Thursday 23rd March 2017

Home » breaking » Currently Reading:

Professor Josef Seifert Now Presents Detailed Critique of Amoris Laetitia – and Calls upon Pope Francis to Rescind Its Heretical Statements

August 8, 2016 breaking No Comments
al

Maike Hickson

On 3 August 2016, Guiseppe Nardi, the Vatican expert of the German Internet portal Katholisches.info, was gratefully able to present Professor Josef Seifert’s important 28-page-long critique (http://www.katholisches.info/2016/08/03/freuden-betruebnisse-und-ho%ef%ac%80nungen-josef-seiferts-umfassende-analyse-zu-amoris-laetitia/) of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL). In this text, Professor Seifert, the founding rector of the International Academy of Philosophy (http://www.iap.li/) and father of six children, has stated that his previously published critique (http://www.onepeterfive.com/tears-jesus-amoris-laetitia/) had not at all been authorized by him and that it was only an earlier draft of his now-published, longer article which was first published by AEMET (http://aemaet.de/index.php/aemaet/index), a journal for philosophy and theology.

In the following report, I shall present some of the major arguments of Professor Seifert in his incisive critique and additional call for correction, which he directly addresses to Pope Francis himself. (All emphases in this report are mine).

He insists that his critique is written in a humble and loyal manner, without any attempt to “attack the pope, to damage him or to deny his lawfulness.” Seifert’s stated intention, thus, is to “support him and to assist him in his fundamental task to teach the truth.” The Austrian professor says that “some passages of AL – and especially those which should have the greatest impact – are the cause of great concern and also deep sadness”; and he mentions that some of these passages

are at least seemingly in conflict with the Word of God and the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church on the moral order, on intrinsically evil and disordered acts, on God’s Commandments and our capacity to fulfill them with the help of Grace, on the danger of eternal damnation (hell), on the indissolubility of marriage and the sacredness of the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Matrimony, as well as on the sacramental discipline and pastoral care of the Church which stems from the Word of God and the 2000-year-old tradition of the Church.

Professor Seifert speaks here as philosopher and as a Catholic and he urges all Catholics “to plea with the pope with the fire of love for God, and for immortal souls, to clarify some passages of AL and to correct others.” He insists that “papal statements which – at least in its formulations – are or only seem to be wrong and contrary to the Church’s teaching demand in the same urgent manner a correction.” He also reminds the reader of the “primacy of truth” which even urged Saint Paul to publicly rebuke and criticize the first pope, Saint Peter. Seifert concentrates in his critique mostly on passages in the eighth chapter of Amoris Laetitia. For example, he says:

Some formulations of AL which seem to be dangerously ambiguous cry for clarification; others – and here I go a step further than Bishop Athanasius Schneider in his noble open letter to the pope – I consider to be wrong and I believe that they should be rescinded by the Holy Father himself.

Seifert proceeds to analyze the major question that flows out of Amoris Laetitia, namely: who are these “couples in irregular situations” whom AL wishes to admit to the Sacraments, as is proposed by footnote 351? He then presents four different answers that are proposed to this question: 1. No couples in  “irregular situations” (adulterers, promiscuous or homosexual couples); 2. All “irregular couples” (divorced, adulterers, lesbian and homosexual couples); 3. A few (or many) “irregular couples” who live in objectively sinful situations – but only after an examination of conscience (with the help of a priest or alone); 4. Only those who have entered a “Marriage of Conscience,” since they are not able to receive a declaration of nullity of their first marriage, but believe in their heart to have grounds for such a declaration.

Without now presenting Professor Seifert’s detailed discussion of each of these four possible answers, I shall in the following report present some statements he makes along the way of his discernment. To sum up his conclusion ahead of the details: Seifert himself declares that Pope Francis did intend “to change something of the sacramental order – which is a logical conclusion of the fact that footnote 351 admits some couples to the reception of the Sacraments who, up to now, had been absolutely excluded from the reception of the Sacraments.” With it, Seifert explicitly rejects statements from Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Cardinal Raymond Burke, and Archbishop Charles Chaput on that matter. He does, however, agree with some of these authors in saying that, since the matter at stake pertains to the 2000-year-old traditional teaching of the Church, as well as it directly stems from the Word of God, it cannot be changed, even though the erroneous statements in AL still will have grave consequences. He says: “Indeed, for a couples of reasons, AL has not changed anything of the Church’s sacramental discipline.” It is about a “unchangeable truth rooted in Revelation” and established in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the Code of Canon Law.

As to the second possibility, namely that all couples in irregular situations are now admitted to the Sacraments, Professor Seifert quotes several sources who defend this thesis, namely: Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J., the Philippine Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Blaise Cupich, as well as, similarly, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, among others. Seifert calls this position “the radical, contrary and absolute opposite of the traditional teaching.” He says:

If instead of none, all adulterous, homosexual, lesbian and promiscuous couples are now invited to the Sacraments, there are truly no more limits – as Father Spadaro assures us. Why not give the Sacraments to couples – nurses and physicians – who, through abortion or through their assistance in it, have been automatically excommunicated?

In Seifert’s eyes, if one were to follow this path “one would desecrate the Holy Temple of God, yes, turn it into a satanic temple and turn it into a frightening place for any possible Eucharistic sacrilege and blasphemy.” While stating that such an interpretation “is a false interpretation and a total inversion of the sense of AL,” the professor says that – since such an interpretation has now been presented by bishops’ conferences and personalities such as Father Spadaro – “a very clear and quick papal declaration that such an interpretation of the words of AL is a radical misinterpretation, is urgently necessary and highly urgent – if one wants to avoid the total chaos.”

Professor Seifert, in quoting AL 297 shows that the text itself seems to indicate that ALL couples have to be “integrated” and that “no one may be condemned forever – that is not the logic of the Gospels!” He insists upon the call for clarification and claims that

This silence of Pope Francis strengthens the wrong and scandalous second interpretation […] especially if one considers that it is not at all Pope Francis’ general tendency to let things go without public corrections. For example, the pope recently corrected – immediately and publicly – the impression created in the minds of many that Cardinal [Robert] Sarah’s simple invitation, motivated by noble liturgical considerations, that priests […] may more often celebrate the Holy Mass toward the East (versus Deum), announced a change of Paul VI’s liturgical norms according to which the Holy Mass normally should be celebrated versus Populum.

Seifert concludes that this immediate critical and public reaction of Pope Francis – which Seifert himself regrets –

makes the world even more believe that the silence of the pope is a papal consent concerning the scandalous second interpretation of the “couples in irregular situations” (who objectively live in the state of grave sin) and who now shall all be admitted to the Sacraments without distinction.

The same applies, according to Seifert, to the pope’s silence concerning the recent Corriere della Sera interview (http://www.onepeterfive.com/cardinal-schonborn-says-amoris-laetitia-binding-doctrine/) with Cardinal Schönborn “whom the pope has declared to be the most competent interpreter of AL,” and who then also made “the unbelievable statement that AL has completely eliminated the distinction between regular and ‘irregular’ couples.” Additionally, the cardinal has also claimed that AL “put marriage on the same level as concubinage and adulterous and homosexual couples,” according to Seifert.  Again, says Seifert: “Many have to believe that this papal silence concerning this interpretation signals a papal consent.” Another indication of this seeming papal approval can be seen in the fact that Pope Francis just recently appointed Archbishop Cupich to be member of the Papal Congregation for Bishops, a prelate “who publicly gives out the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist to politicians who have been automatically excommunicated due to their support of abortion,” and who also calls AL a radical “rule-changer.”

In the face of such grave developments, Seifert reiterates his call to all Catholics that they

urgently plead with the Holy Father, in the name of God and of those souls deceived by such scandalous interpretations of AL, that he may very soon make such a clear statement in order to avoid a spiritual catastrophe and sacrilege without limits in the Sanctuary of God and to possibly undo a total confusion among priests and faithful alike.

Seifert, in his sequential discussion of the two last possible answers to the question as to who are these couples which might now be admitted to the Sacraments, rejects both. He neither sees it fit that a single priest would become the judge as to whether a person is subjectively incapable of seeing the sin he is committing, nor does he see fit the idea that there are couples who might follow their own conscience in determining whether their first sacramental marriage was valid or not. Both cases would lead to subjectivism, public scandal and chaos. Seifert holds firmly to the Catholic teaching on the state of objective sin according to which one has to abstain from sexual relations with other persons – persons other than one’s own legitimate spouse – also for the sake of avoiding sacrilege and public scandal and confusion.

Professor Seifert is deeply concerned by the fact that AL “never, not even with one word, warns of the real danger to commit a sacrilege when adulterous, bigamous or homosexual couples receive Holy Communion.” He continues:

Why is there no mention, on 260 pages, of the words of Holy Scripture, according to which “no adulterer will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”? In this context, why is there also no word to be found confirming what Saint Paul says, namely, that he who “eats and drinks the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily, eats and drinks his own judgment”?

The Austrian philosopher concludes with very strong words when he asks:

Would it not be merciful to remind these “irregular couples” of this truth, instead of telling them that they are “living members of the Church”? When a change of the Church’s sacramental discipline now allows that couples – who are living objectively in such a grave sin that they would have been excommunicated until recently – may receive the Sacraments, then the total silence concerning the real danger to “eat and drink one’s own judgment by an unworthy reception of the Eucharist” is not understandable. […] And when the words of Holy Scripture say that such a danger for souls exist – not to mention it with one syllable, or even to deny it straightforwardly, is to directly invite these couples which live in an objective contradiction to the Church to remain in that contradiction. And if one then additionally assures them that “nobody is condemned forever,” then this constitutes, in my eyes, not an act of mercy. What else could it be but an act of cruelty?

Professor Seifert reminds us of here also of the important truth that, if one lives in a state of mortal sin, one has cut oneself off from the Church and is, thus, not any more a living member of the Church. He adds: “If he [the sinner] does not convert, the same word of the father about the lost son applies to him: ‘Your brother was dead,’ even though the path to confession and penance will be always open for him. And for him who chooses that path, the word applies: ‘Your brother lives.’”

After the profound and important discussion of the question of the “irregular couples” with regard to the Sacraments, Professor Seifert goes on to discuss some other very troubling themes of AL. He says that he is convinced “that some statements of AL are wrong and even (in some cases) objectively heretical and that they have to be rescinded by the Holy Father himself, who is responsible before us all for the welfare of the Church and for the preservation and protection of the unmeasurable treasure of the irrevocable and infallible teaching of the Church.” Since Pope Francis has not consequently and continually, much less solemnly, presented these wrong (or even heretical) judgments, Professor Seifert himself does not consider him to be a “heretical pope” or even an illegitimate pope. He still trusts the pope when he says:

I am thus full of confidence that, as true pope and successor of Saint Peter, should Pope Francis find a contradiction between his statements and the teachings of the Church, he would immediately rescind his theses. And I hope he will do so with regard to the following cases.

In the following, Seifert specifically shows which claims of AL he considers to be problematic, or even objectively heretical. He says:

It is hard to deny that AL contains teachings or at least uses formulations which in their verbatim and obvious sense are in direct contradiction to the Gospels, to Veritatis Splendor and to the unchangeable tradition of the Church and thus do not merely need to be clarified, but, rather, to be revoked. Some passages, though in the tone similar to some of the words of the Gospels, give some of the most beautiful and merciful words of Jesus a completely different sense in detaching them from the strict admonitions of Jesus. Others seem – at least at a first glimpse – to reject some eternal and unchangeable parts of the doctrine and of the sacramental discipline of the Church. Therefore, there is in my opinion a great danger that an avalanche of very destructive consequences for the Church and for souls could be broken off because of these very sentences.

In this context, Seifert presents as an example the claim of AL, that it would be advisable for a couple of divorced and “remarried” partners to preserve sexual relations in order thus to avoid a possible infidelity on the part of one of the partners. Another example quoted is that AL indicates that a new relationship between divorced and “remarried” partners might even be willed by God “as if it ever could be the Will of God that divorced and remarried (without the Church’s declaration of nullity) continue to sin and to maintain their adulterous relationships.” Professor Seifert gives here as reference for this claim Paragraph 303 of AL. This claim – i.e., “that an adultery might be God’s Will” – “is clearly in contradiction with some Canones of the Council of Trent.”

With reference to the woman about to be stoned – to whom Jesus Christ says “I, too, do not wish to judge you” – the 71-year-old philosopher points out that Christ then added the words: “Go and sin no more!” “However,” adds Seifert, “Pope Francis as His Vicar on earth, says to the adulteress – with reference to the Synod [of Bishops on Marriage and the Family] – that she may in certain situations continue to sin and that she should not only not feel excommunicated, but, rather, regard herself as a ‘living member of the Church’ – yes, she could even perhaps recognize as God’s Will that she is sinning: [here follows quote AL 299].” It is important to note Professor Seifert’s explanation that only after the new Code of Canon Law (1983) were “remarried” divorcees not any longer excommunicated for the act of a new civil “remarriage.” In the context of this discussion – and with notable reference that even the new 1983 Code of Canon Law itself still insists that such “remarried” divorcees are “bigamous,” i.e., engaged in forms of bigamy – Seifert makes another strong comment:

If the quoted words from AL mean – as many interpreters assume – that remarried and divorced couples can know that their deed is adultery and a grave sin and yet at the same time can live in the state of Grace – then this would contradict Holy Scripture and the dogmatic teaching of the Church.

Another statement in AL which contradicts the traditional Church’s teaching is, according to Seifert, the claim that “the Divine Laws against adultery are mere ideals and aims which not everybody can fulfill.” However, the Austrian professor shows that “the Council of Trent had taught dogmatically that each Christian, with the help of Grace and of the Sacraments, receives the strength to fulfill God’s Commandments.” Thus Seifert a little bit later raises his firm objection:

By the way, it is truly impossible that the pope can teach heresies that had been condemned by the Council of Trent. However, it is nearly impossible to interpret his words in a different way; that is why I think that it is absolutely necessary to revoke these sentences of AL.

Seifert makes clear that one may never do evil that good come from it; that is to say, that a couple of divorced and “remarried” persons may not continue their sexual relation in order to avoid the danger of infidelity of one of the two partners. Thus, at the end of the discussion of this aspect, Seifert reiterates his plea to all Catholics:

I think that the whole Church should, in the name of Jesus Christ, call upon beloved Francis to revoke those false interpretations of AL and those formulations which violate the Holy Words of Christ – which will never go under – and the holy teachings and Dogmas of the Church.

In the following part of his own analysis, Professor Seifert discusses the claim of AL that “no one is condemned forever.” He points out that Jesus Christ Himself warns 24 times explicitly and personally (and that there are also to be found twice as many of these warnings altogether in the rest of the New Testament and in the Old Testament) “against the danger of eternal damnation if we remain in grave sin.” Seifert then shows the words of Pope Francis in AL 292 that “No one may be condemned forever because that is not the logic of the Gospels!” Here Seifert sees that it is “nearly unavoidable to understand this text in the sense that there is, according to him, neither hell nor the danger of eternal damnation.” In another set of strong words, Seifert concludes:

Therefore, if Pope Francis does not declare this to be a misunderstanding of AL, one can barely do otherwise than seeing in this above-quoted formulation a denial of the reality and danger of hell, as it has been proclaimed in the Gospels and in the dogmatic teaching of the Church.

Seifert repeats that there is only one interpretation of this passage of AL, namely “that this passage excludes [the possibility of] eternal damnation – which would stand in direct opposition to the Gospels and which has been rejected as heresy by different Dogmas and Canones of the Church.” After discussing the further damaging effects of this Francis claim – namely that even the Faith in God and Jesus Christ is not any more necessary for salvation – the Catholic philosopher concludes the discussion of this aspect of AL with these emphatic words:

The faithful expect that Pope Francis does not teach another Gospel than the one of Jesus Christ and that he says to us either in the clear words of Jesus Christ or in his own words that there exists the danger of eternal damnation and that it is not true that “no one is condemned forever”!

At the end of his very detailed, truthful, careful and unmistakably charitable critique, Professor Seifert discusses once more what now needs to be correctively done. He says:

In my view, it is not possible – as some excellent Cardinals and Bishops (for example Cardinals Burke and Müller) and laymen (such as Rodrigo Guerra and Rocco Buttiglione) propose – to interpret these few, but very clear words in Amoris Laetitia in harmony with the words of Christ or the teachings of the Church. But if Pope Francis does indeed give a very different meaning to the words as they seem to have and if the pope understands his Magisterium to be in accordance with tradition and the teaching of the Church – as the above-mentioned Cardinals and laymen think – then he may please say it clearly and unequivocally and reject the false formulations and the many false interpretations of AL and explain without ambiguity that these are indeed misinterpretations!

Seifert adds to these very succinct requests yet another even more stringent proposal, saying that if, however, the above-mentioned formulations and claims of AL are indeed what Pope Francis intended to write – something that Robert Spaemann saw as a breach with the Gospels, Familiaris Consortio, and Veritatis Splendor

then we can only ask him imploringly to follow the glorious example of his predecessor, John XXII who, a day before his death, rejected and condemned with the bull Ne super his his own false teachings that the souls separated from the body (the animae separatae) in the beyond before the Last Judgment experience neither the heavenly beatitude, nor the pains of hell – a teaching that has been condemned as heresy by his successor Benedict XII in the bull Benedictus Deus […] May Pope Francis not leave it up to a successor or to a council to condemn these statements, but, rather, may he revoke them himself.

Professor Seifert additionally supports this insistent rebuke of Pope Francis at the end of his study with the question as to whether a layman may criticize a pope; and he then gives an historical overview over other examples of the Church’s history where laymen helped to fight heresies within the Church. He insists that

The pope is not infallible if he does not speak ex cathedra. Several popes (for example John XXII, Honorius I) have advocated heresies or made damaging pastoral decisions. And it is, as Saint Thomas say, our holy duty – out of love for God and neighbor and out of mercy for so many souls –  to criticize our bishops and even our pope if we see them depart from the Truth or damaging the souls. This duty has been recognized by the Church since her early beginning.

Thus Seifert ends his 28-page critique of Amoris Laetitia – a critique which will have its place in future history books as one of the most powerful, differentiated and clear and stringent critiques of this papal text – with the wholehearted request that the Church of God may proclaim “joy, love and mercy in veritate.”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 4

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

Chaput: Everyone who’s a legal citizen should come pray for immigrants

Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 18, 2017 / 05:32 am (CNA).- As fears of deportation threaten to keep many immigrants home from a prayer service on Sunday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is calling on citizens and legal residents to attend the…Continue Reading

Rabbi says Pope’s homilies could threaten Catholic-Jewish relations

March 13, 2017 An Italian rabbi has raised a protest against the topic of a conference to be held by the Italian Bibilical Association: “Israel, people of a jealous God. Consistencies and ambiguities of an elitist religion.” Rabbi Giuseppe Laras…Continue Reading

This man drives for Uber to spread the pro-life message

TROY, Ohio, March 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As an abortion abolitionist, Bryan Kemper wears many different hats – including sharing the pro-life message while driving for Uber. “I am in an area where I drive a lot of college students…Continue Reading

The secret obsession that will destroy modern feminism

March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – What does it mean to be a woman? Planned Parenthood and the modern-day feminist movement are profoundly confused about this. Today is International Women’s Day. Planned Parenthood and its allies would have people believe that…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood refuses Trump offer to give up abortions and keep funding

March 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood has declined an offer from President Trump to keep – and possibly increase – its federal funding in exchange for ceasing to commit abortions. The proposal was an “impossibility” for Planned Parenthood officials,…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address to Roman Clergy (Part I)

The Holy Father’s Meditation The Progress of Faith in the Life of a Priest “Lord, increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). This question arose spontaneously in the disciples when the Lord was speaking to them of mercy and said that we…Continue Reading

Southern MN Catholic diocese files bankruptcy over abuse claims

MINNEAPOLIS — The Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, the 14th U.S.  Catholic diocese nationwide and third in Minnesota to do so in the face of mounting claims of sexual abuse by clergy. The…Continue Reading

Trump hit with ultimatum on global ‘atrocity’

An organization representing the sentiments of more than a quarter-million Americans is asking the nation’s new U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, to urge the global body to launch a campaign to protect Christians and other Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/trump-insider-hit-with-plea-to-stop-genocide-of-christians/#5TeczOEyZqlCUFew.99

Cardinal Cupich: No Immigration Agents In Catholic Churches Without Warrant

CHICAGO — Archbishop Blase Cupich told Chicago’s Catholic priests Tuesday not to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on to church property without a warrant. In a letter to the archdiocese’s priests, Cupich said the Archdiocese of Chicago “stands in…Continue Reading

Scholas Occurrentes: Another Vatican-Soros Connection?

After our recent report about Pope Francis’ praise of a Soros-funded left-wing organization called PICO — People Improving Communities through Organizing — we have been informed by some Spanish-speaking sources about a connection between Pope Francis’ papal foundation Scholas Occurrentes…Continue Reading

Ohio bishops support bill protecting clergy’s religious liberty in same-sex ‘marriage’

COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a rare move of legislative activism, all of Ohio’s Roman Catholic bishops officially expressed support for the state’s proposed Pastor Protection Act (HB-36). The Catholic Conference of Ohio (CCO) testified last week…Continue Reading

Leaders call for Catholic sanctuary movement to blunt deportation crackdown

MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) — The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump’s intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Cardinal Cupich tells national TV audience: Church ‘stands with’ immigrants

Town Hall meetings are out of fashion for certain Republican congressmen who have spent the start of 2017 dodging Democratic Party activists. But Cardinal Blase Cupich got an altogether warmer reception when he used a nationally broadcast town hall this weekend to tell recent immigrants, “the church stands with you.”

Gorsuch defends Hobby Lobby, religious freedom at confirmation hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Sen. Orin Hatch, R-UT, gave Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch the chance to explain how an important religious freedom law is applied today in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Regarding whether the Obama administration’s birth control mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Gorsuch ruled it “failed to meet RFRA’s standard,” Hatch recalled. While on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch sided with the majority in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. The…Continue Reading

House bill’s ‘life protections’ said laudable, other aspects ‘troubling’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The inclusion of “critical life protections” in the House health care bill is laudable, but other provisions, including those related to Medicaid and tax credits, are “troubling” and “must be addressed” before the measure is passed, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, who is chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, sent a letter March 17 to…Continue Reading

Canon lawyers and theologians to hold conference on ‘deposing the pope’

PARIS, March 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canon lawyers, theologians, and scholars will be meeting in Paris in two weeks to discuss a topic that has never been the focus of a Catholic conference before: How to depose a heretical pope. Titled Deposing the Pope: Theological Premises, Canonical Models, Constitutional Challenge, the conference seeks to explore the mechanisms that are built into the Catholic Church for dealing with a pope who openly teaches falsehood and even…Continue Reading

‘To hell with accompaniment’: Catholic prof points to damage Pope Francis is causing the Church

March 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — American Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor is famous for answering a pronouncement by leftist author Mary McCarthy that the Eucharist is a “symbol” by exclaiming, albeit in a shaky voice: “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it!” Relating this encounter in a letter, O’Connor added: “That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Early History Of The Eugenics Movement

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of more than a thousand pro-eugenics quotes, including those by Margaret Sanger, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “The eugenic movement, therefore, cannot be a short campaign like many political…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred The High Drama Of Palm Sunday

By JAMES MONTI As we advance through the later days of Lent, it is certainly not too soon to begin turning our attention to the days for which we are preparing, beginning with Palm Sunday, the great portal to Holy Week. Palm Sunday is one of the solemnities of highest drama in the liturgical year.…Continue Reading

The Pelosi Principle

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: This column was released March 15, one day before the House Budget Committee narrowly approved the Republican health-care bill.) + + + Suppose the federal government confiscated 90 percent of the income of every private sector worker who earned more than the poverty level. Then suppose the government used…Continue Reading

Jacques Maritain . . . On The Person Of The Church And Her Personnel

By JUDE DOUGHERTY At a time of when strong ecclesiastical leadership is warranted as the West drifts further from its historical anchorage, the voice of Church seems to be muted or confused. With reason, Pope Francis has been accused of deliberate ambiguity, given that he has not responded to repeated calls for clarification of his…Continue Reading

Should Some People In Irregular Unions Receive Communion?

By JOHN YOUNG A Catholic couple living in an adulterous relationship are not necessarily subjectively in a state of mortal sin. Objectively their state of life is mortally sinful, but there is such great ignorance today about marriage and sexual relationships that we can’t presume that these people are subjectively guilty of mortal sin, and…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Die To Sin And Live In Righteousness

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 37:12-14 Romans 8:8-11 John 11:1-45 As we draw near to the end of Lent, there is more that is removed from our senses when we come to Mass. The statues are covered, the music is supposed to be more solemn, the Mass itself is more simplified; everything is…Continue Reading

Sermon XXXIX: On Lent I

By POPE ST. LEO I (AD 390-461) (Editor’s Note: This sermon was delivered during the Lenten fast by Pope Leo the Great, whose date of birth is cited as AD 400 as well as AD 390. This is a translation of a sermon from Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series: volume XII, in the public domain. We have generally…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Contraception Dooms Secularism While Religion Grows

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Is the Trump victory, with the accompanying new wave of sexual morality and respect for life, the first hint of a societal sea change born, ironically, of contraception? It turns out that religious people have more babies and thus pass on the faith while secularists are self-obsolescing. It’s “news” that seculars are dying out because…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Original Sin And Answering More Objections

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 29 In this article we continue providing replies to objections against the Bible narrative about the fall of our first parents. Fourth objection: If the serpent that tempted Eve was not a real serpent but an evil spirit disguised as a serpent, why did God punish the whole serpent tribe by cursing them from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist: Sacramental Sacrifice

By DON FIER Part 3 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as we saw last week, is a true sacrifice in the fullest sense of the word “because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1366). The perfect sacrifice of Christ on Calvary becomes present and actual each time the Holy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

By CAROLE BRESLIN Those who wish to attack the Catholic Church usually bring up two “weapons”: the Crusades and the Inquisition, which started in the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition had the most just procedures and did not exile the Jewish people the way England (in 1290) and France (in 1306) did. In the late 16th century, King Philip II…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the tip of the South American continent lies one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its towering Andes Mountains, lush valleys, beautiful plateaus, and colorful glaciers. (Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes Mountains.) Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, established its nationhood in the…Continue Reading