Thursday, July 20, 2017

Young Catholic Adult Weekend @ Douai Abbey 20th -22nd Oct 2017

Are you 18-40, do you want to deepen your knowledge of the Catholic faith, learn its devotions and meet like minded people? Young Catholic Adults are organizing a weekend at Douai Abbey in Berkshire) with Lawrence Lew O.P., and Canon Poucin ICKSP. You’ll be able to hear catechetical talks, learn how to sing Gregorian Chant, say the Rosary, socialize and have fun. Book soon as places are limited! 

Booking here

Prices start from £18.50.

Delighted to post this announcement of a great event. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

German buse Commissioner calls for apologies from Cardinal

The Commissioner of the Federal Government for Questions of Sexual Child Abuse, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, has accused the former Regensburg bishop and present Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller of serious failures in dealing with the abuse scandal at the Regensburg Domspatzen.

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller in his office in Rome.

At the beginning of July, Pope Francis sacked Müller as head of the Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith.

"Under the then Bishop Miller, a comprehensive, pro-active reworking with the involvement of those concerned was unfortunately missed," the online edition of the "Passauer Neuen Presse" quoted the Commissioner on Wednesday.

"Müller always spoke of individual cases, but did not investigate the structural failures," criticized Rörig. "It would be desirable for those concerned that he would at least now apologize for the protracted re-appraisal."

The lawyer, Ulrich Weber, who has been employed by the boys’ choir to deal with the misuse scandal, presented his final report on Tuesday. According to this, over the decades a total of 547 children were victims of physical and sexual violence.

Rörig said in the "Passauer Neue Presse" that it was particularly important that all parties involved in the process were included. "There can be no final line drawn in Regensburg yet." But no one should lean back and think that this was only a matter for the Catholic Church, added the Abuse Commissioner. "The number of cases of abuse has been high for years," said Rörig. "Sexual violence against children continues to take place everywhere, in the family, in institutions, by other young people and children, and increasingly by the digital media."

At the same time, Rörig deplored the lack of willingness of many states to pay into the aid fund for abuse victims. "If all of the 9,000 applications of victims are now processed, the fund will be exhausted," he said. Only three out of 16 federal states have so far paid into the fund. "That's a scandal."


Cardinal Müller against hypocritical Papal devotion

Dismissed Chief of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Cardinal Müller steps out

Cardinal Müller makes his displeasure known: in Rome there is a "hypocritical papal devotion" and "courtly behavior". He also has a clear opinion on abuse.

For five years, the former Regensburg Bishop, Gerhard Ludwig Müller was the Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As his five-year fixed term was drawing to a close, the Pope dismissed him from his service at the beginning of July.  The reason was not explained by the Vatican. However, political and theological differences between Francis and the conservative Müller are the main reason.

Müller had criticized the Pope in various respects, for instance, in the context of the post-synodal papal letter, "Amoris Laetitia," in which the Pope makes the communion possible for remarried and divorced persons under certain conditions.

Müller pretends not to know the reasons for the non-prolongation of his term. But what the decision meant, "everyone can imagine", he has said now in an interview with the news agency, dpa.  He was received by Pope Benedict XVI. Only to Rome for this office. "You can usually expect that it will last until the age of 75.  But it has now been decreed differently." For me, the world does not collapse, and I can continue to do much for the Church. "

#It was true that tensions between himself and Francis had been "talked about by interested parties". "The Pope has always assured me, however, that he does not believe these rumours and trusts me fully."

Criticism of the Pontifex nevertheless, Müller considers to be constructive. Many people maintain a "hypocritical papal devotion" according to the rationale: "The Holy Father has an idea, and we follow this unconditionally and all are full of admiration." But the Pope, according to Müller, is also only a man: "That means that not everything he does and says is, from the outset, already perfect and unsurpassable."

Every Catholic, especially every bishop and every cardinal, had a positive and constructive relationship with the Pope, according to the Cardinal. "But that is completely different from courtly behaviour and subterranean machination, against which Pope Francis always spoke."

Among the faithful, he wished for less of a Pope cult. "There should not be a person-cult and a touch-the-Pope tourism, which is a bit dangerous in the age of the mass media, so that people now cheer only the Pope, or that one goes to Rome for sensational pleasure.  And then to be able to say, I have seen the Pope in the first row, very close to him. "

"Priest a priori suspected of abuse"
During his time as Bishop of Regensburg (2002 to 2012), the cardinal was supposed to have delayed the investigation of the abuse scandal at the Domspatzen (the Cathedral Choir). He has always denied this. With the publication of the final report on the scandal, allegations were again voiced which the Cardinal apparently interprets as a general attack on the Catholic Church. "It is obvious that the Catholic Church is tackled on this subject more harshly and that priests are suspected a priori," said the 69-year-old in Rome.

"There are clergymen- let it be lamented before God- that they have committed such crimes, but that is why one cannot collectively suspect the others just because they are also priests." The percentage is even less with regard to the total number of clergy in the world than in the case of comparable pedagogical professional groups - which of course does not in any way excuse the offense and nor alleviates the suffering of the victims, " he said.

Müller refers to a study of the forensic psychiatrist, Norbert Leygraf from the University of Duisburg commissioned by the German Bishops' Conference. According to this, paedophilia was diagnosed only in nine out of a total of 78 priests who had been examined for accusations.  The proportion of priests with a sexual preference disorder in the entire priesthood is not significantly different to the proportion of those affected by it in the German general population. However, the question of whether or not sexual assaults by Catholic clergy have occurred disproportionately frequently cannot be answered "either by means of extensive US studies or by the present study," wrote the authors in 2012.

Cardinal Müller has been repeatedly criticised for his unhappy dealings with the misuse of abuse, including the lack of dialogue. "Some people think they write a letter and get an answer with the verdict of a defendant," he said. "This is simply not possible, because the process has a structure and must be carried out according to objective criteria."

In addition to his responsibilities as a Regensburg bishop, Müller was, as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, responsible for the investigation of abuse worldwide. He defends himself against the accusation that he, as prefect in Rome, also hindered the processing of such cases. "It is simply not true that we have been negligent in the prosecution of such crimes, or that due to a lack of workforce," he says. "The exact opposite is the case." The Congregation has always represented the zero-tolerance line despite some attempts to interfere from outside.

There are great prejudices against Catholic clergy regarding celibacy, according to Müller. "It is considered, when someone is voluntarily living in continence, he has to get rid of his feelings somewhere.  Even if that were true, a normal person would look for a relationship with a woman rather than a child."

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Pope decides on less transparency during ad limina limits.

Since this year, Pope Francis has been undertaking free discussions behind closed doors during the regular visits of the Bishops' conferences from the global church. As Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke confirmed on Tuesday at the request of "Kathpress", there will in future be no written speeches by the Pope on the ad limina visits of the bishops. In the speeches, Francis had discussed the situation of the Catholic Church in the countries. He often did not read the written speeches, but only handed them over and instead engaged in discussions. The Vatican subsequently published the written texts.

"Pope Francis simply prefers a more tangible tone when he speaks with the bishops," Burke explained the renouncement of manuscripts of talks and the publication of content regarding the meetings of the Vatican press office. According to Burke, "there is no need to suspect a political motive behind any change."


Friday, September 16, 2016

Cardinal corrects warning of Islamic conquest of Europe

"Schönborn warns of Islamic conquest of Europe" (ORF), "Schönborn, Many Muslims want a conquest of Europe '" (OE24). The headlines can herald a departure from the current suspect "Welcoming Path". But is that true really?

Active advocate of an unconditional border opening

Vienna archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, was thought to be one of the most active advocates of an unconditional border opening for mass immigration. A process which goes forward under the heading of "Refugee Aid", and since last year, has dominated the political debate not only in Austria.

Church institutions are among the main service providers that organize the reception of refugees professionally on behalf of the state. However, a majority of them are economic migrants, as government politicians now admit. The proportion of genuine refugees under the international conventions is given, depending on the estimate, as 20-33 percent. For each genuine refugee therefore up to four economic migrants has entered the country.

However, Cardinal Schönborn refused, together with Caritas and much of the political elite, to makeany differentiation. A refusal which corresponds to the attitude of the immigration party par excellence, the Greens, which was acquired in 2015 for still unknown reasons by both Austrian government parties, the Social Democratic SPÖ and the Christian Democratic People's Party. The bold slogan displayed, Refugee Welcome comes from the vocabulary of the extreme left.
Voting advice for candidates of the immigration parties par excellence

Last May, Cardinal Schönborn, in the context of an election campaign dominated by the subjects of mass immigration and Islamization, made a bizarre recommendation for voting- which he did not want to be understood as such - for the Federal presidential candidate of the Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen. The president of the Austrian Bishops' Conference caused a stir with the statement:

"Nobody has the truth, also not yourself."

In Catholic circles in Vienna, the statement unusual for a Catholic bishop, was evaluated as a benevolent signal to the Masons. Van der Bellen was accepted by a Masonic Lodge in Innsbruck in 1975. In contrast, his opponent, Norbert Hofer, of the nationalist conservative Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) belongs to the Order of St. George, which seems to impress the Cardinal far less.
Salzburg Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Laun had previously responded to voting recommendations of Catholic organizations for Van der Bellen after which the diocesan bishops, including the Archbishop of Vienna, were enveloped in silence:

"That Christians are either thinking about or, even worse, are already brainwashed so that they are ready, rather are prepared to choose a declared enemy of God and of the Church - and want also to to seduce others into their error - shows in what state certain circles in the church are found. "
The election was annulled by the Constitutional Court because of irregularities and must be repeated in the autumn. Whether Schönborn repeats or not his election manifesto, which no one was supposed to, repeated or not, should be the test of truth for his statements made last Sunday and the credibility of the Church in Austria.

Consistently wrongly analysed mass immigration

In December 2015 Schönborn had sharply criticized the "refugee policies" of the Austrian neighboring countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland in the Slovak weekly magazine, Týždeň. He accused the governments of these countries of being "blinded by a vicious propaganda". He is "ashamed" that the rejection of a mass immigration by these countries is supported "in so-called Christian arguments" such s the "fear of Islamisation". A "rational calculation" shows that Europe "needs millions of immigrants to maintain our lifestyle." Schönborn revealingly honestly indicated that in reality there are very different motivations behind the "refugee crisis".

Still on 13 March 13 Schönborn reiterated in the ORF television programme, Pressestunde (Press Hour) that the Austrian Church hierarchy "consistently has wrongly analyzed mass immigration" (see The ecclesiastical "refugee" delusion continues - Cardinal Schönborn's dangerous illusions and the decline of the church). The attitude of the church hierarchy was marked by "clandestine agreements, self-censorship, confused talk" and "siding with the powerful," says the Catholic theologian and pro-lifer, Wolfram Schrems.

But what does Cardinal Schönborn say now?

"Today 333 years ago Vienna was saved. Will there now be a third attempt at an Islamic conquest of Europe? Many Muslims think and wish that and say: This is Europe at the end. And I think that what Moses does today in the reading and what God the Merciful does with his younger son, we should ask for Europe today: Lord, give us another chance! Do not forget that we are your people just as Moses reminds him: It's YOUR people, YOU have led them out, YOU have sanctified them, it is YOUR people. "

The statement is less spectacular than some media stressed. And yet, from the mouth of the Vienna archbishop, it is somewhat spectacular to hear that he is convinced that "many Muslims think and wish" that there is a "third attempt of Islamic conquest of Europe". It was not a real "warning", such as claimed by ORF, however.

Where did the cardinal say it?

The statement came on September 11, at the end of his homily for this year's Feast of the Holy Name of Mary in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral. The festival is an annual meeting, which was founded by the Franciscan Petrus Pavlicek in 1947 as the prayer campaign, the Rosary Crusade of Expiation.
Cardinal Schönborn is reputed to be adaptable to each audience. Is this true for his sermon last Sunday? Was it a realization after a process of reflection that led the Cardinal to think that "Europe is at the end", that Europe "is well on the way to forfeiting its Christian heritage"? Or was the Cardinal only paying lip service given a pious and "conservative" target audience?

The relativisation

When his unusual statements were found to be spreading fast on the Internet and were interpreted as a departure from the previous "Welcoming Path" in matters of immigration and asylum, the Cardinal promptly announced a correction. On Twitter, he was eager not to let a false impression arise:
"Do not understand my sermon as a call for repelling the refugees".

He also referred to the website of the Archdiocese of Vienna, on which the "the intention of the sermon was again clarified", as ORF reported. The archdiocese had published the sermon as a text and to be sure added a commentary to prevent any misunderstanding arising.

The blame is not with Islam, nor the Islamists, the cardinal let it be known. The "Christian heritage of Europe we (have) put in danger ourselves."

The commentary explains: "Islamism could indeed be the beneficiary [...]. But hope lies in the mercy of God "Then the comment is even clearer: "From the context, it is also clear that the Cardinal is not entering a defensive struggle to defend Christian values against Islam ".

In Sonntag, the weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese, Cardinal Schönborn gave the "following clarification":

"Europe's Christian heritage is at risk because we Europeans have squandered it. It is nothing to do with Islam or even the refugees. It is clear that many Islamists would like to take advantage of our weakness, but they are not responsible for our weakness. We Europeans ourselves are responsible. "

So nothing new in Vienna? "Nothing new," confirms a Viennese informant.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cathedral closed following occupation by Albanian refugees

Tourists found closed doors this morning at the Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile and the Saint-Salvi church, two of the main places to visit in the historic heart of Albi. The diocese confirms the temporary closure of the two buildings. The order was given by the prefecture following the temporary occupation of the cathedral on Monday evening by Albanian Roma who have been camping in the city centre for several days. This is the first time that the Cathedral cannot be visited, causing surprise to tourists visiting the Episcopal city.


Video of the wonderful cathedral