Torch of The Faith News on Friday 19 August 2016
A Crisis of Some Depth
When one studies the Catholic news this week, it is easy to see that the foxes are abroad in the chicken house. Indeed, it is hard not to come to the conclusion that they have been deliberately placed in control of the chickens. At this stage in the game, only those who are willfully blind can deny this.
One of the things that helped me to discover more of the real depth of the crisis facing the Church, was studying the life and times of the great Cardinal Josef Mindszenty of Hungary, about 10 years ago.
Cardinal Mindszenty was without a doubt one of the greatest men of the 20th-Century. He was described by the late Cardinal John Carmel Heenan as ”the St. Thomas More of modern Europe”. At great cost to his own personal freedom and security, Mindszenty uncompromisingly stood up for the rights of Christ and His Church against the cruel oppressions of the Communist regime.
In association with this courageous stance, Cardinal Mindszenty also resisted the atheistic sex education programmes that were designed to weaken the pillars of the family and the Church; and which flowed like so much sewage from the Communist state.
As such, it is simply amazing that Cardinal Mindszenty’s cause for canonization has never been given the very highest priority. But you see, Cardinal Mindzsenty was sacrificed and forced to live out his life in exile by the Vatican policy of Ostpolitik that was being pursued by Pope Paul VI.
In his later years, the great cardinal-prince of the Church reflected that, in faithfully travelling his difficult path to the end, he had arrived at complete and total exile. Even when he died, it seems that no official Church representative from the top of the Church was present at Cardinal Mindszenty’s funeral.
To be honest, studying Cardinal Josef Mindszenty’s life and times took me to places that I would rather have not gone in my understanding of the crisis in the Church. It meant that I had to face some very hard truths and ask myself some very deep questions. In the process, my love for the True Faith was greatly deepened and I came to regard Cardinal Josef Mindszenty as one of the greatest heroes in the Faith. I also came to have a much deeper grasp of the issues facing the Church and society in these perilous times. Thanks be to God.
Peering Further Down the Rabbit Hole
One of the things that ongoing study brought to my attention was the interview given by the respected philosopher Alice von Hildebrand to the Latin Mass Magazine in 2001.
Whilst acknowledging the key achievements of Pope Paul VI, von Hildebrand carefully highlighted the fact that his predecessor Pope Pius XII – the pope who had made Mindszenty a cardinal – had expressly forbidden his Vatican staff from dealing directly with Moscow. This restriction was established in light of the looming threat posed by atheistic Communism in the years following the Second World War.
According to Alice von Hildebrand, a rift came between Pope Pius XII and his Undersecretary of State, Bishop Montini (who later became Pope Paul VI), when Pius XII received incontrovertible evidence that Montini had been corresponding directly with various Soviet agencies, against the express orders of the Supreme Pontiff.
Both Popes Pius XI and Pius XII had been sending priests clandestinely into Soviet Russia to minister to the persecuted Catholics there. Every one of these priests had been systematically arrested, tortured, and either executed or sent to the gulags.
In time, a Vatican mole was discovered: a Jesuit called Alighiero Tondi. A close advisor to Bishop Montini, Tondi turned out to be an agent working for Josef Stalin. Tondi’s undercover work for the Soviets included keeping them informed of the priests being secreted behind the Iron Curtain.
In the final analysis, Alice von Hildebrand noted: ”God alone is the judge of Paul VI. But it cannot be denied that his pontificate was a very complex and tragic one.”
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong: A rare voice against the rise of a new Ostpolitik – this time being pursued with Communist China.
I’ve been thinking of Cardinal Mindszenty and the shadowy intrigues of Ostpolitik again this week in light of Sandro Magister’s report about Pope Francis’ preparations to grant the Communist authorities the privilege of selecting new bishops to rule over the Church in China.
As Magister recounts, there are 109 Catholic bishops in China. Among these, there are 8 who have been consecrated at the behest of the Communist authorities and have never received the Pope’s approval, thereby incurring the penalty of automatic excommunication. Magister suggests that a couple of these Communistic bishops even have lovers and children…
And yet, it seems that these excommunicated and Communist-friendly bishops are to receive a pardon from Pope Francis; in a development which will also grant Communist authorities the ability to choose candidates to be the new Catholic bishops in the future.
The faithful Cardinal Joseph Zen has risen his voice in protest against these disturbing developments: pointing out the injustice of keeping him in the dark about the negotiations; and describing the unexpected appointment of Bishop Savio Hon Taifai from Rome to the Pacific island of Guam as an ”exile” of one who ”must be a nuisance” to those ruling in Rome today.
Whilst the situation of the Catholic Church in Communist China is undoubtedly complex, it must be remembered that Pope Benedict XVI consistently held the line that a Church led by Communist-appointed bishops, who lacked any kind of papal approval, was ”irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine.
As such, the present regime-friendly Church led by 8 excommunicated bishops stands in sharp contrast to the ”underground” Church, which operates clandestinely and suffers from oppression, surveillance, arrests and abductions. In spite of these sufferings, or maybe because of them, the true Catholic Church in China continues to grow and flourish every year.
As well as fearing for the impact of Pope Francis’ negotiations on the nature of the Church, one must really fear for the safety and well-being of those Catholics who have suffered for decades to remain faithful to the Holy See. Like many in the days of Pope Francis, they must feel that the foxes are being let in to rule the chicken roost.
Raul Castro (again)…
We have already said much about our concerns regarding Pope Francis’ closeness with the mass-murdering Communist Raul Castro of Cuba.
Spookily, especially given Raul’s Communist background, Sandro Magister suggests that Pope Francis had hoped to meet with Beijing’s President Xi Jinping during one of the papal journeys (!) to Cuba last year. Although it was hoped that the meeting would take place on US soil, it remains an interesting point of note.
Raul Castro’s name comes up in association with Pope Francis in another piece of troubling news this week.
Tradition in Action has translated an article from the Spanish Apuntes de Destaque Internacional, which was originally written by Javier Gonzalez. This explains that Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has just returned from a meeting with dictator Raul Castro and the Marxist FARC guerillas in Havana.
This meeting has accorded security to the FARC rebels as they transition from an armed militia to a peaceful political party. However, as part of the deal, Colombia’s Santos has ordered the close to 1,300 Cubans, who had fled from the Communist prison island of Cuba to Colombia, that they must either escape into the hostile and dangerous Darien jungle or face forced deportation back to Cuba.
Gonzales concludes his article with the words: ”Meanwhile, Pope Francis, who during his visit to Cuba promised to go to Colombia if the ”peace” agreement with the FARC is signed and who has spoken so often on the rights of migrants, has remained silent on the drama of those more than a thousand Cubans who are about to be returned to the prison island of Cuba… The words of the Pope and his ”politically correct” positions always favour the migrants. Do they not apply to Cubans fleeing Communism?”
It must be said that Pope Francis’ constant calls for Europe to welcome ever more Muslim immigrants – regardless of the religious, economic and social pressures, and even the dangers from terrorist infiltration – have left some people feeling that they have been left like chickens to the foxes. And those Cubans who have fled to Colombia for a better life must feel like they are being abandoned to the foxes too; albeit in an opposite manner.
Ariel Alvarez Valdes
The Argentine Fr. Ariel Alvarez Valdes in the days when he still made the effort to look something like a Catholic priest. He also seems to be making that unusual diamond hand-sign too…
The Eponymous Flower reports that Pope Francis has recently rehabilitated the heterodox Fr. Ariel Alvarez Valdes. And this without any public repentance or reparation being made by Valdes…
He had originally been censored and had his teaching licence revoked after refusing to correct any of his nine theses which had been contested by the CDF. Valdes has long been a representative in Chile of the biblical rationalism inspired by the Lutheran Rudolf Bultmann. His rehabilitation by Francis, without having to recant any of his heterodox positions, must make the faithful in his neck of the woods feel like chickens left to the wolves.
So too, must those impacted by Pope Francis’ unilateral decision to restore the rebellious University of Peru as a Pontifical Catholic University. The institution had previously been denounced by Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani Thorne, then Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, for being more like a secular than a Catholic university in its doctrine and activities.
Under an investigation by Pope Benedict XVI and his representative Cardinal Peter Erdo – who, it is fascinating to note, is Archbishop of Cardinal Mindszenty’s former See of Esztergom-Budapest – the university was stripped of its recognitions as a ”Papal” and ”Catholic” university. This was because it failed to comply within a given time to the requirements established in the 1990 papal document Ex Corde Ecclesiae.
Those orthodox Catholic students in Peru who observe this unilateral rehabilitation must now feel like so many chickens in a fox-infested chicken house…
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia: The future’s so bright, He’s gotta wear shades… The rest of us feel like the shade has only descended even more on Christian civilization because of his recent papal appointments.
We already noted yesterday the travesty of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia being appointed by Pope Francis to head up the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
Paglia’s un-Catholic ”sex-ed” programme, his promotion of the sacrilegious Kasper proposal and his friendy overtures to homosexualists all contrast with the approach taken by the John Paul II Institute’s former president Msgr. Livio Melina.
The outgoing president was a clear advocate of traditional teaching, who reminded the world that remarried divorcees who are not living as brother and sister cannot receive Holy Communion.
The John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family was known as a solid defender of its namesake’s teachings in this area. That made it particularly troubling when so many of its scholars were excluded from Pope Francis’ ”inclusive” Synods of 2014 and 2015.
In light of the latest developments, these professors and students too must feel themselves to be like chickens being led by foxes.
As some orthodox commentators have noted with regret: With the appointment of Vincent Paglia, the 45 theologians who wrote to Pope Francis about the problems in Amoris Laetitia have received their answer…
Also, as reports reveal today, the homosexualist homily of Archbishop Nunzio Galantino at World Youth Day, the homo-erotic ”stations of the cross” and Pope Francis’ misleading off-the-cuff words about God preferring us when we are weak and sinful, clearly did nothing to preserve the souls of the dozens of World Youth Day participants who had registered themselves on the homosexual hook-up site ”Grindr” during their time in Krakow…
Bad theology always has practical ramifications.
An Appropriate Piece of Art…
When the late Cardinal Lopez Trujillo defended the traditional teachings on the family, during those far-off and blessed years that he headed up the Pontifical Council for the Family, he placed a bronze statue of David outside of his study.
He did this so that he would be reminded each day that God would help the Church to fight the Culture of Death in the same way that he had helped little David to fight and slay the giant Goliath, before becoming King.
Perhaps, in the days of Francis it can seem that the giant has now taken us all prisoner and is lording it over us. In that sense, Archbishop Paglia might be more inclined to replace the David imagery with something to represent Homer’s depiction of Odysseus and the Cyclops! Still, even the Cyclops was defeated in the end.
On the other hand, the above oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Huet from 1766 might be more appropriate.
For surely, the academies on life, marriage and family have gone to the dogs…
Let us not ever forget that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was led like a lamb to the slaughter before His definitive victory over the forces behind death and evil. Whatever happens in the times ahead: Keep the Faith!