By The Hermits, Dec 18 2014 5:05AM
The Supreme Court has ruled today that the conscience clause does not apply to any health worker except those actually physically killing the unborn baby. This means that pro-life GP's, Gynaecologists, and others have to refer patients wanting abortions to doctors willing to carry the murders, that pro-life senior nurses and midwives have to send other nurses to become murderers or to help in the murder, where will it end? In my past life as a Consultant in Accident and Emergency I remember having to support a Nurse Practitioner who in conscience could not prescribe the (abortionafactant) 'morning after pill' when her seniors did not want to acknowledge that the 'conscience clause' should apply to those who realized the action of the morning after pill, which prevents the tiny human being attaching to the wall of its mother's womb, so that it falls to its death through the cervix.
Here is the link to the full article in the Life Site News.
Please pray for all those involved in health care who are affected by this ruling, that they will have the strength to stand up against this wicked law, even though it may well affect their jobs and therefore their lives.
By The Hermits, Dec 12 2014 4:07AM
Today is the Feastday of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
What a feast!
The appearance of a young pregnant Mary, pregnant with God and by God, talking affectionately to a poor man in his fifties, who instinctively calls her his Mother, his Queen. The miracle of the roses and of the Image on his tilma which can still be seen today, the image rich with symbolic meaning which could be understood by the Aztec people and converted millions. But above all, Our Lady, pregnant with new life, the Life of the world.
For our little band of three hermits it is even more significant this year. And not just for us but for the Western world in general, because the battle lines are being drawn between eternal life and eternal death.
The Devil has done a very good job over the last few decades. He has made himself friendly and cuddly! Think of the symbol of Manchester United football team, the little red devil on the shirts and flags of the 'Red Devils'. It is so 'cute' so 'harmless' that it is difficult to realize that it is the representation of one of the minions of that Chief of Devils, Satan himself. But of course it is not just Manchester United, the jolly red Devil with his little horns and his tail appears everywhere, even advertising spicy hot food.
In a way it wouldn't matter too much if there was still a true general acceptance of the reality of evil, but that has disappeared together with 'hell-fire sermons' and the like. Instead we life in an upside-down world, where even our very language is inverted.
To explain what I mean, when I was growing up, indeed when I was grown up, to be gay was to be happy. Now it is to be a homosexual, whether they are happy or sad.
If you were proud you would confess it as a sin, now it is a virtue! "I am proud to have won gold / to have been awarded an Oscar / of my daughter's achievement / etc. etc
And of course 'Pride' has acheived a meaning all of its own - Brighton Pride, London Pride, a Pride event and so on.
As far as temptation being something bad, that started changing a long time ago. But I do remember the early Bounty chocolate bar adverts, with the gentle tropical music and setting and the beautiful woman seductively caressing the sweet as she ate it. And the advertising media has carried on 'tempting' us ever since. Now even some cat foods are called 'Temptation'!
Evil is rampant in this world, it does feel as if this is the time when Satan, the Prince of the world, is let loose for a while. But it is only for a while, and Christ is victorious, so we must hold out. And as Satan tries to drag as many people as possible down to hell with him, we must try to win as many souls as possible for Christ, so that they may live in heaven in true joy for ever.
There is a price to pay, and it can be hard. But it is worth it! Who would not want to work fo r the all merciful God!
To truly love our fellow man is to want his eternal happiness, to yearn for it, to suffer for it. At present Br. Damon is beginning to feel this suffering, but he does not regret it. And that is another modern inversion. If you love someone enough to want their eternal happiness, and to try to get them to realize that they, like us are sinners in need of repentance, and that will lead to them gaining life eternal, you will be accused by man and by the civil law of hate! To love is to hate, and to preach forgiveness is to be a bigot!
Oh well, it is a good job that this life is not for ever!
P.S. Pink News has been investigation Br. Damon's background, and has published that he is 'the leader' of the Black Hermit Scottish Charity. This is basically true, we, the hermits, set up a charity so as to manage our income (which is dependant on donations) and so that we would be financially transparent. We called it the Black Hermits as we wore black habits at that time, and we couldn't think of anything else!We are all directors of the Charity, so that saying that Br. Damon is in charge of it is both true and untrue. Public proclamation of the Gospel does come under the aims of the charity.
I have included this information so that you will not be confused by any publicity that Gay News may promulgate.
By The Hermits, Dec 5 2014 3:58AM
Tonight, after Br Damon Jonah's most recent arrest, I felt down. I worried that the price he was paying was too high. We do not know if his leafleting has converted anyone. We do know it has caused quite a storm on the social networks, Pink News etc, and some of the comments have been positive, or at least bemoaning the death of free speech, but most comments are from members of the LGBT community who are angry at not everybody thinking how the Government have told us to think. (To be fair, some of the positive comments have also come from people who term themselves homosexuals).
I asked God for help in knowing his will, and no answer came.
Then I read the article I have published below., and an article from the Nigerian Bishops saying about how destructive to their communities is the 'gift' from the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation of injectable contraceptives, which often cause permanent infertility after just four uses.
God is Life.
And He gave us to ability to pro-create life by the loving union of one man with one woman in marriage.
Abortion, contraceptives, homosexual unions, 'test-tube' babies, (where for every one human person implanted an average of 23 human persons are discarded, ie killed), and euthanasia, are all anti-life, are all pro-death. Are all of the culture of death which is the culture of Satan. Whereas supporting life is supporting God, is of the culture of life, which is the culture of God.
So yes, what Damon is doing, and we are supporting, is worth it. But we don't know what will now happen. So please, can everyone who reads this say a prayer for him. Not so much for his protection or that he should excape from the clutches of the civil law. But that God's will is done. That Br. Damon will be given the gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit so that he may proclaim God's truth clearly and loudly. And that God and the Blessed Virgin Mary will give him strength and comfort in this difficult time.
By The Hermits, Dec 5 2014 3:32AM
8 unbelievably heart-rending quotes from women who aborted their babies sourced from Lifesitenews
Abortion , Post-Abortion Syndrome
We as a society are constantly bombarded with the pro-choice rhetoric that abortion is sometimes necessary. We also hear the words of post-abortive women like Cecile Richards who will say that their abortions were the right thing to do. But whether they are stuffing down their emotions or just plain lying, abortion is never a happy ending.
It kills a child and leaves a mother to live the rest of her life with the knowledge that she took her child’s life. Nothing brings that pain to light better than the words directly from the mouths of everyday post-abortive mothers who are ignored by the major media outlets.
Unlike Richards, these women have nothing to gain from sharing their stories. They only hope to help other mothers choose life.
Lori Nerad, Former National President of Women Exploited by Abortion:
“Two weeks after the abortion, I went into labor. I staggered into the bathroom. And there, with my husband beside me, I delivered a part of my baby the doctor had missed. It was the head of my baby. . . I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I hear a baby crying. And I still have nightmares in which I am forced to watch my baby being ripped apart in front of me. I simply miss my baby. I constantly wake up wanting to nurse my child, wanting to hold my child. And that’s something the doctor never told me I would experience.”
Abby Johnson, Founder of And Then There Were None:
One day in the car, my daughter (out of nowhere) asked if some day she would be able to see her siblings in Heaven. I asked her what she meant…honestly, hoping that she was not talking about my own two abortions. She said that she knew I had two abortions and she wanted to know if she would ever get to meet those babies because she said, “in my heart, I miss them.” I never knew I would pass that sort of heartbreak on to my children.
When I had my abortions, I never thought about how it would affect others. I didn’t think about my future children. I never thought about how I would have to explain my selfishness to them.
My abortions live in me, and unfortunately, they live in them. ”
Ashley Granger, Wife, mother, sonography student:
Now that my son is 4 years old, I sometimes look at his sweet face and wonder what features my other child would have had. I still have dreams about holding him or her and it makes me so deeply sad to think that I have robbed my son of a sibling. Why not just try and conceive a sibling for him today you may ask? Well, I would love to but my husband and I have been struggling with infertility for two and half years. I never once dreamed that I wouldn’t be able to conceive when I wanted to! Every night my sweet boy prays to God for a sibling and every time I hear those precious prayers my heart aches over what I did. Because in retrospect an abortion isn’t an easy fix or a solution to a problem….it is the problem, and it leaves a lasting effect on generations to come.
Katrina Fernadez, Catholic humor writer at Patheos:
“I killed two of my children, robbed my parents of grand-children, and murdered my son’s siblings. These abortions directly caused a medical condition known as incompetent cervix which resulted in the premature birth of another son who died after a week long struggle in the NICU in 2001. The suffering I’ve endured and caused others is immeasurable and the guilt almost drove me suicidal. I am a coward in every way.”
Addie Morfoot, mother, writer:
“Ross likes to tell me that Annie is our son’s guardian angel, but that idea scares me. Do I want my son’s protector to be someone whose mother gave her up? Ended her existence prematurely? She must be so mad, disappointed and hurt. So I keep her ultrasound images, along with a Hallmark “It’s a Girl!” card that my best friend sent, along with a Christmas tree ornament engraved with Annie’s due date, which my parents gave me the week I found out I was pregnant, locked away in a closet far from my son’s bedroom. […] But Annie still haunts me. When her due date rolls around, or when our son has a bad cough, or with the birth of my sister’s baby girl — I think of Annie. And once every year — on her birthday — I let myself cry. I think about how it would feel to hold her in my arms. And then I ask her to please understand that I did what I thought was best for my child.”
Beatrice Fedor, Member of the Silent No More Campaign:
“I flushed my baby in the toilet and it was horrifying. And it didn’t help me to graduate. It’s been nineteen years and to this day, I don’t have a degree. […] Seven years later, I got pregnant again. The father was twice my age and he was abusive. Abortion was the quick fix solution to protect myself and my baby from the abuser. So I went to a clinic and in great anxiety, I was put to sleep. When I woke up with blood on my legs, I burst into tears and I was inconsolable. I sank deeper and deeper into depression and suicidal thoughts.
Then, I met my husband and he brought Jesus into my life but I was still hurting. When I was pregnant with our first child, my abortions resurfaced and the guilt was overwhelming. I went to counseling and I started to heal. Later, I attended a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat and finally, I was able to forgive myself and find peace.
Abortion promised to free me from two crisis situations and instead, it has nearly destroyed me. But there is hope for all those who are hurting and it is for them that I am Silent No More.”
Jewels Green, former abortion clinic worker and public speaker:
“[…]January 6, 1989, at 9 1/2 weeks gestation, I had an abortion. It nearly killed me. No, not the surgical procedure, the psychological aftermath. I attempted suicide three times after my abortion and finally ended up in an adolescent psychiatric ward of a community hospital for a month to recover. […] Working in the autoclave room was never, ever easy. I saw my lost child in every jar of aborted baby parts. One night after working autoclave my nightmares about dead babies were so gruesome and terrifying and intense I met with the clinic’s director to talk about my feelings. She was very understanding, open and honest, and painfully forthright when she told me, “What we do here is end a life. Pure and simple.”
Brice Griffin, Founder, Charlotte Center for Women
“After napping [after the abortion] I was raring to get back out to the bar scene. There was not enough whiskey in DC to satisfy me that night, or any night for many months following. When I woke up the morning after my abortion, Brian asked how I slept. I said, ‘Like a baby.’ He said, ‘You mean like a baby KILLER?!’ […] For months after that, I knew nothing except that I wanted to die. Death was the only certain escape from the horrific pit that had formed in my soul. I begged for therapy. I screamed for help. But only inside. How could I admit what I had done?
So I buried it. No one else needed to know. No one else needed to judge me as harshly as I had come to judge myself.
I trudged through several more years, feeling happy at times and doomed at others. One day I was running and listening to a homily by Fr. Larry Richards about Confession. He said (loosely), “If you’ve had an abortion, confess it. Your child is praying for you in Heaven.” My chest heaved with uncontrollable sobs and I ran home to arrange an appointment for Confession with my dear Priest. There in the confessional, heaving with sobs once more, I truly expected to be struck by lightning. I now sat there acknowledging that I was guilty of the worst sin possible, murder. My dear Priest smiled and handed me a box of tissues and said, ‘God is so happy you are here. You will be forgiven, but you need healing.’ He then proceeded to tell me about Rachel’s Vineyard, a ministry aimed towards healing from abortion.”
These are just eight of the women who are speaking out about the aftermath of their abortions. Lifetimes of pain and regret. Lifetimes spent yearning for a child they will never get to hold. Due dates come and go and always bring about another year of remorse. Abortion isn’t something someone does one day. It lasts a lifetime.
By The Hermits, Nov 26 2014 10:33PM
Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of Christ The King. Looking at the World in its present state one would think that there is no Kingdom to celebrate. The Western Protestant Churches , for the most part, seem to resemble the Gaderene swine rushing down the banks of heresy, into the abyss of what only God knows. The Catholic Church is wracked with heresy and the Popes from Paul VI onwards have been wringing their hands trying to deal with it, but somehow things have got worse, possibly because dialogue and patience are meant to help the heretical and unorthodox see the errors of their ways, but when the unorthodox appear to be leading Cardinals one begins to be extremely concerned. Eastern Orthodoxy clings tenaciously to the first Seven Councils of the undivided Church, but is hopelessly wrong on divorce and re-marriage, and this is all going on against a background of cruelty, lunacy, and rampant sexual immorality in the West, which is penetrating into the East; and wars and rumours of wars are everywhere.
We are not helped when Christ’s Kingship is being understood mainly from the view point of the Good Shepherd, or the King at the end of the World coming to judge us on our charity or lack of it. That is not to say that the great parable of the Last Judgment is not a magnificent scene of the end of Time. However it must be seen against the Cross. Christ the Lamb is slain on the Cross and rises as the Lion of Judah. He conquers as the Warrior King of the Apocalypse and his look terrifies the demons from whom he exacts homage.
How are we to act as citizens of Christ’s Kingdom.? Christ’s Kingdom, as he tells Pilate, is not of this World. His followers must not be of this World. The Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches in the West sit too lightly with the secular society. They too easily applaud its successes, too rarely condemn its failures. They are lulled into a false sense of security. The benefits of modern civilization dull the conscience and anaesthetise the imagination. Most people in the World do not benefit from the luxuries of Western civilization; in fact they pay the price, which is poverty.
Though are Holy Father is right to stress the importance of trying to arrive at a more equitable balance of the good things of this world for the poor and starving, who make up the majority of the World’s population, it might be an idea if he now dealt with morals and modesty.
Following on from St. Peter’s directives women should be modestly attired like the wives of the Patriarchs. In public they should be modestly veiled, or have some headress like Moslem and Hindu women, in fact like Our Lady. They should not wear seductive makeup, and they should be beautiful in their deeds. If they do not, then the man always falls, and then drags a whole lot of women with him. This is not sexist, this is the command of Peter the Apostle.
Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of robes, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quite spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (I Peter, Chapter 3: vv.3-4).
Men also must be modestly dressed. Both sexes should not be accentuating their private parts, which is so much the fashion today. For such a very long time we have been immodestly dressed; even in the Victorian era the décolletage was erotic. We have all fallen very short of what we should be. This has been certainly the case since the 1920’s and very definitely since the sixties with the dominance of the erotic in fashion. Christian modesty belongs to a bygone era.
The Pope should issue a degree forbidding Catholics from divorcing, (legal separations are much better). She has too easily capitulated to the State in this regard, and it is divorce more than anything else that has created the moral chaos in the West. For how can children trust their parents when they betray them like this? A gaping wound is left in the heart of the children, which sometimes never heals. Where husbands are known for their cruelty, the priest must intervene along with the leading men in the parish and bring the man to his senses. Such suggestions seem mad, but they are not mad. What is mad is cloning, giving children multiple parents, or having them brought up by male homosexuals, or lesbians. This is madness and badness.
Such things necessitate and a complete moral and intellectual revolution. Why, because if we do not convert from so much sexual morality we will be destroyed. The good will go the Kingdom of Heaven, the bad to the Abyss of Hell. Also the Pope should make a dogmatic statement regarding the sinfulness of contraception.
We could begin to rebuild the collapsing Church, but it requires penance and heroism, and a rejection of much that has happened over the last 500 or 600 years, and which has had such a devastating effect on the Church and particularly Western Christendom. What has been the source of this havoc? In two words materialism and secularism.
St. Francis of Assisi scented what was wrong back in the 13th century --- money, and the accumulation of wealth and the rise of competitive commerce. In the battle against this he fought with the arms of evangelical poverty. St. Dominic wanted to protect the Church with theological truth, and his son St. Thomas tried his best, and was only partially successful as you need more than Aristotelian philosophy to save the world, even if it is brought under the sway of the Gospel.
The Counter Reformation was sadly too dominated by the Jesuits and the Clerks Regular, and the Jesuits’ attempt to save as many souls as possible wrought disastrous long term effects, because they sat too comfortably with the World, and were too easy with wielders of power. They were too happy to take on the mores and the dress of the people to whom they were preaching, and so paved the wave for the worker priests, the trendy priest, the revolutionary priest, and so they forgot that “My Kingdom is not of this World”.
We are called to be citizens of Heaven on Earth, and we are asked to be disciples of Christ like his first disciples, and we are asked not to conform to the cultures of the World, the Flesh and the Devil, but too get the secularized cultures to conform to culture of Christ. Obviously we cannot dress just like the men and women of First Century Palestine, but we can move in that general direction. We can learn again that the handmaiden of humility is modesty. Why not give it a chance?
By The Hermits, Nov 23 2014 5:59AM
A few days ago I reported on the move by the British Prgnancy Advisory council to bring down the age of consent to 13. Now a committee of the United Nations is trying to abolish the age of consent completely. And people were surprised at Br. Damon saying that the homosexuals would be trying to lower it in his pamphlets, well it seems that other very influencial groups are already well on the way to trying to get it lowered.
UNFPA: Children Have Right to Sex, Drugs, Abortion to Reduce Population
By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D | November 20, 2014
UNFPA State of World Pop Report 2014
NEW YORK, November 21 (C-Fam)
"There are more young people in the world now than ever before. According to the United Nations Population Fund’s latest report, this represents an unprecedented opportunity for progress, but only if future generations are smaller.
UNFPA’s prescription to ensure a “demographic dividend” includes freely available abortion for adolescents, removing age of consent, drug and prostitution laws, and reduced parental involvement in the sexual formation of their children.
“[Y]oung people require a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including . . . safe abortion care,” says the 2014 State of World Population, released Tuesday. According to UNFPA, legal systems in most countries lag behind commitments they made in international human rights treaties, and have “yet to catch up with the realities of adolescents and youth.”
No UN treaty mentions abortion, nor obliges countries to make youth vulnerable to adults offering sexual and reproductive services.
Of particular concern to UNFPA are age of consent laws requiring parental permission to access abortion, contraceptives, or other services like needle exchange programs for drug users.
“[A]ge of consent laws contradict the idea that young people should participate in decisions that affect them in line with their evolving capabilities,” says the report, equating participation in decision-making with unilateral control.
UNFPA also criticizes laws against “same-sex behaviour, drug use, and selling sex or sex work,” on the grounds that they “fall particularly hard on young people realizing their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.”
The report posits that positive behavior changes among young people “could be influenced by policy interventions, such as those that loosen age or parental-consent restrictions on adolescents’ access to services.”
In total, the UNFPA report asserts that the key to development is ensuring that adolescents’ sexual behavior is unsupervised, unrestricted, publicly funded, and, above all, non-procreative. UNFPA posits that the imposition of sexual anarchy upon youth will ensure their well-being and that of the whole world."
When will the powers that be look at what they are doing and the consequenses of their actions. Even without expecting them to recognise sin for what it is, at least they should be able to see the physical consequences of what they are proposing: the increase in sexually transmitted diseases, cervical and breast cancers, pelvic / uterine infections due to coils etc, hormone imballances due to the 'pill', the risks of abortion to the young mothers (and the deaths of the unborn children), decreased later fertility due to using contraceptive hormones at a young age, and the loss of the precious jewel of the innocence of youth.
May the sweet, gentle and powerful Virgin Mary, and the chaste and strong St Joseph, protect the youth from the evil perpetrated against them. Amen
By The Hermits, Nov 21 2014 9:29PM
A Good Wife Who can Find?
The destruction of sexual identity
And the Demise of Chivlary
The mother of King Lemuel must have been a very wise woman, when she taught him what a good wife was all about. The description of the good wife closes the Book of Proverbs, and until recently was regarded as being a perfect description of the perfect wife and mother. No longer is this the case. For with women soldiers, and women chief constables, women head of MI5, the world is a different place, and a far more dangerous place. Women are there to compete with men as equals, and encouraged to do all things that men do. There is no doubt that woman make wonderful teachers, nurses and doctors, and often excel in the academic realm, but as fire-fighters and front line soldiers? The question is “Why”? What is driving women to take up such agressive and muscular jobs? And it is a question that is remarkably difficult to answer. Superficially the answer might be that it is to do with women’s revolt against the terrible treatment meted out to them by men over the centuries; after all why did they not fight back sooner? I suspect that the answer may be simply that technology has given them power, and no more efficiently than in the contraceptive pill.
In a peasant and agrarian culture there is so much work to do to keep alive that the jobs must be apportioned according to ability. Farming, iron working, building, carpentry, and fishing needs a man’s strength. He does not suffer from periods. He is not going to have babies. In a simple society, without technology, you do not have the pill or the condom. Married couples will have lots of children, and so a woman has all her time taken up providing for her family. Life is difficult, and should not be idealized or idolized, but it is realistic, if not fatalistic, and people see life as it is, not as some fantasy.
With the development of steam engines, electricity, and the use of gas and oil, and new inventions such as fridges, freezers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, cars, lorries (trucks in the US) aeroplanes, computers, and every conceivable convenience, along with modern weaponry, a woman can take her place alongside a man, but she can only do it in a modern society. Take all these material aids away, and there will be little time for either sex to waste in frivolity, fantasy, or evil. Man and Woman find themselves before the uncertainty of nature, and climate.
In an agrarian society you will not get the woman soldier, because she will be having babies, and will be too busy to be wielding heavy weaponry. She will find it impossible to be a sailor because dealing with heavy rigging will be beyond her, and she will not be able to take steroids and go to the gym which for its body building may require the best of modern technology. The Woman will find herself vulnerable, and will need the Man to protect her. Feminists will not like such an assessment as this, but they must think and realize that Marx’s dialectical materialism breaks down, when the working classes disappear and ancient society reasserts itself. Most of our sins have taken on more and more exotic forms precisely because of technology, which has opened the floodgates and out has gushed Satanic vice; no more so than in the form of Internet Pornography.
At heart I think that most women simply want a man who really will love them, and care for them, and who will be indissolubly bound to them. Do Men and Women really want multiple relationships, and divorce and remarriage on an epidemic scale. I think not? The Man does want to protect the Woman, and the Woman does appreciate chivalry from Man, whatever the Media says to the contrary. And remember that Chivalry is a Christian concept. Nothing is so emblematic of chivalry as the Knight errant, who finds his perfect personification in Galahad, Parsifal, and in his own flawed way, Lancelot. The final apotheosis is the cowboy who is nothing if not mythical, but all the more real for being a personification of masculine qualities, especially bravery, and the protection of women and children.
Who is behind this curious de-sexualization of the sexes where the man becomes less masculine, and the woman less feminine; and this must be stated boldly, a woman who dresses in clothes that are hardly different from a man’s still retains her femininity, but it is not the case with men. Fashions seem to be emasculating men. The trousers or jeans that young men wear seem to exaggerate the stick like qualities of their legs, unless this tells one more about the lack of sports classes in schools, I do not know.
It must be added that we see this attempt at destroying the difference between the sexes being made by the Bolsheviks during the early years of the Russian Revolution. Firstly everyone had to wear the dress of the worker, and we see this wonderfully displayed in a photograph of Gorky and his son and daughter-in-law while visiting the Solovetsky Gulag, which was a former monastery.
Gorky stands at the centre of the group on, what looks like, a bridge. It is a sunny day in May 1929. As you look at the picture, to the left of Gorky is a man who seems to be a camp guard, if not the commandant and next to him appears to be Gorky’s son, between these two and slightly in front is the daughter-in-law, who is wearing a leather jacket and boots. They and the others in the picture, have as a backdrop to their group, the Sekirka church, which has been turned into the punishment cell. The church would have been beautiful and decorated with icons but now has been transformed into a place of cruelty. The Woman who should be a being of beauty looks wrong and ridiculous. Since then this folly was exported to China, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, Cuba, to name just a few countries, and then the fashion took off in the West in the 60’s and jeans became everyman’s and everywoman’s wear. Levis are yet another example of the genius of Jewish business. This amazing business acumen of this remarkable race, when it is not under God’s governing hand, tragically finds itself coming under Lucifer’s sway. Christ tells us that we cannot serve God and money, and that was the problem with the Pharisees, they loved money. Be we Jews, Christians, Moslems, Hindus, when we become obsessed with money and we worship it, then the beauty of the God’s creation is forgotten.
God created Man, “So God created man in his own image, in the imaged of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1; v.27)That is all we need to know. Man and Woman are complementary, equal in grace, different in their chromosome make up. Woman is first and foremost Mother, and Man is in the image of both the Father and the Son. The Dignity given to Man and Woman is immense. Though this was lost by the sin of Adam and Eve, it was restored and elevated by Christ, the perfect image of his Father, the Father of All.
This attempt to destroy the difference between Man and Woman is the Devil’s spite against God. He hates God’s infinite love and beauty, for it reminds him of his lost beauty and dazzling radiance. St. Hildegard remarks that why the Devil hates precious stones is because they remind him of his jewel like beauty as the greatest of the angels. Thus he must destroy all beauty, and he begins by trying to destroy the beautiful differences between Man and Woman. He rejoices in sterile sex, abortion, torture, murder and war because they make him feel at home in his world which is one of destruction and hatred, and that is why he had to destroy Eden, which he did not, and there is a mystery.
Western Society is so prone to hatred, revolution, and rebellion against the Divine Order of God the Father Creator of Heaven and Earth that he must make everything as much like Hell as possible. Most of the Media, the rulers, the politicians, the rich and the powerful wittingly or unwittingly serve The Prince of This World, and wittingly or unwittingly hate Christ, because they cannot believe that God could suffer, and that they are in need of Redemption, but until they can accept these two truths, they will live a lie and an illusion. If they do not awaken from this terrible sleep, then they will open their eyes upon the terrible terrain of Hell, eternal fire, eternal hatred, eternal despair, and worst of all the absence of God. It will be too late then, and they can have no excuse.
And so we entrust all these deluded Men and Women who are slaves to wealth, power, lust and greed to the prayers of that perfect woman and mother, Mary The Mother of God.
“Our Lady of Refuge of Sinners” pray for them.
By The Hermits, Nov 14 2014 4:07AM
How far have we in Britain slipped down the slippery slope of corrupting children? Further than we would like to think. Parents have an increasingly difficult job of protecting the innocence of their children, the schools, who should be helping the parents in nurturing their children, have joined with the media and other groups to make the children sexually aware at an increasingly young age.
We have mentioned Br. Damon's pamphleteering work, trying to spread the message of the Gospel to people by simply posting leaflets through their letterboxes. This simple non-aggressive act has caused some uproar in the social media, but the leaflets have been passed as not containing 'hate' matterial by the Crown Prosecution Service several times, who say that he has the legal right to continue posting them. However, Nottingham Police Force has cautioned him under the Public Order Offence (even though there was no public disorder!), and Brighton Police Force will be arresting him and questioning him next week (we are not sure under what law), and later this month he also has to report to Cheshire under the 'Malicious Communications Act' in which someone only has to say that they are 'offended' at something that has been written in order for it to be an offence!
Well, on his 'Homosexualism' leaflet, written in responce to the 'gay marriage' new law, Br. Damon states that the LGBT agenda includes lowering the age of consent to puberty. Now we have confirmation of that. And the confirmation comes from Brook Advisory Services themselves. They have produced a 'tool' which they have distributed to schools to 'help' teachers know what sexual behaviour is appropriate at various ages. As far as they are concerned it is 'appropriate' for children from the age of 13 to have penetrative sexual intercourse with other children of simular age, both heterosexual and homosexual. The fact that it is illegal for them to do so doesn't concern them, and they do not seem to think that should concern teachers or parents either. So that you can see the 'tool' in full the link is here.
This 'tool' has been approved by the UK Society of Sexual Health Advisers (SSHA), but is being discussed in a Commons Select Committee and there are voices of concern and reason being heard there. To quote from Life Site News article:
"Dr. David Paton, a professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University and a leading expert in teenage pregnancy rates, has consistently warned that explicit sex education and easy availability of contraceptives, including the morning-after pill, has not led to a decrease in teen pregnancies or abortions, but has led to a staggering increase in STD's because of an increase in sexual activity in children.
Paton told the education select committee that he has a "big issue" with the guidelines in the "tool" suggesting that sexual relations among 13-to-17-year-olds are a "safe and healthy development."
"The advice is both misleading and potentially dangerous,” Paton said. "There’s an awful of evidence that early sexual activity is associated with all sorts of adverse outcomes – including early pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, but also mental health issues and adverse academic outcomes.”
Graham Stuart, a Labour MP and chair of the education committee, concurred with Dr. Paton. Telling 13-year-olds that having sex is part of growing up, but "not to send out a message that it's wrong, that it's harmful, it's dangerous, is in fact to almost to collude with something which we know is damaging to young people."
However, I think the 'tool' has already been diseminated, lowering the age of consent to puberty might not yet be law, but it is being taught as appropriate, whether the children's parents wish it or not.
We might not be at the bottom of the slippery slope yet, but we are still sliding!
Please keep praying that as few souls as possible are lost in these dark days of evil.
By The Hermits, Nov 11 2014 11:37AM
In a world, and sadly in a Church, where logical argument, for much of the time, has been subordinated to feeling, and where the Word of God is interpreted in the exact opposite of what it means; as in the case of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah or in Christ’s teaching on the utter indissolubility of marriage, let us look again at Cardinal Newman’s “Biglietto Speech” which he gave on Monday May 12th in the year of 1879 on receiving his Cardinal’s hat. This is no ordinary speech. It is a cri de couer, and an apologia of his life’s work. The leaders of the Catholic Church should heed the great theologian’s words. It is the advice of a wise saint to the modern world and to a Church, where many are in danger of joining the terrifying rush of the Western Garderene swine into the abyss.
“ ‘ Vi ringrazio, Monsignore, per la paticipazione che m’avete fatto dell’ alto onore che il Santo Padre si è degnato conferire sulla mia umile persona ---
And if I ask your permission to continue my address to you, not in your musical language, but in my own dear mother tongue, it is because in the latter I can better express my feelings on this most gracious announcement which you have brought to me than if I attempted what is above me.
First of all then, I am led to speak of the wonder and profound gratitude which came upon me, and which is upon me still, at the condescension and love towards me of the Holy Father, in singling me out for so immense honour. It was a great surprise. Such an elevation had never come into my thoughts, and seemed out of keeping with my antecedents. I had passed through many trials, but they were over; and now the end of all things had almost come to me, and I was at peace. And was it possible that after all I had lived through so many years for this?
Nor is it easy to see how I could have borne so great a shock, had not the Holy Father resolved on a second act of condescension towards me, which tempered it, and was to all who heard of it a touching evidence of his kindly and generous nature. He felt for me, and he told me the reasons why he raised me to this high position. Besides other words of encouragement, he said his act was a recognition of my zeal and good service for so many years in the Catholic cause; moreover, he judged it would give pleasure to English Catholics, and even Protestant England, if I received some mark of his favour. After such gracious words from his Holiness, I should have been insensible and heartless if I had had scruples any longer.
This is what he had the kindness to say to me, and what could I want more? In a long course of years I have made many mistakes. I have nothing of that high perfection which belongs to the writings of the saints, viz., that error cannot be found in them; but what I trust that I may claim all though what I have written, is this, --- an honest intention, an absence of private ends, a temper of obedience, a willingness to be corrected, a dread of error, a desire to serve Holy Church, through Divine mercy, a fair measure of success. And I rejoice to say, to one great mischief I have from the first opposed myself. For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of Liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; and on this great occasion, when it is natural for one who is in my place to look out upon the world, and upon Holy Church as in it, and upon her future, it will not, I hope, be considered out of place, if I renew the protest against it which I have made so often.
Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternise together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrines in common, or seeing the need of them. Since, then, religion is so personal a peculiarity and so private a possession, we must of necessity ignore it in the intercourse of man with man. If a man puts on a new religion every morning, what is that to you? It is as impertinent to think about a man’s religion as about his source of income or his management of his family. Religion is in no sense a bond of society.
Hitherto the civil power has been Christian. Even in countries separated from the Church, as in my own, the dictum was in force, when I was young, that: ‘Christianity was the law of the land.’ Now, everywhere that goodly framework of society, which is the creation of Christianity, is throwing off Christianity. The dictum to which I have referred, with a hundred others which followed upon it, is gone, or is going everywhere; and, by the end of the century, unless the Almighty intervenes, it will be forgotten. Hitherto, it has been considered that religion alone, with its supernatural sanctions, was strong enough to secure submission of the masses of our population to law and order; now the Philosophers and Politicians are bent on satisfying this problem without the aid of Christianity. Instead of the Church’s authority and teaching, they would substitute first of all a universal and thoroughly secular education, calculated to bring home to every individual that be orderly, industrious, and sober is his personal interest. Then, for great working principles to take the place of religion, for the use of the masses thus carefully educated, it provides --- the broad fundamental ethical truths, of justice, benevolence, veracity, and the like; proved experience; and those natural laws which exist and act spontaneously in society, and in social matters, whether physical or psychological; for instance, in government, trade, finance, sanitary experiments, and the intercourse of nations. As to Religion, it is a private luxury, which a man may have if he will; but which of course he must pay for, and which he must not obtrude upon others, or indulge in to their annoyance.
The general [nature] of this great apostasia is one and the same everywhere; but in detail, and in character, it varies in different countries. For myself, I would rather speak of it in my own country, which I know. There, I think it threatens to have a formidable success; though it is not easy to see what will be its ultimate issue. At first sight it might be thought that Englishmen are too religious for a movement which, on the continent, seems to be founded on infidelity; but the misfortune with us is, that, though it ends in infidelity as in other places, it does not necessarily arise out of infidelity. It must be recollected that the religious sects, which sprang up in England three centuries ago, and which are so powerful now, have ever been fiercely opposed to the Union of Church and State, and would advocate the unChristianising of the monarchy and all that belongs to it, under the notion that such a catastrophe would make Christianity much more pure and much more powerful. Next the liberal principle is forced on us from the necessity of the case. Consider what follows from the very fact of these many sects. They constitute the religion, it is supposed, of half the population; and recollect, our mode of government is popular. Every dozen men taken at random whom you meet in the streets have a share in political power, --- when you inquire into their forms of belief, perhaps they represent one or other of as many as seven religions; how can they possibly act together in municipal or in national matters, if each insists on the recognition of his own religious denomination? All action would be at a deadlock unless the subject of religion was ignored. We cannot help ourselves. And, thirdly, it must be borne in mind, that there is much in the liberalistic theory which is good and true; for example, not to say more, the precepts of justice, truthfulness, sobriety, self-command, benevolence, which, as I have already noted, are among its avowed principles, and the natural laws of society. It is not till we find that this array of principles is intended to supersede, to block out, religion, that we pronounce it to be evil. There never was a device of the enemy so cleverly framed and with such promise of success. And already it is answered to the expectations which have formed it. It is sweeping into its own ranks great numbers of able, earnest, virtuous men, elderly men of approved antecedents, young men with a career before them.
Such is the state of things in England, and it is well that it should be realised by all of us; but it must not be supposed for a moment that I am afraid of it. I lament it deeply, because I foresee that it may be the ruin of many souls; but I have no fear at all that it really can do aught of serious harm to the Word of God, to Holy Church, to our Almighty King, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Faithful and True, or to his Vicar on earth. Christianity has been too often in what seemed deadly peril, that we should fear for it any new trial now. So far is certain; on the other hand, what is uncertain, and in these great contests commonly is uncertain, and what is commonly a great surprise, when it is witnessed, is the particular mode by which, in the event, Providence rescues and saves His elect inheritance. Sometimes our enemy is turned into a friend; sometimes he is despoiled of that special virulence of evil which was so threatening; sometimes he falls to pieces himself; sometimes he does just so much as is beneficial, and then is removed. Commonly the Church has nothing more to do than go on in her own proper duties, in confidence and peace; to stand still and to see the salvation of God.”
Mansueti hereditabunt terram
Et delectabuntur in multitudine pacis.
By The Hermits, Nov 4 2014 6:02AM
Due to the importance of this interview, and the urgent need for the faithful to have clarification of these issues so stirred up by the Synod on the Family, here is a complete recording and transcript of CNSNews.com’s interview with Cardinal Burke recorded last Friday the 31st October 2014:
Terence P. Jeffrey: Hi. Welcome to this edition of Online with Terry Jeffrey. Our guest today is Cardinal Raymond Burke, a native of Wisconsin.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, Remaining in the Truth of Christ includes an early chapter analyzing the scriptural basis of marriage that was written by Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. Let me give you a couple of biblical quotes taken from the New American Bible as posted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops.
Genesis 2:24 says: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body."
Mark Chapter 10 says: “The Pharisees approached and asked, ‘Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him.
“He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
"They replied, ‘Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.’
“But Jesus told them, ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.’
“In the house, the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.’”
I want to ask you, Your Eminence, a very basic question. Was Jesus right about marriage?
Cardinal Burke: Absolutely. His saving mission to restore us to communion with God the Father--that communion which had been broken by the sin of Adam and Eve--had as one of its fundamental aspects the restoration of the truth of marriage and the fidelity to that truth in the life of a husband and a wife. And so Our Lord in His teaching makes reference to creation itself, in other words to that order which God has placed in the world and in the human heart by which a man and a woman are attracted to one another to form a lifelong, faithful and procreative union, that Our Lord makes it very clear that this is the truth about marriage, that there is no other truth about marriage, that that is the whole truth.
And it was so clear that the disciples questioned him about it because they were struck. They said: Well, maybe it’s better not to marry. And Our Lord makes it clear that God the Father gives the grace to those who are called to marriage to live this wonderful sacrament and to live this mystery which reflects in a very particular way the love within the Trinity, which is also faithful, enduring, and fruitful. So, we see that in Our Lord’s saving work that one of the most important aspects was to restore marriage to its truth.
Jeffrey: Given that it was Jesus Christ Himself who taught us what marriage is, can any priest or bishop overrule or change what Jesus declared about marriage?
Cardinal Burke: No, absolutely not. The priests and bishops are called to be faithful to the truth. Our office is to teach this truth and to assist the faithful to live it, but we can never even under some supposed pastoral approach either alter or deny the truth about marriage.
Jeffrey: Can the Pope himself change the nature of marriage given what Christ said?
Cardinal Burke: No, it’s not within his power, and this is very clear in the teaching of the church that if a marriage has been validly celebrated and consummated it cannot be separated. It cannot be ended by anything except death itself.
Jeffrey: And the institution of marriage and the way it’s recognized by the church can that be changed by any bishop or any pope?
Cardinal Burke: No. No, because the church in this matter is following both the natural law and the divinely revealed law. As you’ve pointed out, these words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, and there’s no respectable scriptural scholar who questions that these are the very words of Our Lord and the text of the scripture makes clear that what Our Lord seems to be saying, indeed He was saying because his own disciples recognized that this was a hard thing, that this was a calling of the married to an heroic way of life, but a life true to their calling.
Jeffrey: It may have been an inconvenient truth, but it was the truth.
Cardinal Burke: Exactly.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as posted on the website of the Vatican there’s a section that’s called “To Bear Witness to the Truth.” And it says this, it says: “Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that He ‘has come into the world to bear witness to the truth.’ The Christian is not to ‘be ashamed then of testifying to Our Lord.’ And it goes on to say, “The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known."
Now, it seems to me that one historical-- the Catechism goes on to say that we’ve seen martyrs who throughout the history of the church have given up their lives because they bore witness to the truth, when it was not just inconvenient but deadly for them to do so.
And one example is Saint John Fisher who was an English bishop in the 16th century in the time of King Henry VIII. King Henry VIII, his wife Catherine of Aragon had not borne him a surviving male heir so he wanted to set her aside, divorce her, and marry Ann Boleyn. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes what Saint John Fisher did as follows. They say: “When the question of Henry’s divorce from Queen Catherine arose Fisher became the queen’s chief supporter and most trusted counselor. In this capacity he appeared on the Queen’s behalf in the legate’s court where he startled his hearers by the directness of his language and most of all by declaring that, like Saint John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage."
Henry VIII went on to sever himself from the Catholic Church and declare himself the supreme authority over the Church of England which Saint John Fisher refused to recognize and was therefore martyred by Henry VIII.
Did Cardinal Fisher do the right thing by saying he would stand on his life in defense of the indissolubility of marriage?
Cardinal Burke: Absolutely. No priest, no bishop, and no Roman pontiff could do less. In other words, to betray the indissolubility of marriage which King Henry VIII was asking him to do would have been to betray his Catholic faith and he could not do that and Our Lord gave him the grace to be a martyr. He even made reference to Saint John the Baptist, who during Jesus’ own public ministry gave this heroic witness to the indissolubility of marriage by making clear to Herod that he was living in public and grave sin by living as a husband with his own brother’s wife who obviously was bound to marriage to his brother.
Jeffrey: Should Cardinal Fisher be a model to Catholic priests and laymen today?
Cardinal Burke: Well, he certainly is for me. From the time I became a bishop, I have given special study to his life. But he’s a model for all priests and bishops and the lay faithful. Of course, as you know, Saint Thomas More, a laymen, a married man, was one with him in the martyrdom because he too refused to support Henry VIII in his pretense to be the supreme head of the church in order to give himself the license to “marry” someone in quotation marks when he was already married to Catherine of Aragon.
Jeffrey: You know, Your Eminence, about fifty years or so ago Hollywood actually made a movie about Saint Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons, that depicted what happened to Saint Thomas More and held him up as a great cultural hero. And I think in those days--we’re talking about the 1960s in the United States--the idea that a person might have to sacrifice their life in Western Civilization because they stood up against the authority of the state in defending the institution of marriage and the moral authority of the church seemed shocking. Does it seem so shocking today?
Cardinal Burke: No, it doesn’t and that’s how far, in a short period of time, how much we have descended and gone away from the truth of our faith and the truth of the moral law in society in general. But the fact that these kinds of questions are being seriously discussed in the church should shock us all and awaken us to the need today to give an heroic witness to the truth of the indissolubility of marriage from attacks from within the church herself.
Jeffrey: From within the church itself. As you know, many of the bishops in England did not stand with Saint John Fisher. They went with the king.
Cardinal Burke: No, the majority did. In fact, Fisher was the only bishop. Now, later there were many who gave heroic witness and lay faithful and priests and so forth. But at that time Fisher stood pretty much alone.
Jeffrey: Do you think there’s a threat or a risk that in the near future the Catholic Church may face another such situation even in Western nations, where some leaders of the Church, some bishops, decide to side with Caesar rather than with God? Take the side against the truth of the Church? Is there a risk of that?
Cardinal Burke: I think that’s a real challenge today and perhaps not coming from the state so much as from the culture in general, the general acceptance, the widespread acceptance of divorce and remarriage, and now the Catholic Church which is practically the only institution which stands for the truth about marriage, for the indissolubility of marriage, now she’s asked to compromise herself in this matter.
And, so, we have to recognize that if we don’t get it right about marriage--in other words, if we’re not faithful to the word of Christ, to the truth which Christ announced to us about marriage--in the church, I don’t know how people can trust us with regard to teaching the truth of the faith in any other matter. I mean, we’re talking here about the very foundation of the life of the church, the first cell of our life, in the marital union and the formation of the family; and if we don’t uphold the sanctity of the marital bond we have really not only abandoned the Catholic faith but really abandoned the Christian faith in the sense that we are abandoning the natural law itself.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, let me ask you in relation to this about another aspect of the Catechism, which calls for respect for the souls of othersand talks about the sin of scandal.
It says: “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity, he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense. Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the Scribes and Pharisees on this account: He likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing. … Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.”
Do you think that some of the bishop who were participating in the synod and were pushing the Catholic Church away from Christ’s teaching on marriage were at risk of committing scandal?
Cardinal Burke: Well, certainly it happened with the publication of the midterm report from the synod. A scandal was caused in the church. The secular media, not without reason, referred to it as an earthquake in the church. While some bishops and others excused it saying well this wasn’t a doctrinal statement, it was just a report of what was being discussed in the synod, the very fact that these matters were being discussed and questioned by the presidents of the conferences of bishops, by the heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and by other special appointees of the Holy Father to the synod caused a tremendous confusion and could even induce the faithful into error with regard to the teaching about marriage and other teachings.
And so to me this was a very serious responsibility to try to correct as quickly and as effectively as possible the scandal caused by the midterm report.
I remember one bishop in our small group, we met then right after the reading of the midterm report and he said: “How can I go home to my people carrying this message to them?”
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, let me be specific on part of that. In the midterm report--the initial text that was released--it had a section called “Positive Aspects of Civil Unions and Cohabitation.” It said: “A new sensitivity in today’s pastoral consists in grasping the positive reality of civil weddings and, having pointed out our differences, of cohabitation. It is necessary that in the ecclesial proposal, while clearly presenting the ideal, we also indicate the constructive elements in those situations that do not yet or no longer correspond to that ideal.”
Was that specific statement scandalous?
Cardinal Burke: I believe that it was because how can you say that there are positive elements in an act which is gravely sinful, namely to engage in the marriage act when you’re not married?
There can’t be any positive element to that. It’s against the divine, natural and revealed law. Simply, our only response--while we love the sinner, as we’ve always said we love the sinner and hate the sin—but we need to draw the person in the sin away from the sin and to a conversion of life. But to tell them that there are positive elements in the way they’re living, this is simply, it’s a contradiction. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s either gravely sinful or it’s not. I mean, this is the principle of non-contradiction. It’s fundamental logic.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, inside the synod when the bishops and cardinals were discussing what would be said and how the church ought to deal with these things, were there actually cardinals and bishops arguing for this position that the church ought to say that cohabitation has positive aspects? Were there in fact people standing up and saying this is the way the church should go?
Cardinal Burke: Well, the fact that it was declared in the midterm report means that there, at least one person, the person who wrote that text, was holding that position and the person who wrote the text must have thought that he was expressing the thinking of other cardinals and bishops. For my own part, I don’t even like to think that there were any significant number of cardinals or bishops who actually subscribe to that thinking.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, my sense, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, from reading statements of the church from encyclical letters to any other type of formal document, pastoral letters, that have been published by previous popes and by the church that they are extremely carefully thought through and well-vetted documents that stand the test of time but more importantly they’re clearly rooted in the scripture and the inalterable teachings of the church. Am I right about that?
Cardinal Burke: Yes, absolutely. In fact, when an objection was raised to the publication of the midterm report after it was heard, the response was: Well, we’ve always published the midterm report. And my response to that was: Yes, I’ve taken part I think in four or five synods of bishops, and those midterm reports were always thoroughly rooted in the sacred scriptures and in the constant teaching of the church and, therefore, I was pleased that they were published to give a correct expression of what the synod was trying to do. But I viewed this document as--it was not grounded in the sacred scriptures and certainly not grounded in the constant teaching of the church. And in the small groups what happened was there was a very hardworking effort to try to bring the Magisterium--for instance in the exhortation of St. John Paul II’s, Familiaris Consortio--to bring that into the text in order to correct it.
Jeffrey: How was that stopped? How was it possible for a document like this that so clearly seems to contradict or bring into question inalterable teachings of the Catholic Church, how did it happen that that was produced and even posted by the Vatican?
Cardinal Burke: I don’t know how to explain that to you. I’m being very sincere. It sent me into a state of shock to be honest with you. And the Relator General, who is a cardinal whom I’ve known for more than thirty years, in a press conference--I’m not revealing anything that was confidential--in a press conference, when he was asked, for instance, what the about some of these statements, he turned to one of the other bishops present there and said you explain it, you wrote it. In other words, it wasn’t his text.
Jeffrey: Even though he was technically responsible for it those weren’t his words or his views.
Cardinal Burke: That’s a very grave situation. I mean, that whole, that’s to me, it’s just profoundly disturbing. And I don’t know, I can’t explain it to you. I’m sorry but I can’t.
Jeffrey: I understand, Your Eminence. But your sense from talking to your brother bishops and cardinals about what happened here, is your sense that the vast majority of them share your concern, understand why the document was problematic and the way it was produced was problematic?
Cardinal Burke: I can’t say the vast majority because I didn’t talk to the vast majority. I can say to you a number, very serious-minded cardinals and bishops with whom I spoke, certainly shared my view of the situation and were very, very deeply disturbed about it. The voting on some of the paragraphs that were still left in in the final report indicates that there were a significant number of cardinals and bishops who remain very concerned that those texts, the texts on the giving of Holy Communion to those who are in irregular unions and giving them access to penance and to the Holy Eucharist and also the texts which were confusing with regard to cohabitation and the homosexual condition indicates that there were a good number of bishops who found this unacceptable. And we don’t, you can’t say because you don’t know what’s in the mind of all the other bishops who maybe didn’t vote to take out the paragraph but you don’t know what exactly they may have been thinking about it.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, in the Catechism which--
Cardinal Burke: In any case, what I would like to say if I may is that this is not, these are not questions that are submitted to a democratic vote, not even of bishops. I mean, this is the constant teaching of the church and the only role of the bishops in the synod is to illustrate and to hold up and to present this to the world. So, I just wanted to make that point.
Jeffrey: Right. The Catholic bishops and cardinals cannot--If 99.9 percent of them voted and denied what Christ said about marriage, they would be wrong and they couldn’t change what He said.
Cardinal Burke: That’s right. And we had that situation in England at the time of Henry VIII, where you had a martyr, Bishop Cardinal John Fisher, and you had the great majority of the other bishops holding the opposite position. But he stood for the truth, and they betrayed their episcopal office.
Jeffrey: But it is extraordinarily confusing to Catholics and perhaps particularly young Catholics that are going through their formation in faith to hear a prince of the church question the church’s teaching on marriage or homosexual behavior.
Cardinal Burke: Absolutely. I understand and I just, what I say to people who bring this to my attention or express their tremendous grief and confusion, I just keep referring them to the constant teaching of the church, to the Catechism, to Familiaris Consortio, and tell them that that stands that cannot change and, therefore, although this is inexcusable behavior, it can happen and we have to simply hold to the truth in our own lives and also give witness to it in the world.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, the Catechism also says that “under no circumstances” can homosexual acts be approved. And it goes on to say that “the number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial,” and it goes on to say that people who have that orientation are called to a chaste life.
Now, can any priest, bishop, or pope change what the catechism says about homosexual acts never being, you can never approve them, and that the orientation is objectively disordered? Can that be changed?
Cardinal Burke: No, it’s not possible, it’s part of the natural moral law and it’s obviously also then part of the Magisterium of the Church. No, that can’t be changed.
Jeffrey: The pope himself cannot change that teaching?
Cardinal Burke: No. No, no.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, in that midterm report it also said: “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, and accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony? … Without denying the moral problems connected with sexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners. Furthermore, the Church pays special attention to the children who live with couples of the same sex emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.”
Can the Catholic Church teach that people should quote unquote “value” homosexual orientation?
Cardinal Burke: No, it’s not possible because we treasure, we value, something that is a good and homosexual relations are not good. They’re not good for anyone. In my own pastoral experience, working with people who suffer with same-sex attraction, it is exactly what the Catechism says: It’s a trial for them. And they need the help of a good priest. They need the help, most of all, of prayer and of frequent access to the sacrament of penance to overcome these attractions which are disordered.
Jeffrey: Do you think that the Catechism’s call for Christians to bear witness to the truth has an application towards how Catholics and the clergy should deal with people who have a homosexual orientation?
Cardinal Burke: Absolutely, and the Catechism is very clear on this. The problem with that text that you read is that it’s all confused. Of course, we have to love the people, the individuals who suffer in this way, and we have to be close to them and try in every way to help them, but what they need from us most of all is that we speak the truth to them. And, so, to give them the impression that we think it’s just fine that they may be acting on these attractions is gravely wrong. And, so, we have to give a witness of love and respect for them as children of God, but at the same time to make very clear to them that any acting on this attraction, which they experience, is mortally sinful, it’s gravely wrong. It’s not for their good and it’s not for the good of anyone else who’s involved.
Jeffrey: And people who are cohabitating out of wedlock and living that lifestyle, or who are living a homosexual lifestyle, should they receive, should they go to communion?
Cardinal Burke: The only way you can receive the sacrament of penance is by confessing your sins with a firm purpose of amendment. And, if you can, say, if you confess the sin of having sexual union outside of marriage, or if you confess the sin of engaging in homosexual acts, and you do not have the firm purpose to change your life to avoid those acts in the future, you can’t receive absolution. And, in the same way, too, then you would not be disposed to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion because your life is a contradiction to the truth that He teaches us.
Jeffrey: By the same notion, if someone were a habitual thief and were routinely stealing the private property of someone else, they would need to not only repent of doing that but stop doing that going forward?
Cardinal Burke: Oh, absolutely. For instance, if someone comes and tells you that they are habitually stealing from people, the priests immediately asks first of all if they make restitution for the things they’ve stolen but also are they firmly resolved not to do this again. If they say, no, no I’m going to continue this, then he can’t give them absolution.
Jeffrey: And God can also forgive a murder?
Cardinal Burke: I’m sorry?
Jeffrey: God would also forgive a murder?
Cardinal Burke: Yes, God will forgive someone who commits this terrible act but only if the person is truly repentant of course.
Jeffrey: Or an abortion? God would forgive an abortion or an abortionist?
Cardinal Burke: Yes, if the person is recognizing the gravity of his sin, is repentant, and vowed never to commit this sin again.
Jeffrey: And if a politician advocates the legal taking of innocent human life in an abortion and the funding of it and the continuation of that, is that a grave sin in the view of the Catholic Church?
Cardinal Burke: Oh, of course. It’s not only grave in itself to advocate for acts against the moral law, but then to do it in a public way and as a leader, a political leader, increases the gravity of the sin.
Jeffrey: When a Catholic politician does that is it scandalous?
Cardinal Burke: Yes, of course.
Jeffrey: But if a Catholic politician repented, turned against the advocacy of abortion, and went back the other way and defended life, then they could be forgiven and receive communion?
Cardinal Burke: Of course, of course.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, the Ten Commandments say honor thy father and mother which suggests that children have a right to a father and a mother.
Do children have a God given right to a mother and father?
Cardinal Burke: Absolutely, and that is one of the fundamental truths about human life and its cradle in the family that each child has the right to a father and a mother. This was beautifully witnessed in the demonstrations in Paris and in France in general when the state tried to impose the legality of same-sex unions and that there could be adoption of children. In the demonstrations, the logo was a mother and a father with their two children and basically the message was that every child has a right to a father and a mother and even the most secular people seemed to get that, understand that message.
Jeffrey: So, if a government takes a baby and legally hands it over to the custody of a same-sex couple, thus denying that baby either a mother or a father, has that government denied that child his or her God-given right?
Cardinal Burke: Yes, absolutely, and it’s demonstrated the profound violence done psychologically to the development of a child who grows up in such a situation which is not natural.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, can the Catholic Church ever say there’s something positive about taking a child out of a father-and-mother situation and putting them into a same-sex parent household?
Cardinal Burke: No, no, it’s not possible
Jeffrey: The pope cannot say that? The pope cannot say that on behalf of the Catholic Church that this is good?
Cardinal Burke: No, no. No, no, it’s not possible.
Jeffrey: Alright. Now, in 1986, Cardinal Ratzinger, who was then the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and of course later became Benedict XVI, wrote a pastoral letter on the care of homosexuals that was approved by Pope John Paul II and that letter said: “With this in mind this congregation wishes to ask the bishops to be especially cautious of any programs which may seek to pressure the church to change their teaching on homosexuality even while claiming not to do so. A careful examination of their public statements and the activities they promote reveals a studied ambiguity by which they attempt to mislead the pastors and the faithful.” It goes on to say: “Some of these groups will use the word ‘Catholic’ to describe either the organization or its intended members, yet they do not defend and promote the teaching of the Magisterium; indeed, they even openly attack it.”
Do you see this very phenomena that Cardinal Ratzinger warned about in his pastoral letter in 1986 happening today perhaps even in reference to the synod?
Cardinal Burke: I’ve certainly seen it in so-called Catholic--false Catholic—movements, which have in fact promoted a way of life in contradiction to the church’s teaching. And I saw it, too, in some of the very confused language of the, for instance, of the midterm report, and I would say that it exactly would be guilty of the fault which the document on the care of persons suffering from the homosexual condition indicated in 1986.
Jeffrey: In sum, do you believe the bishops and the pope have a duty to avoid confusing Catholics about the church’s inalterable teachings on marriage and homosexuality?
Cardinal Burke: Oh, absolutely, even as they have the responsibility to avoid confusing the faithful about anything, especially about such very serious matters, and the duty, too, is even more serious in a culture like our own in which there’s such rampant confusion about these matters. To in any way contribute to the confusion about it, is grossly irresponsible and it’s a betrayal of the pastoral office.
Jeffrey: Your Eminence, given the confusion that so obviously has been sown in the wake of this synod what do you believe Pope Francis should do now? What should he personally do about it?
Cardinal Burke: Well, I’m not in to giving instructions to the pope, I mean. But what the church needs, I can say that.
What the church desperately needs now is a very clear exposition of her teaching with regard to marriage, divorce, with regard to the grave immorality of sexual union outside of marriage, the grave immorality of any kind of attempt at sexual union between persons of the same sex. And she doesn’t have to work hard at this in this sense: that all of the teaching is there. You have quoted it in abundance in this interview. There are many other texts as well. And the church must now in this period hold up the beauty, the splendor, of this teaching for the sake of her own members that they not be confused about the truth but also for the sake of our world and the church’s call to serve the world by proclaiming the truth and by giving witness to it.
And, so, I’m praying very fervently that this coming year that this confusion will stop and instead that there will begin to be a strong emphasis on the beauty of the truth of the church’s teaching on marriage and on human life and human sexuality.
Jeffrey: Cardinal Raymond Burke, thank you very much.
Cardinal Burke: You’re most welcome.
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