Card Sarah of Africa on Synod

Even as it had been decided that the Synod will end today, CNS has a piece about the view of His Eminence Card. Sarah. HERE

African cardinal: Pressure groups behind push to change Church

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2014 / 04:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Innacurate media reports about Church teaching on homosexuality published after the synod’s midterm relatio are an attempt to pressure the Church to change its perennial teaching, a cardinal who is also a synod father has affirmed.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, emphasized to CNA Oct. 16 that “what has been published by the media about homosexual unions is an attempt to push the Church (to change) her doctrine.”

“The Church has never judged homosexual persons, but homosexual behavior and homosexual unions are grave deviations of sexuality,” the cardinal, who is from the west African nation of Guinea, added.

Among the criticisms of the synod’s midterm report was the absence of some important statements, a point raised especially by some of the bishops from Africa.

Cardinal Sarah affirmed, however, that “some very important topics are reported in the relatio,” as for example “the Church’s refusal to promote policies linked to gender (theory) in exchange for financial aid.” [Like a... Church Tax?]

“This has been explicitly said in Cardinal Erdo’s relatio, and it is a relevant issue for developing countries as well as for the western countries,” the cardinal stressed.

Cardinal Sarah denounced the “government and some international organizations attempting to suppress the notion of te natural family, based on the man-woman relation; and the Church cannot be silent.”

The relatio read that it is not “acceptable that the pastor’s outlook be pressured or that international bodies make financial aid dependent on the introduction of regulations based on gender ideology.”

Cardinal Sarah said, “there is no Christian family without a glance to Jesus, who Incarnated in a family with a father and a mother.”

This is the reason why, he added, “the reference to Christ is needed, in order to avoid that the Christian vision is reduced to an ideology, and that we are obliged to take stances in contrast with the Magisterium, the history of the Church, and, above all, with the truth of the Gospel.”

The lack of any reference to the Gospel of the Family has been highlighted with concern by all the small groups that discussed the midterm relatio during this week.

Likewise, the small groups have highlighted the need to rewrite the section “Providing for homosexual persons.”

Read the rest there.

Hard to imagine why Card. Kasper didn’t want input from Africans. Not.

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Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , | 20 Comments

ASK FATHER: Can’t get real baptism certificate! Wedding in six weeks!

From a reader…

I was born in a town in the Jefferson City Archdiocese twenty-four years ago. However upon birth, I was helicoptered to Children’s hospital in the st. louis Archdiocese, due to complications.

When I arrived at Children’s, I was baptized by someone at the hospital. My only records are my parent’s memory, and a letter & card from the Hospital chaplain (who I think was a methodist, based off of the research I did) saying I was baptized by him “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” on the day of my birth. I tried contacting the hospital AND the Archdiocese, with no results thus far.

However, things get messier. Apparently after my health issues were resolved, I was taken by my parents to Corpus Christi Tx, where I was “baptized” at a parish there before my mother’s family (she was Catholic, one of 8 kids). When I later received my first communion and confirmation at my home parish in my home diocese of Jefferson City, my parish used the baptismal certificate from the parish in Corpus Christi. I only found out about all of this just now… It seems that my parents may have hidden my actual baptism so that I could be “baptized properly” with “friends and family” in Corpus Christi…

As such, I’m having difficulties tracking down the actual baptismal records from Children’s hospital in St. Louis, and am in a mess over this. We are six weeks away from our wedding, and need to have our home parish send the records to our diocese, so that they can be forwarded on to the St. Louis Diocese where we are to be married (we found priests for a Solemn High EF there).

How should I go about rectifying this? My home parish has always sent records of confirmation to the church in Corpus, but that was not my ‘actual’ baptism???

Sometimes things get messy.

What should have happened in Corpus Christi used to be called “Supplying the Ceremonies” which now goes by the more precise but far less melodious title of “The Rite of Bringing a Baptized Child to the Church.” With this Rite, the Church receives children who were baptized in emergency situations. It does not “rebaptize” but simply adds those elements that were left out during the emergency baptism. (The older, traditional Rite is far richer, in my opinion.) This is also the Rite to be used when a child under the age of 7 who was baptized in a non-Catholic Church becomes Catholic (usually when his parents convert, or return to the practice of the faith after a time away). It can be found in the ritual book for the baptism of children.

For weal or for woe, your baptismal record is at the parish in Corpus Christi. That baptismal certificate, though historically inaccurate, contains the essential facts that are needed to marry: you are a baptized, confirmed Catholic who has never been married before.

Don’t fret that it doesn’t mention your earlier, true baptism. What was done was done.

If at some point in the future you are able to get it sorted out and you can get a statement from the Children’s Hospital that you were baptized (or you could get sworn affidavits from your parents who were present at the baptism), you could then get the record corrected in Corpus Christi so that it reflects what really happened.
For now, with your wedding coming up, a certificate from Corpus Christi will suffice.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , | 16 Comments

My View For Awhile: Manhattan Edition

I’m off to NYC to meet some friends and have a couple of days of R&R before continuing on my way to Rome for the pilgrimage.


So far it’s a typical Delta experience: flight delayed. At least I don’t have a connecting flight.


After a loooong delay we are boarding.



Finally seated:



We are on the ground in Chicago after an emergency landing. Sigh. And so the delays increase along with the pointless and less than informative apologies.

Rather like a Synod briefing.


They set us down at O’Hare. As it stands they are moving us all to another LGA flight at the very next gate scheduled to board in about 20 minutes. Could be worse.

You know the old story about the pessimist who says, “Things can’t possibly get any worse!”, to which the optimist responds, “Oh yes they can!”

And watch out for N873RW!



Seated again.


Is this an ironic contrapasso or what? Reading about Dante….


Landed. Bag arrived. Cab obtained. Tri-B and FDR zoomed.



I find this building almost irresistibly photogenic. Decorated with hubcaps!


Pumpkin seed brittle with a dash of cayenne. They could have used a bit more cayenne.


A sampling of cheeses with friends as an afternoon snack.


One of these days I’ll find out what this surreal business is all about.


More tomorrow.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 13 Comments

16 Oct 1978 – St. John Paul elected Pope

As the Robber Synod is underway, during which it seems that some people want to set aside John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio, we observe that this is the anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyla.

Posted in Linking Back | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

VIDEO: Card. Pell speaks on a ‘secular agenda’, the Relatio, the “stalking horse”

His Eminence George Card. Pell about the Relatio and the debate over releasing it.

He calls Communion for divorced and remarried a “stalking horse” and homosexuality. He speaks about the first form of the Relatio. This is great stuff.

Pause, pray, catch your breath.

Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 48 Comments

Reports of Circuli Minores now available on Vatican website

The reports of the Circuli Minores are available on the Vatican website.  HERE

Card. Burke’s would be in Anglicus A.  Sample:

For example, where the Relatio appeared to be suggesting that sex outside of marriage may be permissible, or that cohabitation may be permissible, we have attempted to show why such lifestyles do not lead to human fulfillment. At the same time, we want to acknowledge that there are seeds of truth and goodness found in the persons involved, and through dedicated pastoral care these can be appreciated and developed. We believe that if we imply that certain life-styles are acceptable, then concerned and worried parents could very easily say “Why are we trying so hard to encourage our sons and daughters to live the Gospel and embrace Church teaching?”


We had serious questions about the presentation of the principle of GRADUALITY. We wished to show in our amendments that we are not speaking of the GRADUALITY of DOCTRINE of faith and morals, but rather the gradual moral growth of the individual in his or her actions.

I suggest that you scan them yourselves.  Don’t be at the mercy of Crux and Fishwrap: “What the Synod meant to say, is….”

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , | 35 Comments

What’s the liberals’ next move?

Now that the Revolt has taken place by the members of the Synod against the leadership’s manipulations, this is what is going to happen.

Watch what the liberal MSM and the catholic liberal media do in their coverage of today’s revolt in the Synod.

They will not publish “process” stories.   That is, they won’t cover what actually occurred in the Synod Hall, the rising of the bishops against Card. Baldisseri.

Instead the catholic Left will return to their template story of “hardline” conservatives who want to slam doors in the faces of homosexuals and other marginalized sexually-labelled persons:

“The angry conservative hard-liners mounted a furious attack of rage against the refreshing hope-filled message of welcome, compassion and mercy toward the suffering sexual minorities who have wept in their sorrow for centuries.

Thoughtful Vatican observers noted the influence of ideological lobbyists who may have exerted a menacing influence of intimidation over the participants.

“There was such a fresh message of hope and change from Pope Francis”, said one deeply-placed Vatican official in the Synod of Bishops.  ”Wait’ll next year!”

It writes itself.

UPDATE 16 Oct 2230 GMT:

What do we find at Crux?

First, in a piece by Inés San Martín, the “Vatican correspondent” HERE, we find:

In yet another unexpected turn in the Synod of Bishops, the bishops decided today to make all the discussions of the past week public, and those internal reports offer an x-ray of a divided summit on the family.

In a Vatican briefing today, Italian layman Francesco Miano, one of the synod participants, described the main fault line as running between truth and mercy — with one camp insisting on clarity about Church teaching, and another outreach to constituencies that don’t fully live it, including gays, the divorced, and people living together outside of marriage.


So, it’s truth v. mercy.  Except, without truth, there is no true mercy.  Not in Christian terms.

On the other hand, later in the same piece:

Another English group led by American Cardinal Raymond Burke, [The Snidley Whiplash of the Synod] however, closed the door to the argument, denying the admission to the sacraments of divorced and re-married people, but included a “very positive and much–needed appreciation of union with Christ through other means.”

As for same-sex couples, the recommendations in general suggest a merciful and welcoming approach while maintaining a clear distinction between a gay union and a marriage. [?]

Soooo… maybe the lines aren’t so sharply drawn as the newsies describe after all?

Then, what to make of this piece by Crux’s John Allen, who jumped from the Fishwrap to the Boston Globe?  HERE

Will conservatives turn on Pope Francis? [Hmmm.... Sound familiar? Sure. But he has the players wrong.]


Here it is in a nutshell: Is a tipping point drawing close, when conservatives who have been inclined to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt will, instead, turn on him?


On Monday night, American Cardinal Raymond Burke openly faulted Francis for allowing Kasper to sow confusion about Church teaching on marriage by touting his proposal to admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion, and basically suggested the pope owes the world an apology. [?!?]

A clear affirmation of Catholic doctrine by the pope, Burke said, is “long overdue.”

Both Livieres and Burke have had their wings clipped by Pope Francis, so some of their grumbling may be personal. Both also represent the fairly hardline edge of the Church’s conservative wing.


Whoa. John. Nasty.

First, is is true what Allen said about Card. Burke? That Burke suggested that the Pope owes the world an apology? Allen cites Burke’s interview with Catholic World Report. HERE Let’s see a longer section so we can have context:

Cardinal Burke: While the document in question (Relatio post disceptationem) purports to report only the discussion which took place among the Synod Fathers, it, in fact, advances positions which many Synod Fathers do not accept and, I would say, as faithful shepherds of the flock cannot accept. Clearly, the response to the document in the discussion which immediately followed its presentation manifested that a great number of the Synod Fathers found it objectionable.

The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium. In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called “revolutionary,”teaching on marriage and the family. It invokes repeatedly and in a confused manner principles which are not defined, for example, the law of graduality.

CWR: How important is it, do you think, that Pope Francis make a statement soon in order to address the growing sense—among many in the media and in the pews—that the Church is on the cusp of changing her teaching on various essential points regarding marriage, “remarriage,” reception of Communion, and even the place of “unions” among homosexuals?

Cardinal Burke: In my judgment, such a statement is long overdue. [So far so good.  He thinks a statement is overdue.  That means he thinks that the Pope should issue a statement, as described above: to address "a growing sense", etc.] The debate on these questions has been going forward now for almost nine months, especially in the secular media but also through the speeches and interviews of Cardinal Walter Kasper and others who support his position.

The faithful and their good shepherds are looking to the Vicar of Christ for the confirmation of the Catholic faith and practice regarding marriage which is the first cell of the life of the Church.  [Okay.  That's okay too.  There was never a time when the faithful did not look to the Pope in time of uncertainty for guidance, and when they did not wish for swift guidance.]

THAT’s a suggestion that the Pope should “apologize”?  Really?

Read the rest of his piece, wherein conservatives are painted now as the “dissenters”.  Ironically, in that view, “dissenter” will become code for “defender of Church doctrine” and “ideology” will be code for “the Magisterium”.

Allen does make a couple good points.  He gets this:

[S]ome conservatives may stop defending Francis, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, and become locked into a cycle of suspicion and dissent about virtually everything that he says and does.

If that happens – and, to some extent, the process is already underway – it will hardly be a novelty. Both of the foregoing options were common practice among liberal Catholics during the John Paul II and Benedict XVI years, so the only difference now is that the shoe is on the other foot.

Yet there will be a price to pay.

What people generally think of as “conservative” Catholics are often among the Church’s most dedicated members, among other things serving as major financial donors. Already, one head of a conservative think tank in Rome this week said he’d gotten a call from one of his benefactors saying that if things keep going the way they are, he was going to stop ponying up.

More broadly, Catholics typically labeled as “conservative” are often people who carry water for the Church at all levels, from the local to the universal. If that pool of human capital begins to dry up, it could make it more difficult for Francis to advance his agenda.


I am smiling a bit as I write this.

Perhaps this is the perfect moment for Pope Francis to give the SSPX everything they want and then celebrate a Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

It will be the liberals who truly turn on Francis when he seriously disappoints them.  He is not going to give them what they want.  While we of a more traditional and conservative stripe can be frustrated and confused by many of the things that Francis says and does, in the end we don’t turn on Popes.  We love our Popes, even when we don’t like them everyday.   On the other, liberal side … that’s another matter.  When they turn, they turn mean.

Of course I could be wrong.  Maybe it won’t be one or the other side, the libs or the trads, who turn on His Holiness of Our Lord.  It could be that both will turn on Francis.  I guess that’s a possible outcome, but I don’t think that that is how it will go.

Posted in Biased Media Coverage, Liberals | Tagged , | 15 Comments

The Robber Synod!

Given today’s events in the hall of the Synod, when the bishops rose up as a body to fight against the obvious manipulation carried on by the leadership of the Synod (Card. Baldisseri).   The Synod was being stolen from the Synod Fathers.  HERE

I have come up with a new nickname for this Synod.

Latrocinium… the Robber Synod.  HERE

Latrocinium, “band of robbers”, comes from an expression in Pope Leo’s letter to Empress Pulcheria where he described a synod as being non iudicium sed latrocinium.
In a nutshell, the Emperor Theodosius II called a meeting in 449 at Ephesus to consider the condemnation of Eutyches at the Synod of Constantinople in 448. It’s decisions were reversed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

¡Hagan lío! Synod Bishops revolt against leadership and get their way – UPDATE!



Apparently the bishops at the Synod are tired of being manipulated.

They created a little lío of their own.

In full view of the Pope, they rose up pretty much as a body and rebelled against the way Card. Baldisseri, who seems to be the chief architect of what may have been a pre-determined agenda, has been handling them.

I am reading Marco Tosatti’s piece at La Stampa.

My translation:

Synod, more censorship, protests

The General Secretary of the Synod [Card. Balidsseri] announced the decision not to publish the reports of the Circuli Minores [subcommittees by language groups, tasked with contributing elements to the final report]. The announcement provoked the protest of Card. Erdo [the president or chairman for this Synod], and numerous other Synodal Fathers. The Pope, silent and very serious. At last, Fr. Lombardi announced that the reports of the commissions would be made public.


Erdo took the floor, implicitly distancing himself from the report that bore his name, and saying that if that “disceptatio” had been made public, then the others of the Circulo Minores ought to be made public.

His speech was followed by an avalanche from many others along the same line, underscored by thunderous applause.

The Secretary of the Synod, Card. Balidisseri, was watching the Pope, as if in search of advice and lights, and the Pope remained silent and very serious.

Silent also were the Under-secretaries of the Synod, Fabene, Forte, Schoenborn and Maradiaga. [What a list.]

Kasper wasn’t there.

Finally, Fr. Lombardi announced that the reports of the Commission would be made public.

This is a big deal because the bishops didn’t simply roll over and let the appointees running the Synod run them over.

This Synod has been characterized by an unusual amount of information control.  There has been little transparency about the workings of the Synod.  Instead, the outside world was “informed” about what was being discussed through summaries.  Sure, the leadership of the Synod said that the participants could talk to the press on their own, but that’s not the same thing as knowing what went on the Synod hall.   Then, what one might be able to imagine was a pre-positioned midpoint report was sprung on everyone, with weird and disturbing paragraphs that didn’t seem to reflect the workings of the Synod over all.  That caused Card. Erdo, who had signed it, openly during a presser to give up Archbp. Forte as the perp.

Then Card. Balidisseri determines that the reports of the subcommittees wouldn’t be published.  That was a bridge too far.

This in full view of the Pope, who seems not to have shown his hand, but also who seems not to have been pleased at what was going on.

Meanwhile, Nicole Winfield of AP, who seems never to tire of calling Card. Burke a “hardliner” or something like, has a piece about the origin of the language in the infamous midpoint Relatio about homosexuals:

Erdo has already named the official who wrote the section on gays, Monsignor [Archbp.] Bruno Forte, appointed by Pope Francis as the special secretary to the synod. Forte is an Italian theologian known for pushing the pastoral envelope [that's one way to put it] on dealing with people in “irregular” unions while staying true to Catholic doctrine. [Oh?]

Technically speaking, Forte and all the members of the drafting committee had access to far more material than the bishops themselves since they had the lengthy written speeches each synod “father” submitted prior to the meeting. Those written speeches factored into the draft report, even if the bishops didn’t utter them during the four minutes each was allowed to speak. [Or see them at any point.  This was another procedural point that some expressed concern about before the Synod.  Everyone was to submit their speeches to Card. Baldisseri ahead of time.  Who knows what happened to them then?]

In fact, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he recalled only one speech out of about 265 about gays during the debate.

So it’s not surprising that bishops didn’t recognize everything in the draft report since these written submissions weren’t made public or distributed to the bishops themselves, and the oral presentations only reflected a summary or particular point that a bishop wanted to make. But at the same time, there is no real way to know which bishop or bishops had proposed such ground-breaking language or whether it was more a reflection of Forte’s view. [The controversial language was "ground-breaking" but Card. Burke is a "hardliner".  Just so we're clear.]

Left-leaning Religion News Service has also taken up the standard liberal line (big surprise).  They also never tire of calling Card. Burke a “hard-liner”, through they use a hyphen.  Perhaps liberal outlets are comparing notes.  I was amused at the beginning of a piece by RNS’s Josephine Mckenna:

After two days of fighting between happy liberals and angry conservatives, the Vatican dispatched a leading moderate from the US Church to tell both sides to temper their expectations about impending changes in Church doctrine.

The problem is that the speakers at the presser were scheduled a few days in advance.

Notice how Left-leaning outlets always describe “conservatives” as “angry” or “hardliners”. They are clearly meanies. “Liberals”, on the other hand, are happy!

Meanwhile, ¡Hagan lío!

Little known fact…

Did you know that Card. Baldisseri, before he was elevated to the College of Cardinals, was first the Titular Archbishop of Dioceletiana?

Who else has been the Titular Archbishop of Diocletiana?

  • Adolph Gottfried Volusius † (22 Jun 1676 Appointed – 17 Mar 1679 Died)
  • Jan Kazimierz Opalinski, O. Cist. † (8 Jan 1680 Appointed – 17 Nov 1681 Confirmed, Bishop of Chelmno (Culma, Kulm))
  • Maximilien Bormann † (6 Apr 1682 Appointed – 1687 Died)
  • Cristoforo Arduino Terzi, O.F.M. † (10 Jul 1945 Appointed – 11 Jul 1971 Died)
  • Annibale Bugnini, C.M. † (6 Jan 1972 Appointed – 3 Jul 1982 Died)
  • Pietro Rossano † (7 Dec 1982 Appointed – 15 Jun 1991 Died)
  • Lorenzo Baldisseri (15 Jan 1992 Appointed – 22 Feb 2014 Appointed, Cardinal-Deacon of Sant’Anselmo all’Aventino)
  • Wojciech Zaluski (15 Jul 2014 Appointed – )

What is interesting about this Synod is the role of the media and social media.

Had the social media existed at the time of the Second Vatican Council, it would never have been possible to ram through the radical liturgical “reforms” of the 60′s and 70′s.

UPDATE 16 Oct: 1454 GMT

Apparently, Card. Pell was the first one to rise up against Card. Baldisseri. When Baldisseri made the announcement, Card. Pell took the floor and said that the reports had to be published and that they were tired of the manipulation.

From that point, the bishops also rose up. When Baldisseri repeated his position, he was effectively shouted down.

At that point, Card. Baldisseri turned to the Pope and got the nod to publish.

UPDATE 16 Oct: 1530 GMT:

The reports of the Circuli Minores are available on the Vatican website.  HERE

Card. Burke’s would be in Anglicus A.  Sample:

For example, where the Relatio appeared to be suggesting that sex outside of marriage may be permissible, or that cohabitation may be permissible, we have attempted to show why such lifestyles do not lead to human fulfillment. At the same time, we want to acknowledge that there are seeds of truth and goodness found in the persons involved, and through dedicated pastoral care these can be appreciated and developed. We believe that if we imply that certain life-styles are acceptable, then concerned and worried parents could very easily say “Why are we trying so hard to encourage our sons and daughters to live the Gospel and embrace Church teaching?”

Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence, ¡Hagan lío! | Tagged , , | 75 Comments

VIDEO: Holy League – Trailer

Alas, they took no account that in the Extraordinary Form the Feast of Christ the King is the last Sunday of October. Still!

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 6 Comments