Wednesday, November 30, 2016
EVEN CRUX POINTS OUT THE ABSURDITY OF THE DEAN OF THE ROMAN ROTA WHO PROMOTES A CREEPING INFALLLIBLITY TO A QUESTIONALBE PAPAL DOCUMENT AND SINS BY PRESUMPTION! AND CRUX ALSO POINTS OUT THAT THE CURRENT HOLY FATHER IS FOMENTING SCHISM BY HIS SILENCE AND/OR THREAT TO REMOVE THE RED HAT FROM CARDINALS WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS TO ADVISE THE POPE
You can read the Crux article HERE, but the following are excerpts with my comments in RED:
Msgr. Pinto: Faced with what the Church calls “irregular situations”- which he didn’t specify, but which could run from divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to gay Catholics in a civil marriage - Vito Pinto asked: “What do we do? Turn the Church into a prison? Stand at the door of the parish and say: ‘You yes [can go in], you no?'” What planet does this man live on? No one is barred from attending Mass, to include the unbaptized! However, only those who have reached the age of reason and are in a state of grace should receive Holy Communion. Those in sinful and institutionalized sinfulness in particular are not allowed to receive Holy Communion and when they do they do not receive the graces of Holy Communion and may very well be committing a sacrilege. The only person that must receive Holy Communion at Mass is the celebrant. It is required to complete the Sacrifice. The laity are highly encouraged to receive Holy ion but this is not required at every Mass, but only once a year. Frequent Holy Communion when one is in a state of grace and has observed the fast is certainly laudable and encouraged but again not required. There are graces to be received by simply "hearing" Mass!
Msgr. Pinto: The four cardinals and others within the Church who are questioning Pope Francis’s reforms and his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia are questioning “two synods of bishops on marriage and family. Not one but two! An ordinary and an extraordinary one. The action of the Holy Spirit is beyond doubt!” Really?!? Here I would insist that the good Msgr. is committing the grave sin of presumption! What seminary did he attend?
This speaks for itself without my comment and is from another commentator, not Msgr. Pinto: ...(he didn't) use the word “schism,” but he did say Francis taking away the cardinals’ red hats would create “a total war.” Even though only four cardinals have come forward, he said “they’re not the only ones” who have doubts, and they have many followers who agree with them that Amoris Laetitia leaves open some question marks.
“Whether you [or the pope] agree with what the cardinals asked, it wouldn’t be wise [to ask for their resignations] because they’re asking questions that many people have, both ‘left’ and ‘right,'” he said, adding that at the end of the day, the cardinals did what they’re supposed to do: “Advise the pope.”
(...He) said that if consulted by Pope Francis, he would advise him to invite the four cardinals for a conversation, because among other reasons, by taking the red hats away, he would be doing the opposite of what he preaches, which is inviting people to dialogue.
Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald at Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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All the dubious assertions and macho posturings from cardinals and monsignors over the last couple of weeks have been in tweets, media interviews, Q & A sessions, and other contexts where the speaker is (a) inadequately prepared (b) eager to impress and (c) not in control of the situation. Most of these monsignors have received no media training, and probably spend far too much time talking to other priests or left alone in their own company (making them prone to be garrulous when let out into the real world). So why can't they revert to the more cautious approach that they took in Pope Benedict's day, when it was normal for questions to be submitted in advance, and answers properly prepared?
I very much doubt that the Dean of the Rota is speaking at Pope Francis's behest (who would choose such an unlikely spokesman?). The fact is that they had a formal meeting back on 18 November (just before the consistory), and it's likely that Pope Francis moaned about Burke et al. and probably made an angry comment about cashiering them, giving the Dean the impression that it would go down well if he weighed in on the Pope's behalf. It's the pope's fault for creating a climate where attack-dog behaviour is seen as the way to impress the boss.
The worrying thing about all this is that all the normal channels and hierarchies in the Vatican seem to be breaking down, making a dysfunctional organization dangerously chaotic. Pope Francis has to take the blame for all of this, since rather than reforming the curia, he's allowed it to become a kind of mafia.
Kind of like " Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"
Good that you stated the only one required to receive the Eucharist at Mass is the celebrant (aka priest). In years gone by this was emphasized by the priest consuming the entire host, broken with one half fiver the other. Today the emphasis is on everyone receiving communion as the priest often consumes only as small fragment of that host and immediately distributes the rest to the extraordinary ministers. I recall Pope Benedict mentioning the benefits of Eucharistic fasting, where one voluntarily abstains from communion for a specific timeframe to place emphasis on the sacrament.
Hah! Huge de Morville, again. But this time it's 4:1 the other direction.
Father McDonald, I don't believe that your headline represents the Crux story in question. For example, where does the Crux article claim that His Holiness Pope Francis "is fomenting schism by his silence?"
In fact, the Crux article noted the following:
"Father Francis G. Morrisey, also a canon law expert, told Crux that “...[H]e doesn’t believe Francis should answer the questions either, because they’re all 'trick questions like the Pharisees asked Jesus.'"
Father McDonald, according to your headline, the Crux article stated that Pope Francis has threatened "TO REMOVE THE RED HAT FROM CARDINALS WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS TO ADVISE THE POPE."
Father, where does the Crux article claim that Pope Francis issued the above threat?
Father, contrary to your headline, the Crux article is balanced in that the reporter stated the facts in question. The article doesn't match your headline.
The article stated correctly that "Some figures in the Church have lined up behind the four cardinals...Others, such as Father Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of Civilta’ Cattolica, an authoritative Jesuit journal previewed by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, have said that Francis has already answered the questions addressed in the dubia, and in a recent op-ed for CNN defended the pope’s decision not to do so again."
Crux offered a balanced presentation of the facts that pertain to the "controversy" in question.
Father McDonald, I am sorry, but I disagree with your rendering of the Crux story.
Mark Thomas would do well to read Fr Lucie-Smith's comments in the Catholic Herald where he says "Abandoning a belief in absolute moral norms would be a catastrophe for the Church".
And it has been reported earlier that Francis promoted communion to the divorced and civilly remarried in Argentina:
A further shock for Mark Thomas will be that Scott Eric Alt (who I regard as pretty liberal) has changed his mind about Pope Francis and also raises questions about if AL is orthodox why does Francis have so much difficulty clarifying it.
"Sorry, But I’ve Changed My Mind About Pope Francis":
Mark is a one-trick pony who obviously has a deficient understanding of Catholicism, likely "educated" in the Faith after Vatican Disaster II. Due to his lack of intellectual capacity, I no longer will respond to his silly comments. It is beyond boring.
“[I]f AL is orthodox why does Francis have so much difficulty clarifying it”
Perhaps it is helpful to think about these issues in terms of practical wisdom, that is, the faculty of good judgment. Although no-one involved seems to be using this terminology, Amoris Laetitia and other documents and pronouncements elaborating upon it do refer to “discernment,” which would seem to be substantially the same thing.
It is very difficult to clarify in advance through categorical rules how the faculty of “discernment” or good judgment is to be exercised because such exercise requires responding appropriately to the particular circumstances presented by concrete situations. Moreover, one only attains this faculty through experience; and it also depends on possessing and exercising other skills and virtues, such as empathy and compassion.
Is it easier to apply hard and fast rules without regard for the concrete circumstances of real people or for factors that mitigate culpability in those circumstances? Of course. But who said being a priest was supposed to be easy? Experienced and wise confessors such as Father McDonald and Father Kavanaugh, may be in the best position to comment on this point.
TJM, I agree with what you say. I also think there is a touch of pride in MT not wishing to admit that he was wrong and that in fact he has been bashing the wrong people all along.
Anonymous 2, I can only say that although Our Lord told the woman at the well that He did not judge her he also said, "Go and sin no more". The instruction to her was to turn away from a sinful life. There were no doubt many reasons why the woman was living a sinful life and we may well have sympathized on hearing her reasons but Our Lord spoke to her in plain language. No ifs or buts. There are many reasons that any of us may engage in sinful acts, We can find many excuses to try to justify our sinful actions, but it doesn't change the fact that sin is sin and we must turn away from that life if we wish to remain in the truth of Christ. The Church has been a faithful follower of Christ for centuries in that regard. There have always been Catholics that have railed against Church teaching but it is only now, except for past heresies, that we have liberals, with a misguided sense of mercy, who hold positions of power within the Church who are leading the faithful astray by attempting to turn the Church's teaching on its head.
Is it possible the bishops and cardinals that politely praised and endorsed AL did so without also buying in to its flaws? This is a very disappointing reaction from the Vatican and by implication, Pope Francis. He had the chance to tap into some truly great minds to improve his work and to do so privately to protect the feelings of the people who contributed to it. Instead the quality of the work is called further into question by this sort of defense.
For what it's worth, journalist Christopher Lamb, a correspondent in Rome for The Tablet, has reported that according to news reports from Spain, Monsignor Pinto did not say that the Four Cardinals could lose their red hats.
From Christopher Lamb's Twitter feed:
"CORRECTION: Spanish news site says top Church lawyer did NOT say four cardinals could lose their red hats:"
Mark, I realize FrAJM wants to bury this poor horse, but that is nearly as preposterous as the now alledged original statement.
Sorry, Jan, I don't know as to how I am "wrong" about Amoris Laetitia. God calls me to submit to His Church's Teaching Authority. The last time that I checked, the Apostolic See presented Amoris Laetitia as an orthodox Apostolic Exhortation.
In turn, my bishop, who is in communion with Rome, has taught that Amoris Laetitia is an orthodox document.
In turn, as God commands me to submit to Pope Francis' authority to teach, govern, and sanctify me, as well as my bishop's authority to do the same, I accept that Amoris Laetitia is orthodox.
If obeying the Catholic Church's Magisterium is prideful, then I am prideful.
Sorry, Jan, but I refuse to join your war against His Holiness Pope Francis.
God calls me to remain attached to His Magisterium, which includes my bishop.
Again, if obeying the Holy Catholic Church marks me as "prideful," then so be it.
“Go and sin no more”
Yes, indeed, but I suspect that if you read carefully and think about the language in the documents applying Amoris Laetitia, such as the letter from the Argentine Bishops, you may well find that this language is designed to tease out and apply, in concrete situations faced by those who have divorced and remarried, exactly what it means to “sin” (due to the subjective conditions necessary for sin to be committed) as well as what it means to do so “no more” (due to other sins that could be committed as a result of living a celibate life). And in addition, of course, there are those situations where for one reason or another it has proved impossible to obtain a formal decree of annulment but the parties and the confessor consider that the substantive conditions for one may be present nevertheless.
Anonymous, would you apply your reasoning to those who commit murder and other sins? Again, Our Lord Himself didn't say to the woman that she might go on living a sinful life because of her personal situation.
I have known people in the very situation you describe and they have been faithful to what their confessor said, which was to keep attending Mass - even though they could not receive communion and the situation would be rectified. On each occasion it was indeed rectified by the death of the spouse. I know that none of these people would have ever taken communion, living in a civil marriage, even if they had been told to by their confessor. In at least one case the person was told they had an open and shut case for an annulment but the bishop didn't agree and did not sign the papers to grant it. I would have to say that knowing the person, as I did, that person lived a very holy life and was stronger for it in fact and her family are some of the few practicing the Faith to this day.
Nothing is gained by watering down the Faith and the teaching of the Church - only laxness as has been proved since Vatican II.
I understand the point you are making and it is a good one. I suspect Pope Francis and his apologists would respond by asking you to compare the concrete situation of the couples you mention with the very different concrete situation of a couple in a civil marriage in which, say, the relationship would not survive if one of the parties were to insist on celibacy, with resulting detrimental effects of a break up on the children. For example, in a conversation with Father Spadaro, Cardinal Schönborn says:
AL is located on this very concrete level of each person’s life. There is an evolution, clearly expressed by Pope Francis, in the Church’s perception of the elements that condition and that mitigate, elements that are specific to our own epoch. “The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations. Hence it can no longer simply be said that those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding ‘its inherent values,’ or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to decide differently and act otherwise without further sin. As the Synod Fathers put it, ‘factors may exist which limit the ability to make a decision’” (AL 301). . . .
Saint John Paul II did indeed distinguish a variety of situations. He saw a difference between those who had tried sincerely to salvage their first marriage and were abandoned unjustly, and those who had destroyed a canonically valid marriage through their grave fault. He then spoke of those who have entered a second marital union for the sake of the upbringing of their children and who sometimes are subjectively certain in their consciences that the first marriage, now irreparably destroyed, was never valid. Each one of these cases thus constitutes the object of a differentiated moral evaluation. There are very many different starting points in an ever deeper sharing in the life of the Church, to which everyone is called.
For the text of the full excerpt from this conversation, see http://www.laciviltacattolica.it/articoli_download/extra/INTERVISTA%20SCHONBORN%20INGLESE.pdf
It would be interesting and helpful to get the pastoral perspectives of confessors such as Father McDonald and Father Kavanaugh on these issues.
Actually, it now occurs to me that I may have misunderstood your post. Are you saying that the couples you mention committed to living a celibate life and refrained from receiving communion nevertheless, or that they were unable to make that commitment? It is not clear to me from your post.
Anonymous 2, no, I am saying that the couples concerned were in civil marriages. The couples I mentioned did not receive communion. They were counseled by their priests to keep attending Mass just the same, even though they could not receive communion. I don't know if it was ever suggested to them that they could receive communion if they led celibate lives. I read recently where a priest said his parents lived celibate lives for many years so they could receive communion, but that would be few and far between I would imagine.
So, some Catholic couples have lived celibate lives in order to receive communion, and other Catholic couples couldn't do that but didn't give up their faith because of it and brought their children up to be Catholic. But you and Pope Francis are suggesting that because some people can't do - can't be celibate and don't want to go without communion - a dispensation should be given to them and they should be allowed to receive communion? That is simply not the Church's teaching and never has been.
You could make that distinction for every mortal sin under the sun and allow people to receive communion: John and Sue want to limit their family. They decide to use an artificial means of contraception. They don't want to go without communion - grant them a dispensation. Dan and Sarah can't use any means of contraception so they choose abortion - grant them a dispensation.
John and Tim are homosexuals - they don't want to lead celibate lives - grant them a dispensation.
Harold has committed murder and he's not sorry about it and would do so again if he had the chance - grant him a dispensation.
I could go on but you get the picture ...
Anonymous 2 you say "AL is located on this very concrete level of each person’s life. There is an evolution, clearly expressed by Pope Francis, in the Church’s perception of the elements that condition and that mitigate, elements that are specific to our own epoch." So you and Francis are suggesting that the Church change her teaching depending on the age - in other words conform to the world.
The Church is in a sorry state because of Francis's constant chipping away at the Church's teaching because of a misguided view of mercy, and it is leading people like yourself astray and away from the true teaching of the Church. That is the very reason why those four cardinals have submitted their dubia to Francis. The Church will continue to be in this sorry state until he correct himself or others do that for him and I suspect it will be the latter.
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