Friday, January 4, 2019

Kissing Bishop Eliminates Summorum Pontificum in His Diocese

Victor Manuel "Tucho" Fernandez, ghost writer of Pope Francis, effectively eliminated the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in his archdiocese.

(Buenos Aires) Msgr. Victor Manuel Fernandez is one of the closest, Argentine confidants of Pope Francis. On June 2, 2018, Francis appointed him archbishop of La Plata, the second most important metropolitan See in Argentina after Buenos Aires. There he is taking action and has effectively prohibited the celebration of Holy Mass in the traditional form of the Roman rite in his Archdiocese. The evidence is mounting that the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI. is to be strangled.

The Argentinian Victor Manuel Fernandez was one of the very first personnel decisions of Pope Francis. Francis appointed him titular archbishop on May 13, 2013, exactly two months after his election as church head. Few people in the early phase of this pontificate signaled more clearly that many things would change under the new pope.

The career of the ghostwriter

Fernandez was appointed Rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in 2009 by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, whose speechwriter he was. The appointment was followed by a tenacious tug-of-war with the Roman Congregation for Education, which lasted two whole years. The Congregation did not consider the candidate of the then archbishop of Buenos Aires suitable. Doubts existed, among other things, in his theological production and even in his orthodoxy. Bergoglio prevailed nevertheless. In 2011, Fernandez received confirmation by Rome.

As a pope, Francis practiced retribution on those who opposed him in the Vatican.

Fernandez,  known as  "Tucho", he promoted demonstratively titular Archbishop. Officially still active as a rector in Buenos Aires, however, Francis often brought him to Rome, where he was especially in the first years of the pontificate, the actual speechwriter of the pope. Some statements not only brought him attention, but also criticized him. When this became too violent, he was withdrawn from the front line. Since then, he hardly appears publicly in connection with Francis. The connection between Bergoglio and his "eyeball", as "Tucho" is still called, is still good.

In May 2018 Fernandez resigned as Rector and was appointed by Francis as the new Archbishop of La Plata  Previously, the Pope had the archbishop there, Msgr. Hector Ruben Aguer, retired at the age of 75 years. Archbishop Aguer was Bergoglio's most influential opponent in the Argentine Episcopate. The replacement by Fernandez was again considered a demonstrative act, with which Pope Francis signaled his triumph and a corresponding humiliation of Archbishop Aguer.

Two decrees against the traditional Roman rite

Half a year after taking possession of his Archdiocese m, Archbishop Fernandez issued two decrees before Christmas, with which he prohibited the celebration of the traditional Mass, as introduced by Pope Benedict XVI. in the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The decrees were received with particular concern in traditional circles. They join in more signals that have been directed against Summorum Pontificum in the past two months. In November, during the autumn plenary assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference, a horn was blown against the Motu proprio.

Recent rumors of a dissolution of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei go in the same direction.

The measures of "Tucho" Fernandez are so far the most massive attack. Because of his close proximity to Pope Francis they are particularly noticeable.

On December 17, Fernandez issued a decree annulling "generally all previous archdiocese norms relating to liturgical celebrations".

A week later, on December 24, he issued a second decree ordering that the sacraments always be offered "in the vernacular," not Latin. The Mass, according to the same decree, also has to be celebrated "in the ordinary form" and "towards the people".

The confidant appointed by Pope Francis thus effectively eliminated La Plata’s Summorum Pontificum in the Archdiocese, ruling as if the motu proprio did not exist. With the motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, the need to ask the superiors’ permission, in particular the archbishop, to celebrate in the traditional form of the Roman rite was dispensed with.

Only "a blind man can deny", to quote Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, "that there is a campaign in the Church against everything that smells of tradition," said the Spanish news portal InfoVaticana. The question is, "where is the terminus, what will be the last act of this operation?"

Text: Giuseppe Nari
Image: columnasdelaiglesia (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Pope Francis: “It is Better to Live as an Atheist”

(Rome) Although the chosen heading is abbreviated, it is still possible to quote Francis from yesterday with a sentence very unusual and probably irritating to many people.

As part of his first general audience of the year 2019, the Pope held in the Hall of Paul VI one of those "revolutionary speeches" that are so typical of his pontificate. He spoke of the "revolution of the Gospel" and used the term revolution in a sense very unorthodox for the Church, which his predecessors avoided, or even condemned.

"Where the Gospel is, there is revolution. The Gospel does not leave us alone, it urges us: It is revolutionary.”

Even more astonishing was another potentially misunderstood statement by the Pope, urging "to live like atheists:”

"It's better not to go to Church: Just live like an atheist."

He continued:

"But if you go to church, then live like a child, like a brother, and give a true testimony."

This was a spontaneous addition to Pope Francis, which was not included in the prepared text version.

This from the traditional website Messa in Latino clarifies this comment:

"The year is already starting badly ... We barely started the year 2019 and the very first statement that causes concern and confusion among the faithful - on time like a Swiss watch."

The Vatican added the official text version for publication on the website of the Holy See to the spontaneous additions of the Pope.

In the past, the prepared texts were often not subsequently corrected and supplemented to the spontaneous additions of Francis. Thus, they have two versions, one oral and one written.

As a rule, so also yesterday, the spoken word.

Here is the video from yesterday's general audience. The video starts at the beginning of the named spot.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

1,000 Migrants At Karlsruhe Castle — Throw Fireworks at Those Celebrating

(ots) - In the area of ​​responsibility of the police headquarters Karlsruhe New Year's Eve in the entire service district was initially quiet, from midnight there were always small fires, especially trash or old clothes containers, trees and also to offenses and disturbances.

The police already carried out presence and control measures in the early evening. In total, more than 230 policemen and police were on duty to handle 535 missions. 65 disturbances were recorded. In addition, 25 offenses, nine thefts and nine violations of the Weapons and Explosives Act were reported. There had to be a total of 42 place referrals. Two teenagers were found significantly intoxicated. A sexual assault was reported to the police during the night. 17 people were arrested and 25 people had to spend the night in police custody.

As in the past turn of the year, several thousand people gathered in public areas in the city of Karlsruhe. Around 2,000 people were counted on the Schlossplatz, about 1,000 of them with a migrant background, who were noticed engaging in the improper handling of fireworks and shot them into the crowd. A 3-year-old girl suffered an eye injury and had to be treated in a hospital. Presumably due to the exposure of the firecrackers, most of the visitors left the location. An Afghan-Syrian group of about 20 people committed three offenses. The suspects were arrested.

At 9 pm, a garbage bin burning directly against the wall burned a house down on Ebertstrasse. The fire had already spread to the wooden backyard door and another garbage bin. The apartment building had to be evacuated. The cause of the fire is still unclear.

At around 10:00 pm there was a brawl in the Karlsruhe-Durlach area between five people and a police unit with pepper spray and resistance against enforcement officials. A police officer suffered a knee injury.

Eight garbage containers went up in flames. Around 00.30 hours a car fire was reported in the Insterburger road. At 1 o'clock, unknown persons damaged the exit mirror at the service building of the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office in Brauerstraße.

Probably fireworks set a fire in Pfinztal in the castle garden street around 2.00 in a carport including the parked vehicle. The Fire Department of Pfinztal enaged with 29 units and was able to extinguish the fire. The property damage is estimated at around 15,000 euros.

Several trees were in flames in Karlsruhe district. At midnight in Kraichtal in the Südendstraße, around 0.15 clock a tree burned in the Richenstraße, at 3.20  a bringing tree was reported in Bretten in the Bahnhofstrasse.

In Walzbachtal-Jöhlingen in the Jöhlinger road a fire was set  at 0.45 and burned a passenger car.

Presumably two groups of offenders, who committed a total of five robbery offenses in the city of Pforzheim, kept the police in readiness. In east Karl Friedrich street presumably two young people robbed 20 Euros after a physical assault and threat from a knife from the injured party. In Leopoldstrasse, two perpetrators held out a knife to their victim and robbed some cash. Two perpetrators committed three robbery offenses holding a knife in the wider area of ​​the station square for small amounts of cash. The investigation is ongoing. Shortly after the turn of the year Leopoldplatz experienced considerable disturbances in the presence of 500 people, most of them with a migrant background, firing fireworks at firefighters and damaging their uniforms. Luckily nobody was injured.

After disputes in the area of ​​the police station Mühlacker  a  34-year-old received superficial stab wounds in his stomach from his two companions with a knife and was arrested.

In Neulingen-Göbrichen unknown adolescents removed three manhole covers in the Bauschlotter road around 0300 whereupon a car driver damaged her vehicle while driving over a lid. This was the cause of a dangerous interference with road traffic.

In the district of Calw, New Year's Eve was largely quiet. In Dobel a trash can burned around 23.30. In the Calw area several fires were reported, which then turned out to be a false alarm So the suspicion of a hedge fire in the Breiten Heerstraße was not confirmed, just like an alleged hedge fire at 01.30 in Holzbronn. Around 00.15  a rocket landed in Bad Wildbad in the Wilhelmstrasse on the balcony. Fortunately, the fire brigade was also unable to detect a fire in this case.

Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Ethiopian President Opposes Open Borders

President of Ethiopia wants youth to stay in Africa and not take the dangerous journey to Europe - Sebastian Kurz reports on African politicians who criticize the EU's open borders

Vienna ( Sahle-Work Zewde, the new president of Ethiopia, has warned criminal smugglers in a double interview with Sebastian Kurz with the BILD newspaper and made it clear that people should stay in Africa. One should not lose one's own youth. "We must keep the people here who will lead Ethiopia - and Africa - into a better future." The President also wants a clearer distinction between migrants and refugees.

Sebastian Kurz also wants the African youth to stay in 
Africa and not come to Europe at all. "On my trip through Africa two weeks ago, by the way, I've heard of some heads of state who said clearly, 'Stop your policy of open borders in Europe, which only motivates African youth to break away' that many people fall for the lies of the smugglers via social media like Facebook and then pay thousands of euros for dangerous crossings.


Monday, December 31, 2018

A Pact Between Pope Francis and the Society of Saint Pius X for the Isolation of Tradition?

Is Pope Francis preparing to eliminate the Ecclesia Dei communities with the help of the Society of Saint Pius X. 

(Rome) More and more voices are dealing with the rumors that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is about to be dissolved.

The two authors Fabrizio Cannone and Alessandro Rico see it as a papal maneuver to assassinate tradition from behind. Fabrizio Cannone, born in 1974, holds a Doctorate in Church History and Religious Studies, and has written for Corrispondenza Romana, Fides Catholica, Homme Nouveau and numerous other Catholic media. Most recently, he published the book: "The Inconvenient Pope. History and background of the beatification of Pius IX." (1)

Alessandro Rico, born in 1991, studied philosophy at the Sapienza and Political History of Ideas at the LUISS in Rome. In 2017 he published together with Lorenzo Castellani the book "The end of politics? Technocracy, Populism, Multiculturalism". (2) He calls himself a "Catholic, Conservative and Opponent of Political Correctness". Both are close to the Catholic tradition.

Vatican Speaker Greg Burke Fired

On December 18, Pope Francis appointed his house Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli editor of all Vatican media. The office was newly created.
The informal papal spokesman has become an official one. Losers included the Vatican Press Office. The question was how Vatican spokesmen and papal speakers should coexist.
The question has become obsolete with the resignation of Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.
The American journalist was appointed in 2015 as the deputy of the then Vatican spokesman P. Federico Lombardi SJ. On August 1, 2016, he has since taken over his office. He fulfilled his task faithfully, but he did not have it easy with Francis and his communication policy. Burke failed to get close to the Pope. A relationship of trust was denied by the head of the Church.
While Andrea Tornielli had direct access to Pope Francis from the very beginning, Burke's predecessor, P. Lombardi, was not informed about some of the actions or only inadequately. His answers to journalistic questions were sometimes a sweat-splitting balancing act.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: (screenshot) 

Trans: Tancred AMDG

Successor War in Vatican Media

The new top of all Vatican media: Andrea Tornielli, and the new editor-in-chief of the Osservatore Romano: Andrea Monda.

(Rome) The surprising change at the head of the Osservatore Romano is confirmed as the first "official act" of the papal house Vaticanista, Andrea Tornielli in his new post in the Communications Dicastry. However, the Cardinal Secretary of State should not have known about it and be "very irritated" about it.

The winners

According to the daily La Verità, the former editor-in-chief of the Pope's daily newspaper, Giovanni Maria Vian, was dismissed by joint intervention of Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ, editor of the Roman Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, and Andrea Tornielli, Pope Francis's house Vaticanista. Both belong to the Pope's closest circle of acquaintances.

Tornielli had been called to the Holy See by Francis on 18 December. Since that time, he has directed all Vatican media as a publisher with central alignment and coordination powers.

On the one hand, Tornielli's appointment represents a crucial step in Pope Francis' media reform. The Italian journalist has had privileged access to Francis. Now he exercises his alignment and control function directly. The Vatican media are thus available to Francis directly and in close association with Santa Marta.

The intervention triggered within the papal court, however, also has "some abdominal pain". The State Secretariat and the Secretary of State was evidently not informed of the dismissal. Cardinal Pietro Parolin was "very irritated" about it.

The appointment of Tornielli is seen by the media as a "reckoning" within Pope Francis' closest but heterogeneous circle of intimates. Winners of the power struggle are Tornielli and Spadaro. The Jesuit is considered the most influential adviser to the Pope in this area. In 2017, an agreement was signed with the Jesuit Order to secure its influence over the Vatican media.

The losers

The loser is first and foremost Giovanni Maria Vian. He has since been replaced by Andrea Monda. Monda is close to Spadaro. He is the President, Spadaro the founder of the Roman cultural project with the unusual name Bomba carta (letter bomb).

However, one of the losers is the Vatican State Secretariat, which was overrun by the events. By the evening before Vian's release, Cardinal Secretary Parolin is said to have known "absolutely nothing" about it. Pope Francis had neither involved him in the decision-making process nor informed him in advance, although in the past the Secretariat of State had a not inconsiderable influence on the Vatican newspaper and on the Vatican Press Office.

According to Vatican sources, Vian's work as editor-in-chief under Francis had never been contested. The historian and philologist was still employed under Pope Benedict XVI. Under Francis he opened the pages of the Osservatore Romano, however, to readily heterodox, feminist and heretical voices and positions.

The daily La Verità sees "small orthodox methods" at work that are part of an "internal power struggle between many roosters in the same chicken coop".

As far as reconstructable, it was Pope Francis himself who wanted to replace Vian, in order to make the more than 170 year old Osservatore Romano stronger as a house medium in duty for the direct support of the line of Pope Francis. However, the decisive step came from Spadaro and Tornielli.

Had it gone to Francis, Spadaro should have taken over the job of chief editor, but this was refused. On his recommendation, however, the close collaborator, Andrea Monda was meanwhile used.

The internal power struggle for influence and closeness to the pope

More than four years after media reform began in 2014, the operation seems complete. Pope Francis was also not deterred by unexpected and unwanted setbacks, such as the tragicomic overthrow of his first communications chief, Dario Edoardo Viganò. At the beginning of the year he had manipulated a letter from Pope Benedict XVI. to give Pope Francis a particularly flattering gift for his five-year jubilee on the throne. Viganò, not to be confused with the former nuncio in the United States, fell easily. Pope Francis caught him again immediately and set up a new office ad personam for him in the same communication dicastery.

There is not only a tough fight in the Catholic Church between faithful and modernist circles in progress, but also a massive struggle within the very heterogeneous entourage of Pope Francis. Tornielli and Spadaro seem to have taken control of all Vatican media. The method used to push the last rival out of the field is not endorsed by all the pope's confidants. At least not by those whose influence was curtailed. Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin belongs to the media. The new mighty power that unites Tornielli in his hands has also weakened the position of the Vatican press service and Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.

Tornielli was so far only an informal papal spokesman. Now he is officially taking over this function. That will not be without consequences in Tornielli's activism. Francis used Paolo Ruffini as Viganò's successor after he had to accept more reluctant than willing Viganò's resignation. Ruffini, however, is more of a placeholder. Real influence is not attributed to him. The role that Dario Edoardo Viganò will play in the media in the future remains to be seen. At least he will not be able to oppose Tornielli.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: MiL
Trans: Tancred

Friday, December 28, 2018

Is the Vatican Going to Dissolve Ecclesia Dei?

Is the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei facing dissolution?

(Rome) Inside and outside the Leoninian walls of the Vatican there are always numerous rumors circulating. It is not always easy to screen them properly. This also applies to the latest "horror message" that overshadows Christmas in Rome. Rumor has it that Pope Francis plans to abolish the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

So far, it was rumors that went from mouth to mouth. Yesterday it was first reported - by the traditional site Messa in Latino. Accordingly, there is not only the papal intention to dissolve the commission established in 1988 by Pope John Paul II. The repeal should rather be imminent.

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei was established 30 years ago in the course of the same motu proprio, with which John Paul II responded to the unauthorized but valid episcopal ordinations of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for the Society of St. Pius X (FSSPX). The Commission is responsible for the traditional form of the Roman Rite and the communities that cultivate it. This refers to those communities as the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), which emerged from the Society of Saint Pius X, but remained in full unity with Rome.

Messa in Latino sees a connection between the rumors and the attacks on the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, which were expressed at the autumn assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Earlier this past June, Pope Francis's "house liturgist" had  attacked the motu proprio of Benedict XVI.

Messa in Latino is therefore "extremely worried" about the prospect of "destroying what was created on so much good in those years".

The traditional site addresses several questions to the responsible authorities and to sensitize the faithful. One question is whether the intentions are "merely" an organizational restructuring "within the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith," or whether hand will be placed in the Summorum Pontificum and the Universae Ecclesiae.

Another question concerns Curial Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Commission, who yesterday celebrated his 67th birthday, and his future use in the Vatican. "Or will he end up like Cardinal Müller?" Cardinal Gerhard Müller was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. as Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 2012, and Pope Francis removed him from office in 2017 and since then, despite his young age, has been given no new task.

Changes in the Commission Ecclesia Dei would also affect the talks with the Society of Saint Pius X, as Curial Archbishop Pozzo is coordinating these talks and is the first contact person in the Vatican. In addition Messa in Latino says:

"The dissolution of the Commission Ecclesia Dei corresponds to a long-standing wish expressed by the Society, who has always seen in the Commission a patron for the 'rival' Trad groups who are in unity with Rome. The FSSPX prefers to negotiate directly with the Congregation of the Faith, rather than with a commission dependent on it. It seems the Holy See considers it opportune to meet these demands ... "

The voices that Messa in Latino  pick up, speak of Pope Francis trying to "destroy the traditionalist charism in the Catholic world". To this she counters with  the word of Gamaliël from Acts 5:34:

"Then in the high council rose a Pharisee named Gamaliël, a law teacher respected among the people; he had the apostles led out for a short time.
Then he said, "Israelites, think well what you want to do with these people.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared and claimed that he was special. He was joined by about four hundred men. But he was killed and all his followers were scattered and wiped out. After him appeared in the days of the census Judas, the Galilean; he left a lot of people behind and made a turmoil. He too was killed and all his followers were scattered.
Therefore I advise you now: Let go of these men and release them freely; because if this project or work comes from people, it will be destroyed;
but if it comes from God, you can not destroy it; otherwise you will still stand as a fighter against God. They agreed with him. " has been confirmed by Vatican contacts, which is well known that nothing has changed in Pope Francis' lack of understanding of the Immemorial Roman Rite and the communities that favor it. However, the specific rumors were not confirmed, but even denied by some sides. One source said that Pope Francis had an interest in "keeping the Ecclesia Dei communities in unity with Rome, and thereby controlling them".

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: MiL
Trans: Tancred

Pope Denies Immaculate Conception

(Rome) The bishop of Porto, Manuel Linda, has denied the virginity of Mary just before Christmas. But even Pope Francis, who appointed him to this office in March, seems to have his difficulties with the Most Blessed Virgin and Mother of God. In his less-publicized address on December 21 at the Christmas reception for the Holy See and Vatican City staff, the Catholic leader spoke about Mary and Joseph.

Pope Francis de facto denied on this occasion the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed in 1854. Mary is revered by the Church as comceived without sin. She was born without the stain of original sin, and remained without sin for the rest of her life. In the Eastern Church, she is addressed with the title of Panagia.

In contrast, Pope Francis said in his speech:

"So who is happy in the crib? The Blessed Mother and St. Joseph are full of joy: they look at the Infant Jesus and are happy because, after a thousand worries, they have received this gift of God with much faith and love. They are 'overflowing' with holiness and therefore with joy. You will say to me, "Of course! It is the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph! 'Yes, but we should not think that it was easy for them: One is not born holy, but they will become it, and so will you.”

"Perhaps the Pope does not know the dogmas of his own Church?" Asks today the Roman website Chiesa e post concilio (Church and the post-counciloar period).

The Bishop of Porto corrected himself two days after his denial of virginity. From Pope Francis six days after that, nothing is known. The Vatican officially published its confusing statement on its website in Italian and English.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: (screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Saint Stephen Protomartyr Challenges the Jews

... You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also. ... Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: ... Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. ... Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him. ... But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. ... And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. ... And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. ... And they stoned Stephen, invoking, and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. ... [59] And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Schönborn Covering up for Financial Irregularities of His Bishop

Works Council Chairman of the Catholic Church Carinthia is sharply criticizing Schönborn: he should cease to write the public of as stupid. Rome has long been aware of all the information. "Profil”: Schwarz also in the Economic Council of the Archdiocese of Vienna

Vienna ( The Viennese Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is now under pressure in the Causa "Bishop Alois Schwarz". He said in an interview with ORF Niederösterreich on Wednesday that he was "confident" that there would be an "honest clarification" of the allegations against the former Carinthian Bishop Alois Schwarz. "If charges are made against a bishop, then you have to of course explore, examine and look at it.” This statement makes Carinthia shake his head.

On Thursday, Gabriel Stabentheiner, Organizational Officer in the Church Contribution Service of the Diocese of Gurk-Klagenfurt and Chairman of the Works Council of the Catholic Church, Carinthia, published an open letter to Cardinal Schönborn. Schönborn is sharply criticized in this letter. And Schönborn is called upon to stop "constantly placating the public with such statements or writing  them of as stupid.” According to Stabentheiner, Rome has known about everything for a long time. He himself was with a group of people a few years ago to visit the competent Bishop, Alois Kothgasser to inform him about the conditions in the diocese, writes Stabentheiner and who continues to ask. "Why was Schwarz made the financial bishop?" However, he already knew everything, Stabentheiner then asks Schönborn why he also made Schwarz the financial bishop of the Episcopal Conference. Schwarz himself is silent to all accusations so far.

Meanwhile, in the Cause "Bishop Schwarz" now another Austrian news magazine has weighed in. As reported by the news magazine "Profil", the Diocese of Gurk owns a house on the Rabensteig in downtown Vienna, in which Schwarz rented an apartment. The rent for the apartment, which has more than 100 square meters, is estimated at 1900 euros. However, Black paid less than half of it, reports "Profil." According to a spokeswoman the present bishop of St. Pölten, Schwarz, has dissolved the lease.

In addition, according to the magazine Schwarz has violated canon law. This is evident from the test report submitted by the Gurk cathedral chapter, which at the beginning of the year 2018 dissolved the economic council provided for in the statutes of the diocese of Gurk. Incidentally, according to "Profil,” Schwarz is even on the Economic Council of the Archdiocese of Vienna, where he supervises its conduct.


Trans: Tancred

Friday, December 21, 2018

Chinese Communists Storm Faithful Monastery — Nuns Have One Hour to Vacate

(Beijing) On the night of December 19th, a women's monastery in the People's Republic of China was evicted by the police and largely destroyed. The monastery is located in Gannan County, Qiqihar District Free City, Heilongjiang Province.

The police forced the nuns to leave the monastery within an hour. The authorities say the building was illegally built and houses an underground church community.

Bishop Wei Jingyi announced today that the nuns have found an emergency shelter. They also managed to convince the authorities to leave at least a part of the monastery building. So the part with the chapel could be saved.

The remaining parts were destroyed.

On December 18, at around 11 pm, police intruded. The nuns had until midnight to leave the monastery. In Qiqihar, temperatures below freezing prevail at this time.

The sisters informed Bishop Wei Jingyi. On December 19, demolition work continued. Construction crews expanded doors, windows, and window sills. Meanwhile, the bishop and some priests and faithful were seeking to inquire with the authorities.

The monastery building, according to the authorities, was illegally built and houses illegal religious gatherings. The monastic community belongs to the faithful Underground Church and not to the Patriotic Association. Bishop Wei Jingyi is also recognized by the Pope, but not by the Communist government, even though, according to AsiaNews, he seeks "a good relationship with the authorities.”

Believers think that the action serves to put pressure on the sister convent to submit to government control as an officially registered community.

Bishop Wei Jingyi announced this morning that a new shelter for the sisters could be found. They hope to continue to use the chapel in the largely destroyed monastery.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: AsiaNews
Trans: Tancred

Bishop Barron Betrays Christ, Again

Edit: what do you expect from a byproduct of Cardinal Bernardin and Father Andrew Greeley?

[Chuth Militant] Well, he's at it again, the "reasonable" Bp. Robert Barron, the quintessential modern bishop who can speak in educated-sounding tones and look all smart and, above all, sound reasonable and unobjectionable to the modern world, but in the end falls flat.
In a recent interview on Ben Shapiro's show, Barron was asked by Shapiro, a well-known conservative commentator who is unabashedly an Orthodox Jew, the essential question — which he termed as "awkward" — could he be saved, since he's Jewish?
[Transcript unavailable]
There is so much deceptively wrong with that answer, it's hard to know where to begin. But the sneaky part of it is, there's some stuff in it that is right. But the part that is right is shrouded in such obscurity that someone with little understanding would hear that and I think, "Got it. I'm good then. Thanks, Padre."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Decline of a Seminary

When there were many seminarians in the diocesan seminaries.

(Rome) The seminary of the diocese of Vicenza was still in its prime just a few decades ago. From this diocese comes Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, who was ordained a priest in 1980 for the diocese.

Until the early 1970s, the Major Seminary had a constant 130-150 seminarians. The Minor seminary, the episcopal high school, was attended by about 200 students. Every year 20-25 new priests were ordained.

That was not uncommon, but in whole European regions the rule.

The diocese had a well-known Schola Cantorum, which consisted of a hundred singers who belonged to the two seminaries. It was headed by Msgr Ernesto Dalla Libera (1884-1980), who took piano and organ lessons at his own expense as a student and trained in Gregorian chant with the Benedictines of Parma. He was commissioned in his home diocese to become the main representative of the Cecilia Movement and the then bishop, Msgr. Ferdinando Rodolfi, Bishop from 1911, with the implementation of the liturgical renewal in the diocese. From 1908-1968 Dalla Libera was choirmaster of the Schola Cantorum of the episcopal seminary, which performed her musical service at the Duomo of Vicenza.

The Schola has not existed for a long time.

The Seminary currently has nine seminarians in the academic year 2018/2019, although the population in the diocese has increased by 30 percent since 1970, from 670,000 to 867,000.

In 2018 there was no ordination. Also in 2019 and 2020, as it currently looks, there will be no new priestly ordinations.

The minor seminary was closed three years ago, and the task of the vocation ministry among high school students transferred to a retreat and meeting center for young people. The seminary building, which was rebuilt in the 1950s under great financial sacrifice of the faithful, was sold to the National Health Service in 2015.

Now it became known that the private school H-Farm will move into the former small seminary. It describes itself as a "school of the future.” There are "neither blackboards nor school desks,” but "mobility and networking.” The main tools are "McBook and iPad from primary school.” Digitization and the use of modern, technical aids is a central component of the "school philosophy.” Particular emphasis will be placed on "robotics and artificial intelligence,” but also "magic hour to meet the superheroes of our time" and "soft skills to train capable managers with leadership and empathy.” H-Farm wants to develop a "completely new school model" and test it on some "thousands of students" in the H campus in order to gradually export it.

The spectrum should reach from kindergarten to post-university and further education. "A span from the age of 3 to 33," says the founder and CEO of Riccardo Donadon. Half of the money is privately owned by the insurance company Cattolica Assiscurazioni, whose largest single shareholder is Warren Buffett. The other half are financed by the public sector through a credit institution controlled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The cooperation had been entered into by the previous government.

According to the traditional website Messa in Latino, it is "sad" that one Diocesan high school closes down while another private board closes.

Messa in Latino accuses the incumbent bishop of Vicenza of being the confirmation that the "typical" activity of a bishop today, that of a "steward of decline" is to "shut down, let go, sell.”

"Is it possible that nobody realizes that he needs a course change?"

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: MiL
Trans: Tancred

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

German Politician: “Cardinal Woelki, Cardinal Marx, where are you now, depraved, disgusting hypocrites!”

Former Bild on Sunday editor-in-chief and current AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) politician Nicolaus Fest has unleashed sharp criticism of the churches, because they are silent on the JUSO extension for abortion until the 9th month.

Berlin ( Nicolaus Fest, former deputy editor-in-chief of the Bild am Sonntag and current AFD politician, has vigorously criticized the silence of politicians, media and the churches on the JUSO demand for abortion until the ninth month. "Cardinal Woelki, Cardinal Marx, where are you now depraved, disgusting hypocrites?" Mr. Bedford-Strohm, Mrs. Irmgard Schwätzer of the EKD. "Where is your outcry, you bigoted religious actors?" And Fest then criticizes the zeitgeist: "What we experience is disgusting mendacity of the left-green zeitgeist: on the one hand demanding children's rights in the constitution, but at the same time killing children in the womb."

Trans: Tancred

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

General Superior of SSPX: “Rome Doesn’t See Us as Schismatic”

Interview with Fr. Davide Pagliarini, Superior General of the  Society of Saint Pius X  (FSSPX), in the Salzburg news.

(Vienna) "This Pope shakes us deeply," is the title of a detailed interview, the Salzburger Nachrichten published in its Saturday edition (15 December) with the new Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity. Pius X (FSSPX), P. Davide Pagliarni.

Pope Francis seeks dialogue, according to the daily paper: "How does the new superior general respond to the pope's approach?"

Fr. Pagliarini affirmed in the interview the position that the excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, its founder of the Society "was never considered valid.”

Asked what the Society was expecting from Rome, as "Francis too" came to “approach it,” Pagliarini replied:

"We expect what each Catholic expects from the Church at his baptism. The divine revelation is complete and it is the task of the Pope to faithfully pass on this material of faith. The Pope must therefore put an end to the terrible crisis that has shaken the Church for 50 years. This crisis was triggered by a new concept of faith, which is determined by the subjective experience of the individual.”

On the relationship with Rome, the Superior General said:

"In fact, Rome does not consider us schismatic, but 'irregular'. However, I would leave the Society immediately if I did not have the peace of mind to work in and for the Roman Catholic Church.”

And the relationship with Pope Francis:

"The Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X is deeply attached to the successor of Peter, even if he embraces the errors of the Second Vatican Council."


"One of the features of the present pontificate, however, shakes us deeply: the completely new application of the concept of mercy. This is reduced to a panacea for all sins, without pushing for true conversion, for the transformation of the soul through grace, mortification, and prayer. In his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, the Pope gives Christians the opportunity to choose their own personal conscience on a case by case basis. This clearly contradicts the necessary and clear orientation to the law of God. We see in it an echo of Luther's spirituality: a Christianity without a demand for moral renewal, a subjectivism that no longer recognizes universally valid truth. "

Referring to the Luther Year 2017, P. Pagliarini said:

"Since the 16th century, the Catholic Church has approached the Protestants to convert them and to return them to the true Church. The year of Luther did not serve this primary purpose of returning the Protestants. On the contrary, these were reinforced in their errors. The reason for this is that since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has believed that every person can find God in his religion. This is a premise that reduces faith to a personal, inner experience rather than clinging to the divine revelation.”

At the Second Vatican Council, the Superior General emphasized that, while it was a “self-proclaimed" pastoral council, it did in fact "make serious dogmatic decisions," such as freedom of religion and ecumenism.

"Pope Benedict XVI. said that the differences between Rome and the Society of St. Pius X were a problem in interpreting the texts of the Council. One must only remember these texts themselves, then an agreement is possible. This is not our position. The fraternity of St. Pius X rejects everything that does not accord with the Catholic tradition in the Second Vatican Council.”

Specifically, he demanded:

"The pope must declare the decree on religious freedom as false and correct it accordingly."

The Italian born in 1970 in Rimini, Fr. Davide Pagliarini, previously District Superior of Italy and then Rector of the Society in Argentina, was elected General Superior of the Society founded in 1970 and the third successor to Archbishop Lefebvre at the General Chapter last July. His term of office is twelve years and lasts until 2030.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Salzburger Nachrichten (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred

New Jesuit Provincial is “Worst of the Worst”

Rafael Velasco, the new Jesuit Provincial of Argentina and Uruguay

(Buenos Aires) The Jesuit General Arturo Sosa Abascal has appointed Father Rafael Velasco as the new Provincial of the Province of Argentina and Uruguay. The appointment was "the worst of the worst," says Spanish columnist Francisco Fernandez de La Cigoña. From 1973 to 1979 Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today's Pope Francis, was Provincial of this province.

The new provincial was Rector of the Catholic University of Cordoba (UCC) until 2014. He advocates the recognition of homosexuality and the introduction of women's priesthood and assures that he will continue to adhere to Marxist liberation theology.

He expressed his views on this in an interview with the Argentine journalist Mariano Saravia in 2013. Velasco then called for "reforms" in the Church that, in addition to recognizing homosexuality and the admission of the women's priesthood, also meant the elimination of the Roman Curia, the last medieval court in the middle in the 21st century.”  "The community should have more say" in episcopal appointments. 

On the objection that Pope John Paul II had definitely excluded the women's priesthood, Velasco replied that Pope Francis could simply "reopen" the question. There is "nothing the Pope can not open. The pope or a council.” [What happened to not turning back the clock?]

There are "logical" consequences to be drawn, "if a homosexual lives the same norms of love and loyalty that we demand from heterosexuals, then we must totally rehabilitate them for the sacraments, beginning with communion."

The former rector of the Catholic University denied the infallibility of the pope in the interview, when he speaks ex cathedra to questions of theology and morality. According to Velasco, the infallibility in matters of faith is "democratizing.”

According to the Jesuit, Marxist liberation theology is "the reality of reading the word of God from the poor.” The Church has "always" made policy, "but the only ones who have been punished are Ernesto Cardenal and Fernando Lugo."

Cardenal, one of the priests who became armed revolutionaries in the wake of Marxism, was from 1979, Minister of the Sandinista Revolutionary Government in Nicaragua, and Lugo was elected as a candidate for a left-wing alliance to the Presidency of Paraguay. Cardenal, lost office in 1987 due to cutbacks. In 1990, the Sandinists were voted out by the people in the first free and democratic elections. Cardenal nevertheless continues to profess himself to be "Sandinista, Marxist and Christian.”

Lugo won the 2008 elections, was relieved of office in 2012. He had just had to acknowledge the paternity of a second child whom he had conceived during his time as bishop of San Pedro with various women. He had already recognized the first child in 2009. Lugo's personal way of life was criticized as a "slap in the face of the Church.”

Due to the heterodox and heretical positions of Father Rafael Velasco, Francisco Fernandez de La Cigoña today greeted his appointment as the new Jesuit Provincial of Argentina and Uruguay as “a scandal.”

"The only positive thing about the news is that the Argentine and Uruguayan Jesuits are only fewer than 200, of whom one hundred must be eighty or almost eighty. Only 50 Jesuits will be younger than 60, of whom he is one of the youngest in the province at the age of 52.”

The cases of Velasco in Argentina and Wucherpfennig in Germany, to mention only the two most recent, as well as the scandalous statements by the Father General Arturo Sosa last year, means that it can be not only marginal cases, but the Jesuit Order seems to have a fundamental problem 

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: InfoVaticana
Trans: Tancred

NYT: International Conspiracy to Topple Pope Francis

Princess Gloria von Thurn and Taxis is the linchpin of a conservative conspiracy against Pope Francis for the New York Times.

(New York) The New York Times (NYT) tries to give the impression that there is an organized and conspiratorial group in the Catholic Church that wants to overthrow Pope Francis. And at the center would be Princess Gloria of Thurn and Taxis.

If it were another medium, you could break a smile about it. However, the article was published by the New York Times on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The New York daily newspaper is not only regarded as an influential newspaper worldwide, but above all is the leading organ of the global, left-liberal mainstream.

Their weight can be briefly illustrated by two examples.

The New York Times issued the slogan on the day after the 2016 US presidential election that the Internet, which the same newspaper had praised eight years earlier when Barack Obama was elected, as the ingenious instrument of a new grassroots movement, allowed and spread "fake news" which was the only thing that made the election of Donald Trump possible. A direct consequence of this article is the "Fake News" discussion and the Network Enforcement Act in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Several articles show how much careful attention even in the Vatican, the pronouncements of the New York daily newspaper are listened to. Several times Pope Francis responded to direct calls from the editorial office, and not only in the withdrawal of the cardinal dignity of Theodore McCarrick.

On December 8, Jason Horowitz published the article “80s Party Girl Now Has a Salon for Conservative Catholics. " 

We are talking about Gloria von Thurn and Taxis. Noteworthy is not the distinctively drawn portrait of the princess in residence in Regensburg, but the attempt to whisper a new slogan to the world public.

The New York Times is introducing the mainstream slogan that there is an internationally organized, conspiratorial group in the Catholic Church to overthrow Pope Francis. It is not said that the princess is the head of this conspiracy, but at least its central hub. Her castle is something like the place of conspiracy.

The story sounds familiar and commemorates the inner-church secret circle of St. Gallen, which Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini SJ, who at that time Archbishop of Milan, founded in the 1990s. The difference: the secret circle of Sankt Gallen really existed, while the alleged conservative conspiracy is an invention of the New York Times. Cardinal Godfried Danneels, not suspected of being a conservative, chatted about the existence of the progressive secret circle to his biographers and self-confidently performed a feat in the 2015 book launch, revealing that the members of the secret circle called themselves "the Mafia":

"The group was called 'Sankt Gallen'. But we called it 'the mafia'.”

Every day, 300 warm meals are served  in the castle for the poor

Horowitz makes every effort to put the idea of ​​the existence of a conservative "secret circle of St. Gallen" in the reader's and probably especially those minds of the disseminators. In addition, he throws everything arbitrarily into a pot, of which he must certainly be aware.

There is the Princess who invites and collects everything that is against Francis, "conservative and traditionalist Catholics," and of course there is somehow a connection to US President Donald Trump, the archenemy of the New York Times par excellence. It goes on with the former nuncio in the USA, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, with Cardinal Raymond Burke, with the traditional Institute Christ the King and High Priest, although one does not exactly understand how and why, then of course there is Cardinal Gerhard Müller, who prior to his appointment to Rome was Bishop of Regensburg, and even Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart leader charged with the unpardonable "offense," of organizing the successful election campaign of Donald Trump. Bannon is currently trying to repeat his hussar's charge in view of the European elections in 2019.

Reporting by the NYT

These ingredients seem to have more the purpose, even to less religiously interested readers, to facilitate the "political" assignment. After all, it should be clearly communicated who is friend and who is enemy, and that the fight takes place globally. No doubt remains as to which side Pope Francis stands or is ranked. The Wall Street Journal wrote in late 2016, when the first shock over the Trump election victory had passed and the ranks were rearranged:

"Pope Francis is the new leader of the global left."
There is no doubt that there are enough faithful people in the Catholic Church who would rather have another pope sooner than later. There are also some circles who still view Benedict XVI. as the truly legitimate successor of Peter. Thats the one thing. But a very different matter is a conspiracy to overthrow Pope Francis. Of course Jason Horowitz knows that too. If he nevertheless suggests the story, it does not lack intentionality. The most common intention is to distract. Above all, a more typically leftist outlook is projected onto the opposite side. There is more evidence that it has become more difficult to understand each other inside and outside the Church. Even more: On the left side of the enemy's delusion against the right seems to have progressed so far that only the smallest idea of ​​"opposition" thinking and feeling is apparent. It simply lacks the willingness to even deal with it.

The article reveals something else: Pope Francis has become very dear to certain circles of the left-liberal establishment. So much so that since the day of his election he has been generously supported by the media; so much that since then they have defended him to such an astonishing degree; so much so that, if necessary, they are eager to brush aside even serious issues.

Elvina Princess Pallavicini

Horowitz uses another blueprint. He portrays the German princess as a new princess Pallavicini. The Roman princess (1914-2004) once said: Anyone who can transform his house can become anything in Italy, even president. Above all, the two princesses share the faithfulness and love of the Catholic Church. The subliminal comparison honors the mistress of the castle of St. Emmeram. Because one thing the energetic Roman woman did not do: neither conspired nor did she want to overthrow a pope. Nothing would have been further from their thinking, but it's not only Horowitz who does not seem to understand that anymore.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: NYT / Wikcommons / CR (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred

Monday, December 17, 2018

Cardinal Zen: "I must choose between rebellion against the Pope, and silence."

"Global Times on the Vatican delegation in the People's Republic of China. Cardinal Zen: "I have to decide".

(Rome / Beijing) Vatican spokesman Greg Burke indirectly confirmed the Vatican operation in the People's Republic of China to force legitimate, faithful bishops to resign, giving way to schismatic, bishops.

"Practical steps"


On Saturday, December 15, the Global Times, a regime friendly, English-language newspaper in the People's Republic of China, reported the presence of a Vatican delegation in China. This had taken place in the Communist empire because of "practical steps in the implementation of the agreement on the bishops".
Last September, for the first time since the Communist takeover in 1949, a bilateral agreement was signed between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China, but its contents are kept secret by both sides. As the Global Times confirmed, this is about episcopal appointments.
In 1958, the Communist regime established its own religiously dependent Catholic Church, independent from Rome, the so-called "Patriotic Association," and has since appointed its own bishops without the consent of Rome. These bishops were excommunicated from Rome.
Simultaneously with the signing of the secret agreement, Pope Francis lifted the excommunication of these bishops and recognized them as legitimate bishops. The agreement also appears to require that these bishops be appointed and recognized as diocesan bishops by Rome. Since autumn 2017, it is known that the Vatican is urging two faithful bishops to resign to make way for bishops excommunicated so far.
Last week, as the newspaper reported, a Vatican delegation was in the "Middle Kingdom" to hold "talks on the implementation of an agreement on the appointment of bishops."These," said a spokesman for the Holy See,  "talks were conducted with both government and church representatives."
The spokesperson, according to the article, was Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, who was contacted by the Chinese newspaper last Friday.
The newspaper also quoted Wang Meixiu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as saying that the talks were about filling vacant episcopal chairs. 

The "new model"

The Global Times also confirmed that a bishop appointed by the regime is being used by the Vatican as a legitimate diocesan bishop. Underground Bishop Guo Xijin of Mindong accepted the papal call to resign last Friday. He is replaced by the regime's Bishop Zhan Silu.
Bishop Guo Xijin was a dialogue partner of the Vatican delegation. He will be, as the Vatican wishes, auxiliary bishop of Bishop Silu in his former diocese. He confirmed this to Global Times after the meeting with the delegation from the Vatican.
Global Times presented the unusual resignation and role reversal as a "normal castling," which goes back to "practical", ecclesiastical "necessities."
There is talk of a "new model" that, if accepted by both sides "with good will", could be established with regard to episcopal nominations. Should that translate to mean that the diocesan bishops in future come from the Patriotic Association and the auxiliary bishops from the Underground Church?
Global Times concludes:
"The Press Office of the Holy See did not respond to questions as to whether the delegation's mission also included discussions on the establishment of diplomatic relations or a possible visit by Pope Francis to China."

Cardinal Zen: "Unacceptable, so I'll be silent from now on"

Meanwhile, Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong and gray eminence of the Chinese Underground Church, commented on recent events. He was disappointed with the monthly Tempi that Rome forces legitimate and faithful bishops to resign to establish bishops who have been unfaithful and have turned away from Rome.
"I have told these two bishops that they should not resign voluntarily so as not to cooperate with evil. But I have also advised them to obey if the Pope orders it, because a pope's command must always be obeyed."
At the beginning of the year, Cardinal Zen experienced the great defeat when it became clear that Pope Francis is against all warnings, for the agreement with Beijing (see also "The problem is who sits in the cage" ). Because of this disappointment, the cardinal reasons, since it is impossible for him because of his office and as a Catholic, to criticize the Pope, he will at last to retire to a monastery and to keep silent.

He said to Tempi :
"There is the problem of the seven bishops excommunicated and pardoned by Francis. So far none of them has been placed at the head of a diocese. If this happens, I will be silent for ever, because that would be unacceptable and would force me to decide to rebel against the Pope or to remain silent. I will be silent."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Global Times / Wikicommons (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Underground Bishops Expected to Subject Themselves to Communist Ones Favored by Pope as Sign of Obedience

“Gesture of obedience": Archbishop Celli with legitimate bishops of China, who have to resign in favor of bishops who belong to the state.

(Beijing) Two legitimate bishops were called to resign yesterday on behalf of Pope Francis. They have to give way to Patriotic bishops loyal to China’s Communist regime.

Underground Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin was the Bishop of Mindong, officially recognized by Rome. He was rejected by the Communist government in Beijing. At the insistence of Rome, he will now resign to make room for a bishop in the diocese, whose excommunication was lifted by Pope Francis last September. The repeal was a one-sided advance of Rome for the signing of the secret agreement between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China on the same day. The content of the agreement is kept secret in agreement of both sides, but should relate to episcopal appointments.

Pope Francis abolished the excommunication of seven bishops whose episcopal ordination had been ordered by the communist government without the consent of Rome. Part of the agreement seems to be that not only the excommunication should be repealed, but all previously bishops of Rome as diocesan bishops must be used and recognized. In order to make this possible, the Vatican negotiators urged legitimate bishops in the fall of 2017 to renounce their offices. They must subordinate themselves in rank to the bishops who belong to the state and become their suffragan bishops.

Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin was also urged to do so. In the past two years alone, he was arrested twice and taken to an unknown location. A popular method in the People's Republic of China is to exert pressure, intimidate, or subject regime opponents to re-education.

His place as Diocesan Bishop of Mindong will be occupied by Vincent Zhan Silu. This became known yesterday after Bishop Guo gathered his priests in the afternoon to explain the situation to them.

Bishop Guo, who will be Auxiliary Bishop of Mindong in the future, had just returned from a place near Beijing. Curial Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the head of the Vatican delegation that had prepared the agreement and signed it on behalf of the Pope, had sent him there.

Archbishop Celli handed Bishop Guo a letter from Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of Propaganda Fide. In it they asked him to cede the leadership of the diocese to Zhan Silu. Archbishop Celli emphasized to the bishop that Pope Francis awaits his resignation as a "gesture of obedience". It is a "sacrifice for the overall situation of the Chinese Church,” which he has to bring into being.

The news, AsiaNews said, has "saddened" many priests and believers. Until now it was the case that an episcopal bishop, reconciled to Rome and recognized by the Holy See, subordinated himself to the Underground Bishop and became its Auxiliary Bishop. "Now the opposite is the case," says AsiaNews.

In the diocese of Mindong, the vast majority of the faithful and the priests belong to the Underground Church. The Natuonal Patriotic Association has counted at best ten percent of the faithful and 20 percent of the priests. Thanks to the Vatican-Chinese agreement, the state-owned organization is now also in control of the underground church.

The question of who benefits from the agreement does not have to be asked. Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong and gray eminence of the Underground Church said in September. It is the government in Beijing.

Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian was also summoned to meet Archbishop Celli. He too will resign "as a papal wish" as Diocesan Bishop of Shantou. His place will be taken over by Bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang.

The paths approved by Rome  are still a stumbling block for those affected. In order for the legitimate bishops, after their resignation, to become auxiliary bishops of their previous dioceses, they need the approval of the communist government and the bishops' council. They depend on those from whom they have so far been able to stay away from great sacrifices but successfully.

Even before signing, Cardinal Zen said that the Vatican would hand over the faithful underground church to the regime.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Picture: AsiaNews
Trans: Tancred

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holyart Catholic Religious Art — Guest Article

Edit: here’s a company I endorse and a guest article by Marilyn Nash.  Holyart has many gift ideas for the season. Please let them know we sent you. 

This Italian company has really nice vestments, altar furnishings and religious art.

I’ve purchased religious art and books from people in the states who don’t really share my beliefs, and even hold them in contempt, but here’s a company that not only cares about your faith and its beauty, but their representative has a sense of the history of the faith and beauty as well.  Help support us and a Catholic business as well.

Influence of the Council of Trent on Sacred Art


In 1517, Martin Luther originated the Protestant Reformation, a schism against the Catholic Church and papal authority. As Luther’s teachings gained popularity,the Reformation became a threat to the Roman Catholic Church. The Church reacted to this threat with a Counter-Reformation which began in 1545 when Pope Paul III assembled the Council of Trent in Trento and Bologna, Italy.  This council would redefine the Church. 


Luther Disapproved of Religious Objects and Sacred Art

The two most important factors which formed the counter-reformation were a growth in the corruption within the Roman Catholic Church and sacred art, which Luther saw as indicating a spiritual deterioration.  Early Renaissance painting commissioned by the Church or its Christian followers, gradually became less religious. Art had become more focused on the middle-class and their life than on the actual sacred subjects, and nonspiritual priorities began to make their way as focal.  Influential painters, such as Andrea Mantegna and Botticelli were utilizing their creative gifts on works with considerable nudity. Other artists were embracing a new style, called Mannerism, which became known for its unrealistic qualities and were not understood by the masses.  


The Catholic Church, the Greatest Patron of the Arts

The Catholic Church was the greatest patron of the arts and was, therefore, able to dominate its style. Art should illustrate the ideas of the Church, offering illustrations of humility, obedience, praise, and adoration.  Any art that would detract from focus upon these spiritual virtues was not acceptable.  Nudity and art which focused upon the human body were forbidden.  This decree issued censorship as well as provided guidelines for what type of art the Church preferred and accepted


Baroque Era Begins

The Catholic Church began to challenge Protestant attacks on the saints and Our Blessed Mother by clearly focusing on the Virgin Mary.  Paintings and other religious articles would show her innocence, kindness, charity and the grief she experienced by the suffering of her Son.  Jesus also became a popular subject, with paintings clearly representing His suffering and crucifixion for the sake of humanity. The Catholic Church wanted these pieces to be full of emotion and detail.  This pushed art into the Baroque era where realism and emotion dominated art style. 

The Baroque style became very popular in Europe.  Many non-Catholic artists adopted this style and the realism and detail can be shown in their work.  It is fair to say that the Catholic Church motivated this evolution of art style and it all started with the council of Trent.  

There are many famous artists from the Baroque period whose work represent every aspect the Catholic Church had wanted.  Among them, probably the most well-known and favorite is Caravaggio who was first commissioned by a Catholic cardinal to paint for the church of San Luigi de Francesi. Caravaggio was criticized because his religious works were so realistic and dramatic but this is exactly what the Church wanted; prayer via sacred art, and it succeeded. 


Marilyn Nash



For information on the Council of Trent and Baroque architecture ~




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