Category Archives: This-N-That

Can Somebody Tell Me What’s Happening Here?

Just listened to the Holy Father’s announcement about a big global conference in 2020:

Pope Francis has announced he is hosting an initiative for a “Global Pact” to create a “new humanism.” The global event, set to take place at the Vatican on May 14, 2020, is themed Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance. 

The Pope is inviting representatives of the main religions, international organizations and various humanitarian institutions, as well as key figures from the world of politics, economics and academia, and prominent athletes, scientists and sociologists to sign a “Global Pact on Education” so as to “hand on to younger generations a united and fraternal common home.” Pope Francis is calling for the creation of an “educational village,” in which “all people, according to their respective roles, share the task of forming a network of open, human relationships.”

Here’s my question for anyone who cares to comment: If you didn’t know who was saying these words, would your first assumption be that the speaker was:

  1.  George Sorros;
  2.  The Secretary General of the United Nations; or
  3.  The Vicar of Christ?

I’d love to hear your comments!

The source for the above excerpts is, of course, the one and only LifeSite News.  Well-done to you, as always, Mr. Westen!  You can read the entire article by Diane Montagna (one of the best writers they have!) here: Pope Francis invites religious, political leaders to sign ‘Global Pact’ for ‘new humanism’

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-global-education-pact

Accusations of Heresy: One Perspective

Catholics, still reeling from the conflagration which devastated her beloved Notre Dame Cathedral, was rocked a few days later by the publication of an open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church which accused Pope Francis of heresy, and requested that the bishops “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation of a heretical pope.”

You can read the letter in its entirety at this link: https://www.documentcloud.o… It’s twenty pages, but twenty pages well worth reading regardless of your inclination to agree or disagree with its contents.

The Accusers.

Whether it’s a former papal nuncio (like Abp. Viganò), prominent on-line laymen (Michael Voris at Church Militant, et. al.), or the signers of this letter, there’s a natural tendency these days to immediately respond with an ad hominem hip shot branding the dissidents as judgemental/Pharisee-like/rigid/haters with an axe to grind.

Still and all, the signers are indeed on very thin ice. I’m not sure what the job market looks like for unemployed theologians these days, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that, as the saying goes in Hollywood, “you’ll never work in this town again!” Not only have they pulled the tail of the massive tiger that is the Pope and his loyal cardinals, they pretty much yanked it completely off! In much the same way as the signers of the Declaration of Independence put a figurative British noose around each and every of their own necks, so the signers of this letter have destroyed their standing among all those in the powerful Church hierarchy who have a vested interest in this papal agenda.

Descriptions you might see in other online articles branding these signers as petty and vengeful reactionaries are, I think, completely unjustified (as were those characterizations of Viganò’s motives months earlier). Right or wrong, it took guts to do what they did, and they believed enough in their message to be willing to take the consequences on the chin. So my recommendation for those trying to get to the bottom of this tragic turn of events is to not consider any base motivations, but rather concentrate on the message itself and the circumstances which brought it about.

Leadership Failures.

Why has it gotten to the point where regular lay people have to concern themselves with the terrifying question of whether Peter’s Successor is or is not promulgating teachings contrary to Church doctrine so egregious as to perhaps approach even the level of material (let alone formal) heresy? For that matter, why do we laity have to be subjected to the confusing and often false teachings of so-called “celebrity priests” who continually put forward ideas which stand in stark contrast to thousands of years of Judeo-Christian teachings or the progressive bishops seemingly more interested in educating us about the mortal dangers of plastics in the ocean rather than sins in our souls?

It comes down to bad leadership on the part of our priests and hierarchy. Even if it turns out that each and every one of the specifications in the open letter were simple misunderstandings and in no way heretical, each and every one of them represent a leadership failure when it comes to clearly teaching and restating the timeless dogmas of our Faith. And, in the case of throwing faithful Chinese Catholics under the bus by kowtowing to the brutal Communist overlords in Beijing, the leadership failure took on the additional aspect of burning a pinch of incense to Caesar (or Mao, in this instance).

More Leadership Failures: Amoris Laetitia and “Weaponized Ambiguity.”

This document was a disaster from the git-go. And before anyone says, “It’s perfectly clear and it’s fine. You’re seeing stuff that isn’t there when you try and read between the lines,” let me ask you why it’s now permissible to define adultery by zip code? Liberal bishops in Germany are saying “come one, come all!” When it comes to divorced & civilly remarried Catholics receiving the Eucharist, citing AL, while next door is (still) Catholic Poland, things are as they were before this document came out. Which is the true and authentic interpretation of Christ’s own words in the Gospel concerning marriage? For two thousand years, Catholics knew the answer. Now, it’s suddenly up for grabs.

This vagueness seems intentional in order to allow for the desired intent to surface without actually having to pull the trigger yourself. And yes, orthodox Catholics got upset by this. It’s no wonder that the “H-Word” started getting whispered for the first time when AL came out.

Francis is not considered to be a leading theologian, even by his supporters. And that’s fine; being a world-class theologian has never been a prerequisite for being pope, nor should it be. Having said that, it’s worth comparing the appeal to situational ethics to be found in AL with those writings of a man considered to be a rather accomplished theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pope Francis seemed to downplay moral absolutes in AL, saying that a negative moral precept such as the one prohibiting adultery is good as a general principle, but “in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations” (par. 304)

Aquinas is a little more direct and uncompromising when he says that some human acts, “have deformity inseparably attached to them, such as fornication, adultery, and others of this sort, which can in no way be done morally.” (Quaestiones Quodlibetales, 9, q. 7, a. 2) This idea is backed up by Pope JPII in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor when he confirms “the absolute validity of negative moral precepts which oblige without exception.” (VS 76)

Call me a rigid traditionalist, but I’m going with the Big Ox on this one.

“If you adjust the lighting just so, squint through your left eye and stand on one leg, what the Pope’s writing seems OK.”

Authentic teachings on faith, doctrine and morals coming from the Chair of Peter shouldn’t be this difficult to interpret. It confuses the laity. It confuses more than a few respectable theologians and cardinals. Didn’t somebody in the New Testament say something along the lines of “Let your ‘yes’ be yes, and your ‘no’ be no?”

If Francis wanted a liberalization of the rules (with its inevitable clash with the words of God Himself), why didn’t he just come out and say so? Instead, he throws together AL and waits to see how various groups of bishops will interpret it. He refused to answer the Dubia, which remains a set of honest questions posed by honest men, and instead kept mum until a bunch of South American bishops came up with the liberal/heterodox interpretation he wanted. Then he declared that those guys’ interpretation of AL was the correct and “magisterial” one.

Since when do we define doctrine and promulgate Church teaching by playing this kind of game? “I’m thinking of a number between one and twenty. Can you guess what it is? If so, you win a prize!”

Yet More Leadership Failures: The Sex Abuse Crisis and the Lavender Mafia.

We’ve seen the train wreck caused by our hierarchy’s handling of the clerical sex abuse crisis. If they weren’t participating directly, they were facilitating cover ups. And if they weren’t facilitating cover ups, they were trying to simply pretend the problem didn’t exist. Once they were called on the carpet, they solemnly assured us that the problem was fixed in 2002. Well, it wasn’t.

Theodore McCarrick. Cdl. Cupich “not going down that rabbit hole.” Cdl. Wuerl “not some massive, massive crisis.” The USCCB attempting to deal with the problem last October, only to suddenly be issued a perplexing “cease & desist” command by Francis, assuring them that everything (everything!) would be fixed at the Feb ’19 “Abuse Summit.” Cupich stepping forward mere seconds after the Vatican’s dictat had been announced, and assuming the role as papal cheerleader, almost as if he had advance knowledge of what was coming from Rome.

As had been predicted by many cynics (myself among them), the much ballyhooed February “summit” completely sidestepped the underlying problem of rampant homosexuality in far too many seminaries, rectories, and chanceries throughout the Church. The discussions focused on the abuse of minors, particularly those young enough to be considered victims of pedophilia, rather than identifying very significant numbers of post-pubescent males as victims of pederasty (which has definite homosexual implications).

To his credit, Pope Francis finally acted to oust McCarrick, and Canon law has been modified to raise the age of consent (which means that a much broader group of victims can be rightly identified as vulnerable minors). And, the pontiff has given occasional lip service to the incompatibility of homosexuality with the priesthood.

And yet, the Lavender Mafia continues to rein supreme within the hierarchy. Remember the fun-filled gay cocaine party at Cdl. Francesco Coccopalmerio’s digs over at his Vatican apartment? The party was so swingin’ hot that the police had to be called in to break it up. Guess who’s still a cardinal in good standing with the Holy Father?

“Yeah, but what about those other two Popes? They did it too!”

This isn’t an overly compelling argument. Failing to address this problem of clerical sex predation decades earlier remains just that: a failure (and one epic in its tragic consequences), regardless of who was at the helm. JP2 and B16 both let us down here as well. Francis, however, is the one currently leading the Church, and his continued promotion of men sympathetic to the whole homosexualist agenda is troubling and destructive.

Bottom Line: Confirmed Heretic or Just a Really Bad Pope?

I am not a sedevacantist. Neither am I in the jury pool for judging a sitting pope’s heresy trial (Spoiler Alert: NOBODY on earth is qualified to do that. The only man capable of judging a pope is a subsequent pope. That may indeed happen at some point in the future, but there’s nothing to be done about it at present. Might as well accept that fact.)

I am, however, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and as such, I am expected to be discerning. Discerning whether or not a cleric (be he priest, pope or cardinal) is talking nonsense is NOT a matter of judging them, but of remaining true to the authentic teachings of the Church which have existed for upwards of two thousand years.

Can we as good Catholics be critical of our priests, theologians, prelates, and even our pope? You bet! (Spoiler Alert #2: I checked GoogleTranslate, and as it turns out, the term “ex cathedra” does not translate as “from an Italian airliner at 35,000 feet over the Atlantic.”) Not everything a pope says must be taken as binding on belief. In a time where the average Catholic is woefully under-catechized or mal-catechized, that subtle distinction is often lost.

Is it a sin to call the pope out when he is engaging in teaching or enacting policies which are dangerous to the Faith? No. (Spoiler Alert #3: The Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, NOT the mystical body of the pope—this one or any other!) We are to remain faithful to Christ even when our shepherds are not.

 So…do I declare Pope Francis to be a heretic? I do not. It’s not in my lane. Do I consider him a bad and ineffective pope who is doing more harm than good for the Faith? Yes, definitely, much to my sorrow and consternation. Should the bishops finally come to recognize the gravity of the crisis of faith which is escalating across the Catholic Church and formally address the Holy Father and correcting him where’s he demonstrably wrong? Yes, oh yes. Do I wish that he’d repent of his heterodox teachings, cease sowing confusion and ambiguity, and return to the authentic principles which have animated the Catholic Church since her founding by Christ Himself? With all my heart.

 Our Best Response? PRAY!

Whether you consider Francis the Number One Nicest Guy In The World Today, or something considerably less, we as Catholics have an obligation to pray for him. In fact, the graver your concerns, the more earnest your prayers should be.

 

A Prayer for Pope Francis

The controversies surrounding Pope Francis show no signs of abating. Agree or disagree on his policies, pronouncements, and actions, we must remember that he is nonetheless the man who is Peter’s successor. That’s no guarantee, however, that he will remain free from error in his each and every act. It doesn’t even mean that he’s automatically in a state of sanctified grace. What it does mean, however, is that he will be Number One of the devil’s target list, and that the prince of this world will be subjecting the Pope to powerful and never-ending spiritual attack. That last point is pretty much not debatable, I would guess (but net has proved me wrong time & again, so you never know…)

Regardless where we might fall on the spectrum of opinions regarding Francis and his pontificate, I hope we can all agree upon the urgent necessity to remember him in our prayers! This crisis won’t solve itself, no matter how many tweets, blogs entries, and DISQUS posts are made for or against this or that proposition. Only through prayer, the intercession of Our Lady, and by the intervention of Almighty God will the crisis be ended.

And with that in mind, I’d like to offer this short prayer for our Holy Father, taken from the 1962 Missal (Collect for the Pope):

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint pastor over Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that by both word and example he may edify those over whom he is set, and together with the flock committed to his care, may attain to eternal life.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

A Sign of Spiritual Conflagration

Image of Notre Dame Cathedral burning, crowds praying, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Many things have been said over the past few months concerning the tragic fire which swept through the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  One of the first impressions which hit me was that this could be considered as a type of allegory for the fire which has swept through the Faith since the tumultuous days of the Second Vatican Council.  At the time I’m posting this little article, there has been no definitive determination as to the cause of the cathedral fire.  As for the conflagration which wrecked the Roman Catholic Church herself, more than a few of you consider it a clear-cut case of spiritual arson perpetrated by the “council fathers” and fanned by the so-called “spirit of Vatican II.”

I agree with that assessment as well.

But I’m a lousy writer.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider says it much better (which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the man’s writing).

LifeSite News has a good article on this.  An excerpt:

“According to the auxiliary of Astana, it is also a call to the entire Church to do penance for the spiritual conflagration that has ripped through the Church in the past fifty years.”

““Penance and reparation must also be made for the betrayal of Christ’s explicit command to evangelize all nations without exception,” including the Jewish and Muslim people, he adds.

“God will not indefinitely and shamelessly be mocked by so many Shepherds of the Church today, through their betrayal of the Faith, their sycophantic serving of the world and their neo-pagan worship of temporal and earthly realities,” he says. “To them as well are addressed these words of Christ, ‘I tell you, unless you repent you will all likewise perish’ (Lk 13: 5).””

Read the entire article here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-schneider-notre-dame-fire-sign-of-spiritual-conflagration-in-the-church

Swing and a Miss! (Actually, he didn’t even take a swing…)

By CCM Guest Contributor Ivan Opinion

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” [Jeremiah 1:5]

Coincidence… I think not. Today is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Across the Catholic Church in America, our lectionary prescribed for our First Reading, passages from the First Chapter of Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. Our lectionary is set years in advance so today’s first reading was not a ‘reaction’ to recent events.Jeremiah 1-5

Consider the outright assault on the pre-born over the last two weeks. First, New York’s Catholic Governor Cuomo signed into law the most egregious law yet in our nation promoting abortion to the point of infanticide. Then Virginia’s legislature attempted to follow suit; and now Rhode Island’s Catholic Governor, Gina Raimondo is promoting a Bill that would mirror that signed by Andrew Cuomo in NY. And still, our prelates remain largely silent, and we wonder why our collective morality is all but vanished on the issue of abortion.

Today’s reading from Jeremiah presented the perfect opportunity to preach on the holocaust of innocents. It could not have been more perfect, it was tantamount to permitting Babe Ruth to come to the plate and hit from a five-year-old’s tee. He would’ve crushed it.

While our pastor did preach in reference to Jeremiah, he took a completely different angle. I kept waiting for him to make the connection, but he spoke not a word about the sanctity of life relative to life in the womb. I’ve no doubt that had he crushed it like Babe Ruth and hit one out of the park in reminding the flock of the sacredness of life, our local ordinary would have crushed our pastor doubly hard. Sadly, our pastor did not want to upset the apple cart and instead chose to remain silent and allow the flock to continue in ignorance. In light of what Governors Cuomo and Raimondo are pushing, no one should presume Catholics inherently know to protect the pre-born. It simply isn’t preached in most parishes.

Too many of our priests cower in fear of complicit bishops while hoping they do not come eye-to-eye with God on this day to face His judgment. Perhaps they think, tomorrow; yes tomorrow, that is when I’ll teach the hard truths. How far must we fall, before they understand their spinelessness has resulted in a society wrought in moral decay. It is an abrogation of responsibility of such enormity that it exacerbates the crisis in the Church to a point I did not think possible. When Christ ordained the Apostles, His instruction was clear, He did not say to them, only tell the people what they desire to hear, don’t say anything that may upset them.

Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” [excerpts from Matthew, Chapter 10]

Viva Viganò!

This venerable old warrior for the Faith turns 78 this week. Please continue to support Abp. Viganò in your prayers.

And, while you’re at it…why not write your local bishop and let him know that you support Abp. Viganò, that you consider the allegations in his written testimonies to be accurate and worthy of intense scrutiny. Ask your bishop–very pointedly–whether he supports Viganò or not? (And if not, why the heck not?!)

The Viganò Chronicles

Need a quick refresher on the various statements our man Viganò has made, each of which made the Lavender Mafia and the Boys from St. Galen very nervous? Take a look at the following list, kindly provided by LifeSiteNews (which is a great resource, by the way!):

And, while you’re still at it…Sign LifeSite’s petition for Archbishop Vigano here.

List of statements released by Archbishop Viganò:

Archbishop Viganò urges McCarrick to publicly repent in new open letter (January 14, 2019)

Archbishop Viganò urges US bishops to confront sex abuse as ‘courageous shepherds’ (November 13, 2018)

Archbishop Viganò issues third testimony, refutes accusations of Cardinal Ouellet (October 19, 2018)

Archbishop Viganò releases second testimony responding to Pope’s silence on McCarrick cover-up (September 27, 2018)

Archbishop Viganò issues first testimony, implicating Pope Francis in McCarrick abuse cover-up (August 25, 2018)

Archbishop Vigano

Another Day. Another Injustice…

How is it that heterodox (to put it mildly) “celebrity priests” are feted, praised, wined and dined by our bishops, but the orthodox priests who are trying to shine a light on the scandals destroying Holy Mother Church are disciplined and suppressed?

I guess you can chalk it up to the “Lavender Mafia” continuing to do its thing…and do it well.

LifeSiteNews published an article describing the treatment of Fr. Mark Goring, a “regular guy” kind of priest who had developed a decent sized following on YouTube. I guess you could call him a “celebrity priest” of sorts owing to his online audience, but he’s certainly no media darling like superstar Fr. James Martin.

Fr. Goring has spent the last few months attempting to shed light on what he calls the “corruption network” at work in the Church. We all know it’s happening, and we laity have wondered why more priests and bishops aren’t stepping forward to call the powerful and corrupt to account for their misdeeds.

Well, Fr. Mark tried…and boy, was he smacked down for it!

Read the entire excellent article by Lisa Bourne here at LifeSiteNews.

“Cease and Desist”

Fr. Mark’s “cease and desist” video was archived and can be viewed HERE.

Viganò to McCarrick: Time is Running Out!

A few months ago, LifeSite News reported a new letter from Archbishop Viganò.  This letter (see below) urged disgraced pederast Theodore McCarrick to repent, reminding him that “Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake.”

Pray for McCarrick that he can repent in time, and that as his penance he comes clean about not only his crimes, but the entire ball of wax:  the Lavender Mafia, the homoheresy rampant in the Church, the St. Galen conspiracy…everything!  McCarrick’s immortal soul isn’t the only thing in jeopardy:  his ongoing silence continues to damage Holy Mother Church, and continues to imperil the soulds of many Catholics whose faith is being shaken by these crimes and scandals.  Pray also that the Pope steps up and aggressively addresses these problems as well.  

 

 



-Vigano’s Letter to McCarrick-

Dear Archbishop McCarrick,

As has been reported as a news by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the accusations against you for crimes against minors and abuses against seminarians are going to be examined and judged very soon with an administrative procedure.

No matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance. I am among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church.

Time is running out, but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake.

But something else of great importance is also at stake. You, paradoxically, have at your disposal an immense offer of great hope for you from the Lord Jesus; you are in a position to do great good for the Church. In fact, you are now in a position to do something that has become more important for the Church than all of the good things you did for her throughout your entire life. A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church. Are you willing to offer her that gift? Christ died for us all when we were still sinners (Rom. 5: 8). He only asks that we respond by repenting and doing the good that we are given to do. The good that you are in a position to do now is to offer the Church your sincere and public repentance.  Will you give the Church that gift?

I implore you, repent publicly of your sins, so as to make the Church rejoice and present yourself before the tribunal of Our Lord cleansed by His blood. Please, do not make His sacrifice on the cross void for you. Christ, Our Good Lord, continues to love you. Put your entire trust in His Sacred Heart. And pray to Mary, as I and many others are doing, asking her to intercede for the salvation of your soul.

“Maria Mater Gratiae, Mater Misericordiae, Tu nos ab hoste protege et mortis hora suscipe.”  Mary Mother of the Grace, Mother of Mercy, protect us from the enemy and welcome us in the hour of death.

Your brother in Christ,

+ Carlo Maria Viganò

Sunday, January 13, 2019
The Baptism of the Lord
Saint Hilary of Poitiers


Francis, Chairman Mao, and King Henry VIII

It’s hard to keep up with all the moves being made during this pontificate.  Many of the pronouncements coming from the Vatican seem to be intentionally ambiguous, allowing for the faithful to fib to themselves that nothing’s changed, and allowing the less heterodox among us to exploit the carefully constructed loopholes in documents like Amoris Laetitia.  No doubt the end product of this month’s synod will produce whoppers of equal magnitude.

Then, of course, there are the outright moves of betrayal, such as the stunning agreement with the Red Chinese which effectively throws the Underground Church in China under the bus.

Even though many faithful Catholics are confused, perplexed, disturbed, and perhaps even outraged by the Pontiff’s moves, there are those whom we suspect would be quite pleased…

Amoris Laetitia: Winners & Losers?

Painting of King Henry the VIII holding a copy of Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis.

Regardless on which side of the Amoris Laetitia debate you find yourself, it’s  undeniable that the promulgation of this document has produced considerable churn (understatement).  Earlier blogs on this site have decried the way in which AL, by its ambiguity, produced such a wildly-varying degree of interpretations.  Some bishops say nothing has changed; others see the opportunity to allow divorced & remarried Catholics to start receiving Holy Communion again.  In one zip code, a divorced/remarried Catholic is an adulterer; in the next that Catholic is simply “on a journey” of some sort, and receiving the Eucharist might well be possible if an unspecified number of prerequisites are met.

Who are the winners and losers in all this?

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, says that AL represents “a paradigm shift, and the text itself insists on this, that’s what is asked of us — this new spirit, this new approach!”  Factions favoring such a change refer to Amoris Laetitia‘s stress on the objective relevance of extenuating circumstances, the subjective conscience and discernment to allow some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion and apply it to allowing use of artificial contraception in some cases (National Catholic Register, 11 Jan 2018).

Henry VIII and AL

Although it comes a few centuries too late, it makes me wonder if one of the “winners” might not be His Majesty, King Henry VIII.  Wasn’t that all he was asking when he divorced Catherine of Aragon, dumping her in favor of Ann Boleyn?  One can just imagine him insisting to Thomas Moore (perhaps while visiting him in the Tower of London), that there was a bucketload of “extenuating circumstances,” and that the King was perfectly clear in his “subjective conscience of discernment,” and surely the “extenuating circumstances” of no royal heir.

Yeah….right….

« Older Entries