This year, Catholic conservatives are ready for Pope Francis

Oct 8, 2015 by

By Damian Thompson, Spectator: His Synod on the Family may not be the big reforming step he expects. Pope Francis’s three-week Synod on the Family began on Sunday. Most of the 279 ‘Synod Fathers’ are senior bishops, many of them cardinals. They have no authority to change any aspect of Catholic teaching or pastoral practice. They are discussing the ‘hot button’ issues of communion for the divorced and remarried and the spiritual care of gay Catholics — but, once the meeting is over, power will rest entirely in the hands of the Pope. Conservative Catholics aren’t happy. Last year, at a preparatory ‘extraordinary’ synod, officials hand-picked by Francis announced in the middle of the proceedings that the Fathers favoured a more relaxed approach to gay relationships and second marriages. Senior cardinals exploded with rage, because most Fathers favoured no such thing. The liberal synod organisers — Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri,...

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Is the Homosexual Tendency a Complex Reality?

Oct 7, 2015 by

By John Collins, Crisis Magazine: The title of this essay asks a question drawn from the literature of a recently concluded conference in Rome. This conference—entitled “Living the Truth in Love”—intended to probe “the complex reality of homosexual tendencies.” The conference was sponsored by Ignatius Press and Courage, an international organization that offers spiritual support to persons with homosexual tendencies. Both respected organizations, as the conference literature has it, sought to reflect on “the bi-millennial wisdom of the Catholic Church.” It is no coincidence that their conference was scheduled to immediately precede the October synod of Catholic bishops that is now convening in Rome to discuss the family in the modern world. One of the questions raised by the conference was: What is meant by “homosexual tendency”? While this essay intends to answer this question, it is undeniable that homosexual tendency and activity are joined together, rather like the...

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On Day One of Synod 2015, conservatives strike first

Oct 5, 2015 by

By John L. Allen Jr, Crux Now: ROME — When the first Synod of Bishops on the family got underway last October, conservatives concerned with upholding traditional doctrine appeared caught off guard by a progressive push on several fronts, including relaxing the ban on Communion for Catholics who divorce and remarry outside the Church. The leading symbol of that disorientation was the way Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, ostensibly the man supposed to guide the summit’s work in his role as “General Relator,” appeared to be sidelined by more progressive prelates, especially Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte, in producing a controversial interim report calling for greater openness on divorce, homosexuality, and other hot-button topics. If the opening day of Synod 2015 is any indication, Erdő has no intention of letting that happen again. In his 7,000-word opening address on Monday morning, intended to set the tone for the synod’s work, Erdő...

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Germany’s RC bishops just published an apologia for gay ‘marriage’ – this crosses a whole new line

Sep 18, 2015 by

By Maike Hickson, LifeSite: The German bishops continue their march towards schism. Today, on their own website, they published an apologia for same-sex “marriage,” crossing a whole new line in their battle to reform the Church’s basic moral teachings. In an essay titled “Love Counts” on, theology student Simon Linderargues that since the “societal climate” in Germany has changed, one does not have to justify oneself anymore when defending the idea of “marriage for all.” Rather, says Linder, those opposed to same-sex “marriages” have to defend themselves. And he asks: “Where does the Church have the idea … that homosexuality is a burden for male and female homosexuals? And more fundamentally: Who gives the Church the right to declare homosexuals as people who are to be pitied?” In his six-page long essay, Linder criticizes German Bishop Stefan Oster, who oversees the diocese of Passau, for defending the traditional...

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Three charts that show where Catholics and Protestants stand on the issues dividing the churches

Aug 31, 2015 by

By Samuel Osborne, Independent: Catholics have a more liberal attitude towards gay marriage than Protestants – but are more conservative when it comes to euthanasia and abortion, a survey suggests. YouGov questioned 863 Catholics and 1,707 Protestants in Great Britain – who strongly agreed with the statement “my faith is important to me” – on the three divisive issues. Here’s how they compared: […] Pope Francis, whose papacy began in 2013, is widely perceived to be a liberal influence. In July 2013, when asked if there was ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican, the Pope said: “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?” Last year, the Church of England opposed legislation to legalise gay marriage in the UK. Same-sex marriage was made legal in the UK in March 2014, with the exception of Northern Ireland. It...

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Another cover-up of gay abusers

Jun 16, 2015 by

By Bill Donohue, Catholic League: Bill Donohue comments on the resignation of St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt: Both the New York Times and AP reported today that Archbishop Nienstedt protected a pedophile priest, Curtis Wehmeyer. But Wehmeyer is not a pedophile: as with almost all molesting priests—more than 80 percent of them—he is a homosexual. In 2010, Wehmeyer molested two postpubescent boys, 12 and 14, though it wasn’t until 2012 that the mother of the abused boys told a priest about it. She was told to call the cops. She did. Wehmeyer was immediately relieved of his duties, and the Ramsey County Attorney commended Archbishop Nienstedt for doing “the right thing.” It was Nienstedt who got the priest removed. Under his predecessor, Archbishop Harry Flynn, Wehmeyer made sexually suggestive remarks to two men, 19 and 20; he was sent for counseling. Two year later, while Flynn was...

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