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Monday, July 6, 2009

Confusion and chaos rattle the Church

Confusion reigns these days even at the highest level of the Church. Members of the hierarchy spout nonsense and people listen, especially the enemies of the Church who promulgate the treachery far and wide. The official newspaper of the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano, shows an editorial policy favorable to dissent, leading to further confusion in the pews as errors are picked up and passed on by secular mouthpieces that revel in the falsehoods.

Here are just a few examples of the growing chaos that challenges faithful Catholics:

Abortion in Brazil

Last Spring the case of a little girl in Brazil who was pregnant with twins due to rape by her stepfather hit the news. Ultimately, the babies were aborted. The archbishop of Olinda and Recife, José Cardoso Sobrinhowho, tried to save the twins and protect the young girl. In a final move to stop the abortion, he warned the adults working to procure the abortion of excommunication (which is automatic in these situations). The little girl, of course, as an innocent victim (twice over) was not included.

What happened next was absolutely unconscionable! Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life in Rome wrote an article in L'Osservatore Romano condemning the actions of the archbishop and defending the abortion. Claiming to stand for the little girl in opposition to Archbishop Cardoso, he based his article on numerous errors: that the child's life was in danger from the pregnancy, that only abortion would save her, that the archbishop and local Church authorities did nothing for the girl and her family, etc. None of this was true.

Archbishop Cardoso attempted to have L'Osservatore Romano tell his side of the story to no avail. The Chiesa website carries the full story complete with background information and links to both Archbishop Fisichella's article and Archbishop Cardoso's response. It is crystal clear that the Church, through the local parish priest, from the very beginning offered help and support to the grandmother of the twins and her little daughter. The 9-year-old was never in a life-threatening situation from the pregnancy despite Archbishop Fisichella's uninformed statements. It's also clear that Fisichella never spoke to the local Church to determine the truth of the matter. As for L'Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Cardoso laments that the newspaper will not allow him to defend himself against the unjust charges.

Adding to the confusion, on July 1st the Vatican accepted the resignation of Archbishop Cardoso who is 76 and beyond the mandatory age of retirement. The acceptance of his resignation at that time contributed to the illusion that he is the guilty party being chastised when, in fact, he has upheld the truth and the teachings of the Church against unfair criticism and scandalous support for the abortion by Archbishop Fisichella.

Chiesa's Sandro Magister ended the article asking some serious questions:
- As is customary in the dicasteries, "delicate" documents have to be submitted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Did Fisichella’s article receive the prior approval of this Congregation? Does not this lamentable episode reveal how urgent it is to re-establish the precedence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith within the Curia?

- Was Fisichella’s article published with the backing of other Vatican authorities? Which ones? Who financed, organised and covered this arrangement? In a letter dated 14 May (PAV, ref. 4235/09), Fisichella wrote "The article was written on request”. At the request of whom? There are those who wish to insinuate that a petition was given to Fisichella [...] at the level of the office of the Secretary of State. This is the crucial question on which light must be thrown. [...]

- What is envisaged in terms of the essential doctrinal, pastoral and Canonic corrections called for by Fisichella’s article? The time has come for the Congregation for Catholic Education to consider the expediency of a visitation of Catholic universities, including those in Rome.

The faithful need answers about this disgraceful and chaotic episode!

Praise for Obama from former papal theologian

It's enough to make orthodox Catholics weep when those who should defend the truth undermine it. Archbishop Fisichella is not a lone voice of scandal. Another is the case of former household papal theologian to Pope John Paul II, Swiss Cardinal George Cottier (87), who recently wrote glowingly of President Obama's speeches at Notre Dame and Cairo calling his approach "humble realism" and his attitude on abortion "measured." What a disservice to Catholics in America fighting Obama's abortion juggernaut!

As our mothers taught us, "actions speak louder than words," and Obama's consistent strategy of promoting abortion and other moral evils, advancing them at all levels of government, funding them, etc. illustrate the emptiness of his rhetoric. Calling his response on abortion "measured" is like describing KKK cross burnings as weenie roasts. Once again a high level cleric aids and abets the enemies of the Church.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, author of What Does the Prayer Really Say, took issue with Cottier's article, even questioning whether the Cardinal actually wrote it. He debunked the claim that Obama does not, in fact, support abortion as a right saying:
The writer of Card. Cottier’s article argues that the Church should trust that President Obama is sincere in wanting to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, and that on this point the Church shares a “common ground” with the President.

But there is an abundance of convincing evidence that the President was insincere in his statement to this effect at Notre Dame.

I reject as naïve the idea that there can be “common ground” between Pres. Obama and the Catholic Church where abortion is concerned. Card. Cottier is flat out wrong in stating that Obama does not support abortion as a right. Claims such as this raise the suspicion that the writer of Card. Cottier’s article is either disingenuous or poorly informed. This sort of statement makes the Vatican, by implication, seem amateurish.

In fact, Obama's actions are in direct conflict with his words which leads one to believe that Jesus would say to him what he said to the pharisees. "You hypocrites! How accurately did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said: 'This people pays me lip service but their heart is far from me. They do me empty reverence, making dogmas out of human precepts.'"

L'Osservatore Obama Romano

One last example of chaos is the the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. In the past few months the paper has published so many pro-Obama articles that columnist George Weigel accused the paper of creating "more than a little mischief." Weigel makes it clear that the voices speaking in L'Osservatore's pages are not official and do not present a position by "the Vatican." Nevertheless, the paper is creating plenty of confusion by their love affair with our president based on uncritical acceptance of his rhetoric with little evaluation of his actions.

George Neumayr, editor of Catholic World Report, has also weighed in on what he described as the newspaper's betrayal saying:
Orthodox Catholics in America reeling from Notre Dame's blown kiss to Obama have a right to ask: "Et tu, L'Osservatore Romano?" With friends like these, who needs enemies?... Assessing Obama's record is not even a close call. Any Catholic who is even remotely paying attention knows that during his first hundred days he has advanced policies that contradict the teachings of the Church baldly. What would Obama have to do to excite L'Osservatore Romano's attention? Physically take a torch to Catholic hospitals? Perform abortions himself?

The fact is that the Vatican's mouthpiece has become an enabler of the culture of death inflicting one more blow on poor, reeling, faithful Catholics trying to defend the faith against an increasingly hostile culture. The enemy can point with glee to L'Osservatore Romano (like Catholics for Choice's Francis Kissling did recently about Archbishop Fisichella's treachery) and claim that the Church is growing.

Confusion and chaos, it seems, do reign almost unopposed in our Church these days -- all the more reason for Catholics to cling to doctrine, study it, teach it to their children, and fast and pray unceasingly. Truth and charity will win out over error and evil that masquerade as charity.

In the meantime, we see the disastrous fallout of sin: the twins are dead, a little girl is raped twice - once by her stepfather and a second time by doctors with assistance from her mother. Obama advances the culture of death in America and around the world enabled by those, even at the highest Church levels, who should vigorously oppose him and expose his snake oil for the poison it is.

The temptation for the faithful is to despair in the face of so much betrayal. The challenge is to persevere remembering Peter's response to Christ's question, "Do you want to leave too?" The faithful must respond in faith as he did, "Where shall we go; You have the words of eternal life." As the Church Militant, the faithful must hold their ground in confidence wearing the armor of God, the helmet of salvation, and wielding the sword of truth. Truth and charity overcome confusion and chaos in the end as long as the soldiers of Christ refuse to run from the field in fear.

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