Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

'Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.' ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Thursday, 22 December 2016

What Part of the Resistance are you?

Vive La Resistance!


I do rather have the suspicion the kind of resistance Pope Francis likes is the obedient, compliant, docile or sycophantic resistance that accepts every attack on Christian morals coming from his entourage as the breeze of the Holy Spirit. But then, I would say that, what being a part of the malevolent, just plain evil (albeit not curial) resistance taking refuge in tradition (don't forget gin) while watching the corporeal nemesis of Sacred Tradition do his worst upon the Mystical Body of Christ.

In his own words, the following is a break-down of the resistance within (but not only within) the Roman Curia who have, as expected, been taken 'down a peg or two' during another Christmas address, the latest insults of which form a pattern of behaviour by the Pope which, in terms of managerial style we can perhaps call 'unique'.

Francis embracing the good resistance.
Good Resistance

According to Pope Francis there is resistance that arises from good will and sincere dialogue. ('Spadaro, love your work. Try to reign in the sock puppets over Christmas. I can count those unquestionably loyal to me on two hands and a foot, but you, I just love what you do. Keep up the good work, I need resistance like yours. I depend on it. It keeps me level-headed.')

Hidden Resistance
Pope Francis uses the word "nascoste" to describe this type of resistance, which has the meaning of covert, underhand and stealthy. He says this resistance arises from petrified or frightened hearts that speak empty words in the spirit of the "Gattopardismo" (A reference to a character in an Italian novel and film) who verbally says he is ready to change, but wants everything to remain as before. (The Vatican translates "Gattopardismo" as 'spiritual window dressing'). "Gatopardismo or lampedusiano" is an Italian political term that has its origin in the novel El gatopardo, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957). It refers to a political approach of "changing something so that nothing changes". ('To the unconvinced, I say, be convinced. Fear not, be ye rigid not, nor faint or fail ye frightened hearts. Do not be afraid. It is I. Trust me, for I have overcome the Church. What I'm saying is, don't you be like the next part of the resistance')

Malevolent Resistance [resistenze malevole]
Pope Francis told the Roman Curia that malevolent resistance came from distorted minds which occurs when the devil inspires "cattive" intentions, bad or wicked intentions [che germogliano in menti distorte e si presentano quando il demonio ispira intenzioni cattive]. He said that such malevolent resistance often appears "under the guise of lambs". This last type of resistance hides behind words of self-justification, and accusations, taking refuge in traditions, in appearances, in formalities, in what is known, or wanting to make everything personal without distinguishing between the act, the actor and the action. ('You know who you are, you evil, traitorous, dubia supporting bastards. Of all people I thought it would be hard to break, I knew you traddies would be a job and a half. But I thought I knew you, and still you betrayed me. Pinto was right about you. Scum. That's what you are. Scum.')

One just wonders: What part of the resistance might be the world's largest global Catholic media organ available in several different languages, in several different languages, with online, radio and TV channels, EWTN? Will it soon be only The Tablet and America Magazine giving the Holy Father the unequivocal 'thumbs up'? I think it might be. In a day or two, I will, with the great mass of humanity be taking refuge in the tradition known as 'celebrating the birth of our glorious Saviour, Our Lord Jesus Christ'. That'll be one tradition, His Holiness himself will be upholding, right?




Have a happy Christmas you beautiful, rigid, self-absorbed promethan neo-pelagian resisters of reform for Christ! 


That Christmas Curia speech in full...
Amid scathing insult,
'Tis in mirth we exult in the happiest time!
It's the wonderful time!
It's the most wonderful time!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Vive, la resistance!


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

I Can't Help Thinking...

I know that thinking isn't encouraged by the Pope and his entourage, it is positively discouraged, but I can't help thinking that it's all about the shoes. Yes, it's all about the shoes.

Would it not have been far more fiendishly clever and cunning for Pope Francis and his inner circle to have followed a different pattern of behaviour, a different trajectory to that which has been chosen?

For instance, if the Kasper proposal that was to quickly become the Bergoglio proposal had been introduced by stealth instead of in a brazen manner that would inevitably create a noisy opposition, might things have been a little different in the Church today? If Pope Francis and his inner circle hadn't spent four years cultivating his image as 'a Pope like no other' might not Francis be taken more seriously? Might not people take more seriously someone who appeared to all external testing to be a traditional Pope, but who underneath it, wanted to radically reform the Church in such a way as he has made so very plain?

From the moment that Francis was said to have turned down the mozzetta and sniffed at the red papal shoes, from the moment that Francis asked the St Peter's Square crowd to call down God's blessing on him, introducing himself with a simple 'Good evening', from the moment Pope Francis went out of his way to make himself look and to behave in a manner that was so strikingly different to his immediate predecessor and all those who came before him, a clear trajectory was taken that forms part of an image cultivated to make Francis the Pope as different to the traditional understanding of 'the Pope' as possible.

If Francis had instead blessed the crowd in Latin, worn the red shoes and the mozzetta, retained around him Benedict XVI's appointments, been friendly and courteous with them, gathered so-called 'conservatives' around him, fostering an image of traditionalism, instead of pushing Benedictines out and isolating them, if he had retained Cardinal Burke and sought out his friendship and advice, if he had not bullied the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate into submission, alienated traditional Catholics across the world, insulted Catholic priests left, right and centre, promoted traditional liturgy, continued the Benedictine encouragement of Ad Orientem worship and the reform of the reform, then things would be so different now. Think of how many people would have been fooled and how many people would be 'on side', at least up to now. Oh how much more clever that would have been. To convince the Church you were a conservative but underneath it all to suddenly turn around and unveil your real agenda. Oh how much more sinister and devilishly wicked that would have been!

But he didn't do that. He did the complete opposite and I cannot help thinking - just from a 'strategic point of view' that this was a huge mistake for him personally. The fact is that Francis has been Francis the whirlwind. Francis the unique. Francis the incredible. Francis the 'one off'. Francis the innovator. Francis the lawbreaker. Francis the lawless. Francis the rupture with the past. Francis the socially liberal. Francis the political animal. Francis the Pope who discusses copraphagia in public. Francis the 'so very un-Pope-like that it's hard to believe he's even a Pope.'

Francis has been in such a huge and blatant rush to be so completely and utterly 'different to a normal Pope' and 'not quite like any other Pope we have seen' that it is rather silly of him and his circle - and rather silly of Austen Ivereigh - to expect the Church simply to accept what he says in Amoris Laetitia and to expect someone who has cast himself quite uniquely as a 'revolutionary', someone unique in the history of the Church from the very beginning of his pontificate up to the present to be taken at face value based solely on the authority that he wields 'because he's the Pope'. The credibility of the Pope comes from fulfilling the Office of Peter and stepping into the 'shoes of the fisherman'. It doesn't come from his personality. His authority relies not on being himself but on being 'the Pope', not the first of many, but the latest in a line, not the key-cutter but the keeper of the keys, not on being 'completely different' but in being 'the same as' or at least 'similar to'. If your remaking of the papacy involves not a small amount of destruction, don't be surprised if people can't recognise what 'the all-new pope in the all-new papacy' is and whether he should be taken terribly seriously.

Now where did I put my keys?

There's something very silly about smashing up your Office so badly only to be surprised the phone or your printer doesn't work anymore, that you can't even find your keys, or even locate a footnote to a document you signed, let alone your credibility as a Pope. Of course, the incorruptibles such as Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider would still have eventually cottoned on that they had been deceived, after such a convincing act that fostered the image that Francis was 'a traditional conservative' with a 'pastoral heart' but the deception would have been far more successful and far more wickedly clever and they would find it harder to convince the believing masses that it was possible that his document contained serious errors that needed to be addressed.

Small consolation for many.
Unfortunately for Francis, his strategy has been far too brazen and far too up-front. If anything, he has been too open in his agenda of 'reform' and has shown his hand too early. If many clergy, many Bishops, a number of Cardinals and swathes of the laity cannot take Amoris Laetitia terribly seriously and believe its contents 'on faith', then that really is not their fault, but rather the fault of the 'strategist' himself. Perhaps because he is a predominately political creature, his strategy seems to be akin to a politician who spends four years wrecking stuff with his silly ideas, alienates his civil servants, avoids challenging questions put to him by his party, heaps unto himself terrible political advisors, makes rash and stupid errors of judgement, manipulates the voting results at party conferences on future policy, offends the populace with his interviews and speeches, institutes policies that are disastrous, takes the country into civil war and then turns around after four years asking the electorate to trust him because he's apparently the man to guide the country to a greater, brighter, more prosperous future.

Remind you of anyone?

If a man wants to be taken seriously 'as a Pope', take the role of being a Pope seriously, seriously enough for people not to have asked, even just a year into a pontificate, whether the Pope is, indeed, Catholic, leaving vast areas of the Church only with the small fragment of consolation that at least bears still use woodland areas as lavatories and that some things, at least, do not change. The next Pope should aim to make himself appear deeply respectful and courteous and behave like a gentleman. He should say the things Popes say and do, rather than the eccentric things Latin American Jesuits might say or do. He'd be wise to make it apparent that he is a 'normal' Pope, a 'conservative', since Popes are by the nature of the Office they inhabit 'conservative', rather than radically re-making the papacy in his own image, stamping his personal opinions all over the Church and trampling under foot his supposed 'enemies' while denouncing his opponents and generally making himself look rather silly. In his conduct, he should be considered wise, rather than, as some have suggested, unhinged.

Yes. the next Pope, be he a blessing upon the Church and Her faithful children or a further and deeper chastisement upon them would be wise to wear the red shoes. I don't think Catholics, including many Cardinals will trust a Pope wearing black shoes for a long, long time.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Intellectual Life in the Post-Amoris Laetitia Church

Prophetically speaking of Amoris Laetitia?

While as a blogger who wishes to update the 'Pope Francis Book of Insults' page I find myself before an insurmountable mountain that just keeps becoming greater in mass, His Holiness is still producing the goods that must at some point be recorded for posterity. Today were denounced the ugly evils of clericalism and the horror of intellectualism in religion. I am certain that the word 'clericalism' means something else to Pope Francis than it does to those resisting the personal whim of the Supreme Pontiff in defiance of many gestures and petitions of good will and in seeming contradiction to the teachings of his predecessors.

Catholics - but not only Catholics - should be more than a little hesitant when anyone in great authority asks them to or demands them to suspend the use of their intellectual faculties, to put to one side logic, or to place reason in a box marked 'Do not open until after this pontificate' or even the ability to doubt, simply by virtue of the high authority or rank of the man telling them to do so. Does His Holiness forget when he smacks down 'intellectuals' and those infected with 'clericalism' while imposing his personal will on the Church that he occupies the highest Office in the Universal Church?

But back to the 'intellectuals of religion' insult. It has been the mark of many a totalitarian regime - most markedly in the 20th century - to suppress intellectual life (or dissenting opinions within it) 'for the sake of the ideal at stake'. Communism was renowned for it in the Soviet Union and in those satellite states like Poland that came under the yolk of the Red Empire. It goes without saying that Nazism did the same. Life for dissident intellectuals in China is, I would posit, not that great. Intellectual life was very threatening to the dictators and regimes of the 20th century if the views of the intelligentsia did not coincide with the doctrines of the day. Presumably, Fidel Castro wasn't terribly keen on intellectual life in Cuba that veered away from his interpretation of his new narrative of Cuba.

Writers, journalists, artists, academics who were 'dissenting' voices have historically not fared well under such totalitarian regimes. For this reason it is alarming that Pope Francis should dedicate a homily on the Feast of St Lucy to denouncing the 'intellectuals of religion' who are, basically, 'enemies of Christ', 'traitors' and, generally, scumbags. Was this homily directed at the intellectuals who wrote to him recently to make plain their concerns that the Emperor seems to have forgotten to get dressed? Or was it directed to anyone who is out there pondering over about the message of this pontificate embodied in Amoris Laetitia, using that wonderful God-given skull-encased organ we call the brain?

While I greet letters written by very intelligent persons to the Pope with heartfelt gratitude and while it should be acknowledged that it doesn't seem to pay to be 'an intellectual' in today's confusing Bergoglian garden moral maze - all hand-crafted by himself of course - we should not permit Pope Francis to cast the dubia of the Four Cardinals - and general dissent to his 'programme of reform' - as a primarily an 'intellectual issue', as if you had to be exceedingly intelligent to understand what is at stake here. Through the now customary daily opportunity to exercise the propaganda arm of his inner circle and verbally attack his opponents known as 'the homily', Pope Francis made it sound rather like being 'intellectual' and 'religious' was not a good thing at all or even mutually exclusive.

The train has indeed left the platform...
Indeed, one is reminded again of Pope Francis's response when asked publicly about the infamous footnote in his exhortation Amoris Laetitia, something resembling, 'I don't remember the footnote'. This was quickly followed by a suggestion that Cardinal Schoenborn should be consulted as to 'the right interpretation', as if in order to understand the ambiguity - or the secret doctrine at work in his Exhortation - you would need to consult not him (because he's a simple, humble man of the people, untrained in theological matters), but instead a 'clever' person, an 'intellectual', a 'leading theologian' who could interpret 'the right answer' for us.

It is just one illustration of the simple truth that 'intellectuals of religion' are indeed useful to the Pope, promoted and honoured, so long as the 'intellectuals of religion' are on the same page as Pope Francis to the exclusion of those who are on the same page as, for example, Popes St John Paul II and Benedict XVI. These 'intellectuals' do not it seems include Cardinals Brandmuller, Cardinal Sarah or Cardinal Burke, but would include such figures as Cardinal Kasper (somehow a leading light in the Church now!), Cardinal Schoenborn and one or two others. Just like in Communist regimes, 'intellectuals' of a sort are welcome, just so long as they are towing the line for the 'Ministry of Religion'. Keep on applauding the great leader, we don't want anyone to get hurt here, do we?

Austen Ivereigh, desperate to drum up support for Amoris Laetitia enjoyed casting those who resist 'the new doctrine' to be left standing on the platform while the train leaves. One just can't help but wonder whether Our Lord Jesus Christ, Pope Francis's illustrious and venerable predecessors, the Court of Heaven including the Martyrs such as St John the Baptist, St Thomas More and St John Fisher who died for such beliefs as the indissolubility of marriage are on Francis's Midnight Express or are still on the platform with the Faithful Four Cardinals and the many clergy and lay faithful who remain unconvinced.

Rome had, funnily enough, spoken long before 2016

Austen says, 'Rome has spoken' in Pope Francis but of course, we know that Rome had already spoken on this matter in 1981 while Pope St John Paul II was heroically battling Communism while simultaneously defending the indissolubility of marriage and the immutability of the Church's perennial teaching. Long before 1981, Christ Himself had spoken and so, too, St Paul. It doesn't require 'an intellectual of religion' to point out that Amoris Laetitia cannot be in continuity with Familiaris Consortio if 'the right interpretation' is in stark contradiction to Familiaris Consortio. It does require a good deal of sophistry with not a small pinch of deception, both of self and of others. One does not have to be 'an intellectual of religion' to figure out the simple truth that if Amoris Laetita's message is that sexual (mis)conduct, basically, doesn't matter anymore, that this is in contradiction to the 2,000 year message of the Church.

Ultimately, what Pope Francis is asking Catholics to do is to place their total trust, total fidelity and total faith in his person - that is, his private person - on this issue of whether the divorced and remarried and others whose lifestyles and situations are at grave variance with the Church's teaching may receive Holy Communion, thereby declaring themselves to be in Communion both with him and the Lord Jesus Christ. While claiming to be one who listens to the simple poor and humble folk - a historically oft-repeated claim made by many an atheistic Communist such as Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin to name but two - and while claiming to be himself too simple and unqualified in theological matters to get mixed up with those unhelpful doctrinal problems, Pope Francis and his inner circle are now using every means of popular communication possible to ask Catholics to trust in Pope Francis's person alone, to the exclusion of divine revelation, Scripture, Tradition, the Church's perennial discipline and teachings and to the exclusion of Christ and His Saints and Martyrs.

What Francis is doing is saying: 'Don't trust Faith or even consult with Reason, don't trust the testimonies of the Fathers of the Church or the teachings of the Popes. Just trust me, believe in me, put your faith in me - because I'm the Pope.' Worse, he is saying, 'Don't take Christ seriously at all, just take me very seriously indeed'. This is ultimately a divorce from a Catholic understanding of the Office of the Papacy which guards, defends, teaches and hands down the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to each and every Successor of St Peter.

And before Austen says, 'Ah, but we (for they are legion) were thought of as dissidents while Benedict XVI was reigning' let me just say that Benedict XVI tended not to punish his enemies or insult them. Nor did he ever have the arrogance to ask the People of God to place their trust in him to the detriment of their Faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He continually pointed to Christ. It was intellectually sound, not simply because he was intelligent and could discuss Rahner or St Augustine but because what he said actually made sense. Do you remember those sweet days when a gentleman was on the Throne of St Peter, not bandying around insults but simply catechising his brethren and gently but firmly teaching the Catholic Faith handed down to him? You know, just doing what a Pope, traditionally-speaking, does?



Remember his courtesy and his warmth and his ability to greet and treat people with the kind of respect that each man deserves as a child of God? Did he ever lord his power over the clergy? Harangue them? Threaten them? Bully them? Did he ever greet seminarians one year saying, 'I don't know what we should do about the looming vocations crisis' and in the next breath call them 'little monsters' or bewail their defects? Did he upbraid clergy or seminarians for their clothing choices? Did he ridicule the faith of others around him?  Do you ever remember him having a bad word to say about anyone? Was there a single point in Benedict XVI's pontificate when you thought you would have to go against your sacred conscience in accepting something that he was proposing? Did he ever make you think a time was approaching when you would have to choose between the teaching of Benedict XVI and the teaching of Jesus Christ? The answer to all these questions is no.

Unfortunately for Austen and for those who he defends, the truth is very simple, if always unwelcomed by many. The Catholic Faith is true and simple. Christ's teaching on divorce and remarriage is true and simple. It is both true and simple to accept that if Pope Francis tells people by various methods to trust him, instead of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church suddenly has a very unconvincing man-made religion to propose to mankind instead of the Truth of Jesus Christ. It doesn't take a genius or an intellectual to see that 2 + 2 does not equal 5.

It does not take an 'intellectual of religion' to realise that a Pope whose cult of personality extends so far into the Church as to ask Her ministers and faithful to subtly, and in a quite Orwellian manner, dispense with the teachings of the Church's divine founder needs to be firmly resisted in this ambition and, if necessary, opposed publicly. To do so has nothing to do with hating Francis, the man, or even Francis, the Pope. It means priests, bishops, cardinals, religious and the laity standing up for Jesus Christ and opposing the ancient foe who wishes for the destruction of Christian morals and the Christian faith. As far as many who are objecting to Amoris Laetitia are concerned, Francis the man and Francis the Pope can, quite frankly, get out of the way, for it is the Devil who we wish to be trampled under Our Lady's heel. We hope and pray that in the process, Francis is left unharmed.

For his own sake, and the sake of others, may Pope Francis answer the Cardinal's questions before he is brought to answer Our Blessed Lord's. 

May the triumph of her Immaculate Heart come quickly. 

Come, Lord Jesus!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Vatican's Most Wanted

An artist's impression of the wanted criminal, notorious for rigidity...

Vatican Police departments are asking for help for information on a wanted man, an artist's impression of whom is pictured above. Notorious for such unpardonable offenses as frequent rigidity and unspeakable worldliness, as evidenced in the photograph of this villain, a dangerous man known simply as 'Gotagetta Nubiretta' is wanted by Vatican police and intelligence services. He is known still to be at large. It is advised that if he is seen, he is not approached. His very rigidity is known to be dangerous.

His name comes from his reputation as a known frequenter of Rome-based clerical outfitters that supply traditional attire and accessories. It is likely that he celebrates both the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the so-called Extraordinary Form, which we know to be the Mass of the Rigid. He is therefore likely to carry a Breviary and could use it at any time. It has yet to be confirmed whether it is in Latin and, therefore, potentially deadly. He is therefore to be considered armed. He has committed a variety of offenses which are so unmentionable in their rigidity that it is best that these terrible deeds are left unreported, so shocking would normal people find them. At times, he is known to ask terrifying questions that are most threatening, persistently asking for answers to unspeakable queries, of an abstract nature that require binary responses. If he doesn't receive these binary responses he becomes even more terrifying and menacing.

'Quick-Draw Benedictus': Now languishing, if made comfortable, in a Vatican 'cell'

Authorities would like to trace this man so that he may join his associate and the man said to be the ringleader of the wild west gang of the rigid, the now incapacitated, 'Quick-Draw Benedictus'. Among the crimes of 'Quick-Draw' are a range of clothing-related offenses. Justice was served upon him since he used his noble priestly status to adorn himself in traditional clerical attire that both shocked and offended decent people in locale - as well as those working in the heights of the Vatican and beyond. His very being positively oozed rigidity and worldliness. In his presence, many in Rome complained of feeling 'disturbed' and 'uncomfortable' even by the clothing and vestments he wore. The Vatican's Network of Clothing Spies for the Good of the People (VNCSGP) were alerted and the public can be reassured that he no longer poses a threat to the people, his power to infringe upon the rights of good people to live in peace and prosperity neutralised, and this enemy of the good no longer at large. He refused to smell of the sheep. Now, thanks to the hard work of the authorities and the help of its associates in various departments of the Vatican, he justly smells like a prisoner.

Despite the poor picture quality of our artist's impressions, be assured that 'Quick Draw' is languishing now in a Roman cell, though made comfortable in a penitential regime infused with our glorious new understanding of the doctrine of mercy, under strict guard in the 'Ryvita Wing' of the prison, where the aged rigid are fed on the foodstuff that their rigidity deserves. They refused to be flexible in their station in the Church, so their diet is equally inflexible. They wore rigid hats, so such shall their food taste of such. It is hoped that by such meet punishments such undesirables can be redeemed and gently rehabilitated to choose the path of freedom and joy enjoyed by secular clergy and our merciful brigade of happy episcopal conferences the world over, who generally speaking pose no potential threat to the common good of peaceful folk. The public can all be heartened that justice has been already, and with your help, will soon been served upon other individuals as a necessary warning to others. We all want to live in peace. But in order for peace and peaceful co-existence to flourish in the Church and the world, those who do not desire peace and mercy, but choose instead rigidity and worldliness, must for the good of the people be apprehended for brotherhood to bloom.

It is believed that in future, joining them may be other cardinals, bishops and priests - and perhaps persistent and criminally-minded, bothersome laity - in all regions, known for their rigidity, worldliness and their attraction to either wearing or appreciating traditional clerical accessories, rigid liturgy and the ridiculous womanly attire known to be worn by such inflexible functionaries. They are also soon to be added to a most wanted list. If you know of any such persons who could be worldly in their interest in traditional clerical outfits, who are seen in birettas, saturnos, clerical capes or coats or other ornamental clothing or items that are not strictly necessary to the priesthood and that mark such individuals out as outlandish and unnecessarily rigid functionaries, please do not remain fearful in silence. These are sure signs of mental disturbance, a sure lack of flexibility, worldliness, closure to new ideas brought by the Spirit, a lack of mercy and tenderness and tendencies towards the attitudes of functionaries and, in short, a wholly criminal mindset bent on solemn nonsense and resisting our glorious future of mercy, peace, dialogue and fraternity.



Don't take risks with our glorious brotherhood.

If you see it, say it. 

If your eyes have caught it, or if you even thought it, report it.


Call us today on our regional hotline if you can help us to bring any as yet to be apprehended priests or any other rigid functionaries, worldly and unyielding so-called 'Catholic priests' or 'Catholic bishops' to the unyielding justice that must be theirs. A financial reward may be forthcoming for those who give substantial information as to their whereabouts.



Our regional hotlines are open.


Our hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keep our parishes and our communities safe. Remain alert. Do not approach them. They are known to be dangerous. Their very ideas are toxic to our freedoms and the ideals we uphold. Simply dial our hotline number. 

Our switchboard is ready to receive your call...NOW.

Cardinal Aguilar on Amoris Laetitia: Read it Slowly



Mahound's Paradise covers the story brought to his attention by Jane Royal...

'A few distinguished gentlemen are suffering because they do not understand what Francis meant in Amoris Laetitia and want the Pope to explain it. Their "concerns" are imaginary, because the Pope said what needed to be said with sufficient clarity.

Just read it slowly if you want to understand. Some say (Amoris Laetitia) expresses personal opinions; others that it doesn't change anything; and others that it changes much. One must be more sincere and a open-minded.

The Pope expressed much about the nature of Christian marriage as a covenant of irrevocable love. And he did so as it had never been done previously in the magisterium of the Church. Taking a very realistic perspective, he says that in today's society there may be people trapped in situations of sin, from which they repent and from which, at a given time, they cannot extricate themselves; and it teaches that these people, if they are truly repentant, can receive absolution from their sins and can therefore receive communion avoiding any scandal. If those who doubt our aside their cards and go to confession, they will understand better.

Find people who are suffering and sincerely seek God. God loves, God calls, God waits with his peace. How can we dispossess them?'

So... 

If the Cardinals "concerns" are your "concerns" they are not real, genuine "concerns". That's why "concerns" are in quotation marks.

If you have "concerns" you should read it slowly. Then your "concerns" will disappear.

The Pope is great and his teachings on marriage are great. So your "concerns" are null and void.

If you have "concerns" you don't have sympathy for people in difficult situations who repent but who cannot yet break free from their difficult situations.

If you have "concerns" you are not a real Christian.

Thanks for clearing that up, Cardinal Aguilar.

Now can you ask the Pope to speak for himself and answer the concerns of the Cardinals which are also the concerns of the People of God.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

'Dear Pope Francis'

Binary answers are not included.
The image (left) is a charming little book that some readers may recall was published of answers to letters from children around the world.

It just goes to show that Pope Francis is only too happy to answer letters on various themes and questions - nothing binary mind - when answers are sought.

Presumably, his answers to the dubia are on the back-burner for the time being, until the illustrations have been well and truly completed.

While we await 'Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers the Four Cardinals Doubts on Amoris Laetitia', by Pope Francis, any help readers could give me in updating my online little book of Pope Francis insults would be most appreciated. It has been a long time since I have updated the book and a small team of readers who had a bit of time on their hands to search Radio Vaticana and various publications to update his exhaustive list of insults would be very helpful. This is a work for the Church, a document also for Church historians - a veritable 'go to' site for those - perhaps a College of Cardinals - who will wish to 'review' and 'discern' the content of the Francis papacy in years to come.

If you can help, contact me at the email address in the right-hand sidebar.


Look very carefully and it becomes very obvious precisely why the Jesuits were suppressed.


Today, like yesterday, is, I believe, 'international buy your parish priest a saturno' day. Don't wait until Christmas. Every parish priest deserves one. Preferably one with the vital quality of rigidity. A floppy saturno simply will not do.


Friday, 9 December 2016

Style and the Priesthood

A Canadian priest keeps warm outside.

Oh well, at least coprohagia and coprophilia were given a wide berth during this morning's homily. We must be thankful for small mercies...

“About rigidity and worldliness, it was some time ago that an elderly monsignor of the curia came to me, who works, a normal man, a good man, in love with Jesus – and he told me that he had gone to buy a couple of shirts at Euroclero [the clerical clothing store] and saw a young fellow - he thinks he had not more than 25 years, or a young priest or about to become a priest - before the mirror, with a cape, large, wide, velvet, with a silver chain. He then took the Saturno, he put it on and looked himself over. A rigid and worldly one. And that priest – he is wise, that monsignor, very wise - was able to overcome the pain, with a line of healthy humor and added: ‘And it is said that the Church does not allow women priests!’. Thus, does the work that the priest does when he becomes a functionary ends in the ridiculous, always.”~ Pope Francis, 9th December 2016

May I suggest a campaign to fit our parish priests out with a nice warm clerical coat, preferably made with a decent, warmth-enhancing material in these cold winter months and a stylish, warm saturno. It's not all about looking good. Sometimes its about keeping warm. It also goes without saying that personally, while trying on an item of clothes, which you are going to spend good money on, it is always advisable to look in a mirror, not necessarily out of vanity, but perhaps just to check whether the clothes fit you and, indeed, suit you.

However... 

'It's just a saturno. It can do you no harm.'
There is a place for style in the Catholic Church.
As a certain TV series is currently demonstrating.



Priests take certain vows to which they are bound.
No priest takes vows not to look great.

'It's not about me. It's about the liturgy.'

Thursday, 8 December 2016

No News Presenter Should Have to Read this Headline...




Who could possibly blame them?

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Don't blame us bloggers, Fr Spadaro.

All we do is deliver the news.

And make comment upon it.

We're just sitting here, doing what we can to defend the Bride of Christ
from those who wish to rape her.

If at times it looks like we're "unbalanced" it is because we passionately don't
want the Bride of Christ to be raped.

We care for justice, mercy and truth.

We care for the souls for whom you don't seem to give a hoot.

By the way, thanks for blocking me on Twitter in the #spiritofdialogue.



Presumably, a left-wing propaganda machine would be more acceptable to you.

Still, I can't take it personally.

I know you're not talking about me though since mine was never a 'balanced blog' in the first place.

The only ones wearing 'masks' are the ones who have to reinvent Church Synod history to suit their nefarious ends.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cardinal Napier: Let Conscience Reign Supreme!



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Who would have thought dispensing with 2,000 years of faith, 
law and practice could be so very easy?

Is King Henry VIII owed a huge apology? 


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Cardinal Napier publicly states that it is "nearly impossible" for Pope Francis to answer 'Yes' or 'No' to the Dubia. The reason stated is that you cannot legislate for the internal forum. Within the internal forum, he contends that God and conscience reign supreme since discernment involves conscience more than law. The dubia questions, to remind ourselves, are as follows:


1. It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio, 84, and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305) of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio?
2. After the publication of the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia (304), does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 79, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, on the existence of absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?
3. After Amoris Laetitia (301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (Matthew 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, “Declaration,” June 24, 2000)?
4. After the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 81, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?
5. After Amoris Laetitia (303) does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, 56, based on sacred Scripture and on the Tradition of the Church, that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?

However, Cardinal Napier's tweet does not do the Dubia justice at all. 

Here is why:

Question 2 is asking whether there exist absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and whether these are binding without exception. This has nothing to do, either with the internal forum or with conscience, certainly not subjective conscience unformed by the Church. This is asking a simple question as to whether objective moral norms even exist, whether these norms are binding on all without exception. Basically: Does the moral law exist? Does it apply to all of us?



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Similarly, question 3 follows naturally on from this to ask whether - in all cases - committing adultery is always wrong and gravely sinful.  Again, this has nothing to do with the internal forum or the conscience of the would-be communicant. Does the sixth commandment still apply to humanity or is it all relative to each person? This is what is meant by objective situation of grave sin. Does the moral law exist? Does it apply to all of us?



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Likewise, question 4 follows naturally on to ask whether  “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility” can ever transform an evil act into a good or defensible act. Again, can intentions or circumstances make an evil choice into a good or excusable one. This is asking: Does the moral law exist? Does it apply to all of us?



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Question 5 is (ironically for Cardinal Napier) asking whether a "creative interpretation" of the role of conscience can ever be used to justify sin or authorize or legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms. Can a creative interpretation of conscience make the violation of the objective moral law justifiable?  Does the moral law exist? Does it apply to all of us?

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Only in question 1 of the dubia could it reasonably be argued from perspective of a pastor that it is "nearly impossible" for the Pope to answer due to an appeal to the subjective discernment that may take place in the internal forum and to 'the supremacy of conscience' therein. This is the only question that directly concerns not in the first instance the objective moral law only, but the Church's constant teaching and practice

The question is directed at a specific situation concerning the divorced and remarried and not to the divorced and remarried generally, but to those divorced and remarried in a new union who are not committed to living in continence and who continue sexual activity in a manner which Christ's teaching holds to be adultery, thereby violating the sixth commandment in an objective manner. Here, a nuanced attitude of 'discernment' and a 'creative interpretation' of conscience cannot readily be applied.



Indeed, it implies a certain discernment that a pastor might make of a couple's situation as to the repentance (or conversely, its absence) which is required in order for Absolution even to be granted. This, indeed, requires an examination of conscience, informed by the Church's teaching, for the penitent(s) and an application of the objective moral law and objective moral norms binding on all people, regardless of their subjective situation, to their actions.

Please feel free to correct me, but it is in the light of this that it is asked whether those who 'continue to live as husband and wife' may be granted access to the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. It is therefore asked whether the notorious footnote permits unrepentant adulterers with no intention of ceasing gravely sinful activity may henceforth receive both Absolution without repentance and Holy Communion while making no break at all with their sinful activity. Is an unrepentant adulterer in Communion with Christ? Is adultery now sacntioned by the Catholic Church? Does the objective moral law exist? Is it binding on all? My friends, these are not difficult questions - not even question 1 - for Pope Francis to answer. Far from nearly impossible, they are simple. The answers are withheld for reasons known to the Pope, but they have nothing to do with the supremacy of conscience and nothing to do with the internal forum, unless the internal forum is simply to become the Church's official means of aiding and abetting, or 'accompanying' unrepentant adulterers on their journey to eternal perdition.

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Now the idea that the Pope cannot answer these questions because of the supreme role of conscience and the internal forum is shown up for what it is. Complete rubbish! Either Cardinal Napier needs to go back to the seminary or to catechism class or he hasn't read the dubia and therefore speaks in ignorance of its contents. There is another option, that Cardinal Napier is being dishonest, but I'd rather think that this was not the case. I'd rather he was confused, but this option doesn't instill me with confidence in the Hierarchy either. Human conscience is bound to the moral law. The moral law is unchanging and its violation is objective, regardless of the subjective situation in which it is either upheld or violated.

Sorry Your Eminence, but there is no good reason - not one - why the Pope cannot answer the dubia, unless he wishes to permit great confusion in the Church for a specific reason, known only to him, or wishes confusion to flourish in order that the Church's constant teaching and practice may be altered in an underhand manner that is not faithful to the teachings of Christ, Her Founder.


Monday, 5 December 2016

New Revised Editions of Timeless Classics (By Papal Decree, 2016)

A very different image of St Thomas emerges
Summa Theologica by St Thomas Aquinas 
(RRP £19.99)

To place our purpose within proper limits, we first endeavor to investigate the nature and extent of this sacred doctrine.

Concerning this there are ten points of inquiry:

Primo, de necessitate huius doctrinae.
(1) Whether it is necessary?

Secundo, utrum sit scientia.
(2) Whether it is a science?

Tertio, utrum sit una vel plures.
(3) Whether it is one or many?

Quarto, utrum sit speculativa vel practica.
(4) Whether it is speculative or practical?

Quinto, de comparatione eius ad alias scientias.
(5) How it is compared with other sciences?

Sexto, utrum sit sapientia.
(6) Whether it is the same as wisdom?

Septimo, quid sit subiectum eius.
(7) Whether God is its subject-matter?

Octavo, utrum sit argumentativa.
(8) Whether it is a matter of argument?

Nono, utrum uti debeat metaphoricis vel symbolicis locutionibus.
(9) Whether it rightly employs metaphors and similes?

Decimo, utrum Scriptura sacra huius doctrinae sit secundum plures sensus exponenda.
(10) Whether the Sacred Scripture of this doctrine may be expounded in different senses?
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1. Whether, besides philosophy, any further doctrine is required?

Come to think of it, I can't be arsed with this.  So I'm off to have gin and tonic.

Objection 1: You 'can't be arsed' with this? What kind of scholastic philosopher are you? And you a Doctor of the Church? Isn't there more to life than simple pleasures like relaxation and having a G and T?

Objection 2:  Haven't you got anything to say about sacred doctrine and the moral law, God, the nature of the universe, man's final destiny? Well? Can't you even tell us briefly? Yes or no?

On the contrary.  Listen my friend, I don't give binary answers to abstract questions!

Reply to Objection 1: Who are you to judge? Have you not discerned the matter and the times? Haven't you realised that this is the Francis pontificate and these things are just not considered important anymore? Consider if you will the flux of life and see within it that black and white is simply unhelpful. Shades of grey, my friend. That's what you're lacking. Do you have psychological issues or something?

Reply to Objection 2: Listen my friend, you're questions were very relevant until 2013, but we're in a new era now. If the Pope can't give binary answers to abstract questions I don't consider that I have to either. Catch my drift? Besides, it really depends on what you mean by such terms as 'sacred' and 'doctrine'. These terms are a little archaic. Don't be a doctor of the law! And don't be rigid!

I answer that this is all a bit too much for me at the moment. You know full well yourself that there are some times in life when, quite simply, alcohol is the answer. This is the Francis pontificate. This is one of those times. Everything I had written in the first edition I had considered compared to the love of God as straw. Despite describing Amoris Laetitia as 'Thomistic' he is proving to the Church that he considers my works to be as straw as well. Binary answers to abstract questions are out. Fleeting trivialities and the dictatorship of relativism are in. So let's just leave it there shall we?

_______________________________________________________________________________

A Catechism of Christian Doctrine (Penny Catechism)
(RRP: £3.95)

1. Who made you?
Do we really have to go there? Well, I know that Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Cardinal Daneels and Cardinal Kasper helped, there was a group of them, but I said to them, "No, no! Don't go vote canvassing for me!I don't want it! But if you insist - . And the rest is history. They got their man."

2. Why did God make you?
I find this question unhelpful. There are more important matters, more urgent issues. One must discern the flow of life. However, don't be afraid of surprises, because I have the humility and the ambition to act audaciously, boldly in carrying out a programme of radical reform within the Church, whose loyal son I remain. It's the Communists who think like Christians, after all.

3. To whose image and likeness did God make you?
Cardinal Schonborn's interpretation is the correct one.

4. Is this likeness to God in your body or your soul?
I don't give binary answers to abstract questions.

5. How is your soul like to God?
This is beautiful. Beautiful! In fraternity!

6. What do you mean when you say your soul is immortal?
What I mean is that dialogue is the key. Always dialogue. Forward. Always forward.

7. Of what must you take most care, your body or your soul?
I don't give binary answers to abstract questions. Shall we leave it there? May I recommend instead my new exhortation Amoris Laetitia? But ask Cardinal Schonborn for the correct interpretation because his is the right one.

With Christ or Against Christ: There is Nothing In Between


The quote in black is from His Holiness.

The quote in white is from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today sees also the release of an incredible (as in unbelievable) account of current affairs within the Church seen from the unique perspective of Fr Antonio Spadaro.  I really don't know where to start with the Spadaro interview. A response from One Peter Five can be read here. But in Spadaro, we are reassured that the sock puppetry continues apace. As goes Fr Spadaro's Twitter accounts so goes the Church.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Fidel and Francis


Like me, I expect readers had a confusing time in the wake of Fidel Castro's death. Why the tributes? Why the praise? Why almost adulation? It served as a timely reminder that there is so much the Left and those who serve its cause - and let's face it, they are legion - are ready to excuse just about any crime as long as the cause itself is still venerated and maintained intact.

The very name 'Fidel' means 'faithful' - and the baptised Fidel Castro was a baptised member of the Faithful. In adulthood, he became faithful to something else, like many of his contemporaries, faithful to Communism or at least a variety of socialism without compromise. With total commitment to his cause - which was no longer the Catholic Faith - he did everything he possibly could to ensure that Cuba would be an outpost of Communism - attempting to make it a beacon to the world, or, dare I say it, a 'lighthouse' of social justice and his often confusing view of what social justice is.

Unsurprisingly and depressingly, it is under-reported by the mainstream media how far short of utopian his reign over Cuba was and I was generally aghast at how little condemnation there was of the Castro regime's dictatorial, oppressive and often murderous stranglehold over the Cuban people by the Left and I have been struggling to come to terms with what role morality - which even the Left champions at times - plays in the ideology espoused in so many variants in that part of the political spectrum.

For all of his flaws, Corbyn hasn't killed anyone as far as we know
So in this country, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, though not alone, lauded Castro, sidelining his crimes with such dismissive asides as 'for all his flaws...' as if Castro simply had a rude, abrupt manner or forgot to put the toothpaste lid back on.

A man is at liberty to mourn and be sorrowful for the death of anyone - be he good or bad - but one might argue that for the Pope to publicly state his own mourning or sorrow for the death of a dictator who oppressed Catholics and had a load of people shot for no good reason might be a little excessive, or at least profoundly insensitive to Castro's many victims, some of whose families managed to escape this island of understated tyranny on life rafts. Newspapers, mainstream media outlets lauded the man, quietly overlooking so much objective evil and suffering he caused as if these 'excesses' were completely understandable, eminently forgivable and all part and parcel of a complex personality that ultimately wished to establish a nation based upon precepts that are inherently good.

What was so frightening was that morality itself, the Moral Law itself, so often, in different ways upheld by the Left crumbled before this 'giant of a man' of the Left, this colossus who brought a country to its knees to serve his wayward ideology. Just as the wicked melt like wax before the Presence of the Lord, so too does morality itself seem to melt away before some figures in history. For example, to say nothing of torture, political imprisonment, restriction of various freedoms and liberties, the modern Left upholds the dignity - or at least some form of 'equality' - for homosexuals and preaches 'tolerance' to those of different sexual orientations. Castro didn't. He publicly decried them as scumbags, regarded them as filth, but to the Left this was completely excusable. The Left today look to democracy to convince the masses of the benefits of their cause. Generally, they are said to uphold democratic institutions and seek to attain power through the ballot box. 'Democracy itself is a good', they say, but then if democracy brings you Donald Trump, it 'must be reviewed'. There was nothing democratic about Castro's regime.

Barabbas
To my mind, with Fidel and others, it seems to be due to more than a simple cult of personality, but points to a deeper, more mysterious reality about evil and the evil men do. Jesus attracts in the Gospels. People come to Him, but so too does the Devil attract people, in subtle ways, appealing to different instincts in man, Christ for the better, the Devil for worse. The crowd chant "Barabbas!" when asked whom to release. He is chosen to be freed instead of Christ. It would be better for Truth to be crucified than to be liberated and venerated. Perhaps someone can help me, but Barabbas is described in some translations as simply 'a robber' and in others as some form of revolutionary or insurrectionist.

This Barabbas - his name means - 'son of the father' but he is not regarded as 'the Son of the Father'. That is Jesus. We can only speculate as to the spiritual paternity of the man Barabbas, but he is not from God. Jesus is sent from God and is God. So clearly there is nothing new about a 'popularist', a revolutionary with disdain for the moral law winning a measure of popular acclaim while trampling on true justice. Despite mass murder, Che Guevara, just like Fidel Castro, still holds a very affectionate, lofty and iconic influence in today's world but increasingly I read over these words with disbelief: Despite. Mass. Murder.

And one wonders, just how much evil does a man have to do in the service of his cause - even if this cause retains enduring popularity and acclaim from a variety of people across the world - to receive public rebuke, rather than recognition or applause, or for those who share that cause in some way to distance themselves from that man in such a way that they say, 'Despite sharing some of our beliefs, what he did was inexcusable and we don't want to be associated with him at all. You can't just have your enemies murdered and oppress your people for not sharing your view of things. Is it really that hard for the Left to say, 'This guy took things way too far!'

Is it willful collective blindness, or is it something else entirely? Is it blindness or the toleration or acceptance or even attraction to evil? Do they really admire the man Castro for his perception of social justice, or does the heart of men simply roll over like a puppy enjoying cuddles when objective evil itself is glamourised or for a time triumphs? Why was Guantanamo criticised internationally (personally, I understand why!) but Castro's 'excesses' are all part of a complex package of beliefs that are considered laudable? Is it because Cuba was regarded as an 'underdog'? So that makes it okay? I am certain it is more than this. History records that Hitler and Stalin were bad men of their generation, but also records that they were incredibly popular men of their generation.

St Francis Xavier: Got a bit carried away just as the Saints always have done.

The Church, too, is vulnerable to precisely the fanaticism or extremism that Pope Francis decries in religions when another bomb goes off, usually in the name of Islam. But the greatest danger isn't a radical devotion to Christ and His Law. The greatest danger is of surrendering Christ's Teachings in favour of those of another. The greatest danger is of replacing God with the idolatry of an ideology, or the idol of the self. God's Law is perfect. His commandments are just. Real devotion to God and His Church, is meant to produce Saints, exemplars of moral virtue and heroic men and women of charity who, like St Francis of Xavier, take Christ so seriously that they will traverse the ends of the Earth for Him to make converts for Him so that men may know God. Make no mistake, out of love, the Saints 'got carried away'. The Saints had and have long periods of 'excesses', which is why they are deemed by the world to be extreme. They are extreme, but they are extremely holy, extremely virtuous, extremely loving and extremely zealous for souls. The love of the Saints like the love of God is not ordinary. It's extraordinary. It's extreme. But St Francis Xavier would not feel at ease within the Bergoglian paradigm shift and would find much of it 'solemn nonsense'.

What His Holiness does not seem to appreciate is that to many it is shocking that he himself seems to display an attraction or sympathy with misguided Communists and socialist despots for whom human rights are as easily discarded as the objective moral law which they have upended or twisted to suit their own ideology.

In this shadow, it is bewildering to see men like Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Robert Sarah either removed from office or isolated within office, seemingly because they are seen to steadfastly uphold both the moral law and Church law because it begins to be seen that the moral law is in some way a threat, or an encumbrance or, more terrifyingly, something that, like within Communism and Marxist-Leninist theory, must be made to serve the cause rather than something that must be obeyed in its own right because it is from God. He who serves and honours the moral law serves and honours the Lord.

Ultimately, what Communism and other human ideologies, like Nazism or Peronist Populism, tend to do is render God and His Law useful (or redundant) as long as they serve 'our common purpose' rather than Someone or something under Whom or which we humbly submit our hearts and minds and beliefs. The Pope does not seem to notice that the more he makes Jesus Christ, His Teachings and the Church's Teachings 'peripheral' to his pontificate, on marriage, on human sexuality, on Holy Communion and the Sacraments and other issues too, the more he presents himself as the leader of something to which he himself can be described as founder and chief. But it is not Catholicism as we know it. Catholicism itself is being made to submit to it. That is at the heart of the dubia crisis and that, presumably, is at the heart of why it is going unanswered still.


Under Pope Francis, Catholicism is being made - along with the Cross of Christ, along with the divine law which is its standard bearer - subject to an alien ideology, one that reveals its incompatibility with Jesus Christ precisely because He Himself is made subject to it. When Christ decreases be sure that someone else is increasing. So when Cardinal Burke or another Cardinal says that Christ taught on X, Y, or Z therefore the Church would do well to follow Him, the Pope says that what Christ taught on X, Y or Z is all very well and good, but let's do something else because my take on these matters is informed by something else. 

What His Holiness and his advisers do not seem to appreciate is that figures like Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Caffara, Cardinal Brandmuller and Cardinal Meisner seek clarity so that the Church may be a beacon, a lighthouse, of morality and true justice and true mercy, the City, that City set upon a hill. Every time the Pope or his advisers and associates deride or attack those who confront him with Catholic Truth - doctrine held by Catholics always, everywhere and for all time - and seek His Holiness to confirm his brethren in it, he makes Christ's Teachings less relevant. He makes Christ smaller, Christ Himself is being diminished. Christ, in this scenario must 'decrease' so that he, His Holiness, or at least the private beliefs of His Holiness can 'increase'.

Throughout the last nearly four years, Pope Francis has had very little good to say about the moral law. That is very worrying indeed. It gives the impression that he doesn't much like it. Those who have upheld it and those who have proclaimed fearlessly the reality of an objective moral law to which we, mankind, upon whose hearts it is inscribed, are subject, the Author of which is Almighty God, have faced ridicule and insult as 'rigid' or worse, even psychologically disturbed. His reductive vision of mercy - with added justice for those he deems not to possess it - may be very appealing to many in the Church today at a time when to live the Church's Teachings is perhaps more challenging than it has been for a long time.

Nevertheless, the popularity gained by such ambiguity does not guarantee fidelity to Christ. The Church should be wary of one of Her sons asking Her people to place to one side their old 'rigid' ideas on morality and the laws and standards to which they were hitherto bound. The Church should be very wary of one of Her sons seeking to make the moral law subject to himself, rather than to refer himself to the objective moral law, to divine law and to the Church's law and who says or implies, 'These laws no longer apply'. So too should the Church be very wary of one of Her sons who says that Christ taught this, but I say to you something else, who gives the impression that what God has revealed no longer matters, someone who increases in stature, only to make Christ and His Teachings smaller, who filters Christ's Teachings through a prism of subjective thought that doesn't reflect clearly at all what he is called to teach.

Such a man may offend against the moral law that he has adapted to himself in pushing ahead his personal ideas and feel justified in everything he is doing, while winning popular acclamation, ignoring the appeals of those who resist his new teaching. Instead of criticism, he may find himself on the receiving end of passing rewards granted to tyrants who in every age win popularity, or iconic status for a time as they reshape society, even morality itself around themselves, their excesses excused because the world would rather see evil flourish than Truth be liberated.

Yes, the Church and all Her Faithful children should be wary of such a figure, of just such a man. Why? Because it would one day become apparent that such a man - you can be sure - may not do all that Fidel Castro did, nor believe precisely what Fidel Castro believed, nor live as Fidel Castro lived, nor kill as Fidel Castro killed, but will have more in common with Fidel Castro the Communist than he does with Jesus Christ the Lord. To Him be glory and honour, praise and thanksgiving and empire, forever and ever.  To all of his predecessors, the dubia posed by the four Cardinals, far from being a threat or an act of treachery, or anything sinister, would be a golden, glorious opportunity to proclaim once more the timeless faith and practise of the One True Church.

When Mgr Pinto says there is 'continuity' in papal teaching on this issue, quite obviously there is not. Only to Pope Francis and those around him, it seems, is the dubia considered a 'curveball' or something to dodge or disregard, to ignore or ridicule. All of his predecessors who were loyal sons of Holy Mother Church, would have been, if embarrassed that things had reached the stage where they had to be asked the questions, delighted to give an answer and proclaim the unblemished Law of God! Either the Pope and the Bishops and Cardinals submit themselves to God and His Law or they make God and His Law, make Jesus Christ Himself, subservient to themselves and their own post-Christian set of beliefs. The first option is called Catholicism, the second, whatever else it is, might just as well be Communism.

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