Monday, February 29, 2016

Rod Pead discusses "The Fundamentalist Option"

Rod Pead, editor of the invaluable Christian Order, is a writer and thinker much admired in these pages.  We urge our readers to subscribe to his superb publication, perhaps one of the very best of the few remaining continuing strongly Catholic publications.

In his January, 2016 editorial he tells it like it is.  Timid readers be warned,

The mouthy Bergoglian-magisterium struck again on 30 November, directing yet another volley of papal abuse at faithful Catholics. Addressing journalists on the plane home from his African jaunt, Pope Francis declared that

Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions. We Catholics have some — and not some, many — who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.

Furious with these Catholic rednecks — these execrable Absolute Truthers! — he repeated: "They do evil."

"I say this," he added, "because it is my church."

The possessive pronoun says it all. A pontiff whose scandalous words and deeds manifest his stated belief that "There is no Catholic God," it behoves Francis to speak of "my church." For a church that demonises defenders and propagators of Catholic absolutes (i.e., dogmas of faith) is decidedly not the One True Church of Jesus Christ. Indeed, a church devoid of doctrinal absolutes is no church at all, but just another socio-political institution with welfare trappings. It is the social gospel 'church' of fevered Modernist imaginings, in which the natural trumps the supernatural, and social justice reigns in lieu of Christ the King.

Francis duly went on to further muddy the big "C" Church, historically and morally. "How many wars… have Christians [read Absolute Truthers] made?", he sneered gratuitously. In a thinly veiled apology for fundamentalist nit-picking, he then parsed the condom-AIDS nexus. For Francis, playing prophylactic Russian Roulette with bodies and souls is no big deal. "Let’s not talk about if one can use this type of patch or that for a small wound," he insisted, "the serious wound is social injustice, environmental injustice." And so the non-threat of CO2 trumps the real threat of Condomania.

Friday, February 26, 2016

James Larson on the October Horror before us

Mr James Larson, in a new article on his blog, has brought to our eyes the terrifying reality of what is coming soon from a papacy rapidly going off the rails.  If Pope Francis goes ahead with what he is planning this October he will have taken a gigantic step toward the final de-legitimization of his papacy.

Almost daily, Francis gives scandal upon scandal, dissolving the Faith as he does so. Blogs and news venues are replete with these events so there is no need for me to rehash them.  But they dissolve trust, faith, hope, charity and the teachings of the one, true Church.  The souls that are being lost by is too horrible to contemplate.  And now in an act that can only be described as an impiety he will celebrate the damnation of men and nations who fell into heresy and rebellion.

Whether he would do this because he is suffering from some sort of mental instability, or confusion, or downright malice, doesn't matter.  The damage done to the Faith, and the simple trust of people, will not be undone for generations.  To cheer on the rupture that tore the Church asunder in the 16th century is something one would expect from a Reformationist.  But from a Pope of Rome it is an insult, a scandal of supreme proportions, which will haunt the man to his grave.  As repulsive as the thought might seem we must "gird up our loins" and pray for this man that he does not go through with this.  A typical prayer for the Pope(s) can be found here.

In his new piece Mr Larson traces his early faltering steps toward his conversion to Catholicism, tying events in with the biblical story of Nabuchodonosor, and finally bringing it round to the horror planned for this October in Lund, Sweden.

From the Larson article:

Possibly no single event will more clearly unite all the elements of this Catholic disintegration than Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to Lund, Sweden on October 31, 2016 in order to kick off a year-long celebration honoring Martin Luther and the Protestant Revolution (culminating on Oct 31, 2017 – the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church). 

Along with Lutheran World Federation President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan and General Secretary Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, the Pope will lead an Ecumenical Commemoration and common worship service in Lund Cathedra – based on the Catholic-Lutheran Common Prayer, released in January 2016 by both the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity PCPCU) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). ThisCommon Prayer, in turn, “follows directly” from the publication in 2013 of the document titled From Conflict to Communion (the fruit of 50 years of ecumenical dialogue between the PCPCU and LWF). The Common Prayer praises Luther and “the many guiding theological and spiritual insights that we have all received through the Reformation”, and commits both Catholics and Lutherans to the premier guiding principle that all future relations should “begin from the perspective of unity and not from the point of view of division….”

From Conflict to Communion is, in my estimation, the most satanically deceitful document ever to issue forth from a Vatican office. The extent of this deceit, spread over the space of approximately 50 pages, would certainly require a book for full exposition. But the foundations, and principle elements of this deceit, are easily exposed in a few pages. This I will attempt to do below.

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Baptism Question

Great Saints have said "no"; great Saints have said, "yes".  Dogmatically, the Church has not spoken "ex cathedra" on the subject.

We are speaking, of course, of the concept of "baptism of desire".

Why is this important to talk about now?  The obvious answer to that is the vast ocean of confusion that the Roman Catholic Church has allowed to exist in its refusal to speak strongly and clearly about the fundamental teachings of Christ, preferring instead a sort of "syncretism-in-all-but-name" to be the guiding thought of the modern Church.  The key, vital point, however, is that the idea of baptism by desire is a speculative belief held by as many strong Catholics as it is opposed by other strong Catholics, and has not as yet been defined infallibly by the Pope(s).

As a side note I would only say that those who hold strongly to the "yes" position do not address other variations of this idea, e.g. Penance of Desire, Marriage of Desire, Holy Orders of desire, etc. which, as ludicrous as that may sound, would seem to follow logically from the original premise. Theologian I am not so my views are only those personally held.

I am not unaware that the issue of Baptism of Desire is controversial.  I do believe, however, that it can be discussed with Catholic charity on both sides of the question.

The following article by Brian Kelly tackles the issue head on, and we at The Eye-Witness are grateful for his permission to reprint it here. (The original can be found here.)

Baptism of Desire: Its Origin and Abandonment in the Thought of Saint Augustine

by Brian Kelly
Perish the thought that a person predestined to eternal life could be allowed to end this life without the sacrament of the mediator. (Saint Augustine)
This article will focus on the question of explicit baptism of desire — as it was understood by most western doctors of the Church from the time of Saint Augustine (+430) until Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (+1787), the last declared theological doctor who wrote in favor of its saving efficacy. The subject matter will deal specifically with the origin of the theological speculation, as given by Saint Augustine in one of his early doctrinal letters, and then move on to prove from authoritative testimony that the African doctor reversed his opinion in his later anti-Pelagian writing.

Go Ye, Preach the Gospel to Every Creature, and Baptize
I wish to preface the following with an affirmation of the extreme importance of this issue in that the conversion of non-Christians to the Catholic Faith, in our day, is no longer considered a mission necessary for their salvation. The mandate of our Savior to “Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16), has been supplanted by a new gospel of salvation by sincerity through invincible ignorance. It is my intention to restore at least an appreciation for the zeal of the holy missionaries that went forth to convert the nations to Christ and to baptize the pagans and infidels who accepted the good news that is the gospel. These missionaries, whose exemplar since the sixteenth century is Saint Francis Xavier, were not distracted by any speculation about a baptism of desire. Xavier baptized three million pagans with his own hand. Biographers write that there were so many catechumens waiting to be baptized that assistants had to help him to lift his arm to perform the rite. Saint Francis Xavier never wrote a word about baptism of desire. Rather, he wrote these words from the Far East hoping to reach students aspiring for degrees: “How I would like to go to the universities of Paris and the Sorbonne and address many men who are richer in learning than in zeal, to let them know the great number of souls who, because of their neglect, are deprived of grace and are apt to go to hell. There are millions of nonbelievers who would become Christian if there were missionaries.” Was this missioner, considered the greatest after Saint Paul, misinformed?
Brother Francis Maluf, MICM
Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus Can’t Possibly Mean What It Says! This Doctrine is Too Hard! Who Can Hear it?

Among traditional Catholics who oppose the doctrinal cause of Saint Benedict Center, the vast majority maintain that their opposition is over Father Feeney’s rejection of baptism of desire. This has not always been the case, but it has become so more in the past twenty to thirty years. Prior to that, it was the defined doctrine itself, No salvation outside the Church, which disturbed those whom Brother Francis, in his treatise, The Dogma of Faith Defended, called “right-wing liberals.” These are the theologians who believed in the infallible authority of the Church, but were embarrassed over the literal sense of the doctrine. “God is all-merciful,” they stressed, “most men, surely, will be saved.”
In their efforts to drain the thrice-defined dogma of its literal sense, these overly optimistic theologians insisted that the dogma needed to be “interpreted” according to the sense of the living ordinary magisterium of our time. Even His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, postulated that what extra ecclesiam nulla salus really meant was that there is no salvation without the Church:

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Laughable George Clooney

It is hard not to laugh at George Clooney.

The poor fellow cannot act and has no screen personality.  That is a given.  His family connections got him to Hollywood. A simpleton who imagines himself to be a great intellect, Clooney fancies himself a moral hero while he lionizes sodomy.  His movies are forgettable trash that appeal to those who enjoy quick jolts of entertainment bereft of ideas, humanity or even humor.

When mumbling your lines and giving the appearance of fake toughness on the screen wins you plaudits from the celeb drones who inhabit the world's movie theatres it becomes clear you don't have to expend much effort in improving your acting skills or lack thereof.  You can coast along until the public gets tired of you.

And they do get tired of you sooner than you think.  Think Kevin Kostner (remember him?)  Mr Kostner's only public appearances these days are when he is in the doctor's office dropping off urine samples.  Mr Kostner couldn't act either.  He was gloriously inept in the profession of acting. Bad as he was he was not much different from Mr Clooney, who will be forgotten soon enough.

But now Mr Clooney believes he is a statesman of sorts (!) and is angling to meet some heads of state. The first one on his list is Frau Merkel whom he believes is panting to meet him.  Maybe she is. In her doltish behavior she perhaps sees in him a kindred spirit.

Possibly this actor views the Merkel-Clooney Summit as his ticket into the history books.

As I said, Mr Clooney is laughable.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What actually is Patriotism?

Christopher Manion explains:

What ever happened to patriotism?

Webster’s defines the term as “love for or devotion to one’s country.”
But before there were countries, there was patriotism. The term itself derives from ancient languages (Greek and Latin) and refers to the land of one’s fathers.
Patriotism is pre-political. It is essentially human – which noun, by the way, derives from the Latin humus – dirt, soil. “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return,” we are told on Ash Wednesday. “humus.
Patriotism is founded in the natural law. It represents the honor we owe our forbearers and the land they tilled and bequeathed to us. We do not live in abstractions, we live a concrete, historical life.
One’s native land is as human as life itself. Our fathers taught us patriotism. Patriotism means family — love of our family for giving us life (making us “human”), love for our kin, our tribe, our neighbors, and the God who gives us life.
Patriotism does not mean love of government.
And that bothers politicians. Big time. Major league.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Joe Sobran, Defender of the Faith

Joe Sobran had a Renaissance mind along with a moral sense, a genial wit, and a seemingly effortless flow of felicitous phrasing. Whatever the topic, he was capable of entertaining while instructing, always conveying to the reader of his columns, articles, and essays (without the least touch of pedantry) something of the centuries—even millennia—of thought, experience, and expression underlying the topics at hand. Whether he was engaging religion, morals, politics, history, or literature, including his beloved Shakespeare, he presented truth from a fresh perspective, in arresting language, and with clarity and cogency.
Among the many friends Joe made are a number—like Robert Reilly, Pat Buchanan, and Paul Likoudis—who contribute testimonials to the effect that his writing had and has on them. One example that sums up Joe’s contribution and the depth of response he could arouse in his readers comes from Fr. Ronald Tacelli of Boston College:
During the final collapse of the Roman Empire, Livy wrote of ‘the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them.’ In this astonishingly relevant book — astonishing, because some of its essays were written many decades ago — Joe Sobran . . . describes, with clarity, power, and great beauty, the remedies — really, the remedy, The Thing — needed to cure us. In this way,Subtracting Christianity can be thought of as Joe’s parting gift — maybe his greatest gift — to the civilization he loved so much. Profound gratitude is the only proper response.
Lifelong pro-life warrior Joe Scheidler (the defendant in NOW v. Schiedler) highlights another great cause of our era to which Joe showed great faithfulness. Scheidler refers to Sobran as “without question, the most persuasive and articulate defender of life and morality of the past 50 years.” This is not to be wondered at since the moral, philosophical, religious, and cultural issues bound up in abortion involve all the deepest gifts of Christianity and Western Civilization to the world’s understanding of human life and of what makes it valuable. So when Joe Sobran wrote on the human life issues of our era—abortion, euthanasia, bioengineering, cloning, and the like—he was offering the highest level of social criticism from a thoroughly baptized mind fully informed by the best that Christian culture has thought and written.

Read the whole article here.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Celebrating President's Day

"The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. 

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."   (H.L.Mencken)

And more on the way!

(If we've left any morons out it was due to space limitations.)

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Joint Declaration of the Pope and the Patriarch

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13).
1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit Consolator, we, Pope Francis and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, have met today in Havana. We give thanks to God, glorified in the Trinity, for this meeting, the first in history.
It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2 Jn 12), from heart to heart, to discuss the mutual relations between the  Churches, the crucial problems of our faithful, and the outlook for the progress of human civilization.
2. Our fraternal meeting has taken place in Cuba, at the crossroads of North and South, East and West. It is from this island, the symbol of the hopes of the “New World” and the dramatic events of the history of the twentieth century, that we address our words to all the peoples of Latin America and of the other continents.
It is a source of joy that the Christian faith is growing here in a dynamic way.  The powerful religious potential of Latin America, its centuries–old Christian tradition, grounded in the personal experience of millions of people, are the pledge of a great future for this region.
3. By meeting far from the longstanding disputes of the “Old World”, we experience with a particular sense of urgency the need for the shared labour of Catholics and Orthodox, who are called, with gentleness and respect, to give an explanation to the world of the hope in us (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).
4. We thank God for the gifts received from the coming into the world of His only Son. We share the same spiritual Tradition of the first millennium of Christianity. The witnesses of this Tradition are the Most Holy Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, and the saints we venerate.  Among them are innumerable martyrs who have given witness to their faithfulness to Christ and have become the “seed of Christians”.
5. Notwithstanding this shared Tradition of the first ten centuries, for nearly one thousand years Catholics and Orthodox have been deprived of communion in the Eucharist. We have been divided by wounds caused by old and recent conflicts, by differences inherited from our ancestors, in the understanding and expression of our faith in God, one in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are pained by the loss of unity, the outcome of human weakness and of sin, which has occurred despite the priestly prayer of Christ the Saviour: “So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you … so that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn 17:21).
6. Mindful of the permanence of many obstacles, it is our hope that our meeting may contribute to the re–establishment of this unity willed by God, for which Christ prayed. May our meeting inspire Christians throughout the world to pray to the Lord with renewed fervour for the full unity of all His disciples. In a world which yearns not only for our words but also for tangible gestures, may this meeting be a sign of hope for all people of goodwill!
7. In our determination to undertake all that is necessary to overcome the historical divergences we have inherited, we wish to combine our efforts to give witness to the Gospel of Christ and to the shared heritage of the Church of the first millennium, responding together to the challenges of the contemporary world. Orthodox and Catholics must learn to give unanimously witness in those spheres in which this is possible and necessary. Human civilization has entered into a period of epochal change. Our Christian conscience and our pastoral responsibility compel us not to remain passive in the face of challenges requiring a shared response.
8. Our gaze must firstly turn to those regions of the world where Christians are victims of persecution. In many countries of the Middle East and North Africa whole families, villages and cities of our brothers and sisters in Christ are being completely exterminated. Their churches are being barbarously ravaged and looted, their sacred objects profaned, their monuments destroyed. It is with pain that we call to mind the situation in Syria, Iraq and other countries of the Middle East, and the massive exodus of Christians from the land in which our faith was first disseminated and in which they have lived since the time of the Apostles, together with other religious communities.
9. We call upon the international community to act urgently in order to prevent the further expulsion of Christians from the Middle East. In raising our voice in defence of persecuted Christians, we wish to express our compassion for the suffering experienced by the faithful of other religious traditions who have also become victims of civil war, chaos and terrorist violence.
10. Thousands of victims have already been claimed in the violence in Syria and Iraq, which has left many other millions without a home or means of sustenance. We urge the international community to seek an end to the violence and terrorism and, at the same time, to contribute through dialogue to a swift return to civil peace. Large–scale humanitarian aid must be assured to the afflicted populations and to the many refugees seeking safety in neighbouring lands.
We call upon all those whose influence can be brought to bear upon the destiny of those kidnapped, including the Metropolitans of Aleppo, Paul and John Ibrahim, who were taken in April 2013, to make every effort to ensure their prompt liberation.
11. We lift our prayers to Christ, the Saviour of the world, asking for the return of peace in the Middle East, “the fruit of justice” (Is 32:17), so that fraternal co–existence among the various populations, Churches and religions may be strengthened, enabling refugees to return to their homes, wounds to be healed, and the souls of the slain innocent to rest in peace.
We address, in a fervent appeal, all the parts that may be involved in the conflicts to demonstrate good will and to take part in the negotiating table. At the same time, the international community must undertake every possible effort to end terrorism through common, joint and coordinated action. We call on all the countries involved in the struggle against terrorism to responsible and prudent action. We exhort all Christians and all believers of God to pray fervently to the providential Creator of the world to protect His creation from destruction and not permit a new world war. In order to ensure a solid and enduring peace, specific efforts must be undertaken to rediscover the common values uniting us, based on the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
12. We bow before the martyrdom of those who, at the cost of their own lives, have given witness to the truth of the Gospel, preferring death to the denial of Christ. We believe that these martyrs of our times, who belong to various Churches but who are united by their shared suffering, are a pledge of the unity of Christians. It is to you who suffer for Christ’s sake that the word of the Apostle is directed: “Beloved … rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly” (1 Pet 4:12–13).
13. Interreligious dialogue is indispensable in our disturbing times. Differences in the understanding of religious truths must not impede people of different faiths to live in peace and harmony. In our current context, religious leaders have the particular responsibility to educate their faithful in a spirit which is respectful of the convictions of those belonging to other religious traditions. Attempts to justify criminal acts with religious slogans are altogether unacceptable. No crime may be committed in God’s name, “since God is not the God of disorder but of peace” (1 Cor 14:33).
14. In affirming the foremost value of religious freedom, we give thanks to God for the current unprecedented renewal of the Christian faith in Russia, as well as in many other countries of Eastern Europe, formerly dominated for decades by atheist regimes. Today, the chains of militant atheism have been broken and in many places Christians can now freely confess their faith. Thousands of new churches have been built over the last quarter of a century, as well as hundreds of monasteries and theological institutions. Christian communities undertake notable works in the fields of charitable aid and social development, providing diversified forms of assistance to the needy. Orthodox and Catholics often work side by side. Giving witness to the values of the Gospel they attest to the existence of the shared spiritual foundations of human co–existence.
15. At the same time, we are concerned about the situation in many countries in which Christians are increasingly confronted by restrictions to religious freedom, to the right to witness to one’s convictions and to live in conformity with them. In particular, we observe that the transformation of some countries into secularized societies, estranged from all reference to God and to His truth, constitutes a grave threat to religious freedom.  It is a source of concern for us that there is a current curtailment of the rights of Christians, if not their outright discrimination, when certain political forces, guided by an often very aggressive secularist ideology, seek to relegate them to the margins of public life.
16. The process of European integration, which began after centuries of blood–soaked conflicts, was welcomed by many with hope, as a guarantee of peace and security. Nonetheless, we invite vigilance against an integration that is devoid of respect for religious identities. While remaining open to the contribution of other religions to our civilization, it is our conviction that Europe must remain faithful to its Christian roots. We call upon Christians of Eastern and Western Europe to unite in their shared witness to Christ and the Gospel, so that Europe may preserve its soul, shaped by two thousand years of Christian tradition.
17. Our gaze is also directed to those facing serious difficulties, who live in extreme need and poverty while the material wealth of humanity increases. We cannot remain indifferent to the destinies of millions of migrants and refugees knocking on the doors of wealthy nations. The unrelenting consumerism of some more developed countries is gradually depleting the resources of our planet. The growing inequality in the distribution of material goods increases the feeling of the injustice of the international order that has emerged.
18. The Christian churches are called to defend the demands of justice, the respect for peoples’ traditions, and an authentic solidarity towards all those who suffer. We Christians cannot forget that “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, that no human being might boast before God” (1 Cor 1:27–29).
19. The family is the natural centre of human life and society. We are concerned about the crisis in the family in many countries. Orthodox and Catholics share the same conception of the family, and are called to witness that it is a path of holiness, testifying to the faithfulness of the spouses in their mutual interaction, to their openness to the procreation and rearing of their children, to solidarity between the generations and to respect for the weakest.
20. The family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman. It is love that seals their union and teaches them to accept one another as a gift. Marriage is a school of love and faithfulness. We regret that other forms of cohabitation have been placed on the same level as this union, while the concept, consecrated in the biblical tradition, of paternity and maternity as the distinct vocation of man and woman in marriage is being banished from the public conscience.
21. We call on all to respect the inalienable right to life. Millions are denied the very right to be born into the world. The blood of the unborn cries out to God (cf. Gen 4:10).
The emergence of so-called euthanasia leads elderly people and the disabled begin to feel that they are a burden on their families and on society in general.
We are also concerned about the development of biomedical reproduction technology, as the manipulation of human life represents an attack on the foundations of human existence, created in the image of God. We believe that it is our duty to recall the immutability of Christian moral principles, based on respect for the dignity of the individual called into being according to the Creator’s plan.
22. Today, in a particular way, we address young Christians. You, young people, have the task of not hiding your talent in the ground (cf. Mt 25:25), but of using all the abilities God has given you to confirm Christ’s truth in the world, incarnating in your own lives the evangelical commandments of the love of God and of one’s neighbour. Do not be afraid of going against the current, defending God’s truth, to which contemporary secular norms are often far from conforming.
23. God loves each of you and expects you to be His disciples and apostles. Be the light of the world so that those around you may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:14, 16). Raise your children in the Christian faith, transmitting to them the pearl of great price that is the faith (cf. Mt 13:46) you have received from your parents and forbears. Remember that “you have been purchased at a great price” (1 Cor 6:20), at the cost of the death on the cross of the Man–God Jesus Christ.
24. Orthodox and Catholics are united not only by the shared Tradition of the Church of the first millennium, but also by the mission to preach the Gospel of Christ in the world today. This mission entails mutual respect for members of the Christian communities and excludes any form of proselytism.
We are not competitors but brothers, and this concept must guide all our mutual actions as well as those directed to the outside world. We urge Catholics and Orthodox in all countries to learn to live together in peace and love, and to be “in harmony with one another” (Rm 15:5). Consequently, it cannot be accepted that disloyal means be used to incite believers to pass from one Church to another, denying them their religious freedom and their traditions. We are called upon to put into practice the precept of the apostle Paul: “Thus I aspire to proclaim the gospel not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on another's foundation” (Rm 15:20).
25. It is our hope that our meeting may also contribute to reconciliation wherever tensions exist between Greek Catholics and Orthodox. It is today clear that the past method of “uniatism”, understood as the union of one community to the other, separating it from its Church, is not the way to re–establish unity. Nonetheless, the ecclesial communities which emerged in these historical circumstances have the right to exist and to undertake all that is necessary to meet the spiritual needs of their faithful, while seeking to live in peace with their neighbours. Orthodox and Greek Catholics are in need of reconciliation and of mutually acceptable forms of co–existence.
26. We deplore the hostility in Ukraine that has already caused many victims, inflicted innumerable wounds on peaceful inhabitants and thrown society into a deep economic and humanitarian crisis. We invite all the parts involved in the conflict to prudence, to social solidarity and to action aimed at constructing peace. We invite our Churches in Ukraine to work towards social harmony, to refrain from taking part in the confrontation, and to not support any further development of the conflict.
27. It is our hope that the schism between the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine may be overcome through existing canonical norms, that all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident.
28. In the contemporary world, which is both multiform yet united by a shared destiny, Catholics and Orthodox are called to work together fraternally in proclaiming the Good News of salvation, to testify together to the moral dignity and authentic freedom of the person, “so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). This world, in which the spiritual pillars of human existence are progressively disappearing, awaits from us a compelling Christian witness in all spheres of personal and social life. Much of the future of humanity will depend on our capacity to give shared witness to the Spirit of truth in these difficult times.
29. May our bold witness to God’s truth and to the Good News of salvation be sustained by the Man–God Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who strengthens us with the unfailing promise: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (Lk 12:32)!
Christ is the well–spring of joy and hope. Faith in Him transfigures human life, fills it with meaning. This is the conviction borne of the experience of all those to whom Peter refers in his words: “Once you were ‘no people’ but now you are God’s people; you ‘had not received mercy’ but now you have received mercy” (1 Pet 2:10).
30. With grace–filled gratitude for the gift of mutual understanding manifested during our meeting, let us with hope turn to the Most Holy Mother of God, invoking her with the words of this ancient prayer: “We seek refuge under the protection of your mercy, Holy Mother of God”. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, through her intercession, inspire fraternity in all those who venerate her, so that they may be reunited, in God’s own time, in the peace and harmony of the one people of God, for the glory of the Most Holy and indivisible Trinity!

Francis                                  Kirill
Bishop of Rome                      Patriarch of Moscow
Pope of the Catholic Church    and all Russia

{To which the Editor of The Eye-Witness adds, Our Lady of Fatima, Ora pro nobis]

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Joe Biden: a nasty, corrupt fellow

From William Engdahl:

US Vice President Joe Biden plays a very special role in the darker foreign policies of the Obama Administration, one that is virtually overlooked as he is such a faceless personality. It seems that everywhere Washington plans to ignite a war, Obama sends Joe to get things started. He is worth a closer look, given his most recent visit in Ankara and what he said there.

On January 24, Joe Biden came to Ankara for intensive meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu. What was significant about the talks, as has so far been made public, is the astonishing fact that Biden, representing the Government of the United States, claiming it is engaged in a war to defeat ISIS, the so-called Islamic State or in Arabic, DAESH, did not once discuss with Turkish leaders the negotiation on a political resolution in Syria, according to an unnamed US official present.

Instead, Washington endorsed Erdoğan’s ongoing ethnic cleansing, thinly veiled as a war against terrorist PKK, against the Turkish Kurd population and their Syrian Kurd allies. Moreover, Biden, standing beside the Turkish leaders, announced that if the diplomatic Geneva talks this week on Syria failed, military action in Syria will follow: “We do know that it would be better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared—we are prepared if that’s not possible—to have a military solution to this operation in taking out Daesh.”

Moreover, he indicated that Washington would not pressure Turkey to stop its military troop placement inside Iraq near the rich oilfields of Mosul, presently held by DAESH, leaving it as a matter between the governments of Iraq and Turkey, meaning de facto US endorsement of Turkey’s illegal invasion of Iraq. In fact, Biden discussed US military support, unspecified, for a Turkish military move to take the oilfields of Mosul. Further, the US Vice President apparently said not a word about the continuing illegal smuggling of Iraqi and Syrian oil by ISIS into Turkey where Erdoğan’s son ships it to world markets, financing the ISIS terror inside Syria Biden claims to oppose.

Read the whole article here

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"Let his name and memory be obliterated"

While Francis was toadying at the synagogue a few weeks back this was going on in the Holy Land....

If you feel like getting really depressed, read the comments at the article posted (above) by Southern Orders, especially those by a priest named Father Kavanaugh.  They illustrate quite clearly the near total religious ignorance of so many in the priesthood today.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Francis and Kirill to meet

I only wish it were someone other than Francis representing Catholicism at this undoubtedly historic meeting.  But maybe God can bring good out of this, writing straight with the crooked lines of our current Pope.

Either way, the meeting is certainly unprecedented.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is to meet his Roman Catholic counterpart, Pope Francis, during a historic visit to Latin America. The groundbreaking meeting is to happen in mid-February in Cuba.
The meeting between heads the two major Christian churches would be an unprecedented move to mend a millennium-long rift between the Western and Eastern branches of the religion, which started with the Great Schism of 1054.
Persecution of Christians in the modern world is the main issue for the two leaders to discuss, the Russian Orthodox Church said. Christians are among the minorities suffering at the hands of groups adhering to radical Islamist ideology in places like Iraq, Syria and Somalia

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Roberto de Mattei comments on Italy's Family Day

[Forgive the usual wretched google translation, Ed. The Eye Witness.]

(by Roberto de Mattei on ) The Family Day of January 30, has brought to light the existence of another Italian, very different from the relativist and pornomane submitted to us by the media as the only real. Italy Family Day is that portion of the people, wider than you might imagine, it has remained true, or has regained in recent years, those that Benedict XVI has called " non-negotiable values ​​": life, family, the education of children, in the belief that only on these pillars can be based a well-ordered society.
Italy Family Day stands as antithetical to Italy Cirinnà the law , which takes its name from the bill introduced by Senator Monica Cirinnà, to introduce same-sex marriage and adoption in our country. Italy Family Day is not only Italy that defends the family institution, it is also an Italy that is opposed to the enemies of the family, beginning with the group of activists who, behind the screen of Cirinnà law, wants to impose the country an ideology and a practical pan-sexualist.
This minority is supported by the European Union, the marx-Enlightenment lobby and the various levels of Freemasonry and able , but unfortunately enjoys the sympathy and goodwill of some of the bishops and Catholic movements. In this sense Italy Family Day is not that of Msgr. Nunzio Galantino, secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference, nor is that of associations like Communion and Liberation, the Agesci, the Focolare Movement, the Renewal of the Spirit, that January 30 did not attend the Circus Maximus.
Mons, Galantino has tried in every way to prevent the event , then unable to stop the mobilization, he wanted to impose on it a different goal: that, as noted by Riccardo Cascioli on New Compass Daily on February 1, " get to a law on civil unions that keep them distinct from the family based on marriage between man and woman and that avoids the adoption. In other words, the CEI want DICO against whom he had fought eight years ago " . The first Family Day, in 2007, was in fact promoted by the Italian bishops against the legalization of civil unions (SAY), rightly presented as an open door to the pseudo-sex marriage. Today we hear tell that we should accept civil unions, precisely to avoid the so-called gay marriage.
He tells, among others, in an interview, Msgr. Marcello Semeraro, bishop of Albano: " In principle, I have no objection to the fact that under the public profile will give legal substance to these unions. It seems to me that the reaction relates to the issue of generativity, adoptions, not the public recognition of the unions. The important thing is that they are not assimilated to the reality of marriage " . And, for the avoidance of doubt, he adds: " A law on civil unions can certainly do" ( Corriere della Sera, January 31).
The position is clear: no homosexual adoption, yes to the legalization of homosexual unions, provided they are not formally defined marriage. If from Cirinnà bill some elements were removed which equate all over the civil marriage to same-sex unions, then a Catholic could consent to it. Msgr. Semeraro is considered, as Msgr. Galatino, a confidant of Pope Francis.
So the question naturally arises: what is the position of the Pope about it? Antonio Socci, on Libero of January 31, notes that it was " evident absence and palpable coolness " of Pope Francis, who has not even sent a I salute to Family day and did I mention it either in hearing speech on Saturday morning, in the reflection or the next day. How to judge this silence, when the Government and the Italian Parliament are preparing to inflict a moral wound to our country?

Read the whole article here.

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