Showing posts from October, 2014

#Synod14—Less Heat, More Light.

My lovely, Catholic mum said to me last night over dinner:
"What do you make of all this about the Church going against Pope Francis' on gays?" Louise, who I have bored rigid with the goings on at the synod over the last week or so, looked at me and we simultaneously enunciated
"What?!!?!!" I assumed she had been at The Daily Mail again, but it turned out that this was the BBC's spin on the synod's proceedings. Earlier today, my past Catenian President, Brother Paul Abbott, a dentist (I offer this as evidence of his intelligence, though some might merely accept it as evidence of masochistic predeliction) who is a loyal and faithful Catholic remarked to me:
"We're turning into the Church of England when a synod is held and the Magisterium can be altered by a democratic process".  OUCH! That stung! But I can assure you Paul, that certainly can never happen in the Catholic Church, despite the resultant confusion from the synod and the spin of t…

Cardinal Kasper telling porkies? Cardinal Pell - A True Synod Father!

High drama last night as Cardinal Kasper denied the comments he was reported as making about African Bishops on Zenit (as I blogged yesterday). After the interview was published, Cardinal Kasper told German media:
“I am appalled. I have never spoken this way about Africans and I never would, I assure you that in these days and weeks…nobody from Zenit has introduced themselves to me and no one has asked for an interview. Nobody from Zenit has had an interview from me.” Edward Pentin, an experienced reporter for the National Catholic Register responded by posting the audio recording of the exchange with Cardinal Kasper on his website, along with the following statement:
His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke to me and two other journalists, one British, the other French, around 7.15pm on Tuesday as he left the Synod hall.I transcribed the recording of our conversation, and my iPhone on which I recorded the exchange was visible. I introduced myself as a journalist with the [National Ca…

Two Views on African Bishops

What has struck me about the internet this morning is the way in which it seems to be throwing up to me two opposing views from two Cardinals with respect to the African Bishops at the Synod.

Cardinal Kasper is reported in Zenit as commenting that African Bishops should not be listened to:
Cardinal Kasper: Africa is totally different from the West. Also Asian and Muslim countries, they’re very different, especially about gays. You can’t speak about this with Africans and people of Muslim countries. It’s not possible. It’s a taboo. For us, we say we ought not to discriminate, we don’t want to discriminate in certain respects.ZENIT: But are African participants listened to in this regard?Cardinal Kasper: No, the majority of them [who hold these views won’t speak about them].ZENIT: They’re not listened to?Cardinal Kasper: In Africa of course [their views are listened to], where it’s a taboo. Maria Madise, Voice of the Family’s coordinator, said: “Cardinal Kasper should apologise for his …

Reinventing the Wheel

If you had just started to calm down about the synod, perhaps you shouldn't read this post. A reader points out the following:
From today's  Vatican Information Service

<< Debate of the Synod Fathers following the post-discussion Report

Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – During the eleventh General Congregation the “Relatio post disceptationem” was read by the General Rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdo.
Immediately after, there followed a period of free discussion among the Synod Fathers.  ( ie Pell: That Wally Kasper has got the brains of a sheep." )
In general, the “Relatio post disceptationem” was appreciated for its capacity to photograph well the interventions that have been offered during this last week, capturing the spirit of the Assembly and highlighting acceptance and welcome as the principle theme of the works. The document, it was said, reveals the Church’s love for the family faithful to Christ,
(note: "the family faithful to Christ")
but also her capacity to …

Raymond Arroyo on #Synod14

Raymond Arroyo, EWTN host of news programme The World Over Live posted this take on the proceedings at the #Synod so far on FB a few hours ago:

My take on the ‪#‎Synod14‬ thus far: 
It is shaping up exactly as I had thought it would following my visit to Rome last week. The Pope wanted a robust conversation (which we have been having since last February when Card. Walter Kasper issued his program for "mercy" for the divorced and remarried). This is what a robust conversation looks like. It's messy, at times ugly, and confusion is a natural byproduct of the process.

In centuries gone by, Council Fathers smacked fellow bishops across the mouth and had to be restrained (a big hello to dear St. Nicholas!). Today, they rush to the cameras and dispute the arguments of the opposition. By comparison, ecclesial conversations have improved. Though a good Roman slug fest could make one heck of a pay-per-view event....

Beyond the annulment debate, Synod fathers told me that discussion…

Nil (tibi) carborundum

Some clear thinking on the Synod.
1. Firstly, let's be clear that Synods do not have the authority to overthrow either the Decalogue or the Teaching of Christ in the Gospels orthe Extraordinary Magisterium.
2. Since they started after Vatican II there have been 25 Synods. 
The process is that there is a Synod, then a Document is produced which is filed away in the Curial Offices - and generally ignored. Do you remember what the last one was on? Or the one before that? I have repeated quite often recently that I dearly wish as much attention had been paid to Sacramentum Caritatis, the exhortation that resulted from the 2007 synod. If a fraction of the attention that has been given to this one, had been devoted to that, no doubt we would all be much better off!
In fact Cardinal Kasper has repeatedly stated that he rejects the teachings of the last Synod on the Family in 1980 and Familiaris consortio. But he doesn't seem to realise the illogicality of his position, if he chooses t…

Our Lady of Akita's Third Message on October 13, 1973

Our Lady of Akita is the title of Marian apparitions reported in 1973 by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in the remote area of Yuzawadai, near the city of Akita in Japan. The messages emphasise prayer and penance. Sister Sasagawa stated that the Virgin Mary told her: "Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach."

The apparitions were unusual in that the crying of the statue of the Virgin Mary was broadcast on national television in Japan. The message of Our Lady of Akita is very similar to the Fatima message.

I found it fascinating that this message was given to Sr. Sasagawa 41 years ago yesterday. Especially relevant to the gathering of our bishops at the Synod to discuss marriage and the family.
"As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before…

Half-Time in Rome

The half-time whistle has been blown on the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome and John Thavis, the respected commentator on Vatican affairs, has described the first document to emerge as ‘a pastoral earthquake’. Voice of the Family have issued a strongly worded condemnation of the mid-way report, calling it “a betrayal”.
Among other comments from experts on the site:
“Those who are controlling the Synod have betrayed Catholic parents worldwide. We believe that the Synod’s mid-way report is one of the worst official documents drafted in Church history.
“Thankfully the report is a preliminary report for discussion, rather than a definitive proposal. It is essential that the voices of those lay faithful who sincerely live out Catholic teaching are also taken into account. Catholic families are clinging to Christ’s teaching on marriage and chastity by their finger-tips.”
More here.

It is a situation the like of which has no precedent in my experience or knowledge of the history of …

Of Feasting & Garments...

Today's GospelMatthew 22:1-14 Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. “Tell those who have been invited” he said “that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.” But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants, maltreated them and killed them. The king was furious. He despatched his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, “The wedding is ready; but as those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the crossroads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.” So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad…


I've had a version of this email a couple of times now: Dear CYMFED supporter,Do you know about Fr. Timothy Radcliffe the radical homosexual activist which CYMFED is promoting at Flame 2, the youth event for thousands of young people in the UK?
If not see here and also here.
It is shocking what the organisers were thinking of when they put this event together, have they no shame?
Please protest to CYMFED for promoting this filth to our young people. It appears James Preece has also received a version of it because he has blogged about it here. And I agree with the broader point he makes in his post:
There are a hundred more worthwhile things you could do for young people than send them along to hear the usual nonsense from the same people who were failing to inspire them two decades ago. But I can't write a stark condemnation of an event for the reason requested in the email. First of all, I'm not particularly a CYMFED supporter. Certainly when my oldest son went a couple of y…

On Priestly Life

The following is a quote from Menti Nostrae, an apostolic exhortation of Pope Pius XII on the sanctity of priestly life, given in Rome at St. Peter's on September 23, 1950, in the 12th year of his pontificate. Some may find it instructive, interesting, apposite or even a source of encouragement.
20. The priest has as the proper field of his activity everything that pertains to the supernatural life, since it is he who promotes the increase of this supernatural life and communicates it to the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Consequently, it is necessary that he renounce "the things of the world," in order to have care only for "the things of the Lord".[30] And it is precisely because he should be free from preoccupation with worldly things to dedicate himself entirely to the divine service, that the Church has established the law of celibacy, thus making it ever more manifest to all peoples that the priest is a minister of God and the father of souls. By…

Difficult Marriage in a Modern Age.

As we begin the Synod on the Family, my thoughts are largely focused in that direction. We must pray for the work of the Synod, and to that end, I implore all Catholics serious about the faith to subscribe to the Voice of the Family website. They are soon to begin distributing news and information which you will find invaluable. Simply add you email address in the box provided on their website here. Meanwhile, Thomas Joseph White, O.P., the director of the Thomistic Institute at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C, has written this excellent article published on First Things. In it, he explains how the Sacrament of marriage is grounded in the twin principles of nature and grace. He looks at the issues to be discussed at the Synod and Pope Benedict XVI's idea that many Catholic marriages may be invalid through lack of faith, suggesting that "a radically “anti-modern” theology that claims that “only intentional Christians can truly get married integrally” is some…

The Essential Weapon for the Synod

Loving the family means being able to appreciate its values and capabilities, fostering them always. Loving the family means identifying the dangers and the evils that menace it, in order to overcome them. Loving the family means endeavoring to create for it an environment favorable for its development. The modern Christian family is often tempted to be discouraged and is distressed at the growth of its difficulties; it is an eminent form of love to give it back its reasons for confidence in itself, in the riches that it possesses by nature and grace, and in the mission that God has entrusted to it. "Yes indeed, the families of today must be called back to their original position. They must follow Christ." Familiaris Consortio n. 86

One thing I cannot help but wonder about is why, in the run up to the forthcoming Synod on the family, nobody has mentioned a prayerful re-read of Pope Saint John Paul II's masterful encyclical on the family as a starting point?

Familiaris Cons…