Showing posts from September, 2015

Pope Francis on Holy Communion for the Divorced and Remarried and the Motu Proprio

Courtesy of Vatican Radio

Jean Marie Guenois, Le Figaro Holy Father, you obviously cannot anticipate the debate of the synod fathers, we know that well.
But we want to know just before the Synod, in your heart as a pastor, if you really want a solution for the divorced and remarried. We want to also know if your ‘motu proprio’ on the speeding-up of annulments has closed this debate. Finally, how do you respond to those who fear that with this reform, there is a de-facto creation of a so-called 'Catholic divorce.' Thank you.Pope Francis I’ll start with the last one. In the reform of the procedure and the way, I closed the door to the administrative path, which was the path through which divorce could have entered. You could say that those who think this is 'Catholic divorce' are wrong because this last document has closed the door to divorce by which it could have entered. It would have been easier with the administrative path. There will always be the judicial path. Co…

"Failure of the Cross": Requires A Bit More Explanation

"The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross." ~ Pope Francis, 26 September 2015

I think I understand what Pope Francis is saying, but I think it is rather clumsily said and needed some additional explanation. It is clumsily said because even though, in strictly human terms, in terms, that is, of our limited human perspective, Christ's ministry on Earth led to what appeared to be failure. Yet the Cross was not failure at all, but the actual Redemption of mankind, the destroying of death itself, the defeat of the Devil and the opening of the gates of Heaven to all believers. 

In fact the hour of Christ's Death on the Cross was, in Christ's own words, the hour of his glorification and…

New Pope Francis Album Tipped to Top Christmas Charts

Like a rolling stone, humble whirlwind Pope Francis has been meeting and greeting the mighty and powerful of the USA, addressing President Obama, the United Nations and the US Congress, who still turned up to his address even though he cancelled his lunch with them at the last minute to dine with the homeless.

One can only wonder at how the Pope can cancel a lunch appointment with foreign dignitaries at such short notice (completely unplanned of course!) despite all the effort many staff will have gone to to prepare to greet him and show him hospitality, while publicly throwing them under the bus by making it know he fancied spending his time with other more humble, lowly types, and - despite this - his glowing reputation actually grows in stature. Obviously, if you or I arranged to meet someone for lunch and said, at the last minute, "Actually, I'd rather dine with some tramps I've just spotted," your hosts or mine would be equally impressed. If I rang round my frie…


Courtesy of National Catholic Register

...At the launch of the book in Brussels this week, the cardinal said he was part of a secret club of cardinals opposed to Pope Benedict XVI. He called it a "mafia" club that bore the name of St. Gallen. The group wanted a drastic reform of the Church, to make it "much more modern", and for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to head it. The group, which also comprised Cardinal Walter Kasper and the late Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, has been documented in Austen Ivereigh's biography of Pope Francis, 'The Great Reformer'.

I'm not shocked by the news, we've heard it before, but I'm surprised he has admitted it. After all Pope Francis has railed more than once against the Mafia so you wouldn't think Cardinals invited to the Synod would confess to their involvement in one. Still,at least that's another piece of documentary evidence for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to file under 'B…

We Cannot Insist Only On...?

Or we cannot insist at all?

Let's recall what Pope Francis said in an interview six months into his papacy which was published by America Magazine.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We hav…

Wanted: For Crimes Against Mercy

As the Editors of Communio present their thoughts on the Papal annulments shockwave rippling throughout the Catholic Church, I'd like to share with readers a deep concern I have developed concerning what looks very much like the deliberate short-circuiting of the Synod before it has in earnest begun.

The great problem I'm experiencing with Pope Francis is not just the carefully cultivated public relations exercises that are going on around him, but the extraordinary way in which the presentation of his personal virtues are set at odds or in contrast to the everyday, untelevised, unreported lives of those ordinary, almost unknown priests who live their priestly vocations.

Since the beginning of this papacy much of the spin circulating around the Pope has portrayed the Catholicism as the new and merciful Francis versus the antiquated, unmerciful Church.

It must, too, be said that, thanks to various addresses and insults Pope Francis has issued to 'kinds of clergy' and &…

Guild Coverage of the Shadow Synod

Nicolas Bellord, writing for The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, has completed a comprehensive and enlightening analysis of the 'Shadow Synod', containing the kind of arguments and...ahem, 'theology' the Church can expect to be presented in October. It is a great read but because of the subject matter you might want to pour yourself a brandy because if this is the kind of stuff that will be presented at the Synod on the Family...well...

The excellent 8-part analysis is written in separate posts which can be read as follows...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

And having read that, most readers will want to pray the Novena to St Michael the Archangel for Holy Mother Church. The novena goes from September 20 to September 29, starting today.

May God have mercy on us all.

Where will the synod lead us to?


New Questions Circulating Over Annulment Procedure

Recent stunning documents released by Pope Francis have sent shockwaves through the Catholic world as previously comfortable Catholic couples asked themselves and each other the burning question: 'Is my Pope valid?'

Cardinal Pell raised cautiously raised this difficult and heart-breaking issue last year when during a homily at the Summorum Pontificum conference in Rome. The Cardinal then said...

'Pope Francis is the 266th Pope and history has seen 37 false or anti-Popes. From the eighth to the nineteenth century the Popes ruled most of central Italy, an area known as the Papal States. For the last 150 years, plus or minus, the Church has been led by Popes, who were better, wiser, holier and more learned, than the historical papal average for the two millennia.'
The shocking implication made by Cardinal Pell was that 14% of all Popes are invalid. Much of the media overlooked that worrying statistic and it wasn't one cited by Pope Francis himself but last week brough…