Current Catholic Issues 3 (2022 #2)

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Current Catholic Issues 3 (2022 #2)

Edited: Jul 2, 2022, 9:23am

Time to start a new thread as the old one is now more than 200 posts long and is taking longer to load, and anyway we've just entered the second half of the year!

Archbishop Paglia on Pope’s teaching on ‘Theological Ethics of Life’ (Vatican News)

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, grants an interview to Vatican Media to explain the goals of the document entitled "Theological Ethics of Life. Scripture, tradition, practical challenges" arriving in bookstores on 1 July...

I've posted it here rather than on the "Francis" thread as the last "current Catholic issue" we were talking about in the old thread was related to the ethics of life, and particularly a consistent ethic of life.

Jul 3, 2022, 2:13am

I don't read Fr Richard Rohr's daily meditation every day, but I was struck by today's:

Reality as Communion

Father Richard views community and connectedness as central to the Christian life and intrinsic to Reality itself:

In the beginning God says, “Let us make humanity in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves” (Genesis 1:26). The use of the plural pronoun here seems to be an amazing, deep-time intuition of what Christians would later call the Trinity, which is the revelation of the nature of God as community, as relationship itself, a Mystery of perfect giving and perfect receiving. The Body of Christ is another metaphor for this bonding. “Reality as communion” is the template and pattern for our entire universe, from atoms to galaxies, and certainly in human community.

We come to know who God is through exchanges of mutual knowing and loving. God’s basic method of communicating God’s self is not the “saved” individual, the rightly informed believer, or even a person with a career in ministry. God communicates primarily through the journey and bonding process that God initiates in community: in marriages, friendships, families, tribes, nations, schools, organizations, and churches who are seeking to participate in God’s love, maybe without even consciously knowing it.

Thomas Merton wrote, “The Christian is not merely ‘alone with the Alone’ in the Neoplatonic sense, but {is} One with all ‘brothers and sisters in Christ.’ The Christian’s inner self is, in fact, inseparable from Christ and hence it is in a mysterious and unique way inseparable from all the other ‘I’s’ who live in Christ, so that they all form one ‘Mystical Person,’ which is ‘Christ.’” 1

Until and unless Christ is experienced as a living relationship between people, the gospel remains largely an abstraction. Until Christ is passed on personally through faithfulness and forgiveness toward another, through concrete bonds of union, I doubt whether he is passed on by words, sermons, institutions, or ideas.

Living in community means living in such a way that others can access me and influence my life. It means that I can get “out of myself” and serve the lives of others. Community is a world where kinship with each other is possible. By community I don’t mean primarily a special kind of structure, but a network of relationships. Sadly, on the whole, we live in a society that’s built on competition, not on community and cooperation.

If the Trinity reveals that God is relationship itself, then the goal of the spiritual journey is to discover and move toward connectedness on ever new levels. The contemplative mind enjoys union on all levels. We may begin by making little connections with nature and animals, and then grow into deeper connectedness with people. Finally, we can experience full connectedness as union with God and frankly everything.

Without connectedness and communion, we don’t exist fully as our truest selves. Becoming who we really are is a matter of learning how to become more and more deeply connected. No one can possibly go to heaven alone—or it would not be heaven when they got there.

1. Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation, ed. William H. Shannon (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2003), 22. Note: minor edits made for inclusive language.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Essential Teachings on Love, selected by Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2018), 65, 102–103, 104–105; and

Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1991, 2003), 65.

Jul 7, 2022, 7:43pm

A respite, a deep breath, our month of pride July has brought celebration, a victory! But shortly there after, the reality: we gather our conviction, for the corpse of Roe may rot, the ghost will continue to haunt, and yes the struggle is just beginning, and indeed as one of our founding fathers said 250 years ago,"the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."....AMDG....

Jul 8, 2022, 12:27am

>3 brone:

Once again you have omitted to post a link and to give credit to the people who actually wrote and published what you have just quoted, twice in one day now. I've found it at Crisis Magazine, "A Voice for the Faithful Catholic Laity". That's plagiarism, which is generally frowned upon. It is also very unfair to the author, who has put some effort into writing it and deserves recognition, and to the publisher who may well raise income to support their publication through advertising which depends on how many people click on their website, but even if not, they at least deserve visibility and recognition. But you really don't care about them, do you?

Jul 15, 2022, 11:20am

Since the 18th century the wise have observed, that the most signal accomplishment of the Devil (I can hear the scofflaws) has been to prove that, by the light of the enlightenment, he is rendered invisible. Not my thought but many have said it can't quote em all....JM....

Jul 25, 2022, 4:50am

I had to look twice at this one to check that the date wasn't 1st April...

The joy of wearing Catholic socks (America Magazine)

You wouldn’t think the socks you wear would have a great effect on your day, but for some Catholics, they do. Whether it’s in wearing St. Michael for a job interview, Mother Teresa for a day of volunteering or St. Ignatius for a celebration of everyone’s favorite religious order, many place great importance on their footwear thanks to Sock Religious. Patrons of the Catholic sock-making company, Sock Religious, choose from a wide array of socks, most of which feature an icon of a saint or other Catholic figure, images related to their story and, on the sole, a quote or prayer attributed to them (“Ora et Labora,” for St. Benedict and “Life is worth living” for Archbishop Fulton Sheen)...

Edited: Jul 25, 2022, 5:17am

The Wien Museum had an exhibit on Martin Luther a few years ago, and I invested in socks that say "Hier stehe ich." (Here I stand)

Jul 28, 2022, 9:53am

Sinn Fein and the Socialist Democratic parties that rule Ireland are introducing legislation creating anti prayer Zones, making it a jail able offence This is how powerful the Rosary Prayer really is, God save Ireland....JMJ....

Jul 28, 2022, 10:40am

>8 brone:

As far as I know, the Irish government is a coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party. Neither Sinn Fein nor the Social Democrats are part of the government.

I'm intrigued by your post. Can you give us a link where we can read about this, please, to know exactly what an "anti-prayer zone" is, and what will be a "jailable offence"?

Jul 28, 2022, 10:43am

Vatican’s New Document Welcomes ‘Marriage Catechumenate’ (NCR)

The Holy See’s 97-page instruction endorsed by Pope Francis outlines how marriage formation is to be based on the baptismal catechumenate, but some U.S. dioceses and parishes are already well on their way...

Edited: Jul 29, 2022, 4:22am

>8 brone:

I've googled and can't find "anti-prayer zones". What I have seen is a rather more complex issue. Prayer is being "weaponised" in parts of Ireland. Vulnerable women who are attending certain clinics for procedures which are perfectly legal in Ireland are being harassed and intimidated under the guise of "prayer vigils". The proposed legislation is designed to provide “safe access zones” around health facilities. Prayer vigils are still allowed 100m from the facilities. All this balanced information can be found in an article by Crux, which opposes the proposed legislation.

A recent example of "weaponisation" of prayer can be found in the Irish Examiner. A vigil was being held for a murdered schoolteacher, a victim of gender-based violence. A group of men set up a "Men's Rosary" right next to them with a loud PA system which disrupted and drowned out the vigil, despite being politely asked to move across the street or to turn down the volume - indeed they increased the volume. As some of the participants, including elected officials, commented:

At a time when men are supposed to be listening to women's fears about their safety, they just say the rosary to drown you out... The rosary is supposed to be a contemplative prayer; their behaviour was even insulting to the prayer... one of the most unchristian things I have ever witnessed... They tried to drown out each woman who stood up to speak... No compassion or humanity, just misogyny. Disgusting!...

If this is the sort of behaviour at "prayer vigils" outside clinics, it's hardly surprising that the government feels it needs to protect women's right to access health facilities.

Jul 29, 2022, 1:12pm

" Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives, tissue, cells, and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the church's effort to defend lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological obscurantist and conservative. Yes, this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable. in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving problems". We can hope therefore that the debate on the US court ruling will not be reduced to an ideological confrontation but will prompt all of us -on both sides of the ocean- to think on what it means to welcome life, to defend life, and to promote life with appropiate legislation, this then is the Roman Catholic point of view.... AMDG....Some mine, some not.

Jul 31, 2022, 5:05pm

On July 24 another miracle showing us that the Holy Eucharist is the Body, Blood, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In Mexico a true holy man from Argentina was officiating in the exposition of the Host, when the host started beating like a human heart. Fr Carlos Spahn a founder of a religious order and quite famous in Spanish So, America and Mexico, also was venerating a glass framed picture of blessed Carlo Acutis from which holy oil is reported to have oozed while the Host was beating..... Fr Spahn wisely took some of the parishoners cell phones and these videos are "all over the internet"....JMJ....

Aug 4, 2022, 1:22am

We know here in America that Papa Francesco does not like us and frowns every time he mentions us I wonder if he is aware of the genuine and deep love Padre Pio had for America and Americans. Even though for 50 years he never left the small mountain village of San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio came to know many Americans and was profoundly grateful for the tremendous sacrifices our American soldiers who helped liberate Italy. This connection led to a life time of correspondence between Padre Pio and American GIs. Known to many American Pilots as the "Flying Monk" waving off their planes.. Their are many pictures of Padre Pio surrounded by US servicemen, today the legacy continues as Americans who were introduced to this holy man by veterans assist in the support and maintenance of The Padre's hospital and the Churches of his hometown area, Plus This American veteran mission assists Hospitals and shelters all over the world. Today I think how Padre Pio connected with these brave men so far from home. I also think of how happy our GIs and Padre Pio would be to see us remember them and their special bond....JMJ....Padre Pio pray for us.

Edited: Aug 4, 2022, 1:33am

>14 brone: Papa Francesco does not like us

I wouldn't say he doesn't like you, indeed I think he loves you rather a lot, as the father, pastor and shepherd that he is. He might have some concerns about the Church in the USA and about the current materialistic, militaristic and individualistic culture there, but that does not mean he doesn't like US people.

Edited: Aug 4, 2022, 4:29am

Archbishop in Malawi Cautions against “Catholic” Social Media Engaging in Malpractice (ACI Africa)

The Local Ordinary of Lilongwe Archdiocese in Malawi has cautioned against “mushrooming” social media platforms that bear the name “Catholic” and are used for malpractices, including defamatory posts... “Much as we appreciate the desire to share Good News and other beneficial teachings of the Church, we have noted that some (social media groups/pages) have turned these initiatives into gossip zones whose main agenda is to destroy each other’s character and reputation”...

I think we would do well to listen to the good archbishop! Pope Francis has also issued similar warnings. There are a lot of websites and social media platforms out there with the name "Catholic", many of them propagating fake news and the most appalling defamation of the "character and reputation" of other Catholics whom they happen to disagree with. Let us not fall into that trap here on the LT Catholic Tradition group.

Aug 4, 2022, 12:22pm

Like I said before, growing up under the influence of this Junta or that Peronist, or this liberation theory marxist we understand his dislike for us....AMDG....

Aug 5, 2022, 12:09am

>17 brone: his dislike for us

I don't want to labour the point, but I think that in some circles there is a tendency these days to conflate disagreement (or concern) with dislike. The two do not necessary go together. We may disagree, but we don't have to dislike each other. Likewise the pope, or indeed any pastor, might well disagree with and be concerned about the actions and opinions of some of his flock, but that does not mean he dislikes them as people. Once again I recall Jesus' call to love our enemies, ie those we are at odds with.

Edited: Aug 5, 2022, 4:51am

>16 John5918:

Here's an example of the sort of fake news which can quickly spread on so-called "Catholic" or "Christian" social media, this one from the Anglican rather than the Catholic church.

FACT CHECK: South Sudanese bishops did not sign a document on LGBTQ (Radio Tamazuj)

A post was circulated on Facebook claiming that South Sudanese bishops were 'forced' to sign a document to respect the LGBTQ community to attend the Lambeth Conference in the United Kingdom. This post is FALSE. According to the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, none of the bishops was forced to sign a document concerning LGBTQ. "No Bishop was forced to sign any document against their will. We have a code of conduct. The code of conduct says when you are attending the conference, you have to respect each other's views; this is what is expected. It is common whenever you come to such conferences to have a ground rule that we all agree with, and in this case, we had a code of conduct which was agreed upon to protect everybody who is here at the conference. It has nothing to do with homosexuality as it is alleged." the Archbishop of Canterbury's Adviser on Anglican Communion Affairs, {South Sudanese} Bishop Anthony Poggo, told Radio Tamazuj...

Aug 6, 2022, 8:19am

Two recent books out on PXII, one positive, one negative. The surviving Jews of Europe called him a righteous gentile, the Nazis called him a Jew lover even before he became pope....AMDG....

Edited: Aug 8, 2022, 5:46am

>20 brone:

Sounds interesting. Can you post the titles, please?

Edited: Aug 12, 2022, 9:38am

Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong to Stand Trial in September Over Role with Pro-democracy Fund (ACI Africa)

Cardinal Joseph Zen is set to stand trial next month, along with four other people, in connection to his role as a trustee of a pro-democracy legal fund. It appears he has not been indicted under Hong Kong’s national security law, which would have carried with it much more serious penalties... charged in connection with a failure to register the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped pro-democracy protesters to pay their legal fees until it dissolved itself in October 2021. The defendants’ lawyers are arguing that they had the right to associate under Hong Kong’s Basic Law — essentially the constitution... Without the national security law indictment, the defendants could face only a fine...

Cardinal Parolin also commented on the situation in China: Cardinal Parolin: Church is pacifist because she believes in and fights for peace (Vatican News)

A key part of the interview is devoted to the secret agreement between the Holy See and China. "The dialogue between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China," says the Secretary of State, "begun at the behest of St. John Paul II and continued during the pontificates of Benedict XVI and Francis, led in 2018 to the signing of the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops in China. It was precisely the characteristic of provisionality that advised the parties not to make it public, waiting to verify its functioning on the ground and decide on it. Moreover, the Cardinal adds, “as for the evaluation of the outcomes of the agreement, it seems to me that I can say that steps forward have been taken, but that not all obstacles and difficulties have been overcome and therefore there still remains a way to go for its good application and also, through sincere dialogue, for its refinement"...

Aug 14, 2022, 10:07pm

Hence if anyone, which God forbid should dare willfully to deny or call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic faith. Happy feast of the Assumption body and soul into heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary....AMDG....

Aug 14, 2022, 10:43pm

>23 brone: Indeed, a happy Feast of the Assumption to all. Meanwhile:

Holy See expresses concern over Nicaragua, calls for dialogue (Vatican News)

The Holy See's Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States expresses concern over the social and political situation in Nicaragua, calling for dialogue that serves the common good...

Aug 15, 2022, 11:06am

On This great feast of Mary's Assumption, the last line of the Magnificat is to me the most telling, "And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her home" ( LK 1:56). Today we commemorate her returning home again. Mary Vessel of Honor pray for us....AMDG....

Aug 16, 2022, 12:40am

20 Years ago, JPII solemnly entrusted the world to Divine Mercy (Aleteia)

"Mercy is the way of salvation for every one of us, and for the entire world," says Pope Francis, in recalling the consecration...

St. Maximilian Kolbe believed “only love creates” (Aleteia)

St. Maximilian Kolbe is widely know as a “martyr of charity,” offering his life at Auschwitz in place of a husband and father who was chosen to die. This supreme act of love perfectly summarizes his life and expresses a motto that he lived by... “Only love creates,” he repeated to all those who approached him. This is the expression which, like a lamp, illumines his whole life...

Kolbe is one of my favourite saints. One thought that struck me on reading these two articles was the continuity between Popes John Paul II and Francis, both with a great sense of mercy. John Paul II entrusted the world to divine mercy, Francis declared a Year of Mercy. Cardinal Walter Kasper also comes to mind here, with his book Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life. We had a "group read" of this book a few years ago and there's a good discussion here on LT at

Aug 16, 2022, 10:53am

A writer for the Magazine Atlantic writes, " just as the ar15 a sacred object for christion nationalists the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for traditional Catholics. On the extreme fringe, rosary beads (a result of Western Civ fetishism) have been woven into conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon a 'weapon' against cultural forces that are hostile to Catholicism" These leftists must really get in a dither when a bishop of Nigeria Dashe Doem says he had a vision of Jesus Christ with a mandate to say the Rosary to rid his diocese of the Terrorist Boko Harem....JMJ....

Edited: Aug 16, 2022, 12:31pm

>27 brone:

No, the Nigerian bishop must really get in a dither when he hears that people are using the rosary for US "Christian nationalism", which often goes hand in hand with white supremacists and people who take up arms against the state, also known as domestic terrorists. The good bishop is against armed terrorists and wants peace and security in his diocese. I doubt very much whether he would support people for whom military assault rifles have become "sacred objects", ie idols. But I fail to see the connection with "leftists".

Incidentally, I think you mean Boko Haram, not Harem. That would give a rather different meaning.

Aug 16, 2022, 3:17pm

The brutal regime of Daniel Ortega prevented thousands of Nicaraguans to have a processionin honor of Our Lady of Fatima, The Archbishop of Managua after the closing Mass of the Marion Congress entitled "Mary Mother of Hope" said "nothing and no one can take away our Virgin of Fatima because her image is engraved in the mind and heart of each one of us Nicaraguans" The prople's cry is Mary is from Nicaragua and Nicaragua belongs to Mary. Meanwhile the Satue of Our Lady of Fatima is making its pilgrimage across America. Over 200,000 Americans are expected to pray the Rosary in public squares accross this land,on Her feast day in October no doubt Ortega like thugs are sharpening their fangs but Mary is from America and Americans belong to Mary....JMJ....

Aug 16, 2022, 3:31pm

>29 brone:

Mary is from America? That's a new one for me. I thought she was Jewish from the Middle East. And last time I looked, Fatima was in Portugal, not the Americas. But you'll have seen that the Vatican has expressed its concern about events in Nicaragua (>24 John5918:).

Aug 16, 2022, 3:56pm

An advisory panel of theological consultants (bureaucrats) voted to suspend the cause of the great US Marine Chaplain Fr Vincent Capodanno son of immigrants from NYC, I'll let youse guys read for yourself the heroic virtue this Marine Priest displayed along with earning the Medal of Honer. The digital warriors writing about his cause say Capodanno does not deserve sainthood further shamefully wrote "with ongoing militay actions in the world today, raising someone from the military for veneration may not be appropriate for our Church. I wonder if they will demote The Servant of God Fr Kapaun who heroicly gave his life and is also a medal of honer recipient,and an Army chaplain during the Korean war, He must have slipped past these desk jockeys or was in when it did not matter what circumstances one is in,one can still be a saint except Americans that is, Archbishop Sheen cause is also suspended, he alledgedly knew of a homosexual predator, St JPII knew plenty of them....AMDG....

Edited: Aug 17, 2022, 3:43am

>31 brone:

Another typically obscure and confused post, I'm afraid. In my experience, theologians are not "bureaucrats", far from it. You say, "I'll let youse guys read for yourself" but you don't tell us where. I've found an article from CNA, In Rome, a setback for Father Vincent Capodanno sainthood cause. In this article they refer to a recommendation by an advisory panel, not a decision by the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, and I don't see anybody saying he doesn't "deserve" to be canonised. Fr Emil Kapaun is not mentioned in the article, so I'm not sure where he comes in. Incidentally, the fact that they were awarded military medals by the secular power should be irrelevant to their canonisation cause. In my own humble view it looks as if they both have a good case for canonisation for their selfless service to their flock in very dangerous circumstances, but in modern warfare there are many priests who do the same and in many cases have given their lives as martyrs, most of them not members of the military - I could name many, including Maryknoll missionaries. But neither you nor I have the benefit of the research into these chaps' lives which the dicastery has. It's a judgement call for the Vatican which ones should be canonised. You're right that it does "not matter what circumstances one is in, one can still be a saint", but the circumstances may decide which saints get officially canonised. Canonisation is not merely a reward for a good life, it is also a sign and symbol for the benefit of others. Choosing whom to canonise is not necessarily a slur on those who are not chosen.

We've discussed Archbishop Sheen elsewhere on this group. Your allegation that his cause has been suspended because "he alledgedly knew of a homosexual predator" is simplistic, dismissive of due process, and disrespectful to all the survivors of clergy sexual abuse. His canonisation cause was suspended because serious allegations were made which had to be investigated. I don't know the result of those investigations.

Your allegation that Americans are not made saints ("except Americans") is untrue. A quick glance at Wikipedia shows 15 American saints, and if you add beati, venerabili, servants of God and candidates for sainthood, it runs into hundreds. And that's just north America. If you add the rest of the Americas, there are hundreds more.

Your use of the term "desk jockeys" is ironic given that this could equally well be applied to you, as you constantly snipe with falsehoods and with dismissive, derogatory, and at times abusive language from the safety of your own desk at the Church, her leadership and many of the faithful Catholics who are trying to negotiate the complex issues of our time. I appeal once again for charity in our conversations on this Catholic forum.

Edited: Aug 17, 2022, 3:44am

>29 brone:

Another statue of Mary on a pilgrimage to raise hope and awareness, this time in the UK:

Hail Mary! Statue’s trip down the Wye raises chicken pollution issue (Guardian)

it was much more graceful and serene as the peculiar vessel was pushed off into the current, and craft and carving, Our Lady of the Waters and the Wye, began to meander downstream. The idea of the project, conceived by the artist Philip Chatfield and Father Richard Williams, the parish priest of St Mary’s church in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye, is to raise awareness about the plight of the Wye, one of the most beautiful rivers in the west of Britain but suffering ”heartbreaking” amounts of pollution from industrial chicken factories along its banks. “The river is hideously polluted,” said Williams. “It’s heartbreaking to see the state it is in and the way the fish and other wildlife are being affected. Philip is a pal and we were chatting about it, trying to find a way of drawing some attention. We came up with the idea of a sculpture of Mary, who is a symbol of purity, cleanliness and fruitfulness, floating down the river”...

I lived on the banks of the River Wye more than 25 years ago. It is indeed a beautiful river and it's sad to hear that it has become so polluted. There are longstanding Catholic connections, as one of the old aristocratic Catholic families who survived the reformation still live there on an estate that has been in the family since at least the 16th century. They produced a number of priests and nuns, including Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, who founded the Mill Hill Missionaries.

Aug 17, 2022, 2:11am

Memories of 2 murdered nuns may raise profile of South Sudanese congregation (NCR Global Sisters Report)

Two South Sudanese nuns — Sr. Mary Daniel Abut, 64, from Wau Catholic Diocese, and Sr. Regina Luate Roba, 63, from Yei Catholic Diocese — of the local congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were murdered Aug. 16, 2021. They were returning home after a centenary celebration for Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Loa, where the congregation was founded by the Comboni nissionary, Bishop Sixtus Mazzoldi, the first bishop of Juba, Sudan. He said this parish had been the formation ground for the congregation since 1951, when the first girls came for formation in the religious life. Years later, Sr. Roba served there as nurse for seven years, and Sr. Abut was connected to the parish when she was in leadership for 12 consecutive years...

These are not the only sisters and other Church personnel to have been martyred in Sudan and South Sudan. We remember Fr Saturnino Lohure, Sr Dr Veronika Theresia Racková SSpS, Fr Victor Luke Odhiambo SJ, and many others. Some, like Fr Hilary Boma, were tortured and died years later. RIP. Bishop Christian Carlassare MCCJ was shot last year but survived. Plenty of candidates for canonisation in South Sudan.

Aug 18, 2022, 12:30am

Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet accused of sexual assault in class-action lawsuit (CTV News Montreal)

Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet, once considered a front-runner to become pope, has been accused of sexual assault and is among a list of clergy members and diocesan staff named in a class-action lawsuit against the archdiocese of Quebec... In the first lawsuit, in which Ouellet is named, 101 alleged victims have accused about 88 priests or diocesan staff of sexual assault... In the second lawsuit, against the Brothers of the Christian Schools of francophone Canada, 193 alleged victims have accused 116 members of that organization of sexual assault...

Edited: Aug 18, 2022, 7:44am

So sad to see the rosary co-opted as a weapon by "rad trads"...

How Extremist Gun Culture Is Trying to Co-opt the Rosary
Why are sacramental beads suddenly showing up next to AR-15s online?
Daniel Panneton | August 14, 2022

Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or “rad trad”) Catholics. On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal.

Their social-media pages are saturated with images of rosaries draped over firearms, warriors in prayer, Deus Vult (“God wills it”) crusader memes, and exhortations for men to rise up and become Church Militants...

The theologian and historian Massimo Faggioli has described a network of conservative Catholic bloggers and commentary organizations as a “Catholic cyber-militia” that actively campaigns against LGBTQ acceptance in the Church. These rad-trad rosary-as-weapon memes represent a social-media diffusion of such messaging, and they work to integrate ultraconservative Catholicism with other aspects of online far-right culture. The phenomenon might be tempting to dismiss as mere trolling or merchandising, and ironical provocations based on traditionalist Catholic symbols do exist, but the far right’s constellations of violent, racist, and homophobic online milieus are well documented for providing a pathway to radicalization and real-world terrorist attacks.

The rosary—in these hands—is anything but holy...

...The “battle beads” culture of spiritual warfare permits radical-traditional Catholics literally to demonize their political opponents and regard the use of armed force against them as sanctified. The sacramental rosary isn’t just a spiritual weapon but one that comes with physical ammunition.

Edited: Aug 19, 2022, 12:02am

>35 John5918: Pope rules out sexual misconduct probe of Canadian cardinal (BBC)

The Vatican has said it will not probe accusations of sexual misconduct against one of its top cardinals due to insufficient evidence... The Cardinal is not facing criminal accusations and the allegations have not been tested in court... In a statement released on Thursday, the Vatican said there are not enough grounds to issue a canonical investigation - which looks at whether Catholic Church law has been violated - into Cardinal Ouellet...

Possibly not a good PR move by the Vatican, but for me the important point is that a civil investigation is taking place ("The next step will be to prove it in a civil court instead of a canon law trial," lawyer Justin Wee told the BBC in a statement) and the result of that process can then be considered by the Vatican. It is not being covered up or swept under the carpet.

Aug 19, 2022, 12:00pm

Why the Vatican's Secretariat of State is set to face a trial in the UK over the London property deal (CNA)

Can a department of the Vatican, a sovereign state, be forced to defend itself in a British court? Following a ruling by the British Court of Appeal, the Vatican’s Secretariat of State is set to face a trial about the purchase of the Sloane Avenue building in London — in a lawsuit brought by the businessman Raffaele Mincione. The ruling also means there can now be a parallel case to the Vatican’s “trial of the century” — in which the same Mincione is defending allegations of financial crimes, including embezzlement and money laundering...

Edited: Aug 21, 2022, 1:35pm

Nicaraguan bishop arrested after two-week standoff at Matagalpa residence (Guardian)

Heavily armed Nicaraguan police have arrested a bishop who is an outspoken critic of President Daniel Ortega’s government, launching a raid after a two-week standoff at his residence in the latest blow against the Roman Catholic church in the country. Rolando Álvarez, the bishop of Matagalpa, was detained early on Friday, along with eight others – including several priests – who had been holed up for two weeks after police blocked the bishop from reaching the city’s cathedral to celebrate a mass...

Cardinal in Nacaragua Visits Bishop Under House Arrest, Says "his mind, spirit are strong" (ACI Africa)

The archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, met with the bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez, hours after the bishop had been abducted by the Daniel Ortega dictatorship during the early hours of August 19. In a statement released August 19, the archbishop reported that the "physical condition" of Álvarez "has deteriorated," but "his mind and spirit are strong." In its message August 19, the archdiocese of Managua expressed "its solidarity and closeness with the sister diocese of Matagalpa, in the face of the sad event experienced this morning." “The Archbishop Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes had the opportunity to visit and talk with Bishop Álvarez in a residence of his relatives, showing his fraternal esteem in the name of our Nicaraguan church,” the archdiocese said. The bishop is being held there under house arrest...

Nicaragua Needs More (National Catholic Register)

When should a global religious authority make its voice heard to defend the least among us? And when is silence, grounded in prayer, the more prudent course? The Vatican has struggled with such questions throughout its diplomatic history. During the past century, critics challenged Pope Pius XII’s nuanced response to Adolf Hitler’s aim of exterminating European Jewry. More recently, Pope Francis has been accused of ignoring the Chinese government’s attacks on religious and political freedoms, as the Vatican pursues a policy designed to unify the country’s divided Catholic community. Closer to home, human-rights activists have flagged the Holy See’s muted public response to the steady erosion of democratic norms in Nicaragua... Last week, the Vatican formally responded to the fast-moving events in Nicaragua — the second time it has done so publicly since it protested the expulsion of the papal nuncio from the country in March... Catholic leaders and pastors have defended the rights of ordinary citizens, prompting government retaliation. Over the past four years, 190 churches have been attacked and desecrated

Aug 22, 2022, 4:03am

Nigerian Priests Named Senior Research Fellows at U.S.-based Religious Freedom Institute (ACI Africa)

The leadership of the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) in Washington DC in the United States (U.S.) has appointed two Nigerian Catholic Priests as Senior Research Fellows for International Religious Freedom Policy. The appointment of Fr. Justine Dyikuk and Fr. Atta Barkindo became public Thursday, August 18... The two Nigerian Catholic Priests will be “working on projects of common interest as they collaborate to raise awareness and galvanize action for peace and religious freedom in West Africa,” RFI Executive Vice President, Dr. Eric Patterson, says in the appointment letter addressed to each of the two Priests...

Edited: Aug 23, 2022, 10:27am

Cardinal Becciu to participate in the next consistory (Vatican News)

Cardinal Angelo Becciu will participate in the Consistory convoked by Pope Francis for the creation of new cardinals and in the discussions in the following days on the reform of the Roman Curia. The news was revealed by the cardinal himself, who in September 2020 renounced the rights of the cardinalate, following a series of legal actions. During a Mass in the Italian town of Golfo Aranci in Sardegna, where he has been vacationing, Cardinal Becciu said he received the invitation to participate from Pope Francis. Sources in the Holy See have noted that the rights of the cardinalate do not refer to participation in the life of the Church; Christians are called upon to take part in it, according to their state. In the case of cardinals this may include an invitation - sometimes personal - to attend certain meetings reserved for them...

Let’s Unite to Inspire Nigerians to “true religion”: Catholic Archbishop to Faith Leaders (ACI Africa)

The Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has urged faith leaders in the West African country to foster unity among themselves to inspire the people to “true religion”, which he said helps minimize the temptation to engage in vices. In his homily during the Priestly ordination of 12 Deacons to the Priesthood at Holy Cross Catholic Parish Gwarinpa of Abuja Archdiocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama said Nigeria will achieve the “much-needed national consciousness and cohesion” if religious leaders unite. “We religious leaders in Nigeria must be united in inspiring our people in whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable,” Archbishop Kaigama said in his homily Saturday, August 20. He added, “The aim of true religion is to help people reduce spiritual, moral and social vices. We get it wrong when some of us lift private religious practices above national interests or the common good, letting religious distrust, suspicion and stereotypes dominate, and refusing to simply see fellow Nigerians as neighbors to be loved and cherished.” Archbishop Kaigama said that religious leaders “must teach our fellow religious adherents how to accommodate others with respect and dignity and to use religion to promote integral human development and social harmony rather than hatred, division and violence; just as politicians should teach their fellow politicians to behave patriotically and create a social ambience that fosters unity, peace and progress”... “Religion should enhance the worship of God; holiness of life, and prepare people for life in heaven,” the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop said. He explained, “If only we use religion to build solid relationships with one another and with God, we will conduct politics without bitterness, malice or violence; we will have equitable distribution of resources and appointments made into influential positions with greater sensitivity and balance”...

Note that by "true religion" he's not implying that everybody should become Catholic. Rather he's talking about "whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable... to help people reduce spiritual, moral and social vices... {to see others} as neighbors to be loved and cherished... to accommodate others with respect and dignity and to use religion to promote integral human development and social harmony... enhance the worship of God; holiness of life, and prepare people for life in heaven". In other multi-faith contexts I've heard it described as helping Christians to be better Christians, Muslims to be better Muslims, Hindus to be better Hindus, etc. Note also his reference to the "common good", which is of course a key part of Catholic doctrine.

Aug 24, 2022, 3:26am

Preparations Underway for Beatification of Comboni Priest Who Embraced Lepers in Uganda (ACI Africa)

Many remember Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli, a Comboni Missionary Priest who ministered in Uganda’s Archdiocese of Gulu as a beloved minister of the Eucharist, surgeon, philanthropist, and educator in the Eastern African country where he is set to be beatified on November 20. Still, memories of a humble and loving Catholic Priest who combated the stigma against lepers in Uganda, allowing them to mingle freely with other patients at a local dispensary he transformed into a full-fledged hospital, are still fresh. In an interview with Vatican News, Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese said that as a doctor, Fr Ambrosoli served everybody with love. “People always felt the presence of God through him. He was a great man of prayer, charity, self-giving, humility, and was one imbued with that universal perspective of life”... The Ugandan Archbishop told Vatican News that Fr. Ambrosoli handled people with God’s love, adding, “One of his famous statements was, ‘God is love and I am his servant to the suffering people.’ It is actually more than just a statement. It is a compelling message”...

Aug 26, 2022, 12:03am

A priest was traveling through the Great Karoo of So Africa on a slow moving, coal-burning night train, the windows wouldn't close the lights wouldn't work. The soot poured in the open windows. He felt lonely and dirty and afraid. So he did his beads,i e, his Rosary and prayed as He envisioned the mysteries of Christ's life which were the main events of His death and redemptive sacrifice. I saw Her there he says, He and my Mother, sharing His pain and his meaning, as the beads slipped through my fingers I felt release, both emotional and physical and found, even with tears streaming down my cheeks, a calm and peace enter my being....This priest told this story the other day he is 102 years old....JMJ....

Aug 31, 2022, 7:08pm

The continued bigotry since Roe has linked the rosary to extremist gun collectors, I have even seen it here in this "Traditional Catholic" post. Now anyone who knows anything about the rosary know that it has been called a weapon since St Benedict. I suppose it is possible some may misunderstand the allegorical references to warfare, but I rather doubt anyone would be that dumb. What it really is is hatred and an attempt to vilify those who pray the rosary. This persecution is just a stage laying the groundwork for marginalization....AMDG....Mother Most Pure Pray for us.

Edited: Sep 1, 2022, 12:42am

>44 brone:

I do think there's a difference between prayer as a "spiritual weapon" which we use to strengthen us against diversity, an "allegorical reference to warfare" as you put it, and using a prayer shouted through loudspeakers to drown out people with whom we disagree. The rosary is a meditative prayer which should be prayed in a quiet spirit of contemplation, not shouted out in anger like a football chant. There is no attempt to vilify those who pray the rosary, and once again you need to remember that disagreement in a democratic plurocracy is not the same as persecution. And the rosary should certainly not be co-opted as a weapon in a culture war.

Sep 2, 2022, 11:19am

Bishop Strickland, Bishop of the diocese of Tyler Texas : Same sex "marriage" bill is in direct opposition to God's law saying, " the irony of the "Respect for marriage act" now before congress is tragic. It is in truth a blatant denial of God's plan for humanity and places in great peril. All who love God and seek to live His commandments must go on record opposing this travesty and denial of God's law". "90 nominal catholics in the house and 7 in the senate voted for the "Respect marriage law". The catechism still states that Sacred Tradition "has always declared that, 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered', in line with Scripture which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity....AMDG.... Mother of Divine Grace Pray for US

Sep 2, 2022, 11:21am

>46 brone:

How would you define a "nominal Catholic"?

Sep 2, 2022, 12:36pm

I notice when I do give you a source you take no notice, Nominal Catholic however can be described here in America as more than one type. We have the catholics who use the name as a social status, for instance catholics politicians who look at the demographics of their districts and call themselves devout, yet vote for every anti life and socialist bill that comes before them. These nominal catholics say they are Catholic but do not practice the faith, " It is not a matter of who is a Christian or who is not, but rather who is a good Christian and who us not" (CS Lewis, mere Christianity). We also here in the US have the check box catholic, you know ck box at hospital "catholic" on all forms you know in case of emergency call priest not minister. You see them at Mass once in awhile, Christmas, Easter, they get their kids baptized and married in the church but never go to confession. Cultural catholics, remnants from the "old country" not many "practicing" Catholics left out of the 50 million you mentioned, more like 80 million. I could have said name only but I thought i'd give you some grist to chew on....AMDG....Holy Virgin of Virgins Pray for US.

Edited: Sep 2, 2022, 2:10pm

>48 brone:

I didn't ignore you, I asked a question about what you posted, and thanks for answering it. It's quite a judgemental view of Catholics, and also quite divisive and elitist, setting up what you have called elsewhere "good Catholics" versus the rest. I prefer to think of all of us Catholics as sinners, including you and me, all of equal worth in the eyes of God, all loved and forgiven equally by God, all sisters and brothers in Christ by virtue of our baptism. It's not my place to judge them.

Sep 3, 2022, 10:36am


Edited: Sep 3, 2022, 11:01am

>50 brone:

Oh, so we are not Catholics by virtue of our baptism (cf Catechism of the Catholic Church #1267: "Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ")? We are not sinners? We are not of equal worth in the eyes of God? We are not all loved and forgiven by God? We are not all sisters and brothers in Christ? Jesus did not say, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the great log in your own?" (Luke 7:1-3)? I often wonder whether you and I belong to the same Church.

Sep 3, 2022, 11:13am

I'll tell you one "catholic; church I don't belong to in the Archdiocese of Linz. The "catholic" church of the Green Anchor, a former Capuchin church built in 1681 this week they are holding their Holyhyda festival....JMJ....Virgin most faithful Pray for Us.

Edited: Sep 3, 2022, 11:16am

>52 brone:

What's a Holyhyda festival? But anyway, that's not your parish or diocese, so it doesn't affect you or me. A bit like the mass on the floating mattress, which neither of us witnessed. Aberrant masses during earlier times, including pre-Vatican II, passed unnoticed because there was no social media.

Sep 3, 2022, 11:33am

Ho Hum is the answer!

Sep 3, 2022, 11:47am

"Do you think that Zen has been abandoned to his fate because he is an unwieldy character, given that he defends Chinese Catholics belonging to the clandestine church not aligned with the communist party, or is there something else going on?""I hope he will not be abandoned, the Extraordinary Consistory would have been an opportunity to declare full solidarity with Zen". " Next month he will have his unfair "trial" no one has raised the very serious issue of their brother Cardinal, Not the Dean, Cardinals Renor, Parolin, nothing not even a prayer initiative not even the Pope....JMJ....Virgin Most Faithful Pray for Us.

Edited: Sep 4, 2022, 12:48am

Well, I googled Holyhyda and found nothing, but I did come up with this article on a HolyHydra festival on a blog that appears to be called Catholic Conclave, and it seems to be the one you are talking about: HolyHydra Festivals for Catholic youth at the Church of the Green Anchor. So a church is holding a youth event. Big news! It's not my parish nor yours, so it doesn't affect us directly, and youth events are important in the Church. In case it has escaped your notice, our generation is now a minority (I assume you're over 60 like me - we're 14% of the world's population) and the youth are the majority in the world and the Church. One third of the world's population is under the age of 20, and another 30% are between 20 and 30 years old. In Africa it's even more striking, with 70% of the population under the age of 30; that's almost a billion people. There's a lot of the music and culture of the youth which is not my cup of tea, but then my parents probably said the same about us when I was a youth. I must say, I did like the light show which highlighted some of the beautiful architecture of that historic church. Reminds me a bit of a similar light show at Durham Cathedral in England last year - see here.

Sep 3, 2022, 12:12pm


Edited: Sep 3, 2022, 12:59pm

>55 brone:

Ah, that's the next article on the Catholic Conclave blog, which seems to be largely a platform for people to whinge about the Church: Cardinal Müller criticises Pope for sacrificing Cardinal Zen . Why are you so reluctant to share these links with us? Incidentally, the next one is Pope's reign of terror in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Hope I haven't spoiled the surprise! Talk about hysyteria and hyperbole. I have visions of the pope prowling around the corridors of the Vatican with a bloodstained meat cleaver, lopping the heads off unsuspecting monsignors by the dozen.

On Cardinal Zen, there has been some reaction from the Vatican, which I believe I posted in this group. It's true that one might have expected some sort of solidarity message from the assembled cardinals. We were not part of their consistory, so we don't know why it didn't happen. Cardinal Muller makes excuses, but doesn't say convincingly why he and other cardinals didn't take action. He does admit, "The situation with Beijing is complex, the information here is partial". Officially Cardinal Zen has been arrested on charges connected with registration and funding of an organisation within China, not on religious matters, and it is very difficult for one sovereign state to interfere in the legal processes in another state unless there is very clear evidence of human rights abuse. While it may seem obvious, proof is difficult to come by. From what I have read, I believe the cardinal is not in custody, and these charges will probably result only in a fine, not imprisonment, so maybe the Vatican is waiting to see what the result is. Too much of a public outcry at this stage might simply makes things worse for him, as there are potentially more serious charges that could be applied. I don't know, and I suspect you don't either.

Edited: Sep 4, 2022, 12:50am

>57 brone:

I think you might mean "gibberish". You mean you disagree? What I have posted is largely factual, and it should be clear which parts are fact and which are my own opinion.

Edited: Sep 4, 2022, 7:47am

>56 John5918:, >57 brone: Just an example of how bishops' conferences and dioceses all over the world are focusing on youth, as I mentioned. A serious issue for our Church, not gibberish.

Planned Plenary Assembly of Catholic Bishops in Southern Africa to Focus on Young People (ACI Africa)

The planned 13th Plenary Assembly of the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) will focus on young people, the Director of the Secretariat has said... Delegates of the Plenary Assembly will reflect on Pope Francis’ Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation to young people, Christus Vivit, Fr. Vilakati said, adding that they discuss how the Papal document “can be translated into practical areas of for young people in the region”... He highlighted migration, unemployment, formation in the faith, self-care among the issues to be discussed during the Plenary Assembly scheduled to take place in Windhoek, Namibia, adding that the delegates will examine how COVID-19 “has affected young people. There are also issues of how young people themselves can contribute towards the building up of societies”...

Sep 4, 2022, 8:15am

I recall once reading about a church with Sunday evening youth services. The services were quite popular, and the organizers asked for money to buy better amplifiers and speakers. One of the older members said them wanting to spend such a large amount was proof that it was just about the music, and not about worship. So the priest pointed out that they had spent a very similar amount the previous year on restoring the organ. Was that also just about the music, and not about worship?

Sep 4, 2022, 10:27am

>58 John5918: As we learn more and more about the places where brone gets his/her/their information, it becomes increasingly clear that brone wishes to hide the sources because the sources ARE embarrassing.

There is good reason for all churches, not just the Catholic Church, to be concerned about people turning from organized religion. Youth do not see or find comfort in the church--they see hypocrisy and hate.

If I were 20 years old, I would not step foot in a church where brones exist. I would be interested in working with someone like John5918, because he tries to follow the words and works of Jesus.

The idea is to become a better person through God's love, not to become a person filled with hate and bitterness.

Sep 5, 2022, 2:01pm

Another bishop out of Germany Rolf Lohman praises all aspects of progressive climate change agenda's and calls for sins against the environment "to be confessed" I wonder what he thinks of the over 500 crimes of sexual abuse being reported in the diocese of Tier....JMJ....Our Lady of Knock Pray for Us.

Sep 5, 2022, 2:43pm

>63 brone:

The Church has spent a lot of time and effort "confessing" or "repenting" sins and crimes of sexual abuse, and putting in place measures to deal with and prevent them. So far it has lagged behind on climate change. It's not either/or. One can confess both sins of sexual abuse and sins against the environment.

Sep 5, 2022, 6:44pm

Has not spent anytime "confessing" or repenting" in Buenos Aires where this week a letter to PF signed by more than a thousand former students of the Jesuit run College of the Savior. 30 students were abused while under Jesuit care, Jesuits even admitting it I guess that's "confessing" one student even had the gall to write PF, not getting any response the student is quoted as saying,"He is protecting them,acknowledging their abuses would be letting go of their hands". the churches aim is that we will get tired of it,run out of energy,and give it up. I could be wrong but I believe the pope him self taught here, strange in all these years not a Papal visit back to the beloved homeland....JMJ....Our Lady of Loreto Pray for US.

Sep 5, 2022, 11:50pm

>65 brone:

Can you cite a source where we can read about this, please? Yes, there are still incidents of abuse coming to light, but the Church has made great strides in dealing with historic abuse and in implementing robust protection and safeguarding protocols for the present and future. And yes, there's still a long way to go.

Sep 6, 2022, 6:51am

When Jesus lived, the air contained 275 ppm CO2.

Week beginning on August 28, 2022: 416.54 ppm.
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 412.83 ppm. › ccgg › trends › weekly

Sep 6, 2022, 7:17pm

Let me throw another traditional log on the fire. Scripture Scholars m"must uphold the literal and obvious sense of Scripture, except where reason dictates or necessity requires". In light of this rule, the sacred history of Genesis1-11 had to be interpreted literally unless exegeses could offer proof otherwise that the literal interpretation of that history could not be true. I know some "contempory intellectuals" see evolution in theology and morality as well as nature. In other words we know so much more to day that "the progress of science demands the concept of Catholic Doctrine about...creation... be re-cast....AMDG....Mother Most Prudent Pray for Us.

Sep 6, 2022, 11:28pm

>68 brone:

Can you give us a source for those quotes, please?

Sep 6, 2022, 11:45pm ?

"Pope Leo XIII also defended the traditional Catholic approach to Scriptural exegesis with his encyclical Providentissimus Deus, in which he re-affirmed the rule that Scripture scholars must “uphold the literal and obvious sense of Scripture, except where reason dictates or necessity requires.” In the light of this rule, the “sacred history” of Genesis 1-11 had to be interpreted literally unless exegetes could offer proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the literal interpretation of that history could not be true. .... "

Edited: Sep 7, 2022, 2:35am

>70 bnielsen:

Ah, thanks. You're obviously better at googling than I am, a question of finding the right key words for searching, I think.

Well, I think Pope Leo XXIII's conditions that "reason dictates or necessity requires" and that scientists and exegetes have demonstrated "beyond a reasonable doubt that the literal interpretation of that history could not be true" have been comprehensively met, so no disagreement with the good pope's teaching. Worth remembering that St Augustine of Hippo was thinking along the same lines almost sixteen hundred years ago. In his The Literal Meaning of Genesis he says:

I fear I shall be laughed at both by those who have scientific knowledge of these matters and by those who can easily recognize the facts of the case... Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for a nonbeliever to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehood on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion (I Timothy 1:7)...

Sep 7, 2022, 3:06am

Paul Byrne @ThePlanetaryGuy | 10:17 AM · Sep 6, 2022:
Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at Washington University in St. Louis | Planetary Evangelist


This is 30 Doradus—the Tarantula Nebula—like we've never seen it before.

The nebula is about 161,000 lightyears away, in the Large Magellanic Cloud; this image has a field of view *340 lightyears* across.

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

Be still and know that I am God

Sep 7, 2022, 7:14am

>72 margd: Be still and know that I am God

Amen! It reminds me of the words of cultural historian Fr Thomas Berry, one of the leading thinkers in Catholic creation spirituality whose writings almost certainly posthumously influenced Laudato Si', and his collaborator physicist Brian Swimme, who said (and I paraphrase from memory) that the role of humanity is to stand in awe and marvel at the universe that God created.

Sep 10, 2022, 9:42am

Imagine that it was all the above was created on the first day, six more to go....JMJ....Refuge of Sinners Pray for US.

Sep 15, 2022, 1:24am

" Pre-VatII'' you here that alot in this forum mostly with a negative connotation, Pre Vat II they don't mean Mass, The Eucharist, Eucharistic adoration, frequent confession, mortification, infallibility of divine revelation, dogma, all the creeds, the lives of the saints, sin was real, fasting was real heck all these things were pre VatII, Jesus was pre VatII, the church was pre VatII by 2,000 years. The real VatII based everything they wrote or refered to on pre VatII things, It is easy to believe the VatII worshipers ignore these comfortable facts because they don't even read Vat II documents, they read the essays,articles, books of heretics who tell them what to believe, big media they argue in a circle,a snake chasing its own tail....JMJ....Queen of All Saints Pray for Us.

Sep 18, 2022, 10:52am

Hope for Irland, following the examole of the peaceful prolife movement in America, marchers by the thousands protested Abortion. The three-year law has claims 20,718 innocent lives, it took 50 years of intense effort to get this law overturned as a national right. The current Irish Government will not even allow alternatives to women contemplating abortion, because only one choice is offered and that is no choice....AMDG....God Save Ireland.

Sep 21, 2022, 10:16am

While consuming an apple last night I was reminded of my life in the city as a youth. Many people had apple trees in their back yard and harvested them for the various things intended for them. The scent of hundreds of apples laying on the ground, some ripe, some all brown and wormy. Meditating on this I have sympathy for both Eve and Augustine both of whom sinned over this enticing fruit. I am done with apple picking now/ the essence of winter sleep is on the night/ the scent of apples I am drowsing off/ I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight. The great American author Thomas Wolfe paraphrases it perfectly, "you can never go home again"....JMJ....

Sep 21, 2022, 10:27am

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Sep 21, 2022, 3:00pm

Further reflecting on Genesis it reminds me of a German poet musing on the harvest,, he thought of the beginning springtime earlier than that even all the way back to the beginning of all things. We plough the fields and scatter/ the good seed on the land/ but it is fed and watered/ by God's almighty hand/ He sends the snow in winter/ the warmth to swell the grain/ the breezes, and sunshine/ and soft refreshing rain....JMJ.... Thank God for our farmers may He bless them with an abundant harvest.

Edited: Sep 25, 2022, 12:15pm

A random selection of "current Catholic issues" from the last couple of weeks:

Seminar for Newly-Ordained Bishops Emphasizes New Evangelization, Says Archbishop of Juba (AMECEA)

After two weeks seminar in Rome for young bishops from mission territories and around the world, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla has shared his experience appreciating the seminar which emphasized on new ways of evangelization among other discussions...

Benedict XVI writes about ‘inner drama of being a Christian’ in new letter (CNA)

In a new letter, Benedict XVI praised the story of a woman who lived “the inner drama of being a Christian” and dedicated her life to the spiritual encounter with Christ in eucharistic adoration and other practices. The pope emeritus wrote that his own personal experience was similar to what Mother Julia Verhaeghe went through in a letter to the author of a new biography...

Catholics outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland for first time (Guardian)

Catholics outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland for the first time, a demographic milestone for a state that was designed a century ago to have a permanent Protestant majority. Results from the 2021 census released on Thursday showed that 45.7% of inhabitants are Catholic or from a Catholic background compared with 43.48% from Protestant or other Christian backgrounds. The 2011 census figures were 45% Catholic and 48% Protestant. Neither bloc is a majority. The demographic tilt was expected but will still deliver a psychological hit to unionists, who for decades relied on a supposedly impregnable Protestant majority to safeguard Northern Ireland’s position in the UK...

The Gregorian has educated 28 saints and 16 popes. But the new Jesuit rector doesn’t think that is the school’s most important legacy (America Magazine)

Mark Lewis, S.J., 62, is a historian and only the second Jesuit from the United States to be rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome... He discussed his passion for history and suggested that being a historian with a deep knowledge of the Council of Trent could be an important asset to him as rector of a university that is committed to implementing the Second Vatican Council... "Once you’ve studied enough history, you’re very free, because you realize that in any period in time there have been things that have been worse and things that have been better. And that frees you. You don’t say, ‘Oh, well we’ve always done it this way, or we have to do it this way.’ There’s much more freedom”... "And so it’s useless to say—as I’ve heard people say so many times today—'this has to be the worst time in the history of the church’. As a historian I say, ‘No, I don’t think so'”...

Sep 25, 2022, 12:07pm

The Churches traditions are under attack by its own Hierarchy. What will the Catholic in the pew do, if a small part of the church has cut itself of from the Universal Faith. The answer is sure we will cling to the healthiness of the whole body than to the corrupt limb. But what if some novel contagions, such as, china virus, globalism, climate scams, Homosexual marriage liturgies, clown masses, demotions of good priests and bishops, infects in fact the whole church and not merely a tiny part of it? Then we stick with antiquity, which with all their efforts in trying to crush it, we cannot be led astray by their deceits....JMJ.... Mary Help of Christians Pray for Us.

Sep 25, 2022, 11:44pm

Hong Kong’s Cardinal Zen goes on trial over fund defending arrested protesters (Guardian)

A 90-year-old Hong Kong cardinal will go on trial alongside four fellow democracy supporters on Monday over their role in running a fund to help defend people arrested in anti-government protests. Cardinal Joseph Zen, one of Asia’s highest-ranking Catholic clerics, was originally detained earlier this year under a national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong to quell dissent...

Sep 26, 2022, 1:06pm

Not a word of support from Rome

Sep 26, 2022, 8:21pm

There is no debate that organisms can change in some way over time call it micro evolution if you must, more accurately it is called limited variation a well known study of finches on some Island in the pacific proves this. Now we have Catholic priests who actually believe in the big bang scam of the athiests who claim goo from this bang is now you, but our catholics are cute they have tenures and paychecks to protect. Here is their spiel translated by joe in the pew. "God somehow played a role in the explosion and subsequent goo, but since then he has been to busy to stick with it....AMDG.... St Augustine Pray for Us.

Sep 27, 2022, 6:36am

Catholic Leaders, Human Rights Activists Support Hong Kong Cardinal as His Trial Begins (ACI Africa)

As Cardinal Joseph Zen begins his trial in Hong Kong, a number of Catholic leaders and human rights activists have come out with statements of support for the 90-year-old bishop emeritus... Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples... Bishop Thomas Tobin... Bishop Joseph Strickland... Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone... Bishop Athanasius Schneider... Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller... Cardinal Charles Bo... Father Benedict Kiely... Lord David Alton...

Fellow Clergy, Confreres, Can Be the Biggest Threat to a Priest: Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya (ACI Africa)

A Catholic Priest is most likely to face more opposition, criticism and all manner of threats from his fellow members of Clergy and confreres than from anywhere else, the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya has said. In his homily during the September 24 Diaconate Ordination... A Catholic Priest is most likely to face more opposition, criticism and all manner of threats from his fellow members of Clergy and confreres than from anywhere else, the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya has said... it is within the Church that a Priest faces the biggest threat, away from other challenges including culture shocks. “Sometimes you will be sent to difficult places, and sometimes, the mission seems to be filled with endless challenges and obstacles and you may be full of frustration. Many times, those challenges are rooted in the nature of the mission, and the people you have to mission to, and the place you have to go, the culture and the climate. But the true difficulties and threats are not coming from outside the Church but from inside the Church,” he said... “Those who criticize you, those who speak behind your back, those who try to destroy you are many times your own colleagues, your fellow Priests, maybe even members of your own Congregation who spend long hours drinking and criticizing others”... members of the Clergy and Religious who have the tendency of criticizing others are those “who are bitter, whose salt lost the taste”. “The fiercest wolves are found inside the Church; they are found in the people you trusted the most”... He explained, “As the Psalmist says, ‘if an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it. If the foe were arising against me, I could hide, but it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my friend with whom I enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God as we walked among the worshippers.’” “Was Jesus himself not betrayed by a friend, his own disciple?” Archbishop van Megen posed, and added, “To be betrayed, to be criticized when living and preaching the word of God, is inevitable. Evil will look for every way to destroy a man of God.” He encouraged those he was about to ordain transitional Deacons to always find strength in Jesus Christ who was criticized for associating with sinners, and eventually betrayed by someone he considered a friend...

Sep 27, 2022, 11:06am

Where is the Pope!

Sep 29, 2022, 7:38am

Hong Kong Cardinal's Second Day in Court: Magistrate Rules There is Sufficient Evidence (ACI Africa)

On Tuesday, Cardinal Joseph Zen’s second day in court in Hong Kong, five witnesses were cross-examined and the magistrate ruled that there was sufficient evidence to justify a trial... Principal Magistrate Ada Yim ruled that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to make a prima facie case against the cardinal and five others for failing to properly register a fund to provide legal aid to pro-democracy protesters, according to the Hong Kong Free Press...

Sep 29, 2022, 7:41am

>85 John5918:

An example, perhaps, of the dynamic that the Apostolic Nuncio is talking about:

Clergy in Zambian Archdiocese Dissociate from Defamatory Article about Catholic Archbishop (ACI Africa)

Members of the Clergy ministering in Zambia’s Lusaka Archdiocese have distanced themselves from a social media publication claiming that the Local Ordinary of the Zambian Metropolitan See, Archbishop Alick Banda, has become “a spokesperson for an opposition political party”. Published Monday, September 26 under the title, “Catholic Priests speak out against Archbishop Alick Banda”, the article depicts the Zambian Archbishop as an emissary of the opposition, having departed “from his role as a shepherd of the flock of the Lord … and speaking about anything he thinks will discredit the ruling government.” In a Tuesday, September 27 press release, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lusaka dissociates Catholic Priests of the Metropolitan See from the defamatory publication, adding that he read the published content “with astonishment and disbelief” and Priests are “distraught by the said article”. “I would like to inform the general public that this is not a collective effort or work of the Catholic Priests of the Archdiocese of Lusaka at all as alleged by the author of the said article,” Fr Solomon Tembo says in the one-page press release. Fr. Tembo adds, “I doubt whether it is even the work of a Priest. Catholic Priests of Lusaka are equally concerned and distraught by the said article”...

Sep 29, 2022, 8:04am

A Message From Your Group AdminI will be travelling overseas for the next few weeks, so I will only be able to monitor this group intermittently and probably won't post much. Perhaps it would be a good time to remind ourselves of the guidelines for posting in this group.

The group is for conversations about anything to do with our Catholic Tradition. It is not for partisan politics, rants, innuendo, gossip, rumours, "fake news", culture war slogans, conspiracy theories, hate speech of any sort, ad hominem attacks, nor for disparaging and denigrating any other human being. There is a group called Pro and Con on LT where that sort of behaviour is commonplace and anybody can post there, but it is not welcome in the Catholic Tradition group.

I will remove posts if they blatantly fail to respect these guidelines. I dislike having to do so, and I have refrained up to now, but I receive private messages from people suggesting that the amount of toxic negativity which has crept into the group is "off-putting" and indeed that we need to "save the group". I have mentioned before that a few years ago this group was a very toxic environment caused by just one or two posters; let's hope we don't return to that dysfunctional dynamic. Let me emphasise that posts will not be removed because I disagree with their content, but rather because they fail to respect the group.

May I also repeat my frequent request that if you directly quote a text you should include a citation. This is normal practice in most circles, as it is only fair and just for the author and publisher of the work to receive credit. Some online fora have a strict policy on this in order to protect themselves from copyright infringement lawsuits. But in addition, this is a group for conversations about Catholic Tradition, and these will be better conversations if everybody can read for themselves the texts in their original context.

And above all, let's try to keep it positive and friendly, even when disagreeing. We are all sisters and brothers in Christ. There are no enemies in this group, no "us" v "them"; we are all Catholics (or others who are interested in Catholic Tradition) trying to understand each other better and to seek greater unity; "May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us" (John 17:21). And above all, let us always post with charity.

Oct 1, 2022, 12:33pm

Please don't leave us....AMDG

Oct 4, 2022, 11:31am

"Lead kindly light, amid the encircling doom, lead Thou me on", the great poem of Johm Henry Neuman, has been prayed numerous times by people near death in the 19th and early 20th century. By a US President shot down by an anarchist bullets, by people in life rafts from the stricken Titantic. coal miners trapped in a mine in Durham England, and boys in the trenches of WWI. Betsie Ten Boon saviour of Jews sang it on the way to the woman's death camp Revensbruck. Today we in So W Florida are literally digging out of a catastrophic natural disaster amidst this unbelievable destruction let us pray for those of us who have to suffer and die in a white hospital plastic sheath while listening to monitors and intercoms. Sacred songs were the last things the above mentioned listened to I wonder in my dying moments I would prefer to listen to. Neuman composed this poem while returning to England after a severe illness, He also had in mind his country and its separation from its wellsprings. praying that it would come back to its ancient beliefs and practices, much the same as do many of us today pray....JMJ....St John Neuman Pray For Us.

Oct 6, 2022, 12:02pm

How long are the coverups for homosexual priests and bishops going to continue, Fr Jackson Rhode Island arrested with a large cache of pornographic and child abuse material, state charges dropped and jacky is re-arrested in Kansas, I wonder what for? Meanwhile a nobel laureate bishop is "sanctioned" by the Vatican after being accused of raping and molesting children in East Timor. Bishop Carlos Belo head of this and that organization suddenly resigned in 2002 at 45 citing ill health where have we heard that before. Belo was most courageous sheltering young boys during the troubles, how convenient. One victim said Beto raped and abused him leaving money as a bribe. Beto recovered his health and is still a bishop under sanction, whats his sanction, yup he can't go near kids....JMJ....St Maria Goretti Pray for Us.

Oct 7, 2022, 6:40am

>91 brone:"Lead kindly light"

A beautiful hymn indeed.

Oct 9, 2022, 12:15pm

The American leftist Congress just voted in the Respect "Marriage" Act while the people weren't watching. This act has nothing to do with the Sacrament of Marriage, instead it makes a travesty of Marriage by codifying same sex "marriage" also granting legal recognition of polygamous marriages, as far as I can tell only three prominent Catholics voiced opposition, Archbishop Cordileone the snubbed Bishop of San Francisco, nothing from the pulpits just the usual feel good sermons....JMJ....Our Lady Help of Christians Pray for Us.

Oct 11, 2022, 8:36pm

Finally from Northern Italy a European Bishop has acted against a Catholic priest suspending Fr Guilio Mignane. Bishop Luigi Pullitti imposed the latae sententiae, suspension from public ministry for repeated, "public utterances not in conformity" with the Churche's Magisterium, Fr Guilio preached in favor of the three big progressive issues of the day, Abortion, same sex "marriage"and Euthanasia....JMJ....Our Lady Of Good Remedy Pray for Us.

Edited: Oct 14, 2022, 10:57am

>95 brone: the three big progressive issues of the day, Abortion, same sex "marriage"and Euthanasia

Are these really "the three big progressive issues of the day"? Most of the "progressives" I know are more interested in things like peace and justice, equality, the dignity of the human person, democracy, good governance, care for creation, respect for migrants, economic and social justice, reducing the number of small arms and light weapons in the hands of civilians, nuclear weapons, the death penalty, and similar issues which are very much part of Catholic teaching.

Oct 14, 2022, 3:51pm

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The European center for law and justice has confirmed the EU Court of Human Rights decision that the "femen" who desecrated the Magdelaine Church in Paris by posing topless,tattooed. wearing a crown of thorns,arms outstretched as if being crucified, wearing a blue mantle, holding in both hand ox livers simulating the aborted baby Jesus all this while standing in front of the Tabernacle, The EU Court interprets this as freedom of expression for a women's right to murder her own Child. Meanwhile in the land of the former "Free" a lawyer demonstrating against Abortion is arrested by an FBI swat team of 20 jackboots in front of his 7 children, Who said Communism fell with the wall....JMJ....Archbishop Sheen Pray for us.

Edited: Oct 15, 2022, 2:55pm

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Catholics should resist,according to the authoritative teaching of Vatll. Catholics who do take Vatll seriously should resist so called progressives (I call em Marxists). Catholics who take Vatll seriously give legal affect to the evils of Abortion, euthanasia, homosexual "marriage", critical race theory,and fantasy revisionist histories, the mutilation of 13 year old girls in the name of trans rights. The snubbed Archbishop of LA answers your question "where are you?) when he say your progessive self styled "social justice" is not based on Catholic concepts of the Human Person. We Vatll Catholics will not be bullied and trolled as insensitive and culture warring. When confronted with the above named atrocities mentioned, to hide your secret support for them you throw out the wet seamless blanket ....JMJ....

Oct 16, 2022, 7:16pm

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Our bishops especially euros and some high falutin yanks keep adjusting their opinions to coincide with secular elites, always careful to judge which way the wind blows, affirming the sexual revolution, especially homosexuality, Doctrine changes, ect. Attending this banquet and that luncheon and fund raising galas being good chaplains to the white upper middle class of elitist fakers. The German church are very good chaplains to the rainbow flag whiners of inclusion, diversity, equity, homosexual "marriage" and trans mutilation, these chaplains have nothing better to do because their churches are empty, what other role can the corrupt caretakers of whats left of the vast apparatus of German Catholicism do....AMDG....

Edited: Oct 20, 2022, 6:53am

>72 margd: Be silent and know that I am God, contd.

A bit of humility is warranted, as we humans grasp at understanding?

NASA’s Webb Takes Star-Filled Portrait of Pillars of Creation
Oct 19, 2022

Edited: Oct 21, 2022, 5:57am

Vatican Invites Protestant, Orthodox Theologians to Debate Petrine Primacy at St. Peter’s (ACI Africa)

The Vatican will host a discussion inside St. Peter’s Basilica next month between a Catholic, a Protestant, and an Orthodox theologian on the primacy of Peter... The primacy of the bishop of Rome, as a successor of Peter, is one of the major issues of disagreement that has kept Orthodox Christians apart from the Catholic Church. Last year, Pope Francis told Orthodox theologians that it is his “conviction that in a synodal Church, greater light can be shed on the exercise of the Petrine primacy”...

Climate Change is “structural sin”, Bishops in Africa Say, Demand World Leaders’ Action (ACI Africa)

Members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) have joined other faith-based and civil society actors in demanding that world “decision makers” act fast to address the climate change crisis, which they say is a “striking example of structural sin.” In a communiqué that the First Vice President of SECAM read out on Monday, October 17 on behalf of Catholic Bishops in Africa and members of the African Climate Dialogues steering committee, climate change was also described as “a moral outrage”, which has plunged many populations on the African continent into deep suffering. “Climate change is a moral outrage. It is a tragic and striking example of structural sin, facilitated by callous indifference and selfish greed. The climate crisis is leading to the destruction of our planet, the devastation of the lives of the poor, and the detriment of future generations,” Fridolin Besungu Cardinal Ambongo said. Cardinal Ambongo added, “We, Church leaders and civil society organizations in Africa and beyond, demand world leaders, business leaders and decision makers to heed to this important communiqué, and in so doing, heed to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth”...

Edited: Oct 21, 2022, 5:58am

>97 brone: - >99 brone:

Please try to express your opinions without disparaging whole groups of people, and remember that this is a thread on "Current Catholic Issues", not for political rants about communism, Marxists, etc.

When confronted with the above named atrocities mentioned, to hide your secret support for them you throw out the wet seamless blanket

Do you not actually read what is being said? Far from being supported, "atrocities" are clearly opposed by Church teaching and by most Catholics. I suppose by "seamless blanket" you refer to a "consistent ethic of life"? Human life is sacred, which is why we work (not simply speak) to reduce abortion, euthanasia, murder, war, nuclear weapons, capital punishment, gun ownership, torture, poverty, preventable diseases, lack of education, authoritarian regimes, climate change, etc. Respect for the dignity of the human person created in the image and likeness of God and in each of whom we see Christ is why we work against marginalisation, inequality, hate speech, discrimination, division, racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitisim, Islamophobia, etc. These are not "progressive" values, they are Christian values.

Oct 21, 2022, 6:38pm

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Edited: Oct 21, 2022, 8:19pm

German Cardinal Gerhard Muller visited the home of Mark Hauck fatherof seven and pro life activist. Mark was arrested by FBI storm troopers in front of his children taken out in irons and hauled of to a dungeon, for praying outside a PPH facility, he did have his rosary with him but left his M4 assault rifle at home with his children. "as a Catholic Bishop and Roman Catholic Cardinal. I condemn these actions against non-armed families, against children, terrorizing them". Muller only one generation away from similar actions in his own country will be remembered for speaking out against history repeating its self in this generation, This then is synodal, Muller, listening, walking with those who are oppressed....JMJ....

Edited: Oct 22, 2022, 5:52am

'This Sacred Council' (The Tablet)

An interesting reflection on the Second Vatican Council. I'm travelling and only have access to the hard copy, but I include the link for the online version. Well worth a read. It reflects a little on which of the four Vatican II constitutions "is the key to understanding Vatican II". While there are arguments for all four of them, the author is coming to the same conclusion as Pope Francis, that it is Sacrosanctum Concilium (hence the title of the article), which is also the first chronologically. He also devotes some attention to another document, Dignitatis Humanae. He reflects on some of the successes of Vatican II, and highlights three in particular: firstly, "the relationship between the Church and what you might call the 'others' - those outside its visible confines"; secondly, "the profound biblical renewal that has occurred in many quarters in the Church"; and thirdly, "the transition from a classical worldview to a historically conscious worldview", transforming "the way Catholics do theology and think about their own history".

Oct 23, 2022, 4:50am

Parolin to EWTN: ‘Truth distinguishes information from communication’ (Vatican News)

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin speaks at the EWTN Dinner in Frascati on Wednesday evening... under the theme: “The truth is what distinguishes information from communication”... I would like to recall what your founder, Mother Angelica, used to say: “It is our duty to speak the truth, and each person can either assume or not assume this duty. But the truth must above all be within us”. We should always keep this statement in mind and have the same awareness: the truth does not belong to us – we serve the truth. And we can serve it only in love and in unity. We are its custodians, not its owners. The truth is in us if we are humble and have the courage to know how to welcome it, even if at times it does not present itself as we might expect...

Oct 23, 2022, 3:43pm

The 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Pharisee is convinced of his righteousness, he thanks God he is not like that guy in the back of the church. He is cool, not greedy, dishonest, adulterous. very abstract of him. he zeroes in on the guy in the the back saying "not like that guy"....AMDG....

Oct 23, 2022, 4:21pm

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Oct 28, 2022, 2:22am

Change is not easy in the Catholic Church, whether Vatican II or Pope Francis (NCR)

Both historically and today, religious orders are better equipped to embrace change than are dioceses. I think of Cluny!

Oct 28, 2022, 10:56am

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Oct 28, 2022, 2:35pm

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The trappists at Gethsemane Merton's Abbey have equipped themselves with Buddhist monk stoles in a photo op with some reincarnation of some Buddhist false god as they embrace the change....JMJ....

Nov 1, 2022, 11:13am

British bishop Walsham How, "the bishop of children" wrote this wonderful tribute to the saints: For all the saints, who from their labors rest/ Who thee by faith confessed/ Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blest Alleluia,Alleluia....JMJ....Happy All Saints Day.

Nov 3, 2022, 2:53pm

>112 brone:

Thanks, yes, there are some beautiful hymns written by British Anglicans and Methodists.

Edited: Nov 4, 2022, 1:36pm

Uproar after Irish priest says Varadkar and other gay politicians will go to hell (Guardian)

Fr Seán Sheehy, 65, condemned homosexuality, trans rights and abortion rights from the pulpit and in media interviews this week, drawing widespread censure, including from his own bishop. Some called the comments a throwback to a vanished Ireland, others linked them to Sheehy’s exposure to US culture wars during 42 years serving in US dioceses... The bishop of Kerry, Raymond Browne, apologised and said Sheehy’s views did not “represent the Christian position”... A spokesman for Varadkar said he disagreed with the priest but respected his right to express his beliefs. “The tánaiste does not believe that gay people will go to hell for being who they are, nor does he believe that any man or woman can make such a judgment"...

For me the key issue here is not the Church's teaching on homosexual persons which, as the bishop suggests, is more nuanced than culture warriors would like it to be, but rather the question of how one human being can judge that another human being is going to hell. Jesus himself welcomed those who were regarded as "sinners" by the religious establishment of his day, and much of his criticism was aimed at the religious leaders. When he does talk about people going to hell it is usually the "respectable", the conventionally religious, the mainstream, the complacent, the well off, whom he mentions. Plus, of course, those singled out in Matthew 25:31-46 because they did not take care of the poor and marginalised: "'In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.' And they will go away to eternal punishment" (45-46).

But the bottom line is that we cannot judge who is going to hell and it is neither pastoral not charitable to speculate, and even less so to make wild accusations against people.

Edited to add: Irish priest suspended after comments about transgender and gays (Tablet)

A spokesman for Ireland’s deputy prime minister referred to Pope Francis’ famous line “Who am I to judge?” after a priest said the politician would go to hell if he did not repent for being gay... Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry apologized for the controversial homily, saying the views expressed were not representative of Christianity. The Gospel “proclaims the dignity of every human person. It calls on us all to ever have total respect for one another”...

Nov 4, 2022, 1:41pm

Catholics are being swept up in the polarisation of the US and both parties are moving away from the concept of the 'common good'

Some Catholics are embracing Christian nationalist ideas as part of a confused jumble of ideas that gather under the label “conservative populist”...

When it comes to Beijing, the Vatican gamble is probably worth a try

A storm of protest has greeted the announcement that the agreement between the Holy See and the government of China, concerning the status of the Catholic Church there, has been renewed. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under its totalitarian leader, President Xi Jinping, is an enemy of political and religious freedom and, the argument goes, the Catholic Church has jeopardised its reputation for global moral leadership... This is one of many examples where history judges the Catholic Church to have failed in its duty to be a voice in defence of human rights and the rule of law. On the other hand, English Catholics know the price their spiritual ancestors paid when Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pius V in 1570. That decision inflicted far more damage on the Catholic community than it did on the Queen. So in dealing with China the Vatican has no good options, only a choice between bad ones. But a living and worshipping Catholic Church in China outside total CCP control – just – is a small hint of light. There is absolutely no guarantee the gamble will work. But it is worth a try.

Both from the Tablet

Nov 6, 2022, 10:16am

There is no such thing as a Christian Nationalist under the banner of conservative populism In the US There is plenty of opposition to Homosexual "marriage", Mutilation of children under the guise of gender identity, Abortion up and until term and even after term. Euthanasia. pornography taught to elementary children under the guise of sex education, the srifling of free speech such as you do here, this "confused jumble" of "Christian Nationalists" wll make themselves heard on tuesday when they vote out of office "fake Christians" who censor speech, make laws without representation, these warmongers will then be able to go back to their Fake Catholic colleges and fight for abortion rights censor this admin nothing against church teaching in this post....JMJ....

Nov 6, 2022, 10:22am

What gamble? They might not murder and practice genocide against a minority population, and persecute Christians as much as before the signing of this SECRET accord....AMDG....

Nov 7, 2022, 3:54am

Italian-born Catholic Nun Beatified in Kenya Hailed as “model of a missionary of charity”

“Blessed Sr. Maria Carola represents the holiness of so many missionaries in those days who accepted to endure all sorts of sacrifices and risks to bring the salvation of God to us,” Cardinal Kambanda said... “It is the best act of charity that one can do to make the others know the love of Christ”...

The Hope-filled Legacy of the first Black Priest from the United States

Despite living through the societal oppressions of racism and discrimination, Father Augustus Tolton’s legacy of hope and love for God teaches a message from which everyone can learn... “Father Augustus Tolton — ‘Gus’ as he was called as a youngster — he grew up in Missouri and he was a slave... But his mother, Martha Jane, took him and his two siblings and she crossed the Mississippi River amidst the gunfire of Confederate soldiers"… Tolton attended Catholic school, where he perhaps began to take a great interest in the idea of becoming a priest... However, his journey to the priesthood would not be an easy one, as he was not seen as a candidate for seminaries in the United States due to his race... he was rejected across the board... “Nobody in America was ready for the first African-American priest … {Eventually}, they sent him to the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome … where he studied and was a highly popular seminarian … {going on to} be ordained in 1886”...

Sierra Leonean Priest Finds Solace in Writing after Stroke, Becomes Celebrated Author

One glance at Fr. Gabriel Luseni’s room and you can tell that he loves books. With an extension of a tiny washroom and a corridor leading away from it, the room on the ground floor of the residence of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) in Sierra Leone’s Catholic Diocese of Bo is decorated with pictures of Africa’s top authors hanging on the walls. There are newspapers neatly tucked in boxes, and books, including those that Fr. Gabriel has authored, also tidily arranged on shelves. The Spiritan Priest also follows news on the tiny television in the middle of the room, and gets inspiration to write books and articles that he sends to media houses for publishing. For over a decade, Fr. Gabriel’s movement has been limited to the use of a wheelchair, having suffered a stroke that left his left side paralyzed. He spends most days in his room where he celebrates Holy Mass privately, conducts spiritual retreats for his confreres, and chats for hours with those seeking his advice. It is also in this room that he has worked on his biggest projects, including books that have arched his name on the list of Sierra Leone’s most celebrated authors...

Three inspiring stories from ACI Africa - three saints, regardless of whether or not they have been formally canonised.

Nov 8, 2022, 3:00am

Cardinal Ricard among 11 French bishops accused of abuse (BBC)

French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard has been named by the Church as one of 11 serving or former bishops accused of sexual violence. In a statement, the cardinal said he had abused a 14-year-old girl when he was a parish priest 35 years ago and would now withdraw from his functions. A year ago, a panel found evidence of thousands of paedophiles operating in the French Catholic Church for decades. All 11 accused face either prosecution or disciplinary action in the Church... Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort told reporters the 11 included a former bishop of Créteil, Michel Santier, who retired last year after he was accused of committing sexual abuse two decades earlier. He read out a letter from Cardinal Ricard, who said he had behaved in a "reprehensible manner" with a 14-year-old girl and his conduct had inevitably caused her serious and lasting consequences. Now retired after 18 years as bishop of Bordeaux, the 78-year-old cardinal said he had asked her for forgiveness and apologised to those he had hurt. The current bishop, Jean-Paul James, expressed his sympathy to the victim and renewed his appeal to anyone who had suffered abuse in the diocese to come forward. The head of the conference said that apart from the cardinal and Michel Santier, six bishops had been accused by the judiciary or by the Church and that one was already deceased. Another two former bishops were the subject of a judicial investigation while a third had been reported to prosecutors, he added...

Nov 8, 2022, 12:09pm

Fr Abraham Ryan an Irish American priest could well have been at the battle that day when the young Tolton crossed the Mississippi. Fr Ryan was among many Irish Priests who served with the CSA. It is recorded this unusual Priest with long flowing hair to his tail bone saw 50 battles and over 40 Skirmishes. Abraham carried an unusual canteen holding 2 gallons of water and a bag of medicine, In the battle of Mayres Hgts the Union General actually ordered a cease fire when he observed Ryan ministering to the wounded both Federal and Confederate, Fr Abram went on to be a priest for over 50 years, publishing 131 poems. Like you said stories of uncanonized saints....AMDG....

Nov 8, 2022, 2:11pm

Likewise Fr William Doyle, killed while serving as a military chaplain in World War I, whose cause for beatification and canonisation is about to be opened in Ireland. He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery at the battle of the Somme, and was killed at Passchendale while rescuing two wounded Anglican soldiers. This is reported in the Tablet, 5 November 2022, p29.

Nov 10, 2022, 3:22pm

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Nov 13, 2022, 12:39pm

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Nov 17, 2022, 11:37pm

Holy Family Trail: A new path through Egypt's holiest sites (BBC)

Recently, Egypt's Ministry of Tourism & Antiquity has launched the Holy Family Trail, stringing together some 25 stops along the celebrated route of Jesus, Mary and Joseph... According to Coptic Christian tradition, based on alleged holy visions and local lore, the family would spend the next three-and-a-half years on the move, from Bethlehem to Egypt's Nile Delta then tracing the river as far south as Upper Egypt. Marked with many dozens of miracles, their momentous, round-trip journey racked up more than 3,000km...

This one would make an interesting pilgrimage route.

Nov 18, 2022, 10:38am

See if " group admin" might allow this to escape the axe. The National Catholic bishops reaffirmed the church's teaching on marriage. They also "expressed concerns that legislation (passed yesterday in the house which scores of "devout catholics voted for, a federal law to make same sex "marriage" the law of the land) could lead to discrimination against individuals who hold the traditional view of Marriage....AMDG....

Nov 18, 2022, 11:46am

>125 brone:

The Group Admin has no reason to hide or remove a post which respects the group guidelines.

Nov 19, 2022, 11:36pm

French cleric named bishop in October steps aside for ‘burnout’ (The Pillar)

"The burden seemed too heavy to me..." A French cleric named a bishop by Pope Francis in October said Wednesday that he would not take up the post, because of health problems he attributed to “burnout”... The Catholic Church is finding it increasingly difficult to recruit — and in a handful of cases, retain — bishops. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, said in 2019 that around 30% of priests declined the request to lead dioceses and that the proportion had tripled in a decade...

A timely reminder of the stresses imposed on our bishops these days. I personally know good priests who have declined the invitation to become bishops for the same reason. I also know good bishops who have retired early due to stress, and other good bishops who have served their term until they were 75 (or older if asked by Rome to continue) and have burned out and suffered serious health problems as a result of it. We need to ease the burdens which we impose on our bishops! I remember thirty-odd years ago a very good bishop in Sudan telling me that he believed bishops should be allowed to serve a fixed term and then revert to being parish priests again.

Edited: Nov 19, 2022, 11:54pm

>109 John5918:

NCR has published some letters responding to this article here. They include:

I was thrilled as I read Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese's thoughts in this article because they are exactly my own thoughts. All during Pope John Paul II's and Pope Benedict XVI's reigns, I prayed daily that the Holy Spirit would come forth and give us a pope who would bring us back to the wonderful community I experienced after the Second Vatican Council. And low {sic} and behold, the conclave elected Pope Francis...

our Vincentian seminary welcomed Vatican II and we were encouraged to study the documents and listen to the theologians who came to Chicago and spoke. Would that present seminaries and young priests take time to study the documents of Vatican II and the follow up documents on liturgy, ecumenism, relationship with the world, etc...

Nov 22, 2022, 12:57pm

Before the president elect could get his Mitre off The Non Catholic Reporter's headlines " Bishops elect anti Francis bishop as head of the USCCB.In his pess conference in the space of one minute he was asked what was his relationship with Cardinal Angelo Sodano I was his secretary, whether or not he still believes homosexuality is the primary driver in the clerical sexual abuse scandal, yes he still does, an will his election signify a continual estrangement from the aims and hopes of Francis. These questions from thhe left were two edged and Broglio handled them smoothly and calmly. The other side of this divide lauded the archbishop for his support for pro life, and rational approach to mandates and vaccines especially in the Military we need not look further than this coverage to understand the deep divisions run deep in our Church....JMJ....

Edited: Nov 23, 2022, 12:31am

>129 brone: These questions from the left

Why do you think these were "questions from the left"? Call me old-fashioned, but I would have thought that any journalist worth their salt, of any political persuasion, would look up controversial statements which their subject may have made, and would address current issues such as the perception that in some sections of the US Church there exists "estrangement from the aims and hopes" of the Holy Father, and would ask questions on these issues. Job done. But you're right that "deep divisions run deep" in the US Church.

Nov 23, 2022, 6:33am

Pope Francis Removes Caritas Internationalis Leaders, Appoints Temporary Administrator (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis on Tuesday removed the entire leadership of an international confederation of charities and appointed a temporary administrator to improve the organization’s management... A press release said an independent review found deficiencies in Caritas Internationalis’ “management and procedures, seriously prejudicing team-spirit and staff morale.” Caritas Internationalis, founded in 1951, is a Catholic confederation of 162 charitable organizations based in 200 countries around the world. Its headquarters are located on Vatican territory in Rome, and the Vatican oversees its activity. The governance of Caritas Internationalis is elected for four-year terms during the organization’s general assembly. The next general assembly is scheduled for May 2023... “No evidence emerged of financial mismanagement or sexual impropriety, but other important themes and areas for urgent attention emerged from the panel’s work. Real deficiencies were noted in management and procedures, seriously prejudicing team-spirit and staff morale”...

I have worked closely with Caritas Internationalis over the years. I knew the previous couple of leaders but don't know the team which has just been suspended. CI does good work, but the humanitarian industry is a difficult one in which to operate, and it's sad to see CI falling short. Hopefully the review and the new leadership will get it back on track quickly.

Edited: Nov 23, 2022, 7:08am

>129 brone:

Back to the "deep divisions". It seems the US bishops are fairly disunited. Bishop John Stowe is quoted here as saying:

I think... we’re definitely not going to be going in the direction of Pope Francis any more than we have, and that’s unfortunate. I hope Archbishop Broglio can bring us together a little bit better than we have been, but I’d also like to see Francis’ agenda much higher on the bishops’ priorities... I’m not sure that when it comes to individuals that the labeling {“Francis bishops”} is helpful, but you can say that the conference itself is not following the agenda of Pope Francis. We still don’t have ‘Laudato Si’’ or anything on the environment in our priorities. There’s been no talk of ‘Fratelli Tutti.’ Today, we’re going to talk about ‘Faithful Citizenship’ and reissuing an old document that has no mention of ‘Fratelli Tutti’... {Interviewer: Do you think that the Catholic public is exhausted by the confrontational approach that some bishops seem willing to continue?} I think the conference is becoming more and more irrelevant to average Catholics... a good hope to pin on the synod—if we take synodality seriously, if we really listen to what people are saying, if we let that form the priorities going forward. And for those who are concerned that the synod is raising issues that go beyond the tradition of the teaching of the church, well, then that gives us an opportunity to teach... My optimism is with the people of God and my optimism is in the pastoral life of the church. I just wish the bishops as a body would think about whether they’re having an impact, how relevant they are or aren’t, and how all this talk about evangelization has got to come forth in some attitudes and words and actions.

Nov 23, 2022, 7:20am

>131 John5918: I find this very sad, as here in Austria Caritas has a very good reputation, and are a favourite place to contribute, even with those who otherwise do not have much good to say about the Roman Catholic church.

Edited: Nov 23, 2022, 9:40am

>133 MarthaJeanne:

Yes, I've worked alongside Caritas Austria a lot on the past. Good people. Many national Caritas agencies have a good reputation, including CAFOD in England and Wales and Trocaire in Ireland. They work independently, with Caritas Internationalis providing some coordination, eg when international emergency fund-raising appeals are launched for a famine, flood, conflict or whatever, so this shouldn't have any immediate direct impact on the individual national agencies.

A couple more articles:

Pope sacks global Catholic charity leadership, names commissioner (Al Jazeera)

Commissioner to run Caritas Internationalis until elections to select new leadership next year... a review of the workplace environment this year by external management and psychological experts found malaise and bad management practices at its headquarters. One staffer told the Reuters news agency of cases of verbal abuse, favouritism and general human resources mismanagement that had led some staff to leave. Caritas is based in a Vatican-owned building in Rome...

Analysis: What is behind the changes at Caritas Internationalis? (CNA)

a governance crisis. In 2011, the Secretariat of State did not approve the renomination of the former secretary general, Lesley-Anne Knight. (However, her work was praised by the president of Caritas Internationalis at the time, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga.) As a result, she was replaced by Michel Roy, a Frenchman who worked with Secours Catholique — the Caritas in France. Knight’s non-confirmation also stemmed from the new approach given with the subsequent reform of Caritas Internationalis... While some approved of Knight’s departure, others were disappointed. Despite a robust generational change in Caritas Internationalis in recent years, these divisive feelings may have lingered in the background and fueled some complaints about “management and procedures”... Pope Francis... remains critical of humanitarian organizations that do good work but spend 60% of their budget on wages. The pope called on them to keep costs to a minimum, “so that most of the money goes to the people.”

I remember how controversial it was when Lesly-Anne Knight was prevented from serving a second term as secretary-general, despite her good reputation, and that certainly left a bad taste in some people's mouths. I also recall there was some kerfuffle over Cor Unum's role in Caritas Internationalis before CI was placed definitively under the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. Despite Michel Roy's efforts, it may be that some of the divisiveness of that era remained and has surfaced under his successor.

I've been to meetings in that "Vatican-owned building in Rome" where Caritas Internationalis is housed. Although it is a beautiful old building, it's not very conducive to team-building, with huge long empty corridors stretching the whole length of the building with small individual offices leading off them. I'd hate to have to manage a team in that environment.

Nov 23, 2022, 9:16am

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Come to think of it you are sounding a "bit" more traditional lately, keep "discerning" and a little less censoring who knows!....JMJ....

Nov 23, 2022, 9:24am

>135 brone:

There is no "censoring". Posts are removed if they fail to respect the group's guidelines, particularly after a poster has been warned many times. Please contact me by private message if you wish to discuss it.

Edited: Nov 24, 2022, 10:52pm

A bit of Catholic football trivia from the Tablet this week:

six of the England {World Cup} team attended Catholic schools: the last time England got to the final, 56 years ago, almost a quarter of Alf Ramsey’s squad had been to Catholic schools. There is no straw too flimsy for a football fan to clutch at...

Edited: Nov 25, 2022, 1:11am

A few articles from the National Catholic Reporter on the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, related to posts >129 brone: and >132 John5918:. I was intrigued by the use of the term "punt" in the first headline. While a "punt" is recognised as a type of kick in rugby, as it is in American football, I have never heard it used as a metaphor in British English in the same way it apparently is in US English.

Catholic bishops punt again on 'Faithful Citizenship,' reflecting divisions on politics

At their annual fall meeting in Baltimore that ended Nov. 18, the U.S. Catholic bishops showed they are still unable to reach consensus on the directions they should give to American Catholics on politics. This lack of consensus has been exposed every four years since 2007, the last time the bishops were able to issue a completely new version of "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," their quadrennial teaching document on "the political responsibility of Catholics." In the years since, the bishops have either amended the 2007 text or simply added an introductory letter. At the fall meeting, the bishops decided to leave the next version, due out in 2023, unchanged except for the addition of some supplemental materials such as videos and bulletin inserts...

US bishops' decline into irrelevance will continue

I suppose it was fitting, in a depressing kind of way, that the U.S. bishops' conference plenary coincided with former President Donald Trump's announcement he is seeking the presidency in 2024. In both church and state, the future will be dominated by divisiveness and a culture war ethic for the next few years, a result that contradicts the founding mission of both. The future is grim...

The best to be hoped for is that the U.S. bishops' conference's decline into irrelevance will continue. There was a telling moment at the press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when someone asked Broglio if he would meet with President Joe Biden. He said he would, but first he said that outgoing conference president Archbishop José Gomez had not been able to arrange such a meeting. Let that sink in. The second Catholic president in our nation's history has not felt it necessary to meet with the president of the U.S. bishops' conference. Biden is well advised. At best, such a meeting would be a waste of time...

Bishops' culture warrior choice is a mistake

On the first day of the U.S. bishops' conference plenary meeting, speaker after speaker called for unity, a spirit of listening and synodality, and an effective witness not limited by stale debates and harmful divisions.

"We cannot credibly speak in a polarized society as long as our own house is divided," said Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, in his report as head of the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. "The more united we are, the more effective will our witness be." Just minutes before Lori's speech, however, he had lost a vote for the presidency of the bishops' conference to Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Lori is no liberal, but he was seen as a moderate among the deeply divided bishops. But instead of a unity candidate, the bishops instead chose a culture warrior known for opposing the priorities of Pope Francis... After the past three turbulent years, the credibility of the body of bishops could hardly be lower. Under its previous president, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, the conference chose to insist that abortion is the "preeminent" issue in Catholic teaching; spent a year debating whether to deny Communion to pro-choice politicians before settling on a tepid statement; and in general let the right wing in the church define their agenda. Now, as Pope Francis has identified synodality and openness to dialogue as the way forward for the church, the U.S. bishops seem out of step. They talk about unity, but remained divided themselves, with the final presidential vote 138 to 99 for Broglio. Actions speak louder than words...

99 is a symbolic number. In Jesus' parable, the Good Shepherd left the 99 in order to search for the one missing sheep. It may be that in today's USA he would need to leave the 99 in order to search for the 138 missing sheep! And while we're on numerology, this is post 138!

Nov 26, 2022, 2:16pm

Like it or not Traditional Christianity is in resurgence in the USA Conservative Catholics and Fundamentalists have much more in common with each other than with the modernist christians on the left. While the modernists are imploding from within, losing influence but have not yet dissappeared. The progressive catholic, liberal protestant, elite politicians are all paddling around in the same canoe. Still powerful but decadent they believe Our Lord is some Timothy Leary or eastern guru, who accepts all forms of sexual sins, even affirms the sinner in the sin "if it feels good". These elites Zuck,Gates, Musk, celebrities, bishops, and even the pope see conservative Catholics as a threat. Hence the brutal attacks and derision heaped on conservative Catholics as "rigid" "backward" "pelegian" the later bordering on insult. We are used to having celebrities, "devout catholics" politicians, bishops, and Pope trying to destroy us. With them no truce is possible, we will soon be fired from our jobs, discriminated against be cause we oppose their woke-pride agenda. Being a Catholic Integrationist, meaning no political affiliation,I see no distinction between, political organizations and civil organizations, my socalled political opinions are just my religious beliefs in action....AMDG....

Edited: Nov 26, 2022, 11:52pm

>139 brone:

Any evidence for this rant? Catholicism is traditionalist by nature - I can claim that label for myself alongside other labels such as inclusive, progressive and open-minded. The "left" is a meaningless label in describing Christians. It's a political label, not a religious one - unless you are conflating politics and religion, as seems to be the case with Islamists, culture warriors and, yes, many US "conservative Catholics". What have "Zuck,Gates, Musk, celebrities" got to do with religion? Unless once again you are conflating politics with religion? I've got no idea who Timothy Leary is. Do you really believe that bishops and the pope are trying to "destroy" Catholics? Quite the opposite - they are trying to unite the Church which some Catholics are, deliberately or inadvertently, trying to divide. And once again I wish you would explain to us what you mean by "elite" Catholics. I would suggest that most of the ordinary Catholics I meet in Africa (and indeed on my sojourns in UK, Italy, Germany, the USA and elsewhere) are not "elite" and they don't buy in to the divisive narrative which you are promoting - indeed they are saddened and somewhat bewildered by it. And I would add that I don't think I've met any "ordinary" Catholics who are unhappy with the current Holy Father - quite the opposite. It is only the small "elite" group who like to identify themselves as "traditionalist" and "conservative" and set themselves up in opposition to the teaching of the Magisterium which continually snipes at Pop Francis and fosters division.

Nov 27, 2022, 7:05pm

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Nov 27, 2022, 11:00pm

In rare public protest, Vatican calls out China over bishop’s appointment (Crux)

For the first time since brokering a controversial deal with China on the appointment of bishops four years ago, the Vatican Saturday called out Beijing for violating the terms of the accord by installing a bishop in a diocese not recognized by Rome... In a Nov. 26 statement, the Vatican said they learned of Peng Weizhao’s installation with “with surprise and regret,” saying the Chinese diocese of Jiangxi is “not recognized by the Holy See.” “This event did not take place in accordance with the spirit of dialogue existing between the Vatican side and the Chinese side and with what was stipulated in the Provisional Agreement on the Appointment of Bishops, dated September 22, 2018,” the statement said. The Vatican said they had also received information stating that Peng Weizhao’s civil recognition was preceded “by long and heavy pressure from the local authorities.” “The Holy See hopes that similar episodes will not be repeated, and awaits appropriate communications on the matter from the authorities and reaffirms its full willingness to continue respectful dialogue concerning all issues of common interest,” they said... Brokered in 2018, the provisional agreement between China and the Holy See was never made public, however, as part of the deal Pope Francis agreed to lift the excommunication on seven bishops ordained without the Vatican’s permission and it is believed the pope was given the final pick from a selection of candidates proposed by Chinese authorities...

Nov 28, 2022, 8:05am

>142 John5918:
Thank you for updating the group so regularly with interesting content, John. I'm always a bit surprised that the Chinese authorities even bother communicating with the Holy See, but admittedly, I don't know much about how the Chinese government views religion.

Nov 28, 2022, 10:49pm

At a dark time for Catholic Church, tale of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’ reminds us of the good in the world (Irish Independent)

There was no place to hide from priestly persecution last week as the Spiritan scourge poured forth in dreadful detail from every media source. Were there no decent priests, we wondered as we wandered around Killarney on a winter mini-break? Then we encountered a bronze statue which eloquently answered that question across the mists of time. The sculpture re-imagines Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – the “Vatican Pimpernel” – striding defiantly across St Peter’s Square at the height of World War II...

This article is behind a paywall - if anyone has access to it maybe you can post some more details? But Wikipedia tells how he was "a significant figure in Catholic resistance to Nazism" and saved thousands of people during the war.

Edited: Dec 2, 2022, 1:08am

An interesting interview with a priest in another difficult situation:

What it is like to be a Catholic priest in Qatar (CNA)

When Father Charbel Mhanna needs to acquire altar wine for Mass, he must use a special card issued by the government of Qatar at the only venue that sells alcohol to residents of the country... there are no bells or crosses on church buildings in Qatar... “It is not possible to preach or grant the sacrament of baptism to the descendants of non-Christians or to convert from one religion to another,” Mhanna said. He added that “churches are considered embassies” that deal with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Religious processions are only allowed to take place within the walls of the Qatar Religious Complex, a complex opened in 2008 that holds six different churches: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Syrian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and an interdenominational group for Indian expatriate Christian communities. “Copies of the Bible can {only} be distributed inside the church complex campus,” Mhanna said.

On the other hand, the priest noted that he has not faced any censorship in his homilies and is free to go out to minister to Catholics in Qatar, many of whom are foreign workers. “We give eucharistic Communion to patients in hospitals without any problem and we can pray in cemeteries, as there are tombs for non-Muslims,” he said. “We also have every liberty to preach. No one ever interfered with my sermons. We recite our spiritual words without restrictions,” he added... Mhanna is currently overseeing the construction of a new Catholic church in Qatar — a Maronite Catholic church that will have a capacity of 1,500 people. “Qatar provided land on which we can build today a church in the name of St. Charbel,” he said. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the Maronite Catholic patriarch, laid the foundation stone for the church in 2018 at the invitation of Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani...

Being a priest in the smallest country to ever host the World Cup also comes with some perks. Mhanna was able to attend the opening match of the soccer tournament along with other Christian leaders who minister in the Qatar Religious Complex. “We sat near the seats designated for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and church representatives were wearing pectoral crosses without any problem,” he said.

I was in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, as the director of a Catholic justice and peace institute had taken a sabbatical and I was asked to stand in for him for a few months. We didn't get any free seats to the matches, though, but my wife was able to attend one, and we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere in the country during the event.

The comment about altar wine reminds me of Sudan back in the 1980s (and who knows, maybe even today?) where the altar wine had to be brought in through the Vatican Embassy, and there were occasions when it was confiscated when being transported within the country. In those days Church personnel had to hitch rides on military transport planes to get to certain parts of the war-torn country, and that often involved a rigorous baggage search.

Edited: Dec 2, 2022, 1:08am

What if the peripheries were really the center that defines the church today? (NCR)

the North American working group of the "Doing Theology from the Existential Peripheries" project sponsored by the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The project was launched in response to Pope Francis' desire to hear from seldomly heard Catholics... Welcome to the church outside the church. The stories we heard from this peripheries project were deeply moving accounts of the complex lives of everyday people, and the courage and resilience of many who are rejected and abandoned at the peripheries of life by society and our churches — prisoners, members of the LGBTQ community, women, migrants, drug addicts, Catholic nuns, ex-priests and ex-nuns, prostitutes, the sick, refugees, migrants and the elderly, among others... Now that the reports from the peripheries project's working groups have come in from all the five continents, the Vatican now faces a complex challenge: What do you do with these raw and painful narratives that show deep pain, strong faith and resilience of so many Catholics? How can this approach to doing theology and pastoral accompaniment be institutionalized in the whole church? Many of these siblings of ours have found a church and community that they call Catholic outside the formal pastoral structures of our parishes and dioceses... Over time, however, it became obvious that there was a deeper wound that continues to fester among many Catholics — a disconnect between what the church is teaching and the experience and context of the faithful... In these contrasting stories of joys and sorrows, hopes and despair, we encountered what Pope Francis calls "a culture of walls" separating the most vulnerable from church and society. However, we also heard moving stories of Catholics who are breaking the walls and building bridges of friendship, where our siblings find alternatives to reconnecting their unfailing faith in God with their fading faith and trust in the institutional church... This project invited us to see with a different eye, to become searchers rather than planners, and to be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit, even from strange and unexpected sites of pain and anguish... Seeing with a different eye will move the church to finally be a witness to how the whole people of God can do the will of God without patriarchy, sexism, racism, homophobia and toxic masculinity...

Dominican Fr. Yves Congar's wisdom is helpful in articulating a theological principle of the revelatory impulses that can be found at the peripheries. Congar argues that the peripheries are sites where one can see something that is "searching and striving for expression." Thus, a spiritual organism like the church is more likely to grow and develop by paying attention to those sites and elements waiting to be born. In the history of the Catholic Church, according to Congar, the most influential religious movements and religious communities have always developed from the margins and were not "created by the central power. All such initiatives come from the periphery." In our times, the most important sites for the irruption of hope and for seeing the portrait of a true church are to be found in these sites we visited. Maybe we are witnessing a "great reversal," where those we think are at the peripheries are really enclosed in the warmth of divine love and mercy; and those of us who inhabit the center of power and influence in church and society are the ones who inhabit the margins of the reign of God. Being with the poor and harvesting wisdom from the peripheries can give us theologians some dose of realism about what really matters, why we do what we do, and for whom. My hope is that this project will be a model of how to do consultation in the church by listening to the stories that define our church today, not in synodal halls among the church's hierarchy and elites, but among the little and forgotten ones outside the cities, the church's institutional structures, outside the walls and outside the centers of power.

Apologies for quoting at length, but I found it interesting.

Dec 16, 2022, 7:55am

Fatima statue “decapitated” by Russian missile comes to Rome (YouTube)

A video report on the damage to and looting of a Catholic seminary by Russian forces.

Dec 16, 2022, 8:19am

Of all statues, Our Lady of Fatima:

What did Fatima say about Russia?

"The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world." (1917)

John Paul II’s Consecration of Russia
COMMENTARY: The Polish Pope made an act of entrustment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary 38 years ago (March 25, 1984)
Paul Kengor | March 23, 2022

...March 25, (2022) at 5pm local time in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will perform a ceremony consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His prayer will include not only Russia and Ukraine, but all of humanity. The text reads: “Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.”

Other consecrations had been offered before, by Pope Pius XII, on Oct. 31, 1942, and July 7, 1952, and even by John Paul II in his May 13, 1982, long homily at Fatima on the one-year anniversary of his near-assassination. He actually composed an “Act of Entrustment” on June 7, 1981. These, however, failed to meet the criteria that it was believed had been called for by the Lady in Fatima in 1917. First and foremost, they had not been done in full communion and coordination with the world’s bishops...

Dec 18, 2022, 10:35pm

Vatican dismisses Father Frank Pavone from priesthood (CNA)

Father Frank Pavone, a well-known pro-life activist and national director of the organization Priests for Life, has been dismissed from the clerical state for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop”... The statement refers to Pavone as “Mr. Pavone” and calls him “a lay person,” underscoring the dramatic and immediate nature of the Vatican’s action... It is not clear in what diocese Pavone, 63, is incardinated as a priest... he has a long history of conflicts with bishops... Pavone has been at odds with Bishop Patrick J. Zurek in Amarillo since the latter became bishop there in 2008... An outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump, Pavone served on official Trump campaign outreach positions in 2016 and was originally a co-chair of Trump’s 2020 pro-life coalition, as well as an advisory board member of Catholics for Trump. Canon law forbids clerics from having an active role in political parties unless they receive the permission of their bishop. In November 2016, Pavone filmed a video at the Priests for Life headquarters, urging support for Trump. The video was staged with the body of an aborted baby laid before Pavone on what appeared to be an altar. Zurek said soon after the video’s release that he would open an investigation into the incident, calling it “against the dignity of human life” and “a desecration of the altar,” adding that “the action and presentation of Father Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church”...

Anti-abortion US priest Frank Pavone defrocked by Vatican (Guardian)

The Vatican has defrocked the anti-abortion US priest Frank Pavone for what it said were “blasphemous communications on social media” as well as “persistent disobedience” of his bishop... Pavone had been investigated by his then diocese of Amarillo, Texas, for having placed an aborted foetus on an altar and posting a video of it on two social media sites in 2016. The video was accompanied by a post saying that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party would allow abortion to continue, and that Donald Trump and the Republicans wanted to protect unborn children. Pavone remains a firm supporter of Trump...

Dec 19, 2022, 10:37pm

Pro-life activist and Trump apologist Frank Pavone dismissed from Catholic priesthood (NCR)

Frank Pavone, a right-wing provocateur who for years defied requests from the Vatican and multiple U.S. bishops to stop engaging in partisan political advocacy inconsistent with his role as a member of the Catholic clergy, has been dismissed from the priesthood...

Edited: Dec 21, 2022, 3:59pm

Bishop to stand trial in January (Tablet)

Bishop Rolando Álvarez, confined to his residence in Matagalpa for two weeks in August, before being taken to the capital, Managua, appeared before a judge in Managua on 13 December and was formally charged with “conspiracy to undermine the state” and is due to stand trial on 10 January... Human rights groups in Nicaragua criticised the lack of due process in the case, since Bishop Álvarez has been under a form of house arrest since August. The charges against the bishop provoked a comment from the US Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols, who tweeted: “Mgr Roland Álvarez is a spiritual leader for millions of Nicaraguans and a defender of dialogue and reconciliation. To accuse him of conspiring to undermine national integrity is a cynical act by an authoritarian state.” Once again, there has been no comment on Bishop Álvarez’ position from the Nicaraguan bishops’ conference...

Edited: Dec 21, 2022, 3:16pm

>134 John5918: We have just donated large numbers of books and smaller amounts of textiles and games to Carla, the second hand shops of Caritas Austria. I was really impressed at how well organized they are, but also how grateful and gracious they were at having bags and bags of books (ie work) dumped on them on Dec 21. Nor were we the only ones. Small donations are dealt with at a front desk, but larger ones are sent to unload in back. We had to wait for the previous car to be unloaded, and the next car arrived as we were ready to leave.

Good grief, it almost makes you want to run home and sort out more to bring. Not quite, but having these gone is a big relief. And then I realized: Nobody asked us any questions. There were no forms to fill out. We will not be getting begging letters every Christmas for the next twenty years as have made us regret (cash) donations to other charities in the past.

Dec 29, 2022, 9:52pm

Eritrean Catholic Bishop Fikremariam Hagos freed from detention (BBC)

A leading Catholic bishop in Eritrea has been freed from detention after being held without trial since October, reliable sources have told the BBC. Bishop Fikremariam Hagos was released along with a parish priest, Abba Mihretab Stefanos. No reasons were given by the authorities for their detention. The Catholic Church has repeatedly called for an end to one-party rule in Eritrea, and for democracy to be embraced. The Catholic Archbishop of Asmara and a small congregation gathered to welcome the clerics after their release...
This topic was continued by Current Catholic Issues (2023).

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