Are the wicked always punished?
How can Franco Mulakkal fare better
than crooked sadhus?
By T J S George, in the New Indian Express, 07th July 2019

Finally, Kerala’s sensational nun-rape case will move another step forward this week.

Former bishop Franco Mulakkal (File | EPS)

A cartoon report we published in CCV(June 14) says it all: The Catholic Church in Kerala, also in the whole world, has become a laughing stock, or rather a matter to be laughed at or cast aside, thanks to the notorious exploits of a bishop and a Cardinal. Notoriety is one way of becoming famous: ‘For the wrong reason’. True name is: Infamous!

Noteworthy is the statement of TJS George, the writer: “The Bishops’ Council proclaimed: “In the name of condemning Bishop Franco, the cartoonist has insulted Christianity.” Wrong. By condemning a bishop who insulted Christianity, the cartoonist defended Christianity”.

The clerical-hierarchical class in the Church may not be getting the message, but the lay folk, ‘the cattle class’, the people of God, irrespective religious divides, who make up the real Church are getting it. The latter must increase and the former must decrease, fade out. That is the bright and hopeful sign of the times.

Let Jesus and the visibility of his simple, humble life-style of foot-washing service to the least, last and lost grow hundred fold and guide his followers. But one question still remains: Are the wicked always punished in this world? We don’t see it done here below! As for the next world, one doesn’t know, if it exists even! james kottoor, editor CCV.

Please read below TJS George on Franco

Finally, Kerala’s sensational nun-rape case will move another step forward this week. Charges against the libidinous Bishop Franco Mulakkal will come up for hearing in a magistrate’s court. Resourceful parties like this Jalandhar bishop have different ways in which they can make things drag on. But, however snail-like the progress, there is movement. And that is relief enough.

Actually the bishop was already in the news thanks to a cartoon that won the State Lalit Kala Akademi award. Following protests by the Catholic Bishops Council, the state government made some noises about making amends, but the Akademi tried to stand its ground. The cartoon by Subash showed Bishop Franco as a rooster in brilliant colours, holding the ceremonial bishop’s staff on the crown of which hangs a woman’s underwear. The rooster is standing on a police cap held up by two politicians, a party-hopping opportunist and a communist leader caught in a sex scandal of his own, with a bunch of nuns fleeing from the scene.

The Bishops’ Council proclaimed: “In the name of condemning Bishop Franco, the cartoonist has insulted Christianity.” Wrong. By condemning a bishop who insulted Christianity, the cartoonist defended Christianity. A priest himself supported the cartoon, saying that it “represents the indignation of a people towards the rotten political and religious atmosphere.”

Franco is India’s first bishop to be arrested on charge of raping and sodomising a 44-year old nun repeatedly. The arrest almost did not happen because the man turned out to be enormously influential. The Punjab police were reverential towards him. They let his private security guards attack journalists who had gathered to cover the story.

Kerala police officials who went to Jalandhar had to wait until the bishop found it convenient to meet them. When he got bail, he was given a hero’s welcome by masses of people. Some days later, a priest in the Jalandhar jurisdiction who had testified against the bishop was found dead. Nothing more was heard about the matter.

Clearly, Franco is no ordinary bishop. A postgraduate from Amritsar, he has spent much of his adult life in the Punjab-Haryana-Delhi circuit, becoming a kind of Malayalee Punjabi. A master of social networking, he developed ties with local officials and VIPs. A book, The Moral Teaching of Guru Nanak from a Catholic Perspective, made him a figure of admiration among Sikhs and Punjabis. To understand the extent of the man’s power, we only have to look at how some other men of God have fared.

Asaram Bapu was the dancing, singing king of 400 ashrams, multitudes of devotees around the world and unlimited funds to organise whatever took his fancy. Then one day he was booked in a rape case and sentenced to life. Even more celebrated as a godman was “Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan”, head of the Dera Sacha Sauda, spiritual guru as well as the monarch of all he surveyed, singer, actor and film-maker who commanded a massive vote bank and used it to his advantage. Then one day he was sentenced to 20 years in jail for two rape cases and life imprisonment for a murder.

What the Hindu and Sikh godmen could not achieve, the Christian bishop could. Which makes Christianity the most influential religious force in the country. How can the BJP accept this? Isn’t it an affront to our national pride to allow crooked bishops fare better than crooked sadhus? Franco must have friends in the highest ranks of the BJP.

All through the course of the scandal, the power of the priest was evident. It took nearly three months for the authorities to arrest him after a nun had filed a police complaint accusing him of sexual assault. He got bail after 25 days. Six months passed before a chargesheet was filed. That was two months ago, in April. In early June two senior police officers investigating the case were transferred. The protesting nuns attributed it to Franco’s “political and financial influence.”

How does a sinner get so much influence? Why do people, including Catholics, ask the question Henry II made famous: Who will free me from this turbulent priest? Ironically, only cartoons try to provide an answer. A cartoon by Manjul showed Franco standing tall in full regalia while a police officer prostrates before him and, crawling on the ground, says with folded arms: “Let us start your interrogation.” Life has become a cartoon.

Posted in Silenced Voice | 1 Comment

Should Pope Reply to Heresy Mongers? James Kottoor

 

Should  Pope reply to Heresy Mongers?

Ignatius Press bosses suggest

Rome reply to open letter

accusing Francis of heresy

Dorothy Cummings McLean, in LifeSight 

 

CatholicHeresyIgnatius PressJoseph FessioMark BrumleyOpen Letter To BishopsPope Francis

 

You throw stones mostly at trees overladen with fruits! Pope Francis is one of the most loved, acclaimed and also fiercely discussed pontiffs in history.

 

On election sooth-sayers were prompt to remind us: “St. Malachy, a 12th century Roman Catholic, and Nostradamus, the world-renowned 16th-century French oracle, predicted that Pope Francis I will be the world’s last pontiff.” Oracles may or may not come true. We have to live today, not tomorrow, and being intelligent creatures we have to be led by light of day outside and reason withi, as we are unsure  even of the morrow.

 

Benedict Resigned

Who expected Benedict to resign, but he did. A whole lot of people think Popes should die in office, because it has been the practice always – old is gold. But there are others who think differently, that Papacy is a human institution in  a human Church and like everything human, Papacy, Episcopacy etc.  also should be for a fixed term only. Even now bishops have to resign at 75.

 

As a youngster this scribe thought of it and wrote even an editorial in the New Leader, that all ecclesiastical offices – Parish Priest, Bishop etc.  – should be only for three years, the REASON  being the most Honest Man in the world JESUS could not survive more than three years of public life. So the editor gave his resignation the end of the third year, got it rejected gladly, repeated it a second time to no avail. But then he  got a polite letter of the transfer of NL editorship already done placed on his desk on his return from CBCI meeting in Kolkotta. That was the happy ending gladly taken with no complaints.

 

Perform or Perish!

Personally I still believe that all human offices should be for a time only, to prevent corruption and envy and to help perform or perish as Jesus did. Brief-bright-and-begone like a métier  was Jesus-model and still believe in it. Of course there will not be any takers for it in the Church. Bishops will exhort all to imitate Jesus closely, nay describe themselves to be other Christs and act just the opposite. To that extent the axiom “Church is to be reformed Constantly” will be counter productive.

 

So what is the option you would offer to the critics of Francis whose numbers are increasing by leaps and bounds. With the  burning of  Notre Dame, an iconic symbol it represents the Church on FIRE! All are now agreed that only now, after 19 years with the burning of Notre Dame, we are literally stepping  into the 21st century when democracy is to be pushed to its extreme limits even in the Catholic church.

 

Second Mass petition

This is now the second time a mass petition – first was in 2016 — by a disgruntled section exploding like a revolt in the army or by a rightly upset mature group seeking just demands. Francis who was the champion of public criticism, even against the Pope from Family Synod of 2015-16, could be the most happy person to know who is their nominee to replace or succeed  him.

 

 

In any case transfer of Papacy should be done in a most civilized manner. As in the election contest in India there may be many aspirants for the top post in the Catholic church as well. Since world renowned theologians and experts in church matters have already established, that Francis has already excommunicated himself as a heretic – latae sententiae – they should in all fairness also propose their candidate/s to replace him

 

Welcome to New Captain!

Critics may wonder how Francis would react. To the extent we know him, he would be the most happy person to welcome him with a warm embrace and a KISS of peace to hand over the captainship of the Bark of Peter. james kottoor, editor CCV.

 

 

 

Please read below a

whole lot of Surprises!

SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Both the founder and the CEO of the leading U.S. Catholic publishing company have issued a statement saying that an open letter released this week accusing Pope Francis of heresy should not be ignored by Catholic leaders in Rome. 

 

 

On April 30, Fr. Joseph Fessio and Mark Bromley of Ignatius Press published a short video expressing their opinions on the importance of the “Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church”. About 20 prominent clergymen and scholars issued the open letter accusing Pope Francis of being “guilty of the delict of heresy.” They asked that the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime.

 

 

“It’s an important document,” Fessio said, mentioning that it had been published that morning by LifeSiteNews. “I think something needs to be said about it. There’ll be time for reflection later.” Ignatius Press’ CEO Mark Bromley said that his first reaction was that the letter was “something that someone of some significance at the Holy See should address.”

 

 

“As I read through it, I wasn’t quite persuaded that we had formal heresy or even that the statements [cited] of the Holy Father were materially heretical… But because of the arguments in the document and the persons making the argument, I think this is something that should be taken seriously.”

 

 

Among the signatories are world-renowned philosopher Professor John Rist and theologian Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP, theologian Fr. Thomas Crean, OP, and philosopher Dr. Peter Kwasniewski. Since the letter’s release, 12 additional distinguished signatories have added their names, bringing up the total number of signers to 31 as of this writing.

 

 

Bromley explained that this would mean someone at a “high level” in Church leadership should address the questions asked by the document and show how Francis’s statements could be shown to be consistent with Catholic doctrine.“[There] should be some explanation,” he said. “It shouldn’t just be left to people to wonder.”

Fessio said that his first thoughts when reading the document was that it would be ignored if its authors weren’t significant.

 

 

“But as a matter of fact these authors ― some of them, anyway ― are quite reputable.” Fessio noted that even if some of the signers might be construed as being extremists, “even extremists can sometimes make good points.” “So the second question was ‘Well, what about the document itself? Is it outrageous? Is it outlandish? Is it well-balanced? Is it substantive?’ And I wasn’t sure. It’s 20 pages long, so I read it this morning,” he said.

 

 

 

“There’s seven different … heresy counts,” Fessio continued.  “Each one is clearly stated. Each one of them is backed up by previous Church teaching, either councils or popes. And then they show where Pope Francis has made statements that seem to contradict these Church teachings, and then also how by his actions and his inactions, in some cases, he was to corroborate that understanding.”  The heresies the authors of the Open Letter attribute to the Argentinian pontiff are as follows:

 

 

  1. A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.

 

  1. A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.

 

  1. A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.

 

  1. Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right, or requested or even commanded by God.

 

  1. It is false that the only sexual acts that are good of their kind and morally licit are acts between husband and wife.

 

  1. Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.

 

  1. God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian.

 

Fessio concluded that, based on its internal merits, the document could not be dismissed as the work of extremists.

 

 

Bromley observed that this kind of document is widely circulated instantly with today’s communication technologies. Because of the reach of the document, and because of the high stature of its authors, he believes it should be addressed by the highest pastoral authorities.

 

 

Citing St. Ignatius of Loyola’s dictum that one must try to give another’s words the most charitable interpretation, Fessio said that he felt that Church authorities should address the document, rather than ignore it, so as to give an acceptable interpretation of Francis’  controversial statements.

 

 

“These serious accusations should be looked at and responded to and [authorities should] show how the pope’s statements can be interpreted and should be interpreted as consistent in meaning with the Church’s teaching and the doctrine of the faith.” Bromley said that he was worried that the Holy See will just ignore the letter because they believe there are people who will be against Francis no matter what he says. However, the Ignatius Press CEO believes that there are other people who don’t want to believe that the pope is heretical and will want “to see and understand his comments as consistent with the teaching of the Church.”

 

 

“So I think those people would welcome clarification.” Fessio underscored that a response to the document was for the “good of the Church and for the good of the Holy Father.” “This is clearly not insubstantial. It’s clearly not mere extremist capring or ranting. It’s a statement carefully worded and carefully thought through. If it’s not responded to, then it will lead to greater confusion, and people will not be certain about whether they can trust the Pope or not.”

He insisted that the document should be responded to “in such a way that we can reunite people together under the one mind of Christ which is represented by His bishops.” Bromley added that given contemporary criticism of how the Church has been “ineffective” in answering “certain questions” in the past, the document simply cannot be dismissed

 

 

“You can’t ignore these things,” he said. “They pile up. They create a narrative. They reinforce bad attitudes in people. And even people of good begin to say ‘Well, there must be something to this. Why does the Holy See not speak out?” “That’s what I’m worried about.”

 

 

Following News item, also from LifeSight,

 gives an insight into the thinking of Pope Francis.

 

Pope Francis signals again he

May ‘step down’ from being pope

 

Lisa Bourne

 

 

 

 

VATICAN, May 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis signaled yet again this week the possibility that he may resign from being pope. He asked morning Mass attendees on Tuesday to pray for priests, bishops, and the pope who, he said, must learn “when it’s time to take his leave and step down.”

 

 

Francis said he hopes that all pastors have the grace to know when to step down, and that when they do exit their post, they should not “leave halfway,” as reported by Vatican News. This is one of many times since his election in 2013 that Pope Francis has spoken about stepping down from his post as Vicar of Christ on earth.

 

 

In 2014, he suggested that he would entertain the possibility of resigning if his health failed him, because he would not have the “capacity to govern well.” He suggested he would retire like Pope Benedict did if he felt that he could not “go on.”

 

 

Again in 2014 Francis said Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation was a “beautiful gesture of nobility, of humility and courage,” adding that it  “cleared a path for later popes to do the same.” Francis also said Benedict’s stepping down “should not be considered an exception, but an institution.”

 

 

Then, in 2015, Pope Francis said that the Church should not have “leaders for life” and that there “should be a time limit to positions (in the Church).” In the five years that he has been pope, Francis has allowed the teachings of heretics to go unchecked while he has refused to answer questions about ambiguities in his own teachings.

 

Last year group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world issued a formal “filial correction” of the pope, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments. Earlier this month, Dutch Cardinal Willem Eijk raised the question that Pope Francis may be part of the Church’s “final trial” before the second coming of Christ.

 

 

In his homily this week at the Santa Marta papal residence in the Vatican, the Pope said that St. Paul was “compelled by the Holy Spirit” to leave Ephesus and go to Jerusalem, he said, and this “shows us the pathway for every bishop when it’s time to take his leave and step down.” “When I read this, I think about myself,”

Francis said, “because I am a bishop and I must take my leave and step down.”

 

 

Francis said as well that all bishops should trust the Holy Spirit in knowing when it’s time for them to step down. “I am thinking of all bishops,” Francis said. “May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way (as St. Paul did), with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit.”

 

 

“All pastors must take our leave,” he stated. “There comes a moment where the Lord tells us: go somewhere else, go there, go this way, come to me. And one of the steps a pastor must do is to prepare himself to take good leave, not to leave halfway.”

 

 

Benedict’s historic renunciation of the papacy in 2013 was the first papal resignation in more than 700 years, when Gregory XII gave up the Chair of Peter in 1415. Since Benedict relinquished his office there has been significant speculation about whether there was more behind his resignation than just frail health, including possible pressure from factions within the Church lobbying for a more progressive pope. And questions have continually surfaced over governance and authority in the Church with two concurrent living popes.

**************************

 

 

 

 

Posted in General Articles | Leave a comment

Prominent Clergy Scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy

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Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter
Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter
Pope Francis holds the gospels during the Holy Chrism Mass on April 18, 2019, St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images
Maike Hickson

Tue Apr 30, 2019 – 9:00 am EST
May 2, 2019 update: 20 additional names have been added to list of signers of the open letter, bringing total up to 51.

May 1, 2019 update: 12 more names have been added to list of signers of the open letter, bringing total up to 31.

April 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Prominent clergymen and scholars including Fr. Aidan Nichols, one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, have issued an open letter accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime.

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The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis’ embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church’s faith and morals.

“We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church,” the authors state. The open letter is available in Dutch, Italian, German, French, and Spanish.

Among the signatories are well-respected scholars such as Father Thomas Crean, Fr. John Hunwicke, Professor John Rist, Dr. Anna Silvas, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, and Dr. John Lamont. The text is dated “Easter Week” and appears on the traditional Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena, a saint who counseled and admonished several popes in her time.

The 20-page document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has “effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church,” especially in light of his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

The authors of the open letter state in a summary of their letter (read below) that it has now become clear that Pope Francis is aware of his own positions contrary to the faith and that the time has come to go a “stage further” by claiming that Pope Francis is “guilty of the crime of heresy.”

“We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied,” the authors state.

They clarify that they are not claiming Pope Francis has “denied truths of the faith in pronouncements that satisfy the conditions for an infallible papal teaching.”

“We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit,” they state.

In light of this situation, the authors call upon the bishops of the Church to take action since a “heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil.”

For this reason, the authors “respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’). The bishops can do this, the writers suggest, “by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.”

The authors first present in detail – and with theological references to substantiate their claims – the different positions against the faith Pope Francis has shown himself to hold, propagate, or support, including “seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth.”

One of the heresies the authors accuse Pope Francis of committing is expressed in the following proposition: “A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.” Many of these heretical statements touch on questions of marriage and the family and are to be found in Amoris Laetitia, but there is also a new claim made by Pope Francis in 2019 – namely, that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God” – that is listed in the open letter.

In one section of the open letter, the authors list the many prelates as well as lay people, who, despite openly dissenting from Catholic doctrine and morals — either by word or by deed — have been by Pope Francis either publicly praised (such as Emma Bonino) or raised to influential positions (such as Cardinal Oscar Rodrigez Maradiaga). On this list are names such as Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, and Bishop Juan Barros.

The fact that Pope Francis never responded to the dubia (questions) concerning Amoris Laetitia published by Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller, and Raymond Burke is mentioned. Moreover, the authors point out that Pope Francis has changed the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life to such an extent that orthodox Catholic experts have been replaced by heterodox experts, such as Father Maurizio Chiodi.

Addressing the bishops of the world – among whom are to be found all the present 222 cardinals – the authors of the open letter express their gratitude toward those bishops who have defended Catholic doctrine by their own personal witnesses.

“We recognise with gratitude that some among you have reaffirmed the truths contrary to the heresies which we have listed, or else have warned of serious dangers threatening the Church in this pontificate,” they state. Here, the dubia cardinals, but also Cardinal Willem Eijk, are mentioned. The authors also thank Cardinal Gerhard Müller for his Manifesto of Faith.

The authors believe, however, that at this time in history, six years into the Francis pontificate, more is needed, namely a more direct and authoritative approach. They recognize their own limits when they tell the bishops: “Despite the evidence that we have put forward in this letter, we recognise that it does not belong to us to declare the pope guilty of the delict of heresy in a way that would have canonical consequences for Catholics.”

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“We therefore appeal to you as our spiritual fathers, vicars of Christ within your own jurisdictions and not vicars of the Roman pontiff, publicly to admonish Pope Francis to abjure the heresies that he has professed. Even prescinding from the question of his personal adherence to these heretical beliefs, the Pope’s behaviour in regard to the seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth, mentioned at the beginning of this Letter, justifies the accusation of the delict of heresy. It is beyond a doubt that he promotes and spreads heretical views on these points. Promoting and spreading heresy provides sufficient grounds in itself for an accusation of the delict of heresy. There is, therefore, superabundant reason for the bishops to take the accusation of heresy seriously and to try to remedy the situation,” they state.

The authors make it clear that it is up to the bishops to take action and that they do not need a majority among the bishops to do so.

“Since Pope Francis has manifested heresy by his actions as well as by his words, any abjuration must involve repudiating and reversing these actions, including his nomination of bishops and cardinals who have supported these heresies by their words or actions. Such an admonition is a duty of fraternal charity to the Pope, as well as a duty to the Church,” they state.

“If – which God forbid! – Pope Francis does not bear the fruit of true repentance in response to these admonitions, we request that you carry out your duty of office to declare that he has committed the canonical delict of heresy and that he must suffer the canonical consequences of this crime,” they add.

Thus, the authors state, “these actions do not need to be taken by all the bishops of the Catholic Church, or even by a majority of them. A substantial and representative part of the faithful bishops of the Church would have the power to take these actions.”

The full 20-page document may be read here. A select bibliography to support the case made in the open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church about Pope Francis’ heresies may be read here.

A petition launched by the organizers of the open letter to support their initiative can be found here.

***

Summary of open letter to bishops as presented by the authors themselves:
The Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church is the third stage in a process that began in the summer of 2016. At that time, an ad hoc group of Catholic clergy and scholars wrote a private letter to all the cardinals and Eastern Catholic patriarchs, pointing out heresies and other serious errors that appeared to be contained in or favoured by Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia. The following year, after Pope Francis had continued by word, deed, and omission to propagate many of these same heresies, a ‘Filial Correction’ was addressed to the pope by many of the same people, as well as by other clergy and scholars. This second letter was made public in September 2017, and a petition in support of it was signed by some 14,000 people. The authors of that letter stated however that they did not seek to judge whether Pope Francis was aware that he was causing heresy to spread.

The present Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church goes a stage further in claiming that Pope Francis is guilty of the crime of heresy. This crime is committed when a Catholic knowingly and persistently denies something which he knows that the Church teaches to be revealed by God. Taken together, the words and actions of Pope Francis amount to a comprehensive rejection of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexual activity, on the moral law, and on grace and the forgiveness of sins.

The Open letter also indicates the link between this rejection of Catholic teaching and the favour shown by Pope Francis to bishops and other clergy who have either been guilty of sexual sins and crimes, such as former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, or who have protected clergy guilty of sexual sins and crimes, such as the late Cardinal Godfried Danneels. This protection and promotion of clerics who reject Catholic teaching on marriage, sexual activity, and on the moral law in general, even when these clerics personally violate the moral and civil law in horrendous ways, is consistent enough to be considered a policy on the part of Pope Francis. At the least it is evidence of disbelief in the truth of Catholic teaching on these subjects. It also indicates a strategy to impose rejection of these teachings on the Church, by naming to influential posts individuals whose personal lives are based on violation of these truths.

The authors consider that a heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil. It strikes at the basic good of the Church and must be corrected. For this reason, the study concludes by describing the traditional theological and legal principles that apply to the present situation. The authors respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded, they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’). They can do this by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.

While this Open letter is an unusual, even historic, document, the Church’s own laws say that “Christ’s faithful have the right, and, indeed, sometimes the duty, according to their knowledge, competence, and dignity, to manifest to the sacred pastors their judgment about those things which pertain to the good of the Church” (Code of Canon Law, canon 212.3). While Catholics hold that a pope speaks infallibly in certain strictly defined conditions, the Church does not say that he cannot fall into heresy outside these conditions.

The signatories to the Open Letter include not only specialists in theology and philosophy, but also academics and scholars from other fields. This fits well with the central claim of the Open Letter, that Pope Francis’s rejection of revealed truths is evident to any well-instructed Catholic who is willing to examine the evidence. The signatures of Fr Aidan Nichols OP and of Professor John Rist will be noted. Fr Nichols is one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, and the author of many books on a wide range of theological topics, including the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger. Professor Rist, who is known for his work in classical philosophy and the history of theology, has held chairs and professorships at the University of Toronto, the Augustinianum in Rome, the Catholic University of America, the University of Aberdeen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Open Letter is released just after the celebration of Holy Week and Easter Week, in the hopes that the present ‘passion’ of the Church will soon give way to a full resurrection of God’s saving truth.

Clergy and academics who wish to sign the open letter may send their name and credentials to organizers at this email address: openlettertobishops@gmail.com. All requests will be thoroughly vetted.

List of signers:
Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Québec-Vie, member of the John-Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family
Robert Cassidy, STL
Fr Thomas Crean, OP
Matteo d’Amico, Professor of History and Philosophy, Senior High School of Ancona
Deacon Nick Donnelly, MA
Maria Guarini STB, Pontificia Università Seraphicum, Rome; editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio
Prof. Robert Hickson, PhD, Retired Professor of Literature and of Strategic-Cultural Studies
Fr John Hunwicke, former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford
Peter Kwasniewski, PhD
John Lamont, DPhil (Oxon.)
Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law; Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News
Fr Cor Mennen, JCL, diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), canon of the cathedral Chapter. lecturer at de diocesan Seminary of ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Stéphane Mercier, STB, PhD, Former Lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain
Fr Aidan Nichols, OP
Paolo Pasqualucci, Professor of Philosophy (retired), University of Perugia
Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, Professor of Medieval Philosophy, University of Chile; former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Professor John Rist
Dr. Anna Silvas, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, University of New England
Prof. dr. W.J. Witteman, physicist, emeritus professor, University of Twente
Names added May 1, 2019
Fr William Barrocas
Pedro Erik Carneiro, PhD
Michael J. Cawley III, PhD, Psychologist
Fr Gregory Charnock, Ba LLB, Diocesan Priest, St Bartholomew Catholic Parish,Western Cape, South Africa
Ernesto Echavarria, KSG
Sarah Henderson, DCHS BA MA
Edward T. Kryn, MD
Alan Moy, MD, Scientific Director and Founder, John Paul II Medical Research Institute
Jack P. Oostveen, Emeritus Assistant Professor Geomechanics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands; Acting President of the International Federation Una Voce, 2006-2007
Harriet Sporn, hermit
Dr Zlatko Šram, Croatian Center for Applied Social Research
Prof. em. Dr. Hubert Windisch, Pastoral theologian, Graz/Freiburg/Regensburg
Names added May 2, 2019
Mag. Thomas R. Ladner, Supernumerary of the Diocese of Innsbruck,
Fr Daniel J. Becker, Ph.D
Deacon Andrew Carter B.Sc. (Hons.) ARCS DipPFS
Dr Lee Fratantuono, Professor and Chair of Classics, Ohio Wesleyan University
Fr Paul John Kalchik, STB MD
Dr Thomas Klibengajtis
Patrick Linbeck, BA, STL, Board Member of Texas Right to Life
Nancy E. Martin, MA Theology
Fr Boguslaw Nowak, SVD
Abbé Guy Pagès
Quintilio Palozzi, PhD in Philosophy, Retired Professor
Dr M. Elizabeth Phillips, MD
Dr Brian Charles Phillips, M.D. FRSCS
Dr Robert L. Phillips DPhil (Oxon), Professor em. of Philosophy, University of Connecticut (USA)
Fr Luis Eduardo Rodríguez Rodríguez, Parish Priest, Diocese of Los Teques, Venezuela
Fr Darrell Roman
Robert Siscoe, author
Prof. Dr. Peter Stephan
Dr. Patrick Toner, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem
Elizabeth D. Wickham, PhD, Executive Director, LifeTree
Watch The John-Henry Westen Show, LifeSite’s new weekly commentary on the most important news in the Church and culture. Subscribe here to get an update every Tuesday when we release a new episode. You can watch the latest episode below, or listen to it here.

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NEWS CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter
Prominent clergy, scholars accuse Pope Francis of heresy in open letter
Pope Francis holds the gospels during the Holy Chrism Mass on April 18, 2019, St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images
Maike Hickson

Tue Apr 30, 2019 – 9:00 am EST
May 2, 2019 update: 20 additional names have been added to list of signers of the open letter, bringing total up to 51.

May 1, 2019 update: 12 more names have been added to list of signers of the open letter, bringing total up to 31.

April 30, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Prominent clergymen and scholars including Fr. Aidan Nichols, one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, have issued an open letter accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. They ask the bishops of the Catholic Church, to whom the open letter is addressed, to “take the steps necessary to deal with the grave situation” of a pope committing this crime.

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The authors base their charge of heresy on the manifold manifestations of Pope Francis’ embrace of positions contrary to the faith and his dubious support of prelates who in their lives have shown themselves to have a clear disrespect for the Church’s faith and morals.

“We take this measure as a last resort to respond to the accumulating harm caused by Pope Francis’s words and actions over several years, which have given rise to one of the worst crises in the history of the Catholic Church,” the authors state. The open letter is available in Dutch, Italian, German, French, and Spanish.

Among the signatories are well-respected scholars such as Father Thomas Crean, Fr. John Hunwicke, Professor John Rist, Dr. Anna Silvas, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, and Dr. John Lamont. The text is dated “Easter Week” and appears on the traditional Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena, a saint who counseled and admonished several popes in her time.

The 20-page document is a follow-up to the 2017 Filial Correction of Pope Francis that was signed originally by 62 scholars and which stated that the Pope has “effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church,” especially in light of his 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

The authors of the open letter state in a summary of their letter (read below) that it has now become clear that Pope Francis is aware of his own positions contrary to the faith and that the time has come to go a “stage further” by claiming that Pope Francis is “guilty of the crime of heresy.”

“We limit ourselves to accusing him of heresy on occasions where he has publicly denied truths of the faith, and then consistently acted in a way that demonstrates that he disbelieves these truths that he has publicly denied,” the authors state.

They clarify that they are not claiming Pope Francis has “denied truths of the faith in pronouncements that satisfy the conditions for an infallible papal teaching.”

“We assert that this would be impossible, since it would be incompatible with the guidance given to the Church by the Holy Spirit,” they state.

In light of this situation, the authors call upon the bishops of the Church to take action since a “heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil.”

For this reason, the authors “respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’). The bishops can do this, the writers suggest, “by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.”

The authors first present in detail – and with theological references to substantiate their claims – the different positions against the faith Pope Francis has shown himself to hold, propagate, or support, including “seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth.”

One of the heresies the authors accuse Pope Francis of committing is expressed in the following proposition: “A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.” Many of these heretical statements touch on questions of marriage and the family and are to be found in Amoris Laetitia, but there is also a new claim made by Pope Francis in 2019 – namely, that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God” – that is listed in the open letter.

In one section of the open letter, the authors list the many prelates as well as lay people, who, despite openly dissenting from Catholic doctrine and morals — either by word or by deed — have been by Pope Francis either publicly praised (such as Emma Bonino) or raised to influential positions (such as Cardinal Oscar Rodrigez Maradiaga). On this list are names such as Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, and Bishop Juan Barros.

The fact that Pope Francis never responded to the dubia (questions) concerning Amoris Laetitia published by Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Joachim Meisner, Walter Brandmüller, and Raymond Burke is mentioned. Moreover, the authors point out that Pope Francis has changed the members of the Pontifical Academy for Life to such an extent that orthodox Catholic experts have been replaced by heterodox experts, such as Father Maurizio Chiodi.

Addressing the bishops of the world – among whom are to be found all the present 222 cardinals – the authors of the open letter express their gratitude toward those bishops who have defended Catholic doctrine by their own personal witnesses.

“We recognise with gratitude that some among you have reaffirmed the truths contrary to the heresies which we have listed, or else have warned of serious dangers threatening the Church in this pontificate,” they state. Here, the dubia cardinals, but also Cardinal Willem Eijk, are mentioned. The authors also thank Cardinal Gerhard Müller for his Manifesto of Faith.

The authors believe, however, that at this time in history, six years into the Francis pontificate, more is needed, namely a more direct and authoritative approach. They recognize their own limits when they tell the bishops: “Despite the evidence that we have put forward in this letter, we recognise that it does not belong to us to declare the pope guilty of the delict of heresy in a way that would have canonical consequences for Catholics.”

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“We therefore appeal to you as our spiritual fathers, vicars of Christ within your own jurisdictions and not vicars of the Roman pontiff, publicly to admonish Pope Francis to abjure the heresies that he has professed. Even prescinding from the question of his personal adherence to these heretical beliefs, the Pope’s behaviour in regard to the seven propositions contradicting divinely revealed truth, mentioned at the beginning of this Letter, justifies the accusation of the delict of heresy. It is beyond a doubt that he promotes and spreads heretical views on these points. Promoting and spreading heresy provides sufficient grounds in itself for an accusation of the delict of heresy. There is, therefore, superabundant reason for the bishops to take the accusation of heresy seriously and to try to remedy the situation,” they state.

The authors make it clear that it is up to the bishops to take action and that they do not need a majority among the bishops to do so.

“Since Pope Francis has manifested heresy by his actions as well as by his words, any abjuration must involve repudiating and reversing these actions, including his nomination of bishops and cardinals who have supported these heresies by their words or actions. Such an admonition is a duty of fraternal charity to the Pope, as well as a duty to the Church,” they state.

“If – which God forbid! – Pope Francis does not bear the fruit of true repentance in response to these admonitions, we request that you carry out your duty of office to declare that he has committed the canonical delict of heresy and that he must suffer the canonical consequences of this crime,” they add.

Thus, the authors state, “these actions do not need to be taken by all the bishops of the Catholic Church, or even by a majority of them. A substantial and representative part of the faithful bishops of the Church would have the power to take these actions.”

The full 20-page document may be read here. A select bibliography to support the case made in the open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church about Pope Francis’ heresies may be read here.

A petition launched by the organizers of the open letter to support their initiative can be found here.

***

Summary of open letter to bishops as presented by the authors themselves:
The Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church is the third stage in a process that began in the summer of 2016. At that time, an ad hoc group of Catholic clergy and scholars wrote a private letter to all the cardinals and Eastern Catholic patriarchs, pointing out heresies and other serious errors that appeared to be contained in or favoured by Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia. The following year, after Pope Francis had continued by word, deed, and omission to propagate many of these same heresies, a ‘Filial Correction’ was addressed to the pope by many of the same people, as well as by other clergy and scholars. This second letter was made public in September 2017, and a petition in support of it was signed by some 14,000 people. The authors of that letter stated however that they did not seek to judge whether Pope Francis was aware that he was causing heresy to spread.

The present Open letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church goes a stage further in claiming that Pope Francis is guilty of the crime of heresy. This crime is committed when a Catholic knowingly and persistently denies something which he knows that the Church teaches to be revealed by God. Taken together, the words and actions of Pope Francis amount to a comprehensive rejection of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexual activity, on the moral law, and on grace and the forgiveness of sins.

The Open letter also indicates the link between this rejection of Catholic teaching and the favour shown by Pope Francis to bishops and other clergy who have either been guilty of sexual sins and crimes, such as former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, or who have protected clergy guilty of sexual sins and crimes, such as the late Cardinal Godfried Danneels. This protection and promotion of clerics who reject Catholic teaching on marriage, sexual activity, and on the moral law in general, even when these clerics personally violate the moral and civil law in horrendous ways, is consistent enough to be considered a policy on the part of Pope Francis. At the least it is evidence of disbelief in the truth of Catholic teaching on these subjects. It also indicates a strategy to impose rejection of these teachings on the Church, by naming to influential posts individuals whose personal lives are based on violation of these truths.

The authors consider that a heretical papacy may not be tolerated or dissimulated to avoid a worse evil. It strikes at the basic good of the Church and must be corrected. For this reason, the study concludes by describing the traditional theological and legal principles that apply to the present situation. The authors respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded, they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’). They can do this by admonishing Pope Francis to reject these heresies, and if he should persistently refuse, by declaring that he has freely deprived himself of the papacy.

While this Open letter is an unusual, even historic, document, the Church’s own laws say that “Christ’s faithful have the right, and, indeed, sometimes the duty, according to their knowledge, competence, and dignity, to manifest to the sacred pastors their judgment about those things which pertain to the good of the Church” (Code of Canon Law, canon 212.3). While Catholics hold that a pope speaks infallibly in certain strictly defined conditions, the Church does not say that he cannot fall into heresy outside these conditions.

The signatories to the Open Letter include not only specialists in theology and philosophy, but also academics and scholars from other fields. This fits well with the central claim of the Open Letter, that Pope Francis’s rejection of revealed truths is evident to any well-instructed Catholic who is willing to examine the evidence. The signatures of Fr Aidan Nichols OP and of Professor John Rist will be noted. Fr Nichols is one of the best-known theologians in the English-speaking world, and the author of many books on a wide range of theological topics, including the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger. Professor Rist, who is known for his work in classical philosophy and the history of theology, has held chairs and professorships at the University of Toronto, the Augustinianum in Rome, the Catholic University of America, the University of Aberdeen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Open Letter is released just after the celebration of Holy Week and Easter Week, in the hopes that the present ‘passion’ of the Church will soon give way to a full resurrection of God’s saving truth.

Clergy and academics who wish to sign the open letter may send their name and credentials to organizers at this email address: openlettertobishops@gmail.com. All requests will be thoroughly vetted.

List of signers:
Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Québec-Vie, member of the John-Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family
Robert Cassidy, STL
Fr Thomas Crean, OP
Matteo d’Amico, Professor of History and Philosophy, Senior High School of Ancona
Deacon Nick Donnelly, MA
Maria Guarini STB, Pontificia Università Seraphicum, Rome; editor of the website Chiesa e postconcilio
Prof. Robert Hickson, PhD, Retired Professor of Literature and of Strategic-Cultural Studies
Fr John Hunwicke, former Senior Research Fellow, Pusey House, Oxford
Peter Kwasniewski, PhD
John Lamont, DPhil (Oxon.)
Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Professor in Law; Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News
Fr Cor Mennen, JCL, diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands), canon of the cathedral Chapter. lecturer at de diocesan Seminary of ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Stéphane Mercier, STB, PhD, Former Lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain
Fr Aidan Nichols, OP
Paolo Pasqualucci, Professor of Philosophy (retired), University of Perugia
Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, Professor of Medieval Philosophy, University of Chile; former Professor of Church History and Patrology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Professor John Rist
Dr. Anna Silvas, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, University of New England
Prof. dr. W.J. Witteman, physicist, emeritus professor, University of Twente
Names added May 1, 2019
Fr William Barrocas
Pedro Erik Carneiro, PhD
Michael J. Cawley III, PhD, Psychologist
Fr Gregory Charnock, Ba LLB, Diocesan Priest, St Bartholomew Catholic Parish,Western Cape, South Africa
Ernesto Echavarria, KSG
Sarah Henderson, DCHS BA MA
Edward T. Kryn, MD
Alan Moy, MD, Scientific Director and Founder, John Paul II Medical Research Institute
Jack P. Oostveen, Emeritus Assistant Professor Geomechanics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands; Acting President of the International Federation Una Voce, 2006-2007
Harriet Sporn, hermit
Dr Zlatko Šram, Croatian Center for Applied Social Research
Prof. em. Dr. Hubert Windisch, Pastoral theologian, Graz/Freiburg/Regensburg
Names added May 2, 2019
Mag. Thomas R. Ladner, Supernumerary of the Diocese of Innsbruck,
Fr Daniel J. Becker, Ph.D
Deacon Andrew Carter B.Sc. (Hons.) ARCS DipPFS
Dr Lee Fratantuono, Professor and Chair of Classics, Ohio Wesleyan University
Fr Paul John Kalchik, STB MD
Dr Thomas Klibengajtis
Patrick Linbeck, BA, STL, Board Member of Texas Right to Life
Nancy E. Martin, MA Theology
Fr Boguslaw Nowak, SVD
Abbé Guy Pagès
Quintilio Palozzi, PhD in Philosophy, Retired Professor
Dr M. Elizabeth Phillips, MD
Dr Brian Charles Phillips, M.D. FRSCS
Dr Robert L. Phillips DPhil (Oxon), Professor em. of Philosophy, University of Connecticut (USA)
Fr Luis Eduardo Rodríguez Rodríguez, Parish Priest, Diocese of Los Teques, Venezuela
Fr Darrell Roman
Robert Siscoe, author
Prof. Dr. Peter Stephan
Dr. Patrick Toner, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem
Elizabeth D. Wickham, PhD, Executive Director, LifeTree
Watch The John-Henry Westen Show, LifeSite’s new weekly commentary on the most important news in the Church and culture. Subscribe here to get an update every Tuesday when we release a new episode. You can watch the latest episode below, or listen to it here.

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Don’t Mix Religion with Politics

Don’t mix religion and politics!
People should be
better than sheep

By Valson Thampu, In New Indian Express,01st February 2019

Custodians of faiths who assert the irrelevance of rationality to the religious domain do so to insulate themselves from accountability.
Note:Faith begins where reason ends; faith is above reason; faith and reason run in parallel line, the twin shall never meet! The basis for Faith is blind reason, Reason is guided by enlightened reason. Both are in different domains, comparing them is odious, like comparing Chalk and cheese!, as oil and water don’t mix.

Drivers know it; they use, dim light, normal light or head light to see far. Beyond headligaht it is all darkness. Venturing into darkness may land you in a ditch, impossible to get. Even so for normal living we should go forward only so far as our light of reason permits! Not beyond.

Driving Example!
For limited humans wanting to reach for the unreachable and unlimited, both Reason and Faith are necessary. For humans going at 80 mile speed, it is risky to rush into darkness(Faith) because he may be dashing into a concrete wall or falling into a ditch.

Accountability, transparency and public order are possible when it is defensible by reason, by universally accepted clarity and criticism. That is why politics and religion don’t mix; hence state governments are all secular, while religions and fiath are confined to personal or family life. We are facing this problem while mixing Faith and Religion related Sabarimala or Ramtemple issues. States must be ruled by the country’s secular constitution, not by personal or private religious codes of conduct.

You may be vegetarian or non-vegitarian, red, blue or yellow dress, as long as you don’t offend or impose them on others. This is what our writer Valson Thambu also tries to convey. james kottoor, editor CCV.

Please read below Valson’s article in New Indian Express
It is easy to see why custodians and protagonists of religion insist on the incompatibility between faith and reason, faith and facts. This incompatibility is posited in hierarchical terms—asserting that faith is above facts. By implication, matters involving religion should not be subjected to the regulating function of reason, for faith supersedes reason. Reason stands at the dividing line between what we may, or may not do, especially in the public domain.

This precipitates the issue of relative authority of faith and reason. When more than one locus of authority is at work, the question of hierarchy emerges in the practical sphere. That is because experience—our thinking, doing and knowing—demands coherence. Being split along two parallel lines that never meet—faith and reason being so understood—is disruptive of coherence, which frustrates understanding. That is because the human predicament involves faith and reason at all times. One realm—say, that of faith—is incomplete and incoherent without the other. No religious action is, strictly speaking, possible without the guiding light of reason. Faith, in turn, needs the restrictive function of reason, if the life we lead is to be free, progressive and coherent. Unlimited freedom, like faith without reason, degenerates into anarchy. Restraint without freedom becomes oppression.

The proponents of the ‘faith-above-facts’ hypothesis are motivated by the desire to liberate their authority from restraints of all kinds, unmindful of what it entails for others, their community and even themselves. Though this may seem an exhilarating stand short-term vis-a-vis those external to one’s community, it is not a sustainable stand in respect of issues internal to that community. What is presumed to be liberative externally proves to be oppressive internally.

A third issue in this regard pertains to the admissibility of religion as supra-rational into the public sphere. Can any public advocacy—religious, political, cultural—be deemed as tenable in public, if it is not coherent to the people at large? Do I have, in other words, the right to bring into the public domain esoteric claims and dogmas that do not make sense in public? (The answer is implied in the conditionalities governing Article 25 of the Constitution pertaining to freedom of conscience.) It has been deemed axiomatic, especially since the Enlightenment, that public advocacies must be subject to rational scrutiny.

The hallmark of the reasoned soundness of an advocacy is its openness to public criticism. Tolerance of dissent is, hence, the  essence of the rational. Any advocacy surcharged with intolerance is inherently suspect. It is when the proponents of a cause are unsure about the defensibility of what they advocate that they become stridently assertive and violently resentful of rational scrutiny.

When rationality is excluded from the practice of religion, two dangers emerge. First, the religiosity that pretends to be supra-rational degenerates internally. Once the ‘restraint’ of reason—its limiting and regulatory function—is removed, the internal life of a religious community begins to degenerate, especially in its moral content. Those who vehemently assert the irrelevance of rationality to the religious domain do so everywhere to insulate themselves from accountability and transparency.

The supremacy of faith becomes, in effect, an impregnable fortification around themselves. The exercise of authority needs to be inscrutable only when it is indefensible. If the members of a faith community have any discernment, they will realise that custodians of their community of this kind undermine the integrity and wholeness of their religious life. Any tendency to divorce the ritualistic life of a religion from its ethical core—using the former to eclipse the latter—is a sign of internal rot.

It should be easy to see through this, but more often than not, it isn’t. The reason is that those who undermine a religious community from within, keep the attention of the people concerned deflected from the internal rot to presumed external threats to their religion. The second issue immanent in packaging faith as a supra-rational entity is that it erects a potentially anarchic confrontation between religious fervour and public order. Once this pre-democratic mindset is activated, rabid intolerance of critical views, irrespective on their soundness, becomes the hallmark of ‘believers’. Intolerance begins to be misconceived as a religious duty.
In the Christian lingo, the fold of believers is called ‘sheep’. It never fails to surprise me why people feel flattered by this insult. Priests refer smugly to their congregations as ‘my sheep’, in a matter-of-fact fashion! This is possible because the religiosity in which the ‘sheep’ are conditioned is so hardwired that the mere awareness of religion makes them regress by some 2,000 years. This is most regrettable. People should be better than sheep. It is a self-insult to follow priests like sheep following shepherds. They must assume responsibility for being rational creatures, lest they are degraded and used as mere tools to subserve interests that promote priestly vanity, but are hugely harmful to their freedom, dignity and empowerment.

True secularism is not anti-religious. It discounts only irrational-religiosity, and must do so uncompromisingly. Vigilant resistance to random outbreaks of irrational religiosity—which makes religion the last resort of scoundrels—is basic to evolving a secular-democratic culture, marked by scientific temper and responsible thinking. It needs to be deemed a patriotic duty by all citizens. (Valson Thampu,Former principal of St Stephen’s College, New Delhi,Email: vthampu@gmail.com)
************************

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Get Rid of the Priestly Class….Issac Gomes

Get rid of Priestly class to save! Who’ll save Christianity from Church?

Cover Photo: Express Illustration by Soumyadip Sinha

 

THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

19th November 2018

* VALSON THAMPU

Image result for valson thampu

What is propagated thereafter, in the name of God, has only one shaping purpose—to promote the interests of the priestly class at the expense of everything else.

 

Note: it had been our leitmotiv or recurrent theme from over ten years ago, that Churchianityof the clerical class, specially the graded hierarchical structure worse than caste system, has to be dumped in the Arabian sea to save Christianity,  more precisely the followers of Jesus.

      Jesus made his debut on the streets of Jerusalsm as a youthful upstart in his thirties as  a mendicant homeless preacher with his Nazareth manifesto: ‘Good news to the poor, sight to the blind etc.  although many questioned: “What good can come from Nazareth?”

     “Church is fellowship not groupism; to rule is to serve, not  lording it over;   evangelisation is not  colonisation; harvesting of  souls isn’t cultivating  churches(Pallikrishi)  for reaping dollars  ($ Koithu);   cross is for crucifying self, not others; any Rite is all right to pray anywhere,” especially in the cave of one’s heart, not on that mountain or this, in that temple or this;  we wrote already  in 2011, in James-kottoor-speaking website among other such articles.

    This we did and continue to do  to liberate organized churches, especially the Syro-malabar variety from its spiritual, clerical, Episcopal colonisers and empire builders preaching their gospel of prosperity, not of poverty. But will the worshipers of the golden calf ever listen or take heed when they are  bent on building their own Medical college (orMaadical, meaning grabing or overcharging, critiques ask) purported to be the root cause of all the land sale and purchase mismanagement scandal in Ernakulam? One should beat a fallen  horse, so no more on it since it is something, we can neither swallow or spit out.

Shepherds in wolves’ skin

      In the article below,  noted writer Valsan Thampu parades examples galore to prove to hilt, nay to wake up and shake out unthinking blind  believers led to slaughter like mute sheep. The message is that they have to  be their own saviours by liberating themselves from these ‘so-called pastors’ with wolf’s skin and smell.

      In the previous editorial note:“Lost faith in Bishops?” in CCV we already wrote that Jesus never founded a hierarchical church to rule and dominate, buta company of CATTLE CLASS which rides rough shod even on equality and competes to take the last place, following Jesus’ example of total self-emptying  in washing the feet of his disciples.

Poison of Clericalism

Columnist Valson’s article is forcefully self-explanatry. The fires battle going on in all organized churches is between professional preachers with vested interest,to live a life of comfort, which Pope Francis calls the poison of“clericalism’ and the practisers of Jesus’ example of universal brotherhood starting with loving and caring for those most in need, thelast, least and lost. The number of those in the first group is too many and in the second far too few.

Organized Religions

       The same is the case with all organised religions, since like all political parties; they are first and foremost for the organisers.  We see this clearly played out in Sabarimala and the Ram temple in Ayodya. One may rest assured that no reform or change for the  better will ever come from within the clerical class, God-men,  and corrupt religions – all organized religions are.

     It was always not a crowd,  but individuals with ideals, vision, conviction and courage to lay down one’s life, like Socrates, Budha, Jesus, Gandhi, Narayana Guru, who have brought lasting radical changes in society.  Is there any one ready to die for the cause he believes in? If not just forget about any dramatic change for the better in society or organized religions. james kottoor, editor ccv.

 

Please read below article by Valson Thampu

On 3 November 2018, a 95-year-old man, Varghese Mathew, died in God’s own country. Unfortunately for him, he died in the theatre of an intra-denominational dogfight between the Orthodox and Jacobite factions of the church. His body was denied burial for 10 days. Here’s why. The grandson of the deceased is a priest of the Jacobite faction.

The burial has to take place in the cemetery legally controlled by the Orthodox faction. How can a priest of one faction, fiercely loyal to Christ, be allowed to conduct the burial service of his grandfather in the other church, which too is fiercely loyal to Christ? Will not Jesus die of a heart attack, and the church collapse in a moral shock at this schismatic impropriety? Aren’t priests employed to fight such battles to the last drop of their blood like mercenary armies of yore? In the end, the secular state intervened and ordered them to end the indignity.

Come Sunday, these very priests will put on holy vestments and preach, their voices quivering with piety, on the duty to love; and love, as Jesus taught, even one’s enemies. They will condemn to hellfire those who don’t. They will, on other occasions, preach even more earnestly on the duty to forgive, not seven times, as Jesus said, but seventy times seven; on showing the other cheek when slapped on one; on losing everything rather than dragging anyone to court, and so on. The astonishing thing is that they will do so without even a trace of unease!

This is nothing new. It has been so from the beginning of organised religion. Max Weber, in Sociology of Religion (1920), identifies the rise of the priestly class as the greatest peril to the integrity of a religion. According to him, the priests hijack and misappropriate the three pillars of religion—scripture, doctrines and rituals—in order to establish their hegemony. What is propagated thereafter, in the name of God, has only one shaping purpose—to promote the interests of the priestly class at the expense of everything else.

“The established church,” wrote Soren Kierkegaard, “is far more dangerous to Christianity than any heresy or schism.” The reality that all should reckon, in respect of institutionalised religion, he argued, is not that some aberrations have crept in here and there. It is that established religion per se is an edifice of aberration. “Think of a hospital,” he wrote, “The patients are dying like flies. Every method is tried to make things better. It’s no use. Where does the sickness come from? It comes from the building; the whole building is full of poison. So it is with the religious sphere.”

When issues like the ‘nun-rape case’ of Franco Mulakkal fame surface, or nuns die under mysterious circumstances, or bitter denominational battles are fought in the name of God over dead bodies, or Christian educational institutions stink with corruption, or women confessants are blackmailed and raped by priests, believers assuage their anguish by assuming these are stray aberrations. No! Kierkegaard would insist.

The entire building—in the case of every religion—has become poisonous.

This is not something that Kierkegaard invented. He owed it to Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saw greed and extortion thriving in the name of God under the auspices of the Jerusalem temple. He sprang upon the clergy, as William Blake said, like ‘a tiger, burning bright in the forest of the night’. He thundered, “You have made my Father’s house a den of thieves.” The words of Kierkegaard are, in comparison, mild and genial. Believers, not priests, are to blame if they treat dens of thieves as houses of God.

Assume you are an atheist. You don’t believe in God or the soul’s immortality. You are not preached at sanctimoniously by priests on the need to love and be compassionate. You see a dog on the street dead for 10 days. There is a chance that you bury the corpse or alert civic officials to dispose it off. Your conscience has to be in a mortuary of priestly callousness to believe that denying burial to the body of a 95-year-old man is for the glory of God. Or that it will be condoned even in the underworld. Scoffers of religion will find it hard to swallow this. You have to be drugged dead with the opium of priest-peddled bigotry to be able even to contemplate it. Yet we have priests who do such dastardly things with utmost ease of conscience and expect ‘believers’ to applaud them for it. The saddest thing is that they do.

The NHRC in its order on November 12 on the Varghese Mathew case observed, “It is apparent that some people, having some vested interests, are harassing the aggrieved family, which is already in grief as they have lost an elder family member.” Imagine. Harassing a grieving family for the love of God! Now listen to Fr. Konattu, the spokesperson of the Orthodox Church: “How can we say that the entry of the grandson in cassock to the cemetery is a denial of natural justice?” Can an enemy cassock be allowed to enter the cemetery? That’s the main question.

Men and women of faith wake up! These are heartless professionals, in the same way an executioner is a professional. He slips the knot clinically over the head of the condemned by way of doing his duty. Your denominational mercenary-priests, who live lives of hypocrisy serving Mammon while pretending to serve God, are stumbling blocks between you and the freedom to be human. You have only yourselves to blame if you, all this notwithstanding, believe they are practitioners of your faith. If they still thrive by brewing these hell-broths, you are to blame; not those who ply this trade for the coins that tinkle in it.

 

* Revd. Valson Thampu is an Indian educator, Christian theologian, who was a Principal of St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, Delhi, from 2008 to February 2016. Prior to this he was a lecturer at the college and its officiating principal since May 2007.

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Lost Faith in Bishops, Pope?

 

Lost Faith in Bishops, Pope?

What Catholics can do

who’ve lost faith in their

bishops & even the pope?

Shane Schaetzel, in  LifeSight News, Nov 16, 2018

 

 Note: Lost faith in Bishops and the Pope? That is not the same as saying, Faith in the Catholic Church or even in  Jesus the Nazarene. The Catholic Church is wider than bishops and Pope, and Man from Nathareth, is much wider than both. Jesus never called himself a Catholic or even a Christian. He was a born Jew, lived a Jew and died a Jew(INRI). Hence the saying of Friedrich Nietzsche: “There was only one Christian in the world, and he died on the cross!”

Here the writer is confining himself to his membership in the Catholic Church assumed to be the one Church Jesus founded, which is a question still to be settled or discussed!

 

Jesus founded this Church?

For the writer who is a certified catechist in the Catholic church, he has lost his faith in the hierarchy, the bishops of the Catholic Church and in the person of Pope Francis, whom he sees as different from the Church Jesus founded or the  Papacy itself. So the question is: If such a thing exists. Even  Francis said that the bishops have lost their credibility, that they don’t have anything to give, but many things to listen and learn from the laity.

 

The dubia bishops questioning the Pope, Archbishop Vigano demanding Francis to resign, the mass resignation of Chile bishops, the thinking section in US asking all US bishops to resign, the   sky rocketing number of Catholics who opt to call themselves to be “Nones”  (non believers in any organized Churchess) are telling proofs that drive desperate writers like Shane to come to the conclusion he has reached.

 

What is the remedy?

The remedy he suggests to right the many corrupt practices is to become good practicing Catholics and to make doubly sure that they do not give their hard earned money to any of the Church sponsored charity programmes which are corrupt or corrupting. Most of the thinking sections of the Catholic church are already doing this. The Vincent De Paul programme of charities is one such venture as opposed     to all new Church building fund raising ventures.

 

The  writer also sees that no worthwile reform is going to come from the bishops, not even the February 2019 synod of Bishops. The Youth Synod, just over has not produced anything worthwhile. So good-bye to any bishop-initiated reform. The general public also do not expect any thing from them. The instances of the present or past sex abuse cases in the Church in India are provoking examples.

 

Did Jesus found Catholic Church?

But the most important historical truth to recall is that Jesus of Nazareth did not found a church called the Catholic church, its priesthood of graded hierarchies and all the present sacraments. All of them are manmade. If so what are the options left for the rest of us?

 

Here we are caught between a dilemma, between the devil and the deep sea, to continue our search for the whole truth, in this  world and in the next, if there is one, following the example of the doubting Thomas who wanted to touch and see to believe.

 

Learn from Vayalar?

Till then we may have to rest content with the saying of the communist poet Vayalar Ramavarma: “Man created religions, religions created gods, religions and gods together decided, to divide this mother earth among themselves and the mind of man between them,” as a working compromise.

 

There is no reason to doubt, that the Man from Nazareth was the first ever Communist who lived and practiced the principle “to each one according to his/her needs, and from each according to his/her capacities.” Todays Communists instead  say “all that is yours (plundering the haves) is mine, to create a semblance of equality usisng force.

Jesus, last option

So the workable option left, for a peaceful, prosperous  and a tolerably happy coexistence is, to identify ourselves with the Man from Nazareth, who emptied himself to be one with the last, least and lost, to raise them bit by bit to a better standard of happy living. May be utopian! But then what other better option is there? james kottoor, editor ccv.

 

Please read below the  LifeSight article

 

November 16, 2018 (Complete Christianity) –It’s finally happened. Now that the US Bishops Conference is over, and absolutely nothing was done to combat the crisis of homosexual abuse and cover up within the US Catholic Church, I can finally say I’ve lost faith.

 

No, I haven’t lost faith in Jesus Christ. No, I haven’t lost faith in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No, I haven’t lost faith in the Creed, or the sacraments, or the teachings of the Church. No, I haven’t even lost faith in the Catholic Church herself. What I have lost faith in is the hierarchy of bishops, and their ability to solve problems collectively.

 

I have also lost faith in the pope. No, I’m not denying the papacy of Francis. I acknowledge him as the real pope, just as I acknowledge the hierarchy as real bishops. Rather, I’ve lost faith in him as a person, and in his ability to lead the Church. The Barque of Peter has become a rudderless vessel, not because there is no pope, but because the pope is too distracted to steer the ship. By saying I’ve lost faith in Francis, I’m saying I have no confidence in Francis as a leader. So he receives a “vote of no confidence” from me.

 

In short, my faith in Christ, and the Church he established, remains intact. My faith in that Church’s current leadership has been irreparably shattered, and it would take a lifetime to rebuild, if it can be rebuilt at all. Right now I actually have more faith in the US Federal Government than I do the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and that’s really saying something, because people who know me will tell you: “Shane has almost no faith in the federal government at all.” Right now, I think it’s far more likely that Martians will land in Times Square, and world peace will be subsequently declared, before our Catholic hierarchy will do the right thing on homosexual abuse and cover up within their own ranks.

 

I think this is a more well-reasoned approach to the problems in the Church. Too many former Catholics tell me they’ve lost faith entirely, and they often cite the leadership of the Church as their reason why. Their complaints are legitimate, but their solution is absurd. If you’re one of those people reading this right now, this is for you…

 

Don’t leave Christ because of Judas. Don’t let bad priests and bishops chase you away from your baptismal birthright. Why would you give these evil men the satisfaction of driving you away from your home! You are Catholic. You deserve better than the leadership we have, we all do, but this is (unfortunately) what we’ve been scourged with for now. So I would like to propose a challenge to you. Rather than walk away from Christ, and the Church he founded, do as I am doing instead. Become a good Catholic in spite of these Judases. For they say the greatest revenge is living well. Become Catholic again, but do it in a way that counters bad priests and bishops, and deprives them of their ability to control, manipulate and abuse. Pick up an old Baltimore Catechism (yes, it’s still legitimate) and read it. Read the Bible too. Start with the Gospels. Start praying again, the way you remember, and maybe say a rosary or two. Then, before you return to mass, try to find a good one, where the Judases in the Church have had little influence. Start by looking here.

 

The rest of this is addressed to all faithful lay Catholics. I’ve come to the conclusion that there will be no reform from the hierarchy. Based on what just happened at the US Bishops Conference in Baltimore, and the likely players responsible for it, I am now 100% convinced the Extraordinary Meeting of Bishops in Rome this February will be a joke. I am convinced it will simply be an elaborate attempt to confuse the faithful into believing that something concrete will be done, when in fact nothing will happen at all. An appearance of transparency will be presented, but there will be no real transparency. An impression of reform will be presented, but there will be no reform. All of this because the men at the top, including the pope, are more interested in protecting their golden calf of allowing homosexuality to flourish in the hierarchy.

 

So where does that leave us, lay faithful, in all of this? While we are powerless to reform our Church, we are not helpless. We actually do have some options…

  1. We must accept that no reform will come from inside the Church. It’s not going to happen, so we must get that out of our heads now! It’s time to stop asking the bishops conferences for change. It’s time to stop asking the Vatican for change. It’s time to put away all those tears and demonstrations for Pope Francis, and the bishops, because they are simply not going to change. If you’re an abuse victim, it’s time to go straight to the governmental authorities. Don’t bother with the bishops anymore. They can learn about your abuse claims from the district attorney.

 

  1. News flash for everyone: there is already a hotline to report clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. It’s called 9-1-1. Not to worry, reform will eventually come to the hierarchy, but it won’t come from within. It will come from law enforcement and the hand of God himself. Christ himself will eventually rid us of this corrupt hierarchy, just as he extinguished the corrupt religious leaders of ancient Israel. Woe to them! It would be better if the law catches up with them first.

 

  1. We, as Catholic laypeople, are just going to have to be better stewards of our donations. That means being more alert and aware of what’s going on in our Church. YES, there are some good parishes and dioceses out there, and they deserve to be funded! But here’s the deal. If you’re giving money to a parish, diocese or organization that is corrupt, you’re a very big part of the problem. You’re financing corruption with your money and you’re doing it willingly. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you. Rather, you are underwriting the rape and corruption of teenage boys, along with a plethora of homosexual liaisons between priests and others, coupled with all the financial malfeasance that goes along with it. You’re funding it — voluntarily! This has got to stop.

 

  1. So what we need to do is start looking at our parishes and dioceses very closely. If something smells fishy, even just a little fishy, it probably is. Like the saying goes; where there’s smoke there’s fire! If something is smoldering in your parish, don’t fund it. Give your donations to another parish instead. If something is smoldering in your diocese, don’t fund it. Send your money to a different diocese instead. If it’s not clean, don’t fund it! Be responsible with your donations for heaven’s sake! Finally, don’t give a dime to the USCCB or the CCHD. These organizations have proved to be Leftist front groups that confuse the faithful and back things the Church opposes. If you want to fight poverty, give that money to a local Catholic soup kitchen instead. At least there you’ll be able to see the results.

 

  1. Lastly, this leads me to the final step. Once you know who to not fund, you’ll also know who to walk away from. It’s time to walk out of corrupt parishes and corrupt dioceses, and yes, there is a canonical way to do this. You can leave the corruption without leaving the Catholic Church, and this is where so many former Catholics have erred. You don’t need to leave your baptismal birthright as a Catholic to be relatively free of those Judas clergy corrupting the Church. There are canonical options available to you, and if you’re smart (you need to be smart in times like these) you can make use of them. I cannot give you a checklist for how to find a good parish and bishop. That’s not how it works. But as the Scriptures say, you shall know them by their fruits. There are certain outward signs that a parish and diocese will display that indicate a strong Catholic identity, and less of a likelihood for homosexualist corruption. It’s not a guarantee (nothing is), but it does radically improve the odds. I’ve outlined them extensively here.

. As the title of this essay says, I’ve lost faith in them entirely. So that open letter was the last they’ll ever hear from me.This post, directed toward my regular readers, is likewise intended to be my last essay on the subject of homosexual abuse and cover up. This is mainly because I really have nothing more to say. I’ve already said everything I can on the matter. I may update my social media feeds with some of the latest current events on this topic, but I really don’t have any more essays to write or recommendations to make. This whole mess will soon play out with law enforcement, and perhaps a little divine intervention along the way. So there is nothing more that I can add.

 

We have been burdened to live through the saddest era in the history of the Catholic Church. What has happened is worse than the Arian Heresy, and I believe future generations will acknowledge that. For the Homosexualist Heresy, and all the sexual sin that accompanies it, especially the sexual abuse of minors, is a challenge to the very nature of Christianity itself. If homosexuality (sodomy or “gay sex”) is not a sin, then there is no such thing as sexual sin at all, and the entire 2000 years of Christian teaching on the matter has been one big lie. If sexual sin does not exist, then the sacrifice of Christ’s crucifixion is cheapened. The need for the gospel is lessened, and the disciplines of the Church are irrelevant. The entire Christian faith hinges on this matter. For if there is no sexual sin, then most people don’t sin at all. The average person doesn’t murder, or steal, or slander others. The average Catholic goes to mass on Sundays, honors his parents, and rarely ever uses the Lord’s name in vain.

 

What is adultery when a man can “marry” another man? What is adultery when a married woman can have a fling with her girlfriend on the side? If all of this is to be made permissible, against the Scriptures and Catechism, as the homosexualists desire, then the Church itself becomes nothing more than a social accessory, totally optional to the Christian who can define his “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” any way he likes. Jesus himself becomes just another Buddha or Krishna for the modern man to choose at his personal discretion. I have no desire to be part of a “church” that looks like this. Either there is such a thing as sexual sin or there isn’t. Either what the Scriptures tell us is true about homosexuality (sodomy or “gay sex”) or the Scriptures are false. Erase the condemnation of homosexuality from the Bible, and you erase the sacrifice that atoned for it on the cross.

I know the truth. I believe what the Scriptures tell us. I believe what the Catechism teaches us. I believe what the Catholic-Christian faith has always taught us. I will not support those who deny these things, either by word or deed, and they won’t get a dime of my money, nor will I regularly attend their parishes and cathedrals. I have lost faith in them. I’ve decided to move on now, strictly to orthodox parishes and bishops who are accountable and transparent. I’ve checked out of the corrupt-mainstream Catholic Church. There is nothing more I can do or say. If you’re reading this, and you’re ready to leave the corruption behind, this is how you do it legally and properly(Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Complete Christianity here. It is reprinted by permission of the author. Shane Schaetzel is a certified catechist in the Catholic Church.)

********************

 

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ALL SOULS DAY— Sunny Fernandes

Suddenly we remember souls of the dead on ‘All Souls Day’. How many of them were revered in the same passion of thought and rememberance when alive.

Strange is that we are not taught of all boolaboo of souls of the dead to be prayed for as religious rituals taught to us by ‘pastords’ or religious business houses where you buy Masses for the dead.

Reality is we need to (not only pray) but reach out to living souls, and not just reach out to the graves of the souls of the dead.

Too much bullshit we have consumed of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Reality is we all are blessed to be in Heaven on earth, as we have the basics and even more. In Hell are those suffering calamities, diseases or any other difficulty WHICH WE CAN REACH AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE. In Purgatory arw those who want to make their lives hell, with vices, selfishness, greed, ego, etc.

If we want to pray (though I don’t know the real meaning of prayer) is wishing good for living souls. You have been a great soul in the journey of my life and I wish you the Heaven you are blessed to be. If u r in a situation of grief, sorrow or pain and if I can make a difference, I will be there

Those is purgatory, you still have a chance to share your blessings with less privileged (not of material and monetary possessions) but of love, someone to talk too, someone to trust, someone to spend time with

So I prefer living souls to the souls of the dead whose life (if there is after life) to whom I can make a differece. To the souls of the dead, I extend my respect, gratitude and appreciation for what they have been in life. I prefer to apologise to living souls for my indifference or hurt I may have caused, than go to a grave and say sorry, as the dead may not hear.

I rather offer flowers of my hospitality to the living souls who are generous to visit my humble abode than put flowers on a tomb stone where it would wither and my thoughts and rememberance too, only to be remembered again on ‘All Souls Day’ next year, instead of remembering, thanking and enjoying ‘All Souls around me everyday’

Sunny Fernandes

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