Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Erroneous Assumptions of Fiducia Supplicans

Fiducia supplicans is based on two grave erroneous assumptions, derived from the present homofied Western culture, which account for its grave erroneous conclusion that same-sex "couples" may be blessed:

1) That there are same-sex "couples" in our Christian communities

2) That same-sex "couples" are to be considered in the same way as heterosexual couples in irregular situations.

1) The first erroneous assumption might take the form of a pastoral question: What are we to do with the same-sex "couples" which are present in our churches? This erroneous assumption is based on a grave pastoral error, the tacit acceptance of public perversion in our Christian community. No pastor worthy of the name can permit that type of scandal in his community: same-sex "couples," publicly and obstinately identifying as such. He needs to directly address it and correct it. In other words, good pastors do not have that circumstance in their communities. That, in fact, officially, is the case, in the African continent as a whole. Deo gratias! It should be so in the whole world.

2) The second erroneous assumption is that same-sex "couples" and heterosexual couples in irregular situations are to be publicly/pastorally treated the same. Here is another grave pastoral error, closely related to the first. A same-sex "couple," in fact, is never a couple in any true sense and can never be truly legitimatized in any way, though a heterosexual couple may indeed become a regularized marital union or may otherwise be a true couple in some limited senses.

A man is never rightly romantically involved with another man. Any public display to the contrary is always lewd, a scandal for all who witness it. A homosexual "couple" is always an affront to the basic decency of all observers, beginning with the "couple" themselves. It can therefore never be accepted or tolerated in the Christian community. Heterosexual couples, because of the ambiguity and redeemability of their case, are quite different. Oftentimes heterosexual couples have children which have come from their natural procreative sexual intimacy, and for which they have serious natural duties as the father and mother of their common children in their home. Furthermore, their irregular situation, in principle, might be regularized, if they should have no impediment to holy marriage, or if the present impediments should in the future cease to exist. Neither of these two factors can ever be the case with same-sex "couples." And, because of the open affront of public same-sex romance to basic decency, no pastor can rightly permit it in any way in his community. He has no authority to permit what God condemns, namely every form of homosexual activity, including all public displays of homosexual affection: the "couple."

No, contrary to the first erroneous assumption, Christians forbid any manner of same-sex romance ("couples") in the Church, in any way! Because, contrary to the second erroneous assumption, homosexual romance is categorically different from heterosexual romance, which is not forbidden in the Church. It, heterosexual romance, in fact, is applauded in our Christian communities, and celebrated and upheld in the form of holy marriage, to which it is exclusively fitted. Every manner of same-sex romance Christ categorically condemns, as do we. We do not permit it.

So, the real answer to the question, "Can we bless the same-sex "couples" of our community?" is, We do not have such couples in our community. That is forbidden.

The Africans are right!

Africa Parts Ways: Collective Rejection of Fiducia Supplicans by all Catholic Churches in Africa (Full Document)

We, in America and in Western Europe, find ourselves in gaydom, and are therefore more susceptible than the Africans to these erroneous assumptions. God Himself, in Sacred Scripture tells us that we are to have different standards for the members of our communities than we have for the world.

I wrote to you in an epistle (2 Thess. 3:14), not to keep company with fornicators. I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world.

But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within? For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves.

Good Catholics are Critical of Bad Popes

How popular this Pope is with the sworn enemies of the Church, of Christ, of God! Our enemies love him, and he seems to love them, e.g. the communists. He has only kind words for the communists.

It is not only good Catholics who can be critical of the Pope. There are plenty of bad Catholics who hated the last two Popes. Many of the ones who love Pope Francis hated Pope Benedict XVI and even Pope Saint John Paul II! Remember that Saint Catherine of Siena was very critical of the Avignon Papacy. Saint Peter Damian was also a critic of a corrupt Papacy.

Pope Francis seems like a bad pastor, that's all. I have suffered many of them in my lifetime. Deo gratias!

One thing bad leaders do is they shed light on the fact that they are not the Savior or the Health of the world, Christ our Lord is, and He alone! Christ is our King, there is no other! The Pope, and any priest, in fact, is simply the representative of the King, His vicar. He is not the King himself.

It is highly ironic that, in the wake of Fiducia supplicans, the world, typically hyper-critical of the Pope, and of Jesus Christ Himself, now, suddenly, dictates to us, both, what it thinks the Pope is saying, and, that we should be following the Pope in this one thing. The implication is that all of the Popes in history (especially the last two) were wrong, and that this one is all of a sudden right. That is emblematic of the arrogance of our Age. To think that we can invent the truth/reality. It is the height of presumption.

What the world needs to understand is that the Pope, like any priest, is the Servant of the Servants of the Gospel, not its Lord. He is a servant of the Truth, He has no authority to invent it at random. And, the truth today, cannot contradict the truth of yesterday, nor the Truth itself. Anyone who does not understand that, does not understand the nature of the Papacy, of the Church, of the Catholic priest, or of Christianity, of what it means to be a Christian, or of what it means to be simply a discerning human being, to be able and willing to distinguish between what a thing is and what a thing is not.

In this regard Catholic theology needs to clarify the distinction between papal infallibility and papal primacy.

Papal infallibility. Papal infallibility means that the Pope cannot err. There are two types of papal infallibility: ex cathedra teaching and the teaching of the ordinary magisterium. Ex cathedra infallibilty is rarely exercised. It is a rare and explicit solemn papal declaration (e.g. the infallible declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception,...the dogma of the Assumption). The latter type of infallibility, much more common, takes place in the ordinary exercise of papal teaching. That ordinary teaching has the character of infallibility only in matters of faith and morals, that are taught repeatedly through major official papal means (e.g. encyclical letters), consistent with the faith and moral teaching of the Church as contained in Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. Though it is ordinary, the infallibility of that ordinary teaching is very limited in its scope. That divine guarantee of infallibility, with all of the conditions attending it, is an essential function in the guarantee and transmission of the divine Deposit of Faith and, specifically, in its unchanging aspect.

Papal primacy. Primacy is a matter of jurisdiction, the legal authority to act. In itself, papal primacy, though supreme, is not infallible. It is simply the reality of the supreme ruling authority possessed by the Roman Pontiff in the leadership of the Church in the world, that no human power is over that of the Pope, that he exercises his Office entirely unimpeded and unmediated. Unlike papal infallibility, however, there is no divine guarantee that the governance of the Roman Pontiff is free from mistakes. The Roman Pontiff does err in the exercise of his governance of the Church. He has primacy, but his primacy is not infallible. In other words, he has the God-given right to decide, but no divine guarantee that his decisions are the right ones, in the simple matters of governance.

It is essential, for the understanding of papal authority, to distinguish between infallibility and primacy, and to consider the proper parameters of each. Pope Francis, with his bad governance of the Church, is helping the Church to clarify and to define the extent and the limits of the papal office.

Fiducia supplicans, a decree on how to give blessings, is simply an exercise of papal primacy. It is a grave error. It is a serious mistake in papal governance. As such, it carries no infallible weight. It is simply one more bad action of our bad pastor.

May the good Lord quickly save the Church and the world from the wolves (beginning with Pope Francis) who are posing as her shepherds, leading countless souls to Hell!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Pope Francis' Official Words on Fiducia Supplicans

Dear Cardinals, dear brothers in the episcopate and in the priesthood, brothers and sisters!

I welcome you at the end of your Plenary Assembly. I greet the Prefect and the other Superiors, the Officials and the Members of the Dicastery: my gratitude to all for your precious work.

As established by the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, the "task of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith is to help the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops in announcing the Gospel throughout the world, promoting and protecting the integrity of Catholic doctrine on faith and morals, drawing on the deposit of faith and also seeking an ever deeper understanding of it in the face of new questions" (art. 69).

Precisely to achieve these ends, already with the motu proprio Fidem servare (11 February 2022) two distinct Sections were created within the Dicastery: the Doctrinal and the Disciplinary. In the letter I sent to the Prefect on 1 July 2023, on the occasion of his appointment, I referred to this provision to better define his role and the current mission of the Dicastery. On the one hand, I underlined the importance of the presence of competent professionals within the Disciplinary Section, to ensure attention and rigor in the application of current canonical legislation, in particular in the management of cases of abuse of minors by clerics, and promote canonical training initiatives for Ordinaries and legal practitioners. On the other hand, I insisted on the urgency of giving greater space and attention to the specific sphere of the Doctrinal Section, where there is no shortage of trained theologians and qualified personnel, also for the work in the Marriage Office and in the Archives, of which I recall the 25th anniversary of opening to the public by Saint John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation, in the imminence of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

The Dicastery thus sees itself committed to the field of understanding the faith in the face of the epochal change that characterizes our time. In this direction, I would like to share with you some thoughts, which I gather around three words: sacraments, dignity and faith.

Sacraments. In recent days you have reflected on the topic of the validity of the Sacraments. The life of the Church is nourished and grows thanks to them. For this reason, particular care is required of ministers in administering them and in revealing to the faithful the treasures of grace that they communicate. Through the Sacraments, believers become capable of prophecy and testimony. And our time has a particular urgent need for prophets of new life and witnesses of charity: let us therefore love and make loved the beauty and saving power of the Sacraments!

The second word: dignity. As Christians, we must not tire of insisting "on the primacy of the human person and on the defense of his dignity beyond all circumstances" (Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum, 39). I know you are working on a document on this topic. I hope that it can help us, as a Church, to always be close "to all those who, without proclamations, in concrete everyday life, fight and pay personally to defend the rights of those who do not count" (Angelus, 10 December 2023) and ensure that, "faced with different current ways of eliminating or ignoring others, we are able to react with a new dream of fraternity and social friendship that is not limited to words" (Encyclical letter Fratelli tutti, 6) .

The third word is faith. In this regard, I would like to recall two events: the tenth anniversary, recently completed, of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium and the now imminent Jubilee, in which we will renew our faith in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, hope of history and of the world. However, we cannot hide the fact that in large areas of the planet faith - as Benedict XVI said - "no longer constitutes an obvious prerequisite for common life, indeed it is often even denied, derided, marginalized and ridiculed" (Apostolic Letter in form of Motu proprio Porta fidei, 2). It is time, therefore, to reflect again and with greater passion on some themes: the announcement and communication of the faith in today's world, especially to the younger generations; the missionary conversion of ecclesial structures and pastoral agents; the new urban cultures, with their burden of challenges but also with new questions of meaning; finally and above all, the centrality of the kerygma in the life and mission of the Church.

Here help is expected from the Dicastery: "guarding the faith" translates today into a commitment to reflection and discernment, so that the entire community works towards a real kerygmatic pastoral and missionary conversion, which will also be able to help the synodal path in progress. What is essential, most beautiful, most attractive and at the same time most necessary for us is faith in Christ Jesus. All together, God willing, we will solemnly renew it during the next Jubilee and each of us is called to announce it to every man and woman of the earth. This is the fundamental task of the Church, to which I gave voice in Evangelii gaudium.

In this context of evangelization I also mention the recent Declaration Fiducia supplicans. The intent of the "pastoral and spontaneous blessings" is to concretely show the closeness of the Lord and the Church to all those who, finding themselves in different situations, ask for help to carry on - sometimes to begin - a journey of faith. I would like to briefly underline two things: the first is that these blessings, outside of any liturgical context and form, do not require moral perfection to be received; the second, that when a couple spontaneously approaches to ask for them, the union is not blessed, but simply the people who have requested the blessing together. Not the union, but the people, naturally taking into account the context, the sensitivities, the places in which one lives and the most suitable ways to do so.

Esteemed friends, I renew my gratitude for your service and encourage you to move forward with the help of the Lord. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.

(Plinthos translation)

Friday, January 26, 2024

Pope Emeritus Benedict on the Sexual Revolution

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2019 / 15:23 pm

The following is a previously unpublished essay from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI:

On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world's bishops' conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical abuse perpetrated against minors.

The extent and gravity of the reported incidents has deeply distressed priests as well as laity, and has caused more than a few to call into question the very Faith of the Church. It was necessary to send out a strong message, and seek out a new beginning, so to make the Church again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in service against the powers of destruction.

Since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis, and during the run-up to it, I had to ask myself - even though, as emeritus, I am no longer directly responsible - what I could contribute to a new beginning.

Thus, after the meeting of the presidents of the bishops' conferences was announced, I compiled some notes by which I might contribute one or two remarks to assist in this difficult hour.

Having contacted the Secretary of State, Cardinal [Pietro] Parolin and the Holy Father [Pope Francis] himself, it seemed appropriate to publish this text in the Klerusblatt [ a monthly periodical for clergy in mostly Bavarian dioceses].

My work is divided into three parts.

In the first part, I aim to present briefly the wider social context of the question, without which the problem cannot be understood. I try to show that in the 1960s an egregious event occurred, on a scale unprecedented in history. It could be said that in the 20 years from 1960 to 1980, the previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely, and a new normalcy arose that has by now been the subject of laborious attempts at disruption.

In the second part, I aim to point out the effects of this situation on the formation of priests and on the lives of priests.

Finally, in the third part, I would like to develop some perspectives for a proper response on the part of the Church.

(1) The matter begins with the state-prescribed and supported introduction of children and youths into the nature of sexuality. In Germany, the then-Minister of Health, Ms. (Käte) Strobel, had a film made in which everything that had previously not been allowed to be shown publicly, including sexual intercourse, was now shown for the purpose of education. What at first was only intended for the sexual education of young people consequently was widely accepted as a feasible option.

Similar effects were achieved by the "Sexkoffer" published by the Austrian government [A controversial 'suitcase' of sex education materials used in Austrian schools in the late 1980s]. Sexual and pornographic movies then became a common occurrence, to the point that they were screened at newsreel theaters [Bahnhofskinos]. I still remember seeing, as I was walking through the city of Regensburg one day, crowds of people lining up in front of a large cinema, something we had previously only seen in times of war, when some special allocation was to be hoped for. I also remember arriving in the city on Good Friday in the year 1970 and seeing all the billboards plastered up with a large poster of two completely naked people in a close embrace.

Among the freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to fight for was this all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms.

The mental collapse was also linked to a propensity for violence. That is why sex films were no longer allowed on airplanes because violence would break out among the small community of passengers. And since the clothing of that time equally provoked aggression, school principals also made attempts at introducing school uniforms with a view to facilitating a climate of learning.

Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of '68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate.

For the young people in the Church, but not only for them, this was in many ways a very difficult time. I have always wondered how young people in this situation could approach the priesthood and accept it, with all its ramifications. The extensive collapse of the next generation of priests in those years and the very high number of laicizations were a consequence of all these developments.

(2) At the same time, independently of this development, Catholic moral theology suffered a collapse that rendered the Church defenseless against these changes in society. I will try to outline briefly the trajectory of this development.

Until the Second Vatican Council, Catholic moral theology was largely founded on natural law, while Sacred Scripture was only cited for background or substantiation. In the Council's struggle for a new understanding of Revelation, the natural law option was largely abandoned, and a moral theology based entirely on the Bible was demanded.

I still remember how the Jesuit faculty in Frankfurt trained a highly gifted young Father (Bruno Schüller) with the purpose of developing a morality based entirely on Scripture. Father Schüller's beautiful dissertation shows a first step towards building a morality based on Scripture. Father Schüller was then sent to America for further studies and came back with the realization that from the Bible alone morality could not be expressed systematically. He then attempted a more pragmatic moral theology, without being able to provide an answer to the crisis of morality.

In the end, it was chiefly the hypothesis that morality was to be exclusively determined by the purposes of human action that prevailed. While the old phrase "the end justifies the means" was not confirmed in this crude form, its way of thinking had become definitive. Consequently, there could no longer be anything that constituted an absolute good, any more than anything fundamentally evil; (there could be) only relative value judgments. There no longer was the (absolute) good, but only the relatively better, contingent on the moment and on circumstances.

The crisis of the justification and presentation of Catholic morality reached dramatic proportions in the late '80s and '90s. On January 5, 1989, the "Cologne Declaration", signed by 15 Catholic professors of theology, was published. It focused on various crisis points in the relationship between the episcopal magisterium and the task of theology. (Reactions to) this text, which at first did not extend beyond the usual level of protests, very rapidly grew into an outcry against the Magisterium of the Church and mustered, audibly and visibly, the global protest potential against the expected doctrinal texts of John Paul II (cf. D. Mieth, Kölner Erklärung, LThK, VI3, p. 196) [LTHK is the Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, a German-language "Lexicon of Theology and the Church", whose editors included Karl Rahner and Cardinal Walter Kasper.]

Pope John Paul II, who knew very well the situation of moral theology and followed it closely, commissioned work on an encyclical that would set these things right again. It was published under the title Veritatis splendor on August 6, 1993, and it triggered vehement backlashes on the part of moral theologians. Before it, the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" already had persuasively presented, in a systematic fashion, morality as proclaimed by the Church.

I shall never forget how then-leading German moral theologian Franz Böckle, who, having returned to his native Switzerland after his retirement, announced in view of the possible decisions of the encyclical Veritatis splendor that if the encyclical should determine that there were actions which were always and under all circumstances to be classified as evil, he would challenge it with all the resources at his disposal.

It was God, the Merciful, that spared him from having to put his resolution into practice; Böckle died on July 8, 1991. The encyclical was published on August 6, 1993 and did indeed include the determination that there were actions that can never become good.

The pope was fully aware of the importance of this decision at that moment and for this part of his text, he had once again consulted leading specialists who did not take part in the editing of the encyclical. He knew that he must leave no doubt about the fact that the moral calculus involved in balancing goods must respect a final limit. There are goods that are never subject to trade-offs.

There are values which must never be abandoned for a greater value and even surpass the preservation of physical life. There is martyrdom. God is (about) more than mere physical survival. A life that would be bought by the denial of God, a life that is based on a final lie, is a non-life.

Martyrdom is a basic category of Christian existence. The fact that martyrdom is no longer morally necessary in the theory advocated by Böckle and many others shows that the very essence of Christianity is at stake here.

In moral theology, however, another question had meanwhile become pressing: The hypothesis that the Magisterium of the Church should have final competence [infallibility] only in matters concerning the faith itself gained widespread acceptance; (in this view) questions concerning morality should not fall within the scope of infallible decisions of the Magisterium of the Church. There is probably something right about this hypothesis that warrants further discussion. But there is a minimum set of morals which is indissolubly linked to the foundational principle of faith and which must be defended if faith is not to be reduced to a theory but rather to be recognized in its claim to concrete life.

All this makes apparent just how fundamentally the authority of the Church in matters of morality is called into question. Those who deny the Church a final teaching competence in this area force her to remain silent precisely where the boundary between truth and lies is at stake.

Independently of this question, in many circles of moral theology the hypothesis was expounded that the Church does not and cannot have her own morality. The argument being that all moral hypotheses would also know parallels in other religions and therefore a Christian property of morality could not exist. But the question of the unique nature of a biblical morality is not answered by the fact that for every single sentence somewhere, a parallel can also be found in other religions. Rather, it is about the whole of biblical morality, which as such is new and different from its individual parts.

The moral doctrine of Holy Scripture has its uniqueness ultimately predicated in its cleaving to the image of God, in faith in the one God who showed himself in Jesus Christ and who lived as a human being. The Decalogue is an application of the biblical faith in God to human life. The image of God and morality belong together and thus result in the particular change of the Christian attitude towards the world and human life. Moreover, Christianity has been described from the beginning with the word hodós [Greek for a road, in the New Testament often used in the sense of a path of progress].

Faith is a journey and a way of life. In the old Church, the catechumenate was created as a habitat against an increasingly demoralized culture, in which the distinctive and fresh aspects of the Christian way of life were practiced and at the same time protected from the common way of life. I think that even today something like catechumenal communities are necessary so that Christian life can assert itself in its own way.

Initial Ecclesial Reactions

(1) The long-prepared and ongoing process of dissolution of the Christian concept of morality was, as I have tried to show, marked by an unprecedented radicalism in the 1960s. This dissolution of the moral teaching authority of the Church necessarily had to have an effect on the diverse areas of the Church. In the context of the meeting of the presidents of the episcopal conferences from all over the world with Pope Francis, the question of priestly life, as well as that of seminaries, is of particular interest. As regards the problem of preparation for priestly ministry in seminaries, there is in fact a far-reaching breakdown of the previous form of this preparation.

In various seminaries homosexual cliques were established, which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate in the seminaries. In one seminary in southern Germany, candidates for the priesthood and candidates for the lay ministry of the pastoral specialist [Pastoralreferent] lived together. At the common meals, seminarians and pastoral specialists ate together, the married among the laymen sometimes accompanied by their wives and children, and on occasion by their girlfriends. The climate in this seminary could not provide support for preparation to the priestly vocation. The Holy See knew of such problems, without being informed precisely. As a first step, an Apostolic Visitation was arranged of seminaries in the United States.

As the criteria for the selection and appointment of bishops had also been changed after the Second Vatican Council, the relationship of bishops to their seminaries was very different, too. Above all, a criterion for the appointment of new bishops was now their "conciliarity," which of course could be understood to mean rather different things.

Indeed, in many parts of the Church, conciliar attitudes were understood to mean having a critical or negative attitude towards the hitherto existing tradition, which was now to be replaced by a new, radically open relationship with the world. One bishop, who had previously been seminary rector, had arranged for the seminarians to be shown pornographic films, allegedly with the intention of thus making them resistant to behavior contrary to the faith.

There were - not only in the United States of America - individual bishops who rejected the Catholic tradition as a whole and sought to bring about a kind of new, modern "Catholicity" in their dioceses. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that in not a few seminaries, students caught reading my books were considered unsuitable for the priesthood. My books were hidden away, like bad literature, and only read under the desk.

The Visitation that now took place brought no new insights, apparently because various powers had joined forces to conceal the true situation. A second Visitation was ordered and brought considerably more insights, but on the whole failed to achieve any outcomes. Nonetheless, since the 1970s the situation in seminaries has generally improved. And yet, only isolated cases of a new strengthening of priestly vocations came about as the overall situation had taken a different turn.

(2) The question of pedophilia, as I recall, did not become acute until the second half of the 1980s. In the meantime, it had already become a public issue in the U.S., such that the bishops in Rome sought help, since canon law, as it is written in the new (1983) Code, did not seem sufficient for taking the necessary measures.

Rome and the Roman canonists at first had difficulty with these concerns; in their opinion the temporary suspension from priestly office had to be sufficient to bring about purification and clarification. This could not be accepted by the American bishops, because the priests thus remained in the service of the bishop, and thereby could be taken to be [still] directly associated with him. Only slowly, a renewal and deepening of the deliberately loosely constructed criminal law of the new Code began to take shape.

In addition, however, there was a fundamental problem in the perception of criminal law. Only so-called guarantorism, [a kind of procedural protectionism], was still regarded as "conciliar." This means that above all the rights of the accused had to be guaranteed, to an extent that factually excluded any conviction at all. As a counterweight against the often-inadequate defense options available to accused theologians, their right to defense by way of guarantorism was extended to such an extent that convictions were hardly possible.

Allow me a brief excursus at this point. In light of the scale of pedophilic misconduct, a word of Jesus has again come to attention which says: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea" (Mark 9:42).

The phrase "the little ones" in the language of Jesus means the common believers who can be confounded in their faith by the intellectual arrogance of those who think they are clever. So here Jesus protects the deposit of the faith with an emphatic threat of punishment to those who do it harm.

The modern use of the sentence is not in itself wrong, but it must not obscure the original meaning. In that meaning, it becomes clear, contrary to any guarantorism, that it is not only the right of the accused that is important and requires a guarantee. Great goods such as the Faith are equally important.

A balanced canon law that corresponds to the whole of Jesus' message must therefore not only provide a guarantee for the accused, the respect for whom is a legal good. It must also protect the Faith, which is also an important legal asset. A properly formed canon law must therefore contain a double guarantee - legal protection of the accused, legal protection of the good at stake. If today one puts forward this inherently clear conception, one generally falls on deaf ears when it comes to the question of the protection of the Faith as a legal good. In the general awareness of the law, the Faith no longer appears to have the rank of a good requiring protection. This is an alarming situation which must be considered and taken seriously by the pastors of the Church.

I would now like to add, to the brief notes on the situation of priestly formation at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis, a few remarks regarding the development of canon law in this matter.

In principle, the Congregation of the Clergy is responsible for dealing with crimes committed by priests. But since guarantorism dominated the situation to a large extent at the time, I agreed with Pope John Paul II that it was appropriate to assign the competence for these offences to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the title Delicta maiora contra fidem.

This arrangement also made it possible to impose the maximum penalty, i.e., expulsion from the clergy, which could not have been imposed under other legal provisions. This was not a trick to be able to impose the maximum penalty, but is a consequence of the importance of the Faith for the Church. In fact, it is important to see that such misconduct by clerics ultimately damages the Faith.

Only where faith no longer determines the actions of man are such offenses possible.

The severity of the punishment, however, also presupposes a clear proof of the offense - this aspect of guarantorism remains in force.

In other words, in order to impose the maximum penalty lawfully, a genuine criminal process is required. But both the dioceses and the Holy See were overwhelmed by such a requirement. We therefore formulated a minimum level of criminal proceedings and left open the possibility that the Holy See itself would take over the trial where the diocese or the metropolitan administration is unable to do so. In each case, the trial would have to be reviewed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in order to guarantee the rights of the accused. Finally, in the Feria IV (i.e., the assembly of the members of the Congregation), we established an appeal instance in order to provide for the possibility of an appeal.

Because all of this actually went beyond the capacities of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and because delays arose which had to be prevented owing to the nature of the matter, Pope Francis has undertaken further reforms.

(1) What must be done? Perhaps we should create another Church for things to work out? Well, that experiment has already been undertaken and has already failed. Only obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ can point the way. So let us first try to understand anew and from within [ourselves] what the Lord wants, and has wanted with us.

First, I would suggest the following: If we really wanted to summarize very briefly the content of the Faith as laid down in the Bible, we might do so by saying that the Lord has initiated a narrative of love with us and wants to subsume all creation in it. The counterforce against evil, which threatens us and the whole world, can ultimately only consist in our entering into this love. It is the real counterforce against evil. The power of evil arises from our refusal to love God. He who entrusts himself to the love of God is redeemed. Our being not redeemed is a consequence of our inability to love God. Learning to love God is therefore the path of human redemption.

Let us now try to unpack this essential content of God's revelation a little more. We might then say that the first fundamental gift that Faith offers us is the certainty that God exists.

A world without God can only be a world without meaning. For where, then, does everything that is come from? In any case, it has no spiritual purpose. It is somehow simply there and has neither any goal nor any sense. Then there are no standards of good or evil. Then only what is stronger than the other can assert itself. Power is then the only principle. Truth does not count, it actually does not exist. Only if things have a spiritual reason, are intended and conceived - only if there is a Creator God who is good and wants the good - can the life of man also have meaning.

That there is God as creator and as the measure of all things is first and foremost a primordial need.

But a God who would not express Himself at all, who would not make Himself known, would remain a presumption and could thus not determine the form [Gestalt] of our life. For God to be really God in this deliberate creation, we must look to Him to express Himself in some way. He has done so in many ways, but decisively in the call that went to Abraham and gave people in search of God the orientation that leads beyond all expectation: God Himself becomes creature, speaks as man with us human beings.

In this way the sentence "God is" ultimately turns into a truly joyous message, precisely because He is more than understanding, because He creates - and is - love. To once more make people aware of this is the first and fundamental task entrusted to us by the Lord.

A society without God - a society that does not know Him and treats Him as non-existent - is a society that loses its measure. In our day, the catchphrase of God's death was coined. When God does die in a society, it becomes free, we were assured. In reality, the death of God in a society also means the end of freedom, because what dies is the purpose that provides orientation. And because the compass disappears that points us in the right direction by teaching us to distinguish good from evil. Western society is a society in which God is absent in the public sphere and has nothing left to offer it. And that is why it is a society in which the measure of humanity is increasingly lost. At individual points it becomes suddenly apparent that what is evil and destroys man has become a matter of course.

That is the case with pedophilia. It was theorized only a short time ago as quite legitimate, but it has spread further and further. And now we realize with shock that things are happening to our children and young people that threaten to destroy them. The fact that this could also spread in the Church and among priests ought to disturb us in particular.

Why did pedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God. We Christians and priests also prefer not to talk about God, because this speech does not seem to be practical. After the upheaval of the Second World War, we in Germany had still expressly placed our Constitution under the responsibility to God as a guiding principle. Half a century later, it was no longer possible to include responsibility to God as a guiding principle in the European constitution. God is regarded as the party concern of a small group and can no longer stand as the guiding principle for the community as a whole. This decision reflects the situation in the West, where God has become the private affair of a minority.

A paramount task, which must result from the moral upheavals of our time, is that we ourselves once again begin to live by God and unto Him. Above all, we ourselves must learn again to recognize God as the foundation of our life instead of leaving Him aside as a somehow ineffective phrase. I will never forget the warning that the great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar once wrote to me on one of his letter cards. "Do not presuppose the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but present them!"

Indeed, in theology God is often taken for granted as a matter of course, but concretely one does not deal with Him. The theme of God seems so unreal, so far removed from the things that concern us. And yet everything becomes different if one does not presuppose but present God. Not somehow leaving Him in the background, but recognizing Him as the center of our thoughts, words and actions.

(2) God became man for us. Man as His creature is so close to His heart that He has united himself with him and has thus entered human history in a very practical way. He speaks with us, He lives with us, He suffers with us and He took death upon Himself for us. We talk about this in detail in theology, with learned words and thoughts. But it is precisely in this way that we run the risk of becoming masters of faith instead of being renewed and mastered by the Faith.

Let us consider this with regard to a central issue, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our handling of the Eucharist can only arouse concern. The Second Vatican Council was rightly focused on returning this sacrament of the Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ, of the Presence of His Person, of His Passion, Death and Resurrection, to the center of Christian life and the very existence of the Church. In part, this really has come about, and we should be most grateful to the Lord for it.

And yet a rather different attitude is prevalent. What predominates is not a new reverence for the presence of Christ's death and resurrection, but a way of dealing with Him that destroys the greatness of the Mystery. The declining participation in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration shows how little we Christians of today still know about appreciating the greatness of the gift that consists in His Real Presence. The Eucharist is devalued into a mere ceremonial gesture when it is taken for granted that courtesy requires Him to be offered at family celebrations or on occasions such as weddings and funerals to all those invited for family reasons.

The way people often simply receive the Holy Sacrament in communion as a matter of course shows that many see communion as a purely ceremonial gesture. Therefore, when thinking about what action is required first and foremost, it is rather obvious that we do not need another Church of our own design. Rather, what is required first and foremost is the renewal of the Faith in the Reality of Jesus Christ given to us in the Blessed Sacrament.

In conversations with victims of pedophilia, I have been made acutely aware of this first and foremost requirement. A young woman who was a [former] altar server told me that the chaplain, her superior as an altar server, always introduced the sexual abuse he was committing against her with the words: "This is my body which will be given up for you."

It is obvious that this woman can no longer hear the very words of consecration without experiencing again all the horrific distress of her abuse. Yes, we must urgently implore the Lord for forgiveness, and first and foremost we must swear by Him and ask Him to teach us all anew to understand the greatness of His suffering, His sacrifice. And we must do all we can to protect the gift of the Holy Eucharist from abuse.

(3) And finally, there is the Mystery of the Church. The sentence with which Romano Guardini, almost 100 years ago, expressed the joyful hope that was instilled in him and many others, remains unforgotten: "An event of incalculable importance has begun; the Church is awakening in souls."

He meant to say that no longer was the Church experienced and perceived as merely an external system entering our lives, as a kind of authority, but rather it began to be perceived as being present within people's hearts - as something not merely external, but internally moving us. About half a century later, in reconsidering this process and looking at what had been happening, I felt tempted to reverse the sentence: "The Church is dying in souls."

Indeed, the Church today is widely regarded as just some kind of political apparatus. One speaks of it almost exclusively in political categories, and this applies even to bishops, who formulate their conception of the church of tomorrow almost exclusively in political terms. The crisis, caused by the many cases of clerical abuse, urges us to regard the Church as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign. But a self-made Church cannot constitute hope.

Jesus Himself compared the Church to a fishing net in which good and bad fish are ultimately separated by God Himself. There is also the parable of the Church as a field on which the good grain that God Himself has sown grows, but also the weeds that "an enemy" secretly sown onto it. Indeed, the weeds in God's field, the Church, are excessively visible, and the evil fish in the net also show their strength. Nevertheless, the field is still God's field and the net is God's fishing net. And at all times, there are not only the weeds and the evil fish, but also the crops of God and the good fish. To proclaim both with emphasis is not a false form of apologetics, but a necessary service to the Truth.

In this context it is necessary to refer to an important text in the Revelation of St. John. The devil is identified as the accuser who accuses our brothers before God day and night (Revelation 12:10). St. John's Apocalypse thus takes up a thought from the center of the framing narrative in the Book of Job (Job 1 and 2, 10; 42:7-16). In that book, the devil sought to talk down the righteousness of Job before God as being merely external. And exactly this is what the Apocalypse has to say: The devil wants to prove that there are no righteous people; that all righteousness of people is only displayed on the outside. If one could hew closer to a person, then the appearance of his justice would quickly fall away.

The narrative in Job begins with a dispute between God and the devil, in which God had referred to Job as a truly righteous man. He is now to be used as an example to test who is right. Take away his possessions and you will see that nothing remains of his piety, the devil argues. God allows him this attempt, from which Job emerges positively. Now the devil pushes on and he says: "Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face." (Job 2:4f)

God grants the devil a second turn. He may also touch the skin of Job. Only killing Job is denied to him. For Christians it is clear that this Job, who stands before God as an example for all mankind, is Jesus Christ. In St. John's Apocalypse the drama of humanity is presented to us in all its breadth.

The Creator God is confronted with the devil who speaks ill of all mankind and all creation. He says, not only to God but above all to people: Look at what this God has done. Supposedly a good creation, but in reality full of misery and disgust. That disparagement of creation is really a disparagement of God. It wants to prove that God Himself is not good, and thus to turn us away from Him.

The timeliness of what the Apocalypse is telling us here is obvious. Today, the accusation against God is, above all, about characterizing His Church as entirely bad, and thus dissuading us from it. The idea of a better Church, created by ourselves, is in fact a proposal of the devil, with which he wants to lead us away from the living God, through a deceitful logic by which we are too easily duped. No, even today the Church is not just made up of bad fish and weeds. The Church of God also exists today, and today it is the very instrument through which God saves us.

It is very important to oppose the lies and half-truths of the devil with the whole truth: Yes, there is sin in the Church and evil. But even today there is the Holy Church, which is indestructible. Today there are many people who humbly believe, suffer and love, in whom the real God, the loving God, shows Himself to us. Today God also has His witnesses (martyres) in the world. We just have to be vigilant in order to see and hear them.

The word martyr is taken from procedural law. In the trial against the devil, Jesus Christ is the first and actual witness for God, the first martyr, who has since been followed by countless others.

Today's Church is more than ever a "Church of the Martyrs" and thus a witness to the living God. If we look around and listen with an attentive heart, we can find witnesses everywhere today, especially among ordinary people, but also in the high ranks of the Church, who stand up for God with their life and suffering. It is an inertia of the heart that leads us to not wish to recognize them. One of the great and essential tasks of our evangelization is, as far as we can, to establish habitats of Faith and, above all, to find and recognize them.

I live in a house, in a small community of people who discover such witnesses of the living God again and again in everyday life and who joyfully point this out to me as well. To see and find the living Church is a wonderful task which strengthens us and makes us joyful in our Faith time and again.

At the end of my reflections I would like to thank Pope Francis for everything he does to show us, again and again, the light of God, which has not disappeared, even today. Thank you, Holy Father!

--Benedict XVI

Translated by Anian Christoph Wimmer.
Quotes from Scripture use Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE).

Prudence and Courage

The coward will tend to consider the courageous man either arrogant or foolish.

The fool will tend to consider the prudent man a coward.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Calls for Removal of Cardinal Fernández

The John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family formally requests Pope Francis to dismiss Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández

The John Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family (JAHLF) feels obliged to express its astonishment and perplexity that Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández has accepted the role of Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith despite having in past decades written scandalous books of an erotic nature which border on pornography and which contain passages that clash with the traditional teaching of the Church, in particular his works Sáname con tu boca – El arte de besar (“Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing”) and La Pasión mística – espiritualidad y sensualidad (“Mystical Passion-spirituality and sensuality”). Far from retracting the disgraceful passages that these works contain, Cardinal Fernandez has limited himself to stating that he would not have published them today and that he has prohibited their reprinting.

The sensual-mystical literature for which the cardinal has a particular propensity is one of the worst evils of our time to the extent that under the pretext of spirituality, it, in reality, does nothing but justify the worst excesses of the sexual revolution that is deeply corrupting our society and leading our youth to the abyss.

Although all honest acts performed with good intentions are meritorious before God, sexual relations in our present order of fallen nature are so linked to unruly concupiscence that, generally, they cannot constitute an object that awakens or elevates piety. Already during the pontificate of Pius XI, the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office published an Instruction entitled De sensuali et de sensuali-mystico litterarum genere explicitly condemning mystical-sensual literature, in particular works of those authors who “do not fear to embellish the pasture of a sickly sensuality with sacred things, mixing immodest loves with a certain piety towards God and an entirely false religious mysticism.” The Instruction explicitly states that no intention of the author can prevent “that readers whose fragility is generally great, as is also great their propensity to lust as a result of the corruption of their nature, gradually caught in nets by the bait of these impure pages, are not perverted in their minds and depraved in their hearts.”

It is deplorable that almost a century after this Instruction, lay Catholics should have to remind the Prefect of the admonition of his own predecessor:

“Let these literati learn once and for all that they cannot serve two masters, God and sensuality, religion and impurity. ‘He who is not with me, said the Lord Jesus, is against me’ (Matthew, 12, 30). They are certainly not with Jesus Christ, the writers who, through sordid descriptions, deprave good morals, which are the most authentic foundations of civil and family society.”

These scandalous episodes show that Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández does not have the necessary minimum qualities required to fulfil the role of defender of the faith. For this reason, this Academy formally asks the Holy Father to dismiss him and appoint in his place a competent theologian faithful to the moral teachings of the Church.

Dr Thomas Ward President (United Kingdom)

Mrs Christine Vollmer Vice President (Venezuela)

Mr Steven Mosher (USA)

Prof. Roberto de Mattei (Italy)

Mr José Antonio Ureta (Chile)

Dr Adrian Treloar’ (United Kingdom)

John Henry Westen (Canada)

2020 Lecture by President Dr. Thomas Ward on Marxism's Basic Error
Dialectic Materialism

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Scandal is the Sin of Leading Others to Sin

Below is Plinthos' response to the declaration Fiducua supplicans.

The promulgation of Fiducia supplicans is a sin of scandal, sacrilegious scandal, of the gravest sort. Fiducia supplicans is scandal given to the whole world by the highest authority of God on the earth, The Holy See.

The Basic Catechism of Christian Doctrine (327) says that the sin of Sodom is one of the four sins crying to heaven for vengeance, along with deliberate murder, oppression of the poor and defrauding laborers of their wages. To bless, approve of, or in any way promote, those sins, or any other sins, is to be guilty of them oneself, because, as is said in the Basic Catechism of Christian Doctrine (328), "We are answerable for the sins of others whenever we cause them, or share in them, through our own fault."

We may either cause or share in the guilt of another's sin in nine ways:

1. By counsel
2. By command
3. By consent
4. By provocation
5. By praise or flattery
6. By concealment
7. By being a partner in sin
8. By silence
9. By defending the ill done 
Fiducia supplicans rightly cautions against any possible scandal in the matter of blessing of couples in irregular situation. (cf. #30, 31) Ministers of God should in no way give the appearance of approving or promoting sin of any kind, especially sins which cry to heaven for divine retribution. To bless as a couple, a couple which is obstinately in a manifest romantic relationship with each other, a relationship which is also manifestly and irredeemably objectionable (e.g. man with man) can't but be a source of grave scandal to the couple and to society.

However, Fiducia supplicans, by its very publication, makes the Holy See complicit in all of the sins of all of the couples of the world which are obstinately in manifest sinful relationships, because, by claiming that those relationships may be blessed, the decree gives them the Church's stamp of approval. In other words, with Fiducia supplicans, by granting priests permission to bless couples in publicly sinful relationships, the Holy See is saying that the Church recognizes and approves sexual relationships; relationships which in fact do not and cannot have the Church's official recognition, because they are against God's express will. Crazy. It is as if the Church were divided against Herself, as if the Church were saying, we (priests) can bless what God cannot bless. What a mockery of every form of religious integrity!

With this loathsome decree of Fiducia supplicans, by giving its blessing to irregular couples, by calling those partnerships blessable, the Prefect of the Dicastery, and the Holy Father Himself by extension, causes and shares in the guilt of the sins of others (the blessing ministers and the couples) committing innumerable grave sins of sacrilegious scandal; 1) by counsel, recommending the blessings; 2) by command, issuing the decree; 3) by consent, agreeing to the partnerships; 4) by praise and flattery, giving the couple the highest religious recognition; 5) by being a partner in sin, sharing in the scandalous action of all of the priests' "blessing" of such unions; 6) by silence, neglecting to openly condemn the public fact of these grave immoral institutions of obstinate and manifest immoral unions; 7) by defending the ill done, attempting to place it all under the guise of something legitimate; and 8) doing it all in the name of God, which makes it sacrilegious, and of the highest order, because it is apparently done by the Visible Head of the Church, Pope Francis Himself, the Vicar of Christ, Who is God!

Here is the section of The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the sin of scandal, which it treats under the fifth commandment of God, under the title, "Respect for the Dignity of Persons," because to cause someone to sin is the gravest form of disrespect.
2326 Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin.

II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons

         Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Mt. 18:6; Cf. 1 Cor 8:10-13) Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.(Cf. Mt 7:15)

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." (Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941) This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, (Cr. Eph 6:4; Col. 3:21) or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!" (Lk 17:1)

Sin is only damnable, never blessable. No priest can bless what God Himself condemns! And, therefore, no priest (even if he be the Pope Himself!) can in any way authorize the blessing of sin.

Scandal of scandals!

May heaven avenge the grand scandal of Fiducia supplicans!

May heaven avenge this scandal of scandals, this travesty of Papal authority!

And, my the good and blessed Lord Jesus, sweet and gentle Jesus, Who today, on this Holy Epiphany, appeared to us, have, in the end, mercy on us all!

Oppose Gaydom

If You Consent to Someone Else's Sin, You are Sinning

Fiducia Supplicans is Divisive

Pastoral Message of the Bishop Prelate of Moyobamba on the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans, Published by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 18, 2023.

Dear priests, consecrated religious, and lay faithful:

Grace and Peace for the Nativity of the Lord!

Faced with the unprecedented bewilderment provoked by the Declaration Fiducia supplicans in the clergy and many faithful of this Prelature and in so many places in the Catholic world, I have taken a few days of prayer and reflexion to respond calmly and serenely.

The Declaration allows "the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples" (FS, 31) and in a very confusing way insists that such blessings are done "without oficially validating their status or changing in any way the Church's perennial teaching on marriage" (FS, 31), making it clear that marriage is the stable union of male and female blessed by the Sacrament.

This document damages the communion of the Church, for such blessings directly and seriously contradict Divine Revelation and the uninterrupted doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church, including the recent magisterium of Pope Francis, which is why there are no citations in the entire Declaration that rely on the previous magisterium. In its 2021 Responsum, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the Holy Father's rubric, told us that "The Church does not have, nor can she have, the power to bless same-sex unions."

Blessing couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples is a grave abuse of the Most Holy Name of God, which is invoked over an objectively sinful union of fornication, adultery, or even worse homosexual activity. Moreover, in the latter case it must be emphasized that "homosexual acts are disordered and, above all, contrary to the natural law" (Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2357). God never blesses sin. God does not contradict himself. God does not lie to us. God, who always loves the sinner unconditionally, for this very reason, seeks his repentance, his conversion and his life. God desires good for all of us.

The present Declaration distinguishes between liturgical blessings and pastoral blessings and allows us to bless couples, but not unions, with "pastoral blessings". This distinction leaves us perplexed and confused, for the act of blessing, whether performed in a liturgical assembly or in private, imparted by a minister, is still a blessing, of the same nature. To bless a couple is to bless the union that exists between them, there is no logical, real way to separate one thing from the other. Why else would they ask for a blessing together and not two separately?

The underlying problem is much more serious, and it is that not a few brothers in the episcopate and priests, contravening the objective morality of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, have long been confusing the people of God with the indiscriminate blessing of these objectively disordered and therefore sinful unions, incurring in horrendous sacrilege.

Given the lack of clarity of the document, we must follow the uninterrupted praxis of the Church to date, which is to bless every person who asks for a blessing, and not same-sex couples or those in an irregular situation. We will avoid all scandal, confusion, inducement to sin and at the same time we will continue to show the mercy that the Church has always shown to every sinner who approaches her, above all, offering him conversion, forgiveness, the life of Grace and Eternal Life.

The Church blesses sinners, but never their sin or their sinful relationship. Our pastoral charity towards those in sinful situations obliges us to call them to conversion. Every sincerely repentant sinner with the first intention to stop sinning and to put an end to their public sinful situation (such as, for example, living together outside of a canonically valid marriage or same-sex union), can receive a blessing and even better, sacramental absolution and Holy Communion.

Dear priests and lay faithful, let us not minimize the destructive and short-range consequences resulting from this effort made by some Church hierarchs to legitimize such blessings, in some cases with good intentions and in others, as not a few have been manifesting, with the intention of destroying the Sacred Deposit of the Church's Tradition.

On the day of my episcopal ordination I solemnly swore to "preserve the deposit of faith in purity and integrity, in accordance with the Tradition always and everywhere observed in the Church since the time of the Apostles". Therefore, I admonish the priests of the Prelature of Moyobamba not to perform any form of blessing of couples in an irregular situation or same-sex couples.

Since God does not want the death of the sinner, but his conversion to eternal life, I cordially and paternally recommend and exhort those persons who feel attraction towards the same sex or live in homosexual or irregular union to approach Christ through prayer, listening to the Word, fasting, penance, and the help of the Virgin Mary, with a view to their conversion, and to take advantage of the opportunity of conversion that God offers them for a happier life and the attainment of eternal life.

Likewise, I exhort the priests and faithful of the Prelature to continue to cultivate their filial union with the present Pontiff of the Holy Church of God Pope Francis, those who preceded him and those who will come. It is this communion that moves me to undersign this present letter.

With my affection and blessing.

+ Rafael Escudero López-Brea
Bishop Prelate of Moyobamba

January 2, 2024,
Memorial of the Holy Bishops and Doctors SS. Basil and Gregory

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Most Holy Name of Jesus --Luis de León

Among all His other titles, the name "Jesus" [יֵשׁוּעַ] is Christ's proper name and the name which contains the meaning of all His other names [Sapling, Face(s) of God, Way, Pastor, Mountain, Father of the Future Age, Arm of God, King of God, Prince of Peace, Husband, Son of God, Beloved]. The name Jesus is Christ's proper name also because it is not a nickname but rather His birth-name, His given name, and the name which brings Him absorbed in its being; because His Christ being is Jesus, because everything that is in Christ is salvation and health. Which, furthermore, Christ anted that it should be His proper name, to declare His love to us. That is why He did not choose any other of His titles to name Himself from those which do not look to us, having so many greatnesses in Himself as is proper that He should have, in Whom, as Saint Paul says (Col. 2:9), resides as in a seat and as if corporally, every divine weath; rather he chose for His proper name that one which tells the goods which He does in us and the health which He gives us, most clearly showing the much that He loves us and esteems us, since He does not value nor make into a name except that of our health...

Jesus is His being; Jesus are His works, and Jesus is His name, that is, pity and health.

Christ willed to take health, which is Jesus, as His proper name, because health is not just one good, but rather a universe of innumerable goods. Because it is in health that one has powers, agility in movement, good appearance, agreeable speech, the complete discursiveness of reason, and the good exercise of all of the parts and of all of the works of man. Health contains within itself good hearing, good seeing, and success and industry. Such that health is a pregnancy of all goods, and thus, since Christ is truly this pregnancy, that is why this name is the one which is most fitting to Him. Because Christ, as in His divinity is the idea and the treasure and the fountain of all goods, likewise according to His humanity He has all of the remedies and all of the medicines and all of the healths which are necessary to everyone.

(Plinthos translation.)

Fray Luis de León, Obras Completas I, ed. Felix Garcia, Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1957, pp. 779, 780 and 781. (The link is to a newer edition of the text.)

P.S. Jesus's name means salvation. In Latin the word for salvation, salus, means health.

Jesus Christus nostra salus

quod reclamat omnis malus, nobis sui memoriam dedit in panis hostiam. O quam sanctus panis iste, quem tu praebes Jesu Christe, caro cibus sacramentum, quo non est maius inventum. Hoc est donum sanctitatis charitasque Deitatis, virtus et Eucharistia, communionis gratia. Ave Deitatis forma, Dei unionis norma, in te quisque delectatur, qui in fide speculatur. Non solus panis, sed Deus, homo liberator meus, qui in cruce pependisti et in carne defecisti. Non augetur consecratus, nec consumptus fit mutatus, nec divisus in fractura, plenus Deus in statura. Esca digna angelorum, charitasque lux sanctorum, lex moderna comprobavit, quod antiqua figuravit. Salutare medicamen, peccatorum relevamen pasce nos, a malis leva, duc nos ubi lux longeva. Caro cibus, sanguis potus, manet tamen Christus totus, huic sit laus et gloria in seculorum secula.

Homily Responding to Fiducia Supplicans

This is a reposting on his YouTube Channel of Father Meeks' homily from the Feast of the Holy Family 2020, most fitting in the present context of the wake of Fiducia supplicans: the presumptuous so-called "permission" of the DDF for priests to give so-called "blessings" to so-called "gay" so-called "couples." Lies! Lies! Lies! The layers of scandal (leading others into sin and confusion) are legion.

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