Friday, August 14, 2015


All Christians are sinners to include Catholics, both clergy and laity. It is noble to admit one's sin and repent of them, especially by going to Confession and then making a firm resolution not to sin again.

But the Church of England and its counterparts here and abroad seem to think sin is grace and forgiveness a weakness and they associate God with evil. The Anglican Communion, once a stogy, conservative institution that was flourishing in many places, although a refuge for the upper crust,  and very Catholic but with a skewed protestantism, has lost its soul.

They are pro-choice, pro-unnatural marriage, and now pro-euthanasia. Read on from the Deacon's Bench. The following is not only blasphemous but also seems to me to be the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit: to call evil good or associate God with evil:

Former archbishop of Canterbury calls assisted suicide “profoundly Christian and moral”

Allowing doctors to help terminally ill people to take their own lives would be a “profoundly Christian and moral thing” to do, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has insisted.
Archbishop_george_carey1He dismissed arguments that enduring pain at the end of life is a “noble thing” and insisted that proper legal safeguards could be devised to ensure vulnerable people are not pressurised into ending their lives by greedy relatives.
His remarks, ahead of a Commons vote on assisted dying, underline a growing rift with the official position of the Church he once led.
It came as one senior Church of England official condemned the attempts to change Britain’s euthanasia laws as “criminally naive”.
Read on. 
Lest we forget, from the catechism:
2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.
2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of “over-zealous” treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.
Meanwhile, the words and example of St. John Paul II remain both powerful and poignant. He wrote in 1984:
Down through the centuries and generations it has been seen that in suffering there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ, a special grace. To this grace many saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and others, owe their profound conversion. A result of such a conversion is not only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as it were, of his entire life and vocation. 
National Catholic Register also has this timely reflection from a woman suffering from depression:
The understanding that my depression could be offered as a sacrifice for a specific or general intention was enormously helpful.  It seemed this fact alone helped lift some of the burden, knowing my suffering wasn’t just a complete waste – it had value!   When we unite the suffering God has permitted in our lives to His suffering on the Cross, we participate in His plan for the world.  As Fr. John Bartunek has so beautifully said, “God has consciously chosen to give us the possibility of making a difference in his Kingdom. We are not just along for the ride. What we do and how we choose to live our ordinary lives can actually increase the flow of grace in the world, spreading Christ’s Kingdom and storing up treasure for us in heaven. Jesus has not only saved us from damnation, but he has given us the possibility of becoming active, meritorious collaborators in the work of redemption. Not because we deserve it, but simply because he generously wanted to give us that possibility: he wanted our lives to have real meaning, our actions and decisions to have eternal repercussions. His love makes us friends and collaborators, not just his robots or spiritual trophies.”
Pope John Paul II pointed out the supernatural benefit attached to suffering, including his own Parkinson’s disease, when we offer it in this way: “In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ” (Salvifici Doloris).


qwikness said...

I wonder. Ecumenicism seems to be a two way street. If we are trying to open communications with other religions but they are going in a wayward direction then what are we doing?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I received a highly disrespectful, and thus uncharitable remark about the pope, which was not only disrespectful, but false, and calumny and thus a high mortal sin. I deleted it.

The Holy Father has consistently spoken of the throw away culture and condemned it not only referring to abortion but all the other forms of genocide our culture and some religious leaders are promoting. To say otherwise about our Holy Father is an outrage.

Anonymous said...

I think every Catholic should read Piux XI's stalwart encyclical Mortalium Animos.

Ecumenism as we know and practice it today is an embarrassment and has no place in our Catholic heritage. Ecumenism happens when those who are outside of the Church join. Period.

It is disgraceful that we keep talking about "oneness" with our separated brethren, when more and more of our brethren's religious groups accept contraception, deny portions of the Bible and flat-out reject natural law.

Ecumenism IS a two-way street and, so far, it looks like the only religion that has made any effort has been the Catholic religion. The result? More fallen away Catholics and fewer Protestants converting.

Our "new evangelization" game plan is a proven loser. Sorry, but it's time to get beyond the warm fuzzy talk and face facts.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, absolutely gone mad....the Episcopal Church here in the US peaked at about 3.6 million members around 1965, now is down to about 1.8 million---less than one-fifth the population of Georgia these days. Their new presiding bishop, Michael Curry (of the Diocese of North Carolina) made headlines by being elected their first black presiding bishop, but while bishop of his diocese opposed a same-sex marriage ban in 2012 that was backed by the state's two Catholic bishops, and he authorized same-sex "blessings" over 10 years ago. The denomination has been electing far-lefties (as their presiding bishops) since the mid 1980s, with the numbers accordingly tumbling...many parishes and even dioceses have been attempting to go their own way, as seen by the litigation in recent years involving the conservative, Charleston-based Diocese of South Carolina and the national Church.

It would be nice---but naïve---to think the liberal trend in that Church is confined to the Obama-friendly Northeastern states and far West. But Atlanta's Episcopal bishop (in since 2012) has supported same-sex unions (as your know Fr M down in Macon with the instance of the two gay Episcopal priests you have mentioned live with each other down there). His predecessor, Neil Alexander, supported the consecration of openly gay and "married" (to a man) Gene Robinson (bishop of New Hampshire), and now Alexander promotes his left-wing theology 150 miles or so up the road from Atlanta at Sewanee (dean of school of theology there). Also here in Atlanta, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in midtown Atlanta (near Georgia Tech) had an interfaith service to "celebrate" the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. Nor are things much better in the Savannah-based Episcopal Diocese of Georgia (whose boundaries largely overlap the Savannah Catholic Diocese, save for Columbus and Macon which are in the Atlanta Episcopal Diocese)---their bishop, Scott Benhase (who previously pastored a church in the very liberal Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC), announced his support for the "right" to gay marriage (though a bit mushy on whether that should also happen in the Episcopal Church).

There are some places of sanity in that Church---such as St. John's Episcopal Church in Savannah, which still uses the older, more traditional 1928 Book of Common Prayer, has all-male clergy, and does not embrace the "anything goes" sexual mores of the Church today. But such places are pretty rare these days---and expect more "secession" movements from Episcopal parishes who have had enough with moral laxity in their denomination.

Jusadbellum said...

I believe Vatican II and other documents point that the ecumenism that works is the ecumenism of the saints.

If we would be one, it will either be in hell or in heaven. The world, flesh and devil are creating a vast secular materialist global movement that does promote a species of unity. The global communists and now the various post-Christian secular progressive moral manias (sexual revolutionaries) promote a unity in their sin that is indeed global in ambition.

What we are seeing among the Anglicans and others is apostasy from heaven to join this global sexual revolution allied with the global socialist/progressive program. Gog and Magog. They do indeed promote unity despite diversity but the end result is not divinization in Heaven with Christ, but animalization in hell with Satan.

The culture of death mimics and apes the culture of life. The anti-Church mimics and apes the Church of God. If we, disciples of Christ would become one in Him, then we must start not with theological debates but with our lives conforming as much as possible with the One who saves our souls from the pit.

Reform your life and your heart and the intellectual cobwebs keeping us apart will fall away. But we might have 99% correspondence in doctrine but if our hearts are filled with lusts for the world, flesh, and devil....what good will it do us?

In my experience the ecumenism that does the most to bridge gaps is that of 'the trenches'. When you are shoulder to shoulder with other Christians outside an abortion clinic....or in a scout or AHG troop or helping serve the poorer Christians among us.... that's when we grow closer.

I've not much use for the theological debating societies who vainly attempt to paper over differences.

Acknowledging that we have real and important doctrinal differences that stem from radically different presuppositions is step one. No amount of theological debate or "dialogue" is going to change that. Protestants declared that the sacramental system was dross on the aboriginal Gospel and that consequently the Church cannot be hierarchical or sacramental. If they end up agreeing it won't be organic but by chance.

But while our doctrinal differences remain, we do have doctrinal congruence or even outright agreement (as haphazard and/or by chance as it may be) in some areas and our moral behavior may agree. And thus we can and ought to work together on some projects for the common good or our own mutual benefit.

In that arena, the ones' who do the lion's share of work are NOT the theologians or respective religious authorities but the laity.

Ultimately it will be the laity who settle the mess. Ecumenism - that all may be one - will come through saints not negotiated settlements. Only the power of holiness which comes from the lived closeness in and through Christ and His Spirit, the Lord, the giver of Life, who "renews the face of the earth" will heal our wounds.

For the Protestant revolt was the effect of wounds - great scandalous wounds to the Body of Christ at the hands of Popes, Cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, monks, and the elite laity of those ages.... everyone cried for reform in the 13th and 14th centuries but there was no or little clear leadership and much, much bad example that disposed the laity to lose their faith.

Like desperate lost sheep they erroneously concluded that their leaders' sinful lives were due to false doctrine rather than practical atheism and structures of sin and so jettisoned the Catholic doctrine on the assumption that it was this doctrine that created the structures of sin rather than the structures of sin that occluded the doctrine.

If we both are in love with Christ, then, and only then will our love for one another be genuine and blessed. In love then might we stand a chance to re-examine the doctrinal trajectory of the 14th and 15th centuries and discover why our ancestors made the choices and took the measures they did and so rediscover the error at the root of the Revolt.

Lefebvrian said...

The Protestant heresy has at its root the sin of pride and self-reliance. It is no wonder, then, that modern Protestantism is so heavily influenced by liberalism. As a result, it has completely succumbed to modernism, with its focus on individualized religious sentiment, and historical-criticism, with its focus on scientism and presumed empiricism.

In plain terms, modern Protestantism lacks the supernatural gift of faith. It is no wonder that its "doctrines" are subjected to an ends-driven methodology.

This is a good lesson for the laity of the Catholic Church as our bishops prepare for their October meeting to further hasten their diabolical goal of destroying the Church of Christ. We have to be vigilant and resist their attempts to force us to buy into their errors just as the saintly laypeople did during the Arian crises.

Mark Thomas said...

Father Allan J. McDonald said..."I received a highly disrespectful, and thus uncharitable remark about the pope, which was not only disrespectful, but false, and calumny and thus a high mortal sin. I deleted it.

"The Holy Father has consistently spoken of the throw away culture and condemned it not only referring to abortion but all the other forms of genocide our culture and some religious leaders are promoting. To say otherwise about our Holy Father is an outrage."

Dear Father, I am unaware obviously of the exact words of the remark that you deleted. But it is clear from your statement that somebody had claimed that His Holiness Pope Francis has not condemned, at least not frequently, the "throw away" culture of death.

Father, I don't know as to the "category", if you will, of the person in question...that is, liberal, conservative, moderate, Traditionalist...etc.

But on many Traditionalist blogs, I have encountered frequently the claim that Pope Francis has remained silent on abortion, contraception, and the persecutions of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere.

At the Traditionalist blogs in question, I have countered that claim with statements from Pope Francis that have featured his numerous condemnations of abortion, contraception, and persecutions directed against Christians.

For example, just a week or so ago, Pope Francis issued another blistering condemnation of the persecutions against Christians in the Middle East.

But Father, the folks who have claimed that Pope Francis has remained silent in regard to the Culture of Death have rigged their game...have stacked the deck against Pope Francis.

That is, they claim that the Pope has remained silent about the Culture of Death. But when they are confronted with the Pope's condemnations after another of abortion and persecutions against Christians, the haters of Pope Francis respond as follows:

"Ummm...well...okay, he has condemned abortion, contraception, and the persecution of Christians, but, ummm, he really didn't mean it."

Father, I promise you, that that is the response that I have received on Traditionalists blogs. When their claims against Pope Francis have been exposed as false, they simply rig their game against the Pope..."ummm, he really doesn't mean it when he condemns abortion, contraception, persecutions..."


The haters of Pope Francis have stacked the deck in their favor. Even when they wrong beyond question, they simply won't admit to their error.


Mark Thomas

Jusadbellum said...

The haters of Pope Francis are animated by two fundamental passions.

1) What the Pope says and does in the waging of culture war
2) What personnel the Pope promotes or demotes and how this affects the culture war

The thesis is that any act that helps or appears to help the enemy is at least sinful if not outright treason against the Kingdom.

So defenders of the Pope must defend him on two fronts: Are his acts/words/omissions per se, immoral? Yes or no....and connected to this but fundamentally different: could the enemies of the Church effectively use his words and deeds to promote or advance their agenda while dispiriting the saints?

Using St. John Paul II as an example... the encyclical Veritatis Splendor hit the scene like a bombshell and simultaneously provoked vast gnashing of teeth on the side of the liberal/left/progressive/modernist front and cheers from the traditional/conservative/orthodox front.

No one could spin VS as really something other than it was. It's pretty hard to spin any of JP2's encyclicals.

Now, plenty of rad-trad people didn't like particular things JP2 did - gestures like the Assisi gatherings or kissing a Koran or other diplomatic gestures. And they complained about this or that bishop being named to this or that post, but no one doubted where he was coming from theologically or where he was leading the Church.

With Pope Francis, there's uncertainty in both his actions and in the direction his personnel decisions are leading us to.

With JP2 some bishops or cardinals or priests were liberal...some where conservative. With Pope Francis is seems like every appointment is liberal and everyone punished is conservative.

With JP2 his written and verbal statements were classic Catholicism 101, elaborations on Humane Vitae, etc. not easy to confuse as to what it's leading towards...whereas with Pope Francis his off the cuff remarks are decidedly not as technically accurate and thus allows for a wider diversity of interpretation.

Thus the enemies of the Church find it easier to co-opt Pope Francis as "one of their own" and use him (fairly or unfairly) as a battering ram to promote their agendas than they would have been able to use JP2 or B16.

I personally think Pope Francis' encyclicals are understandably orthodox....BUT that's because I've read the whole document. Take them apart paragraph by paragraph and they can be shoe horned into a secular progressive interpretive matrix rather easily. It might be wishful thinking and inaccurate but in the culture war, it doesn't much matter so long as victory over whole nations is effective by hook or crook.

So... that people hate Pope Francis or his teaching is largely due to his own tendency to be vague and his own leadership style that does lend itself to misinterpretation.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree with earlier comments that ecumenism has no place in our Catholic heritage. The pro-life movement is an example of such work---Catholics working with evangelicals to promote a culture of life via opposition to abortion and euthanasia. Granted pro-life victories are incremental---that is just the political reality with the Supreme Court of recent decades---but how could the movement even be modestly effective if we were to separate by Catholic and non-Catholic? Another example of ecumenism has been the Anglican Ordinariate, in which former Anglicans become Catholic while still retaining much of their prized Book of Common Prayer.

But if any denomination bears more blame for lack of ecumenical progress than the Anglicans, I can't think of it. Hope from the 1960s proved just that---in the 1970s, the Episcopal Church began ordaining women priests. That led to woman bishops by 1990 and with that a lot of the sexual liberty ("anything goes") that has corrupted the Church. If Anglicans had been serious about ecumenism, they would have thought twice about ordaining women as priests and bishops---but no, in with trendiness these days, or the times as they say. That explains in large part why past popes have been more pursuant of reunion with the Orthodox, though I don't see how the two sides can find any realistic agreement given their differences over the role of the papacy, the Filioque, indulgences, divorce and remarriage and some other matters. Guess we have to let the Holy Spirit work on that, and if it ever happens, probably decades away.

But we should not be so smug ourselves as Catholics--the old saying is the second largest denomination in America after Catholics is ex-Catholics. Think of all the Catholic politicians who have undermined traditional morality in this country---Geraldine Ferraro, Teddy Kennedy, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, Barbara Mikulski, And it was a Catholic Supreme Court justice, Anthony Kennedy, who gave us gay marriage earlier this summer and who reaffirmed ROE back in the early 1990s (Planned Parenthood v Casey). Like the old saying, "we have met the enemy, and he is us".......

Anonymous said...

"The Holy Father has consistently spoken of the throw away culture and condemned it not only referring to abortion but all the other forms of genocide our culture and some religious leaders are promoting. To say otherwise about our Holy Father is an outrage."

Ok. Since you say the Holy Father has CONSISTENTLY spoken about and CONDEMNED abortion etc.....please site verbatim 3 times that he has done this as pope. He is going on 3 years as pope. Name 3 times he has CONDEMNED abortion, euthanasia and practicing homosexuality. Name an example for each sin and cite the source.Good luck.

The Moderate Jacobite said...

This is precisely what one would expect once the magisterium is left behind.

That said, honesty demands that it be noted that Justin Welby (current Anglican archbishop of Canterbury) has spoken out against the assisted suicide bill.

The has been noted:

For those in Canada and the U.S.:

For those in Great Britain:

For those in Australia:

Anonymous said...

I should have emphasized: Ecumenism AS WE KNOW IT has no place in our Catholic heritage.

Ecumenism is great. But we have to be realistic about what it is and what it isn't. And the current model is what ecumenism ISN'T, not to mention it fails every time it's tried.