Pope Francis demonstrates his ability to speak clearly, when he wants to.

gossipno

“There is a temptation – I would like to say it is thus for everyone , even for me , for everyone – a temptation that the devil likes very much: that against unity, when hidden dangers work directly against the unity of those who live and work in the Vatican – and the devil tries to create internal war, a kind of civil war and spiritual, is it not? It is a war that is not waged with the weapons that we recognize: it is a war waged with the tongue.”

“We ask St. Michael to help us in this war : never speak ill of each other, never open your ears to gossip. And if [one hears] someone gossiping, stop him! [Say] , ‘Here there can be none of that: walk out of St. Anne’s Gate. Go outside and talk there! Here you cannot!’ That’s it, isn’t it? The good seed yes: speak well of one another , yes, but [do not sow the poison seed] of gossip.”

Link

A Catholic Canon Lawyer Explains: Are SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X) Sacraments Valid?

Q: What’s the canonical status of priests ordained by SSPX bishops, and what’s the canonical status of the sacraments they administer? –John

A: It would have been marvelous to be able to respond to John that the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) were now fully united to Rome, and thus had a status comparable to the members of any other religious institute in the Church.  Sadly, however, this is not the case!  While Pope Benedict was clearly hoping to reconcile the SSPX to the Church during his papacy, the fact is that this important item on his to-do list was left unfinished when he resigned in February.

Read more

Go to part two

Knowing Enough History to Defend It: Catholic History and Apologetics

Vaticancrosslight

Catholics should be prepared with at least a brief reply to commonly cited events and issues in the Church’s two millennia past. In the words of Blessed John Henry Newman, we need to be Catholics “who know so much of history that (we) can defend it.” We might not be able to change someone’s mind when she asks us about why the Church was so mean to Galileo, but at least we can demonstrate that we know our history. If she’s not willing to listen to a dissertation-length explanation, a few points might help her understand better. The fact that we know may impress her, open the door to more friendly conversation, and grant an opportunity to witness the reason for our joy in being Catholic. This article offers some guidelines and hints for answering these historical questions.

One advantage any Catholic starts with when discussing our history is the position of the Catholic Church as a historic, unique institution. Our Founder entered human history at a definite place and time, established his Church upon St. Peter and the Apostles, and promised to protect and guide it until the end of time, when he returns. With the Father, he sent the Holy Spirit to inspire it; yet he left imperfect humans to lead it as his representatives on earth. St. Peter had denied him thrice before his death on the cross; all but St. John had abandoned him during his Passion. Upon them, he founded the Church and gave them authority.

So the Church is distinctive among institutions in the history of mankind: it is human and yet divine; perfect, yet in need of reform; holy, yet made up of sinners; infallible, yet led by fallen, fallible humans. That’s a hard concept to express to someone outside the Church—sometimes it’s hard for us inside the Church to remember it.

Read more

Photo selected especially for Cathy and Paul

Related articles

Cardinal Reinhard Marx seems to have some strange ideas about God and his mercy

Unfortunately, the church is often still accused of wanting to steer people in directions they did not want to take, he continued. It would have to ask itself whether it hadn’t set the wrong priorities when proclaiming the Gospel message.

“Many older people have grown up with the idea that the church is a moral institution and that God is only a merciful God if we keep his commandments. But God doesn’t say, ‘If you’re good, then I’ll also be good to you.’ Jesus proclaims a God who says, ‘I love you — so live,’ and thus gives us the freedom to decide whether we want to accept and return his love.”

Link

Editor’s note: Yes, Marx is a Catholic Cardinal – although his thinking on sin and mercy are much more in tune with the Lutherans.

“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.” ― Martin Luther

Does God really give us license to sin? I doubt it! And why does the Cardinal make no mention of the necessity of contrition and repentance – or are those outmoded theological concepts, as well? More importantly, we have to wonder if this an example of Pope Francis’ thinking on these matters.

How’s this for Gospel, your eminence?:

“If you love me, keep my commandments.” ― Jesus Christ

The pope’s “big tent” approach for Catholicism is bound to diminish the church’s presence as a moral force in society.

First, the pope’s comments are going to take the wind out of the sails of some faithful Catholics — the 28 percent who still attend Mass regularly and financially support the church. Most affected are those who have borne the heat of the day in the culture-war protests against abortion and same-sex marriages. The once-sure moral support that these groups enjoyed under past popes has been undermined. Pope Francis‘ message is clear: Cool it.

Second, the pope’s words provide a sword for those critical of the church’s moral teachings on life and of the purpose of human sexuality. It will now be quite easy for them to say, “Why don’t you just listen to the pope and move on?” This sentiment has already been advanced in a letter to the editor in the New York Times by a Planned Parenthood official, who applauds the pope for “getting in step with modern times.”

Finally, the pope’s musings have provided cover for Catholic politicians who support liberal abortion laws and legalization of same-sex marriage. They can now claim that they, like the pope, are concerned about the bigger issues, such as poverty and concern for the poor. For sure, Catholic politicians such as Vice President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo can point to their liberal social-welfare policies as being Gospel-motivated. They can simply claim they are following the pope’s direction. Pope Francis has thus tied the hands of those bishops who have tried to rein in this hypocrisy.

Read more

Russian lawmaker: “Homosexuality is not normal, I’m sorry.”

“We have to defend the future of our children,” said Milonov, who has children aged four and one.

He railed against the legalisation of gay marriage in some European countries, describing it as a “symptom of an illness in society, a spiritual degradation”.

“Ninety-five percent of Russians are against gay marriage. Gays do not have any support in Russian society.”

Link

Vatican II – the “pastoral council” that brought chaos to the Church – even before the close of its final session.

V-2 -09

Contrary to the official party line, Vatican II was no “love-fest”

Could the great apostasy brought on by diabolically disoriented popes be what is spoken of in the portion of the Third Secret of Fatima that has yet to be revealed?  Let’s consider the testimony of Cardinal Ciappi who read the Third Secret.  Cardinal Ciappi was a distinguished theologian from the pontifical household from 1955 to 1989.  In a letter to Professor Baumgartner, the Cardinal made an astonishing admission about the Third Secret.  He wrote: “In the Third Secret it is predicted, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.” (6) Notice, he didn’t say it would begin “near the top”, but “at the top” – the same pattern we have seen repeated throughout history.

In a 1984 interview, Cardinal Ratzinger also spoke of the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima.  The interviewer asked: “Have you read what is called the Third Secret of Fatima?”  To his surprise, the Cardinal answered “yes”, and then went on to discuss what it contained.  The Cardinal said “the things contained within the ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian Apparitions”.  (As an aside, we must ask where Scripture speaks of the failed assassination attempt of John Paul II?)  Continuing on, the Cardinal said the Third Secret speaks of “dangers threatening the Faith… and the importance of the ‘novissimi ’[the end times].”  Once again we see a prelate, who had read the Third Secret, state that it refers to dangers threatening the Faith.

But perhaps the most interesting statement comes from Paul VI himself on the sixtieth anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, during which he spoke of apostasy at the very “summit” of the Church, which confirms what Cardinal Ciappi wrote to Professor Baumgartner.  Here is what Paul VI had to say on October 13, 1977:

The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.  (7)

Is it just a coincidence that Paul VI made this statement on the anniversary of Fatima?   It seems unlikely.  It seems more likely that he was revealing what is contained in the Third Secret.

But if this is what the Third Secret contains, when would it begin?  Is there a particular date that one could look to as the beginning of this great apostasy that would begin “at the top” – at the very “summit” of the Church?

In the famous 1957 interview of Sister Lucy of Fatima with Fr. Fuentes, about the events of Fatima, the cloistered nun asked her interviewer the following question: “Father, how much time is there before 1960 arrives?”  Why would she ask about the date 1960?  She then went on to explain.  She said when this date arrives, “it will be very sad for everyone, not one person will rejoice at all if beforehand the world does not pray and do penance.”  She then ended by saying: “I am not able to give any other details because it is still a secret.

Read more