Sunday, May 19, 2019

Why Is the Remnant’s Matt Sounding like Jimmy Akin & Why is he Ignoring the Bishop Gracida Solution?

We are in the greatest crisis in the history of the Church, which is equal to the Arian crisis, because we appear to have a heretical Pope and his pro-gay bishops network who make the immoral Borgia Popes and their inner circles look like choir boys.

It seems that Remnant editor Michael Matt understands the depth of the crisis saying we must fight for the restoration of the Catholic Church and the papacy including getting a “serious” Catholic Pope to replace Pope Francis. 

He says we must join forces with non-Catholic conservatives to help us get rid of Francis by critiquing his globalist evil politics.

All of which I agree, but then he starts sounding like Jimmy Akin on the Open Letter saying you can’t make a case of heresy out of twisted “airplane utterances.” 

This sounds like when the National Catholic Register’s Jimmy Akin said you can’t make a case of heresy out of a “Open Letter [that] also fails to demonstrate that Pope Francis obstinately doubts or denies dogma.”

But, Matt and Akin aren’t able to show how you can’t make a case of heresy out of Communion for those committing adultery which way back in 2017 was endorsed by Francis’s Argentine letter that is called “authentic magisterium” by his Vatican and placed in the Holy See’s AAS.

Please explain how this doesn’t make a case of heresy and “demonstrate obstinately doubts or den[y] dogma.”

Matt then says the Open Letter is highly unpopular so forget about it and only attempt to get a  “serious” Catholic pope by critiquing Francis’s globalist evil politics.

Even a commenter on his video post said:

Evangeline1031  • 7 hours ago
Why does it have to be either or, why can’t it be both?”

Why can’t we go after Francis for both his heretical teachings and his evil globalist politics? 
The Mundabor blog summed up the best case scenario of the Matt tactic:

“Now, everyone with an IQ bigger than the size of his shoes knows that the Bishops aren’t avoiding to release information so that they can investigate more thoroughly than the public could do. No, they are keeping information away from you so that they can a) protect the vast number of people implicated in the protection and enabling of Cardinal McCarrick, b) avoid the unearthing of a vast, vast homosexual clerical net inside and outside of the Vatican,  and c) pretend that they are acting against clerical abuse when they are, in fact, consolidating it and helping it to fester inside and even at the very heart of the Church.”

“If you thought that the US Bishops would put themselves at the head of the movement (not because of concern for the victims or desire to do Christ’s work; but merely in order to avoid the donations drying out) curb your enthusiasm, because I don’t think that this is going to happen. These people are, evidently, too compromised to risk any degree of openness.”

The solution, at this point, is the handcuffs. I hope AGs all over the Country will soon start to treat the US Bishops like the organised criminal ring they are. Let them feel the cold metal on their wrists, and see whether this helps to, as they say today, “facilitate” a change of attitude.”

This is part of the solution, but as a good priest recently said even if we can get the state or Church to remove all the bad bishops, Pope Francis is only going to replace them with worse bishops. And a conclave packed with Francis cardinal electors is only going to give us not a “serious” Catholic Pope, but a Francis clone.

Of course, we must continue to work for the removal of Francis’s immoral pro-gay bishops network and it’s evil globalist politics, but the only way we are going to begin a real restoration of the Church is to remove Francis as well as all his controllers and collaborators.

The only way to end the greatest crisis in the history of the Church is to remove Pope Francis and his collaborators!

How do we do this?

The Vatican is a sovereign state so no government is going to put Francis in handcuffs and even if they did he would still be Pope.

If putting the Pope in handcuffs along with his pro-gay bishops network and collaborators “organised criminal ring” is not the answer then what is?

The only answer is the Bishop René Gracida solution which strangely Matt’s Remnant and Steve Skojec’s Onepeterfive choose to ignore.

But, before I get to the solution, we need to remember what early Church expert Rod Bennett wrote:

“Another historian asserts that the number of episcopal sees that can be shown to have remained in orthodox [Catholic] hands throughout the crisis can be counted on the finger of one hand.”
(“Bad Shepherds,” Page 29)

I have been reading St. Athanasius’s writings lately and his situation was so dire and grim that he keeps referring to the antichrist and apparently the end times.

But, before we get to the Gracida solution here is a short history of his dire situation in a old 1919 book by F. A. Forbes titled “St. Athanasius” which shows we in the rag-tag Catholic resistance have not come close to the persecution that the Catholic heroes of the Arian crisis endured:

“It was indeed the hour of darkness, and it seemed as if the powers of evil were let loose upon the world. The Arians, with the Emperor on their side, were carrying everything before them. Nearly all the Bishops who had upheld the Nicene faith were in exile or in prison.”

“St. Anthony, over a hundred years old, was on his death-bed.”

“… Fear not,” replied the old man, “for this power is of the earth and cannot last. As for the sufferings of the Church, was it not so from the beginning, and will it not be so until the end?”

“… [A] new reign of terror began, in which all who refused to accept the Arian creed were treated as criminals. Men and women were seized and scourged; some were slain. Athanasius was denounced as a ‘run-away, an evil-doers, a cheat and an impostor, deserving of death.”

“… In the meantime, where was Athanasius? No one knew – or, at least, so it seemed. He had vanished into the darkness of the night. He was invisible, but his voice could not be silenced, and it was a voice that moved the world. Treatise after treatise in defence of the true faith; letter after letter… to the faithful, were carried far and wide by the hands of trusty messengers. The Arians had the Roman Emperor on their side, but the pen of Athanasius was more powerful than the armies.”

“… Rumour said that Athanasius was in hiding in the Thebaid amongst the monk. The Arians searched the desert… The monks [of St. Anthony] themselves might of thrown some light on the matter, but they were silent men… even when questioned with a dagger at their throats.”

“Silent, but faithful, their sentinels were everywhere, watching for the enemy’s approach. Athanasius was always warned in time, and led by trusty guides to another and safer place. Sometimes it was only by a hair’s breadth that he escaped, but for six years he eluded his enemies.”

“… Tide and wind were against them; the monks had to land and tow the boat; progress was slow and the soldiers of Julian were not far off. Athanasius was absorbed in prayer, preparing for the martyr’s death that, this time at least, seemed very near.”

“… ‘I have no fear,’ answered Athanasius; ‘for many long years I have suffered persecution, and never has it disturbed the peace of my soul, It is a joy to suffer, and the greatest of all joys is to give one’s life for Christ.'”

“There was a silence, during which all gave themselves to prayer. As the Abbott Theodore besought God to save their Patriarch, it was suddenly made known to him by divine revelation that at that moment the Emperor Julian had met his end in battle… and that he had been succeeded by Jovian, a Christian and a Catholic. At once he told the good news to Athanasius, advising him to go without delay to see the new Emperor and ask to be restored to his see.”

“…. [After meeting  Emperor Jovian] Athanasius was back once more in the midst of his people.”

“He had grown old, and his strength was failing, but his soul, still young and vigorous, was undaunted and heroic as ever…”

“His pen was still busy. One of his first acts on return to Alexandria was to write the life of St. Anthony, a last tribute of love and gratitude to the memory of his dear old friend.”

“… In 366 Pope Liberius [who had excommunicated Athanasius] died, and was succeeded by Pope St. Damasus, a man of strong character and holy life. Two years later in a Council of the Church, it was decreed that no Bishop should be consecrated unless he held the creed of Nicaea. Athanasius was overwhelmed with joy on hearing this decision. The triumph of the cause for which he had fought so valiantly was now assured. His life was drawing to an end.”

“… Scarcely was he dead when he was honoured as a Saint. Six year after his death, St. Nazianzen speaks of him in one breath with the patriarchs, prophets, and martyrs who had fought for the Faith and won the crown of glory.”

Now, finally, the Bishop Gracida solution is:


The link goes to his Open Letter which shows that there is strong evidence that Francis may be a anti-pope. But only the cardinals can validly make that Church juridical declaration. 

In 2018, Onepeterfive’s anti-Open Letter Steve Skojec rejected Bishop Gracida’s call for the cardinals to judge if Francis’s election to the papacy was valid calling the validity question itself a “potentially dangerous rabbit hole.”
(Onepeterfive, “Cardinal Eijk References End Times Prophecy in Intercommunion,” May 7, 2018)

At the time, Skojec referred back to his September 26, 2017 post where he said:

“JPII has removed the election-nullifying consequences of simony… nowhere else in the following paragraphs is nullity of the election even implied.”
(Onepeterfive, “A Brief note on the Question of a Legally Valid Election,” September 26, 2017)

Bishop Gracida shows that Skojec is wrong in his legally crafted Open Letter quoting Pope John Paul II’s Universi Dominici Gregis’ introductory perambulary and paragraph 76:

-“I further confirm, by my Apostlic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process [the above which Gracida clearly shows in his Open Letter was not maintained thus making the conclave and Francis’s papacy invalid according to the Bishop].”
(Introductory perambulary)

-“Should the election take place in a way other than laid down here not to be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void.”
(Paragraph 76)

Gracida’s Open Letter, moreover, shows that Skojec is wrong above:

“The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave.”

On top of all that, Skojec ignores paragraph 5 and contrary to what canon lawyer Edward Peters has said about Universi Dominici Gregis when he suggests canon lawyers have a role in interpreting the John Paul II Constitution, the document says:

“Should doubts arise concerning the prescriptions contained in this Constitution, or concerning the manner of putting them into effect. I [Pope John Paul II] Decree that all power of issuing a judgment of this in this regard to the College of Cardinals, to which I grant the faculty of interpreting doubtful or controverted points.”
(Universi Dominici Gregis, paragraph 5)

Later in the paragraph it says “except the act of the election,” which can be interpreted in a number of ways.

The point is, as Bishop Gracida says and Universi Dominici Gregis said, only the cardinals can interpret its meaning, not Skojec or canon lawyers.

The Bishop is saying what the document says: only the cardinals can interpret it.

He, also, says put pressure on the cardinals to act and interpret it which both Skojec and Peters appear to prefer to ignore.

Moreover, Bishop Gracida’s Open Letter and Pope John Paul II’s document make a number of points which neither Skojec, Peters or anyone else to my knowledge have even brought up or offered any counter argument against.

They are both wrong if they ignore this important Open Letter of Bishop Gracida.

If Skojec and Peters as well as the conservative and traditional Catholic media are ignoring Bishop Gracida because he isn’t a cardinal and retired, remember that St. Athanasius wasn’t a cardinal (that is involved in the selection or election process of the pope of the time) and was retired.

During the Arian heresy crisis, Pope Liberius excommunicated Athanasius. You don’t get any more retired than being excommunicated.

Skojec gave blogger Ann Barnhardt’s analysis of the papal validity a long article. The only bishop in the world (besides Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano) contesting Francis in a meaningful way deserves as much.

Matt, Skojec, Peters and all scholarly Catholics need to answer Gracida’s theologically clear and precise arguments and either clearly and precisely counter them or put pressure on the cardinals to put into action the needed canonical procedures to remove Francis if he was “never validly elected” the pope or else remove him from the Petrine office for heterodoxy.

Francis is not orthodox so there are only two things he could be:

 1. A validly elected pope who is a material heretic (as the scholar’s Open Letter states) until cardinals correct him and then canonically proclaim he is a formal heretic if he doesn’t recant thus deposing him (See: “In-depth Explanation of Dubia Consequences for Pope Francis including ‘Removing him from Office'”:  or

2. a invalidly elected anti-pope who is a heretic.

The point is whether you think using all the information available 1. is the objective truth or 2. is the objective truth you must act. 

You must as the Bishop says put: “pressure on the cardinals to act” whichever you think. 

Gracida is calling on pressure to be put on the cardinals to “[a]ddress… [the] probable invalidity” due to a invalid conclave or a invalid resignation by Pope Benedict’s XVI before they attempt to depose him from the Petrine office for heterodoxy. But, just as importantly he is calling all faithful Catholics to act and not just bemoan Francis’s heresy.

There are many ways to put pressure such as pray and offer Masses for this intention, send the Gracida link to priests, bishops and cardinals, make signs and pray the rosary in front of their offices as we do in front of abortion clinics. Use your imagination to come up with other ideas.   

But, the best way to put pressure on the cardinals to remove Francis is the rosary. The solution to the greatest crisis in the history of the Church is the rosary as it was for the Austrians.

The way to victory for the Austrians to defeat the Russians according to Fr. Pater Petrus was “a tithe: that ten percent of the Austrians, 700,000, would pledge to say the rosary daily for the Soviets to leave their country. 700,000 pledged” as told on the Santo Rosario website:

“At the end of World War II, the allies did a nasty thing: they turned Catholic Austria over to the Russians. The Austrians tolerated this Soviet domination for three years, but that was enough. They wanted the Soviets out of their country. But what could Austria do: seven million against 220 million?”

“Then a priest, Pater Petrus, remembered Don John of Austria. Outnumbered three to one, Don John led the Papal, Venetian, and Spanish ships against the Turks at Lepanto, and through the power of the rosary miraculously defeated them. So Pater Petrus called for a rosary crusade against the Soviets. He asked for a tithe: that ten percent of the Austrians, 700,000, would pledge to say the rosary daily for the Soviets to leave their country. 700,000 pledged.”

“For seven years the Austrians prayed the rosary. Then, on May 13, the anniversary of the apparition at Fatima, in 1955, the Russians left Austria.”

“Even to this day military strategists and historians are baffled. Why did the Communists pull out? Austria is a strategically located country, a door to the West, rich in mineral deposits and oil reserves? To them it was an enigma.”

“Al Williams, former custodian of the National Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, heard me tell this story once. He said to me, “You know, Father, I am Austrian. Well, three months before Therese Neumann died, I visited her (June 18, 1962). One question I asked her was, ‘Why did the Russians leave Austria?’ She told me, ‘Verily, verily, it was the rosaries of the Austrian people.’ ‘ “

“In other words, Our Lady’s rosary did what the Hungarian Freedom Fighters could not do with a bloodbath of 25,000 people. John Cortes, brilliant writer and diplomat of the 19th century wrote: ‘Those who pray do more for the world than those who fight. If the world is going from bad to worse, it is because there are more battles than prayers.'”[]

St. Athanasius pray for Bishop Gracida, the resistance for Faith in this present time and the restoration of the Church.

Pray an Our Father now that a Fr. Petrus be risen up by God in the United States and all countries to bring about a tithe: that ten percent of the faithful American Catholics as well as faithful Catholics in every country say the rosary daily for the cardinals to remove Francisand his collaborators. I am going to start praying one of my rosaries everyday for those two intentions      

Fred Martinez at 4:48 PM


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church?  This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility.  So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.

If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals.  So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election?  His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question.  The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.

His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms.  For example, Paragraph 76 states:  “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”

From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility.  If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.

Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis.  While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.

What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”).  The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words:  “.   .   .   knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.”  (“.   .   .   scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”)  [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.

Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with:  (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.

This is so because:1.  Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2.   Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3.  Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.

Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred.  Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis.  These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.:  “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant  act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”.  While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them:  “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]

No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.  

Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff.  In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding.  Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis.  Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is:   “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.”  (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.)  In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae.  At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”  

His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.  The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal. 

In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo.  No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis.  See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77:  “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76:  “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76:  “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.

 Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters.  The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.  Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government.  The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ.  After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ.  It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do.  Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation.  Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ.  Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”.  But, the fact that “The Church .   .   .  will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.  And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II.  The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake.  This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person  .   .   .   in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff.  Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals.  They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave.  They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation.  Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals.  If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals.  In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either.  (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal.  So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors.  Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here.  May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual.  If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election”  “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter.   May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de Plume
Un ami des Papes


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The New Pro-Life Moment

Robert Royal

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Something out of the ordinary happened this past week. On Saturday, over 10,000 people walked the streets of Rome in defense of children in the womb. Italian lay people have organized a march for nine years now, and it grows – despite no support from the Italian bishops – including the pope.

On Friday, Francis did encourage members of the Catholic Medical Association to “defend life,” though so vaguely that you couldn’t tell whether he was talking about abortion, euthanasia, immigration, climate, poverty – or all of them (more of this below).

But as usual no Italian bishops participated in the Marcia per la Vita– they’ve been saying that they don’t want it to be seen as only “Catholic,” though why is not clear. And that they prefer to work through elected officials rather than public protest (though they seem to support other public demonstrations, e.g., on immigration and poverty, and don’t have any natural partners in government now that the Christian Democrats have splintered). Italian television, accordingly, didn’t even mention the march occurred.

The lone Italian prelate in the past, Archbishop Viganò, was missing, for good reasons.

None of this was out of the ordinary. And neither, basically, were the large pro-life marches in London last week and Ottawa. There are marches in many other countries in Europe and Latin America as well, though we rarely hear about them outside of the Catholic press, and not very much even there.

No, the real novelty is that Alabama essentially banned abortion last week with a  bill that was passed by the legislature and signed into law by governor Kay Ivey who, like large numbers of women, believes abortion is the taking of innocent human life.

Numerous states have now passed law restricting abortion, so we’re about to see a titanic battle in the Supreme Court – and American society.

Pro-abortion commentators are worrying about a reversal of Roe v. Wade, though the swift discrediting of the Center for Medical Progress’s videos showing Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parties suggests that it’s still easy to gaslight the public about such matters.  (Remember when Groucho Marx’s line – “Who you gonna believe, me or your own lying eyes?” – was a joke?)

But pro-lifers too are nervous, several wondering whether such “extreme” legislation makes it easier for courts to strike down such measures.

In any case, we’ll shortly know whether our legal system is entirely captive to anti-scientific ideology or still capable of rational moral debate. The Supremes may only send questions on abortion back to the states, where – as Justice Antonin Scalia often argued – it belongs, since the Federal government has no constitutional jurisdiction over such matters. The fundamental right to life will probably be addressed, if ever, further down the line.

But there’s reason for hope here.

Abortion supporters are beginning to deploy arguments that may delay but will not dispel the main question. Some states, for example, have tried to draw a line at the point where the fetus has a detectible heartbeat or some other biological marker.

A writer in the Washington Post this weekend elaborated on a new formula now appearing everywhere from Hollywood to Manhattan; “Lest I be chastened for daring to humanize an embryo, let me state for the record that the correct term for ‘heartbeat’ is ‘fetal pole cardiac activity,’ because at six weeks, said embryo doesn’t have a cardiovascular system and, therefore, no fully formed beating heart.”


Valiant effort, but if people – and the courts – start to pay attention to such details, we will inevitably have to decide, “So when do we have enough ‘fetal pole’ motion and vascular system to call what’s going on simply a heartbeat?” It’s not long after.

Similarly, as even outlets like The New York Times have been conceding for more than a decade, there is rudimentary brainwave activity detectible about as early as “fetal pole” motion – not a developed brain of course, but by ten weeks an articulated brain is forming.

These defenses of early abortion will look increasingly weak as people (and courts) look more carefully. Is there anyone who thinks that as science advances we will discover less rather than more complexity and activity in the early embryo? I’d be nervous, too, about the science if I supported abortion.

The Church – and especially the Vatican – should get squarely behind this burgeoning pro-life pushback. Commentators recognize that the radicalism of new abortion laws in New York, Virginia, and Canada have provoked the current reaction.

And anyway, protecting human life in the womb has been and remains the central human-rights question of our time.

Respect for human life is never merely a numbers game. But we need to find ways to take proper measure of the horror. For instance, authorities estimate 2241 people died crossing the Mediterranean illegally from Africa to Europe in 2018. In an average year, on the U.S. border, there are usually 200-400 such deaths.

So some simple math: 2241+400 (to take the high estimate) = 2641. Abortions in America are at a low point, “only” 652,639 in 2015 (though this is clearly an undercount since California and other states don’t report abortions to the Centers for Disease Control).

That’s 1788 per day. So every two days, the abortion body count exceeds the migrant deaths for a whole year. Planned Parenthood alone does almost 1000 abortions per day.

No one really knows global numbers, but a good estimate is 16 million abortions a year, roughly 44,000 per day. If that many innocents were dying while migrating or in a repressive regime or owing to racism or some climate shift or even in a war zone, the world would be – rightly – in an uproar.

Yet very few people, even those who say they believe abortion wrong – even high Church officials – seem much moved. If you are truly convinced that abortion is the destruction of innocent human life,  there’s no excuse for passivity in the presence of such  massive, casual, brutal carnage.

We’re all going to need to learn to debunk terms like “fetal pole cardiac activity” and whatever other rationalizations will be coming now. But this is a new and special moment when some real change seems possible. And we – Church leaders, laity, all people of good will – have to seize it, if we don’t want history to say that we did nothing while millions of innocents were being slaughtered.

*Image: Visitation by Tanzio da Varallo, c. 1627 [Church of San Brizio, Domodossola, Italy]

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© 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Robert Royal

Robert Royal

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press.  The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

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FW: so-called ‘brain death’


From: Maike Hickson <
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2019 7:46 AM

On Sun, May 19, 2019 at 6:22 AM Philippe Schepens <> wrote:

Swedish stroke patient hears doctors discuss removing his organs.


43-year-old man lodges official complaint after overhearing medics talking to his girlfriend about organ donation while he was paralysed but fully conscious

“They looked at an x-ray of my brain, and when they had done that, they told my girlfriend that it wasn’t good and that I wouldn’t live,” Mr Fritze said .

By Richard Orange, Malmö 4:37 PM BST 04 Apr 2014

A Swedish man who was paralysed by a stroke is filing an official complaint against a Gothenburg hospital after he listened in horror to his doctors telling his girlfriend and relatives he was going to die and discussing transplanting his liver and kidney.
“I heard them tell my girlfriend and my relatives that there was no hope,” Jimi Fritze, 43, told The Telegraph.
“I couldn’t do anything. I could only see and hear. I couldn’t move my body.”
The former supermarket manager from Örebro suffered a stroke nearly two years ago as he and his girlfriend were dining on smoked fish and fine wine at a restaurant on the Gothenburg archipelago.
As it was too windy for a helicopter to land on the island, it took one and a half hours to get him by boat to hospital.
By that time, he was completely paralysed.
“They looked at an x-ray of my brain, and when they had done that, they told my girlfriend that it wasn’t good and that I wouldn’t live,” Mr Fritze said.
“I could hear her crying the whole time, but I couldn’t do anything.”
He drifted into unconsciousness, waking later to hear the doctors discussing his case.
“I heard them talking about donation, they wanted to do some tests on my liver and my kidney, so they could give them to some people,” he said.
Still, he could do nothing to alert anyone to the fact that he was fully conscious.
“I was scared because I thought that I was going to die then, and a hard death,” he said. “I remember I thought, what will happen if they cremate me, will I see the fire and feel the fire?”.
When his family came in to say their final farewell, the doctors discussed organ donation with them, even though Mr Fritze had yet to be declared officially brain dead, something he believes violated official guidelines.
If a more experienced doctor had not returned from holiday three days after his accident, he is in little doubt that he would not be here today.
“I think I would have been stuck in bed until my body didn’t work any more, so they could take the parts from me,” Mr Fritze said.
As it happened, when the new doctor took another look at the x-ray, she immediately realised that there was a good chance that Mr Fritze might recover. Within days, he was able to communicate by nodding his head.
After nearly two years, and constant rehabilitation therapy, Mr Fritze can now speak and move, although he remains confined to a wheelchair and reliant on an assistant.
Last month, he filed an official complaint to Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Hospital, where he was treated, hoping that it will help prevent the same thing happening to others.
Stefan Sarajärvi, a spokesman for the hospital, said that the hospital had begun an inquiry into Mr Fritze’s complaint, and would respond later this month.
“We take all the complaints we receive very seriously, and do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen in future,” he said.

Source : The Telegraph (London) May 19th 2019

in Christo

Philippe Schepens MD

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on overruling Roe, and more

Ed Whelan via Fri, May 17, 11:17 AM (1 day ago)
to me

From NRO’s Bench Memos:

Some Thoughts on Overruling Roe




May 17, 2019 11:51 AM


·         1. For reasons I explained more fully in my Senate Judiciary Committee testimony in 2005, I believe that the case for overruling Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is overwhelming. Here is an excerpt:


Roe is the Dred Scott of our age. Like few other Supreme Court cases in our nation’s history, Roe is not merely patently wrong but also fundamentally hostile to core precepts of American government and citizenship. Roe is a lawless power grab by the Supreme Court, an unconstitutional act of aggression by the Court against the political branches and the American people. Roe prevents all Americans from working together, through an ongoing process of peaceful and vigorous persuasion, to establish and revise the policies on abortion governing our respective states. Roe imposes on all Americans a radical regime of unrestricted abortion for any reason all the way up to viability—and, under the predominant reading of sloppy language in Roe’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, essentially unrestricted even in the period from viability until birth. Roe fuels endless litigation in which pro-abortion extremists challenge modest abortion-related measures that state legislators have enacted and that are overwhelmingly favored by the public—provisions, for example, seeking to ensure informed consent and parental involvement for minors and barring atrocities like partial-birth abortion. Roe disenfranchises the millions and millions of patriotic American citizens who believe that the self-evident truth proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence—that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with an unalienable right to life—warrants significant governmental protection of the lives of unborn human beings.

See part 2 of that testimony for some devastating criticisms of Roe from liberals who support a right to abortion.

2. The wave of protective pro-life legislation demonstrates that Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s effort to preserve Roe has failed. As Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule succinctly explained in a tweet the other day (my underlining):

The premise of Planned Parenthood v. Casey was that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence could succeed in “call[ing] the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division.” Doesn’t seem to have worked. Casey fails its own test.

3. We often hear from the Left pleas for “judicial statesmanship” to preserve liberal precedents. But real judicial statesmanship would be for the liberals on the Court to recognize that Roe is a dismal failure and to forge a unanimous ruling against it.

4. All the clamor over the Alabama and Georgia laws ignores that there are certiorari petitions pending before the Court right now that provide the opportunity to erode or overrule Roe.

One petition (which the Court has been sitting on for months now) presents the questions (1) whether a state may require health care facilities to dispose of fetal remains in the same manner as other human remains (i.e., by burial or cremation); and (2) whether a state may prohibit abortions motivated solely by the race, sex, or disability of the fetus.

Another presents the question whether a state may require an ultrasound at least eighteen hours before an abortion.

And yet another challenges a Fifth Circuit decision that upheld a Louisiana law that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This is the law that the liberal justices, together with the Chief, blocked from taking effect, so it’s a safe bet that certiorari will be granted in the case.

5. Any justices who recognize that Roe should be overruled but who are waiting for just the right occasion to do so are fooling themselves. There will never be a perfect time, and stretching things out unnecessarily just means that the Court will be a fat political target. That doesn’t mean that the Court necessarily needs to overrule Roe at the first opportunity, but it shouldn’t shy from the challenge.

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—May 17




May 17, 2019 8:00 AM

1954—In Brown v. Board of Education, a unanimous Supreme Court abandons available originalist justifications for its ruling that state-segregated schools violate the Equal Protection Clause—justifications that would have been far weightier, and commanded far more public respect, than its own makeshift reliance on contemporaneous psychological research of dubious relevance. Contrary to conventional understanding, the Court declines to revisit its notorious 1896 ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson and instead limits itself to the question whether the separate-but-equal rule of Plessy “should be held inapplicable to public education.”

1993—Tennessee chief justice Lyle Reid and justice Martha Craig Daughtrey dispute the ruling by the Tennessee supreme court in State v. Marshall that obscenity is not protected speech under the Tennessee constitution. The majority’s ruling, they extravagantly contend, hands “the right most essential to personal dignity and democratic government, the freedom of expression, … into the willing grasp of the censor.”

Daughtrey will be appointed by President Clinton to the Sixth Circuit later in 1993.

2013—Crackheaded, indeed. In United States v. Blewett, Sixth Circuit judge Gilbert S. Merritt Jr., joined by fellow Carter appointee Boyce F. Martin Jr., holds that the more lenient sentences of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 apply to crack-cocaine offenders who were sentenced before the Act’s effective date.

Merritt purports to recognize that “there is no equal protection violation without discriminatory intent,” and he acknowledges that when the 100-to-1 crack statute was adopted in 1986, “there was no intent or design to discriminate on a racial basis.” But he contends that the knowledge gained since 1986 about the disparate impact of the original minimums on blacks means that continued enforcement of those sentences is intentional has a (constitutionally permissible) racially disparate impact, the maintenance of that law would suddenly be transformed into intentional discrimination. As Clinton appointee Ronald Lee Gilman observes in dissent, there is no support for such a propositi


Mr. Whelan is co-editor of the New York Times bestseller 
Scalia Speaks:Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived 
and On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer, both 
published by Crown Forum

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Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Matthew Cullinan HoffmanFollow Matthew

NEWSCATHOLIC CHURCHFri May 17, 2019 – 4:38 pm EST

Francis’ former doctrine chief blasts Vatican reform plan, German bishops on sex abuse

 CatholicCurial ReformGerhard MüllerHoly SeePope FrancisSynodal PathSynodality

May 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has in a new interview answered questions about the rise of the concept of “synodality,” the synodal approach of the German Church which he says is “crazy,”  the Amazon Synod, female diaconate, Curia reform, formation of priests and bishops, and much more. 

The Cardinal has become, very reluctantly, a potent focus of attention after Pope Francis failed to renew is 5-year term at the CDF in 2017. During his recent visit to Madrid, on the occasion of a solemn liturgy of the Constantinian Order, of which he is Grand Prior, he granted this interview exclusively to InfoVaticana. It has been translated by LifeSiteNews: 


InfoVaticana: Your Eminence, let’s talk about the concept of synodality. What are the theological reference points, according to the magisterium of the Church, of synodality? What is this concept being used for in practice, in the life of the Church today? Is there a risk of using this practice as an instrument for other purposes? 

Cardinal Müller: Synodality is a neologism (new expression). Before there was the collegiality of the bishops, in which they worked together with the pope. And there were the regional and provincial synods, general synods, ecumenical councils… But theologically it is something new, involving a little invention. Collaboration is a natural thing for all members of the Church. That’s why I don’t understand what a sense of “synodality” would be that would be different from what we already had throughout the history of the Church. As if processes could change the Church’s ideas. More important than processes is orienting oneself towards the classical principles of Sacred Scripture, of the apostolic tradition, of the magisterium, in declarations, infallible definitions… These are the points of reference and we cannot change the doctrine of the Church little by little in order to convert it to ideas that are against Revelation.

InfoVaticana: In this sense, speaking of processes, are you concerned about the synodal approach of the German Church as the point of the spear?

Cardinal Müller: This is something crazy. They think that sexual abuse by some clergy has something to do with the interpretation of sexuality or with celibacy and women’s access to the priesthood. The existence of abuse is used to advance another agenda. It’s absolutely false. One cannot accept this because there are many causes of abuse, including moral confusion: the failure of personal and also ecclesiastical morals, since ecclesiastical discipline has not been well understood. One becomes a priest of Jesus Christ to give a good example to others. The priest runs the risk of falling into temptation, of not respecting young people in the sanctity of their lives, in their personality… These are the real reasons for this failure. The vast majority of priests are good, you can’t make these good priests liable for other people’s personal guilt. We know that there are abusers in families, that there are abusive parents, but it cannot be said that the majority of these perpetrators, of those who do these things, are the parents. Because most parents are good parents.

InfoVaticana: Do you believe that the text of Pope Benedict on the causes of pedophilia in the Church has been deliberately silenced because of the arguments made by the Pope Emeritus?

Cardinal Müller: He, Benedict XVI, tells the truth and some do not want to listen to him. They have invented the theory that Archbishop Georg Gänswein and I wrote that text. That’s what I’ve read in the press. He, the Pope Emeritus, is more capable of writing these texts than most of his critics. That is to say, he has a great intellect, and he has enough experience – 60 years, and also as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and then as pope. The two popes, John Paul II and Benedict, did everything they could to counteract pedophilia in the clergy. They must be given credit for fighting this plague. Those who criticize it are ideologues. Most of these have not read, have not studied this letter of 20 pages or more. They’ve only read a few headlines in the newspapers that said the pope was blaming the mentality of 1968.  But the pope emeritus did not say that it was to blame, but rather that it set the stage for the annihilation of morals and of conscience.

InfoVaticana: Are you worried about what might come out of the Amazon Synod?

Cardinal Müller: What I have seen so far is very superfluous. The reason for the lack of priests is not celibacy, it is the lack of preparation for the priestly vocation. Such a vocation comes from God and it is up to us to listen and respond to this vocation of God, which is a spiritual act. The Church must foster a good pastoral care of vocations. Celibacy is a spiritual reality and those who do not think of the Spirit of God cannot understand it. As Jesus said: the people of the world do not understand what celibacy is, to give one’s life and not to live in marriage, which for us is a sacrament. With celibacy we also bear witness to the eschatological dimension of hope for eternal life. Because human life, Christian life, does not end in this terrestrial world. We have a hope beyond this life. All those who speak (about and) who have their aspirations in this Synod of the Amazon, speak only of some practical aspects of the matter. And they don’t enter profoundly into the issues. They think more in accordance with the world than in a spiritual way.

InfoVaticana: You have written several books on women and the priesthood. There’s been a commission on the female diaconate. Do you believe that there will be an opening to the female diaconate and therefore, in the future, to the priesthood of women?

Cardinal Müller: No. Dogmatically it is not possible. The pope does not have the power and authority to change the sacraments. And there was never a sacramental diaconate for women. And some historical data cannot be interpreted in this sense, and the Church has never dogmatically said that it is possible for women to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. There is only one sacrament of Holy Orders: bishop, priest and deacon, and the sacrament cannot be separated or distinguished.

InfoVaticana: And an intermediate way of a non-sacramental ministerial diaconate, is it possible?

Cardinal Müller: No. Why call it a ministerial diaconate? It would create a confusion of words. Large numbers of our Christians are instructed by the press and do not know how to make theological distinctions because of a lack of education in theology. That’s what we have ministries for. Lay ministries too. The same applies to men and women. There is no point in constructing something in the sense of a female diaconate, because we have this word, “ministry,” which comes from Latin. Why create confusion? The word deacon is a technical term for the first degree of the sacrament of Holy Orders. We cannot create a terminological confusion.

InfoVaticana: We are in a time in which doctrine has moved to second place. The first is now occupied by a singular, even spiritual, conception of praxis. What role does doctrine play in the Christian life, in the configuration of Catholic identity?

Cardinal Müller: There are many, now the Church, who do not know what doctrine is. They think it’s a theory, a kind of thought. The doctrine of the Church is the Gospel of Jesus, it is the doctrine of Jesus, and of the apostles, and that is why it is the presentation, the verbalization of the Logos, of the word of God. The doctrine of the Church is the explanation of God’s self-revelation, and it is not our theory about God, or about some topic in the Church. A distinction must be made between the dogmatic doctrine of the Church and the academic doctrine of theologians. In this preparation of the so-called reform of the Curia they are lowering the priority of the faith. First comes the Secretariat of State, which says that the State Secretariat, with its relations with States, diplomacy and Vatican bureaucracy, is more linked to the Pope’s supreme mission than the doctrine of faith. This is absurd. Those are mundane, secular chores. The spiritual mission comes from Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has not constituted the Vatican State with its head, and this head with his state governs the Church. It’s absurd. The truth is the opposite. The Secretariat of State is only an aid to guarantee the independence, the freedom of the pope against the influence of politicians. But it is not the essence of the Petrine ministry.  And how can it be said, among the dicasteries, that first comes that of evangelization and then faith and the doctrine of faith? Evangelization is praxis and faith is theory. What concept of theory and praxis do they have? The Marxist system? Faith is the origin, the root of justification. Only through faith in Jesus Christ are we saved. Without faith, no one can please God. Faith is an infused virtue. The first gift of the Holy Spirit to us is faith and hope, love. You can’t say faith is just a theory.

InfoVaticana: What other aspects of the Curia reform concern you?

Cardinal Müller: It is also very problematic that the Congregations of the cardinals, who represent the Roman Church, have been replaced by dicasteries. Now we have only dicasteries. Dicasteries are a bureaucracy. The Roman Curia cannot be a bureaucratic apparatus to help the Pope, the conferences, the bishops… It is an ecclesiastical reality that represents the Roman Church. Collegiate with the pope as his body, is in first place the College of Cardinals. The curia is also a form of the work of the College of Cardinals. And because of that, the congregation is the Latin expression of “synod.” They speak of synodality and do away with the  Congregations, and instead of “synodality” or “congregation” they now introduce a bureaucratic term.

InfoVaticana: What motivated you to make your Confession of Faith public?

Cardinal Müller: It was necessary. We talk a lot about climate, climate change, immigrants… and we have to talk about the themes of our Christian and Catholic faith. Cardinal Kasper said that what I had written about were some elements arbitrarily chosen by me. But the themes are the Trinity, the Incarnation, the sacramentality of the Church, the unity between faith and life and the expectation for eternal life, and the eschatological dimension. That’s exactly what the symbol says, the profession of faith. And this is where we are. The Church, as the Pope always says, is not an NGO, the Church is a communion in faith, united in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The word of God that became flesh. This is the center of the Church, the sacrament in Christ to bring people into full communion with God and among us, to give an example or a sign of unity to humanity. This is the Church. We don’t need a church that’s a department of the United Nations.

InfoVaticana: I would like to ask you about the theological formation of priests and bishops. What are the consequences of an absence of theological and doctrinal formation of priests and bishops?

Cardinal Müller: Bishops and priests are the servants of the Word. That’s why they have to know the Word. The intelligence of faith is not a reality that comes from outside to faith, it comes from within, from faith. Faith is also a rational act. We believe with our reason and with our will taken from grace. But it’s a truly human act. And we must be prepared to give an answer to all those who ask us about the reasonableness of the hope that is in us. We have this great tradition of theology, of intellectuality, of faith. All the great teachers, especially St. Thomas, have spoken of the bishop as the master of the word, as the one who teaches the word and has to know all the elements of faith. He doesn’t have to be a specialist theologian like those in the academy, but he has to be at that level. He has to be able to argue with theology professors. He must be informed every day, read the Bible, study the Bible, the great texts and documents of the apostolic tradition, and he has to be familiar with  contemporary theologians, and all of the discussion that we have today – anthropology, the false anthropology that defines man as a single biological being. We have to give convincing answers to today’s intellectuals. It is not enough to be ministers of worship, ritualism – this is not enough – or to repeat some common phrases. It is necessary to have the capacity to penetrate these subjects. And that is why we need a profound study of theology, and also a permanent formation.

InfoVaticana: In your biography there is an outstanding chapter on your relationship with Gustavo Gutiérrez, with whom you also elaborated a theology on the poor. Today we are in a time when the poor have acquired a singular prominence as a priority of the Church’s discourse regarding the Gospel, that the poor are at the center of the message. But isn’t this discourse being used for something else?

Cardinal Müller: Everything can be made into an instrument of ideology. But the Christian, Catholic faith is not an ideology. It is the experience of God’s reality in our midst. This is the Catholic faith. The poor in the world are not a marginal reality. It’s a big issue, because there are millions of these poor people, and they live at a level that is below their dignity as human beings.  With the strength of faith, and the spirit of love, we must concern ourselves with the integral development of humanity. It cannot be that a few are very rich and others have nothing. The riches of the world are given to all. The Social Doctrine of the Church, and the theology of liberation along the lines of Gustavo Gutiérrez, say that this is not a Marxist ideology, but that it asks us how we can speak of God in the face of these injustices, inequalities and sufferings. The struggle against the structure of poverty, against the lack of human dignity, belongs to the mission of the Church, to diakonia.

Translated by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman for

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Is Anti-Open Letter Taylor Marshall calling Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales a “Sedevacantist”?

On Twitter, Nick Donnelly wrote:

“Bishop Schneider tells Raymond Arroyo that the signatories were wrong to accuse Francis of heresy because he hasn’t made a formal, universal declaration of heresy. Though he admits he has allowed wrong teaching Very disappointing hair splitting.”[ AM – 17 May 2019 ]

In responding to Donnelly’s statement, anti-Open Letter Taylor Marshall, apparently, is implicitly calling Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales a “sedevacantist”:

“I agree w Bishop Schneider. If you condemn Francis as “heretical pope” one must break communion with him. This is why I called the doc “practically sedevacantist”. It’s not formally sede but the natural conclusion is.”

Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales wrote:

“Thus we do not say that the Pope cannot err in his private opinion, as did John XXIL.; or be altogether a heretic, as perhaps Honorius was. Now when he is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, andthe Church must either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See, and must say as S. Peter did: ‘Let another take his bishopric.'”
(The Catholic Controversy by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)

Marshall appears to be saying by inference that the Doctor of the Church is a “sede” by “natural conclusion” when he wrote:
“[T]he  Pope… when he is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, andthe Church must either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See.”
Do Marshall and Schneider think they are greater theologians than St. Francis de Sales?

Do Marshall and Schneider think that the Church can’t depose a pope contradicting a Doctor of the Church or possibly that magically the Church doesn’t have to “condemn Francis as [a] ‘heretical pope'” before it “either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See”?

According to Donnelly, Bishop Athanasius Schneider said “the signatories were wrong to accuse Francis of heresy because he hasn’t made a formal, universal declaration of heresy.” Marshall agreed with this statement.

Are Schneider and Marshall waiting for “a formal, universal declaration of heresy” such as this:

Not privately, but Pope Francis officially acting as the pope explicitly contradicted traditional Catholic teaching on divorce and remarriage when he in a “official act as the pope” placed the Argentine letter in the the Acts of the Apostolic See (AAS) in which he said of the Buenos Aires region episcopal guidelines:

“There is no other interpretations.”

The guidelines explicitly allows according to LifeSiteNews “sexuality active adulterous couples facing ‘complex circumstances’ to ‘access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'”(LifeSiteNews, “Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers, December 4, 2017)
In a article on OnePeterFive, specialist in Magisterial authority Dr. John Joy said “It means that it is an official act of the pope.” 
Moreover, the article said:

“Dr. Joy pointed out that adding the letter to the AAS could, in fact, damage the credibility of Amoris Laetitia by potentially removing the possibility that it could be intercepted in an orthodox way, via its publication in the official acts of the Apostolic See, that the unorthodox interpretation is the official one.”(OnePeterFive, “Pope’s Letter on Argentinian Communion Guidelines for Remarriage Given Official Status,” December 2, 2017)

The “official act of” Francis is a “unorthodox interpretation.”
It is not just a private contradiction of traditional Catholic teaching.

The “official act of the pope” is a “unorthodox interpretation” which means it contradicts traditional Catholic teaching which is just another way of saying by “official act the pope” is teaching heresy.

Now, let us quote philosopher Ed Feser:
“(1) Adulterous sexual acts are in some special circumstances morally permissible… these propositions flatly contradict irreformable Catholic teaching. Proposition (1) contradicts not only the perennial moral teaching of the Church, but the teaching of scripture itself.”(Edwardfeser.blogspot, “Denial flows into the Tiber,” December 18, 2016)

How’s that for an understatement?

Marshall and Schneider might of heard that God commanded in one of the Ten Commandments:

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

But, just in case they never heard of the Ten Commandments, Dubia Cardinal Walter Brandmuller said:

“Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”
(LifeSiteNews, “Dubia Cardinal: Anyone who Opens Communion to Adulterers a Heretic and Promotes Schism,” December 23, 2016)

Does this mean because Cardinal Brandmuller said that if a pope “open[ed] Communion to adulterers” he is “a heretic and promotes schism” that according to Marshall by inference he is a “sede” by “natural conclusion”?

Getting back to St. Francis de Sales’ teaching that heretical popes can be deposed by the Church, just in case Schneider and Marshall don’t think the Doctor of the Church knew what he was talking about here are some of his credentials as a great theologian. The Catholic websites Word on Fire and Catholic wrote:

– “In addition to his devotional and apologetical writings, he also was a brilliant theologian who helped orchestrate something of a cease-fire in the debates between the Dominicans and Jesuits on grace and predestination. He also wrote the mystical Treatise on the Love of God, of which Pope Benedict XVI said: ‘In an intensely flourishing season of mysticism The Treatise on the Love of God was a true and proper summa and at the same time a fascinating literary work.’”[]

– “The special importance of the teaching of St. Francis de Sales: The thought of this Doctor of the Church is of special importance since the Pope himself followed the advice of St. Francis in putting an end to the debates De Auxiliis. Pope Pius IX reports it as follows:1 ‘. . . our Predecessor of holy memory, Paul V, when the famous debate De Auxiliis was being held at Rome decided to ask the opinion of this Bishop on the matter and, following his advice, judged that this most subtle question, full of danger, and agitated long and keenly, should be laid to rest, and that silence should be imposed on the parties.’ The special importance of his teaching is even clearer from the words of Pius XI:2 ‘But taking the opportunity, he lucidly explained the most difficult questions, such as efficacious grace, predestination, and the call to the faith.'”[]

But, again, just in case Schneider and Marshall need St. Francis de Sales’ credentials as a great theologian on matters dealing with papal theology explained by another anti-Open Letter conservative Catholic here is what pro-Francis Dave Armstrong wrote about the Doctor of the Church:

“Historically, there were many expressions similar to ‘papal infallibility’, such as: papal authoritypapal primacyheadshippapal supremacyRoman primacy, etc. All of those can be traced back to very early times. Papal infallibility developed (i.e., became more fully understood in its detail) just as all Christian doctrines do.” 

“But if we restrict ourselves to uses of the word infallibility itself, (and with direct reference to the pope), one notable historical use comes from a Doctor of the Church, St. Francis de Sales, and his book, The Catholic Controversy, completed in 1596. Note how remarkably it anticipates the later fully developed dogma of papal infallibility, as pronounced at the First Vatican Council in 1870 (274 years before it):

‘When he teaches the whole Church as shepherd, in general matters of faith and morals, then there is nothing but doctrine and truth. And in fact everything a king says is not a law or an edict, but that only which a king says as king and as a legislator. So everything the Pope says is not canon law or of legal obligation; he must mean to define and to lay down the law for the sheep, and he must keep the due order and form.’

‘We must not think that in everything and everywhere his judgment is infallible, but then only when he gives judgment on a matter of faith in questions necessary to the whole Church; for in particular cases which depend on human fact he can err, there is no doubt, though it is not for us to control him in these cases save with all reverence, submission, and discretion. Theologians have said, in a word, that he can err in questions of fact, not in questions of right; that he can err extra cathedramoutside the chair of Peter. that is, as a private individual, by writings and bad example.’

‘But he cannot err when he is in cathedra, that is, when he intends to make an instruction and decree for the guidance of the whole Church, when he means to confirm his brethren as supreme pastor, and to conduct them into the pastures of the faith. For then it is not so much man who determines, resolves, and defines as it is the Blessed Holy Spirit by man, which Spirit, according to the promise made by Our Lord to the Apostles, teaches all truth to the Church.’ (The Catholic Controversy, translated by Henry B. Mackey, Rockford, Illinois: TAN Books, 1989, 306-307)”[]

Schneider and Marshall, although good men, appear not to be great theologians when compared St. Francis de Sales.

Also, it appears that Schneider and Marshall, although good men, appear cowardly when compared to St. Athanasius.

Athanasius demanded the Arian semi-heretical and heretical Church leaders of his time be deposed unless they repented.

Schneider and Marshall are directly contradicting the traditional teaching of Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales in saying the Church can’t depose a heretical pope.

And in saying there is no formal Church definition saying the Church can depose a heretical pope so let’s sit in our hands they are showing they are very unlike Athanasius.

Again, Athanasius shows Schneider and Marshall to be a bit cowardly as compared to him by his defense of the as yet not formally defined traditional teaching that Jesus is God and demanding a Church formal definition that Jesus is God.

We need to act like Athanasius did, and not act like Schneider and Marshall, in demanding that the traditional teaching that a heretical pope can be deposed be formally defined by the Church.

Sadly, the sincere Schneider and Marshall are apparently like many good men in the Church in our time and I hope they proves me wrong. They speak well of the truths of the Church, but are afraid to act on those truths.

There is only one bishop in our time acting with the bravery of St. Athanasius. That is Bishop Rene Gracida.

All good, but fearful Catholics needs to hear the following:

 – Bishop Fulton Sheen:

“Cowards go to Hell. Never forget that. No matter what happens in your life never forget that basic truth.”
(, “Saints and Popes Quotes”)

– Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) 

If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him. (Letter to Bishop Brizen)”

– Francisco Suarez S. J. (1548-1617)

“If the pope gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defence. (De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16)”

– St. Robert Bellarmine, S. J. (1542-1621) 

Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed. (De Romano Pontifice, Lib. II, Ch. 29)”

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church.

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Former Obama administration Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson argues that with approximately the population of the city of Orlando being apprehended at the southern border every two months, the U.S. is definitely dealing with a “crisis.”


Obama DHS Chief Sounds Border Alarm: Population of Orlando Showing Up Every 2 Months

By Randy DeSoto
Published May 15, 2019 at 7:02pm

Wall Street Journal

Former Obama administration Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson argued that with approximately the population of the city of Orlando being apprehended at the southern border every two months, the U.S. is definitely dealing with a “crisis.”

“We had 100,000 apprehensions in the month of March and another 100,000 in the month of April. That’s the highest it’s been in 12 years,” Johnson told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday.

“Think of it this way: that is the equivalent of the population of the city of Orlando, Florida, showing up on our southern border in the course of two months,” he added.

President Obama’s former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on the illegal aliens flooding the U.S.: Equivalent to the population of Orlando showed up on the border in just 2 months4814:06 PM – May 15, 2019365 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Johnson also affirmed the importance of a border wall at strategic locations to help address the crisis.

“We should not view a wall or a fence as a black and white issue,” he said. “Are there are places on the southern border where some form of barrier could be fortified or an existing barrier replaced or something of that nature? Yeah.”

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Additionally, Johnson expressed confidence that President Donald Trump’s recently named acting DHS chief Kevin McAleenan — who worked as deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the Obama administration — has a “smart border security plan” ready to be implemented.

Johnson told Cavuto part of the current crisis has been created by the Flores court decision.

Under the 1997 Flores v. Reno settlement, federal authorities may only detainunaccompanied migrant children for 20 days, then they must be released to parents, adult relatives or sanctioned programs.

In 2015, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, an Obama appointee, ruled that the Flores requirements apply to both unaccompanied minors and children apprehended with their parents. This update makes deporting families with children seeking asylum virtually impossible.

“The Flores decision has not helped frankly,” Johnson said. “That was a decision reached by a federal district court in Los Angeles in 2015. I was opposed to it then. I’m opposed to it now.”

The Hill reported that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the Trump administration a rare immigration policy victory last week, ruling federal authorities can continue to require asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for the court to adjudicate their petitions.

The panel of judges issued a stay on a lower court ruling blocking implementation of the policy, while litigation concerning it proceeds.

The 9th Circuit found that DHS was likely to suffer irreparable harm if the policy was halted because it “takes off the table one of the few congressionally authorized measures available to process the approximately 2,000 migrants who are currently arriving at the Nation’s southern border on a daily basis.”

Cavuto asked Johnson if he stuck by his assessment — first made last month — that there is a crisis at the border, as Trump has been contending.

“It’s very definitely a crisis,” Johnson answered. “This is common sense. Two-hundred thousand people in two months on our southern border is a crisis.”

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Texas Alliance for Life Dives onto its Own Sword, Should Die on It

by Peter Amos Cohen

Recently, Texas Alliance for Life (TAL) lobbied hard to defeat Senate Bill 2089 in Texas, a bill sponsored by Texas Right to Life (TRL). Senate Bill 2089 was to repeal the 10 day rule in current law, which is named Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA).

The leader of TAL, Dr. Joe Pojman, is a disgruntled former member of Texas Right to Life. He broke away from Texas Right to Life to found a new “pro-life” group which was to be the anti-conservative “pro-life” group, or Texas Alliance for Life (TAL). The problem is that its anti-conservatism has compromised its pro-life stance from its inception. TAL has defined itself in opposition to or in competition (not cooperation) with TRL. It has made a mission out of opposing TRL initiatives, usually on the basis of an alleged “legal imprudrence” (e.g. “this will get struck down by a higher court”), sometimes even going so far as to testify in the Texas Congress side by side with the likes of Planned Parenthood against TRL legal initiatives. Since Texas Right to Life is the oldest, most well established pro-life group, one would think that opposition to it by a newer pro-life movement would entail cutting-off the branch that it sits on, since members of the pro-life movement must be concerned with unity and unity necessarily requires that the newer and future growth in the movement would be in harmony with the former, past foundations. Yet TAL has successfully thrown out lifelines to the likes of the Texas Hospital Association (THA), the Texas Medical Association (TMA), and the Office of the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops (TCCB), with big promises of being able to deliver them into the hands of each other, thereby providing a service to each.

What does the TCCB get? The TCCB gets remotely included in some of the policy deliberations of the THA ad TMA through the brokerage of Pojman and members of the office of the TCCB get to maintain their socialist/paternalistic/patriarchal leanings (failing to make the proper distinction between ecclesiastical and political governance). While I am all in favor of secular authority bending to give ecclesiastical institutions a voice in the guidance of moral matters, I am not in favor of Churches compromising themselves in order to gain that voice. That is pharisaism, plain and simple.     

What does the THA and TMA get? To these big secular powers, by having the name of the TCCB on their initiatives, they can nullify much of the pro-life opposition when they act against life and on behalf of their monetary interests.

Thus does Joe Pojman call the TCCB and the THA/TMA into a dirty bed for a disgusting mé·nage à trois. And thus does Joe Pojman survive by appealing to certain standing powers, while fracturing the unity and political force of the pro-life movement. Hence, his nickname, “Dirty Joe.”

While Dirty Joe has usually opposed TRL on the basis of legal imprudence, he recently claimed that their initiative, SB 2089, was anti-life. He supported the 10 day TADA law, against SB 2089. In doing so, Dirty Joe was true to his dirty form. What was his argument?

It was a compound of two things. First, TAL’s argument from doctors conscience rights is the most ridiculous argument. It’s a terrible misunderstanding of conscience rights. As Bishop Mulvey of Corpus Christi taught (at a conference in Houston), the “holy trinity” of medical decision making is 1) the patient, 2) the doctor, and 3) the hospital. All three must work together cooperatively. Current TADA law fails to protect the balance of patient autonomy and physician conscience protection (traditional to Church teaching) by giving, after 10 days, sweeping permission for doctors and hospitals to act without patient consent in end-of-life care, once the doctors and hospitals agree among themselves that certain circumstances are present, making medical care “unnecessary” or “inappropriate.” Informed consent of the patient is the final moral principle in medicine that is somewhat universally in place. It is also the patient’s conscience rights. TAL’s recent push will contribute to even its loss.

Nobody wants doctors and hospitals to provide whimsical treatment, and if his conscience dictates the doctor should leave the medical relationship. But medical decision making power should not be placed solely in the hands of the doctors and hospitals. Where to place medical decision making power is a different proposition from doctor’s conscience rights. Contrary to TAL, the doctor and hospital should not have sweeping power to eliminate the patient’s conscience rights (informed consent), but they should persuade the patient/family/surrogate of the appropriate medical course of action. In short, educate. Do not act unilaterally. This part of TAL’s argument plays into the socialist tendencies of TAL’s base, since it treats people as incapable of being educated for self-governance. Rather than rule themselves, people instead must be ruled by “experts.”    

The second part of TAL’s argument is that if patient consent is included in end-of-life medical decision making, that families will unintentionally harm their loved one’s by opting for unnecessary medical procedures. I grant that this may happen, in theory.  But it is asinine to make a law to prevent it. As the old saying goes, “hard cases make bad laws.” One should not take an extreme case, where the family truly cannot be properly educated to allow a natural death, and make policy based on it as if it is normative. The hospitals and doctors also can abuse end-of-life medical care as is evident from the recent case of Carolyn Jones ( .    

In reality, the 10 day rule is not an expression of respect for the conscience rights of doctors or of care for the patient. That is a made up argument coming from the prostitution of Catholic thought by a TAL, a pro-life group that is happy to be used to mop the floor by the pro-death powers that be — as if they really care beyond the use. If we were in the Middle Ages, where the Church really had some control and coud oversee the actual use of this authority, then I might grant such paternalistic authority. At that time, maybe medical professionals might actually be formed properly to make the right decision. Proper formation is no longer the norm, however. While it is not perfect and may be abused, self-governance (informed consent in medical matters) is a last safeguard. The 10 day rule is about doctor’s consciences and patient care only in the minds of a very small group of people trying to be both socialist (which is by definition secular) and Catholic, who are only included in certain groups because their support of the 10 day rule will confuse the pro-life lobby.

Let’s be serious: the 10 day rule is a straight expression of the care rationing, death panel, medical utilitarian, bureaucratic mentality of Obamacare. By arguing for it, TAL offered a pro-life facade to pro-death legislation. It also lured the TCCB into prostituting itself to shill for the secular powers against life. TAL thereby dove onto its own sword. Having revealed yet again that it lacks a principled commitment to life, TAL should remain on its sword and die off. By all accounts, Joe Pojman is schmoozer. It would be good for his soul and for the pro-life movement if he would subject himself and use the talents he does have in the service of someone with principles. As Clint Eastwood in the character of Harry Callahan said, “a man’s got to know his limitations.”

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When a man ceases to believe in God, observed Chesterton, he becomes capable of believing in anything. It looks like we may now have reached the “anything” stage of human history.

MAY 13, 2019

The New Primitives



When a man ceases to believe in God, observed Chesterton, he becomes capable of believing in anything. It looks like we may now have reached the “anything” stage of human history.

As faith in Christianity recedes in the West, a strange thing is happening. Having shaken off belief in God, people are not becoming more rational, they’re becoming more gullible. They believe that babies in the womb aren’t really human beings, that same-sex “marriage” is the equivalent of real marriage, that there are roughly 52 varieties of gender, that boys can become girls, and vice versa. In general, they believe that wishing makes it so.

Rejection of God does not lead to a flowering of civilization, but rather to a primitivization. Many of the ideas that are now current are pre-scientific and even anti-scientific. Science is solidly on the side of those who say that babies are babies, and that boys cannot become girls, yet when science comes into conflict with today’s magical beliefs it is rejected out of hand. For many, the ultimate source of truth is not reason, or science, or God, but feelings.

It was belief in a rational God who created a rational and ordered universe that provided the main impetus for scientific study centuries ago. Christian and Jewish scholars thought it worthwhile to study the nature of things because the nature of things was considered to be rational and discoverable. Thus, the scientific revolution was a product of the Judeo-Christian world.

But suddenly all bets are off. For many, belief in the imperial self has supplanted belief in God and a rational world. The wants and desires of the individual self are paramount. If your 12-year-old daughter decides she’s a boy, you’d better go along with her desires because the reigning doctrine holds that her gender is a matter to be decided solely by her and her doctor.

Of course, the imperial self is not really imperial at all. Now that God is considered dispensable, the state has become the ultimate authority. As a result, the wishes of the individual are only considered legitimate if they coincide with the wishes of the state.

So what we really have is not simply a regression to magical thinking, but a merging of the primitive impulse with the modern totalitarian state. The mumbo jumbo ideology of transgenderism can only survive if it is backed by state power. But the new primitives don’t know enough history to realize that they live in an increasingly unfree society. Moreover, as long as they get their daily dose of sex and “soma” (marijuana, fentanyl, etc.), they don’t really care. However, there still remains a sizable number of Christians, Jews, and other believers in Natural Law who can see that the new normal is actually quite abnormal. Unless they spill the beans, the lies about the facts of life will be made mandatory. Everyone must be forced to believe. And liberal progressive primitives and their allies in the state will move to crush those who don’t comply.


The state not only reserves the right to decide your child’s sex, it now, apparently, thinks it has the authority to decide his religion. A regional court in Schleswig, Germany, imposed a fine on parents who refused to let their son go on a school trip to a mosque. Meanwhile, in neighboring Denmark, state authorities have threatened to take away the eight-year-old foster daughter of foster parents who had raised her from infancy. Their crime? The mother had expressed criticism of Islamic terrorism on her blog. The authorities said this showed poor judgment, and they called into question her ability to parent.

The rapid ascendancy of Islam in recent times is itself evidence of social regression. Though Muslims believe in God, he is not the same God that Christians believe in. Rather, Allah is a willful God who is not bound by the laws of reason. Like an absolute and capricious tyrant, his laws are arbitrary and subject to change. The remarkable lack of scientific progress in the Muslim world is simply the logical consequence of belief in this erratic God.

Because it borrows from Christianity and Judaism, Islam is an advance over most primitive religions, but in comparison to Christianity it is a decidedly primitive faith. It sanctions beheadings, amputations for theft, stoning for adultery, polygamy, subjugation of women, and even sex slavery. One might think that the new primitives would be appalled by Islam—especially because they consider the subjugation of women to be a great evil. But some taboos are more important than others, and one of the supreme taboos of our times is the injunction against judging other cultures. The sins of Islam can be wiped away simply by repeating the incantatory chant “They have a different culture.” The villager may now be a part of a global village, but he still thinks like a villager. The village chiefs and elders have decided that Christianity is a thing of the past, and that Islam is a vital part of the coming multicultural future. The villager nods his assent because he has no other points of reference. He is willing to believe anything the authorities say.

A society that elevates Islam over Christianity is a society that is taking a step back in time, yet that is the direction in which large parts of the West are headed. Churches in Europe are largely empty, but mosques are full. Many cultural observers predict that Islam will be the dominant religion in Europe well before mid-century. The ultimate irony of rejecting the Christian God is that you may end up with the God of Muhammad in his place.

In any event, our society seems to be taking the fork in the road that leads to a dark and superstitious past. For several decades now, educators have claimed to be teaching youngsters to think critically. Increasingly, however, the thought processes of Western citizens resemble the thought processes of their tribal ancestors in the bush and the savannah. More and more, you are encouraged to think of yourself as a member of an identity group—your tribe. You are not expected to think for yourself; you are expected to think as your group thinks.

This tribal thinking is not confined to college students and Democratic politicians. It has also infected the professions. Most professionals, after all, are graduates of group-think universities and doctrinaire graduate schools. So it should come as no surprise that they might have difficulty thinking for themselves, even when it comes to such basics as the differences between the sexes.

There is, for example, hardly any research evidence to support the use of hormones and surgery to help confused youngsters “transition” from one sex to another. And there is certainly no biological evidence.  From the biological perspective—that is, from the perspective of factual knowledge—the whole transgender project is an impossible one. Moreover, most of the research that is available shows that the “treatments” used in transitioning carry great risks to the physical and psychological health of children and teenagers.

Yet doctors and therapists continue to plow ahead with the transgender project despite its grave risks. Transgender ideology is the newest and most fashionable ideology. It is what the “best” people in the tribe attest to, so it must not be challenged. If you dare to oppose their agenda, they may well come after you or your child—not with pitchforks and torches, but with a court-issued summons.

The “brave” new doctors who recommend pumping children full of hormone blockers or mutilating their bodies are like the witch doctors of old. They mutter incantations (such as “social construct” and “gender dysphoria”), they wave their hypodermics to ward off skeptical thoughts, and, since they are considered the experts on everything from emotions to ethics, parents feel they have no choice but to let them go ahead with the ritual.

The word “primitive” is not necessarily a pejorative term. When applied to people who lived long ago or to people living today in isolated tribes in remote regions, it is simply a descriptive anthropological term for those who have never developed a civilization. But it’s another matter when civilized people fall back into primitive modes of thought and morality. In that case, the pejorative meaning is well deserved. They are, as Saint Paul said of those whose minds are darkened by sin, “without excuse.”

William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, gives us a picture of a rather rapid descent from civilization to savagery. Marooned on an island, all but a few of a group of English schoolboys are soon painting their bodies, wielding spears, and making offerings to an imaginary beast.

In the conclusion of the 1963 film version of the story, Ralph, the sole holdout for civilized ways, is being pursued by the pack of savage boys. Exhausted, he falls face down in the sand awaiting his fate. But when he looks up, he sees, towering over him, a British naval officer dressed in a dazzling white uniform—the personification of civilization, order, sanity, and security. And because Britain had not yet entered its post-Christian stage at that time, the officer might also be seen as a representative of God—the Christian God of justice and mercy.

Ralph begins to cry—presumably, for what has been lost and found again. So might we all cry over how much has already been lost of our Christian heritage. After we dry our tears, we must set about to regain it. The alternative is a rapid descent into darkness.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is a scene from the 1963 film version of Lord of the Flies.

Tagged as crisis of faith / unbeliefGender IdeologyLord of the Flies (1954)Natural LawParental Rightstransgender (gender-identity disorder)397

William Kilpatrick

By William Kilpatrick

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily,and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website,

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Equality Act Is Madness On Stilts

May 14, 2019

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the Equality Act:
The Equality Act is the most comprehensive assault on religious liberty, the right to life, and privacy rights ever packaged into one bill in the history of the United States. It passed the House Judiciary Committee last week and is scheduled for a vote this week, possibly on Thursday.
This act is based on the idea that sexually challenged men and women—those who think they can transition to the other sex—should be treated as if they were members of a minority race. There is no basis in either the natural law or the positive law for such a judgment: “gender identity” is not analogous to race.
Unlike race, which is a natural characteristic, “gender identity” is an unnatural condition. Moreover, the former is an ascribed attribute; the latter is an act of volition. They have nothing in common.
Here are 12 reasons why the Equality Act is so insane.

  • It would mean that homosexuals and the sexually challenged would qualify for affirmative action. Though the 1964 Civil Rights Act explicitly did not allow for preferential treatment, it has been interpreted by the courts that way. Therefore, if homosexuals and the sexually challenged are included in this historic piece of legislation, they would get preferential treatment in hiring.
  • The act would effectively gut the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, eviscerating important religious rights.
  • State laws that protect religious liberty would be gutted.
  • Freedom of speech, belief, and thought, as the U.S. Bishops have said, would be put “at risk.” Conscience rights are the most important of all rights. When they are attacked, all liberties are jeopardized.
  • Taxpayer-funded abortions would become a reality.
  • The bishops stress that “Houses of worship and other religious spaces will be turned into places of ‘public accommodation.'”
  • Adoption and foster care providers would have their rights stripped.
  • Catholic hospitals would no longer be allowed to govern as Catholic facilities, threatening healthcare for everyone, especially the poor.
  • Starting in kindergarten, students would be indoctrinated in the LGBT agenda.
  • Parental rights would be decimated.
  • Men who transition to female could compete in women’s sports, effectively working against the rights of women.
  • Privacy rights would be a thing of the past. As has already happened, a man who thinks of himself as a woman would be allowed to use the women’s locker room, parading around with male genitalia. In normal times, he would be arrested for indecent exposure.

If anyone thinks this is an exaggeration, check out what has happened to religious liberty in New Jersey and Ohio where Catholic hospitals have been targeted. Unless they agree to perform a hysterectomy on a woman who claims to be a man, they can be sued. The ACLU has been suing Catholic hospitals all over the nation trying to force them to adopt its anti-Catholic agenda. While it typically loses, this legislation will reverse that record.
All persons are equal in the eyes of God, and that certainly includes the sexually challenged. But no society grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition is required to sabotage its heritage in the name of truly bizarre notions of liberty and equality.
Those who fantasize that they are a member of the opposite sex, and take steps to achieve that result, suffer from a mental disorder. The research on this subject is clear. Years following sex reassignment surgery, the suicide rate spikes for those who undergo this operation. They need our help, and our prayers. What they don’t need is pandering or affirmation.
Even those radical feminists and lesbians who belong to the Women’s Liberation Front are opposed to the Equality Act. They are certainly more enlightened than the big corporations who are supporting it.
If the American people knew more about this act, they would be opposed to it by a large margin, and this is doubly true of parents. This isn’t about fairness—it’s about a war on religion, privacy, and common sense. The Equality Act is madness on stilts.

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