Category Archives: Enemies of the Catholic Church

Angels & Demons: Joseph Dias separates truth from lies in the book, joins the Catholic League in calling for boycott of the Catholic bashing film

BOYCOTT…

Don't buy the book, don't go to the movie...
Don’t buy the book, don’t go to the movie…

Editors Note: The Catholic League (USA) and Catholic Secular Forum (India) have joined forces in calling for a ban of the Catholic-bashing Dan Brown flick Angels and Demons due out in May. In the article that follows, Joseph Dias, general secretary of CSF rips apart the lies found within Brown’s book of the same name – Angels and Demons. Particularly illuminating is the anti-Catholic eyewitness account of the film crew by Father Bernard O’Connor, a Canadian priest and an official with the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches who was in Rome last year, while director Ron Howard was shooting the movie. Geez, who knows, maybe Dan Brown, Tom Hanks and Opie Taylor are the Illuminati…  

By Joseph Dias

Dan Brown, the author of Da Vinci Code seems to have excelled in the art of Catholicism-bashing and he takes his anti-Catholic agenda further with the novel – Angels & Demons. Co-producer, Brian Grazer wants ‘Angels & Demons’ to be ‘less reverential’ than ‘The Da Vinci Code’, meaning more liberally anti-Catholic – which it is, if one goes by the book.

One would have no objection to the movie-makers, had they left real-life historical figures and the Catholic Church out of their web of cultic charm. However, this is not so and the film deals with historical persons and events, lying about them and demonizing the Catholic Church all through. The lies in the movie makes it difficult for one to separate fact from fiction and those not familiar with the history of the Catholic Church are bound to go away with a warped opinion about it.

The Story

The protagonist in both, Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons is Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. In Angels & Demons, (the movie based on the novel by the same name opens worldwide on 15, May 2009), Langdon is recruited by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) to investigate what happened to one of its top physicists: he was found dead with a mysterious symbol seared into his chest. It was the symbol of a secret society, long thought moribund, the Brotherhood of the Illuminati.

In time Langdon becomes convinced that the Illuminati have returned. According to Brown, the organization, which numbered Galileo among its members, was founded to assert the superiority of science over the irrationality of religion, especially Roman Catholicism. It now seeks revenge, having captured antimatter, a dangerous substance discovered by the scientist who was assassinated. Langdon’s mission is to stop the Illuminati before it blows up the Vatican with a time bomb procured from the antimatter.

What one finds objectionable 

* Priest & nun settle for artificial insemination: The depiction of a young priest who before he became pope fell in love with a nun. They wanted a child, but also wanted to remain chaste, so they settled for artificial insemination. 

* Distortion of facts concerning real-life: Brown’s deceit is that he intersperses real life characters, like Copernicus and Galileo; and real life organizations, like the Illuminati; and real life issues, like science and religion, to draw his own concocted conclusions, that are not borne out by historical facts and are blatant lies. 

* Wrongful portrayal of the Catholic Church: Dan Brown knows what the historical record says, and yet he deliberately misrepresents it. His willful distortion of the truth is done to smear the Catholic Church. He wants to show that the Catholic Church sees science as the enemy and will stop at nothing to get its way. 

* Untruths about CERN & antimatter: Brown begins with a “Fact” page that mentions CERN. He describes it as a Swiss facility that created antimatter, “the most powerful energy source known to man.” It is so powerful that “a single gram of antimatter contains the energy of a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb-the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima”. This is untrue 

* CERN clarifies its stand with facts: CERN has gotten so many inquiries about Brown’s allegations that it has a special section on its website answering them. For example, it says that “CERN is not a Swiss institute, but an international organization”; it is located partly in Switzerland and partly in France. Antimatter does exist, and is routinely created at CERN, but “There is no possibility to use antimatter as energy ‘source’. A popular question asked of CERN officials is, “Do you make antimatter as described in the book?” The reply: “No.” Everyone wants to know how dangerous antimatter really is. CERN says it is “Perfectly safe, given the minute quantities we can make. It would be very dangerous if we could make a few grams of it, but this would take us billions of years.” 

* Catholic Church resorts to any means, leading to revenge: More important, Brown says on the very next page that “The brotherhood of the Illuminati is also factual.” And what are the Illuminati up to? In the book it says that “the Illuminati were hunted ruthlessly by the Catholic Church.” In a trailer for the movie, Tom Hanks, who plays Langdon, says of the secret society that “The Catholic Church ordered a brutal massacre to silence them forever. They’ve come for their revenge.” On pp. 39-40 in the book, it says the Illuminati were founded in the 1500s; the movie says the same. On p. 223, it says that “Word of Galileo’s brotherhood started to spread in the 1630s, and scientists from around the world made secret pilgrimages to Rome hoping to join the Illuminati….” 

The film’s director, Ron Howard, concurs: “The Illuminati were formed in the 1600s. They were artists and scientists like Galileo and Bernini, whose progressive ideas threatened the Vatican.” Brown, on his website, hammers this point home: “It is a historical fact that the Illuminati vowed vengeance against the Vatican in the 1600s. The early Illuminati-those of Galileo’s day-were expelled from Rome by the Vatican and hunted mercilessly.” 

* Lies about the Illuminati: The truth is that not a single member of the Illuminati was ever hunted, much less killed, by the Catholic Church. Exactly who the Illuminati were shows how bogus Brown’s claims are. The Illuminati were founded by a law professor, Adam Weishaupt, in Bavaria on May 1, 1776. It didn’t last long: it totally collapsed in 1787. This isn’t a matter of dispute, so dragging Galileo into this fable is downright dishonest-he died in 1642, almost a century and a half before the Illuminati was founded. Brown must know all this because on his own website there is a section on the Illuminati that correctly identifies its founding in 1776! 

*Canonization & Holy Communion borrowed from paganism: Angels & Demons says that the Catholic tradition of canonization is taken from an ancient “god-making rite.” But saints are not people made into gods, and in any event the pagan origins of canonization have been thoroughly refuted. There is absolutely no evidence for Brown’s claim that dying for the sins of others is a Christian idea stolen from the legendary Mexican ruler, Quetzalocoatl. Holy Communion, according to Brown, is a concept that was taken from the Aztecs. But the fact is that Christianity antedates Aztec civilization by over 1000 years. 

*More historical lies about real-life figures: The book claims that CERN invented the Internet, which is manifestly untrue. It credits two BBC reporters with winning a Pulitzer Prize, even though the award only goes to Americans. It says Winston Churchill was a “staunch Catholic,” when the fact is he was never a Catholic. It floats the idea that the Catholic Church is filthy rich when in reality its annual operating budget is about one-fifth that of Harvard’s. The book maintains that Copernicus was murdered, yet the record shows he died of a stroke. It holds that Galileo was a pacifist, though there is no evidence that he ever was. Brown takes a belief by Christian Scientists on the impropriety of medically treating a young person and falsely attributes it to Catholicism. He also falsely paints Catholics as opposed to the teaching of evolution, and identifies a Protestant organization, the Christian Coalition, as a Catholic entity. 

*Pope Pius IX portrayed as a sexual deviant: Brown wants to promote every negative stereotype about the Catholic Church. One of the all time favorites is the Church’s alleged phobia about sexuality. So it is not surprising to learn that Brown paints Pope Pius IX as a penis-cleansing maniac who destroyed great works of art. “In 1857,” Brown says on p. 159, “Pope Pius IX decided that the accurate representation of the male form might incite lust inside the Vatican. So he got a chisel and mallet and hacked off the genitalia of every single male statue inside Vatican City.” Pius IX rather than walking around the Vatican, hammer in hand, hitting every male statue between the legs, in reality lavishly supported arts and rewarded artists for their contributions. He was also known for renovating paintings in the Vatican. 

*Pope Urban VIII rejects sculptor Bernini & St. Teresa’s sculpture: Brown saves his big weapons for the alleged papal reaction to Bernini’s masterful sculpture, “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa.” According to Brown, “Pope Urban VIII had rejected The Ecstasy of St. Teresa as too sexually explicit for the Vatican. He banished it to some obscure chapel across town.” On the same page, p. 422, we learn that “The sculpture, as anyone who had seen it could attest, was anything but scientific-pornographic maybe, but certainly not scientific.” On the next page, he writes that “the statue depicted St. Teresa on her back in the throes of a toe-curling orgasm.” Again, Brown simply makes up “facts” to suit his agenda. For starters, in the sculpture, Teresa is not on her back-she is sitting up. As for Urban VIII, he not an adversary of Bernini, but he was his friend and patron. In Arthur Lubow’s biography of the great artist, he recounts how throughout the 20 years of Urban VIII’s tenure, Bernini was treated royally by the pope. Indeed, Bernini was a favorite of all popes in his lifetime, and was bestowed with the Cross of the Order of Christ.

* Brown elevates science to the position of God: On p. 31, one of Brown’s characters delights in saying, “Soon all Gods will be proven to be false idols. Science has now provided answers to almost every question man can ask.” So what’s left? “There are only a few questions left,” writes Brown, “and they are the esoteric ones.” Like the very meaning of existence! On p. 218, Brown gets so excited by the promise of science that he uses italics to exclaim, “Science is God.” On p. 474, he really gets into orbit: “Medicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation…these are the miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will bring us the answers.” Then he goes for the gold: “The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes, and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obsolete. Science has won the battle.” 

Is there anything science can’t do? Evidently not. Here is Brown at his wackiest (p. 658): “Science has come to save us from our sickness, hunger, and pain! Behold science-the new God of endless miracles, omnipotent and benevolent! Ignore the weapons and the chaos.” It’s even an elixir for personal problems: “Forget the fractured loneliness and endless peril. Science is here!” 

*The fact is that Catholicism promoted science & astronomy: Science would not have progressed as it has. “For the last fifty years,” says professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr., “virtually all historians of science…have concluded that the Scientific Revolution was indebted to the Church.” Sociologist Rodney Stark argues that the reason why science arose in Europe, and nowhere else, is because of Catholicism. “It is instructive that China, Islam, India, ancient Greece, and Rome all had a highly developed alchemy. But only in Europe did alchemy develop into chemistry. By the same token, many societies developed elaborate systems of astrology, but only in Europe did astrology lead to astronomy”. 

The Catholic role in pioneering astronomy is not questioned. J.L. Heilborn of the University of California at Berkeley writes that “The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries, from the recovery of ancient learning during the late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment than any other, and, probably, all other institutions.” The Jesuits scientific achievements alone, reached every corner of the earth.

What was it about Catholicism that made it so science-friendly, and why did science take root in Europe and not some place else? Stark knows why: “Because Christianity depicted God as a rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being, and the universe as his personal creation. The natural world was thus understood to have a rational, lawful, stable structure, waiting (indeed, inviting) human comprehension.”
*Church & Galileo – many untruths: The myths about Galileo are so rich that few bother to consult the historical record to learn what really happened. Brown exploits this ignorance to the hilt. When he says on p. 41 that Galileo’s “data were incontrovertible,” he is not even close to telling the truth. For instance, we know that the tides are explained by the gravitational forces of the moon. But Galileo’s fixation on the earth revolving around the sun did not allow him to see this – he believed that the tides were understood by the earth’s revolutions around the sun. More important, what got Galileo into trouble was less his ideas than his arrogance: he made claims that he could not scientifically sustain.

If Galileo was punished for maintaining that the earth revolves around the sun, then why wasn’t Copernicus punished? After all, Copernicus broached this idea before Galileo toyed with it, and like Galileo, he was also a Catholic. The difference is that Copernicus was an honest scientist: he was content to state his ideas in the form of a hypothesis. Galileo refused to do so, even though he could not prove his hypothesis.

If the Catholic Church was out to get Galileo from the get-go, then how does one explain why he was celebrated for his work in Rome in 1611? Why did Pope Paul V embrace him? Why did he become friends with the future pope, Urban VIII? Quite frankly, Galileo never got into trouble before he started insisting that the Copernican system was positively true. When he first agreed to treat it as a hypothesis, or as a mathematical proposition, he suffered not a whit.

In 1624, Pope Urban VIII gave Galileo medals and other gifts, and pledged to continue his support for his work. According to Woods, “Urban VIII told the astronomer that the Church had never declared Copernicanism to be heretical, and that the Church would never do so”. This, of course, is not what Brown wants us to believe. Eight years later, Galileo wrote his Dialogue on the Great World Systems; he did so at the urging of the pope. But this time he made the leap of asserting that the Copernican theory was empirically true. Moreover, he presented himself as a theologian, not simply as a mathematician, as he agreed to do. The Church was not pleased, and indeed felt double-crossed by him. Just as important, the scientific community was unimpressed. His hubris was appalling to as many outside the Church as within it.

It is easy for us today to say that the Church overreacted in its treatment of Galileo. This is true. But it is also important to note that he was never tortured and never spent a day in prison. He was confined to house arrest in a modest home for nine years. He even stayed for a while in the home of the archbishop of Siena. Not exactly the Gulag-type experience we’ve been led to believe. It would be interesting to know how Brown would explain the fact that the first leader of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences was none other than his favorite “martyr,” Galileo Galilei! 

If the Catholic Church was so anti-science, why did Pope Benedict XIV grant an imprimatur to the first edition of the complete works of Galileo? He did this in 1741. And if further proof is needed to demonstrate that Galileo’s abrasiveness had something to do with the Church’s response, consider that scientists like Father Roger Boscovich continued to explore Copernican ideas at the same time Galileo was found “vehemently suspected of heresy.” It should also be noted that Catholics were never forbidden from reading Galileo. Moreover, scientific books of all kinds circulated freely during and after his censure. 

Bill Donahue’s Rationale 

According to Bill Donahue of the US Catholic League – “In brief, the tag team of Dan Brown and Ron Howard would have the public believe that Galileo was a member of a secret society, the Illuminati, and that the group seeks revenge against the Vatican today because of the Catholic Church’s anti-science history. The fact is that Galileo died almost 150 years before the Illuminati were founded on May 1, 1776. So why do they lie? Because their goal is to paint the Catholic Church as the enemy of science, and what better poster boy to trot out than their favorite martyr, Galileo? The ultimate victim, Galileo’s alleged persecution is cited as proof of the Church’s war on reason. 

“Galileo was never imprisoned or tortured: His confinement to house arrest, though unwarranted, was more a function of his arrogance than his ideas: he persisted in presenting his ideas (taken from Copernicus, a Catholic scientist who was never punished) as scientifically accurate, something which even scientists of his day scoffed at. 

* Anti-Church eye-witness accounts of the film crew: Father Bernard O’Connor, a Canadian priest and an official with the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches was in Rome last year, while director Ron Howard was shooting the movie. O’Connor had two encounters with the film crew, informal discussions with about 20 of them. He was dressed casually so no one knew he was a priest. They spoke openly, thinking he was just “an amiable tourist.” He wrote an article about his experiences for the monthly magazine, Inside the Vatican. One self-described “production official” opined, “The wretched Church is against us yet again and is making problems.” Then, speaking of his friend Dan Brown, he offered, “Like most of us, he often says that he would do anything to demolish that detestable institution, the Catholic Church. And we will triumph. You will see.” When Father O’Connor asked him to clarify his remarks, the production official said, “Within a generation there will be no more Catholic Church, at least not in Western Europe. And really the media deserves to take much of the credit for its demise.” 

“The public is finally getting our message,” boasts the movie official. The message is clearly defined: “The Catholic Church must be weakened and eventually it must disappear from the earth. It is humanity’s chief enemy. This has always been the case.” He credits “radio, television, Hollywood, the music and video industries, along with just about every newspaper which exists, all saying the same thing.” He also cites the role which colleges and universities have played in undermining Catholicism. 

Who is the Illuminati & what is it credited to do ? 

In truth, the Illuminati were populated by men of the Enlightenment who believed they possessed some special knowledge that would enable them to reform Germany. Weishaupt demanded that his followers cut themselves off from family and friends-in cult-like form-so they could build a revolutionary society. Before he died, he renounced all secret societies and reconciled himself with the Catholic Church. But none of this is told because Brown wants us to believe that the Illuminati are still in existence. 

Even though the Illuminati is long dead, the following is a list of some of the things that they are still credited with doing. The Illuminati were responsible for the assassinations of the following presidents: Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, James Garfield and William McKinley. They were “probably” responsible for killing Warren Harding and “possibly” FDR. In any event, Princess Diana’s death was their doing, as well. 

The secret society certainly has made its mark on history. Here are some of the things it is allegedly responsible for: the French Revolution; the Russian Revolution; commissioning Marx and Engels to write The Communist Manifesto; an attempted overthrow of the United States; persuading the pope to disband the Jesuits (who are also credited by some as founding the Illuminati); manipulating U.S. Supreme Court Justice Marshall to grant the federal government 

“implied powers”; instigating uprisings in Europe in the 1840s; and manipulating Lincoln to adopt a graduated tax. The Illuminati are said to have founded the following: the Federal Reserve; Workman’s Compensation; the 16th Amendment (adoption of a federal income tax); the League of Nations; the Communist Party; the Marshall Plan; the United Nations; the Council on Foreign Relations; the Trilateral Commission; and the World Bank. 

It also played a role in fomenting World War I, World War II (it encouraged Hitler to invade Poland), the Cold War and 9/11. It is responsible for assaults on Christianity and for dividing Orthodox and Conservative Jews. AIDS, Ebola and the Gulf War Syndrome are the creation of the Illuminati. It is even responsible for Hurricane Katrina and the Red Cross (which it benefited from). 

Joseph Dias is general secretary of The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF). With inputs from Bill Donahue, Catholic League, USA

No Way Notre Dame, Obama Must Go!: Sign The Petition

Abortion President Barack Obama

Commencement Speaker at Notre Dame!

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Sign The Petition, Stop The Scandal

Editors Note: Click here or below to go directly to the petition site.

Dear Father Jenkins:

It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17.

It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.
This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame.
Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos. The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”

This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.

Sincerely,

Click here to sign the petition

Scandal at UND: Abortion President To Give Commencement At Catholic University of Notre Dame

QuestionShould the University of Notre Dame set an “Catholic” example for this freshman student below and rescind the invitation to pro-abort President Barack Obama to give the commencement speech at UND?  Click here to sign the petition

Photo: N.D. Observer
Photo: N.D. Observer

The Pursuit of Truth

After cancellation of the “Queer Film Festival” on the campus of Notre Dame University in February, 2008 alum Brad Duffy responded to a critic of the cancellation with a levelheaded (Catholic perspective) letter to the editor entitled, ‘A Catholic University’. His most poignant and clear point was to state what should be obvious to all concerning Catholic universities:

“Notre Dame’s mission as a Catholic university is to guide its students in pursuit of the truth. How, then, could Notre Dame possibly reconcile support for such activities the Church deems, categorically, inimical to truth?”

If I may Brad, please allow me to rephrase (in part) your statement in light of the announcement that President Barack Obama will be the commencement speaker at UND on Sunday, May 17, 2009:

If the mission of the University of Nortre Dame, as a Catholic university, is to guide students into the pursuit of truth, how, then, can Nortre Dame reconcile inviting the one person in all of America who is currently, and unarguably, the most inimical toward the Truth–and the Church He founded?

Forget the politics, the most powerful man on the planet is in attack mode on human life, and even, religious freedom itself, and a Catholic university is rewarding such behavior?

Let the daily headlines and following Catholic responses clarify the situation for all those without eyes to see, and ears to hear, and you tell me if President Barack Obama should be allowed to give this commencement speech at Nortre Dame University…

Funding Restored to Groups That Perform Abortions, Other Care

-Monsignor Rino Fisichella who heads the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life: “What is important is to know how to listen… without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death.”

White House set to reverse health care conscience clause

-Cardinal George: “As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we are deeply concerned that such an action on the government’s part would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism.  Respect for personal conscience and freedom of religion as such ensures our basic freedom from government oppression.  No government should come between an individual person and God-that’s what America is supposed to be about.  This is the true common ground for us as Americans. We therefore need legal protection for freedom of conscience and of religion-including freedom for religious health care institutions to be true to themselves.”

Administration to Support U.N. Declaration Decriminalizing Homosexuality

St. Louis Catholic: “Please [also] note that the Highest Good and the Primal Love is God–not the U.N. Charter.”

Obama To Loosen Stem Cell Funding

– Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman, U.S. Bishops’ Pro Life Committee: “President Obama’s new executive order on embryonic stem cell research is a sad victory of politics over science and ethics.  This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested.  It also disregards the values of millions of American taxpayers who oppose research that requires taking human life.  Finally, it ignores the fact that ethically sound means for advancing stem cell science and medical treatments are readily available and in need of increased support … If the government wants to invest in hope for cures and promote ethically sound science, it should use our tax monies for research that everyone, at every stage of human development, can live with.”

– Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman, U.S. Bishops’ Pro Life Committee:

How To Stop This Scandal…

As my H/T [Threshing Floor] informed me, this is all past disgusting now. And here are some other points to ponder before you act:

  • This invite must have been in the works for quite sometime.
  • Along with his degree, will President Barack Obama receive a stipend as well? See: Background Presidential Commencement addresses at Notre Dame: “Barack Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to be awarded an honorary degree by the University of Notre Dame and the sixth to be the Commencement speaker.”
  • Notice White House manipulation of the news cycle in releasing the announcement on a Friday in conjunction with Spring break on college campuses.

Notre Dame, the faith is under attack. Please act accordingly…

Here’s Who To Contact:

Sign The Petition

Bishop John D’Arcy – Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend

Contact us:
Fort Wayne Chancery
1103 S. Calhoun Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46801
(260) 422-4611

South Bend Chancery
114 W. Wayne Street
South Bend, IN 46601
(574) 234-0687

BREAKING NEWS – Papal Letter On SSPX To Bishops: Rough English Translation

HT/ Catholic Church Conservation

Dear brethren in Episcopal service!

The lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 without a mandate from the Holy See has led to a violent discussion both within and outside the Catholic Church for a variety of reasons as we have never experienced. Many bishops felt helpless before an event, which came unexpectedly and could barely be positively classified in the questions and tasks of the Church of today.

Although many pastors and believers welcome in principle the desire of the Pope for reconcilistion, many were prepared to place on the other hand, the question of the appropriateness of such a gesture, given the real urgencies of religious life in our time.

Several groups, however, accused the pope of wanting to return to the time before the Council and an avalanche of protests began to move, which made bitter injuries visible and this could be seen immediately. So I am under an obligation to you, dear brethren, to provide a clarifying word, which should help to understand the intentions, which I and the competent organs of the Holy See have been following with this step. I hope in this way to promote peace in the church.

One for me unpredictable mishap was that the lifting of the excommunication was overtaken by the Williamson case. The quiet gesture of mercy to four validly but not legally consecrated bishops appeared suddenly as something quite different: as a rejection of Christian-Jewish reconciliation and the withdrawal of what the Council in this matter has declared as the way of the Church.

An invitation to reconciliation with a separated Church grouping became the reverse: an apparent return from all the steps forward in the reconciliation of Christians and Jews, which had gone on since the Council and whose achievement had been from the start a goal of my theological work. The fact that this superimposition of two opposing processes occurred and disturbed the peace between Christians and Jews as well as peace in the contemporary church, I can only deeply regret.

I hear that closely following the news on the Internet would have allowed knowledge to be obtained of the problem. I learn from the fact that we at the Holy See have to pay careful attention to this news source in the future.
It saddens me that even Catholics who actually should know better believed that they had to show such hostility to me. Even more so, I thank the Jewish friends who have helped to resolve the public misunderstanding quickly and to create an atmosphere of friendship and trust, which – as in the time of Pope John Paul II – and also during the entire period of my Pontificate had existed, and God be praised this continues to exist.

A further breakdown, which I sincerely regret, is that the boundary and scope of the measure published on 21 1. 2009 was not clearly enough explained. The excommunication is about people, not institutions.

Episcopal consecration without papal mandate means the danger of a schism, because it puts in question the unity of the Bishops’ College with the Pope. The Church must, therefore, with the harshest punishment of excommunication react, and to lead those punished to repentance and back into unity. 20 years after the ordinations this goal is unfortunately still not been achieved. The withdrawal of the excommunication serves the same purpose as the punishment itself: once again the four bishops are invited to return.

This gesture was made possible after they clarified their fundamental recognition of the Pope and his pastoral office, albeit with reservations about the obedience to his teaching authority and with concern about Vatican II.

This brings me back to the distinction between person and institution. The withdrawal of excommunication was a measure in the field of church discipline: The people were freed from the punishment with the heaviest burden of conscience. From this level, the disciplinary and doctrinal fields should be differentiated. That the SSPX has no canonical status in the church was not really based on disciplinary, but on doctrinal reasons.

The SSPX has no canonical status in the church, as long as its officials have no legal offices in the church. It is therefore necessary to distinguish in questions between persons as persons concerning the disciplinary level and the level of doctrine, in the office and institution.

To say it once again: As long as the doctrinal issues are not resolved, the SSPX has no canonical status in the church and its officials while practicing, even if not penalised by the church, have no posts legally in the church.

Given this situation, I intend that the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, which since 1988 is responsible for those communities and individuals like the SSPX or similar groups who have come into full communion with the Pope or to return in the future to be associated in future with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

It should be apparent that the problems now being treated much more doctrinal in nature, especially on the adoption of the Second Vatican Council and concerning the teaching of the post-Conciliar Popes.

The collegial organs which the Congregation uses for dealing with questions (especially the regular meeting at the Cardinal on Wednesday and the once or twice-yearly General Assembly), guarantee the involvement of the Roman prefect in various congregations and in the episcopacy worldwide in decisions to be taken.

You cannot freeze the teaching authority of the Church in 1962 on that the SSPX should be clear. But some of those who take themselves as great defenders of the Vatican Council, must also remember that the Second Vatican Council is located in the teaching history of the whole of the church. Whoever wants to be obedient to it, must have the faith of the centuries and may not accept the cutting of the roots from which the tree lives.

I hope, dear brethren, that the positive meaning as well as the limit of the measure of 21 1. 2009 is clarified. But now the question remains: Was it necessary? Was that really a priority? Are there not matters much more important? Of course, there are more important and urgent matters. I think that I have made clear from the beginning the priorities of the pontificate in my speeches. My guidelines remain unchanged.

The first priority for the successor to Peter, the Lord has unequivocally fixed, in the Upper Room: ” And thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. ” (Lk 22, 32). Peter himself in his first letter rephrased this priority: ” But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you. ” (1 Peter 3, 15).

In our time, when belief threatens in large parts of the world to go out like a flame, which no longer finds oxygen, the first priority is to make God present in this world and open to people access to God. Not to any God, but to the God who has spoken at Sinai, to the God whose face we are in love with until the very end (Jn 13, 1) – in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

The real problem of our point in history is that God disappears from the horizon of people and with the cessation of light coming from God mankind falls disorientated whose destructive effects, we always get to see.

From then it is obvious that we must seek the unity of believers. Their dispute and inner conflict puts speaking of God in question. Therefore, the effort for the common witness of the Christian faith – the Church – is the highest priority.

Then there is the necessity that all who believe in God, seek peace with each other, trying to become closer to each other, so in the differences in their image of God they share the source of light – inter-religious dialogue.Those who love God to the end proclaim must give witness to that love, the suffering turned to love- hatred and enmity fight against the social dimension of Christian faith, which I have spoken about in the encyclical “Deus caritas est”.

If the struggle for the faith to hope and to love in the world is the true priority for the Church in this hour (and always in different forms), then it also includes small and medium-sized reconciliations. That the quiet gesture of an offered hand generated a great noise, and became just the opposite of reconciliation, we must take note.

But now I have to ask the question: Was it really wrong, even to go out to meet your brother, ” that hath anything against thee;” to try and seek reconciliation (cf. Mt 5, 23f)? Should not also the civil society try to prevent radicalization, their possible carrier – if possible – to reconnect with major forces of social life rather than cutting oneself off and avoiding consequences?

Can it be entirely wrong to seek the solution of restrictions and narrowing to provide the space, to find what is positive and to lead it back into the whole? I myself, in the years after 1988 have seen in the return of communities previously separated from Rome the interior climate changing, and how the return into the big, wide and common Church overcame one-sidedness and healed restrictions, that became positive forces for the whole.

Can we be totally indifferent to a community in which there are 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 Seminars, 88 schools, 2 university institutes, 117 brothers and 164 sisters? Should we really be happy to let them be driven from the Church?

I am thinking, for example, of the 491 priests. The fabric of their motivations, we cannot know. But I think that they would not have decided for the priesthood, if they could not show the love of Christ to some of the flock and have the will to proclaim the living God. Should we simply turn them away as representatives of a fringe group when seeking reconciliation and unity? What would then happen?

Certainly, we have over a long-time and repeatedly seen dissonances from representatives of this community – pride and superiority as well a fixation on one-sidedness, etc. However I must add that I have also received a number of moving testimonies of gratitude where an opening of hearts became evident.

But should not the great church be magnanimous in the knowledge of the long breath that she has, in the knowledge of the promise which given to her? Should we not, as good educators, pretend not to hear what is unsatisfactory and quietly strive to lead back from narrowness? And must we not admit that even in church circles dissonances have been heard?

… para to follow

Dear brethren, in the days in which it was in my mind to write this letter, I found by chance that I am in seminary at the center of Rome interpreting and commenting on Gal 5, 13-15. I was surprised how directly it spoke to this hour: ” For you, brethren, have been called unto liberty: only make not liberty an occasion to the flesh, but by charity of the spirit serve one another.” “For all the law is fulfilled in one word: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if you bite and devour one another; take heed you be not consumed one of another” I was always inclined to this sentence as one of the rhetorical excesses to which occasionally St. Paul is given.

In some respects it may be so. But unfortunately, there is the “biting and tearing to pieces” even today in the church as an expression of a poorly understood freedom. Is it surprising that we are not better than the Galatians? That we are threatened at least with the same temptations ? The fact is that we must always learn again the right use of freedom?

And must we always learn anew the first priority: love? On the day that I had to speak at the seminary, in Rome, the feast of the Madonna della Fiducia – Our Lady of Confidence – was celebrated.

In fact – Maria teaches us the confidence. She leads us to the Son, which we all expect. He will guide us – even in turbulent times. So I would like at the end of all to thank the many bishops from the heart who at this time showed moving sign of trust and affection, but above all given their prayers.

We also thank all the faithful who during this time have testified their unchanged fidelity to the successor of St. Peter. The Lord preserve us all and lead us to the path of peace. This is a wish that spontaneously from my heart rises, especially now at the beginning of Lent, a liturgical period of time when inner purification is particularly beneficial, and invites us all with new hope to watch for the luminescent goal of Easter.

BREAKING NEWS: Connecticut Anti-Catholic Bill Pulled

BREAKING – H/T: C. Crocker 

3/10/2009

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

Chalk up a big victory for Catholics who are loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and to the religious liberty provisions of the First Amendment.

HARTFORD (Catholic League) – The bill that would allow the state legislature in Connecticut to reconfigure the governing structure of the Catholic Church has been pulled.

Introduced by Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald, the bill was withdrawn at the behest of the person who proposed it, Tom Gallagher; he is a contributor to the National Catholic Reporter, a left-wing Catholic newspaper. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will now review the constitutionality of the bill.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“Every pre-law undergraduate knows that what Lawlor and McDonald tried to pull off-in stealth fashion-was flagrantly unconstitutional. For their fascist stunt, they should at least be censured by their colleagues. Ideally, they should resign or be forced out of office.

“The big losers are the Catholic left-wing activists who pushed for this measure. To be specific, Voice of the Faithful, a dissident Catholic group comprised mainly of senior citizens, has been promoting a lay Catholic takeover of the Catholic Church for many years.

“Also, their ideological kinfolk at the National Catholic Reporter republished an article by Gallagher calling for an aggressive civil law approach to parish governance.

“Lawlor, McDonald, Gallagher, Voice of the Faithful, and the National Catholic Reporter totally underestimated the reaction of rank-and-file Catholics.

“Chalk up a big victory for Catholics who are loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and to the religious liberty provisions of the First Amendment.”

V.O.T.F Promoted Anti-Catholic Bill In Connecticut

judasbetrayal

 Editor’s Note: Follow-up Post Here    

To the Apostles and disciples gathered with him that night in the Upper Room, Jesus said, “one of you will betray me…” Shocked at the statement, the disciples began to ask among themselves who it might be…” Now, of course, in manifold ways this very same mystery of betrayal has continued on within the life of the Church privately and publicly down throughout the centuries… And so it is today in Connecticut.

      The web page of The Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut reads:

Catholics across the State of Connecticut mobilize
to fight the irrational, unlawful, and bigoted
Proposed Bill #1098/2009

      A text of the bill is found here. But simply described:

 The State of Connecticut will attempt to force a radical reorganization of the legal, financial, and administrative structure of Catholic parishes.

      As the diocesan website proclaims, this is:

 contrary to the Apostolic nature of the Catholic Church because it disconnects parishes from their Pastors and their Bishop.’

      Well, at least contrary in view of the vast majority of Catholics in America who faithfully adhere to the Apostolic nature and authority of the Catholic Church. But not so for dissident Catholic groups such as Voice of the Faithful (V.O.T.F). This group and others like it eagerly await and actively promote the day when “all Parishes would be run by boards from which Pastors and Bishops would be effectively excluded.”

“What you are going to do, do quickly”

      Faithful Connecticut Catholics should not be mystified by the State introducing this egregious bill, nor should they believe this is yet just one more example of the secularist state intruding upon the rights of the Catholic Church to govern herself and entities. The contents of the bill #1089 have been bantered around by various members of V.O.T.F for some time. Compare the text and gist of the bill with these words from the April 2007 V.O.T.F. article , THE MONEY TRAIL: Financial Management And Mismanagement In The Diocese Of Bridgeport, by Joseph F. O’Callaghan : 

“[…] The same principles should be applied to diocesan property. The diocesan corporation should include elected representatives from each of the eighty-seven parishes, who in turn would elect two directors from each of the five vicariates.

The bishop, one of the three vicars general, and the chancellor should be ex officio members, but elected representatives of the laity should comprise the majority of the diocesan corporation, its directors, and its officers.

Implementation of this proposal will necessitate changes in both canon and civil law.

And finally, this revealing tidbit from the same V.O.T.F. article,

“Attorney Tom Gallagher has already initiated discussion with state legislators about changing the law regulating parish and diocesan corporations. Members of VOTF should lend their support to this effort.”

      To be clear on the above: The works of V.O.T.F whether great or small, public or private within this situation can no longer be misconstrued as simply taking advantage of the child sex abuse crisis within the Church in order to push some ageing liberal agenda—an view long-held by many who’ve watched both support and finances of the group continually shrink in recent years. No, make no mistake here dear Catholic, this act against the Church is no mere argument among disciples about who is, or isn’t, the greatest within the kingdom as we journey together along the way; No faith upsetting continuation here of that tired old “spirit of Vatican II” argument offered up by the rebellious in the face of authentic authority. 

      What it is, is a serious attack upon the Church:

The specious use of government in the clear attempt to undermine the Apostolic nature and authority of the Catholic Church in America.

      This is the second salvo following the first last month, so to speak, by the newly formed cohort of dissident groups (Led by two V.O.T.F members) with the announcement of the coming American Catholic Council scheduled for the Fall of 2011, in Detroit, Michigan… And following their conquest of America in 2011, its on to Rome (at least in their minds) and Vatican Council III. 

      It remains to be seen in the days ahead just how actively involved Tom Gallagher, V.O.T.F. and other unidentified dissident groups were in promulgating and finally bringing about this public attempt to arrest and destroy Christ The King and His Bride, the Church (in the world) in Connecticut. I’ll leave that to the more qualified and intelligent, as well as, proper episcopal authorities to judge–and hopefully act upon. But one thing is for sure, there’s original precedence at work here–and we all know how that turns out in regards to Jesus Christ, the future of His Church, her mission in the world, and even, of Judas Iscariot… Hopefully, with strong episcopal leadership, the always stabilizing affects of truly faithful Catholics, this false vineyard being planted within the Church of God will fail to bloom, as in the past, and the American Catholic Council will find itself equally bankrupt of support in the future as its own website is today.

      In closing, whether it be recognized by men or not, our country along with many other nations of the world together find themselves in desperate straits today and in sure need of the Catholic Church and her mission of spreading the Gospel. For men have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) that God truly exists and are suffering serious decline at their own hands because of grevious sin, and thus, lack of divine blessings. Both the rich and the poor are imperiled alike within the very same Godless situation, which, as the history of such evil proves, has great potential of turning inhuman and animal-like for long long periods of time. And so, the times of dissent within the Church must come to their close, and the good works of the Church spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ must replace them for the sake of the world and souls. A world God so loves that He sent his only-begotten son to save it from destruction and death–a Son He still sends. 

      Ours is the same (and only) mission as His as we too pass through this world. Chronic addiction to Church dissent defies that mission, harms souls who’ve allowed themselves to follow such errors, is not of the Holy Spirit of God, and ultimately works to continually cripple this new evangelization we are all responsible for carrying out–for we ourselves have received much–very much: the saving power of the breathe of God, the Spirit Who has led us into the heart of Christ Jesus–so full of truth, grace, pardon, healing and salvation. This is what America and the nations need most of all, and nothing more—a return to God... 

      So in the truth of a world on the precipice of its own self-destruction, and from the heart of the only Savior that world needs to find, I repeat the words of another convert, +Michael Davies within his work [The Reign of Christ The King–In Both Public and Private Life–], here in his own quote from the book The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich von Hildebrand, he writes:

“”Professor von Hildebrand warned that the Church can only help mankind to draw back from the precipice upon which it is poised “if the vineyard of the Lord blossoms anew. And therefore we must storm Heaven with the prayer that the spirit of St. Pius X might once again fill the hierarchy, that the great words anathema sit might once again ring out against all heretics, and especially against all the members of the ‘fifth column’ within the Church…”

Davies goes on to say, “We can do no better than begin by praying that they will ring out in Connecticut.””

      I concur. Let the vineyard of the Lord blossom anew.

Editors H/T: This story first broke on Father Z’s WDTPRS by another most faithful priest of God and educator, Fr. Greg J. Markey, He is pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Norwalk, CT. I ask my readers to join with me in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this coming Sunday for both, and for all priests in these difficult times.

james mary evans  

“Rome Must Go”: St. Mary’s Brisbane

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“Rome Must Go, St. Mary’s Must Stay…” Just in case you underestimated the Marxist-Socialist appeal of Barack Obama and global permeation of his organizing tactics–even within the Catholic Church–this e-mail/comment comes to us from renegade Catholic priest Fr. Peter Kennedy of St. Mary’s, Brisbane: 

“Stand strong. “Yes we can”. Let’s not feed the wolf of anger and vengefulness but the wolf of passion, compassion and kindness…”

wolf8_03

Peter Kennedy’s remarks on the (Communist leaning) Worker’s Bush Telegraph were intentionally directed toward soliciting people on the site in order to help fill-up St. Mary’s masses on Sunday, particularly the 9:00am mass, so media would publicize “growing local support” for his personal rebellion. Evidently it worked. There were not a few St. Mary’s news stories following Sunday masses that led with, “Thousands Show Up In Support…”  

However self-inflated the numbers are the reality here, of course, is Peter Kennedy’s Marxist invite to long-historic enemies of the Catholic Church–true wolves in sheep’s clothing–enables them to enter in and help inflict further slaughter upon the faith of the sheepfold…

Welcome to the fullness of reverse (c)atholic inculturation, wherein Liberation Theology bears the evil fruits of true betrayal of Jesus Christ, His Gospel, and His Church.

Be forwarned America…