VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has wrapped up a monthlong meeting of bishops dedicated to young people by saying the Catholic Church is being "persecuted" and "dirtied" by accusations — an apparent reference to the clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal.
Francis acknowledged Saturday that there were sinners in the church. But he insisted that the church itself is holy and must be protected from attacks and "another type of persecution: continuous accusations to dirty the church."
Pro-Life Russian "Propaganda" Saves Babies' Lives!
Good news for a change! According to OrthoChristian.com, the number of abortions in Russia has dropped by nearly two-thirds since 2000.
In 2000, there were 2,138,000 recorded abortions in Russia, and in 2017—779,999.
“That’s a very serious decline—63.5%,” Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova noted.
Moreover, the number of Russians who condemn abortion has tripled in 20 years, from 12 to 35%.
REMNANT COMMENT: Maybe all this has something to do with all this...
To all those who'll now predictably jump to dismiss this as a lot of propagandistic rot, let me just add this: I. Don't. Care!
If Christian symbolism has become powerful enough in Russia to induce the state to exploit it for political gain, I say: Slava Bogu!
If even a century of atheism has failed to tear out Mother Russia's Christian soul to such an extent that pretending to be Christian now wins elections over there, I say: Slava Bogu!
If Putin believes that posing as a Christian will cause him to be more beloved by his people and more feared by the brainless, soulless, heartless walking dead of the New World Order amassing on his borders, I say Slava Bogu!
A world drunk on atheistic secularism desperately needs the example of political leaders at the very least going through the motions of believing in God...even if it is nothing more than window dressing. Everybody wins, and we'll just have to wait for history to tell us if Putin really meant it or not. I hope and pray that he does. But even if he doesn't: Bring it on, Vlad, and Slava Bogu!
"What it is that still lies hidden behind the so-called 'Lefebvre question” is the far more formidable and truly appalling scandal of Masonic infiltration and impenetration of the Church – which, of course, Archbishop Lefebvre himself has repeatedly touched upon and condemned...Archbishop Lefebvre’s position at this point in history will one day be vindicated – whether by a Third Vatican Council or even by this or a future Pope, remains of course to be seen. It is all in God’s hands."
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From AP yesterday:
The monthlong synod of bishops ends next Saturday with the adoption by the 260-plus cardinals, bishops and priests of a final document and approval of a separate, shorter letter to the world’s Catholic youth.
Some of the youth delegates to the meeting have insisted that the final document express an inclusive message to make LGBT Catholics feel welcome in a church that has often shunned them.
The Vatican took a step in that direction by making a reference to “LGBT” for the first time in its preparatory document heading into the meeting.
But some bishops have balked at the notion, including Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who insisted in his speech that “there is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are.”
But other bishops have expressed a willingness to use the language, though it remains to be seen if the final document or the letter will. Each paragraph will be voted on one by one and must obtain a two-thirds majority.
“The youth are talking about it freely and in the language they use, and they are encouraging us ‘Call us, address us this because this is who we are,’” Papua New Guinea Cardinal John Ribat told a press conference Saturday.
Here is Vigano's third courageous testimony, a response to the open letter of Cardinal Ouellet. Please read it in its entirety, this good man needs our support:
On the Feast of the North American Martyrs
To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so. But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the Judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell. A Judge who, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved. Anticipating the dreadful question from that Judge – “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” -- what answer could I give?
I testified fully aware that my testimony would bring alarm and dismay to many eminent persons: churchmen, fellow bishops, colleagues with whom I had worked and prayed. I knew many would feel wounded and betrayed. I expected that some would in their turn assail me and my motives. Most painful of all, I knew that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty. Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own. Having reported multiple times to my superiors, and even to the Pope, the aberrant behavior of Theodore McCarrick, I could have publicly denounced the truths of which I was aware earlier. If I have some responsibility in this delay, I repent for that. This delay was due to the gravity of the decision I was going to take, and to the long travail of my conscience.
I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony. To those who believe such confusion and division were negligible prior to August 2018, perhaps such a claim is plausible. Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine. When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.
Therefore I spoke. For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church -- harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large. With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation, and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the Pope.
Let me restate the key points of my testimony.
> In November 2000 the U.S. nuncio Archbishop Montalvo informed the Holy See of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual behavior with seminarians and priests.
> In December 2006 the new U.S. nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, informed the Holy See of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual behavior with yet another priest.
> In December of 2006 I myself wrote a memo to the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, and personally delivered it to the Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, calling for the pope to bring extraordinary disciplinary measures against McCarrick to forestall future crimes and scandal. This memo received no response.
> In April 2008 an open letter to Pope Benedict by Richard Sipe was relayed by the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Levada, to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, containing further accusations of McCarrick’s sleeping with seminarians and priests. I received this a month later, and in May 2008 I myself delivered a second memo to the then Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, reporting the claims against McCarrick and calling for sanctions against him. This second memo also received no response.
> In 2009 or 2010 I learned from Cardinal Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, that Pope Benedict had ordered McCarrick to cease public ministry and begin a life of prayer and penance. The nuncio Sambi communicated the Pope's orders to McCarrick in a voice heard down the corridor of the nunciature.
> In November 2011 Cardinal Ouellet, the new Prefect of Bishops, repeated to me, the new nuncio to the U.S., the Pope’s restrictions on McCarrick, and I myself communicated them to McCarrick face-to-face.
> On June 21, 2013, toward the end of an official assembly of nuncios at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke cryptic words to me criticizing the U.S. episcopacy.
> On June 23, 2013, I met Pope Francis face-to-face in his apartment to ask for clarification, and the Pope asked me, “il cardinale McCarrick, com'è (Cardinal McCarrick -- what do you make of him)?”-- which I can only interpret as a feigning of curiosity in order to discover whether or not I was an ally of McCarrick. I told him that McCarrick had sexually corrupted generations of priests and seminarians, and had been ordered by Pope Benedict to confine himself to a life of prayer and penance.
> Instead, McCarrick continued to enjoy the special regard of Pope Francis and was given new responsibilities and missions by him.
> McCarrick was part of a network of bishops promoting homosexuality who, exploiting their favor with Pope Francis, manipulated episcopal appointments so as to protect themselves from justice and to strengthen the homosexual network in the hierarchy and in the Church at large.
> Pope Francis himself has either colluded in this corruption, or, knowing what he does, is gravely negligent in failing to oppose it and uproot it.
I invoked God as my witness to the truth of my claims, and none has been shown false. Cardinal Ouellet has written to rebuke me for my temerity in breaking silence and leveling such grave accusations against my brothers and superiors, but in truth his remonstrance confirms me in my decision and, even more, serves to vindicate my claims, severally and as a whole.
> Cardinal Ouellet concedes that he spoke with me about McCarrick’s situation prior to my leaving for Washington to begin my post as nuncio.
> Cardinal Ouellet concedes that he communicated to me in writing the conditions and restrictions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict.
> Cardinal Ouellet concedes that these restrictions forbade McCarrick to travel or to make public appearances.
> Cardinal Ouellet concedes that the Congregation of Bishops, in writing, first through the nuncio Sambi and then once again through me, required McCarrick to lead a life of prayer and penance.
What does Cardinal Ouellet dispute?
> Cardinal Ouellet disputes the possibility that Pope Francis could have taken in important information about McCarrick on a day when he met scores of nuncios and gave each only a few moments of conversation. But this was not my testimony. My testimony is that at a second, private meeting, I informed the Pope, answering his own question about Theodore McCarrick, then Cardinal archbishop emeritus of Washington, prominent figure of the Church in the US, telling the Pope that McCarrick had sexually corrupted his own seminarians and priests. No Pope could forget that.
> Cardinal Ouellet disputes the existence in his archives of letters signed by Pope Benedict or Pope Francis regarding sanctions on McCarrick. But this was not my testimony. My testimony was that he has in his archives key documents – irrespective of provenance – incriminating McCarrick and documenting the measures taken in his regard, and other proofs on the cover-up regarding his situation. And I confirm this again.
> Cardinal Ouellet disputes the existence in the files of his predecessor, Cardinal Re, of “audience memos” imposing on McCarrick the restrictions already mentioned. But this was not my testimony. My testimony is that there are other documents: for instance, a note from Card Re not ex-Audientia SS.mi, signed by either the Secretary of State or by the Substitute.
> Cardinal Ouellet disputes that it is false to present the measures taken against McCarrick as “sanctions” decreed by Pope Benedict and canceled by Pope Francis. True. They were not technically “sanctions” but provisions, “conditions and restrictions.” To quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view they are exactly the same thing.
In brief, Cardinal Ouellet concedes the important claims that I did and do make, and disputes claims I don’t make and never made.
There is one point on which I must absolutely refute what Cardinal Ouellet wrote. The Cardinal states that the Holy See was only aware of “rumors,” which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick. I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so. Compensation by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to the victims of McCarrick’s sexual abuse, the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick; are all these just rumors? They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy. The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass. These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators and their protectors, and the chronological sequence of the facts. They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.
In the public remonstrances directed at me I have noted two omissions, two dramatic silences. The first silence regards the plight of the victims. The second regards the underlying reason why there are so many victims, namely, the corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy. As to the first, it is dismaying that, amid all the scandals and indignation, so little thought should be given to those damaged by the sexual predations of those commissioned as ministers of the gospel. This is not a matter of settling scores or sulking over the vicissitudes of ecclesiastical careers. It is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of how church historians may evaluate this or that papacy. This is about souls. Many souls have been and are even now imperiled of their eternal salvation.
As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.
Unquestionably there exist philandering clergy, and unquestionably they too damage their own souls, the souls of those whom they corrupt, and the Church at large. But these violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved. Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds -- whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.
It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage. But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry. It is to pretend that a means, an instrument, is in fact the main motive.
Denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church. I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion. Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy. I am urging no such thing. I pray every day for Pope Francis -- more than I have ever done for the other popes. I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter. He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross. Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).
In closing, I wish to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt. You too are faced with a choice. You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption. You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning. You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.
On the other hand, you can choose to speak. You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.” I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking. I urge you to consider which choice-- on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge -- you will not regret having made.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Arcivescovo tit. di Ulpiana
19 Ottobre 2018
Feast of the North American Martyrs
The Twitterverse went nuts again over the recent meeting of Pope Francis and Michael Moore. The director, who's thrown some serious shade on the Church and even on Pope Francis in the past, seemed to fangirl just fine in St. Peter's Square that day:
Reactions ranged from the devastated...
...to the "so done"...
Meanwhile Cardinal Burke stands in line behind Michael Moore, waiting for an audience and a long overdue papal reply to his famous Dubia. God help us all!
They say that when something goes shockingly wrong in the public life of a famous person, well-meaning people oftentimes find it difficult to accept that there isn't more to the story than meets the eye. This is particularly so in an era when folks are used to being lied to by powerful forces in government and media.
So, for example, when President Kennedy was assassinated, the nation was so understandably shocked that it was not uncommon for otherwise sane people to accept the most insane conspiracy theories about what really happened to him. Anything other than the less-than-satisfying narrative that it was just some lone nut with a bolt action rifle. For many, there simply had to be a bigger, grander conspiracy behind it all. Kennedy must have died for a greater reason than that!
Now I have no intention of speculating as to who might have been on the grassy knoll that day in Dallas back in 1963. Obviously, there might well have been more to that story, and we may never know the whole truth of it. I only mention this because, in the wake of the supremely ridiculous canonization of Pope Paul VI (one of the biggest papal nothing burgers in history, by the way), there has been a resurgence of another old theory from that era, this time for what must really have happened to the Catholic Church in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. This theory has it that it wasn't the pope that destroyed the Mass and wreaked havoc on the Church at the time, but rather an imposter merely pretending to be pope.
No pope, so goes the theory, who was handed picked by the Holy Ghost Himself (as Sister Mary Chocolate had solemnly assured us all back in the third grade), could possibly have done such terrible things. It must have been a Masonic plot that somehow managed to substitute a fake for arguably the most famous man in the world at that time: Pope Paul VI.
No mean feat, but nevertheless that must be what happened. After all, just look at the ears of the young Paul VI versus the ears of the pope in the late 1970s. Look at that nose! Those eyebrows! Even the teeth are different.
Well, maybe. Certainly, stranger things have happened. But, at the end of the day, it's likely little more than a case of wishful thinking-- i.e., good folks wanting to believe almost anything other than the fact that God had allowed a terrible man to ascend to the throne of St. Peter. Far more likely than any Prince and the Pauper theory is that the face of an aged and guilt-ridden revolutionary simply reflected the years and turmoil of a truly disastrous pontificate.
Years are hard on the human body...any human body, but especially those in high public places. And if the older Pope Paul VI was, in fact, an imposter--which allegedly can be demonstrated by examining photos of his ears, nose and teeth--well, so too were a lot of other famous old people.
A few cases in point: See if you can guess the identity of these famous people:
This last one is purported to be Mother Teresa of Calcutta, believe it or not.
And yet here she is toward the end of her life:
What happened to those long and tapered eyebrows, the narrow nose, the birthmark on the upper lip? An imposter? Hardly. She just got old, as did famed film director Alfred Hitchcock (second photo above) pictured here many years later:
And the great American actor (and deathbed convert to the Catholic Faith) John Wayne, barely recognizable as the same man (see first photo above) here in his later years, complete with the larger ears and all:
Again, age and stress are hard on us all. In fact, all things considered, I'd say old Papa Montini aged fairly well:
So, can we be done with this now? There was no papal imposter. Montini, the galloping modernist archbishop of Milan was the same Pope Paul VI who all but destroyed the Roman Rite and is now a canonized saint of the Church of Vatican II.
I too wish there were more to this story...some better explanation. But fact is often stranger than fiction, and the more serious conspiracy theory in this case is all the more devastating in that it's not a theory at all. They really did manage to put a modernist revolutionary on the throne of St. Peter who very nearly destroyed the human element of the Catholic Church and whose frightful legacy is to this day imperiling souls all over the world.
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"Thanks to the unprecedented upheaval in Church teaching which occurred as a result of the Vatican II Council, the Genesis account has been relegated to the status of a story and as mere poetry by theologians who favor the theory of “theistic” evolution and who religiously proclaim the wonders of modern science. The result is a devastation. A devastation that has culminated with the situation we endure today: A Pope who openly misrepresents and insults our Lord and His Word. “Outrages, sacrileges and indifferences” as described by the holy angel to the children of Fatima.” --Toni McCarthy
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Michael J. Matt: The Remnant League of the Sacred Heart Goes Worldwide
David Sonnier: Cultural Genocide or Suicide? A Clarification
Hilary White: ACEDIA: The Noonday Devil and Civilizational Despair
Michael Massey: Breaking the Seal (of Confession, by law, in Australia) Here it comes!
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After weeks of doing nothing to address what John Allen calls the most serious crisis in the Catholic Church since the Protestant Revolt, Pope Francis took a few moments off from dinking around at the Synod and demonizing Archbishop Vigano to finally accept the resignation of Donald Cardinal Wuerl--the embattled Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C..
The Cardinal passed the retirement age already two years ago, but it took the unprecedented sex scandal for Francis to finally get around to accepting his resignation, if reluctantly.
The Holy Father used the opportunity "not to praise Wuerl but to bury him,” positively gushing over the Wuerl's great service, even despite mounting evidence of improprieties including complicity in sexual abuse cover-ups in Pennsylvania, which Francis, incredibly, suggested was "justified". Indeed it must have been, since Francis will allow Wuerl to retain his Vatican offices and remain in the Archdiocese of Washington as caretaker until a successor can be appointed (which could take years).