John Bosco’s Prophecy (Part II): The Synod at the Crossroads

John Bosco’s Prophecy (Part II): The Synod at the Crossroads

by Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M.Cap.

Today’s world-wide conflict between the Church and secular society over the family has been anticipated and even prophesied — both by John Bosco’s dream in 1862 (see my previous post, Oct. 1, 2015), and by the powerful encyclical, Humanae Vitae, issued by Pope Paul VI in 1968.

Bishops against bishops, cardinals against cardinals? Worldwide conflict? Who expected this instability to explode in our own day and even enter the heart of the Church at her highest levels. But it has begun. Today at the October 2015 Synod in Rome, bishops and cardinals are sharply divided and challenging one another over the very meaning of marriage, human sexuality, and the family.

Even before the Synod, Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany championed the reception of Holy Communion for the civilly divorced and remarried in certain cases, and also said that we should honor homosexual relationships which last –and recognize “elements of the good” in them.

If that wasn’t startling enough, the “Kasper Proposal” uncovered a lot of hidden approval among the bishops: Archbishop Blase Cupich, recently appointed to the influential Archdiocese of Chicago stated : “If people come to a decision in good conscience then our job is to help them move forward and to respect that. ” And he said: “It’s for everybody”. But, does he mean this “everybody” to Include racists and pedophiles? Apparently this means that communion is open to all as long as they are following their conscience—and only they know that.

This is truly a rupture of belief among the hierarchy. Consider that at the very opening of the Synod Cardinal Peter Erdo stated that the push to permit the civilly divorce and remarried to be able to receive Holy Communion is “a pressure with no foundation.” In other words it is a closed question.

Cardinal Erdo’s statement met with complete resistance from other bishops: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli and Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher responded by saying that giving communion to the civilly divorced and remarried was still an “open question.”

This is truly a chasm between Church teaching and the push to re-fashion the Church to reflect the modern world, which is the exact opposite of the advice given to the Christian by St. Paul who urged: “Do not be conformed to this world”

READ MORE via capuchins.org Source: John Bosco’s Prophecy (Part II): The Synod at the Crossroads | Capuchin Franciscans – News Blog

John Thavis | A signal on removal of bishops?

John Thavis | A signal on removal of bishops?.

"The power of a pope to sack a bishop has always been presumed, but here
it is spelled out. It comes after Pope Francis has already removed a
Paraguayan bishop from office over pastoral controversies, and accepted
the resignation of a German bishop in the wake of a spending scandal.
The Vatican is actively investigating the pastoral leadership of at
least two other prelates, including Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas
City, Mo., who was convicted two years ago by a civil court on
misdemeanor charges of failing to report suspected child abuse by a
diocesan priest."READ MORE:

via John Thavis | A signal on removal of bishops?.

What about the Today, the Temple, Jesus and Ed Koch

On May 21,2012, in a speech, introducing Timothy Cardinal Dolan at the Manhattan Institute – Alexander Hamilton Award Dinner, Edward I. Koch said:

I was a congressman and then mayor when I first came to know Terence Cardinal Cooke.  Of the four cardinals I have known, he was the most beloved by the public.  He was a very gentle man and perceived early on as a saintly figure.  Indeed, Cardinal Cooke is currently being considered by the Vatican for sainthood, and I have given testimony in the Vatican’s extensive inquiry into such a designation.

Having much to do with our friendship, I recall when Cardinal Cooke opened a Fifth Avenue door at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that had been closed for 100 years.  He asked me to stand with him when he unlocked the entrance.  As the sunlight poured through the open door, he said, “Mayor Ed, this cathedral belongs to you. ”  (I could never get him to call me Ed.  When he said “Mayor Ed,” I could hear the neighing of horses, there being a very popular television show at the time featuring a talking horse called “Mr. Ed,”) but at that moment, I did indeed feel as though the cathedral belonged to the cardinal and me.

Ed Koch may have felt as though the cathedral belonged to the cardinal and him, but today marks the day the Lord of that cathedral and all others, arrived on the scene and was recognized by waiting, holy hearts. May God bless the soul and eternity of Mayor Ed, the Cardinal, NYC, the city of my birth, and the world.

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

“And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), and thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed’” (Luke 2:33-35).[1]

The feast marks the day Jesus was carried in the arms of His mother, to be presented according to the Law of the Old Covenant into the Temple.  Sarah Ciotti writes:

It celebrates the holy convergence of Jesus the Messiah with His people who faithfully waited for His coming. Traditionally, the feast is celebrated with the greatest of joys and thanksgivings. Forty days after the solemnity of Christmas, Mary and Joseph consecrated Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, showing their obedience to God and fulfilling the Mosaic Law. Simeon, a just and devout man, utters a prophecy that Jesus will be the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel. Anna thanks God for the child and talks about him to all who looked to God for the deliverance of Jerusalem. Amid their joy looms the shadow of the cross, the opposition Jesus will face and the sword of suffering Mary, too, will experience. [2]

 

Graphic Witness -“What I witnessed during my abortion still hits me like a sledgehammer”

How the Nine Days of Prayers Comforted Me While I Fought Demons……

January 19, 2013 By The Crescat

… With the upcoming March For Life, the topic of abortion seems to be every where at the moment. Because of this it’s been on my mind daily. Perhaps these daily reminders is what triggered the event that happened this morning.

My first waking thought hit me like a sledge hammer and I was instantly transported back ten years. I was standing alone in a sterile room wearing a hospital gown. In my hand was the sheet that I had pulled back off the portable suction machine that sat in the corner. Memories I thought I had drown bubbled up despite mentally wrestling with myself for years to un-see them.

What I am about to write next is horrifically graphic. I’d been debating with myself all day whether or not I should share this memory or just stuff it back down in the murky recesses of my addled brain but then I was reminded of something Elizabeth Scalia wrote.

And somehow, I can’t imagine that any of our elite female voices — the ones who, in every election year, can be counted on to take up the fake “war on women” mantras and tape PSA’s about “keeping abortion legal” because it “empowers women” — have any sense of the realities of these under-inspected, under-reported hell-holes, where the only ones being empowered are the profiteers.

And a hell hole it was. There is no way to advocate what I am about to describe. None. There is no reason, no exception, no situation in which what I saw could possibly be rationalized away as a “reproductive right” or an acceptable choice.

**** If you’re post-abortive what you are about to read might be too graphic and upsetting.****

I encourage you only to proceed with great caution. Please know I don’t write this to cause you any pain. I write this post so that people who advocate abortion can read what it is exactly they are advocating.

The vacuum. Read the rest here

Today marks the beginning of the 9 Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage sponsored by USCCB.

“The world is changing; it’s time to wake up.” Video

VATICAN CITY — The screening of an anonymous YouTube clip about the decline of Christian populations in Europe and North America and the growth of the continents’ Muslim community launched heated debate and some serious objections at the Synod of Bishops Saturday evening.

A cardinal who works in the Vatican asked that the 7-and-a-half-minute video be shown to bishops at the synod, according to the Vatican press office.

The video, posted on YouTube in 2009, makes claims such as, “In just 39 years, France will be an Islamic republic.”

The clip ends by telling people, “The world is changing; it’s time to wake up.”

Read More

115 Roman Catholic Bishops Speak Out / HHS Mandate

H/T Thomas Peters

Here are the bishops who are Speaking Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate:

Items in bold mean the statement was read at all diocesan Masses or included in all parish bulletins on Sunday:

Obama Operatives Trying to Divide Catholics from Bishops

From: Catholic News Agency Saying that Notre Dame is acting as if it is not a member of the local Church in its response to the controversy, Catholic commentator George Weigel has charged that “political operators” in the Obama administration are trying to divide Catholics from their bishops by co-opting Catholic intellectuals and their institutions. In his May 13 column in the Denver Catholic Register, Weigel noted Boston College theology professor Fr. Kenneth Himes’ charge that there is a “political game” going on in the dispute over the University of Notre Dame’s commencement invitation to President Barack Obama. Fr. Hines had commented in a Boston Globe story about former Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal. He granted that some “well-meaning people” think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity. However, he also warned of a “political game” which results in demonizing those who disagree with you, questioning their integrity and character, and branding them as “moral poison.” “Some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue, and consequently, they have simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation,” he said in the Boston Globe. Responding to Fr. Himes, Weigel said if Fr. Hines was referring to the leading critics of President Obama’s Notre Dame honors, the priest was “perilously close” to committing calumny. “Yes, there are self-serving nuts in the forest, some of whom have seized the Obama/Notre Dame issue for their own purposes,” Weigel said. “But why does Father Himes waste time bashing fringe crazies? Why not engage the arguments of the serious critics?” Weigel cited as one such critic Notre Dame graduate Prof. Russell Hittinger, a professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa. Hittinger has said that Notre Dame has adopted a “purely American low-church” position of institutional autonomy by acting as if its local bishop is not worthy of attention. The Obama controversy, Hittinger said, has nothing to do with academic freedom or ecclesiastical supervision but is “ecclesiological all the way down.” “What Church is Notre Dame ‘in,’ if any?” Hittinger asked. “Notre Dame is speaking and acting as though it were not a member of the local Church, let alone Rome.” Weigel said this comment was “exactly right,” alleging that the actual “political game” is being played by “very smart political operators” in the Obama administration. He charged that these operators, noting the presidential election results, have sensed the possibility of “driving a Catholic News Agency wedge through the Catholic community in America, dividing Catholics from their bishops and thus securing the majority Catholic vote.” Weigel said they are targeting Catholic intellectuals and their institutions and journals, which he described as “the soft underbelly” of Catholic resistance to the Obama administration’s “radical agenda.” “It’s a clever move on the political chessboard, and barring extraordinary actions from the bishops, it will likely meet with considerable success,” Weigel continued. He closed by again reiterating the question: “Just what Church are Notre Dame and its supporters ‘in,’ anyway?”

Obama's First 100 Days Counter to Glendon's Life Work

Elizabeth Lev, daughter of Mary Ann Glendon has responded to this written by Kaitlyn Riely at Politics Daily.  Riely,speaking of Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, says:

“But Glendon has been trained in diplomacy. Shouldn’t being in the same place and engaging someone of an opposing view be right up her alley? Wouldn’t the better decision be to use her platform — or at least her proximity — to persuade Obama to change his views? Her diplomatic style seems to be less suited for U.S.-Vatican relations and more for U.S.-Cuba relations.”

Reponse by Elizabeth Lev, Mary Ann Glendon’s daughter:

“The Laetare Medal is the highest honor conferred on Catholics in the United States. For a Catholic, it has greater prestige than a Nobel Prize for a scientist or an Academy Award for an actor, as the award is given for career-long achievement, for “staying the course” in the words of St. Paul. It doesn’t just showcase a single discovery or film role.


To renounce it, therefore, is not the lightest of matters. Professor Glendon has spent a month thinking, consulting, and given her deep faith, praying about this decision. (This, for those of you who don’t know, means asking God to help one put aside one’s own personal concerns and act in the way that will produce the greatest good). (Kaitlyn) Riely’s dismissive “thanks, no thanks” rendering of her decision, while pithy, is reductive.

Professor Glendon was to have been honored for not only for her scholarship, but for her second career, her pro-bono work — ranging from the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the great civil rights issues of the present day — namely, the defense of human life from conception to natural death. Her concerns range from the aging and dying population to the unborn to the well-being and dignity of every life, regardless of race, religion, or economic status. Her outstanding work in this field has earned her the respect of the most brilliant minds of the international community, regardless of whether they agree with her position. So again, to see her merely as “strongly anti-abortion” instead of as a tireless defender of the dignity of life, is to reveal not only a lack of understanding of the subject’s work, but also the writer’s real interest in this question.

Furthermore, during his first 100 days in office, President Obama has worked tirelessly to undermine Professor Glendon’s lifetime of work; he is funding abortion out of the bailout package and planning to suppress the protection of conscience for health care workers.

Your notion that her “training in diplomacy” might somehow ease this situation does not take into account that she has a five-minute acceptance speech and he will have a lengthy commencement speech. There is no “engaging” here. Diplomacy generally teaches that if you have a rapier and your opponent has a missile launcher, try not to engage.

That Professor Glendon “did not like that Notre Dame was claiming her speech would serve to balance the event” is again facile and simplistic. What is there to like in being the deflector screen for inviting a profoundly divisive figure to give the commencement speech? What is likeable about a Catholic University named for the most important woman in Christianity exploiting a woman who has already dedicated her life to protecting the Church’s teaching by turning her into a warm-up act for a grotesque twist on a reality show?

Finally, after 50 Catholic bishops condemned the university for its direct defiance in honoring a man in open conflict with the Church’s teaching, it is right that Professor Glendon let her silence speak louder than her five-minute allotment of words would have.
Readers might be wondering how I know all this. Well, for one I am her daughter, but more to the point, I read her letter with the careful consideration it deserves.”

Elizabeth Lev is an art historian and writer based in Rome, where all of her three children were born… more

Michelle Malkin sums up Obama’s first 100

Connecticut Catholic Parishes Beware – Prepare!

Connecticut Catholic and the bishops of the Catholic Church had better get their ducks in order for the next volley.

Ed Morrissey writes that Connecticut lawmakers “finally got around to reading the founding documents”

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As a result of the mass outcry,the bill that would have deprived bishops of  legitimate power in their parishes was cancelled  on the grounds of it being clearly unconstitutional.

As soon as word spread about the bill, the Legislative Office Building was flooded with telephone calls and e-mails on Monday. The bill, virtually overnight, became the hottest issue at the state Capitol.

The cancellation came less than 24 hours after Senate Republican John McKinney of Fairfield called for the cancellation, saying that his caucus was unanimously against the bill because they believe it is clearly unconstitutional.

The bill itself according to Morrissey, and the agreeing protesters, was “a piece of work

(a) A corporation may be organized in connection with any Roman Catholic Church or congregation in this state, by filing in the office of the Secretary of the State a certificate signed by the archbishop or bishop and the vicar-general of the archdiocese or of the diocese in which such congregation is located and the pastor and two laymen belonging to such congregation, stating that they have so organized for the purposes hereinafter mentioned. [Such archbishop or bishop, vicar-general and pastor of such congregation and, in case of the death or other disability of the archbishop or bishop, the administrator of the archdiocese or diocese for the time being, the chancellor of the archdiocese or diocese and the pastor of such congregation shall be members, ex officio, of such corporation, and, upon their death, resignation, removal or preferment, their successors in office shall become such members in their stead. The two lay members shall be appointed annually, in writing, during the month of January from the lay members of the congregation by a majority of the ex-officio members of the corporation; and three members of the corporation, of whom one shall be a layman, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.]

(b) The corporation shall have a board of directors consisting of not less than seven nor more than thirteen lay members. The archbishop or bishop of the diocese or his designee shall serve as an ex-officio member of the board of directors without the right to vote.

We do live in interesting times.  Sleep only with one eye open!

Bishops Speak Loudly for Christ -Clearly for the Church

Some thoughts apart from the daily news:

Bishops of the Church: focusing on their duty to lead the People of God.

A bishop is not just one voice among many, or even one important voice among others.  In his diocese, he is the unique leader of the Faithful.  For Christians, the bishop’s voice speaks with clarity for Christ. It is important to note that even a body of bishops serving the church such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) do not speak with the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese.

These are days of darkness and times of confusion. In our loud and intrusive culture, we listen to more voices than we can stand. Exhortations like “listen to your bishop” have long since faded in the background of our day to day struggle. For this reason,  we need the Church more than ever.  We need the Church to speak over and above the world. This is a time of vigilance and a time to choose sides.  Our fallen natures find it hard to submit to valid authority, but now is not the time for self-serving arrogance or pettiness.  We need our bishops and we need our bishops to speak and speak clearly.

The Fathers of the Church write:

St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians:

Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

It is reasonable for the future to be vigilant, and while we have yet time, to repent unto God. It is well to honor God and the bishop; he who honors the bishop, is honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, serves the devil.

These days are so troubling and leadership so wanting that I make so bold as to suggest that those of other Christian persuasions would do well in days yet to come to give Peter, the Bishop of Rome, an ear.  Beyond our failures, beyond our broken unity, beyond prejudice is Christ breathing His Spirit upon His Apostles, upon His Church, upon His Body.

Bishops, Unity, Church, and Vigilance

Who wants to separate us from our bishops?

Reading the Church Fathers for Lent has been eye opening in the light of present day attacks on the Church, such as the State of Connecticut attempt hitting the wires here and here.

The battle plan against the Church is evermore visible above the horizon, although it has been on the rise for a long time out of sight and mind of many.  Divide and conquer! No big surprise.  I think we feel all too safe having our Constitution to protect us.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
— The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Archbishop Chaput writes in response to the Connecticut attack:

“But prejudice against the Catholic Church has a long pedigree in the United States. And rarely has belligerence toward the Church been so perfectly and nakedly captured as in Connecticut’s pending Senate Bill 1098, which, in the words of Hartford’s Archbishop Henry Mansell, ‘directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.’”

“In effect, SB 1098 would give the state of Connecticut the power to forcibly reorganize the internal civil life of the Catholic community. This is bad public policy in every sense: imprudent; unjust; dismissive of First Amendment concerns, and contemptuous of the right of the Catholic Church to be who she is as a public entity,” the archbishop criticized.

I want to focus on the role of the bishop in the Church.  He is not just one voice among many.  For Christians, he is the voice speaking with clarity for Christ.  In our loud and intrusive culture, we listen to the voice speaking loudest in our heads, and exhortations like “listen to your bishop” have long since faded in the background of our day to day struggle.  Time to refocus!  Time to be vigilant!  Our fallen natures find it hard to submit to valid authority, but now is not the time for pettiness or self-serving arrogance.  We need our bishops and our bishops need to speak and speak clearly.

The Fathers say:

St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians:

Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

It is reasonable for the future to be vigilant, and while we have yet time, to repent unto God. It is well to honor God and the bishop; he who honors the bishop, is honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, serves the devil.

Note for our Christian brothers and sisters outside the Roman Church:

Responding to the Connecticut Bill, Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut writes:

“We need as big a turnout as possible for the public hearing on Wednesday, especially from non-Catholics. As Ben Franklin told the Founders while they were signing the Declaration of Independence, “either we hang together or we will all hang separately.” Legislators need to understand that this bill is an attack on everyone’s religious liberty.”

If the legislature can replace a bishop with a board of laymen in the Catholic Church, they can just as easily replace the governing lay structure of Congregationalist or Baptist churches with someone set up as a bishop. In fact, it was resistance to such government interference in the internal life of the church that gave birth to several of our most historic denominations. Thanks to this awful bill, our generation must now rise up to defend those hard-fought victories for religious liberty that were won for us by our ancestors.

The Anchoress waiting on the Remnant writes:

The Remnant is much deeper than any movement, and it will surface on its own – full of surprising and surprised people – in due time, when it must, and that may be soon, but neither you nor I know the day or hour. The thing about remnants is that they identify themselves after a carpet has been laid or a robe has been cut, not before.

Remnants do not stop a construct from happening…they survive it.

Exhaustive list of Catholic bishops condemning voting for pro-aborts here.

From the Anchoress UPDATE: “Well, a reprieve of sorts. Seems
“The bill is dead for the rest of the legislative session. As soon as word spread about the bill, the Legislative Office Building was flooded with telephone calls and e-mails on Monday. The bill, virtually overnight, became the hottest issue at the state Capitol.”
. (H/T Ace) That’s good. But it’s still on the way – next year, year after that, because as Ed Morrissey writes: They’re embarrassed, but they still haven’t learned why.”

“This battle is going to happen. Bank on it.”

Marana, tha

Maran atha