In a development which has produced headlines in many countries Fr Seamus Murphy of Ballycormac, Republic of Ireland, has instituted the Catholic Church’s first drive-in ‘discernment booth’.
The booth, in a converted garage adjacent to the presbytery, will allow parishioners in second marriages to engage in ‘a process of discernment’ about their eligibility to receive Holy Communion, without having to leave their cars.
Fr Murpy, a graduate of Maynooth, says that he was inspired by loyalty to the Holy See and by reading the recent book Everything you need to know about Amoris Laetitiae by Vatican expert Cardinal Copacabana.
‘I read the book,‘ says Murphy, ‘and I realised that it was my duty to facilitate the mercy and compassion in that all-important footnote. Couples just drive in, declare that they feel “right with God”, and drive out without a care in the world. It’s that simple’
‘But,‘ as one journalist asked ‘doesn’t that mean not ‘discernment’, but personal choice?’
‘Quite so’ said Murphy, ‘the Church has always reiterated the priority of personal conscience. So who am I to judge?’
The arrogance and offensive condescension of liberal catholics is beyond belief.
Someone called Arturo Sosa Abascal – the head, it appears, of the Jesuit order worldwide – has recently commented on a statement of Cardinal Mueller which was widely reported.
Of Mark 10: 2-9 Matthew 19; 2-12 and related texts, the Cardinal Prefect said: the words of Jesus are very clear, ‘no power in heaven and on earth, neither an angel nor the pope, neither a council nor a law of the bishops has the faculty to modify them.’
The saying might be criticised as extravagantly assertive; but that is no excuse for the combative tirade which followed from Arturo.
In the patronising way of these people, Fr Abascal explained to an interviewer from Il Giornale del Popolo of Lugano that the words of Jesus are recorded for us by evangelists (each with his own theological axe to grind); that scripture is to be read contextually, and with regard to the culture from which it comes. He seemed to be under the impression that his opinions were novel and insightful. ‘At that time, no one had a recorder to take down his words’ he usefully pointed out. ‘One does not bring into doubt, one brings into discernment,’ he says; a process which he claims to be essentially Jesuit: the way of St Ignatius and Pope Francis.
All this, of course, is patronising tosh.
It is outrageous to suggest that Mueller and those who take a different view of dominical fidelity are innocent of this nuanced approach to scripture. The critical apparatus which has been available to scholars since the dawn of Humanism is as available to them as to Arturo. They simply come to a different conclusion.
He does not help his case – or the Pope’s – by portraying his opponents as critical Neanderthals.
The recent vote on marriage in the General Synod of the Church of England was further called into question today when it was revealed that Cardinal Vincent Nichols had voted the wrong way.
Said an Eccleston Square spokesperson: ‘The Cardinal is generally very careful to vote with the majority. He must have been momentarily confused by the fact that the voting machine had three buttons.’
An official of the Synod, however, confirmed to this blog that the Cardinal does not have a vote.
‘He is thought to be a Roman Catholic, and they are well known to be rigid and homophoblic. Their opinion is not worth the attention of the Synod’
The Roman Catholic Church has over 1.27 billion members worldwide.
In the recent General Synod debate, one of the most telling arguments in favour of retaining the Church of England’s current (though fragile) adherence to a biblical and traditional view of matrimony was an account of the recent introduction, by Anglican missionaries, of Christian monogamy in an African tribe. The speaker urged solidarity with those who were discovering for the first time the beauty of Christian marriage – and its cost.
Mostly, it seems, the speech fell on deaf ears.
It raised, however, a question which was not addressed either in the speech or the debate. Which is this: supposing that there were no residual cultural bias in favour of monogamy, would the CofE as presently constituted have the courage or the theological resources to introduce it? Is there, in other words, any argument for heterosexual monogamy which is not inconsistent with that Church’s present or emerging position on divorce, remarriage and same sex relationships? And if so, what is it?
In a revealing insight into the inner workings of the Vatican, Jesuit super-journalist and Bergoglio friend Antonio Spadaro has revealed a new development. From March 2017 all Papal statements, documents and interviews will be submitted to scrutiny by an American firm of ‘sensitivity consultants’.
Says their interactive website*, Writing in the Margins promises to weed out ‘internalised bias and negatively charged language’. It has a database of readers who list their areas of expertise: gay relationships, gender fluidity, the immigrant experience, specific racial backgrounds.
‘Sensitivity readers can help identify problematic language and internalised bias on the page when writing outside of your experience’, the agency says. They will scan the manuscript for content that might offend on grounds of race, sex or religion.
‘Obviously’, says Spadaro, ‘the new service will be of immense help to the Holy Father, who clearly would not wish to offend Catholics without knowing it.’
* See The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, February 14, 2017, page 3
To all members of the St Gallen Lodge.
Brother Cormac reminds us that time is passing and that we need to be compiling a list of suitable candidates for the Supreme Office in anticipation of the resignation or death of the present occupant, Jorge Maria Bergoglio.
Brethren are reminded that the office of the Grand Master will receive citations of candidates for consideration only in hieroglyphics in a sealed envelope marked with the sign of Thoth.
The citations will be assessed and arranged in order of preference by Brother Godfried Danneels, before being placed before a plenary meeting of the Grand Lodge. The successful candidate will be informed of his nomination by Brother Kasper in the usual way.
It need hardly be said that considering the rise of rigid traditionalist deplorables the next conclave will be decisive for our cause.
Secretary to the Lodge.
Following the advice of canon lawyers that since its foundation in 595 by Pope Gregory the Great, the Church of England has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Catholic Church, Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has written on behalf of Pope Francis to Justin Welby demanding his immediate resignation, and replacing him with Cardinal Raymond Burke. The initiative has been code-named ‘Operation Galtieri’.
Despite his obvious resemblance to Thomas Wolsey (1473–1530) , the choice of Burke (not a favourite of the Pope) has puzzled Vatican commentators. Clues (as so often) have come from Antonio Spadaro.
‘Ray is always keen to take a hard line on everything,’ says Spadaro. ‘We thought he could go and apply his principles to the gay marriage crisis in the General Synod, and see where it gets him. The LGBT crowd will have the lace off his alb sooner than you can say dubia.’
Though Welby’s resignation letter is confidently expected in Rome, Burke, it seems, has not yet bought his ticket. Sources close to the Cardinal have suggested that he is waiting to see if Pope Francis changes his mind. ‘He can do that, you know. I would never use the word capricious; but it can be very alarming.’
It is probably for the same reason, suggests Sandro Magister, that the Cardinal Secretary of State has not yet notified Queen Elizabeth II of the change of tenure.