25 March 2015

"Indissolubility is not a curse, it is the great beauty of the marital relationship."

Cardinal Burke is a good interview at any time, but this interview at LifesiteNews is very, very good.  Just hearing the truth out of the mouth of anyone on the Church's payroll is welcome these days. But in Cardinal Burke we have so much more than that.  He is the standard-bearer among the hierarchy for true Catholic Charity-- love and truth, mercy and justice united. We must remain steadfast; we can do nothing else.

Just a few money quotes from an interview that should be read-- and studied-- in its entirety:


LSN: It was said after the publication of the relatio post disceptationem that there was a manipulation that consisted in putting into the synod questions that actually have nothing to do with the family. Would you accept to express yourself on how and why this “manipulation” took place? Who is benefiting?

CB: It's clear that there was a manipulation because the actual interventions of the members of the synod were not published, and only the mid-term report, or the “relatio post disceptationem”, was given, which had really nothing to do with what was being presented in the synod. And so it's clear to me that there were individuals who obviously had a very strong influence on the synod process who were pushing an agenda which has nothing to do with the truth about marriage as Our Lord Himself teaches it to us, as it is handed down to us in the Church. That agenda had to do with trying to justify extra-marital sexual relations and sexual acts between persons of the same sex and, in a way, clearly to relativize and even to obscure the beauty of the Church's teaching on marriage as a faithful, indissoluble, procreative union of one man and one woman.

- - -

LSN: Repeatedly, even the synod fathers who have touted the issues of “remarriage” of divorcee and homosexual or non-marital unions have repeated that the question is not doctrinal, but pastoral. What is your response to that?

CB: That simply is a false distinction. There cannot be anything that's truly pastorally sound which is not doctrinally sound. In other words: you cannot divide the truth from love. In other words still: it can't be loving not to live the truth. And so to say that we're just making pastoral changes that have nothing to do with doctrine is false. If you admit persons who are in irregular matrimonial unions to Holy Communion, then you're directly making a statement about the indissolubility of marriage, because Our Lord said: “He who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” And the person in an irregular matrimonial union is living in a publicly adulterous state. If you give Holy Communion to that person then somehow you're saying that this is alright doctrinally. But it can't be.

LSN: So the simple fact of putting that under discussion is already an error.

CB: Yes. In fact I have asked more than once that these subjects which have nothing to do with the truth about marriage be taken out of the agenda of the synod. [If people want to discuss these questions, fine, but they have nothing to do with the Church's teaching on marriage.] And the same goes for the question of sexual acts between people of the same sex, and so forth.

- - -

LSN: How can the Church really help all those concerned: abandoned spouses, children of legitimate marriages who are hurt by the divorce of their parents, people who are struggling with homosexual tendencies or who have in a way let themselves be “trapped” into an illegitimate union? And what should our attitude be: the attitude of the faithful?

CB: What the Church can do, and that is the greatest act of love on the part of the Church, is to present the teaching on marriage, the teaching that comes from Christ's very words, the teaching which has been constant in the tradition, to everyone, as a sign of hope for them. And also, to help them to recognize the sinfulness of the situation in which they find themselves, and at the same time  call them to leave that sinful situation and to find a way to live in accord with the truth. And that's the only way the Church can help. That was my great hope for the synod: that the synod would hold up to the world the great beauty of marriage, and that beauty is the truth about marriage. I always say to people: indissolubility is not a curse, it is the great beauty of the marital relationship. This is what gives beauty to the relationship between a man and a woman, that the union is indissoluble, that it is faithful, that it is procreative. But now one almost begins to get the impression that somehow the Church is ashamed of the very beautiful treasure which we have in marriage, as God made man and woman from the beginning.

- - -

LSN: Would you agree, as a number of people are saying, that many Catholic marriages today, through insufficient preparation or ignorance of the meaning of the marriage vows, are often invalid? What was your specific experience on this point as prefect of supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura?

CB: I thing it's very unwarranted to make general statements about the number of marriages which are valid or invalid. Each marriage must be examined, and the fact that people may have not been well catechized and so forth certainly can weaken them for the married life, but it would not necessarily be an indication that they would give an invalid matrimonial consent, because nature itself teaches us about marriage. We saw this at the Apostolic Signatura: yes, there were more declarations of nullity of marriage but in examining those cases there were many that came forward in which the nullity of marriage was not established, was not shown to be true.

- - -

LSN: Do you think there is a link between the “death of the cult” – non adoring, anthropocentric liturgy – and the culture of death?

CB: I'm very convinced that where abuses entered into liturgical practice in the Church, abuses which reflected a very anthropocentric direction, in other words, where the sacred worship began to be presented as the activity of man instead of the action of God in our midst, that clearly has led people in a wrong direction, and has had a very negative impact on the life of every individual and in a particular way upon married life. The beauty of married life is in a very particular way perceived and confirmed in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.n to be true.

- - -

LSN: How can we best remain faithful to the Church and to the Pope in these troubled times?

CB: By adhering very clearly to what the Church has always taught and practiced; this is our anchor. Our faith is not in individual persons, our faith is in Jesus Christ. He alone is our salvation, and He is alive for us in the Church through her teaching, through her sacraments, and through her discipline. I say to people – because many people today are in communication with me who find themselves quite confused, they're worried and upset – no, we must remain calm, and we must remain full of hope by coming to an ever deeper appreciation of the truth of our faith, and adhering to that. That's unchanging, and that will be victorious in the end. Christ told Saint Peter when he made his confession of faith: "The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church." We know that this is true, and we have to suffer in the meantime for the truth, but we must be confident that Our Lord will win the victory in the end.


May God bless Cardinal Burke, and may He protect His Church.

Feast of the Annunciation

Happy Feast Day, everyone!

By the way, you know it's an important feast day when the novus ordo: 1) celebrates it; and, 2) gets the date right. :-)

24 March 2015

"Go, and now sin no more.": The Mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ

What is quoted above are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the God-Man Who alone among men had the power to forgive sins. The Lord Who handed on this power to forgive sins, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, to priests and bishops. They forgive sins in His name and by His power.

They are the men He designated to effect His mercy to penitent sinners.

I quote the above ending to John 8:11, because our Holy Father preached again yesterday on the topic of mercy and excoriated the "rigid who punish in the penitent [what] they themselves hide in their own soul."

He gives the beautiful example of forgiveness and mercy recorded in the eighth chapter of John, involving the woman caught in adultery.  His Holiness stated, "I would just say some of the most beautiful and moving phrases from the Gospel: 'no one condemned you?' - 'No, no one, Lord' - 'Neither do I condemn'. Neither do I condemn you: one of the most beautiful phrases because it is full of mercy."

In what is likely an oversight, the remainder of verse 11 was omitted.  

- - -

This, of course, is the crux of the upcoming "Year of Mercy" and the looming threat of the Synod against on the Family.  Our Lord-- addressing the woman caught in adultery-- states as follows:

"Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee? 11Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more."

That is true mercy: forgiveness, and liberation from sin.  The admonition to "sin no more", and the freedom to "sin no more."

Our Lord said it Himself.  He also spoke very clearly about the indissolubility of marriage and the impossibility of divorce and remarriage (Mark 10: 2-12):

And the Pharisees coming to him asked him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you? Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away. To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

And in the house again his disciples asked him concerning the same thing. And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

And I consider this one of the most beautiful phrases of the Gospels, as it upholds marital love and dignity, and ensures the viability and protection of families.  Families of human beings with immortal souls, destined for heaven.

Please note, moreover, that it was the Pharisees who sought to tempt Him by asking if divorce were permissible.  And Jesus told them that the Mosaic concession of divorce was in the Old Law because of their hardness of heart.

Who are the rigid ones again?

And despite the machinations of Cardinal Kasper and others of whatever ecclesiastical rank, the Vicars of Christ for nearly 2,000 years have witnessed to the immutability of this doctrine and the necessary corollary that to allow unrepentant sinners to receive Holy Communion would be to encourage and sanction sacrilege.  Pope John Paul II, who was canonized by the current pope, addressed this matter in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio.  After discussing the difficulties of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, he stated this:

However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples."(180)

Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

By acting in this way, the Church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to His truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.

With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord's command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.

Now, of course the truth does not have an expiration date, but even by Vatican II standards, this authoritative teaching is of recent vintage.  

In fact, it is but 33 years old-- the same age as Our Lord when He was executed by His enemies for preaching the Gospel.

19 March 2015

Feast of St. Joseph

Prayer of St. Francis de Sales to St. Joseph

Glorious St. Joseph, spouse of Mary, grant us thy paternal protection, we beseech thee by the Heart of Jesus Christ.

Oh thou, whose power extends to all our necessities and can render possible for us the most impossible things, open thy fatherly eyes to the needs of thy children.

In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee. Deign to take under your charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries. Make its happy outcome be for God's glory and for the good of his devoted servants.

Litany of St. Joseph

V/ Lord, have mercy.
R/ Lord, have mercy.

V/ Christ, have mercy.
R/ Christ, have mercy.

V/ Lord, have mercy.
R/ Lord, have mercy.

V/ Jesus, hear us.
R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.

V/ God, the Father of Heaven,
R/ have mercy on us.

V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R/ have mercy on us.

V/ God, the Holy Spirit,
R/ have mercy on us.

V/ Holy Trinity, One God,
R/ have mercy on us.

R/for ff: pray for us.

Holy Mary,
St. Joseph,
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
R/ spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world.
R/ have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of his household.
R/ And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever. R/ Amen.

18 March 2015

Homework Assignment

On the road today. Check out Hilary White's excellent post at The Remnant (see sidebar), which I plan to address at length tomorrow. 

16 March 2015

God Bless Mark Shea

He stoops down to link to my blog, and lumps me in with about 357 other blogs, writers, news services, publications and politicians on his (I guess) enemies list.  There doesn't seem to be any common thread among us, though, except that we aren't Mark Shea. Is it a compliment or not?  I can't make it out. Maybe it is intended as a humor piece.  Who can say in this crazy, workaday world?

Well, let me be the first to try to make the peace.  Mark, you are my brother in Christ.  I wish you nothing but the best.  You are always a fascinating read.  God bless you!  

Always a Master of Timing...

Rorate reports that Bishop Richard Williamson, formerly of the SSPX, will (presumably illicitly) consecrate one or perhaps two new bishops, as soon as the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19. 

You undoubtedly recall that the making public of Bishop Williamson's holocaust-musing interview caused great damage to the Pope and the SSPX at the time of the lifting of the Lefebvre/Castro-Mayer/SSPX 4 excommunications.

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Bishop Williamson certainly seems to be gauging the boundaries of it.  Not content with one lifting of one excommunication, perhaps he will seek a second.

Now, watch for the media to lump this action in with either 1) the SSPX and their status; or, 2) all traditional Catholics.  Or both.

Launch of New Canon Law Assistance Non-Profit Organization


I am happy to post notice of the formation and my recommendation of a new, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity whose aim it is to assist souls who have need of the professional help of a canon lawyer. It is founded and directed by an excellent canon lawyer personally known to me who has served the Holy Father in the Roman Rota in the Vatican and in Diocesan Tribunals across the globe. Canonical Aid offers rare, expert assistance to Priests, Religious, laity, and canonically-recognized entities.

One of the more intriguing elements of Canonical Aid is its intention to back up faithful who have suffered from: 1) Grave Doctrinal Error from the pulpit or in the classroom, 2) Denial of Holy Communion or other grave liturgical violations, 3) Other abuses of any kind from those holding ecclesiastical authority, e.g. priests or seminarians in need of help.

To learn more about and benefit from services offered, or to support this praiseworthy effort with a tax-deductible donation, please click here for their website. I also link it at the sidebar.

13 March 2015

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Archbishop Carlson Remind Clergy and Faithful not to Attend Medjugorje Events

Archbishop Carlson has written a letter to all clerics of the Archdiocese that they are to avoid events promoting the alleged-but-not-approved Medjugorje apparitions. An event that was scheduled next week has been cancelled. Good to see vigilance at the Chancery and CDF on this.

John 12: 1-6

Jesus therefore, six days before the pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made him a supper there: and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein.