Category Archives: General

General discussion and articles that don’t fit into any other category.

Bishop defends Church teaching after priest calls out pro-gay Catholic school foundation

Lisa Bourne

Bishop defends Church teaching after priest calls out pro-gay Catholic school foundation

GREAT FALLS, Montana, April 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Montana bishop is standing by Church teaching on homosexuality and marriage in a controversy triggered after one of his priests pointed out on social media how a Catholic school fundraiser was publicizing a gay couple as event co-chairs.

Any group affiliated with the Catholic Church needs to adhere to Church teaching, Great Falls-Billings Bishop Michael Warfel told LifeSiteNews, including those serving in a leadership position. read more

Alfie’s flight to Rome denied

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018, #3
Alfie’s Final Chapter?

Breaking, 12 midnight, London time:

In a chillingly unemotional, detached ruling this evening by Great Britain’s High Court, the hopes of Alfie Evans‘ parents to have Alfie flown to Italy to try a potentially different regime of medical care were dashed.

Great Britain’s highest legal authorities four hours ago rejected a request by Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20,  to be allowed to take Alfie from the Liverpool hospital, where he now is, and bring him to the Bambino GesuCatholic children’s hospital in Rome, Italy, just a few hundred yards from Vatican City.

Lawyers representing the family had applied to fly Alfie — who has now been breathing on his own for more than 24 hours, since being removed by hospital authorities last night from mechanical breathing tubes — to Italy.

But the High Court ruled against the request.

The judge, Mr Justice Hayden, called his ruling the “final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy.”

The judge indicated that it might be possible for Alfie to receive care at home “for his final days or hours.”

But a member of the hospital staff said that moving patients home “does not happen overnight,” only after extensive consideration and discussion.

So Alfie may very well now die in the hospital without ever going home.

A question: how can the judge consider permitting the child to leave the hospital and go home, but forbid allowing him to leave Engand and go to Italy — especially now that the child is an Italian citizen (the Italian government granted Alfie Italian citizenship in an extraordinary move yesterday morning)?

The answer is not clear.

The basis for the decision not to allow the boy to leave England seems to be the argument that, since Alfie’s condition is, in the opinion of medical experts, “incurable,” any treatment other than the hospital’s “end of life care plan” would be entirely experimental and not based on accepted protocols,  thus harmful to the child’s dignity.

In other words, the court, persuaded that there is “no hope” in Alfie’s case, is arguing that the parents’ wishes (who up until now have still had hope), must be over-ruled.

The court is insisting that the parents accept that Alfie receive only the hospital’s “end of life care plan” and then, with dignity, die.

How many more hours or days Alfie will be able to live under this “end of life care plan” is not clear.

Estimates vary widely, from a few more hours to many days.

But there seems little doubt now that — as the judge himself said — that this is the “final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy.”

Here is a link to a report on the case, with photos (link).

And here is a Lifesitenews report on the case (link).

A statement from the Liverpool hospital reads:

This evening the High Court again ruled that it is in Alfie’s best interests to continue with the end of life care plan developed by the clinical team who have cared for him throughout.

“Our top priority therefore remains in ensuring Alfie receives the care he deserves to ensure his comfort, dignity and privacy are maintained throughout.

“This includes working closely with Kate and Tom as they spend this precious time together with him.

“We would be grateful if respect and consideration is shown to all our staff, patients and families at the hospital at this difficult time.”

The judge said: “The sad truth is that it is not the brain stem and the white matter enabling Alfie just about to sustain respiration. A brain cannot regenerate itself, as I have been told.”

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So, there now seems to be very little chance the Alfie will ever leave the Liverpool hospital where he has been for nearly a year and a half.

Only the intervention of a higher authority could overturn the decision of the courts.

That “higher authority” would seemingly have to be Parliament, or the Queen herself…

Pope Francis sent out a tweet last night, asking that the parents’ wishes to bring Alfie to Italy to try a different regime of medical care be granted, but his wishes too have been ignored.

CALIFORNIA BISHOPS RALLY CATHOLICS TO FIGHT REPARATIVE THERAPY BAN

CALIFORNIA BISHOPS RALLY CATHOLICS TO FIGHT REPARATIVE THERAPY BAN 

by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 24, 2018    5 Comments

Analysts warn radical bill could ban Bible sales

SACRAMENTO (ChurchMilitant.com) – California’s bishops are rallying the state’s Catholics to fight a proposed ban on reparative therapy for same-sex-attracted adults.

In a new action alert, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) is asking the faithful to contact lawmakers in Sacramento and speak out against Assembly Bill 2943, an amendment to the state consumer code that would outlaw “sexual orientation change efforts.”

Introduced in February by California LGBT Caucus Chair Evan Low, AB2943 seeks to modify the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), a consumer law designed to address “transactions in which a seller makes misrepresentations about the nature of a product or service.” read more

PITTSBURGH DIOCESE TO ROLL OUT PARISH-CLOSING “CLUSTERS” THIS WEEKEND

PITTSBURGH DIOCESE TO ROLL OUT PARISH-CLOSING  “CLUSTERS” THIS WEEKEND

[Another diocese downsizing! – AQ Tom]

by Trey Elmore  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 24, 2018

‘We really want to do everything we can to make the church alive’

PITTSBURGH (ChurchMilitant.com) – On Saturday, April 28, Pittsburgh Bp. David Zubik will announce the decisions of the diocese on a massive reorganization effort, involving merging 188 parishes into 48 multi-site parishes. The parish mergers and shuffling of what few priests are left will begin in October.

The restructuring initiative known as On Mission for the Church Alive! involves preparations for continuing a pattern of decline that has been ongoing in the diocese for the last several years.​ read more

Reflections on the Alfie case

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018, #2
Breaking, 6:45 p.m., London time:

Alfie is still breathing, and a helicopter is now waiting outside the Liverpool hospital where he is staying.

The helicopter is ready to carry him to a British military airport, where a plane will carry him to Rome.

But the British legal authorities have not yet decided whether to allow him to leave the hospital.

(link)

(Below, Tom Evans with his son Alfie earlier today)

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Ten Reflections on the Alfie Case

1. The courage of little Alfie.

Little Alfie Evans is still breathing on his own as of this writing, more than 20 hours after being removed from a breathing tube last night at 9:17 p.m., London time.

Whatever else now happens, Alfie has already made a statement with an exclamation point which must never be forgotten.

And that statement is: “I, little Alfie, am a fighter… to the end.”

2. The undeniable error of the doctors.

By continuing to breathe, when he was expected to die within minutes after being taken off of his respiration machinery, Alfie has proven a point: that his doctors were, at least in this, wrong.

They underestimated his strength and will to live.

This will remain true even if Alfie succumbs and dies in the coming hours.

3. The lack of credibility of the overall diagnosis.

By insisting on their diagnosis, and then testing it by removing the respiration equipment against the parents’ wishes and even pleas — for the parents’ too believed Alfie would die in minutes when taken off the respiration machinery — the doctors have undermined their credibility also in regard to their general diagnosis of Alfie’s condition.

4. The unacceptable “dehumanization” of Alfie.

It has been written and repeated a thousand times that Alfie is in a “vegetative” state.

That “70% of his brain” has been “destroyed.”

That Alfie is, in a profound way, no longer a human being, but only, now, a “vegetable.”

Lacking the characteristic mental functions of a human being. Therefore, a “sub-human,” a being who has (tragically, perhaps, it may be admitted) “fallen beneath the threshold” of being “human” because of his illness.

This is said to be the sad but undeniable “truth” about his case.

And because this is the sad but undeniable truth, all those who do not accept the conclusion — that Alfie has already ceased to be human, and so to allow, or assist, his physical death is not in any way immoral, but only the logical (if sad) conclusion any “reasonable” person should draw — are “unreasonable,” with the implication that they are “fanatics.”

And the repetition of this affirmation, that Alfie is in an irreversible vegetative state, has led many to be persuaded that his parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, moved by the understandable — but ultimately unreasonable and excessive — love of any parent for their child, and his small “army” of defenders, are — in some fundamental way, in the final analysis — “unreasonable” people.

Unable to “accept reality.”

Unable to accept a medical “fact” that, in its most crude form, is expressed in this way: “Alfie is a vegetable, not a human being.”

And more, can never be anything other than a vegetable — can never return to being a “human being.”

This is the total “dehumanization” of Alfie that has been accomplished.

And this is one of the most horrifying aspects of this case.

Because….

5. Alfie is not a vegetable!

He is a very sick little boy… but not a vegetable… not a carrot, or a pea-pod, or a zucchini or yellow squash

He is a human boy, he has a name, and he therefore has the inalienable dignity and rights of every human being…

6. And he opens his eyes!

The impression given by much of the coverage of this story is that Alfie is lying in a coma, silent, unmoving, on the very edge of death, and has been lying in a coma for a year and a half… and that his loving parents are really unrealistic when they continue to seek ways to care for him, and possibly even to bring him back into a state of consciousness.

But this impression is not accurate!

There is a video taken by his parents just a few hours ago after the breathing apparatus was removed which shows Alfie… opening his eyes!

And looking into the eyes of his father, who is calling his name!

Is there a flicker of recognition in Alfie’s eyes, when he sees his father?

You be the judge… Here is a link to that video (link).

And there is a second video from April 20, just four days ago, showing Tom Evans talking to his son just after his flight to Rome to see Pope Francis, and showing little Alfie opening his eyes and staring, evidently with a kind of recognition (I would argue, after watching the video several times) into his father’s eyes.

Here is that video (link).

7. Vaccinations, medications for epileptic seizures, and antibiotics.

In reporting on this story, there has been relatively little coverage of three “facts”: that Alfie received

(a) “many” vaccinations and then

(b) “many” medications for “epileptic seizures” and finally

(c) “many” courses of antibiotics for infections.

This issue, for context, requires a brief recapitulation of Alfie’s entire situation from a medical perspective.

There is a summary of questions and answers about the medical issues in this case printed in the Liverpool Echo on February 24, two months ago. Here is a link to that story (link).

And here is that story, which is worth reading in full.

There is a brief introduction, then a series of questions and answers. The answers of the hospital doctors are in italics.

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The Liverpool Echo Article

Have Alder Hey ‘given up’ on Alfie Evans? Doctors answer your questions (link)

Hospital says why it cannot cure Alfie, why it has gone to court and why it opposes him going to another hospital

By Tom Belger, Social Affairs Reporter

11:20, 24 FEB 2018

The fate of brain-damaged Alfie Evans will be decided next week at another court hearing over his life support.

Alder Hey hospital won a high court bid on Tuesday [February 20] to withdrawn ventilation for the 21-month-old, who is in a “deep coma” in their critical care unit.

But Alfie’s parents Tom Evans and Kate James have continued their fight, and hope a Court of Appeal judge will allow them to appeal at a hearing on Thursday, March 1.

They believe Alfie has a right to live and should be transferred to another hospital abroad to continue the search for a diagnosis and cure.

Tens of thousands of supporters have rallied around their struggle for their son, forming a group called “Alfie’s Army”.

The case has put Alder Hey under heavy scrutiny, and this week hospital chiefs have published a defence and explanation of their actions.

Here is what Alder Hey says in response to reportedly common questions — though some facts and doctors’ conclusions are disputed by Alfie’s family:

What is Alfie Evans suffering from?

“Alfie has a progressive neuro-degenerative disease associated with severe epilepsy.

“Children with neuro-degenerative diseases are often born with no symptoms of these diseases and appear perfectly healthy. Sadly over time symptoms of the disease develop as vital nerve tissue is destroyed.”

“Those affected will gradually lose ability to eat, smile, communicate, swallow and breathe.

“The vast majority of neuro-degenerative diseases are irreversible and have no treatment or cure.

“Due to his Epilepsy, Alfie also experiences numerous and regular seizures, particularly when exposed to light or touch.”

Why can doctors at Alder Hey not fully diagnose his condition?

“It is exceptionally difficult to establish exactly what type of neuro-degenerative condition Alfie has. Many investigations and genetic testing have taken place but we have not yet been able to 100% confirm a specific condition.

“However, we know that Alfie has a neuro-degenerative condition and medical experts from Alder Hey and other hospitals, both in the UK and abroad, have agreed that it is irreversible and untreatable.

“A firm diagnosis would perhaps help us to understand why he has this condition but would not help identify any additional treatment that would reverse his symptoms or make him better.”

Have the hospital given up on Alfie?

“We haven’t ‘given up’. We have a team at Alder Hey of the very best neurology specialists who have made every effort possible to find a way to treat Alfie.

“We have also consulted various external opinions including those requested by Alfie’s family. Alfie sadly has remained unresponsive to every available treatment.

“Sadly we have to recognize that we have reached the limit of what we can possibly do. Alfie’s condition is irreversible and untreatable and we therefore have to consider what we believe is in his best interests.”

What treatment has Alfie received?

“Alfie has received the full support of Alder Hey’s medical and nursing teams since being admitted. He has received numerous antibiotics for infections and a significant number of anti-epileptic medications to treat his seizures.

“Sadly he has remained unresponsive to treatment and his condition has rapidly declined. He continues to be given the appropriate support necessary on our specialist critical care unit. This includes supported ventilation to allow him to breathe and assisted feeding via a gastric tube.”

Why do some images show Alfie responding and smiling?

“Children with these conditions can often look well and movements can still be seen, despite the destruction of brain and spinal cord tissue.

“However EEG — which means testing electrical activity from the surface of the brain — tests and imaging of his brain have confirmed the medical opinion that Alfie’s movements or expressions, opening an eye or appearing to smile, are related to seizures or reflexes.

“Alfie has many seizures throughout the day and they are often brought on by touch or light exposure. This can sadly give an illusion that he is moving in response to stimulation.”

Why has Alder Hey gone to court?

“Alder Hey is a specialist children’s hospital which means we treat children with very complex and critical conditions. Sadly some of these children are unable to recover from their illness.

“We will always seek to reach agreement with parents of the child concerned. However this is an exceedingly rare situation where agreement has not been reached following many discussions and mediation meetings.

“The clinical team believe that continued active treatment is futile and we have therefore referred his case to the Family Division of the High Court who have determined what is in Alfie’s best interests.”

Why is the decision on his future not up to Alfie’s parents?

“We have tried very hard to reach agreement with Alfie’s parents about his care. However despite mediation, agreement has not been reached.

“We sympathise and understand how difficult this is for Alfie’s family but our clinicians have a professional obligation to always put the interests of the child they are treating first.

“As agreement has not been reached, the law states that the decision about what is in Alfie’s best interest should be referred to the family court system.”

Why won’t Alder Hey let Alfie go to Rome for treatment?

“The clinicians from Rome have agreed with Alder Hey’s prognosis and have not offered a treatment solution for Alfie.

“They have offered to take him to their hospital but agree there is nothing they can do to help or improve his condition. Further invasive procedures have been suggested but they will not help him recover.

“Our clinicians are professionally obliged to always consider what is in a patient’s best interest. We do not believe that it is in Alfie’s best interests to go to Rome and be subjected to invasive and painful procedures when there is no hope of recovery or a cure.”

[End, Liverpool Echo February 24 article on Alfie’s medical condition explained by doctors]

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These are the significant words: “He has received numerous antibioticsfor infections and a significant number of anti-epileptic medications to treat his seizures.”

In addition, someone close to the family, a supporter of Alfie and his parents, has advised that Alfie received “many” vaccinations against various diseases as an infant, and that “many” vaccinations were administered at one time.

Could there be some evidence in this collection of answers to explain why a seemingly “normal” infant boy should have fallen into a coma?

8. The new royal baby… and the task of science to improve human health…

Yesterday, April 23 — on the same day that England’s judicial system rejected the appeals of Alfie’s parents to keep him on respiration machines, allowing his to be detached from those machines at 9:17 p.m., London time — Great Britain’s royal couple, Prince William and Princess Kate, were blessed with a healthy child.

Congratulations to them!

A respected Italian Catholic editorialist, Alberto Bobbio, connected the two events in an editorial this morning. Here is the link, and here is part of his text:

“Alfie is alive, like the royal baby.

“St. George, patron saint of the English, did the miracle, yesterday when his feast day is celebrated.

“Kate and William were radiant in London.

“Kate and Thomas in Liverpool had tears in their eyes…

“There are thousands and thousands of children in the world in Alfie’s condition. It happens because there are diseases of which we know nothing,  diseases we can neither treat nor diagnose, but we still should not raise the white flag of surrender. It always happened that unknown diseases eventually became known. Science cannot give up. But the English court judgments have also routed science.”

So the supporters of Alfie are not opposed to medicine or doctors. They are in fact very science-minded: they dream of a world in which such diseases are understood, and cured.

9. St. George: The three miracles he performed on his Feast Day April 23

St. George seemed to have accomplished three miracles yesterday.

First, Italy granted Alfie Italian citizenship, at the last moment, giving hope that Alfie might be able to leave England for the Bambino Gesuhospital in Rome.

Second, the royal couple, Kate and William had a healthy baby.

And third, Alfie was taken off of his respirator, but continued breathing.

10. The changing image of Pope Francis.

Finally, one of the most remarkable aspects of this case is how Pope Francis is being viewed by conservative, pro-life Catholics.

By energetically, publicly, coming to the aid of Alfie and his parents, Francis is now being viewed by conservative, pro-life Catholics with much deeper respect and affection.

Such Catholics have tended to be “luke-warm” toward Francis, because, though Francis has been consistently “pro-life” in his teaching, he has seemed to “pro-lifers” to underplay the need of Catholics to be “pro-life” by stressing the need always to defend the unborn, but also all people at all stages of life.

Last night [April 23, at 9:15 p.m. Rome time — shortly before Alfie was removed from his respirator] — Francis dedicated a tweet to Alfie and his parents:

Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”

Catholic canon lawyer Ed Condon, a thoughtful conservative (he has also written for Inside the Vatican magazine, link), then commented in a tweet: “The heroic support of the Holy Father for the dignity of Alfie Evans, his right to life, and the right of his parents to care for him, is one of most powerful and principled exercises of the moral authority of the papacy in recent times, and typical of Pope Francis.”

A fourth miracle of St. George?

 

Polemics: FrankenPope Rebrands Faithfulness as “Rigidity”

Polemics: FrankenPope Rebrands Faithfulness as “Rigidity”

 en.news – 4/24/18

Pope Francis co-presided on April 24 a New Mass in Santa Marta with the nine cardinals who are members of his council.

In his homily, Francis railed again against “doctors of the law” denouncing their “rigidity” and “close-mindedness”.

He then complained that there are “oppositions to novelties and changes”.

Francis’ polemics reminded of anti-Catholic street propaganda which disparages faithfulness as “rigidity” and logical thinking as “close-mindedness”. At the same time heresy is branded as “change” and lapsing into the old mistakes as “novelties”. read more

Abyss Between FrankenPope and the Dutch Bishops

Abyss Between FrankenPope and the Dutch Bishops

 en.news – 4/24/18

The Dutch bishops “change into a refrigerator when the name [Francis] falls”, according to Jan-Willem Wits, a former spokesman of the Dutch bishops’ conference.

Writing on blendle.com (April 24), Wits states that the “Dutch people” [read: agnostic commercial media] like Francis – in contrast to the bishops [who preside over a Church that has anticipated the Bergoglio ideology and therefore, today, is reduced to shreds].

According to Wits the Dutch bishops think that Francis is a “populist”, who puts the eternal truth of the Church “for sale”. read more

On Facts and Truths

On Facts and Truths

4/24/18

James V. Schall, S.J: Christ, the Word in the Trinity, made two great statements about truth: 1) “The truth shall make you free;” 2) “I am the truth.”

The December 30, 1996 Ripley’s Believe It or Not contained the following item: “The SkyDome in Toronto uses over ten miles of zippers to fasten its artificial turf.” Off hand, I cannot imagine anyone asking someone else: “By the way, George, how many miles of zippers are in the stadium in Toronto?” But, of course, if I were the manufacturer of zippers or of artificial turf, the information would not be so irrelevant. read more

Cubans, US exiles connect to help rebuild Cuba’s Catholic Church 

Cubans, US exiles connect to help rebuild Cuba’s Catholic Church  [About 60 % of the population is Catholic, according to the Vatican – or 40-45% at least “nominally” Catholic, according to the State Dept. – AQ Tom] Catholic World News – 4/24/18 Since the 1980s, the percentage of Cubans regularly attending Mass in the Communist nation has risen from 2% to 10%, according to the report. “There’s been a revitalization of the Church,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami. “The Church has made progress — it’s small steps. It’s not what it used to be, and it’s not what it should be.”

Alfie breathes

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Alfie has been sustaining his own life since 9:17…” —Tom Evans, 21, father of 23-month-old Alfie Evans, yesterday evening in Liverpool, England, after British doctors removed Alfie from his breathing tube at 9:17 p.m. — 12 hours ago as of this writing…

The removal was decided after British authorities were informed by Italian government authorities that Alfie had unexpectedly been granted Italian citizenship.

A UK judge ruled during a conference call earlier in the evening that this fact would not change a previous court decision that the hospital could remove the baby’s life support in the conviction that it was in Alfie’s “best interest.”

The call happened between the family’s legal team, Justice Hayden, the Italian ambassador to England, and hospital administration.

Reportedly, everyone involved — the hospital authorities, the legal authorities, and even the child’s parents — expected that, without the breathing tube, Alfie would stop breathing on his own within minutes, and so would die.

But Alfie did not stop breathing…

Doctors have been left “gobsmacked” (astonished) by the fact that Alfie continued to live after his life-support was withdrawn, Tom Evans said.

Here is a photo of Alfie this morning in his mother’s arms…

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6 hours of breathing on his own so far, what a fighter! I’m sure this is much longer than his executioners thought possible… His parents must be so proud. Please Lord, help him through this night.” —Comment by a reader in the comment section of a Lifesitenews.com article during the night, about six hours ago as of this writing

“The Court based their decision [to cease all treatment]at least in part on the fact that he was incapable of breathing without sophisticated medical intervention. That fact has now been proven wrong…” ——Comment by a reader in the comment section of a Lifesitenews.com article during the night

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Alfie Still Alive… Though His Breathing Tube Has Been Removed

Little Alfie Evans is still alive as of this writing, more than 12 hours after being removed from a breathing tube last night at 9:17 p.m., London time.

However, he could cease breathing at any time.

There is no explanation that has been offered for why he has been able to breathe on his own for so many hours.

During the night, baby’s parents asked if Alfie could have oxygen, to help his breathing, but the hospital refused to administer any oxygen.

After several hours, seeing that Alfie was breathing on his own, Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, 21, asked hospital authorities to re-attach a hydration tube so that Alfie could receive water.

The hospital agreed.

The hydration tube was re-attached.

After another period of time, the hospital also agreed also to administer oxygen to the child.

So Alfie is now on a hydration tube, and is receiving oxygen, but he is breathing on his own.

“Alfie is sustaining his own life,” his father said, repeatedly, on a Facebookvideo posted last night.

A video of his father saying this can be seen at the lifesitenews.com website (link).

More Kasper Kontradictions: Protestants And Catholics Are “One Church”

More Kasper Kontradictions: Protestants And Catholics Are “One Church”

 en.news – 4/24/18

Speaking in contradictions, the de facto Protestant Cardinal Walter Kasper has claimed that Catholics and Protestants are members of the “one holy Church of Christ” but at the same time “not in full communion”.

Writing on katholisch.de (April 23), Kasper leaves it open how one could be member of the body of Christ while not being fully member of that body.

On this basis he asks for Protestant Communion, especially for mixed marriages because they allegedly form a “domestic Church”. read more

Critical Observations on Joseph Ratzinger’s Classic Text “Introduction to Christianity”

Text: Matthias Gaudron – Trans: Tancred – Monday, April 23, 2018

Critical Observations on Joseph Ratzinger’s Classic Text “Introduction to Christianity”

[That along with some of his other works were listed on Opus Dei’s version of The Index of Forbidden Books (Guia Bibliografia : Bibliographical Guide) until he became B16! – AQ Tom] The text was initially submitted as a letter to the editor for Deutsche Tagespost, but unfortunately not published there. In the German daily post from 23 March 2018, Michael Karger raised the issue of the first publication of Joseph Ratzinger’s “Introduction to Christianity”. Undoubtedly, this book contains interesting food for thought and is an attempt to re-examine the Catholic faith of a time when the truths of faith were being thrown off as oppressive baggage. Nevertheless, it must be noted that the young Ratzinger was only partially successful with this attempt and there are statements in this book, which must be contradicted. Therefore, it is incomprehensible that Ratzinger has continued to publish this book unaltered as a Prefect of Doctrine and of the Faith and Pope. I pick out four points: Introduction to Christianity by Joseph Ratzinger 1. The supernaturalism of faith is little expressed in this work. On the contrary, faith and unbelief are put on a level that does not correspond to Catholic doctrine. The believer and the unbeliever share both “in doubt and in faith”. No one can “completely dispel doubt, none whatsoever escape faith” (dtv edition, p. 19). It is true that the believer can know temptations against faith and hours of doubt. But his situation is still very different from that of the unbeliever. Thus, for the first time, the existence of God is fundamentally certainly already comprehensible by way of natural reason, as St. Paul teaches in Romans 1 and Vatican I has declared to be dogma. The Catholic faith in divine revelation is then something done by God Himself in man and gives the believer a supernatural certainty. It is the so-called “light of faith”, the lumen fidei, which always gives the believer a final certainty through any doubts that may arise, that the faith is true and that one must cling to it. Therefore, there can never be any real reason for the believer to give up the faith, as I Vatican I taught again. Of all this not a word can be found in Ratzinger. 2. An extremely questionable attempt is then made to explain the deity of Christ. For Joseph Ratzinger, Jesus is “the man of the future”, the human being who is the least closed in himself and “most relaxed” and thus becomes one with the infinite. It is even said: “If Jesus is the exemplary man in whom the true form of man, the idea of ​​God with him, fully enters the light, then he can not be destined to be but an absolute exception, a curiosity.” P. 169). It is one of the modernist methods to caricature traditional doctrine in order to reject this caricature. Of course, Jesus is not a curiosity, but he is an absolute exception, because there is no second person who can claim to be true God and true man. For this reason, the following statement, made in the name of Teilhard de Chardin, is untenable: “Faith sees in Jesus the man in whom, speaking of the biological scheme, the next evolutionary leap is done; the man in whom the breakthrough came from the limited nature of our humanity, from its monadic closure ” (p. 194). 3. The descent of Christ into the underworld is thoroughly demythologized. From the catechism of the Catholic Church, this article of faith is explained as follows: “The dead Christ descended to the abode of the dead in his soul, which remained united with his divine person. He opened to the righteous who lived before him, the gates of heaven” (n. 637). There is nothing more in this for Joseph Ratzinger. Rather, for him the phrase means that “Christ has passed through the gate of our last solitude, that he has entered with his passion into this abyss of our abandonment. … With that, hell is overcome, or more precisely: death, which used to be hell, is no longer ” (p. 220). 4. After all, the “resurrection of the flesh” is “no resurrection of the body”. There seems to be only some “ultimate connection between matter and spirit” in which the fate of man and the world is completed “ (p. 266). A resurrected body, as the Church has always taught him, does not seem to exist. These few examples show that the “Introduction to Christianity” is not a work that one can unreservedly recommend to someone who wants to get to know the Catholic faith.