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Tag Archives: Cardinal Kasper

November 25th, 2016

A thoroughly modern Mod’s favourite things

With apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein

This is from the latest Eccles blogpost. He just gets better and better.

Masses with puppets and tambourine jingles,
Long-lasting “kisses of peace”, where one mingles,
Rich German bishops all wrapped up in bling,
These are a few of my favourite things.

 Cardinal Kasper and all his new teaching,
All of Pope Francis’s aeroplane preaching,
Amoris Laetitia, and all that it brings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Wacky professors who’d ordain some females,
People who sit in the Mass reading e-mails,
Paul Inwood’s music, which everyone sings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

traditional Latin Mass

When the priest prays, when the choir sings,
When I meet a “Trad”,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.

November 19th, 2016

Pope Francis ‘Boiling with Rage’

Remember Edward Pentin? He’s the reporter who proved conclusively, using his tape recorder,  that Cardinal Walter Kasper was not only a liar but a racist as well. Thanks to Mr Pentin we know that Kasper doesn’t like African prelates: they tend to be far too orthodox.

It now appears that Ed Pentin has got another scoop. His sources within the papal residence Santa Marta have told him the Holy Father is “boiling with rage”  about the questions on Amoris Laetitia  put to him by four Cardinals, including Cardinal Raymond Burke.

After the cardinals went public with their yes-or-no questions, or dubia, Pope Francis seems to have been shamed into giving some kind of evasive non-answer in La Stampa, without mentioning the four cardinals, but criticising “a certain legalism”.  “Some people”, he said,  thought issues were “black and white”, but in  the course of life we were called upon to “discern”. Which reminds me of the pro-aborts during the original Eighth Amendment debate, who kept on telling us that abortion was not “a black and white issue”.

At the consistory this weekend, the Holy Father cancelled a preliminary session, where cardinals are  accustomed to raise issues of concern.  No reason was given, but you won’t be surprised to learn there is speculation that other cardinals besides the Four may have wanted to ask Pope Francis about the dubia.

July 22nd , 2016

From the Big Cheese to the Serfs

A final item on the Vincent Nichols v. Robert Sarah row over versus populum /versus orientem.

With acknowledgements to Eccles and his blog.

From: bigcheese@rcdow.org.uk
To: serfs@rcdow.org.uk

Dear Priests of the Archdiocese of Westminster,

You have probably read in the Tablet about a misguided statement from Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, suggesting that some priests might like to consider the possibility, perhaps, if it’s not too much trouble, and nobody minds, of maybe going so far as celebrating some Masses ad orientem.

For those of you under the age of 60 who won’t have learnt any Latin, this is the Language of Satan’s way of saying “with your back turned rudely towards the congregation, making it hard for them to take selfies with you during Mass”.

Cardinal Sarah ad orientem

I’m so glad to see the back of Cardinal Sarah.

Now I wouldn’t go as far as my mentor, Cardinal Kasper, who said “Blimey! Those fuzzy-wuzzy priests are getting a bit above themselves, aren’t they?” but it is clear to me that my own opinions – those of a cardinal who is, dare I say it, papabile – must outweigh any ideas put forward by some jumped-up chap from the Congregation for Divine Worship who has clearly never thought about the issue.

May I remind you all that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal – which has come down to us unchanged from the days of Moses – explicitly says that the altar should be pulled back from the wall so that the cleaners can easily dust it, and this means NO FACING EAST OR YOU WILL GO TO HELL.

May I also emphasise that the celebration of the Church’s Liturgy is not a place in which priests are to exercise personal preference or taste – it is MY personal preference and taste that should be your guide in all things, even when people from the CDW say otherwise. I’ve even got the Pope on my side – well, I’ve got Lombardi and Rosica, and the Holy Father always backs up what they say, if he doesn’t want to find caterpillars in his bed.

So I’m sure you’ll all agree that, as your ordinary – and I have always tried to be as ordinary as possible – all matters of liturgy, doctrine, morals, and choice of football team to support are my decision and mine only. So belt up, the lot of you.

It seems that in Newchurch, now, (at least in the Westminster archdiocese) there’s no way of avoiding the celebrant’s grinning countenance.  I’m just glad that we Traddies don’t have to worry about all this nonsense—yet. Maybe that’s going to be the next nasty surprise our beloved Holy Father is preparing for us.

May 5th, 2016

We Must Resist This Wayward Pope

Part IV of a series edited  from The Remnant newspaper.

After expressing astonishment that a Pope should reduce the precepts of the natural law to the equivalent of a set of traffic regulations, Christopher Ferrara concludes that—just as at the time of the Arian heresy—the number of bishops  refusing to repudiate the teaching of their own Church will be very small indeed:

Finally, in paragraph 305 we encounter the poison pill the entire document and the entire “Synodal process” were clearly designed to administer to the Church: authorization for the admission of public adulterers, and by implication any sort of habitual public sinner, to Confession and Holy Communion in “certain cases.” This means, in short order, every case. For as Francis revealed last November to his trusted friend, the militant atheist Eugenio Scalfari, in another interview whose contents neither Francis nor the Vatican denied: “This is the bottom line result, the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted.

Reaching the crescendo of his three-year-long demagogic assault on the Church’s imaginary pharisaical “rigorism,” including that of John Paul II, Francis now announces: “a pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives.” Quoting his own previous eruption of ire at the conservative prelates who dared to stand up to him during Synod 2015, Francis opines that merely to apply moral laws would “bespeak the closed heart of one used to hiding behind the Church’s teachings, ‘sitting on the chair of Moses and judging at times with superiority and superficiality difficult cases and wounded families’.”

What a strange accusation to hurl at the very prelates who opposed Francis’s relentless drive for a neo-Mosaic return to the Old Testament dispensation respecting divorce, but rather defended its perpetual abolition by Christ, whose vicar Francis is supposed to be. But then Francis has spent much of the past three years doing exactly what he condemns in the members of his flock—above all, publicly deriding observant Catholics he deems inadequate, almost every day, while railing against judgmentalism on the part of others.

Francis will have none of this “hiding behind the Church’s teachings”, for by “thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God.” Yes, the Roman Pontiff has actually promulgated a document whose very theme is the slogan of the empty modern mind: “Well, you see, not everything is black and white.” No, there are many shades of grey—probably at least fifty.

And then the outcome the faithful have been dreading since the “synodal journey” began. With little fanfare and a buried footnote, the synod train at last reaches its destination. Paragraph 305 declares: “Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin… a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.

And what does Francis mean by the “Church’s help”? He means Confession and Holy Communion, as fateful footnote 351 states. In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 [2013], 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039).

The phrase “prize for the perfect” is taken directly from the intervention by Cardinal Kasper with which Francis began the whole charade of a “Synod on the Family”: Kasper’s speech  to the consistory of February 2015 in which he unveiled the “Kasper proposal”—the only address Francis permitted, which he later hailed as “ beautiful and profound.” The circle of manipulation is completed as Francis finally reveals that the “Kasper proposal” was his proposal all along.

Leaving no doubt of the matter, Cardinal Lorenzo (“the book thief”) Baldisseri and the other Modernist subversives Francis tapped for the occasion made this clear even to the most obtuse observer at the press conference where they presented Amoris Laetitia to the public.

Co-presenter Cardinal Schönborn, continuing the systematic misrepresentation of the teaching of John Paul II on “discernment” in Familiaris consortio 84, put the matter thus in his presenting speech: “Pope Francis reiterates the need to discern carefully the situation, in keeping with St. John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio (84) (AL 298). ‘Discernment must help to find possible ways of responding to God and growing in the midst of limits. By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God” (AL 205)’…In the sense of this ‘via caritatis’ (AL 306), the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note (351) that the help of the sacraments may also be given ‘in certain cases’. But for this purpose he does not offer us case studies or recipes, but instead simply reminds us of two of his famous phrases: ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy’ (EG 44), and the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak’ …” 

So, the confessional is a “torture chamber” unless some—meaning ultimately all—unrepentant public adulterers are, at least eventually, allowed to enter without repentance, avoid any commitment to amendment of life, and leave with a declaration of absolution for a continual mortal sin they will simply continue committing because their “weakness” is now being “integrated”. Otherwise, everything would be “black and white”.

Is this for real? Indeed it is. And now we know from Francis himself just how real. During the in-flight press conference on his return from the trip to Greece, Francis was pressed on whether, contrary to those who say nothing has changed, Amoris Laetitia authorizes “new concrete possibilities for the divorced and remarried that did not exist before the publication of this exhortation.” Punctuating the answer with an emphatic hand gesture and a nod of the head, he replied: “I can say Yes. Period” (“Io posso dire sì. Punto.”) He also recommended that everyone read Schönborn’s presentation in which “your question will have an answer.” And Schönborn answer is: “the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note (351) that the help of the sacraments may also be given ‘in certain cases.’” So Francis told the reporter to consult Cardinal Schönborn concerning what Francis affirms in his own document—a runaround and a passing of the buck one would expect from a politician, not a Pope.

Consider the moral catastrophe Francis has just unleashed: A public adulterer in a second “marriage” is admitted to Holy Communion as part of a process of “discernment” that allows “integration” while he “gradually” moves toward an acceptance of Church teaching that may never come. Yet once he is made aware by the priest conducting this “discernment” that the Church teaches that his condition constitutes adultery—as if he didn’t know this before!—how can he continue to claim inculpable ignorance of the moral law? Of course he cannot. But, as we saw above, Francis has the answer: even those who know the law are now to be excused from compliance by way of pastoral “discernment” because they find it “very difficult to act differently (302)” on account of “mitigating factors (301-302).”

This logic obviously leads to the de facto elimination of mortal sin as an impediment to Holy Communion on the part of any and all habitual sinners who find it “very difficult” to change their behavior. In which case, as Fr Schall wonders, why would anyone need to go to Confession at all? “If this conclusion is correct,” he writes, “we really have no need for mercy, which has no meaning apart from actual sin and its free recognition….Therefore, there is no pressing need to concern oneself too much with these situations.”

So, there we have it: Francis calls for an unprecedented new regime of “pastoral discernment” that would bizarrely presume subjective inculpability in the face of endemic conduct objectively constituting public and habitual mortal sin, but now suddenly reduced to mere “irregularities.” In a pair of strategic footnotes sacramental absolution and the Holy Eucharist are recommended to “integrate” and “help” these objective mortal sinners without a prior amendment of life —but only in “certain cases,” as if that constituted a real limitation.

On the other hand, as the new “discernment” is supposedly discretionary with local priests acting under the authority of local bishops, outcomes would vary from parish to parish, region to region, and nation to nation. To recall Robert Royal’s assessment: “In concrete terms, around the globe, what looms ahead is chaos and conflict, not Catholicity.”

BUT NOTE WELL: Nothing in Amoris Laetitia indicates that Francis would extend his amnesty for sexual sinners to the other sorts of sinners he never ceases to denounce, including Mafiosi, arms traders, greedy capitalists, polluters of the environment, opponents of uncontrolled immigration, supporters of the death penalty and, lest we forget, the “rigorist” Catholics who oppose his notion of “mercy.” Would Francis, for example, tell the pastors of the Church that because of “various cognitive or psychological conditions” that make it “very difficult to act differently” greedy billionaires, wealthy arms dealers or “rigorist” Catholics are subjectively guiltless and cannot be expected to change their ways in conformity to “the ideal”? The question answers itself.

So this entire years-long, dismal affair comes down to an “amnesty” extending only to sins of the flesh. But, as Our Lady of Fatima warned, these are the sins that send more souls to Hell than any other. We are reminded that Sister Lucia of Fatima warned Cardinal Caffarra, one of the foremost opponents of the Kasper proposal, that “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” Did she know that a Pope would be leading the enemy forces?

Every Catholic worthy of the name has a duty to resist this attempted overthrow of the perennial Magisterium by a wayward Pope who clearly has no respect for the teaching of his own predecessors—having misrepresented the crucial contrary teaching of one of them, along with other sources—and who descends to demagoguery by appealing to a “mercy” that would be the worst kind of spiritual cruelty. It is unthinkable that the leadership of the Church, as a pastoral programme no less, could leave souls at risk of damnation in the very condition that places them at risk, even encouraging them to compound their guilt by sacrilegiously partaking of Holy Communion while they consider whether they will cease their continuing adultery or fornication.

This is madness never before seen in the history of the Church. And where are the members of the hierarchy to lead us in the midst of this madness? As it was during the time of the Arian crisis, when Saint Athanasius was almost alone among hierarchs publicly defending the faith, so will it be today: the prelates who stand fast and refuse to repudiate the teaching of their own Church will be very few in number, perhaps so few they can be counted on the fingers of one hand.


November 6, 2015

Father Hoban and the Devil’s Work

Who do those African priests think they are, coming over here and telling Irish Catholics there are actually such things as sin and judgement and damnation? One Nigerian priest, Father Joseph Okere, is even reported to have said in a sermon at St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford that the recent referendum vote in favour of “same-sex marriage” was evidence that the devil was at work in Ireland.

Now seriously. Isn’t that just what every Irish priest should be telling his congregation? Thank God for Fr Okere and so many other faithful Nigerian priests who are not afraid to tell it like it is!  Who taught them to speak out like this?  Irish missionaries, of course—many of them Holy Ghost Fathers. But how things have changed. When the local militant homosexual pressure group complained about Fr Okere, Bishop Francis Duffy cravenly apologised “for any insensitivity”.

Despite the shortage of Irish priests, Britain’s  Tablet—voice of the liberal Catholic establishment—questions  whether priests from the developing world ought to be allowed to serve in Ireland at all, given Africa’s hostility to homosexual practices. “Remarks by a Nigerian priest in Ireland linking gay marriage to the works of the devil are seen by some as symptomatic of the problems of importing clergy to address the country’s need”, says the Tablet, adding sniffily, “but the practice does have its defenders.”

Father Brendan Hoban (who else?) of the Association of Catholic Priests of Ireland, thinks that African priests really aren’t up to the task  of ministering to us sophisticated Irish. The priest’s job today, he said  is “a very complex and demanding role, one that needs a clear understanding of and expertise in the history, especially the recent socio-religious history, of Ireland.” (Funny, I always understood that the priest’s job was to preach the Gospel and offer the Holy Sacrifice.)

I doubt if those who originally evangelised the Irish and persuaded them to stop sacrificing maidens and worshipping the local shrubbery had much knowledge of the  socio-religious history of pagan Ireland, but they seem to have coped quite  effectively  without it.  I rather suspect that Fr Okere and his companions will make a better fist of re-evangelising the country than Fr Hoban and the ACPI.

It all rather puts one in mind of  Cardinal Walter Kasper’s attitude to Africans. Remember how he was caught on tape saying “Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Moslem countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Moslem countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo….But they should not tell us too much what we have to do.” And  this despite the fact that Africa—home to 135 million Catholics in 2005, and a projected 230 million by 2025—is where the future of the Church lies. Europe is likely to have fewer Catholics than Africa within a decade.

I don’t often use that stupid word “racism”, but it’ s applicable in the cases of Kasper and Hoban. Their remarks about Africans are just  would-be civilised variations on  “Get back up your palm tree, Sambo. Go throw your coconuts elsewhere.”

One hundred and fifty years ago the Church in England and Wales would have looked pretty silly without a large influx  of devout Irish priests. In the very near future Ireland will have reason to be equally grateful  to Africa. To Nigerian Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo of Oyo, it is a no-brainer. “There should be absolutely no problem,” he said, “for priests from anywhere in the world to come back and help Ireland”, especially after so many Irish missionaries spread the Gospel to Africa, Asia, and the Americas.





October 29, 2015

Lightweight Leftism of Pope Francis

How could  any orthodox Catholic disagree with these remarks by George  Neumayr of the  The American Spectator?

The scandalous synod on the family skidded to a stop last weekend in Rome but not before Pope Francis got in a few more licks at conservatives, whom he caricatured in his final remarks as heartless. The speech was notable for its nastiness, displaying the very lack of charity he routinely assigns to conservatives. The synod, he said, had exposed ‘closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church’s teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families.’

He continued: ‘It was about trying to open up broader horizons, rising above conspiracy theories and blinkered viewpoints, so as to defend and spread the freedom of the children of God, and to transmit the beauty of Christian Newness, at times encrusted in a language which is archaic or simply incomprehensible.’

Under the lightweight leftism of Pope Francis, the question ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ seems less and less rhetorical. Previous popes, reading the remarks above, would conclude that the speaker held to the theology of liberal Protestantism.

All the tortured throat-clearing from pundits about the ‘nuances’ of Pope Francis is very unconvincing. He is not nuanced at all. He is an open left-wing Catholic, perfectly comfortable with the de facto heretics within his own order and inside his special cabinet of cardinals. Cardinal Walter Kasper, whom Pope Francis has identified as one of his ‘favourite’ theologians, and Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, who is one of his closest advisers, stand to the left of Martin Luther.

Well, say the pope’s desperate propagandists, Francis may not possess a deep mind but at least he has a big heart. If so, it seems to bleed for everyone but orthodox Catholics, whose fidelity to the faith under secularism’s ceaseless encroachments is treated with contempt.

Like many modern Jesuits, Francis often sounds like he loves every religion except his own.

September 12, 2015

Nullity on the Nod: Catholic Divorce?

The Catholic historian Roberto de Mattei  says Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Mitis iudex Dominus Iesus has inflicted  a grave wound on Christian Marriage, putting the interests of the spouses above that of marriage. I would like to be able to disagree; but well, I just can’t.  See if you can. Dr Mattei writes:

The indissolubility of marriage is a Divine and unmodifiable law of Jesus Christ. The Church cannot “annul” a marriage in the sense of dissolving it. She can, through a declaration of nullity, verify its non-existence, due to the lack of those requisites which assure its validity. Which means that in the canonical process, the Church’s priority is not the interests of the spouses to obtain the declaration of nullity, but the validity of the marriage bond itself. Pius XII, regarding this, reminds us that:

in the matrimonial process the one final end is the judgment in compliance with the truth and and the law, consisting, within the procedure of nullity, of the assertion of the non-existence of the marital bond” (Allocution to the Roman Rota, October 2nd 1944).

The faithful can deceive the Church in order to obtain the annulment: for example, by using false witnesses, but the Church cannot fool God and has the duty of rigorously verifying the clear and precise truth.

In the canonical process, what has to be defended first of all is the supreme interest of the Divine institution which marriage is. The recognition and protection of this reality are formulated in the juridical sphere with the concise expression favor matrimonii, that is, the presumption, until proven otherwise, of the validity of the marriage. John Paul II explained well that indissolubility is presented by the Magisterium as the ordinary law of every celebrated marriage, precisely because the validity is presupposed, apart from what takes place in the conjugal life itself and of the possibility, in some cases, of the declaration of nullity. (Speech to the Roman Rota, January 21st, 2000).

When the Enlightment attempted to deal a death-blow to Christian marriage, Pope Benedict XIV with the decree Dei miseratione, of Novemeber 3, 1741, ordered that there be nominated a defensor vinculi to every diocese, and, introduced the principle of the necessary conformity of the sentences on two levels of ascertainment, in order to obtain the declaration of nullity. The principle of the double-sentence in conformity [i.e. double confirmation] was consecrated by the 1917 Code of Canon Law and received into the codification promulgated by John Paul II on January 25, 1983.
In Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio this view has been overturned. The interest of the spouses has primacy over that of marriage. It is the document itself that affirms this, by summarizing the fundamental criteria of the reform in these points: the abolition of the double-sentence in conformity, substituted by only one sentence in favor of the enforceability of the annulment; the attribution of monocratic power to the bishop, qualified as sole judge; the introduction of an expedite process [brevior], de facto uncontrollable, with the substantial downsizing of the role of the Roman Rota.
How else, for example, can the abolition of the double-sentence be interpreted? What are the grave reasons for which—after 270 years—
this principle has been abrogated?
Regarding this, Cardinal Burke recalled a catastrophic experience. In the United States from July 1971, the so-called Provisional Norms came into effect, which eliminated de facto the obligatory double conforming sentences. The result was that the Episcopal Conference did not negate one single request for dispensation among the hundreds of thousands received, and, in the common perception, this process began to be called “Catholic Divorce” (Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church, Cantagalli, Siena 2014, pp. 222-223).
Graver still, is the attribution to the diocesan bishop of the faculty, as sole judge, of instructing, at his discretion, a short process to reach a decision. The bishop may exercise personally his jurisdictional power or delegate it to a commission, not necessarily made up of lawyers. A commission formed in his own image which will naturally follow his pastoral indications, as already happens with the “diocesan counselling centers”, which still today are devoid of any juridical competence.
The combination between Canon 1683 and article 14 on the procedural rules in this respect has a shocking implication. Upon the decisions there will inevitably weigh considerations of a sociological nature: the divorced and remarried will have, for reasons of “mercy”, preferential treatment. “The Church of Mercy – notes Giuliano Ferrara – “has started its race” (Il Foglio September 9, 2015). It is not racing along an administrative road, but a “juridical one” where there is very little left that remains juridical.
In some dioceses the bishops will try to guarantee the seriousness of the procedure, but it is easy to imagine that in many other dioceses, for example, those in Central Europe, the declaration of annulment will become a pure formality. In 1993 Oskar Saier, Archbishop of Friburg, Karl Lehman, Bishop of Mainz and Walter Kasper, Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuutgart, produced a document in favor of those that were certain in conscience of the nullity of their marriage but did not have the elements to prove it in court (Bishops of Oberrhein, Pastoral Care for the Divorced, “Il Regno – Documenti” (The Kingdom Documents), 38 (1993), pp. 613-622). The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith replied with the Letter Annus Internationalis Familiae, of September 14, 1994, affirming that this way was not practicable, as marriage is a public reality:“not recognizing this essential aspect would mean denying the fact that marriage exists as a reality of the Church, that is to say, as a Sacrament”.
Nevertheless, the proposal has been taken up again recently by the pastoral office of the Diocese of Freiburg (Orientation for pastoral care of the divorced “The Kingdom Documents”, 58 (2013), pp. 631-639), according to which the divorced and remarried, following the “conscience-nullifying” of the previous marriage, will be able to receive the Sacraments and have assignments inside parish councils.
Favor nullitatis comes to be the primary element of the law, while indissolubility is reduced to an impracticable “ideal”. The theoretical affirmation of indissolubility of marriage, is accompanied in practice with the right to a declaration of nullity for every failed marital bond. It will be enough, in conscience, to deem one’s own marriage invalid, in order to have it recognized as null by the Church. It is the same principle with which some theologians consider a marriage “dead”, where according to both, or one of the spouses, “love has died”.
On January 29, 2010, Benedict XVI exhorted the Tribunal of the Roman Rota not to indulge in the annulment of marriages in “compliance with the wishes and expectations of the parties, nor to the conditions of the social environment”. But in the dioceses of Central Europe, the declaration of nullity will become a purely formal act, as occurred in the United States at the time of the Provisional Norms. According to the well-known [Gresham’s] law, that says: “bad money takes the place of good money”, in the chaos that is coming, “quick divorce” is destined to prevail over indissoluble marriage.
We have been hearing talk of a latent schism in the Church for more than a year, but now the one to say this is Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect for the Congregation of the Faith. In one of his discourses at Regensburg he warned of the risk of division in the Church, inviting careful vigilance, without forgetting the lesson of the Protestant Schism which set Europe on fire five hundred years ago.
On the eve of the October Synod on the Family, Pope Francis’ reform does not extinguish any fire, but feeds it and paves the way for other disastrous innovations. Silence is no longer possible.

July 21, 2015

Kasper’s Empty Mouthings

If you want to understand what makes Cardinal Walter Kasper and his pals tick, the best exponent I know is  Dr  Thomas Stark, professor of philosophy at the university of  of St. Pölten in Austria, whom I met recently at the symposium by Lake Garda. Last autumn he  gave a lecture in Vienna, Historicity and German Idealism in the Thought of Walter Kasper. It’s pretty heavy stuff, so I wouldn’t recommend that you plough through it unless you have quite a profound knowledge of philosophy. Later, though, in an interview with the American National Catholic Register, he explained himself  in a way that even a thickie like me can understand. Here is a shortened version of that interview.

Professor Stark, can you summarize your talk for the benefit of our English-speaking readers?

… I would say that one can clearly see that Kasper’s position is deeply rooted in German Idealistic philosophy…The problem with this philosophy is the relationship between history and truth. And the problem with Kasper’s position, as far as I understand him, is that he accepts historicism [where history is seen as a standard of value or as a determinant of events] just as a fact…The problem with this sort of theology is that it is difficult to understand, not because one has to be very intelligent to understand it, but because it is not coherent, in my opinion. And one can only figure it out if one understands the language they use. …The way they attempt to intertwine all of their theories forms a sort of pseudo-dialectic that is not really logical and coherent, and they put it in such a way as to provide an opportunity to get away with novel theories without being under the critical view of the magisterium, because they can always shift to the right and then to the left, as need be.

How do we see the principles you’ve just described play out, for example, in Cardinal Kasper’s proposal to allow remarried divorcees to have access to holy Communion?

Well, this is obvious. They say, ‘We cannot change doctrine, but we must change the pastoral application of doctrine or the practice,’ which is contradictory, because you can’t change practice without altering doctrine, because practice follows directly from doctrine. So this is pure fantasy. For anyone who thinks on this for a moment, it becomes clear that it simply can’t be done. You have to change doctrine in order to change the moral teaching.

Including the Sixth Commandment and the Church’s doctrine on the holy Eucharist?

Of course. Yes. So they are essentially destroying the whole sacramental structure of the Church by pretending to be addressing mere ‘pastoral’ considerations. It is a ruse.

Do you think it is a conscious effort to subvert the Church’s teaching? Do you think they are conscious of what they are doing or that they think it’s all truly acceptable?

I have often thought about what is really going on in the minds of these people. Initially, I couldn’t figure it out, but the more I am exposed to their thought, the more I become convinced that we’re dealing with a sort of dementia.

I will give you one of the best examples: If you read, for example, what people like Cardinal Kasper and others have written about the mystery of the Resurrection, you really can’t understand what they are saying. Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead or did he not? Or is the question of any real importance? They don’t come right out and say, ‘Well, it’s not important whether the tomb of Christ is empty.’ Rather, they posit that there could be some kind of Resurrection that does not conflict with not actually knowing whether the tomb is empty or not. It’s all very vague, and the student walks away not understanding what this is all about. I always say, ‘Well, the tomb is empty. I’ve been to it very often, and I’m a witness. I’ve been in the tomb of Our Lord several times, so I can tell you that it’s empty.’ The question isn’t whether it’s empty, but how it got empty.

Do you think it’s a kind of sophism?

It is very much a kind of sophism! And I fear that the real reason for all of this is, tragically, that a lot of theologians today have simply lost not their faith, but let me put it in these words: They have lost their faith in their faith. They are people who don’t believe what they believe, and this is precisely the definition of Modernism. Charles Péguy says that Modernists are people who do not believe what they believe. And I think that it’s exactly correct. These people believe in the resurrection of Christ with no empty tomb. They believe in miracles without miracles having actually taken place. For example, Kasper does not believe in the miracles that have to do with nature — the calming of the Sea of Galilee, for example, or the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, things like that. He just believes in things like, ‘Well, there were people who were said to be possessed by demons — with the background, we don’t believe that — and Christ takes a sort of therapeutic approach to them; and this, in fact, was interpreted as a miracle, but of course these things don’t need to be taken in the literal sense.’ So the Modernists believe in miracles without miracles, in the Resurrection without a resurrection, in virginity without virginity, etc. And this is why I use the word ‘dementia’, since what they are saying violates the law of non-contradiction.

Finally, I can’t resist including the  devastating conclusion  to  Professor Stark’s Vienna lecture, which exposes  Kasper’s inconsistency merely by quoting his own words:

Whoever believes that in Jesus Christ hope has been revealed for us and for all mankind, and whoever ventures on that basis to become in real terms a figure of hope for others, is a Christian. He holds in a fundamental sense the whole Christian faith, even though he does not consciously accept all the deductions which in the course of almost two thousand years the Church has made from this message.

If that is really all,  says Dr Stark, then we have a serious problem. So he finishes his lecture with another quote from Walter Kasper:

Without the courage, one could almost say the rashness, to make definitive decisions and statements, the Christian faith would be denying its own nature. But it is here that its strength and power lie. It can promise human beings definitive meaning. A Church which had lost the power to do this would richly deserve to have its preaching ignored, for it would have degenerated into empty mouthings.

June 14, 2015

An End to Medjheadery?

I don’t know if Pope Francis had Medjugorje and its “seers” in mind last week when he criticised those “who always  need novelty in their Christian identity”, adding  “but where are the visionaries who tell us today about ‘the letter that the Madonna will send tomorrow at 4 p.m.?’”  I certainly hope so. The Pope told reporters earlier this week that a decision on Medjugorje  is due soon.

There is overwhelming evidence that Medjugorje  is a fake, and it is high time for a definitive decision to that effect.  Thousands of  people have been deceived, and if the Holy Father is about to grasp this nettle he will deserve the undying gratitude of all Catholics—although there are many who won’t see it that way.

Yes, I know there have been some good fruits, such as people returning to the sacraments—particularly to confession. But it’s the roots that are rotten.

Who could possibly find fault with Pope Francis’ assertion that “God’s last word is called Jesus and nothing more.”  Fr Hunwicke  thinks it is a wonderful and beautifully terse expression  of Christian Orthodoxy.

It puts down the errors of Islam; it is a rebuff to the neo-Gnostic convolutions of the Kaspers and Marxes. It is a superb expression of the function of the Roman Pontiff to act as a barrier, what Blessed John Henry Newman called a remora, against innovation, whether dogmatic or moral; and it could serve as a summary of the the decree Pastor aeternus of Vatican I. Four cheers for our beloved Holy Father!







January 19, 2015

 False Mercy-Mongers Put Down by Anglican Bishop

One wet autumn afternoon in the mid 1950s, just before the end of the long summer holidays, I was bored out of my tree but too lazy  to catch up on school work. I looked listlessly through my father’s bookshelves, eventually pulling down Bishop Charles Gore’s Roman Catholic Claims.  It was the first Anglican book I had ever perused, and I began reading the first chapter with increasing fascination. I had never really appreciated why some Anglicans regarded themselves as Catholics in the same sense as we did, only without acknowledging the role of the papacy.  Moreover, that they defended  their position by quoting some of the Fathers of the Church—selectively, if you like, but very cogently.

I could  have ended up thoroughly confused if  I hadn’t noticed that next to Gore’s hardback volume was a tattered paperback entitled Bishop Gore and the Catholic Claims, by Dom John Chapman OSB. No longer bored, thanks to Bishop Gore, I decided I would read each book, chapter by chapter, and see which of these two learned clerics, in my very limited opinion, had the better of it.

As the Anglican prelate developed his case,  although I considered Gore was  prejudiced and quite anti-Catholic,  I wondered at times how Abbot Chapman could possibly counter some of his arguments. In the end I concluded that Chapman had  by far the better of the exchange insofar as the papacy was concerned, but I was a little less certain about the question of  Anglican orders. Later I accepted that as Roma locuta est, in the form of Leo XIII’s Apostolicae Curae,  that causa  must be finita  for a faithful Catholic.

I suppose that from that day onwards I had hardly given Bishop Gore a second’s thought.  But it recently came to my attention  that he issued a strong protest against the decision by the Lambeth conference of 1930 to support the use of contraceptives, praising  Rome for the  consistency  of its teaching on sexual morality.  He even described ‘the Roman Church’ as ‘a strong fortress against the advancing tide of sensualism’ in Europe and America. Gore points out that the ‘movement for Birth Prevention’, as he quite rightly calls it, is ‘quite frankly hostile to the whole Christian tradition of sexual morality’. He is well acquainted with the works of  Margaret Sanger, whose Planned Parenthood movement is still thriving today—more powerful than ever throughout the world.  He concludes that the function of the Church in such matters is ‘to maintain the healthy conscience which condemns artificial prevention as unnatural and wrong in itself.’ In a prophetic passage, he notes that  at ‘the Conference of Modern Churchmen’ (which closely resembled  our own present-day ‘spirit of Vatican II’ faction) the forward-thinking Dean William Ralph Inge of St Pauls was suggesting that the Church of England should reconsider its condemnation of suicide in extreme cases. Gore wonders what, if the pro-suicide movement were to become popular and urgent, a future Lambeth conference might have to say about it.

Today, Gore’s words stand as a powerful reproach to the likes of Cardinal Walter Kasper and every other false mercy-monger seeking to accommodate the Church to the ways of the world.  See what you think of  this passage:

Again and again in Christian history we find the Church practically accepting and acting upon the idea of the double standard—one for the perfect, which is probably identified with the monastic or ‘religious’ life, and the other, the lower standard, for the men and women who live in the world. This latter class must avoid specified sins and attend to specified religious duties, but no great sacrifice such as the ‘religious’ life involves is required of them. But surely nothing can be more contrary to the teaching of Christ or of the New Testament than this doctrine of the two standards—the one admirable, the other tolerable. Our Lord calls all men who would be His disciples to a life of unlimited liability. It may be martyrdom that will be required of them, it may be submission to loss or outrage, it may be the stern mortification which our Lord describes under the figure of plucking out the eye or cutting off the hand or foot. We can indeed discern in our Lord’s teaching the recognition of different states of life. The future evangelists of His kingdom have prescribed for them a state of absolute detachment from worldly ties: others are to live the old life at home in their old occupations but in a new spirit. But all equally who would be in either sense His disciples must enter the path by the strait gate and tread the narrow way. In S. Paul again we trace the same recognition of different states but not of different moral standards. All alike must die to live: before all alike lies an unlimited liability—to suffering loss, to the effort of extreme mortification, even to death itself ‘for the Name’. We are not called to seek suffering, but we are, all of us, called to be ready for even the extreme of endurance—as much those who are living the normal life of the home as those who make the venture of the celibate life. If the Church has ever sanctioned the idea of the ‘second best life’, which does not involve the same unlimited liability, we must…recognize that it has deserted its Lord.

To-day we are living in a world which has widely revolted from the obedience of Christ. Our literature is saturated with this spirit. He Himself bade us be prepared for such an experience, even in its extremest form. ‘When the Son of man cometh,’ He asked, ‘shall He find the faith on the earth?’ Our business, then, is to uphold the full standard of the good life, through evil report and good report. The worldly world must go its own way and may seem to prevail. We must not attempt to pronounce any final judgement on individuals. We can ‘judge nothing before the time.’ If the Church has been slack in the past, it must expect God’s sharp judgements on itself; but it is still its business to open the eyes of all its members to the true implications, social and individual, of the ‘life which is life indeed,’ and under persecution or unpopularity to consolidate the faithful remnant, who are to nourish their souls in the readiness to suffer with Christ and in the secret security of final victory in Him. We have no right to sanction the ‘second best.’

This is from a man whom we would regard as a schismatic, and very possibly a heretic. But his words are as true now in 2015 as they were in 1930 when they were penned.