Before I leave for a much needed break during this holiest of weeks, I would feel negligent if I did not share this excellent article which summarizes the maneuvering ongoing at the highest levels of the Church regarding Cardinal Kasper’s seemingly highly dangerous push to radically redefine Catholic Dogma on marriage, divorce, bigamy, and reception of the Blessed Sacrament, while pretending to leave that same Dogma “in place.” The goal is change the practice while pretending to leave the Dogmas untouched. This is impossible. It pretends to separate belief from practice: in theological terms, orthodoxy (right belief), from orthopraxis (right action).
That this entire push is hinged on a silly proposition (the early Church permitted divorce! Wrong.) that has already been shown to be incredibly, demonstrably false, is all the more disconcerting.
The article was originally published in the German site Katholisches. Some of the translation is rough. The article is also very long, much of which is recapping events of the past 6 months or so. But the portion that discusses the February consistory, whence Cardinal Kasper’s erroneous proposition was first broached, then ridiculed, is very important. I am going to try to clean up some of the translation from Tancred, if he doesn’t mind:
Pope Francis, however, despite substantive silence, the one who has called the Synods of Bishops on the topic of family. With his consent, his new secretary of the Synod of Bishops, the present Cardinal Baldisseri, has directed a questionnaire to all the bishops of the world. Dealing with the questionnaire has made visible the determination progressive pressure groups who want to change the Catholic moral teaching. Even so, it did not lead to rethinking in Rome. The path continues. Instead, Pope Francis commissioned Cardinal Walter Kasper, with a lecture at the cardinal consistory in late February. Neutrality is different.[I think this is saying, this was not a neutral presentation. Kasper's talk was engineered as a showcase for his modernist novelties, without rebuttal] For a proper debate about balance and to signal that, the pope could have appointed two speakers of different perspectives. For the dutiful defense of Catholic teaching on marriage, he would have to employ an orthodox advocate for the Doctrine of the Faith. But nothing of the sort occurred. The Pope decided on Cardinal Kasper, whose unorthodox position on the issue has been known at least since the 90s. A position that was rejected by both Pope Benedict XVI., and previously Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Just as they have now been rejected by today’s Prefect, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Cardinal before the consistory. We may recognize in the papal decision in favoring Kasper, a unilateral advocacy, and in Cardinal Kasper if not the voice of the Pope, so at least a trial balloon, which was allowed to ascend, to test the reactions and resistances. [This is an interpretation. Is it correct? I tend to think it may well be, but it's difficult to say. It was very strange that Cardinal Kasper was given the opportunity to, more or less, evangelize the cardinals on his novelty, without presentation of any opposing view. It was also clear Pope Francis was communicating his strong support for Cardinal Kasper's views]
The partisanship engaged unambiguous underlining in effusive praise for Kasper, which Pope Francis on the morning after his speech to the cardinals formulated his response. The reaction to Kasper’s oratory, in whom there was a cunningly palatable formula, was quite energetic. Against the horse trading suggested by the German theologian (to pretend that everything remains the same, but in reality, everything would change), protest arose more loudly. The most vocal of the Cardinals in the discussion disagreed with Kasper.
With fanatical praise it was obvious the Pope wanted to rush to the rescue of the German Cardinal. The downright ecstatic, but not very believable assertion that the strategy formulated by Kasper – a strategy formulated precisely to get rid of the Church’s teaching on marriage – is at a crucial point “theology on his knees”, makes it hard to deny representing the Pope’s closeness to Kasper’s new course. [Many took that to be an endorsement, especially among the cardinals who were there]
……..I’ll condense a bit, you can read the original at the link above. The article then goes on to note the perplexing fact that the cardinals in attendance had absolute silence imposed on them regarding the discussions at the Synod, but then someone obviously close to Kasper and/or Pope Francis leaked the text. The article posits this was done to use the tactic of poisoning the well, which posits that he who gets his message out first, tends to dominate the debate. Was such intentional? Who knows, but it would be far from unprecedented from some of this crowd, including Kasper, to use procedural tricks they then, suddenly, exempt themselves from, to shape a debate to their own advantage.
However, forestalling this advantage, the Italian daily Il Foglio that was to publish Kasper’s talk, first (and very responsibly, I might add) engaged an “opposition” to provide a contrary viewpoint. Thus, Kasper’s text appeared side by side with the great Roberto de Mattei’s rebuttal. This apparently sent Kasper into a rage – if the article is correct. Picking back up:
Kasper foamed. Even days later, he gave his anger free reign in an interview with Vatican Radio. Apparently, in a modification of the original intent and as a countermeasure to the Foglio strike he now had published even in the Osservatore Romano, the semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, the final copy of Kasper’s and the Preface to the speech, now currently under pressure.
The Osservatore Romano could be relied upon to offer strong praise from Pope Francis to Kasper, after numerous cardinals had taken their position against remarried divorcees. This praise opened the privilege to the German cardinal to be printed in L’Osservatore Romano, which would hardly have been possible without such consent of the Pope.
Kasper’s position should therefore be given visibility and authority within the Church. The confidentiality obligation was and is still obvious to all cardinals and their contributions to the discussion in the Consistory, with a single exception: Walter Kasper. Only for him did Pope Francis lift the obligation to secrecy. Why such a privilege when all the “opinions” are taken into account? The Pope hung a muzzle so that all the Cardinals who defended the Catholic doctrine on the sacrament of marriage, and allowed only the dissenting opinion the right to speak. This is a one-sided preference for a certain position and the disability of another equal.
The result was that not only the Osservatore Romano , but also other official Church media, especially the newspapers of some Episcopal Conferences felt obliged to reprint Kasper. In contrast to Il Foglio , however, they lacked any counter position. The only one that was granted the exclusive right to raise his voice in the daily newspaper of the Holy See was Kasper. All the other cardinals and their speeches in the consistory have been kept silent. [Perhaps I'm just too jaded, but I have a hard time not seeing in all this some orchestrated campaign to endorse Kasper's modernist gambit and keep opposing views from print as much as possible.]
. ———-End Quote————
Obviously a lot of inside baseball. But it has all the makings of a very debauched realpolitik power struggle being played out in public, with Church Dogma basically held hostage by a progressive agenda seeking to advance their radical vision for the Church – a vision which after being partially implemented wreaked utter devastation.
The article ends with discussion of the completely discredited 1977 study which pretended to suddenly discover, magically, like!, that the early Church was just fine and dandy with bigamists receiving the Blessed Sacrament. The article points out the very strange coincidence that this unmissed and almost entirely forgotten book from 1977 suddenly – also magically, like! – was republished late last year. Just in time for the consistory and upcoming Synod, just when Kasper was ready for his big push.
The political aspects of this are such that it is truly trying to the Faith, seeing just how much materialist will-to-power is on display. A great exhibition of leftism in action, but within the Church.
I should end with one clear note: what is really being debated here is not so much divorce or remarriage, but whether public sinners can be admitted to the Blessed Sacrament. No one is going to “undo” Christ’s very clear guidance to us: remarriage while your spouse is still alive constitutes bigamy and adultery (yes, we have American annulment factories, but that’s a whole different topic). So what is being debated is whether it’s OK for those who persist in an objective state of mortal sin and in a public manner be allowed to blaspheme the Blessed Sacrament. You probably should read the whole thing.
I can remember when Colorado was a normal state. Conservative, even. Then hundreds of thousands of Californians, having wrecked their own state, moved in. The state is now really divided, but the leftists have the upper hand in the state government. Lord, please never let that happen here.
The radicals, who have also passed stupid laws against certain kinds of firearms, have a new bill called Senate Bill 175. According to Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila, it basically seeks to enshrine abortion in Colorado law forever, and forestall any future pro-life legislation:
If you haven’t yet heard, there is a very troubling bill being debated in the Colorado State Senate next week. Senate Bill 175, touted as the “Reproductive Health Freedom Act,” passed on a party line vote in committee this past Thursday. I am grateful to every person who showed up to oppose the radical bill.
This over-reaching piece of legislation would essentially shut down any attempt to pass life-affirming legislation in Colorado ever again. More than that, it enshrines the “right to abortion” into Colorado law. It’s being praised by anti-life organizations such as NARAL and ThinkProgress as “the first of its kind” in the country and “ambitious.” It enshrines the culture of death into law and ignores science.
This bill would prevent lawmakers from enacting laws such as ultrasound requirements, which we all know—particularly from the work of the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative here in Colorado—have done so much to give mothers vital information about their pregnancy, and thus save countless children from imminent death.
It prevents common sense regulations like waiting periods, restrictions on abortion pills (particularly for minors), and parental notification policies. Advocates of this bill seek the absolute “right to abortion” for girls as young as 10 or 11 without a parent’s knowledge, guidance or advice. Parents are seen as unfit in the moral guidance of their children.
Finally, this bill would eliminate abortion clinic health code regulations, which pro-abortion advocates label as “burdensome.” Remember Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, and the horrific images and stories of women nearly dying on the abortionist’s table?
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that pro-aborts are trying this. Over the past few years, state legislatures around the country have imposed numerous restrictions on abortion, one of the most effective being that enacted here in Texas just last year.
Abortion is absolutely, 100% critical for the entire sexular pagan program to destroy Christian culture. The very destructive culture that has been deliberately visited upon the former Christendom over the past 100 years requires abortion. All these things: contraception, fornication, adultery, sexual depravity, divorce,etc., require abortion as their backstop. It is fornication, “living together,” hooking up, etc,. among “heterosexuals” that drives the entire sexular pagan agenda. There simply are not, as of yet, enough sodomites, polyamorists, and other perverts to destroy a culture. But getting the vast majority of “normal” people, even “Christian” people, to engage in these immoral activities has been the very vehicle of the sexular pagan revolution.
Fornication sells. Fornication/adultery backed up with the use of contraception has led millions to leave any true semblance of the practice of Christianity, and into lives of wantonness that are unprecedented in their scope and banality. But since contraception often and always (over enough time) fails, abortion is 100% absolutely vital to the entire sexular pagan leftist program. The entire advance of leftism in the West has been due to decay in sexual morality. So the entire leftist program depends utterly on abortion.
So, they are willing to do anything, give up anything, to keep abortion around. And since there has been much recent success in nibbling away at baby killing at the state level, they are now seeking to stop that through their own legislative activity. I take this as a very serious attempt to stop all progress in pro-life laws, at least in Colorado. Which is a shame, because Colorado did not used to be a state that would embrace such a thing, and I know there are still many, many good, faithful souls there.
Archbishop Aquila asks for everyone to take some time to pray that this bill be stopped. You can also contact the Colorado Catholic Conference, or, better yet, look up the bill’s supporters in the Colorado Senate and contact them directly. The bill’s two sponsors are Senators Andy Kerr and Jeanne Nicholson.
Perhaps you could, in your charity, offer up a Rosary that this horrific bill be blocked and defeated. Or a Novena. There have been many small steps to see abortion made more difficult to obtain around the country. There has been a good deal of progress in the past few years. But that could all be undone should measures like this gain support, and, God forbid, one day wind up at the Supreme Court, where anything can happen.
As a final aside, I will also pray that we will one day see our own good Bishop Farrell offer a Mass directly outside a mill, as Bishop Sheridan just did, or at least have a constant presence of priests offering prayers, performing exorcisms, and the like. A 20 mile Good Friday procession is a wonderful thing, but one Mass offered outside one of these mills would be such a blow to satan and his many eager human acolytes, that the pro-aborts may never recover.
That’s something I’ll keep praying for. And I’ll also pray that Archbishop Aquila grow ever more faithful and participate more and more in the restoration of the Faith.
More TLMs will help.
Yes! Someone else gets it! April 11, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, the enemy.
I’ve probably been spending too much time reading secular blogs of late…..if this one qualified. Robert Stacy McCain is at least a moderately devout evangelical protestant and father of 6, even if he does have an unfortunate tendency to give fly to really impure language and imagery. He needs to stop doing that.
But there is no other writer out there I’ve found that has tackled the sick marxist dogma of feminism better than he has. Further, he has made the connection that feminism as a movement is about destroying the family as the prime building block of society, either out of twisted hatred or to better groom souls to accept government as their savior, lord, and master.
He had a post yesterday [content warning, you might not want to go there] discussing the new phenomenon of “heterosexual guilt syndrome.” Primarily afflicting women (but I’m sure men are not far behind), y0uth today are being so groomed into radical feminist ideology (and remember, a feminist is just a marxist lesbian) that they actually feel guilt for NOT falling into this grave perversion. As an indicator of how utterly upside down Western “culture” has become, this is a pretty good one: Sodom and Sapphos are so utterly triumphant among elite opinion-shapers, young people today (well, ok, at least leftist young people, but that’s many if not most of them) actually wish they were sodomites so that they could bask in all the culturally-driven glory:
The “Girls” star thanked her sister Grace, now 22, saying, “I have always felt a strong and emotional connection to members of the LGBTQ community. It was actually a huge disappointment for me when I came of age and realized that I was sexually attracted to men. So when my sister came out, I thought, ‘Thank God, now someone in this family can truly represent my beliefs and passions.’”
So obviously this Lena Dunham character is deeply depraved and deranged, as evidenced by the pornographic show she produces for HBO. But this phenomenon is hardly limited to her alone. A radical feminist university professor has noted that she can no longer teach her students elementary aspects of biology – such as that, men and women, and males and females of any species, are different! – without attracting hoots and catcalls of “homophobia:”
I wanted them to find their way to the notion that it’s not “heteronormative” to recognize that sex is an
evolutionarily adaptive[God-given, my edit] reproduction strategy that, in humans, involves males and females; it’s just our biology, and there’s a complex, mutually interacting relationship between the biological and the social. I’ve been working toward that all semester. But they have not gotten there.
That is to say, this feminist university professor has found that her students already have such deeply ingrained, powerfully shaped notions regarding human sexuality and even biology – notions entirely shaped by radical sodomite rhetoric – that she cannot get them to accept basic facts like: men and women are different, there is a natural order to sexuality that is conceived to perpetuate the species, etc.
As we saw in the Charlotte, ahem, Catholic High School debacle, even Catholic students, or maybe especially Catholic students, are so deeply convicted of these homosexualist errors and depravities that they simply will not be told otherwise, that so-called homosexuality is not inborn, is not natural, and is in fact a profound perversion (something that should be obvious from the natural law, let alone theologically) of the created order. But to say such nowadays is tantamount to heresy. And people are being, effectively, burned at the stake over this nightmare. The poor nun that did nothing but repeat constant Catholic Dogma and some relevant sociological data has now been cashiered and will probably never be seen in public again. That is the power of the sodomite lobby, and all the errors it has perpetuated.
What’s the end game? As I said at the top, and as RS McCain notes, it’s to end the family as the building block of society:
Yet this phenomenon — Feminist Heterosexual Guilt Syndrome — is implicit in contemporary liberal culture, which holds that sex is merely a form of pleasure, without any spiritual or moral dimension, to be regulated only by mutual consent. Liberalism’s apparent neutrality toward the sexual preferences of consenting adults, however, is belied by the incessant cheerleading for contraception, abortion and homosexuality. Contraception and abortion are necessary to the liberal project of diverting women from the path toward marriage and motherhood by suppressing their natural fertility. And homosexuality is celebrated by liberals as part of the same project, to de-legitimize the traditional family as a normative social institution.
And these folks just keep moving the ball forward. The effort heretofore has been to normalize sodomy and its female equivalent – now the effort is to convince people that everyone is at least a latent sodomite and to convince all – or as many as possible – that homosexuality is “naturally” superior. There is a growing movement among marxist lesbians to assail all heterosexual relations as “rape.” They claim women naturally “hate” men and and are repulsed by them, and it is only the oppressive patriarchy and patriarchal cultural conditioning that results in women having sex with men. Black is white, up is down, Laverne is Shirley: there is no depth to the depravity that will come so long as people forget God.
Ultimately, they want everyone to be like them. Having even a small minority reject their claims is enough to drive them nuts, because they still have the law of God written on their hearts. And even if, in some nightmare future, they do convince almost everyone to embrace sodomy, they will still be miserable and angry and refuse to understand why. Because God will remain, and so will His Law, and they will remain counter to it.
You may say, oh TE, slow down, you’re getting too excited. If you chart back all the progressive claims these radicals have made in the area of sexuality, you can see how the most radical claims, the most egregious, laughable stuff, suddenly becomes the accepted norm, and shortly thereafter, required belief, 15-20 years after the first outbreak of the new level of error. Same-sex marriage was first posited on a serious level about 20 years ago. Everyone laughed. Not so funny anymore. Leftist academics first began really arguing for legalized abortion, out in the public, starting in the early-mid 50s. In 1973, they got it. Now they’re arguing that all heterosexual relations are rape.
I wouldn’t laugh.
Sebelius’ Reign of Terror Is Over April 11, 2014Posted by tantamergo in Abortion, asshatery, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, horror, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
Cruella Deville has outlived her usefulness for the Zero. She’s been thrown under the bus, like so many before her, ostensibly due to the manifold failures of Obamacare:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned from the Obama administration, a move that comes just months after Americans started signing up for health insurance coverage under Obamacare.
President Barack Obama accepted her resignation earlier this week and will nominate the Office of Management and Budget’s Sylvia Matthews Burwell, 48, as the next head of the HHS, the New York Times reported.
The new head of HHS is just a younger version of the same:
Is a hair brush too much to ask? What?
Burwell is not Catholic, at least. So maybe she’ll actually have more respect for Catholic belief than an invincibly convinced heretic.
What am I saying?!? She’s a lefty, and already, during the government shutdown theater of last fall, she was the one that directed stupid, draconian steps – like closing national monuments that cost nothing to operate – in order to amp up the pressure on Republicans. She’s a Clinton loyalist, so I think we know her. She’s obviously pro-abort to the core, or she wouldn’t have gotten the job.
Meet the new boss, same as the old.
Does Sebelius have a reputation left to detract from?
Very scary – the coming “new world order church?” April 9, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Sacraments, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society, the enemy.
That is what That The Bones You have Crushed May Thrill is calling the scandal of the spectacle surrounding the baptism of a baby – conceived using techniques that would have shocked Dr. Frankenstein – born into a lesbian couple in Argentina: the “new world order church.” Those parents also received Confirmation, in spite of manifestly persisting in an unchaste relationship (there is no doubt these women are not chaste, the art they produce is pornographic).
If you want to see the “glorious” moment, watch this:
I know there are arguments on both sides of the debate on whether baptism should have been granted to this baby. Certainly, the child has done nothing wrong. But infant baptism is supposed to be based on the idea that the child will be raised in a moral, virtuous Catholic home. The faith of the parents and godparents is called upon to instill the same faith in the child until that child comes of age to develop their own faith.
Claiming that these women can somehow provide that basis in faith is, to me, ludicrous. It is scandalous as all get out, like letting a satanist couple have their child baptized (Dear Lord, is that next?). It seems to me to make a mockery of the faith. An unchaste, porn-producing lesbian couple cannot be considered to be faithful! And their baby was produced by a method the church abhors – in vitro fertilization through the use of donated sperm!
The fact that this baptism was so heavily publicized (largely at the couple’s behest) indicates to me that this entire event was orchestrated strictly for advancing “the cause.” We know adherents to “the cause” have many friends in the – far, far too many. I also have to wonder if it is any coincidence that this baptism occurred in Argentina, certainly the first such scandalous baptisms to occur in South America, and quite possibly the world. Is a none-too-subtle message being sent?
Is this the Church’s 21st century understanding of mercy, that sin, basically, doesn’t matter, all that matters is that people – no matter how distant their hearts are from Jesus Christ and His Church – go through a few public ceremonies of the Faith and give a sort of wink and a nod to Jesus, while their real god is themselves? But I thought the pope was violently against this kind of crass formalism?
Dark days ahead. The priest at the catechism class last night was explicating how the sodom and sapphos crowd are going to be the prime instigators of the persecution, within and without the Church. Be prepared to see those who loathe, hate, denounce, and torment you the most call themselves “Catholic.”
Lord, have mercy on us.
Over in England, Bishop of Portsmouth Philip Egan gave a strong discourse against the reception of the Blessed Sacrament by pro-abort and otherwise unfaithful politicians. The reaction was typical, progressive katholycs were angry and stirred up like a nest of vipers, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the press. Faithful Catholics were strengthened and gladdened to finally see at least some opposition to this ongoing and horrific scandal. Some hoped Communion might finally be withheld from these unfaithful politicians, ending or at least reducing the great scandal and sacrilege.
But lo and behold, the bishop’s conference of England and Wales swiftly came to the defense of the aggrieved politicians, assuring them that of course they wouldn’t be denied Communion for assisting in the murder of millions, or essentially destroying marriage by “redefining” it into meaninglessness:
he Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales assured Catholic Members of Parliament this week that there are “no plans” to refuse them Holy Communion after they voted to support the “gay marriage” legislation that came into effect yesterday.
Greg Pope, head of parliamentary relations at the conference and a former Labour Party MP, wrote to MPs assuring them that comments by the bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, on the Church’s Code of Canon Law forbidding Communion to “manifest grave sinners,” would not be applied to them. [oh? But maybe they'll be applied to less powerful or rich people?]
Today the media office of the bishops’ conference confirmed with LifeSiteNews that the letter was addressed to the Catholic MPs with the bishops’ full authorization. “Many thanks for your mail. Mr. Greg Pope was speaking as a spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales,” a spokesman with the bishops’ Catholic Communications Network said.
Greg Pope was chosen as the liaison between the English Catholic bishops and Parliament despite his consistent voting record in opposition to traditional moral teachings. Pope has supported abortion, adoption by homosexual partners, and artificial contraception. [I think that tells us all we need to know. Of course, the same occurs in the USCCB and subsidiary agencies on a constant basis, with a regular revolving door between Catholic Charities and population control zealouts, for instance]
National bishops conferences are a novelty that came into existence in the 20th century. The Vatican prior to Vatican II was rather hostile towards them, especially the American variety, which pioneered the concept of the bishop’s conference as a worldly, milquetoast, liberally-minded and socially active institution.
The idea sold regarding conferences is that they would strengthen catechesis by lightening bishop’s loads, allowing prelates to focus on the really critical work of being shepherds of souls. In practice, the conferences have been loci of bureaucratic malaise that, instead of lightening the load of individual bishops, have added to it massively, especially for ambitious prelates. You don’t get promoted without playing ball with the national conference. Even worse, the conferences have, at least in developed countries, have become a “lowest common denominator” phenomenon, continually limiting what can be taught, how it can be taught, and what actions bishops can take in defense of the Faith, individually (today, not much). There are essentially unwritten rules in place within the USCCB that prohibit bishops from performing such essential actions as excommunications.
In short, the bishops conferences have become expensive albatrosses that are not supporting and helping the Faith grow, but are stifling it and greatly inhibiting the effective proclamation of the Gospel. The bureaucratic malaise that has overcome so many individual bishops can be attributed directly to the conference and its stultifying effects. The above is just one example of a reasonable defense of the Faith being totally undermined by worldly bureaucrats at the national conference, but such examples are legion. That is why I have hoped and prayed for some time that somehow, by some miracle, the entire conference system can be dismantled.
And that is why I also loathe and fear any ideas of extending some kind of doctrinal “authority” to regional conferences. If such occurs, it won’t be 6 months before you have, in effect, numerous schisms with the “Church of the USA” being at odds with the “Church of Germany,” or the “Church of Uganda,” or whatever. That way lies madness. No…….that way lies protestantism. And liberal protestantism at that.
Which, after all, was the goal of many of the progressives at Vatican II, anyways.
Rosary of iron forged by decades of suffering April 8, 2014Posted by tantamergo in awesomeness, Basics, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, martyrdom, persecution, Victory, Virtue.
I try to mix the good with the bad on this blog. I don’t want myself or others to get beat down by all the bad news. Here, via Eponymous Flower, is an uplifting story on faith forged in persecution in Vietnam. A man, Nguyen Huu Cau, spent over three decades in communist prisons after the North successfully invaded and subjugated South Vietnam. A former ARVN officer, he converted to the Faith in prison. I pray for such faith and mercy! With the way the culture is going, some of us may have to experience such great trials for our faith:
Persecuted by the communist regime, he used the chains that robbed him of freedom to pray the rosary. Nguyen Huu Cau converted to Christ in prison. A few days ago he was released after more than 37 years in prison and a prison camp. “In 1986, I was baptized at the Easter Vigil by the Jesuit Joseph Nguyen”. Cau described in an interview with Catholic News the hard fate of Vietnamese Catholics. The Jesuit priest was the one who told him about Christ in custody and taught him the catechism. Since then, “I have prayed the Rosary every day seven times and Stations of the Cross five times,” said Nguyen Huu Cau-. [That's awesome]
After futile attempts at reeducation, Cau was released last 22 March. 32 years spent as the “enemy of the people” in prison and more than five years in a concentration camp. After his release, he said: “I thank God that He has forgiven my jailers.”
Due to severe torture during his detention, Nguyen Huu Cau-is now deaf and almost blind. “In prison, I’ve gotten to know Christ and found to faith.”
Cau was born in 1947. He served in the South Vietnamese army and became a captain. As such, he fought against the Communists of North Vietnam and the South Vietnamese Communists. When the Communists won in 1975, he was arrested and disappeared for several years in a concentration camp. In 1980 he was released from the camp, but in 1982 re-arrested because he had made hints on manuscripts of his poetry, that could have been criticism of the Communist regime.
In 1983 he was convicted of “sabotage” and damage to the reputation of the party and sentenced by the government as “an enemy of the people” to death. Later the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. For 32 years Cau had been in the prison camp Z30A K2 in the middle of the jungle. He wrote more than 500 letters to the Communist regime and called for the resumption of his trial. He never received a response. On 22 March 2014 he was released from prison 39 years after his first arrest. The release was due to an amnesty granted by Vietnam’s State President Truong Tan Sang because of the precarious health of Nguyen Huu Cau.
Cau prayed the Rosary “on the chain to which I was chained. It had 90 rings. I have made from the chain that took my freedom, my own personal Rosary…. [that is beautiful, and how martyrs have for centuries turned the tools of their oppression into victories for the Church]
….Before his conversion, Nguyen-Huu Cau kept his hatred against the Communist regime and against his tormentors alive. He hoped someday to be able to take revenge for what they did to him. Several times he thought at the time of suicide to escape captivity. “But the love of God and the Blessed Mother have changed me. I feel no hatred more for my tormentors. The Holy Trinity and Mary helped me to overcome my strife with my fate. Have prevented me from being killed while in custody all these years. “
As difficult as it is – and it is very difficult, at least for me – this is the kind of attitude we must have for those who attack and persecute the Church, even from within. Now in the twilight of his life, this faithful soul can give beautiful witness to the Glory of God and the peace and charity that come only through His Church. I pray that if I am ever called to such witness I may be as faithful and virtuous.
When you pray for the Church in China, you might add the Church in Vietnam as well. The communist government in Vietnam is heavily dominated by its northern neighbor, and implements much similar anti-Church policies at Chinese behest. As such, the Church in Vietnam has been heavily persecuted, and there has been interference in the assigning of bishops, attempts to set up an independent episcopal line, etc. There is frequent violence against the Church in Vietnam, but the Church there is much larger as a percentage of the population and has been much harder to subvert. It is an ongoing struggle between faithful priests, bishops and laity trying to preserve the rights of the Church, and the government constantly seeking to suborn those rights.
Cardinal Walter Brandmuller is one of the most tradition-friendly Cardinals in the entire Church. He is the main competition Cardinal Burke has for offering the most TLMs.
So, he’s a pretty orthodox prelate, as such goes these days. And he blames the current chaos in the Church, especially the idiocy emanating from Germany, on really bad formation. And not just bad formation of the laity, but of most priests and bishops, too:
Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the main reason for the current “chaos” in the Church. Given the internal Church debate on marriage and family the “unadulterated Catholic doctrine” is in danger, said the German cardinal and ecclesiastical historian of the Italian newspaper “Il Foglio” (Thursday). [There isn't any "debate." What is being proffered is some way to ignore plain Dogma, revealed by Christ and constantly adhered to by the Church for 2000 years, even when such has brought enormous suffering to the Church, which could have been avoided if the Church just gave way on this matter of divorce. But She cannot, because we are dealing with a completely irreformable Dogma. And it is both heresy and a mortal sin to either reject that Dogma, or to claim that it can somehow be changed, or is "debatable."]Under bishops, preachers, catechists and “especially among moral theology professors”, there often prevails an absence or lack of clarity about the doctrine, complained Brandmüller. Adding to the resulting confusion are bishops who claim that the Catholic moral teaching is not up to date. [Apparently, for these men, the Truth is not something divinely revealed which we must accept, on pain of sin, but it is simply one of many opinions that compete for acceptance in the so-called market-place of ideas. Yet another reason why Our Blessed Lord instituted His Church not as a democracy, but as a monarchical institution.]Brandmüller also identified statements by Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier to a renewal of moral and sexual education. Ackermann might be right if he meant that believers are more motivated to live a life according to Catholic doctrine, and this needed to be better explained. He could, however, be wrong, if he wanted to have said that the Catholic doctrine no longer fits the times, says the cardinal. Ackermann told “Mainzer Allgemeine” early February declaring in an editorial interview that he saw the need for a change of morality and sexual ethics of the Church. It is no longer appropriate, to refuse divorced and remarried admission to the sacraments permanently and consider premarital sex in general as a grave sin. At the same time Ackermann stressed he is not about making fundamental changes in teaching. [HA! That's like saying, there is no Trinity, or, Christ really didn't rise from the dead, and then saying "but saying such does not fundamentally affect "teaching."]
Regarding heresy being mortally sinful: it is, if the person in question knows he is rejecting an irreformable Dogma. Can bishops in Germany, the USA, and many other countries be so very badly formed that they are truly ignorant of what constitutes an irreformable Dogma, or are they only pretending such because it suits their purposes? I don’t think we can truly know in this life, unless one of these men pens a detailed manifesto, which, if they are so ignorant, they are probably incapable of, anyway.
Either way, it is a scandal of the highest proportions that we could have a situation in the Church where prelates are either guilty of mass heresy, or they are so horribly formed they can’t even begin to speak to Catholic doctrine. But knowing what we know of how atrocious seminary formation was, especially in the period many of these prelates were being formed (and lets face it, these are men who obviously learned very well how to please their progressive masters in seminary, and afterwards – they really know how to play the progressive game, and may even honestly have accepted many modernist errors), it may not be improbable that many of these men simply do not know come here from sick ‘em when it comes to Doctrine.
But I’m pretty dubious even of this. If we were talking about fine details the nature of the Holy Trinity, or aspects of the generation of the Holy Spirit, I think ignorance could be seen as a viable possibility. But we are talking about moral law which corresponds quite well to the natural law, which even non-Christians, without the light of faith that comes from Baptism, are able to comprehend from reason alone. And these Dogmas relate to such all-important cultural touchstones, given our culture’s obsession with sex, it seems pretty unlikely that bishops and priests of the Church could truly be ignorant of Catholic Doctrine on these matters. Even most non-Catholics are aware of what the Church formally believes when it comes to matters revolving around the marital act.
Either way, it’s a scandal of terrific proportions. We haven’t seen mass heresy in the ranks of the clergy on a scale like this since the protestant revolt against the Church.
And once again, it is centered in Germany. Surprise, surprise.
…..but stops short of saying the Archdiocese of Atlanta will sell it. Is an apology sincere if it elicits no modification of behavior:
“We are disturbed and disappointed to see our church leaders not setting the example of a simple life as Pope Francis calls for. How can we instill this in our children when they see their archdiocesan leadership living extravagantly? We ask you to rethink these decisions and understand the role model the clergy must serve so the youth of our society can answer Jesus’ call. Neither our 18- or 14-year-old sons understand the message you are portraying.”
So went just one of many of the heartfelt, genuine and candidly rebuking letters, emails and telephone messages I have received in the past week from people of faith throughout our own Archdiocese and beyond. Their passionate indictments of me as a Bishop of the Catholic Church and as an example to them and their children are stinging and sincere. And I should have seen them coming…….
…….Even before the phenomenon we have come to know as Pope Francis was elected to the Chair of Peter, we Bishops of the Church were reminded by our own failings and frailty that we are called to live more simply, more humbly, and more like Jesus Christ who challenges us to be in the world and not of the world. The example of the Holy Father, and the way people of every sector of our society have responded to his message of gentle joy and compassion without pretense, has set the bar for every Catholic and even for many who don’t share our communion.
As the Shepherd of this local Church, a responsibility I hold more dear than any other, certainly more than any configuration of brick and mortar, I am disappointed that, while my advisors and I were able to justify this project fiscally, logistically and practically, I personally failed to project the cost in terms of my own integrity and pastoral credibility with the people of God of north and central Georgia.
I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services.
I failed to consider the difficult position in which I placed my auxiliary bishops, priests, deacons and staff who have to try to respond to inquiries from the faithful about recent media reports when they might not be sure what to believe themselves.
I failed to consider the example I was setting for the young sons of the mother who sent the email message with which I began this column.
To all of you, I apologize sincerely and from my heart.
But, again, he did not say they are going to sell the property, or put the Archbishop in a more modest dwelling.
Judging from the tenor of the apology – you can read the whole thing at the link – I have to wonder if, absent people being able to point to Pope Francis’ calls for episcopal simplicity and modest lifestyle, there would have even been an apology? It seems much of the reasoning for the apology hinges on people pointing out the marked difference between Francis’ rhetoric and Gregory’s lavish mansion. Of course, the reality of Francis’ living situation and that of Gregory’s might not diverge as much as the rhetoric would indicate, but……
This does seem pretty heartfelt, though if Archbishop Gregory keeps living there, what is the apology worth?
Finally, how many bishops live similarly? I can tell you, it’s more than a few. So it’s a bit odd that a huge reaction got ginned up over just one particular bishop’s lavish home. Not that I’m sad to see it, it’s just odd.
Our own Bishop Farrell does not live in appreciably more modest circumstances. Why does one bishop attract huge attention with this, and not another?
A follow-up on episcopal palaces March 28, 2014Posted by tantamergo in abdication of duty, Basics, Christendom, disconcerting, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, shocking, the return.
I posted yesterday on the scandal of the cash-strapped Archdiocese of Atlanta spending nearly $5 million on residences for Archbishop Wilton Gregory and three cathedral priests. My wife made a really good point last night that I thought worth sharing.
I think many faithful have the sense that situations like this – and they are legion* – are indicative of an episcopate that has really lost its way. My wife noted this, and said how upside-down and inside-out things are: “we” the Church used to have glorious, beautiful churches and humble priests and bishops who lived very simply, now we have ugly “humble” churches and bishops (and some priests) who live in great opulence and extravagance.
That says a very great deal. It speaks to the worldliness that has crept so very deeply into the Church. It reveals a highly disordered materialism that is extremely difficult to reconcile with the kind of interior life one would expect a faithful bishop to have. And it shows how utterly misplaced priorities are, where parishes are often built to the lowest possible cost point with no thought of how to truly sacrifice and scrimp to make something lasting and magnificent, while lavish lifestyles are reserved for Amchurch’s local branch managers.
Some might think this is belaboring the point, but I don’t think too big a deal can be made out of this. It is scandalous in an age of parish and school closures, declining attendance, and massive dysfunction in the Faith for such huge sums to be wasted on episcopal residences of this type, and, again, there are a LOT of them
In fact, there is a close correlation between how liberal a prelate is, and how auspicious his style of living. See Robert Lynch, Joseph Bernadin, et. al., for details.
* – There are also opposite examples of bishops selling mansions and adopting very simple manners of living. They are to be applauded for this.