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Just a bit of chronological context: 'INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIANITY', which became an almost-instant theological classic, was published one year before Jorge Bergoglio was ordained a priest.


Unexpected page change. See previous page for earlier posts today, 8/13/18.

How the 'Palestinians' were invented
By Robert Spencer
August 11, 2018

Note: This is an exclusive excerpt from Robert Spencer’s new book, The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. All quotes are sourced in the book.

In 1948, the nascent state of Israel defeated forces from Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen that had been determined to destroy it utterly. The jihad against it continued, but it held firm, defeating Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon again in the Six-Day War in 1967, and Egypt and Syria yet again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

In winning these victories against enormous odds, Israel won the admiration of the free world, leading to the largest-scale and most audacious application in Islamic history of Muhammad’s dictum “War is deceit.”

In order to destroy the impression of the tiny Jewish state’s facing enormous Muslim Arab foes and prevailing, the Soviet KGB (the Soviet Committee for State Security) developed the fiction of an even smaller people, the “Palestinians,” menaced by a well-oiled and ruthless Israeli war machine.

In A.D. 134, the Romans had expelled the Jews from Judea after the Bar Kokhba revolt and renamed the region Palestine, a name they plucked from the Bible, the name of the Israelites’ ancient enemies, the Philistines. But never had the name Palestinian referred to anything but a region, not to a people or an ethnicity.

In the 1960s, however, the KGB and Hajj Amin al-Husseini’s nephew Yasir Arafat created both these allegedly oppressed people and the instrument of their freedom, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Ion Mihai Pacepa, who had served as acting chief of Cold War–era Communist Romania’s spy service, later revealed that

“The PLO was dreamt up by the KGB, which had a penchant for ‘liberation’ organizations. There was the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, created by the KGB in 1964 with help from Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara…the KGB also created the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which carried out numerous bombing attacks…. In 1964 the first PLO Council, consisting of 422 Palestinian representatives handpicked by the KGB, approved the Palestinian National Charter — a document that had been drafted in Moscow. The Palestinian National Covenant and the Palestinian Constitution were also born in Moscow, with the help of Ahmed Shuqairy, a KGB influence agent who became the first PLO chairman.”

For Arafat to head up the PLO, he had to be a Palestinian. Pacepa explained that

“he was an Egyptian bourgeois turned into a devoted Marxist by KGB foreign intelligence. The KGB had trained him at its Balashikha special-operations school east of Moscow and in the mid-1960s decided to groom him as the future PLO leader. First, the KGB destroyed the official records of Arafat’s birth in Cairo, and replaced them with fictitious documents saying that he had been born in Jerusalem and was therefore a Palestinian by birth.

Arafat may have been a Marxist, at least at first, but he and his Soviet handlers made copious use of Islamic anti-Semitism. KGB chief Yuri Andropov noted that

“the Islamic world was a waiting Petri dish in which we could nurture a virulent strain of America-hatred, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep…. We had only to keep repeating our themes — that the United States and Israel were ‘fascist, imperial-Zionist countries’ bankrolled by rich Jews. Islam was obsessed with preventing the infidels’ occupation of its territory, and it would be highly receptive to our characterization of the U.S. Congress as a rapacious Zionist body aiming to turn the world into a Jewish fiefdom.”

PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein explained the strategy more fully in a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Once the people had been created, their desire for peace could be easily fabricated as well. Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu tutored Arafat in how to play the West like a fiddle. Pacepa recounted:

“In March 1978, I secretly brought Arafat to Bucharest for final instructions on how to behave in Washington. ‘You simply have to keep on pretending that you’ll break with terrorism and that you’ll recognize Israel — over, and over, and over,’ Ceausescu told him [Arafat]…. Ceausescu was euphoric over the prospect that both Arafat and he might be able to snag a Nobel Peace Prize with their fake displays of the olive branch…. Ceausescu failed to get his Nobel Peace Prize.

But in 1994 Arafat got his — all because he continued to play the role we had given him to perfection. He had transformed his terrorist PLO into a government-in-exile (the Palestinian Authority), always pretending to call a halt to Palestinian terrorism while letting it continue unabated. Two years after signing the Oslo Accords, the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists had risen by 73 percent.”

This strategy continued to work beautifully, through U.S.-brokered “peace process” after “peace process,” from the 1978 Camp David Accords into the presidency of Barack Obama and beyond, with no end in sight.

Western authorities never seem to ponder why so many attempts to achieve a negotiated peace between Israel and the “Palestinians,” whose historical existence everyone by now takes for granted, have all failed. The answer, of course, lies in the Islamic doctrine of jihad. “Drive them out from where they drove you out” is a command that contains no mitigation and accepts none.

A few geographical and historical facts to clarify Spencer's necessarily tendentious presentation above:

Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia, usually considered to include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Israel, and in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, and it was later used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina [what it was in the time of Jesus]. The region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel (Hebrew:Eretz-Yisra'el), the Holy Land or Promised Land.

Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites and Judeans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Achaemenids, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Romans, Parthians, Sasanians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Mongols, Ottomans, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians, Egyptians, modern Israelis and 'Palestinians'.

The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared.

The Ottoman Empire conquered Palestine in 1516 and held sway for the next four centuries except for a brief period in the 1830s when Egypt conquered it. But the British intervened in 1840 to return the region to the Ottomans in exchange for certain concessions. This enabled the Ottomans to consolidate and centralize their rule over Palestine. But from 1880 onward, large-scale Jewish immigration began, almost entirely from Europe, based on an explicitly Zionist ideology, with a consequent revival of the Hebrew language and culture. The British government publicly supported Zionism during World War I with the Balfour declaration of 1917 announcing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine, where the Jewish population only comprised around 3–5% of the total. This was fiercely contested by the largely Arab population of the region.

During World War I, the British fought the Ottomans, who were supported by the Germans, in the Middle Eastern theater. In that time, the British came to occupy the territory that is now Israel and Jordan. With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, its territories in the Middle East were partitioned between the victorious European powers - France won the mandate for Syria and Lebanon, while the British Empire won the mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine. The British were formally awarded the mandate to govern the region in 1922. The non-Jewish Palestinians revolted in 1920, 1929, and 1936. [In other words, native non-Jewish residents of the region known as Palestine were always referred to indiscriminately since the 19th century as Palestinians.]

The Republic of Turkey came into existence in 1923 after the Turkish War of Independence ended the Ottoman Empire. The European mandates ended with the formation of the Kingdom of Iraq in 1932, the Lebanese Republic in 1943, the State of Israel in 1948, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan and Syrian Arab Republic in 1946.

In 1947, following World War II and the Holocaust, the British Government announced its desire to terminate the Mandate, and the United Nations General Assembly adopted in November 1947 a Resolution 181(II) recommending partition into an Arab state, a Jewish state and a Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. The Jewish leadership accepted the proposal, but the Arab Higher Committee rejected it; a civil war began immediately after the Resolution's adoption. The State of Israel was declared in May 1948.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/08/2018 02.59]
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14/08/2018 03.22
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More on that festering canker that Bergoglio has just contaminated the Catechism with...

The pope's new Catechism text
on the death penalty will damage the Church

Yes, the revised wording is unclear. But it certainly seems
to imply that previous popes led the faithful into grave error

by Edward Feser
August 8, 2018

Pope Francis has changed the Catechism so that it now declares the death penalty to be flatly “inadmissible”. Whether he is teaching that capital punishment is always and intrinsically evil is a matter of controversy, but taken at face value, the wording of the revision at least seems to say that.

And while it is important to understand the exact magisterial weight of the new text, we also have to deal with the obvious reading: that, as the BBC put it, “Pope Francis has changed the teachings of the Catholic faith to officially oppose the death penalty in all circumstances.”

Along with many other commentators, I have noted that this apparent rupture with Scripture and tradition damages the credibility of the Church and the papacy. A close reading of the new text only increases one’s concern.

The 1990 CDF document Donum Veritatis acknowledges that it is possible for magisterial documents to exhibit “deficiencies,” and that Catholic theologians have the right, and sometimes even the duty, to express respectful criticism of such deficiencies. There appear to be at least three major deficiencies in the revision to the Catechism:

The new wording appears logically to imply that Scripture, the Church’s previous catechisms, and previous popes including St John Paul II all led the faithful into grave moral error.

Here the most problematic element of the revision is its assertion that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”.

There are a great many passages in scripture that not only allow, but in some cases even command, the infliction of capital punishment. To take just two examples, Exodus 21:12 states that “whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death”, and Leviticus 24:17 states that “he who kills a man shall be put to death.”

The logical implication of the new teaching seems to be that Scripture therefore commanded nothing less than “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” Yet the Church also teaches that Scripture is divinely inspired and cannot teach moral error. For example, the First Vatican Council declared that the Scriptures “contain revelation without error” and Pope Leo XIII taught that “it is absolutely wrong and forbidden… to admit that the sacred writer has erred.”

These assertions cannot possibly be reconciled. Either
(a) capital punishment is not, after all, an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person; or
(b) being an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person does not, after all, suffice to make an action inadmissible; or
(c) Scripture taught moral error. Something’s got to give.

Notice, though, that we can’t take option (c) without entirely undermining Catholic moral theology, not to mention contradicting ecumenical councils and consistent papal teaching. And option (b) doesn’t really make sense. If a certain action against a person is at least in some cases admissible, then the person is not inviolable in that respect. Hence the only option possible is (a) – in which case the revision to the Catechism is in error.

Catholic critics of capital punishment sometimes respond: “What about slavery and divorce? The Church abandoned Old Testament teaching on those matters, so why not on capital punishment?”

But there are two problems with this response. First, the Law of Moses never commands slavery or divorce. It merely tolerates them, and puts conditions on how they may be practiced. By contrast, it does positively command capital punishment in some circumstances. Hence to hold that capital punishment is intrinsically evil is to imply that Scripture not only tolerated, but positively commanded, something that is intrinsically evil.

A second problem with this response is that if the Law of Moses really had positively commanded slavery and divorce, that would only exacerbate the problem, not mitigate it. To defend the revision of the Catechism against the charge that it attributes moral error to Scripture, it will hardly do for the defender to attribute further moral errors to Scripture!

(In addition, what most people think of when they hear the word “slavery” is chattel slavery – the kind we associate with the early history of the United States, which treats some human beings as the property of others in an unqualified sense. The Church never approved that evil practice in the first place, and that is not what Scripture is talking about either. What was in question in the history of Catholic theology were practices like indentured servitude and penal servitude – servitude in payment of a debt or as punishment for a crime, respectively. Catholic capital punishment opponents who allege a parallel with slavery usually ignore these crucial distinctions.)

Then there is the teaching of previous popes. For example, in 1210 Pope Innocent III famously required the Waldensian heretics to affirm the legitimacy of capital punishment as a condition of their reconciliation with the Church. In other words, he taught that the legitimacy of capital punishment is a matter of Catholic orthodoxy. Pope Francis’s revision to the Catechism seems to imply that the heretics were right all along and that Pope Innocent led the faithful into grave moral error.

To take another example, the 1997 version of the Catechism promulgated by Pope St John Paul II acknowledges that “the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty” – though it also holds that “the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.’”

Pope Francis’s revision to the Catechism seems to imply, then, that John Paul II taught that the Church does not exclude what amounts to “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” Indeed, it seems to imply that John Paul II taught that “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” can at least in some rare cases be an “absolute necessity”!

Then there is the Roman Catechism promulgated by Pope St Pius V and used by the Church for centuries, which teaches:

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life.

Pope Francis’s revision to the current Catechism therefore appears to imply that the Roman Catechism taught that “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” can be “an act of paramount obedience to [the] Commandment which prohibits murder”. In other words, Pope Francis’s teaching seems to imply that Pope St Pius V’s teaching was not only gravely in error, but perverse in the extreme.

Many further examples could easily be given of past magisterial teaching which, if the revision to the Catechism is correct, would have to be judged to have led the faithful into grave moral error. The legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is, after all, the consistent teaching of Scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the popes, for over two millennia. (Joseph Bessette and I set out the evidence at length in our book By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed.)

Now, part of the problem is that, as I have argued elsewhere, the suggestion that the Church has been wrong for two millennia is flatly incompatible with what the Church claims about the reliability of her ordinary Magisterium.

But another problem is that Pope Francis’s revision implies that popes and official catechisms are susceptible of error that is so grave, and so persistent, that it casts serious doubt on all papal and catechetical teaching – including his own. In short, the pope’s revision is essentially self-defeating.

Pope Francis’s revision to the Catechism indicates that capital punishment was traditionally approved for two reasons: the protection of society, and proportional retribution. Let’s focus for now on the second of these.

Traditional Catholic teaching holds that retributive justice is the fundamental purpose (even if not the only purpose) of the criminal justice system. Punishment, the Church has taught, fundamentally involves the infliction on an offender of a penalty proportionate to the gravity of his offence.

Commenting on this rationale, the revised text says:

Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes…

Today, however… a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state.

Furthermore, the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that announced the change claims that
- in the teaching of John Paul II, “the death penalty is not presented as a proportionate penalty for the gravity of the crime.” - the change in teaching about the death penalty “takes] into account the new understanding of penal sanctions applied by the modern State, which should be oriented above all to the rehabilitation and social reintegration of the criminal”, and
- that the older teaching reflected “a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently.”

In other words, the change to the Catechism seems to reject the traditional teaching on retributive justice, in favour of a “new understanding” that instead emphasises rehabilitation and reintegration.

The significance of such a change cannot be overstated. The traditional teaching has been consistently reaffirmed by the popes: St John Paul II himself did so both in Evangelium Vitae and in the Catechism he promulgated. The latter teaches:

Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offence. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offence. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation.

Fortunately, this passage survives in Pope Francis’s revision to the Catechism – which altered only the subsequent section, n. 2267. However, it is hard to see how to reconcile the new section 2267’s claim that the Church has a “new understanding… of the significance of penal sanctions” with section 2266’s explicit affirmation of the old understanding of the significance of penal sanctions.

Moreover, the CDF letter contains a strange set of assertions. It says that for John Paul II, the death penalty is “not presented as a proportionate penalty for the gravity of the crime”. But then Pope John Paul II did allow for capital punishment at least in rare circumstances.

The CDF letter’s logical implication would seem to be that John Paul II taught that capital punishment could in principle be used even though it is not a proportionate penalty! But obviously, that cannot be what John Paul II thought. (As Joseph Bessette and I show in our book, the late pope did in fact implicitly teach that capital punishment is a proportionate penalty, and merely held that that was not sufficient to justify actually using it in most modern circumstances.)

Furthermore, the notion that the Church’s traditional teaching about the purposes of punishment might be replaced by a “new understanding” is one that Pope Pius XII explicitly rejected. For example, in his “Discourse to the Catholic Jurists of Italy”, published in 1955, Pius said:

Many, perhaps the majority, of civil jurists reject vindictive punishment… However… the Church in her theory and practice has maintained this double type of penalty (medicinal and vindictive), and… this is more in agreement with what the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine teach regarding the coercive power of legitimate human authority. It is not a sufficient reply to this assertion to say that the aforementioned sources contain only thoughts which correspond to the historic circumstances and to the culture of the time, and that a general and abiding validity cannot therefore be attributed to them.

So, Pius XII taught that the “vindictive” or retributive function of punishment is rooted in divine revelation and traditional doctrine, and explicitly rejected the suggestion that it merely reflects historical circumstances and lacks abiding relevance – whereas Pope Francis’s revision seems to imply the exact opposite.

The traditional teaching had a good reason for emphasising retribution and proportionate penalties. The reason is that if we don’t think in terms of giving an offender what he deserves, then we are no longer thinking in terms of justice at all.

If all that matters is rehabilitating and reintegrating people, then we might, in theory, inflict extremely mild punishments or no punishment at all even for the most heinous crimes, if we think this is an efficient way to achieve these ends.

And by the same token, we might inflict extreme penalties for minor crimes, or even on innocent people whose behaviour we want to alter. Nothing is ruled out, in principle, if we throw out considerations of giving offenders what they deserve.
To be sure, the revision to the Catechism doesn’t explicitly go this far. But it muddies the waters considerably.

The revision rests in part on empirical assertions that are dubious at best.

The revised text of the Catechism justifies a complete abolition of capital punishment in part on the grounds that “more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens.” The CDF letter adds that “the death penalty [is] unnecessary as protection for the life of innocent people.” However, this is in no way a doctrinal assertion. It is merely an empirical claim that is highly controversial at best – and indeed, in some contexts, manifestly false. Moreover, it concerns matters of social science about which the Church has no special expertise.

The first problem here is that though the “effective systems of detention” to which the revised text refers may exist in wealthy Western countries, there are still large regions of the undeveloped world where the most dangerous aggressors cannot be rendered harmless by incarceration. (Think of the unstable political orders in some African and Middle Eastern countries, or Mexican drug lord “El Chapo’s” escapes from prison.)

The CDF statement and the revision to the Catechism are in this respect strangely Eurocentric in their outlook. Are the lives of potential innocent victims of violent crime in Third World countries of less value than those of wealthy Europeans and Americans?

A second problem is that even in First World countries, the most dangerous offenders sometimes remain a threat to the lives of others even when they are incarcerated for life. For example, they sometimes murder other prisoners and prison guards. Also, drug kingpins and others associated with organized crime sometimes order assassinations, from prison, of victims in the outside world.

A third problem is that the CDF letter and revision to the Catechism ignore the issue of the deterrence value of capital punishment. While some social scientists doubt its deterrence value, there are also many social scientists who, on the basis of peer-reviewed empirical studies, are convinced that the death penalty does significantly deter.

The most that the abolitionist can reasonably say is that the matter is controversial. But if capital punishment really does deter some potential murderers, then innocent lives will be lost by abolishing the practice altogether. The CDF letter’s peremptory assertion that “the death penalty [is] unnecessary as protection for the life of innocent people” is therefore simply not supported by the empirical evidence. (See By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed for a detailed treatment of the evidence for deterrence.)

A fourth problem is that the revision to the Catechism ignores the fact that capital punishment gives prosecutors an invaluable negotiating tool. Violent offenders who would otherwise refuse to reveal accomplices or help solve other crimes are sometimes willing to talk if they can be assured that prosecutors will not seek their execution. When the death penalty is taken off the books altogether, this bargaining chip is gone – and once again, innocent people will pay the price.

In any event, churchmen have no special expertise on these matters. And of course, the essential point is not about these empirical issues, but about the authority of the Church’s perennial teaching – which raises a simple question.

How can anyone justify a radical revision to over two millennia of scriptural and papal teaching on the basis of dubious amateur social science?

Feser's co-author makes this argument in the Wall Street Journal...

The pope makes a fatal error
He says the death penalty is ‘inadmissible,’ though he avoids saying
it is intrinsically evil. He doesn’t note it saves lives

By Joseph M. Bessette
Aug. 7, 2018

When Pope Francis last week declared the death penalty “inadmissible,” politicians pounced. “The death penalty is a stain on our conscience,” tweeted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who proclaimed that he stood “in solidarity with Pope Francis” in “advancing legislation to remove the death penalty from NY law once and for all.”

But the pope’s declaration, which contradicts two millennia of Catholic teaching, allies the church with a public policy that would undermine justice and cost innocent lives.

Consider this example that the philosopher Edward Feser and I recount in our book, “By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment”: At a professional conference, a criminologist reported that two burglars had broken into his mother’s apartment and tied her up as they searched for valuables. As they were about to leave, one said: “She has seen us and can identify us. Should we kill her?” “No,” answered the other, “we don’t want to risk the death penalty.” They let her live. One can hardly imagine a clearer example of deterrence.

Another example comes from Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. In the 1960s she served on the California Women’s Parole Board. At one hearing, Mrs. Feinstein asked an armed robber seeking release from prison why she never used a loaded gun. “So I would not panic, kill somebody, and get the death penalty,” she answered. That convinced Mrs. Feinstein that (in her words) “the death penalty in place in California in the ’60s was in fact a deterrent.”

A third example is recounted by law professor Robert Blecker, who had spent years interviewing prisoners. A veteran criminal told Mr. Blecker that the reason he spared the life of a drug dealer in Virginia whom he had tied up and robbed was because the state had the electric chair. In a similar situation in the District of Columbia, which had abolished the death penalty, the criminal had killed his victim. “I just couldn’t tolerate what they had waiting for me in Virginia,” he said.

These examples are powerful illustrations that the death penalty can and does deter some would-be murderers. Like the rest of us, criminals want to live, and, as the these examples show, they will often adjust their behavior accordingly. Without the death penalty, what incentive would a “lifer” have not to kill while in prison or, if he escaped, while on the run?

There is also a deeper kind of deterrence, largely overlooked in discussions of the death penalty, which doesn’t require rational calculation. When society imposes the ultimate punishment for the most heinous murders, it powerfully teaches that murder is a great wrong. Children growing up in such a society internalize this message, with the result that most people wouldn’t even consider killing another human being.

Here the principle of justice, which demands that malefactors receive a punishment proportionate to their offense, and deterrence of this deeper sort meet. If we abolish the death penalty for even the most heinous and coldblooded murderers, we fatally undermine the idea of justice as the cornerstone of our criminal-justice system. Over time justice will be replaced by a therapeutic or technocratic model that treats human beings as cases to be managed and socially engineered rather than as morally responsible persons.

Apparently, Pope Francis has decided that the death penalty doesn’t save lives. He gives no reasons for reaching this conclusion. We would hardly expect Catholic priests, whatever their rank, to be experts in criminal justice. Unless the death penalty is intrinsically evil — and the pope has made no such claim — then its advisability is a matter for citizens and legitimate public authority. This is what the church has always taught.

By falsely claiming that the principles of Catholicism call for rejecting the death penalty in all circumstances, the pope undermines the authority of the Magisterium, pre-empts the proper authority of public officials, and jeopardizes public safety and the common good.

And this one, from a Jewish commentator...

Pope Francis rewrites Catholicism … and the Bible
by Dennis Prager
August 7, 2018

Last week, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had changed the Catholic catechism. After 2,000 years of teaching that a moral use of capital punishment for murder is consistent with Catholic teaching, the pope announced that the catechism, the church fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas, among the other great Catholic theologians, were all wrong.

And God and the Bible? They’re wrong, too.

Pope Francis, the product of Latin American liberation theology — along with many other Catholic religious and lay leaders — is remaking Catholicism in the image of leftism, just as mainstream Protestant leaders have been rendering much of mainstream Protestantism a branch of leftism, and non-Orthodox Jewish clergy and lay leaders have been rendering most non-Orthodox synagogues and lay institutions left-wing organizations.

The notion that it is immoral to execute any murderer — no matter how heinous the murder, no matter how many innocents he has murdered, no matter how incontrovertible the proof of guilt — is an expression of emotion, not of reason or natural law or Christian theology or biblical theology.

Regarding the latter, the biblical commandment to put premeditated murderers to death is unique.

First, it is fundamental to biblical morality. The injunction of putting murderers to death is the only law found in each one of the first five books of the Bible (the Torah).

Second, all other sins involving the death penalty were only applicable to Jews (and for thousands of years, Jews regarded those death penalties not as literal but as pedagogic — to teach the seriousness of various offenses in an attempt to create a moral and holy nation).

But the Bible makes it clear capital punishment for murder is applicable to all of humanity. It is the first law God gives Noah after the flood, after commanding him to be fruitful and multiply. Putting murderers to death is therefore the first moral law God gives the world.

Why this draconian penalty for murder? Because the penalty is a statement about the seriousness of a crime, and the God of the Bible deems the wrongful, deliberate taking of a human life the pinnacle of injustice. Allowing all murderers to keep their own lives diminishes the evil of murder and thereby cheapens the worth of the human being. In God’s words, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6).

It is precisely to preserve the unique worth of the human being that the Bible mandates putting murderers to death.

In 2015, Pope Francis wrote, “today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been.”

Unacceptable? To whom? It is acceptable to about half of American Catholics and about half of the American people. But it is unacceptable to the elites of our time, the people who have the most contempt for Catholicism and every other Bible-based religion.

The death penalty, Francis wrote, “entails cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.” These are all subjective opinions. I suspect most people do not think the death penalty as punishment for premeditated murder is necessarily cruel, inhumane or degrading. What are all of us missing? And why isn’t life imprisonment cruel, inhumane and degrading? (Indeed, opposition to life imprisonment is already the norm in many progressive countries like Norway, where someone murdered 77 people, mostly children, and received a 21-year prison sentence.)

The Pope also writes that no matter how serious the crime that has been committed, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

Most of us think it is the murderer, by committing murder, who has attacked his dignity and inviolability, not the society that puts him to death. We also think it is the dignity of the murder victim that is attacked by rewarding the murderer with room and board, TV, books, exercise rooms and visits from family members and girlfriends.

Furthermore, why isn’t keeping a murderer in prison one day longer than is necessary to protect society an “attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”? For that matter, isn’t every punishment an attack on the dignity of the punished? Of course it is, which is why progressives ultimately oppose all punishment, equating it with vengeance.

In the middle of the night on July 23, 2007, two men entered the Cheshire, Connecticut, home of Dr. William Petit Jr. and his family. They nearly beat Dr. Petit to death with a baseball bat. Then, one of the men raped his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and the other man sexually assaulted her 11-year-old daughter, Michaela — an assault he photographed with his cellphone. Dr. Petit managed to escape, but Hawke-Petit was strangled to death; Michaela and Hawke-Petit’s other daughter, Hayley, were tied to their beds; and the house was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

In a 4-3 decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment violated the Connecticut Constitution, thereby preventing the execution of the murderers and assaulters of Dr. Petit’s family.

This was Dr. Petit’s reaction: “I think when people willfully, wantingly, without any remorse take someone else’s life, they forfeit their right to be among us.”

For those who believe in the Bible, Dr. William Petit of Cheshire, Connecticut, echoes God’s view. Pope Francis of the Vatican does not.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/08/2018 03.36]
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Benedict XVI: Prophet
Fr. Robert P. Imbelli
August 11, 2018

Note: Fr. Imbelli tells us he was reading some works by Pope Benedict XVI and was moved to extract several passages that seemed to speak powerfully to the multiple scandals in which we find ourselves. We agree, and thought you would like to see them as well. – Robert Royal

During his last trip to Germany, at Freiburg im Breisgau, on September 24-25, 2011, Benedict XVI gave two addresses to German bishops, clergy, and lay leaders. Reports at the time indicated they were not well received by the audience. From the vantage of the present crisis, however, they appear prescient. Here follow extended excerpts from the two discourses:

“We live at a time that is broadly characterized by a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive, when it opposes those who say that they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found.”

“And we observe that this relativism exerts more and more influence on human relationships and on society. This is reflected, among other things, in the inconstancy and fragmentation of many people’s lives and in an exaggerated individualism. Many no longer seem capable of any form of self-denial or of making a sacrifice for others. Even the altruistic commitment to the common good, in the social and cultural sphere or on behalf of the needy, is in decline."

"Others are now quite incapable of committing themselves unreservedly to a single partner. People can hardly find the courage now to promise to be faithful for a whole lifetime; the courage to make a decision and say: now I belong entirely to you, or to take a firm stand for fidelity and truthfulness and sincerely to seek a solution to their problems.”

“The Church in Germany is superbly organized. But behind the structures, is there also a corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in the living God? We must honestly admit that we have more than enough by way of structure but not enough by way of Spirit. I would add: the real crisis facing the Church in the western world is a crisis of faith. If we do not find a way of genuinely renewing our faith, all structural reform will remain ineffective.”

“If the Church, in Pope Paul VI’s words, is now struggling ‘to model itself on Christ’s ideal,’ this ‘can only result in its acting and thinking quite differently from the world around it, which it is nevertheless striving to influence.’ (Ecclesiam Suam, 58) In order to accomplish her mission, she will need again and again to set herself apart from her surroundings, to become in a certain sense ‘unworldly’.”

Freiburg im Breisgau, September 25, 2011
“In the concrete history of the Church, however, a contrary tendency is also manifested, namely that the Church becomes self-satisfied, settles down in this world, becomes self-sufficient and adapts herself to the standards of the world. Not infrequently, she gives greater weight to organization and institutionalization than to her vocation to openness towards God, her vocation to opening up the world towards the other.”

“In order to accomplish her true task adequately, the Church must constantly renew the effort to detach herself from her tendency towards worldliness and once again to become open towards God. In this she follows the words of Jesus: ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world’ (Jn 17:16), and in precisely this way Jesus gives himself to the world. One could almost say that history comes to the aid of the Church here through the various periods of secularization, which have contributed significantly to her purification and inner reform.”

“Secularizing trends – whether by expropriation of Church goods, or elimination of privileges or the like – have always meant a profound liberation of the Church from forms of worldliness, for in the process she, as it were, sets aside her worldly wealth and once again completely embraces her worldly poverty.”

“History has shown that, when the Church becomes less worldly, her missionary witness shines more brightly. Once liberated from material and political burdens and privileges, the Church can reach out more effectively and in a truly Christian way to the whole world, she can be truly open to the world. She can live more freely her vocation to the ministry of divine worship and service of neighbor.”

“It is not a question here of finding a new strategy to re-launch the Church. Rather, it is a question of setting aside mere strategy and seeking total transparency, not bracketing or ignoring anything from the truth of our present situation, but living the faith fully here and now in the utterly sober light of day, appropriating it completely, and stripping away from it anything that only seems to belong to faith, but in truth is mere convention or habit.”

“To put it another way: for people of every era, and not just our own, the Christian faith is a scandal. That the eternal God should know us and care about us, that the intangible should at a particular moment have become tangible, that he who is immortal should have suffered and died on the Cross, that we who are mortal should be given the promise of resurrection and eternal life – for people of any era, to believe all this is a bold claim.”

“This scandal, which cannot be eliminated unless one were to eliminate Christianity itself, has unfortunately been overshadowed in recent times by other painful scandals on the part of the preachers of the faith. A dangerous situation arises when these scandals take the place of the primary skandalon of the Cross and in so doing they put it beyond reach, concealing the true demands of the Christian Gospel behind the unworthiness of those who proclaim it."

A second regular contributor to THE CATHOLIC THING evokes Joseph Ratzinger on a most secular fact of life in today's world...

On news reports
And why Joseph Ratzinger once said
'There is no such thing as a purely objective news report'

By James V. Schall, S.J.
August 14, 2018

The Gospels are called “good news.” Something was found in them that was “new,” never heard before. It was good, not bad, news. “Bad” news certainly happened, but only if the opposite “good” news was possible. Otherwise, there would just be “news”: News would be something like reading facts on Google. “News” arouses our passions. Something is at stake in its very statement.

“Bad news” has been with the human race since its beginning. No past time or place has been without its share of bad news. In one sense, “bad news” perplexes us more than “good news.” Mankind has vainly sought to identify the causes of bad news and to be rid of them.

The “good news” of Christianity warns us of the “bad news” that recurs in one form or other. The Fall or Original Sin was not something that could be confronted with solely human means. Much classical and modern social thought, nonetheless, sought to prove otherwise. Its efforts have usually made things worse.

Christopher Dawson once remarked that, had we read the Jerusalem Post or the Roman Daily News on the morning after the Crucifixion, we would find hardly any mention of it, other than perhaps a note that three bandits had been executed under Pontius Pilate. The “bad news” of the Crucifixion turned out for the Christians to be a felix culpa, a happy fault – good news.

Recently we worry about “fake news.” Fake news usually is a sensational account of an event or of a person that takes the form of objective reporting. It contains wrong information or otherwise distorted implications. It is a species of lying. The normal reader or listener may take “fake news” as if it were true. But “fake news” is not same as satire. The reader of satire knows that exaggerations and erroneous elements are part of the humor.

On November 15, 1977, Joseph Ratzinger (later Benedict XVI) wrote: “There is no such thing as a purely objective news report.” Everything we read in the press, watch on television, or hear on radio is filtered through some mind that selects what is to be emphasized and how to present it.

At first sight, this view might seem wrongly skeptical. But anyone who watches CNN or MSNBC, to name the worst, and thinks that he is receiving “objective” news is wildly confused. L’Osservatore Romano, the BBC World News, and the Washington Post are not exceptions. The point is that there are no exceptions.

Is this situation such a bad thing? We learn to look at the background assumptions of the person who presents the news. Indeed, we have to consider what we mean by “news.” If every news broadcast of a channel or network spends most of its time telling us how bad or good President Trump is, or how socialism will save us all, we know what we are dealing with. There is nothing wrong with knowing what ideologues think. But something is wrong if we do not know that they are ideologues claiming to give us “objective” reports.

The most important element in “news” is “opinion.” Facts are not really “news.” They are either true or false on evidence. News deals with things that were done, or should or should not be done. Whether we deny “oughts” or not, the news that is important deals with opinions about significant things, with changeable things that are to be praised or blamed. We are dealing with what Aristotle called prudence, with means aimed at ends. We are not dealing with certitudes but with things that can be otherwise.

Our ends ultimately define us. They explain the opinions we give for acting or not acting, speaking or not speaking, the way we do. I recall reading some years ago a discussion of our Founders’ understanding of the First Amendment. It was not designed to protect “news” but “opinions.” An opinion is neither a fact nor a certitude. We mostly must act on the basis of incomplete knowledge.

Aristotle said that the criterion of our action is what the good man would do in the case before us. We are to act on what is reasonable in the given particular circumstances. We need, in other words, wise and prudent men.

In our tradition, the Church, the Senate, and the university provided these wise men. But, in the realm of opinion, we can no longer fully trust any of these sources. Yet it is not a defect but a perfection to look to prudent men to see what we do not.

Ratzinger’s “no objective news report” points to the prudent man whose opinion we can trust to lead us to that highest end for which we were created. The search is not in vain, but neither is it easy. Indeed, in the end, we seek ourselves to become prudent – yes, even wise.

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This is not just about the death penalty -
but the very preservation of the Church's teaching authority

by Stefanie Nicholas
August 14, 2018

When I woke up on August 2 to a tweet that Pope Francis had made changes to paragraph 2267 of the Catechism, I knew that I was in for an exhausting phase in my post-conversion life. Without even reading the text in full, or examining the letter to the bishops, or comparing the new wording to past documents, or digging into the historical teachings on the applicability of the death penalty for expiation of sins versus future protection of the innocent, I knew.

“Eye on the ball,” said many a Catholic in the wake of this latest controversy. To an extent, I agree with them – we must not let anything the Vatican does, no matter how egregious, distract us from dealing actively with the present homosexual sex abuse crisis. However, I argued from the beginning that this is the ball.

Pope Francis’s decision cannot be seen in isolation. It must be taken as part of the whole, and as I and many others have argued, it seems this was an obvious “test,” using an already unpopular (and to the average parishioner, irrelevant) issue to gauge how a change to the Catechism will be received. It was never about the death penalty for me. Frankly, I care little about it in the present context of my life in a country that doesn’t even employ it.

No, this is about no less than the very preservation of the authoritative nature of the Church.

The more I turn over this past event in my mind, considering the machinations of the enemies below and their various witting and unwitting helpers above, the more I realize that every bit of toxicity in the Church can be laid at the feet of the crisis of faith within the episcopacy, the clergy, and the majority of the laity.

More specifically, I see that crisis of faith reflected in the crisis of evangelism.

When people don’t have a true supernatural faith, why would they evangelize? Why would they call people to a faith that is a mere set of flimsy humanist doctrines with some Jesus? Why should they care that Pope Francis’s actions have had a real, profound impact on the souls of potential converts, when I would bet that many of them don’t even believe in the reality of eternal damnation or eternal salvation for said souls?

I wish I could show the @USCCB my DMs right now and the number of people contacting me for advice on what to think of everything going on in the Church right now. I respect each and every one of them, and I do my best to respond truthfully and accurately, but this is not my job.

People who evangelize know there is a crisis. We know this is a crisis rivaled by only the Arian heresy. We live each day of our lives picking up the pieces, on the ground, of those earnestly seeking Our Savior.

People who don’t evangelize don’t see it, or they don’t think it extends beyond lack of Mass attendance and sex abuse scandals.

It’s really that simple. Even the neo-con JPII types who cringe at my proclaiming that Pope Francis crossed my red line with this change know there is a crisis of clarity, at the very least. I would argue that it’s largely because they evangelize. If you talk about the faith frequently, you simply cannot choose to avoid the crisis.

I have received many messages from people who have read my frustrated posts on the death penalty, people presuming that I myself am experiencing a crisis of faith due to Pope Francis’s actions, and either encouraging me in my faith (I am thankful for this – one can always use encouragement!) or seeking to tempt me toward Protestantism or back to Eastern Orthodoxy.

My initial reaction to these messages was bafflement. All of these people missed entirely the point of my frustration.

I didn’t talk about this crisis for my own sake. Nor do I enjoy the chaos within the Church, nor do I want Pope Francis’s pontificate to be a failure.

I spent so many hours researching and speaking out about this crisis because I felt that I had to for the sake of others. I care about these crises within the Church because, unfortunately, these crises in the Church have a direct impact on the safety of the precious souls I seek to help.

I know this because I evangelize every single day.

By the grace of God, I have the gift of supernatural faith. Pope Francis’s recent actions, like McCarrick’s actions, have had no impact on my belief in the fact that the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded, nor on my love for her. This isn’t about me. My faith is more than fine – not for anything I did, let alone deserved, but by the reception of the gift of faith from God. [My own thoughts, sentiments and position, exactly! though I have never been in a position to evangelize as the writer does.]

Though I admit I am a bit of a Catholic wonk and find the Church politics and scandals and ecclesial minutiae interesting on a personal level, my “mission” at this point has never been to cover them in depth, and it’s simply not the best use of my time. I want to know Scripture better. I want to improve my debate skills. I want to be able to answer individual questions in a more timely fashion. I want to put more time into the things that I have found to “work” in opening people’s hearts and minds to the moving of the Holy Spirit. Not on staying up until one in the morning reading about Ott’s eight levels of theological certainty, as fascinating as it may be!

From the earliest days of my conversion, I have been given the opportunity by God to engage in the primary mission of the Church: to bring all men to saving faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what my passion is: encouraging people in their lives to seek out the good, teaching the basics of the faith to non-Christians, overcoming objections to the hard teachings of the Church from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and actively “going on the offensive” in friendly debate with our non-Catholic Christian brethren to bring them to the fullness of a life for Jesus Christ in His Church.

So it has been an exhausting couple of weeks, because instead of talking about the Eucharist and the road to Emmaus, or explaining the Protoevangelium and Mary, or discussing the Old Testament prefigurement of the papal office, I was trying to explain whether or not people have to follow the Holy Father in his latest teaching.

No pressure. It’s not as though souls are at stake or anything!

This isn’t my job, and it really does not amuse me that it has become my job due to the near total cowardice of the shepherds. I am not alone in this feeling of betrayal. This latest act was the same old story for people who have been evangelizing longer than I have. Though I have experienced some smaller scandals since my conversion (and, of course the ongoing sex abuse problems), this was the first time I had to tweet at people and tell them I could not answer whether or not they should obey Pope Francis.

It was the first time I realized that though I know for myself where the truth lies in this instance – the eternal teaching of the Church that the death penalty is morally permissible – I felt that it would be going too far out of my wheelhouse spiritually if I were to directly exhort another person to hold the same position.

It’s one thing for me to tell someone to ignore the Pope’s stupid tweets about banning guns. It’s another to tell someone to ignore the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

I am a small-e evangelist. There is a right order to the members of the Body of Christ, and I believe that my role as a laywoman should be to respectfully submit to higher authority. Heck, I want to be able to let male members of the laity take the lead over me in a lot of these matters, let alone priests and bishops!

And yet, what else am I to do? Saint Catherine of Siena, ora pro nobis.

I encourage people to read what other reputable folks have to say and prayerfully consider it, and, when appropriate, I share my own overall position on this chaotic Church to which I came home: that I will follow the eternal doctrines of the Church; be confident that one day, the mainstream documents of the Church such as the Catechism will again reflect them; and pray for the Holy Father each and every day.

We are in a time of crisis. We are in a time where we as laypeople must ask ourselves: if not us, who? While right order and submission to authority is important, we can never allow that desire to follow order to supersede our imperative to follow Christ first as the giver of authority.

So we do our best to be the simple women who stayed with Jesus during his Passion. We stay close to Our Blessed Mother. We look to Saint John – to the rare faithful, brave shepherds.

We don’t stop evangelizing the truth, any more than the early Christians did while being persecuted by the external physical enemies of Nero, Diocletian, et al. In many ways, our enemies may be of a worse sort (interior and spiritual), but at least we have the blood of our forefathers and their faith that God would give those new converts faith to appeal to.

Most of all, we pray. We beg for God’s mercy upon us that we may never lead one of His little ones astray.

We have no other choice.

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Utente Gold
Time to hold prelates accountable
at the Vatican, too

By Phil Lawler
August 13, 2018

John Allen of Crux remarks that if the universal Church seeks to make prelates accountable, it’s unfortunate that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who has a deserved reputation for trying to protect abusers and conceal evidence remains the Dean of the College of Cardinals.

To be fair, Allen was asking the same question back in 2011 — as was Edward Pentin, in Catholic World Report. And I myself have asked the question again and again and again and again and again and again.

Since Cardinal Sodano is now more than 90 years old, it would seem a natural thing to announce his resignation. In June, Pope Francis announced that four more cardinals would all be given the privileges of cardinal-bishops — from whose ranks the dean is chosen. That might have been an opportune time to name a new dean. Still Cardinal Sodano, the former Secretary of State, retains his title.

And while we’re on the subject… Pope Francis created the Council of Cardinals in April 2013, and named the original eight members of the group to 5-year terms. A quick mathematical calculation shows that those terms expired in April of this year. Again, it would have been a convenient time to replace any cardinals who had been tainted by scandal.

Four of those eight cardinals have now been accused, rightly or wrongly, of either engaging in sexual abuse or covering up the evidence of abuse. Three of those four have passed the age of 75, the normative retirement age for active bishops, so in their cases there were two handy reasons for replacing them. But all four remain in place.

If Pope Francis wants to send a clear message, the opportunities are still open. On the other hand, if all these cardinals remain in place —when it would have been so easy to replace them — that sends a message, too.

And what about 'all the pope's men' and the horrendous messages they send by their brazenly shameless and faith-betraying sycophancy???

Bergoglio has ushered in
a new ultramontane gnosticism
and Rosica is its prophet!

by Mark Lambert
August 14, 2018

Twitter is buzzing this morning with the latest heretical out-pouring from professional papal tailgater, Fr. Thomas Rosica. You may remember this is the the Vatican spokesman & CEO of Canadian Salt & Light TV, who seems unable to avoid embroiling himself in what can best be described as embarrassing polemics.

He infamously made a legal threat against a small part-time blogger who wants to defend Church teaching. He has a long record of dodgy pronouncements and quasi-theology (for another example see here) but these are the men Pope Francis chooses to speak for him. This is something which has puzzled me since the inception of this Pontificate.

Who is Rosica?

Get it now?

This morning's fuss is about a typically sycophantic article written about Pope Francis by Fr. Rosica, entitled The Ignatian Qualities of the Petrine Ministry of Pope Francis and posted on his smoke & litigation Salt & Light blog, and re-posted by Zenit (although the particularly heretical quote below now appears to have been removed by Zenit who have replaced the two relevant sentences with “[…]” however it IS still there in the smoke & litigation Salt & Light blog (for the minute, anyway). There's a lot of verbiage, but amongst it is this bit:

Now explain to me, given this man's position of influence in the Church, how we are NOT living through a major doctrinal crisis? This is the exact opposite of what is taught by the Second Vatican Council which states:

It is clear, therefore, that sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God's most wise design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.~ Dei Verbum n.10

It also has to be said about this article that you would be forgiven for asking whose founder? Which Ignatius? If you read the letters of St. Ignatius, or a classic portrait of the (400 year) traditional interpretation of his charism (as in Joseph de Guibert), you would conclude that Fr. Rosica is talking about a completely different figure and spirit. But that won't be any surprise to anyone following what is going on at present.

This verbiage (it's not Catholic by any measure I recognise) is both sycophantic & unhinged. We should also remember that it takes place amidst the renewed, growing anger at Church leaders over the abuse crises, too! One wonders just why Zenit published it? Rosica relates everything back to Francis though, and if anyone raises problems, he just sees it like this:

I mean this is so brazen - this man is publicly claiming the Church has become a personality cult and that Scripture, Tradition & the Magisterium no longer count for anything. As Nick Donnelly pointed out:

Rorate caeli also remind us:"Let us go back to what the Church actually teaches about the Roman Pontiff in her quite authoritative words in Vatican I (Pastor aeternus):

The Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren."

Pope Saint Pius X also appropriately warned the Church:

But for Catholics the second Council of Nicea will always have the force of law, where it condemns those who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind . . . or endeavour by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church; and Catholics will hold for law, also, the profession of the fourth Council of Constantinople: We therefore profess to conserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by every one of those divine interpreters the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV. and Pius IX., ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.
Saint Pius X
Pascendi Dominici Gregis
, 42

About that Zenit edit of its Rosica story:

The real problem here is the credibility that men like Rosica have by virtue of the Vatican, and the respect we are bound to hold them in by virtue of their ordination. However they are only able to get away with such outlandish and contrary behaviour because so many Catholics do not know their faith at all.

For anyone with a passing acquaintance with Dei verbum, those two sentences by Rosica are like a red light; a Satanic parody of the actual document which seeks to elevate one man, Pope Francis to the position of Christ. Indeed, Rosica has said something similar to that in the past:

What really gets me is that these men were ordained into a Church that they hate and seek to undermine and actually corrupt. Then there is the fact that they are promoted to prominent positions despite constantly repeating positions that are at odds with the Church - AND NO ONE CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! If you believe what the Church teaches, you are considered to be a bit of a nutter. If you voice dissent, you are considered to be right on.

This has to stop because it is what is killing vocations and leading to the clear hypocrisy of ignorant Catholics which leads to apathy and their abandoning of the faith.

I suppose the only silver lining for Rosica is that because he has blocked nearly everyone on the internet, he's likely completely oblivious to the furore he has caused with this article #RosicaBlockParty.

Almighty & Everlasting God, have mercy on Thy servant Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, & direct him [JORGE BERGOGLIO] according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Thy help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to Thee & accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord.
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Pennsylvania priest abuse report
faults Cardinal Donald Wuerl


HARRISBURG, Pa., August 14, 2018 (AP) — The latest on a grand jury report on clergy abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses (all times local):

4:15 p.m.
A Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse faults Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh, over his handling of abusive priests.

The report says Wuerl approved transfers for priests instead of removing them from ministry, oversaw inadequate church investigations and concealed information when priests were reported to law enforcement.

The report also says he advised parishes not to publicly announce or acknowledge complaints, and offered financial support to priests who were accused and later resigned.

Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese and is one of the highest-profile cardinals in the United States, disputes some of the allegations in the report.

He says in a statement Tuesday that he “acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse.”

2:25 p.m.
A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims.

The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. The grand jury says it believes the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report says more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period of decades.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says the probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

2:10 p.m.
Pennsylvania officials have released a landmark grand jury report that identifies more than 300 “predator priests” who molested children in six dioceses.

It also accuses church leaders of taking steps to cover up the abuse. The report emerged from one of the nation’s most exhaustive investigations of clergy sexual abuse.

The report echoes the findings of many earlier church investigations around the country in its description of widespread sexual abuse by clergy and church officials’ concealment of it.

The grand jury scrutinized abuse allegations in dioceses that minister to more than half the state’s 3.2 million Catholics.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, said ahead of the report’s release that he expected to be criticized in it.

9:30 a.m.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, is defending himself ahead of a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses.

He says the report will be critical of some of his actions as Pittsburgh’s bishop.

Wuerl wrote to priests late Monday, ahead of Tuesday’s release of the report. He says he acted diligently to protect children while bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years through 2006.

Court records say the report identifies more than 300 “predator priests” and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

Wuerl is already dealing with allegations that a predecessor, disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, allegedly sexually abused boys and adult seminarians. He said last month that archdiocesan records showed no complaints about McCarrick.

1 a.m.
Time is ticking down to decide what information to black out in a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses.

The state Supreme Court set a Tuesday deadline to publicly release a redacted version of the roughly 900-page report.

Some clergy members named in the document say they’re wrongfully accused and are fighting to challenge the allegations against them. The high court says it’ll consider their claims in September, but in the meantime ordered the report released with the identities of those clergy members concealed.

Court records say the report identifies more than 300 “predator priests” and that grand jurors accuse church leaders of brushing aside victims to protect abusers and church institutions.

Cardinal Wuerl named 200 times
in Pennsylvania grand jury report,
responds to criticism

by Ed Condon

Washington D.C., Aug 14, 2018 (CNA)- Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the former Bishop of Pittsburgh, has been named more than 200 times in a Pennsylvania grand jury report, released Aug. 14, after an 18-month investigation into historic allegations of sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses.

The cardinal released a statement in response to the report, underscoring the gravity of the sexual abuse for the Church and the real need for repentance for past failures.

“As I have made clear throughout my more than 30 years as a bishop, the sexual abuse of children by some members of the Catholic Church is a terrible tragedy, and the Church can never express enough our deep sorrow and contrition for the abuse, and for the failure to respond promptly and completely,” the cardinal said.

In total, 99 priests from Pittsburgh were named in the report, 32 priests were referenced by the grand jury report in relation to Cardinal Wuerl’s time as bishop. Of these, 19 involved new cases or allegations which arose during his 18 years in charge of the diocese, during the years 1988-2006.

Of the 19 cases which arose during Wuerl’s time as bishop, 18 were removed from ministry immediately. The other cases Wuerl addressed in Pittsburgh principally concerned actions and allegations that arose during the reign of his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Several of these cases inherited from Cardinal Bevilacqua’s time were subject to the report’s most stringent criticisms.

In one case, an abuser-priest left the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1966, following allegations of abuse. He was allowed to seek ministry in dioceses in California and Nevada. The report says Wuerl authorized him to move from Los Angeles to the diocese of Reno-Las Vegas in 1991, but sources familiar with the Pittsburgh case said that Wuerl was unaware of the 1966 allegations at the time.

A further allegation, concerning past actions by the same priest, was made in 1994 at which time Wuerl immediately informed the dioceses where the priest had been living.

In another case highlighted by the report, Wuerl agreed to a settlement with an abuse victim in his first weeks as bishop of Pittsburgh in 1988. The victim received a total of $900,000 and signed a confidentiality agreement - such agreements were once common in settlements and have been heavily criticized as a means of silencing victims.

While acknowledging that the report contained specific criticisms of his time in Pittsburgh, Wuerl defended his record of handling sexual abuse allegations.

“While I understand this report may be critical of some of my actions, I believe the report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse. I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report.”

The report also specifically criticized Wuerl for maintaining financial support for priests who had been removed from ministry, although providing that support is a canonical obligation for bishops. Many dioceses, including those covered by the report, have found themselves obligated to continue providing minimum benefits and support for priests.

Sources close to the cardinal also point out that the grand jury report does not distinguish between proven incidents of abuse and other allegations, saying that the report presumes that any priest accused of abuse should have been permanently removed from ministry, whether the allegation is proven or not. That assumption, they say, is not consistent with canonical norms on the subject.

As the most senior sitting bishop to be named in the report, and having served for so long as the head of a diocese as prominent as Pittsburgh, it was widely expected that Wuerl would be singled out for special attention by the report, and by the state’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro.

Perhaps the most eye-catching allegation against Wuerl contained in the more than 1,000 pages released is the use of the phrase “circle of secrecy.” These words, the report claims, “were his own words for the church’s child sex abuse cover up.” This allegation is vehemently denied by both the diocese of Pittsburgh and the cardinal.

In an official response released with the report, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said that the phrase “circle of secrecy” appears in paperwork related to the request of a particular priest to return to ministry, and that it was used to make clear that there could be no “circle of secrecy” about the priest’s past problems. The diocese also says that the handwriting in which the phrase is written cannot be definitively attributed to anyone, including Wuerl.

Ed McFadden, spokesman for the cardinal, said that “the handwriting does not belong to then-Bishop Wuerl as the writers of the Report mistakenly assumed. Indeed, the cardinal confirmed the handwriting is not his, and confirmed he neither wrote nor used the phrase while serving as Bishop of Pittsburgh. When the Cardinal’s legal counsel informed the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office about this error – prior to the release of the report – the Attorney General and his Senior Deputy refused to acknowledge the mistake and refused to take any steps to correct the dramatic use and misattribution of the phrase in the report.”

McFadden called the report’s attribution of the phrase “another example that in factual ways, large and small, the Attorney General’s office was more concerned with getting this report out than getting it right. Such a focus detracts from the shared goals of protection and healing.”

In a letter sent to the priests of the Washington archdiocese on Aug. 13, Wuerl wrote that he was shocked at having to confront allegations of abuse almost from the beginning of his ministry in Pittsburgh.

“I cannot fully express the dismay and anger I felt, when as a newly installed Bishop of Pittsburgh in 1988, I learned about the abuse some survivors experienced in my diocese,” he said.

The cardinal said that the experience of meeting with victims of abuse “urged me to develop quickly a “zero tolerance” policy for clergy who committed such abuse,” and that he put in place procedures to ensure allegations were addressed “fairly and forthrightly.”

In his written testimony to the grand jury, Wuerl recounted that in his first months as Bishop of Pittsburgh he had to meet with two brothers who had been victims of abuse. Wuerl said he was profoundly affected by the experience and came away with “a permanent resolve that this should never happen again.”

In 1989, Wuerl established a diocesan committee to evaluate policies for responding to abuse allegations. This committee grew to become the Diocesan Review Board, nearly a decade before the Dallas Charter called for every diocese to have such a body.

In his letter to the priests of Washington, he said that he had tried to live up to his own zero-tolerance standards.

“The diocese [of Pittsburgh] investigated all allegations of child sexual abuse during my tenure there and admitted or substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse resulted in appropriate action including the removal of the priest from ministry,” Wuerl wrote to the Washington presbyterate.

What constitutes “appropriate action” is something that has changed in the years since the sexual abuse crisis at the turn of the millennium and the formation of the Dallas Charter by the United States bishops.

As Bishop of Pittsburgh, Wuerl says he implemented of a policy that formally encouraged Catholics making complaints to also report them directly to law enforcement agencies, and sometimes informed civil authorities himself, even against the express wishes of the person making the allegations.

Of the 19 priests whose original allegations were handled by Wuerl, 18 were immediately removed from pastoral assignments and a kept away from any further contact with children.

But, when allegations could not be satisfactorily established, many of these were given administrative positions in the diocesan chancery, something which would be considered inappropriate under current standards. Unlike the worst examples of earlier abuse cases in dioceses like Boston and Los Angeles, Wuerl is adamant that he never moved an accused or suspected abuser from parish to parish, or left them in parish ministry.

Indeed, from his first year in Pittsburgh, Wuerl acted publicly on issues related to clerical sexual abuse, even in the face of Church opposition.

In 1988, the year he arrived in Pittsburgh, Wuerl removed Fr. Anthony Cipolla from ministry following accusations the priest had molested a teenage boy. Following appeals by Cipolla, the Vatican ordered that the priest be returned to ministry but Wuerl categorically refused, flying to Rome and presenting evidence and arguments in person to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Rome eventually reversed its position and upheld Wuerl’s decision.

While cases of suspected abuse since 2002 have been handled according to the USCCB’s “Essential Norms,” the Cipolla case served as an important template in the 1990’s, making it easier for other bishops to remove priests accused of abuse from active ministry.

Coming hard on the heels of the revelations about Archbishop McCarrick, who preceded Wuerl in Washington, D.C., the cardinal has found himself on the receiving end of very pointed and sustained criticism. Appearing on “CBS This Morning” ahead of the report’s release, he was pointedly asked if he had any intention of resigning. He is likely to face renewed scrutiny and even more difficult questions in the weeks ahead.

The ff was written and published before the Grand Jury report was made public:

Wuerl is lying - and why
Non-members have stood idly by and allowed the Gay Mafia
to spread its tentacles throughout the Church

by George Neumayr'
August 13, 2018

In the immediate aftermath of the catastrophic McCarrick scandal, one American cardinal's denial of any knowledge of McCarrick's predatory behavior stands out: "Our offices are aware only of the same information regarding these allegations that you are seeing in media reports."

That was Cdl. Donald Wuerl's first response to the mushrooming scandal, made through an intermediary tellingly. No one, of course, is buying it. After all, in order to believe Wuerl's claim that he knew nothing about McCarrick's misbehavior, one would have to swallow the following whoppers:
- that Wuerl never read psychotherapist Richard Sipe's accounts of McCarrick's gay predation, which go back at least a decade and were widely circulated on the internet (Sipe is well known to the American hierarchy)
- that the papal nuncio to the United States, who had been apprised of settlements New Jersey archdioceses reached with McCarrick's victims, never breathed a word of these settlements to Wuerl
- that the Church's insurance company, which presumably oversaw the decision to settle, never consulted with Wuerl about McCarrick's record in Washington, D.C.
- that not a single D.C. priest or archdiocesan official who knew about McCarrick's reputation or the settlements ever breathed a word of these matters to Wuerl.

Wuerl's claim of ignorance only raises questions; it doesn't answer any of them. One obvious point of inquiry for any future panel investigating the McCarrick scandal would be: Was it really possible for the New Jersey archdioceses and its insurance company to evaluate the prudence of settling with McCarrick's victims without holding meetings with D.C. archdiocesan officials?
Without examining McCarrick's personnel file in the D.C. archdiocesan office? Without first finding out if that behavior continued during his tenure in D.C.?

After all, how would the insurance company have gauged the need to settle without that crucial information? Presumably, McCarrick was denying it all. Why would the insurance company have settled if the dispute amounted to a he-said, he-said affair, without any later misconduct during his tenure in D.C.?

Any independent panel would need to examine all documents related to the settlement talks. One suspects that those documents would betray evidence of D.C. archdiocesan participation. To take just one example, how did McCarrick, a D.C. archdiocesan employee in his retirement, travel up to New Jersey to discuss the matter? Who paid for that? Who went with him? Surely some D.C. archdiocesan officials accompanied him, unless all of this was resolved over the phone, which is highly doubtful. The panel would need to question McCarrick's aides. What did they know? Did they ever discuss McCarrick-related matters with the D.C. chancery?

Wuerl's denial depends on an utterly ludicrous picture, that of a hermetically sealed scandal leading to hermetically sealed settlements. That never happens in major institutions. It always comes out that a range of people across the affected institution knew about the settlement. That Wuerl didn’t know about the predations of his predecessor is about as likely as Harvey Weinstein's brother and business partner not knowing about the mogul's widely rumored misdeeds.

Then there is the Roman angle: Did nobody at the Vatican tell Wuerl about his predecessor's predations and the settlements to which they led? That strains all credulity. No one has better access to Vatican-held secrets than Wuerl. He is arguably the most powerful cardinal in America and belongs to the Vatican's inner circle.

According to the derelict New Jersey bishops, they informed Vatican officials in Washington, D.C. and Rome about the McCarrick settlements. We are to believe they never passed that information on to Wuerl? Right.

I woke up this last Friday morning to the sad and grimly timed news that Richard Sipe had died. Over the years I talked to Sipe occasionally. I would pepper him with questions about the Gay Mafia in the Catholic Church, a subject he had addressed with great authority in various books and articles. His reporting on the Gay Mafia — much of it deriving from his first-hand experiences as a therapist who worked with troubled priests in the disintegrating, post-1960s Church — was invaluable.

I gather Cdl. Wuerl and other members of the checkered hierarchy breathed a sigh of relief at the news of Sipe's death. Sipe had the goods on them. Or maybe they are muttering to themselves what the French statesman Talleyrand once said after learning of the death of a Turkish ambassador with whom he sparred: "I wonder what he meant by that?"

The company they keep: Wuerl and McCarrick, Ricca and Bergoglio

"Priests have told me that Wuerl is gay," Sipe said to me once during an interview I was conducting for my book, The Political Pope. I had asked Sipe if the Gay Mafia elected Pope Francis. He thought so. We discussed the Msgr. Battista Ricca scandal. Remember that one? It is highly revelant to the McCarrick cover-up and Wuerl's bogus claim that he knew nothing about McCarrick's predatory habits.

Wuerl and Ricca work together on matters related to the Vatican Bank and the administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. If an independent future panel is assembled to look at the McCarrick scandal — which is a big if — it should focus like a laser beam on the interactions of Wuerl, Ricca and McCarrick.

He who pays the piper calls the tune, and many of the money men of the Church are charter members of the Gay Mafia who have been covering for each other for decades. Non-members of the Gay Mafia have allowed the Gay Mafia to spread its tentacles throughout the Church in part because they are dependent on the fundraising of these charlatans.

Follow the money in the Church — from the McCarrick-founded Papal Foundation (which recently strong-armed its donors for millions given to a crooked hospital in Rome that the Pope and the Gay Mafia wanted bailed out) to the Patrimony of the Holy See — and you will find on that money the fingerprints of the most double-dealing, double-living prelates in the Church.

They understand the purifying and silencing power of raw cash. Their sins are scarlet, but their cash is green — and their cowed colleagues know it. Their sins are scarlet, but their cash is green — and their cowed colleagues know it.

Of course Wuerl knew about McCarrick, just like he knew about Msgr. Ricca, his colleague at the Vatican bank, in whose affairs Wuerl has long been immersed. Ricca rose to the highest ecclesiastical position at the Vatican Bank despite an amazingly sordid history.

Veteran Vatican correspondent Sandro Magister has established beyond any reasonable doubt that Ricca's scandalous bio includes an affair with a member of the Swiss Guard, a beating he received at a gay bar and an incident involving the discovery by firemen of Ricca trapped in an elevator with a young male prostitute.

Wuerl and McCarrick were thrilled when Pope Francis rode to the rescue of Ricca. Recall that Pope Francis's signature line — "Who am I to judge?" — was in response to a question about Ricca. Those words emboldened McCarrick, who enjoyed an astonishing final act under Francis.

McCarrick felt so confident that he started bragging about how he had lobbied for Bergoglio's election after a powerful "Roman" had pressed him to spread the word to his peers about the Argentine prelate. Who was that powerful Roman? That's another question for the yet-to-be-formed panel. In all likelihood, he is one of the Gay Mafia's chief puppeteers.

Richard Sipe, alas, didn't oppose a gay clergy, just a secretive one. But his warnings about McCarrick will remain a monument to his honest testimony. I had wanted to talk to Sipe about the McCarrick-Wuerl cover-up over the last month, but couldn't reach him.

I never found Sipe's proposed left-wing reforms persuasive in the slightest — in fact, they would just make the scandal permanent by gaying the Church formally — but I always respected his reporting on the existence of the Gay Mafia and admired his fearlessness. May he rest in peace.
[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/08/2018 23.44]
15/08/2018 01.32
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Utente Gold

St Maximilian Kolbe
on truth and faith and holiness

Translated from
August 14, 2018

“No one in the world can change the truth” was the title of the last editorial written by St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz on August 14, 1941, after he offered to die in place of another Polish prisoner who was the father of a large family.

“Take me,” Fr. Kolbe said. “I am a Catholic priest and I am old.” (He was only 47.)

The calendar for the first half of August honors an extraordinary series of saints - Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Jean Marie Vianney, Domingo de Guzmán (St Dominic), Teresa Benedetta della Croce (Edith Stein), Clare of Assisi), and today, Maximilian Kolbe, whom John Paul II called ‘a martyr of love’ and ‘patron of our difficult century’ when he canonized him in 1982.

In Kolbe’s life, many aspects ruled decisively but his two polar stars were the truth and Mary. In following those stars, he became an apostle, missionary, entrepreneur, and media man who utilized the printed word and radio to spread the Gospel.

He wrote:

“We should inundate the world with a flood of Christian and Marian writings in every language, in every place, in order to drown in truth every manifestation of error which has found in the press its most powerful ally. We must fill the world of the written word with words of life to give back to the world the joy of living”.

In 1917, at age 23, in the year of the October Revolution in Russia, he founded the Milita of the Immaculate, a Catholic association which came to number 700,000 members and whose monthly journal, Il Cavaliere dell’Immacolata (The Knight of the Immaculate), reached a print run of one million.

Brilliant in mathematics and passionate about physics and astronomy (he was also an excellent chess player), even at school, he was thinking in terms of interplanetary vehicles. His interests were many and wide-ranging but above all else was his faith. And the truth.

During his years of study in Rome, he asked a friend about Freemasonry: “Is it possible that the enemies of God could be doing everything in their power whereas we remain inactive and at most, we pray but without acting?”

When he realized there were Catholics who indulged their pleasures in immoral films, he said, instead of recriminating, that it would be best if they became businessmen who invented in films with ‘good’ content.

Yet he was combative and determined about his causes and found a way to argue and to teach even when hospitalized. It happened in Zakopane while he was a lecturer in the history of the Church in Cracow.

When he went to Japan as a missionary, his bishop allotted him a sum of money to get a home, but he said it would be put to better use in publishing Catholic magazines.

For his publishing enterprise, he only wished state-of-the-art technology. At Niepokalanow, his first convent, where he first set up a publishing house, he worked tirelessly. Besides the monthly Cavaliere, he also produced a calendar of the Knights of the Immaculate (380,000 in its first run). Then there was the Piccolo Giornale (Small Newspaper) which he published in seven editions for every geographical region in Poland.

Seven hundred brother priests worked with him. Without every giving up in the face of difficulties. They even got to invent a new electric machine to stamp addresses – it would win first prize at industrial fairs in Poznam and Paris.

Kolbe enjoined his co-workers that every number of the magazine must be prepared in prayer and on their knees. When he became ill with tuberculosis, someone put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign of his door but he had it taken off. “Everyone can come to me at any hour of the day or night, always,” he said. “I belong to them”.

In Nagasaki, Japan, where he set up a printing press and opened a new magazine with a monthly run of 18,000, he wrote one of his brother priests: “Our task here is very simple: work hard the whole day, kill ourselves with work, be considered fools by some, and ultimately, to die for the Immaculate. Isn’t this a beautiful ideal of life?”

He travelled, he studied (including the Russian language), and he made plans. And it took a physical toll on him. At one point, he was given only three months to live. But he lived on, and his doctors could not understand how it was possible.

Then everything came to a head in 1939. Officers of the Werhmacht and the Gestapo showed up at the gates of his convent and he was taken into custody. Then began his Via Crucis in a series of jails: Lamsdorf, Amititz, Ostrzeszow, Pawiak, and finally, Auschwitz, where he arrived in 1941 on board an armored vehicle. During the trip, he sang hymns.

When the Nazis decided to choose a few prisoners to condemn to death as a reprisal, one of the latter was Francis Gajowniczek, who begged the Nazis to spare his life for the sake of his family. Then and there, Fr. Kolbe offered to take his place. And on August 14, 1941, he was injected with carbolic acid. The next day, Feast of the Assumption, his corpse was burned.

At one time, Kolbe had said: “I would like to be like dust – to travel with the wind and reach every part of the world to preach the Gospel”.

It is said that during a meeting with some novices, Kolbe, speaking of holiness, sought to show how the objective should not be difficult, by writing a capital W and small w, and then simulating an algebraic equation with the two symbols, he said: “When our will is conformed to the will of God, then we shall be saints”.

He wrote: “No one can can change the truth. We know that very well. But in real life, we sometimes behave as though in certain vases, yes and no can both be the truth. Not even God cancels the truth nor can he change it because He himself is truth in essence. How great is the power of truth – it is really infinite and divine!”

It is really amazing how almost every report, story or anecdote that has to do with genuine goodness ends up sounding like a reproach to the wrongdoings of Bergoglio. I am a sinner, too, but my mistakes, faults and sins do not impact anybody else but me, most of all, and to a lesser degree, those I harm wittingly but more often unwittingly, by these offenses. I do wittingly criticize Bergoglio but what I write and think of him can hardly harm him, and I do not cease praying for him (she says in self-defense!)
15/08/2018 02.57
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Utente Gold
Three-dimensional projection of the facial image on the Shroud of Turin.

Latest scientific discoveries
on the Shroud of Turin –

which the media have not acknowledged
and do not wish to know

Translated from
August 11, 2018

Some 2,500 young people found themselves on pilgrimage from August 8-10 to Turin to pray before the Shroud that wrapped the body of Jesus after He was taken down from the Cross.

But that is not the kind of news that makes Page 1 in any newspaper, and not any page at all, for that matter. Because even the so many reports on scientific studies that have confirmed the authenticity of the Shroud are hardly ever reported.

On the contrary, what makes the news is any study that questions its authenticity. Last month, La Repubblica headlined that “Some of the bloodstains on the Shroud are false”. Subtitle: “These are the results of a study done by forensic experts to verify the compatibility of blood traces on the Shroud and the position of the body in the Shroud”.

Corriere della Sera: “Research on the Shroud: At least half of the bloodstains are false”. Subtitle: “Only some are said to be compatible with those of a man who was crucified, according to an experiment done using new techniques”.

The media attention to this report is inexplicable, both for the tenuousness of the hypotheses reported, and because, as the research writers themselves say, the experiment was done in 2014.

Scientist Pierluigi Baima Bollone, honorary president of the International Center for Sindonology in Turin and author of many publications, demolished the new claims by saying bluntly: “It is work that cost so much more effort than it is worth”.

A leading scholar on the Shroud and author of many scientific publications, Prof. Emanuela Marinelli, wrote an article to comment on the ‘new’ report, saying that “the two researchers were never among those who had an opportunity to study the Shroud directly and have never even been near it”.

Marinelli disputed the report in detail but her article only appeared in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and was not picked up by any of the important media in Italy. Who are apparently interested in the Shroud only when the story is negative.

Yet in recent days other important scientific studies on the Shroud were also published but were largely ignored by the Italian media. Perhaps because their results do confirm the authenticity of the Shroud?

In particular, a study published in the prestigious scientific journal Applied Optics, on the result of four years research carried out by a multi-institutional team of reserachers from Italy’s ENEA (the Italian agency for research and development of new technologies on energy and the environment), CNR (the Italian National Research Council) and INRIM (THE Italian national institute for research on meteorology).

The research was coordinated by ENEA’s Paolo Lazzaro, who is deputy director of the International Center for Sindonology, and the scientists who carried out the tests were Daniele Murra of ENEA, Paola Iacomussio of INRIM, Mauro Missori of the CRN, and Antonio Di Lascio, a medical doctor.

Their particular objective was to determine why the bloodstains on the Shroud are red and not dark brown as old blood should be. In fact, the color of the bloodstains has been among the points raised in questioning the authenticity of the Shroud.

Their study confirmed that the stains are old blood. “We have demonstrated that the stains are genuine blood stains, with hemoglobin that is old, and uncontaminated by any other substance”.

But they also contain ‘a great amount’ of bilirubin, which is characteristic of blood in two cases: if the person has jaundice, or if the person has been beaten up badly so that his red blood cells shatter, and the liver releases bilirubin in response.” But ultraviolet radiation produces changes in bilirubin which reinforce the color red.

Therefore, the blood on the Shroud is from a man who was tortured, and who did suffer all the wounds evidenced by the bloodstains in the Shroud. Di Lazzaro presented the study at the International Conference on the Shroud of Turin held in Pasco, Washington, in the USA on July 19-22. That symposium significantly demonstrated the authenticity of the Shroud through a number of studies.

In his presentation, Di Lazzaro pointed out that experiments carried out in the past at the ENEA laboratory in Frascati, Italy, proved that ultraviolet radiation on bloodstains resulted in a color similar to the stains on the Shroud, but he said it does not mean that the image on the Shroud was produced by an ultraviolet flash, but only that ultraviolet radiation could have aided in the ‘production’ of the image.

Marinelli added other details: “Besides an intense supernatural radiation as a cause for the formation of the image during a matter-antimatter annihilation at the moment of the Resurrection, as he has hypothesized, Giuseppe Baldocchini also offered a corollary to his hypothesis, namely that the resulting neutron flow from that reaction falsified the radiocarbon dating of the Shroud in 1988 which said it was medieval and not ancient.”

But we are still left with the mystery of how the image on the Shroud, which is definitely not painted, but the result of a superficial three-dimensional ‘burning’ of the linen cloth, something that is scientifically unexplainable.

However, science already tells us with certainty that the Shroud did wrap the body of a dead man who did not stay in it longer than 36-40 hours (because the stains show no signs of putrefaction) and who emerged from the Shroud without any physical movement.

These are exactly the supernatural characteristics that the Gospels say Jesus’s resurrected Body demonstrated to those who saw him afterwards.
15/08/2018 03.38
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There seems no end to the number and variety of outrages that Jorge Bergoglio is capable of...

Pope says ex-president of Brazil
jailed for corruption is a victim of persecution
like Jesus, John the Baptist and Susannah

Translated from
August 11, 2018

Dear Stilum Curialisti –
Thanks to a reader, FM, we can all share the article published by the German news agency about the extraordinary position taken by the reigning pope on the Lula affair (Lula being the ex-President of Brazil who has been convicted to imprisonment for corruption in a verdict affirmed by two courts).

In my experience, if what the report says is true, then we are talking of a scandalous interference by a pope in the inrternal affairs of a sovereign nation [So is that new? He tried it out most successfully on the Knights of Malta, admittedly a minuscule sovereign international entity compared to the geographical and economic behemoth that is Brazil, but he already set a precedent of scandalous interference there, even if he can hardly take over Brazil as he did take over the Order of Malta!]. Indeed, it is something that any head of state, especially if he also happens to be the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, would scrupulously avoid doing if only out of prudence!

But it is clear that when a prominent leftist leader is involved, especially those of Latin America, this pope displays all his impulsiveness, abandoning any semblance of impartiality. As we have seen him to do about other things in our pwn country, Italy, on the issues of immigration, jus soli and related causes. Here then is the article:

Pope warns against white-gloved ‘coups d’etat’
Translated from

ROME – Pope Francis’s sympathies with leftist politicians is well-known. A few days ago, he compared the judicial process against ex-President Ignacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, to the persecution suffered by Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and other martyrs, according to a Chilean official who spoke to the pope.

[Does Bergoglio have any common sense at all? First, he declares a leftist bishop who dies of a car accident a martyr so he can beatify him. And now, he likens a prison penalty for a corrupt politician – from all accounts, fair and just - to the persecution of Jesus?]

Lula was among the founders and most eminent representatives of the Brazilian Laborers’ Party founded in 1980 and which is in the mainstream of the socialist reform movement. He was head of state and of government from 2003-2011, and is a friend of Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who is one of Jorge Bergoglio’s closest friends.

In July 2017, Lula was sentenced to 9-1/2 years of imprisonment for corruption, a sentence confirmed by the Brazilian Court of Appeals in January 2018 which also increased the jail term to 12 years. He has been in jail since April 7, since when his friends and sympathizers have been trying to do everything to get him out.

On August 2, Pope Francis met privately with 3 leaders of the Latin-American Left who sought the audience in order to advocate Lula’s cause. The three were Celso Amorim, who was Lulka’s foreign minister; Alberto Fernandez, who was Cristina Fernandez Kirchner’s chief of staff when she was president of Argentina; and Carlos Ominami, a former Chilean cabinet minister now Senator who calls himself “a progressivist citizen, agnostic and Shintoist”.

The pope spent one hour with them – unusually long – during which his visitors denounced that a subtle ‘coup d’etat’ is taking place in Latin America where leftist officials are being persecuted by judicial means, what Bergoglio calls ‘a coup d’etat in white gloves’. [Not too long ago, Bergoglio called present-day abortion ‘Marxism in white gloves’! What does he mean by 'white gloves'? That the operation - be it a coup d'etat or abortion - is thus 'sterile' in the sense of clean?]

Amorim, who was Defense Minister till 2015 of the government of Dilma Roussef, the Labour politician who succeeded Lula as president, presented the pope with an Italian edition of Lula’s book La Verdad Vencera (Truth will triumph). Amorim told the media later that the pope “is following the developments about Lula with interest and concern”.

Last May 17, in his morning homilette from Casa Santa Marta, Bergoglio took a position when he expressed his concern over ‘false unity’ and the dangers of coups d’etat, speaking of “calumny and defamation” carried out through judicial processes via which make possible a subtle coup d’etat. Observers drew an allusion to events in Latin America and more specifically, Lula’s conviction in Brazil. [The words also presage, almost verbatim, what was reportedly said at the meeting with the leftist leaders on August 2.]

On that day, the Argentine news agency AFN wrote, quoting from what Alberto Fernandez reported of the meeting: “Pope Francis showed great concern for what he calls ‘a coup d’etat in white gloves’”, an expression also used by Amorim, and which Fernandez says is Bergoglio’s.

Papal support for the political left has its share of some comic relief. On January 12, Lula was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for corruption, and the pope was quoted to have expressed his concern over corruption in Latin America. [That’s rich! As if corruption and Latin America have not become near-synonymous all these past decades!] But it was said that the pope was not referring to Lula’s corruption but to the fact that a presumably corrupt system of justice had sentenced Lula for corruption!

The audience given by the pope to the three advocates for Lula must be seen in relation to the efforts of the Laborers’ Party to present Lula as a candidate in the October parliamentary elections despite his guilty verdict. The Party hopes thereby to get him parliamentary immunity if he wins, an immunity which would supposedly free him from imprisonment. But first, they have to make sure that as a convict, he qualifies to be a candidate. They already tried to run him as a presidential candidate in the elections last spring but the Brazilian Supreme Court denied their motion,

The political Left claims that judicial proceedings against their politicians are an occult form of political action aimed at damaging the politicians concerned. [If they are innocent, what do they have to fear? This way, they know what it's like not to be in power!]

On August 3, through the Internet, Lula let the world know that the pope, at the request of his three advocates, had sent him a ‘personal message’ on which he wrote: “To Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, with my blessing and a request to pray for me- Francis.” [Bergoglio consistently asks everybody to pray for him, but prayers will not avail if he persists in his wrongheadedness!]

In the Sunday edition of the Chilean newspaper La Tercera, Carlos Ominami wrote an article entitled “With Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta”, in which he says that the pope had compared the situation of Lula to that of Jesus Christ:

On the occasion of this meeting which the 3 of us, representing Argentina, Brazil and Chile, had improvised, I wished to make clear that I was there not only out of my friendship and esteem for Lula but also out of my duty to defend democracy in Brazil and the entire region, which was won at great cost.

Actually, the pope did not seemed particularly surprised. To my great surprise, on the contrary, he said that Lula’s story was something very ancient, one that can be found in the Bible, because in different ways, it has happened to Jesus Christ, to John the Baptist, and to Susannah of Babylon

He also recalled his homily on May 17, 2018, when he said very clearly that in politics, when a coup d’etat is attempted, the media start to talk about people, about national leaders, whom they drag in the mud with calumny and defamation… leading to a court trial which condemns them, and which ultimately results in a virtual coup d’etat”.

Truly, never has a pope expressed himself in partisan terms so openly and unilaterally. No pope before has ever spoken this way in any papal audience.
16/08/2018 06.24
Post: 32.097
Post: 14.183
Registrato il: 28/08/2005
Registrato il: 20/01/2009
Utente Gold

I very much fear that this appeal to the cardinals of the Church will largely fall on deaf ears - deliberately deaf, that is - much like the Four Cardinals' DUBIA did on Bergoglio, because not even Cardinals Burke and Sarah have reacted so far to Bergoglio's most egregious move yet to show the world - and Roman Catholics, most especially - that, as his shameless sycophant Fr Rosica describes it, the Church is now openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture".

I have yet to rouse from my stupor of disbelief that any Catholic could write what Rosica did, even if his subject, Bergoglio, has shown us again and again that he does consider himself an improvement over Jesus himself, not only in terms of what the Church should be but especially in terms of what Jesus taught - which he edits by omission, falsification and misdirection to suit his personal agenda.

Anyway, how many cardinals, if any, do you think will respond to this appeal?

Pope Francis has revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church to read, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” This statement has been understood by many, both inside and outside the Church, to teach that capital punishment is intrinsically immoral and thus is always illicit, even in principle.

Though no Catholic is obliged to support the use of the death penalty in practice (and not all of the undersigned do support its use), to teach that capital punishment is always and intrinsically evil would contradict Scripture.

That the death penalty can be a legitimate means of securing retributive justice is affirmed in Genesis 9:6 and many other biblical texts, and the Church holds that Scripture cannot teach moral error.

The legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is also the consistent teaching of the magisterium for two millennia. To contradict Scripture and tradition on this point would cast doubt on the credibility of the magisterium in general.

Concerned by this gravely scandalous situation, we wish to exercise the right affirmed by the Church’s Code of Canon Law, which at Canon 212 states:

The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

We are guided also by the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, who states:

If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.” (Summa Theologiae, Part II-II, Question 33, Article 4, ad 2)

Hence we, the undersigned, issue the following appeal:

To their Most Reverend Eminences, the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church,

Since it is a truth contained in the Word of God, and taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Catholic Church, that criminals may lawfully be put to death by the civil power when this is necessary to preserve just order in civil society, and since the present Roman pontiff has now more than once publicly manifested his refusal to teach this doctrine, and has rather brought great confusion upon the Church by seeming to contradict it, and by inserting into the Catechism of the Catholic Church a paragraph which will cause and is already causing many people, both believers and non-believers, to suppose that the Church considers, contrary to the Word of God, that capital punishment is intrinsically evil, we call upon Your Eminences to advise His Holiness that it is his duty to put an end to this scandal, to withdraw this paragraph from the Catechism, and to teach the word of God unadulterated; and we state our conviction that this is a duty seriously binding upon yourselves, before God and before the Church.


Hadley Arkes
Edward N. Ney Professor in American Institutions Emeritus
Amherst College

Joseph Bessette
Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics
Claremont McKenna College

Patrick Brennan
John F. Scarpa Chair in Catholic Legal Studies
Villanova University

J. Budziszewski
Professor of Government and Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin

Isobel Camp
Professor of Philosophy
Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas

Richard Cipolla
Diocese of Bridgeport

Eric Claeys
Professor of Law
Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Travis Cook
Associate Professor of Government
Belmont Abbey College

S. A. Cortright
Professor of Philosophy
Saint Mary’s College

Cyrille Dounot
Professor of Legal History
Université Clermont Auvergne

Patrick Downey
Professor of Philosophy
Saint Mary’s College

Eduardo Echeverria
Professor of Philosophy and Theology
Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Edward Feser
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Pasadena City College

Alan Fimister
Assistant Professor of Theology
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary

Luca Gili
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Université du Québec à Montréal

Brian Harrison
Scholar in Residence
Oblates of Wisdom Study Center

L. Joseph Hebert
Professor of Political Science
St. Ambrose University

Rafael Hüntelmann
Lecturer in Philosophy
International Seminary of St. Peter

John Hunwicke
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Robert C. Koons
Professor of Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin

Peter Koritansky
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Prince Edward Island

Peter Kwasniewski
Independent Scholar
Wausau, Wisconsin

John Lamont
Divine Faith

Roberto de Mattei
The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story

Robert T. Miller
Professor of Law
University of Iowa

Gerald Murray
Archdiocese of New York

Lukas Novak
Lecturer in Philosophy
University of South Bohemia

Thomas Osborne
Professor of Philosophy
University of St. Thomas

Michael Pakaluk
Professor of Ethics
Catholic University of America

Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy
University of Chile

Thomas Pink
Professor of Philosophy
King’s College London

Andrew Pinsent
Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre
University of Oxford

Alyssa Pitstick
Independent Scholar
Spokane, Washington

Donald S. Prudlo
Professor of Ancient and Medieval History
Jacksonville State University

Anselm Ramelow
Chair of the Department of Philosophy
Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

George W. Rutler
Archdiocese of New York

Matthew Schmitz
Senior Editor
First Things

Josef Seifert
Founding Rector
International Academy of Philosophy

Joseph Shaw
Fellow of St Benet’s Hall
University of Oxford

Anna Silvas
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
University of New England

Michael Sirilla
Professor of Dogmatic and Systematic Theology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Joseph G. Trabbic
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Ave Maria University

Giovanni Turco
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of Udine

Michael Uhlmann
Professor of Government
Claremont Graduate University

John Zuhlsdorf
Diocese of Velletri-Segni

[I thought Fr Z is incardinated in Madison, Wisconsin; is he also incardinated in Italy?

I do fully expect priest associations such as those in England who recently took the initiative of expressing full public support for Humanae Vitae to join this appeal, and probably a handful of bishops like Mons. Athanasius Schneider. Wouldn't it be a miracle if at least one national bishops' conference joined in, too?

And BTW, how will Bergoglio's tried-and-true critics - in the spirit of Canon 212 - react to Rosica's arrogantly shameless formulation of Bergoglio's hubristic, beyond-Luciferian self-perception?]

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 16/08/2018 06.33]
16/08/2018 07.08
Post: 32.098
Post: 14.184
Registrato il: 28/08/2005
Registrato il: 20/01/2009
Utente Gold

I find it significant that Catholic News Service, the news agency of the USCCB, is taking this tack on the McCarrick scandal - though they really have no choice now but to join in the universal censure for McCarrick, but also all those other prelates who knew about his sexual indulgences and chose to keep silent about it. Such as Cardinal O'Malley, who is supposed to be Bergoglio's pointman on 'zero tolerance' for clerical/episcopal sex abuse but who made the lame disclaimer that a letter sent to him three years back about McCarrick's misconduct was considered only on 'staff level' where it was deemed 'not within the purview of the Archdiocese of Boston' and therefore effectively dismissed. But obviously the letter was not sent to him because he is Archbishop of Boston but because he is the pope's front man on these issues.

Details of second letter sent
by a priest to Cardinal O’Malley
describing McCarrick misconduct

by Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON, August 14, 2018 (CNS) -- In a June 2015 letter to Boston's Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley obtained by Catholic News Service, a New York priest tells the prelate about "sexual abuse/harassment/intimidation" allegations he had heard concerning then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick and asks that if the matter doesn't fall under his purview, to forward it to the "proper agency in the Vatican."

The letter "has taken me years to write and send," writes Father Boniface Ramsey, pastor of St. Joseph's Church Yorkville in New York City, who made the letter available to CNS in early August. But it was the second time he had attempted to tell church officials in writing.

In it, he describes for Cardinal O'Malley conversations with the rector of a seminary in New Jersey about trips then-Archbishop McCarrick, as head of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, would take with seminarians to a beach house.

During the time period he mentions in the letter, 1986 to 1996, he says he was teaching at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He writes of the accounts he'd heard of Archbishop McCarrick's repeated trips to a New Jersey beach house where, after too many seminarians were invited for too few beds, "the extra seminarian was then told that he could share the archbishop's bed."

"Some of these stories were not presented to me as mere rumors but were told me by persons directly involved," he wrote.

In an Aug. 13 phone interview with CNS, Father Ramsey said he didn't know any sexual acts were taking place, "but I thought his (McCarrick's) behavior was extremely inappropriate at the least." He said he was careful about what he wrote in the letter to Cardinal O'Malley because he didn't want to be spreading rumors he'd heard, but he had concerns about the bed-sharing after hearing that it weighed on one of his friends who was tasked with finding seminarians for the archbishop's beach visits.

"I'd never heard of any adult who had sex with McCarrick," he said, but felt the constant bed sharing he'd often heard about was "something he shouldn't have been doing."

The letter dated June 17, 2015, was sent just shortly after the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, headed by Cardinal O'Malley, received its statutes in May 2015. Father Ramsey said he sent it then because he had heard of the formation of the commission and had recently been at the funeral for New York Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who died in March 2015, and saw Cardinal McCarrick there. At that point the prelate was the retired archbishop of Washington.

"I was angry," Father Ramsey told Catholic News Service. "I said 'this guy is still out and about.'"

Father Ramsey said it made him "upset" to see that Cardinal McCarrick, after "this long history which so many people knew about, he could continue to show his face."

He had written a letter about his concerns more than a decade before, in 2000, [TO WHOM???] and it didn't seem to go anywhere, but his new motivation came about when he saw Cardinal McCarrick and "wanted this stuff to stop with the seminarians," he said in the interview. So, he sat down to write a letter -- again.

"The matter does not have to do with the abuse of minors, but it does have to do with a form of sexual abuse/harassment/intimidation or maybe simply high-jinks as practiced by Theodore Cardinal McCarrick with his seminarians and perhaps other young men when he was the Archbishop of Newark," writes Father Ramsey to Cardinal O'Malley.

In a July statement, Cardinal O'Malley said he did not "personally" receive the letter but the statement said "at the staff level the letter was reviewed and determined that the matters presented did not fall under the purview of the Commission or the Archdiocese of Boston..." However, the response from the cardinal's office did not say whether it had been forwarded to the proper agency, as Father Ramsey had requested. [AND THAT SORT OF DISMISSIVENESS IS WHAT BERGOGLIO AND O'MALLEY MEAN BY'ZERO TOLERANCE'???]

"I never received any acknowledgement, although I have certain knowledge that the letter was received, and that the information was forwarded to somewhere in the Vatican."

In the letter to Cardinal O'Malley, Father Ramsey says that he had in the past told Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly of Louisville, who died in December 2011, about his concerns. Archbishop Kelly told him that "stories about Archbishop McCarrick had been circulating among the American bishops," the letter says, and that Archbishop Kelly mentioned to him a story involving a flight attendant.

In the interview with CNS, Father Ramsey said the story was about a male flight attendant whom Archbishop McCarrick "picked up" on a flight, telling him that perhaps he had a vocation, and ended up enrolling him in a seminary, but there seemed to be reasons other than religious for wanting him there. The flight-attendant-turned seminarian was later kicked out of the seminary.

Father Ramsey writes in the letter that after Archbishop McCarrick was appointed to the Archdiocese of Washington in 2000, he tried to speak to the apostolic nuncio in Washington, who was then Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, about what he knew. The nuncio told him to write him a letter, which Father Ramsey said he sent. He told a priest friend about the letter and that friend tried to dissuade him from sending it, telling him it could hurt him.

"I never received any acknowledgement, although I have certain knowledge that the letter was received, and that the information was forwarded to somewhere in the Vatican," he wrote Cardinal O'Malley.

The writing of the letter didn't seem to hurt Father Ramsey, as his friend had feared. But its revelations also didn't seem to hurt Archbishop McCarrick.

"I found it shocking at the time that Archbishop McCarrick was ever advanced to the Archdiocese of Washington, since I have little doubt that many persons in the Vatican were aware of his proclivities before he was named," he wrote in the letter to Cardinal O'Malley. "And then, of course, on to the cardinalate, which was to be expected for the archbishop of Washington, but still distressing."

Mentioning cases of high-ranking officials disgraced because of sexual misbehavior, he said in the letter that "it seems bizarre to me that Cardinal McCarrick is out and about, a conspicuous presence at religious (including papal) events, being interviewed, giving speeches, serving on committees and the like. Was not what he did at the very least highly questionable? Was it not taking advantage of young men who did not know how to say no to their archbishop? Has it not, for the many laity and clergy who were aware of his actions, contributed to cynicism about the church and the hierarchy?"

Father Ramsey said he did not keep a letter of the one sent in 2000 to the nuncio, but in between the first and the second letter he sent, he said tried to speak with others, including Cardinal Egan, about stopping then-Archbishop McCarrick.

"He (Cardinal Egan) didn't want to hear about it," Father Ramsey said to CNS.
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