31 October 2019

Happy Deformation Day (And That's Not a Typo!)

Those Who Desecrate Franco’s Tomb Only Justify His Cause

The Chevalier reflects on the desecration of the tomb of the man who saved Europe from Communism.

From Crisis

By Charles Coulombe

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón—called “Pedrito” by his supporters and “the Handsome” by himself—has gotten the Halloween season off to an early start by disentombing the body of former Spanish head of state Francisco Franco. Although traditionally a time to show respect for the dead in the Hispanic world, in this as in so many things, the self-proclaimed atheist Pedrito runs counter to the behavior and beliefs of the majority in Hispanidad. Of course, as is the norm in the Western world, the majority counts for little to its masters, this being the current definition of “democracy.” After a months-long legal struggle with the Franco family and the abbey where Franco was entombed, the Prime Minister took time out from dealing with problems like raging unemployment and Catalonian separatist violence to expel the one-time Caudillo from his resting place.

While no one would claim that Sanchez is the smartest of Spain’s post-Franco politicians, October 24’s exhumation marked a new low in his spotty career. To be fair, however, Pedrito was only carrying out a decision his party had pushed through Spain’s parliament over a year earlier, before his administration began. This is the culmination of decades of blackening Franco’s character and attempting to obliterate his memory. One can understand why the socialists would do this: they and the communists are, after all, the ideological heirs of the government that Franco and his collaborators overthrew. No one is nastier than a loser who regains power. One can hardly fault them for being bitter.
What is far more disturbing is the way this campaign has succeeded not only among those who should know better—both inside and outside of Spain—but even with many who benefitted from Franco’s actions.

The first thing to bear in mind, before any other consideration is that, had Franco lost, Spain today would be another Romania or Bulgaria. After the flight of King Alfonso XIII in 1931, the Spanish republic began instituting various anti-clerical laws. Communists began killing clergy as early as 1934; by the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, as many as 72,344 souls had lost their lives in the Red Terror. As of this writing, 1,915 Spanish martyrs have been beatified and the causes of 2,000 more are proceeding. No regime or faction that produces martyrs can be called “good.” Think of the subsequent careers in the Soviet Union of such republican icons as Dolores Irraburi (La Pasionaria), with her penchant for hunting down Trotskyites in the diaspora. One can only imagine what would have happened to non-communists in Spain had she and her ilk triumphed. That the reprisals by Franco and his allies, during and after the conflict, were often quite as brutal is certain. But that is the nature of civil war, as our own quite clearly demonstrates.
It is interesting that the monuments of the Valle de los Caídos—the “Valley of the Fallen,” where Franco was buried at his death in 1975, and whence he has been uprooted—were built by prisoners of war. Yet, when it was finished, not only were they given their freedom: they were also guaranteed burial there. Indeed, the Valle shelters the remains of soldiers of both sides, rather as though Arlington National Cemetery had been open to Confederate graves from its inception. One need not be a member of Franco’s foundation or an advocate of his beatification to accept that his putting the Spanish Humpty Dumpty back together after the civil war was an astonishing achievement.
Not only did he face a vicious enemy, but Franco’s own supporters were severely divided among Carlists, Alfonsinos, Falangists, and others. Given the habit of the dying republic’s NKVD-led death squads to eliminate not merely Franco supporters but anarchists, Trotskyites, and socialists, in all likelihood Pedrito owes his very existence to the Caudillo; he certainly owes him his government job.
One may well argue over the merits of the restored monarchy Franco bequeathed the nation. The current situation certainly does not speak well for it, nor does the rapid secularization that has taken place with the usual attendant decline in morals and births. Nevertheless, one cannot expect elected officials to exercise a virtue with which they are utterly unfamiliar. Hence the old jibe that an honest politico “stays bought.”
However, there is something much more disturbing here. Civil wars leave deep wounds; the deeper they are, the more those wounds can fester, ready to reopen at the slightest rough touch—something that can be seen from Ulster to Bosnia to Chechnya. The only ways to heal them effectively are to either exile large numbers of the most active partisans of the losing side (as we did after the American Revolution) or else allow the survivors on both sides to mourn and honor their dead, celebrate their own victories, and commemorate their own losses.
In time, some of these celebrations may well become joint, thus assisting the healing process. This is why there are paintings and statues of both Royalists and Roundheads at Westminster, why Franz Josef allowed the Hungarian revolutionaries to erect memorials to their dead after 1848, and why Confederate monuments flooded the American South after 1865. Allowing your opponents their own version of the past is key to living with them in the present and thriving with them in the future.
But modern politicians are as shortsighted and ignorant as their confreres in media and academia. They cannot be expected to have any notion of the common good—only a fear of personal unemployment. So it is that, in order to deflect popular attention from their own failures and inability to influence events, they stir up the passions of their supporters by ripping apart long-emplaced cultural bandages. Pedrito and his kind in other countries are sowing dragons’ teeth. May they alone reap the harvest.

Biden Communion Denial Was Required by Diocesan Policy

Good on these (too few) faithful Bishops. And Pervert McCarrick is involved in the fewness. Biden's Ordinary weaseled out, of course!

From Catholic World Report 

By CNA Daily News

Washington D.C., Oct 30, 2019 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- A policy in the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina requires priests to withhold the Eucharist from politicians and political candidates who support legal protection for abortion.

“Because of the influence that Catholics in public life have on the conduct of our daily lives and on the formation of our nation’s future, we declare that Catholics serving in public life espousing positions contrary to the teaching of the Church on the sanctity and inviolability of human life, especially those running for or elected to public office, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in any Catholic church within our jurisdictions: the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Dioceses of Charleston and Charlotte,” says a 2004 decree signed jointly by the bishops of those dioceses.

“We undertake this action to safeguard the sacred dignity of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, to reassure the faithful, and to save sinners,” the decree adds.

The decree, “Worthy to Receive the Lamb: Catholics in Political Life and the Reception of Holy Communion,” established policy for the Diocese of Charleston, where presidential candidate Joe Biden was denied the Eucharist on Sunday.

At St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, pastor Fr. Robert Morey denied Biden Holy Communion Oct. 27, while the Catholic presidential candidate was campaigning nearby that weekend and had attended Sunday Mass.

“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey explained in a statement sent to CNA.

“Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that,” he stated.

“Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching,” the priest added.

The 2004 Charleston policy says that “Catholics in political life have the responsibility to exemplify in their public service this teaching of the Church, and to work for the protection of all innocent life. There can be no contradiction between the values bestowed by Baptism and the Catholic Faith, and the public expression of those values.”

“Catholic public officials who consistently support abortion on demand are cooperating with evil in a public manner. By supporting pro-abortion legislation they participate in manifest grave sin, a condition which excludes them from admission to Holy Communion as long as they persist in the pro-abortion stance,” the decree adds.

“A manifest lack of proper disposition for Holy Communion is found to be present in those who consistently support pro-abortion legislation. Because support for pro-abortion legislation is gravely sinful, such persons should not be admitted to Holy Communion,” the decree continues.

Biden’s home diocese of Wilmington, Delaware issued a statement on Tuesday saying that Bishop W. Francis Malooly “has consistently refrained from politicizing the Eucharist, and will continue to do so.”

“The Church’s teachings on the protection of human life from the moment of conception is clear and well-known,” the statement said, adding that the bishop’s “preference” is “to interact with politicians individually who disagree with significant church teachings.”

In 2008, Malooly made largely the same point in response to Biden’s public support for abortion as he was campaigning on the ticket with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Malooly said in the Sept. 4, 2008 edition of the diocesan newspaper The Dialog, that he did not “intend to politicize the Eucharist as a way of communication Catholic Church teachings, but would rather “get a lot more mileage out of a conversation trying to change the mind and heart than I would out of a public confrontation.”

Biden, one of the leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, is a Catholic who represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 until 2009, and served as vice president from 2009 to 2017. In April of 2019, he announced his candidacy for president.

While Biden served in the Senate, he largely supported the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that found a legal right to abortion, Roe v. Wade. He called his position “middle-of-the-road,” saying that he supported Roe but opposed late-term abortions and federal funding of abortions.

Since then, he has supported taxpayer funding of abortions via the repeal of the Hyde Amendment and Mexico City Policy, in his 2020 platform.

Biden’s 2020 campaign platform calls for the codification of Roe v. Wade as federal law. It also would ensure, as part of a health care “public option,” coverage of “a woman’s constitutional right to choose. Biden also favors reinstating taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Debate over the application of the Code of Canon Law’s canon 915 to pro-choice politicians is not a new one. The canonical norm states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

During the 2004 election, the U.S. bishops issued a statement “Catholics in Political Life” that left the decision to withhold Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians to individual bishops.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had sent a letter to Theodore McCarrick, then-Archbishop of Washington, with the expectation that it be read to fellow bishops.

The letter said that pro-abortion politicians—after first being admonished by their pastor on Church teaching and warning them against presenting themselves for Communion—“are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

The law’s definition of “manifest” participation in “grave sin” applies “in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws,” Ratzinger said.

McCarrick read some but not all of the letter to his fellow bishops at their summer meeting, omitting key parts and saying that Ratzinger had agreed with the bishops’ decision to leave the judgement about withholding Holy Communion up to each individual bishop. Ratzinger’s entire letter was reported to the public afterward.

It was in August 2004, shortly after that letter was read, that the Archbishop of Atlanta, then Archbishop John Donoghue, along with Bishop Peter Jurgis of Charlotte and Bishop Robert Baker of Charleston jointly set policy for their dioceses.

A law “which legitimizes the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion is intrinsically unjust, since it is directly opposed to the natural law, to God’s revealed commandments, and to the consequent right of every individual to possess life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death,” the bishops wrote.

Pan Amazon or Pistoia Synod?

For those unfamiliar with the heretical 'Synod of Pistoia', here is the article from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

From Edward Pentin

By José Antonio Ureta
Perhaps for fear of Cardinals Brandmüller, Müller, and Burke, and not to prove Bishop Athanasius Schneider right, the Vatican judged it prudent to remove the Pachamama statue from the closing Mass of the Special Assembly of the Synod for the Pan Amazon Region. Perhaps for the same reason, the scandalous pantheistic references of the Instrumentum laboris and its commendations of pagan religions as alternative instruments of salvation had their rough edges diplomatically rounded off in the Final Document.
However, one of the shells of the German-made cluster bomb embodied by this Synod brought in the Final Document an explosive charge greater than that it had in its preparatory documents: the ambitious ecclesiological revolution that corresponds to Leonardo Boff’s ultimate golden dreams when writing his book, Ecclesiogenesis: The Base Communities Reinvent the Church.[1]
Chapter V of the Synod Final Document, “New Paths of Synodal Conversion,” states that “this Synod gives us the opportunity to reflect on how to structure local churches in each region and country” (No. 9), since “synodality is a constitutive dimension of the Church” (n° 88), which characterizes the Church of Vatican II, “understood as People of God in equality and common dignity in the face of the diversity of ministries, charisms and services” (n° 87). To “overcome clericalism” (n° 88), synodality imposes a style of ecclesial communion “characterized by respect for the dignity and equality of all the baptized, the complement of charisms and ministries” (No. 91).
Recognizing that “the organizational forms for the exercise of synodality can be varied,” the document insists that they must establish “synchrony between communion and participation, between co-responsibility and the ministeriality of all, paying special attention to the effective participation of the laity”(n° 92). Beyond “the assemblies and pastoral councils in all ecclesial spheres,” “coordination teams” and “ministries entrusted to the laity” there is a need to “strengthen and expand the spaces for the participation of the laity, whether in consultation or decision-making in the life and mission of the Church”(n° 94), with the sole reservation that “ministries for men and women be conferred equitably” (n ° 95).
Practical measures to implement this expansion are far-reaching.
One of them is to entrust “the exercise of pastoral care” of communities without a resident priest to “a person not invested in the priestly character, who is a member of the community.” To avoid “personalism,” it must be “a rotating charge,” a fact that does not prevent from recommending that the Bishop establish it “with an official mandate through a ritual act.” To save appearances, “the priest always remains, with the power and faculty of the pastor, as responsible for the community” (n° 96).
An even more revolutionary practical measure is that, since “mother earth has a female face” and women must contribute “to ecclesial synodality with their sensitivity” (No. 101), it is requested that “one creates the instituted ministry of ‘the woman community leader’”and that they are able to “receive the ministries of Lectorate and Acolyte, among others to be developed ”(n° 102). The latter should be established on a provisional basis, as they are asking to continue studying the possibility of a female diaconate (No. 103).
Finally, in the name of the diversity of disciplines in the Church, it is proposed “to ordain as priests suitable and recognized men of the community … able to have a legitimately established and stable family” for “preaching the Word and celebrating the Sacraments” (n° 111).
This suggestion coincides with the ‘low cost’ priesthood limited to a community, proposed by Most Rev. Fritz Löbinger,  Bishop Emeritus of Aliwal (South Africa). But all the previous proposals fit like a glove the ecclesiology of liberationist former friar Leonardo Boff. That is what we will see next.
Note that the Final Document is absolutely silent about the ontological difference that exists between the ministerial priesthood of ordained clergy and the universal priesthood of the faithful, and even more, about the fact that the first derives through the laying on of hands from the priesthood of Christ, to Whom is ontologically configured the one receiving it. Instead, the document insists on “a Church that is all ministerial” (n ° 93), on the “ministeriality of all” (n° 92), on the “diversity of ministries, charisms and services” (n° 87), on the necessary “complement of charisms and ministries” (n° 91) and on the need to “overcome clericalism” (n° 90).
The Final Document’s “synodal” conception of the Church essentially coincides with the “reinvention of the Church” from its foundations dreamed up by Leonardo Boff. For the ex-friar sanctioned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the praxis of the Basic Christian Communities (BCC) has superseded a Church designed “according to the Christ-Church axis, within a legal vision,” in which “Christ transmits all power to the Twelve, and these to his successors,” dividing the community “between rulers and ruled, celebrants and assistants, producers and consumers of sacraments.”[2]  On the contrary, the BCCs highlight the fundamental reality: “The active presence of the Risen One and his Spirit within the entire human community.” This leads to “conceiving the Church more from the base than from the summit; to accept the co-responsibility of all in the edification of the Church, and not only of some belonging to the clerical institution.”[3] Thus, within the BBCs, “predominates the circulation of coordination and animation roles, power being a function of the community and not a person; what is rejected is not power as such but its monopoly, which implies expropriation for the benefit of an elite.”[4]  The result is that “the whole community is ministerial, not just some members.”[5]  Here are, graphically represented, the following images of traditional ecclesiology (left) and BCC ecclesiology (right):[6]
To make things very clear, Boff emphasizes that in the second representation, “the People-of-God reality emerges as the first instance, and the organization as the second, derived from the first, and at its service. The power of Christ (exousia) is not only in some members but in the whole People of God.” This power of Christ “is diversified according to specific functions but does not exclude anyone” because “the dominant datum is a fundamental equality of all,” and only in a second moment, “differences and hierarchies arise.”[7] There arises, for example, “a specific charism with the function of being the principle of unity among all charisms,” but “it is a charism that is not outside  but within the community, not about the community but for the good of the community.”[8] Graphically represented, the following scheme results, highlighting the fact that “all services arise within the community and for the community:”[9]
As is known, in the exchange of correspondence between the Brazilian liberation theologian and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger accused Boff of proposing “a new model of Church where power is conceived without theological privileges, as pure service articulated according to the needs of the people, the community,” in circumstances in which “the traditional doctrine of the Church in this respect, clearly confirmed also by the Second Vatican Council, supposes, among other things, two fundamental truths: 1) the constitution of the Church is hierarchical by divine institution; 2) there is in the Church a hierarchical ministry linked essentially and exclusively to the sacrament of Order.”[10]
Already previously, and on the basis of a pastoral plan of the archdiocese of Kinshasa that instituted the so-called bakambi, that is, laypeople responsible for the pastoral care of a community under the theoretical responsibility of a priest with the function of pastor (something more moderate than what the Synod’s Final Document proposes because in Kinshasa that was a permanent position reserved for men, while synodal proposes a rotating ministry equally open to women), in an audience to a group of Zairean bishops during an ad limina visit, Pope John Paul II declared:
“We must vigorously reject the idea that, before ministries and sacraments, all members of Christian communities have the same responsibilities and problems. From the apostolic age, the Church seems to be structured; next to the faithful, there are ‘apostles,’ the ‘viri apostolici,’ with their successors the bishops, priests, deacons. … If certain ways of understanding the ‘sensus fidelium’ recalled by the Second Vatican Council have been abusive, the same has happened with the common priesthood of the faithful. … Some theologians have hastily tried to “remodel” the ministries. But who doesn’t see it? A minister appointed by the community, or as it is sometimes said, by the ‘base,’ cannot be the legitimate collaborator of bishops and priests. He is not connected with the venerable apostolic tradition that from us to the Twelve and then to the Lord characterizes the historical persistence of the laying on of hands for the communication of the Spirit of Christ.”[11]
Some years later, the Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest, signed by the cardinals responsible for no less than eight Roman dicasteries, reiterated the traditional teaching that “the exercise of the munus docendi, sanctificandi et regendi by the sacred minister constitute the essence of pastoral ministry,” and that “a person is not a minister simply in performing a task, but through sacramental ordination.” [12]
And, in its practical provisions, the document stated that, “it is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as ‘pastor,’ ‘chaplain,’ ‘coordinator,’ ‘moderator’ or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.” [13]
Submerging the priesthood into the sea of lay “ministries” and de-clericalizing the ordained ministers to elevate to the priesthood married men exercising a profession, as the Synod proposes, is a colossal step toward demolishing the hierarchical structure of the Church.
In short, the “synodality” that the Final Document proposes can only be theologically founded on the doctrine formulated by the so-called “Synod of Pistoia,” which Pius VI considered a “conciliabulum” and condemned as heretical: to wit, the thesis according to which Jesus Christ did not transmit his triple priestly, magisterial and pastoral power directly to the Apostles but to the Church as a whole, and therefore, the charisms and ministries which communities need emerge from the communities themselves, from which the ministers receive the power to exercise those gifts.[14] Either that or the aggiornata version of the former Franciscan, condemned by the Holy See.
In any case, this being the pontificate of rehabilitations, perhaps Pope Francis could grace Leonardo Boff with a cardinal’s hat in an upcoming consistory.

José Antonio Ureta is a member of the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute

[1] Orbis Books, Jan. 1, 1986.
[2] P. 38.
[3] P. 39.

[4] P. 65.
[5] P. 66.
[6] P. 40.
[7] Pp. 40-41.
[8] P. 43.
[9] P. 44.
[10] Cf. L. Boff, Igreja: carisma e poder, Editora Ática, São Paulo, 1994 edition, including the documents relating to the polemics with the Vatican, pp. 274-275.
[11] http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/it/speeches/1983/april/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19830430_zaire-ad-limina.html
[12] N° 2, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_interdic_doc_15081997_en.html
[13] Art. 1 § 3.
[14] Pistoia’s thesis was condemned by Pope Pius VI in the Bull Auctorem Fidei, with the following words: “The proposition which establishes that God has given the Church the power, to be communicated to pastors who are his ministers, for the salvation of souls; understood in the sense that from the community of the faithful the power of the ecclesiastical ministry and regime is derived from the pastors, is heretical” (cf. Denz./Hün. 2602).

From Words to Deeds. The Six Points On Which the Post-Synodal Exhortation Is Already Written

Pray fervently that Francis's post-synodal exhortation does as little damage as possible to our Holy Mother Church.

From Settimo Cielo

By Sandro Magister

With the synod for the Amazon filed away, the anticipation is now over what Pope Francis will decide, on the basis of the votes delivered to him in the final document.

To judge by the improvised speech in Spanish that Jorge Mario Bergoglio gave in the synod hall at the end of the sessions, on the afternoon of Saturday October 26, his decisions will not take long. And in essence they are already written.

To identify them it is enough to go over step by step this speech by the pope, in its verbatim transcription.
First of all, Francis made it clear that for the next synod the issue that appeals to him is already there, that of synodality.

“One of the issues that was voted on, which received a majority - three issues received a majority for the next synod - is that of synodality. I don’t know yet if this will be selected or not, I have not decided yet, I am reflecting and thinking, but I can certainly say that we have come a long way and we must travel even further on this path of synodality.”
In the second place, the pope said that the document in which he will establish how to put into practice the votes of the synod for the Amazon will come soon, probably before the end of December:

“The postsynodal exhortation that - it is not obligatory that the pope do so - the most probable thing, no, excuse me, the simplest thing would be: ‘Fine, this is the document, do it yourselves,’ however, a word from the pope on what he experienced at the synod could do some good. I would like to do so before the end of the year, so that too much time doesn’t go by, everything depends on the time I will have to think.”
Third. On the “vexata quaestio” of the female diaconate, already discussed by a commission of experts that he set up in 2016 but that did not reach any agreement at all, Francis said that he will recall the commission to life with new members whom he will appoint, under the aegis of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith:

“There has been talk of new ministries, […] of creativity in this, […] and we will see how far this can go. […] I accept the request to recall the commission or perhaps open it to new members in order to continue to study how there existed in the primitive Church the permanent diaconate [of women - editor’s note]. You know that they came to an agreement among everyone that was not clear. […] I will seek to redo this with the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, and to bring new persons onto this commission, and I take up the gauntlet that they have thrown: ‘And we want to be heard.’ I take up the gauntlet.” (After this last remark, the official bulletin that reproduces the pope’s speech writes that there was a round of applause).

On this point, as is well known, the final document of the synod, at no. 103, pushed just a bit further. It limited itself to saying that “in the multiple consultations undertaken in the Amazonian area the permanent diaconate for women was urged” and that “for this reason the issue was also very much present at the synod,” to conclude with this wish: “We would therefore like to share our experiences and reflections with the commission and we await its results.”

And even so the votes against were 30 and the abstentions 14, a quarter of the voters. But the proponents of the diaconate - and ultimately the priesthood - for women have nevertheless claimed it as a success. It was enough for them, for the moment, that a “process” be set in motion. And this is just what they got, with the immediate and explicit support of Pope Francis.
Fourth. Concerning the call for the new “Amazonian rite” in the liturgy, however, in his speech Pope Francis stepped on the brake. This will not be elaborated by a local commission appointed by the bishops of the Amazon, as proposed in the final document of the synod at point 119, but will be seen to by the Vatican congregation for divine worship, which has as its prefect the unyielding cardinal Robert Sarah:

“There was talk of a ritual reform, opening ourselves to the rites, this is within the discretion of the congregation for divine worship, and it can be done following the criteria and in this I know that they can act very well, and make the necessary proposals that inculturation requires.”

With matters put this way, it will therefore be entirely unlikely that the new rite, if it ever comes to be, will be “enriched,” as wished for by the final document of the synod, even “with the way in which the [Amazonian] peoples take care of their territory and relate to their waters.”
Fifth. On the proposal of new organisms of management and coordination for the Church in the Amazon, in his speech Francis pronounced himself in favor. 

But he said more. He added that he also wanted to open an “ad hoc” section at the Vatican:

“And a contribution also with respect to the organization of the Roman curia. It seems to me that there is a need to do this, and I will talk about how to do it with Cardinal Turkson. To open an Amazonian section within the dicastery for promoting integral human development.”
Sixth. And the ordination of married men to the priesthood? Curiously, it seems that the pope’s speech was missing any explicit reference to the question, which in fact was the most discussed of the entire synod.

In reality Francis did make the reference. By implication, in two parallel passages. In a caution to journalists and in an invective against what he calls the Catholic “élite.”

To journalists:

“A thanks to the media. […] I would ask a favor of them: that in their diffusion of the final document they adhere above all to the diagnosis, which is the weighty part, which is the part where the synod really expressed itself best: the cultural diagnosis, the social diagnosis, the pastoral diagnosis, and the environmental diagnosis. […] The danger could be that they may dwell […] on the little disciplinary things that have their transcendence, but that would not do the good that this synod must do.”

To the Catholic “élite”:

“There is always a group of […] Catholic “élites,” and Christian at times, but above all Catholic, who want to go to the “smattering” and forget about what’s “big.” I am reminded of a passage from Péguy, I looked it up,  I will try to translate it well, I think that it could help us when it describes these groups that want the ‘smattering’ and forget about the ‘matter’: ‘Because they do not have the courage to be of the world, they believe that they are of God. Because they do not have the courage to be on man’s side, they believe that they are on God’s side. Because they do not love anyone, they believe that they love God.’ For me it went well, I did not fall prisoner to these selective groups that from the synod want only to see what has been decided on this intraecclesiastical point or on that other, and reject the body of the synod, which are the diagnoses that we have made in the four dimensions.”

The “smattering,” the “intraecclesiastical point” to which Pope Francis alludes is none other than the ordination to the priesthood of what are called “viri probati,” proposed in these words in point 111 of the final document:

“We propose to establish criteria and dispositions on the part of the competent authority, in the framework of ‘Luumen Gentium’ 26, to ordain as priests men who are suitable and recognized by the community, who have a fruitful permanent diaconate and would receive an adequate formation for the priesthood, being able to have a legitimately constituted and stable family, in order to sustain the life of the Christian community through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments in the remotest areas of the Amazonian region.”

It took this tortuous formulation, packed with restrictive conditions, to obtain a scanty approval of the proposal. And above all it had to be put on the record, at the conclusion of the paragraph, that “in this regard, some spoke out for a universal approach to the issue.”

This point 111, in fact, was the only point of the final document that was in serious danger of not reaching the two thirds of the votes necessary for approval. Out of 181 voters, with the quorum set at 121 votes, the “placet” were 128, the “non placet” 41, and the abstentions 11.

But it is public knowledge that this synod was conceived and organized precisely with this primary objective: “to open” to the ordination of “viri probati” in the Amazon in order to then extend the innovation to the whole Church.

Exactly as had happened with the double synod on the family, aimed at giving the go-ahead to communion for the divorced and remarried.

Back then as well, Francis hurled bolts at those who were stuck on that “smattering” instead of looking at the magnificence of the whole.

And meanwhile he demolished with a little footnote, in the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” the greatness of two millennia of “what God has joined, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6).


Only the faithful on earth then require that the virtue of hope should strengthen their will lest excessive fear prevent them from possessing God one day?

Yes (XVIII. 4).
Is there a fear attaching to the virtue of hope that is essentially good?

What is this fear called?

This fear of God is called filial fear (XIX. I, 2).
What is meant by filial fear?

By this is meant that one's attitude towards God is that of a holy respect because of His excellence, or of the goodness of His infinite majesty, and that one fears only what displeases Him or keeps us away from Him in such wise as to prevent us from possessing Him eternally in heaven (XIX. 2).
Is there any other fear of God beside this filial fear?

Yes; it is called servile fear (XIX. 2).
What is meant by servile fear?

By this is meant a disposition of an inferior order such as is proper to slaves whereby one fears a master because of the penalties and punishments He is able to inflict (XIX. 2).


Fr. Martin Among the Libertines

Dr Esolen points out the insanity of Jimmy-Boy's 'logic' in his rejection of the Truth of Scripture.

From Crisis

By Dr Anthony Esolen

The Adam Smith Institute bills itself as a non-profit that “work[s] to promote free market, neoliberal ideas through research, publishing, media outreach, and education.” Fr. James Martin, SJ, bills himself as a Catholic priest. The Adam Smith Institute, or one of its chapters, recently issued a call to action, because a movement was mounting to “take away your porn.” Fr. Martin recently suggested that, since the Bible was wrong about slavery, we might wonder whether it was also wrong about sodomy—which, he conceded, it condemns.

It’s easy to spot the faulty reasoning here. The Adam Smith Institute begs the question with the possessive adjective “your.” Somewhere in the ideology of free markets or the Constitution—perhaps lurking in an umbra or penumbra—is the right to produce or gape at what in more earthy days used to be called smut. Fr. Martin, for his part, draws a wholly unwarranted conclusion. Even if we suppose that the Bible is silent about one wrong, this would hardly justify us in rejecting it where it is not silent about another, especially when reasons are given for the condemnation. In the Torah, sodomy is linked with other unnatural or abominable practices, such as bestiality and incest. In Romans, it is linked with the corrupted and carnal imagination of fallen man, resulting in the depths of the irrational: idolatry.

The Bible is in fact not silent about slavery either—that practice which was for the Hebrews what welfare or imprisonment is for us. The Old Testament is at most ambivalent toward it, hedging it with laws to mitigate the harm. Then Jesus turns the matter inside out, saying that whoever would be greatest must become the slave of all the rest. The point that I would like to make is that, despite what Fr. Martin believes—his political or theological liberalism and his advocacy of social justice—his position on sexual matters is, in two important respects, like the Adam Smith Institute’s position on pornography. It is not a meeting of the extremes but a deep common identity underlying a superficial difference. The first respect is individualism: an incorrect view of what it means to be a person, and a thin understanding of human society.  The second respect is a common result of the first. It is gnosticism, or nihilism in mystic garb.

Let me explain. Many people argue for their favorite means of sexual release by refusing to argue at all. They say that what they do in their bedrooms is their own business, and that is the end of it. It is almost the last liberty that our contemporary liberal believes in, the liberty of the zipper. We should not overlook what I believe is one cause of this last point of contact between the liberal and the libertarian.
We are lonely. The Church is not the only social institution that is hacking and coughing up blood. All the social institutions are—from the Elks to the Scouts, the local drama club, community songfests, block parties, the Little League, everything. Schools are by far the worst. Most people will go months without hearing the merry noise of a large group of children playing in someone’s yard. Sex is a salve over the open sore of loneliness. Marriage is being made to bear too much weight, and so cracks under the pressure.

Yet it is hard to imagine anything more social in its effects, and more determinative of what kind of a society we will have, than our customs and laws regarding sex, marriage, and the raising of children. For sex results in children. Have we forgotten this? Catholic teachings regarding sex and Catholic teachings regarding society are the lungs of one body. Sexual morality is for the protection and promotion of the natural (biological) family, and of adoptive families that affirm the natural by exemplar. The family is both the cradle of society and one of the great ends for which we form societies in the first place. So it is nonsense to say that right and wrong as regards sex are ours to determine for ourselves. Those laws and customs form a language we all must use. We cannot have a private language.
I am old enough to remember that the sexual revolution was sold as more than liberation. Its heralds sang of peace and joy and harmony. No one with any historical awareness should have bought into it. Sexually loose societies tend to be nasty and violent. We have only to look at aristocratic Rome in the days when Juvenal sharpened his pen with fire. Dionysus is a dangerous god. In our case, reality struck with astonishing speed. On the very heels of the sexual revolution, songs themselves grew sour—songs of violent desire, disillusionment, and despair.

It is fifty years later, and marriage is in free-fall; two out of five children in the United States are born out of wedlock; relations between the sexes are marked by rancor, suspicion, and ingratitude; millions of children are swallowed up in the black hole of pornography, which is now all too easily accessible; popular culture—mass entertainment—is coarse and without hope; babies are snuffed out in the womb, to the cheers of millions; and now we are witnessing child abuse on a grand scale with the chemical and surgical mutilation of healthy children, whom sick adults have coaxed and groomed. In these circumstances, Fr. Martin, careless of the terrible harm already done, wants to stamp with his nihil obstat the biological and anthropological absurdity of pseudogamous relations. Some of us are trying to clean up after the earthquake, and here comes Fr. Martin dumping gasoline into the river.

He does so, perhaps, not with an evil will, but because he does not or will not see that it is impossible to have a society that promotes and protects the family and that does not take issue with fornication, let alone sodomy. Among the poorer classes, fornication has sometimes been the tacitly acknowledged prelude to marriage; at the appropriate time, out comes the shotgun, and down the aisle walks the bride, before the belly has gotten big. However, this conditional tolerance of a bad thing is not like our current amorality, our slovenly and sentimental notion that where sex is concerned, what feels right for me is right for me, as long as my partner (or partners) consents, and especially if I invoke that shape-shifter called “love.”

The members of the Adam Smith Institute no doubt agree with Fr. Martin. They are utilitarians at heart, and utilitarians do not think well beyond the specific action. They do not see that the action may imply a new principle, and that the new principle will change the language for everyone as well as the moral environment. We all use the same words, and we all breathe the same air. Every sin against sexual morality is an attack upon the stability, the goodness, and the beauty of a society. Every such sin ultimately has a child for its victim.

The evidence is all around us. Why do the sexual libertarians not see it? It is, I think, for the same reason that they do not see the beauty of male and female. For the new gnostic, the material world has no moral value: it is merely stuff to manipulate. I do not believe that Fr. Martin would say this about rivers and forests and the animals that live there, but when it comes to the staggering glory of the sexes in human form—the sexes as bearing markedly distinct and yet complementary instantiations of the divine image—he, like the Adam Smith pornophiles, cannot truly be alive to it. The playboy is not the man who is oversensitive to the beauty of woman; he is the man who is half numb to it. If you truly understand what the male sex is, you see it in its being for woman: the seed of new life has no purpose other than to make fertile the egg in the woman’s womb. It is a miracle, wondrously effectual and beautiful. We can imagine the male’s misuse of himself only in the way we can imagine using a painting by Rembrandt for a doormat or putting a harlot’s grin on a statue of the Virgin Mother. We “imagine” it, as a thoughtless developer might imagine great tracts of land denuded of their trees, with streams clotted up and rocks ground to rubble. It is a dis-imagining, a de-formation, a reduction to mere matter, and matter is for the will to do with what it pleases.

No lover of dogs sees in Fido a “real” cat lurking somewhere in Fido’s consciousness. If you got caught pumping Fido up with a brew of feline blood and secretions, you would soon see the inside of a jail, for we still perceive canine reality. Human reality, not so much; masculine and feminine reality, hardly at all. We do to a child what we would not do to a dog. It is a step from there to seeing the whole material world as meaningless. Things are no longer signs of a transcendent Creator, and things are not even things, distinct and shining. Things are now social constructs, as arbitrary as the sounds we use to utter their names. Sex, male and female, is no longer something obvious, sharp, clear, and winsome: it has fallen into the abysm of the self-fashioned ego. I am what I say I am, which means, if we strip away the flash, that I am nothing. I “feel” that I am a man or a woman as I determine, against the public and obvious testimony of my body. Nor am I embarrassed by my incoherence and absurdity, because the whole world is incoherent and absurd.

And the earth opens from under our feet. At what point will the madness hit bottom? At no point—not when the principle of reality is denied. The collapse continues, and what was inconceivable yesterday will be conceivable today and celebrated tomorrow. You had better celebrate, too, or watch out. God alone can save us—God, the ultimate reality.

Vive la Resistance!

Whilst I radically disagree with her reading of French history, the rest of this essay is spot on! Vive la Resistance!

From One Mad Mom

Because I am married to One Mad Dad, I watch an abundance of old war movies. (And women everywhere raise their hands with a sympathetic wave.) I’ve noticed it’s not an isolated way of life for wives. I actually don’t mind too much because I like history, although I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen “The Longest Day.” Anyway, one thing I’ve always been fascinated by is the French Resistance.

The French Resistance was abandoned by their military and government, who wimped out and threw in with Hitler. They were everyday folks, including a great many priests and nuns, and they did whatever they could to give the Nazis a really hard time. They spent a lot of time ruining Germany’s supply trains, they sabotaged, smuggled, stole, took a lot of pot shots at the enemy, printed underground newspapers to keep the rest of the country informed and keep morale up, helped allies downed behind enemy lines, provided a boatload of intelligence, and generally paved the way for the allied forces to easily move across France after the invasion of Normandy.

I have found myself reflecting more and more on the Resistance these last few weeks. Can’t imagine why?! We need this in the Church, and lest anyone try to accuse me of inciting violence, LET ME BE CLEAR, I’m not. In fact, I’d say that would be strategically stupid and evil, which is why I actually expect to start seeing some “false flag” moves even within the Church. We’ve already seen it in society, but with the accusations of violence and racism ratcheted up by the liberal, dissenting Catholics, I truly think they are seriously considering the idea.

Creating a martyr has always been the tactic of liberal dissenters. Since they don’t have Truth, it’s all they have left. We’ve been told over the years how intolerant we are but, like I said, they’re ratcheting up their rhetoric even more lately.
So now that the disclaimer is out of the way, back to the Resistance. When I saw the Pachamamas go splash, I thought, “Yep! We need more of this!” We were all hoping someone would run in and stop the desecration. Sure enough, someone did, and we thank them for that. People can quibble about a potted plant, but the ugly wooden things were not in St. Peter’s. That is a win in my book. And, even better, the Virgin Mary was prominently on display. Somebody got the message. Whether or not it was simply appeasement on their part matters not. My guess is that they realized people are fed up beyond belief.
After this success, maybe we need more little “cells” all around the world combatting this crud. To those who frown on anonymity, I say who in the heck cares?! We just need people to combat the evil. If you want to tell people who you are, fine, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen huge improvements because of anonymous websites, clandestine leafleting of cars, “Susan” social media accounts, anonymous letters or those signed with pen names, two random guys dropping idols into the Tiber, or whatever. If you can’t have your name out there, do something anyway. Most of us don’t need or want notoriety. We just want to defend our Church and her teachings. It bolsters the bigger voices. So many little things can be done.
We need to be like those in the French Resistance and hit and run. Got the dissenter of the day coming to your parish? Pachamama pops up? Your local pastor dissenting against his faithful bishop? Anonymously or not, get the word out. Leaflet cars, send letters to the pastors, encourage letters be written to bishops, start Facebook pages, tweet, etc. be sure to include nice little dossiers on said speaker or action to 1) make it clear to the pastor that it’s not worth the headache you are giving him; 2) educate the rest of your fellow churchgoers on the problems with said speaker or action; and 3) make it generally annoying to have deal with you so they stop. People have done this with the likes of Fr. Dissenter and Sister Mary Pantsuit and have been quite successful in stopping them. It can be done everywhere, from the local parish to the Vatican. Not all of us can hop a plane to Rome, so we need to do what we can where we are. We especially need to do what we can to support the priests and bishops who are trying to propagate the Faith.  They are often persecuted, so we need to show that it simply is not acceptable to give them a hard time.
People often contact me about their local parish woes, and I encourage them to take actions like this all of the time. We’re not helpless. We can be sly as the serpent and gentle as the dove. We can do something. Pray for a whopping dose of creativity. If you’ve got money, heck, anonymously pay for an investigator to investigate someone you think to be nefarious. (I’ve got a really creative idea that costs money, so contact me if you’re feeling generous.) Give the Red Hat Report people money for research, the George Neumayrs of the world, the new sites – anyone investigating. Withhold your donations from your local dissenters AND LET PEOPLE KNOW WHY. Don’t care if people know who you are? Go to meetings, speaking engagements, etc., and record. You teach catechism in your parish and can’t afford the notoriety? Do some anonymous work. I am just an unknown housewife and really cool mom (stop rolling your eyes, children!) with ZERO resources other than a laptop, and yet you’re still reading this. Just be part of resistance to heresy and dissent however you can. I’m sure most of you are more creative than you think.
To prepare, make sure you pray first, frequent the sacraments, and have a reliable spiritual director. When God grants us some relief, we will have laid the foundation for the Faith to flourish just like the French Resistance paved the way for the allies. Is it exhausting? Is it a pain? Of course, but at least at this point, nobody is making us actual physical martyrs. We’re experiencing inconvenience. We really need to suck it up and not act like we’re being stoned to death. If you can’t do it simply for the Faith, do it for your children and grandchildren you may not even see on the horizon. Act like you can and do it for them. If your goal is not to thwart dissent, heresy and annoy some mouthy, dissenting Catholic liberals in some small way (all for the benefit of the Faith, of course), what is your goal? Vive la Resistance!