Monday, January 29, 2018
Saturday, January 27, 2018
It is a terrible omission what many families do with their sick relatives, whom they do not conveniently dispose, in case of danger of death, to receive the holy sacraments.
Providing the last aid of religion to the sick is not only an act of meritorious charity in the eyes of God, but also a sacred duty that is not infringed without incurring a terrible responsibility. If one becomes guilty of homicide when he lets his fellow man die of hunger, what name to give to the horrible crime of letting a soul perish for not supplying the aid of our holy religion?
And yet, how many times does experience show us that this crime is committed even by Catholic families! Whether by terrifying terrors or by an inexcusable weakness, the priest is called as late as possible and sometimes when the patient has already lost consciousness. We are not speaking here of the families that wait until the patient is dying, and that make religion a vain formality of pure convenience. Let us look away at the sight of so much indignity! We speak here of the families, in which there is still enough faith to consider the sacraments as holy things to wish that the sick receive them with a Christian disposition and in which, however, there is no talk of confession until after they have lost all hope of healing. And what happens often in this case? They still hesitate, delaying the moment; the terrible symptoms are present; and then they hurry, they run in search of a priest, but they arrive late, everything is over! God forbid that you be treated like this in your last hour!
But what is stopping the fulfillment of this sacred mission? - "I dare not speak to them about a priest", you say, "I fear frightening them". -And even if they got scared, do you prefer to expose their soul to eternal damnation or to a long expiation in purgatory? Scare them! If they were sleeping on the edge of an abyss or in a house invaded by flames, would you hesitate to wake them up to avoid frightening them?
You say that you will call the priest, when the sick person asks for it. But do you not know that the sick rarely realize their seriousness? It is your duty to prepare the sick person so that he receives timely religious help. Come in time to your parish or the known priest, who will facilitate the fulfillment of this grave duty.
Dispel from your mind the false preoccupation that the sick person will be frightened if you speak to him of sacraments.
Experience teaches that the patient knows that the priest comes to fulfill at his side the sweetest and most beneficial of all the ministries, to purify and console his soul, to bring him, finally, in the midst of the most cruel anguish, the peace and the sweetness of Jesus Christ.
The first step that must be taken when a patient is in danger is to call the parish priest or confessor to administer the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Extreme Unction and apply the plenary indulgence in the article of the death (very few know about this great grace, ask for it to the priest).
Note: In some countries there are groups, whose members promise to notify each other in case of serious illness, in order to receive spiritual aid in time. We could form one of those groups among us. Or, commit to it with two or three relatives. Another aspect to consider is to always be in sanctifying grace (confessed) before any surgery, even if the risk is low. Let us not forget that the commands of the Holy Mother Church force confession at least once a year (minimum minimorum) or if there is danger of death. Finally, it must be noted that the patient must have his scapular on and if it has not been imposed on him, ask the priest who attends him to do so. Every Catholic should always carry it.
O Mother of Mercy, listen to the prayers of Christian families, so that no one dies in their homes without receiving The Holy Viaticum!
Sunday, January 21, 2018
- THE TRUTH REVEALED BY GOD IS IMMUTABLE AND DOES NOT CHANGE WITH TIME.
- THOSE WHO SUPPORT THE REPORTED ERRORS "SAY THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT INFUSES NOW IN THE SOULS OF THE FAITHFUL MORE ABUNDANT CHARISMS THAN IN PAST TIMES", POINTED OUT POPE LEO XIII.
- THE SAME THING SAY TODAY THOSE WHO REPEAT THESE OLD THESES AGAINST CATHOLIC FAITH.
- THE OLD HERESIES ARE NOT ONLY OLD BUT ALSO RETROGRADE.
- THEY ARE OLD AND VULGAR ERRORS THAT ARE RECYCLED AND PRESENTED AS NEW "DISCOVERIES”.
APOSTOLIC LETTER "TESTEM BENEVOLENTIAE":
“…The underlying principle of these new (and condemnable)* opinions is that (according to these relativists)*, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them.
“It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: “For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.” (Constitutio “Dei Filius” on Catholic faith, Chapter IV).
“…Let it be far from anyone’s mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ.”
*NOTE: The two texts in parentheses – and not in bold - are of CATHOLICYTBLOG to make the context more comprehensible.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
We remind you that today, as every 13th day of each month, we will join together in prayer for five minutes, for the intentions that are explained in the following link: http://www.catholicityblog.com/2016/01/appeal-to-our-friendsreaders.html
Thursday, January 11, 2018
“Passion of the Christ” star
The Passion of the Christ star and veteran of numerous other film and television productions made a surprise appearance Wednesday evening at the SLS18 (Student Leadership Summit 2018.
The Passion of the Christ star and veteran of numerous other film and television productions made a surprise appearance Wednesday evening at the SLS18 (Student Leadership Summit 2018.
(LifeSiteNews / InfoCatólica) Catholics must be ready to risk our lives and reputation to defeat evil in the world, said Jim Caviezel, actor and star of the film «The Passion of the Christ», at a convention of Catholic university students this week.
“Only through the faith and Christ’s wisdom can we be saved,” Caviezel said, “but it will also take people who are prepared to fight, sacrifice and suffer.”
Indifference, the greatest sin of the 20th century
Citing St. Maximilian Kolbe, Caviezel said that indifference was the greatest sin of the 20th century, and still is in the 21st century.
“We must shake off this indifference, this destructive tolerance of evil. But only our faith and the wisdom of Christ can save us,” he said. “But it requires warriors, ready to risk their reputations, their names, even our very lives, to stand for the truth.”
“Set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation,” the actor challenged those in attendance. “Be saints. You weren’t made to fit in. You were born to stand out.”
The Passion of the Christ star and veteran of numerous other film and television productions made a surprise appearance Wednesday evening at the SLS18 (Student Leadership Summit 2018) conference sponsored by The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
The event is running January 2-6 in Chicago, and geared to form Catholic college students to be missionaries in their lives, in particular on campus.
Caviezel’s message, captured on video and posted to Facebook by Father Brian Buettner, Vocations Director at Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, was enthusiastically received.
He prefaced his talk with his forthcoming movie Paul, Apostle of Christ, sharing how the filmmaking experience showed him that to be great in the eyes of God, we must first be small and accept Him entirely, allowing Him to guide us.
The Cross, inseparable companion of the Christian
Caviezel also spoke of the significance of suffering, and decried the prevalent misunderstanding that Christianity is merely about “happy talk.”
It was not by chance that he was called to acting, he said, sharing how earlier roles lead to his being tapped to play Christ in Mel Gibson’s epic film of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.
Caviezel told those at the FOCUS conference that likewise, their lives were not just comprised of coincidence.
“Some of you may be miserable right now, confused, uncertain of the future, hurting,” he said. “This is not the time to back off or to give in.”
He recounted how completing the role of Christ entailed great trial and suffering for him, including physical aspects of scourging, being crucified, struck by lightning, and open-heart surgery after five-plus months of hypothermia.
Caviezel’s shoulder was also separated while carrying the cross during filming, which he continued to withstand to finish the film. This was like a penance, he said.
“When I was up there on the cross I learned that in His suffering was our redemption,” Caviezel shared. “Remember the servant is no greater than the master.”
“Each of us must carry our own cross,” he continued. “There is a price for our faith, for our freedoms.”
He told the crowd that the suffering made his performance, “just as it makes our lives.”
Caviezel went on to stress that the resurrection, and indeed our salvation, comes at a price.
“Some of us now, you know them, embrace a fake Christianity, where its all happy talk - I call it ‘happy Jesus’ - and glory.”
“Guys, there was a lot of pain and suffering … before the resurrection,” Caviezel stated. “Your path will be no different. So embrace your cross, and race toward your goal.”
Caviezel has spoken openly about his faith and pro-life convictions in the past, and shared how his experience making The Passion of the Christ has affected him spiritually. He has also advocated for adoption, and been open about his and wife Kerri’s experience as adoptive parents.
Express your faith shamelessly
He challenged those at the Catholic gathering to publicly live their faith.
“I want you to go out to this pagan world,” Caviezel stated, “I want you to have the courage to step into this pagan world and shamelessly express your faith in public.”
“The world needs proud warriors, animated by their faith,” he added. “Warriors like St. Paul, and St. Luke, who risked their names, their reputations, to take their faith, their love for Jesus into the world.”
“God is calling each one of us – each one of you – to do great things,” he said.
Fast, meditate on the Holy Scriptures and take the holy sacraments seriously
We often fail to respond, dismissing God’s call, Caviezel told the Catholic crowd. And it is now time for this generation to accept that call, ourselves entirely to Him, he said, returning to prayer and fasting, scripture and the sacraments.
“But you first must make the commitment to start praying,” Caviezel said, “to fast, to meditate on the Holy Scriptures and to take the holy sacraments seriously.”
Freedom and debauchery
We are a culture now in decline, he added, and our whole world is entrenched in sin, freedom has been replaced with license.
“For in our country now we are only too happy to go with the flow,” Caviezel stated. “We have a shrine to freedom now where all choices are equal no matter what the consequences are. Do you honestly think this is true freedom?”
“Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom exists not to do what you like, he said, but having the right to do what you ought.”
“That is the freedom that I wish for you,” he told the conference, “freedom from sin, freedom from your weaknesses, freedom from this slavery that sin makes out of all of us. That is the freedom that is worth dying for.”
In closing Caviezel recounted the scene in Gibson’s Braveheart film with William Wallace challenging his men as they faced certain defeat, telling them their enemies may take their lives, but they'll never take their freedom.
Caviezel quoted the line from the scene that, “Every man dies, not every man truly lives.”
“You, you, you,” he exclaimed - pointing to individuals in the audience, “we all must fight for that authentic freedom and live, my friends.”
“By God, we must live,” Caviezel concluded, “and with the Holy Spirit as your shield and Christ as your sword, may you join St. Michael and all the angels in sending Lucifer and his henchmen straight right back to Hell where they belong!”.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Three Bishops of Kazakhstan Make a “Public Profession of the Immutable Truths about Sacramental Marriage”
- Let us thank God that there are still pastors faithful to the Doctrine of Christ and who are not afraid to defend it.
They do it 'in the face of the remarkable and growing confusion in the Church'. They are Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Athanasius Schneider, his auxiliary bishop, and Jan Pawel Lenga, Bishop Emeritus of Karaganda, the other Diocese of the country.
The bishops of Kazakhstan - a country where 70% of the population is Muslim, and in which Catholics are a minority (the archdiocese of Mary Most Holy – in Astana - has a population of almost 4 million inhabitants, among which there are only 55,000 Catholics) - the archbishop of Mary Most Holy in Astana, his assistant, and the bishop emeritus of the only dependent diocese, have closed 2017 with a 'public profession on the immutable truths about marriage', something that they considered necessary 'in the face of the remarkable and growing confusion in the Church 'following the publication of Amoris Laetitia and its many contradictory interpretations throughout the Catholic world.
As an example, while the Polish Bishops reiterate the Church's tradition of access to Communion for divorced people who live 'more uxorio', some Cardinals and Bishops assure (against the true Catholic doctrine) ) that the doctrine has changed (dogmatic doctrine cannot be changed even by the Pope), and that they can receive Communion, 'if they feel at peace with God'.
They began 2017 by making a 'call to prayer for Pope Francis to confirm the invariable practice of the Church on the truth of the indissolubility of Marriage', and after a year of trouble and the publication of the Pope's letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires in the AAS, the bishops of Kazakhstan closed the year with a public profession of the immutable Truths regarding sacramental marriage.
In their letter, the bishops regret the dissemination of standards, within the Church itself, which provide for people called "divorced and remarried" to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, despite continuing to live normally and intentionally more uxorio with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. They also regret that some of them "were even accepted by the supreme authority of the Church," Pope Francis.
In the opinion of the prelates, the aforementioned pastoral norms are revealed in practice and in time as a means of spreading the “plague of divorce”, and 'have caused a notable and growing confusion between the faithful and in the clergy; confusion that touches central manifestations of the life of the Church, such as sacramental Marriage that is the source of the family, the domestic church and the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.’
On the danger of the confusion caused, the bishops bring up an admonition of Pope John Paul II: “The confusion, created in the conscience of many faithful by the differences of opinions and teachings in theology, in preaching, in catechesis, in spiritual direction, about serious and delicate questions of Christian morals, ends up by diminishing the true sense of sin almost to the point of eliminating it” Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitenia, 18).
For all this, they reiterate in their letter seven immutable principles of the Catholic doctrine on marriage and Eucharist:
- · Sexual intercourse between persons not bound by a valid marriage — which is the case of “divorced-remarried” — is always contrary to the will of God and is a grave offense to God.
- · No circumstance or finality, not even a possible diminution of accountability or guilt, can make such sexual relations morally positive or pleasing to God. This applies to all other negative precepts of the Ten Commandments of God. Indeed, “there are acts which, by themselves and in themselves, independently of the circumstances, are always seriously unlawful, because of their object.” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation , 17)
- · The Church does not possess the infallible charism of judging the internal state of grace of a believer (see Council of Trent, sess. 24, ch. 1). The non-admission to Holy Comunion of “divorced-remarried” is not therefore to judge their state of grace before God but to judge the visible, public and objective nature of their situation. Because of the visible nature of the sacraments and of the Church itself, the reception of the sacraments necessarily depends on the corresponding situation, visible and objective, of the faithful.
- · It is not morally lawful to have sex with someone who is not the rightful spouse in order to avoid another sin. Indeed, the Word of God teaches that it is not lawful to “do evil so that good may come” (Rm 3:8).
- · The admission of such persons to Holy Communion can only be permitted when, with the help of God’s grace and individualized and patient pastoral accompaniment, they sincerely propose to stop such sexual intercourse and avoid the scandal. In this way, true discernment and authentic pastoral accompaniment have always been expressed in the Church.
- · People who have nonmarital sexual intercourse violate this indissoluble marriage relationship and lifestyle with their lawful spouse. For this reason, they are not able to participate “in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:23) at the eucharistic wedding meal of Christ, according to the word of the rite of Holy Communion: “Happy guests at the wedding feast of the Lamb!”,
- · To fulfill the will of God, revealed in His Ten Commandments and in His explicit and absolute prohibition of divorce, is the true spiritual good of the person here on earth and will lead to true joy of love in salvation for the sake of eternal life.
Next, the letter made public by the bishops of Kazakhstan, under the title:
Profession of the Immutable Truths about Sacramental Marriage:
After the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (2016) various bishops issued at local, regional, and national levels applicable norms regarding the sacramental discipline of those faithful, called “divorced and remarried,” who having still a living spouse to whom they are united with a valid sacramental matrimonial bond, have nevertheless begun a stable cohabitation with a person who is not their legitimate spouse.
The aforementioned rules provide that in individual cases the persons, called “divorced and remarried,” may receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion, while continuing to live habitually and intentionally with a person who is not their legitimate spouse. These pastoral norms have received approval from various hierarchical authorities. Some of these norms have received approval even from the supreme authority of the Church.
The spread of these ecclesiastically approved pastoral norms has caused a considerable and ever increasing confusion among the faithful and the clergy, a confusion that touches the central manifestations of the life of the Church, such as sacramental marriage with the family, the domestic church, and the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.
According to the doctrine of the Church, only the sacramental matrimonial bond constitutes a domestic church (see Second Vatican Council, , 11). The admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” faithful to Holy Communion, which is the highest expression of the unity of Christ the Spouse with His Church, means in practice a way of approving or legitimizing divorce, and in this meaning a kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.
The mentioned pastoral norms are revealed in practice and in time as a means of spreading the “plague of divorce” (an expression used by the Second Vatican Council, see , 47). It is a matter of spreading the “plague of divorce” even in the life of the Church, when the Church, instead, because of her unconditional fidelity to the doctrine of Christ, should be a bulwark and an unmistakable sign of contradiction against the plague of divorce which is every day more rampant in civil society.
Unequivocally and without admitting any exception Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God’s will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce. An approval or legitimation of the violation of the sacredness of the marriage bond, even indirectly through the mentioned new sacramental discipline, seriously contradicts God’s express will and His commandment. This practice therefore represents a substantial alteration of the two thousand-year-old sacramental discipline of the Church. Furthermore, a substantially altered discipline will eventually lead to an alteration in the corresponding doctrine.
The constant Magisterium of the Church, beginning with the teachings of the Apostles and of all the Supreme Pontiffs, has preserved and faithfully transmitted both in the doctrine (in theory) and in the sacramental discipline (in practice) in an unequivocal way, without any shadow of doubt and always in the same sense and in the same meaning (), the crystalline teaching of Christ concerning the indissolubility of marriage.
Because of its Divinely established nature, the discipline of the sacraments must never contradict the revealed word of God and the faith of the Church in the absolute indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage. “The sacraments not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called “sacraments of faith.” (Second Vatican Council, , 59). “Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy” ( , 1125). The Catholic faith by its nature excludes a formal contradiction between the faith professed on the one hand and the life and practice of the sacraments on the other. In this sense we can also understand the following affirmation of the Magisterium: “This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.” (Second Vatican Council, , 43) and “Accordingly, the concrete pedagogy of the Church must always remain linked with her doctrine and never be separated from it” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation , 33).
In view of the vital importance that the doctrine and discipline of marriage and the Eucharist constitute, the Church is obliged to speak with the same voice. The pastoral norms regarding the indissolubility of marriage must not, therefore, be contradicted between one diocese and another, between one country and another. Since the time of the Apostles, the Church has observed this principle as St. Irenaeus of Lyons testifies: “The Church, though spread throughout the world to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the Apostles and their disciples, preserves this preaching and this faith with care and, as if she inhabits a single house, believes in the same identical way, as if she had only one soul and only one heart, and preaches the truth of the faith, teaches it and transmits it in a unanimous voice, as if she had only one mouth” (, I, 10, 2). Saint Thomas Aquinas transmits to us the same perennial principle of the life of the Church: “There is one and the same faith of the ancients and the moderns, otherwise there would not be one and the same Church” ( , q. 14, a. 12c).
The following warning from Pope John Paul II remains current and valid: “The confusion, created in the conscience of many faithful by the differences of opinions and teachings in theology, in preaching, in catechesis, in spiritual direction, about serious and delicate questions of Christian morals, ends up by diminishing the true sense of sin almost to the point of eliminating it” (Apostolic Exhortation , 18).
The meaning of the following statements of the Magisterium of the Church is fully applicable to the doctrine and sacramental discipline concerning the indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage:
• “For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient doctrines faithfully and wisely, which the faith of the Fathers has transmitted. She strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus — that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning” (Pius IX, Dogmatic Bull )
• “With regard to the very substance of truth, the Church has before God and men the sacred duty to announce it, to teach it without any attenuation, as Christ revealed it, and there is no condition of time that can reduce the rigor of this obligation. It binds in conscience every priest who is entrusted with the care of teaching, admonishing, and guiding the faithful” (Pius XII, Discourse to parish priests and Lenten preachers, March 23, 1949).
• “The Church does not historicize, does not relativize to the metamorphoses of profane culture the nature of the Church that is always equal and faithful to itself, as Christ wanted it and authentic tradition perfected it” (Paul VI, Homily from October 28, 1965).
• “Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ” (Paul VI, Encyclical , 29).
• “Any conjugal difficulties are resolved without ever falsifying and compromising the truth” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation , 33).
• “The Church is in no way the author or the arbiter of this norm [of the Divine moral law]. In obedience to the truth which is Christ, whose image is reflected in the nature and dignity of the human person, the Church interprets the moral norm and proposes it to all people of good will, without concealing its demands of radicalness and perfection” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation , 33).
• “The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good. Basing herself on these two complementary principles, the church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation , 34).
• “The Church’s firmness in defending the universal and unchanging moral norms is not demeaning at all. Its only purpose is to serve man’s true freedom. Because there can be no freedom apart from or in opposition to the truth” (John Paul II, Encyclical , 96).
• “ It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the ‘poorest of the poor’ on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality, we are all absolutely equal” (emphasis in original) (John Paul II, Encyclical , 96).
• “The obligation of reiterating this impossibility of admission to the Eucharist is required for genuine pastoral care and for an authentic concern for the well-being of these faithful and of the whole Church, as it indicates the conditions necessary for the fullness of that conversion to which all are always invited by the Lord” (Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration on the admissibility to the Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried, 24 June 2000, n. 5).
As Catholic bishops, who — according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council — must defend the unity of faith and the common discipline of the Church, and take care that the light of the full truth should arise for all men (see , 23 ) we are forced in conscience to profess in the face of the current rampant confusion the unchanging truth and the equally immutable sacramental discipline regarding the indissolubility of marriage according to the bi-millennial and unaltered teaching of the Magisterium of the Church. In this spirit we reiterate:
• Sexual relationships between people who are not in the bond to one another of a valid marriage — which occurs in the case of the so-called “divorced and remarried” — are always contrary to God’s will and constitute a grave offense against God.
• No circumstance or finality, not even a possible imputability or diminished guilt, can make such sexual relations a positive moral reality and pleasing to God. The same applies to the other negative precepts of the Ten Commandments of God. Since “there exist acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object” (John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation , 17).
• The Church does not possess the infallible charism of judging the internal state of grace of a member of the faithful (see Council of Trent, session 24, chapter 1). The non-admission to Holy Communion of the so-called “divorced and remarried” does not therefore mean a judgment on their state of grace before God, but a judgment on the visible, public, and objective character of their situation. Because of the visible nature of the sacraments and of the Church herself, the reception of the sacraments necessarily depends on the corresponding visible and objective situation of the faithful.
• It is not morally licit to engage in sexual relations with a person who is not one’s legitimate spouse supposedly to avoid another sin. Since the Word of God teaches us, it is not lawful “to do evil so that good may come” (Romans 3, 8).
• The admission of such persons to Holy Communion may be permitted only when they with the help of God’s grace and a patient and individual pastoral accompaniment make a sincere intention to cease from now on the habit of such sexual relations and to avoid scandal. It is in this way that true discernment and authentic pastoral accompaniment were always expressed in the Church.
• People who have habitual non-marital sexual relations violate their indissoluble sacramental nuptial bond with their life style in relation to their legitimate spouse. For this reason they are not able to participate “in Spirit and in Truth” (see John 4, 23) at the Eucharistic wedding supper of Christ, also taking into account the words of the rite of Holy Communion: “Blessed are the guests at the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19, 9).
• The fulfillment of God’s will, revealed in His Ten Commandments and in His explicit and absolute prohibition of divorce, constitutes the true spiritual good of the people here on earth and will lead them to the true joy of love in the salvation of eternal life.
Being bishops in the pastoral office, who promote the Catholic and Apostolic faith (“cultores catholicae et apostolicae fidei,” see ), we are aware of this grave responsibility and our duty before the faithful who await from us a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage. For this reason we are not allowed to be silent.
We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:
By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth.
31 December 2017, the Feast of the Holy Family, in the year of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima.
+ Tomash Peta, Archbishop Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
+ Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop of Karaganda
+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Source: Gabriel Aiza – Infovaticana
Sunday, January 7, 2018
The celebration of the Epiphany focuses on the adoration of Baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men (Mt 2, 1-12) as a symbol of the recognition of the pagan world that Christ is the Savior and King of all humanity.
According to the tradition of the Church of the first century, these magicians are related as powerful and wise men, possibly kings of nations East of the Mediterranean, men who by their culture and spirituality cultivated their knowledge of man and nature striving especially for maintaining a contact with God. From the Biblical passage we know that they were magicians (possibly from Persian or Babylonian priests, who studied the stars, because people who studied the stars were called: magicians), who came from the East and who as a gift brought incense, gold and myrrh. From the tradition of the first centuries we are told that they were Three Wise Kings: Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. Until the year of 474 AD his remains were in Constantinople, the most important Christian capital in the East; then they were transferred to the cathedral of Milan (Italy) and in 1164 they were transferred to the city of Cologne (Germany), where they remain to this day.
Friday, January 5, 2018
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
I suppose all readers have heard of the Hippocratic Oath, that is, the traditional oath that new doctors make at the beginning of their profession and that contains a series of ethical commitments related to the practice of medicine. It was written by Hippocrates, or a disciple of his, in the fourth century BC.
For more than two thousand years, doctors have committed themselves to act, in different ways, for the good of their patients and not to harm them. With Christianity, an important change was made in the oath, so that it was no longer sworn by Apollo, Asclepius, Panacea and other gods, but before God, so that said oath was not only solemn, but also real and significant. In this way, doctors understood that, due to their profession, they acquired a commitment before men and also before God.
The rest of the oath, however, remained unchanged. Ultimately, true morality, what is good and what is bad for human beings, does not change over time, but is proper to human nature. Killing an innocent is equally unacceptable to modern man, to a crusader, to a Germanic barbarian or to a caveman.
Some time ago, I attended a graduation of a medical course at one of Madrid's universities. In it, as is traditional, those who graduated recited the Hippocratic Oath. I expected to hear the traditional oath, but I observed with horror that the new graduates (or, rather, those who organized the act) had changed God again for Apollo, Asclepius and the rest of the gods and goddesses. I guess it was due to the protests of someone who did not believe in God. It is curious how far the rejection of Christianity has gone: to prevent a minority from having to swear by a God in whom that minority did not believe but the others did, they had decided to swear by gods (Apollo and company) in which none of them believe.
At first and to think well of the organizers, I assumed that perhaps they had returned, by simple historical fidelity, to the original text of the oath... but it was immediately clear that it was not so. Although in the invocation to the Greek gods they had returned to the old text, they also had eliminated, without repairs, parts of the oath that had remained unchanged during thousands of years.
In the first place, they eliminated the phrase that says: "I will not administer drugs to any woman to cause her an abortion". Whoever thinks that the Church opposes abortion for purely religious reasons, can find in the Hippocratic Oath the testimony of more than two millennia of medicine that also condemns that monstrosity, as something unworthy of someone who heals people.
Secondly, they had eliminated the prohibition of euthanasia: "I will not give anyone deadly drugs even when they request it, nor will I give advice for this purpose". Euthanasia is not a modern invention. The temptation to reject life to escape suffering has always been present. However, the graduation organizers probably felt very modern in accepting what was already a crime for the ancient Greeks.
So, they only kept in the oath three types of commitments, those that, so vague in their formulation, hardly mean anything ("I will keep my life and my art pure"), those that are concrete but will never have to be fulfilled (as the obligation to teach medicine to the children of their teachers free of charge) and those that the law obliges them to comply with (such as professional secrecy).
In other words, the new doctors rejected any commitment that would force them to behave in a difficult manner, that opposed social pressures or that could limit their professional opportunities in any way. In simple words, they swore... they were going to do whatever they wanted.
I sincerely believe that an era begins in which Christian doctors will have to give a courageous testimony before other doctors and before society. They will suffer rejection and, in many cases, ridicule because they are faithful to the truth and defend human life at all times. In return, they will also have the opportunity to be, in the midst of the world, a current image of the one who came to heal our wounds and surrender to death so that we could have life in abundance.