, lo scriva.” (“Write it down.”) A few moments later, for the second time, my husband drew the gravity of the situation to the Pope’s attention. Same answer. His Holiness received us standing. It was clear that the Pope was feeling very uncomfortable. The audience lasted only a few minutes. Paul VI immediately gave a sign to his secretary, Fr. Capovilla, to bring us rosaries and medals. We then went back to Florence where my husband wrote a long document (unpublished today) that was delivered to Paul VI just the day before the last session of the Council. It was September of 1965. After reading my husband’s document, he [the Pope] said to my husband’s nephew, Dieter Sattler, who had become the German ambassador to the Holy See, that he had read the document carefully, but that “it was a bit harsh.” The reason was obvious: my husband had humbly requested a clear condemnation of heretical statements.

TLM: You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration, there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, “Not another conspiracy theory!”

AVH: I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.”

Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans “smell conspiracy wherever they go.” But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions. Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy.

TLM: Do the two books by the Italian priest you mentioned before the interview contain documentation that would provide evidence of this infiltration?

AVH: The two books I mentioned were published in 1998 and 2000 by an Italian priest, Don Luigi Villa of the diocese of Brescia, who at the request of Padre Pio has devoted many years of his life to the investigation of the possible infiltration of both Freemasons and Communists into the Church. My husband and I met Don Villa in the sixties. He claims that he does not make any statement that he cannot substantiate. When Paulo Sesto Beato? (1998) was published, the book was sent to every single Italian bishop. None of them acknowledged receipt; none challenged any of Don Villa’s claims.

In this book, he relates something that no ecclesiastical authority has refuted or asked to be retracted – even though he names particular personalities in regard to the incident. It pertains to the rift between Pope Pius XII and the then Bishop Montini (the future Paul VI) who was his Undersecretary of State. Pius XII, conscious of the threat of Communism, which in the aftermath of World War II was dominating nearly half of Europe, had prohibited the Vatican staff from dealing with Moscow. To his dismay, he was informed one day through the Bishop of Upsala (Sweden) that his strict order had been contravened. The Pope resisted giving credence to this rumor until he was given incontrovertible evidence that Montini had been corresponding with various Soviet agencies. Meanwhile, Pope Pius XII (as had Pius XI) had been sending priests clandestinely into Russia to give comfort to Catholics behind the Iron Curtain. Every one of them had been systematically arrested, tortured, and either executed or sent to the gulag. Eventually a Vatican mole was discovered: Alighiero Tondi, S.J., who was a close advisor to Montini. Tondi was an agent working for Stalin whose mission was to keep Moscow informed about initiatives such as the sending of priests into the Soviet Union.

Add to this Pope Paul’s treatment of Cardinal Mindszenty. Against his will, Mindszenty was ordered by the Vatican to leave Budapest. As most everyone knows, he had escaped the Communists and sought refuge in the American embassy compound. The Pope had given him his solemn promise that he would remain primate of Hungary as long as he lived. When the Cardinal (who had been tortured by the Communists) arrived in Rome, Paul VI embraced him warmly, but then sent him into exile in Vienna. Shortly afterwards, this holy prelate was informed that he had been demoted, and had been replaced by someone more acceptable to the Hungarian Communist government. More puzzling, and tragically sad, is the fact that when Mindszenty died, no Church representative was present at his burial.

Another of Don Villa’s illustrations of infiltration is one related to him by Cardinal Gagnon. Paul VI had asked Gagnon to head an investigation concerning the infiltration of the Church by powerful enemies. Cardinal Gagnon (at that time an Archbishop) accepted this unpleasant task, and compiled a long dossier, rich in worrisome facts. When the work was completed, he requested an audience with Pope Paul in order to deliver personally the manuscript to the Pontiff. This request for a meeting was denied. The Pope sent word that the document should be placed in the offices of the Congregation for the Clergy, specifically in a safe with a double lock. This was done, but the very next day the safe deposit box was broken and the manuscript mysteriously disappeared. The usual policy of the Vatican is to make sure that news of such incidents never sees the light of day. Nevertheless, this theft was reported even in L’Osservatore Romano (perhaps under pressure because it had been reported in the secular press). Cardinal Gagnon, of course, had a copy, and once again asked the Pope for a private audience. Once again his request was denied. He then decided to leave Rome and return to his homeland in Canada. Later, he was called back to Rome by Pope John Paul II and made a cardinal.

TLM: Why did Don Villa write these works singling out Paul VI for criticism?

AVH: Don Villa reluctantly decided to publish the books to which I have alluded. But when several bishops pushed for the beatification of Paul VI, this priest perceived it as a clarion call to print the information he had gathered through the years. In so doing, he was following the guidelines of a Roman Congregation, informing the faithful that it was their duty as members of the Church to relay to the Congregation any information that might militate against the candidate’s qualifications for beatification.

Considering the tumultuous pontificate of Paul VI, and the confusing signals he was giving, e.g.: speaking about the “smoke of Satan that had entered the Church,” yet refusing to condemn heresies officially; his promulgation of Humanae Vitae (the glory of his pontificate), yet his careful avoidance of proclaiming it ex cathedra; delivering his Credo of the People of God in Piazza San Pietro in 1968, and once again failing to declare it binding on all Catholics; disobeying the strict orders of Pius XII to have no contact with Moscow, and appeasing the Hungarian Communist government by reneging on the solemn promise he had made to Cardinal Mindszenty; his treatment of holy Cardinal Slipyj, who had spent seventeen years in a Gulag, only to be made a virtual prisoner in the Vatican by Paul VI; and finally asking Archbishop Gagnon to investigate possible infiltration in the Vatican, only to refuse him an audience when his work was completed – all these speak strongly against the beatification of Paolo VI, dubbed in Rome, “Paolo Sesto, Mesto” (Paul VI, the sad one). …

God alone is the judge of Paul VI. But it cannot be denied that his pontificate was a very complex and tragic one. It was under him that, in the course of fifteen years, more changes were introduced in the Church than in all preceding centuries combined. What is worrisome is that when we read the testimony of ex-Communists like Bella Dodd, and study Freemasonic documents (dating from the nineteenth century, and usually penned by fallen-away priests like Paul Roca), we can see that, to a large extent, their agenda has been carried out: the exodus of priests and nuns after Vatican II, dissenting theologians not censured, feminism, the pressure put on Rome to abolish priestly celibacy, immorality in the clergy, blasphemous liturgies (see the article by David Hart in First Things, April 2001, “The Future of the Papacy”), the radical changes that have been introduced into the sacred liturgy (see Cardinal Ratzinger’s book Milestones, pp. 126 and 148), and a misleading ecumenism. Only a blind person could deny that many of the Enemy’s plans have been perfectly carried out.

One should not forget that the world was shocked at what Hitler did. People like my husband, however, actually read what he had said in Mein Kampf. The plan was there. The world simply chose not to believe it.

But grave as the situation is, no committed Catholic can forget that Christ has promised that He will remain with His Church to the very end of the world. We should meditate on the scene related in the Gospel when the apostles’ boat was battered by a fierce storm. Christ was sleeping! His terrified followers woke Him up: He said one word, and there was a great calm. “O ye of little faith!”


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Thoughts for June 20 (Irish martyrs) from Fr Willie Doyle


A timely reminder from Fr. Willie Doyle, neither to “abuse God’s grace” so lavishly bestowed upon us, nor to forget those holy martyrs who gave their lives rather than renounce their Faith.

Originally posted on Remembering Fr William Doyle SJ:

Blessed Margaret Ball, one of the Irish martyrs whose feast we remember today Blessed Margaret Ball, one of the Irish martyrs whose feast we remember today

Sunday and Monday last were days of wonderful grace for me, as if the Hunter of souls had run His quarry down and so surrounded it with the coils of His love that all escape was impossible. Alas! Does he not well know how that foolish hare will break loose and escape again so soon, spoiling all the plans of the patient Hunter. Still Jesus cannot pass close to the soul without leaving some lasting impression. I cannot but feel that the light he has given me must leave its mark behind, and that I cannot be quite the same again without an awful abuse of grace.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these words in his diary 103 years ago today, on June 20 1912. 

Fr Doyle often spoke about the notion of abusing God’s grace. It is…

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Rachel Dolezal Is Just Another Person Driven Insane By Liberalism

By Matt Walsh on The Blaze


Liberalism is a force of hopeless insanity.

It’s important to understand this upfront. Progressives have been waging a brutal, endless war against Truth, and this is where it leads. To Bruce Jenner. To Rachel Dolezal. To much worse things than these, like the destruction of unborn life and the annihilation of marriage and the family. This is liberalism. Why are you shocked by any absurdity or atrocity it creates when this same force has been eating our culture alive for decades?

Did you just now notice?

I don’t mean to write another thinkpiece on Rachel Dolezal. Everything that can be said about that pitiful woman has been said, and then some. The only thing I will offer in her defense is that it is quite unfair to call her an embarrassment to the NAACP. I mean, come on, this is the NAACP we’re talking about here. It’s been doing a superb job of embarrassing itself for a while now. If it could collectively feel any ounce of shame, it would have died from it years ago. Perhaps right around the time when it honored R.Kelly with an Image Award.


Liberals insist that biology, genetics, anatomy, and chemistry have nothing to do with gender, and that an individual can choose to defy all of these factors if their feelings run contrary to their physical reality. Therefore, why can’t a person identify as another race if that’s how they feel? Indeed, race is already a murky subject, and every person on Earth is some combination of various ethnicities. My whiteness is far less hardwired and far more difficult to define than my maleness, so if the latter is negotiable, certainly the former must be as well.

Further, if our “inner identity” can be mysteriously mismatched with our physical exterior — as if the self is not a synthesis of body and soul but a soul contained in, and divorced from, the body — who’s to put limits on the extent and form of this incongruity? If I can be a male inside a female body, then why not a black man inside a white man’s body? Or even a black woman inside a white man’s body? As many have observed, what disqualifies or disproves anyone’s contention that they are, beyond transgender or transracial, even transpecies? Maybe I feel like a flying squirrel or an Amazonian toad or a hydrangea bush. Maybe I feel like an Asian eunuch inside a black woman inside a white man inside a white woman inside a potato. If we have claimed the authority to be something other than the thing God (or “nature”) constructed us to be, there are no boundaries.


Modern liberalism, so called, is nothing more and nothing less than the categorical rejection of truth. It is not scared or slowed or dissuaded by any form of untruth, because it is inherently, down to its very essence, in every fiber of its hideous being, a lie. It is an enemy of truth and an ally of anything that undermines it. I recently made the argument that the liberal transgender superstition completed the final step into total, full blown anti-truth lunacy. Once they have perverted the very definition of being, there is nowhere else to go. This is it. Whatever faint glimmer of reality still shone from its dying core has now been extinguished. That was my theory, and it took less than two weeks to be proven correct.

But as I said, none of this is shocking. Certainly there’s something unique about the outright renunciation of biology by a scientifically advanced civilization, but it all stems from the rejection of Truth and the idolatry of the self, which is not only an old evil, but the oldest.

Liberalism is not some quirky new invention that came along in sincerity, with good ideas and bad ideas, to try and help our society progress. No, it is not new, it is not concerned with progress, and it has no good ideas at all. It is the worst and most ancient of ideas, now slightly updated and with hashtags.

Liberalism — which is really just a political label for the religious belief in the supremacy of the self — was born before time, with Satan’s rebellion against God. Non serviam, as the tradition goes. Satan refused to worship God, who is the only Truth, and chose instead to serve himself. He turned his gaze away from the light of what is Real and into the darkness of his own selfishness.

We all do this at various points of our lives, probably on a daily basis. It’s called sin. Whenever we serve something or someone other than God, we sin. This is a struggle for all of us; obviously liberals are not the only sinners in the world. But liberalism has made all of these various rebellions into a religion of their own. Yes, we all battle temptations, but liberalism has systematically declared these temptations righteous. Whereas any human fights against the urge to treat himself as if he is greater than God, liberalism professes that the self actually is greater than God. Hence, the individual can alter his biological makeup if it will fulfill his desires, or redefine the purpose of marriage if it will make him happy, or strip the humanity from a child in the womb if it will make sex more fun and convenient.

This is, literally, satanism.

These days, most self-identified Satanists would be the first to tell you that they do not explicitly worship a theological entity known as “Satan.” They simply practice the Satanic motto coined by Aleister Crowley 100 years ago: “Do what thou wilt.”

That’s the whole of the Satanic law, and the sum of progressive philosophy as well. Of course there are exceptions — do what thou wilt, unless what thou wilt promotes or advances moral absolutes — but aside from those caveats, go for it.

Serve yourself. That is all that matters. Self-love is not only the highest but the only form of love. This is how liberals and Satanists can claim that horrors like abortion are acts of love. It is death and murder in service to the self, therefore it must be good. Likewise, when a “transgender” mutilates himself, he does it in service to himself, therefore it must be good. If it’ll satisfy your urges, it’s good. Period.

What we’ve discovered is that, when it comes down to it, our society has two options: the Truth or the Lie. God or ourselves. Heaven or Hell. Liberalism has rejected the former in its entirety, and every day we are treated to another example of how dark and confused a culture becomes when it casts aside the Truth.

Is it any wonder that Rachel Dolezal thinks she can become another race just by “identifying” as one? This is the lunatic creed of progressivism. The self is god. I can do what I want because it is what I want, and there is no force greater or more important than my own desire.

That was Dolezal’s thought process, and it’s completely consistent with mainstream liberal philosophy.

Really, she’s no worse than any other liberal.

Read the whole article here.

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Russian Demographics Crisis

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Overpopulation Is A Myth

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Laudato Si: first thoughts

Originally posted on All Along the Watchtower:


I think there must be more than one version of the Pope’s latest encyclical, Laudato Si! I do not have to hand the Communist/Marxist version, although I do have to hand the one that challenges me to rethink some of my assumptions; I do not have to hand the version which confirms what I already thought; although I do have the one which challenges what I think; I do not have to hand the one which agrees with the economic assumptions of Western politics, nor, indeed, the one which agrees with its social liberalism either. I have, instead, a very long document which presents me, and others, with a challenge. I cannot pretend to have digested its detail, especially its economic dimensions, but I see its broad message.

As neither a climate-sceptic, nor a true believer, I take no position on man-made global warming. I know a great…

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Cardinal: “What Sister Lucia told me: Final Confrontation between the Lord and Satan will be over Family and Marriage.”


A Cardinal tells: Sister Lucia wrote me…
On Feburary 16, 2008, Cardinal Carlo Caffara (Archbishop of Bologna), after a Mass celebrated at the tomb of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, granted an interview to Tele Radio Padre Pio, which was subsequently reported in the monthly magazine “Voce di Padre Pio” March, 2008 . Here are some significant excerpts.
Luca Signorelli
Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist (detail)
Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

Q. Your Eminence, recently in Corriere della Sera you said that you had always had a great devotion to Padre Pio. Please tell us why.

I have had great devotion to him since the beginning of my priesthood as a result of a rather unique experience. I had been a priest for some months and a brother-priest came to see me. He was quite a bit older than me and was going through a serious crisis of faith. It is difficult to describe what a crisis of faith is for a priest: a terrible thing! I told him “Brother, I’m too little, and sense that I can’t carry such a burden. Go to Padre Pio.” So he went, and while he was talking to Padre he had a great mystical experience, touched profoundly by the mercy of God. Now he is one of the best priests I know. There you have it, it all began like that.
Q. Did you ever meet Padre Pio personally?
No, I didn’t. I never had the courage to go to him, thinking that I would be wasting his time! […] I retain that Padre Pio belongs to the series of great mystics who have this characteristic: the most profound sharing in the Cross of Christ, as they carry upon themselves the great tragedy of mankind today – atheism. Padre Pio, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross , Mother Theresa, the Curé d’Ars all had the experience of sitting round the table with sinners, living their experiences, of carrying, in a different way, the weight of the Agony in Gethsemane; they testified to the love of Christ Who takes upon Himself, the pain of the man who has left his Father’s house and doesn’t want to go back, even if he knows in his heart that he is better off in his Father’s house rather than tending to pigs. Man today continues to imagine that he can live as if God didn’t exist; and we see the devastation this has caused.
Q. There is a prophecy by Sister Lucia dos Santos, of Fatima, which concerns “the final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan”. The battlefield is the family. Life and the family. We know that you were given charge by John Paul II to plan and establish the Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family. 

Yes, I was. At the start of this work entrusted to me by the Servant of God John Paul II, I wrote to Sister Lucia of Fatima through her Bishop as I couldn’t do so directly. Unexplainably however, since I didn’t expect an answer, seeing that I had only asked for prayers, I received a very long letter with her signature – now in the Institute’s archives. In it we find written: the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.
Talking also to John Paul II, you felt too that this was the crux, as it touches the very pillar of creation, the truth of the relationship between man and woman among the generations. If the founding pillar is touched the entire building collapses and we see this now, because we are at this point and we know it. And I’m moved when I read the best biographies of Padre Pio , on how this man was so attentive to the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of the spouses, even with justifiable rigor on occasion.

[Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana. Source: Voce di Padre Pio.]

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Duties Of Traditional Catholic Fathers # 1

from Fr. Carota:

In preparation for Fathers Day, I will be posting what Fr. Sean Kopczynski gave about Fatherhood at his mission on Our Lady of Lourdes.  All of you who have a father, have a husband or know someone who is a father and wants to be a good one; print this up and give it to him.

Go to Joseph I never asked any grace from St. Josheph that I did not obtain - Carmelite card‘Here, then, is a summary of the social duties of a husband and father according to reliable moral handbooks and catechisms, but principally from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard (cf., Eucharistic Handbook). Note that some things covered here for the head of the family (e.g., matters of education and correction of children) are also shared by the heart of the family, the wife and mother.

Duties towards his family. – The first duty of the head of the family is to attend to the sanctification of his dependents. Nature imposes it on him; God wills it; his salvation depends on it. This duty presents itself to him under a triple aspect, corresponding to his three titles of husband, father, and of provider (be it employer or employee).

The man’s duties as a husband. – He should honor his wife, and love her, and help her to sanctify herself. A husband should honor his wife as Jesus Christ honors His Church, and that especially in the presence of his children, that they also may learn to love and respect their mother, and women in general. He also has the duty of honoring her in the presence of strangers and acquaintances, for how else will they show her due honor?

A husband should love his wife as his own body, as himself. Just as man seeks that which will make his body and life flourish, so too he ought to strive after that which will enable his wife to flourish in joy and peace. The sweetness of his love should temper the force of the authority, which God gave him when He made him the head of the wife, as Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.

His love should be tender and pure, with God as its motive and end; vigilant and devoted, giving with kindness to his spouse all that she needs to live and to keep her position, supporting her in infirmities and defects with a tender charity, and sharing her joys and sorrows with compassion.

holy_family_carpenter_shopA husband should seek sanctification with his wife.

He himself must serve as a means of sanctification for her, and ought to make it a priority to pray with her. It is especially by his good example, and the sweetness of his virtue and charity, that a husband will win the esteem and affection of his wife and sustain her in the right path.

St. John Chrysostom says: “Observe that Paul has exhorted husbands and wives to reciprocity…To love therefore, is the husband’s part, to yield pertains to the other side. If, then, each one contributes his own part, all stand firm. From being loved, the wife too becomes loving; and from her being submissive, the husband learns to yield.

Since man is not composed only of a body, but also of soul and spirit, the husband should work at establishing a union with his wife that is not just physical, but also emotional and spiritual. Men must remember that women need emotional support and friendship from their husband. The spousal bond is meant to unite a man and a woman at every level, including the emotional and spiritual, which ought not be neglected.

425px-Franz_Joseph_Karl_Otto_of_AustriaThe godly husband does not use the marriage act for purposes of lust or sensuality (cf. Tobias 6:16-17 vulgate), but rather keeps within those limits which are reasonable and serious without purposely impeding procreation. A reasonable and serious request for the marriage duty is made with a definite, sober will, not too frequent and without the presence of any obstacles of bodily health. Such a request obliges the other party, injustice, to render the debt, as St. Paul says: “Let every man give his wife what is her due, and every woman do the same by her husband” (1 Cor. 7:3). At the same time, however, it should be remembered that the same Apostle also admonishes the husband: They that have wives, let them be as though they had them not (1 Cor. 7:29), and that St. Jerome says: The love which a wise man cherishes towards his wife is the result of judgment, not the impulse of passion; he governs the impetuosity of desire, and is not hurried into indulgence. There is nothing more shameful than that a husband should love his wife as an adulteress.

As every blessing is to be obtained from God by holy prayer, the faithful couple ought sometimes abstain from the marriage debt, in order to devote themselves to prayer. This religious continence is particularly recommended during the solemn fast of Lent.

A man’s duties as a father. – The duties of a father towards children are great; their object is to make of them good and manly Christians, useful citizens, and saints for heaven. These duties are threefold: to raise children in the fear of God, to correct them, and to settle them decently in the world.

Education. The body is made for the soul, and the soul for God, Who enlightens it with the truths of faith and beautifies it with holiness. The mother begins this religious education: the father completes and consolidates it. The grace of authority and of strength lends extra power to his words. The example of the mother persuades the children; that of the father wins them over. Hence the saying of the Holy Ghost: like father, like son.

A father should then before all else endeavor to give his children a Christian education as a solid and indispensable foundation for an honest station in life and for a successful future. He should give a very special attention to the morality of the schools, of the houses of education, to which he intends confiding the innocence and weakness of his children. Innocence of life and purity of faith outweigh all the wealth of the world: they are preferable to all the dignities and sciences, especially when these are corrupt and faithless.

our-father10The educating of children by their parents needs to extend to matters of chastity. Some moralists believe that educating the young in matters touching on chastity (6th and 9th Commandments) should be indirect. They hold that it is dangerous to speak of these matters to the young, that silence itself is to them a lesson of modesty, that the practice of piety and mortification, along with parental watchfulness, will keep them pure, and that sufficient knowledge will come at the proper time as God will provide.

Others reject this theory as opposed to the tradition of the Church as well as to experience. The defenders of direct education point to the evil of silence: the bad habits contracted and grown strong before their sinfulness is understood, or the scruples and misery into which ignorance will plunge young people entering the time of puberty, the false and corrupt ideas which immoral companions, physicians, and educators will unavoidably indoctrinate the minds of the innocent, the overpowering and corrupting influence of today’s mass media, the loss of confidencein parents who have refused to impart important knowledge and advice, and the ruin of innocent lives by seducers which a timely word of warning would have prevented. Hence, there is an invincible ignorance which cannot be removed without direct education, and this ignorance is more harmful, at least to well-reared children, than any evil that may be caused by the education itself. Yet this education should only be conducted by the parents.

Training for purity of body should be directed both to the will and the intellect, for knowledge without character is powerless against temptation. Children should be trained from the beginning morally. This includes keeping them as much as possible from sources of contamination; teaching them to have implicit confidence in parents; and accustoming them to bring their questions and difficulties to the parents. Fathers must also train their children to be manly by practicing continual mortification and restraint and to struggle against evil tendencies until the habit of self-control becomes second nature.’

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« Laudato Sie, mi Signore… » — The Encyclical which needs to be written


By  at the Franciscanum blog

Editor’s note: Since some Catholics may consider it distasteful or inappropriate to publicly criticize Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment, I have chosen not to publish anything regarding it. Continue reading

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