on the eve of
Sunday of October 2011:
Feast of Christ the King
is presently studying the preamble given by the Roman
authorities which, as the official Press Release indicates, “leaving
open to a legitimate discussion the study and the theological
explanation of expressions or particular formulation present
in the texts of the Second Vatican Council and of the
discussions have escalated in these last months in the eternal
city. Cardinal Cottier1 is attacking the historian
Morini2 who held that the Church of Vatican II
wanted to return to the tradition of the first millennium.
Cottier warns against the idea that the second millennium
would have been a period of decadence for a Church becoming
distant from the Gospel.
addresses the traditionalist issue of the contradiction
between Vatican II praising the liberty of religions and the
previous condemnations of liberalism by the popes of the 19th
century. He pretends to solve the dilemma by explaining that
the previous Popes had condemned the continental absolutist
liberalism (of the French Revolution), whereas Vatican II is
promoting the pluralist liberalism (of the Anglo-Saxon model).
pro-Vaticanist, Fr. Cantoni,4 former SSPX priest,
wrote Reform in Continuity: Vatican II and the Anti-Conciliarism.
This book is directing his critiques against his former
master, Bruno Gherardini,5 one of these
“anti-conciliarists” who wrote a first book begging to have a
debate around the tenets of Vatican II, and especially on the
ambiguous meaning of “tradition”. Gherardini, who is to
write a more forceful critique, is still considered by the
Civilta Cattolica as having a “sincere attachment to
the Church”. Yet, he does not mince his words about the
judgment of Benedict XVI, guilty of exalting the Council to
the point of “being prevented from seeing Vatican II with
eyes more penetrating and less dazzled.”
On the side
of the critics, Roberto de Mattei6 has launched his
book, The Second Vatican Council: A Story Never Written,
which has gained a prestigious historical prize. He is vividly
opposed in the daily Italian Corriere della Sera by
Melloni,7 for putting together a bunch of anti-conciliarist
pamphlets, unworthy of our consideration.
another book (by Gnocci and Palmaro8) addresses the
post-conciliar dysfunctional Church, with the romantic title:
The Sleeping Beauty: Why the Church has Entered in Crisis
with Vatican II. Why it will Awake. Meanwhile other
writers are taking the opposite view, opening the debate to a
rather encouraging to witness the controversy over the
conciliar era broaden its front and coming from Rome.
Fireworks are already sending sparks from all sides, on the
eve of the golden jubilee of the opening of the Council.
Georges Cottier, a Dominican who has served as the
Pro-Theologian for the Pontifical Household since 1990.
Enrico Morini, a professor of history at the University of
Bologna who has written several books on ecclesiastical
history and culture. Recently he has contributed some
insightful comments regarding the current debates about
Vatican II; cf.
here for details.
Ceccanti, a Catholic intellectual and Italian senator.
4 Fr. Piero
Cantoni, who left the Society in 1981 because he refused the
principle that the New Mass is intrinsically evil.
Bruno Gherardini; cf.
here to read about his recent critiques.
6 Roberto de
Mattei, a prominent Italian political philosopher and
historian. His recent award-winning book, Il Concilio
Vaticano II: una storia mai scritta, has been hotly
Melloni, a historian and author, particularly on the subjects
of Vatican II and Pope John XXIII.
Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro, authors of La Bella Addormentata
Same-Sex Marriage goes against basic rights of children
Sunday of October 2011:
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
activists are promoting the idea that marriage is simply
the committed union of two adults and should therefore
include gay couples. In a country dominated by lobbies
and freedom of expression, how can one best respond to
defend marriage? This is the challenge met by San
Francisco’s group called Catholics for the Common Good.
May offers a novel approach to the reality of marriage in
secular (Godless) society:
Marriage is the reality that unites a man and a woman with
each other and any children born from their union… We call it
a 'reality-based' approach¾reality,
as an antidote to relativism. We're looking at the reality of
marriage from the perspective of the child.
of marriage need to expose the false premise behind gay
activists arguments, which understands the nature of marriage
simply as a bond between two adults. This view fails to
account for another essential feature of marriage: the purpose
of ensuring that children know, and are cared for by, their
A lot of us think of marriage in terms of the adult
perspective, and the benefit for adults. That's a private
that's not what marriage really is. Marriage is more than
that. It's a communion of persons. And when we look at it from
the perspective of the child, it's the heart's desire of every
be united with, and to know, the man and woman that they came
from. That's part of who we are.
this conflict would represent a clash between the public
interest of all children¾in
the recognition and promotion of the type of union in which
they have a right to be raised¾and
the private interest of homosexuals involving an essentially
different type of relationship. Thus, the question of how
society defines marriage has “nothing to do with gays and
lesbians” as such. “It has everything to do with the human
rights of the child, which are currently not being defended,”
May observed. “Everyone without exception has a mother and
father. Every child in an alternative family is in a state of
privation, lacking the connection with their mother or father
In a court document from the Obama administration,
involving a case to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, the
Justice Department states: “The government does not contend
that there are legitimate government interests in creating a
legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both
their biological parents.”
startling,” May said. “And that's the endgame.
Basically, the government is opposing marriage that unites a
man and a woman with each other and any children born from
their union.” Not only the state, but “every institution
in society,” would then be “bound under the law” to
ignore the most compelling public purpose for marriage, as a
safeguard for children's rights. “It will affect parishes,”
“it'll affect every organization in society.”
It is an
urgent task in the San Francisco archdiocese where May is
based. During the last 20 years, he pointed out, “the
Catholic population has increased by 12 percent¾but
marriages are down by 50 percent. And that's happening across
the country: 41 percent of children are born to unmarried
We are dealing with a radical and intransigent Obama
administration which is simply lining up to the Communist
agenda of the mid XXth century USSR, which systematically
pulverized families. Basic truths are rarely discussed in a
culture that exalts the individual, and works to obscure any
connection between sex and procreation. How can one not
tremble to foresee that the destabilization of the most basic
human structure will have a domino effect on the health and
stability of all other societies, State included.
Interview With Bishop Farrell, Secretary of the
Vatican's Unity Council
Sunday of October 2011:
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Q: What are the goals of this council?
Bishop Farrell: The council was set up just before the
Second Vatican Council as an instrument through which
Pope John XXIII wanted to bring into the discussions of
the Second Vatican Council his concern for the unity of
the Churches. And the Second Vatican Council played a
very active part in educating the bishops about the true
nature of the Church and our true relationship to all
the baptized, who were always considered to be just
outside the Church.
the four years of the council, the bishops learned, through
their discussions, that with all of the baptized of different
communities, we have a real, though incomplete, but real
Q: Pope Benedict XVI has made this ecumenical dialogue¾particularly
with the Russian Orthodox Church¾a priority of his pontificate. Why is this a priority for this Pope?
Benedict XVI says that yes, the dialogue with the Orthodox
Churches is a priority, this is clear and if you ask me why I
will simply say because they are so close to us. We have
the same faith, we have the same sacraments, we have the
same apostolic succession; therefore we absolutely consider
that every one of their bishops and their priests are true
bishops and true priests. In that we have a closeness that we
do not have with any other Christian community.
Q: Where have we not made the bridge? Where is it that we have not been
able to reach unity? It has been one thousand years of
Farrell: It will take a long time to learn to live with one
another, truly recognizing one another as brothers and sisters
in the same Church. Ecumenism is not like intergovernmental or
international politics where you have a common goal and you
can make compromises on how to get there. Ecumenism is
discovering what God wants and how he wants it. Now, we know
that Christ's will for the Church is unity. We know that this
unity has been broken almost from the very beginning.
ecumenical effort has to do, above all, with communion.
Communion means participating, sharing in all of those gifts,
all of those graces that Christ has transmitted to the Church
through the Holy Spirit. Ecumenism is a matter of all of us
being better recipients of all that Christ wants to come alive
in his Church. As you can see it is a very profound and very
difficult question. It involves not just thought, not just
theology, it involves above all living the Christian life. It
involves above all how deep our faith is.
The day we
will be able to sit together with the Orthodox and say there
is nothing further that divides us, we are together, and we
will be actually making an act of faith. It is not just a
question of agreements here and there between church people;
it means that the whole body of the Church has to assimilate
this greater fidelity to Christ and to the Gospel. There is an
enormous amount of work to be done.
Comments: As an antidote to the ever blurred modernist,
sentimental, ambiguous approach to ecumenism, nothing can be
more revigorating than the words Cardinal Ottaviani addressed
during a session of the preparation of Vatican II Council.
The first (principle behind the schema De Ecclesia)
is that Christ has wished that the salvation of all men be
realized by union with His own theandric (divine and human)
Person, but He has also wanted that, here below, this union
be realized only within a social organism, which He called
His Church. The second (principle) is that there is no real
distinction between the visible Roman Catholic Church and
the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church.1
From what Cardinal Bea said, certain assertions are
particularly harmful. I clearly understand his zeal, since
he has been entrusted with the Secretariat for
non-Catholics, and he will endeavor to let the Council keep
the door wide open to them. But there are limits! We must
not say that, as soon as someone is baptized, he becomes a
member of the Mystical Body, although he is not a member of
the Church. It is dangerous to affirm this… The Catholic
Church and the Mystical Body are identical… On the one hand,
the [theological] Commission has taken the greatest care to
show that only Catholics are really members of the Church
(the consequences of the opposite doctrine are truly
formidable and would shed doubts as to the ecumenical
[universal] and infallible character of the Council Vatican
II). On the other hand, the Commission has endeavored to
expose clearly that not all the ties between the sons of the
Church and the separated brethren have been broken.2
1 Acta, Series II, Vol. II, pars III p.
988; in Église et Contre-Église (II Congrès théologique
de Sisinono, 1996). Publications du Courrier de Rome,
Versailles, 1996, p. 121
2 Ibid. p. 996; p. in Eglise, p.
The strongest letter in defense of
marriage ever addressed by Catholic hierarchy to United
Sunday of October 2011:
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
opposition to same-sex marriage took a significant turn lately
with a letter from Archbishop Dolan, President of the USCCB to
President Obama in which Dolan urges the President to end his
Administration’s “campaign against DOMA (Defense
of Marriage Act), the institution of
marriage it protects, and religious freedom.”
Last month, the Justice Department has shifted from not
defending DOMA… to actively attacking DOMA’s
constitutionality… Mr. President, your Administration’s
actions against DOMA and the values it stands for contrast
sharply with your excellent Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
proclamations issued earlier this year. It is especially
wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage
with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial
discrimination, as your Administration insists on doing.
Our profound regard for marriage as the complementary and
fruitful union of a man and a woman does not negate our
concern for the well-being of all people but reinforces it.
While all persons merit our full respect, no other
relationships provide for the common good what marriage
between husband and wife provides. The law should reflect
Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent
or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority
of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to
directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby
endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman. Nor should
a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be
treated by federal officials as a federal offense—but this
will happen if the Justice Department’s latest
constitutional theory prevails in court. The
Administration’s failure to change course on this matter
will, as the attached analysis indicates, precipitate a
national conflict between Church and State of enormous
proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.
but congratulate the head of the USCCB for speaking so sharply
on a question with huge stakes, which could incriminate most
United States citizens for defending the most basic natural
right on earth. We can hardly blame the Archbishop for raising
shallow arguments simply because that they are addressed to a
very progressive Administration which fears neither God nor
His Law, following a déjà vu communist agenda.
not such a letter be the ideal occasion for the Catholic
hierarchy to remind the United States authorities of the
existence of the said Natural Law and of the objective
morality on sexuality, instead of being on the defensive. This
approach, very conciliar-like, builds the defense of the
family upon the most shallow pillars of human and religious
freedom, which explains why the bishops “recognize the
immeasurable personal dignity and equal worth of all
individuals, including those with same-sex attraction, and we
reject all hatred and unjust treatment against any person.”
While it is certainly proper to reject all hatred of persons
need to clearly state the difference between sin and virtue.
ambiguity, of Vatican II and the United States text, lie in
equating the dignity of the person as such with the dignity of
the virtuous actions of the person. With this yardstick, the
devil, simply for being an angel created by God, would deserve
much more dignity than Our Lady! One is heading for tough
times ahead when one cannot call a spade a spade,
the very defenders of the Natural Law feel paralyzed to
defend its application to marriage as being only between a man
and a woman.
Catholic bishops over 195 United States dioceses, 70 million
registered members, the Catholic Church represents 22 percent
of the United States population. About a year before the major
elections, this should give some thought to the White House.
Yet, it is highly improbable that the radical ideology
reigning there will use proper reason for the sake of the true
Cardinal Koch: successor of controversial
Cardinal Kasper, in the “advanced” Commission for the
Unity of Christians, objects to obliteration of the traditional Mass
Sunday of October 2011:
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Koch indeed claimed that the disappearance of the
traditional Roman Mass could be equated to an attempt to
obliterate the scandal provoked (as said the Apostle) by the
Cross of Christ. For the sake of ecumenism, as it was often
that, paradoxically, this disappearance was also a catastrophe
on the point of view of the image offered by the Catholic
Church in relation to the Orthodox, Anglicans and numerous
Lutherans. The more one wishes to please man (this is well
known), the less we deserve their interest if not their esteem?
participants in the Angelicum Colloquy on the theme of the
extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy heard him explain
that if the defenders of the liturgical reform had justified
the Novus Ordo by its ecumenical spirit, this could not
be expected by the Usus antiquior simply because this
latter is the guarantee of theological continuity.
cardinal went further:
one spoke naturally of the Eucharist as of the “sacrifice of
the Mass”. Today, this vision is less frequent, or simply
forgotten if not utterly put aside. No dimension of the
Eucharistic mystery has been more contested after Vatican II
than the definition of the Eucharist as a sacrifice—both the
sacrifice of Jesus Christ and sacrifice of the Church—, to
the point that we may fear that this fundamental data of
Catholic faith in the Eucharistic be totally forgotten.
concludes that we should return to the liturgy of the Fathers
“turned towards the Lord.”
interesting to notice that, as Angelicum Colloquy was
abundantly commented on by the L’Osservatore Romano,
the latter had obliterated the comments of the disturbing
prelate contesting the obliteration of the Mass of All Time.