RU 10+11/2009 - USA, VATICAN

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- USA: A group of key members of American pro-life groups went to Rome in order to obtain the superceding and replacement of the majority of the Catholic bishops in the United States. The chief of the delegation, Mr. Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, declared in Rome that the greatest single reason that child killing continues in America, is the fear and the outright treachery of the US bishops. "The action and inaction of the bishops has lead directly to the election of Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion president in the US history", stated another member. In fact, one knows today that 55 percent of the US Catholic electorate, badly informed or mislead by their bishops who have been in tight with the Democrat party for a hundred years, had voted for Obama. The document "Faithful Citizenship" which has been published before the presidential election by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for guiding the choice of the faithful, said bluntly that, although abortion is one of the most important electoral issues, Catholics could in conscience vote for a pro-abortion politician for "proportional reasons", i.e. for reasons of support of an equivalent value (like the stop of the war in Iraq etc.). The result is on the table: OBAMA. Hardly installed in the American power center, he is dispatching, week after week, vagues of decrees and decisions which are openly pro-abortion: the law project FOCA which is supposed to free the women from all contraints and conditions before aborting their babies, the granting of hundreds of millions of Dollars to firms and associations over the world which are supporting abortion, the unconditional liberation of research on embryonic stem cells etc. Randall Terry is a Catholic who has the right to speak: he has been arrested about 40 times during his always non-violent actions in and in front of the Amercian abortion mills. He incriminates the bishops for not excommunicating the pro-abortion politicans, particularly the one in Washington (archbishop Wuerl) et in Virginia (Mgr Loverde) where most of the 'Catholic' politicans use to go to mass. "You cannot have a polite conversation with people who are committed to slaughtering babies", Mr. Randall hammered. The reason for this episcopal weakness? According to Randall, it's fear, the fear of loosing various local subsidies, and mostly to loose the tax-exempt status of the Church. "Your tax-exempt status be damned if it keeps you from announcing the words of God!", he said. He was received in audience by some of the highest prelates of the Vatican: archbishop Rino Fisichella of the Pontifical Academy for Life, cardinal James Francis Stafford of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and representatives of the Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Councils for the Laity, the Family and for Justice and Peace. Randall promised to come back often to Rome, with more representatives of pro-life associations, until the Church in America will be faithful to the defense of life and will chase the baby killers in the power centers. - Already in 1987 a delegation of UNEC (Union of the Nations of European Christians, based in Paris) could meet several cardinals in Rome for the same reason, between them cardinal Josef Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, but also cardinal Mayer of the Pontifical Institute Ecclesia Dei, and cardinal +Stickler who had his daily meal with cardinal Ratzinger during long years because he resided in the same Palace, representatives of the Vatican Radio etc. Especially the conversation of 45 minutes with cardinal Ratzinger was memorable: after having listened patiently to the explanations of the documentation concerning some ten lamentable French bishops, the cardinal asked in his kind way: "And what shall we do now?" The chief of the delegation made an abrupt sign with his hand meaning to cut their throats. The cardinal literally explosed laughing, then he put his hands before his mouth, yet smiling: "And yet, that's what should be done", and then, lifting his hands to the heaven, he added: "But I'm not the pope!" Now he is, and apparently he is decided to lead the things vigourously, especially by taking by his two hands his bishops by their horns. May God assist him always more for piloting the ship of the Holy Church which "risks to take water from all sides" according to cardinal Ratzinger's own words little time before being elected to the papal See. - Thus Terry Randall seems to become conscious that he should, for stopping the abortion pest in the United States, have lobbied since many years the Vatican, rather than the Amercian abortion mills. Because today the decisive battles against the great evils of the world are fought there, in the heart of the Church. +Mgr. Lefèbvre, and after him Mgr. Fellay, have understood that since many years already. - (ru; cf. LifeSiteNews March 11th).

- VATICAN: Our Holy Father Benedict XVI published a letter to all Catholic bishops of the world, dated March 10, 2009, in order to explain the recent lifting of excommunication (of Jan. 21, 2009) of the bishops of the SSPX who had been ordained in 1988 by +Mgr Lefèbvre. UNEC, with its poor means, worked much in favour of this dis-excommunication, as this goal was written in its objectives since its foundation in 1989. For this reason, we may be permitted to give some humble comments.

- We welcome in this letter of March 10th, as well as in the lifting of the excommunication of Jan. 21st, the implicite acknowledgment of the immense services which +Mgr Lefebvre rendered to the Church, and for which he had been thanked by John-Paul II by an excommunication letter. This one is now forgotten, thanks to God! Remains the beatification and canonization of +Mgr Lefèbvre, yet to be obtained from Heaven, for having so strongly and efficiently contributed to the resistance against the scourge of modernism within the Church.

- In this letter, the pope utilizes a style of astonishing frankness by comparison to usual pontifical documents. He speaks openly about the loss of faith in the world and even in the Church, of the hate of certain people in the Church against the successor of Peter, of the radicality of the Gospel to be rediscovered. As frankness is one of the conditions of an efficient dialogue, one can only applaud.

- However, an enormous misunderstanding appears between the lines of the letter. If the pope sees in the lifting of the excommunication of the 4 bishops a sign of pity, like the hand of the father extended towards the Prodigal Son, the SSPX understands the matter quite differently. According to the Society, there is nothing to be criticized in the SSPX, on the contrary. The Society is convinced that her disobedience - the consecration of the 4 bishops without the previous agreement of pope John-Paul II - was legitimous, taking into account the state of urgency of the Church in those days (and even today). This type of disobedience is nothing new in the Church, according to the doctrine of the obedience as it has been taught by St Thomas Aquinas, by his 'commentator' St. Bonaventura, and especially by cardinal Cajetanus and later on by St Ignatius of Loyola. According to these great figures of the Church, disobedience - even towards the pope (Cajetanus) - can be, in certain cases, the ultimate form of obedience, as human obedience is only due to God, and to men only as long as their orders are in conformity with the Holy Will of God. Naturally, the discussion about the good formation of the conscience and the discerning of the spirits has also to be taken into account in this context.

- The critical issue becomes increasingly the Vatican II Council which, according to the pope and the majority of the bishops of the world, is to be accepted in all its decrees and details, but which - according to its own definition - was only a 'pastoral' Council and thus - according to the SSPX - was not endowed with infallibility, and for this reason can have got wrong in pastoral marketing, and could even be in discontinuity with the millenary Tradition of the Church. But one can see that the pope does not postulate the total acceptance of Vatican II as a condition for the opening of theological discussions, but rather as the result which he expects from these discussions. Here is a lot of necessary mutual explanations to be achieved.

- Even if this divergence of views appears to be real between Benedict XVI and the SSPX, the future seems to be full of hope, even if the path will not be easy. Because the Holy Father shows in his letter of March 10th such a great desire of charity, unity and research of the truth, that a clear discussion between theologians - basically between Benedict XVI and Mgr Fellay - seems to be possible. In order to make this dialogue successful, the pope decided to incorporate the Institute which is responsible for this dialogue, the Pontifical Council ECCLESIA DEI, into the Congregation of the Faith which he presided during many years before becoming pope and with which he keeps very close links. May the best win? No, but may the Holy Spirit reign, may the Truth explode, may the Church be saved, "adveniat Regnum tuum"! - (ru)

- - O.A.M.D.G. - -