Thursday, May 25, 2017

EVEN ME A HUMAN BEING

Rev Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu
 I have the privilege , and permission to re-produce here the following Reflection by Rev Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu , on the occasion of his birthday. I believe it is insightful and inspiring and important for each one of us to absorb and reflect upon.

"I can't believe I am a human being. I have searched for the meaning of a human being in the best of literature and humanities. The findings are sobering for me. The image of man found in the sacred pages of the scripture is too exotic. The book of Genesis, that sacred volume reveals man as the image of God. With all my flaws as a man, those golden words are not meant for me. Of man Shakespeare wrote: "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" These ornate lines are beyond my constitution as a man. As a man, I have lived below the biblical and humanistic ideal of a real human being. Yet I am still a human being. O God! Why me?Why do I mean so much to you? The best have died. Some who could have been better than me had they existed, were not allowed to see the light of day. Yet you gave me life. It is not for any merit that I know. Life is a privilege. Let me never forget this truth.There is a saying that privilege blinds. Let me never be blinded by my privileges. As I say this, I call on history to educate me on the pitfalls of privilege. Let history always remind me of Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France and Navarre before the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette is mostly remembered in history for one careless remark she made. When the noble French lady was told that French peasants had no bread to eat, she was quoted to have said: “Let them eat cake.” Her audience were stunned. How can poor peasants who could not afford ordinary bread be told to eat cake instead? Alas, wealth and royalty have spoiled this lady of gold and purple, this great matriarch from the bloodline of kings and rulers. The queen does not understand the poverty in the French of pre-revolution era. The remark probably reflects her majesty’s blindness from the privileges of French royalty.
As I commemorate my birthday today, this beautiful day of Ascension, I want to make it clear that I am no Marie Antoinette. Neither wealth nor royalty has spoiled this little man. I am rather overwhelmed by the full weight of my own sense of privilege. It is weighing me down like a mighty pendulum. My sense of privilege comes from the knowledge that so many factors have made my life what it is.They are factors beyond my designs and foresight of planning.
My first sense of privilege comes from the Almighty God who has made even me a human being. To him be honour and praise forever. Amen.
My second sense of privilege comes from my many fiends and well-wishers who have always stood by me despite my obvious flaws. I thank God for my family: My mother, brothers and sisters. Stanley Chinenye Mbo Arinze Onyeagolu Chekwube Onyeagolu Jessica Ani Bebra Kenechi Akunechendo Obeleagu, Ngozi, Uche, Ify.
I have the love of God and that of men before me as I celebrate my birthday today. They are indeed gifts of grace, privileges that have given this day its unique appeal. . HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME."


Re-produced with Permission. The copyright of course remains the property of Rev. Deacon ONYEAGOLU, Tochukwu.


What a great Blessing he is for the Church in Nigeria and what a great and holy Priest he will make in the coming months. God Bless him more and ,more and all to whom he ministers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?


                                                         SAINT PETER'S BASILICA


“For one must realize that the Church is at once conservative and revolutionary. Indeed the church of Jesus Christ has to be necessarily conservative. It has to preserve the deposit of revelation whole and unchangeable, since she exists for the precise purpose of keeping it and transmitting it I all fidelity. She has to preserve the full force of the sacraments, which are springs of supernatural life, and it is not in her power to suppress or add any single one because they were instituted by Christ and the Church exists in order to administer them. She has to preserve the moral norms and teach them constantly to all mankind. She has to show the way to salvation and she cannot give in to any error in any of these norms, because that would be tantamount to compromising with sin, and therefore, to opposing redemption 
which would obviously run contrary to her own essence.” 

Father Federico Suarez "The Narrow Gate" Published 1971


Memo to : Cardinals Maradiaga, Coccopalmerio and Kasper and their Patron.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Em. POPE BENEDICT'S TRIBUTE TO CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH

Em. POPE BENEDICT'S TRIBUTE TO CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH

                                                                  CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH
"Ever since I first read the Letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch in the 1950s, one passage from his Letter to the Ephesians has particularly affected me: “It is better to keep silence and be [a Christian] than to talk and not to be. Teaching is an excellent thing, provided the speaker practices what he teaches. Now, there is one Teacher who spoke and it came to pass. And even what He did silently is worthy of the Father. He who has truly made the words of Jesus his own is able also to hear His silence, so that he may be perfect: so that he may act through his speech and be known through his silence” (15, 1f.). What does that mean: to hear Jesus’s silence and to know him through his silence? We know from the Gospels that Jesus frequently spent nights alone “on the mountain” in prayer, in conversation with his Father. We know that his speech, his word, comes from silence and could mature only there. So it stands to reason that his word can be correctly understood only if we, too, enter into his silence, if we learn to hear it from his silence.
Certainly, in order to interpret Jesus’s words, historical knowledge is necessary, which teaches us to understand the time and the language at that time. But that alone is not enough if we are really to comprehend the Lord’s message in depth. Anyone today who reads the ever-thicker commentaries on the Gospels remains disappointed in the end. He learns a lot that is useful about those days and a lot of hypotheses that ultimately contribute nothing at all to an understanding of the text. In the end you feel that in all the excess of words, something essential is lacking: entrance into Jesus’s silence, from which his word is born. If we cannot enter into this silence, we will always hear the word only on its surface and thus not really understand it.
As I was reading the new book by Robert Cardinal Sarah, all these thoughts went through my soul again. Sarah teaches us silence—being silent with Jesus, true inner stillness, and in just this way he helps us to grasp the word of the Lord anew. Of course he speaks hardly at all about himself, but now and then he does give us a glimpse into his interior life. In answer to Nicolas Diat’s question, “At times in your life have you thought that words were becoming too cumbersome, too heavy, too noisy?,” he answers: “In my prayer and in my interior life, I have always felt the need for a deeper, more complete silence. … The days of solitude, silence, and absolute fasting have been a great support. They have been an unprecedented grace, a slow purification, and a personal encounter with … God. … Days of solitude, silence, and fasting, nourished by the Word of God alone, allow man to base his life on what is essential.” These lines make visible the source from which the cardinal lives, which gives his word its inner depth. From this vantage point, he can then see the dangers that continually threaten the spiritual life, of priests and bishops also, and thus endanger the Church herself, too, in which it is not uncommon for the Word to be replaced by a verbosity that dilutes the greatness of the Word. I would like to quote just one sentence that can become an examination of conscience for every bishop: “It can happen that a good, pious priest, once he is raised to the episcopal dignity, quickly falls into mediocrity and a concern for worldly success. Overwhelmed by the weight of the duties that are incumbent on him, worried about his power, his authority, and the material needs of his office, he gradually runs out of steam.”
Cardinal Sarah is a spiritual teacher, who speaks out of the depths of silence with the Lord, out of his interior union with him, and thus really has something to say to each one of us.
We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church. With the liturgy, too, as with the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, it is true that specialized knowledge is necessary. But it is also true of the liturgy that specialization ultimately can talk right past the essential thing unless it is grounded in a deep, interior union with the praying Church, which over and over again learns anew from the Lord himself what adoration is. With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands."
Benedict XVI writes from Vatican City.
This essay was written as an afterword for, and will appear in a future printing of, Robert Cardinal Sarah’s The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, published last month by Ignatius Press.


SOUTH AMERICAN SWAGGER IV VULGAR LOUTISHNESS

CARDINAL MARADIAGA PROTEGE OF POPE FRANCIS
Cardinal blasts Cardinal Burke for defending faith: ‘A poor man’ who ‘wanted power and lost it’
ROME, May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The head of Pope Francis’ powerful group of nine Cardinals entrusted his Vatican reforms has issued another attack on Cardinal Raymond Burke.
Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga sharply rebukes Burke in an interview with Father Antonio Carriero for the new book, Solo il Vangelo è rivoluzionario (“Only the Gospel is Revolutionary”).
Burke “is a disappointed man, in that he wanted power and lost it. He thought he was the maximum authority in the United States,” claims Maradiaga.
                                            CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE
“He’s not the magisterium . . . The Holy Father is the magisterium, and he’s the one who teaches the whole Church. This other [person] speaks only his own thoughts, which don’t merit further comment.”
“They are the words of a poor man.”
Maradiaga then made his attacks more general: “These currents of the Catholic right are persons who seek power and not the truth, and the truth is one . . . If they claim to find some ‘heresy’ in the words of Francis, they’re making a big mistake, because they’re thinking only like men and not as the Lord wants.”
“What sense does it have to publish writings against the pope, which don’t damage him but ordinary people? What does a right-wing closed on certain points accomplish? Nothing!”
CARDINAL MARADIAGA

"Ordinary people are with the pope, this is completely clear.  I see that everywhere.”
“Those who are proud, arrogant, who believe they have a superior intellect … poor people! Pride is also a form of poverty.”
Maradiaga’s claims about Burke are “the opposite of the truth,” according to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing on his blog.
Fr. Zuhlsdorf quoted Our Lady’s message at Akita, Japan, where she prophesied that “the work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops.”
“Today we have an example of a cardinal against a cardinal,” the priest wrote. “While we grant that cardinals have always been against cardinals, today’s conflicts are particularly disturbing.  The stakes are very high, the points of dispute are serious, and the role of social media amplify the confusion.”
Fr. Zuhlsdorf concludes, “The judgement of Card. Burke which Card. Rodriguez has somewhat rashly asserted is, quite simply, the opposite of the truth.  I don’t doubt, however, that he sincerely believes what he said about his brother in the College.”
                                             CARDINAL RAYMOND BURKE

Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke as head of the Vatican’s supreme court in 2014.  Burke has long been a leading conservative voice in the Church who, among other things, has publicly questioned the Pope’s efforts to allow Catholics who divorce and civilly remarry to receive communion.  
After the publication of Amoris Laetita, Burke and three other cardinals submitted a ste of dubia to Pope Francis, seeking clarification on five specific points of confusion raised by the document.  Eight months later, the pontiff has yet to respond.
In the months since submitting the dubiaother cardinals and bishops have expressed their support for the effort to gain clarification from the Holy See.
Still, Maradiaga insists, “I think that one of the qualities we cardinals [should have] is loyalty.  Even if we don’t all think the same way, we still have to be loyal to Peter,” and whoever doesn’t offer that loyalty, “is just seeking attention.”
“The greatest problem . . . is the disorientation that’s created among people when they read affirmations of bishops and cardinals against the Holy Father.”
In a radio interview in March, Maradiaga said of the cardinals who authored the dubia, "I know the four and I say that they are already in retirement . . . They should do something else."  He continued, “I would not want to put it – shall we say – too strongly; only God knows people’s consciences and inner motivations; but, from the outside it seems to me to be a new pharisaism."
Last year, documents released by Wikileaks showed George Soros' Open Society Foundation hoped to work through Maradiaga to influence American Catholic bishops during the Pope's visit to the U.S.  The foundation paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”
In 2015, Maradiaga participated in the "shadow synod" that attacked Church teaching and contributed to the subversion of the two synods on the family."

 The above report comes from Life Site News.

                                                        PROTECTOR AND PROTEGE
The comments of Cardinal Maradiaga are not only demonstrably erroneous , and plainly contrary to reality as anyone who has heard Cardinal Burke speak or seen his writings readily knows. But beyond that, these comments are loutish, crude and contemptible- entirely unworthy of any Cardinal. Here again we are forced to reflect on the fact that this unforunate man is a protege, confidant and aide to Pope Francis. He thus joins the sad ranks of such others as Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Coccopalmerio, and others who Pope Francis has gathered close to himself. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

SOUTH AMERICAN SWAGGER PART III DISASTER IN DALLAS

CARDINAL MARADIAGA 
In a remarkable and complete flowering of his Marxist Liberation Theology and anti- European / North American Capitalism ideas, this Prince of the Church unleashes a veritable barrage of radical Left political slogans. Out they tumble : " world dictatorship of finance capital", " transcontinental oligarchies", " dominate the planet" , " the lords of financial capital" all quotes from the writings of controversial United Nations Official J. Ziegler, which the Cardinal has espoused.But the Cardinal wants to go further, adding "neoliberal dictatorships" and  "the new feudal lords" as he unloads his stream of bitter rhetoric against the global capitalist "conspiracy"!

His Eminence asks : " How can the Church aim to counteract the deleterious effect of the preponderance of economism and its fundamental postulates?"

He ignores the question of how economies are to be managed at all without "economism". He is happier to remain with rhetoric.

The Cardinal tells us that the Council provided the answer in "Lumen Gentium" , with its "preferential option for the poor."And at the same time he promotes his fellow Latin American Bishops' Medellin Documents which he says, tell us that the preferential option for the poor" has to translate into denouncing injustice and oppression, into a Christian struggle against the intolerable situation often borne by the poor,into a willingness to dialogue with the groups responsible for that situation to make them understand their obligations".

As if to prove how out of touch with reality he is, and has been for a long time, His Eminence follows that quote with some of his own views : "Certainly, this Conciliar option made a good many Christians reconsider the curse of their own lives; it made many religious congregations review their rules and their way of life; it brought about in much of the episcopate, a spirit of reform, freedom and prophecy; and in numerous places martyrdom flourished as a consequence of the commitment to Liberation."

This last , is a virtually farcical misrepresentation of the destruction and unravelling of Religious life in so many places in the wake of the Council.It had nothing at all to do with the "preferential option for the poor".But it was a phenomenon so powerful that it prompted Pope Paul VI to make his famous statement that it was "as if the smoke of Satan had , through some fissure, penetrated the sanctuary".

We might just as readily have entitled this post " LEFT right out" for, in the sections that follow, from 5.1 onward, His Eminence comes to show himself as a radical Leftist of the type that used to be found "frothing at the mouth' haranguing Sunday Afternoon crowds in the Sydney Domain during the post War Communist era:

" The Church ought to proclaim and testify , as the criterion of sociopolitical organisation and education, that all men are brothers; and that, if we are brothers, we must fight for establishing relations of equality and to eliminate their greatest obstacles : money and power. We have to establish as a priority that those majorities who suffer poverty and exclusion(the last) will be the first. If Jesus calls the poor "blessed" is because he is assuring them that their situation is going to change, and consequently it is necessary to create a movement that can bring about such a thing, restoring dignity and hope to them. We have to give primacy to the last: "The original Christianity faces the rule of money and power as a means of domination and introduces a passion into history; that the last stop being the last, that behaviours are adopted and politics and economies are put into place to give them primacy, so a society can be built without first or last, or, at least, with less inequality between human beings called to be brothers." (R.Diaz Salazar La Izquierda y el cristianismo ( Left and Christianity) , Taurus , 1998, p 354)

Here, His eminence has encapsulated the ideas of Marxist Liberation Theology : that the Church is NOT about the transcendental activity of the salvation of souls, no, according to him, she is about the here and now, about creating a Heaven on Earth.

But this is NOT the intention of Our Lord Jesus Christ in this regard, and the distorted interpretation of the Beatitude "Blessed are the poor...." verges on blasphemy. For it is as clear as crystal in examining the Beatitudes and the entire teaching of Our Lord, that the promises He makes are not for fulfillment here on Earth, but in the next World.


                                 "international politics of solidarity"

Yet on His Eminence runs, proclaiming : "the possibility of creating international politics of solidarity, and economic democracy, the assumption of evangelical poverty, attaining the creation of new social subjects, with a new set of anthropological values and a new purpose of both collective and personal life...." . Finally, to put a religious gloss on this political rant, as an afterthought it seems, he adds that it would all be "inspired in Christ and His Beatitudes".

This is arrogance , and infidelity of a very high order. It is truly deceitful to twist the Beatitudes from promises of Eternal reward to promises of Heaven on Earth.

At 5.2 His Eminence urges " detecting the causes of inequality, as part of his political policy.This is no more than the " structures of sin" concept so much abused by numerous villains.

At 5.3 His eminence again seeks to draw the mantle of Sacred Scripture around his political agenda , urging us to adopt a culture of being Good Samaritans - fair enough. But, after only two sentences he again lapses into Marxist polemics : "The Eurocentric .....freedom and....." and " In practice, the hyperventilation of the economy has produced great amounts of money, fruit of the erosion of governmental regulation and a symptom of the failure of materialism. But, as a result, there is always a particular category of victim : "the poor" ...." 

At Section 6.0 His Eminence sets up a straw man - the Church is no longer profoundly humane!   The Section is headed : " Returning to a profoundly humane Church" and continues " The Church could not continue posing as a reality facing the world, as a parallel "perfect society" which pursued her own course, strengthening her walls against the errors and influence of the world . This antithesis of centuries needed to be overcome. 
The Council intended to apply the renovation within the Church herself, because the Church was not the Gospel, nor was she a perfect follower of the Gospel; she was inhabited by men and women, who, the same as everywhere else, and according to their limited sinful condition,had established within her many customs, laws and structures that did not respond to the teachings or the practice of Jesus."Perhaps this view is more representative of the false spirit of the Council  than the Council documents themselves. It would be interesting to see His Eminence give an example to illustrate his outlandish claim.

Seeking to massage his American audience, he quotes well-regarded conservative Catholic author George Weigel with approval , to the effect that the Church " in the 21st Century is a Church of mission, an emerging Church". As if she has ever been anything else!

But of course Weigel is talking about the Church in Africa, and Asia.But, never one to let the facts get in the way of his ideas, His Eminence says that this offers 3 lines of action for the New Evangelisation :

6.1 Continuous Dialogue

Here His Eminence sets up another of his straw men : 

"the Church, bearer of the Gospel, knew that she could not close her doors to dialogue without annulling the truth that could spring forth from anywhere - since God himself has generously planted it everywhere. The Church did not have a monopoly on truth anymore, nor could she pontificate on a thousand human matters, or hold stances denoting arrogance or superiority. Instead , she should go into the common arena, plainly and humbly , and share in the common search for truth."


                                             "continuous dialogue"

Precisely where this nonsense leaves Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ and the Divine Truths He entrusted to His one true Church is doubtful.

The Catholic Church has never claimed "a monopoly on truth" but only on revealed Religious Truth and she does not do so out of "arrogance" ( yet its superiority is undeniable) - but rather out of obligation to God. 

She cannot "go out in the common arena , plainly and humbly, and share in the common search for truth" .Her Divinely appointed role is to PROCLAIM the Truth revealed to her and entrusted to her by Christ.And 'dialogue" is for someone who is ready to negotiate to give something for something gained. But the Catholic Church cannot " negotiate" God's Truth .

There follows a paragraph that is so far from any authentic Catholicism as to make one wonder whether this Cardinal remains of sound mind:

" Dialogue should precede the mission , as a simple attitude of listening, to build on what is common , rather than to insist in what divides, and to count on the contribution of humanisms and of non-Christian religions , which will take us back to the foundation of any creed, any ideology." As the paragraph continues it degenerates from error into drivel : "What is Christian has its sub-strata, first and foremost, in what is human. One cannot be a Christian without being a person first. And the person offers a structure and a panoply of traits and possibilities that are patrimony to no-one in particular, but instead of humanity as a whole." 

6.2 The New Evangelisation

Here His eminence lays religion aside, or rather converts it into an adjunct of political activism on the radical Left side of the political spectrum.He talks of what is "truly human" , " a ferment as well as a service", "the great human causes" and " political sainthood"(?) he goes on to envisage spreading the "new model of Christian living" through " small groups and communities". This line is not uncommon in South America among Marxist inspired "Church" groups. 

But in reality the Catholic Church has adhered to Christ's injunction to go out into the whole world " - to engage the world as it is - not by retreating into little enclaves.

Then there occurs a sudden burst of rationality and His Eminence starts talking like a Catholic again.He draws attention to the importance of Blessed John Paul II's 1990 Encyclical "Redemptoris Missio " and 2001 Apostolic Letter " Novo Millenio Innuente" concerning the missionary character of the Church. However, the "wobblies" overcome him again and he opines that people will be attracted to the Faith by the                "humanity of Christians" who "live in a human way".... So not by their holiness , nor by God's Grace, but by their humanity....but if that is so, why are they not just as likely to become Calathumpians, Bahai, Mohammedans or Falun Gong? Humanity is not enough. Jesus enjoined the Apostles to go out into the whole world and to teach all that He had taught. He did not send out political cadres!

At last we come to the Conclusion in which His Eminence criticises the Mass Media for setting up and executing a an "ambush" of the Catholic Church -leading to many Catholics separating from the Church.

In a rather muddled paragraph he pays tribute to Pope Benedict XVI and says that the "arrival of the person of Pope Francis" heralds a "new dynamic" in the history of Catholicism and refers to "signs of growth, of great vigour and hope" instancing World Youth Days, the development of Ecclesial movements, the young priests who are arising all over the World, the Lectio Divina, the new forms of Consecrated Life. All of these of course flourished under Bl.Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI . Then, to satisfy his own political bent he stirs into the above "the grassroots communities".

At long last he draws to a close referring to Our Lord's comments on     "New wine, new wineskins" . As he has done throughout the address, the Cardinal insinuates that the Catholic Church has left Jesus, and must return to Him. 

This is outrageous rubbish. It indicates a determination NOT to see the Holy Spirit ALWAYS at work in the Church. And laughably, all the great signs of hope and vigour he sees are from the last 50 years - he shoots himself in the foot. But, for him, it appears that the Church must undergo a pastoral conversion (which) means returning to Jesus".

 It is difficult, after wading through this wild rant, not to be seriously worried that this man is responsible for co-ordinating the Council of Cardinals charged with advising the Holy Father on the reform of the Curia among other things. 

And he was selected  for that role by the Holy Father personally. 

  















SOUTH AMERICAN SWAGGER PART II - DISASTER IN DALLAS

CARDINAL MARADIAGA
We left Cardinal Maradiaga in part I (http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/south-american-swagger-disaster-in_20.html) just as he was hitting his stride, developing the central theme of the Marxist Liberation Theology laden Address he recently gave in Dallas, Texas.Now let us try to keep up with him, as breaks cover completely :

We begin to see most clearly how much of a loose cannon his Eminence is, very  early in Section 3.2 of his Address :

" Even Christ did not proclaim or preach Himself, but the Kingdom."

Eminence? Is that the same Christ Who said : " I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life" John 14:6?  Did not preach Himself??

Saying that the Church is  called "to serve, not to rule" His Eminence says " She must do this service living in the world " . His " hang up" with Marxist Liberation Theology seems to be anchored in this approach. But where is this straw man Church that has wanted "to rule"? 

In truth it is a figment of His Eminence's fevered imagination. And his imagination has not been shy in the past at conjuring up some other fevered ideas. Some years ago, when the Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times which is Jewish owned) broke the horrendous stories of clergy abuse of children in Boston decades before, His Eminence was clear in public statements that it was a Jewish conspiracy to distract world attention from the problems of the Palestinians and their then leader Yasser Arafat who had several times been received by the Holy Father. So His Eminence is not new to saying wild things.

And, in the Cardinal's mind, the Church is to be there among the lowest of the low..."without anathemas"? Pardon? What does this mean? That in her service of the poor the Church will disregard contradiction of revealed truth, will countenance gross evils such as Abortion, Contraception etc.?
But wait, there is more : Speaking of the Church :" Her foremost goal is to care for the penultimate ( hunger, housing, clothing, shoes, health, education...) ! Really?  

Surely her foremost goal is the salvation of souls ! The Mission she is to preach is repentance, conversion and salvation through the loving care of our God. After that come the works of mercy.

" Too many times , she gives the impression of having too much certitude, too little doubt, freedom dissension, dialogue.No more excommunicating the world, then, or trying to solve the world's problems by returning to authoritarianism, rigidity and moralism, but instead keeping always the message of Jesus as her sole source of inspiration."says His Eminence.

What?

When did the Church NOT " keep always the message of Jesus as her sole source of inspiration"?

Once we see that this last rhetorical fling is nothing but a flourish to cover the attack that has preceded it, we may begin to understand how far this man is from "thinking with the Church" . What in fact has he been ranting about? It is no doubt the concerted and successful effort of Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to reveal Liberation Theology for the gross error it is and the sinister infestation of the Church that it had become!"Too much certitude.....too little doubt" You people dared to disagree with my Marxist thinking Liberation Theologians! Why , you caused Guttierez to stop his teaching , and Boff likewise.

But as he rants on, the rhetoric becomes increasingly unhinged from the remotest connection to reality : "No more excommunicating the world, then, or trying to solve the world's problems by returning to authoritarianism, rigidity and moralism". It is the stuff of delusion..the Church has never sought to "excommunicate the world" whatever that fevered phrase might intend. And she can NEVER forsake her Authority - Divinely given, nor can she bend the Truths entrusted to her by God nor fail to propound the moral teaching entrusted to her. But His Eminence wants all that to happen to accommodate his Marxist sympathies!


                                           "No more moralism"

 In  addressing the subject of the Church as Communion His Eminence attacks the concept of hierarchy, asserting  the idea of a " privileged and exclusive "Ministerial Order "in the way it appeared to be configured, with absolute power concentrated at the apex and delegated down to the rest of the tiers of the hierarchy"

But Eminence? What of the words of Our Divine Lord: " Thou art Peter.....I will give to thee the Keys to the Kingdom...Whatsoever you shall bind....whatsoever you shall loose....."  Oh! Sorry! Is that inconvenient for the Marxist Liberation Theology point of view? Well, He is only God!

There follows a passage somewhat calmer in tone, but not without its errors. In a an attempt to present a scriptural clothing for what has just passed, His Eminence tells us about the Life of Jesus : " Jesus' entire life was a priestly life, in the sense that He became man, was poor, fought for justice, criticized the vices of power, identified Himself with the most oppressed and defended them, treated women without discrimination, clashed with the ones who had a different image of God and of religion....". 

But is all this what made Jesus' Life Priestly? What is a Priest? He is one who offers sacrifice and is a bridge between God and man. Yes, Jesus' Life was a Priestly one - He became Incarnate in order to die on the Cross,to achieve our salvation by being the Lamb of God, in His very being He bridged the gap between God and Man -Jesus Christ - God made Man.

NO  Eminence, it was not all the rest that you list, that made Jesus a Priest.

The attempt to build up an image of Jesus as one who might be identified with the Marxist Liberation Theologians is pathetically shallow and immature.

In part III we will see the Cardinal in full Marxist flight - don't miss it!                                                                                                                                                                                      

SOUTH AMERICAN SWAGGER : DISASTER IN DALLAS


In am extraordinary rant in his new book Pope Francis' Protege Cardinal Maradiaga has attacked Cardinal Raymond Burke for defending Catholic Teaching. More of that later, but first let's remind you of the record of this bizarre South American :




CARDINAL MARADIAGA ARCHBISHOP OF TEGUCIGALPA
SOUTH AMERICAN SWAGGER. : DISASTER IN DALLAS

His name is Oscar Cardinal Maradiaga, and he has been chosen by his friend Pope Francis to be the Co-Ordinator for the Council of Cardinals which is charged with making recommendations to the Holy Father about the reform of the Roman Curia, among other things. He is also the President of the disaster plagued CELAM - the South American Bishops Conference. He was born in Honduras in 1942 and is the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa.

Had he wanted to raise his profile outside the Church , he could not have done so more effectively than by the extraordinary Address he gave to the University of Dallas "Ministry Conference" on 25th October, 2013.

RUPTURE AND REVOLUTION
Cardinal Maradiaga's Address has already been characterized in the Media, even the more responsible Media, as a " rant". It is not easy to criticize that characterization after reading the whole text. The distance between the sober and reasoned rhetoric of the Holy See for generations, nay, centuries and the present stream of public utterances seems to grow daily.


We can justifiably say that the Cardinal, in this Dallas Address has wholeheartedly espoused the false "spirit of the Council" and the Marxist version of Liberation Theology. At the same time,in rather brazen fashion he set about telling the world how it should go about the New Evangelisation without even a nod to the dismal failure of his own Latin American Bishops conference to reduce the inroads of Pentecostalism into their own churches.

Indeed, even in Cardinal Maradiaga's own vest pocket homeland of Honduras, (second highest Murder and Suicide figures in world - almost 9 times that of Australia per 100,000 population and 5 times higher than even gun crazy USA), the 8,000,000 population that was nominally 81%Catholic is said to be now 46% Catholic and 41% Pentecostal.

But let us examine what His Eminence said in detail.

THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

His Eminence frames his whole address on the foundation of the Second Vatican Council.He begins by lauding the growth of the Church in Africa, and Asia and even speaks favorably of aspects of her evolution in the United States quoting George Weigel from a book written 13 years ago.(He might have done better to check the recent analysis of official statistics that shows the Church in the United States to be imploding under almost every statistical heading.

But his Eminence's special scorn is reserved for the Church in Europe.So intense is his disparaging language that one wonders at the objectivity he brings to other considerations involving Europeans.

His initial thesis regarding the Council is extraordinary: " In principle , it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council." If that did not take your breath away, or you think he must have meant something else, read on : "On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin - these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II - nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue.Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person."

So there Pope Saint Pius X you laboured in vain, and did not really know what was going on!
                                   Pope Saint Pius X at the Episcopal Consecration of
                                                the future Pope Benedict XV.


The Cardinal's grasp of history is about as unrealistic as his failure to talk about the condition of the Church in his own backyard whilst lashing the Church in Europe.Beside this consideration, his tortured grammar fades into insignificance.

Gathering steam, His Eminence proceeds to flesh out his view of Vatican II.The Marxist flavor is immediately apparent. Here we encounter his recitation of truths in such a way that the Marxist spin is given full force.

Of course we are well familiar with this type of propaganda from aging American dissidents, but here, we are getting it from a "favored" friend of the Argentinian Pontiff. He reviews the "people of God" phrase in such a way as to disparage the historic role of the hierarchy.Without seeing the irony of such words coming from his privileged mouth and favoured position , he opines that "the hierarchy is a ministry ( diakonia= service) that requires lowering ourselves to the condition of servants".Right....this from a man whose whole address breathes a spirit of arrogant assertion.

He goes on to say that there is no essential difference between clergy and laity.He sets up here a straw man , as he does repeatedly throughout the address, and proceeds to attack it. In the process, he only makes clear his own political prejudices .He leaps about in trying to keep his theme going, often to the point of absurdity.Consider : referring to the common priesthood of the laity , he goes on "this change in the concept of priesthood is a fundamental one: "In Christ the priesthood is changed"(Hebrews 7:12). Indeed, the first trait of the priesthood of Jesus is that " he had to be made like His brothers in every respect."

Now, the priesthood that is "changed " referred to in the passage from Hebrews, is clearly the Temple priesthood of the old dispensation and NOT the ministerial Priesthood instituted by Christ as His Eminence seeks to assert.

And wildly cherry- picking of phrases such as "He had to be made......."and forcing them into this inept proposition is absurd; for the ministerial Priesthood instituted by Christ makes the Priest in the New Dispensation one who acts "in persona Christi" quite unlike the common priesthood of the laity. This is a patently false proposition, though one that is at the heart of His Eminence's address.

But His Eminence is now out and rolling and at last confident enough to refer to South America.He tells us that the South American Bishops Conference at Aparecida in May 2007 stated that " to become authentic, the Church needs only to return to Jesus".

What are the presumptions behind this statement? " to BECOME " means that she IS NOT" to "RETURN TO" means that she "HAS LEFT" Jesus!

Perhaps the authors of that statement were looking in the mirror! They and the Cardinal ought not tar the entire Church with their own deficiencies.

In another swipe at the Europeans and specifically the Italians His Eminence goes on : " Thus it is symbolic indeed that the last three Popes have not been Italian; the temptation of Europeanizing and Italianizing the church has always been one tied to pretenses of power .Fortunately, things have changed." This is the sort of rant one might expect from a teenage University student.

Now His Eminence seeks to expound the New Church concept as the essential thought of Vatican II.He gushes : "Many of the traditions established in the Church could lead her to a veritable self-imprisonment. The truth will set us free, humility will give us wings and will open new horizons for us." New Church indeed.It is as if the Holy Spirit had not been around for 1,900 years!

There is more in similar vein.

His Eminence continues " With the New Evangelisation we restart ( start anew) from the beginning : we once more become the Church as proclaimer, servant and Samaritan."

What is this man affected by? When was the Church not " proclaimer, servant and Samaritan"? Except perhaps in the immediate wake of Vatican II when she was busy contemplating her navel as " the smoke of Satan" entered the Sanctuary to use Pope Paul VI 's words.Did she not take the Gospel throughout Africa, Asia, and even remote South America, and even now into the electronic realms of the Internet? Did she not care for the displaced throughout so many wars and two World Wars and the Great Depression and hide and save 800,000 Jews from the Nazis? Servant indeed. And does she not to-day still operate around the World the largest non- Government network of hospitals, Schools,hospices etc Samaritan indeed!

What a load of nonsense His Eminence is putting forth.

What we come to realize is that he is unloading all his own prejudices onto his audience.

Please look out for Part II the Address gets far worse!

Monday, May 15, 2017

PRIESTS BEING TRUE

FLECTAMUS GENUA

The following extract is taken from a marvellous post at VULTUS CHRISTI BLOG:A Priest's One Necessary Sermon:http://vultus.stblogs.org. Please take the time to go there and read the whole post by Dom Mark Daniel Kirby.

A Priest's One Necessary Sermon

The Lamb who is adored in the glory of heaven is present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar here on earth. If a priest were to preach but one sermon from the day of his Ordination until his death, that one sermon could be this: 

Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi

Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world (John 1:29).


Disappear Into Adoration

The priest is but a herald. He announces the presence of the Immolated Lamb, and then annihilates himself in humble adoration. Adoration leads inexorably to self-effacement. The Lamb is exalted; the herald of the Lamb disappears. The Bridegroom shines forth in all His beauty; the friend of the Bridegroom withdraws, content to listen to the sound of his voice.


Praedicatio Prima

A priest's adoration -- be it expressed in the liturgical rites (and especially at Holy Mass) or in silence before the Blessed Sacrament -- a priest's adoration is his praedicatio prima, his primary preaching. Without the praedicatio prima of adoration, no other preaching has credibility or meaning.

Preparing for Heaven

The priest who adores does on earth, does what the angels and saints do in heaven. He is employed on earth in the worship of the Lamb that will be his everlasting employment, his rest, and his glory in heaven.

The Compass That Orients One's Priesthood

The priest who is not first an adorer has lost the compass that orients all the rest of his life. The priesthood is ordered to adoration, and the summit of adoration is sacrifice: the immolation of a victim to God. The loss of the spirit of adoration is the ruin of the priesthood.



The truth is here expressed with marvellous clarity.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

PRELUDE TO PROBLEMS BRISBANE AND ARCHBISHOP RUSH



PRELUDE TO PROBLEMS - BRISBANE AND ARCHBISHOP FRANCIS RUSH


Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Was the date this item was first posted.  Some comments to-day elsewhere on the Net, and an article on the extinguishing of recent historical memory, have moved me to re-post it It shows the complexity of the situation in the post-Conciliar Church - not only here and the enigmatic role some have played. 

ARCHBISHOP FRANCIS RUSH
IMPRESSIONS
He had a voice of remarkable timbre, clarity and authority. In fact it can be said that in a very subtle way, he exuded a sense of quiet, genial but nevertheless resolute authority.
Some 12 months before his retirement Archbishop Rush appointed me to the position of Canonical Financial Administrator of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. His Grace had in mind the development of an Archbishop’s Council which would advise him on the governance of the Archdiocese. The project was forming well when he retired, but it was not taken up by his successor. Progress would have been quicker had it not been for the tendency for many of the myriad centres of power in the Archdiocese to drag their feet when they perceived their independence to act was under threat. They rejoiced in operating under the Archbishop’s auspices, but sought to evade his effective supervision.
My very strongest impressions of Archbishop Rush, are of his unfailing courtesy and thoughtful kindness to me and to others, his direct and frank honesty with me in appraisal of his Auxiliaries, Clergy and Lay Directors – never unkind but clinically accurate. His memory for people and events across the vast State of Queensland was truly formidable.
I was greatly impressed by his vigorous and brisk pace whenever he mounted the steps to the Sanctuary or moved between Cathedra, Altar and Ambo. Every step announced Authority. He did not tolerate liturgical abuse, and, after allowing himself to be influenced to permit a “Youth Mass” to mark the re-opening of the Cathedral after renovation, he was horrified by the theatricality of what happened and firmly announced : “Never Again!”
Archbishop Rush did not hesitate to publicly protect the Church’s teachings in the public sphere. I recall him at the Blessing and Opening of major extensions to Stuartholme College, at a time when the Government was floating trial balloons about allowing practising homosexuals to teach in schools, before hundreds of parents, bring down his Episcopal Ring on the lectern with a resounding amplified crack and assuring all present that if such measures as would require /force the employment of homosexual teachers were introduced, he would close every Catholic School in the Archdiocese! Thunderous applause greeted his announcement. The balloons never got past the trial stage and were deflated!
I came to know his constant and faithful charity in visiting those sick in hospital and regularly telephoning Priests ill at home including one or two very difficult and thorny characters.

ROCKHAMPTON YEARS
Before his appointment to Brisbane, he had been Bishop of Rockhampton. There he had been the very model of the traditional Catholic Bishop – very regularly visiting every Class of every School and every Ward of every Hospital. He was firm and orthodox in every way and led his Priests and people with vigour (and, some say, drove his grey car with even greater vigour!) He was strongly active in his support for lay movements particularly in the defence of Human Life and opposition to Abortion.
Rockhampton was to suffer greatly following his departure under Bishop Bernard Wallace who became the “Godfather” of the liberals in Queensland and even worse under Bishop “call me Brian” Heenan who will depart in August 2012.

BRISBANE YEARS
It seems clear that the pattern of pastoral leadership he adopted in Brisbane, addressing the demands of size and geography as well as a fractious Clergy whose marked individualism had flourished during the long twilight years of Archbishop Duhig’s Episcopate and the transitional years of the enigmatic Archbishop Patrick Mary O’Donnell, evolved significantly.

Early encounters with some senior Clergy seem not to have gone well – some rogues had come to believe in their absolute right to do as they would. Archbishop Rush adopted a new approach designed to solve problems at one remove, reserving his authority for the final resolution of the toughest decisions, in other words, “keeping his powder dry”. Over time, this seems to have been wrongly-interpreted by some as a “laissez faire” approach.
I was disturbed to discover in the role of Financial Administrator, how often and from what mouths I heard the phrase “the Archbishop’s mind in these cases , would be….”One does not have to read too much History to uncover what disastrous abuses of power can result from such habits. This is doubly so when I knew how few of the users of the phrase had any direct access to His Grace, and how rapidly the Bureaucracy was growing. Even excluding the monster Catholic Education Bureaucracy (a problem in Brisbane as it is in every Diocese) the Central Administration had grown from 2 or three people at the end of Archbishop O’Donnell’s Episcopate to something like 250 at Archbishop Rush’s retirement.
ARCHBISHOP RUSH A COUNCIL FATHER


SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL 
Archbishop Rush like every one of the Council Fathers could not have resisted being marked by this epochal event. It gave him the stimulating opportunity to hear and get to know leading Prelates from around the globe. Its deliberations and the documents it produced were a school of spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral learning. It was not a dogmatic Council, solemnly defining dogma, but rather concerned with pastoral concerns. It was undoubtedly a work of the Holy Spirit. And yet.. …

And yet… the Father of Lies perceived a chance and for him, the need, to frustrate the work. He chose for his instruments a group of North European prelates, heirs of the Modernists fought so forcefully by Pope Saint Pius X in the previous century. These perverse men were highly media savvy and daily held Media Conferences giving to a hungry media a blow by blow version of what the Council had done each day and “backgrounders” to frame their version of events and colour the views of their listeners.

It was a triumph of disinformation. The Council was truly hijacked. The media gave the world, hungry for information, this twisted view of the Council.  . Around the world Catholics and others read daily”what the Council, did, said, and thought” – NOT, as the teenagers to-day would say. By the time each formal Council document was released, few read it – those who did were surprised that it was not in keeping with all they had read! But still, from the Media they knew the “spirit of the Council”. It was a brilliant coup! The Father of Lies laughing. Later, poor Pope Paul VI publicly decried that it was as if through some crack or other, the smoke of Satan had entered the Sanctuary.

Later, these deceivers and elements in the United States and Australia and elsewhere sympathetic to them, found this false “spirit of the Council” was the perfect vehicle for creating their New Church. Without giving it a label, they actively promoted the Hermeneutic of Rupture – all that was pre-Conciliar was wrong/passé’ all that followed the Council was good and glorious and MUST be adopted. If you didn’t agree – get out of the way or be put out of the way. They soon became daringly adept and even salted their homilies and addresses with carefully chosen brief passages from Conciliar documents to give their efforts a gloss of respectability, and they would wring their hands and complain that if only people would read the Council documents”….knowing full well that the majority would never do so.

Nowhere was the discrepancy between the false “spirit of the Council” and the actual Council documents more marked than in the Sacred Liturgy, Sacred Scripture and Church Architecture.
DEPOSED ARCHBISHOP REMBERT WEAKLAND O.S.B.



“REMBERT” 
One of the leading lights among the radical “progressives” as they generously called themselves was Archbishop Rembert Weakland O.S.B.of Milwaukee. Archbishop Rush’s Auxiliary Bishop James Cuskelly seems to have met Weakland when the latter was Abbot of San Anselmo in Rome and Archbishop Cuskelly was for 14 years worldwide Superior of the M.S.C.’s also in Rome  Bishop Cuskelly became Archbishop Rush’s Auxiliary in 1982. He maintained a very low profile in the Archdiocese.

Both Bishop Cuskelly and Archbishop Rush regarded “Rembert” as a friend and called in on him on their way either to or from Rome when they had business there. The contact was reasonably regular. It was from Milwaukee and “Rembert” that Bishop Cuskelly brought back the documentation which became the notorious “Shaping and Staffing of Parishes“exercise. Bishop Cuskelly had oversight of the so-called “Centre for Life and Mission” and on his return with the Milwaukee documents, he walked into a meeting studying the issue and announced “You can forget about that. Here is the answer – they’ve already done the work in Milwaukee it just needs to be localized.”And so it happened following one of those Rand Corporation “consultation” processes so loved by Brisbane ecclesiocrats with “Facilitators” and reams of Butchers’ paper, they regularly consult people into thinking they have agreed to whatever the pre- determined outcome is. After recovering their equilibrium a little late in the piece, many came to refer to the exercise as the “Raping and Shafting of Parishes”
Weakland came unstuck in a series of dramatic events. He determined to proceed in a most arrogant fashion with the radical alteration of his Cathedral – demolishing the mighty Baldacchino and High Altar moving a new Altar toward the centre of the “worship space” now dominated by the pipes of a new organ and dangled over the new altar a corona of metal junk, hideous and distracting. Worse was to come. It was revealed that Weakland had had a long term homosexual affair with a young man who was blackmailing him and that he, Weakland, had used over U.S. $400,000 of Archdiocesan money in an effort to buy the fellow’s silence. Weakland was removed from office.
Weakland had, over many years been at odds with the Holy See over numerous matters. Father Ron McKeirnan, who was Deputy Director Religious Education in Brisbane Catholic Education, was also Bishop Cuskelly’s Assistant in the Pastoral Planning activities. He once recounted to a large group of Lay Directors that Bishop Cuskelly had told him that “Rembert” did not worry much about the strictures of the Holy See “He just went over, to listen to what they had to say, told them what they wanted to hear and then went home and did what he liked” That was very evidently the case.
Father Ronald McKeirnan


Father McKeirnan was later convicted of Pedophile offences and jailed for a time. After he was released an agency of the Archdiocese employed him as a consultant on a contractual basis to the dismay of many and the fiendish delight of the media, who got another run out of the original crime scandal.

Some might see in the continuing Weakland/ Cuskelly/Rush contacts a tainting by association. But Archbishop Rush, unlike Weakland, was never at odds with the Holy See. He was always the very model of Catholic orthodoxy in his teaching, administration, liturgical practice and, in my experience, private utterances.

That a false “spirit of the Council” Archdiocese developed during his Episcopate is undeniable. Whether this was his intention or the result of a “hands off approach”, one may speculate.

In a florid phrase that Archbishop Rush would have found distasteful, it was said that “under Archbishop Rush, the Archdiocese was a garden in which he allowed many flowers to grow” The objective observer could not fail to note the presence of very many robust weeds obscuring the flowers in the garden. Some of these weeds have more recently departed the garden under a variety of circumstances and in varied company, others have been rooted out by external influences and others still remain and flourish.

Whatever the reality, in the time of Archbishop Rush there was a clear impression abroad that he was firmly in control. His ascendancy over all aspects of Archdiocesan life was undoubted. His subtle but firm leadership of major committees has been superbly described by one of his inner circle of lay advisers. Times change. The Episcopacy of Archbishop Rush is fondly recalled by many Clergy and Laity for a variety of reasons. I believe it was Saint Ignatius of Antioch who said, when appointed as Bishop, that he feared this heavy burden would put at risk the salvation of his soul. For Catholics, the duty of Bishops to Teach, to Sanctify and to Govern all within their diocese includes the burden of correcting those in error or, carrying their guilt one’s self as Saint Augustine so clearly points out.

Archbishop Rush manfully shouldered those burdens, and, if in any aspect he could be judged to have failed, one would trust that his great charity toward the sick and the suffering and his constant respect for the dignity of each person should weigh heavily in the balance. He was missed from the very moment of his retirement.

Archbishop Francis Rush died in 2001. 
ARCHBISHOP FRANCIS RUSH  5/3/1973 to 3/12/1991