31 Jan 2017

Maltese Catholics rebuke ‘abominable’ Communion guidelines in stinging full-page ad

by Jan Bentz

January 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Members of the Catholic faithful in Malta have published a stinging rebuke of their bishops in a full-page newspaper ad calling on the bishops to rescind their guidelines allowing Communion to those living in adultery.
The ad in the January 25 Times of Malta featured an open letter titled “A Plea for True Mercy and Repentance.”
“You have permitted the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord and Master to be crucified and tortured once again in the mouths and hearts of filthy, impenitent adulterers and fornicators!” state the authors, identifying themselves as “members of Veri Catholici.”
“For those who do such things shall not, as the Apostle teaches, enter into the Kingdom of God,” they add.
The authors urge the bishops to re-read the Gospel message of St. Matthew, which states: “Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you up” (Matthew 7:6).
The group urges the bishops to “tremble with holy fear” and reminds them of the last judgement in order to convince the bishops “to heed these things and recoil from the abominable document which you have dared to presume to publish.”
The letter includes a “Nota Bene,” which in quoting St. Paul recalls that the faithful can, in a moment of impending destruction of the faith, take initiative even against their shepherds. “It must be observed, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. (Cf. Colossians 4:17, 2 Timothy 4:5, and Galatians 2:11)” They also cite the same teaching in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas (Cf. Summa Theologiae, II-II, q., 33, a. 4, ad. 2.). 
The Letter
Beside the text of the open letter, the faithful also printed a document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled “Concerning the Reception of the Eucharist by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Church.” This document was issued on September 14, 1994, and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
“Members of the faithful who live together as husband and wife with persons other than their legitimate spouses may not receive Holy Communion,” the Vatican document states. “Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church’s teaching.”
The open letter urges faithful from all over the world to join in with their support. Sign the petition online at vericatholici.wordpress.com.
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28 Jan 2017

Nigerian clergy following a manifestly heretical anti-pope, “Francis”!

by Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi

February 11, 2013, the day we all woke up to hear Pope Benedict XVI announcing his intention to “resign”, remains historic. It’s historic because the papacy—office of the pope—is monarchical and the very idea of a pope resigning, let alone doing so falsely, is simply abnormal. (For my father’s interesting reaction to the news, an article on the FALSE “resignation”, see: How Pope Ratzinger messed up the papacy!).
On February 28, 2013, to the immense consternation of conscious Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI actually did “resign” and subsequently, a papal conclave “elected” a new pope as his successor on 13 March, 2013.  The original name of the new “pope” is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, but his “papal” name is Francis. Just within some months, however, Francis intentionally began to scandalise Catholics. For instance on Holy Thursday of 2013 Francis adamantly ignored the normal traditional practice of washing the feet of 12 men—a practice originated by Jesus Christ Himself who washed the feet of His 12 apostles, ALL MEN—choosing instead to include women in the washing! Conscious Catholics had no doubt that the action was a real scandal, and they were still discussing it when the man began to manifest his main true colours. Apart from innumerable terribly blasphemous statements which he began to dish out almost on daily basis, such as saying that the cross of Jesus was a “failure”, all of which are simply impossible to document here, it may suffice to mention only the following:

First, shortly after the so-called resignation of Pope Benedict XVI a thunder struck the Vatican. (And something similar was to happen a year later when “Pope” Francis visited Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and days later, a fire broke out at the scene).

Then shortly after “Pope” Francis’ “election” in March (2013) the
Grand Master Gustavo Raffi of the Grand Orient Masonic Lodge of Italy—a very powerful Secret Society—praised the “election”, writing, “With Pope Francis, nothing will be as it was before”. Later, Francis himself “joked” with the cardinals who “elected” him, saying: “May God forgive you for what you have done”.

On March 16, 2013, “Pope” Francis reportedly said, “Carnival time is over!” when offered the traditional papal red cape after his “election”.

On May 22, 2013, “Pope” Francis said that atheists who do good are redeemed. In other words don’t just bother about believing in God—just do good and that’s enough. “We all have the duty to do good”, he said. “For Atheists: Just do good and we’ll find a meeting point”.

On September 04, 2013, “Pope” Francis vomited a similar error, saying: “The issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience”. (Of course he was defended by many who argued that he wasn’t really saying that atheists shouldn’t be converted to the Catholic Faith). Then on October 01, 2013 “Pope” Francis contradicted his defenders by stating clearly that “Proselytism (the idea of converting unbelievers to the Christian or Catholic Faith) is solemn nonsense”. “...It makes no sense”, he said. “We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us”. (See: Pope Solemn Nonsense ). 

On October 9, 2014, “Pope” Francis said, in an interview: “But God does not exist: Do not be shocked! So God does not exist! There is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they are persons, they are not some vague idea in the clouds … This God spray does not exist! The three persons exist!” Again, he said: “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God. There is no Catholic God...You know what I think about this? Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy”. Francis further stated on the same day that “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.” (See: Pope Francis: The ‘most serious’ evils are ‘youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old’).

On July 29, 2013, when asked about the scandals of homosexual “priests”, Francis replied: “Who am I to judge?” Again, as usual, some—including Anthony Cardinal Okogie of Nigeria—defended him, arguing that his words should be studied in their “context”. Then again, on March 10, 2014, “Pope” Francis contradicted his defenders by stating that “the Catholic Church should not dismiss gay marriage, but should study it”. He was still defended by some, in fact, even after demonstrating to his dumb defenders what he really meant on the day he visited the United States, in 2015, when—AMONG ALL American Catholics—only a notorious homosexual man, named Morocca, was found worthy to serve as a “lector” during his diabolical “Papal Holy Mass”.

Morocca (middle)
Of course it should be noted that Bergoglio, as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, had been championing the so-called gay-rights—that is, even before he invaded the Vatican. He was quoted in favour of “gay rights” while he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. And don't just take my word for it—read it yourself. (See: EL PAPA APOYÓ LA UNIÓN CIVIL ENTRE HOMOSEXUALES: ACTIVISTAS ARGENTINOS).
Bergoglio’s words: “estoy a favor de los derechos de los homosexuales y en cualquier caso, también apoyo las uniones civiles de los homosexuales, pero creo que Argentina no está lista para el matrimonio legal.”

Translated: “I'm in favour of gay rights and in any case, also support civil unions for homosexuals, but I think Argentina is not ready for legal marriage”. And the Cardinals who pioneered his “election” as pope were perfectly aware of all these; in fact they “elected” him because he holds all these beliefs.
On September 11, 2013, “Pope” Francis implied that the sinless Blessed Virgin Mary has ‘defects’, saying, “The Church and the Virgin Mary are mothers…All mothers have defects, we all have defects, but when we speak of our mother’s defects we gloss over them”.  (Note that this is a blatant heresy because it simply contradicts the Church’s defined dogma of the Immaculate Conception and Francis was perfectly aware of that). On December 20, 2013, “Pope” Francis, again speaking of the sinless Blessed Virgin Mary, said: “Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!’ ”

On September 13, 2013, “Pope” Francis said that the Catholic Church “is obsessed with gays, abortion, and birth control”“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time”, he said “...We have to find a new balance”. To really prove what he meant, in 2015—at a time when America under corrupt Barrack Obama legalised homosexuality, abortion and the like—Francis visited the United States, where he spoke to all those responsible for all the legalisations. Judy Meisner, my FB friend (a professor of psychology), made the following interesting observation on Francis’ speech before the Congress—those championing the evils—in the United States:

Number of times Francis referred to himself: 43
Number of times Francis attacked the death penalty: 2
Number of times Francis condemned the Christian Holocaust in the Middle East: ZERO!
Number of times Francis condemned the crime of abortion: ZERO!
Number of times Francis condemned the crime of adoption of abandoned and orphaned by homosexuals: ZERO!
Number of times Francis mentioned Marriage as the union of a husband and a wife: ZERO!
Now for the REAL CLINCHER: Number of times Francis mentioned Jesus Christ: ZERO! 

Whose Vicar is he? Am I missing something?”

Francis and Obama
Similarly, in July 2014, “Pope” Francis gave his Top 10 List on how to be happy—he never mentioned Jesus Christ even once. (Reported by NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, July 27, 2014).

On April 23, 2014, “Pope” Francis phoned a woman in invalid marriage, telling her it’s okay to take Holy Communion. “A little Bread and Wine does no harm”, he said. The woman’s diocesan priest protested and Francis replied saying: There are some priests who are more papist than the Pope” (April 24, 2014).

On May 27, 2014, “Pope” Francis said: “Since it is not dogma, the door is always open to rethink priestly celibacy”. Already, as I write, there are now some married “Catholic priests” around the world. In the United States alone, for instance, there are currently about 125 married “priests”, all recognised by Rome. (See for instance: I’m a Married Man. I’m also a Catholic Priest; see also: Pope Francis: Married priests "on my agenda"--"reform of the reform" not so much, and The new push to end priestly celibacy ).   

Carefully note that Francis’ support of “married priests” is not a news. Before he invaded the Vatican, he had been notorious for encouraging priests to leave the priesthood if they fall in love, and divorce as well. For instance in a private conversation with his longtime friend from Buenos Aires, Oscar Crespo, Francis reportedly revealed his plans to change important “archaic” parts of the Catholic rules. Crespo says “the Pope” intends to overturn the “centuries-old ban” on Catholic priests from getting married and to lift the banishment of divorcees from the Catholic Church. Crespo claims Francis told him “six years ago”, when “the Pope” was archbishop of Buenos Aires, that the ban on priests getting married was not “doctrine”. (See: Pope Francis wants to change two major Catholic laws he sees as 'archaic' ).

As Bergoglio himself, before invading the Vatican, said in “Conversations”, (pp. 118-119): “There are times when a priest does fall in love and must reassess his vocation and his life. Then he must go to the bishop and tell him, ‘I’ve made up my mind… I didn’t know I was going to feel something so beautiful… I truly love this woman’, and he asks to leave the priesthood”.

And what do you do in these cases?

Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis) says: “I stay with him; I accompany him on his spiritual journey. If he is sure of his decision, I even help him find work… We request what is called ‘dispensation,’ permission from Rome, and then he would be allowed to receive the sacrament of marriage.”

So Francis will help a man who took a permanent vow of chastity before God to break his vow and leave the priesthood! (Of course he will, since he doesn’t believe in a Catholic God). The Catholic Church has never allowed a priest to leave the priesthood and get married. This is a heretical invention promoted after Vatican II. Celibacy, in fact, has existed in one form or another throughout history and in virtually all the major religions of the world. It was common in the ancient world—when men were really religious and pious—to view sexual power as a rival to religious power, and the sexuality of the opposite sex as a polluting factor, especially in sacred or crisis situations. Even in the Old Testament times, there were prescribed periods of sexual abstinence in connection with rituals and sacrifices and the prosecution of holy wars. Hence we learn that King David—at a time when a war was going on between Israel and Rabba—after committing adultery with Urias’ wife, Bethsabee, and learning that she had become pregnant, sent for her husband, Urias, who was among those fighting the war, and tried different means of sending him to his house to sleep with his wife but in vain. “And Urias said to David: “The ark of God and Israel and Juda dwell in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord abide upon the face of the earth: and shall I go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to sleep with my wife? By thy welfare and by the welfare of thy soul I will not do this thing”. (2 Kings 11: 1-11). In post-Old Testament times, some members of the Essenes, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, rejected marriage, and the medieval Talmudic scholar Ben Azzai remained celibate. Our Lord Himself, speaking of celibacy, said, “...there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it”. (Matthew 19:12). The origin of priestly celibacy goes back to the first apostles of Christ who, for the sake of God’s kingdom, gave up marriage. As we read in the Gospel: “Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, OR WIFE, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possesses life everlasting”. (Matthew 19:27-29). St. Paul, who was celibate, writes: “…It is good for a man not to touch a woman…For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that.” (1 Corinthians 9:1&7).  

“A priest”, says the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “may be defined as one who, as a mediator, performs the sacred function of communicating through rites the needs of the people to heaven and the sacred power and presence from heaven to the congregation. His function is objective. Its efficacy is assured if the priest conducts the proper rite and has the proper qualifications of ordination and, perhaps, of ritual purity, regardless of whether he is particularly moral or fervent. Celibacy serves as such an objective mark of special state and ritual purity.” The point to note here is that the main purpose of priestly celibacy is ritual purity required for sacerdotal rites—this is different from another type of celibacy associated with monasticism, the main purpose of which is moral and spiritual advancement. Today we are often given the false impression (by some perverts among the clergy who, like Martin Luther who renounced his vow of celibacy and married the former nun Katherina von Bora, are intoxicated with sex) that “Well, celibacy is not a dogma. Priests in the early centuries were married and priests today can still marry.” But the fact is that, even at the so-called “time when priests were married”, it was common for ordained men to give up sexual relations with their wives. In fact the reason why some of them had wives in the first place was because they had been married before they took the decision to become priests—so having become priests, some gave up their wives. (Matthew 19:12; 27-29). (Such actions are unthinkable today only become modern men and women have become extraordinarily canal—intoxicated with sex!). These perverts will never mention the regional Council of Elvira in Spain (c. AD 306) which decreed that all priests and bishops, married or not, should abstain from sexual relations—or the ecumenical Council of Nicaea (AD 325) which forbade priests to live with women other than their mothers, sisters, or aunts.

Note that all I’ve been describing took place between the apostolic times and the fourth century. Thus when Pope St. Gregory VII championed the compulsory clerical celibacy in the 11th century, it wasn’t really seen as something new. Celibacy, then, was only made a part of church law—at the first and second Lateran Councils (1123 and 1139) which abolished clerical marriage and thus established the official and still-existing position of the Roman Catholic Church.

Cardinal Onaiyekan
Nigerian Novus Ordo priests and bishops have unanimously condemned the current push to abolish priestly celibacy—which they describe as a “selfish and parochial idea”. (See: ANTI-CELIBACY PUSH: NIGERIAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS KICK ). But that is not enough—if they don’t stop behaving like cowards and condemn the originator of the scandal himself, namely “Pope” Francis, they are in no way free.
As for Crespo’s testimony that “the Pope” intends to lift the banishment of divorcees from the Catholic church, we have already seen that in action—in Francis’ latest scandalous Amoris Laetitia which champions reception of Holy Communion by divorcees, and we have also seen his championing of divorce in his 2015 Motu Proprio which “allows” local bishops to grant uncontested divorce (deceptively called annulments) to married couples within 45 days!

On June 6, 2013, in a private audience with the board of The Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women, “Pope” Francis said: “There are some restorationist groups. I know some. It fell upon me to receive them in Buenos Aires. And one feels as if one goes back 60 years! Before the Council… One feels in 1940… An anecdote, just to illustrate this, it is not to laugh at it, I took it with respect, but it concerns me; when I was elected, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they said: “Your Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.” Why don't they say, ‘we pray for you, we ask…’, but this thing of counting… And these groups return to practices and to disciplines that I lived through – not you, because you are not old – to disciplines, to things that in that moment took place, but not now, they do not exist today…”

So here is a “pope” who not only doesn’t believe in praying the Rosary—the greatest Catholic prayer after the Holy Mass—but makes a mockery of those who pray it.

Francis also doesn’t believe in the Bible—but he fanatically believes in evolution. On October 27, 2014, “Pope” Francis said, in a speech to members of the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, that Evolution and the Big Bang are real. (See: Pope Francis declares Evolution and the Big Bang theory are real and God is not a magician with a magic wand ).

“…Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve,” he said. But on the Bible: On June 29, 2014, when asked about misogyny and women in the Church, Francis—referring to the biblical account of God’s creation of woman, Gen. 2: 21-23, said: “The fact is that woman was taken from a rib … (he laughed strongly). I’m kidding, that’s a joke. I agree that the question of women must be explored more deeply, otherwise one cannot understand the Church herself.” (IL MESSAGGERO). Similarly, on June 2, 2013, “Pope” Francis, speaking about Jesus multiplying the bread and fish, said: “Here’s the miracle, that it is more a sharing than a multiplying”!

Carefully note that even when Francis talks about “Jesus”, it is NOT the Jesus of Scripture we all know but a radically different one. His “Jesus” is not God but man. For example on October 28, 2014, “Pope” Francis said: Jesus prays to the Father for us”. (NEWS.VA). This statement is subtly blasphemous. Jesus is God, so He doesn’t pray for anybody, rather we humans pray to Him, and the saints and the Virgin Mary pray to the Father, to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit for us.

On June 13, 2014, Francis said, on Pope Benedict XVI’s “Resignation”:

“Pope Benedict has made a very significant act. He has opened the door, has created an institution, that of the eventual popes emeritus. 70 years ago, there were no emeritus bishops. Today how many are there? Well, as we live longer, we arrive to an age where we cannot go on with things. I will do the same as him, asking the Lord to enlighten me when the time comes and that he tell me what I have to do, and he will tell me for sure.”    (Reported by CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY).

On July 9, 2014, at a private lunch “Pope” Francis told Brian Stiller of World Evangelical Alliance: “I’m not interested in converting evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those. Rather, let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.”   (Reported by WORLD EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE). (The Nigerian Novus Ordo clergy who promote FALSE ECUMENISM will of course have no problem with this!) Hence we have seen “Pope” Francis canonising the arch-heretic and blasphemer Martin Luther—Martin Luther who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago. Just early this month Francis’ Satanic Vatican declared that Catholics should now see Martin Luther as “a witness to the Gospel”. Martin Luther, the demon-possessed Monster who pioneered the Protestant revolt that led to the division of Christianity in the sixteenth century and consequently the fragmentation of “churches” we see everywhere in today’s world, a disgraceful fragmentation which causes so many unbelievers in our time not to take the Christian Faith seriously and to scorn the very idea of being converted to the Faith; Martin Luther who declared that the papacy (office of the pope) was “founded by the devil” and that the pope himself is the “antichrist”—as he wrote: “Seeing the pope is antichrist, I believe him to be a devil incarnate...”; Martin Luther who not only condemned the papacy, but also condemned Catholicism completely—he referred to Catholics as the “papists”, and condemned them together with the entire Church: ‘‘They that do not hold the sacrament as Christ instituted it, have no sacrament. All papists do not, therefore they have no sacrament; for they receive not the sacrament, but offer it...The sacrament is God's work and ordinance, and not man's,’’ he wrote. This Martin Luther, says current Satanic Vatican, should now be recognised by Catholics as a “Witness to the Gospel”!

In a similar development, the Vatican office charged with issuing stamps, known as the Philatelic and Numismatic Office, confirmed Tuesday, January 17, to LifeSiteNews that Martin Luther will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. The office is in charge of the annual commission of stamps, coins, and other commemorative medals. Please note that usually if individuals are commemorated on stamps they are saints, so Francis is indeed canonising Martin Luther. This is not a mere joke. Francis believes that anybody—Catholic or non-Catholic—can be canonised a saint. For instance on October 13, 2016, a day Catholics were supposed to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Fatima apparition, “Pope” Francis intentionally ignored the event but rather went to Sweden to honour the Arch-heretic and blasphemer, Martin Luther. Now during in his speech at Sweden Francis said (referring to “St.” Martin Luther): “Both in the Lutheran and Catholic Churches there are saints, men and women with a holy heart who follow the Gospel: they are the Church’s reformers.” Francis’ honouring of Martin Luther—both last year and this year—is indeed “special”, trumping even significant events in the Catholic Church such as the 100-year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 300-year anniversary of our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil. (See: Yesterday, Francis managed to spit into the faces: of Our Lord, of the Blessed Ever Virgin Mary, of past popes, and of the entire Church)

Kindly note that Novus Ordo priests usually don’t see anything wrong in this canonising of Luther. This is because these priests were taught in the Protestantised seminaries where they were trained that Luther was indeed a great theologian. As one Protestant historian (lecturing in a Catholic seminary) who read my book ‘Telling The Truth’ remarked when we met in the university some years ago: “Oh your book is good....except I’m surprised to hear that Martin Luther is a heretic!” When I responded he said, “See, Mr Jonathan Ifeanyi, I have a lot of friends who are Catholic priests. They don’t say things like these.”

What many dumb “Catholics” don’t understand is that these priests are being trained almost like the Protestant “clergy”, and that’s why they all have a FALSE UNDERSTANDING of Catholicism and in fact are even worse than Protestants in their behaviours. You will always observe this in the way many of them pray (screaming and shouting, “speaking in tongues”...“in Jesus’ name, Amen”, “it will be well with you!”, all about God’s blessings and prosperity for infidel “Catholics”,...no asking of God’s forgiveness for their massive sins and those of their victims, etc.), and in their purely Protestant understanding of the Holy Mass (Rev. Sisters can also give Holy Communion, altar girls and women lay readers are excellent achievements of Vatican II, etc.). And it seems the Nigerian situation is simply the worst. Hence while “Pope” Francis is busy demolishing the Church, these priests are equally busy telling their poor victims that all is well. In several places—particularly in this January—many of them are busy organising “prayer seminars” where they pray and “prophesy” to their poor victims that they will prosper in this new year 2017.
"Catholics" the world over have advanced more than the Pentecostals, the Nigerian situation being the worst!
The errors and blatant heresies of “Pope” Francis go on and on and are quite impossible to document here. For the first time in history, the world has seen this “pope of mercy” who blasphemes as he likes; a “pope of mercy” who keeps advancing the “gospel of mercy” through deception, dishonesty, manipulation, and lies; a “pope of mercy” who blesses public sinners such as homosexuals and the abortionists—a “pope of mercy” who does not judge them, but who, at the same time, never hesitates to drive away from the Vatican conservative churchmen who dare to uphold the true Catholic Faith, and in fact, who has sacked many others, and so on.  

Cardinal Burke
Conscious Catholics have been discussing the scandals of this “pope of mercy” since 2013 when he was “elected”, wondering what was actually the real intention of the cardinals who pioneered his “election”, and what the hell some good Cardinals in Rome are doing right now even while the man is really CONSCIOUSLY destroying the Catholic Faith. As US Cardinal, Raymond Cardinal Burke, was forced to testify in an interview recently:

“...everywhere I go — and I travel a lot now — everywhere I go people are saying: 'What's wrong with you Cardinals? There are these serious questions, and yet you remain silent. You don't say anything.' And they’re correct. If we were to remain silent, it would most definitely give the idea to the faithful that everything is fine. But everything is not fine.”

Tragically, it is only in Nigeria—where “Catholics” worship money and the personalities instead of God—that such questions are not being asked.

Conscious Catholics outside Nigeria have been asking these questions until the issue of Amoris Laetitia came up just last year. Amoris Laetitia (Latin: “The Joy of Love”), is a post-synodal “apostolic exhortation” written by “Pope” Francis, dated 19 March 2016, which was released on 8 April 2016. The document follows the so-called Synods on the Family (called by Francis himself and held in 2014 and 2015). It focuses on several of the issues of contemporary morality and church practice that had proved contentious during the third extraordinary and the fourteenth ordinary synods’ presentations and discussions, surrounding access to communion, divorce, sexual mores, and “pastoral practice”. Major controversy erupted at the end of 2016 when four courageous Cardinals formally asked “Pope” Francis for clarifications, particularly on the issue of giving Holy Communion (Body of Christ) to Catholics living in a state of adultery—the so-called “divorced and civilly remarried Catholics”—which the document champions. The four Cardinals initially wrote the letter to “Pope” Francis privately in September 2016 asking the supposed “pope” to clarify grave errors in his document but they were ignored by him. Consequently—after waiting for Francis’ response for about two months but in vain—they courageously decided to make the matter public by releasing their letter with an explanatory note giving the faithful the opportunity to see their grave concerns. The Cardinals are: Raymond Cardinal Burke (quoted above, from the United States), Walter Cardinal Brandmüller (from Germany), Carlo Cardinal Caffarra (from Italy), and Joachim Cardinal Meisner (from Germany). The letter is called “Dubia”. “Dubia” (from the Latin: “doubts”) are formal questions brought before the Pope and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for clarifications on particular issues concerning doctrine or practice. What is peculiar about these inquiries is that they are worded in a way that requires a “yes” or “no” answer, without theological argumentation. This way of addressing the Apostolic See is not an invention of the cardinals, but an age-old practice in the Church. (For the Letter, see: On the "Open Letter" to Francis by the four cardinals).

On why they wrote the letter, Raymond Cardinal Burke explains in an interview:

“To understand the present publication, we need to consider what has led up to it.

“Just after his election, in his first Sunday Angelus message, Pope Francis praised Cardinal Walter Kasper’s understanding of mercy, which is a fundamental theme in Amoris Laetitia. Only a few months later, the Vatican announced an Extraordinary Synod about Marriage and Family for October 2014.

“In preparation for the Synod, I, along with four other Cardinals, an Archbishop, and three theologians, published a book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ. As a member of the Synod, I noted that the mid-term report lacked a solid foundation in Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. Later, I agreed with other Cardinals that there was manipulation in the running of the Synod itself, and in the writing of the final report of the Synod.

“Prior to the 2015 Synod, to which I was not invited, eleven Cardinals contributed to a book about marriage and the family. Although I did not contribute to this book, I read it with a great interest. Also prior to the 2015 Ordinary Synod on the Family, over 790,000 Catholics signed a “Filial Appeal” to Pope Francis about the future of the family, asking him to say “a clarifying word” to dissipate the “widespread confusion” about Church teaching. Along with other Cardinals, I was a signatory. During the 2015 session of the Synod, thirteen Cardinal-participants signed a letter to the Pope indicating their concern about the manipulation of the process of the Synod.

“In April 2016, Pope Francis published Amoris Laetitia as the fruit of the 2014 and 2015 sessions of the Synod of Bishops. In the summer of 2016, forty-five academics, including some prelates, wrote to the Holy Father and to the College of Cardinals, asking the Pope to repudiate a list of erroneous propositions that can be drawn from portions of Amoris Laetitia. This received no public response.
“On 29 August, 2016, I joined many bishops, priests, and lay faithful in signing a Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline. This also has received no public response.

“My position is that Amoris Laetitia is not Magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities that confuse people and can lead them into error and grave sin. A document with these defects cannot be part of the Church’s perennial teaching. Because that is the case, the Church needs absolute clarity regarding what Pope Francis is teaching and encouraging.”

And what has been the response of “outspoken” clerics in Nigeria such as Cardinal Okogie, Bishop Kukah and others?

Recently, I stated the following in one of my online articles in which I tried comparing the beliefs of Cardinal Okogie and Cardinal Burke (one of the Dubia Cardinals just quoted):  

“Cardinal Okogie, like “Pope Francis”, believes in giving Holy Communion to public sinners. I’m not saying merely what I heard, but what I actually witnessed—like the case of a notorious homosexual receiving Holy Communion regularly in his own parish some years back. Anyone who doesn’t see any “big deal” in giving Holy Communion to a homosexual will equally not be embarrassed if a “pope” gives the same Communion to public adulterers. Cardinal Burke, on the contrary, is opposed to this evil practice—which is why he participated in writing the Dubia anyway.  Burke is also famously known to have refused Communion to the abortionist presidential candidate John Kerry, in 2004.

“Cardinal Okogie usually doesn’t care when the Church is suffering, as we can see in the case of “Pope” Francis who has tormented the Church for over three years now. But the same Cardinal has criticised virtually ALL Nigerian Presidents—from Babangida in the 1980s to Abacha in the ’90s, then Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Jonathan, and now Buhari in the 2000s—just to mention those I can easily recall. He is always one of the firsts to find faults in any administration. His 2016 Open Letter to President Mohammadu Buhari is just an example of what I’m talking about. (See: Cardinal Anthony Okogie writes open letter to President Buhari

Cardinal Okogie
“So why has the same Cardinal, who is always the first to see the evil in any government in Nigeria, never seen any evil in “Pope” Francis and his disastrous “pontificate”? Why is Cardinal Okogie, a Prince of the Church, busy writing an open letter (on hunger and bad leadership!) to the Nigeria’s President even while his own house (the Church) is on fire? Which is more evil—Buhari’s bad leadership which only results to temporal hunger affecting the body, or “Pope” Francis’ poisonous pontificate of disaster which kills both body and soul?”

Read the Cardinal’s old article in defence of “Pope” Francis: Anthony Cardinal Okogie: On Homosexuality: Nothing has Changed in the Church.

Tell me, after the reading, if you still doubt why a critic like the Cardinal never bothers to condemn any of the monumental evils in “Pope” Francis’ pontificate of disaster. For my humble response to that article, see: No, Cardinal Okogie, Homosexuals Deserve No Respect!

On Bishop Kukah who is also a “critic” and one of the famous Catholic bishops in Nigeria, I wrote, in the same online article:

“Bishop Kukah—one of the worst enemies of Catholicism in Nigeria—who goes about criticising Buhari’s government even while rejoicing over “Pope” Francis who “has opened to the world the real face of the Catholic Church”, is indeed a source of temptation. I can’t waste my time on him because he is simply annoying. For Kukah’s lauding of Francis, see (online): ‘Pope Francis: A Pope For All Seasons’; and for his political jargon, see: POPE FRANCIS VS BISHOP KUKAH ON CORRUPTION, written by a non-Catholic observer!”

Just like Kukah and Okogie, almost all other Novus Ordo priests and bishops in Nigeria also follow the teachings of “Pope” Francis—confusing their poor victims with these teachings. This attitude—the blind leading the blind—is, indeed, a tragedy for the Catholic Faith in Nigeria.

Recently, in a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated in a Catholic Church in Lagos State, (Church of the Assumption in Falomo), a lady said the following during their Protestant “Prayer of the Faithful”:

“Let us pray for all the new changes that are being introduced into the Church right now, that we may not feel hurtful about these changes but see God’s hand in them, and accept them as new means of spreading God’s kingdom. We pray oh Lord!”  And the congregation answered: “Lord hear our prayer!”

19 Jan 2017

“Only a blind man can deny that there is a great confusion in the Church”—Carlo Cardinal Caffarra.

Carlo Cardinal Caffarra

In a January 14 wide-ranging interview with Il Foglio, Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, one of the Dubia Cardinals, says that it would be equivalent to a “suicidal act” and “cutting the ground from under his feet” if “Pope” Francis were to teach that conscience is the ultimate guide in moral matters, trumping even Catholic teaching as well as Divine Revelation. “That is why among the five dubia, dubium number five is the most important,” Caffarra said. “...A Church with little attention to doctrine is not more pastoral, just more ignorant.”

However, the problem with these cardinals – and other churchmen who "defend the Faith" currently – is that they seem not to be bothered about Vatican II mess but only about Amoris scandal! This attitude certainly can't solve the current crisis or clear the "confusion" Caffarra talks about – because Vatican II mess is the very background of all we're witnessing now in "Pope" Francis'  disastrous "pontificate". Imagine also the way they frequently talk about "St." John Paul II as if John Paul II – evil as he was – is really a Saint!

Below is the interview:

An interview with Carlo Cardinal Caffarra       

Published in Il Foglio

By Matteo Matzuzzi

January 14, 2017

Translated by Andrew Guernsey

“The division among shepherds is the cause of the letter that we wrote to Francis, not its effect. Insults and threats of canonical sanctions are unworthy things.” “A Church with little attention to doctrine is not more pastoral, just more ignorant.”

Bologna - “I believe that some things must be clarified. The letter - and the attached dubia - were reflected on at length, for months, and were discussed at length among ourselves. For my part, they were prayed about at length before the Blessed Sacrament.” Cardinal Carlo Caffarra starts by saying this, before beginning a long conversation with Il Foglio on the now famous letter “of the four cardinals” sent to the Pope to ask him for clarification in relation to Amoris Laetitia, the exhortation which summed up the double Synod on the family, and which has unleashed much debate – not always with grace and elegance – [both] inside and outside the Vatican walls. “We were aware that the action we were taking was very serious. Our concerns were twofold. The first was not to scandalize the little ones in the faith. For us pastors, this is a fundamental duty. The second concern was that no person, whether a believer or not a believer, should be able to find in the letter expressions that even remotely could appear in the slightest lacking in respect towards the Pope. The final text, therefore, is the fruit of quite a lot of revisions: texts [were] revised, rejected, corrected.”
Having said all this, Caffarra enters into the matter. “What drove us to this action? A consideration of a general-structural nature and one of a contingent-circumstantial nature. Let us begin with the first. There exists for us cardinals a solemn obligation to advise the Pope in the government of the Church. It is a duty, and duties oblige. Concerning [the consideration] of a more contingent nature, moreover, it is a fact – which only a blind man can deny – that there exists in the Church a great confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity caused by some paragraphs of Amoris laetitia. In recent months, it is happening that on these fundamental questions regarding the sacramental economy (matrimony, confession and Eucharist) and the Christian life, some bishops have said A, others have said the contrary of A, with the intention of interpreting well the same texts.”

And “this is an undeniable fact, because facts are stubborn things, as David Hume said. The way out of this ‘conflict of interpretations’ was recourse to fundamental theological interpretative criteria, using those by which, I think, one can reasonably demonstrate that Amoris laetitia does not contradict Familiaris consortio. Personally, in public meetings with laity and priests, I have always followed this method.” This is not enough, observes the archbishop emeritus of Bologna. “We realized that this epistemological model was not sufficient. The conflict between these two interpretations continued. There was only one way to bring it to an end: to ask the author of the text which is interpreted in two contradictory ways, which [of them] is the correct interpretation. There is no other way. Subsequently, the problem arose of the way by which to appeal to the Pontiff. We chose a way that is very traditional in the Church, the so-called dubia.”

Why? “Because it was an instrument, in the case wherein, according to his sovereign judgment, the Holy Father wanted to respond, which did not require him [to do so] in elaborate or long responses. He only had to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and to defer, as popes have often done, to trusted scholars (in [official] parlance: probati auctores) or to ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to issue a joint declaration with which to explain the Yes or No. It seemed to us the simplest way. The other question which arose was whether to do it in private or in public. We reasoned and agreed that it would be a lack of respect to make everything public right away. So it was done in private, and only once we had obtained certainty that the Holy Father would not respond did we decide to publicize it.”

It is on this one of the points that there is the most discussion, with related controversies of all sorts. Most recently, it was Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the former Holy Office, to judge the publication of the letter mistaken. Caffarra explains: “We interpreted the silence [of Pope Francis] as authorization to continue the theological dispute. And, furthermore, the problem so profoundly involves both the magisterium of the bishops (which, let us not forget, they exercise not by the delegation of the Pope, but by virtue of the sacrament which they have received) and [it involves] the life of the faithful.  Both the one and the other have the right to know. Many [lay] faithful and priests were saying, ‘But you cardinals in a situation like this one have the duty to intervene with the Holy Father. Otherwise why do you exist if not to assist the Pope in questions so grave as this?’ A scandal on the part of many of the faithful was beginning to grow, as though we cardinals were behaving like the dogs who did not bark about whom the prophet speaks. This is what is behind those two pages.”

Yet the criticisms rained down, even from fellow bishops and monsignors of the curia: “Some individuals continue to say that we are not being docile to the magisterium of the Pope. This is false and calumnious. We wrote to the Pope precisely because we did not want to be indocile. I can be docile to the magisterium of the Pope if I know what the Pope is teaching in a matter of faith and of the Christian life. But this is exactly the problem: what the Pope is teaching on the fundamental points simply cannot be well understood, as the conflict of interpretations among bishops shows. We want to be docile to the magisterium of the Pope, but the magisterium of the Pope must be clear. None of us – says the archbishop emeritus of Bologna – wanted ‘to oblige’ the Holy Father to respond: in the letter, we spoke of [his] sovereign judgment. We simply and respectfully asked questions. In short, the accusations of [us] wanting to divide the Church do not deserve attention. The division, already existing in the Church, is the cause of the letter, not its effect. The things unworthy within the Church, however, above all in a context such as this, are the insults and threats of canonical sanctions.”

The foreword to the letter notes, “a grave disorientation and great confusion of many faithful regarding extremely important matters for the life of the Church.” In what do the disorientation and confusion consist, specifically? Caffarra answers: “I received a letter from a parish priest which is a perfect snapshot of what is happening. He wrote me, ‘In spiritual direction and in confession I do not know what to say anymore. To the penitent who says to me, ‘I live in every respect as a husband with a woman who is divorced, and now I approach the Eucharist,’ I propose a path, in order to correct this situation. But the penitent stops me and responds immediately, ‘Listen, Father, the Pope said that I can receive the Eucharist, without the resolution to live in continence.’ I cannot bear this kind of situation any longer.  The Church can ask me anything, but not to betray my conscience. And my conscience objects to a supposed papal teaching to admit to the Eucharist, under certain circumstances, those who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] without being married.’ Thus wrote a parish priest. The situation of many pastors of souls, and I mean above all parish priests - observes the cardinal - is this: they find themselves carrying a load on their shoulders that they cannot bear. This is what I am thinking of when I talk about a great disorientation. And I am speaking of parish priests, but many [lay] faithful are even more confused. We are talking about questions that are not secondary. It is not being discussed whether [eating] fish violates or does not violate [the law of] abstinence. These are most serious questions for the life of the Church and for the eternal salvation of the faithful. Never forget, this is the supreme law of the Church: the eternal salvation of the faithful, not other concerns. Jesus founded His Church so that the faithful would have eternal life and have it in abundance.”

The division to which Cardinal Carlo Caffarra refers originated primarily from the interpretation of the paragraphs of Amoris laetitia ranging from numbers 300 to 305. For many, including several bishops, here is found the confirmation of a change that is not only pastoral but also doctrinal. Others, however, [claim] that everything is perfectly integrated and in continuity with the previous magisterium. How does one escape from such disorientation? "I would specify two very important postulates. To think up a pastoral practice that is not founded and rooted in doctrine means to establish and to root pastoral practice in arbitrariness. A Church with little attention to the doctrine is not a more pastoral Church, but a more ignorant Church. The Truth of which we speak is not a formal truth, but a Truth that gives eternal salvation: Veritas salutaris [the Truth of salvation], in theological terms. Let me explain. There exists formal truth. For example, I want to know whether the longest river in the world is the Amazon or the Nile. It turns out that it is the Amazon River. This is a formal truth. Formal means that this knowledge does not have any relationship with the way that I can be free. Also, if the answer was the contrary, it would not change anything about the way that I can be free. But there are truths which I call ‘existential.’ If it is true - as Socrates had already taught - that it is better to suffer injustice than to do it, I state a truth that brings about my freedom to act in very different way than if the contrary were true. When the Church speaks of truth - adds Caffara – she speaks of truth of the second type, that which, if obeyed in freedom, produces true life. When I hear it said that it is only a pastoral change, and not doctrinal, or it is thought that that the commandment which forbids adultery is a purely positive law which can be changed (and I think that no righteous person can believe this), instead, it means to admit that yes, generally a triangle has three sides, but there is the possibility of constructing one of them with four sides. This is, I say, an absurdity. After all, as the medievals once used to say, theoria sine praxi, currus sine axi; praxis sine theoria, caecus in via [theory without practice is a chariot with no axle; practice without theory is a blind man on the road].”

The second postulate that the archbishop of Bologna makes regarding "the great topic of the evolution of doctrine, which has always accompanied Christian thought. And we know that it was taken up in a splendid manner by Blessed John Henry Newman. If there is a clear point [in his writing], it is that there is no evolution, where there is a contradiction. If I say that S is P and then I say that S is not P, the second proposition does not develop the first one, but contradicts it. Aristotle had already rightly taught that to state a universal affirmative proposition (e.g. every [act of] adultery is wrongful), and at the same time a particular negative proposition having the same subject and predicate (e.g. some [acts of] adultery are not wrongful), does not establish an exception to the first. It contradicts it. In the end, if wanted to define the logic of the Christian life, I would use the expression of Kierkegaard: ‘Always keep moving, always remaining planted in the same place.’”

The problem, adds the cardinal, “is to see whether the famous paragraphs nos. 300-305 of Amoris laetitia and the famous footnote n. 351 are or are not in contradiction with the previous magisterium of the Pontiffs who have addressed the same question. According to many bishops, it is in contradiction. According to many other bishops, it is not a contradiction, but a development. And it is because of this that we asked the Pope for a response." So, one arrives at the most contested point and that so animated the synodal discussions: the possibility of granting to divorced and civilly remarried readmittance to the Eucharist. A matter that does not explicitly find space in Amoris laetitia, but which in the judgment of many is an implicit fact that constitutes nothing more than an evolution compared to n. 84 of the exhortation Familiaris Consortio of John Paul II.

"The problem in the footnote [351] is the following," argues Caffara: "Can a minister of the Eucharist (usually a priest) give the Eucharist to a person who lives more uxorio [as husband and wife] with a woman or man who is not his wife or her husband, and does not intend to live in continence? There are only two answers: Yes or No. Anything else calls into question that Familiaris Consortio, Sacramentum caritatis , the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church answer No to the aforementioned question. A No [is] valid so long as the faithful does not resolve to leave the state of cohabitation more uxorio [as husband and wife]. Has Amoris laetitia taught that, given certain circumstances and having undertaken a certain journey, the faithful may be able to approach the Eucharist without committing themselves to continence? There are bishops who have taught that one can. As a simple question of logic, one must then also teach that adultery is not in and of itself evil. It is not relevant to appeal to ignorance or to error regarding the indissolubility of marriage, a fact [that is] unfortunately very widespread. This appeal has an interpretative value, not a [pastoral] policy one. It should be used as a method to discern the imputability of acts already committed, but it cannot be a principle for acts to be committed [in the future]. A priest - said the Cardinal - has the duty to enlighten the ignorant and to correct the errant.”

"However, what Amoris laetitia has brought back to this question, is the call for the shepherds of souls not to content themselves with answering No (not contenting themselves, however, does not mean answering Yes), but to take the person by the hand and to help him to grow, up to the point that he understands that he finds himself in such a condition that he cannot receive the Eucharist, unless he ceases from the intimacy proper to spouses. But it is not that a priest can say “the help [on] his path [can include] even giving him the sacraments'. And it is on this [point] that the text of footnote 351 is ambiguous. If I say to the person who cannot have sexual relations with him who is not her husband or his wife, but in the meantime, seeing that it takes such effort, one may have [sexual relations]... only once instead of three times per week, it make no sense; and I do not show mercy to this person. Because in order to put an end to a habitual behaviour - a habitus [a habit], as the theologians say – it must be that there is a firm resolution not to do any act proper to that behaviour. In the good, there is a [gradual] progress, but between leaving the evil and beginning to do the good, there is an instantaneous choice, even though long prepared. For a certain period, Augustine prayed: 'Lord, give me chastity, but not yet.' "

Glancing over the dubia, it seems to understand that perhaps more is at stake than Familiaris Consortio, there is Veritatis Splendor. Why is that? "Yes," replies Cardinal Caffara. "Here what Veritatis Splendor taught is in question. This encyclical (August 6, 1993) is a highly doctrinal document, in the intentions of Pope St. John Paul II, to the point that –an exceptional thing now in encyclicals – it is only addressed to the bishops as those responsible for the faith that must be believed and lived (cf. n. 5). To this end, the Pope tells them to be vigilant about the doctrines condemned or taught by the encyclical itself. The one [ie. true doctrines] because they are not widespread in the Christian communities, the other [ie. false doctrines] because they are being taught (cf. n. 116). One of the fundamental teachings of the document is that there exist acts which can in and of themselves be considered wrongful, regardless of the circumstances in which they are committed and the purpose which the agent intends. He adds that denying this fact can lead to denying the meaning of martyrdom (cf. Nn. 90-94). Every martyr, in fact, – stresses the retired archbishop of Bologna - could have been able to say: 'But I find myself in a circumstance ... in such situations for which the grave obligation to profess my faith, or to affirm the inviolability of a moral good, does not oblige me any-more.' Think about the difficulties that the wife of Thomas More put to her husband already sentenced to prison: 'You have duties to the family, to the children'. It is not, moreover, only a matter of faith. Even if I use only right reason, I see that by denying the existence of intrinsically evil acts, I deny that there exists a limit outside of which the powers of this world cannot and should not go. Socrates was the first in the West to understand this. The question, therefore, is grave, and on this [matter] uncertainties cannot be permitted. This is why we took the liberty of asking the Pope to give clarity, since there are bishops who seem to deny this fact, referring themselves to Amoris laetitia. Adultery, in fact, is always regarded among the intrinsically evil acts. It is enough to read what Jesus says in this regard, [as well as] St. Paul and the commandments given to Moses by the Lord." But is there is now room, today, for acts considered "intrinsically evil?" Or, perhaps, is it time to look more to the other side of the scale, to the fact that all, before God, can be forgiven?

Pay attention, says Caffara: "Here, there is a great confusion. All sins and intrinsically evil choices can be forgiven. So ‘intrinsically evil’ does not mean 'unforgivable'. Jesus, however, does not content himself to say to the adulteress: 'Neither do I condemn'. He also tells her: 'Go, and from now on, sin no more' (Jn. 8:10). St. Thomas, inspired by St. Augustine, makes a most beautiful comment, when he writes that ‘He could have said: go and live as you want and be certain of my forgiveness. In spite of all your sins, I will deliver you from the torments of hell. But the Lord does not love sin and does not favour wrongdoing, and so he condemned her sin... saying, and from now on, sin no more. It shows, therefore, how the Lord is tender in his mercy and just in his Truth' (cf. Commentary on the Gospel of John, 11:39). We are truly, in a manner of speaking, free before the Lord. And therefore, the Lord does not force his forgiveness upon us. There must be a wondrous and mysterious marriage between the infinite mercy of God and the freedom of man, who must be converted if he wants to be forgiven."

We ask Cardinal Caffarra if a certain confusion does not also arise from the conviction, deeply-rooted even among so many pastors, that conscience is a faculty to decide autonomously regarding what is good and what is evil, and that in the end, the final word belongs to the conscience of the individual. “I retain that this is the most important point of all,” he responds. “It is where we meet and clash with the central pillar of modernity. Let us begin by clarifying the language [that we are using]. Conscience does not decide, because it is an act of reason; the decision is an act of freedom, of the will. Conscience is a guide by which the subject of the proposition which expresses the choice which I am about the make or which I have already made, and the predicate is the moral qualification of the choice. It is, therefore, a judgment, not a decision. Naturally, every reasoned judgment is exercised in the light of criteria, otherwise it is not a judgment, but rather something else. A criterion is that on the basis of which I affirm what I affirm and deny what I deny. To this point, a passage of the Tractate on moral conscience by Blessed [Antonio] Rosmini proves to be particularly illuminating: ‘There is a light that is in man and there is a light which is man. The light which is in man is the law of Truth and grace. The light that is man is right conscience, since man becomes light when he participates in the light of the law of Truth, while conscience meditates, confirmed by that light.’ Now, this concept of moral conscience is opposed to the concept which erects one’s own subjectivity as an unappealable tribunal of the goodness or the evil of one’s own actions. Here, for me – says the cardinal - is the decisive clash between the vision of life that belongs to the Church (because it belongs to divine Revelation) and the concept of conscience that belongs to modernity.

“He who saw this in the most lucid way – he adds - was Blessed [John Henry] Newman. In his famous Letter to the Duke of Norfolk, he said, ‘Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ, a prophet in its informations, a monarch in its peremptoriness, a priest in its blessings and anathemas, and, even though the eternal priesthood throughout the Church could cease to be, in it the sacerdotal principle would remain and would have a sway. Words such as these are idle empty verbiage to the great world of philosophy now. All through my day there has been a resolute warfare, I had almost said conspiracy against the rights of conscience, as I have described it.” Further on, he adds that “in the name of conscience true conscience is being destroyed.” That is why among the five dubia, dubium number five is the most important. There is a passage of Amoris laetitia, at n. 303, which is not clear; it seems – I repeat: it seems – to admit the possibility that there is a true judgment of conscience (not invincibly erroneous; this has always been acknowledged by the Church) in contradiction to that which the Church teaches as pertaining to the deposit of divine Revelation. It seems. And so, we put the dubium to the Pope.”

“Newman – recalls Caffarra - says that ‘if the Pope were to speak against Conscience in the true sense of the word, he would commit a suicidal act. He would be cutting the ground from under his feet.’ These are matters of a disturbing gravity. It would elevate private judgment to the ultimate criterion of moral truth. Never say to a person: ‘Always follow your conscience’, without adding immediately and always: ‘Love and seek the truth about the good.’ You would be putting into his hands the weapon most destructive of his own humanity.”

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