Lepanto Institute: Your Catholic Week in Review (Malta Edition!)

Lepanto Institute: Your Catholic Week in Review (Malta Edition!)

Michael Hichborn

I want to start with this. I want to have tremendous hope in the pontificate of Pope Francis, I really do.

Catholics around the world know that the church is in the grips of a postmodern age and the postmodern sins that come with it: nihilism, acedia, sloth, laziness, and an adoption of the forms of the Catholic Faith without holding the creed of Mother Church at heart.

The Latin root for heart is cor — and if there is one thing Catholics have lost in the postmodern age, it is this core of our faith.

Too many no longer believe in the sacraments, or worse, believe that the form of the sacraments alone save. Without Christ — without the Church — there is no possibility of salvation.

The bureaucracy that has enveloped the Catholic Church and bent it towards the political has done so in almost every facet of the Church’s public ministry: social justice, charity, missions, education, and even within our universities — particularly felt in the United States.

If is for this reason that Pope Saint John Paul the Great gave us Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and our current crisis perhaps can be viewed in the light of how JP II viewed the role of the university and its duties in the new evangelization. John Paul II quotes Paul VI at length, and for good reason. You see, a Catholic university must be “in the world, not of it” (1 Peter 2:11), bearing a duty not only to evangelize, but to do so to a secular audience where dialogue and encounter with the Christian world is unknown.

Evangelization is not done in a vacuum. Our Catholic identity is no mere rationalization of the mind, nor is it an accumulation of rules to produce a desired outcome. Our Catholic identity is a faith, something no mathematician can crack or any ideologue can manufacture. Like Christ, our faith was meant to be bloody, meant to reject the Pharisees and the pagans alike.

There is a reason why the world attacks the Catholic Church as it does. There is a reason why the world begs the Catholic Church to accommodate, to compromise, to kneel before the times in the illusion that postmodern man can master the world.

Worse than an illusion, this mastery of the world through proportionalist sentiment is centered on a lie — perhaps the oldest lie there is.

While the world is looking for shortcuts to holiness — whether it is at our Catholic universities, among our so-called Catholic bureaucrats, the abnegation of our duties, or a proportionalist siren that asks us to dash the Bark of St. Peter against the rocks of the world — we must rely on the Rock of St. Peter to anchor the Catholic Faith when so much is at stake and Our Lady of Fatima’s 100th anniversary draws near.

This brings us to the news that the Vatican — in an oblique way — is targeting Cardinal Burke through media channels regarding the release of a senior member of the Order of Malta. The UK Tablet is perhaps the most direct in their suggestions:

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who has threatened to formally correct the Pope unless his “dubia” receive a response, is now facing some scrutiny of his own after the sacking of a senior Knight of Malta, Albrecht von Boeselager, in a row about the distribution of condoms.

Now that Pope Francis has set up an inquiry into the matter Cardinal Burke has the following questions to answer: on what grounds did he claim the Holy See’s authority in dismissing Boeselager? Did he consult anyone inside the Vatican before Boeselager was dismissed? Did he consult Pope Francis? And if not, why not?

The UK Tablet’s Christopher Lamb informs his readers that an “internal investigation” concluded that the Order of Malta was indeed involved in a condom-distribution schematic, and that it ended the practice three years ago.

Small problem — the condom distribution was merely swept under the rug. That’s right — it continued in 2014… 2015… and 2016… and all under the direct observation of a Malteser International directed grant.

Just yesterday, the Lepanto Institute unveiled our first of what will be a series of reports, this one specifically addressing Malteser International and what our investigators discovered.

You can read our full findings and watch the videos by clicking on the image above, or by clicking here.

Now here’s what is curious about the matter. Why does the UK Tablet link these findings to the dubia signed by Cardinal Burke et al. and other bishops who have lent their names to the project?

More disconcertingly — why??

One of two possibilities is that (a) the Vatican — or someone in the Vatican — is lashing out at Burke and attempting to undermine his moral position regarding the dubia. This is altogether probable given the relationship La Civilta Cattolica’s editor, Fr Antonio Spadaro has with outlets such as the UK Tablet and others in Catholic media circles… and Spadaro’s track record on Twitter manufacturing news stories in order to influence those close to the Holy Father (and his negative disposition towards Cardinal Burke) is altogether well known.

There is a second possiblity. that (b) Cardinal Burke is outlining a very specific and precise problem with the current confusion concerning Amoris Laetitia — one that is being taken advantage of by organizations such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Caritas International, and now Malteser International.

…or perhaps it is both?

From the words of Cardinal Burke himself and his interview earlier this week on EWTN:

We have to remember, the criterion here is the truth. There have been cases, for instance, take for example the case of Henry VIII and his desire to be able to enter a second marriage without having his first marriage declared null—all of the bishops of England except St. John Fisher went along with the error, but St. John Fisher is the saint because he defended the truth. And all of us in the Church who are cardinals, bishops, we have the responsibility to defend the truth; whether we seem to be numerous or we seem to be very few doesn’t make any difference. It’s the truth of Christ which has to be taught.

For what did the English martyrs die if the dubia goes unanswered? What answer will we have for them if the Kasperian interpretation of Amoris Laetitia lingers — much less prevails?

Either way, the Lepanto Institute will be responding to the false assertions presented by the UK Tablet and others next week, which we are certain will be of interest to both investigators and reporters.

One last note? What should interest folks here is the disposition of both camps. Cardinal Burke appears very calm, assertive, and in control of his senses… while the bureaucrats huddled around the “reform of the reform” seem quite willing to dispense with invective, Twitter “sock puppets” and direct attacks — even through surrogates in the media if they must.

Back to our earlier point, true Catholic evangelization must come from the heart — not a set of rules or rationalization in pursuit of a mere agenda… and by their fruits, ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16)

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3 comments on “Lepanto Institute: Your Catholic Week in Review (Malta Edition!)

  1. Claire Chretien

    Knights of Malta rebuff Vatican: Investigation of our ‘internal’ matters is ‘unacceptable’

    December 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Knights of Malta have responded to the news that the Vatican will be investigating the firing of one of its top officials for overseeing the distribution of contraception by saying it’s an internal matter that “falls solely within” the Order’s “competence.”

    According to a statement from the Grand Magistry of the Sovereign Order of Malta, “The replacement of the former Grand Chancellor is an act of internal governmental administration of the Sovereign Order of Malta and consequently falls solely within its competence.”

    The Order has been in the news recently after one of top-ranking officials, Albrecht von Boeselager, violated his vow of obedience by refusing to resign after it was revealed he had overseen the distribution of contraception in developing countries through the order’s charity, Malteser International. Von Boeselager’s refusal to resign allowed the Order to take disciplinary action against him.

    The Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil.

    Then, on Thursday, Pope Francis announced he was launching an investigation into the situation. The Times of Malta reported that the investigation was rumored to be focused less on the condom scandal and more on the process that led to von Boeselager’s sacking.

    Hours later, the Lepanto Institute released NGO documents proving that Malteser International distributed not only condoms but also oral contraceptives.

    “The decision made by the Holy See to appoint a group of five persons to shed light on the replacement of the former Grand Chancellor…is the result of a misunderstanding by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See,” it said.

    The Order said its Grand Master “respectfully clarified the situation yesterday evening in a letter to the Supreme Pontiff, laying out the reasons why the suggestions made by the Secretariat of State were unacceptable.”

    “He assured the Holy Father of his filial devotion and asked the Pontiff for the Apostolic Blessing, both for him and for the Sovereign Order of Malta, its 13,500 members and its 100,000 staff and volunteers who continue to provide a permanent and efficient hospitaller presence in more than 120 countries in the world according to the centuries-old charism of the Order of Malta,” the statement concluded.

  2. [Hat-tip to PewSitter: “Well Known Vatican Expert Calls The Pope’s appointed person to investigate Order of Malta a ‘fake commissioner'”]

    The Pope and Malta: a fake commissioner

    Google translation of www.corrispondenzaromana.it/il-papa-e-malta-un-commissariamento-fasullo/

    The Pope Commissioner the Order of Malta?

    Roberto de Mattei on The Time, December 24, 2016

    The commissioner of the strategy certainly like to Pope Francis, who has already taken this draconian measure against two religious institutions he considered too “traditional”: the Franciscans and the religious of the Incarnate Word. It is no coincidence that the announcement of a committee to “gather evidence likely to fully inform and quickly to the Holy See on the matter that has recently affected the Grand Chancellor, Mr Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager” It was given by the Vatican Press Office on December 22, just as Pope Bergoglio turned traditional Christmas greetings to the Curia in a harsh rebuke against those who resist to its radical change project of the Church, with implicit reference to Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Order of Malta. But in this case, the commissioner of the tool just is not possible.

    The Pope and Malta: a fake commissioner

    Explains Don Fabrizio Turriziani Column in a documented study dedicated to sovereignty and independence in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2006), Order of Malta and the Holy See are placed opposite one another as subjects of international law and then in a position of mutual independence. The Order of Malta has in fact a dual legal personality, in terms of canon law, the subordinates to the Holy See, but the level of international law ensures the independence from it. The fact that the Order of Malta entertain diplomatic relations with 94 states and has an ambassador to the Holy See, said that, in a certain context, relationships are on an equal footing. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is, in a word, a sovereign state, albeit without territory, jealous of its autonomy and its prerogatives. In nine centuries of history, the Knights of Malta were covered with glory, shedding their blood for the Church, but conflicts with the Holy See are not missed. The last, narrated by Roger Peyrefitte (Chevaliers de Malte, Flammarion, Paris 1957), it was the second world war of the twentieth century, when the Order was able to foil the attempt of merger with the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. The standoff ended in 1953 with the judgment of a court that Cardinals He recognized the sovereignty of the Order of Malta, while affirming its dependence on the Holy See with regard to the religious life of the knights. The Order of Malta accepted the judgment, conditioning it to a few points: 1) recognition of his rights arising as a subject of international law; 2) the limitation of the Order’s religious dependence solely professed knights and chaplains; 3) the exclusion of a subjection to the Vatican Secretariat of State. The competence of the Holy See does not concern the internal government and international Order, but is limited to the strictly religious.

    At this point one might imagine that the Pope, as there were deviations of doctrinal and moral order among the riders, has decided to take action to redress the situation. What happened instead? Having come to light that Boeselager, during the period when it was the Grand Hospitaller of the Order, had abused his power by promoting the distribution of tens of thousands of condoms and contraceptives, including abortion (as documented by the program module of the report United Nations HIV / AIDS in Myanmar), the Grand Master Matthew Festing intervened to put an end to the scandal and asked Boeselager to resign, calling the vow of obedience they have performed. The Grand Chancellor of his strong friendship with the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and the recent appointment of his brother Georg in the board of the IOR, has arrogantly rejected the request, claiming his Catholic behavior “liberal.”

    The creation by the Secretariat of State of a five-member fact-finding group, all more or less linked to Boeselager, constitutes a serious case of interference in the administration of the Order. The Holy See should only watch over the religious life through Cardinal patron, which is the Cardinal Burke, appointed by the same Pope Francis. The Pope has every right to obtain information about the internal affairs of the Order, but it is amicable that this is done through a commission that crosses the papal representative, unless you want to place the latter under indictment. A cardinal, however, can only be judged by his peers and not by Vatican bureaucrats. Equally improper is entrusted to a Vatican commission judgment on events that affect not the religious life, but the government of the Order, putting on trial, in this case, the Grand Master. So well it did the latter to reject the work of the Committee bogus.

    Unfortunately it is not just fake the procedure, but above all the judgment on the merits, by the Vatican authorities. Who, in defiance of the Church’s Magisterium, it promotes contraception and abortion, and violates their votes, now deserves to be rehabilitated. Those who defend the Church’s teaching and the moral integrity of the institutions to which it belongs, is instead accused of “malevolent resistance” to the Holy Father and ends up in the dock. It is hoped that react Knights. At stake is the Order of Malta’s sovereignty, but also its unbroken tradition of defense of the Catholic faith and morals.

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