Showing posts from January, 2017

Maltese clergy are confused; faithful feel betrayed!

An interview with a priest in Malta demonstrates just what a mess the directive of Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech, has caused among Catholics on the Islands.

At the weekend on Facebook I noticed several priests commenting on how they'd been approached by distraught Maltese parishioners who feel betrayed by what the bishops have done.
The text of the interview in The Times of Malta is reproduced here:

When the bishops released guidelines suggesting that divorced Catholics who enter another relationship may not be denied Communion, many rejoiced. But others were confused. Kurt Sansone meets a parish priest who feels the guidelines are wrong and contradict Church doctrine.

“Confused” is the first word uttered by Fr Joe as he tries to describe his feelings on the bishops’ guidelines dealing with divorced and remarried Catholics.

Joe is not his real name. He is a relatively young parish priest and – concerned over being labelled anti-Pope – asks to remain a…

Maltese Faithful Appeal to Bishops - Keep Faith With Christ!

Today Veri Catholici, the International Association of Catholics for the Defense of the Faith against the Errors of Cardinal Kasper, (!!! What times we live in where we have such organisations in the Church!) published in the Times of Malta Newspaper, on p. 29, an Open Letter to the Bishops of Malta and Gozo regarding their recent pastoral document, in which they have openly approved of communion for those living in public sin.

This is a picture of the advert:

A readable copy can be viewed here

As I have posted here numerous times before, I love Malta and am a regular visitor. Indeed, my family have been graced by a great miracle after praying at the Shrine of Ta Pinu. My friends in Malta are absolutely devastated by what the bishops have done. Actions which the bishops are spinning as merely following the Argentine letter and doing the will of Pope Francis.

The faithful people of Malta feel betrayed by their shepherds, who have thrown them to the wolves and abandoned Christ. Everyon…

+Scicluna, +Grech & The Pope

Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo has posted a podcast in which he speaks about the highly controversial Maltese directive I posted about here. The speech is in Maltese, but my dear friend Marie-Claire Kaminski, a fellow student of Theology, has taken the time to translate this extraordinary speech into English to afford us the opportunity to gain greater insight into the bishop's motivation and thinking. We have added some of our own thoughts in red.

A week ago, together with Archbishop Scicluna, we published the guidelines to show how, in the name of Christ, we can break the jar of ointment on the wounds of those persons who are having great difficulties in their love-life (affective life); and which is affecting their relationship with Jesus. [In the Gospel, the jar of ointment was used by the sinful woman to anoint the feet of Jesus (Mt 26:7; Mk 14:3; Lk 7:37) as a sign and gesture of total repentance and contrition for her sins. Jesus, of course, welcomed her and forgave her. Bisho…

Maltese Muppetry

The problem with Amoris Laetitia is that it subtly opens the door to being interpreted in contradiction to Familiaris Consortio. However many have pointed out that there is a more problematic dimension to the Apostolic Exhortation, namely it's failure to reference Veritatis Splendor, Pope St John Paul II's authoritative Encyclical which addresses the fundamental technical questions of Moral Theology and condemns utilitarianism and relativism. This encyclical, on the foundations of Catholic moral teaching, is the principal magisterial document on the moral life since the Council of Trent. As Fr de Souza pointed out recently:
"Ignoring Veritatis Splendor is like writing about the nature of the Church and not making reference to the teaching of Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium." Perhaps of most import in this context is the third part of Veritatis Splendor which is entitled “Lest the Cross of Christ Be Emptied of Its Power”. Therein, Pope…

Thirty cardinals ‘raised concerns’ about Amoris Laetitia draft

The Catholic Herald reports today:

A 'significant number' of bishops’ conferences reportedly also expressed misgivings The Pope’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia has caused widespread concern among cardinals and bishops, according to new reports. Edward Pentin, veteran Vatican reporter for the National Catholic Registerreports: “Before the document was published, 30 cardinals, having seen an advance draft of the apostolic exhortation, wrote to the Pope expressing their reservations, especially on the issue of Communion for remarried divorcees, warning that the document would weaken the three essential sacraments of the Church: the Eucharist, marriage and confession.” Pentin also said that a “significant number” of bishops’ conferences have expressed concerns about the document. Furthermore, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), having seen a draft, submitted several pages of revisions. These were not accepted, according to Pentin. The Pope has also not …

Reconciling myself to this papacy.

I found two things particularly valuable and consoling last week.

The first, as I noted here, was a summary of the current situation regarding Amoris Laetitia from Father Raymond J. de Souza in the National Catholic Register.

It feels very unnatural to me to be at odds with a pope and I doubt myself and pray about it constantly. yet I cannot shake the feeling that there is something fundamentally at odds with the faith in this. Seeing the events threaded together in de Souza's article reaffirmed my concerns, and therefore my determination to stay true to my faith, and not a false, damaging interpretation of it.

Why am I bothered? Why does it matter? Because being Catholic is at the centre of my life. It is the defining characteristic of my home and family, and when Church teaching is attacked, my family and I are attacked in a most direct way.
Fr de Souza catalogues the key events in the Amoris Laetitia debacle: The posturing of the German Church since the 70's, lead by Cardin…

Magisterial Hierarchy & Amoris Laetitia

In this recent post, I quoted an article by Austen Ivereigh from last July which criticised the Polish faithful. In that article Ivereigh writes:
Some Polish bishops have publicly critiqued the document as “ambiguous.” They argue that sections that are unclear should be interpreted according to the teachings of Francis’ predecessors — by which they mean John Paul II’s 1981 teaching document, Familiaris Consortio. In Catholic terms, this amounts to something close to a rebellion: Amoris Laetitia is authoritative magisterial teaching, and should be the dominant point of reference. Why is Amoris Laetitia *more* magisterial than everything that preceded it? Surely it can only be seen as Magisterial insofar as it affirms and expounds what the Church has already said? For me, it utterly fails in this regard, because regardless of the intent, it has only served to breed dreadful confusion. It is, at least, ambiguous enough for many clergy to feel it justifies abandonment of the Church's t…

An old heretic surfaces with an old idea...

Yesterday it was reported that Leonardo Boff, an infamous, liberal, eccentric ex-priest, has claimed that Pope Francis may grant a special request by the Brazilian bishops to allow married priests to resume their priestly ministry.

It seems the idea is intended in some way to address the devastating shortage of vocations in that country; Brazil has 140 million Catholics, but only 1,800 priests, which Boff correctly assesses to be a “catastrophe”.

Of course, the idiot answer is to increase the liberal momentum that has caused this erosion. Perhaps a more intelligent approach might be to look to countries who benefit from better ratios in this regard as I have alluded to here and here.
Some of you might be scratching your heads as to who this Boff character is. Well, you can read the CDF's opinion of him for yourself here. But I have blogged before about him in the context of ecumenism
Fundamentally, the flaw in Boff’s thinking is the thesis he promotes that Jesus Christ could no…

Christianity: the very faith and moral path which has shaped our way of life.

This is Bishop Mark Davies homily from Midnight Mass taken from the diocesan website:

On Christmas morning, church bells will ring out across this land announcing anew the birth of a Child in Bethlehem: the Saviour who was born for us, Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11). This is news of great joy to be shared by all people; and the bright sound of those bells brings this joyful announcement to everyone, whatever their situation in life. Christianity is not a cold theory or moralism: it is a message of joy and hope for all humanity, in Saint Paul’s words: “God’s grace has been revealed, and has made salvation possible for the whole human race” (Titus 2:11). At the end of 2016, amid the many shadows and uncertainties in our world, Christmas once more announces the glory of God in whom is found indestructible goodness and truth. However, there has been a danger of a strange silence falling over our land which has recently led the Prime Minister to urge Christians never to be afraid of speaking…