Friday, October 2, 2009

Vatican Archbishop clarifies Catholic teachings on life-issues, politicians and witnessing to Truth

Archbishop Raymond Burke is the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. This is a position analogous to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. After the Pope, Burke holds the highest judicial office in the Roman Catholic Church. His statements carry a lot of weight. We should pay attention.

Please read his thought provoking piece here.  Some interesting quotes (but you should read the whole article):

One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church.
A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not the unity of the Church. The Church's unity is founded on speaking the truth with love. The person who experiences scandal at public actions of Catholics, which are gravely contrary to the moral law, not only does not destroy unity but invites the Church to repair what is clearly a serious breach in Her life. Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities.
For Christians, the acceptance of others who are not of the Christian faith is not a matter of tolerance, but of love which adheres to the truths of the faith while respecting the beliefs of those who are not Christian, as long as those beliefs are coherent with the natural moral law, that is, coherent with the respect for the "inalienable rights" with which God has endowed every man. Christian love does not have its foundation in blind tolerance of others and of what they think and say and do, but rather in the profound knowledge of others and their beliefs, and the honest acknowledgment of differences of belief, especially in what may compromise the life of the nation.
We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage. It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself politically in this manner.

But there is also true scandal, that is, the leading of others, by our words, actions and failures to act, into confusion and error, and, therefore, into sin. Our Lord was unequivocal in his condemnation of those who would confuse or lead others into sin by their actions. In teaching His disciples about temptations, He declared:

Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin (Lk 17:1-2).

It is clear that Our Lord taught as a primary responsibility, with the gravest of consequences, the avoidance of scandal, namely, of any act or failure to act which could lead another into sin. Our Lord's words are nothing less than vehement.
The perennial discipline of the Church, for that reason among other reasons, has prohibited the giving of Holy Communion and the granting of a Church funeral to those who persist, after admonition, in the grave violation of the moral law (Code of Canon Law, cann. 915; and 1184, § 1, 3º). It is said that these disciplines which the Church has consistently observed down the centuries presume to pass a judgment on the eternal salvation of a soul, which belongs to God alone, and, therefore, should be abandoned. On the contrary, these disciplines are not a judgment on the eternal salvation of the soul in question. They are simply the acknowledgment of an objective truth, namely, that the public actions of the soul are in violation of the moral law, to his own grave harm and to the grave harm of all who are confused or led into error by his actions. The Church confides every soul to the mercy of God, which is great beyond all our imagining, but that does not excuse her from proclaiming the truth of the moral law, also by applying her age-old disciplines, for the sake of the salvation of all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Antigonish bishop expected to surrender to police on child pornography charges

Some people refuse to believe that our clergy are dissenting from Church teaching.  But gradually, the truth comes out.

Read the story from the Catholic Register.

Lord, help us!  Please pray for our clergy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Catholic Church's Salvation: Tell it Like it Is

A great article by Suzanne Fortin highlighting the core of the problem with the Catholic Church in Canada and our bishops. Here is a key excerpt:

But the modernistic dissent doesn’t end at abortion. The weak response on the pro-life issue is symptomatic of the widespread reluctance to abide by and preach rudimentary Catholic philosophical beliefs, such as:

  • The ends do not justify the means.
  • The order of creation (e.g. men and women are complementary).
  • The hierarchy of truths.
  • The principal of non-contradiction.
  • Natural Truth can be known by reason alone.
  • The intrinsic evil of certain acts, and how they must always be rejected.

This has resulted in church elites distorting Catholic moral doctrine and sanctioning things like:

  • Inductions for post-viability fetuses who are terminally ill.
  • Legal recognition for same-sex unions.
  • Leaving the issue of contraception up to “one’s own conscience.”
  • Treating issues like the environment and poverty as equally important

    to fetal rights.

Read the whole article here.


Canadian Bishops ask dissenter to give them inspiration

Have you heard?  The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has invited a well-known dissenting theologian to give two talks at their annual plenary meeting in Cornwall in October. His name is Richard Gaillardetz.

You will find the details of his dissent in this excellent post by John Pacheco and additional details in this article by  Here's a brief summary of his "credentials". 

  • He says it's okay for couples to co-habitate before marriage and to use contraception if their  conscience doesn't complain (sounds Winnipeg-Statement-ish)
  • The ordination of women is okay.
  • He teaches a distorted version of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
  • Public revelation by God continues today.
  • His respect for life is very suspect since he's part of President Obama's "Catholic Advisory Board," which the Catholic Civil Rights League said does not have a single member that agrees with Church teaching on life issues.
  • He wonders whether the concept of divine revelation might be extended to the Islamic or Hindu scriptures (!!!!)
Moreover, his view of the Magisterium and the infallibility of Church teaching is extremely confused:

1.  It's possible for the Magisterium to err in matters of faith and morals. 
2.  He believes that an article of Faith can become tentative if it becomes “controversial."
3.  The degree of “reception” of Church teaching by the faithful is a “sign” of its infallibility.
4.  He says that the consensus of theologians is the determining factor for the discernment of the infallibility of the Magisterium.
5.  The obstinate denial of a definitive doctrine would not necessarily place one outside the Roman Catholic communion (very self-serving, don't you think?)

Does it disturb you that the CCCB would invite this man to give two lectures at their plenary?  What kind of message does it send to the faithful?  What does it tell you about the bishops?

If the CCCB invited him, they clearly don't object to his dissenting views.  Actually, it makes a lot of sense to me.  You see, the CCCB is mostly composed of dissenters.  We've observed this for many decades.  Tragic, but true.  

Of course, not all bishops are dissenters.  We have some very good bishops in this country.  However, they are few and far between.  Unfortunately, their minority status means that the overall direction of the CCCB is decided by the majority of dissenters. 

Gaillardetz brings a sense of legitimacy to the dissenting views of the CCCB majority, like a comforting reassurance that someone else thinks like them. 

The fact that virtually all Canadian bishops dissented from Humanae Vitae in writing is entirely consistent with Gaillardetz's point #1 above, namely that the Magisterium can make mistakes and therefore that the bishops don't have to follow the Pope.  This is especially true for controversial issues such as contraception, which was the main point of the dissent of the Canadian bishops more than 40 years ago.  Abortion is also quickly becoming optional teaching, as we've learned from the Development and Peace scandal and the Fr. Rosica rampage.  So Gaillardetz's view on #2 is also consistent with the CCCB's actions. 

Point #3 is also very useful for dissenters because they are well aware that most Catholics approve of contraception. Therefore, they like Gaillardetz's theory that a rejection of Church teaching by the faithful is a sign that that teaching was not infallible. It's like giving the faithful a special veto power over the Magisterium.

Point #4 gives the bishops their own special veto power over the Magisterium, since many bishops are theologians too.  Isn't that handy?

Finally, #5 makes dissenters feel comforted that they are not excluded from communion with the Roman Catholic Church for the extreme positions they've taken in points #1 to #4.

So, you see, it all makes sense. In these difficult times, where dissenting bishops are being questioned by Catholics who want to remain faithful to Rome, they have called upon a fellow dissenter for some reassurance.

Sadly, we rarely hear the good bishops speaking up these days.  They must feel very frustrated.  We must pray for their perseverance.  I hope they will gain the courage and strength to break their silence. 

That's the tragic state of our Church today. Please pray for our bishops.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two good moves against euthanasia by Canadian bishops

Today, I'm happy to report some pro-life leadership on the part of Canadian bishops.

On September 21, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Archbishop James Weisgerber, released a letter asking MPs and Canadians to oppose the proposed legislation to legalize euthanasia (bill C-484).  

Earlier in September, the Archbishop of Edmonton, Richard Smith, launched an initiative to urge parishioners to get involved in opposing the bill.

Bravo!  These are two very praiseworthy moves on the part of our bishops.  We need to give them our support and encourage them to provide strong leadership in the future.