Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Letter - the Real Story. UPDATED !

From Mark Lambert's blog - :-

"So yesterday's weird story about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writing to the prefect for secretariat for communications, Mons. Dario Edoardo Viganò stating his pontificate and that of Pope Francis have an "interior continuity," albeit with "differences in style and temperament" has rapidly fallen into complete disarray....Key to developments is the fact that Vatican News only published a couple of lines of the full letter. This has turned out to be very selective quoting as everyone has rapidly discovered as soon as the full text of the letter has been released.

In short, it seems to me that what has gone on is quite clear. On 12th January, mons. Viganò sends Benedict XVI a series of booklets written by various theologians who have attempted to offer an appologia for Pope Francis "paradigm shift" of accompaniment and discernment. ....Benedict replies on February 7th, giving a little smile at the beginning, a slight doff of the cap if you like, but not in any way defending the theology of Bergoglio, rather only in compliance with the fact that "it is foolish" to compare the two. And then the icing on the cake: Viganò must have asked him to make a PREFACE to the operetta and here Ratzinger tells him NO! first because he did not read them, second because he took other commitments.

The Italians are all over this. Under the headline "The Half Fake News on Benedict....
The minimum professional correctness requires that if you publish a document, publish it in full. But this has not happened either on the website of the Holy See Press Office, nor, as we have seen, on Vatican News.Tosatti correctly asserts that the portal published the first two paragraphs of the message, but omitted the third one, which begins with "However ..." and says that Benedict has NOT read the eleven volumes, he does not intend to read them or write them down. And that consequently empties the kind sentences of the previous paragraphs, and the attempt to credit the endorsement. he closes his piece by asserting that this exercise is, in reality, the epitome of fake news... Moreover, Magister asserts the Pope Emeritus' true meaning is clear to anyone who bothers to read the full text of the latter."


Vatican admits blurring letter from Benedict XVI 

From the Catholic Herald:-

"The Vatican has admitted that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI about Pope Francis’s theological background. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image."

Countering Anti-Catholic Propaganda - the Myth that Dead Babies were Thrown into a Irish Septic tank 

The atheist editor from "Spiked" Brendan O'neil, writes about a false story about nuns fromTuam, in the Republic of Ireland, which hit the headlines a while ago, but keeps resurfacing :-

"For proof of the maxim that ‘A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on’, look no further than the Tuam 800 dead babies story. Courtesy of a modern media that seems more interested in titillating readers with gorno than giving us cool facts, and thanks to a Twittermob constantly on the hunt for things it might feel ostentatiously outraged by, the story about babies being dumped in an old, out-of-use septic tank by nuns at a home for ‘fallen women’ in Tuam in Galway made waves in every corner of the globe."

He continues:-

"On almost every level, the news reports in respectable media outlets around the world were plain wrong. Most importantly, the constantly repeated line about the bodies of 800 babies having been found was pure mythmaking. The bodies of 800 babies had not been found, in the septic tank or anywhere else. Rather, Corless had speculated in her research that the 796 children who died at the home had been buried in unmarked plots (common practice for illegitimate children in Ireland in the early to mid-twentieth century) and that some might have been put in the tank in which two boys in 1975 saw human remains. The septic tank or the grounds of the former home have not been excavated. No babies have been ‘found in a septic tank’, as the Washington Post, Guardian and others claimed. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ into some kind of sewage system is wrong, too. Corless says the nuns ‘made a crypt out of the old septic tank’. She now says her research has been ‘widely misrepresented’ and that she ‘never used the word “dumped”’ to describe the possible placing of some dead children into a makeshift crypt (‘possible’ being the operative word).

More to the point, it’s actually not possible that all 800 dead babies are in this tank-cum-crypt, as pretty much every media outlet has claimed. Mainly because, as the Irish Times reports, the septic tank was still in use up to 1937, 12 years after the home opened, during which time 204 of the 796 deaths occurred - and ‘it seems impossible’, the paper says, ‘that more than 200 bodies could have been put in a working sewage tank’. Also, the Irish Times spoke to one of the men who in 1975, when he was 10 years old, disturbed the former septic tank and saw skeletal remains, and he says now that ‘there was no way there were 800 skeletons down that hole. Nothing like that number.’ He says there were ‘about 20’. Maybe his memory is fuzzy, but so far he is the only eyewitness we know of to this alleged pit of 800 dead babies in a tank in Tuam.

So the widely made claim that the bodies of 800 babies had been found in Tuam is not true; no excavation has taken place. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ in a tank is not true, according to Corless herself. And the notion that the babies were hurled in with sewage is not correct - apparently the tank had been turned into a crypt. Yet none of these recent revelations, or Corless’s public angst at the widespread warping of her findings, has put a stop to the Heart of Darkness-style coverage of Tuam’s evil, mysterious tank. Martin Sixsmith, former New Labourite hack turned author of The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, the story of a former inhabitant of a severe nun-run home in Ireland who was forced to give up her child for adoption, says the Tuam story reminds him of the ‘mass graves in far-flung locations in Eastern Europe and Russia’ that he once wrote about. In Tuam, ‘an ugly place’, we can see that ‘Western Europe [is not] immune from such horrors’, he says. A hysterical piecein the Irish Independent compared the Tuam home to the Nazi Holocaust, Rwanda and Srebrenica, saying that in all these settings people were killed ‘because they were scum’. You can almost hear the sound of the whip as yet another self-loathing member of the Irish chattering class makes an artform of public self-flagellation."

He concludes:-

" But the unhealthy obsession over the past 10 years with raking over Ireland’s past has little to do with confirming such facts and instead has become a kind of grotesque moral sport, providing kicks to the anti-Catholic brigade and fuel to the historical self-flagellation that now passes for public life in Ireland. There’s a terrible irony here: in desperately searching for demons that they can hate, in obsessing over evil and its capacity to destroy lives, in frequently substituting speculation for evidence, these history-combing Catholic-bashers employ the very same irrational tactics of demonology and mythmaking once beloved of Ireland’s old Catholic establishment."

For the full story goto:-

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Jesuit Amerika Magazine laments: “Where are the millennial Catholic activists?” Answer at Latin Masses

Fr Z writes:-

"Jesuit-run (hence confused) Amerika Magazinehas posted a lament: “Where are the millennial Catholic activists?”
The head-scratching writer is bumfuzzled. Protests for favored lib causes are drawing people with lots of gray hair. Where are the young, social media savvy protesters?
First, the young generation of Catholics don’t feel the need to relive the halcyon days of yore, with the draft card and bra burning, dope smoking and guitar strumming, altar smashing and whitewashing. They don’t have that baggage. They aren’t triggered by protest signs and gray ponytails.
Demographic studies suggest that in a few years the numbers of people in pews will drop dramatically as boomers go to their frightening judgment and the “nones” get a little older and just leave.
In the next few years, dioceses will lose a high percentage of priests. Where I am, three priests have died in the last week.
It’s a war of attrition now as the Biological Solution really kicks into it’s ineluctable gear.
However, last Sunday at the TLM I celebrated it was like day-care in the church.
In these still small but growing traditional groups, there are lots of young families with lots of kids and more on the way.
TLMs are alive all over the place now and there are more and more of them. Since Summorum Pontificum in 2007 the number of TLMs has grown from around 200 to over 500. A couple years ago in France, traditional ordinations accounted for over 20% of all the ordinations.
I suspect that were there to be general permission to use the older Pontificale Romanum for ordinations to the diaconate and priesthood, well over half the men to be ordained would rather have the traditional form than the newer.
My sense is that this can’t be stopped, not without moves that would probably tear the unity of the Church to pieces.  This is so, because the “gravitational pull” or “mutual enrichment” or “knock-on effect” really is taking place.  The Ordinary Form is also being purified of dross in many places because of what priests learn at the TLM altar.  A synergy is building.
Of course the seats of ecclesial power abound with prelates who would rather burn down struggling parishes and watch Satan disco dance in the ashes than do the slightest “traditional” thing to revitalize our identity and evangelical mission.
Hence, because this is also spiritual warfare, YOU, dear readers, need to buckle it on and get to work.
The storm is almost here.
Polish that armor, sharpen that sword, mend that shield, square that gear, do those drills.  Pray for specific intentions.  Practice mortifications for reparation for sins.  Contribute at the parish.  Examine your conscience.
I post the above and then find an article about parish closures in Europe.  HERE
The Diocese of Trier in Germany will reduce its number of parishes from 172 to 35 by the year 2020
The details provided by the CNS of some of the other diocesan reorganizations planned or currently underway in Europe makes for sobering reading:
– Berlin: 105 parishes to be reduced to 35 “pastoral spaces”, with unused churches to be sold off and 40% of clergy and lay staffers reassigned, thereby alleviating some of the Diocese’s $140 million debt
– Vienna: 660 parishes to be merged into 150 hubs served by a handful of priests
– Luxembourg: 274 parishes reduced to 33
– Clogher, Ireland: 37 parishes cut to 14 “pastoral areas” coordinated by teams of just two priests and six laypeople
– Utrecht: 326 parishes to just 48 hubs in which only one church will serve as a “eucharistic center”
Some will spin this as a greater opportunity for lay people in the Church. Riiiiight."

Monday, 5 March 2018

Cheltenham Young Catholic Adults - March Events

March is traditionally the
month of St. Joseph

Wednesday 7th Mar - Low Mass at 7pm St. Gregory's Church, Cheltenham (GL50 3PR) -  Rosary and Confessions before Mass. The Rosary and serving are organised by Cheltenham YCA.

Saturday 10th Mar - Party. Text 07908105787 for more details.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

My Conversion Story: Why I Became Catholic - by a Young Catholic
My conversion by Amy Thomas. H/t to      
"I was raised as a Protestant.  I am so grateful and thankful for the loving foundation in Christianity that my parents laid.  When I look back on my upbringing at the Disciples of Christ Church in Bonner Springs, Kansas, I recall it as mostly a positive experience.  One of the holiest men I have ever known, was our pastor, John Walker.  For nearly all of my most important early life events, he was an active participant:  My baptism, my marriage, and the blessing of our first daughter, Rhianna.  When asked who is a major player in my religious formation, I always say his name.  He is such a good, loving, Christ-like man and I am blessed to know him.
During my childhood, the only exposure I had to Catholicism was through my best friend, Annie.  Every once in a while, when I spent the night at her house on Saturday, I would attend Mass with her family the following morning.  It seemed to me, as a young child, that Catholics liked to exercise–I had a hard time keeping up with all the kneeling, standing, and sitting.  I didn’t get too involved as I was told that Catholics were a cult, that they worshiped Mary and statues, and that they didn’t let their people read the Bible.  I didn’t fully understand these things, but through idea osmosis, I adopted these beliefs.  But, God has a sense of humor, doesn’t He?  At 21-years old, I deemed myself all wise in Protestant and Catholic departments.  I believed there was nothing new anyone could teach me–I knew all.  Yet, “If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise.” 1 Corinthians 3:18.
So, I went and fell in love with a Catholic.  When we were first together, I gave it no thought.  In college, both of us had fallen away from going to church and we didn’t really speak about it much, so it was a non-factor until we married.  Having Rhianna started to change our lukewarm hearts and we felt the need to go to church.  But what church to go to?  Dustin wanted to remain Catholic, I wanted to remain Protestant.  And so, we fought.  Correction–I fought.  I spewed out all the things I thought were true about the Catholic Church at Dustin and he remained calm, patient, and loving.  He countered every single one of my baseless untruths.  Soon, there was nothing I could say.  He had an answer for everything.  I was so frustrated, but I refused to concede.  That would mean that I was wrong.  That would mean that I had believed in untruths and that thought was humiliating.  Pride is a strong sin.
So, we tried church shopping.  One week we would go to a Protestant church, the next week a Catholic church.  This grew old quickly.  Eventually, I made a deal with Dustin, since it was so important to him that he remain Catholic.  I agreed that we could attend a Catholic Church, but I would under no condition convert.  So, in Ohio, we started going to St. Helen’s.
It took nine years into our marriage for me to desire to become Catholic.  Believe me, the desire became overwhelming.  Never once did Dustin ask or pressure me to convert.  The changing of my heart came slowly, but now looking back I can see how little-by-little God chipped away at the hard barrier around my heart.   I learned that everything I had once believed about Catholicism was wrong.  Sadly, I had never taken the time to really explore the truth.  I had just gone along with the tidbits of misinformation that I had picked up in my life.  It was a very real lesson in the importance of striving to search for truth.  It was embarrassing to know that I had been so very wrong, but I am grateful for the humbling experience.
There are three main reasons I wanted to become Catholic:
1.  It is the first Church.  The Church that Jesus built upon Peter.  The history is there and I can’t dispute it.  If this was The Church founded by the apostles at the very beginning than that is where I want to be.  The history is rich, intriguing, mysterious, and supernatural.  Again and again, I am left in awe as I continue to explore the only Christian church that has been around for over 2,000 years.
2.  It has ignited a flame in me.  The beauty of Catholicism has brought me closer to Jesus in numerous ways.  Never before have I engaged myself in a relationship with Jesus to this degree.  I see now that I cannot simply limit this relationship to Sunday mornings at church.  Where once I thought the call to holiness was lame and outdated, I realize that it is God’s will for my life.  It is the greatest challenge in this life and it gives purpose.
3.  The Eucharist.  Mass is not about the homily.  It’s not about the singing.  It’s not about who’s there or who’s doing what.  It’s all about that moment that I come forward and get to be united with Him.  It provides my strength for the week.  I can tell when I have missed it.  It is why, when on vacation, I cannot miss church.  When I was a Protestant, attending a Catholic Church, I couldn’t partake in it and I longed to receive it.  There is a difference.  Trust me, as a Protestant who used to receive communion as a symbolic gesture, to a Catholic who now receives it as the body and blood of Jesus, there is a difference.  It is supernatural, life-giving, and my food for the journey.
....  One of my favorite Catholic writers says often, “There is genius in Catholicism.”  I couldn’t agree with him more and I am therefore compelled to share it.  There are three major events in my life that have changed me for the better:  The births of my children, marrying Dustin, and the day I became Catholic.  So this is me dropping the veil.  Kyrie Eleison (Lord, have mercy)."
“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
― Fulton J. Sheen

Cardinal Sarah States :- High-level Prelates Looking to Change Catholic Church teaching on Life, Marriage, and the Family

 LifeSiteNews has the following story:-

BELGIUM, February 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – High-level prelates looking to change Catholic Church teaching on life, marriage, and the family are guilty of a “new betrayal,” said Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Such clerics “contribute to the destruction of the natural institution of marriage as well as the family,” he said in a talk to a church full of people during his February 6-7 visit to Belgium. His remarks were translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino.

Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, accused some unnamed top-ranking prelates of “working to cause modifications to Christian morality.”

“Some high-ranking prelates, above all those coming from opulent nations, are working to cause modifications to Christian morality with regard to the absolute respect for life from conception until natural death, the question of the divorced and civilly remarried, and other problematic family situations,” he said.

“These ‘guardians of the faith’ however ought not to lose sight of the fact that the problem posed by the fragmentation of the ends of marriage is a problem of natural morality,” he continued.“The great derivations became manifest when some prelates or Catholic intellectuals began to say or write ‘a green light for abortion,’ ‘a green light for euthanasia.’ Now, from the moment that Catholics abandon the teaching of Jesus and the Magisterium of the Church, they contribute to the destruction of the natural institution of marriage as well as the family and it is now the entire human family which finds itself fractured by this new betrayal on the part of priests,” he added.

The Cardinal referenced Humanae Vitae,  an encyclical issued 50 years ago that many have found to be prophetic in its prediction of destruction in society owing to the advent of artificial contraception.

“The Church needs to turn to the encyclical Humanae Vitae of Paul VI as well as to the teachings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI on these vital questions for the human race,” said Sarah.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

St. John Paul II on Communion for the Divorced and Remarried

“For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”(1 Corinthians 11:29)

In Familiaris Consortio ( no. 84) Pope John Paul II wrote that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics could not receive Holy Communion, for two very profound reasons:
“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.”

Priests and Seminarians have snowball fights at the Vatican

Sunday, 25 February 2018

WHY I'M BECOMING CATHOLIC (From a Young Ex-Protestant)


From the Catholic Herald:-

"YouTube star Lizzie Estella Reezay has announced she is converting to Catholicism.

In a video posted to her LizziesAnswers account, she explains: “Iwant everyone to know that I hated that this was happening. I fought sohard to get out of this intellectually. I did not want to be Catholic.
Not only did I think Catholicism was wrong, I just didn’t like the vibeof Catholicism. I wanted to be anything but Catholic.”

However, she said she had no choice but to convert when she realised Catholicism was true."

Friday, 23 February 2018

Cardinal Sarah: Advocates Communion Kneeling and on the Tongue and Speaks of ‘diabolical attack’ on Eucharist

From the Catholic Herald:-

"The widespread practice of Catholics receiving communion in the hand while standing up is part of Satan’s attack on the Church, the head of the Vatican department dealing with liturgy has said.
In the preface to a book on the subject, Cardinal Robert Sarah lamented the lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, saying this leads to belief in “errors” on the matter.
“The most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, sowing errors and favouring an unsuitable manner of receiving it,” the cardinal wrote.
“Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the heart of the faithful: Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated host.
“Why do we insist on communicating standing in the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God?
“[Receiving kneeling and on the tongue] is much more suited to the sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this manner. In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ.”
The cardinal’s preface appears in the new book ‘The distribution of Communion on the hand: a historical, juridical and pastoral survey’ by Don Federico Bortoli. It was reproduced on the Italian website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
Communion in the hand, he points out, “involves a great dispersion of fragments” of the Host, which, although small, are still the body of the Lord. Failure to respect this can cause people to lose their belief in the Real Presence, leading Catholics to think: “If even the parish priest does not pay attention to the fragments, if he administers the Communion so that the fragments can be dispersed, then it means that Jesus is not in them, or only ‘up to a certain point'”.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Spain: young people dancing a jota in reparation for blasphemy against the Blessed Virgin

From Fr Z:-
"I saw something at hated Facebook posted by Regina Magazine.
It seems that a Galician writer and dramatist Carlos Santiago made in public some blasphemous comments about the Blessed Virgin Mary. They were so bad that some people (alas, not all) got up and left the event. Our Lady asks us to make reparation for offenses against her. Hence, young people in Zaragoza, Spain danced a jota (the “national dance”, as it were) in front of the Cathedral and Our Lady of the Pillar, in reparation for the blasphemy.
I’m not sure if this video will work. Try refreshing if it doesn’t at first. I got it to work.

If memory serves, the Spanish and Catalans would dance the jota after Sunday Mass in the square before their churches. There is a scene in that mighty font, the great Aubrey/Maturin series. Stephen speaks of it in The Commodore. I think he also does it in another book."
Please share!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

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