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Vatican in the pocket of the contraception industry. By Riccardo Cascioli.

The Fifth International Vatican Conference, to be held from 6 to 8 May on the theme “Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul – Unite to Prevent & Unite to Cure” has already created quite a scandal. This is particularly so because  some invited speakers are bizarre and even embarrassing. Firstly, there is Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the former American president. Then there is former model Cindy Crawford, and rock singer Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Also invited is New Age guru Deepak Chopra, conservationist Dame Jane Goodall, a fanatical supporter of birth control and population reduction (at Davos a year ago she said that the world population should be reduced to the levels of 500 years ago, between 420 and 560 million). Most notably are the greatest supporters of mass vaccination programmes: immunologist Anthony Fauci, top executives at Pfizer and Moderna, Albert Bourla and Stéphane Bancel, and the director of Google Health, David Feinberg.

What are all these people doing inside the Vatican (albeit via an online meeting due to Covid travel restrictions) talking about health as guests of the Pontifical Council for Culture headed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi? This question is all the more urgent since these international conferences were set up in 2011 to promote research on adult stem cells, a response to the tendency of the industrial and scientific world to focus, instead, on embryonic cells. Above all, it appears inevitable that the Vatican’s enthusiasm for vaccinations (including promotion of vaccine indoctrination in the church, as we revealed yesterday) is being allied to the two pharmaceutical companies that are sharing the biggest slice of the vaccine profit pie. This is, in the very least, a very unfortunate coincidence.

Even worse is the impression created by the poster advertising the conference: a stunt worthy of Italian photographer and controversial brand developer Oliviero Toscani with its reference to Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam. In the graphic, we see two hands reaching out to touch one another (one black and the other white for political correctness) covered by latex gloves. Whatever was the intention of those who conceived and those who approved the publicity, it is objectively a manifestation of practical atheism: even God has to protect himself from the virus and with the means science deems necessary. This is the clearest sign of what we have been saying for a long time, namely that for many of the Church’s pastors health has taken the place of salvation as their primary concern with the vaccine, of course, being the real source of salvation.

Such deviations of the Church’s institutions should be more than enough to shock us.

However, there is another aspect, perhaps even more disturbing though less obvious. You can find out by trying to get an answer to a simple spontaneous question when observing the grandeur of the international conference: who is paying for all this? The Vatican’s conference organiser, Monsignor Tomasz Trafny, has made it clear that everything is being funded at no cost to the Holy See. The conference is being paid for by a number of organisations, foundations and industries with ties to health advocacy and medical research. Moderna is one of sponsors. This is self-explanatory. The primary sponsor, without whom this high-level conference would not even be possible, is the John Templeton Foundation, one of the 25 largest foundations in the United States.

What does the John Templeton Foundation do? Why is it so interested in the Church? Because it is heavily involved in family planning (i.e. birth control) programmes in developing countries, mainly through the involvement of so-called ‘Faith-based Organisations’, that is, religiously motivated charities. To save face and not over-offend sensibilities – given the involvement of Islamic, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish organisations – the language used to present the various projects is nuanced. The reality is that the John Templeton Foundation is one of the key players in the spread of contraceptives throughout the world. On the list of beneficiaries of the foundation’s various projects are a number of African national Caritas organisations. Although it is not clear from the project summaries to what exact degree the Catholic organisations are involved, it is nevertheless clear that the concept of voluntary planning promoted by the John Templeton Foundation and similar ones linked to the United Nations differs considerably from the concept of responsible parenthood taught by the Church.

John Templeton is also a member of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, a consortium of foundations, organisations, pharmaceutical companies and governments in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to promote the use of all modern contraceptives. It is a coalition that channels some $3 billion a year into contraceptives. Of course, it comes as no surprise to find The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among the list of partner organisations, being certainly the most generous in the world for funding the culture and practice of contraception – in addition to International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the largest multinational provider of abortion and contraceptives.

The fact that the John Templeton Foundation’s focus is enlisting religions to partner in their work of promoting contraception also makes it clear why it generously funds the Vatican Health Conference. As Monsignor Trafny candidly admits, the funder also gets to choose the speakers.

If the topic of conversation turns to contraception, then one cannot fail to mention that the pharmaceutical industrial giant Pfizer is not only the producer of the most widespread Covid vaccine  (compulsory in the Vatican), but is also the ‘queen’ of long-term injectable contraceptives. Such drugs prevent a woman’s ovulation for 13 weeks, but with side effects that have proved disastrous in developing regions because of links to high mortality rates. We are referring to the infamous Depo Provera which in poor countries since the 1970s has been the mainstay of savage birth control programmes in Africa, Asia and Latin America (see my book Il complotto demografico, Piemme, 1996). In 2015 another injectable contraceptive, Sayana Press, was introduced with active ingredients, administration, efficacy and side effects all very similar to those of Depo Provera. The only difference is the latter is taken through an intra-muscular injection, while Sayana Press is injected subcutaneously and can, thus, be easily self-administered.

These are, therefore, very dangerous relationships being forged by the Holy See. This makes it easier to understand why some prelates are opening up to contraception in developing countries. This is in blatant contradiction to the Church’s teachings. It is a serious danger to the freedom of the Church, a problem which previous popes were well aware of. As such, in November of 2012 Pope Benedict XVI signed a Motu Proprio clarifying what even common sense might suggest, namely that Catholic charitable organisations cannot be funded  by “groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church’s teaching.”  This legally binding text entitled Intima Ecclesiae Natura was inspired by the concern that all the Church’s very own charitable activities – with Caritas Internationalis playing the lead – should be at the service of evangelisation. The intention of the Motu Proprio was, therefore, to avoid creating confusion among the faithful about what the Church teaches nor misappropriate in any way donations received from the faithful (which evidently has happened). One of the protagonists behind Intima Ecclesiae Natura was Cardinal Robert Sarah who at the time headed up the Pontifical Council Cor Unum (whose specific work has no been absorbed into the much larger Dicastery for Integral Human Development). The Motu Proprio was addressed, first and foremost, to diocesan bishops  responsible for supervising  charitable organisations in their own regions.

Now, just eight years later, it turns out that it is the Holy See itself that is in breach of its own policy, being tied hand and foot to the contraception industry.

Riccardo Cascioli

newdailycompass.com

 

Centesimus Annus turns 30. By Stephen P. White

Every summer since 2006, I have had the privilege to spend three and a half weeks in Krakόw, Poland as part of the Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society. The seminar provides participants – mostly recent university graduates from the United States, Canada, Poland, and Eastern Europe – with a deep dive into the Church’s social teaching.

The seminar first met in 1992, in a very different time and a very different world. The faculty has changed over the years, as one might expect, though George Weigel and Russ Hittinger still anchor the lineup. Changed, too, are the questions that weigh most upon the minds of the students who join us.

The challenges posed by the immediate aftermath of the fall of European Communism have given way over the decades to other pressing concerns: from growing secularism and questions about religious freedom, to the economic crisis and the resurgence of nationalism, to questions of migration, ecology, and the foundations of liberal democracy.

The seminar does continue to address, to one degree or another, the entire social doctrine of the Church from Leo XIII to Francis. Yet after all these years, the central document around which our seminar discussions revolve is still Pope John Paul II’s 1991 encyclical, Centesimus annus. Why, thirty years after it was published, is this document still at the center?

One reason Centesimus annus retains pride of place has to do with history. Young Poles, for example, often know less about the events which led to the Revolutions of 1989 than they do about the (at least partially) failed promise of freedom that followed. Centesimus annus acts as a sort of bridge between the Church’s experience of 20th century totalitarian ideologies and today, a point underscored by studying in Krakόw.

More than an historical bridge, Pope John Paul II’s analysis of the ideologies of both socialism and liberalism connects the theological and philosophical foundations of Catholic social teaching – in Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum – to the ideological challenges of our own century.

John Paul II’s criticism of socialism is well known. His experience living under the totalitarian regime of his native Poland, his support for the Solidarity Movement – and even the failed attempt to assassinate him in 1981 – ought to dispel any notion that his was a purely academic critique.

But neither was his treatment of socialism an exercise in (to use an American idiom) spiking the football after Communism’s collapse. His concern was with how ideology distorts our grasp of the human person and, accordingly, of human society itself.

“[T]he fundamental error of socialism,” Pope John Paul II wrote, “is anthropological in nature.” By reducing the human person to a cog in a machine, a mere molecule of society, socialism obscured the person as the “subject of moral decision. . .the very subject whose decisions build the social order.”

The result of this was not only the elimination of a sense of the transcendent destiny of every person, but of the true nature of the human society itself, in all its richness and complexity – what John Paul called the “subjectivity of society.”

The chief cause of socialism’s “anthropological error,” according to the Polish pope, was atheism. An atheistic view of society – that is, a purely materialistic view – leads inexorably to an inadequate understanding of the human person, the destruction of the social sources of solidarity, and to atomization and social breakdown.

If John Paul II’s critique of the inhumanity of socialism was unsparing, those who touted the material advantages of capitalism were put on notice as well.

An affluent, consumerist society, the pope warned, will follow a similar trajectory to socialism precisely because it makes a nearly identical mistake about human nature. “[I]nsofar as [the affluent society] denies an autonomous existence and value to morality, law, culture and religion, it agrees with Marxism, in the sense that it totally reduces man to the sphere of economics and the satisfaction of material needs.” A materialistic view of society leads to defective understanding of the human person, the destruction of the social sources of solidarity, and atomization and social breakdown.

Pope John Paul’s dire warnings applied not just to the economic sphere, but to the political as well: “As history demonstrates,” he wrote, “a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

It’s worth noting that John Paul II’s critique finds echoes in Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate, which decries the reduction of society to a function of state and market forces: “The exclusively binary model of market-plus-State is corrosive of society, while economic forms based on solidarity, which find their natural home in civil society without being restricted to it, build up society.”

This connection between a materialist anthropology and social dissolution also shows up in Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: “[W]e should not be surprised to find, in conjunction with the omnipresent technocratic paradigm and the cult of unlimited human power, the rise of a relativism which sees everything as irrelevant unless it serves one’s own immediate interests.”

Anyone interested in today’s most hotly contested debates – about the viability of liberalism (or Liberalism), the role of “woke capital,” the revival of interest in socialism especially among the young, or the rise of Integralism, and so on – will profit from a close reading (or rereading) of Centesimus annus. It has a prophetic quality that endures.

One thing Centesimus annus does not do is provide ready-made solutions to the problems of today. The work of building a society worthy of the name “free” is a moral task, not an abstract one:

The Church has no models to present; models that are real and truly effective can only arise within the framework of different historical situations, through the efforts of all those who responsibly confront concrete problems in all their social, economic, political, and cultural aspects, as these interact with one another.

In that work, the Church offers sure guidance. Centesimus annus, thirty years on, remains an invaluable guide.

[Source: The Catholic Thing]

Why workers must look to St Joseph. By Ermes Dovico

The Gospels, albeit with brief references, give us an often underestimated piece of information: a significant part of Jesus’ earthly life was spent at work. To express the amazement (mixed with scandal) before the wisdom that Jesus showed from the beginning of his public life, his fellow citizens called him “carpenter” (Mk 6:3) or “carpenter’s son” (Mt 13:55). Who taught him the trade? St Joseph, of course.

This schooling by his virginal father therefore had a notable influence on Jesus’ growth in wisdom, age and grace (which took place in general submission to his parents). Hence the salvific significance of this reality, well summed up in the apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos: “Human work, and in particular manual work, finds a special emphasis in the Gospel. Together with the humanity of the Son of God, it has been accepted in the mystery of the Incarnation, just as it has been redeemed in a special way. Thanks to the workbench where he practised his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human labour closer to the mystery of the Redemption” (RC, 22).

The Redeemer, by approaching work, has therefore purified and sanctified it, as Father Tarcisio Stramare, a Josephologist who collaborated on the RC, also recalled. “Human activity was not excluded by Him from salvation, because His solidarity with man was total: in everything similar to us except in sin”. And on the role of the head of the Holy Family, he added: “Well, no one among men, after Mary, has been as close to the hands, mind, will, and heart of Jesus as St Joseph. Proposing the example of Saint Joseph to the workers, Pius XII stressed that he was the saint in whose life the spirit of the Gospel had penetrated the most”.[1]

It was because of this closeness to Jesus that Pope Pacelli decided to institute the liturgical feast of “Saint Joseph the Craftsman” (today the memorial of “Saint Joseph the Worker”), announcing it in his speech on 1 May 1955. The historical context in which this took place was negatively influenced by Marxist ideology, which looked at workers (especially manual workers) through the lens of class struggle, according to an atheistic perspective that excluded any reference to the heavenly Father. It therefore played into the hands of the devil, who “sows discord” and “does everything possible to spread false ideas about man and the world, about history, about the structure of society and the economy”. It is true that Marxism, in the meantime, has become more fluid, but ideologies continue to proliferate. And work is still, together with the family, one of the domains most under attack.

Yesterday as today, the solution is – as Pius XII himself pointed out – to recognise Christ’s kingship over history and to open to Him “the social realities”, the only way to true peace and justice. In order to avoid the contamination of error among the weakest links of the chain, the Pontiff pointed out this precise urgency: “The religious formation of the Christian, and especially of the worker, is one of the principal tasks of modern pastoral action”. Such formation cannot be limited, in Pacelli’s intentions, to satisfying religious obligations, but must lead the worker to deepen his knowledge of the doctrine of the faith and to understand the divinely established moral order of the world. And that must be recognised first and foremost by rulers and employers.

Pius XII urged the recovery of the Christian meaning of work, which must be oriented towards “extending the kingdom of God”. And what better protector could there be than Saint Joseph, who by his work and his whole life, worked solely for this end?

Work, understood in the Christian sense, in fact makes man a participant in God’s creative work. Recalling the biblical account of the days of Creation, St John Paul II wrote that the first “Gospel of work” can be found in Genesis. That description (which tells us that God at the end of each day saw the goodness of His work) demonstrates the dignity of work and “teaches that man in working must imitate God, his Creator, because he bears within himself – he alone – the unique element of likeness to Him. Man must imitate God both in working and in resting, since God himself has willed to present his work to him in the form of work and rest” (Laborem Exercens, 25). The worker is therefore called to observe Sunday rest, which not only concerns the physical aspect but involves his entire interior dimension. It is a question of rest in God, which man must seek on the “seventh day” but also on each working day, finding time to devote to prayer.

In this, too, St Joseph is a master, for the carpenter from Nazareth not only used his work to feed and serve Jesus and Mary, but found the greatest joys of the day in adoring the divine Son and giving praise to the Father. The glorious patriarch thus perfectly embodied the principle of ora et labora and, for this reason, contemplatives also have a model in him.

From what has been said, it is evident that work – whether manual or intellectual (see the praise of the scribe who makes himself a disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven, in Mt 13:52) – must be carried out in accordance with God’s will and help man to gain eternal joy. This also reminds us that one of its essential dimensions, as Wojtyla pointed out, is fatigue, which admirably links it to redemptive work. “In human work the Christian finds a small part of Christ’s cross and accepts it in the same spirit of redemption in which Christ accepted his cross for us. In work, thanks to the light that penetrates us from Christ’s resurrection, we always find a glimmer of the new life…” (Lev, 27). How does the perspective of our days change if we look at work – with all its hardships and perhaps little daily annoyances – in this way? Then it truly becomes an expression of love, as it was for Joseph, and a means to Paradise.

 ErmesDovico
newdailycompass.com

[1] San Giuseppe. Dignità. Privilegi. Devozioni, Father Tarcisio Stramare, Shalom, 2008, p. 121

Despite Flagrant Dissent of Father Hans Küng, Some Church Leaders Pay Glowing Tribute. By Edward Pentin

ROME — Despite his profoundly dissenting views that included questioning the divinity of Christ, rejecting papal infallibility and undermining doctrines on the Virgin Mary, warm tributes were paid yesterday by some prominent Church leaders to Swiss theologian Father Hans Küng, who died Tuesday at age 93.

Father Küng never repented of his positions, which caused him to be formally censured more than 40 years ago by the Vatican as an individual whose views are so contrary to key Church teachings that it was impermissible for him to be considered as a Catholic theologian at all.

Father Küng was ordained to the priesthood in 1954 and came into international prominence at the Second Vatican Council, where he served as a theological adviser, but immediately afterward he began to clash openly with Rome over a range of central issues.

“In the early days of John Paul II’s papacy the tensions culminated in a 1979 declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that Küng had ‘departed from the integral truth of Catholic faith, and therefore he can no longer be considered a Catholic theologian nor function as such in a teaching role,’” Catholic News Agency noted Tuesday. “The Congregation cited his opinions on the doctrine of infallibility, expressed in his 1971 book Infallible? An Inquiry, as one of the reasons for the move.”

 

Cardinal Kasper

Despite this strong official censure of Father Küng’s thought, yesterday’s tributes included respectful comments from Cardinal Walter Kasper that appeared on the front page of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

“My relationship with him was good,” Cardinal Kasper said, adding that it was always one of “mutual respect” and that they “regularly exchanged greetings and good wishes” — despite the fact that they had drifted apart over the doctrine of papal infallibility, which Father Küng rejected and that led to the revoking of his teaching license in 1979.

In his L’Osservatore Romano tribute, Cardinal Kasper stressed that the theologian “was not only a critic of the Church or a rebel” but also “a person who wanted to bring about a renewal in the Church and implement its reform.” At the same time, the German cardinal conceded that Father Küng went “beyond Catholic orthodoxy and therefore did not remain tied to a theology based on Church doctrine, but ‘invented’ his own theology.” He quoted the Second Vatican Council theologian Yves Congar, who described Father Küng as Catholic, “but in his own way.”

Cardinal Kasper, who first met Father Küng as a graduate student at the University of Tübingen in the 1960s, assessed Küng’s ecclesiology as “too liberal,” and said that he departed from the position of “his great teacher,” the Protestant Swiss theologian Karl Barth.

But the cardinal, who served as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 2001-2010, said that even though he and Father Küng differed on the doctrine of justification and ministries in the Church, they mostly agreed on the issue of “ecumenical dialogue.”

“He was a combative man,” Cardinal Kasper said, someone who “criticized in his own way, harshly, and sometimes unjustly,” but on the other hand, “used a language everyone could understand,” especially those “who were far, or had drifted away, from the faith and the Church.”

The German cardinal praised his work on interreligious dialogue, and his creation of a foundation to promote global ethics through the recognition of common values between religions.

Cardinal Kasper also noted that Father Küng’s legacy includes “ideas that have become current in Germany,” even though he said he personally has “doubts about these reforms” as they include women’s ordination to the priesthood and the abolition of priestly celibacy. (Cardinal Kasper also noted differences he had with Father Küng over Humanae Vitae in another April 7 interview, with Corriere della Sera.)

He stressed that Father Küng “never even thought of wanting to leave the Church,” and recalled that Pope Francis conveyed his greetings and blessings to him “in the Christian community” when the aging priest was close to death last summer. Indeed there was a “certain consensus” on the part of Father Küng with the papal magisterium under Pope Francis, the cardinal said, adding that Father Küng was “eager for reconciliation” and wanted to die in peace with the Church.

Referring to the frosty theological relationship Father Küng had with his former colleague at the University of Tübingen, Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal Kasper said they “esteemed and respected each other but were not in agreement.”

“I must say that Küng had spoken ill of Ratzinger in the past, and this for me was unacceptable,” Cardinal Kasper said. “However, I believe that Ratzinger’s esteem has remained even in the last months [and] I know that Benedict XVI prayed for him; the personal relationship between the two was not interrupted.”

 

Less Measured Tributes

Cardinal Kasper’s tribute was relatively measured compared to the tributes from some other significant Church voices, including from the Pontifical Academy for Life, headed by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

“Disappears a great figure in the theology of the last century whose ideas and analyses must always make us reflect on the Catholic Church, the Churches, the society, the culture,” the academy eulogized in a tweet.

Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, also a former student at Tübingen, described Father Küng as “a great impetus for the Church,” someone who “in his own way he loved her very much” and whose “prickly spirit was motivated by the desire to create that Church that the Council had desired.”

Asked by La Stampa to explain further, Archbishop Forte, who was a special secretary to the 2014 Synod on the Family, said the Church is neither a spectator nor an opponent of humanity, but is “leaven in the mass of humanity” and “participates in the lives of people by encouraging justice and peace.”

He added, “Sometimes there were harsh tones, but they were part of the post-conciliar troubles, perhaps necessary to shake up the process.” He said Father Küng, who was a peritus (theological expert) at the Second Vatican Council, “exasperated some people with his interventions” but added that his “profound intent was constructive.”

Regarding relativism, Archbishop Forte said Father Küng saw truth not as “something one possesses and therefore can dispose of at will” but rather “someone who comes to us, who transforms us. In this sense it has a dynamic aspect, which was what Küng insisted on.”

In another tribute, Lucetta Scaraffia, a former editor of L’Osservatore Romano’s women’s supplement, wrote in a commentary for La Stampa that while Father Küng’s hope for a world of unified religions had failed due to Islamic fundamentalism, “his other proposals have been tacitly affirmed, also within the Catholic world, where there is no longer any talk of the need to convert.”

Meanwhile, the head of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, said in a statement that Father Küng was a “recognized and controversial researcher” who was committed to “living ecumenism” and interreligious dialogue. Despite his conflicts with the Church, Bishop Bätzing thanked him for his “many years of commitment as a Catholic theologian in communicating the Gospel,” and said Küng left behind “a rich theological legacy.”

Jesuit Father James Martin called Father Küng a “towering Catholic theologian,” while his fellow contributor to America Magazine, Jesuit Father Roger Haight, wrote that Father Küng had an “amazingly productive career as theologian, ecumenist, religionist and finally a moral leader of humanity” and that the “Catholic Church, Christianity, other religions and all humanity in a recognizable way are his beneficiaries.”

 

Critical Perspective

Counterbalancing yesterday’s tributes is the perspective of Professor Stefano Fontana, director of the Cardinal Van Thuân Observatory on the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Writing April 7 for the Catholic website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Fontana noted that Father Küng’s theological life was the “exact opposite” of that prescribed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and its 1990 Instruction on the vocation of the theologian Donum Veritatis — namely prudence, avoidance of the media, and not to flaunt theological positions contrary to the magisterium.

Not following these prescriptions leads a theologian to think “the future of the Church depends on him, or at least above all on him,” Fontana wrote, which in turn leads to an “historicist and progressive theology.”

Father Küng, like the German Jesuit Karl Rahner, was such a theologian, he said, adding that he was above all Hegelian — the adherer of a philosophical view that the Church was “continually becoming,” guided by the future, not the past, so that only new theological notions are valid. It is what the 20th-century French Dominican theologian Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange feared about Nouvelle Théologie, Fontana said, and of which Father Küng was “basically a child” and “even more reckless than others.”

Furthermore, he said it is a philosophy followed by Bishop Bätzing.

“Küng,” he said, “was Swiss by nationality, but German by theology,” someone “tuned into a Vatican III and eager to meet a John XXIV.” He believed the Church was “established from below and also renewed from below,” and that this “new Church from below” had already begun.

He noted how Father Küng promoted not only contraception and women’s ordination, but also “Eucharistic hospitality” (something also pushed by Church leaders in Germany) and Father Küng “considered it untenable for the Catholic Church to have only one legitimate religion.” The Church, he believed, “had to accept the challenge of other religions’ claim to truth,” Fontana wrote.

Internally, this meant making local Churches autonomous to honor the “richness of variety,” to be against “dogmatic arrogance,” “dogmatic rigidity” and “moralistic censorship.” The Church, he believed, had to live a “communitarian relationship” and abandon a Church “from above, obstinate, reassuring, bureaucratized.” And just as the Soviet Union rehabilitated its dissidents, so he was of the conviction that the Church “should rehabilitate her own, from [liberation theologians] Hélder Câmara to Leonardo Boff.”

“He saw the future of the Church not only in ecumenism, but also in pacifism and a new ecologism,” Fontana said.

He concluded by asserting that Küng’s legacy lives on, most notably in today’s German Church and its synodal path. Some of his ideas are said “with greater grace,” Fontana observed, “but we find them all,” and also in the universal Church where Leonardo Boff helps write papal encyclicals (he’s contributed to Pope Francis’ 2015 environmental encyclical Laudato Si) and in the cause for Hélder Câmara’s canonization which is now being promoted.

“Many think that we are already in Vatican III and that a John XXIV has already arrived, Luther and Calvin have been welcomed back into the fold, Eucharistic hospitality is the norm, and women are approaching the altar,” Fontana wrote. “While the media covered his outbursts, Hans Küng was busy sowing the seeds.”

 

Cardinal Burke floats ‘excommunication’ for Biden over his ‘aggressive’ abortion promotion. By Pete Baklinski

(LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke said that pro-abortion Catholics in public life such as President Joe Biden, who “obstinately and publicly” deny truths of the faith and act against them, must not only be denied Holy Communion but must now face the charge of the “crime of apostasy” where the “canonical penalty” for the guilty is “excommunication.”

“Such a person who claims to be a Catholic and yet promotes in such an open, obdurate, and aggressive way a crime like procured abortion is in the state, at least, of apostasy,” the cardinal said in an interview this week with Thomas McKenna of Catholic Action for Faith and Family.

“In other words, to do this is to draw away from Christ and to draw away from the Catholic faith. And so the second action, which needs to be considered, is a canonical penalty, a sanction, for the crime of apostasy, which would be excommunication,” the cardinal added.

Cardinal Burke, one of the world’s foremost canon lawyers who was formerly the prefect of the Church’s highest court, made the above comment while responding to McKenna’s question about “what can be done now … what is the next step” for Catholic leadership to take in response to President Biden professing to be a practicing Catholic who takes his faith seriously while signing executive orders that directly promote abortion.

Biden has identified himself as a devout Catholic despite working to expand abortion, an act that the Catholic Church condemns as a “moral evil” that is “gravely contrary to the moral law.” In his first two weeks in office, Biden pledged to make abortion available to “everyone” by “codifying” the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which imposed abortion on all 50 states. During that same time, he also revoked by executive order the Mexico City policy that blocks federal funds from going to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide or promote abortions overseas.

Democrats have pledged to eliminate the pro-life Hyde Amendment that prohibits federal funds from going to pay for abortions in programs like Medicaid. In February, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a COVID-19 relief bill which, among other things, will use taxpayer money to fund abortions and the abortion industry across a host of federal programs under the guise of coronavirus relief.

The Catholic Church teaches that excommunication, incurred by “certain particularly grave sins,” is the “most severe ecclesiastical penalty.”

It “impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Excommunication is intended to bring the sinner to repentance for his sins and back into full communion with the Church.

Cardinal Burke, in his interview this week, began his answer to McKenna’s question about what can be done by noting that there are “two things that should be done immediately.”

The first action is that it must be communicated to Biden that he may not present himself for Holy Communion while championing abortion.

“A person who obstinately and publicly denies truths of the faith and actually acts against the truths of the faith or of the moral law, may not present himself or herself to receive Holy Communion,” said Burke.

“And, at the same time, the minister of Holy Communion, usually the priest, is not to give them Holy Communion, should they present themselves. Now, normally speaking, people should understand that the crime of procured abortion is a grievous violation against the first precept of the moral law, namely the safeguarding and promoting of human life. But the priest should warn such a person that he should not present himself to receive Holy Communion,” he added.

Burke said that should such a person after receiving such a warning still present himself to receive Communion, that person “should be denied” the sacrament.

The cardinal said there are two truths at work that must be upheld in this kind of situation that pertain to the reality of the Eucharist and to its worthy reception.

“One [truth] is the holiness of the Holy Eucharist. It is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to receive the body of Christ knowingly and willingly in the state of sin is a sacrilege. It’s one of the worst sins. And Saint Paul said it already in the first letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 11, ‘He who eats the body and blood of Christ without recognizing it, eats his own condemnation.’ And so, in order to prevent a commission of a sacrilege, we have to insist that such people not approach to receive Holy Communion,” he said.

“It’s not only for their own salvation, certainly, but also then to avoid the scandal given to others who see someone who’s publicly promoting grievously immoral acts and yet presents himself to receive Holy Communion. And so that is the first thing and that has nothing to do with a penalty. And people say, ‘You’re punishing.’ No, it has to do with a worthy reception of the sacrament. It’s simply the discipline that is necessary because of the reality of the Holy Eucharist,” he added.

At this point, the cardinal pointed out that the second action that could be taken against Biden is excommunication.

The cardinal pointed out that even those who do not agree with the Church’s teaching on abortion know that it’s wrong for a Catholic to claim to practice the faith and to be receiving Communion while at the same time being a public promoter of abortion.

“They might not even agree with the Church’s teaching on procured abortion, but they know what it is, and they say to themselves, ‘How can the Church that teaches that procured abortion is intrinsically evil, that it can never be right, how does that same Church give the Holy Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist to a public promoter of this evil?’”

“It’s not only a sin against faith, which certainly it is, but even against reason,” he said.

Burke said that any action taken against Catholics in public life who merit such penalties is not for the sake of wishing such a person “harm,” but for the sake of “wishing his ultimate good.”

“Sometimes it is said that if the Church denies Holy Communion to these politicians, that it’s making the sacrament into a political weapon. But that’s not the case at all. The Church is safeguarding its most sacred realities and safeguarding the souls of the faithful,” he said.

“In my judgment, it’s these politicians who are using the sacrament for a political end, in other words, pretending to be devout Catholics and to give this impression so as to gain the support of Catholics when, in fact, they’re not at all devout Catholics,” he added.

Cardinal Burke joins Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life office, in calling out Biden for calling himself Catholic while publicly promoting abortion. Naumann has stated that the U.S. bishops need to “correct” Biden for “acting contrary” to the Catholic faith.

The cardinal said that Archbishop Naumann is “giving wonderful leadership.”

“Let’s hope we hear a whole chorus of bishops who are giving the same message to their faithful.”

 

Pete Baklinski

So many lies about Covid and Africa. By Anna Bono

(newdailycompass.com)

“To date Africa has reported more than four million Covid-19 cases and over 100,000 related deaths. Still many regions of the continent have not received a single dose of vaccine while richer countries are on the verge of vaccinating their entire populations,” stated UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during a meeting with representatives of African countries on 25 March.

Any initial reaction to the Secretary General’s words involves asking many questions. For example, where and from whom does he get his information? How is it possible that a man in his position can appear at an international meeting without having first done his own research? And how does he always allow himself to be so blatantly full of impartiality and hostility towards some member countries of the organization he heads? 

 Guterres certainly didn’t consult the one source that the whole world uses to track the pandemic’s progress: the World Health Organisation (WHO), a UN agency. On 25 March, the WHO reported that there were at least 3,036,768 official cases in Africa and “no more than 4,000,000.” It also reported 76,912 deaths (a maximum of 100,000) and that the “richest countries” were on the verge of vaccinating their entire populations, which is far from the truth. “We see many examples of nationalism and hoarding of vaccines in the wealthiest countries,” Guterres added, “as well as ongoing parallel agreements with manufacturers that compromise access for all.”

But, as any sensible and well-informed person knows, universal access to Covid-19 vaccines, as far as Africa is concerned, is compromised not by the availability of sufficient doses (right now 1.27 billion doses are already destined for the continent, 600 million being provided by COVAX, a programme ensuring vaccines for everyone via donated doses and funds from rich countries). It is compromised rather by the poor possibility of administering vaccines. This is due to the inability of health systems (Liberia has four doctors for every 100. 000 inhabitants, Zimbabwe 19!) and the unviability of entire regions that are at war or under control of armed militias. As Guterres himself admits, by 21 March  a total of 26 African nations had already received more than 15 million doses because of COVAX. However, according to the WHO Regional Office for  Africa, only 736,000 doses had been administered.

African governments may find it politically expedient to accuse rich countries of selfishness, to call for fairness and global solidarity, but they are well aware that this is not the reality. Above all, they know (even if they won’t admit it, the facts speak for themselves) that Covid-19 is an emergency but not one that is devastating an entire continent. It should, therefore, be dealt with by taking a realistic account of the means available and assessing whether and where it deserves priority over other health emergencies, despite the apocalyptic forecasts of millions of Covid deaths and unsustainable humanitarian crises.

Many have praised and held up African governments as models for fighting the spread of Covid-19, despite having such inadequate health systems. If they deserve credit, it is for making risky decisions and taking responsibility for them. The first coronavirus wave in Africa was much less severe than in the rest of the world. The second wave, which started in autumn 2020, was more aggressive. However, African governments continued to take much less stringent quarantine and social distancing measures than elsewhere, and even relaxed them at times, without this leading to a noticeable increase in contagion.

In other words, they put into practice what the late Tanzanian President John Magufuli had said at the beginning of the pandemic to justify his decision to adopt only extremely mild containment measures: “We have had a number of viral diseases, including Aids and measles. Our economy must come first. It must not sleep… Life must go on.”

Magufuli was right. Last year, for example, the Democratic Republic of Congo had to fight four other epidemics in addition to the coronavirus: measles, cholera, Ebola and malaria.

A total of 70% of people living with HIV-AIDS and 25% with tuberculosis are African. Tuberculosis affected a total of 2.5 million people in 2016 and resulted in 417,000 deaths. In 2019, 94% of cases (230 million) and deaths (over 400,000) of malaria were reported in Africa and its spread seems uncontainable. In 2019, 1.5 million cases were reported in Congo, 1.4 million in Uganda, 10.7 million in Kenya. The most dramatic situation is in Burundi where there are 5.7 million cases, representing more than half of its estimated 10.7 population.

The deaths are numerous and the cost in economic and social terms is truly frightening. One can understand why the Burundian government has declared that it is “not ready” for Covid-19 vaccines and, like Tanzania and other African countries, it has not yet prepared a vaccination plan. Burundi’s Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, Thadee Ndikumana, announced this on 23 March, saying that his government preferred to wait until the real effectiveness of vaccines was known. We are not against vaccines,” he explained, “but considering the percentage of people who are cured [with therapeutics], which is 96%, we have decided to wait.” As of 27 March, official figures reveal only 2,657 Covid infections and six deaths, or just 0.5 deaths per million inhabitants. Although these figures might be a little underestimated, they still prove that Minister Ndikumana is right.

Anna Bono

Statement on the Reception of Holy Communion by Those Who Persist in Public Grave Sin. By R. L. Cardinal Burke

Many Catholics and also non-Catholics who, while they do not embrace the Catholic faith, respect the Catholic Church for her teaching regarding faith and morals, have asked me how it is possible for Catholics to receive Holy Communion, while at the same time they publicly and obstinately promote programs, policies and legislation in direct violation of the moral law. In particular, they ask how Catholic politicians and civil officials who publicly and obstinately defend and promote the practice of abortion on demand can approach to receive Holy Communion. Their question clearly applies as well to those Catholics who publicly promote policies and laws in violation of the dignity of human life of those burdened by serious illness, special needs or advanced years, and in violation of the integrity of human sexuality, marriage and the family, and in violation of the free practice of religion.

The question merits a response, especially as it touches on the very foundations of the Church’s teaching regarding faith and morals. Most of all, it touches upon the Holy Eucharist, “[t]he sacrament of charity, … the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman…. Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us ‘to the end,’ even to offering us his body and blood.”[1]

It is my hope that the following points of the Church’s teaching will be helpful to those who are rightly confused and indeed frequently scandalized by the all too common public betrayal of the Church’s teaching on faith and morals by those who profess to be Catholic. I will address myself to the question of procured abortion, but the same points apply to other violations of the moral law.

1. Regarding the Holy Eucharist, the Church has always believed and taught that the Sacred Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, God-the-Son Incarnate. The faith of the Church is thus expressed by the Council of Trent: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread [cf. Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:19f; 1 Cor 11:24-26], it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy council now again declares, that, by the consecration of the bread and wine, there takes place a change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of wine into the substance of his blood” (Session 13, Chapter 4).[2] Therefore, as Saint Paul teaches clearly in his First Letter to the Corinthians: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11, 27).

2. The reception of Holy Communion by those who publicly and obstinately violate the moral law in its most fundamental precepts is a particularly grave form of sacrilege. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us” (no. 2120). It not only merits eternal punishment for the one who receives unworthily but constitutes a most serious scandal for others, that is, it leads them into the false belief that one can publicly and obstinately violate the moral law in a grave matter and still receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. A thoughtful person, before such a situation, must conclude that either the Sacred Host is not the Body of Christ or that the promotion of procured abortion, for instance, is not a grave sin.

3. Can. 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which repeats the perennial and unchanging teaching of the Church, provides: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”[3] The denial of Holy Communion is not an ecclesiastical penalty but the recognition of the objectively unworthy state of a person to approach to receive Holy Communion. The discipline contained in can. 915 safeguards the sanctity of the most sacred reality in the Church, the Holy Eucharist, keeps the person who obstinately perseveres in grave sin from committing the additional most grievous sin of sacrilege by profaning the Body of Christ, and prevents the inevitable scandal which results from the unworthy reception of Holy Communion.

4. It is the duty of priests and Bishops to instruct and admonish the faithful who are in the condition described by can. 915, lest they approach to receive Holy Communion and thus commit a most grave sacrilege, redounding to their own eternal harm and, likewise, leading others into error and even sin in such a serious matter. If a person has been admonished and still perseveres in grave public sin, he or she may not be admitted to receive Holy Communion.

5. Clearly, no priest or Bishop can grant permission to a person who is in public and obstinate grave sin to receive Holy Communion. Neither is it a question of a discussion between the priest or Bishop and the one who is committing the sin, but a matter of admonition regarding truths of faith and morals, on the part of the priest or Bishop, and a matter of reform of an erroneous conscience, on the part of the sinner.

6. Pope Saint John Paul II presented the Church’s constant teaching regarding procured abortion in his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae. Referring to the consultation of the Bishops of the universal Church in the matter by his letter of Pentecost of 1991, he declared: “Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops – who on various occasions have condemned abortion and who in the aforementioned consultation, albeit dispersed throughout the world, have shown unanimous agreement concerning this doctrine – I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.”[4] He made clear that his teaching “is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”[5]

7. It is sometimes argued that a Catholic politician can personally believe in the immorality of abortion, while favoring a public policy which provides for so-called “legalized” abortion. Such was the case, for instance, in the United States of America at the summit of certain Catholic moral theologians who espoused the erroneous moral theory of proportionalism or consequentialism, and Catholic politicians, held at the compound of the Kennedy Family in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1964.[6] Pope Saint John Paul II responds clearly to such erroneous moral thinking in Evangelium Vitae: “No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit, since it is contrary to the Law of God which is written in every human heart, knowable by reason itself, and proclaimed by the Church.”[7] In his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, Pope Saint John Paul II corrects the fundamental error of proportionalism and consequentialism.[8]

8. It is sometimes said that the denial of Holy Communion to politicians who obstinately persevere in grave sin is the use of Holy Communion by the Church for political purposes. On the contrary, it is the Church’s solemn responsibility to safeguard the holiness of the Holy Eucharist, to prevent the faithful from committing sacrilege, and to prevent scandal among the faithful and other persons of good will.

9. It is rather the Catholic politician, who publicly and obstinately promotes what is contrary to the moral law and yet dares to receive sacrilegiously Holy Communion, who uses the Holy Eucharist for political purposes. In other words, the politician presents himself or herself as a devout Catholic, while the truth is completely otherwise.

10. Apart from the denial of Holy Communion to persons who publicly and obstinately violate the moral law, there is also the question of the imposition or declaration of a just ecclesiastical penalty for the sake of calling the person to conversion and of repairing the scandal which his or her actions cause.

11. Those who publicly and obstinately violate the moral law are, at least, in a state of apostasy, that is, they have effectively abandoned the faith by the obstinate refusal, in practice, to live in accord with fundamental truths of faith and morals (cf. can. 751). An apostate from the faith incurs automatically the penalty of excommunication (cf. can. 1364). The Bishop of such a person must verify the conditions for the declaration of the penalty of excommunication, which has been automatically incurred.

12. They may also be in heresy, if they obstinately deny or doubt the truth about the intrinsic evil of abortion as it “is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith” (can. 751).[9] Heresy, like apostasy, incurs automatically the penalty of excommunication (cf. can. 1364). Also, in the case of heresy, the Bishop must verify the conditions for the declaration of the penalty of excommunication, which has been automatically incurred.

In conclusion, Church discipline, beginning with the Apostle Paul, has consistently taught the necessary disposition of conscience for the reception of Holy Communion. The failure to follow the discipline results in the desecration of the most sacred reality in the Church – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ – , constitutes the most grave sin of sacrilege, and causes most serious scandal by the failure to witness to the truth of Holy Communion and the moral truth, for example, the inviolable dignity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the family, and the freedom to worship God “in spirit and truth.”[10]

The answer to the question so frequently posed to me is clear: a Catholic who publicly and obstinately opposes the truth regarding faith and morals may not present himself or herself to receive Holy Communion and neither may the minister of Holy Communion give him or her the Sacrament.

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Rome, 7 April 2021

www.cardinalburke.com

 

[1] “[s]acramentum caritatis, … donum est Iesu Christi se ipsum tradentis, qui Dei infinitum nobis patefacit in singulos homines amorem… Eodem quidem modo in eucharistico Sacramento Iesus «in finem», usque scilicet ad corpus sanguinemque tradendum, diligere nos pergit.” Benedictus PP. XVI, Adhortatio Apostolica Postsynodalis Sacramentum caritatis, De Eucharistia vitae missionisque Ecclesiae fonte et culmine, 22 Februarii 2007, Acta Apostoliae Sedis 99 (2007) 105, n. 1. English translation: Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, February 22, 2007 (Vatican City State: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2007), p. 3, no. 1.

[2] “Quoniam autem Christus redemptor noster corpus suum id, quod sub specie panis offerebat [cf. Mt 26:26-29; Mc 14:22-25; Lc 22:19s; 1 Cor 11:24-26], vere esse dixit, ideo persuasum semper in Ecclesia Dei fuit, idque nunc denuo sancta haec Synodus declarat: per consecrationem panis et vini conversionem fieri totius substantiae panis in substantiam corporis Christi Domini nostri, et totius substantiae vini in substantiam sanguinis eius.” Heinrich Denzinger, Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of Faith and Morals, ed. Peter Hünermann, tr. Robert Fastiggi and Anne Englund Nash, 43rd ed. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012), p. 394, no. 1642.

[3] “Can. 915 Ad sacram communionem ne admittantur excommunicati et interdicti post irrogationem vel declarationem poenae aliique in manifesto gravi peccato obstinate perseverantes.” Code of Canon Law: Latin-English Edition, tr. Canon Law Society of America (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1998), p. 298.

[4] “Auctoritate proinde utentes Nos a Christo Beato Petro eiusque Successoribus collata, consentientes cum Episcopis qui abortum crebrius respuerunt quique in superius memorata interrogatione licet per orbem disseminati una mente tamen de hac ipsa concinuerunt doctrina – declaramus abortum recta via procuratum, sive uti finem intentum seu ut instrumentum, semper gravem prae se ferre ordinis moralis turbationem, quippe qui deliberata exsistat innocentis hominis occisio.” Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Litterae Encyclicae Evangelium vitae, “De vitae humanae inviolabili bono,” 25 Martii 1995, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 87 (1995) 472, n. 62. English translation: John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, March 25, 1995 (Vatican City State: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995), p. 112, no. 62.

[5] “… naturali innititur lege Deique scripto Verbo, transmittitur Ecclesiae Traditione atque ab ordinario et universali Magisterio exponitur.” Evangelium vitae, 472, n. 62. English translation: p. 112, no. 62.

[6] Cf. Albert R. Jonsen, The Birth of Bioethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 290-291.

[7] “Nequit exinde ulla condicio, ulla finis, ulla lex in terris umquam licitum reddere actum suapte natura illicitum, cum Dei Legi adversetur in cuiusque hominis insculptae animo, ab Eccesia praedicatae, quae potest etiam ratione agnosci.” Evangelium vitae, 472, n. 62. English translation: p. 113, no. 62.

[8] Cf. Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Litterae Encyclicae Veritatis splendor, De quibusdam quaestionibus fundamentalibus doctrinae moralis Ecclesiae, 6 Augusti 1993, Acta Apostolicae Sedis 85 (1993) 1192-1197, nn. 74-78. English translation: John Paul II, The Splendor of Truth, Veritatis Splendor, Encyclical Letter, August 6, 1993 (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 1993), pp. 112-121, nos. 74-78.

[9] “Can 751 … fide divina et catholica credendae.” English translation: Code of Canon Law: Latin-English Edition, p. 247.

[10] Jn 4, 23-24.

Bp. Schneider calls for ‘new pro-life movement’ to protest ‘abortion-tainted’ medicines like COVID vaccine.

An outspokenly pro-life Catholic bishop is calling for the formation of a “new pro-life movement” that refuses to have anything to do with medicines or vaccines derived in one way or another from aborted babies.

“We have to make a new pro-life movement,” said Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, during his February 19 presentation at an online conference hosted by LifeSiteNews titled “Unmasking COVID-19: Vaccines, Mandates, and Global Health.”

Bishop Schneider said that until now, the pro-life movement has been “very meritorious” in raising a united voice against abortion. “But I think there now comes a new time, a new phase, a new period of all pro-life movements to protest, clearly and unambiguously, against abortion-tainted medicines, against the abuse of the body parts of the unborn.”

“This is a new phase, and we have to be courageous,” he added.

Schneider’s call to action comes in the wake of revelations about how researchers procure cell lines used in the development of numerous vaccines — including a number of COVID vaccines — from babies who were aborted alive in order to have usable tissue.

Inizio modulo

Fine modulo

The Catholic Church’s 2020 guidelines permit Catholics to receive abortion-tainted vaccines, emphasizing that Catholics who receive a COVID vaccine connected in some way to abortion can do so in “good conscience” with “the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion” (italics in original).

While Schneider would certainly acknowledge that there is no formal cooperation (that is, a willing participation) on the part of a vaccine recipient in an abortion from which was procured a cell line to make vaccines, he also holds that Christians cannot “simply resign” themselves to the fact that the production of various medicines is tied to the slaughter of preborn babies who are utilized for their body parts.

“The voice of the unborn children’s blood is crying to God from the abortion-tainted vaccines, from the abortion-tainted medicines,” he said. “This voice is crying all over the world, and we have to awaken.”

“No one who is really deeply concerned about the defense of life and the moral law can be silent or can be quiet and can resign to this situation,” he added.

The bishop lamented Church leaders, especially those connected to the Holy See, “who, unfortunately, do not see the grievousness” of the matter.

Schneider pointed out that there is an “accumulation of crimes” involved in the creation of abortion-tainted medicines.

“The first crime is the murder, the assassination, of the unborn child. Then there is the extraction of the cells – it’s a crime, it’s horrible. And then there is the recycling of these body parts. And then there is the commercialization, and so on. And then there is the fabrication of medicines and the fabrication of the vaccines.”

“These are all connected. You cannot separate them,” he said. “When you take this medicine in your body or this vaccine, you cannot say, ‘Oh, all these evils disappear, and I am very far away [from them all].’ This is not true. You are entering this chain.”

“The hour has now come that all people of goodwill, especially believing Catholics, all pro-life organizations have to stand up and make a fiery protest with one voice and say, ‘We will never agree [with], we will never admit [into our lives] these evils.’”

Schneider quoted from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, citing the Russian author’s warning about the moral cost of creating a utopia of “peace and rest” that was, however, founded on the torture, death and “unavenged tears” of “only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist.”

“So, we have to protest against this and start a new movement in pharmaceutics, in medicine, with no connection, not the remotest, to these crimes,” the Bishop said.

Schneider said that Christians in this new movement should be willing to face “prison” and even “death” rather than receive health benefits derived from the murder of unborn babies.

“How can you use for your temporal health benefit the murdering, and all these horrible crimes, of the most weak and innocent unborn children? The end never justifies the means. You cannot enter into this chain.”

He pointed to the example of the first Christians who, when facing times of persecution, chose martyrdom rather than save their lives, their families, their children by putting a pinch of incense in front of a statue of an idol.

“They refused any act of ambiguity or cooperation against the first command of God,” he said.

“I think we are approaching a time where the true Christians will approach a kind of time of persecution. The signs are already there. But we have not to be fearful because God is with us […] If Christ is living in us, we don’t have to be fearful,” he added.

“We have to be convinced that we belong to the winners. And, we have to look at eternity. What is a Christian? I would say a person of eternity. And because we are looking beyond only this temporal life, we are looking on the eternal, we are looking for God’s will. And when we do this, God will always give us Jesus’ strength, his consolation even, and his blessings.”

Source: LifeSiteNews

Italian Philosopher Renato Cristin: The Great Reset ‘Feeds Secularization’ and Paves Way for ‘De-Christianized Society’

The World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset” initiative will communize capitalism, technocratize society, feed secularization, and pave the way for a de-Christianized world, Italian philosophy professor Renato Cristin has warned.

The proposal, backed by world leaders and which aims to create a more sustainable future and build solidarity after the coronavirus crisis, would “exacerbate” the current process of secularization and de-Christianization and the Church should not be a part of it, believes Prof. Cristin who teaches philosophical hermeneutics at the University of Trieste in Italy.

An ardent anti-Communist who has called for a Nuremberg trial for Communism, Cristin commented on the initiative for an article in the Register published Feb. 4 on the Great Reset. As always, it’s not possible to include more than a few select comments in such an article, so here below are his comments in full.

Why do you think Pope Francis and the Vatican are aligning themselves with such initiatives as The Great Reset, the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, Mission 4.7, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, etc.?

I think that, in principle, Pope Bergoglio adheres to any initiative that is, even minimally, hostile to the capitalist system. His vision, which is strongly based on liberation theology or on that political theology that originated in Latin America and is anti-Western (and especially anti-U.S.), anti-capitalist, progressive, pro-Marxist, and essentially communist, leads him to embrace any social-economic project that has some of these characteristics. Examples of this are the adhesion to the Great Reset project or to the Global Compact for Migration drawn up by the UN, but also the close relationship between the Vatican and China, with which Bergoglio seems to be in great harmony, to the point that one of the people closest to Bergoglio, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, maintains that “those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese,” and so China “is assuming a moral leadership that others have abandoned.” China as the world’s moral leader is an image that is too grotesque to be credible, but it is useful for Bergoglio’s argument against the capitalist socioeconomic system and in his parallel praise of poverty as an effective instrument for approaching God. And in this direction also goes the project entitled The Economy of Francesco, which supports the theory of a “communal economy,” which beyond the beautiful formula is in open contrast to the Western capitalist system and leads to very dangerous impoverishment and socialistic adventures.

Do you think that the book The Great Reset by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, on which the agenda of the World Economic Forum is based, is as serious as some claim it is: an attempt to merge Chinese communism with capitalism, repackaged Marxism, or something else in your opinion, perhaps simply offering a humanist ideal?

Schwab’s book is a typical example of the crisis of the current world, of the lack not only of certainties but also of ideas, understood as firm, clear and solid points on which to build the future. The Great Reset is an example of this deficiency and of the mental confusion with which people try to find answers. I think that the Western world is today, for many reasons I don’t have the space here to explain, under what I call “the mark of chaos,” and that even attempts like the Great Reset are a result of the disorientation that afflicts the Western world today. Of course, the project (I do not speak of “plot” because there is no plot in the proper sense, only the struggle for power, which has always animated human history) of the World Economic Forum is to build a “new world order”, but this set-up, if it ever comes to fruition, will be a further contribution to global chaos.

Today we need theories that are well-founded, solid, clear and effective, that refer to the great values of the Western tradition and that will really bring order to the world, but the Great Reset project is a melting pot of various approaches, a mixture of positions in which stands out a propensity both to communize capitalism and technocratize society. This will have the possible result of creating an economic, social and cultural hybrid in which, I believe, in the end the strongest ideological aspect will prevail, namely socialism. And I fear that the Biden administration will be fertile ground for this confused and feel-good economic-social theory.

Some argue that this is a positive, hopeful document with sensible ideas for making the world a better place, mainly by increasing mutual solidarity after years of consumerist excesses and individualism. What do you say to his point of view?

Progressives, understood not only as cultural Marxists but also as naïve people who believe in the goodness of man and the progress of humanity, see in any seemingly philanthropic theory something positive, a contribution to the betterment of humanity. But if you don’t analyze the contents of a theory in detail, you lose sight of its purpose, which is not always immediately decipherable. The purpose of Schwab’s book is to overcome the crisis of the system by subtracting elements of capitalism and introducing principles of another kind, socialist above all and therefore also statist. Excessive consumerism is not attenuated by greater control on the part of the state, nor by economic “degrowth,” as many left-wing economists and sociologists claim, but by a growth in consciousness on the part of people. There is no trace of the problem of conscience, which is a spiritual and philosophical problem, in Schwab’s book, where the term conscience is mostly used in a pragmatic sense and, in one case, in reference to Confucianism.

In my opinion, in order to overcome the crisis of capitalism we should not look for other economic experiences, because then we always end up, in one way or another, with socialism. Instead, we need more capitalism — that is to say, a strengthening of the foundations and of the traditional and healthy principles of capitalism, which would reduce wild financial speculation and bring the compass back to its classical hinges: production, accumulation, reinvestment and so on.

The Great Reset book does not mention God or religion. Do you think the Church should align itself with such a secular initiative?

The loss of the religious dimension (and therefore the disappearance of the sense of the sacred) is an outcome of secularization that not only affects the Church and the faithful in the strict sense, but also produces a nihilistic secularism that damages the entire Western society, even in its secular institutions and civil structures. Therefore, a general theory of society (as the Great Reset would like to be) should protect and enhance the religious sphere and its institutional structures, while the theory of the Great Reset feeds secularization and paves the way for a de-Christianized society, deprived of a founding nucleus of western civilization, which is precisely the traditional religious sphere.

And so, to answer your question, I believe that the Church should not support this type of initiative that exacerbates de-Christianization, because historical processes are difficult to reverse, especially if, at the gates of the West, there is a religious force like Islam that is radically hostile to our Judeo-Christian tradition and that, although fragmented and lacking an institutional summit, aims at nothing less than the conquest of our societies.  And it is also to negative forces like Islamism that reckless initiatives like the Great Reset pave the way. The Church should instead apply the Social Doctrine of the Church, in its original and authentic formulation given by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Rerum Novarum, and by Pope John Paul II in his encyclicals Laborem Exercens and Centesimus Annus, instead of following Third World and anti-Western economic and theological-political visions linked to liberation theology.

Fonte : Edward Pentin

Communist Crackdown in China is “Beyond George Orwell’s Imaginings” — and It’s Only Getting Worse. By Edward Penting

(www.ncregister.com)— A British political party report into human rights violations in China released last Thursday aims to show the true extent of state-sponsored abuses of millions of Chinese citizens and argues for international sanctions and other measures to be taken against the communist regime.

The 87-page report called The Darkness Deepens — The Crackdown on Human Rights in China 2016-2020 and published by The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, produces evidence of widespread human rights abuses and atrocities including ethnic cleansing, organ harvesting, forced labor (helped to a large degree by global brands), torture, arbitrary arrest, clampdowns on religious freedom and forced confessions.

The document was published a few days before a vote today in the House of Commons on a post-Brexit trade bill which some UK parliamentarians wanted amended to forbid any trade with states accused of committing genocide. The amendment attempt was defeated in a 319-308 vote.

Hong Kong’s last governor of the former British colony, Lord Christopher Patten, called the report a “deeply researched and exceptionally well-informed report” that “gives a terrifying view of the cruelty of Xi Jinping’s brutal regime.”

“To preserve its grip on power, the Chinese Communist Party has assaulted any sign of dissent and has set about building a totalitarian surveillance state beyond George Orwell’s imaginings,” said Patten, a Catholic who helped reform Vatican communications in the 2010s. He added that the report “demonstrates exactly why we must be on our guard in democracies to protect our freedoms and values.”

The report contains testimonies of Chinese citizens, pro-democracy and human rights activists who have had first-hand experience of the brutalities of the regime.  At the launch event broadcast online on Thursday, four Chinese citizens living in exile recounted their experiences and views of the situation.

Rahima Mahmut, representative of the World Uyghur Congress now living in exile in London and separated from her family, said the last time she spoke to her brother living in Xinjiang, the Muslim Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China, was on Jan. 3. “He told me in a trembling voice, ‘Please leave us in the hands of God and we will also leave you in God’s hands,’” she said, before recalling the following concerning first-hand accounts she has received from fellow Uyghurs:

“These accounts are from 21st century concentration camps, heart-rending accounts of people who’ve lost loved ones, young and old. Every Uyghur has a similar story, each more horrifying than the other — the effects of the brutal ethnic cleansing and genocide that has been taking place there since 2017 while the world has closed its eyes to the suffering. The most painful part is not being able to offer words of comfort and hope in the midst of the torment. Since August 2018, when the UN acknowledged that one million had been interned in what China called ‘re-education camps,’ growing numbers of courageous individuals have been working to expose truth. They don’t have human rights. It is not about violations. They just don’t have human rights. Our basic human rights are taken away from us by this brutal, cruel regime. Just before I started, I received a message from someone whose mother, a doctor, disappeared two years ago and they recently learned she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. So there are millions of my people suffering at the moment unbearable pain and I am, too.” 

A compelling first-hand testimony came from Simon Cheng, a former local employee of the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, who recalled on Thursday how he was arrested on Hong Kong soil by Chinese state security in August 2019 as he returned from a business trip, and then detained and tortured for 15 days:

“I was held for two weeks accused of being a spy for the UK. I was tortured and forced to make a false confession of solicited prostitution and later, treason. I’m currently a refugee … one of those on the wanted list by national security police… The Chinese police give no reason for the arrest, show no badges, and breach personal privacy of citizens. They extract biometric information from people, detain and interrogate people in small cages, and have them placed in a tiger chair [a seat specially designed to restrain detainees]. They carry out brazen interrogations about political opinions, try to frighten citizens with mainland Chinese laws for criticizing the government of Hong Kong, systematically detain Hong Kong protesters and breach the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. This happened to me in August 2019, long before the National Security Law was imposed by in Hong Kong by Beijing… They try to frighten citizens using draconian rules as excuses to further extend detention and to execute persecution. They can detain you for two years without trial and the support of lawyers. They place you in 14 days solitary confinement, part of psychological torture, where there are no hours for exercise, they exclude rights to purchase daily necessities and toiletries. They force confessions, force you to stand and squat for long hours.”

In a detailed submission for the report, Cheng described how he was “handcuffed and shackled on a steep X-Cross doing a spread-eagled pose for hours after hours” and “forced to keep my hands up, so blood cannot be pumped up my arms.” Further torture included sleep deprivation followed by “politically correctional education.”

He added in his testimony on Thursday that Chinese police, state media, and its foreign ministry “collude together in a smear campaign using non-political charges against political dissidents.” Cheng also added that Chinese secret police “hide detainees’ whereabouts from lawyers and family members” and that if a case “doesn’t get public exposure, the detainees can be disappeared.” He recalled how a human rights lawyer was forced to “stand with his hands up in the air for 15 hours and when he dropped them, he was yelled at for being a traitor.” He said the lawyer became “so weak he was unable to stand even for a few minutes.”

The commission report noted that “if the Chinese Communist Party regime tortures an employee of the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong in this way, one can only imagine how much worse the use of torture is against unknown mainland Chinese activists who have little hope of any voice in the international community.”

Chinese law professor Teng Biao, himself a victim of “severe torture” at the hands of Chinese authorities, spoke of crackdowns against human rights lawyers in China and how “hundreds” of them have “disappeared” over the past five years, while many NGOs and churches have been “shut down” or “destroyed.”

“All religions are being persecuted, especially Muslims, the Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists and underground Christians,” he said. “Torture is rampant ­— almost all criminal suspects and detainees including political prisoners are tortured” and what is happening to the Uyghurs is “literally genocide.”

Biao added: “The Chinese government has utilized methods to tighten control on society, and it is a huge threat to privacy. High tech social media, big data and modern telecommunications make it easier for the Chinese Communist Party to keep people under total surveillance. Internet is used as an effective tool for censorship, propaganda and brainwashing.”

He said he could give “countless examples” of human rights violations not only in China “but beyond its borders,” and gave as an example Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen and book publisher who was living in Thailand. Minhai was kidnapped in 2015 by Chinese police, sent back to China, and forced to reapply for a Chinese passport because he “published books on China’s top leaders,” including an alleged sex scandal involving President Xi Jinping.

The launch seminar also heard from Nathan Law Kwun-chung who at 23 became the youngest legislator for Hong Kong in 2016 but was soon disqualified when he quoted Mahatma Gandhi when taking his oath of office and said he would rather “stand by my principles and use my conscience to defend Hong Kong.” Law, who stressed the West must cease propping up such authoritarian regimes, said he was jailed, became a political prisoner, and “had to leave Hong Kong to protect myself and to continue speaking for the Hong Kong people.”

China is a “criminal state,” former Conservative Party Leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said in closing the seminar, adding that the Western world in particular has slowly come to realize this reality.

“These are all testimonies of a state we’ve seen and experienced many times before in the past,” said Duncan Smith, a Catholic. “In many of those cases, we’ve done absolutely nothing, and we’ve seen what happens as a result: they are emboldened by the inaction of members of the free world and they think they can get away with anything.”

Edward Pentin