Servus Fidelis ~ The Faithful Servant

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam ~ For the Greater Glory of God

Romam vado iterum crucifigi

By Christopher A. Ferrara POSTED: 10/7/13
REMNANT COLUMNIST, Virginia
______________________

“I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”

Pope Francis

Editor’s Note: As this article went to press, the Vatican Press Office—clearly in response to worldwide expressions of dismay by concerned Catholics—has floated reports that the interview of Pope Francis by Eugenio Scalafari quoted in this article was not a verbatim transcript and that Scalfari did not use a tape recorder or take notes. The same neo-Catholic commentators who attempted to defend some of the Pope’s shocking statements in the interview are now exulting that perhaps the interview was not accurate after all—showing once again their willingness to bend and twist themselves in any direction to persuade us all that nothing is amiss in the Church. We are, however, witnessing the Vatican apparatus’s usual two-step.  The interview in its entirety, complete with quotation markshas been posted on the Vatican website and the Pope has not corrected a single word of it.  Further, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told the press that “if Francis felt his thought had been ‘gravely misrepresented,’ he would have said so.”   The Remnant will not dance either the Vatican or the neo-Catholic two-step. Unless the Pope himself indicates to the contrary, the Remnant will assume that His Holiness stands every word attributed to him by Scalfari and posted on the Pope’s own official website.  We have had enough of this nonsense! Another interesting development: Cardinal Dolan hasinformed the press that the “mystical moment” recounted in the Scalfari interview, when the Pope-elect supposedly stepped into a room adjacent to the Sistine Chapel to ponder whether to accept the election and was illuminated by an interior light,never happened. In fact, there is no such room next to the Chapel.  Yet, the interview as posted on the Vatican website retains this entire account.  It is up to the Vatican to explain this glaring discrepancy.  We merely report it. MJM

Over the past several weeks we have watched, stunned, as Pope Francis conducts little short of a public jeremiad against Catholics he deems insufficiently in tune with Vatican II’s “dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today”—whatever that means—which he insists is “absolutely irreversible” even as the destruction from the failed conciliar aggiornamento continues to mount.

Francis has mocked Catholics who counted the Rosaries in their spiritual bouquets for him, belittling them before an audience of young people as poor peasants who “return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through—not you, because you are not old…” And he has maintained a drumbeat of derision of Catholic traditionalists: they are “Pelagians,” “restorationists,” and “legalists,” who in their hearts do not believe in the Risen Lord and thus indulge in “triumphalism” and a “triumphalist”liturgy; they seek an “exaggerated doctrinal ‘security’” (note the contemptuous quotation marks around the word security), want “everything clear and safe” in the Church (imagine!), “always look for disciplinarian solutions,” “stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists,” and “have a static and inward-directed view of things” that reduces their faith to “an ideology among other ideologies.

Having issued these public judgments against faithful Catholics, the Pope who will be known forever by the phrase “Who am I to judge?” respecting homosexuals has also passed judgment on the Church herself, and by implication his predecessors, suggesting that he will correct her many shortcomings as Vatican II demands.Quoth Francis in the now infamous America magazine interview and elsewhere:

The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, little rules.”’

“Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers.’

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”

We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.”

“The church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.”

“But the church has lived also times of decline in its ability to think. Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.

“When does a formulation [of doctrine] of thought cease to be valid? When it loses sight of the human or even when it is afraid of the human or deluded about itself

The thinking of the church must recover genius and better understand how human beings understand themselves today, in order to develop and deepen the church’s teaching.”

“The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done[!] in that direction….I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”


Sneak Peek:

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In addition to insulting faithful members of his own flock and denigrating the Church he is divinely charged to lead, defend and protect against her enemies, Francis has issued a series of astonishing pronouncements suggesting that the Church has no business seeking converts and that the salvation of the members of all religions and even atheists is possible so long as they pursue brotherhood and their idea of the good:

Interview with Scalfari, La Repubblica:

“Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.”

“… I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God.”

[Comment: Of course God is not literally Catholic—as if anyone thought so. But this facile     remark, so pleasing to modern ears and delivered by no less than a Pope into the eager hands of an       anti-Catholic press, harms the cause of the Gospel because it obscures the truth that God Incarnate    did indeed found theCatholic Church, “which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts.   20:28).The Church that God founded and purchased with His Blood calls itself Catholic, thus         imparting an unalterable sacred significance to the word, which belongs to the very Creed that   begins: “I believe in God.” To declare “there is no Catholic God” is to detach in speech the Gospel         from its divinely ordained sole guardianship in the Catholic Church—to the world’s great delight.          How disturbing it is to see a successor of the very Rock on which the Church was founded   descending to such banality.]

“The Son of God became incarnate to instill in the souls of men the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father.”

“I believe I have already said that our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope. We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love.”

“The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”

“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”


“And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.

Sermon:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics…. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

Address to inter-religious assembly at Refugee Service:

Many of you are Muslims, of other religions, and have come from different countries, from different situations. We must not be afraid of the differences! Fraternity makes us discover that they are a treasure, a gift for everyone! We live in fraternity!

Address at Shrine of St. Cajetan:

“Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest.”

Then there are the Pope’s remarks suggesting that, unlike his predecessors, he is not “obsessed” with abortion, contraception, “same-sex marriage” or the sin of sodomy relentlessly promoted as perfectly normal by those he (unlike any other Pope) calls “gay”:

“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world [!] these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope…This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.”

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, “who am I to judge?”

“During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”

Certain Neo-Catholic commentators, continuing the cover-up of disaster in which they have been engaged for almost half a century, are frantically churning out orthodox interpretations for this torrent of astonishing papal remarks.  Typical of these is Francis Allen, whose article “Misreading Pope Francis” misses the immense significance of the fact she herself admits: “many conservative Catholics, who disagree with liberals on practically everything else, actually agree with their archenemies that Francis is poised to radically alter the Catholic Church”  (Yes, but only to the extent this is possible, for not even a Pope can change the deposit of the Faith.)

This time, however, the neo-Catholic explainers of What the Pope Really Means are overwhelmed by their task, for Francis has dropped far too many bombshells to defuse. And, as we have seen, the damage has been devastating. The world’s mass media are experiencing a collective transport of joy over Francis the Awesome,singing his praises in headlines and newscasts from every precinct of the culture of death.  We have all sampled the innumerable media hosannas, but one CNN headline says it all: “Pope Speaks Against Catholic Traditions.”

Of course, it isn’t quite that simple. The media always supply a certain degree of spin to papal remarks.  The point, however, is that no Pope has ever given the media so many statements to exploit, and in so little time.  It will not do simply to protest that “the Pope’s remarks have been “‘cherry-picked’ by commentators who are presenting only a few phrases out of a lengthy interview,” for Francis has given them a bushel of cherries for the picking. At the very least, the Pope has recklessly disregarded—again and again—the entirely predictable reading of his words.

Furthermore, in this case the media are not that far off the mark.  The Neo-Catholic “out of context” defense fails in the face of so many explosively disturbing statements, all of the same dramatic, liberalizing tenor. There is a reason every conceivable constituency of the Church’s enemies, both internal and external, is hailing Pope Francis: from Hans Kung (“was overwhelmed with joy” at Francis’s election), to the National Abortion Rights Action League (“To Pope Francis: Thank you”), to Stephen Colbert (“a seismic ripple throughout the world of Catholicism”), toJane Fonda (“Gotta love new Pope. He cares about poor, hates dogma”), to Chris Rock (Francis is “the greatest man alive”), to the man that vulgar comedian worships as the “dad of our country” and “our boss”—none other than Barack Obama, who is“hugely impressed with the pope’s pronouncements.” When a politician who can rightly be viewed as a forerunner of Antichrist is “hugely impressed” by a Pope’s statements, there must be something gravely wrong with what the Pope is saying.

This time the neo-Catholic cover-up is not succeeding.  Francis has simply gone too far along the trajectory of the Council’s supposed “dynamic of reading the Gospel,” and now even prominent members of the “conservative” Catholic mainstream have had enough and are speaking out. A sampling of these protests demonstrates that the problem with Francis does not exist in the fevered imaginations of “radical traditionalists,” as the neo-Catholics commentators would have it, but rather is an objective threat to the Church’s credibility and mission.  Consider the following:

No less than Germain Grisez, the world-renowned moral theologian who is hardly a traditionalist, gave Inside the Vatican permission to publish his objection to the Pope’s rhetoric, including this blistering comment:

I’m afraid that Pope Francis has failed to consider carefully enough the likely consequences of letting loose with his thoughts in a world that will applaud being provided with such help in subverting the truth it is his job to guard as inviolable and proclaim with fidelity. For a long time he has been thinking these things. Now he can say them to the whole world—and he is self-indulgent enough to take advantage of the opportunity with as little care as he might unburden himself with friends after a good dinner and plenty of wine.

The equally prominent moral theologian Janet Smith, writing in the neo-conservative journal First Things under the bitter title “Are We Obsessed?”, had this to say about Francis’s musings, couched in ironic observations about her friends:

In fact, I don’t think the Holy Father was speaking about my friends, when he states: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…. [W]hen we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context.” My friends definitely talk about these issues “in context,” in fact in many contexts…. [T]heir reason for boldly and sacrificially and ardently addressing these issues is precisely because they love Christ and the Church and want others to do so.

[Francis] also said: “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” …Again, I don’t think this statement refers to my friends since there is nothing “disjointed” about the way they present doctrines nor do they “impose” them “insistently.” They make the call to conscience that John Paul II makes…  to live in accord with the natural greatness that God gave them. They do not make threats of damnation or make calls for blind obedience…

I also began to realize that the Holy Father was not speaking of the same context in which I live and labor… He seems to think that many people are hesitant to embrace Christianity or Catholicism because they believe that they are beyond redemption and that the Church is a judgmental, intolerant institution that won’t accept them…. I think most people think they are not sinners and not in need of redemption. They do not think having abortions, using contraception, using pornography, fornicating, masturbating, or engaging in homosexual acts are immoral actions. They think what they are doing is fine and they are fine just as they are.

Pope Francis finds the homily a proper place to teach moral truths but thinks priests have gotten the order wrong. Where is he hearing these homilies that hammer on moral truths at the expense of preaching the gospel?… [V]irtually none of us have heard it done! We have heard homilies on abortion—perhaps at most once a year—while homilies on contraception and homosexual acts are so rare as to cause astonishment and generally earn the pastor an influx of hate mail.

George Neumayr of The American Spectator has written a series of increasingly critical commentaries on the Pope’s statements. Herewith a sampling from those pieces:

§  From “Reading the Papal Tea Leaves”:

Francis’s papacy may not so much move the Church into the future as back to the recent past, circa 1970…. Emboldened liberal bishops under him may seek a reform of the “reform of the reform,” and they may push for a revisiting of settled moral, theological, and disciplinary stances. None of this repositioning will take place at the level of official teaching but at the murkier levels of tone, emphasis, and appointment.


That the Catholic left considers his election a shot in the arm can’t be chalked up simply to projection…. They believe that this is their moment to try to undo the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict and return to the casual, informal, and spontaneous liturgical spirit of the 1970s while reviving a more poll-friendly situational ethics. Tweeted Mahony: “Don’t you feel the new energy, and being shared with one another?”

§  From “When Paul Corrected Peter”:

The Pope’s scolding of “small-minded” restorationists for “pastoral” incompetence is laughable in light of his own order’s disintegration: What exactly would the editors of America and the other Jesuits whose liberalism Pope Francis was flattering in the interview, know about saving souls? Just look at the U.S. Congress: it is overflowing with Jesuit graduates who have abandoned the faith and support abortion and gay rights. Oh-so-pastoral Jesuits, heal thyself.

Indeed, the need for a St. Paul to correct him grows with each passing week as his pontificate emboldens the Church’s enemies and undercuts her friends and most loyal members.

§  From “The Pope They’ve Been Waiting For”:

No, this is not an Onion parody. This is the Catholic Church, circa 2013, under the hope-and-change pontificate of Francis—the one Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, and Jane Fonda have been waiting for. They had long pined for an enlightened pope and now they have found him in a Latin American Jesuit so loose, so cool, so “spiritual”… that he doesn’t fret over such fuddy-duddy anxieties as the killing of the elderly and the corruption of children… but rather their isolation and joblessness.

Anyone who is familiar with the cocky clichés of lightweight, dilettantish modern Jesuits will understand the import of this interview and hear all of its dog whistles: the praising of the late heterodox Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini, the politically correct sniffing at St. Augustine (“He also had harsh words for the Jews, which I never shared”), the condescension to saints of the past as products of their unenlightened times (as if Francis is not a product of his liberal times and liberal religious order; self-awareness is evidently not part of his “humility and ambition”), the Teilhard de Chardin-style jargon (“Transcendence remains because that light, all in everything, transcends the universe and the species it inhabits at that stage…”).

Pope Francis let it be known that he is eager to run the ball into the end zone for team spirit-of-Vatican II, and now that small-minded, rule-bound restorationists like John Paul II and Benedict XVI aren’t around anymore to tackle him he has an open-field run…

Were St. Ignatius of Loyola alive today, he wouldn’t recognize Francis as a Jesuit. He might not even recognize him as a Catholic.

Father Michal P. Orsi of Ave Maria School of Law, writing in The Washington Times, issued this scathing review of the effects the Pope’s utterances are having on the Church’s witness concerning social issues:

Pope Francis assured his interlocutor that he is a loyal son of the church and accepts the church’s teachings on the aforementioned issues. This addendum, however, is not good enough to mitigate the damage his words have caused for the pro-life movement and those who are trying to defend marriage as being between a man and a woman. His remarks have effectively given a sword to those who want to stifle them.

Most affected are those who have borne the heat of the day in the culture-war protests against abortion and same-sex marriages. The once-sure moral support that these groups enjoyed under past popes has been undermined….

[T]he pope’s words provide a sword for those critical of the church’s moral teachings on life and of the purpose of human sexuality. It will now be quite easy for them to say, “Why don’t you just listen to the pope and move on?” This sentiment has already been advanced in a letter to the editor in the New York Times by a Planned Parenthood official, who applauds the pope for “getting in step with modern times.”

[T]he pope’s musings have provided cover for Catholic politicians who support liberal abortion laws and legalization of same-sex marriage. They can now claim that they, like the pope, are concerned about the bigger issues, such as poverty and concern for the poor.

The pope’s “big tent” approach for Catholicism is bound to diminish the church’s presence as a moral force in societyIt is also detrimental to the church’s main ministry, the saving of souls. If there is only a distant and muffled voice on the life and human sexuality issues, how will people know that they are transgressing God’s laws?

The pope’s remarks have moved to the background those bright red lines of acceptable human actions that must not be crossed. This is neither pastoral, nor merciful. As Jesus said, only “The truth will set you free.”

piece by John-Henry Westin of Lifesitenews.com takes Francis to task under the title “Here’s how Pope John Paul II handled the charge of ‘obsession’ with abortion.” Westin quotes John Paul II’s reply precisely to the charge (related by Vito Messori) that his “repeated condemnation of any legalization of abortion has even been defined as ‘obsessive’ by certain cultural and political factions…” Said the late Pope:

It is… very difficult to speak of obsession in a matter such as this, where we are dealing with a fundamental imperative of every good conscience—the defense of the right to life of an innocent and defenseless human being.

 

… I categorically reject every accusation or suspicion concerning [my] the Pope’s alleged “obsession” with this issue. We are dealing with a problem of tremendous importance, in which all of us must show the utmost responsibility and vigilance. We cannot afford forms of permissiveness that would lead directly to the trampling of human rights, and also to the complete destruction of values which are fundamental not only for the lives of individuals and families but for society itself.

There are other examples, but the point is made. The liberal utterances of this Pope are so disturbing, and the world’s thunderous applause so alarming, that we are suddenly facing a new stage in what Pope Benedict (writing as Cardinal Ratzinger) called “the continuing process of decay” that began immediately after the Council.

Mike Matt and others have rightly noted that Pope Francis is merely extending the trajectory on which the human element of the Church has been moving since Vatican II.  As Neumayr puts it, Francis is “run[ning] the ball into the end zone…”—just when we thought, under Pope Benedict, that team Vatican II had been penalized and moved back a few crucial yards toward the goalpost of Tradition. But under Francis the ball is moving downfield again with amazing rapidity, even beyond where it was before Benedict was Pope. Now, not only we traditionalists, but also prominent conservative Catholics of good will are standing up and calling foul. With us, they can see what lies ahead in the end zone, and they do not like what they see; they are, in fact, frightened by it.

Perhaps, then, the emergence of Jorge Bergoglio from the last conclave was a providential development.  For it is forcing more and more Catholics to make a choice: either the continued absorption of the Church into the “modern world” to which the conciliar Popes imprudently opened the Church’s windows, or a definitive return to the safety of the very “fortress” the “spirit of Vatican II” despises: that house built upon the rock of Peter; that refuge of sinners, sustained against the storms by the solid structure of obedience to the commands of the Gospel:  “And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand/And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof….  If you love me, keep my commandments.” (Matt. 7:24-27; Jn. 14:15).

Catholic clerical “Gay Mafia” finally being exposed in media? | LifeSiteNews.com

BY STEVE JALSEVAC

  • Fri Feb 22, 2013 22:43 EST
  • Comments (31)

The resignation of Pope Benedict is causing a series of large explosions along the way to the new conclave to replace the burnt-out reformer Pope. Some of us have been desperately waiting for many years for the power and influence of an extremely damaging homosexual mafia within the Catholic clergy to be exposed and dealt with. It appears this might finally be happening in a very dramatic fashion thanks to Benedict in the last few days of his pontificate.

Italian media reports on the details of a Benedict-ordered internal investigation on the Vatileaks scandal, if true, are astounding. The reports appear to confirm what LifeSiteNews and many others have been incessantly warning about for years only to be constantly dismissed as being overly negative, divisive and sensationalist.

Deny, deny, deny has been the standard response and many good priests and laity and even bishops have been subjected to ridicule and ruthless treatment for daring to try to expose the scandals and criminal or otherwise highly immoral actions of homosexuals in parishes, orders, chanceries and even the Vatican itself.

At the same time as this Vatican controversy is raging, the English translation of another report, this time by a Polish priest, on the wide extent and influence of homosexual clergy has just been released. With the Pope against the homoheresy by Fr. Dariusz Oko, reveals the global phenomena of a “huge homosexual underground in the Church”.

LifeSiteNews has been aware of this for many years, although not its full extent. We have been convinced, from our own experiences, that it is a vastly larger cancer within the Church than most realize. Trying to get the good bishops and cardinals to do something about it has been very difficult because of fear of the  powerful network of influence of the gay clergy and their ruthless bullying of anyone, including bishops and cardinals, who causes them trouble. They tend to gain a lot of control over Church agencies, clergy and staff appointments and Church media, making it difficult to expose and expel them.

The Michael Voris Church Militant TV Vortex program for today The New Pope & Homoheresy does an excellent job of addressing this issue. I can assure LifeSiteNews readers that most that Voris states in this video is confirmed by our own experiences.

You want to know why there has been very poor and inconsistent support for the life and family movements for many years from Catholic Church leaders? The powerful homosexual subculture in the church has, in the opinion of many in the know, been a main cause of that puzzling and crippling phenomenon.

Related stories:

Benedict’s renunciation and the wolves within the church

A still very serious problem in the Catholic Church that needs to be dealt with

Something to be dealt with in the churches – urgently and forcefully

Taken from: Catholic clerical “Gay Mafia” finally being exposed in media? | LifeSiteNews.com.

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: Stuff and Nonsense

(www.RemnantNewspaper.com) On the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, the aging conciliar diehards in the Vatican apparatus, desperate to shore up the Council’s crumbling legacy, have dared to revive and advance at breakneck speed the long dead cause for the “beatification” of Paul VI. John Paul II initiated the cause at the diocesan level in 1993, but it failed to advance any further for reasons that should be obvious. (Among the many less obvious reasons was Montini’s dismissal from the Vatican Secretariat State by Pius XII in 1954 on account of his compromising secret correspondence with Russian and other communist officials in defiance of a papal ban on relations with communist governments.)

via THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: Stuff and Nonsense.

CNS STORY: Four years later, Vatican takes a different approach toward Obama

By Francis X. Rocca

A woman arrives early to vote at a polling place at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine in Washington on Election Day, Nov. 6. (CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The day after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, hailed his election as a “choice that unites,” exemplifying America’s ability to “overcome fractures and divisions that until only recently could seem incurable.” Pope Benedict XVI sent the president-elect a congratulatory telegram the same day, noting the “historic occasion” of his election.

Four years later, the Vatican’s reaction to Obama’s re-election had a markedly different tone.

“If Obama truly wants to be the president of all Americans,” said L’Osservatore Nov. 7, “he should finally acknowledge the demands forcefully arising from religious communities —
above all the Catholic Church — in favor of the natural family, life and finally religious liberty itself.”

Speaking to reporters the same day, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, voiced hope that Obama would use his second term for the “promotion of the culture of life and of religious liberty.”

The statements alluded to Obama policies favoring legalized abortion, same-sex marriage and a plan to require nearly all health insurance plans, including those offered by most Catholic universities and agencies, to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, which are forbidden by the church’s moral teaching.

The insurance mandate in particular, which U.S. bishops have strenuously protested for the past year, has proven an even greater source of division between the church and the Obama administration than their previous disagreements and threatens to aggravate tensions between Washington and the Vatican during the president’s second term.

From the beginning of Obama’s presidency, his support for legalized abortion and embryonic stem-cell research inspired protests by the church and controversy within it. Some 80 U.S.
bishops publicly criticized the University of Notre Dame for granting Obama an honorary degree in 2009.

Yet the Vatican itself remained largely aloof from such disputes, at least in public statements, and cooperated with the Obama administration on such common international goals as assisting migrants, working against human trafficking and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

But seeing a threat to the freedom of the church itself, the Vatican changed its approach and chose to address matters more directly.

In January, Pope Benedict told a group of visiting U.S. bishops that he was concerned about “certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion,” through “concerted efforts … to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”

Any hopes that the administration might change its policy to the satisfaction of the church grew faint as the year wore on and the election drew nearer, to the increasingly vocal frustration of several U.S. bishops.

Two days before Americans went to the polls, the papal nuncio to the U.S. made it clear how urgent a priority the nation’s religious liberty had become at the highest levels of the universal church.

Speaking at the University of Notre Dame Nov. 4, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano devoted most of a speech about “religious freedom, persecution of the church and martyrdom” to the
situation of the United States today.

“The menace to religious liberty is concrete on many fronts,” Archbishop Vigano said, noting the insurance mandate, anti-discrimination policies that require Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, and mandatory public school curricula that present same-sex marriage as “natural and wholesome.”

Recalling persecution of Catholics in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the archbishop said that the “problems identified … over six decades ago that deal with the heavy grip of the state’s hand in authentic religious liberty are still with us today.”

A government need not be a dictatorship in order to persecute the church, the nuncio said, quoting the words of Blessed John Paul II that a “democracy without values easily turns into openly or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

If the mere timing of his speech was not sufficient to underscore its political implications, Archbishop Vigano concluded by lamenting the support of Catholic politicians and voters for laws and policies that violate church teaching.

“We witness in an unprecedented way a platform being assumed by a major political party, having intrinsic evils among its basic principles, and Catholic faithful publicly supporting it,” he said. “There is a divisive strategy at work here, an intentional dividing of the church; through this strategy, the body of the church is weakened, and thus the church can be more easily persecuted.”

Read more . . .

Bella Dodd — From Communist to Catholic | Catholicism.org

Bella Dodd                            Bishop Fulton Sheen      Alice von Hildebrand

Bella DoddArchbishop Futon J. SheenAlice von Hildebrand

The year 1953 saw Bella called up by a Congressional committee investigating the infiltration of Communists in the high places of the United States government. Her newfound faith strengthened her to face this ordeal with courage and determination. She swore before the Senate Internal Security subcommittee that there were a number of Communists in legislative offices in Congress and in a number of groups advising the President of the United States. She also testified to the Communist takeover of labor unions in the country and of her personal experience securing posts for members of the Party in the unions.

Perhaps most frightening of all was her testimony that during her time in the Party, “more than eleven hundred men had been put into the priesthood to destroy the Church from within,” the idea here being that these men would be ordained to the priesthood and progress to positions of influence and authority as monsignors and even bishops. She stated that “right now they are in the highest places in the Church” where they were working to weaken the Church’s effectiveness against Communism. These changes, she declared, would be so drastic that “you will not recognize the Catholic Church.” A few years later, in a conversation with a new Catholic friend, Alice von Hildebrand, Bella told her that there are four cardinals within the Vatican “who are working for the Communists.” This was twelve years before Vatican II. The reader can draw his own conclusions.

Shortly after her conversion, Bella had great hope for the youth of America. She saw goodness and a giving, missionary spirit in the young Catholics she worked with. Bella died in 1964 at the age of sixty.

Bella Dodd did much harm to her country and her Church. It is a great blessing that she repented of those sins. We can pray that she has paid her reparation and is now with the saints in Heaven. If she is not yet, our prayers may help her to arrive Home soon.

via Bella Dodd — From Communist to Catholic | Catholicism.org.

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: A Half Century of Ecclesial Chaos

 

THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER: A Half Century of Ecclesial Chaos.

The eve of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.

False Ecumenism

Ecumenical Gathering

Ecumenism has as its goal, in fact it has as its actual definition, the aim of unity among all Christian churches throughout the world. It is a laudable goal for Christianity to end this disunity among Christians; for it is scandalous to Christ and to His prayer for unity. So it is a rightful goal of all Christians to work diligently for the unity that Christ wanted for His Church. To that end many church leaders have embarked on this goal through dialog with one another to see if we can one day reunite as one faith.

For the Catholic, the Vatican II document, Unitatis Redintegratio (commonly referred to as the Decree on Ecumenism) had as its aim to open up this dialog with those who have parted from the Church, especially the major Protestant denominations. The document however makes it clear that we cannot give up the purity of our doctrinal teachings just to arrive at a false appearance of peace though we are not in agreement on matters of doctrine. The following quote from the document makes that clear: “Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism (a social temper, condition or a state of public opinion for making peace), in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.” __ Decree on Ecumenism(Unitatis Redintegratio), Chapter II, 11

So the above is the Church’s intent for a genuine attempt at ecumenism and these guidelines insure that we do not change our de fide[1] teachings simply to gain a form of unity that would be, in reality, no unity at all. Peace between the denominations, though the goal or end of ecumenism, cannot make use of a means to that goal which denies the essential teachings of the faith. The ends, though admirable, never justifies the means if they are not of themselves in keeping with the truth.

I was recently made aware of some progress in the ecumenical talks between some of the protestant denominations. Much work had been done emphasize what we had in common rather than what we held as differences. One area that has excited some was the movement of some protestants to a position of acceptance of the Catholic Pope as a head of Christian leadership, however the Pope would be more of a figurehead with no real authority. This information seemed to seemed to delivered to me as a positive sign and first step toward an eventual reunification. Another sticking point, however, was that the other faiths would require that we rescind our anathema[2] for those who didn’t hold to the defined dogmas of our faith, especially those that condemned the protestant position as heretical and therefore opposed to the faith.

My initial question to his announcement was to ask, how the Catholic Church could reverse a solemn definition made in a Dogmatic Council which was held by the Bishops in union with the Pope? It was indicated that it might take another Council. However, the Catholic Church has never in any Council overturned a dogmatic teaching by another Council. If they did it would nullify a valid Council of the Church and overturn our traditional belief that the Holy Spirit guides and prevents such Councils from error. The other thought was the Pope could remove the anathema.

That type of thinking to me is what is wrong with many who get involved in the new evangelization and why so many critics call it an ecumenism of syncretism.[3] It has violated the principles cited above from Vatican II and is nothing more than an accommodation for peace between denominations facilitated by abandoning essential, traditional and definitively held teachings of the Catholic Church. I don’t think any ecuminism has a chance of getting Rome to ratify such demands on the part of the protestant denominations. If they did, it would spell the end of the Catholic Church as we now know it. The Church could no longer call Herself indefectible when relating to Her teachings on faith and morals. We will have abandoned the foundational principles of our faith to make friends and to mediate a new belief that is conciliatory and a collaborative effort by different faiths. It would be a watered-down faith that could no longer call itself the True Church.

My other thoughts are these:

First, if the Pope is just a figurehead without any power, how can we consider that this in any way is an agreement between different faiths and ours? Or is the pastor implying that they wouldn’t mind changing the defined role of the Pope to just a figurehead without the special graces granted Him by Christ? That would deny solemnly defined teaching.

Secondly, if we did remove the anathemas for this or any other held belief, then what is the need for any definitive teaching? The condemnation of an anathema is automatic even if not stated. If someone holds to a heresy, then they are ipso facto[4] excommunicated simply by holding to the heresy itself. It is the most common form of excommunication. Therefore if I, as an Anglican, sign some document that says that we are in agreement on matters of the Pope yet I do not agree with the de fide teaching of the Church, we are back where we started. I would be excommunicated ipso facto and we would no longer share in a communion of belief: not that we did anyway because the Pope is more than a simple figurehead.

Now maybe I misunderstood the positions that we are now calling a hopeful sign in this movement. However, if what was related to me is true, it would be a scandalous departure from the intent of ecumenism as put forth by the Council Fathers at Vatican II. I pray that I did not understand this apparant movement as intended. Perhaps it was just showing that inch by inch protestants are moving toward eventually accepting the Catholic positions.

God help us if this is the outcome we are looking for as an end, however. If so, this kind of dialog would be nothing more that the false irenicism warned against and would seem to make our ecumenical efforts nothing more than a false ecumenism.


[1] Literally ‘of the Faith’: it is a theological term used to express an essential teaching of the Church that cannot be changed.

[2] Condemnation, as in a heresy, which represents a serious breach of faith and is worthy of excommunication.

[3] The combining of different (often contradictory) beliefs, while melding beliefs or practices from various schools of thought.

[4] By the very fact itself.

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