by Ross Douthat, New York Times
In the Catholic Church of Pope Francis, it is dangerous to be too conservative. Professor Josef Seifert, a distinguished Catholic philosopher from Austria, discovered this recently, when he was dismissed from his position at the University of Granada in Spain by the local archbishop.
Seifert’s sin was to have raised questions about “Amoris Laetitia,” the controversial papal exhortation on marriage, whose ambiguous statements on divorce and remarriage the philosopher described as a potential “theological atom bomb” for Catholic moral teaching. Such stark criticism of a sitting pope “damages the communion of the church,” Granada’s archbishop wrote, while retiring the professor from his academic post.
According to a very interesting article by Edward Pentin, a campaign is underway to change the Catholic Church’s position on contraception. This campaign involves the setting up of a secret commission with the task of studying the 1968 encyclical letter “Humanae Vitae” through which Pope Paul VI had condemned the use of the contraceptive pill, predicting the damage the acceptance of this practice would inflict on society.
Although the encyclical looks prophetic in hindsight, the current Pope seems uninterested in learning the lesson from history. Apparently the study commission, which was kept secret py the pontiff’s “inner circle” until leaked documents made its existence undeniable, is looking for historical arguments that Paul VI had been “unduly pressured” to maintain the Church’s moral teaching, while in reality he had intended to change it.
After the two controversial Family Synods of 2014 and 2015, and the ensuing Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, Pope Francis’ project to make the Catholic Church compatible with post-1968 Western lifestyles appears to be finally taking aim at its principal target.
The well-known Jesuit Henri Boulad, former Provincial of the Jesuits in Egypt and director of the Jesuit Cultural Center in Alexandria, has a life-long experience of what it means to live as a non-Muslim in a predominantly Islamic country. A few weeks ago, he has accepted Hungarian citizenship in order to support the restrictive migration policy of the Hungarian head of government, Viktor Orbán, and to exert a corresponding influence on the European immigration policy. Continue reading
Last Saturday the Sovereign Council of the Order of Malta has elected Frà Giacomo della Torre as Lieutenant ad interim for a period of one year, to replace former Grand Master Frà Matthew Festing who, despite having been elected for life time, stepped down in obedience to a request put to him personally by Pope Francis. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this will resolve the current disputes within the ancient and noble Catholic order, which is to be considered the world’s oldest and most prestigious NGO. Instead, the crisis of the Maltese Order is increasingly transformed into a crisis of the Catholic Church as a whole, raising doubts regarding both the legality of, and the motivations behind, Pope Francis’s interference with what originally were the Order’s internal affairs. Continue reading
Following the publication by the Pontifical Council for the Family of an online sexual education program for youth that contained homoerotic and heterosexual pornography, recent revelations about Pope Francis’ decision to alleviate sanctions for child-abusing priests, the invitation to the Vatican of population control ideologue Paul Ehrlich, and the dismantling of the Pontifical Academy for Life, two prominent Catholic mental health professionals are wondering whether the gay lobby is now effectively running the Holy See.
Read the full text here.
There is increasing concern among Catholic faithful that Pope Francis, in a weird attempt to reconcile the Catholic Church with “modernity”, is making concessions that are clearly at odds with doctrine. This should be worrying not only Catholics, but everyone who believes that all human beings should fully enjoy the protection of their human rights and dignity from the time of conception unto death, because the Catholic Church has for many decades been a lonesome bulwark to advocate and defend these rights against the relentless attacks ideologues and self-serving pressure groups, to which certain governments and international organizations have been all too receptive. Now it looks as if that bulwark were to be eroded. Continue reading
Concerns of many Christians over Pope Francis’ loyalty to the faith and morals of his own Church received new fuel yesterday when, in a speech delivered on the “day of life” that is organized each year to commemorate the victims of abortion, he used the term “interruption of pregnancy” – a euphemism coined by the baby-slaughtering industry to obfuscate the sad reality of their murderous activity. Continue reading