Is the Catholic Church in Germany Still Catholic?

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German Catholic archdiocese promotes fornication, abortion, to 15-year-old girls

November 6, 2017, ( – German Catholics are protesting a program endorsed personally by the archbishop of Berlin that gives “practical tips” to Catholic sex educators on how to teach children about their “sexual rights,” advising them that adult sex with a minor is permitted, as long as it’s “consensual,” and outlining the process of obtaining an abortion.

The program also seeks to eliminate “taboos,” “prejudices,” and “stereotypes” regarding various forms of sexual deviation, including homosexual behavior and masturbation, treating such impulses as part of a person’s identity. At the same time, it seeks to resolve the “tension” between such behaviors and the Catholic Church’s “official” doctrines on human sexuality.

“A church that tries to impose people’s opinions today is crazy,” writes Berlin archbishop Heiner Koch in his introduction to the program. “We need to take note of the diversity of ideas about sexuality in our society. However, in the company of young people, we also need to be in a position to make a profound statement that the Christian faith and its image of man can free themselves to self-realization, to true relationship and intimacy.”

The program’s “Practical tips for the use of methods in sexual pedagogical work with youth groups,” posted on the archdiocesan website, addresses the question, “When is it normal to have sex?” It gives a list of hypothetical “situations” regarding minors involved in out-of-wedlock sexual activity and then provides “answers” to those situations regarding the minors’ “right” to engage in the behavior. Catholic doctrine on sexual morality in the document is left unmentioned.

In hypothetical “Situation 2” a 22-year-old man has a 15-year-old girlfriend with whom he wishes to have sexual relations. The archdiocese writes, “In principle, persons of legal age may sleep with minors, provided it is consensual sexual acts/intercourse. It gets difficult, however, whenever sexual acts or intercourse are forced.”

In “Situation 6,” a girl named “Milena” has an “unwanted pregnancy.” While the document discusses options for receiving state support for her as an unwed mother, or for adopting, it adds, “In the context of pregnancy conflict counseling Milena can be advised on the possibility of abortion.”

“In the consultation, the father of the expected child or even her parents can be present if she so wishes. She even has to show that she took part in a consultation should she decide to terminate. In the consultation, the father of the expected child or even her parents can be present if she so wishes. No matter how Milena decides, she can get advice and has the right to psychological support,” the document continues.

The “tips” even explain how minors can obtain contraceptives without their parents finding out, and implies that those under 14 years of age can obtain contraceptives to facilitate their sexual activity, despite the fact that it is illegal.

In “Situation 5,” readers are told, “Laura (15) would like to sleep with her boyfriend and considers different contraceptives.” However, she’s afraid her parents will find out. The archdiocese notes that, as “Laura” is under 16 years of age, her doctor can inform her parents that she wants oral contraceptives. However, “Laura” can “try to convince the doctor that she is mature enough to make that decision.”

The archdiocese notes that “for under-14s it will be difficult to get a prescription for contraceptives since intercourse for under-14s is prohibited by law.” However, it adds that “in principle, adolescents can buy over-the-counter contraceptives such as condoms and a diaphragm at any pharmacy. If you are uncomfortable asking for it in a pharmacy, you can also buy condoms anonymously in a drugstore.”

Other “situations” include teenage girls in lesbian relationships and a boy who wants to be tested for venereal diseases without being detected by his parents. Both are within the legal “rights” of minors, the archdiocese states.

German Catholics respond with a petition

A group of German Catholics outraged by the archbishop’s apparent endorsement of pro-abortion materials has organized a petition to ask him to remove them from the archdiocesan website, entitled “The Archdiocese of Berlin should finally stop giving teens tips on abortion!”

“Incomprehensible! The Archdiocese of Berlin gives 15-year-old pregnant women tips on how to kill their child. . . . This exposes the archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, as a follower of the feminist pro-choice ideology, which gives the right to life of unborn children to the arbitrariness of their mothers. Pro-Choice is not opinion, but murder!”

The petitioners ask the archbishop to “take the unspeakable abortion tips immediately from the website of the Archdiocese of Berlin. The church has the right to defend the right to life of the unborn and a moral obligation to act as the protective power of innocent children in public.”

However, the petitioners make no mention of other material on the site that normalizes and legitimizes out-of-wedlock and homosexual sex acts.

Archbishop seeks ‘conversation’ with adolescents about their values

The materials were originally presented by the Archdiocese of Berlin at a conferencecalled “In ‘Freedom and Responsibility’: Sex Education Work in Catholic Institutions” in February of 2016.

According to Archbishop Heiner Koch, the conference sought to “trace the tensions between Catholic sexual morality, one’s own attitude, life-world and the sexual pedagogical requirements in the workplace and to get into conversation about it.”

“Abortion, Homosexuality, Masturbation: The spectrum on the topic of ‘sex’ is as far-reaching in Catholic education and care facilities for children and adolescents as society dictates,” states the archdiocese on its webpage regarding the event, “But the taboos are also big, as educators and social workers admitted at a conference.” Conference materials seek to help adolescents clarify their own values in a dialogical manner.

Archbishop responds to complaints, but protesters not satisfied

Following an outcry from German Catholics over the abortion “tips” given in “Situation 6,” the archbishop ordered a paragraph  be added to that section noting that it is “difficult” to teach about the law “completely detached from moral issues,” and that the “ecclesiastical context” “offers the topic of ‘protection of life.’” According to the archbishop, this makes it “clear” that Christian values are to be taught along with the material. Other statements were added affirming that girls can’t be pressured to have abortions.

However, the petitioners were not satisfied with archbishop’s response. “The document still states (supplemented by a few remarks):  ‘Even girls under the age of 18 have the opportunity in principle to be able to terminate a pregnancy without penalty in the first twelve weeks. (…) No matter how Milena decides, she can seek advice and has the right to psychological support .’”

“Unfortunately, this is only a half-hearted appeasement by the archdiocese, but not a true commitment to a culture of life!” add the petitioners. “We must therefore maintain our protest and continue to apply pressure. The document should completely disappear from the site of the archdiocese!”

The material represents a long-established tendency of extreme laxity regarding sexual morals among German-speaking Catholic clergy and laity. German-speaking bishops, Such as Walter Kasper and Christoph Schönborn, have provided the principal impetus for the acceptance of adulterous second marriages in the Catholic Church. The permanent council of the German bishops’ conference has approvedgiving Holy Communion to those who are living in such marriages.

In recent years the German bishops, in particular, have promoted the notion of “diverse family types” and have even published an article defending same-sex “marriage.” Some German bishops, however, are resisting this tendency.


EDWARD PENTIN: Catholic Identity Conference 2017 | The Remnant

Michael Matt | Editor

The premier English-language Vatican journalist, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register, offers a journalist’s objective evaluation of a climate of fear in Rome, the Synod on the Family, Amoris Laetitia, and the crisis in the Church during the reign of Pope Francis.

All of the Catholic Identity Conference 2017 outstanding talks, including that of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, are available On-Demand from  The organizers of the CIC felt that Mr. Pentin’s most timely talk, however, should be released on YouTube immediately, and for obvious reasons.

Michael Matt Kicks Off Catholic Identity Conference


Full Text of Father Weinandy’s Letter to Pope Francis

Father Thomas Weinandy O.F.M. Cap.
Father Thomas Weinandy O.F.M. Cap. (YouTube)
NOV. 1, 2017

Former U.S. Bishops’ head of doctrine lays out his deep concerns about this pontificate in a letter to the Holy Father.

A former chief of staff for the U.S. Bishops’ committee on doctrine has written to Pope Francis saying his pontificate is marked by “chronic confusion” and warning that teaching with a “seemingly intentional lack of clarity risks sinning against the Holy Spirit.”

Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, who is now a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, criticized the Pope for “demeaning” the importance of doctrine, committing “calumny” against some of his critics, and appointing bishops who “scandalize” believers with dubious “teaching and pastoral practice.”

The missive (see full text below) was sent to the Holy Father on July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, but only made public today.

Father Weinandy, who did not hold back in sharing his concerns with Pope Francis about his pontificate, began the letter underlining his “love for the Church and sincere respect” for the Petrine Office, and stating that Pope Francis is the “Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock.”

He stressed the Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to the Pope, to “dispel error, not to foster it,” and that only the light of truth can free mankind from the blindness of sin.

But he pointed out to the Holy Father that he seems “to censor and even mock” critics of Chapter 8 of his post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, who wish to interpret it in accord with Church tradition, committing a “kind of calumny” that is “alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.”

Elsewhere, he warned against the Pope’s concept of synodality, criticized him for resenting criticism (leading to silence from bishops), and censured Francis for being silent in the face of some bishops’ erroneous teachings and pastoral practice.

He closed by saying he believes the Lord has allowed all this to happen to show “just how weak is the faith of many within the Church,” and that ironically this pontificate has shed light on those who “hold harmful theological and pastoral views.”

Father Weinandy ended by saying he prays constantly for the Holy Father and will continue to do so, and asks that the Holy Spirit lead the Pope “to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.”

“Expresses Concerns of Many”

In an interview with Crux, Father Weinandy said his decision to write the letter was not easy, and resulted from a moment of inspiration.

After praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, including at the tomb of Peter, on a visit to Rome, and struggling internally whether to write it, he gave God an ultimatum to give him a clear sign — one which he duly received.

“There was no longer any doubt in my mind that Jesus wanted me to write something,” Father Weinandy said, adding he is aware that might sound a little pretentious, but that it was important to illustrate his motives.

He also said he is not afraid of reprisals but “more concerned about the good that my letter might do.”

He said the letter “expresses the concerns of many more people than just me, ordinary people who’ve come to me with their questions and apprehensions,” and “I wanted them to know that I listened.”

“I have done what I believe God wanted me to do,” he said.

Unlike others who have written critically to the Pope, such as the dubia cardinals, the authors of the filial correction, or the filial appeal, Father Weinandy received a brief reply in mid-October from Italian Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the number two official in the Secretariat of State.

Dated Sept. 7, the letter confirmed that Father Weinandy’s letter had been placed before the Pope.

A member of the International Theological Commission since 2014, Father Weinandy is a prolific author and highly accomplished theologian, having taught at numerous universities in the United States, as well as Oxford and Rome, at the Pontifical Gregorian University.


Update, Nov. 1: According to Catholic World Report, the USCCB has now asked Father Weinandy to resign from his current position as consultant to the bishops, and he has submitted his resignation.

In his July 31 letter, he told the Pope: “Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.”

Here below is the full text of Father Weinandy’s letter:

July 31, 2017

Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Your Holiness,

I write this letter with love for the Church and sincere respect for your office.  You are the Vicar of Christ on earth, the shepherd of his flock, the successor to St. Peter and so the rock upon which Christ will build his Church.  All Catholics, clergy and laity alike, are to look to you with filial loyalty and obedience grounded in truth.  The Church turns to you in a spirit of faith, with the hope that you will guide her in love.

Yet, Your Holiness, a chronic confusion seems to mark your pontificate.  The light of faith, hope, and love is not absent, but too often it is obscured by the ambiguity of your words and actions.  This fosters within the faithful a growing unease.  It compromises their capacity for love, joy and peace.  Allow me to offer a few brief examples.

First there is the disputed Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia.  I need not share my own concerns about its content.  Others, not only theologians, but also cardinals and bishops, have already done that.  The main source of concern is the manner of your teaching.  In Amoris Laetitia, your guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous, thus inviting both a traditional interpretation of Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce as well as one that might imply a change in that teaching.  As you wisely note, pastors should accompany and encourage persons in irregular marriages; but ambiguity persists about what that “accompaniment” actually means.  To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.  The Holy Spirit is given to the Church, and particularly to yourself, to dispel error, not to foster it.  Moreover, only where there is truth can there be authentic love, for truth is the light that sets women and men free from the blindness of sin, a darkness that kills the life of the soul.  Yet you seem to censor and even mock those who interpret Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia in accord with Church tradition as Pharisaic stone-throwers who embody a merciless rigorism.   This kind of calumny is alien to the nature of the Petrine ministry.  Some of your advisors regrettably seem to engage in similar actions.  Such behavior gives the impression that your views cannot survive theological scrutiny, and so must be sustained by ad hominemarguments.

Second, too often your manner seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.  Again and again you portray doctrine as dead and bookish, and far from the pastoral concerns of everyday life.  Your critics have been accused, in your own words, of making doctrine an ideology.  But it is precisely Christian doctrine – including the fine distinctions made with regard to central beliefs like the Trinitarian nature of God; the nature and purpose of the Church; the Incarnation; the Redemption; and the sacraments – that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel.  Those who devalue the doctrines of the Church separate themselves from Jesus, the author of truth.  What they then possess, and can only possess, is an ideology – one that conforms to the world of sin and death.

Third, faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted by your choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.  What scandalizes believers, and even some fellow bishops, is not only your having appointed such men to be shepherds of the Church, but that you also seem silent in the face of their teaching and pastoral practice.  This weakens the zeal of the many women and men who have championed authentic Catholic teaching over long periods of time, often at the risk of their own reputations and well-being.  As a result, many of the faithful, who embody the sensus fidelium, are losing confidence in their supreme shepherd.

Fourth, the Church is one body, the Mystical Body of Christ, and you are commissioned by the Lord himself to promote and strengthen her unity.  But your actions and words too often seem intent on doing the opposite.  Encouraging a form of “synodality” that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church can only lead to more theological and pastoral confusion.  Such synodality is unwise and, in practice, works against collegial unity among bishops.

Holy Father, this brings me to my final concern.  You have often spoken about the need for transparency within the Church.  You have frequently encouraged, particularly during the two past synods, all persons, especially bishops, to speak their mind and not be fearful of what the pope may think.  But have you noticed that the majority of bishops throughout the world are remarkably silent?  Why is this?  Bishops are quick learners, and what many have learned from your pontificate is not that you are open to criticism, but that you resent it.  Many bishops are silent because they desire to be loyal to you, and so they do not express – at least publicly; privately is another matter – the concerns that your pontificate raises.  Many fear that if they speak their mind, they will be marginalized or worse.

I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?”   The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops.  Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness.  In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.

Holy Father, I pray for you constantly and will continue to do so.  May the Holy Spirit lead you to the light of truth and the life of love so that you can dispel the darkness that now hides the beauty of Jesus’ Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap.


Father Weinandy’s full account of how his historic letter came to be written:

Last May I was in Rome for an International Theological Commission meeting.  I was staying at Domus Sanctae Marthae, and since I arrived early, I spent most of the Sunday afternoon prior to the meeting on Monday in Saint Peter’s praying in the Eucharistic Chapel.

I was praying about the present state of the Church and the anxieties I had about the present Pontificate.  I was beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused.  I was also pondering whether or not I should write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.

On the following Wednesday afternoon, at the conclusion of my meeting, I went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.  That night I could not get to sleep, which is very unusual for me.  It was due to all that was on my mind pertaining to the Church and Pope Francis.

At 1:15 AM I got up and went outside for short time.  When I went back to my room, I said to the Lord: “If you want me to write something, you have to give me a clear sign.  This is what the sign must be.  Tomorrow morning I am going to Saint Mary Major’s to pray and then I am going to Saint John Lateran.  After that I am coming back to Saint Peter’s to have lunch with a seminary friend of mine.  During that interval, I must meet someone that I know but have not seen in a very long time and would never expect to see in Rome at this time.  That person cannot be from the United States, Canada or Great Britain.  Moreover, that person has to say to me in the course of our conversation, ‘Keep up the good writing’.”

The next morning I did all of the above and by the time I met my seminarian friend for lunch what I had asked the Lord the following night was no longer in the forefront of my mind.

However, towards the end of the meal an archbishop appeared between two parked cars right in front of our table (we were sitting outside).  I had not seen him for over twenty years, long before he became an archbishop.  We recognized one another immediately.  What made his appearance even more unusual was that, because of his recent personal circumstances, I would never have expected to see him in Rome or anywhere else, other than in his own archdiocese.  (He was from none of the above mentioned countries.)  We spoke about his coming to Rome and caught up on what we were doing.  I then introduced him to my seminarian friend.  He said to my friend that we had met a long time ago and that he had, at that time, just finished reading my book on the immutability of God and the Incarnation.  He told my friend that it was an excellent book, that it helped him sort out the issue, and that my friend should read the book.  Then he turned to me and said: “Keep up the good writing.”

I could hardly believe that this just happened in a matter of a few minutes.  But there was no longer any doubt in my mind that Jesus wanted me to write something.  I also think it significant that it was an Archbishop that Jesus used.  I considered it an apostolic mandate.

So giving it considerable thought and after writing many drafts, I decided to write Pope Francis directly about my concerns.  However, I always intended to make it public since I felt many of my concerns were the same concerns that others had, especially among the laity, and so I publicly wanted to give voice to their concerns as well.”

“Dialogue”? Priest Who Wrote Letter to Pope Asked to Resign from USCCB

Steve Skojec11/1/2017

This morning we told you the story of Fr. Thomas Weinandy, a Capuchin friar who, after receiving what he believed was a sign from God, wrote a letter to Pope Francis — with obvious filial respect and love — in the hopes of bringing to his attention some of the more damaging effects of his papacy.

Father Weinandy is a current member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, as well as the former chief of staff for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine. Apparently, he was still serving in the capacity of consultant to the USCCB, because today, after the publication of his letter, he was asked to resign. According to Carl E. Olson, Editor of Catholic World Report, Fr. Weinandy told him this morning that since the letter’s publication, he had “received many positive notes from theologians, priests, and lay people.” Nevertheless, “the USCCB asked him to resign from his current position as a consultant to the bishops,” and Fr. Weinandy has complied. As Olson notes, “In making such a request, the USCCB, it would appear, reinforces Fr. Weinandy’s very point about fearfulness and lack of transparency” as made in his letter.

One diocesan priest who spoke with 1P5 on condition of anonymity said that he was certain Fr. Weinandy’s letter “drew consternation from several US Cardinals and Bishops”, particularly where the letter addressed how “faithful Catholics can only be disconcerted” by the pope’s choice of some bishops, “men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them,” causing scandal to the faithful and weakening the sensus fidei.

“There is no way” the priest told me, “that this remark didn’t directly sting Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Tobin, Cardinal Ferrell, and Bishop McElroy in particular, as they have been busy supporting Father James Martin, S.J., and others like him. I would be very surprised if they were not directly behind Fr. Thomas Weinandy’s forced resignation.”

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the USCCB, released a statement today about Fr. Weinandy — never once mentioning that he was asked to resign, but only speaking of his unexplained “departure” — under the auspices that the situation is an opportunity to reflect on “dialogue within the Church.” The statement reads:

“The departure today of Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M., Cap., as a consultant to the Committee on Doctrine and the publication of his letter to Pope Francis gives us an opportunity to reflect on the nature of dialogue within the Church.  Throughout the history of the Church, ministers, theologians and the laity all have debated and have held personal opinions on a variety of theological and pastoral issues. In more recent times, these debates have made their way into the popular press. That is to be expected and is often good.  However, these reports are often expressed in terms of opposition, as political – conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right, pre-Vatican II vs Vatican II.  These distinctions are not always very helpful.

Christian charity needs to be exercised by all involved. In saying this, we all must acknowledge that legitimate differences exist, and that it is the work of the Church, the entire body of Christ, to work towards an ever-growing understanding of God’s truth.

As Bishops, we recognize the need for honest and humble discussions around theological and pastoral issues. We must always keep in mind St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “presupposition” to his Spiritual Exercises: “…that it should be presumed that every good Christian ought to be more eager to put a good interpretation on a neighbor’s statement than to condemn it.” This presupposition should be afforded all the more to the teaching of Our Holy Father.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a collegial body of bishops working towards that goal. As Pastors and Teachers of the Faith, therefore, let me assert that we always stand in strong unity with and loyalty to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who “is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (LG, no. 23).”

The reader is left to wonder how “dialogue” has become a euphemism for “suppression of any views different than our own”. How is it that those who speak most forcefully in favor of “tolerance” are always the last to practice tolerance toward those with ideas they find inconvenient? How is it that the President of the USCCB lacks the courage to simply state that Fr. Weinandy was asked to resign for speaking an unpopular opinion, regardless of its merit, and without consideration given to the fact that it was voiced respectfully and in the exercise of his conscience on a matter of grave importance — and about which he has the requisite theological competency to comment?

For some time now, we have been using terms in our coverage like “The Dictatorship of Mercy” and “The Persecution of Orthodoxy” to help explain the reality orthodox Catholics face in the Church of 2017: if you stand up for the truths of the faith, you will suffer the consequences at the hands of those charged with defending those same truths. And as we have told you, there is no reason to expect we won’t see this reaction continue to escalate.

Our Church has become Orwellian indeed. One is reminded of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s recent remarks, based on his experience growing up in the Soviet Union:

For decades it became within the Church politically correct and “good manners” to proclaim and to promote practically the freedom of theological speech, debate and research, so that freedom in thinking and speaking became a slogan. At the same time, one can now observe the paradox that this very freedom is denied to those in the Church who in our days raise their voices with respect and politeness in defense of the truth. This bizarre situation reminds me of a famous song which I had to sing in the Communist school in my childhood, and whose wording was, as follows: “The Soviet Union is my beloved homeland, and I do not know another country in the world where man can breathe so freely.

Letter to Tosatti: “I Fear We Are in the End Times”

Marco Tosatti10/30/2017

Dear friends, enemies, and any other readers, this morning I thought I was going to have a day off. Then a message arrived from “Big Shot”, which, I must confess, truly took my breath away, because of its tone and because I know that “Big Shot ” has seen it all and is not someone who is easy to impress. Read a little…

Dear Tosatti,

What I am going to write you this time is not made up to make you laugh. Not only am I speechless — because by now nothing in this pontificate surprises me — but this time I am frightened. The acceleration of these last few days is surprising, as if it [the pontificate] was facing a deadline and did not want to lose time with the niceties of being diplomatic. After a long time of saying things that are of ambiguous interpretation, we have now passed to declarations which need no interpretation because they are declarations of war against the Catholic faith, against Jesus Christ, against the Immaculate Virgin. First, the declarations of esteem for Martin Luther (most recently that of Archbishop Bruno Forte on October 30), then the declarations by a theologian favored by the Pope (Andrea Grillo) who explains (without any correction by the Holy See) that “transubstantiation is not a dogma,” then the surprising and disturbing public correction of Cardinal Sarah made by the Pope, and finally the conference on the rapprochement between the Church and Freemasonry (November 12 in Syracuse [Sicily – Ed.] with grand masters, a prelate, and the Bishop of Noto, whose logo depicted a disturbed Christ holding a compass, the symbol of Freemasonry.

The poster for the upcoming conference of “rapproachement” between the Church & Freemasonry in Sicily. The title reads, “The Church and Freemasonry: So Close and Yet So Far”

Certainly after the opinions expressed by Cardinal [Gianfranco] Ravasi [President of the Pontifical Council for Culture] about the need for a rapprochement with our “Masonic brothers” we shouldn’t be surprised, but Ravasi is Ravasi, when he is not speaking Aramaic and Ancient Greek, and it’s always possible that he said something without understanding what he really meant….

But I am now frightened above all by the rapid sequence of events, as if we were drawing close to a deadline (That of the vision of Leo XIII? Of the prophecies of La Salette? Of Saint Brigid? Of Our Lady of Akita? Of St. Vincent Ferrer?)

What then should we expect will be the next move? Should we imagine that the next “rapprochement” will be with the tempting serpent of the book of Genesis to whom we ought to issue an apology, “justifying” his “good intentions” of bringing knowledge to Adam and Eve? Should we consequently reprove St. Michael the Archangel for having kicked him out of Paradise? Should we perhaps ask Mary Most Holy to apologize for having struck his head? Or even ask Jesus Himself to make an apology, for not having been open during the temptation in the desert to having a multicultural and pluralistic dialogue with Satan which would have been advantageous to them both?

Dear Tosatti, you won’t believe it, but I am beginning to really be afraid. I have begun to pray once again the prayer of exorcism to St. Michael the Archangel written by Pope Leo XIII (recited at the end of Holy Mass until 1964 when it was unexplainably “deleted”). I ask myself if I will have the strength to take action without any assistance from my Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, sensing rather that it sets itself daily more and more against the Gospels and the Truth that it taught me. The Cardinals and Bishops who still believe in the Truth of Christ had better do something quickly! I fear we are in the End Times, dear Tosatti. I am a “Big Shot” but terrified…

Editor’s note: The above letter was originally published at Stilum Curae, the blog of Vatican-watcher Marco Tosatti, on October 29, 2017, and has been translated here for our readers with permission. It is the first we have heard of “the conference on the rapprochement between the Church and Freemasonry” coming up in November. Though we have reported to you in the past on “the opinions expressed by Cardinal [Gianfranco] Ravasi [President of the Pontifical Council for Culture] about the need for a rapprochement with our ‘Masonic brothers’”, we can appreciate the letter writer’s sarcasm when he says, “Ravasi is Ravasi, when he is not speaking Aramaic and Ancient Greek, and it’s always possible that he said something without understanding what he really meant….”

In the context of the news of this upcoming “conference of rapprochement”, it seems opportune here to recall the relevant condemnation of Fremasonry made by Leo XIII in his encyclical letter Humanum Genus, published on April 20, 1884:

2.)… At this period, however, the partisans of evil seems to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by that strongly organized and widespread association called the Freemasons. No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. They are planning the destruction of holy Church publicly and openly, and this with the set purpose of utterly despoiling the nations of Christendom, if it were possible, of the blessings obtained for us through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Lamenting these evils, We are constrained by the charity which urges Our heart to cry out often to God: “For lo, Thy enemies have made a noise; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. They have taken a malicious counsel against Thy people, and they have consulted against Thy saints. They have said, ‘come, and let us destroy them, so that they be not a nation.'(2)

3.) At so urgent a crisis, when so fierce and sopressing an onslaught is made upon the Christian name, it is Our office to point out the danger, to mark who are the adversaries, and to the best of Our power to make head against their plans and devices, that those may not perish whose salvation is committed to Us, and that the kingdom of Jesus Christ entrusted to Our charge may not stand and remain whole, but may be enlarged by an ever-increasing growth throughout the world.

New Life & Family Academy Founded by Former Members of Pontifical Academy for Life

Maike Hickson  10/28/2017

This new Academy will work for the defense and the further study of the Church’s traditional moral teaching concerning such important matters as contraception, abortion, family and marriage. It thus comes to us as a new voice at a time where – in Sister Lucia’s words – “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.”

Several members of the Board of the new Academy are loyal and charitable critics of Pope Francis, such as: Professor Josef Seifert himself; Professor Roberto de Mattei; and Professor Claudio Pierantoni. Additionally, several members of the Academy are former members of the Pontifical Academy for Life which has been so gravely changed by Pope Francis: next to Professor Seifert, there is Judie Brown (president of the American Life League), Dr. Thomas Ward (founder of the U.K.’s National Association of Catholic Families), Mercedes Wilson, (president of Family of the Americas); Christine Vollmer (president of the Latin American Alliance for the Family); Dr. Philippe Schepens (General Secretary of the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life); and Professor Luke Gormally (a former research professor at Ave Maria School of Law). Some of these loyal defenders of life are, in fact, founding members of the PAL, which was founded in 1994. Additional members of the new Academy are Professor Carlos A. Casanova (Universidad Santo Tomás de Chile) and John-Henry Westen (LifeSiteNews).

In his introduction to this new Academy at today’s Humanae Vitae Conference, Professor Seifert said :

In October 2017, a new JOHN PAUL II ACADEMY FOR HUMAN LIFE AND THE FAMILY (JAHLF) has been set up to serve the same goals as the original Pontifical Academy for Life, founded 1994 by Pope St. John-Paul II for the interdisciplinary study and defense of human life in all its stages. [footnote: By the motu proprio Vitae Mysterium on February 11, 1994.] Already in 1981, Pope John Paul II had founded a Pontifical Institute of Marriage and Family, to study the cradle of human life: marriage and the family. JAHLF will take up the study both of human life and of marriage and the human family.

It has been founded by a few former members of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) including a former Professor of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.

In additional comments, Professor Seifert points out that, ever since the publication of the papal document Humanae Vitae in 1968, there have been many Catholic moral theologians working at putting a doubt to the question as to whether acts such as abortion, contraception, or homosexuality are any more to be called “intrinsically evil acts,” which are wrong under all circumstances. As Seifert explains:

Between Humanae Vitae and Veritatis Splendor many, indeed a majority of moral theologians, have promoted this so-called ethical proportionalism that may justify any actions if the sum-total of goods that follow from them seem a lesser evil than any alternative course of actions.

Professor Seifert makes it very clear that the new Life and Family Academy will not accept these false moral theories. He states, as follows:

Thus, against all  social or historical pressures of the spirit of our time that wants us to water down or to deny entirely the truth that there intrinsically evil acts, we in JAHLF never want to give in to such pressure and false teachings. Also we know that we should take into account in our words and writings the changed moral taste of our time, in order to reach those who live in error, but we know even more certainly that we must never compromise the truth by adapting our moral judgments to the ethical opinions dominant today, if these are false. Rather we should do everything in our power that a society that deviates most grievously from the eternal moral truth adapts itself to truth. For us, taking into account the change of social climate in which we live can only mean that we must seek new ways to make men understand and live the same old, nay eternal truths that can never change. We must adapt people to the truth, not the truth to people.

Moreover, Professor Seifert gives us even more encouraging words concerning this new voice and witness of truth when he says:

Our task in this Academy is exactly this: rejecting any of the horrible evils and errors which shape modern society and have even entered the doors of the sanctuary of the Church, by the clear exposition of, and by living, the truth about human life and the family. This entails also calling abortion murder and not interruption or termination of pregnancy, abstaining from dishonest names that obscure the truth. [emphasis added]

While thus becoming a witness for the goodness and defense of life, marriage and the family, the new Academy also points to the importance of considering each of these aspects in light of eternal life. Professor Seifert says:

The JOHN-PAUL II ACADEMY FOR HUMAN LIFE AND FAMILY likewise does not restrict its understanding of human life to mere biological human life. It recognizes and affirms the reality of the soul of man that stands at the origin of human life. Therefore, JAHLF also occupies itself, quite generally speaking, with the metaphysical and anthropological foundations of ethical truth. [emphasis added]

As Seifert explains, the new Academy will “likewise explore the ultimate value of human life residing in eternal life” and it will thus counter a materialist world-view which merely discusses these matters on natural terms. Yet, when we consider sinful acts – such as divorce and abortion – as mere natural evils, we omit that these acts also threaten the life of sanctifying grace in our souls, thus endangering the salvation of souls. As the Austrian philosopher puts it, while considering

the relation of human life to God and eternal life, and their link to ethical questions such as euthanasia, infertility treatment, artificial insemination, etc., this Academy will in like manner address those moral dimensions of human and medical action that can only be understood when relating human life, moral life, and eternal life to God.[emphasis added]

The President of the new academy highlights that non-Catholic experts may also be invited as members, but that the foundation has to be the Catholic moral teaching based on Revelation, as well as the natural law which is recognizable by natural reasoning. Topics will also include the brain death debate, the moral and spiritual dimension of palliative and hospice care for the dying, and “those ways of caring for the old, the sick, and the dying that are linked to religious dimensions of the moral life revealed through Christ, especially in the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount and the sacraments.”

Let us thus welcome with joy this new voice of Moral Truth as presented at today’s Humanae Vitae Conference, as graciously permitted by Voice of the Family. Let us end here with the final words of Professor Josef Seifert’s longer presentation of the new Academy:

The Academy’s aim is to clarify, to teach, and to spread that part of the truth about man and about God that serves human life and the natural family, and, through serving these, serve and glorifies God.

Today, 28 October, an encouraging piece of news comes to us. At the Conference on Humanae Vitae which takes place in Rome, at the Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas, and which was organized by the lay organization Voice of the Family, Professor Josef Seifert – a former member of the recently reformed Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) – presented the newly founded John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family (JAHLF). Seifert is the President of this new lay institution which has been established independently of the Church’s structures. The new Academy aims at continuing the good aspects of the work which was once done by the now-changed Pontifical Academy for Life, as well as by the newly-reformed John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

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