Category Archives: liberals

Review of: Benedict XVI Last Testament. In his own words with Peter Seewald

By Augustinus

Peter Seewald is a German journalist who has interviewed Pope Benedict several times and published these interviews in the past. The current book contains transcripts of interviews conducted shortly before, but mostly after the Pope’s resignation. So the questions were all designed to have the Pope emeritus look back on his life and his service to the church and thus we get Benedict’s reflective perspective on many things from Vatican II to the “Gay Lobby” scandal in the Vatican. The things he most regrets are his lifting of the excommunication on Bishop Williamson of SPXX due to the claims that the Bishop was a holocaust denier; his inability to handle the narrative the press was constructing after Vatican II and the priest sex abuse scandal that began under Pope John Paul’s reign but lingered into Pope Benedict’s reign as well. His, regrets, however, do not in any way dominate his reflections.

I always thought–and these interviews confirm for me, that the thing that most characterized Pope Benedict’s service to the church was his constant insistence that the revelation of Christ was that the GODHEAD or the deity or God was the WORD or the logos, and thus that the inner nature of Christ and Christianity was essentially reason/rationality-not just love. That was the message of Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg address which touched off fanatical muslim riots all over the world –namely that Christianity was not like other religions; that it was not a religion at all since it was so wedded to reason at its foundation…

Benedict’s parents were devout Bavarian Catholics. His father passionately opposed Hitler and subscribed to a paper/journal that was Catholic and anti-Hitler so these sentiments were passed onto to his son. His two sons went into the priesthood with the future Pope doing his dissertation on Augustine-not Aquinas. He rose rapidly through the clerical ranks becoming Bishop of Munich near his hometown in Bavaria while his theological works were attracting attention far and wide. When Vatican II arrived the future Pope became an advisor to some of the most “liberal” Bishops attending but neither he nor they thought of themselves or the council as “progressive”, “liberal” or “innovative”.  They saw themselves as re-expressing traditional positions of the Church. For example the council fathers recommended an expansion, not the elimination of Latin in the church and in the liturgy. He blames the subsequent disastrous effects of Vatican II on “progressives” outside the church who controlled media interpretations of what the council documents were otherwise saying.

“The bishops wanted to renew the faith, to deepen it. However, other forces were working with increasing strength, particularly journalists, who interpreted many things in a completely new way. Eventually people asked, yes, if the bishops are able to change everything, why can’t we all do that? The liturgy began to crumble and slip into personal preferences. Since 1965 I have felt it to be a mission to make clear what we genuinely wanted and what we did not want.” (p. 141)

but for Benedict, Vatican II was not disastrous, it was a world historical landmark for the church and the world. Its effects were not only disastrous. In the theological realm they were fruitful and revelatory. Reading these interviews, one gets the sense that Benedict’s first vocation was as a thinker and a theologian. Like every great philosopher he loved to take long walks especially walks alone. From his perspective the landmark’s in his life were not career markers like when he became Bishop, then Prefect, then John Paul’s right hand man and then Pope. No his landmarks, were his intellectual breakthroughs. The things that gave him strength despite his many and serious health issues and the crushing responsibilities of his offices was his theological work. that was how he prayed.

His explanation and description of his abdication was succinct and convincing: he was not laying down the cross associated with the papacy just the work. He could not perform the functions of a Pope given his brain hemorrhage and other very serious health issues.

Remarkably, people see this intellectual Pope as a traditionalist who opposed all things progressive and modern. While it is certainly true that he opposed all versions of the modernist heresy he did not oppose modernity per se. In these interviews he talks about the good things modernity has brought humanity including science, wealth for many, better health, global communications etc but especially the philosophical and theological insights. Like any reasonable person he wants to accept and use these good things for the betterment of humanity while opposing the well-known bad things modernity brings in its wake. its up to us to own the theological insights into the original Christian revelation that modernity gives us but no-one has yet been able to do that convincingly. There is a new world trying to be born but it has not found its midwife yet.

Do you see yourself as the last Pope of an old era?

“Between the times I would say…I don’t belong to the old world anymore, but the new world isn’t really here yet” (p. 232)

 

STAT CRUX DUM VOLVITUR ORBIS

Allan Gillis 

“The Cross stands while the world turns”     …as the old Carthusian motto reads.  A most fitting  epithet to adorn the article I found at Rorate Caeli today.  I’m glad to hear someone else express their disdain for CRUX writer and liberal rump-swab Austen Ivereigh.

I’m quite disturbed by the cuddling up between CRUX and the Knights of Columbus.   As a Past Grand Knight to a local KOC council, I am getting a rash as I ponder this and remember how Carl Anderson’s regime disallowed us to speak to local Democrat “catholic” politicians who clearly needed to be roasted in the public square as heretics (O! for the days of yore!)   …or at least catapulted from the council rolls of the KOC!  But, I digress…that’s for another day!

I bring this to you from the good folks at Rorate Caeli:

Adultery and Communion: The Church is not a “train”

Professional liberal sycophant Austen Ivereigh penned an article for the Knights of Columbus’ website “Crux“, criticizing those who know that the Church cannot change her doctrine established by Our Lord Jesus Christ on Marriage, Penance, and Eucharistic Communion. In the article, he makes repeated use of this metaphor:
“…the train has left the station, the Church is moving on…”
That, of course, is a ludicrous metaphor which makes no sense whatsoever.
The Church, in moments of crisis, when others “move on”, doubles down in defense of her unchanging Truth, the Truth given to her by Christ to be protected: in the “Reformation”, the north of Europe “moved on”, and the only possible response the Church could give (and that gave her enormous vigor) was the reaffirmation of all doctrines and practices contested by the Protestants — including on what is necessary for Eucharistic Communion.
It is to be found in canon XI of the Decree on the Most Holy Sacrament of the 13th Session of the Council:
CANON XI.-If any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.
Quite right: a continued state of adultery or fornicatory cohabitation with no prospect of penance and stopping the sinful situation is not a sufficient preparation for Eucharistic communion. It will never be so.

The Church is not a “train” and she will never “move on”:

 

 

– See more at: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-church-is-not-train.html#more

The modernist heresy and the populist revolt

By Augustinus

Ever since Brexit, in Britain, the Italian referendum vote last week, the many polls showing the rennaisance of the Catholic right in France and Germany and now the Trump victory here in the states, there have been many analyses of what is happening in the west these days. Some say that all of these events represent a kind of populist revolt whipped up artificially by demogogic politicians using hate speech to corral the votes. Others say the populist revolt is real and would have happened without demogogic politicians because of the ravages causes by globalization on populations in every country throughout the world. Globalization has meant that the super-rich get richer and most of the rest of the world’s population gets immiserated. The only thing that interrupts this inevitable dialectic imposed on us by the neo-liberal elite (and embodied by the Clintons and the Obamas) is the occassional world economic collapse like we saw in 2008.

While there absolutely is a large scale reaction against the neo-liberal order going on across the world (as evidenced by the Sander’s campaign on the left and the Trump campaign on the right), I do not think that this analysis of the current political moment captures the whole story. Most especially I am interested in what the present political moment means for the Church.

When people rebel against globalization and the neo-liberal order with its identity politics, its politically-correct thought control police, its creation of “sacred victims” everywhere you look (from gays and lesbians to blacks and muslims etc), its promotion of abortion and pornography with the concomitant suicide of the west, its promotion of constant apologies for what the west supposedly inflicted on sacred victims and the constant war on religion, and the elevation of scientists as the new clerical order etc etc…I say when people rebel against all this …in my view they are rebelling against heresy. Therefore the so-called populist revolt is really a revolt against heresy.  These practices and ideologies are all legacies of the French revolution and then of the various incarnations of Marxist philosophy. They can all be conveniently referred to as modernism or the modernist heresy.

The populist moment then represents a kind of general revulsion or rejection of the bill of goods being sold to ordinary people over the last few centuries of “enlightenment”. When ordinary people living in southern France in the middle ages came across the Albigensians or the Cathari they were both impressed and repulsed by them. They were impressed by them because these fanatics were clearly intelligent, good people. The problem was that they were clearly insane. They urged everyone to stop reproducing because they saw the world as entirely evil. Yet they practiced free love and despised marriage. They practiced abortion while counseling abstinence. They accumulated wealth while preaching voluntary and literal starvation so one could leave this vale of tears and so on. The Cathari women were given the political and religious power so the women basically ran the cult.

I think people today see the left-wing ideologues, the social-justice warriors so commonly produced by our universities today exactly as ordinary people in the middle ages saw the Cathari. There is a mixture of admiration concerning their fanatical passion to fight injustice and to stop all hate speech and protect all victims and so on…and then repulsion at the fanaticism and the effeminate hatred of the world and the worldly things of the flesh. just as their was an overt suicidal ideology at the heart fo the Cathari heresy, so too there is an overt suicidal ideology at the heart of the leftist ideology. The left sees the West as the source of all evil in the world and the Church as the source of the West. Thus, there is an almost fanatical hatred of the Church among “progressives” and other leftists in the West.

The Cathari Albigensian heresy contributed to the ideologies that the French philosophes picked up on and that then fueled the French revolution. It is an old story…gnosticism in new guises. That is what modernism is–a world-hating, effeminate gnostic ideology. And that is what the populations around the world are reacting to. they are rejecting on a mass scale the old gnostic heresy in its most recent incarnation in the ideologies of the neo-liberal elite.

Climate Change Study For Priestly Formation!

by Allan Gillis

enviro-pope

Yup! You heard that right! It is now required by seminary rectors and bishops to school the young seminarians on “environmental threats and climate change”!

What ever happened to the requirement for proficiency in Latin?

The Boston Pilot http://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?utm_source=ConstantContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breakingnewsletter&Source=we&ID=178080   reports this afternoon that new guidelines have been issued from The Vatican for schooling the “young-skulls-full-o-mush” in order to make them suited for priestly duties in this post-conciliar church.

The Congregation for Clergy recommends that women be on the staff of seminaries or teach at the universities where the candidates study and that seminarians’ ability to relate to and work with women be considered in the candidate’s evaluation, since the majority of parishioners with whom the future priest will work are women. [what a damned shame!]

I remember, years ago, a good friend of mine – now a rising star in the Archdiocesan hierarchy here in Bostoniensis regaled me with tales of life at St. John’s Seminary.  In all that he endured, studied and worked on – he NEVER took a class in Latin – nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada.   People – it is mandatory in the “Latin Rite” that a priest be well-schooled in Latin.  Seriously.  It IS a requirement – tho quietly ignored.   Ya think they’ll ignore the new requirements on global warming, I mean cooling?

Fr. Z In Consideration Of Catholic Snowflakes

This from Father Zuhlsdorf’s site today! It is awesome!

6 Dec – St Nicholas: SNOWFLAKE ALERT! NOT A “SAFE SPACE”!

soumela_nicaea_nicholas slaps ariusWARNING SNOWFLAKES!

This blog is NOT a Safe Space for you!  This post, especially, is NOT a Safe Space for you.

You know which sites you can go to to be affirmed and unchallenged by anything truly Catholic.  Please go to one of them NOW.

The Management

_____

There arrived in my email today an interesting study in contrasts, which I gave a bit more attention and detail.

Missale Romanum 1962:

Deus, qui beatum Nicolaum Pontificem innumeris decorasti miraculis: tribue, quaesumus; ut, eius meritis et precibus, a gehennae incendiis liberemur.

O God, Who didst adorn blessed Nicholas, the bishop, with miracles unnumbered, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayer we may be delivered from the fire of hell.

What’s this prayers pedigree?

16_12_06_Nicholas

Meanwhile, the experts of the Consilium, dedicated to turning every Mass – sorry… “liturgy” – into a Safe Space to make Catholics into Tender Snowflakes…

Missale Romanum 2002 (new composition for the Novus Ordo):

Misericordiam tuam, Domine, supplices imploramus, et, beati Nicholai episcopi interveniente suffragio, nos in omnibus custodi periculis, ut via salutis nobis pateat expedita.

We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas that the way of salvation may lie open before us.

Interesting choice, no?   Let’s water down the Four Last Things.

Our brothers in the Anglican Use surely took the following from the Book of Common Prayer, which in turn mined the Roman Missal

New “Anglican Use” Missal  

“O God, who didst adorn thy blessed Bishop Saint Nicholas with power to work many and great miracles: grant, we beseech thee; that by his prayers and merits, we may be delivered from the fires of everlasting torment.”

They got it right.

nicholas arius deck the hallsToday we are facing something rather like the Arian crisis in the 4th century.

Think about it this way.  There are a lot of people – more and more – going over to the position that Christ simply got it wrong about indissolubility of marriage (Kasperites).  That means that He wasn’t divine, right?  Moreover, these same people are reducing Holy Communion to a token of affirmation in the comfortable club we all more or less belong to.  What does that say for their belief in the divinity of the Lord?

The questions which are being hotly debated today go waaaaay beyond mere considerations of Communion for one group of sinners in hard cases (the divorced and civilly remarried).  The questions go ultimately to:  Who is Jesus Christ?

In the early centuries of the Church this question had to be settled by the Council of Nicea.  There were those who, following the heretical proposition of the priest Arius, believed that Christ was not divine as the Father is divine, that Christ was the greatest of creatures.

According to some accounts, during the heated debate of the Council the bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas, struck Arius across the face. Apocryphal or not, an exaggeration over time of a lesser micro-aggression or not, you have to admire the bishop’s zeal. After all, Arianism was not a small deal. They weren’t having a disagreement over the translation of a liturgical Collect. They were debating an issue which had torn apart the Church to the point the the Emperor Constantine had to intervene for the sake of civic unity.

The apocryphal story of Nicholas belting Arius in the chops continued. Nicholas, for his infraction, was taken to Constantine, divested of his episcopal garb and locked up. This is why Nicholas is sometimes in art not depicted with a miter, etc. During the night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and gave him an omophorion, the Eastern style of today’s pallium. When in the morning he was thus found clothed as a bishop, he was reinstated.

Nicholas-Icon-Meme-heretics

Political theology

By Augustinus

How does one read the sign of the times? While I feel that the election of Trump to the presidency was a good thing (given that it was a repudiation of the totalitarian mindset associated with the effeminate political correctness mania sweeping the land), there were and are very smart, good, orthodox Catholics who supported Clinton (including our own Mr Shields); despite her clear facilitation of the abortion rights movement and half a dozen ions/other positions/things she advocated that merit automatic excommunication from the Church. Look at the “Catholic” politicians she surrounded herself with …from Kaine her running mate to Vice President Biden, to Secretary of State John Kerry to John Podesta and Nancy Pelosi. All catholics but all at odds with basic teachings of the church. Nevertheless, they are not evil persons. They have arguably done a lot of good for this country in crafting legislation that rights some injustices and so forth. But that is always the case with heretics. Heretics are very often, morally speaking, BETTER human beings than non-heretics. Look at Pelagius versus Augustine or look at Anthansius vs Arius and so on. The heretics are typically brilliant, likeable, good and compassionate people. Its just that the doctrines they were advocating were wrong, heretical and celebrations of death. Only people like the doctrinaire, boorish, rigid, and spiteful Jerome or Iraneaus or Athanisius could see the dangers these heretical but otherwise angelic creatures were spouting.

He puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.

What to make of this?        Hmmmm…?

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?”

Allan Gillis brings you this from The Remnant:

Franciscans vs. St. Francis: The Sad State of Secular Franciscan Spiritual Formation

Written by  Benjamin J. Vail, OFS  Wednesday November 16, 2016

For several years, there has been an international discussion at the highest levels of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) – the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi – on the identity and future of the Order. This discussion was kicked off by two keynote addresses at the 2011 General Chapter. These texts reveal the sad state of spiritual formation for incoming and already professed Franciscan tertiaries. At best, I am afraid the faithful followers of St. Francis will be confused. At worst, these materials may lead the flock away from the truths of the faith.

In this article, I want to raise some questions about one of those texts delivered at the General Chapter and which has been translated and distributed around the world as recommended reading for all Secular Franciscans (click here for an example of how it is presented in the USA). I am not a theologian, but I would describe the 17-page text “Evangelized to Evangelize” by Fr. Fernando Ventura, OFM Cap., as rambling, confusing, unclear, incoherent, vulgar (see his use of a swear word on p. 2), almost certainly blasphemous, and possibly heretical. The text seems to aim at being poetic and literary, but ends up sounding distinctly New Age.

For the purpose of formation, Fr. Ventura’s text is at best questionable, and in my opinion quite probably dangerous to the faith of Secular Franciscans. I am no theological expert. I am simply a baptized, confirmed, and professed lay tertiary. But as far as I can tell, the text promotes multiple errors including indifferentism, universalism, and a false Franciscan spirituality. I will phrase my concerns as questions rather than direct accusations, because I am not really qualified to judge these statements as definite errors.

Here are some of the themes that stand out to me as questionable:

1) Blasphemy against the Blessed Virgin Mary and those who venerate her

 

Fr. Ventura writes: “Not long ago people were running behind the images of the virgins that would weep blood. And they were shouting at the miracle! Bands of hysterical and historical people! We do not realize that the miracle of our time is not the plastic images that cry glue, but rather that our brothers and sisters stop crying” (page 6).Is Fr. Ventura denying or mocking apparitions of Our Lady, and those who believe in them?

2) Indifferentism and possible heresy

Fr. Ventura writes on page 6: “What is the status of the Spirit in Genesis? He is alone. He is unmarried. This is the first sentence of the Bible. Let’s      take a leap. We will land in the last book of the Bible, almost the last sentence of Revelation 22, 17. ‘The Spirit and the bride say come.’  Status: ‘Married.’ A single God in Genesis, ends up married in the Apocalypse. And married to whom? With creation! What is the opposite of ‘polygamy’? Monotony! We don’t have a monotonous God, but a God who is polygamous. Married with creation. With all peoples, with all cultures, religions, philosophies … and if we don’t understand this, then we don’t understand anything” (emphasis in the original).

I suspect it is blasphemous and possibly heretical to call God polygamous, and incorrect to say God is married with creation. Isn’t the Bride of Christ the Catholic Church? Also, this quote implies that God agrees with all religions and philosophies – which sounds a lot like indifferentism.

On page 15, this theme is repeated: “A passionate heart, a heart not  solitary; married to life and to the world, just as God married the whole creation… no exceptions … God married all … even the Catholics.” The “even the Catholics” part sounds like a joke. Is Fr. Ventura being snarky about the Faith?

3) Indifferentism and bizarre theology

Fr. Ventura writes on page 5, “What is God’s religion? In whom does God believe? Do we have a God who is an atheist? We have a God made like us. I am God’s religion. We are God’s religion. This is a punch in the stomach, but we still don’t have it clear. Catholics have the crazy idea that God is Catholic, Protestants believe that God is Protestant. Muslims, that God is Muslim. Jews that God is Jewish.”

This statement is simply bizarre. God is not made like us. We are made in the image and likeness of God. Fr. Ventura seems to imply God does not care what anyone’s religion is, and that all religions are the same and worship the same God.

Referring to Isaiah 25:6-8, on page 8 Fr. Ventura writes: “Here is the Eucharistic text of the Old Testament. Here’s the challenge of intimacy dreamed. This is Isaiah. What is the theme behind the text? It’s a meal. Who is the cook? GOD! Who invites to the meal? GOD! Who are the guests? All the people, including Catholics.”

Does he mean that everyone can receive Holy Communion? The phrase “including Catholics” is odd – isn’t it precisely the baptized who are in communion with the Pope who may receive Holy Communion?

On  page 13, Fr. Ventura writes: “What is at stake is the construction of a society, a kingdom where everyone can be and feels free to be himself, in full relation, complete, and definitive.”

Does he mean that everyone should be free to do and believe whatever he wants? There are no standards of morality, or proper ordering of freedom?

Does Fr. Ventura deny the Garden of Eden existed?

On page 6 he writes: “From Genesis, we have to yearn for the past, or desire the future. Paradise, as it is in the Bible, never existed. It’s not about mourning a paradise lost, it’s about crying and shouting for a future paradise. We are here for that reason, not to lick our tears, but to wipe the tears of others. This is the miracle that the world awaits.”

4) Immanentism and materialism

This statement sounds New Age and raises the question whether Fr. Ventura means that God is not in heaven, but only in the created universe:

“The God of Abraham, of Isaac, Jacob, Jesus Christ, is not a God of a distant heaven, but a God of the here and now. A gypsy God, of the road, of the dust, and of the wind. He is YOUR (familiar) God” (page 7).

This theme is repeated on page 8, “Where is God? He is not a God in a distant heaven.”

And again, on page 15: “… it will be possible to understand that those who can really ‘see God’ are those who are able to see the others … because God is not in any distant heaven, but here, in the right now, in the life and the time which is already eternity and it is now. The God of the Bible, the God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, is not a God of a distant heaven, but a God of ‘earth,’ a God ‘Gypsy,’ of the road, of dust and wind, a companion God, a God of you, and, therefore, a God of relationship. Thus, because of this, God lets us ‘see’, to ‘touch’, and is not preserved in terms of relation.”

A main point of the text is that it is important to help people. I agree that it is good and necessary to help people, but I thought the primary Christian calling is to get to heaven, and help others get to heaven. Indeed, isn’t evangelization primarily about spreading the Good News of salvation, and secondarily about service and material assistance? But Fr. Ventura seems to reverse these priorities.

On p. 12 he writes: “It is not therefore a delay of any hope of happiness for the future, but a personal and not transferable pledge, to now, for now.  It is now, it is immediate, it is this time, in this space, and on earth, it’s already time, space, and land of eternity where there are people whose rights are violated, suffering, starving, who have no right to be human.”

5) Universalism

Fr. Ventura obscures the meaning of death and resurrection, seemingly ignoring the Church’s teaching on the Four Last Things (death, judgment, heaven and hell). He seems to suggest that everyone goes to heaven, and asserts Masses for the dead should not be said.

On page 10, Fr. Ventura writes, “…the moment of death is the moment of the definitive encounter with God, therefore, the moment of death is the moment of resurrection!”

Does he mean that at death, everyone is “resurrected,” in the sense that everyone goes to heaven?

Again, on p. 11, he writes: “There are still many – too many – circumstances in which we hear of ‘celebrate Masses for the dead’! How is it possible? For where is the certainty that Christians have of the resurrection? … If Christ is really risen, in the expression ‘to celebrate Masses for the dead’ we have no less than two gross errors. First, in the risen Christ there are no dead but living; in the second, we do not have the right to celebrate Masses for the dead but to celebrate the Eucharist …”Does Fr. Ventura mean to say that no one goes to hell (i.e., the second death, as St. Francis of Assisi called it), or to purgatory? I thought it is Catholic doctrine that souls in purgatory benefit from our prayers, and that souls in hell are not with the risen Christ.

6) Dehumanizing, judgmental attacks

It is very odd that someone who preaches inclusion, peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation engages in very unfriendly attacks on fellow Franciscans.

Fr. Ventura seems to demean faithful people (and uses odd phraseology) when he says, “It is time to turn the tables (the omelet). It’s time to feel that  we don’t have the right to say we have a religion, because this is the time to understand that we have a religion that possesses us. People of religion are unbearable. People living with a belly full of God and what comes from within, are nothing more than mystical breezes, which do not touch anyone’s life” (page 2).

Later on, he further accuses:

“It’s the hysterical foolishness of hysterical people, who live crouching in fear before God, and live like chickens in a poultry house, in front of others. (We have many people like this in our communities.)” (pages 5-6).

“And this [is what] we have. People coming to suck, parasites — of the Church, parasites of the order, parasites of the fraternities, of the convents and monasteries. We are fed up with these people!” (page 7).

Conclusion

In contrast to the confused words of Fr. Ventura, St. Francis himself is a clear and simple guide to the religious life. I think it’s important for Secular Franciscans to get back to basics, and formation materials should emphasize the fundamental teachings of the Seraphic Father.

St. Francis of Assisi was above all an uncompromising Catholic, and of paramount concern to him was proper worship and reverence for the Holy Eucharist. A few quotations from his texts reveal the zeal of his Catholic faith. For an example of this, see his “On Reverence for the Lord’s Body and on the Cleanliness of the Altar,” which some sources preface with this greeting from the saint: “To my reverend masters in Christ; to all the clerics who are in the world and live conformably to the rules of the Catholic faith: brother Francis, their least one and unworthy servant, sends greeting with the greatest respect and kissing their feet.”

In the First Rule of the Friars Minor (no. 19), St. Francis writes: “Let all the brothers be Catholics, and live and speak in a Catholic manner. But if anyone should err from the Catholic faith and life in word or in deed, and will not amend, let him be altogether expelled from our fraternity. And let us hold all clerics and religious as our masters in those things which regard the salvation of souls, if they do not deviate from our religion, and let us reverence their office and order and administration in the Lord.”

In the Second Rule, St. Francis writes that of those who wish to be Franciscans, “let the ministers diligently examine them regarding the Catholic faith and the Sacraments of the Church. And if they believe all these things, and if they will confess them faithfully and observe them firmly to the end” they may enter the Order (no. 2).

Holy father St. Francis also says, “Moreover, I enjoin on the ministers, by obedience, that they ask of the Lord Pope one of the Cardinals of the holy Roman Church to be governor, protector, and corrector of this brotherhood, so that being always subject and submissive at the feet of the same holy Church, grounded in the Catholic faith, we may observe poverty and humility and the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we have firmly promised” (no. 12).

In his Testament, St. Francis writes: “this is a remembrance, a warning, and an exhortation and my Testament which I, little Brother Francis, make for you, my blessed brothers, in order that we may observe in a more Catholic way the Rule which we have promised to the Lord.”

A final example: in the Letter to All the Faithful, St. Francis writes, “We ought also to fast and to abstain from vices and sins and from superfluity of food and drink, and to be Catholics. We ought also to visit Churches frequently and to reverence clerics not only for themselves, if they are sinners, but on account of their office and administration of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they sacrifice on the altar and receive and administer to others. And let us all know for certain that no one can be saved except by the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the holy words of the Lord which clerics say and announce and distribute and they alone administer and not others.”

Such quotations are refreshing reminders of what the Catholic Church actually teaches.

I think that Fr. Ventura has a very clever title for his text, “Evangelized to evangelize.” But what exactly is evangelization? The US Conference of Catholic Bishops says, “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself.” And what is the Good News, what is the power of the Gospel? That Jesus Christ through his suffering and death has saved us from our sins, saved us from the second death, saved us from hell. That was Christ’s primary mission.

Whatever wisdom or valid Christian inspiration may be found in Fr. Ventura’s text, it is overshadowed by the questionable and apparently heterodox statements cited above. Used as formation material rather than edification, this text may well lead the faithful into confusion and away from the Good News. Fr. Ventura’s text certainly does not admonish Franciscans to be aware of the seriousness of personal sin and the necessity for salvation of being a baptized, practicing member of the One True Church established by Our Lord, as St. Francis did in the most strict and urgent terms. I believe that the future of the Secular Franciscan Order lies in the clear, truly evangelical example of its founder.

Perhaps we could have someone close to us shed some light on this malady?

 

Bergoglio the “Leftist World Leader”!

Brought to you by Allan Gillis from the venerable Rorate Caeli

Op-Ed: “With Democrats’ loss in the US, Francis becomes the leader of the Global Left.”

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After Trump’s victory, has Pope Francis become the leader of the international left?

Roberto de Mattei

Corrispondenza Romana
November 11, 2016
The Cardinal Secretary of State, Parolin sent the Holy See’s congratulations to Donald Trump, expressing its hopes that the new president would work in service to his country and for peace in the world. Also Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and President of the U.S. Bishop’s Conference, congratulated the newly-elected President, urging him to govern for the common good of all citizens. The position of the Vatican diplomacy appears to be correcting, or tempering, that of Pope Francis, who has never concealed his intolerance with the candidate for the American presidency.

On his return flight from Mexico on February 18th of this year, in commenting Trump’s plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico in order to slow down the migratory surge the Pope had said that “a person who thinks only of building walls and not bridges, is not a Christian.” On another return flight, of October 2nd from Baku to Rome, to those who asked what candidate he favoured, he didn’t commit himself. Yet, no matter how strong the reservations towards Trump can be, for a Catholic it would be difficult to imagine a position of equidistance between him and Hilary Clinton, who had officially inserted a massive implementation of abortion and the LGBT agenda into her programme. Unless self-defence against the migratory invasion is considered a graver sin than the legalization of abortion and so-called homosexual marriage.
Over and above any moral judgment on such questions, the basic problem that divides the Vatican and the new American presidency is of a political order. The theme of immigration in fact, from the very beginning of this pontificate – the basic cornerstone of Bergoglian politics – constitutes nonetheless a keystone also in Donald Trump’s programme. On this point Francis’ vision and the President of the United States’ are in opposition. “A nation without borders is not a nation, just as a country without laws is not an nation” Trump affirms, whereas for Pope Francis, an unlimited welcome to immigrants is almost a theological “locus”. If Trump goes ahead with his plan, he will not only pull the brakes on the reigning multiculturalism in his country since the Kennedy era, but he will also give inevitable impetus to those parties on the right and “those who identify with it”, which in the upcoming weeks and months, will go to elections in Austria, Holland, France and Germany.
For his part, after Clinton’s defeat, Francesco now remains the only point of reference for the international left, [now] lacking a leader. On November 5th at the conclusion of the Third World Meeting of the so-called “Popular Movements” in the Vatican, in the presence of revolutionary agitators from the five continents, Pope Francis turned to them saying: “I make your cry mine”. But the cry of protest, that is raised by the movements gathered in Paul VI’s audience hall, is, unfortunately, characterized by ideological fanaticism and incitement to violence.
The trend line is clear. In his last trip to South America, Francis expressed his sympathy for the Bolivian and Ecuadorian Presidents, and on October 24th received in private audience in the Vatican, the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro Moros, also of the extreme left, to whom he guaranteed his support. No word of approval or pleasure came instead from the Vatican for the extraordinary gesture by the Peruvian President, Pedro Paplo Kuczynski, who, on October 21st, before members of the Chamber and Senate, consecrated his country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
How fitting it would be, if in staying out of politics, the Pope and Bishops of the world would unite their efforts in religious acts of this type, beginning with the long-awaited consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the occasion of the 2017 Fatima centenary, which coincides with the evil one of the October Bolshevik Revolution.
Translation: Francesca Romana

Maybe The Pilot isn’t a Pirate after all…

Brought to you by Allan Gillis

This in today’s Boston Pilot:

A Catholic News Service story (CNS)

Election outcome expected to influence religious freedom in health care

By Dennis Sadowski
Posted: 11/3/2016

Dr. Anne Nolte, right, a family physician with the National Gianna Center for Women’s Health and Fertility in New York, is pictured with a patient in 2009. A pair of Catholic physicians argue that changes in the way health care is paid for and stronger relationships between doctors and their patients will do more to improve people’s health and uphold the sanctity of life than bureaucratic government-run programs and expensive insurance policies. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)


WASHINGTON (CNS) — A pair of Catholic physicians argue that changes in the way health care is paid for and stronger relationships between doctors and their patients will do more to improve people’s health and uphold the sanctity of life than bureaucratic government-run programs and expensive insurance policies.

Dr. Marguerite Duane, adjunct associate professor of family medicine at Georgetown University, and Dr. Lester Ruppersberger, president of the Catholic Medical Association, also maintain that control over health care must be in the hands of patients and their families rather than any bureaucracy.

Both physicians offered their views during an hourlong discussion Nov. 2 in Washington sponsored by Christ Medicus Foundation at the Catholic Information Center called “The Changing Face of Health Care and the 2016 Election.”

The program took place just days ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Each of the four participants said that the next presidential administration and the new Congress will influence how the U.S. health care system evolves.

The panelists expressed concern over the erosion of conscience protections for hospitals and health care workers and the rights of individuals to choose a doctor who aligns with their religious beliefs and to purchase insurance without paying for health services that they morally oppose.

“People have to realize that Americans of all stripes, regardless of their religious affiliation, that we are losing our religious freedom … at amazing speed,” said Louis Brown, foundation director.

“We’re seeing with the increased power of the executive, of the White House and regulatory agencies that a lot of things can be done or undone without congressional action, and there’s a lot of danger,” Brown said.

He said the new Congress is expected to strengthen the Weldon Amendment, a federal law enacted in 2005 to protect the conscience rights of institutions and individuals, and to clarify some aspects of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Then there’s the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown said observers expect at least three, and perhaps four, justices will be appointed by the next president and they likely will play a key role in health care services as lawsuits make their way through appeals.

The foundation-led discussion stemmed in part from its CURO health care ministry, a health sharing program that bills itself as an alternative to traditional health insurance. It enables people to pay for medical expenses without being part of an insurance plan they feel compromises their religious beliefs.

The panelists covered several topics, with the physicians expressing concern for increasingly restrictive regulations emerging from the Affordable Care Act that serve to marginalize the conscience of health care workers, Catholic hospitals and patients.

A fourth panelist, Matt Bowman, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, outlined some of the lawsuits nationwide filed on discrimination grounds challenging the rights of hospitals and health care professionals to deny to offer care that violates their religious beliefs.

Citing her experience treating patients at the Spanish Catholic Center in the Archdiocese of Washington, Duane said she has learned that health care does not have to be expensive or guided by a checklist of actions in order to meet reimbursement guidelines or government mandates.

“Much of our health care costs does not actually pay for health care,” Duane told the forum. “It covers the administration of the bureaucracy that continues to build and expand and will only hasten and worsen with the Affordable Care Act. All of this money we are putting into this health care system is not helping people get healthier. It’s helping government to grow bigger. It’s helping government to have greater control in our lives and what we do.”

The ACA is facing new challenges after the Department of Health and Human Services announced in October that 2017 premiums for mid-level health plans will increase by an average of 25 percent and that consumers in some states will find fewer insurance companies offering coverage.

Duane called for greater use of direct primary care, an alternative care model in which a trusting relationship between patient and doctor is encouraged and fee-for-service incentives are replaced with a flat monthly fee. She said direct primary care leads to better outcomes because people feel connected to their doctor.

In cooperation with another physician, Duane has formed a direct primary care practice in which basic care is delivered at homes or elsewhere. She said the monthly cost is $79 for individuals and $250 for families.

Comprehensive health insurance instead, Duane explained, can be used for more costly procedures and because it would be used less often premiums could be lower. She compared such a system of comprehensive health insurance to automobile insurance, which is accessed only in cases of serious damage to a vehicle.

Ruppersberger said the Catholic Medical Association has long recognized the need for health care delivery reform. He pointed to the Catholic Medical Association’s 2004 white paper, “Health Care in America: A Catholic Proposal for Renewal,” which offered specific policy proposals based on Catholic moral and social teaching.

The document, he explained, pointed to a “crisis” in the American health care that stems from the lack of health insurance coverage millions of Americans had in 2004 and continue to have today despite the ACA.

“The crisis in American health care is more than a crisis of the insured and uninsured,” Ruppersberger said. “It is a crisis afflicting the patient-physician relationship, which has been eroded by factors that include financing health care, but that are more properly understood as having their roots in the loss of a common understanding, within and without the medical profession, of the sanctity and inviolability of each human life and the dignity of the person.”

The Catholic Church, he continued, can provide the needed guidance to “enact meaningful health care policies that uphold the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, as well as the common good, and to do so in a financially sustainable fashion,” he said.

Acknowledging that the document must be updated to reflect changes in the health sector since then, Ruppersberger noted that any recommendations the Catholic Medical Association offers will conform with Catholic social and moral teaching.

“The challenge is to create new incentives that drive the power and responsibility for purchasing health insurance away from specific employers and government bureaucracies and toward the individual worker and family. Changes in public policy are needed to foster a renewed climate in which individuals and families are free to make decision about their health care and its source based upon conscience,” he said.

Bowman cited cases in which religiously affiliated medical facilities and physicians are defending their right not to refer a woman for an abortion elsewhere when the procedure is not offered at their own facilities. He also noted a Vermont case in which doctors are required to tell a terminally ill patient about all treatment options available, including physician-assisted suicide.

“This is a serious issue about whether health care professionals or health care facilities will be able to practice medicine consistent with their beliefs,” Bowman said of the lawsuits pending nationwide. “But it’s also an issue about whether their patients will be able to choose them. There are many women who want the freedom to choose a doctor to deliver their baby and their doctor also does not kill babies.”

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Perhaps I’m too hard on The Pilot.  With all that I have going on personally, I NEED these distractions!

I Found This Absolutely Fascinating!

I found this the other day and wanted to think more about it before posting it. – The funny thing is; I am a very astringent opponent of Frankie-The-Hippie-Pope and also, I am very supportive of and a great admirer of Vladimir Putin. I had never put the two thoughts together on the same mental page! Check this out:

Catholics who are anti-Francis but love Putin

from The Vatican Insider

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giacomo galeazzi – andrea tornielli

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The glue that holds them together is their aversion towards Francis. The world of Francis dissenters ranges from Lefebvrians who have decided to “wait for a traditional Pope” before renewing their communion with Rome, to catholic regionalists who compare Francis to his predecessor Ratzinger and promote the campaign “Benedict is my Pope”.

Then there are the ultra-conservatives of Fondazione Lepanto – a foundation that aims to protect the principles and institutions of the Christian civilization – and websites that share sedevacantist positions, adamant that the Catholic writer Antonio Socci was right to argue that Bergoglio’s election is invalid, simply because a vote was cancelled without a scrutiny in the march 2013 Conclave. This was because one of the cardinals mistakenly placed an extra ballot in the ballot box. The voting resumed immediately to wipe away any doubts and without any of the cardinal electors raising any objections. Prelates and traditionalist intellectuals have signed appeals or protested against the Argentinian Pope’s open pastoral attitude with regard to communion for remarried divorcees and dialogue with the Chinese government.
Opposition to the Pope unites people and groups that are very different among them: soft criticism is expressed by online newspaper La Bussola Quotidiana and monthly newspaper Il Timone, directed by Riccardo Cascioli. The Argentinian Pope is also reproached almost on a daily basis by L’Espresso’s former Vatican affairs journalist Sandro Magister. Then there are the revelatory and mocking comments made by Maria Guarini in Italian blog Chiesa e Postconcilio and the harsher criticisms made by ultra-traditionalist and sedevacantist groups, those who believe there has not been a worthy Pope since Pius XII. Italian newspaper La Stampa visited the places and protagonists of this opposition to Francis which is contained in terms of numbers but widespread on the web. Those behind this opposition, use the Internet and private meetings between clerics, combining frontal and public attacks with more articulate strategies. Alessandro Gnocchi, who writes for the Riscossa Cristiana and Unavox websites, is on the frontline of web criticism against the Pope: “Bergoglio is systematically surrendering the Church to the world, the Church is becoming worldly. His pontificate is based on the brutal handling of power. Never has the faith been so debased.”

Opposition headquarters
Fondazione Lepanto, located between the paleochristian walls of St. Balbina Basilica on the Aventine Hill is one of the cultural power houses of anti-Francis sentiment. The foundation’s books combined with the Corrispondenza Romana news agency and the meetings held in the sitting room on the first floor, make it one of the headquarters of the anti-Bergoglio front. “The Church is going through one the biggest moments of chaos in its history and the Pope is one of the causes of this,” says historian and President of Fondazione Lepanto, Roberto De Mattei. This chaos is above all to dow itht he Pope’s magisterium. Francis is not the solution but part of the problem.” Opposition, De Mattei added, “is not just being expressed by these so-called traditionalist circles extends to bishops and theologians who were trained according to the Ratzinger and Wojtyla schools of thought.”

De Mattei prefers to refer to it as “resistance” rather than “dissent”. This resistance was recently expressed by 45 Catholic theologians and philosophers who criticized the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” and by 80 figures – who gradually turned into several thousand – including Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians, who made a declaration of “loyalty to the unchanging magisterium of the Church”. One of the hotbeds of resistance, the historian underlined, “is the John Paul II Institute for the family, whose heads were recently removed by Bergoglio”. Traditionalists are also targeting Francis for the part his migration policy is playing in destabilizing Europe and obliterating western civilization.

Political-theological opposition
The attack against Francis is global. “There is a strong geopolitical element in the circles that oppose Francis,” observes Agostino Giovagnoli, Professor of Contemporary History at the Università Cattolica  and expert on dialogue with China. They are accusing Bergoglio of not proclaiming the truths of the faith with sufficient vigour but in reality they are blaming him for not defending the West’s primacy. This opposition has political motivations that are masked by theological and ecclesial questions”. China is an example of this. “There is an alliance between Honk Kong circles, sectors within the US and Europe’s right-wing: they are accusing Francis of putting the goal of uniting the Church in China before the defense of religious freedom,” he continues. Such positions are often expressed by Catholic news agency Asianews. These critics say the Pope should affirm religious freedom as a political argument against Beijing instead of seeking dialogue through diplomatic means”.

Opposition – which also finds backing in the Curia –is also being voiced by clerics with Vatican connections, such as the liturgist and theologian Fr. Nicola Bux, a consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Office of Liturgical Celebrations. “Today, there are quite a few lay people, priests and bishops are asking themselves where we are headed,” he tells La Stampa. In the Church, it has always been possible to express one’s  opposition to ecclesiastical authorities, even the Pope. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini notoriously put his opposition to the reigining Pope in writing too but John Paul II never removed him from his post as Archbishop of Milan, nor did he consider him a conspirator.” The Pope’s job, Bux continued, is “to safeguard ecclesial communion, not to favour division and rivalry, siding with progressives against the conservatives”. “If a Pope upheld a heterodox doctrine, cardinals in Rome could declare his fall  from office”. In a rippling crescendo, researcher Flavio Cuniberto – who has authored a book criticising the Pope’s social magisterium, is a scholar of René Guenon and of traditionalism close to the esoteric right – recently launched a protest in Italian newspaper Il Giornale. He stated that “Bergoglio has not updated Catholic doctrine, he’s destroyed it  and acts as though he is a Catholic but is in fact not: the distorted idea of poverty elevates old pauperism to the dogmatic sphere.” The Pope praises recycling and thus “the virtues of the good late-modern consumer become the new evangelical virtues”.

Theories about the two Popes
On his official Facebook page, Antonio Socci claims that Benedict XVI did not really want to resign but still considers himself Pope and wants in some way to share the “Petrine ministry” with his successor. Ratzinger himself has denied this interpretation outright on more than one occasion between February 2014 and the recent interview-length book “Final Conversations”, confirming that his resignation is completely valid and publicly demonstrating his obedience to Francis. The theory was fueled by the interpretation drawn from some words pronounced last may by the Prefect of the Papal Household and Benedict XVI’s secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein. During a book presentation, Fr. Georg stated: “There are not two Popes therefore but an extended ministry, with an active member and a contemplative member.” Socci published Bergoglio and Ratzinger’s photos next to each other with the caption: “Which of the two?” He went on to write: “One contrasts love and the truth (Bergoglio), while another sees them united in God (Benedict XVI)”.

Among the many comments to these remarks, Paolo Soranno wrote: “Francis I seems to be serving God Rainbow (who does not impose religious and moral principles) and not the Catholic God.” The opposition intensifies on the web, with people letting all fury loose protected by their computer screen, as was apparent from some comments beneath the articles posted on social networks. The “messainitaliano” website, which promotes the old liturgy but also publishes vitriolic comments on the Pope, speaks about the “tedious ideological monotony of the current pontificate”. On the web, one comes across comments about the Church eventually dissolving into some kind of a UN of religions with a touch of Greenpeace and a hint of a trades union organization, given that “today, moral sins are downgraded and Bergoglio established social (or socialist) sins as well”. Maria Guarini’s ultra-traditionalist blog “Chiesa e Postconcilio” publishes titles such as: “If the next Pope is Bergoglian, the Vatican will become a Cathomasonic branch”. The opposition comes from the more conservative side of the spectrum but also finds a voice among some disappointed ultra-progressives.

Such is the case of the Ambroasian priest Fr. Giorgio De Capitani, who relentlessly attacks Francis from the left and does not therefore be included in the groups described so far. He tears the pontificate to pieces and feeds it to the wolves. “How many useless and obvious words. Peace, justice and goodness. The Pope is really getting on our nerved with all these tear-jerking words and gestures. Francis is a victim of his own consensus and all he is doing is creating illusions, pulling the wool over our eyes, steals some applause and fills some nincompoop journalists who know nothing of the faith, with rapture”. Journalist Giuseppe Rusconi reflected: “is our Shepherd really above all “ours”  or is he not showing that he favours the indistinct global flock, thus being perceived by non-Catholic public opinion as a leader who responds to the wishes of contemporary society? Is he doing it as part of a Jesuit strategy or out of personal choice? And when the shepherd returns to the pen, how many sheep will be bring with him? And how many of those lost will he find?” This mixed opposition has identified some bishops and cardinals as reference points. On his blog, Magister put Guinean cardinal Robert Sarah forward as a papal candidate. Sarah is currently Francis’ liturgy minister and is much loved by conservatives and traditionalists who often quote him on their websites and publications.

Risk of a schism?
Among those considered pole stars, are first and foremost US cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Auxiliary Bishop of Astana, Athanasius Schneider. But beyond the amplified stories present on the web, there do not seem to be any further schisms on the horizon, after Bishop Marcel Lefebvre’s in 1988. Sociologist Massimo Introvigne is adamant about this: “There are more than 5000 Catholic bishops in the world, only about ten of them are active in their opposition, many of whom are retired, which shows that it is not substantial.”

Introvigne claims that this opposition “is present both on the web and in real life and is overestimated: there are dissidents who write comments on social networks using four or five different pseudonyms, to give the impression there are many of them”. According to the sociologist, the movement “is not successful because it is not united. There are at least three different kinds of opposition.: the political opposition of American foundations, the opposition of Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini who are not particularly interested in liturgical or moral issues – they often do not even go to church – but in immigration and the Pope’s critiques against turbo-capitalism. Then there is the opposition expressed by those who feel a nostalgia for Benedict XVI but do not contest Vatican II. And there is the radical opposition of the Society of St. Pius X or the likes of De Mattei and Gnocchi. This form of opposition rejects the Council and everything that came after it. Despite support from the odd Church figure, the contradictions between the three standpoints are destined to explode and a common front has no chance of lasting.” Introvigne pointed out a surprising trait that many of these circles share: “It is the mythical idealization of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is presented as a “good” leader in contrast to the “bad” leader, the Pope, because of his stance on homosexual people, Muslims and immigrants. Russian foundations that have strong ties with Putin co-operate with the anti-Francis opposition.