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The Vatican Has Fallen

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by padraig, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Blizzard

    Blizzard thy kingdom come

    And here´s another alleged message somewhat similar in content:

    Concerning the eighth secret, Mirjana is frightened and prays to Our Lady for mercy on mankind: “I have prayed; the punishment has been softened. Repeated prayers and fasting reduce punishments from God, but it is not possible to avoid entirely the chastisement. Go on the streets of the city, count those who glorify God and those who offend Him. God can no longer endure that.”
    November 6, 1982
  2. Blizzard

    Blizzard thy kingdom come

    The demolition of the church that´s taking place can´t be attributed to incompetence. Or stupidity. Or lack of vision.

    As in the Chilean scandal, there´s more than meets the eye in this China deal.

    Even the Washington Post is sounding the alarm.

    Catholics warn of church schism if Vatican makes a deal with China

    BEIJING — A group of influential Catholics published an open letter Monday to express their shock and disappointment about a report that the Vatican could soon reach a deal with the Chinese government, warning that it could create a schism in the church in China.

    The Holy See has been in negotiations for several years with the Chinese Communist Party and is now believed to be close to an agreement over the appointment of bishops in China.

    That agreement, under which responsibility for the appointment of bishops would probably be shared between the Vatican and the government, could pave the way for the eventual reestablishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, cut in 1951. The deal is also expected to confer Vatican recognition on seven state-appointed bishops, who had been excommunicated by previous popes.

    But 15 leading Catholics, many of them from Hong Kong, have written to bishops all over the world arguing that the Chinese government should play no role in the selection of bishops. The group argued that the moral integrity of the seven “illicit” bishops was questionable.

    “They do not have the trust of the faithful, and have never repented publicly,” they wrote. “If they were to be recognized as legitimate, the faithful in Greater China would be plunged into confusion and pain, and schism would be created in the Church in China.”

    The 15 Catholics include university professors, lecturers, researchers, human rights activists and lawyers. They warned that a deal with the Chinese government could do irreparable harm and that recent regulations put into effect this month allow for even greater government scrutiny over religion in China.

    The Communist Party in China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, has repeatedly destroyed crosses and churches, while the state-backed China Patriotic Catholic Association maintains its heavy-handed control over the church, they said.

    In his keynote speech to a major Communist Party Congress in October, Xi underlined that the religion in China must also be “Chinese in orientation” and guided by the Communist Party to adapt to socialist society.

    The Catholics complained that religious persecution has never stopped in China and warned that they could not see any possibility that it would, even if a deal were reached.

    “We are worried that the agreement would not only fail to guarantee the limited freedom desired by the Church, but also damage the Church’s holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity, and deal a blow to the Church’s moral power,” they wrote.

    “We earnestly ask you, with the love on the people of God, appeal to the Holy See: Please rethink the current agreement, and stop making an irreversible and regrettable mistake.”

    Senior Vatican officials argue that any deal would help Catholics in China practice and evangelize their faith. There are about 10 million Catholics in China, but their numbers are dwarfed by the fast-growing number of Protestants, and some officials hope a deal could help Catholicism keep pace.

    But retired Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen has been at the forefront of those arguing that a deal with a “totalitarian” regime would be immoral and a sellout.


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  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Well I won't judge them or be too harsh on them as they are in a terrible, terrible situation. But I can't think that Schism would help but only worsen things. It reminds me of the words of St Peter to Jesus,

    'Where else shall we go, you have the message of Eternal Life!'

    Tu es Petrus.

    You are Peter.

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  4. Blizzard

    Blizzard thy kingdom come


    Yet... should they submit to Communist authorities?

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  5. padraig

    padraig New Member

    If it were me I would Pray to Our Lady for help. I would go directly to the Mother of God. Poor, poor people.
  6. CrewDog

    CrewDog Archangels

    Sadly, Gang! This Chile Fiasco just follows what the Church has been doing the last ..What!! ... 25 years? .. of Homsexual Sex Scandals that have plagued and bankrupted Dioceses, confused, angered and disgusted The Faithful, demoralized Faithful Clergy and caused thousands "To Vote With Their Feet". It's all the same "script", deny, cover-up & libel the victims (if they can't be paid-off). If that doesn't work, it's months/years of litigation, unraveling, embarrassment and literally Billions of $$$$ NOT going for Schools, Missions, Churches or Old Folk Clergy retirement accounts. All the while Satan & his Media/Political "Disciples" are making the most of it! :mad:

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!! ...... and He Will .... Our Church too ... Bet on It!!
    HeavenlyHosts and Mary's child like this.
  7. padraig

    padraig New Member

    You know it is not just in China we get these problems, but in the West too. For instance I tend to avoid Churches were I hear heresy preached.

    I read old Catholic Spiritual Classics never new stuff.

    I prefer the Old Liturgy, the Old masses. Why?

    Well it reminds me of a fly preserved in Amber It is difficult to introduce any awful heresy into the Old Mass. It is frozen in Amber if you see what I mean. .

    Bullet proof

    By the way I hope I am not being negative writing this; only realistic. I am always happy and joyous, I am not going about dour and looking for heresies and faults. But I am afraid they stare us in the face nowadays where ever we may go

    A minefield. People may argue, endlessly, seek a narrative of how it got to this stage; but that's just the way it is, sadly.



    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  8. padraig

    padraig New Member

  9. davidtlig

    davidtlig Powers

    Chile, the papal envoy Scicluna will meet the laity of Osorno
    The faithful of Bishop Barros’ diocese, “We are under Pope Francis’ radar. The archbishop will receive us on 21 February as he confirmed in response to our letter”

    Laity of Osorno protest against Bishop Barros

    Pubblicato il 13/02/2018

    It has always been said - and we have pointed this out previously: in Chile the case of the bishop of Osorno Juan Barros, namely the accusations of having taken tried to cover up the sexual abuse of his spiritual mentor Father Fernando Karadima, who was taken to trial and sentenced, cannot be separated from the fact that a large part of the faithful of the diocese of Osorno challenge and reject their bishop. Basically, for more than three years, since the Pope nominated Barros to lead the diocese on January 15,2015, there hasn’t been a Sunday without people protesting where the bishop was celebrating or preaching.

    About Monsignor Charles Scicluna’s very delicate mission in Chile from 20 February onwards we wrote, “There are therefore two different yet closely linked issues: on one hand, the three survivors’ truth against that of the bishop, who declares himself innocent, a victim of persecution, and on the other hand, at least half of the diocesan community members that refuses Barros’ appointment since January 2015. For the past three years, therefore, there has been an unbearable climate in the diocese and this is part of the “Barros affair”. No diocese can sustain such a controversial, grumpy and sometimes violent climate for a long time, since often, clashes break out between the faithful, who challenge the Bishop, and the police who must protect him”.

    Before his departure and his long-awaited arrival in the South American country recently visited by the Pope, Scicluna has already proved skillful in facing and understanding several important passages of this complex situation, to the point that - judging by what is read in the local press - he has gathered around himself wide sympathy and, through him, much appreciation have reached Pope Francis as well. In Chile, but also in other Latin American countries, the mission of the Maltese Archbishop of Malta concerns not only a precise and specific matter. At this point, the presence of the papal envoy appears as the “face” of the Pope whom the clear majority of Catholics have been wishing for, since Bergoglio’s election five years ago. It wouldn’t be exaggerated to say that what is also at stake in this story, is the great charism of the Pontiff.

    Monsignor Scicluna has made it clear that he will act in complete freedom,without being conditioned by some members of the local hierarchy, who in the recent past have heavily influenced the Pope’s visit. Many people, among other things, believe with indisputable grounds, that the “dark moments” of Francis’ pilgrimage to Chile can be explained by his overwhelming trust in some Chilean clergymen who controlled the organization of the trip, in particular the relationship with the local press.

    Mario Vargas, one of the main leaders of the lay diocesan movement in Osorno who opposes Bishop Barros since his nomination in 2015, speaking a few hours ago to the Tv13 channel said, “Monsignor Scicluna, to whom we sent a letter, has responded. He will receive us at the Nunciature of Santiago on February 21. This shows that we too, lay people in Osorno, are under the radar of the Pope and this is also the fruit of our struggle and mobilization. We are very grateful to Monsignor Scicluna, who agreed to meet us”.

  10. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    Judging by the photograph, Pope Francis is succeeding in his mission to create a 'mess'. The writer is saying that Scicluna is presenting a better 'face' of the Pope than the Pope himself. Intriguing.
  11. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Commentators on Homosexual Blessing Scandal
    Call for Correction or Dismissal of Cardinal Marx

    Maike Hickson February 12, 2018 One Comment https://onepeterfive.com/commentato...for-correction-or-dismissal-of-cardinal-marx/

    The recent statements made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference and papal counselor, concerning the possibility, even if only in some parishes, of blessing same-sex couples has caused quite a stir in the Catholic world. Since we ourselves reported on this specific interview, we have been following this discussion closely.

    First, Catholic News Agency (CNA) ran an article about this 3 February Marx interview, entitled “Cardinal Marx endorses blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples,” which was then retitled to “Cardinal Marx discusses blessings for same-sex couples.” The change of title was due to an intervention by the German Bishops’ Conference, asking CNA to publish the bishops’ own English translation of a part of that particular 3 February interview with Marx. (The bishops’ conference’s intervention then led to some additional articles, one of them written under the somewhat misleading title “German cardinal urges pastoral care but not blessing of gay couples.”) But even one of the official websites of the Vatican, Radio Vatikan, entitled its own report on the matter with these words: “Marx: Blessing of homosexual couples in individual cases possible.”

    We stand by our own earlier report: while Cardinal Marx did not explicitly invite a general rule for the blessing of same-sex couples, he claimed that this question should be dealt with on the local basis, on a case-by-case level, thus opening up that possibility in general. Nowhere in his interview did he make it clear that such blessings are forbidden within the Catholic Church. Additionally, Cardinal Marx never came out with a personal denial of or correction to his previous 3 February interview, and he let it be known that he is not available for further interviews on the matter.

    While this development of a story is in itself worth reporting, even more important is the reflective reaction of some fine European journalists to this Marx statement. Both the Italian journalist Marco Tosatti and the German journalist Mathias von Gersdorff have now made calls upon either the pope or the German Bishops’ Conference to respond publicly to the quite heterodox ideas of Cardinal Marx, who is also a member of the pope’s advisory Council of Nine Cardinals. Tosatti is asking now where “Rome is in all of this.” He adds: “The confusion is created by the one who ought to give directions and clarity, and who, at the highest level, having the obligation to speak, remains silent.” The pope is here called to his duty.

    Mathias von Gersdorff addresses the problem in his own country, Germany. He calls upon the German bishops to dismiss Cardinal Marx from his presidency when they meet, in a few days, for their Spring Assembly. He quite forcefully says: “The only reasonable reaction by the German bishops should be the dismissal of Cardinal Reinhard Marx as the president of the German Bishops’ Conference!”

    We thank these Catholic men for their intellectual forthrightness and clarity, and we are herewith publishing below a translation of Marco Tosatti’s and Mathias von Gersdorff’s own Catholic responses to Cardinal Marx’ new initiative.

    * * *

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  12. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    continued from above...

    A Blessing for Gay Couples? Marx Says It’s Up to Each Pastor. Cordes Says It’s a Sacrilege. But Is Anyone in Rome Even There?

    by Marco Tosatti

    An attempt by the German Bishops’ Conference to clarify the declarations made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx to a Bavarian radio station, the Bayerischer Rundfunk, on the theme of blessings for homosexual couples, has had the result of, at best, leaving things just as they were, if not to actually worsen the situation. A few days ago, news agencies and blogs, in particular from overseas, headlined the news that Cardinal Marx, one of the pope’s main counselors, a member of the C9 and president of the German Bishops’ Conference, said the possibility of giving some form of a blessing to homosexual couples is open for discussion.

    In the United States, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia called for clarity on the part of all bishops whenever they address this issue, and Cardinal Josef Cordes of Germany, former president of Cor Unum, was very severe in his remarks: “The proposal of Cardinal Marx, which he made to a German news agency, ignores the clear Revelation of God[.] … Neither does Marx mention the fact that homosexuality contradicts the will of God.” Cordes added that the idea of a blessing for homosexual couples is “frighteningly naïve,” because those who request it “do not desire to receive the assistance of God for themselves; rather, they aim at having their request recognized and the acceptance of their homosexual way of living, and of its validation by the Church.” He concluded: “An ecclesial blessing as a confirmation of a relationship that is against the will of God? This seems to be truly a sacrilege.”

    As we said at the beginning, in an attempt to throw water on the controversy, the German Bishops’ Conference published an official translation of the interview in English. But in reality, the text of this translation does not seem to deviate much from what was published in recent days on American websites, in particular OnePeterFive, whose translator, Maike Hickson, totally mastered the German.

    Marx began by recalling Pope Francis’s call to accompany people more closely in their individual lives, emphasizing the “we ought to be pastorally closer to those, like homosexuals, who need pastoral attention and also desire it.” Thus “we ought to give encouragement and priests and pastoral leaders ought to offer words of encouragement to people in their concrete situations. I do not see any problem with this. A different question is how this encouragement can be done publicly, in a liturgical form; this is where one must be reserved and also reflect on this in a good way.”

    The interviewing woman then asked, in a direct manner, if there could be something like a benediction for homosexual couples. Marx responded: “There are no general solutions. Do not think that a general solution would be just, because pastoral care concerns individuals.” There are situations, he explained, in which “we do not have rules, and that does not mean that nothing is happening.” The president of the German Bishops’ Conference added, “I really ought to leave this up to the local pastor and to the one accompanying the person. One can think about this in dialogue, and right now a discussion of this kind is taking place” (a reference to the declarations of Bishop [Franz-Josef] Bode, vice president of the German Bishops’ Conference, on German public radio), “this is how we can address this theme. But I would say emphatically that I would leave this matter in the hands of local pastors, in a very concrete situation, and I would not ask for rules on the matter. There are things which cannot be regulated.”

    And so, if we have understood correctly, Cardinal Marx would leave it up to each individual priest to decide whether or not to bless that which is for the Church a comportment and lifestyle, which is not only mistaken, but the source of grave and mortal sin, as Archbishop Chaput and Cardinal Cordes have emphasized.

    A patch that is worse than the tear? At first glance, I would say yes. And it is no coincidence that the spokesman for the German Bishops’ Conference has announced that Cardinal Marx is not available for further interviews. But it seems reasonable to ask where Rome is in all this. And don’t tell us that the confusion is being created by journalists and those who oppose this madness that has now become the daily routine. The confusion is created by the one who ought to give directions and clarity, and who, at the highest level, having the obligation to speak, remains silent.

    This article has first been published in Italian. It is published here with kind permission by Marco Tosatti and translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino.

    * * *

    Spring Assembly of the German Bishops: Bishops Should Dismiss Cardinal Marx as Head of the German Bishops’ Conference

    by Mathias von Gersdorff

    German progressivism must have made up its mind on New Year’s Eve to drive the faithful into a constant state of dismay. First, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode proposed the blessing of homosexual partnerships. Then followed a letter by Cardinal Marx as the head of the Bishops’ Conference in which he praises the work of Donum Vitae [an organization that counsels pregnant women and then hands them the counseling certificate allowing a legal abortion in Germany]. Finally, the cardinal welcomes the idea of blessing homosexual couples “in individual cases.”

    Nothing seems to be holy anymore for German progressivism. The faithful have to live in constant expectation of a new attack upon the Church’s teaching on faith and morals.

    However, not only are these initiatives themselves concerning, but so is the silence of the German episcopacy.

    Already on the occasion of the first statement by Bode, several bishops should have protested. Yet perhaps they considered Bode’s engagement for homosexuals merely as a new attempt to please the left-wing press. For a long time now, Bishop Bode tries to get the media’s attention with the help of his well-aimed breaches of taboos.

    But the initiative of Cardinal Marx in favor of the homo agenda has broken the camel’s back!

    The Catholic Church in Germany is scandalizing the faithful throughout the world with its constant attacks against the Faith and traditional teaching. These unacceptable insults finally have to stop.

    The only reasonable reaction by the German bishops should be the dismissal of Cardinal Reinhard Marx as the President of the German Bishops’ Conference!

    This way, the Catholic Church could finally make a mark that here, the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Magisterium still have some worth, and one may not constantly trample upon them.

    Germany, once a country that sent missionaries into the whole world, has become a constant cause of attacks against the Catholic Faith.

    The bishops have to show the Universal Church that, in Germany, the Catholic Faith is being appreciated and valued. By dismissing Cardinal Reinhard Marx at the upcoming Spring Assembly of the German bishops in Ingolstadt (19-22 February 2018), a good first step would take place.

    This article was first published in German. It is published here in English translation, by Dr. Maike Hickson, with permission from Mathias von Gersdorff.
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  13. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    I for one, am happy to see the unmasking of these rouge Cardinals and Bishops whom Pope Benedict knew surrounded his papacy. Now the the light is starting to shine on these cock roaches, we can see where they were hiding. Some right in the Vatican, while others spread throughout the world doing the same damage to the Church as what is taking place within the walls of the Vatican. Don't think for a minute that Pope Francis is not aware of what these rouge clerics are saying and doing. He is allowing this to happen on his watch and he has no apparent problem with it all. If judged by man's law, the pope would be an accomplice to the crimes being committed, because of his knowledge of and silence of these law's of God being trampled upon. Shame on him for doing as much. Shame on those who, even on this forum, who hide behind Pope Francis complacency in usurping God's laws.
  14. earthtoangels

    earthtoangels Powers

    I think what's happening is that all that smoke (now fire) coming from the top is purposeful in its overt actions because it is intended to create events that will force the "solid ones" to expose themselves and become targets for eradication....targets for humiliation and obliteration so the new "religion" can go forth without objection or road blocks.
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  15. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I am unsure how much it is all planned. Some plan, I think most at the lower echelons do not. Choosing to leave God is a form of insanity, so we must expect insane actions. Those at the top are also insane with their own insane logic.

    A Good example of this insanity I discovered today in an anthropological programme on BBC Radio 4 today on the use of pronouns to describe Trangenders. The usual Liberal agenda ; totally insane.
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  16. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    This view of events is certainly possible. The brave few feel obliged to place themselves above the parapet, yet they receive no response, except perhaps a silent observation of their identity.

    Certainly, some have already suffered. Cardinal Burke; Cardinal Mueller and his three subordinates in the CDF; Cardinal Sarah; some theologians, whose names I cannot recall, who have lost their positions and livelihoods.
    earthtoangels likes this.
  17. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    I think they want to force the faithful Bishops into schism. By Pope Francis ignoring the dubia, they spun it out for a year while new Bishops were being appointed. As they grow more confident that there's a majority of modernists in the episcopacy, they will be more open with their agenda, continuing with the tactic of a Bishop here or there flying kites to test the wind before backing up the suggestions with changed "pastoral practice" while proclaiming with hands on hearts that Doctrine is intact. Now that we have de-facto divorce, artificial birth control should sail through the next Synod along with some kind of wink and nod to ceremonies for same sex couples. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. And the most disgraceful part of it is that they blame it all on the Holy Spirit.
  18. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    What was that bit about the sin against the Holy Spirit? The one unforgiveable sin. A torment of the scrupulous, many torturing themselves with the self-deception that they had committed it, but it always seemed difficult to define precisely. Perhaps, its true outline has begun to manifest itself. The ultimate heresy, that our beloved Triune God is at war with Himself. Arius would only have been trotting after some of these people.

    To make matters worse, this repudiation of Divine Unity is ultimately the return to polytheistic paganism, the contentions of the gods on Olympus (two persons who contradict one another cannot logically be the same god). No wonder the sins of old, child-sacrifice and sodomy are coming back. There truly is nothing new under the Son/sun.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  19. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    Cardinal Cupich launches “Amoris Laetitia” seminars for US bishops

    Among the several theologians to present at the upcoming seminars are a former national board member of Call to Action and an advocate for the ordination of women priests and for the approval of artificial birth control.

    February 12, 2018 Catholic News Agency Analysis

    Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13, 2017 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

    Denver, Colo., Feb 12, 2018 / 04:05 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of Chicago has invited some U.S. bishops to a series of conferences on the 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The seminars will be held at three Catholic colleges later this month.

    According to a letter obtained by Catholic News Agency, the meetings, dubbed “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia,” are designed to offer a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral Formation and Pastoral Practice to how to provide formative pastoral programs.”

    “The aim is to gather fifteen to twenty Bishops to have a conversation with the aid of theologians on the related topics,” the letter said.

    The letter, written by Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, explains that the conferences are modeled after a seminar of bishops and theologians discussing Amoris Laetitia held at Boston College in October 2017.

    “The seminar treated the full document giving particular focus to its reception in the multi-cultural and diverse environment that characterizes the Church in the United States,” Cardinal Cupich wrote.

    “Both the bishops and the theologians universally agreed that our two-day seminar was an exercise in synodality, a walking together in which the Church both taught and listened. In fact, in keeping with the counsel of Pope Francis at the start of the 2014 synod, the Boston College participants spoke with candor and boldness, parrhesia, but they also listened with humility,” the letter explained.

    The letter said that Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery on Laity, Family and Life, encouraged and endorsed the upcoming conferences, which will be held at Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, and Santa Clara University.

    The upcoming seminars come in the wake of a speech given by Cardinal Cupich Feb. 9, at the Von Hügel Institute, at St. Edmund College, in Cambridge, England.

    In that speech, Cardinal Cupich said that “Pope Francis is convinced of the need for a new ministerial approach to families as he looks at the challenges facing families in today’s world.”

    He added that “some people misinterpret and misunderstand Amoris simply because they fail or refuse to take into account the present reality in all its complexity.”

    Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Archbishop Wilton Gregory are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Boston College seminar. Cardinals Joseph Tobin and Blase Cupich will present at the University of Notre Dame. Bishops Steven Biegler and Robert McElroy will present at Santa Clara University, according to the invitation.

    Several theologians and a canon lawyer will also present at the upcoming seminars.

    Among the theologians is Dr. Kate Ward, a professor at Marquette University. From 2012-2015, Ward was a national board member of Call to Action, a group that has called for the ordination of women to the priesthood, expressed support for same-sex marriage, and said that the Church should re-evaluate its “position” on the use of artificial birth control.

    From 2006-2009, Ward served as a national board member of Call to Action Next Generation, a youth affiliate of the organization. She chaired that board from 2008-2009.

    In 2006, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, then-prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, wrote that Call to Action’s activities “are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint. Thus to be a Member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith.”

  20. Fatima

    Fatima Powers


    Also scheduled to present is Dr. Natalia Imperatori-Lee, a theologian at Manhattan College.

    Imperatori-Lee was also a presenter at the October seminar at Boston College. At that seminar, she criticized the Church’s “infantilization of the laity,” saying that “lay people are infantilized by a logic…where pastors serve as gatekeepers, offering permission for sacraments, rather than as counselors who accompany laypersons on their sacramental journeys.”

    In a 2015 interview with the podcast Daily Theology, Imperatori-Lee described the late theologian and University of Notre Dame professor Fr. Richard McBrien as a mentor. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “McBrien advocated the ordination of women priests, an end to mandatory celibacy for priests, moral approval of artificial birth control, and decentralization of power in the church.”

    In a 2016 essay in the magazine America, she wrote “any claim that there are only two kinds of humans, male and female, is simplistic.”

    Msgr. Jack Alesandro, a canon lawyer from the Diocese of Rockville Centre, also presented at the Boston College seminar, and will present at the upcoming conferences.

    At the 2017 seminar, Alesandro said that Amoris Laetitia “as a whole supports the idea that as time passes, sacramental marriages become more sacramental and therefore more indissoluble.”

    Alesandro also said that Amoris Laetitia suggests new thresholds for the validity of consent to sacramental marriage. The document suggests “a superior capacity and resolve of the will is required of those entering sacramental marriage than of those entering a non-sacramental union,” he said.

    He said the exhortation “is challenging judges in a tribunal process to discover whether both spouses, including the man, were at the time of the wedding truly capable at the time of tenderness in the sense described by the pope, the tenderness of a mother cradling her infant.”

    “Spouses must be capable of entering a lifelong adventure, and able to renew it constantly if they are to exchange consent validly. It requires that they be friends on the journey. While they do not start out whole and complete, we know that, they must at least be able to grow into this vocation. If they’re incapable of that growth, or they’re really not committed to it, I don’t think they’re validly married, at least, not the Christian marriage.”

    “Canon lawyers may find it difficult to get their juridical mind around love, if their thinking has become overly legal, which is another way of saying ‘secularized,’” he said.

    According to the invitation, “there will be other theologians who will be invited to participate at one or more of the days.”

    During his Feb. 9 speech, Cardinal Cupich said that Pope Francis has introduced a set of “hermeneutical principles” – principles of theological interpretation – that “force a paradigm shift” in the Church’s work with families.

    Among the aspects of such a paradigm shift, Cupich said, is “rejecting an authoritarian or paternalistic way of dealing with people that lays down the law, that pretends to have all the answers, or easy answers to complex problems, that suggests that general rules will seamlessly bring immediate clarity or that the teachings of our tradition can preemptively be applied to the particular challenges confronting couples and families.”

    Cupich further discussed the importance of discernment in conscience. The “voice of conscience—the voice of God…could very well affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal, while nevertheless calling a person ‘to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized,’” he said, commenting on an excerpt from Amoris Laetitia.

    The cardinal said that a pastoral, not “merely doctrinal,” approach is needed in work with families, because “the conscience based Christian moral life does not focus primarily on the automatic application of universal precepts. Rather, it is continually immersed in the concrete situations which give vital context to our moral choices.”

    The result of such a pastoral approach, Cupich said, “is not relativism, or an arbitrary application of the doctrinal law, but an authentic receptivity to God’s self-revelation in the concrete realities of family life and to the work of the Holy Spirit in the consciences of the faithful.”

    Further, the cardinal said, “doctrinal development is about remaining open to the invitation to see our moral teachings on marriage and family life through the lens of God’s omnipotent mercy.”

    “Doctrine can develop as a result of the Church’s merciful accompaniment of families because God has chosen the family as a privileged place to reveal all that the God of mercy is doing in our time,” he added.

    The cardinal concluded by saying that a failure to approach questions related to marriage and family life with a “holistic approach” has “led some critics to misinterpret and misunderstand Amoris. Instead of actually attending to the present reality of people’s lives today in all of its complexity, they limit their scope to an idealistic understanding of marriage and family.”

    The letter inviting bishops to the upcoming conferences explained that transportation costs would be covered by “foundation grants.”

    The Boston College event was sponsored by the Jesuit Institute, the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Cushman Foundation, Healey Foundation, and Henry Luce Foundation.

    According to its tax forms, the Cushman Foundation provided the Archdiocese of Chicago a $12,300 grant in 2015 to fund periti, or theological experts, to the Synod of Bishops on the Family, in which then-Archbishop Blase Cupich participated.

    The Henry Luce foundation has given at least $600,000 in grants to Commonweal Magazine since 2005, it has also given grants to a number of Catholic universities and theology programs. In 2007, it gave a $25,000 grant to the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, according to grant listings on the foundation website. It also gave a one-time $9,500 grant in 2015 to the Archdiocese of Chicago “to support communications during the Ordinary Synod of the Roman Catholic Church.”

    The foundation’s website says it “seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.”

    The Luce Foundation’s Theology program gives grants to “advance understanding of religion and theology.”

    “Particular attention is given to work that rethinks what theology is and reimagines its contemporary significance; to research that creatively examines received assumptions about religion, secularity, and public culture; and to projects located at the intersections of theological inquiry and the multidisciplinary study of religion,” the foundation’s website says.

    Sources told CNA that the USCCB is not involved in the New Momentum Conferences.

    The Archdiocese of Chicago did not respond to questions before deadline.

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