Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
email:torontocatholicwitness@rogers.com

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Why Cardinal Collins is Right and McGuinty and OECTA wrong

The Premier of Ontario, in claiming that he may impose a particular ideology on Catholic schools has actually made a very dangerous statement. He has moved the "goal posts" of what a premier should be - constitutionally, historically and morally - towards that of a tyrant; a political entity that through the use of power, imposes ideology upon individual consciences through State monopoly of thought. There will be nothing to stop him from imposing on other social bodies. Very, very dangerous - we've been through this before: Caesar through to modern examples such as Bismarck, the French Republic contra Pius X, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler etc... 


To firmly establish what Catholic education is, and the role the Church may play in Society vis-a-vis Her liberty and Her involvement in education - and why McGuinty and OECTA are so wrong - let us read the words of the Holy Father from 2008 in an address to American educators: 

This same dynamic of communal identity – to whom do I belong? – vivifies the ethos of our Catholic institutions. A university or school’s Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction... do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools?...

From this perspective one can recognize that the contemporary “crisis of truth” is rooted in a “crisis of faith”. Only through faith can we freely give our assent to God’s testimony and acknowledge him as the transcendent guarantor of the truth he reveals... 

Subsequently we observe, with distress, the notion of freedom being distorted. Freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in – a participation in Being itself. Hence authentic freedom can never be attained by turning away from God...

With regard to the educational forum, the diakonia of truth takes on a heightened significance in societies where secularist ideology drives a wedge between truth and faith. This division has led to a tendency to equate truth with knowledge and to adopt a positivistic mentality which, in rejecting metaphysics, denies the foundations of faith and rejects the need for a moral vision. Truth means more than knowledge: knowing the truth leads us to discover the good. Truth speaks to the individual in his or her entirety, inviting us to respond with our whole being. This optimistic vision is found in our Christian faith because such faith has been granted the vision of the Logos, God’s creative Reason, which in the Incarnation, is revealed as Goodness itself. Far from being just a communication of factual data – “informative” – the loving truth of the Gospel is creative and life-changing – “performative” (cf. Spe Salvi, 2). With confidence, Christian educators can liberate the young from the limits of positivism and awaken receptivity to the truth, to God and his goodness. In this way you will also help to form their conscience which, enriched by faith, opens a sure path to inner peace and to respect for others.

The full Papal address may be read here

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

OECTA against CARDINAL COLLINS

The Ontario Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) - a militant left-wing union that officially dissents from Catholic dogma - (e.g. they wish to abolish the sacramental priesthood) - has issued a press release supporting the Ontario Government's attempt to force Catholic schools to abandon, what Thomas Cardinal Collins calls: "a particular approach to life which is largely in harmony with their family and faith convictions". 

The Holy Father and the Cardinal
I suggest that you read this press release and compare it to the Cardinal's statement. Whilst the former avoids the issue at hand (religious liberty) and turns it into a gay issue (which it is not); the Cardinal focuses on the issue: freedom of conscience and the retention of the Catholic schools as Catholic.


It might be appropriate to quote the Cardinal once more to underscore the true nature of the Government's attack on the religious liberties of Catholic schools, and to realize the scurrilousness and treachery of OECTA in attacking His Eminence. It would be beyond the scope of this post, but those who claim to be Catholic within the OECTA administration are entering upon a path of schism. 

"To the members of our Catholic community: I urge you to reflect on the implications for Catholic education of this sudden government change in policy...we need to consider the path ahead. 

...please consider the implications for all when legislation is enacted that overrides the deeply held beliefs of any faith community in our province, and intrudes on its freedom to act in a way that is in accord with its principles of conscience".


Action Plan: Please email Cardinal Collins to let him know you are supporting him.  Actions speak louder than words. The Cardinal may be reached at: archbishop@archtoronto.org





Tuesday, 29 May 2012

CARDINAL COLLINS AND THE ATTACK ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins released May 28, 2012 a statement on the recent proposal from the Ontario Provincial Government to force Catholic Schools within the Separate School system to create and maintain "anti-bullying clubs" under the narrow and ideological title of "Gay-Straight Alliance" (GSA). You will notice that as the Cardinal unfolds his concerns and arguments against the government proposal, he moves the debate away from the frivolous name-calling of the various interest groups to the heart of the issue: State control over the conscience of the individual person. This, I would argue is fascism.*

The Cardinal has made some key observations that Catholics need to reflect and act upon:


I question, however, why provincial legislation should make this particular method normative in a Catholic school, which has its own different but effective methods of attaining the goal of addressing bullying and providing personal support for all students, ones which, unlike GSAs, arise out of its own fundamental principles and are in harmony with them. If the point is that there is something unacceptable about those Catholic principles, then I find that troubling, and wonder whether caricatures of Catholic faith are in play. 

As pastor of a large diocese, on the road constantly visiting the people, I have again and again heard concern from parents and educators about the proposed imposition of the GSA methodology on Catholic schools. That same concern has been expressed to me by people of other faiths, since parents often choose to send a child to a Catholic High School precisely because they expect a particular approach to life which is largely in harmony with their family and faith convictions. 

...trustees and principals are legitimate stewards of the spiritual tradition of the school, and in a Catholic school, that includes the Catholic faith tradition. Why should the power of provincial law be used to override that legitimate adult authority so that this one particular method can be imposed ?

To the members of our Catholic community: I urge you to reflect on the implications for Catholic education of this sudden government change in policy...we need to consider the path ahead. 

...please consider the implications for all when legislation is enacted that overrides the deeply held beliefs of any faith community in our province, and intrudes on its freedom to act in a way that is in accord with its principles of conscience. If it happens to us, it can happen to you, on this and other issues. When religious freedom becomes a second class right, you also will eventually be affected



*"Fascism, in short, is not only the giver of laws and the founder of institutions, but the educator and promoter of spiritual life. It wants to remake, not the forms of human life, but its content, man, character, faith. And to this end it requires discipline and authority that can enter into the spirits of men and there govern unopposed." Mussolini

Sunday, 27 May 2012

"We are Church" advocates Schism

The "We are Church" neo-modernist sect, is joining the recent anti-papal clamor with regards to the Holy Father's initiative towards re-union (canonical reintegration) of the Society of St. Pius X.

The French news agency, France Ouest in an article entitled "Another Schism?" reports on a communique released by the German-based We are Church group; trying to intimidate the Holy Father in a last minute attempt to block any resolution of the 42 year rupture. We are Church states: "in seeking to integrate the Fraternity, the Pope greatly increases the danger of schism. One would remain faithful, even in open disobedience, if the Church distanced itself from the faith of God's people". 


This communique seems to draw language from the earlier and very eccentric announcement from Hans Kung

Vatican Espionage: Who is behind the Pope's Butler?

Andrea Tornielli, has an interesting article on the recent arrest of Paolo Gabriele, (the Pope's butler) for suspicion of theft of confidential documents. Tornielli's thesis is, that there is a powerful force at work in Rome that is seeking to undermine the Holy Father. Conspiratorial? Melodramatic? Yes, but life also includes conspiracies and melodrama. Yet, Tornielli writes dispassionately and soberly. His expertise and contacts in Rome and within the Church cause me to take his opinion very seriously.


But even though the monsignor fears that the Pope’s butler will end up being used as a scapegoat, he cannot say that the arrest was made lightly - Fr. Lombardi said - because Paolo Gabriele was found in possession of confidential documents. “Knowing how simple and naïve he is, he does not strike me as the kind of person who would be capable of planning such an operation, unless he has a schizophrenic personality. And why would he do such a thing anyway?” A good question indeed and one that is on everyone’s lips in the Holy See. “We must recall that he is married, has three children and a beautiful family. He came to live in the Vatican about a year ago and spends his free time with his children, helping them with their homework. I cannot imagine what motive he would have to throw all the good things and the life he had built down the drain, betraying the Pope’s trust committing an offense as serious as leaking the documents published in [Italian journalist] Nuzzi’s book. I simply cannot believe it and I hope that he manages to prove his innocence. I remember how devoted he was to the Virgin Mary and how faithful he was to the Eucharist.”
The prelate remained silent for a long while, as if he wanted to chase away a thought that had suddenly entered his mind. “I remember that after gaining the trust of so many in the Vatican, he ended up coming head to head with someone very powerful here…” Suspicions, resentments and above all, so many unanswered questions.


[Updated May 27, 2012: Please see Vatican Insider for latest details. ]


[Further update, May 30, 2012. Please visit link to article in L'Osservatorre Romano]

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Rome-SSPX: Williamson attacks Bishop Fellay

In his recent Kyrie Eleison post "Doctrine Undermined", Richard Williamson sets out his position on religious liberty, and his position on what Vatican II taught on the same subject. What is important here is not Williamson's opinion, but his open attack on SSPX Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay. It is obvious that Williamson has created such a situation that his position within the SSPX is untenable. Obviously, he will be expelled if the SSPX reunite canonically with Rome. If, in the rare event that the SSPX remain in "limbo", Bishop Fellay would still be obligated to expel him due to grave disobedience. Given that the former situation is very, very likely the outcome, look for Williamson to be expelled in the near future, and probably be excommunicated. The danger exists however, will this man fall into sedevacantism?; will he set about establishing his own little "church" in basements and garages? Please pray for this man, who probably never truly converted, but remained an ordained "Anglican". 


Referring to Bishop Fellay, Williamson writes: 

"But now comes a religious leader who pronounced in public earlier this month: “Many people have an understanding of the Council, which is a wrong understanding.” Religious liberty, he said, “is used in so many ways. And looking closer, I really have the impression that not many know what really the Council says about it. The Council is presenting a religious liberty that is a very, very limited one: very limited!” Asked whether Vatican II itself, i.e. as a whole, belongs to Catholic Tradition, he replied, “I would hope so”.
See for yourselves the interview, given in English and accessible on YouTube under the title, “Traditionalist leader talks about his movement, Rome”. Can anybody be surprised if “his movement” is currently going through the gravest crisis of its 42 years of existence"?
The full Williamson Kyrie Eleison may be read here. 

For Greater Glory

The Cristeros War in Mexico took place between 1926 and 1929. It began as a popular response to the Mexican government's increasing persecution of the Catholic Church which saw anti-Catholic and anticlerical laws enforced more and more stringently. This was based on the 1917 constitution which stated in part

I. According to the religious liberties established under article 24, educational services shall be secular and, therefore, free of any religious orientation. II. The educational services shall be based on scientific progress and shall fight against ignorance, ignorance's effects, servitudes, fanaticism and prejudice.

There were extensive provisions for state control of religion but matters simmered quietly until atheist president Calles enacted severe repressive laws and enforced them rigorously. The resulting popular uprising is known as the Cristeros War and it has been mostly ignored in media until now. The movie For Greater Glory, starring Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria,  tells the story of the Cristeros War. It opens on June 1 though I cannot use the website's theater finder for local venues.

The aftermath of the Cristeros War has been significant. Many of the Cristeros fled to the US where they formed a sizable community in Los Angeles. The priest shortage in Mexico reached critical proportions by the 1930's with some 334 government licensed priests for the entire nation by 1934. Many states had no priest at all.

Meanwhile back in the Great White North our own difficulties with the secularizers are not quite in the same league as the situation in 1920's Mexico. True, the government has just decided to force gay straight alliances on Catholic schools in spite of efforts on the part of the bishops to find a compromise. Each time an article is published on this conflict, the tone of the comments following it are decidedly anti-Catholic. Mind you, the Americans are ahead of us as usual. The conflict with the secularizing forces there over the HHS mandate has escalated to the point of legal challenges to the law.

One can only hope that Catholics will stop bickering amongst themselves long enough to deal with the wolves at the gates.  

For Greater Glory
Gay Straight Alliances
HHS Mandate Lawsuits

Friday, 25 May 2012

Bishop Fellay Speaks to Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service (CNS) has released further video material from Bishop Fellay's interview of May 11, 2012. In it, amongst other things, the bishop reflects on possible division following reunion, as well as positive aspects of putting the Society to the service of restoring orthodoxy.

Bishop Fellay. The interview may be viewed here

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Rome-SSPX: Cardinal Hoyos has "great hopes" for reunion

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, former chairman of Ecclesia Dei has commented: 



“As far as I am informed, it is no longer in my hands, but I think it has very good prospects. It seems the Holy See has offered a very good framework from the liturgical point of view, from an institutional one also, in the way of receiving them. And there was a response from Bishop Fellay and his counselors. I have great hopes that we are close to full reconciliation.” 



The full article, and video may be read and seen here

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

HANS KUNG HAS FALLEN INTO SCHISM

Fr. Hans Kung in calling for disobedience to Pope Benedict has completed the circle with extremist "traditionalists" and assorted sedevacantists... In his rebellion, driven by the imminent reconciliation between Rome and Econe, the sad priest has completely fallen into schism and, as such, openly confirms his many material heresies. Only a formal act of the Church judging Kung to be a pertinacious heretic would place this poor soul into formal heresy. 

A final thought - Bishop Fellay accepts 95% of Vatican II; Hans Kung probably 5%. The upside of this fiasco is that the Holy father can see more clearly what his ruling should be regarding the SSPX. 

Thank-you Hans Kung for emphasizing inadvertently the absolute necessity of "bringing home" the SSPX in a formal canonical resolution, and you - if you have the courage (think Martin Luther - yes, at least that heretic packed his bags and left) should depart from the Church. Far better yet: repent, and retire to a Monastery...

The full story of Kung's buffonery may be read here.

Obama Unites Catholics

Forty-three Catholic organizations file lawsuits against HHS mandate

Usually Catholic organizations and apostolates are too busy bickering with each other to take much note of outside threats. In this Obama seems to have accomplished the impossible by focusing their attention in opposition to him. Way to go!  Even Fr. Jenkins who invited the president to speak at Notre Dame is on board with this one. If Sampson could use the jawbone of an ass to slay the Philistines then God can certainly use one to send a wake up call to Catholics.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Your Morning Silliness

'Artist' claims to make popsicles from Precious Blood

It seems pretty obvious to me this artist wasn't paying attention during his catechism class. Perhaps this article speaks to the woeful state of catechesis amongst Catholics. There will, no doubt be much yelling, shouting and righteous indignation but this can also be an occasion for some teaching.

A priest cannot inadvertently consecrate wine; it requires specific intent. Most priests make the intention to consecrate the contents of the chalice resting on the corporal. The notion that such a consecration could somehow affect a nearby vessel betrays an understanding of the sacraments that is magical and repugnant to our understanding as Catholics. Consecrations do not ricochet.

Now lets assume this person had somehow gotten hold of some properly consecrated wine. According to the article he made popsicles out of it. Such a sacrilegious act would no doubt have a serious impact on the soul of the artist but what of the popsicles? Well, our Lord is present in the Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine. If the appearances of wine are no longer there then neither is Jesus. The popsicles are simply popsicles.

For those of you interested in such things, deconsecrating a host or the precious blood involves dissolving in water until the appearances of bread and wine no longer remain. The water is then disposed of in the earth. Sacristies used to have sinks which drained directly into the earth for just such a reason. Now enough silliness for one morning. My advice is to ignore this pathetic plea for attention on the part of an artist who rejected a faith he did not even properly understand. I need a coffee... bye.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Cardinals admit Vatican II Declarations are not Binding

Catholic News Service (CNS) [May 21, 2012] is carrying a very important admission that may play a role in the Rome-SSPX reconciliation talks. While not necessarily agreeing with everything the Cardinals say about the negotiations and the Council, a key admission is made - really, an admission that Bl. Pope John's Council was to have very modest goals; a pastoral and not dogmatic council.

"...those on religious freedom and on relations with non-Christians -- "do not have a binding doctrinal content, so one can dialogue about them," Walter Cardinal Brandmuller


The full article may be read here.

"EVERYTHING STARTED WITH THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION"

(From the introduction to: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ""Lettera sulla cura pastorale delle persone omosessuali, 1 ottobre 1986. Testo e commenti," Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City, 1995/2012)  By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger


It is no coincidence that the spread and growing social acceptance of homosexuality should be accompanied by a serious crisis in the area of marriage and the family, by a widespread mentality hostile toward life as also by a frightening sexual freedom.

Without wanting to contest the plurality of causes of this phenomenon, it can be said that at its root is a "new" and completely transformed understanding of human sexuality.

The "sexual revolution" unleashed in the 1960's was intended to "free" human sexuality from the straightjacket of traditional morality. It began to sing the praises of sexuality as a simple consumer good and means for obtaining pleasure. The satisfaction of the sexual impulse was propagandized as the way to happiness and to the true development of the personality. Values like self-control and chastity were accepted less and less. Many maintained that sexual continence was unnatural and unlivable. Others in turn sought to transfer human sexuality completely into the realm of the "private" and the "subjective": if two persons love each other and want to express this in the language of love, why should they be prevented from doing so?

Subsequently the exercise of sexuality was detached more and more from marriage, and above all with the global spread of contraception, from procreation. It was asserted that the "old" understanding of sexuality corresponded to another culture, which in the meantime had been transformed.

Even the biblical affirmations had to be considered in the context of the time and situation back then, and could not be understood as "atemporal" moral truths. This applied in particular to the passages in which the Bible speaks of homosexual practices.

The traditional argument, according to which sexual behavior is immoral if it contradicts the "nature" of man, was abandoned. What is "natural" or "unnatural" would also always depend on the respective culture and subjective sensibility of a people. And moreover, homosexuality could also be found in nature. Many designated the different abnormal forms of sexuality, including homosexuality, as simple "variations" of nature, which should be accepted and approved: just as there are persons with black, white, or red skin, just as some use their right hands and others their left, so also many would have a disposition to heterosexual love, others to homosexual love.

Behind these and similar ideas is concealed a central problem of morality: what is the nature of human sexuality? Or more in general: what is the nature of man? And when does an act correspond to this nature?

If the concept of nature, as in the approaches mentioned above, is understood only in a physical-empirical way, in fact it is not possible to reach a univocal judgment on the moral value of an act that would transcend the different cultures.

The concept of nature, which underlies the whole of tradition and also the magisterial pronouncements of the Church (cf. "Veritatis Splendor," nos. 46-53), is nevertheless not of a physical character, but metaphysical: an act has been and is considered as natural when it is in harmony with the essence of man, with his being as intended by God. On the basis of this being, which shines in the order of creation – and is reinforced by revelation – reason can deduce the imperative of duty, above all if it is illuminated by faith. In nature, or rather in creation, man can recognize a "logos," a meaning and purpose, which leads him to true self-realization and to his happiness, and which ultimately is founded in the will of God.

In the loss of this metaphysical conception of nature, which is accompanied by an almost total abandonment of the theology of creation, is to be sought one of the main causes of the moral crisis of our days.

If human duty, in fact, is no longer seen as anchored in the being and therefore in the wisdom of the creator, there remains only the alternative that is derived from human wisdom. But then it is the work of man, subjected to the change of time, able to be reshaped and manipulated. Good and evil, then, would ultimately be decided by the majority. Then "pressure groups," which are able to guide mass opinion, have great prospects of success.

The Church cannot, in a magisterial pronouncement, give an answer to all the basic questions mentioned above. Since in any case ways of thinking were being spread more and more that brought sound doctrine on homosexuality into question and made more diffiicult the pastoral care of homosexual persons

In the years after the publication of this letter, the influence of the currents mentioned above has not diminished. In public opinion, homosexual behavior seems to be substantially accepted already. The pressure of some groups, which are asking for legal equivalence for the forms of homosexual life with the traditional form of marriage, is becoming ever larger in various states, above all in the United States of America and in Europe. Such attempts demonstrate the relevance of the letter.

Rome-SSPX: WHAT VATICAN II IS, AND IS NOT

During the "lull" between the CDF's recommendations to the Supreme Pontiff, and the Pope's final decision before the end of May, it may be a good time to recall with sobriety the actual weight of the pastoral Council, Vatican II. This, in light of Cardinal Koch's recent musing on the conciliar declaration (question: what exact doctrinal authority does a "declaration have? - but I digress) Nostrae aetate. Commenting on the conciliar documents, Archbishop Nicola Bux, consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the Papal Office of Liturgical Celebrations stated:

...“those who have isolated Vatican Council II from the history of the Church and who have attributed to it a greater value than intended, do not abstain from criticizing, for example, Vatican Council I or the Council of Trent. Some pretend that Vatican II’s Dei Verbum has replaced Vatican I’s dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius; this is nothing but a ‘fanta-theology’. It seems to me that a good theology is a theology that questions the value of the documents, of their teachings, of their significance; in Vatican Council II, the different documents have different values, and consequently, they have different weight, which allows for different degrees of discussion. The Pope, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, in 1988, spoke of the risk of transforming Vatican II into a ‘super-dogma’; today, with ‘the hermeneutic of reform in continuity’, he has provided a criterion with which to face the question, not to close it. We mustn’t be more papist than the Pope. The Councils, all the Councils and not just Vatican II, must be received with obedience, but we can make an intelligent evaluation of what belongs to the doctrine and what ought to be criticized.” – For this Italian theologian, said to be close to Benedict XVI, the hermeneutic of reform in continuity makes it possible to open the debate about the Council, not to close it. And he does not see in this debate a questioning of “the pontifical infallibility itself.”

The original German may be read here


An English translation may be read here

"I am with Paul, and anyone who censures him is a coward"



(From: G. Biffi, "Memorie e digressioni di un italiano cardinale", new expanded edition, Cantagalli, Siena, 2010, pp. 609-612).



Giacomo Cardinal Biffi

Regarding the problem of homosexuality that is emerging today, the Christian conception tells us that one must always distinguish the respect due to persons, which involves rejecting any marginalization of them in society and politics (except for the unalterable nature of marriage and the family), from the rejection of any exalted "ideology of homosexuality," which is obligatory.

The word of God, as we know it in a page of the letter to the Romans by the apostle Paul, offers us on the contrary a theological interpretation of the rampant cultural aberration in this matter: such an aberration – the sacred text affirms – is at the same time the proof and the result of the exclusion of God from the collective attention and from social life, and of the refusal to give him the glory that he is due (cf. Romans 1:21).

The exclusion of the Creator determines a universal derailing of reason: "They became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21-22). The result of this intellectual blindness was a fall, in both theory and practice, into the most complete dissoluteness: "Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies" (Romans 1:24).

And to prevent any misunderstanding and any accommodating interpretation, the apostle proceeds with a startling analysis, formulated in perfectly explicit terms:

"Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper" (Romans 1:26-28).

Finally, Paul takes pains to observe that the greatest abjection takes place when "the authors of these things . . . not only do them but give approval to those who practice them" (cf. Romans 1:32). It is a page of the inspired book, which no earthly authority can force us to censor. Nor are we permitted, if we want to be faithful to the word of God, the pusillanimity of passing over it in silence out of concern not to appear "politically incorrect."

We must on the contrary point out the singular interest for our days of this teaching of Revelation: what St. Paul revealed as taking place in the Greco-Roman world is shown to correspond prophetically to what has taken place in Western culture in these last centuries. The exclusion of the Creator – to the point of proclaiming grotesquely, a few decades ago, the "death of God" – has had the result (almost like an intrinsic punishment) of the spread of an aberrant view of sexuality, unknown (in its arrogance) to previous eras. 

The ideology of homosexuality – as often happens to ideologies when they become aggressive and end up being politically triumphant – becomes a threat to our legitimate autonomy of thought: those who do not share it risk condemnation to a kind of cultural and social marginalization.

The attacks on freedom of thought start with language. Those who do not resign themselves to accept "homophilia" (the theoretical appreciation of homosexual relations) are charged with "homophobia" (etymologically, the "fear of homosexuality"). This must be very clear: those who are made strong by the inspired word and live in the "fear of God" are not afraid of anything, except perhaps the stupidity toward which, Bonhoeffer said, we are defenseless. We are now even charged sometimes with the incredibly arbitrary accusation of "racism": a word that, among other things, has nothing to do with this issue, and in any case is completely extraneous to our doctrine and our history.

The essential problem that presents itself is this: is it still permitted in our days to be faithful and consistent disciples of the teaching of Christ (which for millennia has inspired and enriched the whole of Western civilization), or must we prepare ourselves for a new form of persecution, promoted by homosexual activists, by their ideological accomplices, and even by those whose task it should be to defend the intellectual freedom of all, including Christians?

There is one question that we ask in particular of the theologians, biblicists, and pastoralists. Why on earth, in this climate of almost obsessive exaltation of Sacred Scripture, is the Pauline passage of Romans 1:21-32 never cited by anyone? Why on earth is there not a little more concern to make it known to believers and nonbelievers, in spite of its evident timeliness?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Rome-SSPX May 19 Update: Bishop Williamson falling into Schism?

The May 19, 2012 "Kyrie Eleison" comments by Bishop Richard Williamson show a distinct hardening of his position. With Rome now taking the position that each SSPX bishop will be dealt with "individually", Williamson is demonstrating through his public statements his individual position: Rome is "diseased", "unhealthy"... The Pope is, if we are to believe Williamson a type of theological schizophrenic, now Catholic, now Modernist ... As head of the Church, the Pope is reduced by Williamson to being for and against himself... 
These latest series of postings by Williamson demonstrate a hardening schismatic attitude, with - if the SSPX reconcile with Rome - his expulsion and possible excommunication. The situation really is tragic. Please pray for this man that he return in humility to obedience to the Chair of Peter. With reference to the Rome-SSPX negotiations, Williamson writes:
Unless readers demand textual quotes of Joseph Ratzinger to prove that these are not being twisted or taken out of context, the last EC in this series will conclude with an application of its lessons to the situation of Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pius X. On the one hand the SSPX is part of the true Catholic whole, “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic”. On the other hand it had better avoid making itself part of the diseased Conciliar whole. As a healthy branch grafted onto the unhealthy Conciliar plant, it would necessarily catch the Conciliar disease. No way can a mere branch heal that disease.
The full text may be found here

Lombardi: Attacks against the Holy Father constitute a criminal act

Fr. Frederico Lombardi, in a press release, stated that the recent personal attacks against the Holy Father were within the realm of a "criminal act". It is highly likely that the recent negotiations with the SSPX has angered not only neo-modernists within the Church, who are opposed to any reconciliation, but also caused grave concern for secular forces who seek to manipulate and control the Church for their own ends.

From Vatican Radio, May 19, 2012.


On Saturday, the Holy See press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi released the following statement regarding the latest publication of confidential documents: 


The latest publication of documents of the Holy See and private documents of the Holy Father can no longer be considered a questionable - and objectively defamatory - journalistic initiative, but clearly assumes the character of a criminal act.
The Holy Father, but also several of his collaborators and the senders of messages directed to him, have seen their rights to personal privacy and freedom of correspondence violated.
The Holy See will continue to explore the different implications of these acts of violation of the privacy and dignity of the Holy Father - as a person and as the supreme authority of the Church and Vatican City State - and will take appropriate steps so that the authors of the theft, those who received stolen property and those who disclosed confidential information, using illegally obtained private documents for commercial use, answer for their acts before the law. To this end, if necessary, the Holy See will seek international collaboration.

The original may be read here

Friday, 18 May 2012

SSPX-Rome: Pope received CDF report on SSPX from Cardinal Levada

The Holy Father received Cardinal Levada this afternoon, with the results of the CDF's Wednesday meeting. The French news agency APIC article may be read here.

SSPX: Polish District Superior supports French District

The Polish website of the SSPX, is carrying a translation of the French District Superior's letter of May 17, 2012. The French translation may be read here.

The Polish text or introduction is as followed (translated by Barona):

To this appeal, the text [Fr. de Cacqueray's] of which we present below; support was also given by the district superior of eastern Europe, Fr. Karol Stehlin, FSSPX.

The original Polish link may be read here.

SSPX-Rome: Canadian District Superior Speaks on Negotiations

The Canadian District Superior of the SSPX, Fr. Jurgen Wegner has issued a letter (May 17, 2012) on the recent news and opinions concerning the ongoing talks between Rome and Econe. In a very encouraging and reasoned letter, Fr. Wegner strongly supports the actions of his Superior, Bp. Fellay. The letter is basically in two parts: an overview of the Society, and the recent negotiations.


Key highlights pertaining to the Holy Father's offer: 

Unexpected offer from Rome.
It has been very obvious since last September that Rome, and especially Pope Benedict XVI, wants to regularize the situation of the SSPX within the Church. The steps taken are coming from Rome, not from the Society. There is a clear and persistent will from Rome to come to an agreement. Our Superior General, for his part, has not answered Rome’s request with a categorical refusal. There are now thus two possible options: either to accept a canonical solution – considering carefully, of course, its specific conditions – or to refuse it.
Two possible ways, one goal.
The first option is to accept canonical regularization. Some authors of the letters I received see in this a betrayal of the mission of the Society. They argue that to accept such a canonical solution means to surrender our liberty of action which in turn will force us to incorporate the modernist errors of the Council. This would include a watering down of Catholic doctrine and an increasingly coercive influence exercised by both Roman and local Church authorities. The SSPX would effectively be silenced, no longer able to condemn conciliar errors and their perverse manifestations.

Those who, on the other hand, support the acceptance of a canonical solution anticipate the great good the SSPX could accomplish with the blessing and protection of the Roman authorities. We would no longer be stigmatized as schismatics and could thus more freely and more effectively serve the Church and promote the restoration of the Faith and the good of souls. The unjust separation from Rome (one which Archbishop Lefebvre especially regretted because of his great love for the Church) would also come to an end.


The other option is to refuse Rome’s offer. Those in favor of a refusal note that the SSPX would thus remain undisturbed and would be able to safely continue its vital apostolate as it has for the past few decades. Some, however, fear that such a refusal may well lead to true schism. The pope, after all, may in all sincerity be seeking to extend the good influence and teachings of the SSPX throughout the rest of the Church as a catalyst for its restoration. To refuse the Holy Father our cooperation and support in such an important work would seem selfish. 
    

We do not yet know what will be the outcome. Will the Society of St. Pius X be “recognized,” or will we have to remain in our current situation for some time longer? In either case, let us trust in the leadership of our Superior General, Bishop Fellay, who has been tasked specifically by God with making this crucial decision....


Let us remember in our prayers both the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay and pray that the Holy Ghost may guide them and all our priests under such difficult circumstances. Whatever the decision may be, our goal will never change. Our uncompromising battle for Tradition, for the Faith, and for the Church will continue.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Rome-SSPX: Italian District Superior speaks of "Divide and Conquer"

The Italian SSPX District Superior, Fr. Pierpaolo Maria Petrucci has just released a statement on the CDF communique of May 16, 2012.  He expresses his concern that the CFD's announcement to deal with each of the three bishops "separately and individually" as an "intention to divide our Priestly Fraternity..."


Rome-SSPX: US District Superior grants Interview on Negotiations

An interesting interview is carried in The Remnant with the District Superior of the SSPX in the United States, Fr. Arnand Rostand.

We are today in a waiting phase. During the two past years doctrinal discussions took place between the experts of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and those of the Society of Saint Pius X.  Even though the discussions remained private, it is not a secret that the two positions were not reconciled. There is still disagreement on doctrinal matters, however, it is clear that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not find any of our positions to be non-Catholic. Despite this disagreement, it appears that the Holy Father is willing to grant a canonical statute to the Society. A few weeks ago His Excellency Bishop Fellay sent a doctrinal declaration to Rome. We are now waiting for the answer from Rome....

...The reason why the Pope wants to resolve this situation is difficult to know. On the one hand, there seems to be a desire on his part to avoid a so-called “schism.” On the other hand, he is aware of the dramatic situation of the Church, which readers of your newspaper know all to well: open heresies professed by churchmen, sometimes touching the divinity of our Lord Himself, not to mention open rebellion, loss of faith, and disciplinary problems, whether in Austria, America, or Ireland… The Holy Father, I think, sees that the SSPX could be of some assistance in helping fight these real and all-too-prevalent problems.


...We must expect a fight even with a new canonical structure. The line given to us by our founder, started during the Second Vatican Council, has always been characteristic of the SSPX. From 1970, through the condemnations of the 70's and 80's, and over the past 18 years of Bishop Fellay's term as Superior General, the Society maintained this faithfulness. By the grace of God, we must and will continue to hold fast.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Raymond Lahey has been laicized

The Holy See announced today that former bishop, Raymond Lahey has been laicized. Please pray for this man, that he will come to true repentance.

A full statement from the CCCB may be found here.

Rome-SSPX: The Pope is supporting Bp. Fellay

Vatican Insider has now published an official Italian translation of the article we commented on and linked to earlier today. What has become evident is that the opinions of the three recalcitrant bishops will be dealt separately from the official negotiations between Bp. Fellay and the Holy Father.  The rumour mentioned above alludes to the need to clarify negotiations so that they flow directly between the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay. Hence, the belief that the Holy Father will support Bp. Fellay in his efforts to guide the SSPX to a resolution. 

In this morning’s meeting Fellay’s requests for explanations and the changes to the final ‘doctrinal preamble’ were discussed. Some cardinals, who preferred the text as originally drafted by the Congregation, expressed their worries and gave their votes conditionally. The result of this complex discussion will probably be given to Benedict XVI the day after tomorrow by cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation. The body’s judgment is not binding, the pope will be able to examine each member’s opinion and decide freely.

The cardinals’ considerations will be passed onto Fellay for the preparation of the final text of the ‘doctrinal preamble’. Once signed, the Superior of the Society of Pius X and the priests who will follow him will officially be reunited with the Catholic Church. The ratification might be imminent even though there are still obstacles to overcome. It will take time before the pope’s final decision is announced. In the last hours  a story began to spread http://blog.messainlatino.it/

According to this rumour, Benedict XVI already knew of the requests for changes to the ‘doctrinal preamble’ and apparently Fellay himself sent them to the pope unofficially. This supposed informal contact would have reassured the Lefebvrian leader of Ratzinger’s support in essence and would have been the reason behind Fellay’s recent public and private declarations, in which the bishop mentioned more than once the importance of the appeal to the pope.