“…this missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used… Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. … Accordingly, no one whatsoever is permitted to infringe or rashly contravene this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, direction, will, decree and prohibition. Should any person venture to do so, let him understand he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”
Pope St. Pius V, Papal Bull, QUO PRIMUM,
Tridentine Codification of the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor
March 18, 2018
“We are not unaware,” says St. Leo, “that among all Christian celebrations the Paschal mystery holds the first place. Our manner of living throughout the whole year, by reforming our ways, ought to give us the dispositions for keeping it worthily and in a fitting manner. These present days which we know to be close to that most sublime sacrament of divine mercy, require devotion in a yet higher degree” (Second Nocturn). The mystery of which St. Leo speaks, is our Redeemer’s Passion, whose anniversary is close at hand. Priest and Mediator of the New Testament, Jesus will soon ascend His Cross, and the blood which He will shed He will offer to His Father, entering into the Holies which is heaven itself (Epistle). The Church sings: “All hail, thou Mystery adored! Hail, Cross! on which the Life Himself died, and by death our life restored!” (Hymn of Vespers). The Eucharist is the memorial of this boundless love of a God for men for when instituting it our Lord said: “This is my Body which shall be delivered for you; this chalice is the new testament in My Blood. Do this …in commemoration of Me” (Communion).
What is the response of man to all these divine favors? “His own received Him not,” says St. John, speaking of the welcome which the Jews gave Jesus. “For good they rendered Him evil and prepared for Him nothing but insults.” You, our Lord told them, “dishonor me,” and in fact, the Gospel shows us the ever-growing hatred of the Sanhedrin.
Abraham, the father of God’s people, firmly believed the divine promises which heralded the future Messiah; and in Limbo his soul, which, as believing was beyond the reach of eternal death, rejoiced to see these promises fulfilled in the coming of Christ.
But the Jews, who ought to have recognized in Jesus the Son of God, greater than Abraham and the prophets, because eternal, misunderstood the meaning of His words, insulted Him by treating Him as a blasphemer and possessed, and tried to stone Him (Gospel). And God tells Him in the person of Jeremias: “Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord…For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city and a pillar of iron and wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof and to the priests and to the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee” (First Nocturn).
“I seek not my own glory,” says Jesus, “there is one that seeketh and judgeth” (Gospel). And by the mouth of the psalmist He goes on: “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.” This “lying” people our Lord declared to be the Jews. The psalmist continues: “Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies…from the unjust man Thou wilt deliver me” (Gradual). “The Lord who is just will cut the necks of sinners” (Tract). God will not permit men to lay their hands on Jesus until His hour is come (Gospel), and when that hour of sacrifice came, He snatched His Son from the hands of evil men by raising Him from the dead. This death and resurrection had been foretold by the prophets and typified in Isaac when, on the point of being sacrificed at God’s command by Abraham his father he was restored to life by almighty God, his place being taken by a ram who became a type of the Lamb of God, offered in man’s stead.
Thus our Lord, in His first coming, was to be humbled and made to suffer; not until later will He appear in all His power. But the Jews, blinded by their passions, could appreciate only one kind of coming, a coming in triumph, and so scandalized by the Cross of Christ, they rejected Him. In their turn, almighty God rejected them, while graciously receiving those who put their trust in the redemption of Jesus Christ, uniting their sufferings to His. “Rightly, and under the guidance of the Holy Ghost,” says St. Leo, “did the holy Apostles institute these days of more rigorous fasting, so that by a common sharing in the Cross of Christ, even we ourselves may do something towards uniting ourselves with the work that He has accomplished for us. As St. Paul says: “If we suffer with Him, we also shall be glorified with Him.” Where we find our Lord’s sufferings being shared, there we can look on the attainment of the happiness promised by Him as a thing safe and assured.”
Today’s station is in the Basilica of St. Peter, raised on the site of Nero’s circus where the prince of Apostles died, like His Divine Master on a cross.
In recalling our Lord’s Passion, the anniversary of which draws near, let us remember that if we are to experience its saving effects we must, like the Master, know how to suffer persecution for justice sake. And when as members of God’s family, we are persecuted with and like our Lord, let us ask of God, that we may be “governed in body” and kept in mind.
Ps.42. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy, deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man, for Thou art my God and my strength.
Ps. Send forth Thy light and Thy truth; they have conducted me, and brought me unto Thy holy hill, and into Thy tabernacles. Judge me, etc.
We beseech Thee, almighty God, to look down mercifully upon Thy family, that by Thy great goodness it may be governed in body and by Thy holy keeping be guarded in mind. Through our Lord, etc.
Mercifully hear the prayers of Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that all adversities and errors being overcome, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord, etc.
EPISTLE: Heb. 9, 11-15.
Brethren, Christ being come, as High Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation: neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by His own Blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and of oxen and the ashes of a heifer, being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleaning of the flesh: how much more shall the Blood of Christ, who, by the Holy Ghost, offered Himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God? And therefore He is the Mediator of the new Testament: that by means of His death, for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former Testament, they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
St. Paul here teaches that Jesus Christ has given full satisfaction for the sins of men, and opened to all the entrance into the sanctuary. The Church proposes this epistle to us in order that we may thank God for the great mercy of the redemption, love and praise Him, and be encouraged to share in His sufferings by fasting, prayer, and penitential works.
Give us, Thy grace, O meekest Jesus, that by true sorrow for our sins, and by the practice of good works, we may become partakers of Thy bitter sufferings, and obtain the promised inheritance of eternal life. Amen.
Ps. 142. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord; teach me to do Thy will.
Ps. 17. Thou art my deliverer, O Lord, from the angry nations, Thou wilt lift me up above them that rise against me, from the unjust man Thou wilt deliver me.
Ps. 128. Often have they fought against me from my youth. Let Israel now say: Often have they fought against me from my youth, but they could not prevail over me. The wicked have wrought upon my back, they have continued their iniquities: the Lord who is just hath cut the necks of sinners.
GOSPEL: John 8, 46-59.
At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe Me? He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered and said to Him: Do not we say well, that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honor My Father, and you have dishonored Me. But I seek not My own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep My word, he shall not see death for ever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the Prophets: and Thou sayest: If any man keep My word, he shall not taste death forever. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost Thou make Thyself? Jesus answered: If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing: it is My Father that glorifieth Me, of whom you say that He is your God, and you have not known Him: but I know Him: and if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it and was glad. The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou art not yet fifty years old: and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.
Why did Christ ask the Jews, which of them should convince Him of sin?
To show us that he who would teach and punish others, should strive to be irreproachable himself; and to prove that He, being free from sin, was more than mere man, and therefore, the Messiah, the Son of God, as He repeatedly told the Jews, especially in this day’s gospel, and substantiated by His great and numerous miracles.
Why did He say: He that is of God, heareth the words of God?
To prove that the Jews on account of their stubbornness and unbelief were not the children of God, but of the devil. “Therefore,” St. Gregory says, “let every one when he hears the word of God, ask himself, of whom he is. Eternal truth demands that we be desirous of the heavenly fatherland, that we tame the desires of the flesh, be indifferent to the praises of the world, covet not our neighbor’s goods, and give alms according to our means. Therefore examine yourself, and if you find in your heart this voice of God, then you will know that you are of God.”
Ps. 118. I will thank Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart. Give bountifully to Thy servant; I shall live and keep Thy words; enliven me according to Thy word, O Lord.
May these offerings, we beseech Thee, O Lord, loosen the bonds of our wickedness, and obtain for us the gifts of Thy mercy. Through our Lord, etc.
Protect us, O Lord, who celebrate Thy mysteries, that holding fast to divine things, we may serve Thee with body and soul. Through our Lord, etc.
PREFACE OF THE HOLY CROSS:
It is truly meet and just, right and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God. Who didst set the salvation of mankind upon the tree of the Cross, so that whence came death, thence also life might rise again, and he that overcame by the tree, on the tree also might be overcome through Christ our Lord. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions adore it, and the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us to join with them in confessing Thee, also, while we say with lowly praise: Holy, holy, holy, etc.
1 Cor. 11: This is My by Body which shall be delivered for you: this is the chalice of the new testament in My Blood, saith the Lord: do this, as often as you receive it, in memory of Me.
Stand by us, O Lord our God, and by Thy continual assistance defended those whom Thou hast refreshed by Thy mysteries. Through our Lord, etc.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, our God, that Thou permit not those to whom Thou hast given a participation in divine things to be subjected to human dangers. Through our Lord, etc.
Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw it and was glad… Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.
“Could You Not Watch One Hour With Me?” (Matt.26, 40)
“He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulcher, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful.”
St. Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
“How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!”
St. Augustine, Homily on John, 45-12
PROPER OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 18th:
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, BCD
Mass 9:00 AM; Confessions 8:00 AM; Rosary of Reparation 8:30 AM; For the Mission members
St. Joseph, Spouse of the BVM
Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass
Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass
St. Benedict, Ab
Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass
St. Isidore the Farmer, C
Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass
Seven Sorrows of the BVM
Mass 8:30 AM; Rosary of Reparation before Mass; Benediction & Holy Hour of Reparation; Stations of the Cross 5:30 PM
St. Gabriel the Archangel
Mass 9:00 AM; Confessions 8:00 AM; Rosary of Reparation 8:30 AM
Mass 9:00 AM; Confessions 8:00 AM; Rosary of Reparation 8:30 AM; For the Mission members
As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, kneels down to receive the “blessing” from Protestant ministers before thousands. Buenos Aires, 2006.
The two weeks of Passiontide begin today,
the first week being known as “Passion Week,” and the second week being known
as “Holy Week.”
This day -- Passion Sunday -- memorializes the increasing antipathy against Christ from the Jews who would not accept Him and accused Him of sorcery and of being blasphemous and possessed by a devil. From today until Maundy Thursday, the Júdica me and the Glória patris at the Introit and Lavabo are omitted from Masses of the Season (not Feasts).
Today, statues and sacred images (except for the Stations of the Cross) are veiled with purple cloth beginning at the Vespers of Passion Sunday, and they remain covered until the Gloria of Holy Saturday, at which point Lent ends and Eastertide begins. Catholics cover statues and icons, etc., in their homes for the same time period (the cloth shouldn’t be transluscent or decorated in any way).
This veiling of the statues and icons stems from the Gospel reading of Passion Sunday (John 8:46-59), at the end of which the Jews take up stones to cast at Jesus, Who hides Himself away. The veiling also symbolizes the fact that Christ’s Divinity was hidden at the time of His Passion and death, the very essence of Passiontide.
At the Vespers Mass on Holy Saturday, Lent ends and Easter begins: the statues are unveiled at that time in one of the most glorious liturgical moments of the entire Church year, a moment that affirms His divinity and proclaims that “He is risen!”
“That they might know that by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented.”
“I will send forth famine into the land, not a famine of bread . . . but of hearing the word of the Lord, . . . they shall go about seeking the word of the Lord and shall not find it.”
Invincible ignorance is a punishment for sin.
St. Thomas Aquinas (De Infid. q. x., art. 1.)
Evening and morning, and at noon I will speak and declare: and He shall hear my voice.
Give me a soul that is humble and I will tell you it is holy; if it is truly humble it is truly holy; if it is very humble it is very holy and adorned with every virtue.
St. John Eudes
Seven Promises to Those who Meditate on Our Lady’s Tears and Dolors from St. Bridget of Sweden
The Blessed Virgin grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Marys while meditating on her tears and dolors:
1. “I will grant peace to their families.”
2. “They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.”
3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.”
4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.”
5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death--they will see the face of their mother.”
7. “I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.”
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1. The prophecy of Simeon, 2. The flight into Egypt, 3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple, 4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His cross, 5. The Crucifixion, 6. Mary receives the Body of Jesus from the cross, 7. The burial of the Body of Jesus in the tomb
When Christ told the Jews the truth, He received insults and calumny; they called Him a Samaritan, that is, an unbeliever, a heretic, one possessed of a devil. This was a terrible slander, and it must have pained Him exceedingly, but at the same time it is a great consolation to those who are innocently calumniated, when they consider that Christ Himself received nothing better. St. Augustine consoles such by saying: “O friend, what is there that can happen to you that your Saviour did not suffer before you? Is it slander? He heard it, when He was called a glutton, a drunkard, a heretic, and a rebel, a companion of sinners, one possessed of a devil; He even heard, when casting out devils, that He did so by Beelzebub, prince of devils” (Matt. 9, 34). He therefore comforts His apostles, saying, If they have called the good man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household (Matt. 10, 25)? Are the pains bitter? There is no pain so bitter that He has not endured it; for what is more painful, and at the same time more ignominious, than the death of the cross? For think, says St. Paul, diligently upon him who endured such opposition from sinners against himself: that you be not wearied (by all contempt and calumny), fainting in your minds (Heb. 12, 3).
How and why did Christ defend Himself against those who slandered Him?
Only by denying with the greatest modesty the things with which they reproached Him, saying that He had not a devil, that He was not a Samaritan, because He honored His Father not in their manner, but in His own. In repelling this calumny while He left the rest unanswered, Christ removed all doubt in regard to His divine mission, thus vindicating the honor of God, and securing the salvation of man. Christ thus teaches us by His own conduct to defend ourselves only against those detractions and insults which endanger the honor of God and the salvation of man, and then to defend ourselves with all modesty; by no means however to do it, if they injure only our own good name, for we should leave the restoration of that to God, as exemplified by Christ, who knows better than we how to preserve and restore it.
When are we overcome by evil?
When we wish to take revenge. “Revenge is no sign of courage,” says St. Ambrose, “but rather of weakness and cowardice. As it is the sign of a very weak stomach to be unable to digest food, so it is the mark of a very weak mind to be unable to bear a harsh word.” “Are you impatient,” says the same saint, “you are overcome; are you patient, you have overcome.”
What should we do if our reputation is injured?
We should leave its revenge, or its defense and protection to God, who has retained that for Himself. “But as a good name,” says St. Francis de Sales, “is the main support of human society, and as without it we could not be useful to that society, but even hurtful to it on account of scandal, we should feel bound, for love of our neighbor, to aim after a good reputation, and to preserve it.” We should not be too sensitive about this, however, for too great a sensitiveness makes one obstinate, eccentric, and intolerable, and only tends to excite and increase the malice of the detractors. The silence and contempt with which we meet a slander or an injustice, is generally a more efficacious antidote than sensitiveness, anger, or revenge. The contempt of a slander at once disperses it, but anger shows a weakness, and gives the accusation an appearance of probability. If this does not suffice, and the slander continues, let us persevere in humility’ and lay our honor and our soul into the hands of God, according to the admonitions of the Apostle.
How do we “heap coals of fire on the head of our enemy?”
When we return him good for evil, for seeing our well meaning towards him, the flush of shame reddens his face for the wrongs he has done us. St. Augustine explains these words thus: “By giving food and drink or doing other kindnesses to your enemy, you will heap coals, not of anger, but of love, upon his head, which will inflame him to return love for love.” Learn therefore, from the example of Christ and His saints, not to allow yourself to be overcome by evil, but do good to those that hate and persecute you.
How had Abraham seen Christ’s day?
In spirit, that is, by. divine revelation he foresaw the coming of Christ and rejoiced; also, he heard, by revelation from God, with the other just in Limbo, that Christ’s coming had taken place, and derived the greatest comfort from it.
Why did Christ conceal Himself from the Jews, instead of taking vengeance?
Because the time of His death had not come; because He would show His meekness and patience and teach us that we should avoid our enemies rather than resist them or take vengeance on them; Christ wished to instruct us to avoid passionate and quarrelsome people, for it is an honor for a man, to separate from quarrels: but all fools are meddling with reproaches (Prov. 20, 3).
PETITION When Thine enemies calumniated Thee, most meek Jesus, Thou didst answer them with tender words, and when they were about to stone Thee, Thou didst depart from them, whilst we can scarcely bear a hard word, and far from yielding to our neighbor, defend and avenge ourselves most passionately. Ah! pardon us our impatience, and grant us the grace to bear patiently the wrongs done us, and when necessary, answer with gentleness for Thy glory and the salvation of our neighbor.
JESUS PERSECUTED THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE PASSION
PRESENCE of GOD ‑ O Jesus, help me to enter into the mystery of Your Passion; deign to associate me with it, so that I may participate in Your Resurrection.
I. Today Passiontide begins, a time especially consecrated to the remembrance and loving contemplation of the sorrows of Jesus. The veiled crucifix and statues, the absence of the Gloria in the Mass and the Gloria Patri in the responsories of the Divine Office, ‑ are all signs of mourning by which the Church commemorates Our Lord’s Passion. Pope St. Leo exhorts us to participate “in the Cross of Christ, in order that we also may do something which will unite us to what He has done for us, for as the Apostle says, `if we suffer with Him, we shall be glorified with Him.’” Therefore, we must not only meditate on Jesus’ sufferings, but also take part in them; only by bearing His Passion in our heart and in our body (Cf. 2 Cor 4,10) shall we be able to share in its fruits. So it is that in the liturgy of this season the Church repeats more insistently than ever: “If you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.” The voice of the Lord makes itself heard these days, not by words, but by the eloquent testimony of deeds, by the great events of the Passion ‑ a mystery which gives us the most convincing proof of His infinite love for us. Let us, therefore, open our heart to the sublime lessons of the Passion: let us see how much Jesus has loved us and how much we ought to love Him in return; let us learn that, if we wish to follow Him, we, too, must suffer and bear the Cross with Him and after Him. At the same time, let us open our heart to a lively hope; for our salvation is in the Passion of Jesus. In today’s Epistle (Heb 9,1 1‑15) St. Paul presents to us the majestic figure of Christ, the Eternal High Priest, who “by His Blood, entered once into the holies, [that is, heaven] having obtained eternal redemption.” The Passion of Jesus has redeemed us; it has opened once again our Father’s house to us; it is then the motive for our hope.
2. The Gospel (Jn 8, 46‑59) narrates an instance of the pressing hostility of the Jews, an evident prelude to the Passion of Jesus. In their hardened hearts they had absolutely refused to acknowledge the mission of the Savior; as a result, they schemed in a thousand ways to oppose His teachings and to belittle Him before the people by declaring Him a liar and one possessed by the devil. Their animosity had increased to the point where they decided to stone Him: “They took up stones therefore to cast at Him.” Jesus’ death was already decreed by the Jews, but the hour fixed by His Father had not yet come, so “Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple.”
This passage in the Gospel allows us to consider the conduct of Jesus in the presence of His persecutors: we see zeal for their souls, meekness, personal disinterestedness, and total abandonment to God. St. Gregory the Great wrote: “Consider, beloved brethren, the meekness of the Lord. He, who had come to remit sins, said, `Which of you will convince Me of sin?’ He, who by virtue of His divinity, could justify sinners, does not disdain to prove by reasoning that He is not a sinner.”
The calumnies continued: “Thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil.” The divine Master answered, always with meekness, only what was necessary to testify to the truth “I have not a devil, but I honor My Father, and you have dishonored Me.” Then He placed His reputation and His cause in the hands of God. “I seek not My own glory; there is One that seeketh and judgeth.” In the meantime, throughout all the discussions, He did not cease to instruct and to enlighten minds, attempting to draw them away from error. Always forgetful of Himself, He thought only of the good of souls. It was precisely in these painful circumstances that Jesus gave us precious instruction: “He that is of God, heareth the words of God .... If any man keep My word, he shall not see death forever.” Let us gather these lessons from the lips of our persecuted Master, and keep them in our heart with a jealous care. In our day, too, the world is filled with His enemies, those who oppose His doctrine and despise His Passion. Let us, at least, believe in Him and be His faithful friends.
“Praise be to You, O most merciful God, who willed to redeem us and restore us by the Passion, the sufferings, the scorn, and the poverty of Your Son, when we were wretched outcasts and condemned prisoners. I run to Your Cross, O Christ ‑ to suffering, scorn, and poverty; with all my strength I desire to be transformed in You, O suffering God‑Man, who loved me so much that You endured a horrible, shameful death for the sole purpose of saving me, and to give me an example, so that I would be able to endure adversity for love of You. It is the perfection and true proof of love to conform myself to You, O Crucified One, who for my sins willed to undergo a cruel death, delivering Yourself entirely to tortures, as a victim. O my suffering God, only by reading the book of Your life and death shall I be able to know You and to penetrate Your mystery. Grant me, then, a profound spirit of prayer, a pious, humble, attentive prayer, springing not only from my lips, but also from my heart and soul, so that I shall be able to understand the lessons of Your Passion!
“In this book, I see Your infinite goodness and mercy, which made You take upon Yourself our condemnation, our scorn, our sufferings, rather than leave us in such a wretched state. I see the unlimited bounty, the care, the diligence You showed to save us and lead us back to the heavenly kingdom. I see the infinite wisdom by which You redeemed us, saved us, and glorified us in an ineffable manner, through Your mercy, without harming Your justice. While You died a painful death, You vivified everything and destroyed that death common to us all.
“Yet more, in the book of Your Cross I see Your infinite meekness, by which, although being cursed, You did not curse nor avenge Yourself, but on the contrary, You pardoned and won heaven for the very ones who were crucifying You” (St. Angela of Foligno).
The wisdom that is from above is first chaste.
THAT ALL HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IS TO BE FIXED IN GOD
LORD, what is my confidence which I have in this life, or what is my greatest solace amongst all the things that appear under Heaven? Is it not Thou, my Lord God, of Whose mercies there is no number? Where was it ever well to me without Thee, or when was it ever ill with me when Thou wast present? I had rather be poor for Thy sake, than rich without Thee. I prefer rather to sojourn upon earth with Thee, than to possess Heaven without Thee. Where Thou art, there is Heaven; and there is death and Hell, where Thou art not. Thou art all my desire, and therefore I must needs sigh after Thee, and cry and pray.
In short, I cannot fully confide in anyone to bring me seasonable help in my necessities, save only in Thee, my God. Thou art my hope, my confidence, my comforter, and in all things most faithful. All seek the things that are their own; Thou designest only my salvation and profit, and turnest all things to my good. And although Thou expose me to various temptations and adversities, yet all this Thou ordainest for my good, who art wont to prove Thy beloved servants a thousand ways. Under which probation Thou oughtest not less to be loved and praised, than if Thou didst replenish me with heavenly consolations. In Thee, therefore, O Lord God, do I place all my hope and refuge; on Thee I cast all my tribulation and anguish; for I find all to be weak and inconstant whatever I behold out of Thee. For neither will many friends be of service to me, nor can powerful auxiliaries assist me, nor wise counselors give me a profitable reply, nor the books of the learned give me consolation, nor any precious substance ransom me, nor any secret place secure me, if Thou Thyself do not assist, help, strengthen, comfort. instruct, and guard me. For all things which seem to be for our peace and for our happiness, when Thou art absent are nothing, and contribute nothing to our felicity. Thou, therefore, art the fountain of all good, the height of life, and the depth of wisdom; and to trust in Thee above all things is the strongest comfort of Thy servants. Unto Thee do I lift up my eyes; in Thee, O my God, Father of mercies, I put my trust. Bless and sanctify my soul with heavenly benediction, that it may be made Thy holy habitation and the seat of Thine eternal glory: and let nothing be found in the temple of Thy Divinity that may offend the eyes of Thy majesty. According to the greatness of Thy goodness and the multitude of Thy tender mercies, look down upon me, and give ear to the prayer of Thy poor servant, a far distant exile in the region of the shadow of death. Protect and preserve the soul of Thy poor servant amid so many dangers of this corruptible life, and direct him by Thine accompanying grace, along the path of peace, to the land of perpetual light. Amen
Thomas a Kempis, The Following of Christ, chap. 5
If Religious Liberty were true, those who profess it as true would have to respect the rights of anyone who denies it. Liberals would have to respect the liberty of Catholics to practice Catholic tradition and profess the truth of dogmas. But that is not what they do. Their hypocrisy does not bother them in the least because Religious Liberty is nothing more than a weapon to destroy God’s Church.
Holy Week Schedule
1. Palm Sunday, March 25: 9:00 AM, Blessing and Distribution of the Palms followed by Procession and Mass with the reading of the Passion according to St. Matthew.
2. Holy Monday, March 26: Mass 8:30 AM
3. Holy Tuesday, March 27: Mass 8:30 AM with the reading of the Passion according to St. Mark
4. Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), March 28: Mass 8:30 AM with the reading of the Passion according to St. Luke followed. Tenebrae (in English) at 18:00. (Note: Tenebrae is the office of Matins and Lauds for Holy Thursday anticipated. Booklets with the Divine Office for the hours of Tenebrae in both Latin and English are provided.)
5. Maundy (from Mandatum, meaning, “commandment”) Thursday, March 29: 18:00 Mass followed by Procession to the Altar of Repose, Stripping of the Altar, Mandatum, Tenebrae, Vigil at the Altar of Repose.
6. Good Friday, March 30: Tre Ore (three hours), 12:00 noon, Confessions & Rosary of Reparation; 12:30, Stations of the Cross; 13:15, Sermon on the Passion; 13: 30 Mass of the Catechumens (with the reading of the Passion according to St. John, the Great Intercessions, Veneration of the Cross, Mass of the Pre-sanctified); 15:00, Tenebrae.
7. Holy Saturday, March 31: 9:00 AM; Blessing of the New Fire & Paschal Candle, Exultet, Prophecies, (Blessing of the Font if there are catechumens to be baptized), Litanies, Mass of Easter Vigil with unveiling of the statues during the Gloria, Vespers, Blessing of Easter Food.
8. Easter Sunday, April 1: 9:00 AM Mass
“Know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God?”
The Francis/Bergoglio Effect
Bavaria drops challenge to legalization of gay ‘marriage’ citing comparable changes in Church
LifeSiteNews | MUNICH, Bavaria | March 15, 2018 -- The traditionally Catholic German state of Bavaria has decided to drop its plan to challenge a June 2017 parliamentary decision to legalize same-sex “marriages” nationwide. The decision comes after two legal opinions were written for Bavaria pointing out that many countries in the world have legalized same-sex “marriage.” The Bavarian State Chancellor, in his white paper for the March 6th cabinet meeting refers to the fact that even representatives of the Catholic Church are now in the process of “carefully opening themselves up to a change.” [.....]
The Francis/Bergoglio Effect, Kasper doing more "theology on his knees"!
Cardinal Kasper: Homosexual unions are ‘analogous’ to Christian marriage
LifeSiteNews | March 14, 2018 – Cardinal Walter Kasper, whose theology appears to be the chief inspiration for Pope Francis’ doctrine on giving Holy Communion to people living in states of adultery in second marriages, now appears to be claiming that homosexual unions contain “elements” of Christian marriage and are even “analogous” to it in a way that is similar to the relationship between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic Christian communities.
Moreover, the cardinal is attributing his claims to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, despite the fact that the document explicitly contradicts him.
“The pope does not leave room for doubt over the fact that civil marriages, de facto unions, new marriages following a divorce (Amoris Laetitia 291) and unions between homosexual persons (Amoris Laetitia 250s.) do not correspond to the Christian conception of marriage,” writes Kasper in a recently-released book on Amoris Laetitia.
“He says, however, that some of these partners can realize in a partial and analogous way some elements in Christian marriage (Amoris Laetitia 292),” continues Kasper.
Kasper compares such relationships with the relationship between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic Christian groups, whom Vatican II says contain “elements of sanctification and truth” of the Church.
“Just as outside the Catholic Church there are elements of the true Church, in the above-mentioned unions there can be elements present of Christian marriage, although they do not completely fulfill, or do not yet completely fulfill, the ideal,” adds Kasper. [.....]
Clinton Foundation Data from 2014 TAX YEAR
Have you wondered why the Clinton Foundation folded so suddenly after Hillary was no longer in a position of influence? Perhaps this summary will provide some insight??
They list 486 employees (line 5)! It took 486 people who are paid $34.8 million and $91.3 million in fees and expenses, to give away $5.1 MILLION
This is real. You can check the return yourself (see below). The real heart of the Clintons can be seen here. Staggering but not surprising. These figures are from an official copy of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation for the tax year 2014. The copy of the tax return is from the National Center for Charitable Statistics web site (http://nccs.urban.org/) . You can obtain the latest tax return on any charitable organization there.
The Clinton Foundation:
Number of Employees (line 5) 486
Total revenue (line 12) $177,804,612.00
Total grants to charity (line 13) $5,160,385.00 (this is less than 3%)
Total expenses of $91,281,145.00
Salaries (line 15) $34,838,106.00
Fund raising fees (line 16a) $850,803.00
Other expenses (line 17) $50,431,851.00 HUH??????
Net assets/fund balances (line 22) $332,471,349.00
So it required 486 people, who were paid $34.8 million, plus $91.3 million in fees and expenses, to give away $5.1 MILLION! And they call this a CHARITY?
It is alleged that this is one of the greatest white-collar crimes ever committed. And just think---one of the participants was a former president and one wanted to be elected president of the United States. If justice is ever truly served they will both be in prison.
The IRISH Famine: 1845-1852 – or tricks of political persecution the English taught “Uncle” Joe Stalin
FOOD for APOSTASY: What Our Catholics Ancestors Suffered to bring the Holy Faith to Us.
Throughout the entire period of the Famine, Ireland was exporting enormous quantities of food. In Ireland before and after the famine, Cormac O’Grada points out, “Although the potato crop failed, the country was still producing and exporting more than enough grain crops to feed the population. But that was a ‘money crop’ and not a ‘food crop’ and could not be interfered with.”
In History Ireland magazine, Christine Kinealy, a Great Hunger scholar, lecturer, and Drew University professor, relates her findings: Almost 4,000 vessels carried food from Ireland to the ports of Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool and London during 1847, when 400,000 Irish men, women and children died of starvation and related diseases. She also writes that Irish exports of calves, livestock (except pigs), bacon and ham actually increased during the Famine. This food was shipped under British military guard from the most famine-stricken parts of Ireland; Ballina, Ballyshannon, Bantry, Dingle, Killala, Kilrush, Limerick, Sligo, Tralee and Westport. A wide variety of commodities left Ireland during 1847, including peas, beans, onions, rabbits, salmon, oysters, herring, lard, honey, tongues, animal skins, rags, shoes, soap, glue and seed. The most shocking export figures concern butter. Butter was shipped in firkins, each one holding 9 imperial gallons; 41 litres. In the first nine months of 1847, 56,557 firkins (509,010 imperial gallons; 2,314,000 litres) were exported from Ireland to Bristol, and 34,852 firkins (313,670 imperial gallons; 1,426,000 litres) were shipped to Liverpool, which correlates with 822,681 imperial gallons (3,739,980 litres) of butter exported to England from Ireland during nine months of the worst year of the Famine. The problem in Ireland was not lack of food, which was plentiful, but the price of it, which was beyond the reach of the poor.
Celil Woodham-Smith, an authority on the Irish Famine, wrote in The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849 that no issue has provoked so much anger and embittered relations between England and Ireland “as the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throughout the period when the people of Ireland were dying of starvation.” […….]
(Protestant) Landlords were responsible for paying the rates of every tenant whose yearly rent was £4 or less. Landlords whose land was crowded with poorer tenants were now faced with large bills. They began clearing the poor tenants from their small plots, and letting the land in larger plots for over £4 which then reduced their debts. In 1846, there had been some clearances, but the great mass of evictions came in 1847. According to James S. Donnelly Jr, it is impossible to be sure how many people were evicted during the years of the famine and its immediate aftermath. It was only in 1849 that the police began to keep a count, and they recorded a total of almost 250,000 persons as officially evicted between 1849 and 1854.
Donnelly considered this to be an underestimate, and if the figures were to include the number pressured into “voluntary” surrenders during the whole period (1846–1854) the figure would almost certainly exceed half a million persons. While Helen Litton says there were also thousands of “voluntary” surrenders, she notes also that there was “precious little voluntary about them.” In some cases, tenants were persuaded to accept a small sum of money to leave their homes, “cheated into believing the workhouse would take them in.”
West Clare was one of the worst areas for evictions, where landlords turned thousands of families out and demolished their derisory cabins. Captain Kennedy in April 1848 estimated that 1,000 houses, with an average of six people to each, had been leveled since November. The Mahon family of Strokestown House evicted 3,000 people in 1847, and were still able to dine on lobster soup.
After Clare, the worst area for evictions was County Mayo, accounting for 10% of all evictions between 1849 and 1854. The Earl of Lucan, who owned over 60,000 acres (240 km2) was among the worst evicting landlords. He was quoted as saying ‘he would not breed paupers to pay priests’. Having turned out in the parish of Ballinrobe over 2,000 tenants alone, the cleared land he then used as grazing farms. In 1848, the Marquis of Sligo owed £1,650 to Westport Union; he was also an evicting landlord, though he claimed to be selective, saying he was only getting rid of the idle and dishonest. Altogether, he cleared about 25% of his tenants.
[……]Calcutta is credited with making the first (relief) donation of £14,000. The money was raised by Irish soldiers serving there and Irish people employed by the East India Company. Pope Pius IX sent funds and Queen Victoria (head of the Church of England) donated £2,000….. (about one brass farthing for every Irish Catholic who starved to death). Wikipedia
Novena to our Lady of Sorrows in preparation for her feast and the welfare of the Mission and the Church begins this Wednesday and ends on the Thursday in Passion Week on the eve of her feast.
NOVENA TO THE SEVEN SORROWS OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
V. Incline unto my aid, O God.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
1. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate thee, in the grief thy tender heart underwent when the holy old man Simeon prophesied to thee. Dear Mother, through that afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary, etc.
2. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate those afflictions which thy most sensitive heart endured during the flight into Egypt and the dwelling there. O beloved Mother, by that afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of liberality, specially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary, etc.
3. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate that intense distress which thine anxious heart experienced in the loss of thy dearest Jesus. O beloved Mother, by that deeply troubled heart obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary, etc.
4. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate the consternation which thy maternal heart experienced when thou didst meet Jesus bearing His cross. O beloved Mother, by that deep distress of thy tender heart, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary, etc.
5. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate that martyrdom which thy generous heart endured in witnessing the last agony of Jesus. O beloved Mother, by that martyred heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary, etc.
6. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate that wound which thy mournful heart endured from the lance which tore the side of Jesus and wounded His most lovely Heart. O beloved Mother, by thy heart then pierced through, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary, etc.
7. O most sorrowful Mary, I compassionate thee, for the anguish felt by thy loving heart when Jesus’ body was laid in the sepulcher. Dear Mother, by all the bitterness of desolation thou didst then know, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, most sorrowful Mother.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, may intercede for us before the throne of Thy mercy, now, and at the hour of our death; through whose most holy soul in the hour of Thine own Passion the Sword of sorrow passed. Through Thee, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost forever and ever. Amen
Prayer to Our Lady of Sorrows
Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, thou stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of thy dying Son. Look with a mother’s tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before thee. I venerate thy sorrows and I place my requests with filial confidence in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart.
Present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition. To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not to thee, Mother of Mercy? Thou who have drunk so deeply of the chalice of thy Son, thou can compassionate our sorrows.
Holy Mary, thy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of thy divine Son. Intercede for me and obtain from Jesus Christ this grace, if it be for His honor and glory and for the good of my soul.
Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus
Jesus covered with blood and with much sadness said to Mother Pierina: “See how much I suffer. I am understood by so few: what ingratitude on the part of those who say they love Me! I have given My Heart as a sensible object of My great love for man and I have given My Face as a sensible object of My sorrow for the sins of man. I desire that It be honored by a special feast on Shrove Tuesday. The feast will be preceded by a novena during which the faithful will make reparation to Me, uniting themselves with My sorrow.”
The Alpha-Omega Novena
"I firmly wish that My face reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of My heart, be more honored! Whoever gazes upon Me already consoles Me."
Our Lord to Sister Pierina
"All those who, attracted by My love, and venerating My countenance, shall receive, by virtue of My humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of My divinity. This splendor shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features with My Divine countenance."
Our Lord to St. Gertrude
OFFERING OF THE HOLY FACE TO APPEASE GOD'S JUSTICE AND DRAW DOWN MERCY UPON US
ETERNAL Father, turn away Thine angry gaze from all guilty people whose faces have become unsightly in Thine eyes. Look instead upon the face of Thy Beloved Son, for this is the Face of Him in Whom Thou art well pleased. We now offer Thee this Holy face of Jesus Christ, covered with shame and disfigured by bloody bruises, in reparation for the crimes of our age, in order to appease Thine anger, justly provoked against us. Because Thy Divine Son, our Redeemer, has taken upon His head all the sins of His people that they might be spared, we now beg of Thee, Eternal Father, to grant us mercy. Amen.
O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become "the most abject of men, a man of sorrows", I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen
Promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Those Devoted to His Holy Face
1. I will give them contrition so perfect, that their very sins shall be changed in My sight into jewels of precious gold .
2. None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me.
3. In offering My Face to My Father, they will appease His anger, and they will purchase as with celestial coin, pardon for poor sinners.
4. I will open My Mouth to plead with My Father to grant all the petitions that they will present to Me.
5. I will illuminate them with My light. I will consume them with My love. I will render them fruitful of good works.
6. They will, as the pious Veronica, wipe My adorable Face outraged by sin, and I will imprint My divine Features in their souls.
7. At their death, I will renew in them the image of God effaced by sin.
8. By resemblance to My Face, they will shine more than many others in eternal life, and the brilliancy of My Face will fill them with joy.
These inestimable promises are drawn from the works of St. Gertrude, St. Mechtilde and from the writings of Sister Marie de Saint Pierre, a Carmelite who died at Tours, in the odor of sanctity.
Why the Cross?
The thoughtful ones of earth contemplating the scene presented by a human activity that continually changes its purpose and is powerless to assign itself any purpose that human reason cannot instantly question, must feel the pathos of much well-meaning and humanitarian effort. Great generosity is shown and real kindness is spent in praiseworthy attempts to arrest the ravages of mortality, especially amongst the young. “Save the children” is an appeal that finds a ready response in the hearts of the humane and the kindly. Not with cynicism, but with real sympathy, one may ask, “Save them for what?” Is it for the adult life that frets itself away in vain endeavours to assign itself an adequate reason for living? Is it worthwhile to preserve children for what any person would logically confess to be not worth while? [Footnote: There is question only of those who have not the view of the aims and objects of life as furnished by the true faith or even by sound philosophy.] Is this charity of the kind-hearted dictated by the hope that somehow life for these children may prove different to what it has been for those who have tried to save them from death and disease? Are there grounds for hope that the little ones when come to adult age will light on, by chance, a solution of the problem of existence that has evaded their grown-up benefactors? What is the use of bestowing health unless there can be given with it the key to such a use of life as will issue in happiness? Life is a precious gift when it is accompanied by the knowledge of how to live rightly and the means to exercise this right living. […..]
Death is not a break, but a stepping stone by which one passes from one stage to another in the same existence. But man will perversely and blindly strive to effect a cleavage in that line and persuade himself that the good of the human life that precedes death can be different from the good of human life that follows death. The result is that he is necessarily at cross-purposes with God. It is not surprising that the creature, seeking to gain the goal of life — namely happiness — by a use of life’s powers and energies at variance with the design of the Creator, should be continually frustrated in his main object, should enjoy no peace, and should be involved in contradiction and become a prey to perpetual dissatisfaction. What is the way out of this impasse? The way out is through a thorough understanding of the religion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and a practice based on such understanding.[…..]
The [Gospel] passages that reveal Jesus in the exercise of works of mercy, in healing disease, in consoling grief and in overcoming death, are given an undue emphasis. In this way the central truth is obscured, the truth, namely, that the conflict of the Redeemer was primarily with spiritual evil and only incidentally with physical evil. His purpose was to banish from earth the ills that appear to God as such, not those that appear so to the pain-dreading nature of man… The gospel is not a record of a more less successful philanthropic mission.
…To Christians, who persist in thinking that the function of Christianity is to provide men with good things and banish from their life evil things — understanding by good and evil what appear such to fallen human nature — life will speedily prove unintelligible. To men with such views the mystery of pain becomes insoluble. In the face of the harsh realities of existence their belief stands condemned. They have no answer to give to the ever-recurring question: if God is kind and good and tender towards human suffering, why does suffering continue to be not only for those that deserve it, but also for those who do not?
That Jesus, in His power and goodness, did not put an end to all human suffering shows that, in His eyes, suffering is not the real source of human unhappiness.
Rev. Edward Leen, Why the Cross?
Pope Francis – his “most gentle manner”!
They (our most holy predecessors) knew the capacity of innovators in the art of deception. In order not to shock the ears of Catholics, the innovators sought to hide the subtleties of their tortuous maneuvers by the use of seemingly innocuous words such as would allow them to insinuate error into souls in the most gentle manner. Once the truth had been compromised, they could, by means of slight changes or additions in phraseology, distort the confession of the faith that is necessary for our salvation, and lead the faithful by subtle errors to their eternal damnation. This manner of dissimulating and lying is vicious, regardless of the circumstances under which it is used. For very good reasons it can never be tolerated in a synod of which the principal glory consists above all in teaching the truth with clarity and excluding all danger of error. Moreover, if all this is sinful, it cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it. It is a most reprehensible technique for the insinuation of doctrinal errors and one condemned long ago by our predecessor St. Celestine, who found it used in the writings of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, and which he exposed in order to condemn it with the greatest possible severity. Once these texts were examined carefully, the impostor was exposed and confounded, for he expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed.
Pope Pius VI, Auctorem Fidei, 1794 papal bull addressed to all the faithful condemning 85 propositions from the Council of Pistoia, 1786
Remember in your charity the following pray requests:
Please remember our expectant mothers: Andrea Ebert, Vanessa LoStracco, and Carmen Carrol,
Luis Rafael Zelaya, the brother of Claudia Drew, who is seriously ill,
For the health of Kim Cochran, the daughter-in-law of Joseph and Brenda Cochran, the wife of their son Joshua,
Louie Verrecchio, Catholic apologist, who has a health problem,
John Minidis, Jr. family, for help in their spiritual trial,
John and Joann DeMarco, for their health and spiritual welfare,
Regina (Manidis) Miller, her spiritual welfare and health,
Melissa Elena Levitt, her health and conversion, and welfare of her children,
For the grace of a holy death, Nancy Marie Claycomb,
The health and spiritual welfare of Tom Grow, Amanda Gardner, and Alex Estrada,
Conversion of Annette Murowski, and her son Jimmy,
Brent Keith from Indiana has petitioned our prayers for the Keith Family,
The welfare of the Schmedes Family, and the Mike and Mariana Donohue Family,
The spiritual welfare Robert Holmes Family,
For the spiritual and temporal welfare of Irwin Kwiat,
Fr. Waters asks our prayers for Elvira Donahy, who is recovering from a stroke,
Kimberly Ann, the daughter of John and Joann DeMarco, for her health and spiritual welfare,
Mufide Rende, a traditional Catholic from India has asked our prayers for her welfare,
Mary and Bill Glatz, the welfare of their family,
Barbara Harmon, who is gravely ill, and still cares for her ailing parents,
Jason Green, a father of ten children who has been seriously injured,
For the health and welfare of Kolinsky and Sorace families,
Fr. Waters asks our prayers for the health and spiritual welfare of Brian Abramowitz,
Janine Mullen, for her health and help for her family,
Thomas Schiltz family, in grateful appreciation for their contribution to the beauty of our chapel,
Carlo A. De Porto, who is in failing health,
Welfare of Bishop Richard Williamson, for strength and courage in the greater battles to come,
John Rhoad, for his health and spiritual welfare,
Angelina Montesano family & Helen Snyder, for their health and spiritual welfare,
Kathy Boyle, requests our prayers for her welfare,
Michael J. Brigg & his family, who have helped with the needs of the Mission,
Nancy Deegan, her welfare and conversion to the Catholic Church,
Francis Paul Diaz, who was baptized at Ss. Peter & Paul, asks our prayers for his spiritual welfare,
The conversion of David Keithley and the welfare of the Nathaniel Miller family, are the petitions of Gene Peters,
The Drews ask your intercession for the welfare of Brendan McGuire, a young father of three, who has been diagnosed with cancer,
For the conversion of Ben & Tina Boettcher family, Karin Fraessdorf, Eckhard Ebert, and Fahnauer family,
Fr. Waters requests our prayers for Br. Rene, SSPX who has been ill, and for Fr. Thomas Blute,
Rose Cuono, who is in failing health,
For the health and welfare of Kathryn Lederhos, the aunt of David Drew,
Fr. Peterson asks our prayers for Charles Valenti, and his wife, Julia,
For the welfare of Fr. Paul DaDamio and Fr. William T. Welsh,
The Drew’s ask our prayers for the welfare of Joe & Tracy Sentmanat family, Keith & Robert Drew, Christy Koziol & her children, Fred Nesbit and Michael Nesbit families, and Gene Peters Family, the John Manidis Family, the Sal Messinio Family, Michael Proctor Family,
Ryan Boyle grandmother, Jane Boyle, who is failing health,
Mel Gibson and his family, please remember in our prayers,
Rev. Timothy A. Hopkins, prayers for his mother, the Mission of St. Philomena in Miami, and the welfare of Fr Jean-Luc Lafitte,
Ebert’s request our prayers for the Andreas & Jenna Ortner Family,
Joyce Paglia has asked prayers for George Richard Moore Sr. & his children, and her brother, George Panell,
For the welfare of Anthony & Joyce Paglia, who are responsible for the beautiful statuary in our chapel,
Philip Thees asks our prayers for his family, for McLaughlin Family, the conversion of Bruce Heller, & Janet Gardner, the welfare of Dan Polly Weand, the conversion of Sophia Herman, Tony Rosky, and Carl Ropeter, the welfare Nancy Erdeck, the wife of the late Deacon Erdeck, and the welfare of Frank D’Agustino who is ill, the health of Charles Kanaskie, and the health of his brother, Thomas Thees, John Calasanctis, Stephen Cagorski, Tony Rosky, John Bogda, and Maryann Reutter.
Pray for the Repose of the Souls:
George Kirsch, our good friend and supporter of this Mission, died February 15,
For Fr. Paul J. Theisz, died October 17, is the petition of Fr. Waters,
Fr. Mecurio Fregapane, died Jan 17, was not a traditional priest but always charitable,
Fr. Casimir Peterson, a priest who often offered the Mass in our chapel and provided us with sound advice, died December 4,
Fr. Constantine Bellasarius, a faithful and always charitable Eastern Rite Catholic Melkite priest, who left the Roman rite, died November 27,
Christian Villegas, a motor vehicle accident, his brother, Michael, requests our prayers,
John Vennari, the former editor of Catholic Family News, and for his family’s welfare,
Mary Butler, the aunt of Fr. Samuel Waters, died October 17,
Joseph DeMarco, the nephew of John DeMarco, died October 3,
John Fergale, died September 25 after receiving the traditional sacramental rites of the Church wearing the brown scapular,
John Gabor, the brother of Donna Marbach, died September 9,
Fr. Eugene Dougherty, a faithful priest, fittingly died on the Nativity of the BVM after receiving the traditional Catholic sacraments,
Phyllis Schlafly, died September 5,
Helen Mackewicz, died August 14,
Mark A. Wonderlin, who died August 2,
Fr. Carl Cebollero, a faithful priest to tradition who was a friend of Fr. Waters and Fr. DeMaio,
Jessica Cortes, a young mother of ten who died June 12,
Frances Toriello, a life-long Catholic faithful to tradition, died June3, the feast of the Sacred Heart, and her husband Dan, died in 1985,
John McLaughlin, a friend of the Drew’s, died May 22,
Angela Montesano, who died April 30, and her husband, Salvatore, who died in July 3, 2013,
Charles Schultz, died April 5, left behind nine children and many grandchildren, all traditional Catholics,
Esperanza Lopez de Callejas, the aunt of Claudia Drew, died March 15,
Fr. Edgardo Suelo, a faithful priest defending our traditions who was working with Fr. Francois Chazal in the Philippines, died February 19,
Conde McGinley, a long time laborer for the traditional faith, died February 12, at 96 years,
The Drew family requests your prayers for Ida Fernandez and Rita Kelley, parishioners at St. Jude,
Fr. Stephen Somerville, a traditional priest who repented from his work with the Novus Ordo English translation, died December 12,
Fr. Arturo DeMaio, a priest that helped this Mission with the sacraments and his invaluable advice, died December 2,
J. Paul Carswell, died October 15, 2015,
Solange Hertz, a great defender of our Catholic faith, died October 3, the First Saturday of the month,
Gabriella Whalin, the mother of Gabriella Schiltz, who died August 25,
Mary Catherine Sick, 14 year old from a large traditional Catholic family, died August 25,
Fr. Paul Trinchard, a traditional Catholic priest, died August 25,
Stephen J. Melnick, Jr., died on August 21, a long-time faithful traditional Catholic husband and father, from Philadelphia,
Patricia Estrada, died July 29, her son Alex petitions our prayers for her soul,
Fr. Nicholas Gruner, a devoted priest & faithful defender of Blessed Virgin Mary and her Fatima message, died April 29,
Sarah E. Shindle, the grandmother of Richard Shindle, died April 26,
Madeline Vennari, the mother of John Vennari, died December 19,
Salvador Baca Callejas, the uncle of Claudia Drew, died December 13,
Robert Gomez, who died in a motor vehicle accident November 29,
Catherine Dunn, died September 15,
Anthony Fraser, the son of Hamish Fraser, died August 28,
Jeannette Rhoad, the grandmother of Devin Rhoad, who died August 24,
John Thees, the uncle of Philip Thees, died August 9,
Sarah Harkins, 32 year-old mother of four children, died July 28,
Anita Lopez, the aunt of Claudia Drew,
Fr. Kenneth Walker, a young traditional priest of the FSSP who was murdered in Phoenix June 11,
Fr. Waters petitions our prayers for Gilberte Violette, the mother of Fr. Violette, who died May 6,
Pete Hays petitions our prayers for his brothers, Michael, died May 9, and James, died October 20, his sister, Rebecca, died March17, and his mother, Lorraine Hayes who died May 4,
Philip Marbach, the father of Paul Marbach who was the coordinator at St. Jude in Philadelphia, died April 21,
Richard Slaughtery, the elderly sacristan for the SSPX chapel in Kansas City, died April 13,
Bernedette Marie Evans nee Toriello, the daughter of Daniel Toriello , died March 31, a faithful Catholic who suffered many years with MS,
Natalie Cagorski, died march 23,
Anita Lopez de Lacayo, the aunt of Claudia Drew, who died March 21,
Mario Palmaro, Catholic lawyer, bioethicist and professor, apologist, died March 9, welfare of his widow and children,
Daniel Boyle, the uncle of Ryan Boyle, died March 4,
Jeanne DeRuyscher, who died on January 25,
Arthur Harmon, died January 18,
Fr. Waters petitions our prayers for the soul of Jeanne DeRuyscher, who died January 17,
Joseph Proctor, died January 10,
Susan Scott, a devote traditional Catholic who made the vestments for our Infant of Prague statue, died January 8,
Brother Leonard Mary, M.I.C.M., (Fred Farrell), an early supporter and friend of Fr. Leonard Feeney, died November 23,
John Fergale, requests our prayers for his sister Connie, who died December 19,
Jim Capaldi, died December 15,
Brinton Creager, the son of Elizabeth Carpenter, died December 10,
Christopher Lussos, age 27, the father of one child with an expecting wife, died November 15,
Jarett Ebeyer, 16 year old who died in his sleep, November 17, at the request of the Kolinsky’s,
Catherine Nienaber, the mother of nine children, the youngest three years of age, killed in MVA after Mass, 10-29,
Nancy Aldera, the sister of Frances Toriello, died October 11, 2013 at 105 years of age,
Mary Rita Schiltz, the mother of Thomas Schiltz, who died August 27,
William H. (Teddy) Kennedy, Catholic author of Lucifer’s Lodge, died August 14, age 49, cause of death unknown,
Alfred Mercier, the father of David Mercier, who died August 12,
The Robert Kolinsky asks our prayers for his friend, George Curilla, who died August 23,
John Cuono, who had attended Mass at our Mission in the past, died August 11,
Raymond Peterson, died July 28, and Paul Peterson, died February 19, the brothers of Fr. Casimir Peterson,
Margaret Brillhart, who died July 20,
Msgr. Joseph J. McDonnell, a priest from the diocese of Des Moines, who died June 8,
Patrick Henry Omlor, who wrote Questioning The Validity of the Masses using the New, All English Canon, and for a series of newsletters which were published as The Robber Church, died May 2, the feast of St Athanasius,
Bishop Joseph McFadden, died unexpectedly May 2,
Timothy Foley, the brother-in-law of Michelle Marbach Folley, who died in April,
William Sanders, the uncle of Don Rhoad, who died April 2,
Gene Peters ask our prayers for the repose of the soul of Mark Polaschek, who died March 22,
Eduardo Gomez Lopez, the uncle of Claudia Drew, February 28,
Cecelia Thees, died February 24,
Elizabeth Marie Gerads, a nineteen year old, the oldest of twelve children, who died February 6,
Michael Schwartz, the co-author with Fr. Enrique Rueda of “Gays, Aids, and You,” died February 3,
Stanley W. Moore, passed away in December 16, and Gerard (Jerry) R. Pitman, who died January 19, who attended this Mission in the past,
Louis Fragale, who died December 25,
Fr. Luigi Villa, Th.D. author of Vatican II About Face! detailing the heresies of Vatican II, died November 18 at the age of 95,
Rev. Michael Jarecki, a faithful traditional Catholic priest who died October 22,and Rev. Hector Bolduc, who died September 10,
Jennie Salaneck, died September 19 at 95 years of age, a devout and faithful Catholic all her life,
Dorothy Sabo, who died September 26,
Cynthia (Cindy) Montesano Reinhert, the mother of nine children, four who are still at home, died August 19,
Regina Spahalsky, who died June 24, and for the soul of Francis Lester, her son,
Julia Atkinson, who died April 30,
Antonio P. Garcia, who died January 6, 2012 and the welfare of his teenage children, Andriana and Quentin,
Helen Crane, the aunt of David Drew who died February 27,
Fr. Timothy A. Hopkins, of the National Shrine of St. Philomena, in Miami, November 2,
Frank Smith, who died February 7, and the welfare of his wife, Delores,
Eduardo Cepeda, who died January 26,
Larry Young, the 47 year old father of twelve who died December 10 and the welfare of his wife Katherine and their family,
Sister Mary Bernadette, M.I.C.M., a founding member of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, died December 16,
Joeseph Elias, who died on September 28,
William, the brother of Fr. Waters, who died September 7,
Donald Tonelli, died August 1,
Rev. Fr. Gregory Hesse, of Austria, a great defender of Catholic Truth, died January 25, 2006,
Emma Colasanti, who died May 29,
Mary Dullesse, who died April 12, a Catholic convert who died wearing our Lady’s scapular,
Ruth Jantsch, the grandmother of Andre Ebert, who died April 7, Derrick and Denise Palengat, his godparents,
Philip D. Barr, died March 5, and the welfare of his family,
Judith Irene Kenealy, the mother of Joyce Paglia, who died February 23, and her son, George Richard Moore, who died May 14,
For Joe Sobran who died September 30,
Fr. Hector Bolduc, a great and faithful priest, died, September 10, 2012,
John Vennari asks our prayers for Dr. Raphael Waters who died August 26,
Stanley Bodalsky, the father of Mary Ann Boyle who died June 25,
Mary Isabel Kilfoyle Humphreys, a former York resident and friend of the Drew’s, who died June 6th,
Rev. John Campion, who offered the traditional Mass for us every first Friday until forbidden to do so by Bishop Dattilo, died May 1,
Joseph Montagne, who died May 5,
For Margaret Vagedes, the aunt of Charles Zepeda, who died January 6,
Fr. James Francis Wather, died November 7, 2006, author of The Great Sacrilege and Who Shall Ascend?, a great defender of dogma and liturgical purity,
Fr. Enrique Rueda, who died December 14, 2009, to whom our Mission is indebted,
Fr. Peterson asks to remember, Leonard Edward Peterson, his cousin, Wanda, Angelica Franquelli, and the six priests ordained with him.
Philip Thees petitions our prayers for Beverly Romanick, Deacon Michael Erdeck, Henry J. Phillips, Grace Prestano, Connie DiMaggio, Elizabeth Thorhas, Elizabeth Thees, Theresa Feraker, Hellen Pestrock, and James & Rose Gomata, and Kathleen Heinbach,
Fr. Didier Bonneterre, the author of The Liturgical Movement, and Fr. John Peek, both were traditional priests,
Brother Francis, MICM, the superior of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Richmond, NH, who died September 5,
Rodolfo Zelaya Montealegre, the father of Claudia Drew, who died May 24,
Rev. Francis Clifford, a devout and humble traditional priest, who died on March 7,
Benjamin Sorace, the uncle of Sonya Kolinsky.
“It is a sin to believe there is salvation outside the Catholic Church!”
Blessed Pope Pius IX
“Going down the synodal path” to Hell! -
The hard sell of heresy from the Vatican with the soft title, “Rejoice with me,” misery loves company!
Divorced and remarried, indications on how to discern case by case
Bishop Semeraro’s pastoral instruction: an application document of “Amoris laetitia” prepared and shared together with the priests
andrea tornielli | vatican city | 08/03/2018
It is a pastoral instruction entitled “Rejoice with me” dedicated to “Welcoming, discerning, accompanying and integrating into the ecclesial community the faithful who have divorced and civilly remarried”. The Bishop of Albano Marcello Semeraro, secretary of the C9, the council of cardinals who helps the Pope in the reform of the Curia and in the governance of the universal Church, is distributing it these days. The peculiarities of the document are two: it is a well-defined application instruction about the topic - described in the subtitle - and at the same time it is a generous document, which, although it doesn’t get into any case studies, it precisely outlines general main guidelines. And it is a document born from a diocesan synodal experience, which involved all the clergy.
Semeraro recalls that in talks with his priests it emerged the number of cases of civilly remarried divorcees who live “in fidelity and with self-sacrifice their marital relationship ”. And that sometimes these faithful are “on the margins, or in the proximity of the ecclesial communities of the diocese”. For this reason, the bishop of Albano chose not to make “a solo journey, but to go down the synodal path” by asking the presbyteral council to devote all ordinary sessions of the pastoral year 2016-2017 “to reflection, to deepening and discernment on the concrete forms of response to the divorced and civilly remarried faithful present in our communities and to our brothers and sisters who ask for a word of consolation and orientation”. The contents of these reflections were then shared and discussed with all the clergy. [.....]
Every single novelty introduced since Vatican II has always been introduced with the assurance that nothing of substance has really changed. Yet everything, without exception, has changed!
In New ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Pastoral Plan, Cardinal Wuerl Shares Missionary Mandate
Dominican Father Thomas Petri | Catholic News Agency | Mar. 5, 2018
Since the beginning of the debate on whether Chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) permits the divorced and civilly married to receive Holy Communion, Cardinal Donald Wuerl has lamented that the exhortation has been co-opted by that single issue and that, really, the Holy Father’s concern is much broader than that debate suggests.
Some people, though, have suggested that the synods and Amoris Laetitia were simply a cover to change the practice of not giving Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly married. In a newly released pastoral plan for the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Wuerl has taken a decided step away from such a cynical view and captured the passion of Pope Francis’ insistence that because we are all in need of it, we must also go out and give God’s mercy and truth to those who do not know it, who are not living it, and who are desperate to receive it.
“Sharing in the Joy of Love in Marriage and Family,” the Archdiocese of
Washington's pastoral plan, focuses the implementation of the exhortation not
on questions of sacramental doctrine and practice, since these truths have been
definitively taught and Church teaching has not changed.
Rather, echoing a cornerstone in the thought of Pope Francis, Pope St. John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI, Wuerl’s plan begins with the principle that “the desire to love and to be loved is a deep, enduring part of our human experience.” This desire is part of God’s providential care for us and his plan for marriage. Echoing a reflection on our need for God that Joseph Ratzinger once made in his Introduction to Christianity, Cardinal Wuerl notes that the joy of love in this life “gives us an invitation to experience Christian hope in the love of God that never ends.”
It’s somewhat surprising that it was thought necessary to hold two synods and to issue an apostolic exhortation to encourage priests and parish leaders to reach out to people living in irregular situations. [etc., etc., etc.....]
Is new Vatican doc on neo-Pelagianism at odds with Pope’s preferred pejorative?
LifeSiteNews | ROME, March 1, 2018 — In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis refers to the “self-absorbed promethean neo-Pelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past.”
He added that “a supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.”
Such people, he said in the apostolic exhortation, are not really “concerned about Jesus Christ or others.”
Many have taken the Pope’s comments on neo-Pelagianism to refer to those whom he has said “rigidly” adhere to doctrine and tradition, particularly in light of other similar comments he has made in the course of his pontificate.
In an address on Christian Humanism delivered in Florence’s famous cathedral, Pope Francis said that Pelagianism “prompts the Church not to be humble, selfless and blessed. And it does so with the appearance of being a good.”
“In facing ills or the problems of the Church,” the Pope added, “it is useless to look for solutions in conservatism and fundamentalism, in the restoration of practices and outdated forms that even culturally aren’t able to be meaningful.”
But is this what neo-Pelagianism really means, according to the Vatican?
In a letter released today, targeting neo-Pelagianism and neo-Gnosticism as two contemporary errors that can be obstacles to salvation, the Vatican’s doctrinal office made no connection between these erroneous “tendencies” and Catholics who adhere to the Church’s tradition.
It also doesn’t mention rigidity or anything about neo-Pelagianism meaning those who “observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past.”
Entitled “Placuit Deo” (In His Goodness), the Letter was signed by Archbishop Luis Ladaria, S.J., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and approved by Pope Francis. Its aim is to “demonstrate certain aspects of Christian salvation that can be difficult to understand” in today’s culture.
The document focuses on Neo-Pelagianism and Neo-Gnosticism, which it says are two modern schools of thought that “resemble certain aspects of [the] two ancient heresies” of Pelagianism and Gnosticism. It notes that Pope Francis has often referred to these two “tendencies” in his addresses and homilies.
The letter refers to Neo-Pelagians as individuals who believe themselves to be “radically autonomous,” who presume to be able to save themselves and depend on their own strength. They are unable to recognize that they derive “from God and from others.” Such ways of thinking are “incapable of welcoming the newness of the Spirit of God,” it says.
Classical Pelagianism was the heresy of Pelagius, a British priest of the fifth century, who stated that humans are on their own, without need of grace, and could initiate their own salvation. St. Augustine of Hippo was one of the main opponents of Pelagianism, arguing that God’s unmerited grace is necessary for us to perform any good work that will help us get to heaven.
By contrast, Neo-Gnostics accept a model of salvation that is “merely interior, closed off in its own subjectivism.” The document adds that it consists in “improving oneself,” of being “intellectually capable of rising above the flesh of Jesus towards the mysteries of the unknown divinity.”
The Neo-Gnostic way of thinking “presumes to liberate the human person from the body and from the material universe,” and fails to see traces of God’s provident hand in creation. Neo-Gnostics experience a reality “deprived of meaning,” and foreign to the fundamental identity of the human person as a unity of body and soul. This idea of reality is therefore “easily manipulated by the interests of man.”
Classical Gnosticism is ancient pantheistic belief in “secret teachings” of Christ, namely, that he came in order to free us from the evils of matter so that we might live as purely spiritual beings.
Placuit Deo notes that while there is “a great difference” between modern, secularized society and “the social context of early Christianity, in which these two heresies were born,” there are “similarities” between the ancient histories and the modern tendencies to which Pope Francis refers, insofar as they represent “perennial dangers for misunderstanding Biblical faith.”
It adds that as both modern-day versions of these heresies prevent Christ from mediating salvation, it is important to “reaffirm that salvation consists in our union with Christ.” [.....]
Asked which is the more important, he said it is “easier” to point to examples of neo-Pelagianism, but you could “fill books” with ancient Gnosticism which is a “very complicated phenomenon.”
In light of the Pope’s repeated use of the term neo-Pelagianism to describe those who “rigidly” adhere to doctrine or Tradition, the National Catholic Register asked why the word or sentiment does not appear in the Letter. Archbishop Ladaria said he was not aware the word was not included, and added there was “no particular reason” why it was not.
Finally, a journalist from the Associated Press said she “marveled” that the document only used the word ‘Catholic’ once (in the title) and asked whether Placuit Deo marked a departure from the Church’s teaching regarding the “fullness of salvation” being only found in the Catholic Church.
The CDF Prefect said the Church has often repeated what Vatican II taught that “Christ’s Church subsists in the Catholic Church.” He also referred to the Council document Lumen Gentium which teaches that “many elements of salvation are found in Christian religious confessions” and that these elements “tend towards Catholic unity.”
Archbishop Ladaria said that denominations have “elements of sanctification” and “we recognize these gladly.” And he stressed that “the fact that we don’t enter directly into this [in Placuit Deo] doesn’t mean that the teaching has changed. It seems to me to have deepened.”
Pope Francis is a Neo-Modernist heretic. The heresy of Neo-Modernism, like Modernism, denies all dogma as divinely revealed truths that constitute the formal objects of divine and Catholic faith, and therefore, constitute the proximate rule of faith. The difference between the two is in their methodology. The Modernist denies dogma directly and the Neo-Modernist denies dogma indirectly by various methods. The Neo-Modernist will change established definitions, use words equivocally, qualify categorical propositions and/or change dogmatic propositions from the category of truth-falsehood to the category of authority-obedience and thus, negate all dogmas on the grounds of impossibility, excessive moral or physical burden, and whatever else excuses a person from fulfilling a legal obligation, precept, command, etc., etc.
Now comes Pope Francis. He is not stupid but he is remarkably ignorant, self-willed, arrogant, proud, authoritarian, hypocritical, posturing, dissembling, viscous, revengeful, and uniformly shameless. He employs the term neo-Pelagianism to attack Catholic faithful loyal to our Lord's reveal truths who conform their lives to His moral law, and yet, he does not define his terminology. Obviously Francis is using term the same way that Jews use the term “anti-Semitism.” Accusations that are defined can be refuted and refutation is not what the calumniator is interested in. Joe Sobran defined “anti-Semitic” as a person the Jews don’t like. The same can be said that a neo-Pelagian is someone Pope Francis doesn’t like.
The heresy of Pelagius was the denial of Original Sin, and because he denied Original Sin, he held that man could attain the supernatural end of salvation by natural means. He could obtain salvation by natural works. Francis therefore does not accuse faithful Catholics of denying Original Sin, he is accusing them of employing Pelagian methodology to obtain salvation. It is the ends that constitute the primary determinate of the moral act and thus Francis (Who am I to judge?) is guilty of nothing less than direct calumny by associating faithful Catholic with the heretic Pelagius because he sees a similarity of material acts that are in themselves morally neutral but have entirely different moral ends.
Modernism was called by Pope St. Pius X “the synthesis of all heresies.” Since Modernism denies all dogma as its end, every heresy can be discovered in the Modernist. Francis recently declared that Luther’s condemned heretical doctrine of Justification was “correct.” Luther denied the value of good works (and free will) in his heresy of justification by “faith alone.” So does Pope Francis. He interminably talks about caring for the poor but like all liberals, he gives mouth service to humanity and treats individual humans with contempt excepting photo-ops. What is particularly grating is his assertion that Catholics faithful to dogma and the moral law do not perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, that they are ‘enclosed upon themselves’. And this from the mouth of the hypocrite who degrades the spiritual works of mercy by calling proselytism “solemn nonsense.” Every Catholic university, school, hospital, nursing home, orphanage, charitable institute for the care of the poor or the ransom of captives, for the conversion of heretics and pagans, etc. was founded by Catholics faithful to dogma and the divine moral law. The Modernists have done less than nothing. They have so gutted the faith of any substance that they have overseen the greatest collapse of Catholic charitable works of mercy emptying religious institutions of vocations that completely overshadows the decimation caused by the plague in medieval Europe.
Nothing could be more hypocritical than a Modernist, who denies an objective knowable truth, suggesting that anyone could be a heretic. You can be assured that there will never be a “syllabus of errors” condemning neo-Pelagianian propositions because that would require clear definitions and the structuring of sound judgments. The real purpose is to smear. Nothing more. Cardinal Laderia ends his interview by affirming the Vatican II heresies that deny the identity of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Christ, and then affirms that heretical sects can be “elements of salvation.” In the end for Novus Ordo Modernist, salvation can be found anywhere. Why not in “neo-Pelagianism”?
Maybe that's one of Francis' Gnostic secrets?
“Endeavor to acquire the virtues in which you believe your brother to be wanting; then you will no longer be sensible of his defects, because they will have ceased to exist in yourself.”
Pope Francis never kneels before the Blessed Sacrament! Why?
Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever. John 6:54-59
For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 1 Cor 11:26-29
Because for Francis, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60)
Pope Francis for the second time has made the cover of the liberal and salacious Rolling Stone Magazine. It may be because he is the first pope to actually duplicate Stan Laurel’s infallible magic match trick?
As we suffer under the moral and doctrinal Novelties of Pope Francis, it is evident why he wants the Novelty Master, Paul VI, to become another novel Novus Ordo saint. Montini is the man who defined the “Spirit of Vatican II” in one word: “NOVELTY” in order to “please men.”
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
St. Paul, Galatians 1, 8-10
“Blind that they are, and leaders of the blind, inflated with a boastful science, they have reached that pitch of folly where they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true nature of the religious sentiment; with that new system of theirs they are seen to be under the sway of a blind and unchecked passion for novelty, thinking not at all of finding some solid foundation of truth, but despising the holy and apostolic traditions, they embrace other vain, futile, uncertain doctrines, condemned by the Church, on which, in the height of their vanity, they think they can rest and maintain truth itself.”
St. Pius X, Pascendi
“A lamentable spectacle is that presented by the aberrations of human reason when it yields to the spirit of novelty, when against the warning of the Apostle it seeks to know beyond what it is meant to know, and when relying too much on itself it thinks it can find the fruit outside the Church wherein truth is found without the slightest shadow of error.”
Pope Gregory XVI, Singulari nos, 1834, quoted by St. Pius X in Pascendi
“It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications of a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilisation.”
Leo XIII, Jan 27, 1902, quoted by St. Pius X in Pascendi
"... We wish to make our own the important words employed by the Council; those words which define its spirit, and, in a dynamical synthesis, form the spirit of all those who refer to it, be they within or without the Church. The word “NOVELTY”, simple, very dear to today’s men, is much utilized; it is theirs... That word... it was given to us as an order, as a program... It comes to us directly from the pages of the Holy Scripture: “For, behold (says the Lord), I create new heavens and a new earth”. St. Paul echoes these words of the prophet Isaiah; then, the Apocalypse: “I am making everything new.” And Jesus, our Master, was not He, himself, an innovator? “You have heard that people were told in the past ... but now I tell you...”– Repeated in the “Sermon on the Mount”.
It is precisely thus that the Council has come to us. Two terms characterize it: “RENOVATION” and “REVISION”. We are particularly keen that this “spirit of renovation”– according to the expression of the Council – be understood and experienced by everyone. It responds to the characteristic of our time, wholly engaged in an enormous and rapid transformation, and generating novelties in every sector of modern life. In fact, one cannot shy away from this spontaneous reflection: if the whole world is changing, will not religion change as well?
Between the reality of life and Christianity, Catholicism especially, is not there reciprocal disagreement, indifference, misunderstanding, and hostility? The former is leaping forward; the latter would not move. How could they go along? How could Christianity claim to have, today, any influence upon life?
And it is for this reason that the Church has undertaken some reforms, especially after the Council. The Episcopate is about to promote the “renovation” that corresponds to our present needs; Religious Orders are reforming their Statutes; Catholic laity is qualified and found its role within the life of the Church; Liturgy is proceeding with a reform in which anyone knows the extension and importance; Christian education reviews the methods of its pedagogy; all the canonical legislations are about to be revised.
And how many other consoling and promising novelties we shall see appearing in the Church! They attest to Her new vitality, which shows that the Holy Spirit animates Her continually, even in these years so crucial to religion. The development of ecumenism, guided by Faith and Charity, itself says what progress, almost unforeseeable, has been achieved during the course and life of the Church. The Church looks at the future with Her heart brimming with hope, brimming with fresh expectation in love... We can say... of the Council: It marks the onset of a new era, of which no one can deny the new aspects that We have indicated to you."
Paul VI, General Audience, July 2, 1969
What needs to be “contextualized” is the idiot Sosa. The context is the heresy of Modernism!
Jesuit Superior General: We Don’t Know ‘What Jesus Really Said’
In a strangely convoluted interview, the new Superior General of the Jesuit order suggested that different interpretations of the Bible can all be valid since no one really knows what Jesus said anyway.
Breitbart | Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D. | 23 Feb 2017 “It would be necessary to start a nice reflection on what Jesus really said,” Father Arturo Sosa said in his interview with Swiss Vatican journalist Giuseppe Rusconi, since “at that time no one had a tape recorder to record his words.”
“What we do know is that Jesus’ words need to be contextualized. They were expressed with a language, in a specific setting and were directed to someone in particular,” he said.
Asked whether Jesus’ words have an “absolute value,” Father Sosa said that scholars have been struggling “to understand exactly what Jesus meant to say.”
“The word is relative, the Gospel is written by human beings, it is accepted by the Church which is made up of human persons,” he said.
“It is true,” he said, “that no one can change the word of Jesus, but we need to know what it was!”
Curiously, the Second Vatican Council, which Father Sosa appeals to, taught that “everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit,” and that the books of Scripture “must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.”
It also declared that the Church has always firmly held that the four Gospels faithfully hand on “what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven.”
Getting down to specifics, the interviewer asked Father Sosa whether Jesus’ words regarding divorce are “debatable.”
The priest answered that Jesus’ words should not be doubted but “brought under discernment.” His words continue to oblige, he said, but they oblige us to “follow the results of discernment.”
The Jesuit seemed to suggest that the Holy Spirit is very active in the discernment process but was not quite so active in inspiring the biblical text itself, which was simply “written by human beings” and is therefore “relative.”
What is up for discussion, he continued, is “not the word of Jesus, but the word of Jesus as we have interpreted it.”
“Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone,” he said. “Human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development.”
Doctrine is part of discernment, and “true discernment cannot ignore doctrine,” Father Sosa said.
At the same time, however, discernment can reach conclusions at odds with doctrine “because doctrine doesn’t substitute discernment or the Holy Spirit,” he said.
The Great Recurring Theme of Pope Francis and the Novus Ordo Church: "We will not walk, We will not hearken!"
Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye on the ways, and see and ask for the old paths which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. And they said: we will not walk. And I appointed watchmen over you, saying: Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet. And they said: We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what great things I will do to them. Hear, O earth: Behold I will bring evils upon this people, the fruits of their own thoughts: because they have not heard my words, and they have cast away my law. To what purpose do you bring me frankincense from Saba, and the sweet smelling cane from a far country? Your holocausts are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices pleasing to me.
Jeremias, 6, 16-20
Leaked docs raise question of Pope’s personal role in new Vatican financial scandal
LifeSiteNews | ROME, February 20, 2018 – Leaked documents obtained by LifeSiteNews connect the Pope himself to a new Vatican financial scandal and raise serious questions about his global reputation as the “pope for the poor.”
LifeSiteNews has obtained internal documents of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, a charity with a stellar history of assisting the world’s poor, showing that last summer the Pope personally requested, and obtained in part, a $25 million grant to a corruption-plagued, Church-owned dermatological hospital in Rome accused of money laundering. Records from the financial police indicate the hospital has liabilities over one billion USD – an amount larger than the national debt of some 20 nations.
The grant has lay members of the Papal Foundation up in arms, and some tendering resignations. Responding to questions from LifeSiteNews, Papal Foundation staff sent a statement saying that it is not their practice to comment on individual requests.
Speaking of grants in general, the Papal Foundation said their mission has not changed. “The grants to help those in need around the world and of significance to the Holy Father are reviewed and approved through well-accepted philanthropic processes by the Board and its committees,” it said.
Lay membership or becoming a “steward” in the Papal Foundation involves the pledge “to give $1 million over the course of no more than ten years with a minimum donation of $100,000 per year.” Those monies are invested in order to make a perpetual fund to assist the Church.
However, the majority of the board is composed of U.S. bishops, including every U.S. Cardinal living in America. The foundation customarily gives grants of $200,000 or less to organizations in the developing world via the Holy See.
According to the internal documents, the Pope made the request for the massive grant, which is 100 times larger than its normal grants, through Papal Foundation board chairman Cardinal Donald Wuerl in the summer of 2017.
Despite opposition from the lay “stewards,” the bishops on the board voted in December to send an $8 million payment to the Holy See. In January, the documents reveal, lay members raised alarm about what they consider a gross misuse of their funds, but despite their protests another $5 million was sent with Cardinal Wuerl brooking no dissent.
Along with this report, LifeSite is publishing three leaked documents.
‘Negligent… flawed… reckless’
On January 6, the steward who until then served as chairman of the Foundation’s audit committee submitted his resignation along with a report of the committee’s grave objections to the grant.
“As head of the Audit Committee and a Trustee of the Foundation, I found this grant to be negligent in character, flawed in its diligence, and contrary to the spirit of the Foundation,” he wrote in his resignation letter accompanying the report. “Instead of helping the poor in a third-world country, the Board approved an unprecedented huge grant to a hospital that has a history of mismanagement, criminal indictments, and bankruptcy.”
“Had we allowed such recklessness in our personal careers we would never have met the requirements to join The Papal Foundation in the first place.”
The audit committee chairman’s report noted that the Foundation’s “initial $8 million was sent without any supporting documentation.”
He said the board eventually received a “2-1/2 inch thick binder of information (mostly in Italian)” but it lacked essential details. The report notes:
There was no Balance Sheet. There was no clear explanation as to how the $25 million would be used. Normal grant requests are fairly specific about how our money will be used. Buried in the thick binder was only a one-page financial projection labelled “Draft for Discussion” showing:
2017 1.6 million Euro PROFIT
2018 2.4 million Euro PROFIT
2019 4.4 million Euro PROFIT
And on this data, our Board of Directors voted to grant this failing hospital $25 million of our hard-earned dollars. To put this in perspective, rarely have we given above $200,000 to a grant request. I pointed out that there was NO PROFESSIONAL DUE DILIGENCE, just a lot of fluff. If the numbers presented were accurate, then this commercial enterprise should go to a bank. They don’t need our money. If the numbers were not accurate, then a decision could not be made. […..]
Hungarian Prime Minister: ‘Christianity is Europe’s last hope’
LifeSiteNews | BUDAPEST, Hungary | February 19, 2018 – Brushing aside any semblance of political correctness, Hungary’s Prime Minister said in his state of the nation speech on Sunday that, “Christianity is Europe's last hope.”
Addressing his country and the world, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán warned that European nations which have encouraged migration have, “opened the way to the decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam.”
Orbán painted an image of Western Europe being overwhelmed by the accelerating influx Muslim immigrants in recent years.
“According to estimates, the proportion of immigrants will grow at an accelerated pace in the European countries west of us,” said Orbán. “I won't even say anything about France and Holland, but even the born Germans are being forced back from most large German cities as migrants always occupy big cities first.”
Orbán warned that as Western Europe becomes saturated with Muslim occupants, Islamists would soon seek to stream in to his country from both Western Europe as well as from Islamic nations.
“This means that the Islamic civilization, which always considers its vocation to convert Europe to what it calls the true faith, in the future will be knocking on the door of Central Europe not only from the south, but from the west, as well,” he said.
Prime Minister Orbán said his government will oppose efforts by the United Nations or the European Union to “increase migration” around the world.
In June, LifeSiteNews reported that Orbán had taken a strong stand and not backed down against outside globalist influences seeking to control his nation’s politics.
Billionaire George Soros, who famously backs many progressive initiatives around the world, locked horns with Orbán over the Central European University (CEU) he founded in 1989, which has been criticized as a funnel for anti-nationalist views. [……]
Effigy of Pope Francis the Communist being mocked in a Shrove Tuesday Celebration in 2017 along with cherub images of Mao, Lenin and Castro. The measure of the man by faithful Catholics is being taken more accurately every day but unfortunately, the measure of the man is doing incalculable damage to the dignity of the office with the loss of many souls.
Cardinal says Vatican-China deal would put Catholics in communist cage
Reuters | HONG KONG | February 9, 2018 - A senior Catholic cardinal accused the Vatican on Friday of acting “unfaithfully” in its rapprochement with China, saying it would put the country’s some 12 million faithful in a bird cage controlled by the Communist Party.
Addressing a news conference, Hong Kong’s outspoken Cardinal Joseph Zen also said he was highly skeptical of a deal that reportedly would give Pope Francis the final say in the appointment of bishops, the key part of the agreement.
Nearly 70 years after China and the Vatican severed diplomatic relations, the two sides recently reached a framework accord on the thorny issue of who gets to appoint new Chinese bishops and a historic deal could be signed in a few months.
The 86-year-old former bishop of Hong Kong, recently rebuked by the Vatican after he said it had “sold out” China’s faithful, said sources told him that under the framework agreement the pope would have the final veto power over bishops who are effectively chosen by the Chinese government.
“They (The Chinese government) say the last word belongs to the Holy Father. Sounds wonderful? But it’s fake,” Zen said.
”They are not going to make good choices for the Church ... surely they choose the one they prefer, which means the one who always obeys the government. So how (could) the Holy Father approve such a choice?”
“Okay, he can veto. How many times? It takes courage to veto the second time, the third time, five times,” Zen said.
Catholics in China are split between the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, where bishops are appointed by the government, and the “underground” Church that remains loyal to the pope while being systematically persecuted by Chinese authorities for years.
Zen, who has fiercely criticized the Vatican for attempting to force two “underground” bishops to give way to government-backed “illegitimate” bishops in order to foster the deal, was rebuked by the Vatican last Wednesday for “fostering confusion and controversy”.
Zen said that under the status quo, which he described as “the lesser evil,” the Vatican secretly approves candidates who are acceptable to both sides before the state-controlled Church makes them bishop.
But under the new agreement, where candidates would be selected via a “so-called democratic election” inside the Chinese Catholic community and endorsed by a state-controlled bishops’ conference before being submitted to the pope, the choice lies entirely in the hands of the government, Zen said.
“A church enslaved by the government is no real Catholic Church,” he said.
Zen said he was not criticizing the pope, whom he believed might not be briefed on “reality” because bureaucrats in the Holy See are eager to strike a deal.
“What they (Vatican negotiators) are doing is unfaithful,” Zen said. “I am not judging their conscience but ... it’s a surrender and they have no right to surrender.”
Those who think that the pope is the "rule of faith" will follow Francis into heresy. Those who are faithful to dogma as the "rule of faith" can at least find salvation.
Scholar stumps Cardinal Cupich, asks if Pope’s ‘paradigm shift’ means ‘radical’ doctrinal change
LifeSiteNews | CAMBRIDGE, England | February 15, 2018 – A respected Catholic historian and philosopher challenged Cardinal Blase Cupich during a lecture last week about Pope’ Francis so-called “revolution of mercy” that has caused what many are defending as a “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice.
Professor John Rist, after listening to a February 9 lecture at Cambridge University in which Cardinal Cupich praised Pope Francis’ “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice, asked the Cardinal at the end of the lecture why Pope Francis “mercilessly” insults and eliminates his doctrinal opponents.
Rist asked the Cardinal:
Your Eminence, In view of your account of the sunny, caring and holistic features of Pope Francis’ revolution of mercy – described disturbingly by the leaflet for this meeting and by your Eminence as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the presentation of Catholicism – and of the Pope’s call for free and frank discussion of his challenging proposals and policies, I would like to ask why Pope Francis acts so mercilessly in insulting and eliminating doctrinal opponents:
· Cardinal Burke removed from the leadership of the Roman Rota;
· Three loyal priests from the CDF dismissed without explanation, followed by the abrupt termination of Cardinal Mueller himself;
· The denial of a Cardinal’s hat to the much loved champion of the unborn, Archbishop Chaput;
· The removal of most of the original members of the Academy for Life;
· The apparent selling-down the river of Cardinal Pell, who may have been framed;
· And more recently the banishment from Rome of the Professor of Patristics at the Lateran and editor of the challenging book Remaining in the Truth of Christ;
The list goes on and on, but I stop there to ask again whether harsh actions of this sort — combined with the well-documented rigging of the Synod on the Family — indicate that the Pope’s 'paradigm shift' should be recognized as an attempt — under cover of offering solutions to genuine social problems in Western society — to impose on the Church radical changes of doctrine, developed not by laity but largely in Germany by a group of relativist Hegelian theologians?
Cupich sidestepped away from the question, replying that those who have such concerns should ask themselves: “Do we really believe that the Spirit is no longer guiding the Church?” reported the Catholic Herald.
The professor said after the event that if he had been given the chance to reply, he would have told the Cardinal that “the Church is indeed guided by the Holy Spirit, via good Catholic souls such as Cardinal Burke and many others.”
Rist is a Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Toronto and now holds a Chair in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. A native of the United Kingdom, Rist is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He is also a convert to Catholicism from agnosticism, thanks to his study of Plato, the Gospels and other ancient texts.
Rist, whose career as a philosopher and a classicist spans fifty years and three continents, has written 16 scholarly books and over a hundred journal articles on ancient and Christian philosophy or the Gospels. He also contributed to Remaining in the Truth of Christ, the defense of Catholic teaching that was “intercepted” at the Synod on the Family.
Rist told LifeSiteNews that he regards the Francis papacy as a “disaster.”
“I regard this papacy as a disaster and Bergoglio as possibly — because of his tampering with established doctrine — as possibly the worst pope we have ever had,” he said.
“Cupich's attempt to defend him [at Cambridge] was itself dependent on misrepresentations, the evading of legitimate questions, and in at least one case — that of my charge of the Synod on the Family being rigged — of downright lying. I was teaching in Rome at the time, and contributed to Remaining in the Truth of Christ, so I know about what happened firsthand,” he added.
The professor said that one of the principal difficulties in the Church today is when people confuse the Church with the person of the Pope.
"One of the basic problems we have is that too many Catholics (and others) confuse the pope with the Church,” he said. “Cupich tried to play that card by suggesting that Amoris Laetitia — even in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis — is de fide [i.e. doctrine that must be believed], which it manifestly is not.”
Rist suggested that Pope Francis is not doing his job well.
“It is the function of the Pope to provide unity in the Church by scrutinizing new ideas to see if they are compatible with the inherited regula fidei [rule of faith],” the professor continued. “Instead of unity Pope Francis has caused massive confusion and division – and many sad clergy are afraid of being sanctioned if they speak out.”
As have many others before him, Rist compared the challenges posed by Francis’ innovations to the crisis of faith in the fourth century.
“The whole thing amounts to a heresy on the scale of the Arian heresy,” he stated. “That took some 60 years to wort out. I fear that this set of moral heresies may last even longer.”
Even the modern media is tiring of Pope Francis the Sham!
Global scandal: Francis exposed as a liar by own advisers on abuse victim
From the Associated Press, in what is turning out to be the greatest scandal of a sorry Pontificate:
By NICOLE WINFIELD and EVA VERGARA
Associated Press | VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis received a victim’s
letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and
how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence
that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author
and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated
The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has “zero tolerance” for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.
The scandal exploded last month when Francis’ trip to South America was marred by protests over his vigorous defense of Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by victims of covering up the abuse by the Rev. Fernando Karadima. During the trip, Francis callously dismissed accusations against Barros as “slander,” seemingly unaware that victims had placed him at the scene of Karadima’s crimes.
On the plane home, confronted by an AP reporter, the pope said: “You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.”
But members of the pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors say that in April 2015, they sent a delegation to Rome specifically to hand-deliver a letter to the pope about Barros. The letter from Juan Carlos Cruz detailed the abuse, kissing and fondling he says he suffered at Karadima’s hands, which he said Barros and others witnessed and ignored.
Four members of the commission met with Francis’ top abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, explained their objections to Francis’ recent appointment of Barros as a bishop in southern Chile, and gave him the letter to deliver to Francis.
“When we gave him (O’Malley) the letter for the pope, he assured us he would give it to the pope and speak of the concerns,” then-commission member Marie Collins told the AP. “And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done.”
Cruz, who now lives and works in Philadelphia, heard the same later that year.
“Cardinal O’Malley called me after the pope’s visit here in Philadelphia and he told me, among other things, that he had given the letter to the pope — in his hands,” he said in an interview at his home Sunday.
Neither the Vatican nor O’Malley responded to multiple requests for comment.
While the 2015 summit of Francis’ commission was known and publicized at the time, the contents of Cruz’s letter — and a photograph of Collins handing it to O’Malley — were not disclosed by members. Cruz provided the letter, and Collins provided the photo, after reading an AP story that reported Francis had claimed to have never heard from any Karadima victims about Barros’ behavior.
The Barros affair first caused shockwaves in January 2015 when Francis appointed him bishop of Osorno, Chile, over the objections of the leadership of Chile’s bishops’ conference and many local priests and laity. They accepted as credible the testimony against Karadima, a prominent Chilean cleric who was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for abusing minors. Barros was a Karadima protege, and according to Cruz and other victims, he witnessed the abuse and did nothing.
“Holy Father, I write you this letter because I’m tired of fighting, of crying and suffering,” Cruz wrote in Francis’ native Spanish. “Our story is well known and there’s no need to repeat it, except to tell you of the horror of having lived this abuse and how I wanted to kill myself.”
Cruz and other survivors had for years denounced the cover-up of Karadima’s crimes, but were dismissed as liars by the Chilean church hierarchy and the Vatican’s own ambassador in Santiago, who refused their repeated requests to meet before and after Barros was appointed.
After Francis’ comments backing the Chilean hierarchy caused such an outcry in Chile, he was forced last week to do an about-face: The Vatican announced it was sending in its most respected sex-crimes investigator to take testimony from Cruz and others about Barros.
In the letter to the pope, Cruz begs for Francis to listen to him and make good on his pledge of “zero tolerance.”
“Holy Father, it’s bad enough that we suffered such tremendous pain and anguish from the sexual and psychological abuse, but the terrible mistreatment we received from our pastors is almost worse,” he wrote.
Cruz goes on to detail in explicit terms the homo-eroticized nature of the circle of priests and young boys around Karadima, the charismatic preacher whose El Bosque community in the well-to-do Santiago neighborhood of Providencia produced dozens of priestly vocations and five bishops, including Barros.
He described how Karadima would kiss Barros and fondle his genitals, and do the same with younger priests and teens, and how young priests and seminarians would fight to sit next to Karadima at the table to receive his affections.
“More difficult and tough was when we were in Karadima’s room and Juan Barros — if he wasn’t kissing Karadima — would watch when Karadima would touch us — the minors — and make us kiss him, saying: ‘Put your mouth near mine and stick out your tongue.’ He would stick his out and kiss us with his tongue,” Cruz told the pope. “Juan Barros was a witness to all this innumerable times, not just with me but with others as well.”
“Juan Barros covered up everything that I have told you,” he added.
Barros has repeatedly denied witnessing any abuse or covering it up. “I never knew anything about, nor ever imagined, the serious abuses which that priest committed against the victims,” he told the AP recently. “I have never approved of nor participated in such serious, dishonest acts, and I have never been convicted by any tribunal of such things.”
For the Osorno faithful who have opposed Barros as their bishop, the issue isn’t so much a legal matter requiring proof or evidence, as Barros was a young priest at the time and not in a position of authority over Karadima. It’s more that if Barros didn’t “see” what was happening around him and doesn’t find it problematic for a priest to kiss and fondle young boys, he shouldn’t be in charge of a diocese where he is responsible for detecting inappropriate sexual behavior, reporting it to police and protecting children from pedophiles like his mentor.
Cruz had arrived at Karadima’s community in 1980 as a vulnerable teenager, distraught after the recent death of his father. He has said Karadima told him he would be like a spiritual father to him, but instead sexually abused him.
Based on testimony from Cruz and other former members of the parish, the Vatican in 2011 removed Karadima from ministry and sentenced him to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes. Now 87, he lives in a home for elderly priests in Santiago; he hasn’t commented on the scandal and the home has declined to accept calls or visits from the news media.
The victims also testified to Chilean prosecutors, who opened an investigation into Karadima after they went public with their accusations in 2010. Chilean prosecutors had to drop charges because too much time had passed, but the judge running the case stressed that it wasn’t for lack of proof.
While the victims’ testimony was deemed credible by both Vatican and Chilean prosecutors, the local church hierarchy clearly didn’t believe them, which might have influenced Francis’ view. Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz has acknowledged he didn’t believe the victims initially and shelved an investigation. He was forced to reopen it after the victims went public.
He is now one of the Argentine pope’s key cardinal advisers.
By the time he finally got his letter into the pope’s hands in 2015, Cruz had already sent versions to many other people, and had tried for months to get an appointment with the Vatican ambassador. The embassy’s Dec. 15, 2014, email to Cruz — a month before Barros was appointed — was short and to the point:
“The apostolic nunciature has received the message you emailed Dec. 7 to the apostolic nuncio,” it read, “and at the same time communicates that your request has been met with an unfavorable response.”
One could argue that Francis didn’t pay attention to Cruz’s letter, since he receives thousands of letters every day from faithful around the world. He can’t possibly read them all, much less remember the contents years later. He might have been tired and confused after a weeklong trip to South America when he told an airborne press conference that victims never came forward to accuse Barros of cover-up.
But this was not an ordinary letter, nor were the circumstances under which it arrived in the Vatican.
Francis had named O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, to head his Commission for the Protection of Minors based on his credibility in having helped clean up the mess in Boston after the U.S. sex abuse scandal exploded there in 2002. The commission gathered outside experts to advise the church on protecting children from pedophiles and educating church personnel about preventing abuse and cover-ups.
The four commission members who were on a special subcommittee dedicated to survivors had flown to Rome specifically to speak with O’Malley about the Barros appointment and to deliver Cruz’s letter. A press release issued after the April 12, 2015, meeting read: “Cardinal O’Malley agreed to present the concerns of the subcommittee to the Holy Father.”
Commission member Catherine Bonnet, a French child psychiatrist who took the photo of Collins handing the letter to O’Malley, said the commission members had decided to descend on Rome specifically when O’Malley and other members of the pope’s group of nine cardinal advisers were meeting, so that O’Malley could put it directly into the pope’s hands.
“Cardinal O’Malley promised us when Marie gave to him the letter of Juan Carlos that he will give to Pope Francis,” she said.
O’Malley’s spokesman in Boston referred requests for comment to the Vatican. Neither the Vatican press office, nor officials at the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, responded to calls and emails seeking comment.
But O’Malley’s remarkable response to Francis’ defense of Barros and to his dismissal of the victims while he was in Chile, is perhaps now better understood.
In a rare rebuke of a pope by a cardinal, O’Malley issued a statement Jan. 20 in which he said the pope’s words were “a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” and that such expressions had the effect of abandoning victims and relegating them to “discredited exile.”
A day later, Francis apologized for having demanded “proof” of wrongdoing by Barros, saying he meant merely that he wanted to see “evidence.” But he continued to describe the accusations against Barros as “calumny” and insisted he had never heard from any victims.
Even when told in his airborne press conference Jan. 21 that Karadima’s victims had indeed placed Barros at the scene of Karadima’s abuse, Francis said: “No one has come forward. They haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It’s something that can’t be accepted.”
He stood by Barros, saying: “I’m certain he’s innocent,” even while saying that he considered the testimony of victims to be “evidence” in a cover-up investigation.
“If anyone can give me evidence, I’ll be the first to listen,” he said.
Cruz said he felt like he had been slapped when he heard those words.
“I was upset,” he said, “and at the same time I couldn’t believe that someone so high up like the pope himself could lie about this.”