JESUIT LEADERS: CHAPLAINS TO THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE, RELATIVISM AND SECULARISM

Chaplains to the Zeitgeist

CRISIS MAGAZINE

Recently, La Civilta Cattolica ran an article by that journal’s editor-in-chief, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, and by Marcelo Figueroa, the Argentinian Presbyterian minister chosen by Pope Francis to be the editor of the Argentinean edition of L’Osservatore Romano, which subsequently republished the article. Since articles in La Civilta Cattolica are vetted by the Vatican secretary of state, since L’Osservatore Romano is the Vatican’s own newspaper, and especially since both Spadaro and Figueroa are reputed to be close to Pope Francis, this article has garnered enormous attention in Catholic circles. Also noteworthy is the article’s thesis: a contrast between what it terms “Pope Francis’ geopolitics” and an “ecumenism of hate,” the authors’ term for the alliance between American Evangelical Protestants and Catholics, who have been drawn together “around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values.”

The first point to note, of course, is that the “geopolitics” of a particular pope are not matters of faith and morals, and the faithful are free to disagree with them. The authors concede as much when they use their essay to attack, of all things, the Holy Roman Empire, the entity created when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne on Christmas Day in 800 and whose leader was prayed for by name in the Easter Exsultet for centuries. No Catholic need have any more deference to what Spadaro and Figueroa claim, accurately or not, to be Pope Francis’ political vision than Spadaro and Figueroa show to the political vision of the many popes who supported the ideal of Catholic monarchy for centuries, or indeed to the political vision of more recent pontiffs who had a warmer appreciation of political parties opposed to legalized abortion and homosexual marriage than Spadaro and Figueroa do.

Indeed, it is odd that Spadaro and Figueroa single out for criticism, of all the political movements in the world, one centered on agreement on Catholic teaching pertaining to matters of faith and morals. American Evangelicals were not behind the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that “The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation.” (CCC, Section 2273). American Evangelicals did not lobby to have St. John Paul II declare, in Evangelium Vitae, that “direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being…. No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”

Nor were American Evangelicals the impetus behind Pope Francis’ declaration, in Amoris Laetitia, that “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.” Not only does the “ecumenical convergence” between Evangelicals and Catholics center on matters of clear Catholic teaching, but, for many Evangelicals, this “convergence” represents a conversion. When Roe v Wade was decided, many Evangelicals were indifferent to the prospect of legalized abortion or even somewhat supportive. It was the Catholic Church that was the center of opposition to legalized abortion in America in 1973. One would think that this conversion would be a cause for joy in Catholic publications, but for Spadaro and Figueroa it represents instead an “ecumenism of hate.”

There are, of course, legitimate criticisms to be made of both American Evangelicals and American pro-lifers. Many American Evangelicals subscribe to a theological anti-Catholicism, and they actively seek to convert Catholics to Protestantism. These efforts are particularly pronounced in Latin America, where the region’s historic shortage of priests has left many Catholics poorly catechized and easily persuaded by Protestant arguments they have never been taught to counter. And many Republicans have been quite cynical in their professed opposition to Roe v Wade, which remained the law of the land even after professed pro-life Republicans had appointed a majority on the Supreme Court. But, despite this political failure, the American pro-life movement has at least succeeded in keeping abortion alive as a moral issue. No matter how cynically many Republican politicians treat abortion, it is hard to say that the pro-abortion position has become dominant in America when a major political party claims to take the opposite position, its presidents profess to support the opposite position, and at least some of the justices on the Supreme Court continue to dissent from the decision that is the focus of the opposition.  Indeed, no one who pays any attention to American life can fail to notice that a substantial portion of the population does not accept the morality of abortion. The same cannot be said for many other Western countries whose politics Spadaro and Figueroa do not criticize.

Needless to say, these are not the criticisms Spadaro and Figueroa offer of the “ecumenism of hate.” Instead, they offer a potpourri of contemporary leftist tropes. They assert that those whose politics they disagree with are motivated by “hate.” They suggest that opposition to the legalization of abortion and gay marriage represents “the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state” and a “direct virtual challenge to the secularity of the state,” the same positions advanced by secularists for decades. They attack American Evangelicals for being “composed mainly of whites from the deep American South,” sounding remarkably like Hillary Clinton bemoaning the “basket of deplorables.” They fret about “Islamophobia,” something that also worries The Guardian, The New York Times, and Der Spiegel, but something that probably did not bother St. Pius V, who prayed for the victory of the Christian fleet he was instrumental in assembling at Lepanto, the date of which is marked on the Church’s calendar by the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

They worry about man-made global warming, which has become a matter of faith for the secular left but whose scientific basis is still being disputed in peer-reviewed scientific articles, including recent papers by Nikolov and Zeller and Wallace, D’Aleo, and Idso. They claim an affiliation with the “ecumenism of hate” for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and of course Donald Trump, but they do not offer any criticism at all of any leftist politician, political coalition, or political figure. Indeed, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the main purpose of their essay is to bring about an alliance between the Church and the left, an alliance made difficult not just by Catholic teachings on abortion and marriage but by those Catholics whose votes are determined by those teachings.

They also come very close to suggesting that any opposition to non-Western immigration to the West is illegitimate, attacking members of the “ecumenism of hate” for being worried about “the migrants and the Muslims” and attacking moves to “build barrier-fences crowned with barbed wire.” The Church, however, has always taught that immigration is a prudential matter, with Pope Francis telling the Spanish newspaper El Pais that “each country has a right to control its borders, who enters and who leaves, and countries that are in danger—of terrorism or the like—have more right to control them.” Similarly, the statement issued by Benedict XVI on immigration in 2010 indicated that states have the right to regulate migration and defend their frontiers, and also recognized the importance of respecting a country’s laws and its national identity.

Spadaro and Figueroa completely ignore the weighty reasons supporting calls for immigration restriction in both America and Europe, preferring to wail about a “narrative of fear” instead. But America has admitted tens of millions of immigrants in recent decades, a massive influx that has depressed wages and caused great social disruption in many American communities. In Europe, an influx of Islamic immigrants has resulted in numerous instances of terrorism and mass murder. And future immigration into Europe has the potential to dramatically, and permanently, alter the continent that has been the center of the Church for centuries. At this writing, for example, many thousands of immigrants from the Mideast and Africa are hoping to be admitted into Italy. If everyone in the Mideast and Africa who wanted to come to Europe actually did, that number would be many millions. Given the very low birthrates in Italy and the very high birthrates in Africa and parts of the Mideast, it is easy to imagine unfettered immigration producing an Italy where Italians were outnumbered in their own country. At some point, such an Italy would be what Metternich quipped it was, merely a geographic expression.

It is not clear, though, that Spadaro and Figueroa would be bothered by such a radically transformed Europe. They write that “the Christian roots of a people are never to be understood in an ethnic way.” So much for Belloc’s “The Faith is Europe, and Europe is the Faith.” So much for Ireland being “the Land of Saints and Scholars,” so much for France being “the Eldest Daughter of the Church,” so much for Croatia being the “Antemurale Christianitatis,” a title bestowed by Leo X. So much, too, for this passage from Norman Davies’ great history of Poland, “God’s Playground,” of which I have always been particularly fond: “The Church’s path, therefore, is strewn with ambiguities. Sometimes, no doubt, the Church has failed the Nation. Sometimes, no doubt, it has closed its eyes to social ills and to political injustices. Sometimes, no doubt, it has proved itself to be unworthy of the Faith. But of the central fact, that the Catholic Church embodies the most ancient and the most exalted ideals of traditional Polish life across the centuries, there can be no doubt whatsoever.”

Spadaro and Figueroa also claim that the “ecumenism of hate” employs a “Manichean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil.” And this tendency does exist in American politics, as shown by George W. Bush’s Second Inaugural Address. But it is by no means confined to the Right, as shown by Hillary Clinton’s attack on “the basket of deplorables” and the continuing media assaults on Donald Trump and his supporters. Indeed, despite Spadaro and Figueroa’s invocation of Pope Francis’ “ecumenism … of inclusion, peace, encounter and bridges,” they seem remarkably uninterested in building bridges to anyone on their right, or even of trying to understand them.

In contrast to the American evangelicals and Catholics who incur the scorn of the powers that be by refusing to accept gay marriage and abortion, this, then, is the vision presented by Spadaro and Figueroa:  a Christianity where the highest expression of Christian values is for Christian nations to cease to be Christian, both in terms of the laws they enact and the composition of their populations, with endless dialogue and bridge building for those on the left and scorn and condemnation for those on the right. In his great eulogy for the courageous Cardinal Meisner, Benedict XVI spoke of the need for pastors who resist the dictatorship of the Zeitgeist. The vision presented by Spadaro and Figueroa does not challenge the dictatorship of the Zeitgeist in any significant respect. Indeed, they seem all too willing to serve as chaplains to the spirit of the age.

Editor’s note: In the photo above, Pope Francis accepts an issue of La Civilta Cattolicafrom Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit-run magazine, in February, 2017. (Photo credit: CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano.)

64

Tom Piatak

By

Tom Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School.

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HERE IS A LOOK AT THE WORLD YOUR CHILDREN AND CERTAINLY YOUR GRANDCHILDREN WILL INHERIT

 

Mark-Steyn-hi-res

Mark Steyn

SteynPost #18: The Biggest Issue of our Time

The link immediately above is what this post is all about.  The biographical information about Mark Steyn was added to this post to satisfy your curiosity, in the event that you are unfamiliar with Mark Steyn, so that you might learn something about him.

Mark Steyn has been a favorite of mine ever since, a ‘hundred years ago’ he started writing the back page column of the NATIONAL REVIEW.  He is smart, he is an intellectual, he is “spot on” in his understanding of what is happening to our world.

I enjoy his wit and wisdom and I hope that you do also, or will start to do after you watch this video I have linked to above.

 

Mark Steyn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn 2014.jpg

Steyn in 2014
Born December 8, 1959 (age 57)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Residence Woodsville, New Hampshire, U.S.
Nationality Canadian[1]
Occupation Author, writer, journalist, commentator
Children 3
Website http://www.steynonline.com

Mark Steyn (born December 8, 1959) is a Canadian author, writer, and conservative political commentator.[2] He has written five books, including America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, a New York Times bestseller. He is published in newspapers and magazines, and appears on shows such as those of Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.

Steyn lives and works mainly in Woodsville, New Hampshire.[3][4] He is married, and has three children.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Steyn was born in Toronto. He was baptized a Catholic and later confirmed in the Anglican Church;[5] he has stated that “the last Jewish female in my line was one of my paternal great-grandmothers” and that “both my grandmothers were Catholic”.[6] Steyn’s great-aunt was artist Stella Steyn.[7] His mother’s family was Belgian.[8]

Steyn was educated at the King Edward’s School, Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, the same school that author J. R. R. Tolkien attended and where Steyn was assigned a Greek dictionary that had also been used by Tolkien.[9] Steyn left school at age 16[10] and worked as a disc jockey before becoming musical theatre critic at the newly established The Independent in 1986.[11] He was appointed film critic for The Spectator in 1992. After writing predominantly about the arts, Steyn shifted his focus to political commentary and wrote a column for The Daily Telegraph, a conservative broadsheet, until 2006.

He has written for a wide range of publications, including the Jerusalem Post, Orange County Register, Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, The New York Sun, The Australian, Maclean’s, The Irish Times, National Post, The Atlantic, Western Standard, and The New Criterion.

Steyn’s books include Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now (a history of the musical theatre) and America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a New York Times bestseller. He has also published collections of his columns and his celebrity obituaries and profiles from The Atlantic.

Steyn held a Eugene C. Pulliam Visiting Fellowship in Journalism at Hillsdale College in spring 2013.[12] As of 2010, Steyn was no longer the back-page columnist for the print edition of National Review, conservative writer James Lileks having taken over that space in the print edition. Steyn’s back-page column for National Review, “Happy Warrior”, resumed with the March 21, 2011 issue.

Steyn also has contributed to the center-right blog Ricochet.com and recorded numerous podcasts with the organization.[13]

Steyn is also a guest host of The Rush Limbaugh Show.[14]

From December 2016 to February 2017, Steyn hosted “The Mark Steyn Show” on the CRTV Digital Network.[15] Following the cancellation of the show, Steyn sued CRTV.[16]

Positions[edit]

Criticism of news media[edit]

In a May 2004 column Steyn commented that editors were encouraging anti-Bush sentiments after the Daily Mirror and The Boston Globe had published faked pictures, originating from American and Hungarian pornographic Web sites,[17] of British and American soldiers supposedly sexually abusing Iraqis.[18] Steyn argues that media only wanted to show images to westerners “that will shame and demoralize them.”[19]

In a July 2005 column for National Review, Steyn criticized Andrew Jaspan, then the editor of The Age, an Australian newspaper. Jaspan was offended by Douglas Wood, an Australian kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq, who after his rescue referred to his captors as “arseholes.” Jaspan claimed that “the issue is really largely, speaking as I understand it, he was treated well there. He says he was fed every day, and as such to turn around and use that kind of language I think is just insensitive.” Steyn argued that there is nothing at all wrong with insensitivity toward murderous captors, and that it was Jaspan, not Wood, who suffered from Stockholm syndrome. He said further, “A blindfolded Mr. Wood had to listen to his captors murder two of his colleagues a few inches away, but how crude and boorish would one have to be to hold that against one’s hosts?”[20]

Conrad Black trial[edit]

Steyn wrote articles and maintained a blog[21] for Maclean’s covering the 2007 business fraud trial of his friend Conrad Black in Chicago, from the point of view of one who was never convinced Black committed any crime. Doing this, he later wrote, “cost me my gig at the [Chicago] Sun-Times” and “took me away from more lucrative duties such as book promotion”.[22] Steyn expressed dismay at “the procedural advantages the prosecution enjoys—the inducements it’s able to dangle in order to turn witnesses that, if offered by the defence, would be regarded as the suborning of perjury; or the confiscation of assets intended to prevent an accused person from being able to mount a defence; or the piling on of multiple charges which virtually guarantees that a jury will seek to demonstrate its balanced judgment by convicting on something. All that speaks very poorly for the federal justice system.”

After Black’s conviction, Steyn published a long essay in Maclean’s about the case, strongly criticizing Black’s defense team.[23]

Eurabia[edit]

Steyn believes that what he describes as “Eurabia“, a future where the European continent is dominated by Islam, is an imminent reality that cannot be reversed. “Every Continental under the age of 40—make that 60, if not 75—is all but guaranteed to end his days living in an Islamified Europe.”[24] “Native populations on the continent are aging and fading and being supplanted remorselessly by a young Muslim demographic.”[25]

In his book America Alone, Steyn posits that Muslim population growth has already contributed to a modern European genocide:[26]

Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since the second World War? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography—except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out, as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you cannot outbreed the enemy, cull ’em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia’s demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.

When some left-wing critics claimed Steyn was advocating genocide in this passage, he wrote:[27]

My book isn’t about what I want to happen but what I think will happen. Given Fascism, Communism and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, it’s not hard to foresee that the neo-nationalist resurgence already under way in parts of Europe will at some point take a violent form. … I think any descent into neo-fascism will be ineffectual and therefore merely a temporary blip in the remorseless transformation of the Continent.

Criticism of multiculturalism[edit]

Steyn has commented on divisions between the Western world and the Islamic world. He criticizes the tolerance of what he calls “Islamic cultural intolerance.” Steyn argues that multiculturalism only requires feeling good about other cultures and is “fundamentally a fraud … subliminally accepted on that basis.”[28]

In Jewish World Review, Steyn argues “Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture—the subjugation of women—combine with the worst attributes of Western culture—licence and self-gratification.” He states, “I am not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture—rule of law, universal suffrage—is preferable to Arab culture.”[29]

Support of Iraq invasion[edit]

Steyn was an early proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2007 he reiterated his support while attacking Democrat John Murtha, stating that Murtha’s plan for military action in Iraq was designed “to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don’t have to share the blame for the defeat. … [Murtha] doesn’t support them in the mission, but he’d like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years”.[30]

Books[edit]

America Alone[edit]

Steyn’s work America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It (ISBN 0-89526-078-6) is a New York Times bestselling nonfiction book published in 2006. It deals with the global war on terror and wider issues of demographics in Muslim and non-Muslim populations. It has been widely praised by conservativecommentators,[31] and recommended by George W. Bush.[32] The paperback edition (ISBN 1596985275), released in April 2008 with a new introduction, was labeled “Soon to Be Banned in Canada”, alluding to a possible result that Steyn then anticipated from the Canadian Islamic Congress’ human rights complaints against Maclean’s magazine.

Response to America Alone[edit]

In an essay about America Alone,[33] Christopher Hitchens wrote that “Mark Steyn believes that demography is destiny, and he makes an immensely convincing case,” then went on to detail many points at which he disagreed with Steyn. For instance, Hitchens believed that Steyn erred by “considering European Muslim populations as one. Islam is as fissile as any other religion, and considerable friction exists among immigrant Muslim groups in many European countries. Moreover, many Muslims actually have come to Europe for the advertised purposes; seeking asylum and to build a better life.” Nevertheless, Hitchens expressed strong agreement with some of Steyn’s points, calling the book “admirably tough-minded.”

After America[edit]

In 2011, Steyn published After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, a followup to America Alone. In it, he argues that the United States is now on the same trajectory towards decline and fall as the rest of the West, due to unsustainable national spending and borrowing.[34] While America Alone concentrated on demography and the rise of Islamic extremism, After America concentrates on Federal debt and the growth of government and bureaucracy.

After America peaked at number 4 on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list.[35]

Climate Change: The Facts[edit]

In early 2015, Steyn together with the Institute of Public Affairs published Climate Change: The Facts, a collection of 21 essays by what Steyn describes as “leading scientists and commentators” on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate. The book is written from the perspective of a climate change skeptic.

Legal issues[edit]

Canadian Islamic Congress human rights complaint[edit]

In 2007, a complaint was filed with the Ontario Human Rights Commission related to an article “The Future Belongs to Islam”,[36] written by Mark Steyn, published in Maclean’s magazine. The complainants alleged that the article and the refusal of Maclean’s to provide space for a rebuttal violated their human rights. The complainants also claimed that the article was one of twenty-two (22) Maclean’s articles, many written by Steyn, about Muslims.[37] Further complaints were filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission refused in April 2008 to proceed, saying it lacked jurisdiction to deal with magazine content. However, the Commission stated that it, “strongly condemns the Islamophobic portrayal of Muslims … Media has a responsibility to engage in fair and unbiased journalism.”[38] Critics of the Commission claimed that Maclean’s and Steyn had been found guilty without a hearing. John Martin of The Province wrote, “There was no hearing, no evidence presented and no opportunity to offer a defence—just a pronouncement of wrongdoing.”[39]

The OHRC defended its right to comment by stating, “Like racial profiling and other types of discrimination, ascribing the behaviour of individuals to a group damages everyone in that group. We have always spoken out on such issues. Maclean’s and its writers are free to express their opinions. The OHRC is mandated to express what it sees as unfair and harmful comment or conduct that may lead to discrimination.”[40]

Steyn subsequently criticized the Commission, commenting that “Even though they (the OHRC) don’t have the guts to hear the case, they might as well find us guilty. Ingenious!”[41]

Soon afterwards, the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a public letter to the editor of Maclean’s magazine. In it, Jennifer Lynch said, “Mr. Steyn would have us believe that words, however hateful, should be give free reign [sic]. History has shown us that hateful words sometimes lead to hurtful actions that undermine freedom and have led to unspeakable crimes. That is why Canada and most other democracies have enacted legislation to place reasonable limits on the expression of hatred.”[42] The National Post subsequently defended Steyn and sharply criticized Lynch, stating that Lynch has “no clear understanding of free speech or the value of protecting it” and that “No human right is more basic than freedom of expression, not even the “right” to live one’s life free from offence by remarks about one’s ethnicity, gender, culture or orientation.”[43]

The federal Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the Canadian Islamic Congress’ complaint against Maclean’s in June 2008. The CHRC’s ruling said of the article that, “the writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.” However, the Commission ruled that overall, “the views expressed in the Steyn article, when considered as a whole and in context, are not of an extreme nature, as defined by the Supreme Court.”[44]

Steyn later wrote a lengthy reflection of his turmoil with the commissions and the tribunals. The reflection appears as the introduction to The Tyranny of Nice,[45] a book authored by Kathy Shaidle and Pete Vere on Canada’s human rights commissions. In it, Steyn writes:

I’ve learned a lot of lessons during my time in the crosshairs of the [Canadian human rights investigator Jennifer] Lynch mob. Although the feistier columnists have spoken out on this issue, the broad mass of Canadian media seems generally indifferent to a power grab that explicitly threatens to reduce them to a maple-flavoured variant of Pravda. One boneheaded “journalism professor” even attempted to intervene in the British Columbia trial on the side of the censors. As some leftie website put it, “Defending freedom of speech for jerks means defending jerks.” Well, yes. But, in this case, not defending the jerks means not defending freedom of speech for yourself. It’s not a left/right thing; it’s a free/unfree thing. But an alarming proportion of the Dominion’s “media workers” seem relatively relaxed about playing the role of eunuchs to the Trudeaupian sultans.

Defamation lawsuit[edit]

In July 2012,[46] Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) blogger Rand Simberg accused American climatologist Michael E. Mann of “deception” and “engaging in data manipulation” and alleged that the Penn State investigation that had cleared Mann was a “cover-up and whitewash” comparable to the recent Jerry Sandusky sex scandal, “except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.” The CEI blog editor then removed the sentence as “inappropriate”, but a National Review blog post by Steyn cited it and alleged that Mann’s hockey stick graph was “fraudulent”.[47][48]

Mann asked CEI and National Review to remove the allegations and apologize, or he would take action.[46] The CEI published further insults, and National Review Editor Rich Lowry responded in an article headed “Get Lost” with a declaration that, should Mann sue, the discovery process would be used to reveal and publish Mann’s emails. Mann’s lawyer filed the defamation lawsuit in October 2012.[47]

Before the case could go to discovery, CEI and National Review filed a court motion to dismiss it under anti-SLAPP legislation, with the claim that they had merely been using exaggerated language which was acceptable against a public figure. In July 2013 the judge ruled against this motion,[49][50] and when the defendants took this to appeal a new judge also denied their motion to dismiss, in January 2014. National Review changed its lawyers, and Steyn decided to represent himself in court.[46][51] Journalist Seth Shulman, at the Union of Concerned Scientists, welcomed the judge’s statement that accusations of fraud “go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.”[52]

The defendants again appealed against the decision, and on 11 August 2014 the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press with 26 other organizations, including the ACLU, Bloomberg, Gannet (USA Today), Comcast (NBC), Time, Fox News and the Seattle Times, filed an amicus brief arguing that the comments at issue were Constitutionally protected as opinion.[53][54] Steyn chose to be represented by attorney Daniel J. Kornstein.[55]

An appeal to get the lawsuit thrown out, filed by Steyn’s co-defendants (National Review, CEI and Simberg), was heard in the D.C. Court of Appeals on 25 November 2014.[56] Steyn was present for oral arguments but did not join in the appeal, preferring to go to trial.[57] On 22 December 2016 the D.C. appeals court ruled that Mann’s case against Simberg and Steyn could go ahead. A “reasonable jury” could find against the defendants, and though the context should be considered, “if the statements assert or imply false facts that defame the individual, they do not find shelter under the First Amendment simply because they are embedded in a larger policy debate.”.[58]

Critical reception[edit]

Steyn’s writing draws supporters and detractors for both content and style. Martin Amis, who was harshly criticized in America Alone yet nevertheless gave it a positive review, says of his style: “Mark Steyn is an oddity: his thoughts and themes are sane and serious—but he writes like a maniac.” [59][60] His style was described by Robert Fulford as “bring[ing] to public affairs the dark comedy developed in the Theatre of the Absurd.”[61] Longtime editor and admirer Fulford also wrote, “Steyn, a self-styled ‘right-wing bastard,’ violates everyone’s sense of good taste.”[61] According to Simon Mann, Steyn “gives succour to the maxim the pen is mightier than the sword, though he is not averse to employing the former to advocate use of the latter.”[11]

Susan Catto in Time noted his interest in controversy, “Instead of shying away from the appearance of conflict, Steyn positively revels in it.”[62] Canadian journalist Steve Burgess wrote “Steyn wields his rhetorical rapier with genuine skill” and that national disasters tended to cause Steyn “to display his inner wingnut.”[63]

In 2009, Canadian journalist Paul Wells accused Steyn of dramatically exaggerating the rise of fascist political parties in Europe. Wells also accused Steyn of repeatedly “shrieking” about Islam in his political writings.[64]

Awards[edit]

In 2005 Mark Steyn received the Henry Salvatori Prize in the American Founding at the Claremont Institute established by philanthropist and conservative leader Henry Salvatori. It is awarded in honour of those who “distinguish themselves by an understanding of, and actions taken to preserve and foster the principles upon which the United States was built”.[65]

Mark Steyn was awarded the 2006 Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism for writing which “best reflects love of this country and its democratic institutions”.[66] The announcement quotes from Steyn’s syndicated column for June 26, 2006, “Be Glad the Flag Is Worth Burning”:[67]

One of the big lessons of these last four years is that many, many beneficiaries of Western civilization loathe that civilization, and the media are generally inclined to blur the extent of that loathing.

Roger Ailes of Fox News Channel presented the prize, which included a check for $20,000.

Steyn received the Center for Security Policy‘s “Mightier Pen” award in 2007, receiving it at an event that featured a convocation by Jewish scholar and rabbi Yitz Greenberg and remarks by Board of Regents Honorary Chairman Bruce Gelb.[68] In 2010, Steyn was presented the Sappho Award from the International Free Press Society in Copenhagen, Denmark for what was described as both “his ample contributions as a cultural critic” and “his success in influencing the debate on Islam, the disastrous ideology of multiculturalism and the crisis of the Western civilization.”[69]

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STOP THE PORN VIDEO GAMES FOR KIDS

to me

07/23/17
Dear Rene Henry Gracida,

We are close to reaching our goal of 20,000 names against Steam video game distributor’s immoral video games which expose children to suggestive and pornographic content.

Could you help us out by signing our petition, or spreading the message to your family and friends if you have already signed.

As you may recall, the company has scandalously allowed two pornographic themed video games that are available to children of all ages through the simple click of a button.

Click here and send your urgent
complaint to Steam distributors

The video games, Party House and Porno Studio Tycoon have serious graphic and suggestive content that is accessible to computer users of all ages.

Warning: Read with caution; very disturbing
“The House Party ‘hook up’ game is literally training its users in predatory tactics for sexual assault, and even sex trafficking…The game includes disturbing features that allow users to increase their odds of ‘having sex’ with a woman in the game if they manipulate and coerce women into sex acts…The sexual encounters are blatant animated pornography, featuring genitalia, ejaculation, and more.

“The game Porno Studio Tycoon centers around sexual themes where the user acts as the pornographer. It includes sexual sounds, hypersexualized characters, and generic depictions of sex acts…This game promotes and glamorizes the exploitive industry of pornography.

Steam sells and promotes these games to users of all ages and requires only a simple click of a button to pass through a tepid warning that the material may not be suitable for all ages. These games are in direct violation of Steam’s own policies against pornographic or patently offensive content.”
(Lifesitenews.com; emphasis added)

Sign this petition telling Steam video game
distributors that enough is enough

We cannot stand for this attack on children’s innocence.

That’s why I would like to ask you to please sign our urgent petition demanding that Steam video game distributors remove its pornographic themed games. And if you have already signed, consider forwarding this message onto your friends to help us reach our goal of 20,000.

Thank you!

I remain,

Sincerely,

John Horvat
Vice-President, Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)
www.ReturnToOrder.org
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LIVING TOGETHER, SHACKING UP, COHABITATING, SERIAL FORNICATION, CALL IT WHAT YOU WILL, IT IS A SIN

 

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Living Together

 

Questions and Answers Regarding Cohabitation and the Church’s Moral Teaching

Dear Engaged Couple,

We congratulate you on your engagement and want to offer a word of encouragement to you during this special period of preparation for marriage.

While there are many issues which you will discuss over the course of your preparation period, one important area in which many priests and couples have shared their concerns with us is that of engaged couples living together before marriage. While many in our society may see no problem with this arrangement, living together and having sexual relations before marriage can never be reconciled with what God expects of us.

In addition, countless studies have shown that couples who live together before marriage have higher rates of divorce and a poorer quality of marital relationship than those who do not.

Your engagement is meant to be a time of grace and growth in preparing for your marriage. In the months ahead, we urge all engaged couples who are living together to separate. All Catholics should seek to be reconciled with God and the Church by going to confession and by going to Mass and Holy Communion regularly.

Living chastely during your remaining months of engagement will teach you many things about one another. It will help you to grow in the virtues of generous love, sacrificial giving, self-restraint and good communication – virtues which are essential for a good and lasting marriage.

We pray that as you seek God and his way more deeply, you will be rewarded with an abundance of his grace. May your love for each other always be strong and life-giving.

With every prayerful best wish, we remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Bishops of Pennsylvania
September 1991

 

1. What is cohabitation?
“Cohabitation” is commonly referred to as “living together.” It describes the relationship of a man and woman who are sexually active and share a household, though they are not married.

 

2. Why is cohabitation such a concern for the Church?
As you work with your priest during this time of preparation for marriage, you will speak with him about many issues. But the Church is particularly concerned about cohabitation because the practice is so common today and because, in the long run, it is causing great unhappiness for families in the Church. This is true, above all, because – even though society may approve of the practice – cohabitation simply cannot be squared with God’s plan for marriage. This may be why most couples who live together before marriage find married life difficult to sustain for very long.

The Church does not invent laws. It passes on and interprets what God has revealed through the ages. No one in the Church has the right to change what Jesus has taught. To do so would be to deprive people of saving truths that were meant for all time. Our Christian faith teaches that a sexual relationship belongs only in marriage. Sex outside of marriage shows disrespect for the sacrament of marriage, the sacredness of sex, and human dignity.

 

3. We have good reasons for living together before our wedding. Why can’t the Church just accept that?
The Church cares for you as a parent cares for a beloved son or daughter. Knowing that cohabitation increases a couples’ chance of marital failure, the Church wants to protect you and preserve your happiness. Besides, most couples don’t really evaluate the reasons they give to justify their decision. Think about it:

  • Reason 1: “It’s more convenient for us.”
    “Convenience” is a good thing, but it’s not the basis for making a decision that will affect your entire life. Married life is sometimes inconvenient and even demanding. Cohabitation for convenience is poor preparation for that kind of commitment. Research bears this out. Studies show that those who live together before marriage tend to prefer “change,” “experimentation”and open-ended lifestyles – all of which could lead to instability in marriage. One study, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, concluded that couples who cohabit tend to experience superficial communication and uncommitted decision-making once they are married. Cohabitation for convenience does not allow for the careful thought and adequate “space” necessary for making wise life decisions.
  • Reason 2: “We’re trying to save money for the wedding, so living together is more economical.”
    Sure, you might save the price of monthly rent, but you’re sacrificing something more valuable. Engagement is more than just time to plan the party. It is a time for deeper discussion and more thorough reflection, which are best carried out in a detached way. Couples who are living together do not have the luxury of such detachment. So whatever expenses you save, you’ll likely pay more in the end. Dr. Joyce Brothers said it well in an article on cohabitation: “short-term savings are less important than investing in a lifetime relationship.”
  •  Reason 3: “Because of the high divorce rate, we want to see if things work out first.”
    Studies consistently show that couples who live together score significantly lower in both marital communications and overall satisfaction. On the surface, a trial run at marriage may seem to make sense, allowing one to screen out less compatible mates. But it doesn’t work out that way. Couples who live together before marriage actually have a 50% greater chance of divorce than those who don’t. And about 60% of couples who cohabit break up without marrying. Living together before marriage is different from living together in marriage, because there is no binding commitment to support the relationship.
  • Reason 4: “We need to get to know one another first. Later we’ll start having kids.”
    Cohabitation is actually the worst way to get to know another person, because it shortcuts the true development of lasting friendship. Those who live together before marriage often report an over-reliance on sexual expression and less emphasis on conversation and other ways of communication – ways that ultimately lead to a more fulfilling sexual union after marriage. Traditionally, the process of dating or “courtship” has led couples to a deeper appreciation of one another through conversation, shared ideals and dreams, and a mutual understanding of one another’s values.
  • Reason 5: “The Church is just outdated and out of touch with its thinking in this matter. Birth control made those old rules obsolete.”
    That’s just not true. In the early days of the Church, living together outside of marriage was common among the non-Christians in the Roman Empire – as was the use of artificial contraception. But these practices were devastating for individuals, families, and society. Women were treated as disposable objects, mere toys for sexual pleasure, to be discarded when passions waned. The Christian vision of marriage and family led to happiness and fulfillment for individuals and families – and a great renewal of culture and society. Far from being outmoded, then as now, the Church’s teaching is revolutionary – and it works!

 

4. Why does the Church interfere in the sex lives of couples? It’s really just a private matter between us.
Sex is intensely private and personal, but it also has deep moral and social dimensions. Sex works as a primary bonding agent in families and the family is the building block of society. Sexual rights and wrongs influence the health and happiness of individuals, families and neighborhoods. That’s why sexual behavior has always been the subject of many civil laws. The Church, of course, wishes to safeguard the family and society. But, more than that, the Church wishes to safeguard your relationship with your future spouse and with God. Sex is the act that seals and renews the couple’s marriage covenant before God. Sexual sins, then, are not just between a man and a woman, but between the couple and God. And that’s the Church’s responsibility. Sex is not simply a private matter. If it’s between you and God, it’s between you and the Church. You need to ask yourself: “When do I stop being a Christian? When I close the bedroom door? When does my relationship with God cease to matter?”

 

5. But, really, how does what we do with our own bodies affect our relationship with each other and our spiritual relationship with God?
The gift of your body in sexual intercourse is a profound symbol of the giving of your whole self. In making love, the husband and wife are saying to one another in “body language” what they said to each other at the altar on their wedding day: “I am yours, for life!” God created sex to be physically pleasurable and emotionally fulfilling. But it is even greater than all that. It is, above all, the deepest sign of the complete gift of self that a husband and wife pledge to each other. This mutual gift empowers the couple to become co-creators with God in giving life to a new person, a baby. According to God’s design, the gift of sexual union has two primary purposes: strengthening married love and sharing that love with children. The only “place” where this total self-giving between a man and a woman is to take place is in marriage. It is the only “place” where children can be raised with the secure, committed love of a mother and a father. So sexual intimacy belongs only in marriage. Outside of marriage, sex is a lie. The action says: “I give you my whole self” – but the man and woman are really holding back their commitment, their fertility, and their relationship with God.

Before giving your body to another person, you need to give your whole life, and you need to receive your spouse’s whole life in return – and that can only happen in marriage.

 

6. Why can’t I just follow my conscience if I believe living together is okay?
People can be wrong in matters of conscience, and people often are. Where our self-interest is concerned, our capacity for self-deception is huge. Here, as in everything we do, we need an objective standard to tell us if our conscience is properly formed and able to make right judgments. Morality is not a matter of opinion or “gut feeling.” Conscience is God’s voice, speaking the truth deep within your heart. It’s unlikely – if not impossible – that God would contradict His own commandments just for your convenience or desires. You are acting in good conscience when you choose to do what God intends. The choice to live together outside a marriage is always wrong and sinful.

 

7. Why does the Church claim that living together is a scandal to others?
Many of our family and friends are doing the same thing. Just because everyone does something doesn’t make it right or any less serious. A couple’s choice to live together is not simply made in isolation. It affects everyone in relationship with these two people – parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and even other members of the parish. A cohabiting couple implicitly communicates that there is nothing wrong breaking God’s law. This can be especially misleading to young children – nieces, nephews, and children of friends – who are impressionable and whose moral reasoning is immature.

 

8. What is the best way to prepare ourselves spiritually for our upcoming marriage?
“A wedding is for a day, but a marriage is for a lifetime.” That can be a long and happy time, but only with good preparation. The best way to get ready for marriage is to practice your faith. Catholics do this by faithful attendance at weekly Sunday Mass, by going to the Sacrament of Penance (confession), by prayer, and by practicing works of charity. If you haven’t been attending Mass regularly, your parish priest will want to see you back. If it’s been a long time since your last confession, your priest will help you. Confession is a necessary step if you have already been cohabiting. During the days of preparation, you are strongly encouraged to pray together as a couple, read Scripture, and lead a virtuous life. For guidance, look to other couples with strong Christian values.

 

9. Why should we need to separate now? It’s just an arbitrary rule of the Church.
The Church’s teaching on cohabitation is not an “arbitrary” rule. Living together before marriage is a sin because it violates God’s commandments and the law of the Church. St. Paul lists this sin – technically called “fornication” among the sins (whether within or outside cohabitation) that can keep a person from reaching heaven (see 1 Corinthians 6:9) Cohabitation works against the heart’s deepest desires and greatly increases the chances of a failed marriage. If you are honest with yourself, every practical consideration will tell you that separating before marriage is the right thing to do. It is a decision to turn away from sin and to follow Christ and His teaching. That is always the right decision. But it’s a good decision for other important reasons, too:-it will strengthen your marriage -it will deepen your friendship -it will foster deeper intimacy and communion -it will build up your problem-solving and communications skills -it will give your marriage a greater chance for success. You may think you are unique and that your passion for each other will never wane. But that’s what most couples think. No one goes into marriage planning for a breakup; yet a majority of couples today do break up. You want to be one of the exceptional couples who not only succeed in marriage, but also live together in happiness and fulfillment. Some couples who are living together think that separation before marriage is artificial or meaningless. Some fear that halting sexual activity will be harmful to the relationship. But this is rarely the case. Sometimes in marriage, too, a sexual relationship will have to be suspended for a time due to illness, military service, business travel, or the good of a spouse. Relationships not only survive this, but actually grow stronger. God rewards such sacrifices with graces for a good relationship. Abstaining from sex will also enable you to rely on other means of communication, which ultimately will empower you to get to know each other in a deeper, lasting way.

 

10. What good will following the Church’s teachings do for us anyway?
Catholic teaching in this matter brings rich blessings to those couples who willingly accept it. The Good News of Jesus frees you to enjoy intimacy even more:

-by appreciating your spouse as a person, not an object
-by living in a stable, secure, permanent, and faithful relationship
-by expressing true, committed love rather than simply satisfying a physical urge

Married life has a special place in God’s plan. Like everything good, it require sacrifices. But they’re small compared to the rewards. Seek first the Kingdom of God; everything else you desire will be given to you – and more!

 

Questions for Reflection and Prayer:
1. As an engaged couple, why did you choose to cohabit before marriage?
2. What have the two of you learned from your experience of living together? What have you learned about yourselves as a couple and as individuals?
3. What is the driving force behind your decision to marry at this time? What has changed in the relationship and made you wish to marry and have your marriage blessed in this Church?
4. Was there a previous reluctance or hesitation to marry? If so, why? Have those issues been completely resolved?
5. Why are you seeking marriage in the Catholic Church?
6. What does marriage as a sacrament mean to the two of you?
7. How do you see your faith and love for each other as an intimate part of your marriage?
8. How do you want your marriage to be open to life?

“At the beginning, the Creator made them male and female and declared for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. And the two shall become as one. Thus, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, let no man separate what God has joined.”
– Matthew 19:4-6

“The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws . . . God himself is the author of marriage.”
– The Church in the Modern World, Vatican II, 48

“The conjugal covenant of marriage opens the spouses to a lasting communion of love and life, and it is brought to completion in a full and specific way with the procreation of children. The communion of spouses gives rise to the community of the family.”
– Letter to Families, Pope John Paul II, 7

“Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses . . . is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death . . .That total physical self-giving would be a lie if it were not the sign and fruit of a total personal self-giving.”
– Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II, 11

“The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family. The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.”
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2363

“The very preparation for Christian marriage is itself a journey of faith. It is a special opportunity for the engaged to rediscover and deepen the faith received in Baptism and nourished by their Christian upbringing. In this way they come to recognize and freely accept their vocation to follow Christ and to serve the Kingdom of God in the married state.”
– Pope John Paul II, The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World

(c) 1999 Pennsylvania Catholic Conference

 

 

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BE STRONG, BE BRAVE, TRUST GOD AS THE ALLIES OF SATAN COME TO PERSECUTE YOU

Ultra-Rich Gay Activist On Targeting Christians: It’s Time To ‘Punish The Wicked’

Ultra-Rich Gay Activist On Targeting Christians: It’s Time To ‘Punish The Wicked’

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, tech millionaire turned LGBTQ activist Tim Gill said he’s aiming to punish Christians who don’t want to participate in same-sex weddings.

For more than two decades, the software programmer has poured an estimated $422 million into various gay rights causes. After the Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 states in 2015, Gill turned his attention and resources to targeting Christians.

The election of Donald Trump, who claims to support gay rights but stocked his administration with anti-LGBTQ extremists, has only emboldened those looking to erase the gains of the past decade. Gill refuses to go on the defense. ‘We’re going into the hardest states in the country,’ he says. ‘We’re going to punish the wicked.’

Allow me to add some context. After the Obergefell ruling in 2015, which forced all 50 states to perform same-sex marriages, several state legislatures passed protections to ensure that those who object to participating in a same-sex wedding for religious reasons have recourse when hauled into courts or extralegal commissions for this belief. It’s these state laws that Gill and his various nonprofit entities have decided to go after — and persecute Christians along the way.

Here’s how Rolling Stone — a magazine with a history of throwing journalistic ethics and pesky things like truth and accuracy out the window to advance a narrative that fits their agenda — describes religious freedom restoration acts (RFRA): “Under the guise of right-to-worship protections, these bills offer legal cover for individuals and businesses to deny service or otherwise discriminate against LGBTQ people,” Rolling Stone‘s Andy Kroll wrote.

Except that’s not at all what religious freedom restoration acts are. For one thing, religious Americans still serve gay customers in myriad capacities, just as they do every other customer. Their objections are to being forced to use their artistic talents to proclaim particular speech they find fundamentally false or to be required to participate in a religious ceremony that conflicts with their consciences. As Sean Davis has explained, these laws simply ask that judges use a simple balancing test when ruling on cases involving a person’s religious freedom.

The laws state that the government may only substantially burden the free exercise of religion of a person or organization if the government 1) has a compelling interest to do so, and 2) is using the least restrictive means possible to further that compelling interest. In legal parlance, RFRA requires courts to use strict scrutiny when adjudicating these types of cases.

Nevertheless, asking a judge to think twice before demanding that a baker craft a wedding cake for a lesbian couple and stomping all over his freedom of expression is apparently a wicked deed that Gill intends to punish.

Last year, the Gill Foundation set up a group to wrangle corporate support in going after religious freedom proponents in Georgia. Called “Georgia Prospers,” the fake grassroots effort organized protests against a religious freedom restoration act that passed the state legislature. The pressure from the corporate-backed endeavor dissuaded Georgia’s governor from signing the bill — a victory for the wealthy activist.

The group also opposed North Carolina’s bathroom bill, which barred cities from passing laws that would force businesses to allow customers and employees to use restrooms that are not consistent with their biological sex.

Along the way, Christian business owners have been maligned and demonized for not wanting to participate in a same-sex wedding. In Colorado, a cake baker was forced to change his company’s policies and provide training to staff after he objected to baking a cake for a gay couple. A Christian couple was slapped with a $13,000 fine for refusing to host a same-sex wedding on their property. People threatened to burn a pizza shop to the ground after its owners answered that they would happily serve gay customers, they just wouldn’t want to cater a gay wedding should they be asked to do so.

Bre Payton is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter.
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IT IS BIZARRE THAT TRUTHFULLNESS IS A RARE COMMODITY IN ROME WHERE ONE WOULD EXPECT TO FIND TRUTH, ESPECIALLY IN THE VATICAN

But How Many Beautiful Denials in July!

Editor’s Note: In the following text, first published this morning at MarcoTosatti.com, veteran Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti reflects upon his own experience with the nature and credibility of Vatican denials at a time when they have become so prolific.

Food for thought as accusations of “fake news” are so casually tossed around. Our thanks to Marco Tosatti for graciously allowing us to share this, and for assisting with the translation.


How many beautiful denials this July brings us! We had the yellow hearing (the audience, surrounded by mystery) in which Cardinal Müller was dismissed; a reconstruction probably defective in some details, but solid in substance, made by OnePeterFive, based on several German sources who met the Great Sacked [Müller] himself straight after the dismissal, during a trip to his homeland, which first found a blunt denial from the Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke. And then another denial, maybe a little more twisted, from Cardinal Müller himself. And in Germany, just to be sure they do not come out with news of the two days of the Cardinal at home, lawyers were put in play, with warnings and threats and penalties. How much effort and work for just some details! A nice cover on the story, reinforced by a hundred thousand euro of bolts. [One German Catholic has been threatened with a 100,000 Euro fine if he discloses, as he said he would, more information and sources about Cardinal Müller’s alleged conversations about his final meeting with the pope during his time in Mainz – Ed.]

Then there was the message of Benedict XVI for the funeral of card. Meisner. For those who do not remember, we quote: “What particularly impressed me from my last conversations with the now passed Cardinal was the relaxed cheerfulness, the inner joy and the confidence at which he had arrived. We know that this passionate shepherd and pastor found it difficult to leave his post, especially at a time  in which the Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination. However, what moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if [sometimes] the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

I think almost everyone has read in these words a reference to the present. Myself included. On the contrary, we were all wrong. Benedict words were, as sources closely linked to the Third Loggia, and the penthouse in Santa Marta explain to us, a formal, normal reminder. A bit like — don’t laugh too much — Homeric places. Athena is always the “bright blue-eyed” for the blind Bard, and the Church is always at the mercy of the waves for the Pope Emeritus. How dare you imagine that he wanted to make a reference to the reigning Pontiff and to the actual situation of the Church. Benedict writes for history, not for the daily newspapers.

Of course this was followed by a denial. The heroic, faithful Msgr. Georg Gãnswein, said to the daily Il Giornale: “the pope emeritus was deliberately manipulated; with that sentence he was not referring to anything specific, but spoke of the situation of the Church today as in the past as a boat that does not sail in calm waters. Francis also says this. I understand that this may give rise to allusions or false impressions, but behind those words there is no attack.”

Far be it from me not to believe those denials. The above-mentioned persons are all men of honor, as (Marc) Antony spoke of the conspirators, in his speech over Caesar’s corpse. But I want to tell you why I retain some doubt, even offering all my trust and faith to the denials.

I remember how in September 1988, John Paul II was making a tour in Zimbabwe, Botwsana, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique. The latter was torn by civil war between Frelimo — the government — and the rebels of Renamo. We were based in Harare; the pope went too Bulawayo on a one day visit, and the majority of journalists, led by Vick Van Brantegen, followed him. There were many hours of travel by bus, in Shaka Zulu plains.

Some colleagues stayed in Harare. And the spokesman, [Joaquìn] Navarro-Valls, conversing with two excellent and experienced colleagues — Alceste Santini, from Unità and Federico Mandillo from ANSA — leaked big news. Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who at the time served as unofficial ambassador of the Pope, was visiting the rebel leaders of Renamo. On the eve of John Paul II being in Maputo, such a visit constituted a diplomatic snub — and recognition for the rebels — of an incredibly strong nature. The colleagues wrote the news. There was an instant denial from the Holy See. I still remember that Federico Mandillo was playing his recorder, on which he had recorded the spokeman’s [Navaro-Valls] words the day before, saying: “But do you not hear? Listen, Gioacchino! It is your voice.” And poor Joaquìn denied and denied. He never said it, and Etchegaray had never gone to meet with Renamo.

Since then, I welcome with deep respect the denials. But I also wonder if the persons concerned could ever do anything but deny…

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IF YOU STAND ON THE SIDELINES THE LORD WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE IF THE BERGOLIAN REVOLUTION IS SUCCESSFUL IN CAPSIZING PETER’S BARQUE

Are You In This Fight?

OnePeterFive

I had an exchange with someone in the comment box today about how exhausting the slog is right now. I know you know what I mean. Every day, you’re out there fighting for your faith. Every day, you’re reading the stories that make you want to tear your hair out, but you still share them with your family and friends, hoping you can convince the ones who haven’t woken up to get on board, hoping to provide encouragement and information to those already wide awake.

It’s an uphill battle, it’s often thankless, and you wonder sometimes if it’s really possible to ever get a “win”.

Here at 1P5, we put our shoulder to the task each day. We bring you not just the stories that matter to you, but the analysis that helps decode what’s really going on behind the scenes. Often, we take risks, going out on a limb for stories that we know nobody else will report, because the truth matters, and we can’t stand to see it hidden.

This doesn’t always make us a lot of allies. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people say they refuse to read a story from 1P5, dismissing what we have to offer before they even give us a chance. I’m sure you’ve experienced this too. The truth can make people very uncomfortable. It’s often easier for people to shoot the messenger than to deal with the message. It’s a good thing we aren’t in this for the accolades, because except for all of you, we don’t have a lot of friends.

And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.  – Mt. 10:22

You read 1P5 because you’re not content to stay asleep. You share our stories because you believe that Catholics have the right — and even the obligation — to know what’s going on in the Church. You come back day after day because you take seriously your duty, imprinted upon you at confirmation, to be a soldier for Christ. And because of you, we’ve served 14 million pages of news and analysis to millions of readers around the world since we opened up shop just less than three years ago. We are the most widely-read traditionally-focused Catholic publication online. We are a voice that cannot be ignored, not at home, and not in Rome. They have gotten the message. They know that we are watching them, and that we won’t be dissuaded from defending Our Lord and His Holy Church.

And now, we need you to help keep that going. 

Over the course of this summer, our fundraising efforts have fallen consistently short of the mark. As it stands, we’ve brought in just $3,400 of our monthly $20,000 goal. In fact, we have yet to hit 100% of our monthly goal yet in 2017. We only have 13 days left in the month. We need to make up our shortfall, or we’re going to be in real trouble.

I’ll be completely up front with you: running 1P5 is my full-time job. I support a family of 10 people with this work. It is essential for me to be able to make ends meet so that I can continue to devote all my working (and sometimes, nearly all my waking) hours to this effort. Our staff has expanded to include Drew Belsky, our incredibly talented associate editor, who helps me to manage all of the incoming submissions and works with our many writers who contribute pieces you won’t find anywhere else. We do what we can to keep costs manageable. We work from home instead of having a fancy office. I manage all the technical and design and marketing tasks myself. I answer my own emails (usually late, but I try.) We also micro-fundraise, asking for manageable amounts on a monthly basis, rather than big quarterly goals like other publications. I know how hard it is to support a family and pay all the seemingly never-ending bills. I know that’s why the majority of our donors are only able to give a little each month. We have been incredibly blessed to receive a handful of large individual donations — sometimes by anonymous donors whom we wish we could thank — but the truth is, the majority of what we do here has been built and funded by people who give what little they can. Often, these are donations of $5, $10, or $20. Some give more. And the beauty of being 100% reader-funded is that we’re able to bring you stories most other outlets won’t touch, for fear of upsetting donors or damaging their relationships with powerful figures in the Church.

So today, I’m asking you: will you join us in this fight?

Before I go, I wanted to share one thing with you. There was a person earlier this week who made a donation of just 1 cent. They sent a message along with their donation that said, “I can’t afford any more than this, but as I know from personal experience, Every cent helps.” And you know what? They’re absolutely right. If every person who has visited 1P5 in the past 30 days gave just 25 cents, we’d go over our goal by $10,000. 

The point is: we’re all in this together, and no amount is too small, because we have strength in numbers.

Thank you to all of you who have given so much. And thank you to all of us who will continue to give. I say it so often it may sound like a cliche, but it’s true: we cannot do this without you. If you’d like to join us, just click the button below. You can make a tax-deductible donation without ever leaving this page.

I Want to Help! 

Be assured of our prayers, and remember, we have Masses offered for donors twice a month.

In Christ,
Steve Skojec
Publisher & Executive Director
OnePeterFive

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ARE YOU AN ORTHOPHOBE? THIS VIRULENT VIRUS IS CAPSIZING THE BARQUE OF PETER

 

Orthophobia and the Marginalized QTBGL Catholic

CRISIS MAGAZINE

 

As I survey the current state of the Catholic Church, I believe I can no longer hold back. It is time for me to come out.

I am and have for some time identified as a member of the QTBGL community, and I need to explain why I call myself a QTBGL Catholic.

For those who may not know, “QTBGL” stands for “Quietly Totally Believing God’s Law” and is sometimes referred to more simply as “TBGL” (just Totally Believing God’s Law). Personally, I think the “Q” is an essential aspect of our community, since it’s important to recognize just how quietly we go about totally believing the fullness of truth of the Catholic faith in our daily lives.

Coming out at this moment is vitally important. Not only do I need to be utterly honest about who I really am, but the Church needs to do a better job ministering to the QTBGL Catholic in the pew, not to mention QTBGL clergy in the Church, like me. We are marginalized, unjustly discriminated against, and regularly face demeaning “orthophobia” (irrational hate for, and fear of, right-thinking Christians) not only from fellow Catholics but even from secular society.

The level of orthophobia is getting worse, in fact. Within the Church, we are called “haters” and “bigots” simply for accepting and affirming what the Church actually teaches us about liturgy, justice, virtue, and, of course, the human person and sexuality (natural law). Outside the Church, orthophobes everywhere are trying to curtail our religious liberty, take away our conscience rights, and subject us to ridicule and hate simply because of who we really are.

Yet many QTBGL Catholics really feel as though we were born this way. Or at least baptized this way. Even in the face of such orthophobic animosity and outright discrimination (some of us have even lost jobs after publicly coming out as QTBGL), we know we are being true to ourselves. We are resigned to a rather lonely life of quietly accepting each and every truth taught to us by the Church, often at great personal cost.

You may have heard that recently a bishop was heartlessly attacked by orthophobes for his faithful interpretation of canon law as it applies to reception of Holy Communion and to funerals. While this bishop has not overtly come out as a QTBGL Catholic, orthophobes everywhere treated him that way. He was vilified horribly, even threatened.

Despite this bishop’s brave example, however, we need to face it—QTBGL Catholics are under attack and often feel alienated from so many other leaders of the Church who are supposed to welcome, affirm, and accompany us with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.

Just think of how very few QTBGL-affirming parishes there really are in our local dioceses. When was the last time you saw a parish intentionally advertise something like, “At St. Fidelis Parish, ALL are really welcome—including QTBGL Catholics. Come as you are. Who am I to judge?”

It just doesn’t happen often enough. Sure, there may be some parishes that do what they can to minister to members of the QTBGL community and help us feel accepted for who we are. But more often than not, especially at the diocesan level, our needs are largely rejected and ignored.

For example, do our Church and parish leaders really not know the disheartening and isolating double standard that so many QTBGL Catholics experience? Too often, our leaders devote lots of time and energy ministering to orthophobic Catholics who reject us, offering them lavish attention, welcome, affirmation, and acceptance. Yet, many of these same leaders never seem to get around to teaching the orthophobic Catholics all those truths that we QTBGL persons accept unreservedly. We certainly don’t feel very respected in such unwelcoming parish environments.

My QTBGL community is starving for the nourishment that can only come from our pastoral ministers. It’s like a dagger in the hearts of marginalized QTBGL Catholics to know that we ourselves may rarely hear the fullness of truth in our parishes. But more than that, many of us “out” members of the QTBGL community have great concerns that orthophobic Catholics are not hearing those truths either. Often, when we approach parish and diocesan leaders with our concerns, mostly we are ignored outright—never hearing a word of affirmation or comfort. I can’t tell you how many times QTBGL Catholics have phoned or written their dioceses to ask for support when orthophobia rears its ugly head in our local parishes and even in our schools.

When we get no response, how can such silence be construed as respect, compassion, and sensitivity? How can it not be construed as a form of unjust discrimination against QTBGL Catholics?

By coming out, I am hoping to contribute to a culture of authentic “bridge building,” so to speak, between the institutional Church and the QTBGL community. And, I must say, the onus is really on the Church to take the first steps to eradicate orthophobia in all its forms and to reassure the QTBGL Catholic that, yes, we have just as much right to be part of the Church as even the pope does. QTBGL Catholics have real gifts to offer. We need to be permitted to share our God-given gifts. Particularly, our total acceptance of the truth is a great gift to the Church. Why don’t we hear this affirmed more in our churches?

Oddly, it’s a bit like the parable of the shepherd who goes after the one sheep but, in a twist of the parable, takes absolutely no precautions to meet the needs of the other 99 sheep while he is busy seeking and finding that one lost lamb. What shepherd, while seeking the one lost ewe, leaves 99 without food, water, protection, and guidance? What shepherd, after finding the lost sheep, brings it back and spends a huge amount of timecaring for it while ignoring the requests and needs of the other 99? Such a shepherd might say to that one lost sheep, “You know, it’s okay if you still want to identify as a ‘lost sheep’; I don’t want to make you feel unwelcome or judged just because you have no real interest in thinking of yourself as ‘found’ like these other 99.”

In the fractured parable I’ve penned, when the 99 see how little value the shepherd seems to place on staying “found,” they might feel a bit underappreciated.

With these things in mind, my coming out as a QTBGL Catholic will also help combat the “erasure” our community has experienced for too long. We exist. We are out. We’re in every parish, every pew. QTBGL pride should be proclaimed in every parish community.

I can’t begin to say what a relief it is to finally come out and embrace my QTBGL identity.

Just one more thing—maybe we could come up with a QTBGL-pride flag to inspire us. I mean, I think we have a real shot at eradicating orthophobia, even in my lifetime. But we will need the cooperation of all Catholics, and all Catholic leaders. Until then, those who do make the brave choice to minister to QTBGL Catholics and our families will likely face hate, persecution, discrimination, and outright rejection.

Even so, I’ve heard from those ministering to the QTBGL community that all the hateful comments they endure from orthophobic Catholics seem like nothing after meeting just one QTBGL person or parent who says “thank you.”

And so—as a newly out QTBGL Catholic, on behalf of our community, I say to all who choose to minister to our pastoral needs:

Thank you.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is a detail from “Holy C0mmunion” painted by Ariel Agemian.

Deacon Jim Russell

By

Deacon Jim Russell serves the Archdiocese of St. Louis and writes on topics of marriage, family, and sexuality from a Catholic perspective. He can be reached via e-mail at DeaconJimRussellSTL@gmail.com.

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BRAVO CARDINAL SARAH, MAY YOUR TRIBE INCREASE

Cardinal Sarah’s challenge to traditionalists

Cardinal Sarah uses the term ‘reconciliation’ because moving towards his vision begins with a change of heart

The tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum – Pope Benedict XVI’s statute which granted priests the liberty to celebrate the “old Latin Mass”, now known as the Extraordinary Form (EF) – passed on July 7 as one would have expected. Traditional Catholics attracted to the EF were grateful for the more liberating posture of liturgical law and spoke, as they customarily do, about how the wider offering of the EF had a salutary effect on how the Novus Ordo, or Ordinary Form (OF), is celebrated.

The anniversary, though, did include an unexpected note from a most authoritative source. Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, marked the anniversary with an article in La Nef, a French publication. Not available online, it has been reported on in English by the Tablet.

Cardinal Sarah wrote in favour of the “mutual enrichment” of the two forms of the Roman Rite, a phrase of Benedict XVI’s arguing that both forms have riches that would enhance the other if incorporated.

Over the past 10 years, this has been interpreted in EF circles in a mostly unilateral way: the OF ought to adapt the practices of the EF. Cardinal Sarah is certainly in favour of this – he has argued in the past for ad orientem celebration of the OF, greater use of Latin, and more periods of silence, including some of the priestly prayers. In La Nef, he goes further, recommending that Holy Communion be received kneeling and on the tongue; that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar be restored at the beginning of Mass; and that the priests keep united after the consecration those fingers which have touched the sacred species.

All of which is music to the ears of those devoted to the EF. But the key concept Cardinal Sarah advanced may sound a challenge too. Sarah suggested that the expression “reform of the reform” be abandoned precisely because it has a unilateral connotation – the Novus Ordo ought to be enriched by the traditional liturgy only.

“ ‘Reform of the reform’ has become synonymous with dominance of one clan over the other,” the cardinal wrote in French. “This expression may then become inappropriate, so I prefer to speak of liturgical reconciliation. In the Church, the Christian has no opponent!”

Reconciliation means movement from both “clans”, as it were. That is likely to encounter opposition from some, perhaps many, traditionalist quarters.

Sarah proposes that efforts be made to have a shared calendar and a shared lectionary, so that both the EF and OF would celebrate more feasts together and have the same Scripture readings at Mass.

That poses a twofold challenge. First, it requires the EF community to acknowledge that some aspects of the OF, particularly its reformed calendar and its lectionary – which includes far more Scripture than the EF one – are actual improvements and possible enrichments for the EF.

There are certainly some in the EF community who are happy to acknowledge this and would be pleased to see a shared calendar and lectionary. But others, not an insignificant part, consider the entire OF to be an impoverishment with little, if anything, enriching to offer. In the background, of course, is the Society of St Pius X, which would be deeply suspicious of any talk of changing the EF Roman Missal, 1962 edition.

For example, EF devotees often speak about the simplified OF calendar as being too banal – “Ordinary Time” instead of Sundays after Pentecost – and consider it a mistake to have abandoned Passiontide and the octave of Pentecost. They are right about that, but thinning out the number of feast days of obscure saints and incorporating the more recently canonised is more controversial.

A shared lectionary would require a shared Sunday calendar at least, which could not be achieved without significant changes in both the current EF and OF calendars. And while there is wide consensus that the OF lectionary is superior, it is not universal, and any move towards it would encounter stiff opposition. Sarah knows of such positions, and warns us against treating the EF as a “museum object” locked forever in 1962.

Moving towards Cardinal Sarah’s vision begins, though, not with practicalities but with a change of heart. That is likely why he chose the term “reconciliation”. Reconciliation requires a change of heart, a willingness to see the good in the other, and an openness to make things different in order to accommodate that good.

For the 10 years since Summorum Pontificum, those who prefer the EF have expected such an attitude from the OF. Cardinal Sarah now suggests that it is required of both clans, united in one Church, around one altar.

Fr Raymond J de Souza is a priest of the Archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario, and editor-in-chief of Convivium.ca

This article first appeared in the July 21 2017 issue of the Catholic Herald. To read the magazine in full, from anywhere in the world, go here

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BRAVO BISHOP ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER, MAY YOUR TRIBE INCREASE

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 Bishop Schneider: The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church

Once again, we are honored to post this guest op-ed, submitted to us by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider. We not only allow but encourage all media and blogs to reprint this as well.

By Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Special to Rorate Caeli

July 21, 2017

 

The interpretation of Vatican II and its connection with the current crisis of the Church

The current situation of the unprecedented crisis of the Church is comparable with the general crisis in the 4th century, when the Arianism had contaminated the overwhelming majority of the episcopacy, taking a dominant position in the life of the Church. We must seek to address this current situation on the one hand with realism and, on the other hand, with a supernatural spirit – with a profound love for the Church, our mother, who is suffering the Passion of Christ because of this tremendous and general doctrinal, liturgical and pastoral confusion.

We must renew our faith in believing that the Church is in the safe hands of Christ, and that He will always intervene to renew the Church in the moments in which the boat of the Church seems to capsize, as is the obvious case in our days.

 

As to the attitude towards the Second Vatican Council, we must avoid two extremes: a complete rejection (as do the sedevacantists and a part of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) or a “infallibilization” of everything the council spoke.

Vatican II was a legitimate assembly presided by the Popes and we must maintain towards this council a respectful attitude. Nevertheless, this does not mean that we are forbidden to express well-founded doubts or respectful improvement suggestions regarding some specific items, while doing so based on the entire tradition of the Church and on the constant Magisterium.

Traditional and constant doctrinal statements of the Magisterium during a centuries-old period have precedence and constitute a criterion of verification regarding the exactness of posterior magisterial statements. New statements of the Magisterium must, in principle, be more exact and clearer, but should never be ambiguous and apparently contrast with previous magisterial statements.

Those statements of Vatican II which are ambiguous must be read and interpreted according to the statements of the entire Tradition and of the constant Magisterium of the Church.

In case of doubt the statements of the constant Magisterium (the previous councils and the documents of the Popes, whose content demonstrates being a sure and repeated tradition during centuries in the same sense) prevail over those objectively ambiguous or new statements of the Vatican II, which difficultly concord with specific statements of the constant and previous Magisterium (e.g. the duty of the state to venerate publicly Christ, the King of all human societies, the true sense of the episcopal collegiality in relation to the Petrine primacy and the universal government of the Church, the noxiousness of all non-Catholic religions and their dangerousness for the eternal salvation of the souls).

Vatican II must be seen and received as it is and as it was really: a primarily pastoral council. This council had not the intention to propose new doctrines or to propose them in a definitive form. In its statements the council confirmed largely the traditional and constant doctrine of the Church.

Some of the new statements of Vatican II (e.g. collegiality, religious liberty, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, the attitude towards the world) have not a definitive character, and being apparently or truly non-concordant with the traditional and constant statements of the Magisterium, they must be complemented by more exact explications and by more precise supplements of a doctrinal character. A blind application of the principle of the “hermeneutics of continuity” does not help either, since thereby are created forced interpretations, which are not convincing and which are not helpful to arrive at a clearer understanding of the immutable truths of the Catholic faith and of its concrete application.

There have been cases in the history, where non-definitive statements of certain ecumenical councils were later – thanks to a serene theological debate – refined or tacitly corrected (e.g. the statements of the Council of Florence regarding the matter of the sacrament of Orders, i.e. that the matter were the handing-over of the instruments, whereas the more sure and constant tradition said that the imposition of the hands of the bishop were sufficient, a truth, which was ultimately confirmed by Pius XII in 1947). If after the Council of Florence the theologians would have blindly applied the principle of the “hermeneutics of the continuity” to this concrete statement of the Council of Florence (an objectively erroneous statement), defending the thesis that the handing-over of the instruments as the matter of the sacrament of Orders would concord with the constant Magisterium, probably there would not have been achieved the general consensus of the theologians regarding the truth which says that only the imposition of the hands of the bishop is the real matter of the sacrament of Orders.

There must be created in the Church a serene climate of a doctrinal discussion regarding those statements of Vatican II which are ambiguous or which have caused erroneous interpretations. In such a doctrinal discussion there is nothing scandalous, but on the contrary, it will be a contribution in order to maintain and explain in a more sure and integral manner the deposit of the immutable faith of the Church.

One must not highlight so much  a certain council, absolutizing it or equating it in fact with the oral (Sacred Tradition) or written (Sacred Scripture) Word of God. Vatican II itself said rightly (cf. Verbum Dei, 10), that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, ordinary and universal Magisterium) is not above the Word of God, but beneath it, subject to it, and being only the servant of it (of the oral Word of God = Sacred Tradition and of the written Word of God = Sacred Scripture).

From an objective point of view, the statements of the Magisterium (Popes and councils) of definitive character, have more value and more weight compared with the statements of pastoral character, which have naturally a changeable and temporary quality depending on historical circumstances or responding to pastoral situations of a certain period of time, as it is the case with the major part of the statements of Vatican II.

The original and valuable contribution of the Vatican II consists in the universal call to holiness of all members of the Church (chap. 5 of Lumen gentium), in the doctrine about the central role of Our Lady in the life of the Church (chap. 8 of Lumen gentium), in the importance of the lay faithful in maintaining, defending and promoting the Catholic faith and in their duty to evangelize and sanctify the temporal realities according to the perennial sense of the Church (chap. 4 of Lumen gentium), in the primacy of the adoration of God in the life of the Church and in the celebration of the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 2; 5-10). The rest one can consider to a certain extent secondary, temporary and, in the future, probably forgettable, as it was the case with some non-definitive, pastoral and disciplinary statements of various ecumenical councils in the past.

The following issues – Our Lady, sanctification of the personal life of the faithful with the sanctification of the world according to the perennial sense of the Church and the primacy of the adoration of God – are the most urgent aspects which have to be lived in our days. Therein Vatican II has a prophetical role which, unfortunately, is not yet realized in a satisfactory manner.

Instead of living these four aspects, a considerable part of the theological and administrative “nomenclature” in the life of the Church promoted for the past 50 years and still promotes ambiguous doctrinal, pastoral and liturgical issues, distorting thereby the original intention of the Council or abusing its less clear or ambiguous doctrinal statements in order to create another church – a church of a relativistic or Protestant type.

In our days, we are experiencing the culmination of this development.

The problem of the current crisis of the Church consists partly in the fact that some statements of Vatican II – which are objectively ambiguous or those few statements, which are difficultly concordant with the constant magisterial tradition of the Church – have been infallibilisized. In this way, a healthy debate with a necessarily implicit or tacit correction was blocked.

At the same time there was given the incentive in creating theological affirmations in contrast with the perennial tradition (e.g. regarding the new theory of an ordinary double supreme subject of the government of the Church, i.e. the Pope alone and the entire episcopal college together with the Pope, the doctrine of the neutrality of the state towards the public worship, which it must pay to the true God, who is Jesus Christ, the King also of each human and political society, the relativizing of the truth that the Catholic Church is the unique way of salvation, wanted and commanded by God).

We must free ourselves from the chains of the absolutization and of the total infallibilization of Vatican II. We must ask for a climate of a serene and respectful debate out of a sincere love for the Church and for the immutable faith of the Church.

We can see a positive indication in the fact that on August 2, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a preface to the volume regarding Vatican II in the edition of his Opera omnia. In this preface, Benedict XVI expresses his reservations regarding specific content in the documents Gaudium et spes and Nostra aetate. From the tenor of these words of Benedict XVI one can see that concrete defects in certain sections of the documents are not improvable by the “hermeneutics of the continuity.”

An SSPX, canonically and fully integrated in the life of the Church, could also give a valuable contribution in this debate – as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre desired. The fully canonical presence of the SSPX in the life of the Church of our days could also help to create a general climate of  constructive debate, in order that that, which was believed always, everywhere and by all Catholics for 2,000 years, would be believed in a more clear and in a more sure manner in our days as well, realizing thereby the true pastoral intention of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council.

The authentic pastoral intention aims towards the eternal salvation of the souls — a salvation which will be achieved only through the proclamation of the entire will of God (cf. Act 20: 7). The ambiguity in the doctrine of the faith and in its concrete application (in the liturgy and in the pastoral life) would menace the eternal salvation of the souls and would be consequently anti-pastoral, since the proclamation of the clarity and of the integrity of the Catholic faith and of its faithful concrete application is the explicit will of God.

Only the perfect obedience to the will of God — Who revealed us through Christ the Incarnate Word and through the Apostles the true faith, the faith interpreted and practiced constantly in the same sense by the Magisterium of the Church – will bring the salvation of souls.

+ Athanasius Schneider,

Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana, Kazakhstan

Labels: Church of Vatican II, Guest op-ed, Schneider, The Church of Vatican II, Vatican II at 50

Posted by Adfero. at 7/21/2017 10:20:00 AM

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