I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

This story in the Telegraph sourced from an Italian and Argentine sources & a Facebook pages is getting a lot of play.

Pope Francis reportedly told a woman “living in sin” with a divorced man that she is free to take Holy Communion, in what appears to be a significant departure from Catholic teaching.
Jacqui Lisbona, who is from the Pope’s homeland of Argentina, wrote to the Jesuit pontiff to tell him that she had been refused Communion by her local priest, who objected to the fact that she was married to a previously divorced man.

Damian Thompson put it well:

CNN & Jake Tapper is jumping on it as will the left in short order I presume, but in all the excitement it’s worthwhile to take a look at the opening line from the story:

In apparent break from Catholic teaching, Pope is said to have phoned remarried Argentine Jacqui Lisbona to say ‘nothing wrong’ in her taking Holy Communion

The key word of course in this story are the words “is said“. Jake Tapper used the words “Reportedly Said” on CNN, Drudge put the story on his site with the word “Claim” & Fr. Z notes a possible holes in both the story & the understanding of what the Pope may have said which directly contradicts a report from last December.

The one thing we do know is this:  What we actual know isn’t clear.

“Has Pope Francis just thrown a hand grenade into traditional teaching on divorcees and Communion?” Thompson tweeted. “The Vatican MUST clarify this or the Catholic world will divide into celebration and panic.”
The problem is that the Vatican isn’t clarifying, hence my use of “weasel words” like “apparently” and “reportedly.” And hence the celebration and panic around the Internet.

Unfortunately this lack of clarity will not stop people from spinning this to their advantage. So here is what is necessary for the Vatican to confirm or deny ASAP:

a: Did the Pope call the woman in question?  CNN Reports they have.

b:  Was the pope aware of the woman’s marital status?  (it matters)

c: If the Pope was aware of her marital status , did he tell this woman she is allowed to receive communion?

If this is so this is a huge change bigger than you might think, because this is not a change in terms of the rules of marriage & divorce as Scripture & Christ is rather direct on the subject:

The Pharisees approached and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?

They replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.

In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

Mark 10:2-12

Since the Pope can not change the words of Christ he would instead be changing Canon law

Can.  915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can.  916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

and the Catechism

1385  To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”  Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

and guidelines dating back as far as 70 AD and the Didache.

Put simply if the Pope can’t change what is mortal sin or not, he might be able to decide unconfessed and more importantly unrepented Mortal Sin is no longer an impediment to the receiving of communion.

If he did so, this would be a heaven shaking change to not only Catholic doctrine, but to this Pontiff’s entire push of people toward the sacrament of confession.

Or this could prefigure a set of guidelines toward dealing with marital sins differently than others in terms of the Eucharist.  This would still be huge but not as earth shattering and changing the rules concerning mortal sin as a whole.

Now I’ve said more than once that if we take media reports concerning the Pope at face value we are fools, additionally as any person who ever saw the Uncle Gus show will tell you a story repeated changes so we don’t know if it is being reported wrong after repeated tellings, or if it was simply misunderstood.  We neither can discount the possibility that either the husband is lying about what the Pope, or Francis looked at this woman’s personal appeal as Jesus did the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:21-28) or with the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42), is this just another question of media Pope-a-dope?

We don’t know the answer to any of this, it’s also possible that the spokespeople at the Vatican don’t know the answer to this either, my strong suggestion is they find out ASAP and bluntly and clearly say what has happened.

Every single day this is not resolved the result will be confusion and harm to the church and the body of Christ.

As to everyone else I would strongly advise anyone, particularly a priest from acting as if doctrine has been changed until we have something firm.
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by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

faustaYesterday the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-2 that states have the right to ban racial preferences, what we call “affirmative action”, which the French refer to “discrimination positive“, or positive discrimination – an oxymoron if there ever was one, but overly optimistic, or the newest euphemism for academic settings, “race-sensitive admission policies” (emphasis added):

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in the opinion that controlled the outcome, insisted that the Court was saying nothing new on the constitutionality of public policies that take race into account. “This case,” he wrote, “is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it….The holding in the instant case is simply that the courts may not disempower the voters from choosing which path to follow.”

He added: “There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this Court’s precedents for the Judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”

Justice Sotomayor dissented, but her dissent was framed in emotional terms, having conceded that the Michigan law itself did not violate equal protection:

Race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and, unlike Justice Sotomayor, do not consider myself to be a “wise Latina“:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor

Certainly it wold be ridiculous, if not downright foolish, to assume that accident of birth in the form of ethnicity has made my life experiences “richer” than anyone who hasn’t lived my life. During the decades I’ve lived in the Continental U. S. I have been “addressed by a stranger in a foreign language” – in German, in Italian, and in Spanish – which did not offend me; to the contrary, I see it as a compliment that a person would like to communicate with me in their language.

But I pose to Justice Sotomayor this question, does race matter when Asian (East Asian and Indian) students are denied admission to top colleges because quotas favor a different minority?

The real issue on college admissions is the quality of public school education,

As a practical matter, the fact that non-white students do relatively poorly under race-neutral admissions standards at our public universities is an indictment mainly of our K–12 education system and of the cultural anarchy that has imposed especially high costs on the children of black and Latino families. It is not an indictment of race-neutral standards. Unable or unwilling to do a better job of preparing black and Latino students for college in the public institutions controlled by its most reliable footsoldiers, the Left insists on anathematizing the very standards under which the incompetence and negligence of our government-run schools, the very model of progressivism, are revealed. If that takes a bit of doublespeak — non-discrimination is discrimination — it wouldn’t be the first time the Left has relied on it.

Or, as my colleague Juliette Akinyi Ochieng correctly names it, The Great Indoctrination.

Back when Justice Sotomayor was nominated, I said,

Identity politics is, in a word, wrong.

Elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law doesn’t make it right.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin American culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

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A lot of angst has been made about last weekends shooting spree in Chicago (45 people shot). The Democrat Governor of Illinois called for more gun control on Morning Joe and on the same show Al Sharpton bemoaned the lack of gang leaders with who a deal could be made (although somehow pols seem to find those leaders come election day.)

If you want to know the actual solution to this problem, I suggest listening to what Garry McCarthy the police superintendent had to say as quoted by the Daily Beast.

Until we do something about guns, don’t expect things to change overnight

No not that quote, that’s the same message that the left has been crying for decade to no effect, I meant what he said afterwards (emphasis mine):

McCarthy noted that Chicago cops have seized 1,500 illegal guns so far this year, but the people caught with the weapons are all too often back on the street all too soon.

“It’s like running on a hamster wheel,” McCarthy said of the effort to grapple with the problem. “We’re drinking from a fire hose, seizing these guns, and people are back out on the street. They’re not learning that carrying a firearm is going to have a serious impact on their lives.

Hold on, you mean to say that you aren’t putting away people who are carrying guns illegally?

If you don’t go to jail for gun possession, you continue to carry guns,” McCarthy said. “You continue to carry guns, and people get shot.”

Is Mr. McCarthy actually trying to insinuate that in a place where the gun laws are historically strict they are unable to put folks away for violating them?

The truth is Mr. McCarthy knows the solution, the problem is not the guns it’s the criminal thugs and if you want to stop them from carrying firearms illegally it might just be a good idea prosecute those offenses rather than plea bargaining them away.

You want a tough new gun law Mr McCarthy, here is one I can back:

No punishment for a felony firearms offenses in the Illinois involving incarceration shall be served concurrently with incarceration for any other offense said offender is convinced of, nor shall any jail time for a felony firearms offense be subject to reduction for “good time” or parole.

I’ll wager the NRA would back that.

Don’t start talking new gun restrictions till we see the result of enforcing the laws you’ve got:

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