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Mohammed Blair and the promulgation of orthodox Islam

April 24th, 2014 Jill Posted in Islam, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

From Cranmer

Tony Blair runs a faith foundation, and he has a problem. As an abortion-supporting, embryo-destroying, contraception-using, gay-marriage-propagating, war-mongering, communion-abusing, Magisterium-defying convert to Roman Catholicism, he can't even persuade many of his co-religionists that he knows much at all about his own faith, let alone apprehend the theology of Islam. Yet in a keynote speech yesterday at Bloomberg HQ – Why the Middle East Matters – while he explained 'Islamism' via a tour of the 'Islamic world', through Pakistan and Afghanistan, wading through Iraq to Libya to Egypt to Yemen to Lebanon and to Syria, he decreed: [...]

[...]  So, it is not Islam which has given rise to the malignant Sunni-Salafi-Wahhabi strain of theology, but a "perversion" of the religion which "distorts and warps" and which "many Muslims abhor". In this, he agrees with the Prince of Wales, though Faith Minister Baroness Warsi maintains that these extremists are not Muslims at all; not even of the perverted, distorted or warped kind.

What is curious about Tony Blair's promulgation of Islamic theology is his understanding of religious orthodoxy and "proper teaching". The religion that is acceptable is that which coheres with the modern world – politically, socially and economically. The religion that is unacceptable is that which is "of a fixed polity, governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable but which are, of their essence, unchangeable".

This might explain his particular approach to Roman Catholicism: it is not, for him, Semper Eadem – a constant, catechised Catholic faith composed of infallible doctrines, immutable truths founded upon an unchanging gospel: it is a religion of "creativity" moulded through human "connectivity" and subject to the whims of democracy. For him, an "exclusivist" religion which is "governed by religious doctrines that are not changeable" is a perverted ideology. Ergo, traditionalist Roman Catholicism is a "perversion" of the faith; the orthodox Christianity which preaches "exclusivity" is one which "distorts and warps".

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Lies, damn lies and the UN’s attack on the Church: some fun-facts the MSM probably won’t mention

February 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Doctrine, Media, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

by Hilary White, LifeSite News

Following the first law of modern journalism – never let the facts get in the way of a good story – the mainstream media is gleefully pouncing on the UN report, issued last week, that has repeated one of their favourite anti-Catholic themes: that the Vatican did nothing but wink while local bishops pushed clerical pedophiles from parish to parish, allowing them to reoffend with impunity.

The solution offered to the Catholic Church by the Committee on the Rights of the Child just happens to be exactly the program the modern secular media has supported since about 1965: to get on board with the general frenzy to promote and normalize homosexuality, cohabitation, abortion, contraception and sexual activity outside marriage by minors… the whole of the Sexual Revolution’s repertoire. Oh, and drop all that “organized religion” stuff, while you’re at it. This, the UN’s Committee said, is what is needed to prevent children and young people from being victims of sexual abuse…somehow.

The Vatican has responded with a dull recitation of the facts: that the UN’s information is obsolete and inaccurate, and that more has been done by the Catholic Church – particularly by Cardinal Ratzinger while he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – than any other organization to protect children. And, more to the point, that the UN has no business telling the Church what to believe and teach about sex and marriage. Naturally this has been roundly ignored.
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Ambushed by a kangaroo court

February 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Austen Ivereigh, MercatorNet

A UN committee has roasted the Vatican over sex abuse. And abortion. And the Pill. And homosexuality. And whatever.

The UN watchdog on children’s rights which recently hauled the Vatican over the coals for its handling of sex abuse has today released its recommendations. The report is not only ignorant and misguided, peddling myths for which there is no foundation, but betrays an extraordinary misunderstanding of the nature of the Church and the Holy See, while seeking to impose an ideology of gender and sexuality in violation of the UN’s own commitment to religious freedom.
Although the Holy See has responded diplomatically to the report (see below), promising to look at the recommendations, the Secretariat of State cannot possibly accept them without doing violation to the nature of the Church. By adopting the mythical framework peddled by victims’ advocacy groups and lawyers, and ignoring the evidence put to it by the Holy See on 16 January (see CV Comment here, and Archbishop Tomasi’s speech here), the Committee has shown itself to be a kangaroo court. The Holy See can only now consider withdrawing its signature to the Convention. The Committee has very seriously undermined both its own credibility and that of the UN as a whole.
The 16-page UN report is so full of crass errors and myths that it is impossible to tackle them all. But the principal faults can be gathered under the three headings of 1) ignorance about the Church’s record on abuse 2) misunderstanding about the Church 3) attempt to impose an ideology of sexuality and gender.
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Petition:  UN Apologize for Attacking the Vatican
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An abuse of the abuse

February 6th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Fr Ed Tomlinson

I do not know a single Catholic who is not disgusted and hurt by the sick crimes of certain clerics whose sins are now infamous. They betrayed both the body of Christ and their victims. Nor do I know of a sane Catholic who does not accept that these crimes are matters for the police and that the Church must be transparent and robust in dealing with such reprobates. I have spoken on the abuse crisis before. If you want to know my thinking on it then follow this link.
But today I want to look at this from another angle by asking- what the church is meant to do if those claiming a desire to assist with this problem are actually hellbent on using the problem for their own political purpose? An abuse of the abuse if you like. For that is what is happening within the UN where politicians have released a report chastising the Vatican, not only for its part in the wide ranging historic abuse crisis affecting many parts of society, but for her actual beliefs on a range of moral issues such as as contraception, abortion, gender, the family and sexuality.
 Yes you read that right.  In a hubristic moment the UN actually chose to use a document aimed at protecting children to instruct the Church to permit the murder of children in the womb. You couldn’t make it up. And they didn’t stop there. Knowing that the backdrop of the abuse scandal leaves the church so humbled it will find it hard to defend itself- the UN spelt out that it is time for Catholics to drop their insistence on heterosexual marriage as the correct forum for the rearing of children and also demanded that a rethink is made regarding the use of artificial contraception. Again in a document whose aim was meant to be in said children’s best interests.
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Calling Catholics, Evangelicals, and All People of Goodwill

February 6th, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

Defend the Vatican at the UN

Today, in many international arenas, the values and virtues upon which the greatest achievements of civilization were built are under attack. Certain organizations, in the name of a false “liberation,” seek to undermine central truths regarding the nature of the human person and of the family. In the name of a false doctrine of human rights, they deny what makes men truly human and violate true human rights.

These groups have made the Holy See at the United Nations a particular target. They attack the Holy See’s credentials, ignoring the fact that the Holy See has engaged in diplomatic relations since the 4th Century and currently exchanges diplomats with 177 nations. The true ground of their animus, however, is the Holy See’s steadfast defense of the sanctity of human life and the inviolable dignity of the family.

Read and sign petition here

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February 6th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By David Lindsay

Of course, this absurd UN report is, entirely openly, about abortion and about the definition of marriage. It is not really, or at any rate directly, about child sexual abuse at all. Nor does it even make much of a pretence to be.

On that subject, the Catholic Church unquestionably occupies the moral high ground, and not only, although certainly, because there has never been a UN peacekeeping mission without sexual violence and child sexual abuse, especially prostitution, on the part of the participants.

The Catholic Church makes it a specific canonical offence for clerics or Religious to engage in sexual acts with persons under the age of 18, even if the age of consent in the territory in question is lower. Hundreds of priests who engaged in such acts were laicised by Pope Benedict XVI.

In Italy, the age is consent is 14. But in the Vatican City State, the age of consent is 18, a full four years higher. And the four years between 14 and 18 are four very full years indeed.

The Church’s mishandling of these matters in former decades does at least contrast favourably with, say, Britain in the 1970s. Sexual acts between adults of either sex and adolescents of either sex were then illegal but very common, both of which they still are.

But unlike today, they were wholly respectable, with a universal expectation that the laws against them would very soon be repealed, with a huge volume of academic literature actively encouraging them, and with the mass celebration of them in both high and popular culture, something of which there is still quite a lot.

No stigma attached to their practitioners at any economic, social, cultural or political level. Quite the reverse, in fact.

At least, by moving the guilty priests around, the Church acknowledged that there was a problem. That was a very great deal more than many Social Services Departments, secular state schools, or non-Catholic commercial schools ever managed.

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Vatican Blasts UN Committee That Asks Church To Change Teaching on Abortion and Homosexuality

February 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Stefano Gennarini, JD, C-Fam

The Vatican accused a UN committee of interfering with Church doctrine and violating religious freedom after it was asked to change its teaching on abortion and homosexuality.

The Church should change its teaching on abortion, according to a UN committee that monitors the rights of children. The Church should no longer automatically excommunicate those who perform or assist in the performance of an abortion, the UN experts said in observations published Wednesday following a year-long review of the Vatican’s child protection practices.

Church teaching on marriage and sexuality should also change according to the observations, because it prevents adolescents from accessing contraception. In addition the experts said Church teaching on homosexuality contributes to “social stigmatization and violence” against homosexual adolescents and children raised by same-sex couples.

The Vatican immediately issued a press release saying that UN experts cannot interfere with Catholic doctrine on human dignity or the Church’s exercise of religious freedom.

Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, who represents the Vatican at the United Nations in Geneva, told Vatican Radio his first reaction to the observations was surprise.

The committee took a negative approach and was “very wrong”, he said with consternation, “the Church cannot simply give up its beliefs” because all Church teaching on human dignity is ultimately geared towards preserving the common good.

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Read also:  Vatican strikes back at UN report demanding approval of abortion and sex for children from LifeSite


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Sorry — but Pope Francis is no liberal

January 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Pope Francis, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

From Cathnews USA

(The Spectator) On the last day of 2013, one of the weirdest religious stories for ages appeared on the news wires. The Vatican had officially denied that Pope Francis intended to abolish sin. It sounded like a spoof, but wasn’t. Who had goaded the Vatican into commenting on something so improbable? It turned out to be one of Italy’s most distinguished journalists: Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder of the left-wing newspaper La Repubblica, who had published an article entitled ‘Francis’s Revolution: he has abolished sin’.

Why would anyone, let alone a very highly regarded thinker and writer like Scalfari, believe the Pope had done away with such a basic tenet of Christian theology? Well, since he took charge last year, Francis has been made into a superstar of the liberal left. His humble background (he is a former bouncer), his dislike for the trappings of office (he cooks his own spaghetti) and his emphasis on the church’s concern for the poor has made liberals, even atheists like Scalfari, suppose that he is as hostile to church dogma as they are. They assume, in other words, that the Pope isn’t Catholic. Last year few left-leaning commentators could resist falling for the foot-washing Jesuit from Buenos Aires. In column after column they projected their deepest hopes on to Francis — he is, they think, the man who will finally bring enlightened liberal values to the Catholic church.

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Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols to become Cardinal

January 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Roman Catholicism Comments Off

From BBC News

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, is to be created a Cardinal by Pope Francis.
Archbishop Nichols will be one of 19 new Cardinals from around the world who will be appointed at the next consistory of Cardinals, which takes place at the Vatican on 22 February.
He said: "I am deeply moved by the honour conferred on the Catholic Church in England and Wales and on the Diocese of Westminster in my appointment.
"Personally this is a humbling moment."
The announcement came during Pope Francis' Angelus in St Peter's Square on Sunday morning.
The head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, welcomed the announcement.
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Damian Thompson comments here
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Roman Catholic bishops’ olive branch to divorcees

December 30th, 2013 Jill Posted in Divorce, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

Archbishop and bishops urge parishes to open doors to those not in “conventional family situations” ahead of Pope Francis's gathering to discuss lifting remarried divorcees’ exclusion from Holy Communion

Roman Catholic bishops have offered an olive branch to divorcees and single parents urging priests and parishioners to do more to welcome those not in “conventional family situations”.
The call, in a series of letters read at services, comes ahead of a major gathering in Rome next year which will discuss the possibility of relaxing the ban on remarried divorcees receiving Holy Communion as part of a reassessment of the Church’s response to sweeping changes to family life.
The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Rev Bernard Longley, was among a series of British bishops who issued pastoral letters to mark the Feast of the Holy Family – which honours Mary and Joseph – calling for greater “understanding and compassion” within the Church for those faced with marital breakdown.
Pope Francis has played down hopes in some quarters of major doctrinal changes but repeatedly spoken of a need not to “judge” people and warned against being “obsessed” with issues such as gay marriage, abortion and contraception.
He recently spoke about finding “another way” of treating divorcees who remarry.

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Archbishop says rules on communion for non-Catholics could be relaxed

October 11th, 2013 Jill Posted in Roman Catholicism Comments Off

From The Tablet

Restrictions on Christians from other denominations receiving communion in the Catholic Church could be relaxed, the Archbishop of Birmingham has said.

Archbishop Bernard Longley, who is co-chairman of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (Arcic), said he foresaw a loosening of guidelines that already exist allowing baptised Christians to receive communion, although stressed he could not predict the pace of such a change.

In an interview with the Church of Ireland Gazette, the archbishop pointed to a Vatican document in 1993 that already allowed for communion to be received by non-Catholic Christians in certain circumstances and following specific criteria.

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Who Am I to Judge? The Pope, the Press, and the Predicament

July 31st, 2013 Jill Posted in Homosexuality, Pope Francis, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Albert Mohler

Pope Francis pulled a surprise on reporters when he walked back to the press section of his Alitalia papal flight from Brazil and entered into an open press conference that lasted more than an hour. The Pope gave the press what Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton offered as presidents—a casual question and answer session that was on the record.

The biggest headline from the Pope’s remarks was not what he had to say about the scandals at the Vatican Bank, but what he said about homosexuality and, in particular, homosexuals in the priesthood. The key sentence in the Pope’s remarks is this: “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?”

The papal remarks put the international press into a frenzy. Headlines across the world announced a revolution in Roman Catholic moral teaching, a changed position on homosexuality, or at least an historic “new openness” on the issue of homosexuality.

Predictably, a closer look reveals a more complicated and far less revolutionary reality. Pope Francis did not change or modify one sentence of Catholic moral teaching.

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Mgr Leo Cushley, the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, must confront Scotland’s aggressive and cynical secular elite

July 24th, 2013 Jill Posted in Roman Catholicism, Secularism Comments Off

by Tom Gallagher,Telegraph

Normally the appointment of a Catholic archbishop to St Andrews and Edinburgh would pass virtually unnoticed. But Keith O’Brien, the previous incumbent, chose to boost the profile of the position by deliberately setting out to be a celebrity archbishop. To a Scottish media which had become largely illiterate about religious matters, he was manna from heaven – on hand to provide quotes on a bewilderingly wide range of issues, not all of which possessed any obvious religious dimension.
Tragically, he himself became the story earlier this year when he admitted inappropriate behaviour towards several priests and seminarians. He also showed no desire to go quietly into the night.
His successor is Leo Cushley, a 52-year-old Scot who is currently head of the English language section of the Vatican Secretariat of State. As a Vatican diplomat in war-torn central Africa, he has confronted the horror of warfare directed mainly against defenceless civilians.
Scotland has had its own brushes with inter-communal strife. A new report from the Scottish government indicates that sectarianism is not confined merely to Glasgow and its environs, reception centres for Catholic Irish newcomers to a still emphatically Protestant country nearly two centuries ago.
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Gay scandal at the heart of the Vatican: Pope Francis faces his first crisis

July 21st, 2013 Jill Posted in Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Damian Thompson, Telegraph

Pope Francis is discovering just what a nasty place the Vatican can be. Having acknowledged that there was a "gay lobby" in the Curia, the Pope has been told that the man he's appointed to be prelate of the Vatican Bank, Monsignor Battista Ricca, has an allegedly scandalous gay past. Moreover, Ricca is not only Francis's personal representative at the bank: he's also Director of the Domus Santa Marta, where Francis has chosen to live. Indeed, the Pope often eats with the 57-year-old Ricca, whose supposed sexual indiscretions are the subject of an explosive article by Sandro Magister, Vatican expert of L'Espresso magazine.

The best guide through this troubling affair is Dr Robert Moynihan, one of the most respected of all commentators on Vatican affairs and the author of a new book about Pope Francis. I receive his email newsletter, the Moynihan Report, in which he sets out the sequence of events.

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Doubts over future of Catholic weddings as Lords revisit gay marriage bill

June 17th, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Marriage, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

The Roman Catholic church could face legal action for refusing to carry out gay weddings despite Government assurances it could not, a committee of MPs and peers has warned.

Catholic bishops were advised earlier this year that they might have to stop carrying out weddings in the way that they currently do if they wish to avoid being taken to court under human rights laws.

The church’s legal advisers said that the uncertainty could even lead to Catholic couples being forced to get married twice – once in front of a civil registrar before a separate church service, as happens in France and elsewhere.

The problem is confusion over whether Catholic priests are acting as “public” officials when they carry out weddings, under a legal arrangement dating back 120 years.

Catholic bishops and other church leaders have been vocal opponents of the plans for same-sex marriage and have made clear that they do not wish to carry them out.

The Government’s same-sex marriage bill includes legal protections to ensure that no priest or church will be “compelled” to carry them out.

But Prof Christopher McCrudden, a legal expert advising Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, warned recently that this might not prevent them facing a legal challenge on the grounds that they are discriminating while acting as “public” officials.

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Pope Is Quoted Referring to a Vatican ‘Gay Lobby’

June 13th, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Rachel Donadio, New York Times

For years, perhaps even centuries, it has been an open secret in Rome: That some prelates in the Vatican hierarchy are gay. But the whispers were amplified this week when Pope Francis himself, in a private audience, appears to have acknowledged what he called a “gay lobby” operating inside the Vatican, vying for power and influence. 

The remarks — which the Vatican spokesman did not deny and the participants at the private audience confirmed — appeared to be part of an effort by the pope to take on the entrenched interests in the Vatican that many believe were a factor in why the previous pope, Benedict XVI, resigned unexpectedly. They appear to underscore numerous reports in the prelude to the election of the pope, that corruption, blackmail and violation of one of the highest codes of Catholic conduct were part of the intrigue that scandalized the Vatican in recent years.

Francis, who portrays himself as a simple pope of the people, has made it clear that one of his highest priorities is to put the Vatican’s house in order. He has appointed a group of eight cardinals to advise him on how to overhaul the Vatican, and the head of the Vatican Bank has recently given a series of interviews to journalists — an openness unheard of under his predecessors.

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Gay Marriage Bill in UK Must be Amended for Religious Freedom, Says Catholic Church

June 6th, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

by Myles Collier, Christian Post

In response to the passing of the gay marriage bill in the U.K., the Catholic Church is urging the upper house of Parliament to add amendments to the bill to ensure religious freedom is secured for organizations and individuals.

The Catholic Church is asking the House of Lords to include amendments regarding religious freedom and freedom of conscience issues after a similar amendment was denied inclusion in a bill that allowed for the legalization of same-sex marriage on Tuesday.

"The Church's principled objection to the legal re-definition of marriage is consistently and clearly set out," a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said in a statement.

"Following the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords, the Church's aim is to ensure the Bill, as it goes to committee stage, is amended so that it effectively delivers the protections that the Government promised to provide for schools, religious organizations and individuals," he continued.

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New Toronto Catholic Board Trustee motion to overturn gay clubs enforcement

May 15th, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By John-Henry Westen, LifeSite News

A new Toronto District Catholic School Board motion up for vote on May 23, seeks to reject the Ontario Liberal Government’s enforcement of homosexual activist clubs in Catholic schools. "The Anti-Bullying Clubs Policy Change" motion supports the anti-bullying program recommended by the Archdiocese of Toronto, which opposes bullying of any type in school, thus rejecting Premier Dalton McGuinty’s insistence on homosexual-focused anti-bullying clubs. (See the motion here)

The motion, submitted by Toronto District Catholic School Board Trustee Garry Tanuan and seconded by Trustee John Del Grande, has the support of Catholic ratepayers and parents groups around the province which fought the legislation passed in June which attempted to force compliance by Catholic schools.
Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition, told “I think it’s very courageous of Garry and John. More importantly, this motion is in keeping with the Catholic faith. I applaud them for showing leadership in bullying solutions that respects Catholic teaching. I encourage all supporters of Catholic education, especially in Toronto, to ask their trustees to support this motion.”
Taking its cue from legal opinion rendered after the passage of Bill 13, the motion notes, “The provincial government is breaking the law by violating s. 93 of the Constitution, which enshrines the denominational rights of the Catholic schools,” by insisting on Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs, which “promote a positive view of homosexual activity, which undermines Catholic teaching on chastity and marriage.”
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Roman Catholic Church ‘to take over secular schools’

April 26th, 2013 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Education, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By Graeme Paton, Telegraph

The Roman Catholic Church is set to take over struggling secular schools under Government plans designed to raise standards in the state education system, it has emerged.

Successful Catholic schools could be enlisted to act as “sponsors” to help run community primaries and secondaries in difficult circumstances, it was revealed.

The move would reverse an existing policy that prevents Catholic schools striking up federations with non-religious counterparts as part of the Government’s academies programme.

It comes two years after the Church of England embarked on a similar path which has resulted in a number of secular schools adopting a faith “ethos” under Anglican control.

The Government said it was keen to enlist the support of a range of bodies with a good track record of running schools to help address underperformance in parts of the state system.

But secular groups warned that the move could lead to the Catholic Church imposing its faith with “proselytising zeal”.

Andrew Copson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said: “We are alarmed that the Catholic Church is now seeking to extend its influence over the management of schools in a way never previously possible.”

Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, told the Times Educational Supplement: “Whenever you have a merger of amalgamation of a faith and non-faith school, everything always leans towards the faith.”

But Paul Barber, director of the Catholic Education Service, insisted that Catholic schools were already part of the state education system and “wanted to make a contribution” to driving up standards.

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Future of Catholic weddings in Britain in doubt, MPs and Peers told

April 24th, 2013 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Marriage, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

THE future of Roman Catholic weddings in England and Wales is now in doubt because of David Cameron’s gay marriage bill, the church’s chief legal adviser on the issue has disclosed.

Prof Christopher McCrudden said that there are serious questions over whether the 120-year-old legal basis on which 8,500 Catholic weddings a year are performed can even “survive” the passage of the bill currently before Parliament.

He told MPs and peers that, unless urgent changes are made, Catholic bishops may have to reconsider whether priests can carry on performing weddings, in effect, on behalf of the state.

The barrister said his advice to senior bishops is that proposed protections for churches against legal challenges under human rights or equalities laws for refusing to marry gay couples completely overlook the position of Catholics and other denominations.

It means that the entire legal basis for Catholic weddings, operating since the late 19th century, could be “unpicked” with “very uncertain consequences”, he warned.

One possible outcome could even be a complete separation of church and civil weddings, such as happens in France where coupes are married in the town hall with a separate service in churches, he said.

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