Friday, October 16, 2015


Bishop at Vatican Synod: 'One Can Still Perceive the Smell' of the 'Smoke of Satan' in Vatican Document (CNSNEWS.COM)

Archbishop Tomash Peta.  (Photo:
Voice of the Family)
Referencing Blessed Pope Paul VI's statement in 1972 that "the smoke of Satan" had entered the Catholic Church, one of the leading archbishops at the Vatican's ongoing synod (meeting) on the family, said the "smoke of Satan" tried to enter last year's meeting on the family and now "one can still perceive the smell of this 'infernal smoke' in some items" of the working document the bishops are using in the current meeting.

Archbishop Tomash Peta,  head of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Kazakhstan, added that this "smell" of the demonic is also evident in the presentations ("interventions") of "some synod fathers this year."

In his own intervention on Oct. 10 at the synod, as reported by the Catholic group Voice of the Family, Archbishop Peta remarked: "Blessed Paul VI in 1972: 'From some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.' I am convinced that these were prophetical words of the holy pope, the author of 'Humanae vitae' [On Human Life]."


Clyde Catholic said...

Well, where there is smoke, there is fire.

Anonymous said...

There is a very interesting follow up on Rorate Caeli with regards to the 13 signatories and the content of the letter delivered to Pope Francis:

"At the end of the letter there is also a dramatic warning and even if it is written in respectful language, it sounds an alarm, by saying, that, at the end of the road embarked on by Bergoglio, in imitation of the European Protestant churches, there [would be] “a collapse” in other words - the end of the Church. In a declaration the other day, Cardinal Pell, gave other two pieces of important news about what is going on. The first matches exactly what we wrote last Sunday in this paper, which is that the Kasper-Bergoglio line is in the minority. In fact Pell says: “There is large agreement on most of the points, but obviously there is some disagreement as there is a minority of elements that wants to change the teaching of the Church on the due dispositions necessary for the reception of Communion. Naturally there is no possibility of any change in the doctrine”."

It sounds to me that Pope Francis has been delivered a warning. Now I feel that we may be heading towards schism as to me it seems as if Pope Francis is forging ahead regardless ...


Anonymous said...

I don't need a three week synod to address the family issues we are facing today. I know how we got here and I know why things will get worse.

The Church and her bishops, priests, religious have not taught the catholic Faith (Doctrine, religious practices and moral teachings) for the last 50 years. Therefore people cannot understand, love or believe something they have never even heard about.

Why haven't those bishops not taught the faith and have at times allowed it to be ridiculed, abused, ignored or directly challenged all without a response? Because my mind works I am able to answer this question. I would have to come to the conclusion that the bishops and priests who have not taught the Faith is because they don't believe in the Catholic Faith. IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

And where does that leave us 50 years later. We have a pope who is causing such confusion that he is asked to his face whether or not he is in fact a Catholic. We have bishops debating whether or not to permit sacraligeous reception of the Eucharist. We have bishops who are unwilling to tell those living in objective sin to repent and believe in the Gospel. We have bishops openly stating that sodomite relationships have goodness and need to b accepted and have something to teach the Church. We have a retired Cardinal from Belgium who destroyed the Faith of millions over the course of 30 years, who shielded a priest who raped his own nephew......called by the pope to be a member of this synod on the family. There is one person and one person alone who is responsible for this scandalous mess. There is one person who allows the impression that Catholic Doctrine, that Truth, can be voted on and changed. We all know who is behind all of this.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have two observations. Everyone knows how disillusioned I've become with the traditionalists in the Church who are just as mean-spirited towards Pope Francis as the progressive heterodox were towards Pope Benedict.

The danger, though, is much greater with the traditionalist's mean-spiritedness and not approaching a particular pope in a respectful way while still making legitimate points about this, that or the other. St. Catherine of Siena gives the way.

In other words, the traditionalists are agreeing with the heterodox progressives that it is quite okay to degrade a particular pope if he doesn't fit into a particular mold. This will have devastating consequences for the Church moving forward and in a post Pope Francis era--legitimacy has been given to being disrespectful to the Papacy and particular popes, both of which are mortal sins against charity no matter who is dishing it out and no matter how righteous or indignant one might feel.

My second point is that we have to allow Pope Francis to conclude the synod and write some kind of summary or exhortation which is not on the same level as an encyclical. But by allowing heterodox voices to make various points during the synod reveals this heterodoxy and if the heterodox believe they have an ally in the pope then they are more forthcoming. The gay cabal in the Vatican seems to have come out of hiding--this is good ultimately even in a post- Francis era.

As I have said before I read and study Pope Francis in context, not silly out of context sound bites, although I understand that his ambiguous speech leads to these soundbites.

He is orthodox in a progressive way all the way from teaching about the devil and hell to the need for conversion and not being lukewarm which he preached about just this morning.

Anonymous said...

CNA has reported the following:

"In an Oct. 12 statement, a spokesperson for Cardinal Pell said that while there is strong agreement on most issues within the synod, “there is some disagreement because minority elements want to change the Church's teachings on the proper dispositions necessary for the reception of Communion.”

“Obviously there is no possibility of change on this doctrine,” it said.

“A private letter should remain private,” the statement continued, adding, “The Cardinal is aware that concerns remain among many of the Synod Fathers about the composition of the drafting committee of the final relatio and about the process by which it will be presented to the Synod fathers and voted upon.”

So concern is being expressed by Cardinal Pell who states he is a messenger for some of the synod fathers about the drafting committee appointed by Pope Francis himself. There is no ambiguity there or misstatement that can be claimed. Cardinal Pell asked that the drafting committee be expanded to include those elected on the floor of the synod. This was turned down. No ambiguity or uncertainty can be claimed there.


Anonymous said...

The Australian reported:

"Civil war has erupted at the top of the Catholic Church, with 13 ­cardinals, including Australia’s George Pell, warning the Pope in a letter that the church is in ­danger of collapsing like liberal Protestant churches in the modern era.

The cardinals say the threat of collapse has been accelerated by the “abandonment of key elements of Christian belief and practice in the name of pastoral adaptation’’.


While the Pope encourages free debate, the cardinals’ move is courageous. Some analysts believe they have put their careers on the line in defence of church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and the eucharist.

At the synod, one participant said “a little bit of smog or fog has entered the aura (auditorium)’’, a reference to Paul VI’s statement 50 years ago that “the smoke of Satan’’ had entered the church."

As the article mentions they are putting their "careers" on the line in defence of Church teaching which is more than can be said for many in the Church these days who tend to toe the party line ...


Jusadbellum said...

I've been a broken record on the need for people to meet face to face and air out their disagreements like men, in public, in the open.

I've also been a broken record on the need for people to have open air debates on controversial topics in front of their peers rather than lob verbal bombs at each other from their respective choir lofts.

I've complained about the problem with theologians not being challenged and called out on their heterodoxy - how it's almost unheard of for someone to challenge them except perhaps some daily communicant after Mass or a student in one of their classes - both of whom they are more than capable of pooh poohing or tut tuting with magisterial airs of superiority before beating a hasty retreat behind their position.

Accountability is a blessing, not a curse. What we suffer from in our age is a decided lack of institutional accountability and individual responsibility on the part of those "in charge". No one seems humble enough to listen all while praising the concept of "dialogue" which in practice is more often than not a forced monologue.

Dialogue means there are two voices. There is a combat of ideas. An argument. It necessarily means there's a disagreement and that the result may be further disagreement.

The problem then is that we AVOID confrontations and actual opportunities to "dialogue and debate". So we call each other "progressive" or "traditionalist" but when was the last time any of you actually took the "other side" out to brunch or invited them to dinner and got down to brass tacks afterwards (while smoking a cigar on the porch or nursing a cocktail?)

The manly art of argument is being lost as we all get prissy and delicate 'feels' when our cherished shibboleths are offended. But it's precisely the need to confront each other as equals with different ideas that is essential.

Our ancestors met the pagans as equals and disagreed with them on metaphysics, cosmology, and theology. The pagans would invoke Thor and the saints would invoke Jesus. The pagans would invoke their moral code and the saints would invoke the Good News. Eventually the saints won by force of both argument and theophany of healing, exorcism, martyrdom, and the heroic witness of evangelical virtues.

So both traditionalists and "progressives" who fail to do this will ultimately lose.

We need to re-engage person to person.

Secondly, about the Pope, the laity are losing patience with clergy who don't appear capable of giving an accounting for why they do X or Y act of government or say this or that thing to do with theology, economics, etc.

Merely affirming something is not satisfying anymore. We need to know WHY. Don't just tell me that modern capitalism can idolize money. Define for me who exactly you are talking about? Is it BASEL or the Federal Reserve? The Chinese communist central bankers? Who?

If you complain about the arms trade...who are you thinking about? The Russian or Pakistani arms industries supplying AK-47s and RPGs to the world's insurgencies? Or are you talking about Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, and General Electric?

If your complaint is that "people" are insufficiently armed about global warming...who are you most worried about? The Indians and Chinese who build 1 coal fired electrical plant per week....or the Americans who don't?

Because Popes and bishops tend not to get or hear negative feedback, they don't seem to realize that their messages are less and less effective. No one knows who they're talking about so we're all left guessing.

One day the Pope might condemn ISIS and the next condemn any foreign intervention (i.e. bombing or arms shipments to the region). This leaves most people confused as to what the Pope suggests "we" do about ISIS' atrocities. Bishops may call for a minimum wage hike or open borders...but then don't explain where the money is going to come from magically to make this all happen.

Anonymous said...

"Orthodox in a progressive way..." Fr, what in the Hell are you talking about? Yeah, and black is white, up is down, and dogs are cats.

Marc said...

Traditionalists (read: Catholics) get upset with the pope when he fails to uphold Catholic doctrine, confuses people, and puts souls in danger.

Progressives get upset with the pope when he fails to change doctrine, doesn't confuse people, and speaks about care for souls.

Do you see any difference between these, Father?

Anonymous said...

I read "orthodox in a progressive way . . ." as recognizing that maintaining the doctrines, teachings, of the Church is vital, while seeking ways to actualize those teachings humanely. The pastoral cannot, must not, contradict or undermine the doctrinal. However, true pastors must continually seek sound, humane approaches to applying Church teaching, while never contradicting or undermining that teaching. It is a continuous challenge.

In the process of reconciling the doctrinal and the pastoral, confusion and dissent must not be sown. It is here that Pope Francis has not been consistent.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Progressives (read: Catholics) have been reflecting on Divine Revelation since Day One of the Church's existence. At no time was it ever the teaching of the Church that further reflection under the abiding guidance of the Holy Spirit cannot lead us to deeper, and sometimes startling, understanding of that Revelation.

Anonymous said...

When you say "I've been a broken record on the need for people to meet face to face and air out their disagreements like men, in public, in the open." If you are referring to the synod the Church's teaching on marriage and homosexuality has been settled long ago.

Should liberals have been given a forum at all to express views contrary to the Church's teaching? That is the big question. I don't believe so. With any other organisation you accept the rules or you leave. This should be the same with the Church. Failure to uphold Church teaching should mean a priest, bishop or cardinal being stripped of his office. Unless and until the Church takes a stand we will continue to be rocked by division.

I question why any pope would allow this to go on.


Clyde Catholic said...

Kavanaugh, Let's see, when modern theologians "reflected on Divine Revelation," they discovered the "startling understanding" that the Bible is not the word of God, the miracles did not happen, and that existentialism is the proper tool for interpreting scripture.

DJR said...

Anonymous Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...
Progressives (read: Catholics) have been reflecting on Divine Revelation since Day One of the Church's existence. At no time was it ever the teaching of the Church that further reflection under the abiding guidance of the Holy Spirit cannot lead us to deeper, and sometimes startling, understanding of that Revelation.

There should be no doubt that "Progressives," so-called, "have been reflecting on Divine Revelation since Day One of the Church's existence."

But that begs the question: How does a "Progressive" know whether his "further reflection" is "under the abiding guidance of the Holy Spirit"?

Merely because he feels it is?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Clyde/Gene, You are wrong, again.

The theologians of Trent were "modern" in their day, too. The notion that theologians should be shut out of synodal or conciliar gatherings is preposterous, not to mention wholly unhistorical and "non-traditional".

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

We know this because God has promised it, and God's promises are trustworthy.

All of the great theologians did "speculative" work, trying to come to new understandings of Revelation, trying to find new ways to speak about God's action in the world. Not a few, who are now considered among the greats, were suspected, silenced, or questioned.

Marc said...

The very idea of someone being a "theologian" on the basis of study is wholly unhisorical and non-traditional. Historically and traditionally, those who cultivated the highest degrees of prayer and friendship with God were the "theologians" -- St. John the Theologian being the model for this.

That someone would go to university and get degrees to designate himself as a theologian is akin to someone getting a degree in philosophy calling himself a philosopher. At best, modern "theologians" are "historians of theology."

Theology is not really speculative so much as it is empirical, rooted in the experience of God cultivated in prayer. And, of course,the life of prayer is rooted in the Divine Revelation, tradition, and liturgy.

Clyde Catholic said...

Let's define modern as "post-Enlightenment." There, fixed it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Modern theologians - by modern I mean any theologian since St John the Theologian - continue the speculative work, the imaginative work, if you will, that has been done all along.

I don't know what you mean when you say the work of theologians is "empirical."

I have no doubt that many theologians today pursue their work with due attentiveness to the experience of God cultivated in prayer.

Clyde Catholic said...

We need to also make the distinction between theology and dogmatics. Dogmatics is the branch of theology that is empirical, studying revealed truth as it is established in Church doctrine and practice. Dogmatics is limited by Holy Scripture and the Creeds of the Church and her dogma. Theology can be has no limits, so you can end up with weirdness like Teilhard, simple apostasy, as in Kung and his ilk, or rank unbelief as witnessed by neo-protestantism (now threatening the Catholic Church). Dogmatics must be internally consistent with regard to its reference points in Scripture and doctrine. It has an internal theo-logic which is common language to both protestant and Catholic dogmatic theologians. A Catholic dogmatic theologian, such as Pope Benedict, can and did sit down with Karl Barth to fruitful dialogue and understanding. Any Catholic dogmatist would be able to understand and appreciate Calvin's "Institutes" or Barth's "Church Dogmatics." They might not agree with various aspects of them, but they would be comfortable in the ballpark, so to speak. This is the basis for true ecumenical understanding. When it comes to theology in general, Ratzinger and Barth scratched their heads and shrugged over people like Teilhard and Kung. Who can understand that nonsense, anyway?

Marc said...

A good friend of mine has discussed the importance of not placing too much emphasis on human reason when it comes to theology. That being the case, speculation about God using human reason seems rather presumptuous to me unless it is tempered by corresponding level of holiness. These modern so-called theologians can engage in speculation based on reason, but it's always going to end up in Teillhard or Kung. A stop off at Aquinas or Calvin or Barth is just that -- a bump in the road to the ultimate exaltation of human reason that negates the Revelation and Tradition.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Using reason does not negate Revelation. For example, "scholasticism places a strong emphasis on dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by inference, and to resolve contradictions. Scholastic thought is also known for rigorous conceptual analysis and the careful drawing of distinctions."

Also, we know that grace builds on nature. By nature we are reasoning beings, given the gift of reason as one of the ways we "image" God. We cannot think of God or come to understand Revelation without reason.

Fides et Ratio, anyone?

Clyde Catholic said...

Kavanaugh, you are a total expert at missing the point. Does that come naturally or did you have to study?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Re: Fides et Ratio: "The encyclical posits that faith and reason are not only compatible, but essential together. Faith without reason, he argues, leads to superstition. Reason without faith, he argues, leads to nihilism and relativism."

#43:"Thomas recognized that nature, philosophy's proper concern, could contribute to the understanding of divine Revelation. Faith therefore has no fear of reason, but seeks it out and has trust in it. Just as grace builds on nature and brings it to fulfilment, so faith builds upon and perfects reason. Illumined by faith, reason is set free from the fragility and limitations deriving from the disobedience of sin and finds the strength required to rise to the knowledge of the Triune God."