Showing posts with label Laicism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laicism. Show all posts

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mass Demonstrations in France Against Same-Sex Marriage: French Government Declaring War on Catholics

On Sunday, tens of thousands took to the streets in the French capital of Paris and Lyon to demonstrate against the equality of same-sex partnerships and in support of their view of traditional family values. Conservatives from all over France participated. Here are photos from Salon Beige, courtesy of Tiberge.

The mass demonstrations, typically ignored in the rest of international news, attracted the attention of the French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, who compared the Catholics well represented in the demonstrations, with Muslim fundamentalists, from the Tablet.

Mr Valls, who ten days ago accompanied President François Hollande to the Vatican, told fellow Socialist lawmakers that “extreme right-wing Catholics” opposed gay marriage, legalised last year, and current plans to make access to abortion easier. 
This Catholic far Right, which he did not define more clearly, had found allies among political conservatives, he said in an apparent reference to the hundreds of thousands who marched against same-sex marriage last year. 
“We must wage combat because there is a danger,” he told the meeting reviewing the current state of France’s trademark secular system of laïcité.
German news reports "tens of thousands" of protesters in the streets.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pope Francis Receives François Hollande -- 10,000 Catholics Ask Pope for "Clear Words"

(Paris / Vatican) On 24 January French President François Hollande was received by Pope Francis in audience. The contrast could not be greater. France's socialist government is in a hard cultural struggle against the non-negotiable principles and thus against the Catholic Church. To be precise, it is a brutal war of extermination with abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, adoption rights for homosexuals, surrogacy and gender ideology. A group of French Catholics has appealed to Pope Francis. The call has a petition that has been signed within a few days of more than 100,000 Frenchmen. The appeal in full:

Your Holiness,

You have granted the President of the French Republic an audience and will receive him in the coming 24 January  at the Vatican.
With faith and hope, we turn to you, Your Holiness, to ask you to kindly to make known to  Monsieur François Hollande  to address the deep unease and growing concern of many French Catholics.
Because  French Catholics,  who  have demonstrated en masse  in order to express their rejection of the so-called Mariage pour tous-law, an unjust law that arbitrarily deprives the child of his right to have  a father and a mother  discomfort, and the gate that has opened  the door for the commercialization of the human body have  not been heard by Monsieur François Hollande. These rallies, although peaceful, have been suppressed by unworthy methods, such as, among others, we have even been charged under the lamented European Union and its resolution No. 1947.
Unhappy because the French Catholics have been the object of a media smear campaign of rare hardness for the last  year. The Church desecrations have multiplied in recent years, especially by Femen , a group of radical feminists. This profanation has been hardly found any response in the media. No member of the government or the responsible politicians of the ruling majority considered it necessary to condemn this desecration, which deeply hurt us, and not even a word of solidarity was pronounced. The ads were allowed to be posted. Many French Catholics can not help but to draw a comparison to the strict, unanimous and legitimate reactions against those responsible when other religious communities are under attack in France.
Unhappy finally, because no longer lett the ridicule, the teasing and the attacks on  the highest places can't even be counted.  On a  large national radio station, the Minister of Labor made a joke about the Holy Eucharist ​​a few months ago, declaring, among other things: "We don't make any  invocations. We are not at the Mass, to pray. We are acting."  On social networks, the parliamentary staff of a socialist senator and cosigner of the gay marriage law, for the crowd to be fired upon, who were demonstrating against the Lex Taubira  and this senator still received the full support,  Such examples like this are unfortunately,  very many. French Catholics are tired of being a religious group that can be disparaged with impunity.
There is worry because these attacks against Catholics are a large step backwards in  fundamental and human rights, which is fostered by the Government through the promotion and blows the culture of death.
Last July  the National Assembly (lower house of parliament) established the conditions for research on human embryos. The French Catholics affirm their rejection of an idea of the child, where the child doesn't have any rights outside of his parents plans for him.
Recently, the offense of "obstruction of abortion" on the mere expression of criticism in the killing of unborn children was extended. French Catholics to be denied in this way, in violation of the freedom of expression, which was previously a basic pillar of our democracy, to express their opposition to abortion and abortion policy in the future.
The government lays the foundations to bring a bill to a vote, legalizing euthanasia. To this end, many were members of the National Ethics Committee of Monsieur François Hollande included, which today has no religious members.
Finally, the education minister, who is actively promoting gender theory at the schools said, without any ifs and buts according to his will: "We need the Catholic religion to be replaced by a republican religion" and "any  qualifications by  the student must be torn out by the roots" including the familial bond. In this way, the educational rights of parents to educate their children according to their beliefs is threatened.
Your Holiness will naturally find better words than we do, to bring our discomfort on the topics expressed here. However, we ask with confidence and gratitude, that you will officially pronounce to Monsieur François Hollande during his visit this coming 24 January, the terrible concern of many French Catholics. It is an honor for us to be able to say with the greatest respect, to be the humble servant of Your Holiness.
A Group of French Catholics
Translation into German: Giuseppe Nardi according to the statement by  Abbé Pierre Laurent Cabantous
image: Wikicommons / tempos (assembly)
Trans: Tancred

Friday, December 20, 2013

Not only Burke -- Brotherly Purge of Francis the Merciful

(Rome) The Vaticanist Matteo Matzuzzi analyzed the reasons that led to the removal of Cardinal Burke from two Roman Congregations within a few days for the daily newspaper Il FoglioHe sees the main reason in a "completely opposite" understanding of the Church. An interview with Cardinal Burke, published on 12 December  by EWTN finally led  to the fracture. Cardinal Burke expresses  doubt as to whether the Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium could be regarded as part of the papal magisterium at all. The background is also the great influence that the cardinal wielded under Pope Benedict XVI.  on the appointment of bishops in the United States. Part of the American Church saw the opportunity to get rid of this influence under Pope Francis, and to assist them accordingly. Obviously, they met with success. Matzuzzi speaks of a "purge" against the clergy, who are closely related to  Pope Benedict's understanding  of the  Church.  Because of the inflationary celebration of Pope Francis as a "reincarnation" of the "benevolent" Pope John XXIII.,  Matzuzzi writes  of the connection not without a finer, deeper significance between the "cleansing" and the "benevolent Francis". And once again  this signifies the dislike of the new Pontiff against tradition.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Is the Vatican Going to Erect a New Congregation for Laity? Idea of Cardinal Maradiaga. Also of Pope Francis?

(Rome) The Coordinator of Pope Francis's C8 Cardinal Council wishes to establish a congregation of the Roman Curia for the laity: "There is the Congregation for Bishops, one for the priests and for the religious. But there is not one for the laity who are the most numerous."

The statement comes from Archbishop Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras Tegucugalpa. He was made Coordinator of the 8 member council by Pope Francis, which advises the Pope on the reform of the Curia and the leadership of the Church. Cardinal Maradiaga previously called for the reform of the Roman Curia in a statement and is considered among the eight cardinals who desires the most far-reaching changes. Now he again took position and indeed in Logrono in Spain, where he was staying for a visit.

The Central American cardinal declared that "the departments in the Vatican will be adjusted". There has been "only a Pontifical Council for the Laity, but a Congregation for Bishops, another for the priests, another for the religious, but there is none for the laity, who are the most numerous." According to Cardinal Maradiaga a path of reform of the Curia should lead to appreciation of the laity, that their own congregation should be built. In this Congregation various Pontifical Councils could be incorporated, the Council for the Family to the Council for Health Pastoral Care.

Pope Francis considers "clericalism" to be a disease of the Church. A position that his predecessors represented and attempting to oppose the jostle of married men, homosexuals and women entering the sanctuary and in which he attempted to highlight the mission of Christians and their place. Absolutely with some successes, except in the progressive camp, where there is an urge to clericalism throughout the whole Church. Through the clericalization of everything, the declericalization of the Church will be accomplished. Women priests have issued a rejection of Pope Francis.

Following Cardinal Maradiaga's direction, provided they give the opinion of the Pope again and not just the personal opinion of the Cardinal, then the establishment of a lay congregation could be a possible way.

Pope Francis has confirmed the chairman and the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in office until the regular end of their term. President is Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, Secretary Bishop Josef Clemens, have both been in office since 2003. However, this term already ends with the year.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Sacri Palazzi
Trans: Tancred

Link to katholisches...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Intolerant Tolerance -- Archbishop Leonard's Visit to Catholic Religious Instruction Refused

(Brussels) Laizisismus al la Belge . Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels-Mechelen has been conducting pastoral visits since the beginning in many deaneries and parishes in Walloon Brabant. In Baisy-Thy parents on behalf of state neutrality obligation refused him to visit the Catholic religious instruction at the school. The pastoral visits are an occasion, in addition to the Holy Mass, are meetings in the parish church with the priests of the place, the Catholic organizations and groups, and the faithful. The Archbishop also visits the Catholic schools and kindergartens, but also the Catholic religious instruction taking place in public schools.

It was not possible to visit at the School of Baisy-Thy, the visit to religious instruction planned for the past 22 October at the state school. Some parents protested against this. The visit of a representative of religion in a public school violates the principle of neutrality of the state, they argued.

Finally, the Archbishop decided not to go to the school, which program is unproblematic in other places. To avoid further controversy and because the mayor, Gérard Couronné, feared riots of some parents, the mayor himself agreed with the Archbishop, to waive the intended visit to the grade school the 5th and 6th Classes. "We go everywhere where we are welcome", said Archbishop Leonard through his spokesman to the press.

The incident shows how the alleged "tolerance" of laicism [secularism] is intolerant. In Belgium, a radical fight by the enemies of the Catholic Church is in progress, with radical attempts to marginalize the Church from public life. Against this background, it is has also been seen that Archbishop Leonard has twice this year already been paid visits by the activists of FEMEN (see separate report on the first attack and the second attack ). Why always against the Primate of Belgium? The FEMEN activism works on demand. You can order it in some ways ( see separate report on FEMEN forthcoming). Who pays, decides. In Belgium there are obviously forces which are willing to pay for public aggression against the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: L'Obersevatoire de la Christianophobia Trans: Tancred

Link to katholisches...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hollande and His Government: "A Troop of Cathophobes"

(Paris) Fabrice Madouas addresses "Catholics on the Black List" in an excellent way, in his published article for "Valeurs Actuelles" about the situation in laicistic [secular] France at a worrying point.

The growing gap between the Catholics and the government can not be explained only by the indifference of the President. From the first day of his term, he placed his seat under the patronage of radical secularist Jules Ferry [1] , whose goal is to organize a "humanity without God and King." This is a reason why Catholics are concerned about his program and are outraged about the humiliation and harassment that the left inflicts on the Church. This strongly suggests that, the government wants confrontation, hoping to mobilize their own camp by it.

Christiane Taubira [2] provided the best example when she received Cardinal Vingt-Trois with casualness, when he wanted to talk to her about the marriage, which bordered on contempt. The deputies of the Left could feel such a hostile environment that they gave him to understand so that the opinion of the Church for them counts for nothing in the debate. This abruptness is not surprising: not a single government minister, says Ayrault of himself, are practicing, only six call themselves believers, including Cecile Duflot.

Last winter, the housing minister had the audacity to publicly comment on the assumption that the Church cares little for the poor, so he threatened to confiscate ecclesiastical buildings to house the homeless. But it's still Vincent Peillon who wins the prize for anti-Church Aggression: In January he contested the existence of Catholic doctrine in question in public debates on gay marriage [aberromarriage]. Cardinal Vingt-Trois reacted strongly: "If not even a discussion is any longer possible, then there is an official state doctrine and the thought police." [On Education Minister Vincent Peillon see separate report .]

Are Catholics become second-class citizens? The question is all the more justified because the government shows a lot more respect to other religions this year took [Interior Minister] Manuel Valls twice breaking bread, taking part in Ramadan. "One way for the Republic, to show their affection to the Muslims of our country," he explained. Also, something never seen by the public authorities, when churches and Christian cemeteries are desecrated, although it concerns more than 80 percent of all anti-religious violence in France.

Text: L'Observateure de la Christianophobia / Giuseppe Nardi
Image: L'Observateure de la Christianophobia
Trans: Tancred

Link to Katholisches..,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

France's Jewish Education Minister: "We Must Replace the Catholic Church with a Republican Religion"

(Paris) "You will never be able to build a free nation with the Catholic Church." This wasn't uttered by Voltaire or Georges Danton, but the reigning French Education Minister from a  2008 interview, Vincent Peillon,  at the launch of his book, La Révolution française n'est pas terminée (The French Revolution is Not Yet Over), as Tempos reported.

Spiritual Revolution

According to Peillon "a revolution can take place not only in material terms. They must also take place in the mind. Now we made the revolution mainly politically, but not the moral and spiritual. We have left the morality and spirituality of the Catholic Church. We have to replace them."

Republican Religion

And how would Minister Peillon replace the Catholic Church? "There you couldn't immediately adapt Protestantism in France, as they have done in other democracies, one must invent a republican religion. This new religion is secularism, which must accompany the material revolution, which in reality is the mental revolution."

And how should this "spiritual revolution" be enforced? "The revolution implies that everything has to be forgotten, which preceded the Revolution. Therefore, the school plays a central role, because the school has to tear the child from all its pre-republican bonds in order to educate them to become a citizen. It is like a rebirth, a transubstantiation acting through school and for the school, the new church with their new priests, the new liturgy and their newly to be read tables of the law."

Secular morality

The Minister is trying to implement his anti-Church theses into action. In Article 31 of the draft law submitted by him to the "establishment of the School of the Republic" he wanted "the conditions for education to ensure gender equality" in the elementary schools. Parliament amended the passage at the last moment. Peillon's goal was according to gender ideology, to eradicate the distinction between the sexes. Peillon succeeded with his law but enforces a "secular morality" on compulsory education. As the purpose and aim of this "secular morality" is called law, "the students of all familial, ethnic, social, intellectual [...] determination to conclude, so that each of them could emancipate themselves [...] as the target of the republican school was always the creation of a free individual. "Peillon's state has superseded the rights of parents and set itself up as authoritarian teacher of the nation.

Aggressive secularism

The aggressiveness of French Secularism has now been detected even by the U.S., the President of France, Hollande, for first time in was listed in a 2013 annual report on violations of religious freedom in classifying the list of countries where religious freedom is threatened. Six pages of the report is devoted to the French first of all violations of this fundamental and human rights, as Pope Benedict XVI. called. France is also one of the 15 European countries with different laws which violate freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.

Vincent Peillon - a biography

Vincent Peillon, born in 1960, acting in his anti-Catholic delirium, as if he had just been sent from a lodge to a revolutionary tribunal during the French Revolution, is a Jew, a member of the Socialist Party and Freemason. His mother is from the Alsace rabbi family Blum, his grandfather was Leon Blum. His uncle, Etienne-Emile Baulieu (actually Etienne Blum), is one of the inventors of the abortion pill RU486.

Peillon's father Gilles (1928-2007), was a banker and a Communist. He was Managing Director among others of the Banque Commerciale pour l'Europe du Nord, which was called the "Banque des Soviets" in the vernacular, because they transacted the financial transactions between the East and West for the USSR. Vincent Peillon since 1994 has been a member of the national leadership of the Socialist Party. From 1997 to 2002 he was a member of the National Assembly of the French Parliament, 2004-2012 Member of the European Parliament and since May 2012, Education Minister for the Government of Jean-Marc Ayrault. In 2010 he published the book Une religion pour la République. Laïque Ferdinand Buisson de la foi (A Religion for the Republic., the secular faith of Ferdinand Buisson). Peillon is married to the Casablanca-born Jewish journalist Nathalie Bensahel.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi Image: Tempi

Link katholisches...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Asturia Will Forbid its Schools From Speaking of Christmas and Easter

Edit: always winter and never Christmas.

[Katholisches] The Principality of Asturias' Government is determined to actively participate in the extermination of the Christian culture of Spain. The current Minister of Education of the Regional Government, Doña Ana González Rodríguez, has prompted all state schools Asturias with a circular, to wipe the words known as "Holy Week" "Christmas" and "Easter" from the school calendar in Spain.

Ana González requires that the previous terms that are reminiscent of the Christian religion, are to be replaced by new terms that are "acceptable to all". Christmas should be replaced by expressions such as "Winter" and by Easter "holiday of the second trimester." Expressions that “recall the ingenuity and poetic vein of a block of wood,” said Tradition Catholica .

Since 2012, the Socialist Party (PSOE) is a minority government in Asturias. The principality on the Atlantic coast has been controlled in the past 30 years, almost continuously by the PSOE. Although the government does not have a majority in the regional parliament, the Ministry of Education will put its anti-Christian decision into effect. She contacted neither the relevant school authorities or their parents, and certainly not the Catholic Church.

The Spanish Observing Office for religion and freedom of conscience OLRC called the Asturian Minister to consider the feelings of the people and respect for traditions. The decision can only be "seen as an ironically brilliant idea of ​​Mrs. Gonzalez, with which she wants to forget the Christian roots of Spain," said Maria Garcia, spokeswoman OLRC.

The Socialist government is justified in hindsight that the decision was made to just "not to offend the sensibility." The sensibility of who asks the ORLC as "getting all of Christmas and Holy Week languages ​​and speak without effecting one's sensibility would have been injured." The OLRC urges the Minister to abandon their "secular aspirations" to suspend the decision to disclose their reasons for the decision and to seek dialogue with all stakeholders.

Critics of Regional Minister indicate that, among other things, the Reconquista of Asturias went out to liberate Spain from the Muslim conquerors. The socialist government of Asturias, is trying to imitate what many socialist governments of Europe attempt to delude: to banish Christianity from public life.

In Belgium, a ministerial circular has prescribed that the use of the word Easter and Easter holidays in a circular letter to the schools. The schools will continue to speak of "spring break". Also, the socialist government justified this by pointing to the secularity of the state, it should not violate the "sensitivity" of non-Christian immigrants. All Saints is to be called in future "Autumn Festival", the Christmas holidays are to be called "winter holiday" and even the carnival is too connected to Christianity for the Belgian Socialists, or at least too much connected with the local culture and identity. It becomes a “Relaxation Festival". From Flanders to Walloonia there is strong criticism for the new attempt to erase the Christian identity of Belgium.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Wikicomnons
Translation: Tancred

Link to katholisches….

Thursday, April 11, 2013

“The Faith is Not to Be Negotiated Over” -- Pope Francis and the “Pretension” to Change the World

(Rome) A month after his election to Pope, there is word that Jorge Mario Bergoglio has not yet pronounced the concept religious freedom. Vaticanista Sandro Magister warned about this. Pope Francis did not even use the word, despite the associated expectations, even in his speech on the 22nd of March before the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See with the envoys from around the world.

Once he talked about it, but without mentioning it by the name of religious freedom, and then on Saturday, the 6th April in his morning, improvised short sermon in the chapel of the Vatican guesthouse Domus Sanctae Martae where he lives.

Pope Francis has still never mentioned Religious Freedom

He did so, but in a very special form. Pope Francis said not a word against the persecutors even against those who are trying to strangle the freedom of the believers in a subtile way.

He took a stand in his brief discussion on the side of the persecuted: “In order to meet a martyr you need not go into the Catacombs and the Colosseum: The martyrs are now living in many countries. Christians are persecuted for their faith, today, in the 21st Century, our church is a Church of martyrs. “

Then he identified with the early Christians, by quoting the words of Peter and John, "We can not but speak of what we have seen and heard" [Acts 4:20).

Church Church of martyrs, they are not negotiating the faith

To them there were no ifs and butts to derive a statement: “The faith is not to be negotiated over.”

He continued: "In the history of God's people, there was always this temptation: omit part of the faith, perhaps not much. But the belief is, as we confess in the Creed. The temptation must be overcome to take a little bit so as do like everyone, not to be so very strict, because right there is a journey that begins and ends in apostasy. In fact, when we begin to cut away a piece of the faith, to negotiate the faith in order to sell it to the highest bidder, we enter the road of apostasy, unfaithfulness to the Lord.”

This is religious freedom for Pope Francis, especially, "have the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord." An unabridged, public faith. A faith that claims to change society, and thus the world.

The “pretension" to change the world - criticism of theory of laicism of the "neutral" state

“The Pretension" is also the title of the book, published a few days ago the sociologist of religion Luca Diotallevi. Practice it started hard criticism of theories of laicism. Theories that are widely apparent even within the Church, appealing improperly to rely on the Second Vatican Council. It specifically concerns the denial of a direct and inseparable link between the Gospel and the social order, which is justified by an alleged "neutrality" of the state.

Diotallevi poses the paradigm of secularism against the paradigm of religious freedom, as it is typical done in the Anglo-Saxon world, but with a theological basis, based on De Civitate Dei of St. Augustine, and eventually to the New Testament.

Accordingly, the Saeculum between the first and second coming of Christ, an encounter between time and eternity, a conflict between sin and grace. This conflict is also attended by the prince, whether thrones or dominions, of which the New Testament speaks, and those who are considered to be the powers of this world. It's the rebel forces, on the cross and resurrection of Jesus who are to win the final victory. A victory that has not yet found its fulfillment. In Saeculum these powers still fluctuate between the extremes of anarchy and absolute rule, while the Church, as a guardian of victory is constantly trying to keep her away from the one and the other extreme.

Diotallevi and historical theology of Joseph Ratzinger

According to Augustine, the New Testament view of history has developed in our day, especially as developed by Oscar Cullmann and Joseph Ratzinger, the latter also in a theology of history, is quoted by Diotallevi in detail.

The really original part of the book, however, is that in which Diotallevi identifies with the celebration of the Eucharist as the source and summit of this “pretension" of the Christian faith to have a design for the social order. Here too the author is seen in continuity with Benedict XVI..

"The Eucharist is the Church visible. It is the victorious work of God breaking into history and it serves as a vision for the people. It is between the two thieves where the scourged Jesus is crucified, with the centurion who recognizes Him and the earth which trembles,” says Sandro Magister. The educated pagans of the first centuries were not wrong when they spoke of the celebration of the liturgy to describe Christianity.

Books for those interested (so far only in Italian edition):

Luca Diotallevi La pretesa. Quale rapporto tra vangelo ordine e sociale? (Entitlement. Which is the relationship between the gospel and social order?) Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2013, pp. 140, € 12.00.

These days, a book was published by the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the relationship between state and religion, which deals also critical of the prevailing model of secularism:

Angelo Scola: Non dimentichiamoci di Dio (God does not let us forget), Rizzoli, Milan, 2013, pp. 112, € 15.00.

From katholisches...

Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Asianews
Translation: Tancred

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Professional Lay Catholics Accuse Catholic Priest of Slander But Offer No Proof

Edit: over the past few days, a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, who is a Vice President of Missions for the organization Human Life International, founded by Father Paul Marx OSB, has been taking a familiar internet apostle, Mark Shea, to task for engaging in character assassination, legitimizing homosexual attitudes and  being deceitful.  Now it seems that some professional lay Catholics have gotten Church authorities involved.

What's also very bad is that some of his supporters are accusing Father West of slandering Mark Shea.  Of course, they refuse to give proof of this. Elizabeth Scalia, Steven D. Greydanus, and George Lower have persistently and maliciously, accused Father Peter West of Human Life International of slandering Mark Shea. I've asked all of them repeatedly for proof indicating that, and they have steadfastly refused to answer and instead make personal attackes.

Any normal Catholic employer would be eager to deal with such insulting behavior immediately. Justice might best be served if all of them were summarily sent to pack up their desks and go home with a little severance pay.

When the Communications Director asked Father West and Mark Shea to cease their public disputation, here's what Mark Shea wrote disingenuously in return:

"Thank you, Fr. Peter, for breaking off your campaign of defamation, rash judgment and calumny against me. I hope you will consider my request that you go back and restore my good name with the readers you have poisoned against me instead of merely leaving what you have said and suggested about me to linger in the air. I bear you no ill will and am still reeling from this unwarranted and unprovoked attack."

This is statement from the Archdiocesan Communications Director, asking Father Peter West to cease his statements and handle his disagreement with Mark Shea privately:

FatherPeter West and Mark Shea, I respectfully request that you both make a sincere attempt to discuss your differences one to one, verbally or in writing, rather than continue as you have been. Judging from the communications our office is receiving, this contretemps is causing no little disquiet among a number of the faithful. At the least, please endeavour to communicate publicly in measured tones on this matter so as to avoid causing unnecessary confusion and distress. I thank you for you consideration.

Mike Donohue 
Director of Communications
Office of Bishop Paul S. Loverde
Diocese of Arlington
The person the Communications Director should be talking to privately and not publicly on Facebook, is Mr. Shea, maybe a meeting involving a pink slip?

We'd also like to ask if Mark Shea plans on apologizing to Father Frank Pavone for slandering him?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Laicization is the Heroin of Ecclesiastical Life

Lay involvement is like spiritual heroin for Catholic communities. It may address the pain, but not the disease and ultimately it impedes the recovery of the patient. We might point out which the following article also mentions that before Vatican II and the "Active Lay Participation" it called for, or was called for in its name, there was no vocations crisis. We almost had more priests in the early sixties than was good for us, and many of them fled (or in many cases, thrown out) in the cultural haze of the 60s to find sustainance where they could. You might say they were Aggionamentized (Bl. John XXIIIs word to describe what he was doing to the Church in 1963)

Lay involvement in Church life has been an increasing factor in the last few hundred years anyway, what with laymen getting positions teaching in Catholic Theology faculties and ultimately, taking over the running of Church-related businesses like the making of altar breads (once made exclusively by priests chanting the Psalms) presses and newspapers in the United States during the 30s, much, we might add, to the detriment of the latter.

While attending the New Mass, or seeing it on television, it's common to see a rather well-dressed layman or laywoman, doing the readings, approaching the tabernacle and handling the Sacred Species with an air of self-importance that's hard not to generally notice. Like a Nun working at an abortuary, they seem to understand that they don't belong their; but rebellion is in the air, even for the elderly as is often the case. They are generally indifferent to their surroundings and the importance of the things they're handling or of what they represent. This Ecclesistical Dictatorship of the Proletariat is conceived and impelled to demean the sacredness of holy places and events; there is a pedestrian feel to the whole thing, like going to listen to a sales meeting by Monks, getting married at the post-office or to purchase a new car in a church as Huysman's reports:

Ah! far off was the time when Radegonda, Queen of France, had with her own hands prepared the bread destined for the altars, or the time when, after the customs of Cluny, three priests or deacons, fasting and garbed in alb and amice, washed their faces and hands and then picked out the wheat, grain by grain, grinding it under millstone, kneading the paste in a cold and pure water and themselves baking it under a clear fire, while chanting psalms.

Laicization poses as a solution and is really part of the problem. Parishes which do not have these kinds of pseudo-clerical ministries, by the way, not only produce more vocations, but produce more children as well.

But we can't expect an author, educated no doubt, by a secular faculty with all kinds of false notions about philosophy and religion, to do anything else than perpetuate the propaganda now being levelled at the Irish Church by a bevy of vindictive journalists, washed up rock stars and laity, eagerly and so bravely joining in on the kicking of one who has momentarily fallen.

By 2015 Catholics will be familiar with lay people in priestly roles. [But the laity generally always have been familiar with those roles, which is why they were generally unwilling to usurp them, even at great need]


ANALYSIS: In the second of our series looking at what things might be like five years hence, we consider the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland, where ordinations have collapsed along with its moral authority [Is this wishful thinking or a guilty conscience?]

THERE WAS a poignancy in the air at the ordination of three men as Redemptorist priests in St Joseph’s Church, Dundalk, on Sunday December 6th. In the front pew a female relative of one of the men wept copiously as the ceremony progressed.

It was conducted by the Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady, who was clearly still reeling from the findings of the Murphy report, published on November 26th, while also attending to his duties. He seemed exhausted. In a momentary lapse he forgot the name of one of the young men. Then, remembering, he commented it was “Seán, the same name as my own”. There was a laugh from the congregation.

The three men made up the largest number to be ordained at once for the Redemptorist congregation in more than 10 years. They were Brian Nolan (31) from Limerick, Tony Rice (31) from Belfast, and Seán Duggan (30) from Galway.

They are no starry-eyed neophytes. Brian Nolan, a former electronics student at Limerick Institute of Technology, admitted that when he told people that he was in the religious life, “it can be a conversation stopper”. But still, he didn’t “feel the need to hold back from telling people what I’m doing”.

Tony Rice worked in a bank for four years. He said the difficulties in the church were symptomatic of a general lack of leadership in a number of areas in our society. “People have reason to be disappointed with several institutions right now – banks, politicians, the church and so many others . . . We need strong, just and accountable leadership to renew our vision and our hope in humanity,” he said.

Seán Duggan gave up corporate law to become a priest. “The choices I have made are not knee-jerk reactions. They have been thought about and talked about over a period of eight years’ training,” he said. “The questions that people throw to me such as celibacy, inept church leadership, married priests and more, are all questions that I’ve thought about myself. It’s not as if I live in a bubble cut off from reality,” he said.

On Sunday November 15th Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said his archdiocese will soon have barely enough priests to serve its 199 parishes. “We have 46 priests over 80 and only two less than 35 years of age. In a very short time we will just have the bare number of priests required to have one active priest for each of our 199 parishes,” he said.

Last April he said there were now 10 times more priests over 70 than under 40 in Dublin. It also emerged at the time that the number of priests in Tuam’s Catholic archdiocese will fall by 30 per cent over the next four years, leaving most parishes there with just one resident priest.

Meanwhile, writing in the Furrow magazine last June, Fr Brendan Hoban, parish priest at St Muredach’s Cathedral, in Ballina, Co Mayo, said of his own Killala diocese that “in 20 years’ time there will be around eight priests instead of the present 34, with probably two or three under 60 years of age”.

He continued “the difficult truth is that priests will have effectively disappeared in Ireland in two to three decades”.

For people of a certain age the very idea of an Ireland without Catholic priests is, truly, beyond imagination. This is not hard to understand. Speaking to the Association of European Journalists in Dublin on November 13th the Catholic Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh, recalled that of the 50 students in his Leaving Cert class of 1952, 20 went on for the priesthood. Vocations were so high then that between a third and a half of Irish priests went on the missions. [Then came the Vatican Council II]

But, almost 50 years later, all has changed. The number of priests in Ireland is in serious decline. The average age of the Irish Catholic priest today is put at 63. For those who are members of religious congregations the average age is in the early 70s.

Each priest must retire at 75. As the Americans say, you do the math!

At the end of September last there were 77 men training for the priesthood at Maynooth. Of that number, 36 entered this year, an increase of 12 on the 24 who entered in 2008.

It is believed to be a blip which won’t alter the downward trend. Meanwhile, for every 10 men who begin training for the priesthood, at Maynooth five or six become priests.

All of which means that the coming decade will see profound change in Catholic Church structures and practices on this island. It will also see the end of the clerical caste which has dominated Irish Catholicism since Victorian times. They will give way, of necessity, to a more lay-directed institution with fewer-but-bigger parishes in fewer-but-bigger dioceses.

An indication of what is to come was illustrated in the Catholic diocese of Waterford and Lismore last June. That month saw the first ordination to the Catholic priesthood there in eight years when Fr Michael Toomey (39) became a priest.

That same month in that same diocese sacristan Ken Hackett conducted a Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion instead of daily Mass at Ardfinnan parish in Co Tipperary. The priest, Fr Robert Power, was away. Mr Hackett is a minister of the Eucharist and a minister of the word and may do as he did according to Vatican norms published in the early 1970s. Women may also conduct such liturgies. [This is a symptom of a bigger problem with entitlement and feminism] The response to him from parishioners was “very, very good”, he told The Irish Times.

Catholic Ireland is embarking on a path others have already taken.

In one diocese in northern France there is only one priest to serve 27 parishes. It means the priest drops by on occasion in each parish to offer Mass and consecrate hosts. The rest of the time parishioners run their own church.

In 2001 the diocese of Nice had to reduce its 265 parishes to 47. The recently created parish there of Nôtre Dame de l’Espérance has five churches.

It had five priests; now there is one. Each church has an appointed lay person, the relais locale, whose duty is to run both church and parish, and perform almost all functions of a priest except celebrating the Eucharist and administering sacraments only a priest can.

A principal function of the relais is to conduct a Sunday Communion service in the absence of the priest, a “Mass” without the consecration. There is frequently no priest at funerals there any more.

Writing about this in The Irish Times on July 8th, former Dominican priest and author David Rice recalled how, at the Église Sacré Coeur in Beaulieu “I attended one such funeral, conducted by the relais locale for the church. She received the coffin. There were words of welcome, the singing of hymns, a short eulogy of the deceased, readings from scripture, a brief reflection by the relais, the lighting of candles beside the coffin, a blessing of the coffin with holy water, and prayers for the deceased. It lasted about half an hour. There was no Mass, as there was no priest.”

He spoke to a woman appointed there as general manager of the parish with its five churches. While her official title was économe, her job was more about administration than money. Unpaid herself, she managed a payroll for nine people, including cleaners, organists and two parish secretaries.

Other lay people – men and women – were active in priestly roles: parish visitation; counselling; pre-marriage instruction; attending the sick; chaplaincies to hospitals and retirement homes; to scout and youth groups. And it is lay people who, almost exclusively, impart the faith to children.

In 10 years, this way of things is likely to be very familiar to Ireland’s Catholic faithful. And that is believed to be likely even if both the mandatory celibacy rule is dropped and women are allowed become Catholic priests.

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent