Settimo Cielodi Sandro Magister

“Catholic Church, Where Are You Going?” A Conference. That It Not Lose Its Way



It is confirmed. Next April 7, the Saturday of Easter Week, a very special conference will be held in Rome. The intention of which will be to show the Catholic Church the way to go, after the uncertain journey of the first five years of the pontificate of Pope Francis.

The reckoning of this five-year period, in fact, is rather critical, to judge from the title of the conference:

“Catholic Church, where are you going?”

And even more so if one looks at the subtitle: “Only a blind man can deny that in the Church there is great confusion.” This is taken from a statement of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra (1938-2017), not forgotten as an endorser, together with other cardinals, of those “dubia” submitted in 2016 to Pope Francis for the purpose of bringing clarity on the most controversial points of his magisterium, but which he has left without a response.

In a Church seen as being set adrift, the key question that the conference will confront will be precisely that of redefining the leadership roles of the “people of God,” the characteristics and limitations of the authority of the pope and the bishops, the forms of consultation of the faithful in matters of doctrine.

These are questions that were thoroughly explored, in his time, by a great cardinal who is often cited both by progressives and by conservatives in support of their respective theses, Blessed John Henry Newman.

And there will be other cardinals and bishops who will once again confront these questions, at the conference on April 7. Their names have not been released yet, but they are expected to include the signers of the “dubia,” and others who share their outlook.

In any case, there has already been confirmation of the contributions – with “ad hoc” video messages – of two very representative cardinals: the Chinese Joseph Zen Zekiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, and the Nigerian Francis Arinze, former archbishop of Onitsha and then prefect of the congregation for divine worship, the same one that is headed today by Cardinal Robert Sarah.

There will also be a posthumous projection of a video interview with Cardinal Caffarra, on the controversial encyclical of Paul VI “Humanae Vitae.”

But there will also be presentations by lay scholars. Professor Valerio Gigliotti, a professor of history and of medieval and modern law at the university of Turin, will bring into focus the exercise of the “plenitudo potestatis” of the pope in the history of the Church. While Professor Renzo Puccetti, a physician and professor of bioethics at the John Paul II PontificalTheological Institute, will analyze the evolution of the bioethics taught at that institute, from its first phase with Caffarra as president to its current phase, under the aegis of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

The final and culminating moment of the conference will be in any case the reading of a “declaratio,” a concise profession of faith on the points of doctrine and morality that are most controversial today.

Unlike the “dubia,” the declaration will not bear any specific signature, but the participants at the conference will propose it for the whole Church and for the world, as the voice of “baptized and confirmed members of the People of God.”

Of course, this “decleratio” will be the polar opposite of that “Kölner Erklärung” – the declaration signed in Cologne in 1989 by German theologians now in the good graces of Francis – which concerning the principles later reaffirmed by John Paul II in the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” of 1993 “attacked in a virulent manner the magisterial authority of the pope especially on questions of moral theology,” as Benedict XVI wrote in the letter to Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò that caused such an uproar last week.

The conference, with no admission fee, will be held on Saturday, April 7 beginning at three in the afternoon, at the conference center “The Church Village” at 94 Via di Torre Rossa, a couple of miles to the west of the basilica of Saint Peter.

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)

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(Daniel Ibanez/CNA)
COMMENTARY  |  MAR. 19, 2018
An Open Appeal to the Catholic Bishops of the World
Only fraternal episcopal interventions can now hope to avert what is sure otherwise to be a spiritual catastrophe for the Catholic Church.

After serving five years as a Catholic campus minister in the 1980s, I decided to begin graduate studies in moral theology.  This was in the heyday of proportionalism, when its founding fathers still held some of the world’s most influential chairs of Catholic moral theology: Richard McCormick at the University of Notre Dame, Josef Fuchs at the Gregorian University in Rome, Louis Janssens at the University of Louvain, and Bernard Häring (emeritus) at the Alphonsianum in Rome.

In Veritatis Splendor{I have long maintained that Veritatis Splendor and Humanae Vitae were the two most important magisterial documents issued by the popes of the 20th Century}John Paul II had sternly warned the Catholic Church against their moral theories. The saintly Pope’s overarching concern was that by appealing to complex circumstances, the activity of conscience and the notion that the moral law is merely an ideal, they end by justifying forms of behavior that have long been held to be contrary to the divine and natural laws (Veritatis Splendor, 56, 76, 103).

Then, 25 years later, comes what is now being called a “new paradigm” drawn from Amoris Laetitia. It proposes that, on the basis of complex circumstances, the activity of conscience and the notion that the moral law is merely an ideal, some Catholics are not required to submit obediently to the objective and concrete demands of the divine and natural laws.

After extensively studying this new form of moral reasoning, and discussing it with philosophers, theologians, canonists, bishops and cardinals, I am concerned that this “new paradigm” is contrary to Catholic fides et moralibus; that its teaching is harmful to souls; and that its further dissemination will greatly undermined Catholic morality.

Therefore, knowing that each member of the faithful must do what he can to preserve and promote the Christian deposit of faith (Canon 212), and believing in conscience that Jesus wants me to take this step, I address this appeal to the Catholic bishops of the world — humbly, directly, truly and resolutely — believing that only the bishops can now prevent more and greater harms to the Body of Christ and to her apostolic mission, which the “new paradigm” will surely cause if we continue on the present course.

I entrust this appeal and the response of the world’s bishops to the intercession of our humble father, St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church.


Dear Archbishops, Bishops and Brothers in Christ,

Some influential voices in the Church are using a “new paradigm” to justify forms of behavior long recognized as contrary to the precepts of the divine and natural laws. As I recently wrote:

“The ‘new paradigm’ — although never explicitly saying it — allows priests and bishops simultaneously to affirm that they accept the Church’s moral teaching and yet to liberate ‘individual consciences’ that are not living by that teaching to continue not living by it, while approaching the Table of the Lord.”

We see this in places where Catholics living in objectively sinful unions are being freed to return to Holy Communion without a sincere resolution to amend their behavior. The “new paradigm” effectively makes permissible actions rejected by Christ and St. Paul in the New Testament and by the Church for 20 centuries. In Germany, Argentina, Malta and elsewhere, we now have “Catholic divorce and remarriage” and “Catholic adultery.”

Unless you intervene to prevent the “new paradigm” from being brought to bear upon the wider body of Catholic moral teaching, its logic will surely be applied to contraceptive acts (despite the Church’s ancient teaching reaffirmed in Gaudium et Spes and Humanae Vitae), to homosexual behavior (despite the teaching reaffirmed in Persona Humana and the Catechism of the Catholic Church), and to other traditionally rejected behaviors.

And defenders of the “new paradigm” will say: “All we’re doing is applying Church teaching with greater pastoral sensitivity by paying heightened attention to the complexity of concrete ‘circumstances’ and by according greater respect to the dignity of ‘conscience’; the settled moral doctrines themselves are not in question {this is not true}.”

The interventions of laypeople and faithful priests are important, but are unlikely to influence the decisions of the Pope. Only fraternal episcopal interventions can now hope to avert what is sure otherwise to be a spiritual catastrophe for the Catholic Church. For if the “new paradigm” is officially applied to contraceptive acts, all the norms of Catholic sexual morality will fall like dominos. Great evil will occur. And many souls will be lost. God, of course, will bring good out of it. But not without immeasurable loss {as the history of the Church has demonstrated time after time.}

Therefore, to all Catholic bishops — East and West — who believe that the “new paradigm” is and will continue to be used to justify forms of behavior traditionally judged contrary to the divine and natural laws, I respectfully ask that you consider taking action in the following four ways:

  1. To privately write to the apostolic nuncio of your country and ask him respectfully to make known to the Holy Father your concerns about the “new paradigm” and especially to urge him to refrain from applying it to the teaching of Humanae Vitae.
  2. To privately write to Pope Francis himself fraternally expressing these same concerns and respectfully asking him to teach unambiguously the moral truths of the Catholic faith, especially on matters pertaining to the Fifth and Sixth Precepts of the Decalogue, and to correct the pastoral errors to which some of his teachings have given rise.
  3. To officially promulgate for your diocese a set of norms pastorally addressing the sensitive issues raised in Amoris Laetitia (especially Chapter 8), norms consistent with the teachings of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Catholic moral and pastoral Tradition.
  4. To privately liaise with like-minded bishops and consider constructive ways to use your magisterium to carry out the episcopal duties affirmed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“It is this magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates” (890).

When you address the “new paradigm” in your correspondences, you might consider a form similar to what John Paul II used when addressing proportionalism in Veritatis Splendor:

“Such theories [in this case ‘paradigms’] are not faithful to the Church’s teaching, when they believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behavior contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law. These [paradigms] cannot claim to be grounded in the Catholic moral tradition” (76).

It would be easy to say: “I’ve done all I can. It is all in God’s hands. We must be content to leave it there.” Please see that you are Jesus’ hands for addressing this very grave situation.

I am willing to assist you in any way I can — with summaries of concerns, talking points, diocesan guidelines, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Very respectfully yours in Jesus,


E. Christian Brugger D.Phil.
moral theologian
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
E. Christian Brugger is a senior research fellow of ethics at the Culture of Life Foundation in Washington, D.C. In 2016 he was a theological consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine. 
He has served as dean of the School of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, and the J. Francis Cardinal Stafford Professor of Moral Theology at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.
He is the author of The Indissolubility of Marriage and the Council of Trent(Catholic University of America Press, 2017). He lives in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, with his wife and five children.

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Dumb down liturgy. Great idea, right?

I seriously object to the dopey notion that liturgy has to made “understandable”. First, liturgical worship involves mysteries, such as that one about Christ turning the substances of bread and wine into His Body and Blood. How is that easy?  Indeed, Mass ought to be hard!

But no… let’s dumb everything down.  How insulting to congregations that attitude is.

A long-time reader and benefactor of this blog (thanks!) sent me this quote about the changes (Bugnini) made to Holy Week from Evelyn Waugh: A Biography by Christopher Sykes (US HERE – UK HERE) with added emphases:

“(in the mid-1950s) ….the new service retained much of the beauty of the old, and the overwhelmingly impressive Maundy Thursday Mass, the ‘Altar of Repose’, the night offices of Tenebrae, and the liturgical masterpiece, the Good Friday ‘Mass of the Presanctified’, remained intact. Not for long. The belief grew that the celebration of Holy Week would be more valuable, would compel a greater corporate sense in the Church, if it was expressed in ceremonies which did not involve a keen appreciation of symbolism, if they were more easily understood by ordinary people and invited more ‘mass participation’ in the form of community singing; if they appealed less to the sense of awe, they avoided the accusation of meretricious aestheticism, above all of excessive indulgence of the sense of the past. Nowhere did the notion of a ‘Century of the Common Man’ exert more fascination than on Roman Catholic clergy. The entire edifice of the Holy Week Liturgy was swept away as being over-elaborate, and it was substituted by services of a more everyday kind. This was the beginning of a movement which was to reduce all Roman Catholic ceremonial to commonplace and to abolish the traditional order of the Mass in favour of a prayer-meeting in which only essential vestiges of the traditional celebration were retained.

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Saint John Vianney was convinced of a fact more fabulous than a fable: “Not all the saints started well, but all of them ended well.”

March 18, 2018
   There are those of us who remember how as schoolboys, the clever use of rhythmic dactyls in Virgil’s metrical Latin verses made unforgettable the sound of horses galloping. And one of my schoolmates gained fleeting fame when our French teacher announced that, as our classmate was recovering from an appendectomy, the first words he whispered as he came out of the anesthesia were from a line in LaFontaine’s fable about the Crow and the Fox: “Matître Corbeau sur un arbre perché…

Fables have always been entertaining ways to teach children to remember moral wisdom. LaFontaine in the late 17th century drew on stories of Aesop, a Greek slave in the fifth century before Christ. Many of those fables in the Aesopica were adopted along the way in Welsh (Chwedlau Odo—“Odo’s Tales”), Middle Low German, and even Middle Scots. Moral truths have no national borders or chronological barriers. Everyone in any place can learn a lesson from Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which the tortoise defies all odds and wins the race because the hare was so smug that it took a nap.

The parables of our Lord are different from fables, for they are about people, while fables make animals talk. Fables enliven moral consciences while Christ’s parables make moral points but also direct attention to eternal realities. When our Lord says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like . . .” he describes a heavenly reality, and not a fantasy.

Commissioned as an apostle of the Good News, Saint Paul wrote: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). This race is not a fable about tortoises and hares. Those are illusions, but Paul’s race is an allusion. He is speaking of real people in Corinth, where the Isthmian Games took place before and after the Olympic Games, and whose winner received a crown of wild celery instead of the Olympic olive leaf. And celery leaves fade fast.

Lent is a microcosm of life in its entirety, with all its trials. When Saint Paul speaks of discipline, he employs a Greek word used for wrestling and any struggle for victory—agonia, from which we get agony. The Anti-Christ wants us to surrender the race and tries to persuade us that life is nothing but agony without a prize. His plot is to discourage, while Christ’s Holy Church is constantly encouraging, through the Sacraments and the heavenly cheerleaders called saints and angels. Saint John Vianney was convinced of a fact more fabulous than a fable: “Not all the saints started well, but all of them ended well.”

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An Update on the Chilean Barros Scandal and its Ties to Pope Francis


In recent weeks, more information about the Barros case has come to us which is worth reporting. The Chilean Cardinal Javier Errázuriz Ossa – one of the members of the pope’s Council of Nine Cardinals – recently wrote a letter to various Latin American bishops’ conferences complaining about the fact that Bishop Juan Barros’ presence during the pope’s visit to Chile in January of 2018 drew too much attention to his case. Cardinal Errázuriz himself did not seem to be concerned about the whole Karadima sex abuse scandal itself, or that Bishop Barros might be culpably complicit in it. We shall now present some facts that might explain why it is so. For, Cardinal Errázuriz seems to have had a role himself in covering up that case for years while still in Chile.

First about the news. In that above-mentioned widely circulated letter – which was leaked and subsequently reportedon by the progressivist newspaper National Catholic Reporter, on 9 March, Errázuriz complains that “Barros made himself available for interviews with journalists after concelebrating at Masses with Francis along with other Chilean bishops.” (Nota Bene: our colleague in Germany, Giuseppe Nardi, reports that, according to Roman sources, it was Pope Francis himself who insisted upon Barros concelebrating with him. In any event, he would have had an influential word in the matter.) Errázuriz also bemoans that Barros “did not avoid group interviews” and gave the impression “that he considered them a favorable opportunity to spread his version of things and to defend himself against the accusations.” According to the Reporter, Barros is now being accused of having “destroyed incriminating correspondence from the priest [Karadima].” Later on in the letter, Errázuriz also regrets that there was no better “press speaker” available during the pope’s visit.

What is striking here is that this cardinal is more concerned about matters of public relations and of appearances, rather than being attentive to reveal the larger truth about Bishop Barros, and, thereby, to help the abuse victims. Let us thus look more deeply into his own role in the Barros-Karadima case.

In a recent interview with the German bishops’ news website Katholisch.de, Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the victims of the abusive priest (Father Fernando Karadima), insisted upon the fact that Karadima had been protected by cardinals and bishops. He also mentions, in addition to Bishop Barros, Bishop Tomislav Koljatic and Horacio Valenzuela, “all of whom have covered up for the sexual abuse,” and he calls for a “very detailed investigation.” He then comes to speak about Cardinal Errázuriz. When asked why he does not have any trust in the Chilean Church, Juan Carlos Cruz says:

We have always been encouraged to give testimony, and this we always did with good faith, but up to now, the cardinals and bishops have responded to it with less than good intentions. I am convinced that Cardinal Errázuriz – the former archbishop of the capital city [Santiago] has an enormously bad influence on the pope, because Errazuriz has covered up for things and because he tried to discredit the victims. His successor, Cardinal [Ricardo] Ezzati, only recently has called into question the objectivity of the victims. He is an absolutely insensible man.

When we look back a little, we note that this whole scandal was already in the light of the day in the year 2010. According to an earlier excellent November 2015 report by the German journalist Julius Müller-Meiningen, when Cruz, together with two other abuse victims, had come forth into the public with their grave accusations against Karadima. One year later, the Vatican suspended Karadima from his office. As Müller-Meiningen, already in 2015, stated, this case “puts also Pope Francis into a dubious light. Cruz […] claims that Pope Francis is on the side of those who cover things up, in spite of contrary confessions.” When the pope then appointed Juan Barros as the bishop of Osorno, Cruz and the other two victims – José Andrés Murillo and James Hamilton – who all gave testimony that Barros had witnessed the abuse crimes “felt wounded by the pope,” especially after he called the accusations “stupidities” and “pushed by the left.”

In this report, Müller-Meiningen also speaks about the fact that Pete Saunders, at the time one of the members of the abuse commission in the Vatican, had proposed that, at the next commission meeting in February of 2015, this topic should be brought up, to include the demeaning words of the pope himself about the abuse victims. (This example shows, once more, that the pope had previous occasions to look more deeply into the Barros scandal.) Saunders then called the pope’s words “terrible.” Here, Saunders referred to two Chilean cardinals – Errázuriz and Ezzati – “who are in close contact with Francis and who play a key role in the Barros scandal,” in Müller-Meiningen’s words. The three victims who had together approached the Diocese of Santiago legally, asking for some restitution for the past abuse, have included in their appeal both the former and the current archbishop of Santiago, Errázuriz and Ezzati. Errázuriz had been the archbishop of Santiago from 1998 until 2010.

In September of 2015, according to Müller-Meiningen, a set of e-mails was published in which Errázuriz insulted Cruz and called him a “snake.” (See here one report on this event.) The German journalist continues, saying that “both prelates made use of their influence in the Vatican in order to stop Cruz from being named” as a member of the Vatican’s abuse commission. The publications of the set of e-mails led to an apology addressed to Cruz, coming from the president of the abuse commission, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. “However,” says Müller-Meiningen, “Francis had already been giving high honors to both Chilean bishops.” Errázuriz – with whom then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had worked together in 2007 at the Brazilian Aparecida Fifth Latin American Episcopal Conference – “was later called in 2013 by Francisto be in the Council of then-Eight Cardinals, and Ezzati himself, a protegée of Errázuriz, was named a cardinal by Francis in 2014.”

As Cruz then said: “For us, these nominations were like a kick in the face from the pope in person.” Errázuriz knew about the accusations against Karadima since 2003, but only reacted when the Vatican itself started its own investigation, according to Müller-Meiningen. “Also Ezzati is said to have covered up for those abusers from his clergy, Cruz claims.” Cruz says, as quoted by the journalist: “The pope continues to stand on the side of the abusers and of those who cover up for them.”

As some colleagues of mine in Europe have observed, it seems that Pope Francis is putting his loyalities toward his friends over the common good of the Church, and certainly above the greater good of the abuse victims.

In light of these truly piercing and painful reports, let us thus consider what our colleague in Rome, Marco Tosatti, has to say about the matter. In a 10 March post on his own blog, Stilum Curiae, he speaks about what all of Francis’ friends have in common. About the above-mentioned letter written by Cardinal Errazuriz, Tosatti comments, as follows (translation courtesy of Giuseppe Pellegrino):

The Chilean Cardinal Javier Errázuriz Ossa wrote a letter to the Latin American bishops, to explain that Francis’ visit to Chile was not a flop but was “highly positive.” He did not accept any responsibility for the scandal of the priest-abuser Karadima, or for Bishop Barros, named bishop of Osorno by the Pope despite the protests and accusations of those who had been abused. And all this was notwithstanding the fact that the ex-archbishop of Santiago had neglected the case and declared that he did not believe the victims. Errázuriz in his letter accused the victims of seeking to profit from the protest and declared the accusations to be calumnies, made with the purpose of bringing a civil lawsuit against the diocese of Santiago. “Errázuriz is seeking to confuse things and to create a distraction to avoid his responsibility for the cover-up and for the poor management of the Chilean church which led to the disaster in which we find ourselves. The problem is not money,” said Juan Carols Cruz, one of the victims, in an interview with the AP [Associated Press].

Tosatti here makes a good summary and description of the modus operandi of Cardinal Errázuriz. He then asks what this whole matter also this has to do with Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and his own recent scandalous defense of the British decision to kill yet another seriously ill baby in England. He says:

Everything. Because Errázuriz is one of the great friends and counselors of the Pope; that is to say, just as Cardinal Mahony, ex-archbishop of Los Angeles, had to resign because of his poor management of abuse cases; just like Cardinal Danneels of Malines-Brussels, who was swept away by covering up an abusive bishop; just like Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, against whom there was an investigation, to be opened because of the lay people who denounced him to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for his poor management of abuse cases – on the outcome of which, and how it was then closed, it would be interesting, if the ex-Prefect of the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith], Cardinal Gerhard Müller, himself would speak.

And what do all these cardinals have in common? Tosatti asks and responds:

Now the one thing that all of these persons have in common is that they are counselors and [papal] electors – at the time of the conclave – who are in the inner circle of the Pope, who seems to have a predilection for people with a “past.”

Here, Tosatti means “a past that is not exactly glorious.” Here, he mentions Monsignor Ricca, “named the head prelate of the IOR, or like Monsignor Paglia, archbishop of Terni, where he will be remembered, apart from the erotic fresco and the homosexual man with a zucchetto on his head, for the disastrous situation he left behind there, from which he was later liberated by a rapid and timely recall to work back inside the Vatican at St. Callisto.” Tosatti concludes his incisive post – and we shall also end with his words:

And the list could continue, and it is definitely not short. The Pope boasts of having a good memory, and of always having had it. Surely in the management of a government people with a past present advantages, at least of gratitude, towards a sovereign so magnanimous. But they do not always give guarantees of being adequate for the task to which they are called. Blind fidelity and competence are not synonymous. On the contrary.

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A regular reader of Abyssum sends this question:

The Creed that we pray after the homily says in part “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son …”.
Part of the discussion at our ritual of post Mass breakfast at Denny’s was what does “who proceeds from the Father and the Son” mean?  There was no consensus at breakfast other than “John, why don’t you ask Bishop Gracida”.

The question has been around for a long time because it pertains to our understanding a reality for which there is nothing in nature that can be referred to in describing it using human language.  The reality is the existence in God of three Persons, called by Jesus Christ: “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit”.  Jesus Christ revealed to us their existence, but he did not tell us much about their relationship, especially how the relationship came to be. 

That relationship puzzled men for the first four centuries of the Christian Era, I am confident, but it did not become a problem for the Church until the heretic, Arias, began preaching that Jesus Christ was a man but not God.  The Arian Controversy was settled by the bishops of the Council of Nicea.

The Fathers of the Council struggled with how to ‘explain in, the Creed they promulgated about the God, after saying “I believe in One God…”, a profession of belief in the existence of two additional persons in God.  I am confident that they searched all the words in the Greek language for a word and finally the settled on the word paradises which is translated in English as procession.

In A Modern Catholic Dictionary Father John Hardon, S.J. (yes Elizabeth there are/were good Jesuits) writes:

PROCESSION, the origin of one from another.  A procession is said to be external when the terminus of the procession goes outside the principle or source from which it proceeds.  Thus creatures proceed by external procession from the triune God, their Primary Origin.  An internal procession is immanent; the one proceeding remains united with the one from whom he or she proceeds.  Thus the processions of the Son and the Holy Spirit are an immanent act of the Holy Trinity.  An internal, divine procession signifies the origin of a divine person from another divine person (Son from the Father), or from other divine persons (the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son) through the communication of numerically and the same divine essence.

I am not going to go into the Filioque Controversy which produced the Great Schism of the Sixth Century.  One can find a lot about it on Google.  



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Art of Kissing Archbishop Complains that People Think Francis is a Heretic

Art of Kissing Archbishop Complains that People Think Francis is a Heretic



What else would you expect from an “Art of Kissing Bishop” ghost writer of Francis?

During an interview with Sergio Rubin of the Spanish language Religion Digital, published yesterday, Archbishop Víctor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández { Francis’ alleged Ghost Writer for Amoris Laetitia} had this to say in response to a question about The Resistance arising from the Bergoglian new paradigm of allowing the divorced and “remarried” (aka active unrepentant adulterers) to receive Holy Communion:

“…He created an impressive commotion in the most conservative sectors, which treat Francisco as a heretic, affirm that they must dethrone him, or threaten a schism, as if the whole Gospel collapsed because of this matter. The voices of these sectors are amplified a lot because they are using a lot of blogs, publications on the Internet and social networks. But they certainly respond to very minority sectors of the believing population.” HERE

Someone needs some basic lessons in Public Relations / damage control. First rule: Less is more. Even though you are denouncing the position, the fact that you managed to put the words Francisco, heretic, dethrone, and schism all in the same sentence, even when your interviewer didn’t use ANY of those words, really exposes your hypersensitivity and deep concern for the matter. You know there’s a problem, and now we know you know there’s a problem. Secondly, going out of your way to call attention to it necessarily means that your claim that it’s only a small problem of “very minority sectors” has no credibility.

It is truly rich to read about trad blogs accused of being Fake News yet again, the same week that the Vatican has, yet again, proven itself the reigning champion of Fake News.  The truth is, resistance to the Bergoglian usurpation is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s snowballing. I mean, even the mainstream conservatives are coming on board. After all, we’ve had almost another six months worth of filth since we discovered this:


Francis is Pope                      16%
Benedict is Pope                    72%
Some other person is Pope      1%
No one is Pope                        9%


Benedict’s abdication was not effective         38%

Francis’ election was invalid                            5%

Francis has lost his office due to heresy          4%

Some combination of the above                     42%

Neither Francis nor Benedict was ever pope    8%

Out of 674 votes, a staggering 490 said that in their opinion, Benedict XVI is still Pope. That’s 72% of those who voted. But who cares if it were “only” half? It boggles the mind.

Of those, the plurality focused on the ineffectiveness of the putative abdication. Meaning, either he never intended to resign; he wrote his resignation in a legally ineffective way; he made a mistake in fact by not intending to resign the whole office; or that he was coerced such that it was truly involuntary.

Even allowing for the readership’s “style” of Catholicism (for which Francis does not care), even allowing for some multiple votes– the least that can be said is that hundreds of Catholics who found this poll on this blog have the opinion that Benedict XVI is still Pope and that the guy the world and most of the self-identified Catholics of the world hail as pope is in fact NOT THE POPE.     HERE

You see, there is big trouble in little china, and everyone knows it. That poll was way back in September, and we’ve come a long way, baby.

By the way, it’s not hard to imagine that poll was copied, enlarged and reprinted, and now hangs as a motivational poster in the deepest war room at the Vatican. The beatings will continue until the numbers improve! Crank up the humble dial! So many wheelchairs to kiss, so little time!

I think it’s time for another poll. But this time it can’t be one of the trad blogs, nor really any blog, and of course it can’t be any revenue-based Catholic site, because none of them would touch it.

So it really needs to be FRANK WALKER AT CANON212 !!

Frank! Above the fold, please!

Read the full article at Non Veni Pacem

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Vatican ‘Lettergate’ Scandal Spirals Out with Release of Full Text

The Vatican has released the full text of a letter from emeritus Pope Benedict XVI it had previously altered, but the contents of the letter have turned out to be worse than anyone suspected.



A flurry of news reports accused the Vatican communications department of propagating “fake news” because it had digitally manipulated a photo of the first page of the letter, intentionally blurring the final two lines so they would be illegible.

The Vatican had sought to use a selection of the letter as an endorsement by Benedict of a new 11-volume series of books exploring the theology of Pope Francis, when in fact the letter basically said the opposite.

Read in its entirety, the letter comes across as a polite refusal to write a foreword to the collection, but also includes a sharply critical comment regarding the way the series was put together.

The head of the Vatican’s newly consolidated communications department, Msgr. Dario Viganò, read a selection from Benedict’s letter aloud at the book presentation on Monday emphasizing the “spiritual continuity” between his pontificate and that of Francis. Soon afterward, Viganò’s office released the doctored photograph of the first page of the letter, which also contained a glimpse of Benedict’s signature, while carefully concealing the contents of the second page.

In announcing its decision Saturday to release the full contents of the letter, the unsigned Vatican communiqué adopted a decidedly defensive tone, calling the photo-doctoring an “alleged censorial manipulation” of the image.

The decision to alter the photo was “motivated by discretion and not by any attempt at censorship,” the statement reads, adding that the Vatican had decided to make the letter available in its entirety “to dispel any doubt.”

Unfortunately, the concealed content of the letter that has now been made public suggests that the communications office wished to spin Benedict’s letter in a way that would have been impossible had the whole letter been released.

After saying that he would not write a preface to the collection, since on principle he would never express an opinion on texts that he had never read (and he had no intention of reading them any time soon), the emeritus pope proceeded to criticize the editor’s choice to entrust one of the volumes to a dissenting theologian known for his hostility to the papal magisterium.

Benedict notes his “surprise” at the choice of professor Peter Hünermann as one of the authors, since he “distinguished himself during my pontificate by spearheading anti-papal projects.”

Moreover, Hünermann was a key figure in the publication of the Kölner Erklärung, which, “virulently attacked the magisterial authority” of Pope John Paul II, “especially concerning moral theology,” Benedict wrote.

Additionally, on founding the “Europäische Theologengesellschaft,” Hünermann conceived of the association’s identity “in opposition to the papal magisterium” which was only altered later because of the good sense of other theologians in the group, Benedict said.

Even prior to the Vatican’s release of the full text of the letter, veteran Vatican analyst Sandro Magister wrote that he had learned from an “unimpeachable source” that the second page of Benedict’s letter contained a criticism of the judgment of the editors in having Peter Hünermann write one of the volumes.

The fact that the news had already been leaked leaves room for the possibility that the Vatican only released the full contents of the letter because the damage had already been done, rather than out of an attempt to atone for its lack of integrity in doctoring the letter.

The Lettergate scandal has hit the Vatican particularly hard because it follows on the heels of the publication of a document in which Pope Francis forcefully denounced the spread of “fake news.”

The Vatican’s manipulation of the photograph, which the Associated Press (AP) said “violated photojournalist industry standards,” came just two months after Pope Francis railed against disinformation and “fake news” in his annual Message for the World Day of Communications.

In that Message, Francis said that he wished to contribute to “stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.”

Fake news “refers to the spreading of disinformation on line or in the traditional media,” the pope said. “It has to do with false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader.”

Even a “slight distortion of the truth can have dangerous effects,” Francis said.

Even prior to the release of the Message, Pope Francis had denounced the spread of fake news on several occasions, comparing it to excrement and condemning it as a “very grave sin.”

Hat tip:  GM

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Settimo Cielodi Sandro Magister

More on the Letter of Benedict XVI. There’s Another Paragraph, in Which He Writes…



The end has not quite been written on the story of the “personal” and “confidential” letter written February 7 by Benedict XVI to the prefect of the secretariat for communications, Dario Edoardo Viganò, and partially made public by him on March 12.

Not only was there a key passage in it that was purposefully omitted in the press release sent out by Viganò himself:

> The Double “Foolish Prejudice.” The Complete Text of the Letter by Benedict XVI

Not only had the beginning of this paragraph been manipulated to make it illegible in the photo of the letter released by Viganò’s secretariat:

> Vatican doctors photo of Benedict’s praise for Francis

There’s more. The letter by Benedict XVI that Settimo Cielo published on March 13 in its complete form was in reality not complete.

Between the paragraph omitted in the press release and the valediction there were, in fact, other lines.

And this much could be guessed just by observing the photo of the letter (see above).

In fact, between the first two lines that were made illegible in the photo, at the bottom of the first page of the letter, and the valediction and signature of Benedict XVI on the second half of the second page, there is a space too big to be occupied only by the last part of the paragraph omitted in the press release.

And what else was written there, that Viganò was careful not to read in public and took such pains to cover up in the photo with the eleven booklets on the theology of Pope Francis?

There was the explanation of the reason why Benedict XVI had not read those eleven booklets nor intended to read them in the future, and therefore why he had declined to write “a brief and dense theological page” of presentation and appreciation for the same, as Viganò had requested of him.

The reason adopted by Benedict XVI in the final lines of his letter – we are told by an incontrovertible source – is the presence among the authors of those eleven booklets of two German theologians, and one in particular, Peter Hünermann, who was an implacable critic both of John Paul II and of Joseph Ratzinger himself as theologian and as pope.

The other German theologian is Jürgen Werbick. About Hünermann, a professor at the university of Tubingen, it may be recalled that he is the author of, among other things, a commentary on Vatican Council II that is the polar opposite of the Ratzingerian interpretation. The booklets on the the theology of Pope Francis written by these two are respectively entitled: “God’s weakness for man” and “Men according to Christ today.”

It is therefore clear that, given what Benedict XVI writes in the second half of his letter, the first half also takes on a new significance, entirely different from the one that Viganò wanted to attribute to it in his mangled and biased press release.

And even more could be understood about what Benedict XVI writes there on himself and on Pope Francis if this could be compared with the letter from Viganò to which he replied.

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)

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