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It's amazing that this pontificate is increasingly brazen in 'dealing with' dissidents from the Bergoglio church and party line...

Repression of Catholic speech
by this pontificate - and
what we can do about it

November 7, 2018

Right now we are told that transparency and dialogue are important. When the 2018 Synod (“walking together”) opened, Francis called for openness, dialogue, even criticism, saying, “all (should) speak with courage and parrhesia (candour), that is combining freedom, truth and charity…. Only dialogue can help us grow. Honest and transparent criticism is constructive and helps, while useless chatter, rumours, innuendo or prejudice don’t.” He is so pat with all these platitudes he does not mean, so let us judge him by what he said above: While he suffers from irrepressible loquacity and verbosity about anything he chooses to talk about, he clams up and muzzles himself tighter than a chastity belt on a medieval virgin when it comes to things he cannot answer without lying or risking self-incrimination. And as to the content of his 'parrhesia', there is often little courage or genuine candour in it, and often, very little truth and charity, but as much freedom as an absolute monarch has. Moreover, much of his informal off-the-cuff remarks are often 'useless chatter, rumours, innuendo and prejudice. So he fails his own 'standards' miserably!]

A few items to consider:
First, the final document of the 2018 Synod (“walking together”) indicated that it could be necessary to impose a kind of approval standard on Catholic websites. In the present regime, I think we know what that means.

Next, it seems that Francis has communicated through the Nuncio in the USA that bishops should “blackball” Card. Burke.

Also, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has been told that he shouldn’t be outside the Archdiocese of Astana (Kazakhstan) and/or he must communicate to the Secretariat of State where he might go.

One of the things that just popped into my head is a horrifying episode from history.

In the 1950s, Mao Zedong called for Chinese intellectuals of the time to share their criticisms so that there could be flourishing of the ‘ongoing revolution’. Mao quoted a poem saying, “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend”. What happened was predictable. Intellectuals spoke up and they were, subsequently, crushed.

Historians are divided about Mao’s intentions: Did he set a trap? It seems so.

One is reminded also of Thrasybulus and the Tall Poppies. [Being near-illiterate on the Greek classics, I had to look this up: Thrasybulus was a 7th century BC Greek tyrant who illustrated his concept of ruling by cutting off the tallest wheat plants in a field he was walking through. The 'Tall Poppy' syndrome means removing or sidelining anyone who might be big enough to challenge the tyrant.]

When the Synod (“walking together”)
brought forth the final document, they force-marched the multi-lingual voters paragraph by paragraph through texts provided only in Italian. [And they called that 'transparency!]

We may need – before too long – a Catholic “samizdat” movement.

Here’s an idea. Let’s imagine something for a moment:

Someone (don’t know who) creates a company/foundation which can raise money to provide
- super fast internet for certain figures who are or will be repressed or not allowed to travel
- good camera, microphone and tech assistance to the same
- big screen and necessary tech for two way video conferencing on an ad hoc basis for long distance AV conferences.

I don’t know if I got my point across with that. Here’s the idea: Say that Bp. Schneider is stuck in Astana because the Secretariat of State commands him not to leave to go to the Diocese of Black Duck at the invitation of Bp. Noble and Msgr. Zuhlsdorf to pontificate and to speak. Instead, the benevolent foundation/company provides faster than usual internet to Bp. Schneider, and then to Black Duck, so that Bp. Schneider can deliver a high-quality stream of his talk and even take questions ,etc. It could be made live and then on demand.

Get my idea?

I’m just thinking in print. Of course this sort of thing could also be used for bring great people and their ideas to places which ordinarily wouldn’t be reachable.

Perhaps some of you who are far more tech-savvy than I am will have ideas.

Samizdat. [The Russian term for the dissident activity across the Soviet Union and its satellite countries, in which individuals reproduced censored and underground publications by hand and passed the documents from reader to reader. Internet technology has made this a far easier enterprise with immediate global reach in our day.]

A day earlier, Fr Z had noted this:
First, Italian Vaticanista Marco Tosatti says that Francis, through the US Nuncio, is telling bishops not to invite Card. Burke to their dioceses, and if they can’t prevent his presence, not to attend the event.

Another story was that the Holy See had forbidden the great Bishop. Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary in Astana, to travel. It seems, however, that they have only told him not to be outside of his diocese – except for necessary meetings of conferences, etc. – for more than the designated 30 days (can. 395 §2).

The last thing they [the Bergoglio Vatican] want is the circulation of certain ideas.

George Orwell wrote that some pigs are more equal than others.

It would be interesting to start a Bishop Watch effort. I wonder how many days bishops such as Card. Maradiaga or Cupich are outside their dioceses.

The page change occurred inopportunely because the last post on the preceding page illustrated an earlier brazen action by the Bergoglio Vatican to muzzle dissent from the pope... So I am reposting it here:

Vatican pressures publisher to 'restrict'
future editions of Valli's book in the Vigano case

by Juliana Freitag

November 5, 2018

An Italian author has just published a volume detailing the work of whistleblower Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò — but Church officials have pressured the publishing company to restrict future editions so as to protect Pope Francis' image and reputation.

At the end of October, renowned Vatican expert Aldo Maria Valli announced the release of his latest book, Il caso Viganò — Il dossier che ha svelato il più grande scandalo all’interno della Chiesa ("The Viganò case — the dossier which unveiled the Church’s greatest internal scandal"). The book is a compilation of all of Valli’s articles about the astounding testimonies of former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States and titular archbishop of Ulpiana Abp. Viganò.

From Viganò's first statement alleging Pope Francis covered up for ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, to Valli's account of his private meetings with the former nuncio, the book is an attempt to document these turbulent events, as described by Viganò, for posterity.

The book's introduction is a revised version of the commentary Valli exclusively offered to Church Militant laying bare his reasons to enter this battle for truth. (The only important text missing is Viganò's third testimony, made public on October 19, also through Valli's blog — one day before the book’s official release.)

Valli is one among several Italian journalists personally contacted by Viganò to help publish his letters, along with Marco Tosatti and print newspaper La Verità. Valli remains in contact with the archbishop and has many times presented Viganò's commentary about his personal struggle to help expose a corrupt power system in the Church hierarchy.

Church Militant reached out to Valli to ask him about the significance of putting down in a book his experience with Viganò and his attempts to blow the whistle on clerical corruption.

Viganò's memorial, however one decides to judge it, constitutes a historical fact in the life of the Catholic Church. For the first time an archbishop of such high rank, a diplomat at the service of the Holy See, has come out with revelations on the moral corruption in the hierarchy.

Church historians will have to study these events that we see today as simple news. Therefore I think that the collection of articles I've dedicated to this affair might become useful.

I hope the reader can pick up on my suffering. As Abp. Viganò himself did, I've also decided to come out in the open after much reflection and prayer. Our faith is in danger, and it's our duty to stand up for doctrine and Catholic thought.

About the Vatican's silence on the affair, Valli said:

I don't think we'll have clear-cut answers during this pontificate. Ambiguity is a distinctive trait of the Church these days. I honestly don't know how this is going to end. I have no elements to predict Viganò's future, either. But it certainly saddens me very much to see that a man like him, a true servant of the Church, is forced to live in hiding. It's truly inadmissible, especially in today's Church, where there's so much preaching about "dialogue."

Another of Valli's observations involved the role of independent Catholic media in reporting facts that destroy the false narratives of a press complicit in covering up sex abuse:

Blogs are acquiring a decisive importance for uncontrolled and unconditioned information. At this point I'd say it's counter-information in respect to a certain type of narrative imposed on the public opinion by the major press. As for myself, it's a very beautiful experience, because through my blog I've tightened relationships that give me new connections and new friendships every day. I think it's significant that when Abp. Viganò decided to make his explosive testimony known, he turned to me and other bloggers. Evidently he saw us as an efficient, reliable and credible means, capable of reaching many people while not subject to any conditioning. Communications-wise, this is a moment of deep, very positive, changes.

Those changes are not being ignored by the Roman Curia. Valli spoke to Church Militant days before the release of the final Youth Synod document, which contains an alarming paragraph hinting at possible censorship of Catholic websites not approved by the Vatican.
Paragraph 146 speaks about the creation of "certification systems for Catholic websites, to counter the spread of fake news regarding the Church."

Last year Church Militant was the target of the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica (an article reportedly approved by Pope Francis himself), the only Catholic publication whose contents are reviewed by the Vatican's Secretariat of State, Cdl. Pietro Parolin.

It's also paramount to note that one of the first accomplishments of the much-criticized Vatican media reform was the "Lettergate" scandal, where the prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, "simple-priest-turned-czar" Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, had to resign for doctoring a letter from Benedict XVI supposedly commending the theology of Pope Francis.

And the quasi-totalitarian measures don't stop there: Recently Church Militant learned that Fede & Cultura, the publishing house for Valli's Il Caso Viganò, was compelled to restrict further editions of the book. It was the first time Valli had worked with Fede & Cultura, whom he called "courageous" for their publishing choices.

Fede & Cultura confirmed with Church Militant that they were put under "irresistible pressure from within the Church not to publish anything else that would depict the Pope in a bad light." Perhaps Pope Francis’s next surprise motu proprio will announce the reform of the Index librorum prohibitorum (the "List of Prohibited Books").

Ah, but it turns out the Bergogliacs have come out with an instant book to 'counter' Valli's - and you can bet its publisher is not being pressured by the Vatican to 'restrict further editions'.

'THE DAY OF JUDGMENT: Conflicts, power wars, abuses and scandals. What is really happening in the Church'. The upper righthand blurb says "With exclusive documents and unpublished testimonies on the
Vigano case, and the request for the impeachment [sic] of Pope Francis".

The authors are La Stampa/Vatican Insider journalists Andrea Tornielli (as much an unofficial spokesman of Bergoglio as Fr Spadaro) and Gianni Valente, the male half of the
Vaticanista couple (the wife is Stefania Falasca who writes for Avvenire) who had been friends of Jorge Bergoglio for several years before he became pope.

But go read the Vatican Insider blurb on the book - I can't stomach its crass hypocrisy and smugness.

Are we to believe that this book will provide the answers that the Vatican has refused to give? What an elaborate and expensive ploy ! And to dispute what exactly?
If they had any answers worth the name, they could have been given short and sweet and promptly - not wait to be published in a book.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 08/11/2018 22.34]
Babilonia La Grande, se fosse,,,,Testimoni di Geova Online...118 pt.18/11/2018 19.50 by Roberto 62,5
Macro per file fattureExcel Forum42 pt.18/11/2018 17.23 by alfrimpa
Domitilla SavignoniTELEGIORNALISTE FANS FORU...35 pt.18/11/2018 14.25 by giovannantonio.p@tiscali.
Jolanda De RienzoIpercaforum31 pt.18/11/2018 18.41 by skindeceiver
08/11/2018 22.02
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Pope Paul VI, now canonized - whom many Vaticanistas called Hamlet-like in his tortured decision-making and ambiguity, and had reportedly worried John XXIII himself because
the latter thought the Archbishop of Milan was 'a bit too Hamlet-like' - is revealed in the following episode as the exact opposite when it came to dealing with Mons. Marcel Lefebvre.

I feel terrible about the intransigence he demonstrated towards Lefebvre - above all, the simple demand Lefebvre made for the FSSPX to be treated in the spirit of pluralism that
other Catholic entities or groupings were being treated, i.e., tolerated (including frankly dissident episcopates like those of Germany and the Netherlands). But then, Lefebvre
apparently never agreed either to retract criticisms he had made of Vatican II and the pope, as Paul VI demanded. (I do believe, however, that even if Lefebvre had made specific
retractions, that the pope would never have allowed the FSSPX to go on training priests in the traditional way, thus taking away the society's raison d'etre.)

Whatever Montini's faults may have been, at least he did have the courage to confront a critic and denounce him in the harshest way possible - calling him an anti-pope to his face.
A courage completely lacking from the reigning pope who snipes at his opponents without naming names from a very safe distance, shielded from them by a Praetorian-guard phalanx
of sycophants and apologists who do all the dirty work and heavy lifting.

The 'September 11' of Paul VI and Mons. Lefebvre
Translated from

November 7, 2018

- “You are in a terrible position – you are an anti-Pope!”
- “That’s not true. I seek only to form priests according to the faith and in the faith”.

Let us imagine the scene. On the one hand, Pope Paul VI, 79, he who had led Vatican-II towards its conclusion. On the other hand, Mons. Marcel Lefebvre, 71, the archbishop [and former African missionary] who had refused to accept Vatican II (although he was a participant) and went on to found the Fraternal Society of St. Pius X (FSSPX).

The confrontation took place at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. The date: Sept. 11, 1976. The two old men seemed divided on everything, but both on them felt each was acting in the service of Holy Mother Church. They sought to come to an agreement. Which would never come.

On July 22, 1976, the Vatican imposed the grave penalty of suspension a divinis [prohibition from exercising his priestly functions] on Mons. Lefebvre as a consequence of priestly ordinations he had carried out in Econe, Switzerland, headquarters of the FSSPX. But Lefebvre who was strenuously opposed to the reforms that had been carried out in the name of Vatican II would not give up.

“We are with a Church that is two thousand years old, not with a 12-year-old ‘new church’, the conciliar church,” he said in a homily on August 22, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, citing the letter in which Mons. Giovanni Benelli, then Deputy Secretary of State for Internal Affairs (‘Sostituto’), had asked for his obedience to the Vatican.

He coninued:

“I do not recognize this ‘concliar church. I only know and recognize the Catholic Church. So we must remain firm in our position. In the name of our faith, we must accept anything, any violation, even if they scorn us, even if they excommunicate us, even if they inflict penalties, even if they persecute us”.

The moment was dramatic. Some commentators did not hesitate to speak of an imminent schism, since the margins for maneuvering on both sides now seemed very much reduced.

Nonetheless it was in that context that the meeting between Paul VI and Lefebvre took place – that conversation in Castel Gandolfo in September 11, 1976 of which now, thanks to the book La barca di Paolo (Paul’s barque) by Fr. Leonardo Sapienza, we have a complete transcript – eight typewritten pages, complete with the time of the encounter (from 10:27 to 11:05), and written by an exceptional witness, the same Mons. Benelli who a few months later would become Archbishop of Florence and a cardinal. [He was in the same ‘class’ of five cardinals including Joseph Ratzinger, who were Paul VI’s last cardinal appointees.]

Conducted in Italian and French, in the presence of one other than Benelli – namely Fr. Pasquale Maccho, Paul VI’s private secretary – the conversation opened with what Lefebvre, describing it later to some of his seminarians, described as ‘a tempest’.

The pope and the French bishop had known each other for some time, and in the past, as Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Montini had expressed his praise many times for Lefebvre [……]. They also met again during the preparatory phase for Vatican II.

But on that day in September 1962, Paul VI did not intend to make any concessions. He started out by saying:

“You have condemned me – syaing I am a modernist, a protestant. That is unacceptable. You have behaved badly!... I expected to meet with a brother, a son, a friend… Unfortunately, the position you have taken is that of an anti-pope. You have been intemperate in your words, your acts, your behavior”.

He went on to say that what was at stake was not his person but the figure of the pope:
“You have judged the pope unfaithful to the Faith of which he is the supreme guarantor. Perhaps this is the first time this has happened in history. You have told the whole world that the pope does not have the faith, that he does not believe, that he is a modernist, etc. Yes, I ought to be humble, but you are in a terrible position, You have been committing acts of extreme gravity before the whole world.”

Monsignor Lefebvre replied in softer tones but with the same firmness in substance. While admitting that perhaps some of his words may have been inopportune, he explained that it was never his intention to attack the pope and that his initiatives were simply his reponse to the demands made of him by his followers who only wish to be faithful to the Church as it always was:

“It is not I who wished to create a movement. It is those persons lacerated by their sorrow at some situations after Vatican II that they cannot accept. I do not consider myself a leader of the traditionalists. I am a bishop who, lacerated with pain myself at what is happening, have been seeking to form priests as the Church has done before Vatican II. I am behaving exactly as I did before Vatican II. But I do not understand why all of a sudden I am being condemned for training priests in obedience to the healthy Tradition of the Holy Church”.

At this point, Paul VI asks Mons. Lefebvre to continue with his explanation, which he does:

“Many priests and faithful think it is difficult to accept the tendencies made evident after the Council, especially on liturgy, religious freedom, relations between the Church and Catholic states and relations of the Church with Protestants. They do not see how what is now being affirmed conforms to the healthy Tradition of the Church. I repeat – it is not just I who think this. There are so many people who do – people who get hold of me, and urge me, sometimes against my own will, not to yield. I do not know what to do. All I seek is to form priests according to the faith and in the faith. When I look at other seminaries, I suffer terribly – I find unimaginable situations. Moreover, priests who wear cassocks these days are condemned and scorned by their bishops, who instead appreciate those who lead a secular life and behave like men of the world”.

[One must remember that at this point, Lefebvre is talking about the situation he is experiencing in France and Switzerland.]

Paul VI concedes that the Council has opened the way to ‘abuses’ and explains that he is working to eliminate them, but he reprimands Mons. Lefebvre for not trying to understand the reasoning of the pope who is seeking to assure loyalty to Tradition in the Church while at the same time, responding to ‘new demands’. [Is that at all possible? In this respect, Bergoglio is at least honest: to respond to new demands, he will not let Tradition get in the way because it means nothing to him.]

“We are the first to deplore the excesses. We are the first and the most concerned to find a remedy. But this remedy cannot be found in a challenge to the authority of the Church, as I have written to you repeatedly. But you have not taken my words into consideration”.

Mons. Lefebvre replies that the battle he has undertaken is in defense of the faith, whereas what one reads in some of the Vatican II texts is contrary to what previous popes have said, and therefore unacceptable.

The pope said that specific arguments could not be discussed in an audience, but that which is being discussed now was “your attitude against the Council”. At this point, the confrontation takes on the character of a classic dialog between two deaf men.
Monsignor Lefebvre: «I am not against the Council, but against some of its actions.”
Paul VI: “If you are not against the Council, then you must adhere to it – and all its documents”.
Mons. Lefebvre: “One must choose between what the Council says and what your predecessors have said”.
Paul VI: “I have said that I have taken note of your objections”.

At this point, Lefbevre, taking the opportunity to address the pope directly on something concfrete, expresses a ‘prayer’ in behalf of all the faithful who do not wish to distance themselves from Tradition:

“Would it not be possible for bishops to reserve a chapel in their churches where people can pray as they did before Vatican II? Today, everything is allowed to everyone. Why can’t we be allowed something too?”

The pope replies: “We are a community. We cannot allow autonomous behavior to various people”.

But the Council speaks of pluralism and accepts it. We only ask that this principle be applied to us. If Your Holiness would simply do this, everything would be resolved. There will be an increase in vocations – especially among those who aspire to the priesthood but wish to be formed in genuine piety.

Your Holiness has in your hands the solution to the problem that torments so many Catholics in the present situation. As far as I am concerned, I am ready to do anything for the good of the Church:
- that someone from the Congregation for the religious be assigned to supervise my seminaries;
- that I will stop giving lectures and conferences; and
- I will stay put in my seminary. I promise I shall never go out again.
- We can have agreements with the dioesan bishops to place our seminarians in the service of the diocese.
- Eventually, a Vatican commission to our seminary could be appointed, in agreement with Mons. Adam [Nestor Adam, at the time Bishop of Sion in whose diocese the FSSPX seminary in Econe is located].

Paul VI tells Lefebvre that Mons Adam

“came to speak to me in the name of the Swiss bishops’ conference, to tell me that he could no longer tolrate your activities. What should I do?... Try to get back in line. How can you consider yourself in communion with Us, when you take positions publicly accusing us of infidelity and wanting to destroy the Church?”

“I never had the intention…” Lefebvre began, but Paul VI cut him off.

You have said so and you have written so. That I am a modernist Pope. That in applying what Vatican II taught, I would be betraying the Church. You understand that if that were so, then I should resign, and ask you to take my place in governing the Church.”

Lefebvre: Nonethless there is a crisis in the Church.
Paul VI: Of which I am suffering profoundly. But you have contributed to aggravate it, with your solemn disobedience, with your open challenge against the pope.
Lefbevre: I am not being judged as I ought to be.
Paul VI: Canon law judges you. Are you aware of the scandal and the bad things you have done to the Church? Are you aware of that? Do you feel you can go before God this way? Why don’t you diagnose the situation, then examine your conscience, and then ask God, what should I do?

I think that simply by opening up a little the spectrum of opportunity for some faithful to to do today what they did in the past would adjust everything. This would be an immediate solution.

As I said, I am not the leader of a movement. I am ready to stay put from here on in my seminary. People will remain in touch with my priests and they will continue to be edified in their faith. My priests are young men who have the sense of the Church – they are respected on the streets, in the metro, everywhere. Other priests no longer wear the cassock, they no longer hear confessions, they probably don’t even pray anymore. But some faithful have chosen and say [of FSSPX priests], ‘These are the priests we want’…. Does the pope know that in France, there are at least 14 Canons used for the Eucharistic Prayer?

The pope:

Not just 14 but hundreds! There are abuses. But the Council has brought forth much that is good. I do not wish to justify everything. As I said, I am trying to correct wherever it is necessary.

But at the same time, it is the duty of Catholics to recognize that there are signs, thanks to the Council, of a vigorous spiritual renewal among the young, and an increase in the sense of responsibility among the faithful, priests and bishops.

[Really? What wishful thinking! Yet this was 1976, four years after this very pope had lamented that the fumes of Satan had somehow slipped into the Church!]

Lefebvre: “I have not said that everything is negative. I too wish to contribute to the edification of the Church.
Paul VI:

“But you do not contribute to such edification by your behavior. Are you aware of what you are doing? Are you aware that you are directly going against the Church, the Pope and the Vatican Council? How can you arrogate the right to judge a Council? [CANON 212!!!!] A council, after all, whose documents were, in large part, signed even by you.

Let us pray and reflect, subordinating everything to Chirst and his Church. Even I will reflect. I accept your reproaches with humility. I am nearing the end of my life. Your severity provides me with an occasion for reflection… I am sure that you too will reflect. You know that I had great esteem for you, that I recognized all your merits, that even at the Council, we agreed on many points…

Lefebvre: That is true.

The pope concluded:

“You understand that I cannot allow, not even for reasons I shall call personal, that you will be found to have caused a schism. Make a public declaration to retract your recent statements and behavior, of which the whole world has taken note, that these are acts committed not to edify the Church but to divide her and cause her harm… We must find unity in prayer and reflection”.

[I frankly do not understand Paul VI's rationale in his relentless intransigence towards Lefebvre. Surely, to take just the most obvious example, the dissidents who attacked him mercilessly for Humanae Vitae did far worse to 'divide the church and cause her much harm'.]

The audience ended, and Mons Benelli makes the notation that “The Holy Father asked Mons Lefebvre to recite with him the Pater Noster, an Ave Maria, and Veni Sancte Spiritus”.

There would be no other meetings after that.

On September 14, interviewed on French TV, Mons. Lefebvre sounded confident: “The ice has been broken – a new climate is setting in”. And two days later, he wrote the pope to thank him for the audience: “A common point unites us: the ardent desire to see an end to all the abuses that are disfiguring the Church”. [Paul VI had less than a year to live at that point– and some Vaticanista can probably review what he did in the next 11 months before he died to curb such abuses and how succesful he was or not. The fact is he hardly did anything to curb liturgical abuses made possible by the Novus Ordo he decreed, nor could he do anything about the fact that practically all Catholic women in the Western world simply ignored what he taught in Humanae Vitae, and worse vis-a-vis the FSSPX, he presided over the greatest exodus of priests who left the Church in tens of thousands in order to get married.

But there was to be no easing up. On October 11, the pope replied:

“You write as if you have forgotten the scandalous words and actions against ecclesial communion that you have never retracted. You do not even show repentance for that which led to your suspension a divinis. You do not explicitly express your adherence to the authority of Vatican II and of the Holy See – which is the essence of the problem – and carry on with your own work which legitimate authority has expressly asked you to stop”.

As Fr Christian Thouvenot writes in La Tradizione Cattolica (no. 2, 2018, pag. 33), Fr. Sapienza’s book now gives us two sources on the September 11, 1976 meeting. The first had been the account that Mons. Lefebvre himself made to his seminarians in Econe in two lectures which were tape-recorded, which was the basis for the reconstruction made by Mons. Tissier de Mallerais [one of the four bishops consecrated by Lefebvre] in his book Marcel Lefebvre. Une vie. (Marcel Lefebre: a life).

The transcript presented by Benelli, says Thouvenot, mirrors Lefebvre’s accounts in its essential elements, but with one difference. Benelli’s transcript does not make any mention at all of the reproach which, Lefebvre claims, Paul VI made for a supposed oath against the pope that seminarians at Econe were allegedly made to swear.
Here is what Lefebvre's account:

Paul VI: You do not have the right to oppose the Council. You are a scandal to the Church. You are destroying it. It is!terrible. You are causing Christians to rise up against the Pope and against the Council! Don’t you feel anything in your conscience that condemns you for this?
Lefbevre: Absolutely none.
Paul VI: Then you are without a conscience.
Lefebvre: I am conscious of continuing in the Church and of forming good priests…
Paul VI: That’s not true. You form priests who are against the pope. You make them sign an oath against the pope.
Lefebvre: Me? How is it possible, Holy Father, that you could accuse me of such a thing! To make anyone sign an oath against the pope! Could you show me a copy of this supposed oath?
Paul VI: You have condemned the pope. Now you give me orders? What should I do? Must I resign so you can take my place?

According to Lefebvre, the Pope appeared stunned when he denied that Econe seminarians were made to take this oath: “He seemed truly convinced that the information was true – it was probably given to him by Cardinal Villot”. [A Frenchman, who was then Secretary of State.]

In any case, that conversation on September 11, 1976, brought no results. Paul VI hoped for a public declaration by Lefebvre retracting his statements against the Council, while Lefebvre hoped for a papal gesture towards Catholic ‘traditionalists’. Neither got what he wanted.

The episode certainly gives us an eye-opening picture of Paul VI none of us probably ever imagined!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/11/2018 00.40]
09/11/2018 05.22
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Left, Asia's husband and one daughter.

Asia Bibi's fate remains very much in suspense - and I suppose we will have to hold our breath until she is safely out of Pakistan...

Asia Bibi’s first words out of prison:
“I am free, thanks be to God”

Unexpectedly released from prison after the Paksitan government had said
she would be detained pending a review of her acquittal, she was moved to
to a secret and protected location, where she awaits expatriation

by Paolo Affatato

November 8, 2018

“Thank God. Praise the Lord. I am free”. The first words spoken by Asia Bibi were addressed to the Highest, as soon as she saw the sky outside the women’s prison of Multan, where she has been imprisoned in recent years.

As Vatican Insider learns from sources close to the woman’s family, Asia spent the first day as a free woman, after more than nine years behind bars, “thanking God constantly and repeatedly, who listened to her prayers”.

The 53-year-old Christian woman, sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010, saw the sun rise again this morning, November 8, after the Pakistani police enforced the release order issued by the Supreme Court of Islamabad, which on October 31 had acquitted Asia Bibi. The order was passed through the High Court of Lahore - where the appeal process took place - and through the court of Nankana, a town in Punjab where the judge in first instance issued the death sentence eight years ago.

Last night, November 7, around 10 p.m., Asia was taken on a government plane to the capital Islamabad and transferred to a secret location where, under constant protection, she was finally reunited with her husband Ashiq Masih. A moment of emotion and immense happiness.

Zawar Hussain Warraich, director of the prison department in the province of Punjab, where Multan prison is located, and where Asia was imprisoned, confirms the Christian woman’s release: “In the case of Asia Bibi, the order was issued late and arrived at the penitentiary yesterday, November 7,” he said, reporting that the Christian has officially left her cell.

The operation was delicate because Asia, targeted by fundamentalists who want her dead, was in danger even in prison. As judicial sources in Pakistan reported to Vatican Insider, two months ago two guards of the Multan penitentiary were arrested because they were organizing the murder of Asia Bibi.

Asia Bibi’s lawyer, Muslim Saiful Malook, who bravely defended her until acquittal, was also forced to flee to the Netherlands for security reasons after receiving death threats. Last night the lawyer said that Asia and her family were already on a direct flight abroad, but the Pakistani Foreign Ministry denied this news, confirming instead that the Punjab peasant girl had indeed been freed but is still in Pakistan.

Mohamed Faisal, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then explained that: “Asia Bibi is a free citizen... (but) will leave the country only if the Supreme Court rejects the petition to review the sentence, filed against her acquittal”. [Thereby hangs the thread of the sword of Damocles still poised over the poor woman's head - and why we really can't celebrate completely yet!] This statement could help the Islamabad executive to keep at bay the radical groups that are once again organizing to take to the streets.

The acquittal of Asia Bibi, in fact, has generated in the “land of the pure” massive protests in which, in the past three days, more than 50 million militants of the radical party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) marched to ask for her hanging, claiming that she has committed and confessed the sin (and crime) of blasphemy.

In Karachi, a metropolitan city in southern Pakistan, Islamic religious movements have organized new marches. And there are fears of new riots and reactions from extremists, who could be stirred up by the sermons pronounced by radical religious leaders on the occasion of tomorrow’s Islamic prayer, Friday 9 November.

Meanwhile, Christians in Pakistan expressed satisfaction with the decision of the Supreme Court and the release of Asia Bibi, but remain cautious, given the possible retaliation that could affect the Christian communities, 1.6% of over 200 million inhabitants of Pakistan, 96% Muslims.

Aftab Mughal, a Catholic intellectual and director of the Minority Concern publication, which promotes the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, told Vatican Insider: “The demonstrations against the verdict of innocence of Asia Bibi are the result of decades of indoctrination, based on distorted interpretations of the Islamic religion”.

“The self-proclaimed guardians of the faith sow panic in the country, in total disregard of the teachings of Islam, which promotes moderation, compassion and mercy,” he notes, observing that many commentators and Muslim leaders agree on this abuse of Islam. “Instead, we must be grateful to God, to the Pakistani judiciary and government - he concludes - for the liberation of Asia Bibi. Because the truth has won and justice has been done”. [Let us pray! Who knows what pressures may be exerted for the Supreme Court to reverse its decision? It was surprising that the Court issued the order for her release yesterday after the government had announced she would stay in prison pending a review of the acquittal decision, and that she would not be allowed to leave the country at all.]

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/11/2018 05.24]
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He needs a massive transfusion of truth serum supplemented with a self-awareness vaccine.

The pope praises Mons. Vigano’s testimony
without naming him! – I'm joking, of course, but…

Translated from

November 9, 2018

I am saying so from the start, in order not to generate confusion and muttering (God forbid!) – this is a ‘lighthearted’ post. [Tosatti uses the word scherzoso, meaning primarily ‘jokingly’, but also facetious, light-hearted, teasingly. In this sense, it really is a masterpiece of irony – underscoring the absurdity of the pope’s homily, because as so often, Bergoglio does not seem to realize that he is really talking about himself, with respect to criticism in general and to Vigano’s testimonies, specifically. Which is why later in the post, Tosatti calls these words a ‘confession’. (The homily would be self-irony on the part of Bergoglio if he were aware he was talking of himself.)

But the post is really bitingly sarcastic because Tosatti's irony - and Bergoglio's, unwittingly - is directed at the pope himself and one of his besetting faults – about which he seems to have no self-awareness at all – and one I have remarked upon every so often: he sees the mote in everyone else’s eye but not the huge beam that lies athwart his moral vision!]

Yesterday, reading the VaticanNews reportage on the Pontiff’s words at his daily homilette from Casa Santa Marta, I said to myself: Well, look, he’s actually paying a eulogy to Archbsihop Carlo Maria Vigano – without mentioning his name of course, but that’s habitual for this pope.

To use the words of the brilliant Fosco Maraini [1912-2004, Italian polymath and polyglot),

ma oggi è un giorno a zìmpani e zirlecchi
un giorno tutto gnacchi e timparlini,
è un giorno per le vànvere, un festicchio
un giorno carmidioso e prodigiero,
è un giorno a cantilegi, ad urlapicchio

[The verse uses colloquialisms to express various kinds of noisy celebrations saying in effect that “today is a day for all that”] – if the homilette meant that the pope finally acknowledging the value of the gestures (three so far) by the ex-Nuncio to the USA.

As Debora Donnini reported:

Testimony, murmuring, questioning. These were the three words that Pope Francis dwelt on this morning in his ‘homily' at Casa Santa Marta. He noted that “history shows us testimony was never a convenient or comfortable thing, not for the witness(es) – who many times have paid for it with martyrdom- nor for the powerful”.

To give testimony [or to bear witness to something one believes and/or knows to be true] is to break a habit, a way of being. And that is to break for the better, to change one’s habit. That is why the Church advances through the witness of the faithful. Witness, not words, attract. Words help, yes, but witness is what attracts others to the Church and makes her grow”. And he repeated: Testimony “always breaks habit’ and also “places you at risk”.
On the other hand, he says, the opposite of open testimony, of laying oneself open, of facing situations and persons face to face, is 'the way of murmuring’, [he uses an Italian construct, mormorazione – though the correct word is mormorio – that means muttering in the sense of grumbling privately, and in a larger sense, to make innuendos] much more convenient and so usual in clerical circles, by way of “negative comments to destroy witness”.

“This sin of grumbling is committed daily, in small ways and big,” he said, noting that in our own life, we find ourselves grumbling “because we do not like something or other”, and instead of dialoguing or “seeking to resolve a conflictual situation, we grunble privately, always in a low voice, because we do not have the courage to speak clearly”. And that happens, he says, when “there is a testimony I don’t like or a person I don’t like, which starts me grumbling”.

ho knows if by that grumbling he also includes ad hominem against the person bearing witness, and all the rest of that often-used sport today that is called character assassination in English, but this time done through articles and even whole books. [See IL GIORNO DEL GIUDIZIO, by Tornielli and Valente, purporting to demolish the Vigano testimonies.]

I went on reading, and thinking that perhaps it is to such ‘dirty’ operations that the Pontiff is referring. Because he also said

“When a government is dishonest, it seeks to soil its adversaries by mucking them up through ‘mormorazione’ [i.e., innuendo]. “Which is defamation – and almost always, calumny. You who have known dictatorial governments well because you have lived under them, what does a dictatorial government do? First, it takes control of the communications media by law, and goes on to make innuendos and discredit all whom it considers a danger. Discrediting by innuendo is our daily bread, whether at the personal, familial, parochial, diocesan or societal level.”

In the end, the Pontiff summed up the key words of his reflection: testimony, which is provocative but makes the Church grow; versus grumbling and innuendo, “which is like my internal shield so that testimony does not harm me”.

So there we are, I tell myself. I’d like to see whether after this confession, the pope will decide to respond to the simple questions raised by Vigano on McCarrick and will finally order an apostolic investigation on the sexually abusive ex-cardinal, his career, those who supported him and were complicit with his double life, and perhaps even on the funds which he generously dispensed (and may have generously received) to promote his own agenda. Maybe not now, but perhaps tomorrow or the day after.

But Catholics are generally patient and know how to wait. Though perhaps we can’t say that of US Catholics who have been seething with rage and impatience since the summer. Not to mention the American judicial system…

A note on the other kind of schism

November 7, 2018

Most Catholics correctly, but incompletely, understand schism as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff” (1983 CIC 751).

Overlooked here — perhaps because it is much rarer than is typical ‘anti-papal schism’ and is harder to spot when it does occur —i s the second kind of schism, namely, “the refusal … of communion with the members of the Church subject to him” (1983 CIC 751).

In other words schism comes in two varieties, ‘vertical schism’ whereby one refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff, and ‘horizontal schism’ whereby one refuses to extend that Christian unity owed to others who are, in fact, in union with the pope.

If the poster boy for vertical schism was, say, Martin Luther, the horizontal schismatic is, I suggest, one whose devotion to the pope is so extreme that he regards as disloyal those who don’t share his opinions on all things papal and, for that reason, shuns them.

Of course Catholics’ opinions on popes and prelates may vary widely, and, to be sure, the canonical requirements for proving schism, vertical or horizontal,in actual cases are high.
[Which is why it is very misleading to leave the definition of vertical schism at 'refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff' - because if that were so, then many Catholics, under any given pontiff, are really in schism! I think many Catholics like me understand schism first of all as formally breaking off with the Church for whatever reason, and that is why there are so few true schisms. I can't think of any current real schism, when even the Church has been saying in the past few decades that the FSSPX may be 'schismatic' but they are not in schism. Technically speaking, they are not, for they profess to recognize the pope as the terrestrial Head of the Church, though they may disagree with some of what he teaches.]

Catholics critical of Pope Francis and/or his governance of the Church — Catholics, mind, in full communion with the Church per Canon 205 — notwithstanding their demonstrable communion with the pope, are frequently disparaged these days, sometimes by ranking bishops, as being adversaries, accusers, and gossip-mongers.

To some extent, of course, such verbal insults should be written off as Life in This Valley of Tears and those subjected to them simply reminded that others have endured far harsher treatment for the Faith. But lately I wonder whether this demonizing of papal critics risks taking a canonical turn.

Long-time Vaticanista Marco Tosatti recently claimed that word has been passed down by papal representatives to bishops not to invite Raymond Cdl. Burke to their dioceses and that, should Burke appear at an event in their churches, they should not even appear with him. If this report is true, then understand: bishops working in close collaboration with the pope are instructing other bishops to avoid and, if necessary, to refuse manifestations of Christian unity due to a bishop who is, beyond any question, in full communion with him and them.

That report, if true, would suggest something well beyond mere verbal disparagement of a fellow bishop.

Again, journalistic claims of such counter-catholic (in the sense of ‘unity’ and ‘oneness’) directives are a long way from constituting proof of horizontal schism, but that such measures could even be plausibly alleged is a sign of the times and deeply troubling.

Like Catholics admonished to avoid sin and even near occasions of sin, so prelates should avoid schism and even actions suggestive of schismatic attitudes.
- If such disgraceful directives were quietly issued, may they be quietly and quickly withdrawn;
- if they were even contemplated may be they be rejected lest they open the door to even deeper divisions than we already suffer.

IMHO, our discourse would be much clearer if we stopped talking and thinking in terms of 'schism' - canonically and technically as futile to prove as 'heresy' and therefore unactionable, one way or the other - and simply speak of 'division', which allows for only one meaning and can be vertical or horizontal, without getting into the trap of branding anyone with some term that is near-impossible to 'prove'.

If this post falls under the general rubric of dissatisfaction with and/or gripes against the Church, then the following item certainly belongs:

The roots of Catholic anger
by George Weigel

November 7, 2018

After a month out of the country, working in Rome at Synod-2018 and helping mark the 40th anniversary of John Paul II’s election at events in Brussels and Warsaw, I came home to find Catholic anger over the latest phase of the abuse crisis unabated and intensified in some quarters.

That this crisis is not acknowledged for what it is by the highest authorities in Rome is a subject for another reflection at another time. The question today is: What are the roots of today’s Catholic anger and disgust?

Part of the answer to that, surely, is exhaustion. Why must we go through this again? Wasn’t the Long Lent of 2002 enough? Weren’t things fixed then?

Those whose anger is stoked by these understandable questions might have a look at a recent and thoughtful article by Kenneth Woodward in Commonweal. Woodward understands that ripping the cover off the serial sexual predations of the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, triggered a gag-reflex among the Catholic laity that seems to have been bred out of at least some Catholic clergy, both here in the United States and in Rome.

But the longtime religion editor of Newsweek also identifies another factor in today’s Catholic rage that ought to cause all of us to pause and think for a moment. Writing about the Pennsylvania grand jury report that sent Catholic anger through the roof this summer, my friend Woodward made a crucial point:

…the way Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro presented the report — and the way it was often described in the press — made it easy to assume that the grand jury had unearthed three hundred new clerical abusers, when in fact most of the abuse covered in the report occurred in the last century and roughly eight out of ten of the alleged abusers are dead. It was easy to overlock the good news in an otherwise disheartening report — namely, that since the U.S. bishops established stringent new procedures for handling allegations of sexual abuse in 2003, only two priests from the seven dioceses studied have been accused.

[But eB]every report on clerical sex abuses - since the ones in Boston back in 2002 to all the reports in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and Italy, perhaps even Chile - clearly described and provided statistical data on crimes overwhelmingly committed in the past. But secular media with their abiding anti-Catholic animus, have always pounced on these reports to make it seem that actual commission of such crimes is ongoing on the scale that the reports have it - and so, that is the conclusion drawn by media consumers including many Catholics who do not read beyond the headlines and look at the actual contents of the report. I do not think however that the current outrage is only due to this wrong perception - the greater outrage is that such crimes ever happened at all, whenever they did happen, and on a scale that is really obscene when the perpetrators are supposedly men of the Church.]

The “narrative” of an ongoing, widespread, and unaddressed rape culture in the Catholic Church in the United States is false. [False as to a 'rape culture' - that peaked in the 1970s-1990s - but the greater concern among Catholics who follow Church news is the continuing culture of silence and cover-up and yes, denial, in the Church hierarchy, up to the very summit. Which is best exemplified by the Vatican's choice of not using the word 'homosexuality' and its derivatives at all to describe the root evil behind both the rape culture and the cover-up culture, and worse, the attempt to 'prettify' the crime by calling it 'clericalism'.]
- There are still abusive Catholic clergy in America; they must be rooted out and dismissed from the ministry.
There are still bishops who don’t get it and they, too, must go. But as one state attorney general after another finds political hay to be made by investigating the Catholic past, it is essential that Catholics understand that a lot of the awfulness that is going to keep coming out — both in terms of abusive clergy and malfeasant bishops — was in the past. Effective anger today will focus on the present. And it will not be limited to local situations but will include the obtuseness (and worse) of officials in Rome.

Digging deeper, one hits another question: Why were so many Catholics, who don’t believe much else they read in the papers or see on TV, so ready to believe the misrepresentations of the Pennsylvania grand jury report? Part of the answer, I suspect, has to do with pent-up Catholic anger with clerical narcissism.
- A priest or bishop who messes with the Missal and re-writes it to his taste as he celebrates Mass is a narcissist.
- The priest or bishop who rambles on aimlessly during a daily Mass homily, abusing the time of his people, is a narcissist.
- A bishop who behaves as if he were hereditary nobility, but absent the gentlemanly noblesse oblige that characterizes the truly noble man, is a narcissist.
[Hmm, The current Bishop of Rome qualifies as a narcissist on all 3 counts if I - and many others - had not already identified him as a pathological narcissist long ago and almost soon after March 13, 2013.]

And Catholics are fed up with clerical narcissism. The angers of the present have been stoked by that narcissism for decades; the deadly combination of McCarrick and Josh Shapiro blew the boiler’s lid off. Anyone who doesn’t recognize this is not going to be much help in fixing what’s broken.

At the same time, it must be remembered that most priests and bishops in the United States are not narcissists: rather, they’re men with a deep sense of vocation who know they’re earthen vessels through whom flows unmerited but superabundant divine grace. Those men deserve our support, affection, and gratitude as they, like the rest of us, deal with the fallout of this season of humiliation and purification.

As for the narcissists, they need help — and disciplining. [And our prayers. And who more than the narcissist-in-chief?]


November 9, 2018

The disquiet about broad hints of Internet Censorship of Catholic writers which emerged from the 'Synod' is only just dying down, and now the admirable Fr Zuhlsdorf and other usually reliable sources have reported that there are two congruous stories circulating about the kindly and paternal interest which Bergoglian Rome is taking in two particular bishops.

(1) Cardinal Burke. The rumour apparently is that the Nuncio has told American Bishops not to invite Cardinal Burke to their dioceses and, if he turns up, not to attend events which he addresses.

Cardinals are entitled to go anywhere without the permission of local Ordinaries; in fact, Cardinal Burke, with his punctilious courtesy, always informs Ordinaries when he plans to visit their dioceses.

So no one can actually keep him out. But you know how the world works. Timorous bishops who don't want a black mark against their name will put pressure on clergy and organisations within their jurisdictions not to invite him. And because the Inferior Clergy too can be timorous and might not want to ... er ... get a black mark against their names, they will think twice ... thrice? ... multiplicius? before getting involved. You might call it Drip Down Malevolence.

Perhaps PF should, before sacking cardinals, give some thought as to how a jobless Eminence is likely to spend his time.

(2) Bishop Schneider has been made aware that 'Rome' takes an interest in how many days he spends outside his diocese. Rumours about this have in fact been circulating for some weeks. But, so they say, this has been done orally so as to leave no paper trail ... see (a) below.

I find it difficult to keep my temper and to moderate my language as I write about all this. So I suppose the first point to be made is that much of it is rumour. It would be uncharitable to assume, without solid evidence, the certain truth of stories which, if true, would redound so very profoundly to the discredit of those involved. That being said ...
(a) This business supplies a remarkably exact example of what I wrote only last Monday about how the Bergoglian Church works (vide my piece about the sacking of Bishop Holley).
(b) FEAR. The Bergoglian regime has no scruples about making FEAR its main instrument of control, not only in Urbe but throughout the Catholic world. This corresponds closely with what workers in the Curia have been reporting for some years now. What an amazingly nasty ...
(c) THREATS. Bishops are supposed to be Successors of the Apostles, addressed by popes since time immemorial as Venerable Brethren. It is unbecoming that they should be informed, like naughty little schoolboys, which of their fellow bishops they should discourage from speaking in their dioceses, and whom they should themselves not go and hear. ("Well, Bloggs minor, you would be wise to give some thought as to what your School File might record about the sort of company you kept while you were here ...")
(d) INTIMIDATION. The apparent use of Nuncios as hostile spies and as agents of intimidation is deplorable. Or do I mean Stalinist? Should we address them as Comrade Commissar?
[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/11/2018 02.03]
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Poor Cardinal Zen! If he presented his new letter to the pope on Nov. 1, it's been almost two weeks since then, and it seems like the letetr is destined to go unacknowledged
and unanswered like the DUBIA on AL! Imagine, at his age and state of health, to have to make an intercontinental trip - twice now since January - simply to make sure
that his letter gets to the hands of the pope directly!

Cardinal Zen presents letter
to pope warning him on China

HONG KONG, November 9, 2018 (UCANews) = Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun flew to Rome and handed a seven-page letter to Pope Francis appealing for him to pay attention to the crisis facing the underground church in China.

The Hong Kong emeritus bishop on Nov. 8 told that underground clerics have cried to him since the Vatican-China deal on the appointment of bishops.

"They said officials have forced them to become open, to join the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and to obtain a priest's certificate with the reason that the pope has signed the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement," said Cardinal Zen.

He said some parts of the agreement had not been made public, meaning that brothers and sisters of the underground church did not know what they should do.

"Some priests have escaped, and some have disappeared because they do not know what to do and are annoyed. The agreement is undisclosed, and they do not know if what officials say is true or not," he said.

Cardinal Zen said the China Church was facing new persecution and the Holy See was helping the Chinese Communist Party suppress the underground community.

He fwas in Rome from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 to hand his letter to the pope. "I wanted to talk to the pope again and hope he will reconsider [the China agreement], but this may be the last time," he said.

In his letter he says he describes how the underground church had seen money confiscated, with clergy having relatives disturbed by the authorities, going to jail or even losing their lives for the faith.

"But the Holy See does not support them and regards them as trouble, referring to them causing trouble and not supporting unity. This is what makes it most painful to them," said Cardinal Zen.

The letter also stated that the Chinese Church did not have the freedom to elect bishops.

"The pope has said that members of the Chinese Church should be the prophets and sometimes criticize the government. I feel very surprised that he does not understand the situation of the Chinese Church," Cardinal Zen said.

On Sept. 26, four days after the provisional agreement was signed, the pope wrote a message to Chinese Catholics and the universal church explaining the reasons for signing the agreement: to promote the proclamation of the Gospel, and to establish unity in the Catholic community in China.

In addition, after his pastoral visit to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from Sept. 2-25, the pope told the media on his flight home that people should "pay tribute to those who suffered for faith," especially in those three countries brutally trampled by the Nazis and the Communist Party.

Cardinal Zen told that the pope's words made him feel that "he does not seem to know that their history is also the history of the Chinese Church and the current situation." He suspects the pope was deceived by people around him who have not told him the real situation faced by the Chinese church. [But he can read, can't he? Surely, there has been enough reported in MSM about the many new anti-Catholic actions by the Chinese government since the agreement with the Vatican was announced. Not to mention that even ought to be aware of the decades-long history of religious repression and persecution by the Chinese Communist Party which continues to run the government of the People's Republic of China.]

Cardinal Zen criticized the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who negotiated with the Chinese government.

"He is very experienced. He also sees China's ugly face and knows they are not reasonable. In fact, he does not trust the Chinese side. He only uses them to achieve the purpose of establishing diplomatic relations," he said.

Cardinal Zen reiterated that the letters written to the Chinese Church during the reign of Pope Benedict XVI were taken out of context, especially about the existence of the underground church.

He said: "Pope Benedict XVI was not talking about the abnormality of the underground church itself, but that it is the situation in China is not normal. The government's intervention means that the church cannot be pure and leads to abnormality, so the bishops, priests and faithful are going to the underground."

As the Chinese government still interferes with the church, and church members want to keep their faith pure, it is impossible to ask for the official and underground churches to unite, Cardinal Zen said.

"Our bottom line is the pope. We cannot attack him. If the pope is wrong this time, I hope he will admit the mistake; if he does not admit, I hope that the future pope will point out the mistake. But in the end, it is still the pope's final decision. If you don't follow, then there is no principle, so the mainland's brothers must not rebel," [????] he said.

Cardinal Zen made an earlier trip to Rome during January where he also handed the pope a letter, this time about concerns over the Holy See asking two recognized bishops in China to step aside and make way for illicit bishops.

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Vatican tells U.S. bishops
not to vote on proposals
to tackle sexual abuse and
spurns lay and civil investigations

By Julie Zauzmer and Michelle Boorstein

BALTIMORE Nov. 12, 2018 — The Vatican stymied a plan by America’s Catholic leaders to confront sexual abuse, insisting in a surprise directive on Monday morning that U.S. bishops postpone their efforts to hold bishops more responsible in the abuse cases that have scourged the church.

Bishops attending the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed a mixture of disappointment, acceptance and frustration at the news from Rome, while angry victims’ advocates accused church leaders of impeding reforms.

“What we see here is the Vatican again trying to suppress even modest progress by the U.S. bishops,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of, which compiles data on clergy abuse in the church. “We’re seeing where the problem lies, which is with the Vatican."

In an unusual move intended to display strength and empathy with survivors, the bishops representing the country’s 196 archdiocese and dioceses had devoted their agenda almost exclusively to the burgeoning crisis starting with a period of prayer Monday. They had planned to vote Wednesday on a code of conduct, the first such ethical guidelines for bishops on sex abuse issues, and to establish a lay commission capable of investigating bishops’ misconduct.

Instead, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo -- the president of the U.S. bishops' conference -- told the group that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had asked the bishops not to take action until after a worldwide meeting of church leaders in February.

“At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items,” DiNardo said, adding that he was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s move.
[Obviously, Bergoglio puppet Ouellet would never have done this on his own, but as Prefect for Bishops, he really has no choice but to be the pope's nominal agent for something so WRONG in every aspect. Yet Bergogliac that he is, he probably agrees with it.]

Moments later, in what appeared to be an oblique reference to the bishops’ lay commission proposal and the growing number of U.S. state and federal investigations into the Catholic Church, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States warned the bishops not to rely on outside investigations.

“There may be a temptation on the part of some to relinquish responsibility for reform to others from ourselves, as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves,”
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, a French bishop who was sent by Pope Francis to Washington from France in 2016, said. “Assistance is both welcome and necessary, and surely collaboration with the laity is essential. However, the responsibility as bishops of this Catholic Church is ours.”

Pierre quoted a French author who said that “whoever pretends to reform the church with the same means to reform temporal society” will “fail.”

It is unclear what, if anything, the three-day meeting will now accomplish on the topic of abuse. Leaders said that the bishops will still spend Tuesday and Wednesday debating and fine-tuning their proposals, as planned.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago quickly proposed an alternative to the Vatican’s request that no vote be taken. He suggested a nonbinding vote at this session, followed by an additional meeting of all the bishops in March — after Francis’s worldwide meeting — to formally vote on these policies as soon as possible.

Some bishops said the Vatican’s request alone damages American leaders' efforts to regain parishioners' trust, after a longtime church leader -- ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- was revealed this year to have allegedly sexually harassed and molested multiple victims, and after a Pennsylvania grand jury report documented decades of abuse by hundreds of priests.

“This kind of thing is a blow to what we’re trying to overcome here in the United States – the perception of a hierarchy that is unresponsive to the reality of the tragedy,” said Jefferson City Bishop Shawn McKnight.

He said bishops need to be able to call out and challenge people over them – meaning members of the Roman Curia, which would be a major shift in an extremely hierarchical faith.

“I’m beginning to wonder if we need to look at a resolution where we refuse to participate in any kind of cover-up from those above us,” McKnight, who became a bishop nine months ago, said. “It’s for the good of the church. We have to be respectful of the Roman Curia but also we have an obligation to our people. And our priests.”

Other bishops, including Bishop Christopher Coyne, appeared less perturbed by the Vatican-imposed delay — even suggesting that it might be for the best.

“My first reaction was: ‘Oh boy, this won’t go over well,’ because they’ll see it as a political,” said Coyne, head of the USCCB’s communications committee and Vermont’s only bishop who had expressed skepticism last week that the bishops needed a code of conduct. Now he views Rome’s intervention as a reminder that the Catholic Church “is a universal church.

“We in the U.S. can have a limited view of the worldwide church,” he said. “...It would be difficult if we came up with [different] policies and procedures.”

Even as he reiterated his disappointment, DiNardo also referenced the need to defer to Rome.

“We are Roman Catholic bishops, in communion with our Holy Father in Rome. And he has people around him who are what we call congregations or offices, and we’re responsible to them, in that communion of faith,” DiNardo said in an afternoon press conference. [Dear Lord, I am sick to death of the abuse of the word 'communion' in this pontificate - as in communion with everyone else but the Lord - as if merely saying it absolves any action of any wrong or error whatsoever. It has become as meaningless as the word 'synodality' or 'collegiality', a concept which this pontificate violates at every conceivable occasion in direct proportion to how often it pays lip service to the concepts.

Lest you think that the above is just a 'special' illustration of the reigning pope's dictatorial ways, how about this next item, courtesy of Marco Tosatti:
which has linked to an intolerable Google-Translate version in 'English', but the title translates to "How the Vatican has destroyed a religious order of nuns in France - 34 out of 39 decide to renounce their vows - good for them!" Haven't time to translate Tosatti properly now, but though the order is fairly small, the Vatican modus operandi recalls what was done to the much larger FFI within 4 months of Bergoglio's election...
Tosatti's other post today was about the thunderbolt papal diktat described by the Washington Post above. He had three comments:

Let us see how the situation develops in the next few days. But a few considerations are inescapable:

First, how does this heavy-handed interference by the Holy See in the internal workings of a bishops' conference fit into that 'synodality' of which the riegning pontiff keeps talking about, echoed by those in his immediare circle and with supposed decentralization [from the Roman curia]? An interference with a major bishops' conference (more than 200 members) which is seeking to confront a major crisis, for which the Vatican itself bears some resposnbility, and thus respond to the rightful demands of the US faithful?

Second, when an episcopal conference decides to entrust - finally - to laymen a delicate and difficult task, is it possible not to define lockage of a lay investigation - and the words spoken by the nuncio against such an investigation, obviously coming from Rome - as an eminent example of clericalism [in its right sense as abuse of ecclesiastical power] which the pontiff and his followers have repeatedly execrated?

Third, the behavior of the Pontiff. Who demonstrates, once more, as even the international media now remark, an attitude that is anything but 'limpid' on the clerical sex abuse crisis.
- His silence in the face of the three tesitmonies so far by Mons. Vigano, which is inexpicable and indefensible, was the first episode.
- His rejection of the US bishops' request for an apostolic investigation of ex-Cardinal McCarrick was the second. (Remember that an apostolic investigation could open all the doors and closets, even in the Vatican, which is something that any investigation originating only in the USA cannot do.)
- And now this third move, which os to block any immediate action by the bishops most concerned, and postponing everything till after the February 2019 conference of episcopal conference presidents. i.e., not in another four months, could very well be called obstructionism by the pope himself, seeking to dilute over time both responses and responsibility.

The impression is that in the power bubble encasing Casa Santa Marta, there is a refusal to consider the loss of confidence by the faithful in the Church and the loss of credibility by the Church hierarchy. Neither of which is not unjustified, alas, if we look at the facts.

Here is Church Militant's account:

Pope Francis has pulled the rug out
from under the feet of the US bishops

November 12, 2018

Welcome to this special report from the bishops' conference in Baltimore where, moments into the meeting, conference President Cdl. Daniel DiNardo dropped the bombshell that Pope Francis has pulled the rug out from under the feet of the U.S. bishops and ordered them to cancel their expected Thursday vote in what to do about the priestly sex abuse crisis, most of which is homosexual predatory abuse.

DiNardo appeared disturbed by the orders from the Vatican having been given to him at essentially the last minute late last night.

Following that, Papal Nuncio Christophe Pierre got up and essentially said great strides had been made in fighting this problem and the bishops don't really need to involve the laity to any great degree.

That's significant because the bishops were going to vote on two proposals — the second one which was going to seek the establishment of a lay board with investigative powers into the actions of bishops.

Pierre slammed the idea and said it is bishops who run the Church and, in essence, the laity need to pipe down. This action from Rome — again, at the last minute — raises serious questions.

It is no secret that there in Rome and very close to Pope Francis various high-ranking churchmen who are rushing headlong into advancing the homosexual agenda in the Church.

Father James Martin has even publicly stated that the Pope is actively surrounding himself with various bishop appointments who are gay-friendly.

The men closest to the Pope — especially Cdl. Maradiaga — have been embroiled in various homosexual or homosexualist controversies themselves.
Maradiaga has defended one of his longtime associates and auxiliary bishops in Tegucigalpa, Honduras — a man accused by dozens of seminarians of sexually assaulting or harassing them.

Maradiaga's response to the reports in Catholic social media has been to tell faithful Catholics to shut up and stop gossiping.

Given his recent condemnations of laity decrying the filth in his own archdiocese, speculation is that he may be involved in this latest kiss of death to American bishops who are trying to get to the bottom of this filth — again, the vast majority of which is homosexual in nature.

The bishops were supposed to be here discussing various draft proposals and so forth and then vote on a final document as we said on Thursday.

But now, with that vote forbidden from taking place by Francis — and undoubtedly some of what Abp. Viganò identified as the homosexual current running Rome — whatever the bishops here do with the rest of their time will essentially be meaningless.

There was even some chatter that they should just pack up and go home.

That is unlikely to happen, at least in meaningful numbers, but this does show the complete disconnect between Rome and the U.S. bishops, the few who want to resolve this crisis and provide some seed of hope for the faithful.

When DiNardo was finally given an audience with the Pope in Rome after waiting almost a month, the Pope completely shut him down, saying there would be no investigation of former Cdl. McCarrick and no investigation headed by laity.

DiNardo came back from Rome and tried to put the best possible spin on it, but no one fell for it.

And when you add it to today's total shoot down by the Pope of the whole reason for this meeting, many are taking this as the final sign that either Rome doesn't get it or the homosexual current in the Vatican is exercising its muscle and deliberately preventing the truth from coming out because too many of them would be implicated in it.

Whichever the case, the patience of the laity is at an end. Catholics from all over the country have begun arriving here in Baltimore for tomorrow's Silence Stops Now rally which Church Militant will be live-streaming beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET tomorrow.

Stay tuned to Church Militant for all the latest from here on the ground in Baltimore as confusion rules the day here at the bishops meeting.

Where do we go from here — that's the question none of them have an answer for.


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I only post this - not because of the article's scant merits - but because it is yet another indication of how far Bergoglio's stock has fallen in the MSM. After Der Spiegel, The Economist takes its turn - though a rathe
weak one - at acknowledging something harder and harder not to acknowledge...

Francis on the ropes
Clerical sexual-abuse scandals strengthen the pope’s conservative critics;
Launched in optimism, Francis’s papacy is bogged down in infighting and scandals


VATICAN CITY, November 8, 2018 - As an FBIagent for 29 years, Philip Scala led the operation that jailed John Gotti of Cosa Nostra and raided an al-Qaeda bomb factory. Mr Scala, now a private investigator, took on Hells Angels, rioting prisoners and Russian mobsters. Next on his list? The cardinals of the Roman Catholic church.

A new lay group, Better Church Governance (BCG), has hired Mr Scala to probe the lives of the 224 men who advise Pope Francis (including their sex lives, if any). His particular focus will be the 124 who, were the pontiff to die tomorrow, would elect his successor. Mr Scala’s team of up to ten investigators will publish their findings on a website, alongside carefully screened information from the public. Philip Nielsen, BCG’s executive director, hopes the website, dubbed the Red Hat Report after the scarlet zucchetti (skullcaps) worn by cardinals, will be online within a month.

Though apparently well funded, the BCG is a tiny fragment of Christianity’s biggest church. Catholicism claims 1.3 billion followers and wields vast, global influence. The BCG report would have seemed unthinkably disrespectful — almost sacrilegious — even a year ago.

But in the Catholic world much that was once inconceivable is now transpiring. The Red Hat Report is a sign of how much many Catholics have come to mistrust their leaders and how far some will go to hold them accountable.

The loss of confidence stems from an enduring scandal over the molestation, and sometimes rape, of children by priests. It is unstoppable, since most of the revelations concern wrongdoing years or even decades ago.

And it is seemingly inexorable: after the first disclosures in Ireland in the 1990s, the scandal spread through western Europe and North America; it has since reached South America and eastern Europe to assail erstwhile bastions of the faith such as Poland and Chile.

In the ten years to 2010, the Vatican sifted through around 3,000 cases dating back to the middle of the previous century. Increasingly, however, attention has shifted to the role of bishops in covering up for clerics, often by posting them to other dioceses where they continued to abuse minors.

The BCG’s founding was inspired by the publication in August of a document in which Archbishop Carlo Viganò, a former papal nuncio (ambassador) in America, accused some of the church’s most powerful men of ignoring repeated warnings that Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal, was a serial seducer of seminarians when he was archbishop of Newark.

Archbishop Viganò said the previous pope, Benedict XVI, had imposed restrictions on Cardinal McCarrick, but that Pope Francis, despite knowing of the cardinal’s behaviour, eased them and made him a trusted adviser. He implied this was because the cardinal had helped Francis become pope in 2013. In an appeal unprecedented in modern times, he called on the pope, whom Catholics believe is chosen with God’s aid and whose pronouncements on some issues are infallible, to quit.

Betrayal of the innocents
Also in August, a grand jury in Pennsylvania accused some 300 priests of molesting more than 1,000 children over seven decades. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all,” the grand jury wrote.

In September the archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, told an Italian newspaper, La Verità, there was “almost a sense of panic” in the American church. A Pew Research poll in September found that 62% of American Catholics disapproved of the pope’s handling of the crisis, up from just 46% in January.

American Catholics make up a bit more than 5% of the global total. But their church, the fourth-biggest, matters far more than its size suggests. The Vatican needs its dollars, and its media-savvy cardinals often lead Catholic debate and innovation.

After initially refusing to comment on Archbishop Viganò’s claims, Francis has since agreed to convene a global meeting of bishops in February to discuss clerical sex abuse. The Argentine pontiff, who had endeared himself to Catholics and non-Catholics alike with his benign informality and ascetic lifestyle, and on the defensive. [To the article writer: Insofar as the 'endearing',speak for yourself and the millions of gullible who were duped by Bergoglio's fake bonhomie and supposed humility! What 'ascetic lifestyle', BTW, when all the photographs taken of him since he became pope have shown a most ungainly weight gain and an increasingly obscene papal belly that defies tidy subjection by an always skewed and rumpled papal sash?]. “It’s about as serious as it can get,” says Austen Ivereigh, one of Francis’s biographers. [AHA! If someone like Ivereigh can admit that, then The Economist is right: for all the Bergoglio Vatican's daily displays of brazenness and bravura, the Bergogliacs know the pope is on the ropes, and are really just whistling in the dark - and have gone beyond denying reality - to "Now what do we do? The world is awaking to the fact that Bergoglio is really naked and never had any 'new clothes' to begin with!"]

Archbishop Viganò was a controversial figure even before his J’accuse appeared. The so-called Vatileaks scandal in 2012 centered on letters he wrote to Pope Benedict complaining of financial corruption, when he was a high-ranking official in the Vatican City’s government. Theologically conservative, he spectacularly wrong-footed Francis on his visit to America in 2015 by getting him to meet Kim Davis, a clerk in Kentucky jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples. [The article writer obviously ignored Vigano's document-supported account of that meeting and how he had cleared it specifically with the Secretary of State's top deputies because the cardinal himself was not available to meet Vigano on the matter - though he obviously approved, or his deputies would have told Vigano a clear NO, and there would have been no meeting.]]

A two-pronged attack
Vatican officials say the archbishop was called to Rome and rebuked for that. Critics depict him as a man with a grudge because he was not made a cardinal. But his document poses a unique threat to the pope. It embodies the concerns of two groups alarmed at his stewardship: traditionalists of various stripes who resent his reformist agenda; and Catholics dismayed by his handling of clerical sex abuse.

First, the traditionalists. Some of the laity, notably in America, are appalled by Francis’s economic and political ideas, set out in 2013 in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. After the papacy’s long years of hostility to communism [Oh the inadequacy of this writer's preparation for the article! He forgets the most scandalous thing of all about the Church and Communism - that 'the good Pope John XXIII', now a saint, agreed - and got the rest of Vatican II to agree - not to mention Communism at all during the four years of the Council, in return for virtually nothing at all! This is a point, BTW, about which I have not managed to research Karol Wojtyla's and Joseph Ratzinger's positions about a most inexplicable sin of omission on the part of the pope, the Council, and therefore, the institutional Church. It seems both of them, proud participants each in his own way of Vatican II, managed to successfully gloss over this issue. How, for instance, does the virtual denial of the existence of Communism and its evils by Vatican II, square with John PAul II's Veritatis splendor?][dim], many forgot that Catholic social doctrine opposes capitalism too. They were left aghast by a pope who could write that “an economy of exclusion and inequality…kills”.

In many (but not all) cases, Francis’s neo-conservative foes line up with his doctrinal critics, whose wrath was kindled by another papal document, Amoris Laetitia, from 2016. In it Francis tackled the hotly debated issue of a ban preventing divorced Catholics from receiving communion. His critics were incensed not just that he relaxed a ban they thought central to the Church’s teaching on marriage, but that he did so in what seemed an underhand way, in a footnote. ['Seemed an underhand way'? It was as underhanded as can be, seeking to hide evil intent in a footnote, as though no one reads footnotes at all!] In the first open sign of mutinous sentiments in parts of the hierarchy, four cardinals put their names to a list of dubia or doubts, challenging Francis to deny that he was twisting settled doctrine.

The affair highlighted a fundamental division among Catholics, which centres on the buzzwords “clarity” and “accompaniment”. Many, particularly in eastern Europe, where believers suffered for their faith under communism, and in Africa, where they are nose-to-nose with fundamentalist Islam, crave clarity — they want a religion offering straightforward, immutable guidance on what is right and wrong.

In western Europe and Latin America, priests and bishops are instead contending with growing secularism. They are more ready to accept 'accompaniment' [another Bergoglio word like 'discernment' and 'listening' of which the very mention can provoke a fit of puking!], i.e., compromise with the realities of the 21st century. This means accepting that many Catholics live with their partners before marrying, use artificial contraception, form same-sex relationships and get divorced.

Francis has never responded to the dubia. For his conservative detractors, that proves he cannot give plausible answers. For Francis’s supporters, it is a way of reminding the traditionalists that, however vociferous, they remain a minority. That is probably also still true of the second group of his critics: those appalled by his inept response to clerical sex abuse. But this group is growing fast. Again, there is a geographical division.

Few allegations of Catholic priests abusing the young have surfaced in Africa or Asia (though history suggests it is only a matter of time before they do).

Francis’s shortcomings were exposed when he visited Chile in January. A local bishop, Juan Barros, had been accused of covering up for a predatory priest in the 1980s. The pope called the claims slanderous. After Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the head of his own commission for the protection of minors, publicly disagreed, the pope apologised. But on his flight home he repeated the charge of slander. In April, after a Vatican investigation into Bishop Barros, the pope admitted he had made “grave errors”. But rather than have the bishop tried in an ecclesiastical court, he allowed him to resign. He has since accepted the resignation of seven more Chilean bishops and defrocked a number of priests.

Pondering the cardinal sins
Has Francis finally got it? Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, says he believes so, and that the turning-point for the pope was an encounter in the Vatican in April with three Chilean victims. “When you sit across from a victim you can’t help but be affected unless you have a heart of stone,” says the cardinal. [Would a truly objective journalist turn to Cupich for any but the most Bergoglio-subservient answer???]

Not everyone is so confident that Francis has turned a corner. Anne Barrett Doyle of, a campaigning website, notes the pope “still spends a lot of time talking about calumny”. She points to a homily in September, describing Satan as the Great Accuser, who “has been unchained and is attacking bishops”.

It was the latest of many instances when Francis has taken the side of his fellow prelates. That may be because he finds it hard to believe them capable of covering up for priests who preyed on the young. Or perhaps he feels a duty to afford his bishops the presumption of innocence. Or it may reflect unease over his own record: a documentary by a French filmmaker, Martin Boudot, claims that as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis defended a priest who was later imprisoned for 15 years for sexually abusing children.

The meeting in February is expected to discuss possible reforms. Much could be done. Francis could overturn a veto on a planned Vatican tribunal to try bishops accused of shielding predatory priests. He could set up an inquiry into the use of the “pontifical secret”. A decree issued in 1922 [????] still obliges bishops not to report certain offences, including child sex abuse, to the civil authorities unless they are in jurisdictions where reporting is mandatory.

Particularly among conservatives, however, there is a growing feeling that Catholicism most needs, in the words of John Meyer of the Napa Institute, a lay group, “a renewal of holiness”. Mr Meyer argues that it is not only the priests and bishops who must examine their consciences, but lay believers who have grown used to flouting the church’s teaching on, for example, artificial contraception.

“We have fallen into the traps of the sexual revolution,” he says. “We need to take seriously our sins and realise our faults rather than just be angry at our bishops.”

Such talk, however, is anathema to liberal Catholics disgusted by the clergy’s record, but with no sympathy for the conservatives’ wider agenda. Cardinal Cupich, from the church’s liberal wing, argues that the clergy’s abuse of its power is more serious. He sees a parallel with the #MeToo movement. If, he says, the unending scandal “frees victims of abuse of all kinds to come forward, then I think we should be willing to pay the price. Maybe it is in God’s own providence for us to suffer.”
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Sorry, my PC got attacked by a terrible virus, and I had to have it cleaned out professionally.
Hence, my two-day absence... Happy to get back with something new about B16...

International Symposium on "Fundamental Rights and Conflicts among Rights"
Rome, November 15-16, 2018

Seventy years since the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-
- What has been its effect in the world?
- How does the Church respond today to the new challenges to those rights: fundamentalism, new poverties and new slaveries?
- And who are its interocutors: states, religions, international institutions, or first of all, the global civilian society?
- Furthermore, what gave rise to fundamental rights and how to respond to the danger of their multiplication which could paradoxically lead to the destruction of the very idea of a 'right' itself and of human dignity?

These are the fundamental questions for discussion at the Nov. 15-16 International Symposium in Rome on "Fundamental Rights and Conflicts among Rights" organized by the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican foundation in collaboration with LUMSA (Libera Universita Maria Santissima Assunta).

Symposium speakers include Giuseppe Dalla Torre (LUMSA), Jean Louis Ska (Pontificio Istituto Biblico), Francesco D’Agostino (Unversity of Rome - Tor Vergata), Robert P. George (Princeton University), Marta Cartabia (Vice-President of the Italian Constitutional Court), Carlos Ignacio Massini (Mendoza, Argentina), Barbara Zehnpfennig (Universität Passau), Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard University), Joseph H. Weiler (New York University), Roberto Baratta (Macerata, Italia), and CArdinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin who will speak on "The Church's interlocutors in the debate on the affirmation of human rights".

The symposium is structured in four parts:
- The genesis and significance of the idea of religious freedom
- Secularity and natural law
- Birth and transformation of the culture of rights and of freedom
- Multiplication of rights and the danger of destroying the very idea of a 'right'

In his opening remarks to the Symposium, Fr. Federico Lombardi, current president of the Foundation, said:

"Our Foundation plans to organize an international scientific symposium on a subject that has prominent cultural significance and current relevance as it relates to the theological thinking of Joseph Ratzinger and to the magisterium of Benedict XVI.

In this way, his cultural legacy will continue to be appreciated, making it fruitful for the life of the Church and of contemporary society. This year's theme is something that has always been present in the thinking of Joseph Ratznger/Benedict XVI, namely, the bases of the law, at one time characterized by the declaration of 'human rights', also now marked by their abnormal multiplication."

On the occasion of the symposim, Benedict XVI sent the ff letter to Fr. Federico Lombardi, current president of the Foundation:

A translation:

Dear Fr. Lombardi,

As you know, since I was informed some months ago of the Symposium on "Fundamental Rights and Conflicts among Rights", I immediately expressed to you my appreciation for the initiative which I consider extremely useful.

In particular, it is important to me that it deals directly with the problem of the 'multiplication of rights' and the danger of "destroying the very idea of 'right'".

It is a current and fundamental issue in order to safeguard the bases for coexistence for the human family which deserves to become once again the subject for a systematic and profound reflection as the program for the symposium intends.

I therefore assure all the speakers and participants in the Symosium of my esteem and my closeness in prayer that the Lord my bless their work as a precious service to the Church and for the good of the human family.

Yours in the Lord,


Pope Francis also sent a message to the symposium, saying among other things that "Benedict XVI has warned lucidly about the urgency of this topic for our time and has intervened authoritatively on it as a thinker and as a pastor, for which twenty years ago, LUMSA conferred on Cardinal Raztinger a doctorate honoris causa in jurisprudence". [Will post a full translation later]

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Now, I must make up for the backlog of reactions to the recent catastrophe that was the annual fall meeting of the USCCB...

The Pope fiddles,
the bishops fumble, and the laity fume

No, it’s not clear that the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously. And the USCCB isn’t helping matters.

by Carl E. Olson

November 14, 2018

I haven’t written an editorial since late July, in part because of the heavy and unceasing flood of news — most of it bad and some of it terrible — within the Church. In my last editorial, posted on July 23rd, not long after news broke about McCarrick and related matters, I wrote:

It is true, without doubt, that many of the bishops and cardinals are good men who are trying to do the right thing. But the rot in the Church cannot be covered by good intentions, the corruption in the Body of Christ cannot be treated like a PR problem, and the righteous anger of the laity cannot be placated by soothing sound bites.

Put simply, the current course — which has all too often been a wearying combination of tweaks, spins, deflections, and obfuscations — has deeply damaged trust in the leadership of the Church. Not in the Church — One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic — but in her current leadership as a whole, which often seems to think the laity are either stupid or not able to handle the truth.

Now, as the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore wraps up, where are we? While I tend to list to the cynical side, I harbored cautious hopes that the bishops would make a push to at least present a unified and somewhat determined face in addressing the nightmarish McCarrick situation and the tangled web of secrecy, stonewalling, and straight-up evil involved.

And it appears the bishops also wanted to push forward in some way, having put forward two proposals for vote: one would establish (or at least outline) a new code of conduct for bishops, and the second would create a lay-led investigative body with the ability to investigate bishops credibly accused of misconduct.

Pope Francis, however, had other plans in mind. Or, at least, he didn’t care for the plan on the table (even though he praised the French bishops a week ago for establishing an independent commission to investigate their hierarchy’s response to abuse).

And so, on Monday morning, at the very start of the assembly, a rather distraught Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the USCCB, informed the bishops that he had been told late Sunday to set the proposals aside. Most everyone was surprised, except for Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, known both for his rapid rise in the episcopal ranks (with the direct blessing of Francis) and the low amount of esteem he holds among his fellow bishops, who immediately took the microphone. With a flat but clearly planned delivery, he stated, without the least suggestion of irony: “It is clear the the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously.”


What is clear is that Pope Francis has surrounded himself with men, including Cupich, who are either seriously compromised or who openly lust after ecclesial power.
- It’s not just that they show little regard for doctrine or truth, but how they act as entitled sycophants whose disregard for their fellow bishops is matched only by their disdain for the orthodox faithful.
- It’s also evident that Francis does not want any sort of investigation into McCarrick or related matters to be outside of his control.

One need not be well-versed in canon law (I’m not) or sympathetic to the various claims made by Archbishop Viganó (I am) to connect the huge and proliferating dots.

Cupich, while emphasizing (again, without any sense of irony) the “urgency” of the matter at hand, suggested a non-binding resolution ballot and then a March 2019 meeting to follow a special February meeting with Pope Francis, which raised many other questions, including, “How many meetings does it take”?

It later came out that the directive to DiNardo had not come directly from Pope Francis but from the Congregation for Bishops, which includes two American prelates: the increasingly omniscient Cardinal Cupich and the retired-but-going-nowhere Cardinal Donald Wuerl. (There were some, via social media, who wondered if Pope Francis knew about the directive, which does not speak well of social media. He knew. He called it. Period.)

There was much debate and conversation yesterday but it was already evident that little or nothing would come of it, even if some of the bishops made good points and issued exhortations worthy of consideration. The assembly was essentially dead in the water, or dead even before it got to the water. Things certainly couldn’t get worse, right?

Not so fast. Earlier today [last day of the 3-day assembly], the bishops spent some time debating a resolution that would, as CNA reported, ‘encourage’ the Holy See to release all documents on the allegations of sexual misconduct against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. After about a half hour of debate, objections that the resolution was redundant and ambiguous won out, and it was voted down by a clicker vote of 83-137, with three abstaining.”

Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, who had originally proposed the text, acknowledged, “This is not going to solve everything…” At least, it appears, it might have sent a modest signal to the Vatican that the U.S. bishops weren’t entirely pleased with being hung out to dry. But even that was too much, perhaps in part because the waters have been so poisoned with the notion that questioning or critiquing any statements or actions of Francis indicate an “anti-papal” sentiment.

Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon, made a cogent point in asking, “If McCarrick were to come to this microphone would he be allowed to speak?”, while he noted, as reported by CNA, “that there was no open microphone for his victims.”

In a CWR interview last week, Bishop Cary spoke of “apostolic betrayal” in referencing McCarrick, stating: “The diabolical aspect of his betrayal is crucial. It goes beyond human frailty, it is a deep-seated evil, and a betrayal of the Son of God.” (Are you surprised that Cary is in eastern Oregon and not northeastern Illinois?)

Meanwhile, in an earlier session, Cardinal Cupich opined that in examining “those offenses against minors as opposed to adults, I would strongly urge that they be be separate. It’s a different discipline because, uh, in some of the cases with adults involving clerics, it could be consensual sex … There’s a whole different set of circumstances.”

Again, nary a hint of irony could be detected in his delivery, even though his parsing of the particulars of canon law (as opposed to criminal law) when it comes to sinful, shameful acts bears a strong resemblance to the “teachers of the law” so often denounced by Pope Francis.

However, most striking, in reading accounts and watching video of the proceedings, was the contrast between parliamentary bickering and the huge stakes involved. Unlike some, I still do believe that many of the bishops are very good and holy men. There is a real sense in which they are held hostage by the nature of the Conference, which has shown itself to be mostly worthless if not worse. There is undoubtedly a lot of pressure being applied by the Vatican to conform and toe the line.

But that’s not good enough. Not now. As I wrote back in July:

-The Catholic faithful do not want “easy”; they want the hard truth.
- They do not want therapists and counsellors; they want faithful men of God.
- They do not pine for happy talk, but for the joy found in the word of God, preached by servants of Christ in and out of season.
- they do not easily trust those who do not vigorously proclaim and live the truth.

And, again, it’s not clear that the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously. [If any right-minded person who follows Church news still thinks otherwise, he can only be an unregenerate Bergogliac.] But that’s a topic for another day.

My PC was attacked by the virus in the middle of posting the following analysis by Chris Altieri, who was among the first to react to the opening-day bombshell from the Vatican that reduced the US bishops' annual meeting to a shambles and a travesty...

Why has Pope Francis hamstrung the U.S. bishops?
Francis appears more concerned with making sure everyone understands
that he’s in charge, than he is with actually governing.

by Christopher R. Altieri

November 12, 2018

Pope Francis has ordered the Catholic Bishops of the United States to refrain from voting on a code of conduct and a lay-led oversight body to investigate bishops accused of misconduct. The President of the USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, told prelates of the Pope’s instruction as they were gathered for the opening session of their highly anticipated Fall Meeting in Baltimore.

The reason given for the delay is that the Holy See desires the US bishops’ action be informed by the discussions scheduled to take place among the heads of the world’s bishops’ conferences in February at the Vatican.

Upon hearing the announcement, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago immediately took the floor to suggest the bishops stick to their agenda, and take a resolution ballot in lieu of a binding vote. “As you [Cardinal DiNardo] are our representative going to that meeting, we need to be very clear with you where we stand,” Cupich said, “and we need to tell our people where we stand.”

Cardinal Cupich also said, “It is clear that the Holy See is taking seriously the abuse crisis in the Church, seeing it as a watershed moment, not just for the Church in this country, but around the world, in putting so much emphasis on the February meeting.” [So seriously the pope would put off any action until then - almost five months from the time he made his announcement! Meanwhile, everyone is supposed to hold their horses and sit on their asses, twiddling their thumbs till the pope himself tells them what to do about a crisis affecting the entire US Church - and other churches in a similar position, though perhaps not quite as grave??? Whatever happened to 'synodality' - obviously just another meaningless Bergoglian catchword - and to subsidiarity, the longtime principle whereby the Church intends problems to be solved at the lowest local level first and foremost?]

The Vatican announced the February meeting in September, at the end of a three-day gathering of the paralyzed and scandal-ridden C9 Council of Cardinal Advisers — the Pope’s hand-picked “kitchen cabinet” tasked with drawing up the blueprint for reform of the Roman Curia — in the wake of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s dossier alleging systemic corruption and rot in the Curia, including a cover-up of the disgraced former Archbishop of Washington, DC, Theodore Edgar “Uncle Ted” McCarrick, that stretches back at least twenty years and involves three popes and three secretaries of state, as well as a host of other more-or-less senior Curial officials.

The Holy See has not published a list of those officially invited to the meeting — though it is supposed to involve all the heads of the world’s bishops’ conferences — nor has the Holy See said which dicastery is principally responsible for organizing the meeting. There is no agenda, nor is there any specific mandate.

When the C9 Cardinals announced February meeting, this Vatican watcher had the distinct impression they had to twist the Holy Father’s arm to get him to agree to do anything at all with regard to the burgeoning crisis.

The Holy See apparently did not have similar scruples when it came to action on the part of French bishops, who last week voted to establish an independent commission to investigate their hierarchy’s response to abuse since 1950, and make reform recommendations. In a message to the French bishops sent through his Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis called on the French hierarchical leadership to continue their efforts at reform, reported last week:

The Pope encourages the [French] Bishops to persevere in the fight against pedophilia, urging them to continue in their implementation of a “zero tolerance” stance against sexual abuse committed by certain members of the Church, without ever forgetting, he says, “to recognize and support the humble fidelity lived in daily life, with the grace of God, by so many priests, men and women religious, consecrated and lay faithful.”... (He also) stresses the importance of listening to the victims whose wounds, he adds, will never be healed by a prescription.

[In other words, the Bergoglio diktat for the US Church was yet another capricious exercise of his dictatorial power, since he praises similar initiatives by the French bishops. He is so consistent in his inconsistencies!]

It remains to be seen whether the Holy See will intrude on the Italian bishops, who are slated to consider similar proposals at their own extraordinary assembly, which also opened Monday in the Vatican.

Addressing the US bishops on Monday morning in Baltimore, shortly after they had received news of the Vatican order, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, said,

There may be a temptation on the part of some to relinquish responsibility for reform to others than ourselves, as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves, as if the deposit of trust should be transferred to other institutions entirely...

Assistance is both welcome and necessary, and surely collaboration with the laity is essential. However, the responsibility as bishops of this Catholic Church is ours — to live with, to suffer with, and to exercise properly.

[What a bootlicking flunky this Nuncio is! One wonders, if Vigano were still Nuncio, would he have agreed to say such things, or would he have resigned on the spot rather than being part of the bombshell?]

The laity, in other words, are welcome to pray, and will foot the bill for the bishops’ incompetence, negligence, and wickedness, but have no say otherwise.

Whether the US Department of Justice will see it quite that way, or any of the more than a dozen states currently conducting or considering whether to open their own criminal probes into the conduct of senior US Church leadership, remains to be seen.

After the nuncio’s remarks, Cardinal DiNardo announced his intention to lead the US bishops in discussion of their proposals. “We remain committed to the specific program of greater episcopal accountability,” he said near the top of his presidential address. “Consultations will take place,” he continued. “Votes will not be [cast] this week, but we will prepare ourselves to move forward for action.” Cardinal DiNardo went on to say, “Whether we will be regarded as guardians of the abused or the abuser, will be determined by our actions.”

When the Executive Committee leadership of the USCCB met with Pope Francis in September, and asked him to authorize a special investigation — an Apostolic Visitation — into the rise of McCarrick, Pope Francis refused. Though the Holy See never gave a reason for the refusal — never actually said the Pope had refused — the general picture that emerged in the wake of the meeting was one in which the blunderbuss procedure of USCCB leadership in announcing their intention in mid-August to request the Apostolic Visitation before talking things over with the Holy See, coupled with Archbishop Viganò’s highly publicized J’accuse! toward the end of that month, led to Pope Francis feeling unduly pressured, not to say painted into a corner.

McCarrick is credibly accused of abusing at least one minor in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and alleged to have subjected the boy who was the first child he baptized as a priest to a decade and more of sexual violence. McCarrick, now known also for his serial abuse and harassment of seminarians, nevertheless advanced to the rank of Cardinal before Francis was forced by circumstance to have his hat.

Francis also suggested the bishops forego their Fall gathering entirely, in favor of a spiritual retreat. [He never wanted them to be in any position to do something about McCarrick as a body. As it turns out, the fact that twice as many bishops voted against a simple resolution simply 'encouraging' the Holy See to release its documentation on McCarrick was an action to aid and abet Bergoglio's obstructionism on exposing the whole truth about McCarrick - an obstructionism that can only mean fear of incriminating himself by confirming Mons Vigano's allegations about who knew in the Vatican and when, and what they knew, about McCarrick.]

Just to be clear: expectations from the US bishops’ Fall meeting were generally low already. The proposals on the table amounted to things the bishops admit they should have been doing all along — indeed, things that no morally competent individual or group could fail to do as a matter of course. The measures were a code of conduct that CNA’s editor-in-chief, JD Flynn, described as “a seven-page document in which bishops promise to do things they’re mostly obliged already to do,” and a reporting mechanism that had no real teeth and no real funding mechanism.

It also would have involved the apostolic nuncio as de facto referee. The reporting mechanism would have to report to the nuncio. If the Pope’s defenders will urge that it does not appear entirely unreasonable to demand the US bishops not foist the arrangement upon the Holy See, it is at least equally reasonable to urge in response that the nuncio is already responsible for knowing what the bishops are doing in the country to which he is appointed.

If the Holy See wants to contend that the responsibility for making sure the bishops the Pope appoints do not rape, assault, abuse, harass, or otherwise mistreat any member of their flock, or condone, allow, wink at, or otherwise tolerate any mistreatment or malfeasance of any kind, should somehow be placed under terms or subject to negotiation, let the Holy See say so in words.

In any case, the nuts and bolts of the arrangement — which the US bishops’ administrative committee approved on September 19 — are the sort of thing the USCCB leadership and the competent curial officials could have worked out together, either in the run-up to the Baltimore gathering, or during the three days of sessions, themselves, or even subsequent to the vote

The measures would at any rate have been likely to offer precious little in the way of direct address of the core problem: not so much the bishops’ failure to police their own ranks with respect to the abuse of minors and the cover-up of said abuse — appalling and egregious as that failure is — as the bishops’ dereliction of their duty to foster a sane moral culture among the clergy, high and low.

Here’s the point on which the whole thing hangs: Neither Cardinal DiNardo, who in his presidential allocution said of himself and his fellows, “In our weakness, we fell asleep,” nor Pope Francis, who has called the February meeting around the theme of “safeguarding minors” or “minors and vulnerable adults,” comes close to acknowledging either the nature or the scope of the crisis.

The bishops were not merely negligent: many of them were complicit. As a body, they are widely viewed as untrustworthy. Francis appears more concerned with making sure everyone understands that he’s in charge, than he is with actually governing.

We’re winning -
Don't let them silence us

by Steve Skojec

November 15, 2018

This week, we saw two astonishing failures in ecclesiastical leadership as regards the clerical sex abuse crisis.
- First was the Vatican’s direct intervention in the U.S. Bishops’ fall meeting, stopping them from holding a vote on accountability measures. We heard about “shock” and “surprise” and “anger” from the bishops after the interference from Rome.
- But then, when the time came for the bishops to vote on a measure to ask Rome to release all pertinent files on the McCarrick case, the measure failed by nearly a two-to-one vote. 83 in favor. 137 against. 3 abstentions.

This was not a controversial resolution. Its wording was careful to the point of being anodyne:

“Be it resolved that the bishops of the USCCB encourage the Holy Father to release all the documentation that can be released consistent with canon and civil law regarding the misconduct of Archbishop McCarrick.”

Still, the bishops bickered over the thing until they managed to strangle it to death.

Earlier today, someone asked me what I thought about the latest Pew Research data showing a drop in Pope Francis’s approval ratings here in the states. Not having seen anything from Pew, I took a stab in the dark. “I don’t think anyone knows why for sure, but if I had to guess I’d say it’s his handling of abuse crisis. It’s the one thing that derails even his most progressive allies.”

I said that there had been an aggregated effect. Barros. McCarrick. The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. Vigano. What just happened in Baltimore at the bishops meeting – and the intervention from Rome to keep anything of substance from moving forward.

All of these stories were percolating up out of the alternative Catholic media and into the public consciousness. They were beginning to register on the mainstream media’s radar. As canonist and Catholic journalist Ed Condon wrote earlier this week, “At a stroke, Pope Francis has made himself the face of the sexual abuse crisis in the United States and taken personal ownership of the church’s response, or nonresponse, to it.” [Remarkable for Condon who usually bends over backwards to give Bergoglio the benefit of the doubt!] And America sees him that way too.

When I had a chance, I did some research. As it turns out, the latest Pew data was published over a month ago. And the headline was clear: “Confidence in Pope Francis Down Sharply in U.S.: By a two-to-one margin, American Catholics now give Francis negative marks for his handling of the sex abuse scandal.”

After years, the collective efforts of publications like 1P5, compounded by the almost unimaginable mishandling of this newly reinvigorated abuse crisis, has finally shifted the balance.

And yet, for some reason, the people running the Catholic Church are still doing the same things. Still obfuscating. Still acting like they have total impunity. They apparently think they’re going to keep getting away with it.

For the first time, though, we’re seeing evidence that they are afraid. They’re worried about how alternative Catholic media is turning the tables on their agenda.

Which is why they are trying to find a way to silence us.

During the Youth Synod last month in Rome, a discussion was had about how the Vatican might sanction Catholic outlets it trusts. This attempt — which I’ve taken to referring to as “The Index of Forbidden Blogs” — made an appearance in paragraph 146 of the final synod document. A translation of which was provided by Twitter powerhouse @Catholicsat a couple of weeks ago:

146. The Synod hopes that in the Church appropriate official bodies for digital culture and evangelization are established at appropriate levels, which, with the indispensable contribution of young people, promote ecclesial action and reflection in this environment. Among their functions, in addition to promoting the exchange and dissemination of good practices at a personal and community level, and to develop adequate tools for digital education and evangelization, could also manage certification systems of Catholic sites, to counter the spread of fake news regarding the Church, and looking for ways to persuade public authorities to promote increasingly stringent policies and tools for the protection of minors on the web.

[I went back to check the Vatican's vote tally and this Prop 146 actually got 234 YES votes and only SIX AGAINST! The most charitable interpretation I can make of this is that the 6 NO votes came from the only participants who actually read through the proposition and understood it. I must find out who they were - because if it turns out that none of the were named either Sarah or Chaput or Barron, then it means that bishops we might have expected to see the absurdity of the proposed 'certification' of Catholic sites were among those who, by the time the voting got to Prop 146 out of a total 167, were already braindead from sheer exhaustion and tedium that they probably voted YES like programmed automatons. And what does that say of them?]

This week, Church Militant got their hands on a proposed list of approved sites from one of the pope’s most notorious sycophants, Fr. Thomas Rosica, Vatican spokesman and head of Canada’s Salt and Light TV. Rosica, who alternates between threatening to sue bloggers he doesn’t like and committing blasphemous pope worship, put some names on paper that will have you rolling out of your seat:

Every single source on that list is in the tank for the Francis camp.

You’ll notice nothing about 1P5, LifesiteNews, Church Militant, or even Catholic News Agency, the National Catholic Register, or EWTN.

They want desperately to shut anyone up who is telling the truth about what they’re doing.

With your help, that isn’t going to work.

At the beginning of 2018, I told you I sensed the beginning of the end for Francis and friends. As we approach the final month of 2018, it seems that prediction was more prescient than I could have believed. One thunderous blow after another has rocked that kakistocracy that has seized possession of Holy Mother Church. Their corrupt bastions are tottering; we must continue to press until they fall.

This is why, now, more than ever, we need your support. We have reached a moment where the advantage is shifting to our side. We must seize the high ground and press the attack if we want our Church back.

Half way through the month of November, we are at only 40% of our monthly fundraising goal. We need your help... [Skojec proceeds with his fundraising appeal.]

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 17/11/2018 03.16]
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Utente Gold

I am posting Sandro Magister's reaction separately because he ties it in to the no-less-important China issue, which has tended to be relegated in the public mind with the media's consuming interest in the sex-abuse scandals...

'Synodality' up in smoke:
Exercises of pontifical autocracy in the United States and China

November 15, 2018

Anything but a synodal Church. After extolling “synodality” as the pre-eminent fruit of last October’s synod of bishops, and after promising since 2013 more autonomy and powers for the episcopal conferences, including some “authentic doctrinal authority,” Pope Francis has dismembered the agenda of the plenary assembly of one of the biggest episcopates in the world, that of the United States, which has been meeting in Baltimore since Monday, November 12.

And at the same time he has abandoned to themselves, in China, those bishops who are not part of the secret accord signed at the end of September between the Holy See and the authorities of Beijing, meaning the thirty or so bishops called “underground” or clandestine who resist undaunted the regime’s despotism over the Church.

At the Vatican ,they deny that this is the pope’s intention. But that the clandestine Chinese bishops feel he has abandoned them is a real fact, which Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun took pains to express in an impassioned letter-appeal which he personally put into Francis’s hands one morning at the beginning of November.

In effect, with the bishops of the United States Francis has acted like an absolute monarch. On Saturday, November 10 he received in audience in Rome Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the congregation for bishops, and the nuncio to the United States, Christophe Pierre, and tasked the former with communicating to the president of the American bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, a ban on voting on two crucial points of the assembly’s agenda, both of them concerning the scandal of sexual abuse: new “standards of accountability” for the bishops and the creation of a lay body to investigate bishops under accusation.

In his dejected announcement of the twofold ban, Cardinal DiNardo explained that Francis demands that the American bishops not go beyond what canon law already prescribes in the matter, and above all that they not preempt what will be decided in Rome by all the presidents of the episcopal conferences of the world, convened by the pope for February 21-24. [As if there could be a one-size-fits-all solution to a crisis that has struck the Church in the USA most widely and disastrously!]

Francis’s “diktat” prompted strongly negative reactions in the United States, even in those who tried to find reasons for it.

In the case of the Chinese bishops, conversely, what hits home is the staggering silence that accompanies their via crucis, on the part of the highest authorities of the Church. A silence that is not only public, which could be justified by demands of a prudential character, but also devoid of any act of fellowship and support carried out by private means. Moreover, enveloped in the no less deafening silence of much of the Catholic media, especially those who are closest to Pope Francis.

This is what has been decried by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, director of the agency AsiaNews, in the editorial reproduced below, which takes its cue from yet another arrest made in recent days, of one of the bishops who has been the most heroic in refusing to submit to the Chinese communist regime. [One fears Fr Cervellera may not be able to hold his position for long!]

Shame over Msgr. Shao Zhumin,
the bishop kidnapped by police

by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera

We had expected it. The news of the umpteenth arrest – the fifth in two years – of Msgr. Shao Zhuyin, bishop of Wenzhou, has passed in silence.

With the exception of some Spanish and English media, and some rare Italian websites besides AsiaNews, it seems that dragging a bishop, well-known in China as a courageous and honorable man, to submit him to dozens of days of indoctrination as in the times of the Cultural Revolution, is not news worthy of note, or rather is a nuisance, which is worth silencing.

I wonder what would happen if a good Italian bishop, for example the kindly Msgr. Matteo Zuppi from Bologna, were kidnapped by a group of Islamic fundamentalists to indoctrinate him and make him Muslim, of course: without a hair on his head being touched, as is the case for Msgr. Shao. I imagine that it would make global headlines.

In the case of the bishop of Wenzhou ,it is not a question of Islamic fundamentalists, but of "independence" fundamentalists: they want to brainwash the bishop that membership of the Patriotic Association, which wants to build a Church that is "independent" from the Holy See, is good for him, for the Church and for the world.

From the point of view of dogma, what Benedict XVI said in the Letter to Chinese Catholics is still true: the status of the PA is "incompatible with Catholic doctrine". And several times in the past, Pope Francis has stated that Benedict XVI’s Letter "is still valid".

Thus membership of the PA limits the life of a bishop by
- Surveillance 24 hours a day;
- Checks and requests for permits for pastoral visits and for meeting guests;
- Requisition for weeks and months to participate in indoctrination conventions on the goodness of Beijing's religious policy.

I believe that the media silence - especially the Catholic media - is above all born from shame. A few months ago, on September 22nd, their acclaim of the agreement between China and the Holy See had been such it gave the impression that from now on everything would be downhill. Instead, the fact that the problem of persecution persists in the Church in China is such a heavy knockback that - and it is understandable - it is difficult to confess.

If we then add the closed and sealed churches, the destroyed crosses, the domes razed to the ground, the demolished sanctuaries, the police enforced ban on minors under 18 years attending church or catechism, we then realize that the agreement on the appointment of bishops - as we have said in the past - is good because it avoids the rise of schismatic bishops, [Excuse me, how can it be good in any way? Avoid the rise of schismatic bishops? Who are schismatic but those ago belong to the 'official' church?] but leaves intact a situation in which the PA and the United Front believe themselves to be the true leaders of the Catholic Church in China (and not the Pope). [That by itself marks the agreement as unspeakably evil - diabolical even, because it is presented by the Vatican as something 'good'.]

This is confirmed by the lessons that the two bodies are carrying out in many regions of China, in which priests and bishops reiterate that "despite the Sino-Vatican agreement", the Church must continue to be “independent” (from the Pope and the Holy See).

Unfortunately, the unpublished and secret "provisional" agreement gives China free reign to interpretation. The United Front and the PA force priests and bishops to join the "independent" Church, saying that "the Pope agrees with us", so much so that several underground Catholics bitterly suspect that the Vatican has abandoned them in the blizzard.

Some of the so-called "experts" on China, minimalize the facts of persecution, saying that it only happens in "a few places". In reality there are persecutions in many regions: Hebei, Henan, Zhejiang, Shanxi, Guizhou, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Hubei... And certainly there will be other places where the news has failed to come to light.

Another "reduction" is to say that these things happen in the peripheries, but in the center, in Beijing, we really want the agreement to work. The fact remains that since last October, after the Communist Party Congress, the United Front and the PA are under the direct control of the Party: it is virtually impossible that the center (Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Party) does not know what is happening in the peripheries, with such striking cases that even shake the international community.

In addition to shame, I believe that there are two other reasons for the silence.

The first is a "papolatry complex": Since Pope Francis is a supporter of the agreement with China and a courageous advocate of dialogue with Chinese culture, it seems that highlighting the persecutions would be an offense to the Pontiff. Yet Pope Francis has always emphasized that he loves sincerity and not adulation, he has always said that dialogue is between two identities, not silencing your own identity and if your identity is made of martyrs, this cannot be hidden. [OK, Father C, you need a safety net somehow, but surely, you must be among the very first to realize that Bergoglio pften does not practice what he preaches!]

The second reason could mainly concern the so-called "secular" media, for a "marketolatry" complex, the divinization of the Chinese market. It is silent on persecution and arrests because they are deemed "insignificant" compared to trade between China and the US and the future of the superpower of the Middle Empire.

The media and bookstores are full of articles and books that hail Beijing, or demean it, depending on whether you are destined for China or the United States. In this case, the religious freedom of a country is not understood as a sign of its "goodness".

Last November 5, meeting the World Congress of Mountain Jews, Pope Francis said that "religious freedom is a supreme good to protect, a fundamental human right, a bulwark against the totalitarian demands". Therefore, those who really want freedom of trade in China should primarily defend religious freedom.

Large Chinese entrepreneurs who, even if they want to trade and invest abroad, must obey the central government restrictions, know something of this. Bishop Shao Zhumin is therefore not "insignificant", but the sign of how China is evolving.

One last point is worth mentioning: Msgr. Shao Zhumin is the bishop of a now unified Church, where there is no longer the division between official and underground Catholics,
exactly what Pope Francis hoped for in his Message to Chinese Catholics and the World, published a few days after the agreement.

[But Unification does not happen by papal fiat! Especially not when the host government says that the Catholic Church in China shall be under government control. Bergoglio can say 'The Chinese Church is now unified' till he is blue in the face - that does not make it true or real, and he knows it. I bet what is kept secret from the world about the agreement makes it even more explicit how the Bergoglio Vatican has, in effect, sold out to Beijing withut even a mess of pottage to show for it.

Still, the PA, in addition to kidnapping the bishop, has in these days banned "official" priests from going to pay homage to the tombs of "underground" priests and bishops. And this is the sign that the division in the Chinese Church is not intended primarily by Catholics, but by the Party. [Did anyone ever doubt that? Unfortunately, the Catholics coerced into joining the official church simply followed the easier way. Each of them - bishops, priests and laity alike - have to account to God for their decision.]

This policy - which has lasted for 60 years - does not seem in favor of the evangelization of China, [It obviously is not - it is counter-evangelical for Catholicism, but it may well increase the ranks of growing Protestant Christianity in China] but - as mentioned so many times in the past by the same PA - is a step towards the suppression of all Christians.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 17/11/2018 00.15]
17/11/2018 05.04
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Utente Gold

A terse but excellent summation of the USCCB fall fiasco by Michael Voris who does it by way of the bishops who stood out, one of them in an egregiously Bergoglio footservant manner...

And one really bad one.

by Michael Voris
November 16, 2018

Transcript of the video:
I'm Michael Voris wrapping up our coverage of the bishops' sex abuse meeting here in Baltimore, or rather what was supposed to be a meeting about clerical sex abuse — which is mostly homosexual clergy sex abuse.

But it didn't exactly turn out that way once the gay mob in Rome abruptly ordered the U.S. bishops to cancel their planned vote on trying to get to the bottom of things. After that happened, not much else did.

There were speeches and grandstanding and controlling of events by Rome's waterboy, Cdl. Cupich, and as an aside, what a frightening thought that he may very well be voting on the next pope — him and quite a few others.

But some things did happen that were a cause for hope. A number of the less big-name bishops did speak out and assert Catholicism, which must have been shocking to some of their fellow prelates. Bishops Strickland of Tyler, Texas; Daly of Spokane, Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois; Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis; and McKnight of Jefferson City were the few who publicly insisted on fidelity to the Church's teaching.

And thank God for them. Privately, a number of other bishops were also applauding them but, because they haven't quite gotten up the nerve yet, remained in the background. They need to change that — and fast.

But no doubt about it, the entire meeting was dominated by what Abp. Viganò correctly labeled the homosexual current so dominant in the hierarchy. Cupich has clearly emerged as the conductor of this gay orchestra, and the bishops here know it.

At one point, a vote was taken to recommend the Vatican make public the entire file of McCarrick. Cupich seized control and made known — for a bunch of politically motivated reasons dressed up to appear reasonable — that the bishops should vote down any such measure. They dutifully compiled by a vote of roughly 130-80 — no transparency needed.

When Cdl. O'Malley suggested what many consider to be a change in the definition of "vulnerable adults" when categorizing sex abuse victims, it was again Cupich who seized control and said things would be complicated involving priests having sex with adults if the adults were consenting.

Every time the man speaks, he sounds more like a corporate chieftain than a successor of the Apostles. The mystery is: Has he been given complete freedom by Rome to control the conference the way he sees fit, or is he consulting every step of the way and checking in with Rome frequently?

At this rate, it is far less than the conference of U.S. bishops, it would be more accurate to describe it as the Cupich Conference and some other bishops just hanging out. Current president Daniel DiNardo has effectively been removed from any serious power or authority. That was evident by the smackdown he received from Francis in August when the Pope told him to take a hike when he asked for an investigation into the McCarrick affair.

Cupich is beyond doubt in control of the U.S. hierarchy, just as his successor Joseph Bernardin — also from Chicago — was in control. And he is in control because Rome — the homosexualist current in Rome — has anointed him to be so.

Cupich has been the one parading around the world announcing a revolution in the Church, a paradigm shift in the Church — all his words. For a papacy claiming to be so down with the idea of local control, it appears that's the desire — until it's not.

Cupich is Rome's man in America and the instrument by which Rome will control everything it can in the United States in the continuing effort to advance modernism.

James Martin will still romp around the nation declaring sodomy is a gift from God and all who oppose it are mean.

Thomas Rosica will go on saying which sites are the only approved sites in Catholic social media and all others are to be not trusted.

And Cupich will continue to assert his will, which is the will of the homosexual current, whenever he feels the need to flex his muscle.

In closing, we bumped into Cupich in the hotel lobby and asked him why he says active homosexual couples should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.

Here's a very brief clip of the end of our very brief visit. I asked the question, and he scurried up the escalator.

Yep, got to get to that meeting — very important meeting, got to get to the meeting.

We asked another bishop if he believed what Cupich says about active homosexuals being able to receive Holy Communion, and he said no, he doesn't agree with that.

When we pressed him and said, "Well then, why don't you say something to Cupich and challenge him?" he answered back, "Well, he didn't ask me."

There are a few good men here. Their ranks need to swell and swell soon if there is any hope for the Church in America. U.S. Catholics have had enough wimps wearing miters.
17/11/2018 05.04
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Utente Gold

A terse but excellent summation of the USCCB fall fiasco by Michael Voris who does it by way of the bishops who stood out, one of them in an egregiously Bergoglio footservant manner...

And one really bad one.

by Michael Voris
November 16, 2018

Transcript of the video:
I'm Michael Voris wrapping up our coverage of the bishops' sex abuse meeting here in Baltimore, or rather what was supposed to be a meeting about clerical sex abuse — which is mostly homosexual clergy sex abuse.

But it didn't exactly turn out that way once the gay mob in Rome abruptly ordered the U.S. bishops to cancel their planned vote on trying to get to the bottom of things. After that happened, not much else did.

There were speeches and grandstanding and controlling of events by Rome's waterboy, Cdl. Cupich, and as an aside, what a frightening thought that he may very well be voting on the next pope — him and quite a few others.

But some things did happen that were a cause for hope. A number of the less big-name bishops did speak out and assert Catholicism, which must have been shocking to some of their fellow prelates. Bishops Strickland of Tyler, Texas; Daly of Spokane, Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois; Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis; and McKnight of Jefferson City were the few who publicly insisted on fidelity to the Church's teaching.

And thank God for them. Privately, a number of other bishops were also applauding them but, because they haven't quite gotten up the nerve yet, remained in the background. They need to change that — and fast.

But no doubt about it, the entire meeting was dominated by what Abp. Viganò correctly labeled the homosexual current so dominant in the hierarchy. Cupich has clearly emerged as the conductor of this gay orchestra, and the bishops here know it.

At one point, a vote was taken to recommend the Vatican make public the entire file of McCarrick. Cupich seized control and made known — for a bunch of politically motivated reasons dressed up to appear reasonable — that the bishops should vote down any such measure. They dutifully compiled by a vote of roughly 130-80 — no transparency needed.

When Cdl. O'Malley suggested what many consider to be a change in the definition of "vulnerable adults" when categorizing sex abuse victims, it was again Cupich who seized control and said things would be complicated involving priests having sex with adults if the adults were consenting.

Every time the man speaks, he sounds more like a corporate chieftain than a successor of the Apostles. The mystery is: Has he been given complete freedom by Rome to control the conference the way he sees fit, or is he consulting every step of the way and checking in with Rome frequently?

At this rate, it is far less than the conference of U.S. bishops, it would be more accurate to describe it as the Cupich Conference and some other bishops just hanging out. Current president Daniel DiNardo has effectively been removed from any serious power or authority. That was evident by the smackdown he received from Francis in August when the Pope told him to take a hike when he asked for an investigation into the McCarrick affair.

Cupich is beyond doubt in control of the U.S. hierarchy, just as his successor Joseph Bernardin — also from Chicago — was in control. And he is in control because Rome — the homosexualist current in Rome — has anointed him to be so.

Cupich has been the one parading around the world announcing a revolution in the Church, a paradigm shift in the Church — all his words. For a papacy claiming to be so down with the idea of local control, it appears that's the desire — until it's not.

Cupich is Rome's man in America and the instrument by which Rome will control everything it can in the United States in the continuing effort to advance modernism.

James Martin will still romp around the nation declaring sodomy is a gift from God and all who oppose it are mean.

Thomas Rosica will go on saying which sites are the only approved sites in Catholic social media and all others are to be not trusted.

And Cupich will continue to assert his will, which is the will of the homosexual current, whenever he feels the need to flex his muscle.

In closing, we bumped into Cupich in the hotel lobby and asked him why he says active homosexual couples should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.

Here's a very brief clip of the end of our very brief visit. I asked the question, and he scurried up the escalator.

Yep, got to get to that meeting — very important meeting, got to get to the meeting.

We asked another bishop if he believed what Cupich says about active homosexuals being able to receive Holy Communion, and he said no, he doesn't agree with that.

When we pressed him and said, "Well then, why don't you say something to Cupich and challenge him?" he answered back, "Well, he didn't ask me."

There are a few good men here. Their ranks need to swell and swell soon if there is any hope for the Church in America. U.S. Catholics have had enough wimps wearing miters.

Mons Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington is far more direct...

...And the really baaaad guy behind it all???

Pope Francis now owns
the whole sex-abuse crisis

This is no time to be dismissive. This is a time to work together
for reform and a new springtime of faith in the Church and in the world

November 16, 2018

The annual Fall Meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which took place in Baltimore earlier this week, was a disappointment on many levels.

Yet there were also moments of light and strength coming from a good number of bishops.
- They spoke with clarity, acknowledging the seriousness of the crisis both in terms of the need to bring some semblance of justice to the victims and of the faltering credibility of the Church.
- Some even made the forbidden connection of the crisis to active homosexuals in the priesthood.
- Still others lamented the collective silence on sexual morality, wondering how many bishops and clergy do not believe what the Church teaches. (The interventions of these courageous bishops were reported in detail in the National Catholic Register here and here.)

Lamentably, the vote to encourage the Holy See to release all documents related to former Cardinal McCarrick’s alleged misconduct did not pass. The debate seemed to center on canonical issues and even wordsmithing. Nonetheless, the fact that more than 80 bishops were willing to issue even a mild-mannered insistence to Rome shows that many are finding a voice that is willing to confront when and where necessary. [Glass half-full optimism, Mons Pope? Isn't it even more significant that twice that number voted it down when all it said was to 'encourage' the pope to release all the documents relevant to the McCarrick case? Who in his right mind would find anything objectionable to that ? But toadies are obviously not in their right mind - in fact, they don't have a mind of their own!]

The greatest disappointment [what an understatement of its overall impact!!!!] was Pope Francis’s decision to suppress any vote or action on the abuse scandals by the U.S. bishops.
- Some bishops remarked that this decision indicates that Rome is serious about reform — a gratuitous [and patently preposterous] claim.
- To many if not most of the faithful from whom I regularly hear, this seems yet another sad example of intransigence from Rome and the Pope.
- There is an almost complete tone-deafness in Rome; there seems to be bewilderment as to why these American “conservatives” are so worked up.
- Even worse, it appears that there is intentional resistance, obfuscation, and outright refusal to grant the legitimate requests of God’s faithful for a full and prompt investigation.

These requests by the faithful are intended to ensure that tolerance of sin, violations of chastity, and clerical malfeasance will end. Victims deserve a prompt and thorough investigation and the faithful are right to insist that their clergy live up to the vows they take and observe the Sixth Commandment.

To most Catholics, the Pope’s actions and seeming resistance place the ownership of the scandal squarely in his court; he has increasingly become the face of the scandal.

This is due to the credible accusations
- that he knew of former Cardinal McCarrick’s predatory behavior,
- but even more so to the fact that he has steadfastly refused even to respond to the charges.
- He could deny them, but he does not.
- Even if he were to say, “I made a serious error in judgment and I ask the mercy and forgiveness of God’s people,” many people would do so, even if with sadness.
- Instead, the Pope has declared that he will “not say one word on this.”
- Even worse, he subsequently referred to those who have asked for answers and investigations as “a pack of wild dogs,” “scandal-mongers,” and “those in league with the Great Accuser.”

This is no way to treat God’s faithful; it makes him seem more of a besieged and angry potentate than a shepherd who “has the smell of the sheep.” There is a lot of talk about mercy and accompaniment, but the Pope’s actions, including the recent suppression of the USCCB’s planned vote and actions on the sexual abuse crisis, demonstrate that such terms will be very selectively applied. ['Will be'? They always have been in this pontificate of double standards - one for the yes-men, another for those who have a genuinely Catholic mind.]

Indeed, the response of the Pope to the situation in the U.S. seems eerily familiar to his treatment of the people of Chile:
- Pope Francis deeply offended abuse survivors by defending Chilean Bishop Juan Barros from what he called the “calumny” and “gossip” of victims of clerical sexual abuse, stubbornly backing his appointment as bishop despite widespread advice to remove it.
- He even called the Chileans who protested Barros’ appointment “dumb.”
- So detrimental was this stubbornness, dismissiveness,and unkindness to basic credibility that even some of Pope Francis’s closest associates, including Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, distanced themselves from him.
- Only when his hand was forced by strong protests and by actions of the Chilean government did Pope Francis alter his stance and finally remove Barros, later issuing an apology.

Americans, both clergy and lay, may well have to learn that it could take strong protest to move this pope to reconsider his seemingly dismissive stance regarding our concerns.
- While there were some early promises of an investigation and a canonical trial of Archbishop McCarrick, nothing seems to have materialized, and the Pope’s suppression of the planned votes and actions of the USCCB seems to indicate that he does not consider it a high priority.

It also does not help that many of Pope Francis’s closest advisors are themselves caught up in this worldwide scandal and have at best exhibited poor judgment.
- For example, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga (from Honduras) is seen as highly connected to homosexual and financial improprieties there; more than forty seminarians in his diocese published a letter asking him to root out the homosexual network in his seminary. - Cardinal Rodríguez is Pope Francis’s chief advisor, the head of his “Council of Nine,” which works closely with him in bringing about reform in Rome.
- Yet another associate of Francis’s in the “Council of Nine,” Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, has stepped down to face legal charges of covering up for abusive priests.

My point here is not to recount every detail but rather to point out that Pope Francis, who was himself tasked by the last conclave with rooting out abuse and corruption, has tended to surround himself with men who are at the very heart of the scandals rocking the Church throughout the world.
- His credibility as a reformer who will root out scandal and insist upon accountability is nearly nonexistent.
- The scandal in the United States has landed firmly on his desk as a result of his own behavior.
- He has said to American Catholics and to our bishops, in effect, “Let me and the Holy See handle this.”

I am not confident that we will see anything close to a full inquiry or a clear adjudication of this matter in Rome. Too many there are implicated and compromised to be able to carry out a clear and forceful investigation.

The testimonies of Archbishop Viganò have substantially withstood scrutiny: former Cardinal McCarrick’s misdeeds were known and ignored despite previous sanctions. However, there just seems to be little importance attached to any of this in Rome.

I cannot say strongly enough how uncomfortable it makes me to be detailing all this. Every faithful Catholic — and certainly every priest — has an instinct to support the Pope and our bishops, but this worldwide scandal has forced many of us to speak out.

Just like the people of Chile, we are going to have to speak even more forcefully and persistently, focusing much of our attention now on Rome and the Pope. It will feel awkward, and we must be careful in what we say and how we say it, in what we insist upon and how we go about it.

I pray that the bishops who spoke out so courageously at the USCCB meeting will continue to do so and will also direct clear and forceful appeals to Rome and to the Holy Father.
- Demands for a full and credible investigation and a canonical trial of former Cardinal McCarrick are not out of place or unreasonable. - Bishops are not acolytes of the Pope and their dioceses are not mere franchises of the Diocese of Rome.

I pray that they will raise their rightful voices as shepherds seeking to protect their flock.

May they have the courage to insist, not just request, actions that they deem necessary for the protection of God’s faithful and for a restoration of credibility. Restoration will take time, but God’s faithful deserve to see their bishops fighting for them and will respond well when they do.

My intent here is not to bait the bishops; each must prudently consider how best to respond to this crisis. It is clear, however, that they are going to have to show a strong resolve to move Roman officials and the Pope toward the kind of actions the faithful deserve.

As for God’s faithful, pray for your bishop.
- If he has spoken well and strongly, encourage and support him.
- If he has been silent, challenge him with love.
- Find your own voice, too.
- It may feel awkward to speak forcefully and with concern toward the Holy Father, but it seems that this will be necessary.

By his own actions, he has become the face of this crisis, indicating that he wants to be the one to handle it. Our focus, prayers, and insistence must now be directed toward him.

Practically speaking, I would advise you to write to the Papal Nuncio in Washington D.C., Archbishop Christophe Pierre. Keep your letter brief, but be clear in stating your concerns and in insisting on the actions that the Holy See must take to begin restoring credibility; ask the good archbishop to forward your concerns to the Holy Father.

Finally, there are some in Rome and even among our own bishops and priests in the U.S. who still see this crisis as a mere tempest in a teapot, largely stirred up by “right-wing” bloggers and Catholics who simply “don’t like” Pope Francis.
- I know of no one from any sector of the Church who is not heartbroken about this, while also angry and insistent upon reform. - - This is not a storm created in the “blogosphere.”

Every day I am approached by parishioners and contacted by people from all over: young adults in our Bible study and pre-Cana programs, older Catholics in our Sodality and Knights of Columbus, catechists, staff members, long-time Catholics, recent converts, attendees at Sunday Mass, daily communicants, and those frequenting Eucharistic Adoration.
- They are all concerned; they are on the receiving end of questions themselves from family and friends: “What’s wrong with your Church?” - They are dismayed; they are deeply concerned for the Church they still love.
- These are the people still in our pews, who did not leave during the cultural downslide and have supported the Church through thick and thin.
- These are the people who look to us. No clergyman should demonize them; they have been too good to us for us to write them off as some fringe element.
- They are good Catholics and are looking to us for clear teaching, for some return of the love and loyalty they have shown us through the most difficult decades of the cultural and sexual revolutions. - They have been exceedingly patient with us.

This is no time to be dismissive; this is a time to listen and work together with God’s good people for reform and a new springtime of faith in the Church and in the world. Somebody say, “Amen!”

In a similar vein, from Kenneth Wolfe at Rorate caeli, who, being a layman, can be more blunt even than Mons. Pope, who still needs to mind his ecclesiastical p's and q's.

Pope Francis is the problem
by Kenneth Wolfe

November 16, 2018

In the print edition of today's USA Today, is a sad commentary by Melinda Henneberger, a former Vatican correspondent for the New York Times, where she announces her apostasy.

Henneberger, who is known to be center-left (dissident on, for instance, Humanae Vitae, but sympathetic toward limited pro-life causes) via her many years of writings, blamed her apostasy decision on "these men" and "the men who run the church" while avoiding any blame toward the man who runs the Church.
- Who runs the Church?
- Who is the Supreme Pontiff?
- Who blocked the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this week from moving forward with a plan to get serious about the abuse crisis? Even Tom Reese, S.J. (deemed too liberal for America magazine), called the move this week a "disaster" that would result in "terrible public relations for the pope."

Pope Francis is the leader. Pope Francis makes the decisions. It is not enough to blame "the Vatican" or, as the media's current favorite dissident John Gehring did this week, toss Francis into a larger mix: "The Vatican, including Pope Francis, has also not done enough."

A building, or an independent city-state, or a faceless bureaucracy is not to blame.
- Pope Francis is to blame.
- It is he who makes the decisions.
- It is he who should face the consequences of a decision such as telling the U.S. bishops they must not consider child abuse reform.

It is time to stop covering for Pope Francis. He is the problem.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 18/11/2018 19.21]
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Utente Gold
Benedict XVI stabbed in the back
by faithless Italian bishops

by Steve Skojec

November 17, 2018

As has so often been the case in the past year or two, an important report has surfaced on the Italian traditionalist blog, Messa in Latino (Mass in Latin). In it, the authors reveal that at the recent Italian Bishops’ Conference meeting in Rome (Nov. 12-15), an attack was mounted on the 2007 Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum.

That papal instruction affirmed that it is “permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy.”

The attack was led by Archbishop RAdaelli of Gorizia, who argued that the Mass was, in fact, abrogated (in direct contradiction to Pope Benedict) and that it can thus not be considered to be universally permitted.

Earlier this week, 1P5 contributor Hilary White, who lives in Italy, offered more insight into what the liturgical landscape looks like in Italy, and how this move might be interpreted.
- She says that the Traditional Mass “is barely surviving” in Italy “due to the blind, insane hostility of the Italian bishops to the Catholic religion.”
- She also argues that Francis has effectively taken over the Italian Bishops’ Conference, imposing his own candidate in Perugia and parachuting “a bunch of his toadies into key positions around the country to start softening up the local Church to his ideological platform planks.”

Hilary continues, saying of Francis:

I’d bet money this is his idea made to look like theirs and he will acquiesce reluctantly to the overwhelmingly unified decision of the bishops – synodality, dontcha know. It will probably take a couple of years – one needs chronological distance in order to maintain plausible deniability – but it will probably show up as a “key principle” after one of the Synods. Something that one or two bishops will complain was “never talked about” in the discussions in the aula.

She expects that locally, there will be a push to kill off whatever TLMs have managed to survive the already hostile landscape. Over the past half decade, availability of traditional Masses has “plummeted,” Hilary writes, and that became clear to her when trying to find a place to live with access to the Mass after the town of Norcia, where she was an oblate at the Benedictine Monastery, was destroyed by earthquakes and she was forced to find a new home.
[QUIOTE]Twenty months ago, when I was looking for a place in Umbria my first priority was finding a place within a reasonable communing distance from a Mass. But I spent a month traveling up and down and back and forth visiting ALL the Mass centre locations listed by the traddie websites, and of the five regular Mass centres (not including SSPX) only three were barely hanging on – one of which was the monastery at Norcia. If they do manage to formally restrict the Mass again, it will be in the nature of a mop-up job.

Traditionalists are treated by the Italian clergy and hierarchy like people with a contagious mental disease.

The blow struck by the Italian Bishops against the Mass of the Ages does not appear to be decisive. To my knowledge, no concrete action has been taken to repeal Summorum Pontificum in Italy — which, if it were to happen, would begin a domino effect in hostile dioceses around the world. We may not see the next step yet, but make no mistake: this is a portentous event, and it isn’t the last we’ll hear of it.

As she so often does, Hilary cuts to the heart of the matter when she concludes:

One thing this does demonstrate, however, is that it is only the Traditionalists and the rabid revolutionaries in robes we still call bishops who fully understand the importance of the ancient liturgy. They need to kill it in order to kill the Faith it embodies.

In a followup post, she notes that Archbishop Redaelli recently refused “to back up one of his parish priests who objected to having an adult male scout leader of the parish who was in a same-sex “civil union”.” This refusal ultimately led to the priest’s resignation while the gay scout leader remained.

“I merely add all this,” she says, “as a helpful illustration of what I mean that hatred of the traditional liturgy always goes along with hatred of the Faith it embodies.

The full translation of the Messa in Latino post is below, courtesy of 1P5’s Giuseppe Pellegrino:

Italian Bishops’ Conference:
The Traditional Mass Should be Abrogated,
Benedict XVI Was Mistaken

The reports that had come to us have been confirmed: in Rome, at the Meeting of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), an attempt has been made to attack the motu proprio of Benedict XVI [Summorum Pontificum], and also Benedict himself, he who was so fond of that reform, so much so that he fearlessly faced opposition to it.

What happened?

Archbishop Radaelli, Bishop of Gorizia (whom we know received a degree in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University) has asserted that the [1962] Missal of John XXIII was abrogated by Paul VI (contrary to what Benedict XVI said in the motu proprio), and thus, because the juridical premises on which Summorum Pontificum is based are in error, is without efficacy in the part in which it affirms the continuing validity of the [1962] Missal and its unchanged vigor today. For this reason, the motu proprio is a “nonsense” law and the “Tridentine” liturgy was not legitimately re-established by the motu proprio and it cannot presently be considered to be universally permitted.

The consequence, hoped for by the most hostile bishops, is a total cancellation (without appeal) of all of the centers where the TLM is offered and flourishing since September 14, 2007.

To which we respond, based on the opinion of professional canon lawyers, not simply doctors of the law in other matters like His Excellency [Archbishop Radaelli], even if the premise of the motu proprio that the ancient was numquam abrogata is wrong (which it is not, as is evidenced, apart from other things, by the pre-existing faculty [prior to 2007] to celebrate the TLM under the Indult), the essential datum is that Summorum Pontificum expresses an irrefutable ratio legis: namely that the Extraordinary Form is henceforward freely to be used; always permitted for private Masses, and on the request of a stable group of the faithful for public Masses.Therefore the criticism of Archbishop Radaelli, even if it was well-founded (and it is not) would have no impact at all on the force of canon law in effect since 2007.

To this unconvincing intervention is added the even more hostile intervention of Girardi, Rector of the Institute of Pastoral Liturgy of Saint Justina of Padua (one of the epicenters of post-conciliar aberrations), filled with the worst ideology of aggiornamento.

Devoid of legal knowledge but full of liturgical arrogance (the famous joke that circulates in the Vatican is that the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist is that with the latter, usually, one can negotiate…), Girardi explained that Summorum Pontificum is pernicious from the point of view of pastoral care, because it is contrary to the conciliar indications of the Fathers who demanded (according to him) a radical change to the [1962] Missal.

This is by no means true, as evidenced by the reading of the conciliar Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which for example does not direct that the priest should be turned towards the people, and at n. 36 categorically prescribes: “The use of the Latin language, except for particular laws, is preserved in the Latin rites.”

A bishop from Puglia also spoke in support of this liturgist, Bishop Brambilla of Novara, who, although he spoke in a more elegant manner, also struck a harsh blow against the motu proprio.

Of course, after having been worried [at their meeting] about changing the long-standing translations of the Gloria and the Our Father, without anyone feeling it was necessary (and yet obviously the “for you and for all” has still not been modified, which is clearly in contrast with the original version, or rather with the very words of Our Lord, who said “for you and for many”), why would Their Excellencies waste any time analyzing the true causes of the grave crisis of faith which the Italian Church is living through (empty seminaries, abandonment of the cassock by many priests, the collapse of Catholic practice, terrible incidents of homosexual and pedophilic abuse, altars of severed heads, to cite just a few examples.)

Instead, the urgent matter of the moment was, apparently, lashing out at the ancient liturgy and calling for its banishment.

There is something sinisterly psychopathic in all this, and it is the envy of those who are bankrupt: in the collapse of their utopias, in the cold winter which the radiant ‘conciliar spring’ has turned into, it is too painful to face reality and honestly admit their mistakes.

Instead they try to destroy the little that still works, like the zeal and decorum of the celebrations of the ancient rite and the flourishing of vocations in traditional religious institutes. The case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the hatred of the immemorial liturgy are a clear example of this insane frenzy of crazy castaways, who try to turn over the few rafts that still float, rather than thinking of climbing into them or building new ones.

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