Thursday, April 30, 2015

WILL I SIGN IT? NOT JUST NO! BUT HELL NO!

Fr. Z is encouraging priests to sign a petition encouraging the synod on the family to support the Church's traditional belief that those in a state of public mortal sin, such as a second marriage or any marriage not recognized by the Church should not receive Holy Communion.

This is Fr. Z's comment and below it is my reason for not signing it (hint: because I am a Catholic):

 You will recall that hundreds of priests in England signed a letter, published in the Catholic Herald, urging the upcoming Synod to uphold Catholic doctrine and discipline concerning marriage and the family.  HERE
That letter created a stir.
I now see that there is an American initiative for Catholic priests to sign a similar letter!
HERE
Signers, be patient.  It seems that your names will not post automatically.  I think that someone must verify the names, which is a good idea.  There will be a delay.

Lay people, please let your priests know about this initiative and ask them to sign it.  Tell them you’ll be watching the list.

My reasons for not signing it:

1. What I highlight in red is crass manipulation--I hate manipulation and run in the opposite direction (always have hated manipulation and always will!).  Just on principle, I won't sign it because of the manipulation.

2. Since when has the Catholic Church become a democracy where conservative constituents petition a synod to vote one way or another. I want to throw-up at this non-Catholic and politicized attempt to insert  the political style of a democratic government into synodality. 

3. I am taking a Catholic leap of faith and trusting that the Pope of the Catholic Church, despite any peccadilloes or failings he might have, to include sin, is preserved from making errors in the areas of faith and morals and will preserve the Church universal from doing so too! The successor to Saint Peter has a special charism in this regard and I will trust the Holy Spirit on this one!  I will not sign the petition. 

4. Within the framework of what is already allowed through a more common sense canonical annulment procedures and other pastoral solutions, vague in canon law but to be clarified,  Catholics in a public state of mortal sin as it concerns living with a person in a marriage-like union outside of the Church's teaching on marriage will find solutions that will return them to the full communion of the Church.  

77 comments:

Who am I to judge?! said...

Amen to that! Another objection to Fr. Z's petition (and for that matter the UK one) is the tacit assumption that the views of US conservatives count for more than the view of Catholics elsewhere, e.g. in developing countries. So all he is doing is replicating, in inverted form, the arrogant position of the liberal German bishops.

Anonymous said...

Didn't think you would. You sure are singing a much different tune under Francis than Benedict, I've been following this blog for years and you seem to have succum to the cult of Francis where no one can critisize the pope.
I say God bless Fr. Z and also brave priests and bishops who did sign the petition standing up for Church teaching, to think that it won't be under attack and to put all your faith into this Pope would be foolish. I'm trusting in the Holy Spirit to protect the Church as it always has, but I'm getting close to the same saying the same prayer about Francis that St. Athanasius prayed about Arius (paraphrasing), "God take his life before he destroys the Church"

Anonymous said...

" I am taking a Catholic leap of faith and trusting that the Pope of the Catholic Church, despite any peccadilloes or failings he might have, to include sin, is preserved from making errors in the areas of faith and morals and will preserve the Church universal from doing so too! "

He is a liberal Jesuit...he has already caused scandal and has already caused people to think that adultrey and homosexuality is acceptable just by the fact that he has promoted discussion on things that are not open for discussion. Would we ever have a discussion if racism is acceptable in certain circumstances. Of course not. Now we have cardinals saying we can't even call adultrey what it is adultrey. And the pope is silent! Christ Himself said what adultrey is and for this pope to use the word mercy to allow sin. Of course he isn't going to proclaim that adultrey is allowed because he knows he would be riding that bus back in South America again. But he is doing what Paul VI did. He is allowing discussion.......for years, and then will uphold the Church's teaching after undermining it. That way it's on the books but in reality it's ignored. Just like the teaching on contraception.

And shame on you for not signing that petition. You are not signing because you don't believe the Church is a democracy. Pa----lease. You are a company man, that is very obvious. You blow with the current wind. And there is no way you are putting your cushy position in danger. It's so obvious. What a shame. Saint John Fisher you are not, but then neither is the majority of the clergy that's why we are in this position.

Charles G said...

I don't see it as calling for a democratic vote, but simply reminding the successors of the apostles to uphold Catholic teaching and tradition. That such is necessary can be seen from Athanasius and Arian controversy, as well as the attempted Kasperite cram down last fall. Fr Z's wording is a bit crass, but blame him,not the petition.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am not singing a different tune of any kind. I am an avowed papist and ultramontane.

I accept the pope we have and decry disobedience and disrespect shown to anyone in the Catholic Church no matter how self-righteous the condemner is. I respect in particular the papacy, the college of bishops and Holy Orders and whoever hold that office legitimately.

One of the most narrow-minded liturgical blogs on the internet is Praytell who often forbids sound minded and nonsensical posters like me from posting (in fact now I am blocked). Their immaturity is sweeping and unfortunately this is the case with many liturgicalphiles.

I posted many times during Benedict whom I love and respect immensely and who I defended there wholeheartedly that I would defend any pope on his blog, traditional or more progressive. I am true to my word in this regard.

One of the things that has disillusioned me about the so-called traditionalists or conservatives is that actually they are the same as this silly progressives who kept carping about Pope Benedict and in the most disrespectful ways.

Silly me thought that conservatives or so-called traditionalists of the pre-Vatican II best of the Church wouldn't do that. I was wrong and it is sad.

It really is a case of Protestantizing Catholicism and perhaps by Catholic converts who just don't get it!

Kneeling Catholic said...

Father,

I have two or three points...

1. Silence is assent...I don't see why you would be urging people to be quiet, unless you are in agreement with the direction His Holiness is taking us....

2. I'm not sure that labelling and name-calling 'protestant converts' will help you bring anyone around to your point of view. I get the sense you are looking down on converts.

3. Catholics, even some cradle Catholics, did petition Pius XII in advance of his declaration on the Assumption. I don't see what the difference is. Maybe you can explain and make me see.

please do pray for me

Anonymous said...

Silence is approval. Failure to act is a course of action. The Pope, and all Bishops, are human and prone to error. To follow blindly into error is as grave a sin as to preach the error.

Gerry Davila said...

Dear Father,
I believe this petition is less about democratizing the Church and more about showing how many clergy still believe in Our Lord's words and teachings. I think it is a filial appeal, in the vein of St. Catherine of Sienna's outreach during the Avignon papacy, to uphold orthodox Church teaching and discipline. That's all.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't look down on converts as my parish is primarily composed of these. However, often they do bring a Protestant ecclesiology with them where in many Protestant denominations the laity control the agenda or they think petitions are the way to sway a pastor who is already working through canonical structures such as pastoral councils and finance councils.

We don't take votes from the congregation to decide anything and even the councils we have a merely advisory and don't act as a Board of Trustees or a vestry.

It is one thing to petition Rome about elevating a doctrine to a dogma or getting someone canonized a saint. It is quite another to think that the Pope and bishops in union with him will set a policy for the Church that will cause the collapse of Natural Law, the nature of marriage and open us up to the conundrum of Protestantism, in particular the Episcopal Church, that allows for female priests, same sex marriage and all kinds of other silly non-christian ideologies. It ain't going to happen petition or no petition.

Gerry Davila said...

Dear Father,
I believe this petition is less about democratizing the Church and more about showing how many clergy still believe in Our Lord's words and teachings. I think it is a filial appeal, in the vein of St. Catherine of Sienna's outreach during the Avignon papacy, to uphold orthodox Church teaching and discipline. That's all.

Kneeling Catholic said...

Father , >>>>. It is quite another to think that the Pope and bishops in union with him will set a policy for the Church that will cause the collapse of Natural Law, the nature of marriage and open us up to the conundrum of Protestantism,<<<<

you don't see the above as the German Council of Bishops and Kardinal Kasper's agenda? I am afraid I have to disagree. Furthermore I think the Pope is enamored of these 'types' of Churchmen.

but really, His Holiness did say he wanted a vigorous discussion.

I thank you for your patience and letting me 'blow off steam'....

Lefebvrian said...

It is not an effort at democracy for the laity to express their faith and to urge their leaders to do the same. This is not contrary to the Church's ecclesiology in the slightest. The petition merely seeks to let the bishops know that their flocks want them to uphold the faith and that we will support them from the inevitable attacks they will face when they do so.

Moreover, you seem to have buried your head in the sand with regard to what is happening. If the pope did not think that he could change the practice, he would not have called the synod. If he attempts to change the practice, it will be argued that it is not a doctrinal change, but a pastoral one, which will skirt around the infallibility issue for most people. This is and has been the modernists' tactic for decades now -- to divorce (pun intended) doctrine from practice.

Finally, if the pope and the bishops are going to uphold the doctrine no matter what, then why pray for them at all? Have you forgotten all those prayers for the pope to uphold the Catholic faith? Have you forgotten those pope's who didn't uphold the faith?

What you are arguing for is not ultramontanism, it is Magisterial positivism: the idea that whatever the current Magisterium says must be correct simply because he has said it. That is not Catholic, it is gnostic.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Individual Catholics are quite free to write letters first to their bishop or to the pope with a cc to the bishop or to any of the congregations in Rome.

The summary of the last synod was very orthodox after what was a contentious meeting (evidently) and the pope listening to those who were alarmed about Kasper's ideas which will never get approval.

The orthodox Catholic world will be watching even more closely this time around (and the bishops who are sound in their theology will prevail as they did the last time.)

Pope Francis sends mixed messages, but ultimately he sides with orthodoxy and uses his God given authority as he sees fit.

Despite it more liberal pastoral sensibilities and his language that is intended to bring sinners closer and not push them away, he states that he is a son of the Church and accepts everything in the CCC. You can't get more orthodox or explicit than that.

Anonymous said...

Some pastors do a bad job upholding the Faith. Some have to be called out on it by their parishioners. Some popes have said heretical things, and they had to be called out on it by theologians. The Church's history is full of examples wherein the faithful had to remind the Church what her faith was. This petition is a reminder to the Church. It is not attempting to out-vote anyone. It is a true show of support for the Church!

Lefebvrian said...

You begin to prove my point when you suggest that a pastor can be completely orthodox while exercising liberal pastoral sensibilities. You further prove my point by suggesting that liberal pastoral sensibilities lead sinners to the Church.

In the Catholic Church, the practice flows from the doctrine. Together, these lead people to the Church and to Christ.

On the other hand, teaching people erroneous doctrines under the guise of liberal pastoral practices leads them away from the Church and away from Christ. After all, Christ is Truth. So leading people away from Truth is leading them away from Christ.

By the way, you might be the only person on the planet who thinks the last synod's summary was very orthodox.

Henry said...

Last night I saw a movie about Catholics who stood together and tall for the faith during the persecution of Catholics during the English Reformation.

I am proud of the several priests of my diocese who have signed this petition. They are standing tall for the faith.

I am disappointed in those priests who know of this petition and find some rationalization for not signing it. They are not standing tall for the faith.

Anonymous said...

Father, I agree that any effort to democratize the Church is offensive. I believe that there are those who are already trying to democratize via extensive media campaigning and other means - pressuring the Pope (German bishops for example) for change as if the "sensus fidelium" (my Latin is probably wrong, contra-educated and all) has moved away from traditional understandings. As such cannot legitimately occur, I see this petition as encouragement and confirmation that, in fact, the faithful remain so, and will support the Holy Father should the wolves come after him or any of his priests. I see it as a call to arms around the Pope, not against.

As this is not Fr Z's petition, I think his commentary is ancillary to the point.

Steven

JBS said...

The Latin Code of canon Law does say the faithful "have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful".

What is puzzling in this case--and this is where I agree with Father McDonald--is why laymen are asking priests to express these opinions. Anyone knowing anything about the pastoral approach of Pope Francis when he was in Argentina knows that he has little interest in the urgings or protestations of the clergy, even of bishops. He does, however, listen very carefully to the voices of ordinary Catholics, especially those in need. In some ways, this is a breath of fresh air and an escape from bureaucracy.

Finally, a note about Fr. Z. He is a good man doing good things for the Church. However, he does not face the issues that 99% of priests face. Almost all secular priests live in their diocese of incardination, and most serve as parish priests. Few secular priests are able to express private opinions as freely as he is.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

So from what I gather with all these comments that everyone here is just happy as anything that those who tried with a petition to stop the implementation or even reverse it of the new English translation of the Mass were right in doing so as well as all the other liberal agendas that do the same through through polls and petitions?

The Catholic Church has a way for the pope to listen to the legitimate concerns of other bishops and theologians. In the past this was done secretly.

Catholics today can write and individual Catholics can request this, that or the other.

I can tell you, if my parishioners started setting up petitions to demand that I do this that or the other, I would have to teach them that we don't do this in the Catholic Church. Talk to a pastoral council member or write the bishop. Please cc me!

CPT Tom said...

Father, I think you are mistaken. The letter in the US (and the UK) is an obvious sign of frustration with the manipulation of the Synod, and also the apparent lack of the bishops from those two countries to defend the Church's doctrine on marriage. Better a letter that continues the dialog that the Pope himself called for than the suppression of ideas that seemed to go on at the Synod in October AND is perpetrated by the bureaucracy in between the Pope and the lower levels of the Church. I am concerned that the Pope is being poorly advised or informed, and I think this letter is good thing.

JBS said...

Fr. McDonald,

I wouldn't overreact to this. I think many laymen feel helpless to influence the Holy Father, but they think a large enough group of priests can do so.

CPT Tom said...

So is your principle objection that this is being done in public then? Washing our dirty laundry in public so to speak? Then I would agree with you, except, Cardinal Kasper engaged in public trumpeting of his ideas on TV, books, and newspapers, with out a PUBLIC smack down by the Pope, especially after Cardinal Kasper implied Papal approval of his positions. This whole Synod has been allowed to have a media circus around it that the Vatican and others (eg. Cardinal Kasper) have fed and been happy to wash the laundry in public. This should have been stopped as un-seemly, but it wasn't. The Pope could have stopped this last February when Cardinal Kasper started his campaign, but he chose not to. Hence the current tangled situation.

John Nolan said...

Let's get the facts right. Getting on for 500 priests signed a letter to the Catholic Herald affirming their support for the Church's unambivalent teaching on marriage. One would hardly expect them to hold a contrary opinion, and given the media hype over possible revolutionary changes in doctrine they may have felt they needed to put the record straight using a Catholic publication and in a time-honoured way.

This seems to have irked the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster who made a peevish and totally unnecessary criticism of their use of 'the media' ironically using 'the media' to make his point.

Most of the priests who signed were not of his diocese so whatever they might have done was none of his business.

In the wake of last year's synod he used the media (in this case the BBC) to push a wishy-washy liberal line. In his six years at Westminster - and by the way, he is not 'the leader of England's Catholics' as he is usually and ignorantly described - he has signally failed to defend Catholic teaching when challenged.

If you look at the list of signatories you will see they are by no means confined to the obviously 'conservative' strand. Last year Pope Francis lost much credibility when his all-too-obvious attempts to manipulate the synod blew up in his face. Let's hope he has learned his lesson. In the meantime, Catholics both clerical and lay have a duty to rebuke prelates of whatever rank. Power corrupts, as Lord Acton observed. Even bishops of Rome have served the Church badly for one reason or another; the most recent example was Paul VI. Saint Catherine of Siena was not afraid to admonish Pope Gregory XI.

Fr McDonald's views tend towards Ultramontanism of an outdated and unhealthy kind.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

In this matter is not correct to argue that "silence is assent."

Were that the case, everyone single one of us approves of or gives consent to every single sinful action taken by someone known to us that we did not speak up against.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree) —Latin proverb

"When he ought to have spoken" is the essential phrase in the maxim for the present discussion.

There is NO "ought" in Fr. Zuhlsdorf's call for signatures. No priest, or layperson for that matter, "ought" to sign the petition. There is no moral or legal compulsion to do so. They are completely free to sign and equally free not to sign.

Fr. Z's threat - "Tell them you’ll be watching the list." is nothing more than a third grade bully's tactic. He is attempting to compel people to sign, using a blatant threat in order to force people to do what he wants, what he thinks is right and good.

Anonymous said...

Father, I think petitions are horrible, but let's say you get 3 or 4 every week demanding that you stop preaching about the sin of adultery. You know some of the parish council is involved but aren't sure whom. Each of these petitions comes with a veiled threat to damage your reputation, your parochial vicar's, St Joseph's status in the community, the viability of the school, the diocese, etc. That is an immense burden.

Wouldn't the faithful be obliged to gather around you and say, "Father, these petitions offensive, we know the threats are false, and we will support you in continuing to preach as the Church always has. We are with you, and we sign our names to this effect."

I really don't know how you do that across the globe, but I do see this as such an effort. I have not read all the various interpretations of commenters across the innerwebs who might try to distort the intention, and I am ok with that.


God bless,
Steven

JusadBellum said...

What's the most often cited reason for pastors to NOT bring up some controversial topic in a homily? For that matter, what's the most often cited reason for bishops to avoid controversial statements?

The bruited presumption that defending some Catholic doctrine would do more harm than good. The presumption that the people (the great unwashed in the pews) will rebel even further and take their money with them.

But I think it's not just fear of the people as much as fear of the peers... if bishops think a good portion of their priests won't follow their orders, many won't give the orders.

So going on the record to tell one's boss that you will follow if they uphold traditional Catholic morals is not an action of "democracy" as much as it is an action to assure them of obedience in the face of a hostile non-Catholic or 'ex-Catholic) cultural milieu.

The sad fact is that there are relatively few "damn the torpedoes" type leaders. Most people are just not made for that sort of visionary leadership. Most are administrators or people who can run big enterprises well.

Good administrators tend not to be 'rock the boat' types and rock the boat types tend not to be good administrators. But we need both for the Church (and society) to function.

Look at Obama and Hillary - NEITHER got ahead of the 'demos' on gay marriage. They're not leaders, they're followers. It was only the gay movement seizing the various high grounds of cultural power that gave the politicians courage to suddenly "evolve" their stance.

The same is unfortunately true for many clergymen.

Lefebvrian said...

Also, with regard to the argument that this petition should not be signed because doing so supports democracy in the Church...

It should be recalled that this synod's planning began with the Vatican's sending out a questionnaire to the people.

MR said...

I'm very saddened to read this, Father. I hope that you will reconsider and sign the petition.

gobshite said...

Looks like it's "pile on the Pastor day".

It is probably unfortunate...like getting an endorsement from Barack HUSSEIN Obama, but I agree with you.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many bogus priests will try to sign the petition. I could pick out a few suspects from right here.

Warren A. said...

Sign the petition.

1. Think of its promotion as a counterweight to the mainstream media's support of dissenting voices.

2. Priests who go on record as standing up for the institution of marriage are a sign to/for the faithful that they too should publicly defend the teachings of the Church.

A petition that asks clergy to identify themselves as faithful or not has a constructive or instructive goal: goats (non-signers) to the left; sheep to the right. The Lord doesn't need our witness. He wants our witness because the world needs our witness.

Christ's promise and gift to His Church confirms we can trust the Holy Spirit to protect the Pope from teaching error. However, we have seen how a pope can teach the Faith and be ignored: e.g. Blessed Paul VI, Humanae Vitae. The petition can have the effect of inhibiting the spread of dissent. Perhaps not by much, but promoting its message will help save some souls otherwise imperilled by silence on the issue.

Domingo said...

Father I am surprised at your opinion. I wish you would sign the petition.

Cameron said...

Who am I to judge?! comment number one, what are you talking about? Fr. Z has directed this at American priests because he is an American priest. Duh!

Who am I to judge?! said...

@Cameron
What I'm objecting to is the assumption on the part of certain groups (whether it be US traditionalists, German liberal bishops or, for that matter, San Francisco liberal post-Catholics) that if they stamp their feet, the pope should cave in to their demands.

This petition is every bit as detrimental as the full-page ad against Archbishop Cordileone, regardless of the merits of its point of view.

Dialogue said...

Cameron,

That is exactly Who's point: in the age of the "preferential option for the poor", the views of wealthy US Catholics are no more valuable than the views of wealthy German Catholics.

Also, Fr. Z is a priest of the Italian Diocese of Velletri.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Hello, in our system the Vatican did what it has the authority to do.

Dialogue said...

Fr. McDonald,

Interestingly, I submitted a comment on FR. Z's site questioning the pressure tactics he's advocating. The comment went into "moderation", then he deleted it. In other words, he's pressuring priests to question the pope's intentions, but he won't allow anyone to question his own intentions. This is not constructive behavior.


--JBS

rcg said...

FrAJM, consider this: if you wanted to sign it would you change course because of what you perceive as coercion? So what is the most important aspect of this situation? The defense of marriage, et al, or the appearance of your authority? That last bit was harsh and I don't mean for it to be that way, but again, what is the most important concern? Would it be worse for people to think that the clergy do not support or defend the teachings of the Church or that some believe they forced you? I agree the last phrase of Fr Z's paragraph is a bit off putting. But it might also be an encouragement: " go for it pastor! We support you and look anxiously for you to cast you name into the arena! We will support you,"

Henry said...

Fr. McDonald,

Looking again at the reasons you cite, and wondering why they seem not to address the particular petition under discussion, it occurred to me that you may not have actually read it in full detail before responding to the request to sign it. Because on the basis of reading (and admiring) many thousands of words you have written over the years, I could not find anything in this petition that you would not seem sure to support wholeheartedly.

Similarly, it appears likely to me that some in this thread have commented on the petition without reading it. Therefore, the body of the petition is quoted below for all to see plainly.

Note that it is NOT a petition to the pope and does not mention him (so your 3rd reason seems inapplicable). It looks to me more like simply a statement of adherence to Catholic belief. I understand that (as JBS points out) priests are subject to constraints that do not apply to laymen. But surely there is nothing in this petition that any bishop could conceivably object to his priests affirming:

”Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.”

“We commit ourselves anew to the task of presenting this teaching in all its fullness, while reaching out with the Lord’s compassion to those struggling to respond to the demands and challenges of the Gospel in an increasingly secular society. Furthermore we affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and the millennial conviction that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.”

“We urge all those who will participate in the second Synod in October 2015 to make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching, so that confusion may be removed, and faith confirmed.”

rcg said...

Cut and paste this in your browser

http://youtu.be/xWGAdzn5_KU

George said...

"Catholics in a public state of mortal sin as it concerns living with a person in a marriage-like union outside of the Church's teaching on marriage will find solutions that will return them to the full communion of the Church.' Do many Catholics take mortal sin seriously anymore? Even after an annulment and confession, reparation will have to be made for these sins. Just like when man's law is violated, and punishment is levied for the transgression, so it in likewise with God' law. More so is God's Justice due satisfaction than man's, since we owe him our very existence and the opportunity He has merited and given to us our for Eternal salvation.


gobshyte said...

Nothing seems to make folks here happier than the third Spiritual Work of Mercy....ADMONISH THE SINNER. And you know who "they" are.....

Y'all can spot a mortal sinner from a mile away.

Paul said...

Don't forget that praying on the matter is ALWAYS something to do and counts most to the one who matters. The one vote that truly matters.

Things not going correctly? Pray about it. Skittish on The Pope? Pray about it.

This is nothing new. It is what He said to do.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Warren said, "A petition that asks clergy to identify themselves as faithful or not has a constructive or instructive goal: goats (non-signers) to the left; sheep to the right. The Lord doesn't need our witness. He wants our witness because the world needs our witness."

This is malarkey and is a continuation of Fr. Zuhlsdorf's third grader intimidation tactics.

Fr. McDonald has explained why he will not sign the petition, and it has nothing whatsoever with being an unfaithful "goat" who is, therefore, condemned to hell.

I will not sign the petition and, again, it has nothing to do with being unfaithful.

Unless you have concrete, demonstrable evidence that a member of the clergy is unfaithful, you can't honestly accuse him of being a "goat" because he refuses to sign a petition. To do so is an example of ideological extremism akin to Grover Norquist's absurd "never increase taxes" pledge.

As Fr. JBS has mentioned (April 30th, 3:35) Fr. Z is censoring those who oppose his TACTICS. This reveals, I think, that something is rotten in "Velletri."

George said...

gobshyte:
"Nothing seems to make folks here happier than the third Spiritual Work of Mercy....ADMONISH THE SINNER."

We don't need to worry about over - extending that Spiritual work - not in this age of permissiveness. It's not about making us happy.

Joan of Arc's motto: "Let God be first served."

SAF said...

To the anonymous who suggested that "fake priests" are signing this petition:
My parish's pastor is the Credo Priest who verifies the information and posts the names. I very much doubt that Father Pokorsky would post any e-signatures without verifying bona fides.
If you will post the names of any priest signatories that you have reason to doubt as genuine, do post them now.

Anonymous said...

Don't sign the petition, but then show up in Philly and pray the Rosary outside the Pontiff's hotel and meeting areas. Encourage your parishioners to go to Philly, organize groups to go and demonstrate to this Pope that some people do not agree with his pro gay, global warming and socialist nonsense. Doing so may be actions that are done through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mike

Anonymous 2 said...

Father McDonald seems to support the idea of developing “more common sense canonical annulment procedures and other pastoral solutions, vague in canon law but to be clarified,” and to envisage that this will occur “within the framework of what is already allowed.” Does the text or the intent of the petition preclude the development of such procedures and solutions? If so, why should Father McDonald sign it? Indeed, why should he sign the petition unless it clearly and unambiguously permits the development of such procedures and solutions?

If you also support the idea of developing such procedures and solutions and if the petition does not clearly and unambiguously permit this development, logically you cannot fault Father McDonald for not signing the petition.

If you nevertheless still fault Father McDonald for not signing, please explain why (a) you oppose the idea of developing such procedures and solutions or (b) if you support the idea, why the petition clearly and unambiguously permits this development. The potentially problematic language in the petition is not the language referring to the Church’s “unchanging moral teaching” but the language “we affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and the millennial conviction that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.”

Joe Potillor said...

"Pope Francis sends mixed messages, but ultimately he sides with orthodoxy and uses his God given authority as he sees fit."

Of course, as we all know the Pope had nothing to do with the heterodox statements in the Relatio ;)

It is true Truth is not determined by a democratic vote and the Church is by no means a democracy....In this stage of poor word choice by our present Holy Father, any sign is perhaps something that should be looked at.

Lefebvrian said...

I do not support an expansion of the annulment procedures and other pastoral solutions to the extent that the attempt is being made to undermine the doctrine of the Church through practices separated from those doctrines. In other words, it is key that the doctrine and practice remain in harmony, as they have always been.

The entire idea of changing the practice (to be at odds with the doctrine) is based on the faulty premise that modern man is essentially different than man was in the past.

It is clear that the doctrine cannot change. There can be no divorce and so-called remarriage -- this is nothing other than adultery. An adulterer, like any other type of sinner, cannot receive Holy Communion until they have repented, confessed, and taken steps to amend the situation. That is the pastoral solution. It is based in doctrine, and it is the same as it has always been and always will be.

For a one to assert that he does not support that "solution" because it does not provide room for enough "development" is essentially an admission that one believes the doctrine can change. In fact, that is precisely what those who support the development, like Cardinal Kasper, are openly advocating. And that is why the response is to make a showing of support for the adherence to the Church's doctrine, not as a democratic display, but as a show of solidarity with orthodox bishops.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

There are Catholics and non Catholics, who want to enter the Church) who have cases for annulments but can't get them because witnesses won't cooperate, or witnesses are dead or a previous spouse is blocking it in a vengeful way.

If a person has grounds for an annulment and can't get one because of a legal technicality, then the Church needs to pursue another course of action and I pray that the pope will do so.

Lefebvrian said...

Those are examples of practical things that would not undermine the doctrine, based on the limited info you gave. So I don't think anyone would question those sorts of situations.

If you think that sort of thing is all the pope has in mind, though, I'm afraid the facts do not support you.

DJR said...

This name appears on page 5 of the signature pages: Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowski.

DJR

rcg said...

Fr McDonald, the point you make about annulments is not a problem with the Church as doctrine and not even policy, but of process and the inept administration of the policies and doctrines. Similar to the issue with Confirmation, it seems to be related to education more than anything else.

Anonymous 2 said...

Lefebre,

Whether or not the facts support Father McDonald regarding the possibly broader agenda in play here, he cannot very well sign a petition that does not clearly and unambiguously permit even the more limited reforms he envisages, can he? If he signs it, he might be saying that he opposes things that he does not in fact oppose, and indeed that you do not oppose. Seen in this light, surely not signing is an act of integrity. This is not to impugn those who do sign even though they envisage only the same more limited reforms. They may not even see the interpretative issue. Indeed those who drafted the petition may not even see it.

As a general matter, you have to be extremely careful when signing petitions or any other document that commits you legally or otherwise. In this case, what exactly is meant by the language “the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments”? And what exactly is meant by “the millennial conviction that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony"? Does this language have a clear and unambiguous meaning as applied to the limited reforms Father McDonald is talking about? Even if you think it does and that these reforms would not be excluded by this language, others may disagree. So, again, caveat scriptor!

Anonymous 2 said...

Lefebvrian,

I inadvertently misspelled your identifier in my previous post. My apologies.

Anonymous said...

Would it have been ok to petition the Pope after Vatican II to maintain the availability of the TLM? Does the Pope's charism protect from making inadvisable disciplinary decisions and is it ever right to sign a petition to the Pope?

Lefebvrian said...

Anonymous 2, I agree with you that one should not sign a petition with which one is not in agreement.

John said...

Father, this post was a mistake.

Fr. Z and the priests who participate in petitioning the Holy Father are simply expressing their faith as taught by our Savior and God.

You may recall that Credo is an organization of faithful priests of the Church who as Father Z have done a great deal to make sure the Novus Ordo (what ever you might think of it) was finally accurately translated into English. They fought the good fight along with many others--and won-- when most catholics could not or would not act to mitigate the losses engendered by the spirit of the council.

I believe you are sincere in your efforts to improve and defend the of the Church in your part of the world. However, please remember, that the ultramontanism has been a if not condemned as heresy by the Church, it has been recognized through the years as an unhealthy theological point of view.

In your postings you generally make a deliberate attempt to be fair and balanced. I think, this time, your attempt at this came up a wee bit short.





.

JBS said...

John,

This post was not a mistake. The key problem here is the use of pressure tactics. How do you think the Holy Father will take it when he discovers that such coercion was openly employed in order to increase the number of signatures? Do you think that is likely to harden, or to soften, the Holy Father's attitude towards "marriage traditionalists"?

JBS said...

Anonymous,

That was done successfully for the Catholics of England and Wales. But notice that no public pressure tactics were employed in collecting the signatures.

John Nolan said...

Also, there is a distinction between an open letter and a petition. In 1968 a number of priests signed an open letter to The Times (London) dissenting from Humanae Vitae. Surely an open letter to a Catholic paper supporting Church teaching is hardly a matter of controversy (although why they felt they had to do it is another matter - and anyone living over here understands why).

I don't sign petitions as a rule and should any priest decline to sign this one I would not blame him. For once Fr Kavanaugh and I are singing from the same hymn sheet (although mine is of course in Latin).

John said...

FR. JBS
Normally, I would completely agree with you that pressure tactics in polite society tend to be counter productive. However, polite discourse in our Church ended in the late fifties and early sixties. The revolution made things noisy and chaotic.

So, today, one must stand up if one wants to be counted. Unfortunately, many are happy to go along to get along. However, some few will be persuaded if reminded with sufficient clarity by friends. One can always count on the committed.

Ultimately, God will sort things out but my feeling is he expects us to do our parts as well.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I'd love to join you in a rousing rendition of the Gloria from Haydn's Heiligmesse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3tpofOozS0) if, afterwards, you will share with me my classmate Fr. Jim Chepponis' "Melodic Gloria" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQbX8M_LG8M)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have come to despise Gloria's with a refrain. Cheponnis Gloria truly out of date. And I have heard his Magnificat used and of the same out of date genre as an offertory or communion hymn right in this diocese and then not all the verses used!

JBS said...

I agree about the Gloria refrains. They add too much time to a relatively minor part of the Mass.

JBS said...

Mike,

I would suggest to you that the priests being pressured to sign this petition, and being judged on the basis of whether or not they do sign, likely stand up for the Faith in many meaningful ways that are unknown to those applying this coercive pressure. This petition is not about a synod or doctrine, but about creating visible divisions among priests.

John Nolan said...

The Gloria from the Missa Sancti Bernardi de Offida (Heiligmesse) by Haydn is a staple of Oratory fare, especially at the Easter Vigil.

Cheponnis's Gloria is stirring, refreshingly not pop-style, and deserves to be better known. Although strictly speaking the Gloria should be through-composed, even the Viennese masters often repeated the opening during the piece, and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis repeats, after the Amen, 'Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, Gloria!' in a blaze of D Major.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"And I have heard his Magnificat used and of the same out of date genre as an offertory or communion hymn right in this diocese and then not all the verses used!"

Could this POSSIBLY be turned into an English sentence?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No, not possible, it is Italian syntax for added drama.

JBS said...

It is one of your funnier sentence constructions.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Perche insulti la lingua italana?

rcg said...

You could use the Van Morrison 'Gloria'. It repeats as John Nolan suggests and can be sung by the congregation.

I still think you reasons for signing it are simple hardheaded.

Anonymous said...

"I am taking a Catholic leap of faith and trusting that the Pope of the Catholic Church, despite any peccadilloes or failings he might have, to include sin, is preserved from making errors in the areas of faith and morals and will preserve the Church universal from doing so too! The successor to Saint Peter has a special charism in this regard and I will trust the Holy Spirit on this one! I will not sign the petition."

Good for you, Father.

John Nolan writes: "Last year Pope Francis lost much credibility when his all-too-obvious attempts to manipulate the synod blew up in his face."

The Pope is an adult and knows what he wants and knows how he wants it done. And if [as truth will], it all "blows up in his face," so be it.

Flavius Hesychius said...

I think, Fr. M, you meant to say, 'No, non è possibile!'

Or maybe 'Non, c'est pas possible'...

Parce que tout le monde doit parler le français...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This is the English perfect of what wrote I:

"And I have heard his Magnificat used and of the same out of date genre as an offertory or communion hymn right in this diocese and then not all the verses used!"


Here it is in Italian and it makes perfect sense:

"E ho sentito il "Magnificat" e dello stesso genere di data come offertorio e comunione inno proprio in questa diocesi, e quindi non tutti i versi usato!"

rcg said...

How can you type in Italian while waiving your arms around?