Pope’s doctrine head: We can’t adapt doctrine to suit secularists or ‘superficial’ Christians

Cardinal Müller In an interview with the French Catholic bi-weekly journal, La Vie, which was published on April 29, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, once more defended the teaching of the Catholic Church on Marriage. When questioned about the possibility of allowing “remarried” divorcees to the Sacraments, as proposed by Cardinal Walter Kasper, Cardinal Müller states:

It is impossible to have two wives. If the first union is valid, it is not possible to enter into a second one at the same time. A path of penitence is possible, but not a second union. The only possibility is to return to the first, legitimate union, or to live in the second union as brother and sister: that is the Church’s position, in agreement with the will of Jesus. I would add that it is always possible to try and obtain an annulment from an ecclesiastical tribunal.

He said that the Church cannot change the indissolubility of marriage:

The doctrine of the Church is not a theory, it reposes upon the fidelity to the Word of God. The marriage between two baptized persons is an effective sacrament, an objective reality. It is impossible to dissolve a sacramental marriage with all its constitutive attributes of liberty, indissolubility, fidelity and of fruitfulness. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith I have to present the doctrine of the Church. The Church cannot change the sacramentality of marriage; one promises to be faithful until death.

Cardinal Müller also cautioned against concentrating too much on the question of “remarried” divorcees during the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October of 2015:

The object of the Synod is not to discuss the problem of remarried divorcees, but to reaffirm marriage as the foundation of civil society and of the community of the Churches, and to revive its fundamental dimension…It is not possible to adapt the doctrine of the Church to our secularized countries, and even less to accept a superficial Christianity.

When asked to clarify what he meant with the expression “superficial Christianity,” Cardinal Müller points out that many Christians in European countries “are baptized, but do not believe and do not practice the Faith.” And he continues:

They do not accept the substance of Christianity which produces a change in thinking and acting: a conversion. I do not judge theses persons in saying that, but in our countries, it suffices to see the percentage of the baptized Christians who are not confirmed or the multiplication of abortions to see that the existence of a superficial Christianity is a reality.

Former Soviet spy: We created Liberation Theology

Ion Mihai Pacepa on Raul Castro's yacht in Cuba, 1974.

Former KGB Spy Ion Pacepa has claimed that Liberation Theology, currently being promoted by Pope Francis, was a creation of the KGB.

A former KGB Spy has recently claimed that Liberation Theology – condemned by previous popes but currently promoted by Pope Francis – is a creation of the KGB and the Soviet Union.

The Catholic News Agency has published an interview with Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former general in Romania’s secret police who was one of the Eastern Bloc’s highest-ranking defectors in the 1970s. In it, he says that the Soviet Union – and the KGB in particular – created Liberation Theology, the quasi-Marxist movement that flourished in Latin America from the 1960s to the 1990s. Previous popes, particularly St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have condemned Liberation Theology, and have written in unequivocal terms that it is “incompatible with the Christian Faith”.

Pacepa makes detailed claims that the Soviets kick-started, funded and moulded liberation theology.  He cites as one of his sources Aleksandr Sakharovsky, the Russian agent who set up Romania’s secret police agency. Pacepa describes him as his ‘de facto boss’ in the 1950s. Sakharovsky later became head of the First Chief Directorate of the KGB.

Here are the key quotes from the interview:

The birth of Liberation Theology was the intent of a 1960 super-secret ‘Party-State Dezinformatsiya Programme’ approved by Aleksandr Shelepin, the chairman of the KGB, and by Politburo member Aleksey Kirichenko, who coordinated the Communist Party’s international policies.

The KGB began by building an intermediate international religious organization called the Christian Peace Conference (CPC), which was headquartered in Prague. Its main task was to bring the KGB-created Liberation Theology into the real world.

The new Christian Peace Conference was managed by the KGB and was subordinated to the venerable World Peace Council (WPC), another KGB creation, founded in 1949 and by then also headquartered in Prague.

During my years at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community I managed the Romanian operations of the WPC. It was as purely KGB as it gets. Most of the WPC’s employees were undercover Soviet bloc intelligence officers…Even the money for the WPC budget came from Moscow, delivered by the KGB in the form of laundered cash dollars to hide their Soviet origin.

Pacepa claims that the KGB was directly involved in the holding of a conference by leftist South American bishops in Medellin, with the stated goal of institutionalizing a new form of Marxism under the guise of Liberation Theology:

I was not involved in the creation of Liberation Theology per se. From Sakharovsky I learned, however, that in 1968 the KGB-created Christian Peace Conference, supported by the world-wide World Peace Council, was able to manoeuvre a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a Conference of Latin American Bishops at Medellin, Colombia. The Conference’s official task was to ameliorate poverty. Its undeclared goal was to recognise a new religious movement encouraging the poor to rebel against the ‘institutionalised violence of poverty’, and to recommend the new movement to the World Council of Churches for official approval. The Medellin Conference achieved both goals. It also bought the KGB-born name ‘Liberation Theology’.

Condemned by Previous Popes

Pope John Paul II waged a decades-long campaign inside the Church to quash Liberation Theology and silence its most ardent supporters. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published the Instruction “Libertatis Nuntius” on August 6, 1984, with the approval of Pope John Paul II. Its purpose was to focus the attention of pastors, theologians and all the faithful on the deviations of Liberation Theology that are dangerous for the faith and for the Christian life and that are based on Marxist thought.

As pope, Benedict XVI exhorted all those who in some way feel attracted or affected by “certain deceitful principles of Liberation Theology” to re-visit the instruction and be open to the light that it can shed on the subject.

Pope Francis with Cuban Communist President Fidel Castro

Pope Francis with Cuban Communist President Raul Castro


Liberation Theology is Rehabilited Under Pope Francis

The Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has written that with Francis’ election, Liberation Theology can no longer “remain in the shadows to which it has been relegated for some years.”

Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, the Dominican priest from Peru who is known as the father of Liberation Theology, was a featured speaker at an official Vatican press conference launching a major meeting of the Vatican’s charity arm, Caritas Internationalis, on May 2015.

On September 11, 2013, Pope Francis hosted Fr. Gutierrez in his residence, leading some to comment that this was a sign of warming relations between the hierarchy and liberation theologians. On January 18, 2014, Pope Francis met with Fr. Arturo Paoli, an Italian priest whom the Pope knew from Paoli’s long service in Argentina. Paoli is recognized as an exponent of Liberation Theology, and the meeting was seen as a sign of “reconciliation” between the Vatican and the liberationists.

Communist Cuba and Pope Francis

More recently, Pope Francis was the central figure in brokering a deal between Communist Cuba and the United States.  In an audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican on May 10, 2015, Cuban president Raul Castro thanked the pope for his role in brokering the deal:  “I am very happy. I have come here to thank him for what he has done to begin solving the problems of the United States and Cuba.”

Vatican hosts two leading pro-abortion, population control activists at climate conference

Jeffrey Sachs

 Jeffrey Sachs, well-known international proponent of population control and abortion.

Two of the world’s leading pro-abortion advocates were invited by the Vatican to address a workshop on the environment on April 28, 2015.

Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, were invited to speak at the Vatican workshop Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development held by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences (PAS), Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Religions for Peace on April 28th 2015 in anticipation of the new papal encyclical on the environment.

Ban Ki-Moon has on many occasions promoted the so-called “right” to abortion worldwide.  He also issued a controversial new report this year on sexual violence in conflict zones, which was critical of the lack of “safe abortion” in many conflict situations.

Dr Jeffrey Sachs, on the other hand, is a well-known international proponent of population control and abortion. He is one of the architects of the millennium development goals and a member of the Executive Board of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The Network has proposed draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which contain provisions that are radically antagonistic to the right to life from conception to natural death, to the rights and dignity of the family and to the rights of parents as the primary educators of their children.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has on many occasions promoted the so-called “right” to abortion worldwide.

He made a plea for legalizing abortion as a an cost-effective way to eliminate “unwanted children” when contraception fails in his 2008 book “Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet.”  He describes abortion as a “lower-risk and lower-cost option” than bringing a new human life to the world.

He also glowingly writes that the “legalization of abortion reduces a country’s total fertility rate significantly, by as much as half a child on average”, and criticizes Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush for denying groups that provide and promote abortion any U.S. funding through the Mexico City Policy.

He is the heir-apparent of the discredited population alarmists of the twentieth century who warned against the “population bomb” and developed the concept of the Earth’s limited “caring capacity.” According to Sachs “high fertility rates are deleterious to economic development.”

He frequently speaks of humanity transgressing “planetary boundaries” and the threat of an overly-crowded planet. He has been a leader in developing and promoting the theory of the “demographic dividend,” which says countries must invest in family planning and reduce fertility before they can experience development. The theory has been criticized for failing to result in any dividends in entire regions, where fertility rates have dropped precipitously in the past two decades, and underemphasizing the corresponding risks of rapidly aging populations.

This isn’t the first time that Jeffrey Sachs was honored at the Vatican. He delivered a keynote lecture at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2013. Sachs’ link to the Vatican appears to be Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, who hosted the Vatican Conference in end April together with Sachs’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Sánchez Sorondo sits on the group’s Leadership Council.

Catholic intellectuals and pro-life media criticized how the two most powerful proponents of abortion and population control were given a platform at the Vatican.

Why does Freemasonry Openly Support Pope Francis?

Why does Freemasonry – an organization condemned by the Catholic Church – openly support Pope Francis?

In an unprecedented development, for the first time in history, this organization, labelled by previous pontiffs as the “synagogue of Satan”, is openly welcoming and embracing the Roman Catholic Pontiff.

Freemasonry welcomes Pope FrancisA Jubilant Welcome Upon His Election by Freemasons Around the World

Pope Francis’ election sparked an almost jubilant outpouring of support and welcome from Freemasons around the world.  In fact, as reported by the Masonic Press Agency (www.masonicpressagency.blogspot.com), several Grand Lodges in Latin America, Europe and Asia simultaneously welcomed the election of the new Catholic Pope – unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church.

The Italian Freemasons congratulated him immediately the day after his election. In fact, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy expressed his joy regarding the election of Pope Francis. On March 14, 2013, the day after the pope’s inauguration, with seemingly uncanny prophetic foresight, Italian Grandmaster of Freemasonry Gustavo Raffi said that “nothing will be as it was before”:

With Pope Francis, nothing will be as it was before. It is a clear choice of fraternity for a Church of dialogue, which is not contaminated by the logic and temptations of temporal power.

A man of the poor far away from the Curia. Fraternity and the desire to dialogue were his first concrete words. Perhaps nothing in the Church will be as it was before. Our hope is that the pontificate of Francis, the Pope who ‘comes from the end of the world’ can mark the return to the Church-Word instead of the Church-Institution, promoting an open dialogue with the contemporary world, with believers and non-believers, following the springtime of Vatican II.

The Grand Lodge of Argentina officially welcomed the election of Pope Francis.  Argentinian Grand Master Angel Jorge Clavero said:

The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, an institution rooted in our country since 1857, salutes the naming of our co-patriot Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis. A man of austere life consecrated to his devotions, the designation of the new pontiff of the Catholic Church supposes a great recognition of the Argentine Nation…In the name of all, the Grand Lodge of Argentina greets our co-patriot Cardinal who just received such a high world distinction.

Freemasons in the Philippines welcome Pope FrancisMasons in the Philippines Welcome Pope Francis

During the January trip of Pope Francis to the Philippines, among the groups who welcomed him was the Grand Lodge of Masons, who bought a full page ad in the January 16, 2015 edition of the leading newspaper in the country, the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“The Synagogue of Satan”

It is worth reminding the reader that for the Catholic Church, membership in freemasonry means automatic excommunication. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on November 26, 1983, emphasized:

The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion…. Consequently, neither the excommunication nor the other penalties envisaged have been abrogated.

Numerous popes have condemned freemasonry throughout the ages. Pope Leo XIII called freemasonry the “synagogue of Satan”. In his letter to the Italian people dated December 8, 1892, Leo XIII writes:

Let us remember that Christianity and Freemasonry are essentially incompatible, to such an extent, that to become united with one means being divorced from the other. Let us, therefore, expose Freemasonry as the enemy of God, of the Church and of our Motherland.

A Satanic Religion in Disguise

Freemasonry is nothing more than Satanic worship – beautifully packaged as a “humanitarian” movement to unsuspecting victims.

One of the prominent leaders of freemasonry was Albert Pike, grand commander of the Scottish Rite of freemasonry. In 1871, shortly before the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII, Pike wrote about the true nature of the “light” which masons seek in his book “Morals and Dogma”, traditionally handed out to high degree Freemasons only: “LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light …? Doubt it not!”

Pope Gregory XVI, who was one of the foremost opponents of Freemasonry, was able to seize documents from the masonic lodge known as “Alta Vendita”. The documents were later on published in a book, and disseminated through various lectures. The “Alta Vendita” documents chillingly summarizes a plan to infiltrate and destroy the Catholic Church from within, a plan which may even require a century:

Our ultimate end is that of…the final destruction of Catholicism, and even of the Christian idea … The Pope, whoever he is, will never come to the secret societies; it is up to the secret societies to take the first step toward the Church, with the aim of conquering both of them. The task that we are going to undertake is not the work of a day, or of a month, or of a year; it may last several years, perhaps a century; but in our ranks the soldier dies and struggle goes on … What we must ask for, what we should look for and wait for, as the Jews wait for the Messiah, is a Pope according to our needs…You will contrive for yourselves, at little cost, a reputation as good Catholics and pure patriots. This reputation will put access to our doctrines into the midst of the young clergy, as well as deeply into the monasteries. In a few years, by the force of things, this young clergy will have overrun all the functions; they will form the sovereign’s council, they will be called to choose a Pontiff who should reign …

End Time Prophecies Concerning the “False Prophet” of the Book of Revelation

Various reputable prophecies and visions by saints and mystics warn us about the rise of the “False Prophet” of the Book of Revelation – a religious leader in the “end times” (the times preceding the Second Coming of Christ) who will conspire with the Anti-Christ to lead the world into error.

In her messages to Fr. Stefano Gobbi, founder of the Marian Movement of Priests, Our Lady warned that “Satan would enter in even to the Summit of the Church.”

The black beast like a leopard indicates Freemasonry; the beast with the two horns like a lamb indicates Freemasonry infiltrated into the interior of the Church, that is to say, ecclesiastical Masonry, which has spread especially among the members of the hierarchy. This Masonic infiltration, in the interior of the Church, was already foretold to you by me at Fatima, when I announced to you that Satan would enter in even to the summit of the Church.

The messages are contained in the book “To the Priests: Our Lady’s Beloved Sons”, which has an imprimatur and nihil obstat. The Marian Movement of Priests has hundreds of priests, bishops and Cardinals as members, and more than 7 million lay members.

In the Church-approved apparitions of Our Lady of La Salette, Our Lady warns us:

Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.  For now is the time of all times, the end of all ends.  The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay…Now is the time; the abyss is opening.  Here is the king of kings of darkness, here is the Beast with his subjects, calling himself the savior of the world.

St. Francis of Assisi was given a vision of the end time Tribulation Period, when a false pope will take over the pontificate: “At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.”

Finally, Blessed Catherine Emmerich saw an odd relationship between “two popes” during the end times:

I saw also the special relationship between the two popes…I saw how baleful (harmful) would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city (of Rome). The local clergy grew lukewarm, and I saw a great darkness.

I saw again a new and odd-looking Church which they were trying to build. There was nothing holy about it… They built a large, singular, extravagant church which was to embrace all creeds with equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, and all denominations, a true communion of the unholy with one shepherd and one flock…

Vatican hosts two leading pro-abortion, population control activists at climate conference

Photo shows Jeffrey Sachs, a well-known international proponent of population control and abortion

Photo shows Jeffrey Sachs, a well-known international proponent of population control and abortion

Two of the world’s leading pro-abortion advocates were invited by the Vatican to address a workshop on the environment on April 28, 2015.

Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, were invited to speak at the Vatican workshop Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development held by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences (PAS), Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Religions for Peace on April 28th 2015 in anticipation of the new papal encyclical on the environment.

Ban Ki-Moon has on many occasions promoted the so-called “right” to abortion worldwide.  He also issued a controversial new report this year on sexual violence in conflict zones, which was critical of the lack of “safe abortion” in many conflict situations.

Dr Jeffrey Sachs, on the other hand, is a well-known international proponent of population control and abortion. He is one of the architects of the millennium development goals and a member of the Executive Board of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The Network has proposed draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which contain provisions that are radically antagonistic to the right to life from conception to natural death, to the rights and dignity of the family and to the rights of parents as the primary educators of their children.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

Ban Ki-Moon has on many occasions promoted the so-called “right” to abortion worldwide.

He made a plea for legalizing abortion as a an cost-effective way to eliminate “unwanted children” when contraception fails in his 2008 book “Commonwealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet.”  He describes abortion as a “lower-risk and lower-cost option” than bringing a new human life to the world.

He also glowingly writes that the “legalization of abortion reduces a country’s total fertility rate significantly, by as much as half a child on average”, and criticizes Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush for denying groups that provide and promote abortion any U.S. funding through the Mexico City Policy.

He is the heir-apparent of the discredited population alarmists of the twentieth century who warned against the “population bomb” and developed the concept of the Earth’s limited “caring capacity.” According to Sachs “high fertility rates are deleterious to economic development.”

He frequently speaks of humanity transgressing “planetary boundaries” and the threat of an overly-crowded planet. He has been a leader in developing and promoting the theory of the “demographic dividend,” which says countries must invest in family planning and reduce fertility before they can experience development. The theory has been criticized for failing to result in any dividends in entire regions, where fertility rates have dropped precipitously in the past two decades, and underemphasizing the corresponding risks of rapidly aging populations.

This isn’t the first time that Jeffrey Sachs was honored at the Vatican. He delivered a keynote lecture at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2013. Sachs’ link to the Vatican appears to be Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, who hosted the Vatican Conference in end April together with Sachs’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Sánchez Sorondo sits on the group’s Leadership Council.

Catholic intellectuals and pro-life media criticized how the two most powerful proponents of abortion and population control were given a platform at the Vatican.

Gay Agenda Being Pushed in the Vatican

Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba

Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba of Colombia insisted that being homosexual is not a sin, and likewise suggested that one of the twelve apostles of Jesus was gay or that Mary Magdalene was a lesbian.

The gay agenda is apparently being pushed aggressively in the Vatican by forces from within – and from the very top – of the Church heirarchy.

Recent statements by the German and the Swiss Bishops’ conferences, in anticipation of the next Synod on the Family, show them going soft on same-sex unions. The Germans issued a statement for the upcoming Synod on the Family in October that asserted alleged discoveries:

in the human sciences (medicine, psychology), namely that sexual orientation is a disposition that is not selected by the individual and that it is unchangeable. It is therefore confusing for the questionnaire [for the upcoming Synod] to speak of ‘homosexual tendencies,’ and this is considered to be discriminatory.

As the highly respected Vatican reporter Sandro Magister has described the situation:

Not only do the German bishops approve of giving absolution and communion to the divorced and remarried, but they also express the hope that civil second marriages be blessed in church, that Eucharistic communion also be given to non-Catholic spouses, that the goodness of homosexual relationships and same-sex unions be recognized.

Columbian Bishop Suggests Mary Magdalene Might Have Been a Lesbian

Juan Vicente Cordoba, Bishop of Fontibon, Colombia, insisted that being homosexual is not a sin, and likewise suggested that one of the twelve apostles of Jesus was gay or that Mary Magdalene was a lesbian.

He also said that the Catholic Church does not oppose same-sex couples making a life together, but does not consider such arrangements to be a marriage or a family. “No one chooses to be gay or straight,” Córdoba said. “One simply feels, loves, experiments, is attracted, and no attraction is bad.”

Córdoba was speaking at a conference about gay marriage and adoption hosted by the local University of Los Andes, at a time when Colombia is debating gay marriage and adoption rights. According to local reports, Córdoba said that in the Bible there’s no explicit rejection of homosexuality, suggesting there’s no basis for making a condemnation of homosexuality a Church doctrine.

“We don’t know if one of Jesus’ disciples” had a same-sex orientation, he said. “We don’t know either if Mary Magdalene was a lesbian.”

Ireland Legalizes Gay Marriages

The Catholic country of Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize gay marriages, in May 22 referendum.  In the heated campaign run up to the referendum, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, refused to “tell others how to vote” on the referendum.  In the aftermath of the referendum, he spoke in glowing terms about the “social revolution” that took place in Ireland, and the need for the Church to have a “reality check”: “We [the Church] have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities. I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.”

Confidential Meeting Seeks to Sway Synod to Accept Same-Sex Unions

Cardinal Reinhard Marx

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, one of the leaders of the radical group of cardinals promoting major changes in Church teaching on the Family.

ROME — A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place in May 2015 at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.

Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, at the invitation of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier.

One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church.

One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”

Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”

The study day took place just days after the people of Ireland voted in a referendum in support of same-sex “marriage” and on the same day as the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Some observers did not see the timing as a coincidence.

German, French, and Swiss Bishops Pushing for Radical Change

During his Pentecost homily, Cardinal Marx called for a “welcoming culture” in the Church for homosexuals, saying it’s “not the differences that count, but what unites us.”

Cardinal Marx is also not alone, among those attending the meeting, in pushing for radical changes to the Church’s life. The head of the Swiss bishops, Bishop Büchel of St. Gallen, has spoken openly in favor of women’s ordination, saying in 2011 that the Church should “pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to read the signs of the times.” Archbishop Pontier, head of the French bishops, is also known to have heterodox leanings.

The meeting’s participants included Jesuit Father Hans Langendörfer, general secretary of the German bishops’ conference, who has been the leading figure behind the recent reform of German Church labor laws to controversially allow remarried divorcees and homosexual couples to work in Church institutions.

Father Schockenhoff

Among the specialists present was Father Eberhard Schockenhoff, a moral theologian who is a prominent critic of Humanae Vitae (The Regulation of Birth), as well as a strong supporter of homosexual clergy and those pushing for reform in the area of sexual ethics. He is known to be the leading adviser of the German bishops in the run-up to the synod.  In 2010, he gave an interview in which he praised the permanence and solidarity shown in some same-sex relationships as “ethically valuable.” Father Schockenhoff has also gone on record saying that moral theology must be “liberated from the natural law” and that conscience should be based on the “life experience of the faithful.”

He has also insisted that the indissolubility of marriage is “not seriously called into question” by admitting remarried divorcees to holy Communion, writing a book to push his thesis in 2011 entitled “Opportunities for reconciliation?: The Church and the divorced and remarried”.

Also present was Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Sant’Egidio lay community; Jesuit Father Andreas Batlogg, professor of philosophy and theology and chief editor of the liberal periodical Stimmen der Zeit (Voices of the Time) — the journal has devoted its June issue to same-sex relationships and the synod.

Media Participation

Also noted were the large number of media representatives. Journalists from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, German broadcasters ZDF and ARD, the Italian daily La Repubblica and French-Catholic media La Croix and I-Media were also present. Their presence was “striking,” said one observer, who predicted they will be used to promote the agenda of the subject matter under discussion in the weeks leading up to the synod.

Monday’s meeting is just the latest attempt to subtly steer the upcoming synod in a direction opposed by many faithful Catholics. A statement on the study day released by the German bishops’ conference May 26 said there was a “reflection on biblical hermeneutics” — widely seen as code words for understanding the Bible differently from Tradition — and the need for a “reflection on a theology of love.”

Critics say this, too, is undermining Church teaching. By replacing the theology of the body with a “theology of love,” it creates an abstract interpretation that separates sex from procreation, thereby allowing forms of extramarital unions and same-sex attractions based simply on emotions rather than biological reality. Gone, say critics, is the Catholic view of marriage, which should be open to procreation.

The statement, which conspicuously failed to mention sin, ended by saying that “further discussion on the future of marriage and family is necessary and possible” and that it would be “enriched by a further, intensive theological reflection.”  This, too, is code for wanting a change in teaching, giving the impression that the doctrine in these areas is open to change. But for the Catholic Church, it is a settled issue.

“Imagine if the Church accepted homosexual relationships,” said one source speaking on condition of anonymity. “Ultimately, that is what these people want.”

– by Edward Pentin