Category Archives: Politics

Big changes in Melbourne archdiocese – who knows about it?

From the website Melbourne Faithful:

‘On 22 May 2021, Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli announced that the Melbourne Archdiocese would be undergoing a radical and wholesale restructure – converting 209 parishes into 50 to 60 Missions. The Archbishop has called this restructure “Take the Way of the Gospel”. The Archbishop’s hope is that the restructure will bring vitality back to our parishes.’

See the rest here…

‘Sister’ Nathalie Becquart – symbol of the Church’s future?

Nathalie Becquart is a member of the French order Xavière Sisters. estasblished in 1921, thus one hundred years old. The order is (to quote) ‘achored in the St Ignatius of Loyola’s Spirituality and rooted in his spiritual exercises’ (my translation.) I have had a look at their website.

From the description, you would think it a traditional female religious order. But the description of a traditional religious order is in stark contrast with the many photos of a joyous group of women in full colourful mufti – all smartly coordinated. Hardly a reflection of Ignatian spirituality, if your mind works according to usual associations, and if you have a traditional conception of the Ignatian exercises. But the person of Ms Becquart raises for me a far more chilling contrast than aspects of clothing.

Sr. Nathalie Becquart, a member of the Xavière Sisters in France, is one of the two new undersecretaries for the Vatican's office of the Synod of Bishops, appointed Feb. 6 by Pope Francis.

Sr Becquart has recently been in Australia to talk about – or rather give a pep talk to followers of her very particular vision of the Church. Bergoglio appointed Becquart as one of two new undersecretaries for the Vatican’s office of the Synod of Bishops. This is a powerful position in Begoglio’s ecclesial vision, so it’s useful to know Sister’s thoughts on the Church, synodality, and all that.

Well, we get an unambiguous view inside sister’s head in an interview she gave to Global Sisters Report: a Project of National Catholic Reporter. The interview is titled: Q & A with Sr. Nathalie Becquart: Upcoming synod could ‘turn a clerical church into a synodal church’.

Continue reading ‘Sister’ Nathalie Becquart – symbol of the Church’s future?

The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia – whose idea was it?

The first sessions of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will take place between 3 and 10 October 2021. There has been a great deal of chatter about the Council within Church circles, Indeed, the rhetoric about ‘deep listening’ and ‘discernment’ and the ‘Synodal Church’ has been thrashed to death. But who started all this? Where did it all come from?

Well, Barb Fraze for (liberal) online CRUX tells us the originator was Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who recently announced his support for a separatist voice of Aboriginals in the Australian Constitution. Coleridge, a Francis devotee, is a supporter of such progressive causes.

In 2015, the archbishop was attending the Synod of bishops in Rome when he was illuminated by what seemed to him ‘the work of the Holy Spirit.’ Why not a Plenary Council for the Church in Australia in which the Synod’s mode of ‘discernment’ could be put into action ?

And so, it came to pass that after much organisational work, the first sessions of the Plenary Council were set for early October (3-10 Oct.) Barb Fraze projects much enthusiasm about the Plenary Council’s prospects, no doubt shared by Archbishop Coleridge and the organisers. But let me focus on several important elements in Ms Fraze’s report.

First, the Plenary Council will not be any old Council with a lot of boring unapproachable clerics, adding more bricks to the fortress of clericalism. No, it will involve the laity – women, the young and other marginalised people.

Second, it will be synodal in form. ‘Synodality’, says Fraze, is a buzzword these days in Catholic circles.’ It certainly is. But don’t pass over the word too quickly. Synodality, announced Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, quoting Francis, ‘is not so much about deeper reflection on this or that theme as it is about learning a new way of living as church’ and this deep reflection is to be “marked at every level by mutual listening and by a pastoral attitude, especially when faced with the temptations of clericalism and rigidity.”

There you have it – the glorious new church, ripped from the ruins of clericalism, sexual abuse, and people lost in stone-age ‘rigidity’. The rigid ones are to be counselled and failing counselling are to be cast into the darkness where they will not interrupt the free and open dialogue of discernment and deep listening.

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In Plenary Council, Australians search for ‘a new way of living as church’

By Barb Fraze Sep 26, 2021 Catholic News Service.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the listening and dialogue phase of the Australian Catholic Church’s Plenary Council, 220,000 Australians answered the question, “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”

In 2015, Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge was asking himself something similar. Australia was in the midst of a government-mandated investigation into sexual abuse in the church. Australian Catholics were leaving the church.

The Brisbane archbishop was at the Vatican, attending the Synod of Bishops on the family. It was there he had an idea that “seemed to me at the time and still seems to me the work of the Holy Spirit.”

“For the first time — certainly at a Roman synod — I saw discernment in action,” Coleridge wrote earlier this year. “It was messy and unpredictable; at the halfway mark it looked very unlikely that we would achieve anything worth achieving. Yet at the end we did produce something which wasn’t the last word, but which was a real contribution to the ongoing journey of the church.

Read the rest here…

Book awards for theological works

The Australian Catholic University proudly announced that two of their theologians scored the ATF Literary Trust Theological Book Prize for 2021. They are Fr Ormond Rush and Dr David Newheiser.

Here’s what the ACU said about Fr Rush’s book, The Vision of Vatican
II: Its Fundamental Principles
.

“‘It is difficult to overestimate the magnitude of the achievement of Ormond Rush’s Vision of Vatican II. The author offers a remarkable tour de force of the theological and ecclesial principles the author discerns in the documents, background and fundamental vision of Vatican II. Rush does this from the vantage point of half a century of critical engagement, reflection and reception within the wider ecumenical Church. Combining a breadth and depth of scholarship with creativity and insight the author provides a foundational theological resource not simply for students and theologians of Vatican II but for all who would seek to understand some of the great themes that have preoccupied the hearts and minds of Christians in the 20th and 21st century.”

And Dr Heiser’s book, Hope in a Secular Age:

In a post structuralist environment in which the meaning of language is dissipated by multi layered critical analysis Newheiser undertakes a defence of the central Christian idea of hope.

“In an informed and sophisticated manner Newheiser interrogates the resources of the rich tradition of Christian mystical thought. The ‘darkness of unknowing’ in the mystical tradition (Dionysius) and in post-modern notions of deferral (Derrida) provides Newheiser with parameters to engage in the meaningful development of Christian
language in a contemporary context. This fine exegetical and philosophical study offers a highly original, insightful and persuasive account of a hope that is at once ethical, political and spiritual.”

Let me guess. In these (for most people) impenetrable works, there won’t be too much reference to classical realist epistemology and metaphysics, or to Christian Aristotelianism. Behind Derrida and such companions we may sniff the sour odour of Hegel and Marx.

The process of fitting a square peg into a round hole goes on.

Historical vision of Archbishop Lefebvre

This film, in French, (see HERE) shows an interview with the great Archbishop Lefebvre defending the traditional Church of the millennia. It is only in recent years that it is has become frighteningly clear how right and prophetic the archbishop was. But could even he have imagined that by 2021 the prospect of female ordination would be staring the Church in the face? Could he have imagined a pope in the vanguard to such radical change? Perhaps he did. Perhaps his vision was so clear that he saw it in the distance if the dissenters were not contained. Equally it is becoming obvious that the SSPX presents the last line of defence against the heretical assault on the Mass of the ages.

Fr Joseph Ratzinger and the Second Vatican Council

The debate about the Second Vatican Council has not ceased. If anything, the scrutiny of the course of the Council, its participants, and its documents is a strong as ever. Below is an article on a book that has recently been released.

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RORATE EXCLUSIVE—New biography describes great influence of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger in Vatican II

Rorate is pleased to publish the following article by Dr. Maike Hickson, in which she summarizes the information on (then Father and peritus) Joseph Ratzinger’s involvement in the Council as detailed in Seewald’s magisterial biography, the first volume of which will be released in English on December 15. While some of these facts are already well-known, they have never been presented with as much detail and coherence as Seewald offers. Hickson worked from both the original German edition and the forthcoming English translation. In publishing this critique, we acknowledge at the same time how indebted we are to Ratzinger/Benedict XVI for taking crucial and countercultural steps on behalf of the restoration of the authentic Roman liturgy.

RORATE CÆLI: RORATE EXCLUSIVE—New biography describes great influence of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger in Vatican II (rorate-caeli.blogspot.com)

The Crisis in the Church

Archbishop Vigano, Pope Francis’s most outspoken critic, recently raised serious questions about the Second Vatican Council. He has joined a long line of critics over the years, with Archbishop Lefebvre of the Society of St Pius X at the forefront. Archbishop Vigano has followed Archbishop Lefebvre in demanding the documents of the Council be jettisoned and the Church start again, with Traditional belief the starting point.

I follow St John Paul II and Benedict XVI in their interpretation of the Council documents. The documents should be read in the light of Tradition – according to the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’. Any apparent ambiguities are resolved by placing them in the teaching of what went before Vatican II. There have been a number of crucial documents following the Council that have corrected the alleged ambiguities.

The collapse of the Church after the Council was due to the adoption of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’, which ignored the documents and created a whole new church, which was the stated aim of its promoters. The so-called ‘spirit’ prevailed politically, not doctrinally. The overthrow of the Traditional Church was a political victory.

The political forces for the new church were tightly organised before the start of the Council. On the 11th of October 1962, the opening of the Council, they went into operation. Their political manoeuvring and manipulation steamrolled the thoroughly unprepared Traditionalists, those defending the centuries-old Church. Several years’ work in the preparatory documents were tossed out and a new start made, at the head of which were some of the most notorious dissenters in the years following the Council. Indeed, it was only the intervention of Pope St Paul VI at critical points that stopped the Council tipping over the edge into heresy.

My thesis that the Second Vatican Council was primarily a political contest is grounded largely on Fr Ralph Wiltgen’s THE RHINE FLOWs INTO THE TIBER, reissued in 1978 as THE INSIDE STORY OF VATICAN II, and Roberto de Mattei’s magisterial THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL (AN UNWRITTEN STORY). There is also my experience of the Council and its aftermath. I was sixteen in 1962 and nineteen when the 1960s cultural revolution and the student rebellion exploded on the West in 1965. The Council wrapped up in December 1965.

In a very informative discussion of the Council, Patrick Coffin interviews Dr Ralph Martin about his new book A CHURCH IN CRISIS: PATHWAYS FORWARD. The discussion gives depth to my views. Highly recommended.

Raph Martin’s new book is available on Amazon.

The best liars are the most convincing liars

‘The High Court decision did not repudiate the former choirboy, with both Cardinal Pell’s senior counsel, Bret Walker, SC, and Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, QC, agreeing in their submissions to the court that he was a credible, believable witness.’

These are words from a (5 Oct) report by Adam Cooper of Melbourne’s Age newspaper whose delirious anti-Catholic bigotry tops all others.

There are two obvious points to make about Cooper’s claim.

The first is a question of logic. It does not follow that because Bret Walker, SC, and Kerri Judd, QC, agreed that the choirboy was a ‘credible, believable witness’ that the choirboy was not lying. Cooper evidently does not see it.

Nor does it follow from this mutual agreement that the ‘High Court did not repudiate the former choirboy.’ Both assertions or premises are unconnected. This is another example of the sloppy reasoning in a hostile media that runs through all the reporting on the Pell case. Indeed, tight logical reasoning is not a priority of most Age reporters who have their political prejudices to promote.

Continue reading The best liars are the most convincing liars