Catholic Issues

Posted by Edward Pentin on Thursday Aug 17th, 2017 at 7:56 AM

The former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura explains in a new interview how a correction on parts of the Holy Father’s magisterium would be enacted, pays tribute to the recently deceased Cardinal Meisner, and stresses the importance of true mercy.
In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has said it is “now necessary” that a declaration be issued on key areas of Church doctrine that are “not clear” in Pope Francis’ teachings.

IMG_5681The Holy Father will then be “obliged to respond” in order to bring clarification to those teachings, he said.The cardinal told The Wanderer newspaper Aug. 14 that such a formal act of correction has not been invoked “for several centuries” and until now it has never been used “in a doctrinal way.”

But he said it would be “quite simple” and involve presenting on the one hand the “clear teaching of the Church” and on the other “what is actually being taught by the Roman Pontiff.” The teaching in question in particular relates to doctrinal matters published in the Pope’s 2016 apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. 

The cardinal stressed that the dubiafive questions which he and three other cardinals (Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner) issued nearly a year ago, aimed to give the Holy Father the occasion to clarify these aspects of Church teaching.

They were issued in a “very respectful way and not in any way aggressive,” he said, but as the Pope has “chosen not to respond” to them, “so it is now necessary simply to state what the Church teaches about marriage, the family, acts that are intrinsically evil, and so forth.”

wp1178dcd3_05_06“These are the points that are not clear in the current teachings of the Roman Pontiff; therefore, this situation must be corrected. The correction would then direct itself principally to those doctrinal points,” he said.

The cardinal, a former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s highest court, did not give a timeframe for the correction, but hinted at its urgency by stressing that the Church is “being torn asunder right now by confusion and division” and that unity is at stake.

“The Holy Father must be called on to exercise his office to put an end to this,” he said.

Cardinal Burke first suggested a possible formal correction of the Pope in an interview with the Register last November, saying it is “clearly quite rare” but if there was no response, then it would be a “question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.” He spoke then of “tremendous division” that is “not the way of the Church.”

In his latest interview, he said he finds the situation “has only worsened” and pointed to groups of lay faithful, priests and bishops he has met who are “practically in desperation” over what is happening.

Any fraternal correction is expected to be undertaken in the first place in camera caritatis, in other words, not in public, according to Cardinal Brandmüller.

In his interview with The Wanderer, the cardinal warned of the danger of schism if universal doctrinal discipline is not restored, but reiterated his firm opposition to that ever happening. “A schism can never be correct,” he said, adding that what is happening is a situation of apostasy that the Blessed Mother warned about in her Message of Fatima.

“There can be apostasy within the Church and this, in fact, is what is going on,” he said. “In connection with the apostasy, Our Lady also referred to the failure of pastors to bring the Church to unity.”

In a speech last month, Cardinal Burke observed that disorientation and error had entered into the Church “in a diabolical way,” but encouraged the faithful to remain steadfast in the faith as well as courageous and serene, knowing Christ’s victory is “already written.”

Read the whole article here.

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IMG_8860AUSTEN IVEREIGH’S SLAM AGAINST CONVERTS IN CRUX STIRRED UP A FIRESTORM. Below is a link to his article, comments, his subsequent apology and Crux’s response with new guidelines.

UPDATE SATURDAY, 8/12/17

To his credit Austen Iverigh apologized for his article. The introductory paragraph says,

Recently I used the term “convert neurosis” as a metaphor, and then — because we journalists feel compelled to substantiate our assertions with good evidence — listed a number of people as examples. That offended some, and many others on their behalf. For that I want to apologize. I shouldn’t have given names, and I shouldn’t have used the term “neurosis”. Sorry.

NEW DIRECTIVES GIVEN BY JOHN ALLEN FOR CRUX’S FUTURE

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Crux on-line magazine should be embarrassed for publishing such an inane and critical piece full of ad hominem arguments and foolish accusations and conclusions. The article was written by a Brit named Austen Ivereigh and was entitled The Pope and the Convert Problem. He too should be ashamed and retract his article.

(Picture: Two “neurotic converts”, me and Fr. Dwight Longenecker earlier this year)

The intro paragraph states, “Some of the biggest critics of Pope Francis are people who joined the Catholic Church from a different faith, or none at all. Is it possible the baggage they brought with them has distorted their hermeneutic, and they are suffering from ‘convert neurosis’?”

Well some of us many, many converts, whom some say make the best Catholics, were saddened by the divisive piece but not too surprised by the arrogance and superiority of some Catholic academics and uppity-uppers. (Ed Peters expounds on the improper use of “convert” for us Evangelicals to Catholics. But it is a common term and one I use in a popular sense.)

I am proud to be a convert and love most all the converts I’ve ever met. All a bunch of good eggs.

There have been three excellent responses that I am aware of. All three are from good friends, two of which are converts.

1)  “Come over here and say that”  by Dr. Edward Peters

2)  “Stop bashing converts, and accept us as we are — warts and all Fr. Dwight Longenecker (see picture, taken earlier this year)

3) “Musings on the gift and grace of conversion by Carl Olson in Catholic World Report (All of us are converts, for all of us are being converted. Or should be. So stop using the term “converts” as an ideological stick.)

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UPDATE 7/7/17  Latest update on Baby Charlie Gard

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Here is the whole story about this poor baby and his family and the brutal tyrannical decision taken by the English hospital backed by British and European courts. Pray for this poor baby and his family.

From Jimmy Akin’s blog Pray for Terminally Ill Baby Charlie Gard

charlie_gardCharlie Gard is an eleven-month old baby in England. He has a rare genetic disorder known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

According to press accounts, Charlie is terminally ill at this point. His parents have raised more than $1 million to try an experimental treatment to help him, but hospital officials—backed by British and European courts—have forbidden his parents to take him from the London hospital where he currently is.

Officials have also forbidden his parents to take him home to die.

According to the British tabloid newspaper, The Sun:

Charlie’s mum and dad say he is a “prisoner” in hospital and Great Ormond Street [hospital]’s treatment has been “inhuman”.

You can read more about the treatment controversy surrounding Charlie here. 

Why are officials denying the wishes of Charlie’s parents?

According to their public statements, they believe that Charlie’s condition is too grave and that the proposed medical treatments are not in his interest (meaning, they would be too burdensome, too likely to be ineffective, or both).

Consequently, rather than undertake the treatments desired by his parents, hospital authorities state that it would be in Charlie’s best interests to allow him to die.

They therefore propose discontinuing the things keeping him alive.

What does Catholic moral theology hold about situations like this?

The Church does not have a teaching addressing Charlie’s specific condition, but it has articulated principles that address situations like this in general.

The usual obligation to use medical procedures to extend life does not apply when the treatments would be “heroic” or disproportional to the good to be achieved.

In other words, if the treatments would be too burdensome, too unlikely to succeed, or both, they are not obligatory.

Experimental treatments like the one proposed for Charlie typically are riskier than approved treatments—commonly involving both a higher burden on the patient (e.g., more side-effects) and lower chances of success.

Because of this, such experimental treatments generally are not morally obligatory.

If the treatment is not morally obligatory, what’s the controversy about?

Ordinarily, a patient would speak for himself regarding whether he wishes to receive such treatments.

However, in this case the patient is a baby and cannot do so. Therefore, the parents—by natural law—are the logical ones to make the decision.

Only if the parents are incapable of making a rational decision would it be warranted for others to step in and make the decision in their place.

Note the test required for intervention by others: It isn’t that the parents must make the correct decision. People can have a legitimate diversity of opinions on which medical procedures are warranted in a case. That’s why patients are often encouraged to seek “second opinions” from physicians.

The standard that must be met is that the parents aren’t capable of making a decision that is within the pale of reason. They must be making a patently irrational one before others should intervene.

In this case, the treatment proposed for Charlie has worked for others, indicating a rational hope it would work for him.

Consequently, the attempt by the hospital officials and the relevant courts to impose their will on Charlie, against his parents’ explicit wishes, appears a monstrous and inhuman overreach.

The refusal to let the parents take baby Charlie home to die (as if palliative care couldn’t be given in a home environment!) only twists the knife.

The way the situation has played out, it looks like an Orwellian, faceless bureaucracy is determined to kill this child against the reasonable will of the parents.

That bodes ill for all of us, given the statist and anti-life trends on the loose in Western culture.

What has the Catholic Church in the UK said about this situation?

Archbishop Peter Smith issued a statement which you can read here.

He expressed sympathy with the parents and reviewed some relevant moral principles.

Toward the end of his statement, Archbishop Smith said:

We do, sometimes, however, have to recognise the limitations of what can be done, while always acting humanely in the service of the sick person until the time of natural death occurs.

The statement as a whole was carefully balanced, but this sentence could come across as discouraging the parents’ efforts to save Charlie’s life.

A much more problematic statement was issued in the name of the Pontifical Academy of Life in Rome.

What did the Pontifical Academy of Life say about Charlie’s situation?

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the academy, issued a statement which you can read here.

This statement also expressed sympathy for the parents. However, it went on to say:

The proper question to be raised in this and in any other unfortunately similar case is this: what are the best interests of the patient?

We must do what advances the health of the patient, but we must also accept the limits of medicine and, as stated in paragraph 65 of the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, avoid aggressive medical procedures that are disproportionate to any expected results or excessively burdensome to the patient or the family.

Archbishop Paglia has mischaracterized what Evangelium Vitae says. It does not say that we should “avoid” such medical procedures. It says that refusing them is not the same thing as euthanasia. It says “one can in conscience refuse” such treatments, but not that one should or must do so.

Evangelium Vitae leaves open the question of what treatments can be used in an effort to preserve life. If a patient—or those who speak for him—feel it is appropriate to use aggressive or experimental treatments, that is not precluded by Evangelium Vitae 65.

Even more unfortunately, Archbishop Paglia continued:

Likewise, the wishes of parents must heard and respected, but they too must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation and not be left to face their painful decisions alone.

Although this could be taken as a statement of abstract principle, in this context it comes across as a paternalistic statement regarding Charlie’s parents and how they “must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation”—as if an archbishop in Rome were more familiar with it than the parents who are having to live the situation!

The statement was therefore widely criticized. It came across as out-of-touch, pastorally insensitive, and precisely the kind of thing that would drive hurting parents away from the Church.

Fortunately, Pope Francis walked it back.

What did Pope Francis say?

According to Crux:

Wading directly into a charged moral and political debate in the UK, and also appearing to recalibrate an earlier statement from the head of his own Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis on Sunday expressed hope that the desire of 10-month-old Charlie Gard’s parents “to accompany and care for their own child to the end” will be respected.

“The Holy Father follows with affection and commotion the situation of Charlie Gard, and expresses his own closeness to his parents,” reads a statement issued by Greg Burke, the pope’s spokesperson.

“He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”

Pope Francis also Tweeted:

To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.

Following this, the pediatric hospital Bambino Jesu (“Child Jesus”) in Rome—which also treats the popes—offered to treat Charlie.

American President Donald Trump also offered to facilitate treatment in America, saying:

If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.

Thus far British officials have sent mixed signals regarding whether the parents will be allowed to take Charlie from the hospital where he is currently being held.

Let’s all pray for this horrific situation.

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Why I Like Thomas Williams and Breitbart News

June 8, 2017

Yeah, I know it gets a bad rap in the local “Main Street Media” but if you shake off their bias and take a closer look it’s a pretty good place to find out what’s really going on. My friend Thomas Williams is the Rome correspondent and I have nothing but respect for this guy.

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“The Pope’s Enigmatic Words on Resignation,” by Veteran Rome Reporter Phil Lawler

May 31, 2017

By Phil Lawler (bio – articles – email) | May 31, 2017 In his homily at Mass on Wednesday morning, commenting on St. Paul’s farewell to the Church at Ephesus, Pope Francis said: A shepherd must be ready to step down completely from his church, rather than leave in a partial manner…. All shepherds have […]

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A Quick Reply to Question about Cremation and Scattering the Ashes

May 23, 2017

I was asked a question about Catholics, cremation and the scattering of ash. Here is my brief answer: The whole issue of cremation goes back to the Romans. They denied the bodily resurrection so they often burned the body and if they were rich they put the ashes in urns and put them in the […]

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Catholic Enablers of Islam

May 4, 2017

Catholic Enablers of Islam by WILLIAM KILPATRICK in Crisis Magazine I recently wrote a piece about the civilizational struggle with Islam. In response, a reader asked for some specific practical ways that Catholics could resist Islam. I replied with a short list of steps Church leaders could take: Break off dialogue with Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as […]

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Why I Love Religion and Jesus Does Too

April 21, 2017
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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

February 14, 2017

Happy St. Valentine’s Day. This is for my mom. My dad died almost six years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. I wrote the following to comfort my Mom… Mom, I know it is important to you since […]

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The Maltese directive makes answering the ‘dubia’ urgent

January 15, 2017

Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer wrote two days ago about the Maltese Disaster. The excellent article on The Catholic Thing Here is his latest entitled “The Maltese Directive (allowing divorced and remarried easy access to Communion) Makes Answering the “Dubia” Urgent When highly placed Italian prelates declare that “only a blind man cannot see” that […]

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“I Was Raised Catholic, You Too?” Must Read for Catholics Who Have Left the Faith

January 10, 2017

I was raised Catholic – You too? Maybe Time to Reconsider by Mike Cousineau Christian denominations speak to knowing the Truth, and rightly so!  All Christian denominations have, at least, some truth.  For instance, every denomination is in total agreement with, “The purpose of man is to know, love & serve God.” However, with over 35,000 […]

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We Need Saints without Cassocks

January 3, 2017

By an unknown author (falsely attributed to Pope Francis) We need saints without veil or cassock. We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers. We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music and hang out with friends. We need saints who put God in first place, but who let go of their […]

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Follow up by Dr. Ed Peter’s: “The Maltese directive makes answering the ‘dubia’ urgent

January 1, 2017

The Maltese Disaster, by Canon Lawyer Dr. Edward Peters as I reported yesterday. Here is his follow up related to the dubia and the Pope. January 15, 2017 When highly placed Italian prelates declare that “only a blind man cannot see” that confusion is the ecclesiastical order of the day, and that such confusion has as its […]

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Free Offer: No FAKE NEWS! “Catholic World Report” Magazine FREE On-line! Start the Year Right!

January 1, 2017

    From my friend Mark Brumley, president of Ignatius Press: Friends, many of you know about Ignatius Press’ magazine Catholic World Report.  It’s completely online now. I’m writing to encourage you to sign up for the free Catholic World Report email newsletter. It’s sent out weekly to alert people to outstanding articles, interviews, and […]

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Founding Father John Adams Visits a Catholic Church

December 31, 2016

John Adams (1735-1826) was a Founding Father of the United States. He was raised in an austere Protestant movement called the Puritans who left England to flee liturgical Christianity and to find religious freedom. He was raised as a Congregationalist and later turned to Unitarianism. He was elected President of the United States in 1796. […]

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Excellent EWTN World Over interview With Cardinal Burke on the Pope’s Encyclical

December 16, 2016

Let me speak my mind clearly. I support Cardinal Burke and the others 100%. God bless them!

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